Why subscribe?

Things I Think Are Awesome” (aka “TITAA”) is a sizable fun news newsletter I (Lynn Cherny) publish twice a month faithfully. One of those posts is free, the other has a paywall. If you become a paid supporter, you will not see me being irregular or slacking off! You will support the compilation and writing effort, and get the mid-month news post which is paywalled.

I cover:

  • An opening bit on something weird or inspiring (folklore, archaeology, art, AI, book themes….). These short articles are open to all subs.

  • Current creative AI & generative art tools, my focus being image gen, 3d worlds, video gen, procgen art, usually with code. I’ve been documenting creative AI for a few years now, since the era of colabs and before, I’m not an AI-tool n00b.

  • The latest on storytelling in research and tech: text generation for creative purposes (including social agent sims) & narrative, with a bias towards game and fiction! (My background is language processing.)

  • Games news especially AI-related (I’m skeptical but interested in tooling to help indies build), narrative gen-related, and fun or useful articles.

  • A few of the latest in NLP and data science/data visualization coolness, just a few top level links. My job is actually data science/NLP, but this newsletter is more “fun”? I hope.

  • Media recs: my monthly fav books (mostly sf&f and some mysteries/thrillers), tv, and games including VR games (I love VR). The recs appear in a shorter form in the free big post at the end of the month, but there is a paid, separate, optional mailing of these to make it easier to save them.

  • Paid/Financial Supporters: for the mid-month paid subscribers, a section on Esoteric & Weird news including AI-related but not limited to; and a subsection separate mailing for the media recs on Books, TV, Games. Free readers get the end of month news summary in full, and the article opener before the news and “esoterica” mid-month.

  • A poem at the end of each post. (Not by me or an AI model.)

Here’s the archive website.

Recap: If you become a paid subscriber,

  • you receive the mid-month newsletter links section, with the esoterica, and support my days-off per month doing this — a weekend is not enough for a post, given the pace of AI & tech creativity tools.

  • You also get the subsection mailing of the tv, book, game media recs.

Who Am I? What Do I Know?

My name is Lynn Cherny (@arnicas on many social media platforms). I’m a data science/AI consultant based in France with a long and winding tech history. My career spans many software companies, from startups like Excite/TiVo to Adobe, Autodesk, The Mathworks, and consulting at places like Kensho and Midjourney and Hidden Door. I’m currently an “AI Artist in Residence” at Google Arts & Culture. But I do a lot of data work there, especially with text.

Other background: I have a PhD in Linguistics from Stanford and wrote one of the first ethnographic studies of online chat in a MUD (text-based virtual community). I co-edited a collection of early internet culture essays about women on the internet in USEnet, IRC, MUDs, the WELL and other old places, which was used in a lot of classes. I was a co-organizer of OpenVis Conf, a conference on open source data visualization and research. I have taught data science, NLP and data visualization at U of Miami (as a Knight Fellow) and EM-Lyon (a french business school). I was in UX/UR for many years but mostly left that field due to my data interests. I stay up-to-date, and you can too.

Stay up-to-date!

Every new edition of the newsletter goes to your inbox but also lives in a nice web archive. I have added table of contents links to the top, under the intro article, to make it easier to get to each section in the links and recs.

You can buy me a coffee if you like it or better yet, upgrade to paid to support me and receive the mid-month links, as well as the separate mailing with the media recs (books, tv, games). The media recs also appear in a shorter form in the main end-of-month free mailing, but the subsection mailing for financial supporters makes it easier to save them.

Join me in positive escapism!

Your financial support makes a big difference because it allows me to justify some business expenses, some time off (it takes me a day or two each post) and helps my morale while compiling this thing. Please consider joining!

Subscribe to Things I Think Are Awesome

Twice a month recs on creative AI, games and narrative tools, fun NLP and data science, generative art and text, SF/fantasy books & tv, poetry, oddities & folklore.


AI for creativity & story, games; gender, science fiction, TV, esoterica & weirdness. Twice-a-month newsletter on Things I Think Are Awesome: https://t.co/lgcNFxxTqj