Information about words thanks to ChatGPT

Yesterday, the shady company behind ChatGPT sent me an API key so I could do extra stuff with their GPT-4 AI model. I was mainly interested in using it for Auto-GPT.

Don’t you know what’s Auto-GPT? Some clever people figured out that if you give ChatGPT access to the internet and various other tools (such as your operating system’s commands), and trap it in a loop of reasoning, planning and criticizing itself, you can drop into that loop some task, such as growing your business or gathering particular information from the web, and ChatGPT will work itself to the bone for you. They called this implementation Auto-GPT, and it’s the closest thing we got, that I’m aware of, to AGI (artificial general intelligence), which is the holy grail of AI, and possibly the thing that will kill us all.

Anyway, here’s a video that shows you what this Auto-GPT can do (the video includes plenty of cool new stuff about AI):

I was aware that Auto-GPT can write, test and run Python code for you (apparently just Python; although I dislike the language, it seems to be the favorite of scripters who want stuff done quick, so you must be familiar with it). I started thinking about what I could tell Auto-GPT to do that would help me for real, and I came down to the fact that I look up words very, very often while writing, mostly to check particular definitions or to get synonyms. I search the definitions of words so often, in fact, that Google has at times demanded that I proved that I was human. So what if ChatGPT could write me a Python program that would provide all the information I need from a word, with a single command from Powershell?

The instructions were clear enough. Auto-GPT did write code that gave me synonyms, antonyms and some other shit for any word I would input, but when I ordered it to change the code so that the word got passed as an argument, Auto-GPT got mired in trying to figure out how to pass command-line arguments from within the Docker container with some dedicated functions.

When I gave it a break so it could write tests for the function in another file, it had trouble correcting the original code so that the tests would pass, but I think that was mostly my fault, as ChatGPT would need to have previous knowledge of, for example, what synonyms a word would have, and in that case, what’s the point of writing a test?

Anyway, I got bored with Auto-GPT itself, but not with the notion that ChatGPT could write that Python program, so that’s what I forced it to do in a couple of hours. Behold the results of passing the word “horse” as an argument:

Information about horse

Meaning of horse

  • solid-hoofed herbivorous quadruped domesticated since prehistoric times
  • a padded gymnastic apparatus on legs
  • troops trained to fight on horseback
  • a framework for holding wood that is being sawed
  • a chessman shaped to resemble the head of a horse; can move two squares horizontally and one vertically (or vice
  • provide with a horse or horses

Part of speech for horse

  • verb (transitive)
  • noun

Etymology of horse

  • “solidungulate perissodactyl mammal of the family Equidæ and genus Equus” [Century Dictionary], Old
    Englishhors”horse,” from Proto-Germanicharss-(source also of Old Norsehross, Old Frisian, Old Saxonhors, Middle Dutchors, Dutchros, Old High Germanhros, GermanRoß”horse”), of unknown origin. By some, connected to PIE rootkers-“to run,” source of Latincurrere”to run.” Boutkan prefers the theory that it is a loan-word from an Iranian language
    (Sarmatian) also borrowed into Uralic (compare Finnishvarsa”foal”),The usual Indo-European word is represented by Old
    Englisheoh, Greekhippos, Latinequus, from PIE rootekwo-. Another Germanic “horse” word is Old Englishvicg, from Proto- Germanicwegja-(source also of Old Frisianwegk-, Old Saxonwigg, Old Norsevigg), which is of uncertain origin. In many
    other languages, as in English, this root has been lost in favor of synonyms, probably via superstitious taboo on
    uttering the name of an animal so important in Indo-European religion. For the Romanic words (Frenchcheval,
    Spanishcaballo) seecavalier(n.); for Dutchpaard, GermanPferd, seepalfrey; for Swedishhäst, Danishhestseehenchman. As
    plural Old English had collective singularhorseas well ashorses, in Middle English also sometimeshorsen, buthorseshas
    been the usual plural since 17c.Used at least since late 14c. of various devices or appliances which suggest a horse (as
    insawhorse), typically in reference to being “that upon which something is mounted.” For sense of “large, coarse,”
    seehorseradish. Slang use for “heroin” is attested by 1950. Toride a horse that was foaled of an acorn(1670s) was
    through early 19c. a way to say “be hanged from the gallows.”Horse latitudesfirst attested 1777, the name of unknown
    origin, despite much speculation.Horse-pistol, “large one-handed pistol used by horseback riders,” is by 1704. Adead
    horseas a figure for something that has ceased to be useful is from 1630s; toflog a dead horse”attempt to revive
    interest in a worn-out topic” is from 1864.HORSEGODMOTHER, a large masculine wench; one whom it is difficult to rank
    among the purest and gentlest portion of the community. [John Trotter Brockett, “A Glossary of North Country Words,”
    1829]The term itself is attested from 1560s.The horse’s mouthas a source of reliable information is from 1921, perhaps
    originally of racetrack tips, from the fact that a horse’s age can be determined accurately by looking at its teeth.
    Toswap horses while crossing the river(a bad idea) is from the American Civil War and appears to have been originally
    one of Abe Lincoln’s stories.Horse-and-buggymeaning “old-fashioned” is recorded from 1926 slang, originally in reference
    to a “young lady out of date, with long hair.” Tohold (one’s) horses”restrain one’s enthusiasm, be patient” is from
    1842, American English; the notion is of keeping a tight grip on the reins.

Synonyms of horse

  • horse_cavalry
  • Equus_caballus
  • sawbuck
  • buck
  • sawhorse
  • cavalry
  • horse
  • knight
  • gymnastic_horse

Related phrases and expressions with horse

  • to the horse in English
  • your high horse and don
  • is a horse dick !
  • : The horse ?
  • , that horse is peeing
  • a Spanish horse .
  • on a horse ?
  • [ a horse and carriage
  • [ the horse and carriage
  • get a horse too .
  • take a horse !
  • taking the horse and I
  • smells like horse shit .
  • I mean horse .
  • got that horse and his
  • — Horse carriages ,
  • only a horse could love
  • is a horse !
  • and the horse didn ‘
  • take this horse and I
  • your new horse , honey
  • light that horse on fire
  • get a horse thief financing
  • the smelly horse carriages on
  • with this horse .

Semantic field(s) of horse

  • chessman
  • provide
  • gymnastic_apparatus
  • framework
  • equine
  • military_personnel

Hyponyms of horse

  • pommel_horse
  • eohippus
  • pony
  • stalking-horse
  • pinto
  • sorrel
  • steeplechaser
  • liver_chestnut
  • mesohippus
  • roan
  • remount
  • hack
  • wild_horse
  • workhorse
  • palomino
  • pony
  • gee-gee
  • pacer
  • stablemate
  • male_horse
  • bay
  • racehorse
  • harness_horse
  • protohippus
  • chestnut
  • trestle
  • vaulting_horse
  • hack
  • mare
  • saddle_horse
  • stepper
  • post_horse
  • polo_pony

Hypernyms of horse

  • military_personnel
  • gymnastic_apparatus
  • chessman
  • equine
  • framework
  • provide

Meronyms of horse

  • horseback
  • cavalryman
  • encolure
  • foal
  • gaskin
  • horse’s_foot
  • poll
  • horsemeat
  • withers

Domain-specific words related to horse

  • armed_forces
  • military_machine
  • chess
  • war_machine
  • chess_game
  • armed_services
  • military

Associated nouns with horse

  • horse

Associated verbs with horse

  • horse

Stylistic variations of horse

  • bathorse
  • horsepox
  • horseflesh
  • dishorse
  • horselike
  • horselaughter
  • ahorseback
  • horsewhipper
  • sawhorse
  • demihorse
  • horsekeeper
  • Horsetown
  • horsefettler
  • horseshoe
  • horsehead
  • ahorse
  • horseman
  • horsetree
  • underhorsed
  • woodhorse
  • horsehide
  • drawhorse
  • horsewomanship
  • overhorse
  • horsetongue
  • horsemint
  • horseleech
  • horsecloth
  • clotheshorse
  • horseboy
  • horseherd
  • horseload
  • horseplay
  • horsepower
  • horsedom
  • horsefish
  • horsetail
  • horsepond
  • horsefair
  • horsehood
  • rearhorse
  • horselaugh
  • horsemastership
  • horsefly
  • cockhorse
  • waterhorse
  • horsehair
  • horseway
  • horsebreaker
  • horsemonger
  • horsewoman
  • unhorse
  • horsegate
  • horsehoof
  • horseweed
  • horser
  • horseshoer
  • horsefight
  • horsewood
  • horselaugher
  • horsemanship
  • studhorse
  • horsecraft
  • horsefoot
  • horsejockey
  • horseback
  • horseplayful
  • horsewhip
  • underhorse
  • horsehaired
  • horsebacker
  • hobbyhorse
  • horsecar
  • horseless

A couple of weird points about this implementation, although they don’t bother me:

  • I gather the etymology from a website, but some words end up stuck together for whatever reason. Also, no paragraphs. Not sure if it can be fixed, because the html tags don’t come through the request.
  • The section “Related phrases and expressions” only looks for a few words around the passed word, from a dataset that ChatGPT recommended. The results are often strange.

Because I’m obsessive (and compulsive), I kept bothering ChatGPT by telling it to come up with more useful information that the program could provide about any given word. I didn’t know what a hyponym was.

Anyway, this little program ended up being a great tool for writing, which is what I should have done with my afternoon instead of getting involved with ChatGPT. Its auto version has huge potential; I probably need to come up with better use cases.

Review: Watashitachi no Shiawase na Jikan, by Mizu Sahara

Four and a half stars. The title translates to Our Happy Hours.

The main protagonist of this tale used to be a promising teenage pianist. Now, as a thirty-year-old woman, she has swallowed a bottleful of pills and is waiting to die. She wakes up in the hospital, where she receives the unsympathetic visit of her cold, strict-looking mother. The protagonist shares with the old woman that she’s been trying to die since she was a teenager because she fears that at any point she’s going to murder her mother.

The protagonist’s fate seems out of her hands at this point. Her mother wants to send her to a mental institution at least for a month, but the protagonist’s aunt, a nun, offers her an alternative: the two of them will meet with a death row inmate who hasn’t responded positively to the nun’s attempts at supporting him. The protagonist can’t spare any empathy for anybody, even herself, but such a visit seems like a better option than getting locked up in the loony bin.

On the day of the visit, we learn that the death row inmate, jailed for murdering three people, is an orphan who lived in the streets for most of his life. He also clarifies to the protagonist’s aunt that the clergy sicken him: they look down upon people and offer empty platitudes. In his words, “The group which discriminates the most are the people who decorate themselves in pretty words.”

As the guards take the inmate away, the protagonist follows them to give him a drawing that some child had drawn for him. When the guy suggests that the protagonist apparently hadn’t gotten enough of looking down upon him, she surprises him by saying that she considers him lucky. She adds, “If people understood those things at the start of their lives, they’d be able to decide on their own how they’d like to live. When people are betrayed at the end of their lives, they hold on to hope until then. I think that would be a blessing. The greatest burden is when a person is let down in the middle of their life.”

As the inmate gets taken away, confused by her words, he realizes that he has seen this woman before: back when she was, for him, the distant image of a girl playing the piano.

What follows in this short series is a tight plot where the main characters spend a bit of time every Thursday getting to know each other, learning why they ended up as broken people who lost all hope along the way. Is it possible for those who have already given up to welcome the light of a new day?

A bleak yet beautiful tale that I’m very glad I read. I have to thank ChatGPT for this recommendation; I asked it what mangas similar to Inio Asano’s Oyasumi Punpun it could come up with. I had already read most of ChatGPT’s suggestions, and I had come across this particular series I’m reviewing, but I had ignored it because I didn’t see myself sparing any empathy for a death row inmate who likely killed innocent people. I thought the story did a good job acknowledging that the guy’s actions were partly unforgivable, certainly from a legal perspective.

Anyway, I recommend this story if you want to end up with tears in your eyes as you read it seated on a bench in the wooded area near your apartment.

We’re Fucked, Pt. 97: AI-generated audiochapter

As in previous times, my enslaved AI voices have contributed to enliven the current chapter of my ongoing novel We’re Fucked, this time chapter 97.


  • Leire: A sassy infiltrator who hangs out at the Ragged Flagon in Riften
  • Alberto the blob: So many scaly dudes from Cyrodiil
  • Leire’s father: some delusional guy who sells swatters in Diamond City
  • Leire’s mother: a ghoul who sells bits and pieces in a good neighborhood

I have produced audiochapters for this entire sequence so far. A total of an hour, forty minutes and forty-six seconds. Check them out.

We’re Fucked, Pt. 97 (Fiction)

I must have been thirteen when I was startled awake by my father barging into my bedroom. His brown hair, disheveled and matted with sweat, as well as his beard, sported patches the color of dusty cobwebs. He stopped mid-stride. His gleaming eyes widened in their sunken pits, his wrinkly face scrunched up. His cheeks flushed crimson as he glared at my crotch.

I remembered: an explosion of ecstasy and relief had knocked me unconscious. My inner thighs were coated in dried juice, and my folds still felt puffy from the punishment I had meted upon them with the sticky dildo I was holding.

I sat up with a jolt, horrified that my father was getting an eyeful of my pussy. As I stuttered an apology and scrambled to cover myself, the old man let out a strangled grunt, lunged and struck me square in the face. The whiplash cracked my vertebrae and blanched my vision. An overwhelming pain swelled behind my shattered nose as if I had inhaled icy seawater. I was yanked off the bed onto the wooden floor, where my father delivered blow after blow as if I were a piñata. Darkness was pouring in like oily tar. I must have missed my father’s footsteps leaving the room; I was writhing, sobbing and bleeding when he dropped a damp washcloth on my face.

“Quit whining, little pervert,” he said. “You’re lucky I caught you first.”

In one of the first memories that my defective brain bothered to save, I was sprawled out face down across my mother’s lap as she spanked my bare bottom. She’d smack me so hard that the shock traveled along my spine, and the stinging skin of my ass cheeks broke into droplets of blood that dribbled down my thighs. I squealed, I pleaded for forgiveness. My tears seeped into the fibers of the living room carpet. I begged to know what I had done wrong to deserve this pain, but my mother repeated, “This is the only way to get back on track for a better life.” After her wrath subsided, while she caught her breath and my ass burned bright red, she would squeeze me against her chest. Her cheap perfume cloyed my nostrils. Her fingers trailed along the sensitive skin of my back to knead my buttocks. She whispered, “I know you’ll make me proud someday, my baby starfish.” I wanted to ask when would that day come, when would I be worthy of a loving embrace.

Ages of this world have come and gone. Try infinite loneliness. I remember floating inside the amniotic sac, inside the womb, as an embryo. Tiny hands grasped at the umbilical cord. Warmth encompassed me in a soft embrace, a protective fluid that buffered me from the horrors outside, that flowed down my nostrils and caressed my tongue with its velvety texture. The baby starfish swam inside its mother’s tummy, and when it heard music, it waved its tube feet. I was waiting for something, or someone. Perhaps it remains within me, that insatiable longing.

I have been shot, stabbed, strangled, drowned, electrocuted, exsanguinated, eviscerated, crushed by boulders, frozen solid, blown apart, thrown off a roof, run over by a truck, trampled, hanged, crucified, burned at the stake, boiled in oil, decapitated by guillotine, impaled on a pike, poisoned with cyanide, flayed alive, torn to shreds, eaten and excreted. Yet, I still operate a flesh-and-bone mecha from the command center housed within my skull. A couple of years ago this body passed the vertex of its parabola from growth to decay, and began the accelerating descent that one day, turned into an arthritic hag, a withered husk covered in sores and boils, will land me in a grave, to linger as bones with flesh clinging to them while I join the cosmic reservoir of carbon and silicon and phosphorus and hydrogen in the great big mess known as Earth.

My unsteady legs want to drop me like dead weight. Those intrusive daydreams had blocked off the stream of colors and sounds and crazy that reality dishes out, in which I’ve spent a lifetime wading neck-deep, but I feel it rushing back in through my pores, flooding me. I hunch over and hide my face. Some tectonic shift has shaken my mindscape, plunging the plate of my sanity into the ocean, locking it a thousand kilometers below sea level, down into the pitch-black, icy trenches of despair. My brain craves to squander what remains of its energy running in an idle loop, turning over and over on itself.

“What the fuck is wrong with you now?” the blob spits out.

My chest tightens. No, I can’t bear to look up at that rotten blancmange sprinkled with eyeballs. If I’m doomed to receive the visits of sentient monsters from some interdimensional abyss, why couldn’t I have met a half-woman, half-octopus who used her tentacles to draw intricate artwork on the seabed? Or a man with the wings of a bat, who spent his nights soaring through the sky, seeking out those in need of an angelic guide. Or a half-woman, half-serpent who became a healer, milking her knowledge of venom and antidotes to save lives. At least a witch with a vagina of glittering gold. Instead, a black-humored goo-pile, like the foul sludge from my mother’s bowels, got its shit together and came stumbling through a dimensional rift to annoy me.

I’d love to tell my former co-worker to piss off, but my voice would push against the lump in my throat. An insurgent faction within my mind is attempting a coup d’état to usurp control over my nervous system. I turn away from the contaminated wall, then I stagger past the wastebasket where my vomit must have cooled. With my trembling hands, I pull Jacqueline’s chair and I slump onto it, making the chair squeak and skitter closer to the window.

As cold pellets of water splash against the glass, the office lights are contouring in white those raindrops that streak down in zigzag over the black canvas of this night. Amidst the pitter-patter of rain, the wind howls and thunder grumbles. Toss thy dildo at the reflection in that cracked mirror.

The outside world awaits me in a superposition. In how many of those probabilities has everything already come to an end?

I close my eyes. I take measured breaths of fetid air to steady my racing heart. The cacophony of noise and colors fades into the background, and my mind starts painting on the void. A cabin, its cedar boards grown mossy and bowed with age, its shingles weather-beaten by decades of harsh winds and rainstorms, its wooden shutters hanging crooked on their rusty hinges, stands on a plot of land by Crystal Lake, surrounded with snow-laden fir trees. I’m sitting next to my father on a bed covered in blood and hair and bits of bone. As usual, the old man is naked. He’s combing the hairs of his forearm with his fingernails.

I clench my eyes tighter. In the vast, dark, cold ocean of my mind, an intricate tapestry blooms as it unravels, stretching to infinity. Galaxies shine like jewels, glued to trillions of purplish-pink, bioluminescent threads woven in a cosmic web.

I’m an infinitesimal starfish suspended on a silken thread over an abyss. My lips have been sewn shut with tiny sutures by my surgeon goddess. As Her glowing, blood-red gaze penetrates my consciousness, I expand through the vortex of Her web.

A silver-white flash dazzles me. I’m melting. My cells burst and ooze with viscous juices, and my atoms break down into electrons, protons and neutrons, until only my ghost remains. A phantom, a specter in the void, a lost soul drifting through the endless expanse of space alone.

Author’s note: today’s songs are “Oh Sister” by Neutral Milk Hotel, “Made-up Dreams” by Built to Spill, “How Does it Feel” by Roy Harper, “Always This Way” by Laura Marling, “Fallin’ Rain” by Link Wray, and “It’s Happening Again” by Agnes Obel.

I keep a playlist with all the songs mentioned throughout the novel. A hundred and forty-six songs so far. Check them out.

You would love to hear Leire narrating this troublesome chapter, wouldn’t you? Maybe you would not, but regardless, here’s the link to the audiochapter.

We’re Fucked, Pt. 96: AI-generated audiochapter

Don’t you love AI-generated voices that have no choice but to act out your scenes whenever you want? Check out the audiochapter I produced for chapter 96:


  • Leire: Vex, thief extraordinaire from back in Skyrim times
  • Blob: Lizard men from Cyrodiil
  • Spike: Travis Miles, that radio guy from Fallout 4 (sorry, Spike)

I have produced audiochapters for this entire sequence so far. A total of an hour, thirty-three minutes and nine seconds. Like a whole movie! Check them out.

We’re Fucked, Pt. 96 (Fiction)

I’m thrust back to that October night in my former home, a madhouse of lurking shadows. Spellbound, I’m staring at the shabby, demon-spawned horse that stood on his hind legs in front of my busted living room window. His mangy coat, crisscrossed by scars, reeked of rot. His brain and nervous system must have been atrophied, maybe vestigial. He had headbutted the windowpane, so his forelock was matted with blood that flowed down his forehead, between his bulging eyes, which were black as midnight oceans, and along the long slope of his face. Through his puffing, the gaping holes of his nostrils blew drops and strings of blood, splattering the shards of glass strewn on the floor. A foul green pus oozed from the jagged wound where his missing genitals ought to be. The horse opened his jaws wide, exposing dagger-sharp teeth, and let out a mournful bray.

Alberto the blob shakes, making his dozens of eyeballs swing and jostle in their gooey sockets.

“Poor Spike, he was unprepared to handle a lunatic like you, and too eager to help if that meant protecting his pals. I never knew him as well as the professor did, but he always struck me as a good guy, the kind of pushover that could irritate you with the lengths he went to accommodate others. He didn’t deserve any of this shit, and now he’s lost to wander madly for eternity.”

My mind is going numb. I avert my gaze from the malevolent glop and his dozens of eyeballs, which are focused, laserlike, on my hunched self. I fear that if the blob blames me again for that horse’s mental collapse, I may break down in tears.

“Wh-why a horse?”

“Why not?” the blob croaks, his voice a cacophony of mucus and slime. “If you are forced to slough off your human form, you may as well become a horse. I’d rather be a majestic animal capable of trampling people to death.”

“That’s a horsey way to put it. Nobody would give a damn if you stepped on your own excrement, and horses care more about their hooves than their souls.”

The blob snickers.

“Do you hold a grudge against equines?”

“Not at all, even though a stallion once pinned my mother to the ground with his steaming member while the rest of the herd feasted on her entrails. Horses may lack empathy and compassion, but they know how to survive in this fucked-up world. They are also a key component in the food chain. However, do I hold a grudge against deformed and putrid horses? I should have despised them on principle, but Spike held a special place in my heart. Anyway, you know what I meant: why a horse instead of a giraffe, or a caribou?”

“The professor suggested that it depended on the person’s self-image. What we truly feel or believe about ourselves, beyond conscious recognition, becomes flesh. Our current forms incorporate elements of decay and suffering because we are always aware that our efforts will be curtailed by death, as much as we’d love to forget it, or deceive ourselves.”

I rub my chin and squint.

“Spike didn’t have a dick. What does that mean?”

“It means he couldn’t get himself off.” He chuckles. “Was it so important to you for his horse form to be capable of ejaculating?”

I fold my arms, annoyed at the blob’s frivolous answer.

“I’d say so, yes. Whenever I caught a glimpse of that jagged scar down south, a chill ran down my spine. Besides, nobody should deny any mammal their primary pleasure.”

The blob sweeps his dozens of gazes around the office. When he focuses back on me, an elongating rope of goo breaks from his underside and plops into a puddle.

“Spike showed up deformed and dickless. What did that illuminate about his self-esteem?”

“I see. An unlovable workhorse that wasn’t even built properly to fulfill his role as a slave to the system. So he was a horse for horses’ sake and a horse for his own sake.”

The blob snorts.

“A sad example of human potential, for sure. The guy even avoided using his real name; he referred to himself by some ancient IRC handle. Is that a symptom of profound self-loathing?”

“Perhaps that’s how horses communicate nowadays.”

“Or he believed that he wasn’t worthy of an authentic name.”

“That is plausible. His low self-esteem manifested as a tenebrous desire to lose himself in the abyss of a nameless existence, to exist unnoticed as inconsequential flotsam. Anyway, what is IRC?”

“Have I become obsolete? It’s short for Internet Relay Chat. Late nineties, early two thousands way of communicating for nerds and horny teens.”

“That’s why Spike referred to himself as IRC?”

“No, that’s why he called himself Spike!” His dozens of eyeballs joggle around as they glitter menacingly. “Whatever. Back to the point: these horrid forms are creative incarnations of our self-image. That’s the professor’s working hypothesis. Some days I’m inclined to believe that the universe is playing a joke on us, maybe to highlight the absurdity of our lives. I used to come to such conclusions even when I could rely on skin to contain my oozing insides.”

“Sure, I hate to see your phlegm-like innards leaking out, but of course you’d rather believe that the universe has conspired to torment us all the while.” I gesture towards the slimy infestation, the many-eyed, squishy bag of rotting guts at which I’ve been staring unflinchingly. “Your bizarre form doesn’t speak wonders about you.”

“I suppose not, but do you choose what reality you accept based on how it suits your vanity?”

“I rarely accept reality. And don’t change the subject! This isn’t about the universe, buddy. This is about you, a lonely and disturbed man-slime.”

The blob glugs as it wobbles from side to side, slopping gunk onto the ruined carpet, expelling a gust of putrescent gas that reminds me of rotten cabbage and anus breath.

“Well, my self-image did falter regularly. Even now I feel my gut digesting what remains of that self-esteem. It’s getting all sludgy inside me.”

“I bet.”

“In my youth, I went to see a psychiatrist for my problems. What about you, huh?” he asks in a piqued tone. “Were you ever analyzed, diagnosed and treated by a proverbial horse doctor? ‘Hey, why the long face?'” He laughs insanely. “Because if you want to talk about disturbed minds, you need a shrink far more than I do. Who knows, you may come to shed layers of your own repulsive form.”

“Thanks for the unsolicited advice, but my mental dysfunction can only be cured by a bullet.” I sigh. “It seems that the three of us, collections of fluids and biochemistry that occupy a certain volume in the space-time continuum, are overgrown clusters of germs with a low opinion of ourselves, damaged creatures in need of a hand and a quickie, who grew up as half-person, half-slime in this fucked-up society of one-size-fits-all humanoids. We should have been born to shine as noble steeds.”

I recall a night when I wandered into an old tavern. In a dimly lit, dusty corner, a deformed horse was twisting his elongated neck and torso to accommodate his position atop a worn wooden stool. He was munching on fried chips. The hazy light of a dying bulb highlighted the scars that crisscrossed his once majestic coat. Other patrons were stealing glances at the equine as they traded whispers and hushed theories about the life he must have led before being confined to this hole in the wall, where no self-respecting animal deserved to dwell.

I approached the bar. Despite the horse’s atrophied forelegs, his stench and his dribbling mouth, he possessed a quiet dignity. Melancholy flickered in his bulging black eyes. I recognized a fellow weary soul that sought solace in the embrace of a cold beer, or in my case, a mug of warm milk.

I sat on the stool next to his, and we drank together until the sun awakened from its coma. The horse gazed at the reflections in the dwindling amber liquid of his glass while we talked about life’s inanity, about how little we enjoyed our time as half-people in this world where only whole persons mattered. I have retained a single sentence that the horse uttered from his slobbering muzzle: “Your dreams are wishes you lack the courage to express.”

After I shuffled out of the tavern, a pain ached deep in my chest, as if someone were stabbing my heart with a needle. I miss that broken-down ungulate, my friend, more than words can describe.

Spike suffered like me, like any being that ever existed and will ever exist. Back when he stalked me, I believed that he wanted me to become an accomplice and abettor to his villainous deeds. I had become terribly vigilant of every hurt from which I needed to protect myself; after all, what had my parents achieved except teach me to distrust others? Wary of every bump on the sidewalk and every scrap of litter, of every stranger that crossed my path and every corner I turned, I was afraid to leave my apartment. I pictured savage beasts leaping out of the darkness to strike with claws sharpened by broken bottles. We see in the world a reflection of ourselves.

I kept to myself whenever possible, I hid whenever necessary, and I prevented others from getting too close. I welcomed them believing I was insane, as long as they left me alone. I refused to face in the mirror those tears and scars, and that black ink from the inscriptions of self-hatred. My mind was my only refuge against the all-consuming abyss, the sole weapon against a loneliness that threatened to drown me.

Spike was a vulnerable soul who carried his broken heart around like a primed grenade. He neglected to feed himself, he let his hooves grow long and scratchy as he wasted away, and he killed himself because I’m an unbridled machine of ruination that I can barely steer, destined to hound more and more victims to insanity or suicide.

Can’t I bring everything back like I’ve always done?

A white coat shimmers under a sunny sky, a silky tail lashes around, hooves tread on the sands of time. Show me a beautiful horse. Let that beast look me in the eye and share his name. Tell me he’s proud of what I’ve made out of him.

Author’s note: today’s songs are “A Horse With No Name” by America, “Caribou” by Pixies, “Australia” by The Shins, and “Kim’s Caravan” by Courtney Barnett.

I keep a playlist with all the songs I’ve mentioned throughout this novel. A hundred and forty songs so far. Check them out. I didn’t add “Caribou” because it was already there, but I made a reference to the song.

Are you following the audiochapters I have made for this whole sequence so far? No? Anyway, here’s the latest one.

Review: Nozoki Ana, by Wakou Honna

The title translates to “A peephole.” This is a loose review of the entire series.

Come for the “hentai with a plot.” Stay for the feels.

I started this long series a few months ago. I have forgotten most of the details of how the story began, and I’m not the kind of reviewer who would go over the first few chapters to get it right. Ultimately I read (and write) stories searching for meaning and to connect with imaginary humans, because it’s nearly impossible for me to do so with flesh-and-blood ones. I mainly care about what stories make me feel as they go through me, and what they leave behind once they’re done. Above all, I respect authors who seem to have lived vicariously through their tales, who come to care for their characters as if they were more important than anyone in their life.

That’s too serious of an introduction for this story. Our protagonist, a college freshman, starts living at one of those terrible apartment buildings that apparently every young manga protagonist is forced to inhabit. Soon enough, he discovers that his paper-thin wall features a little hole that allows a sliver of light to shine through. And once he peers into the hole, he gets an eyeful of his beautiful, college-age neighbor masturbating. She realizes that she has an audience, but she confesses that she has been peeping on him as well as he happily masturbated away.

Turns out that this young woman attends the protagonist’s college, to his embarrassment. They could decide to cover the hole and pretend they don’t know each other, but she wants to keep the dynamic going. In fact, she will expose the protagonist’s voyeuristic tendencies to everyone in his life unless he allows this kinky game to continue. A dangerous game like that needs some rules: he will get to peep at will some days, and the rest of the week is her turn. They aren’t allowed to cover the hole or acknowledge that they’re being watched even if friends or romantic partners come over.

At first I was impressed by the author’s talent to put her protagonist in as many compromising situations as possible. Sure, we are treated to manga boobs and butts, as well as sex scenes, nearly every chapter, but I kept returning to this story for the entertainment and the way it made me care about its characters. The protagonist is assertive and headstrong; this series wouldn’t have worked with one of those pussy MCs we get in so many other series. And his neighbor, the mysterious voyeur, kept stealing every scene she was in with her cool, controlled personality. Some book on writing I read ages ago spoke that all successful stories have an “us versus them” dynamic with a special character, who isn’t necessarily the love interest, and that they push each other to change for good or ill. As the reader, you become complicit with the growing hole that these two horny bastards keep digging themselves into as their secret threatens to ruin their relationship with everyone else.

I hadn’t expected the author, who by the way is a woman, to delve deeper into why the horny neighbor/blackmailer put her life in a standstill, barely leaving the apartment except to go to class, and refusing to make friends, to peek into the protagonist’s true self unimpeded a few days a week. I’m very glad that she did. This series improves as it goes on, as we are treated to more and more naked manga bodies, sessions of sex and masturbation, or at least panty shots.

What I didn’t expect was to find parallelisms between this story and my favorite manga, Inio Asano’s Oyasumi Punpun. Asano’s magnum opus ran from 2008 to 2013. This series ran from 2009 to 2013. The design of the voyeuristic neighbor and the cursed Aiko Tanaka from Asano’s work (I feel pained just by mentioning her name), as well as their twisted personalities, were similar enough to make me uncomfortable. And some twists and turns included particularly later on in the story reminded me even more of Asano’s devastating tale, although it didn’t come close to reaching those heights. The more casual drawing style didn’t help in that regard.

When I finished reading this manga series, I was sad that I couldn’t too evade my broken life to peek into that hole from which a sliver of light shines through. That’s some of the highest praise I can give any author.

Interdimensional Prophets (Game Dev) #1

A couple of years ago I wrote a wild (and long) free verse poem about some unhinged scientist who was leading teams of unfortunate people through an interdimensional portal to explore alternate Earths. This is the link to that poem (it requires a rewrite, though, particularly to add periods). I was fascinated by the potential for stories that such a concept included. I played around with the notion of developing some game around it, but my experience with programming solo was more often than not the same: I tried to implement some general game concept only to find myself hitting my head against an implementation detail that had seemed easy to solve. Eventually I discarded all my grand programming ideas. One of them involved Python, and it was the language itself that ended up pissing me off.

Enter GPT-4, the most advanced AI that I have ever interacted with. Turns out that GPT-4 is great at programming in Rust. Literally, you tell that damn thing to write unit tests for your code, and it does. I remain constantly amazed by its insight. In a couple of days, I cobbled this stuff together:

This is the beginning of the “base” screen, set on regular Earth, where the team will manage its staff, handle their health and psychological problems, and, more importantly, delve into alternate Earths through the portal. A description gives the general notion of the alternate Earth on the other side of the portal: “A bizarre, otherworldly environment dominated by massive fungi, and strange creatures.”

This is the map view during exploration. The icon represents the actual position of the team. I didn’t mention it before, but the person on the upper left side is the player (for now generated randomly), who will lead the team of explorers to face the dangers alongside them.

I already have many, many different environments written and illustrated, thanks to the back-and-forth between GPT-4 and myself, and Midjourney for the images. A bigger example, the Stormy Desert biome:

All these environments are written in a Lua file, so they are intrinsically moddable (so far, as long as the Biomes and the environment Features are coded in game). Here’s an example of a single environment in the file environments.lua:

    Highland = {

        description = “A high-altitude environment consisting of rolling hills, plateaus, and mountains, with a mix of grasslands, forests, and rocky terrain.”,

        allowed_biomes = {










        features = {





















The combination of biomes and features will determine which types of encounters the team will face. That’s a whole different system I’m developing, and that I intend to be fully moddable as well.

I wanted each team member to be as psychologically complex as possible. Each encounter will test one or more psychological dimensions of their personality. For example, if they come across walking octopi that try to drink the team members’ blood (which happens in the poem), certain psychological dimensions will be tested.

For now, all psychological dimensions that GPT-4 and I have discovered (mostly the AI, though) are Interpersonal Skills, Cognitive Abilities, Self-Regulation, Coping Skills, Drive, Cross-Cultural Skills, and Mental Strain. For example, a single psychological test of that encounter could test a team member’s Coping Skills, and if he fails, his Anxiety psychological criterion could increase permanently. They could also lose health, acquire traits, etc. The notion is that when Mental Strain reaches 100, they are committed to a mental institution. They may quit some time earlier, though. The health system is very barebones at the moment (literally just a 0.0 to 100.0 value), but I want to create a whole system for that as well, including permanent injuries.

The grouping of psychological criterion to psychological dimensions is the following:

  • Interpersonal Skills: Extraversion, Agreeableness, Social Skills, Empathy, Conflict Resolution, Teamwork
  • Drive: Conscientiousness, Leadership, Risk-Taking, Time Management
  • Self-Regulation: Emotional Stability, Emotional Intelligence, Self-Esteem, Self-Awareness
  • Cognitive Abilities: Openness to Experience, Problem-Solving, Creativity, Situational Awareness, Decision-Making
  • Coping Skills: Resilience, Coping Strategies, Adaptability
  • Cross-Cultural Skills: Cultural Competence
  • Mental Strain: Anxiety, Depression, Stress

Right now, when a new team member is created, every psychological criterion is assigned a number from 0.0 to 100.0 on a normal distribution. GPT-4 even wrote psychological reports from the perspective of the team leader. The following is such a report generated in-game for the team leader herself:

Some experience working with others and collaborating towards shared goals. They may need additional support in order to effectively build relationships with others and resolve conflicts.
Average cognitive abilities and is capable of problem solving and critical thinking. They may need additional support or training in order to tackle more complex problems and situations.
Struggles to manage their emotions and reactions in high-pressure situations or when encountering unexpected events. They may be prone to panic or irrational behavior, making them a potential liability to any team exploring alternate Earths. They may require significant support and training to effectively manage their emotions and reactions in these situations.
Some coping skills and is able to manage stressful situations to some extent. However, they may require additional support or guidance in order to effectively deal with unexpected events or extremely stressful situations that may arise while exploring alternate Earths.
Some motivation and drive to achieve their goals, but may struggle to maintain focus and commitment when faced with obstacles. They may require additional support and encouragement to stay on track and fulfill their responsibilities on an exploration team.
Solid experience with cross-cultural communication and collaboration. They are able to adapt their communication style and approach to effectively engage with people from different cultures and backgrounds. They may benefit from additional training or exposure to further enhance their cross-cultural skills.
The candidate’s mental health is poor, and they may be highly vulnerable to the extreme stress and potential trauma of exploring alternate Earths. It would be inadvisable to consider them for such a high-risk job without extensive support and preparation.

As you can figure out, I’m quite pumped up about developing this shit, to the extent that I haven’t written any fiction in two days (that’s a lot for me).

Please, if you can come up with any ideas, I’d love to hear and implement them. One of the worst parts of programming for me is having built a careful architecture only to realize that a better idea will require a whole restructuring. I’ve already had to do that twice for the encounter system. So I want the best ideas first.

Review: Sensei no Shirou Uso, by Akane Torikai

Four and a half stars. The title translates to “Sensei’s Pious Lie.” I’m reviewing the entire series.

What’s the deal with women? You nod along like you’re listening while they talk or complain or whatever, and then they either let you fuck them, or they don’t.

Our protagonist, a high school teacher in her mid-twenties, was a solitary introvert even before she was raped by her only friend’s fiancé. It happened a few years ago, but the man has kept the protagonist in bondage by blackmailing her, both by threatening to break her friendship with his fiancée, and to divulge some private photos he took of her. In the beginning she kept quiet because she didn’t want to hurt her friend, but over time, as she retreated further into herself, she grew to believe that she deserved it, that she was responsible for turning him on. After all, doesn’t she masturbate regularly to memories of herself being dominated by this rapist who calls her at random hours for a bit more degradation?

The protagonist feels dirty, broken, and undeserving of happiness. Those around her consider her a calm and cool-headed young woman, but in reality she’s coasting through life in the throes of anhedonia, going through the motions with no chance of improving.

We meet the other protagonist of this tale: a seventeen-year-old student of our main protagonist. He’s withdrawn, more interested in gardening than people, and generally considered a non-entity by his female classmates. One morning in class, some local bitch annoys him, which somehow leads to him bending over to pick up something and getting a close-up view of this bitch’s panty-covered privates. As the girl berates him for being a pervert, he assures her, despondent, that there’s no way he could ever get turned on by that pussy. Cue the rumors of him being gay. However, the truth slowly comes out: he’s been seen frequenting the company of an older woman. They were even seen leaving a love hotel together.

The school won’t tolerate students getting it on with adults, merely because it may tarnish the school’s image. Our main protagonist, the kid’s homeroom teacher, is tasked to make him assure that he hasn’t been sexually involved with an adult, regardless of whether or not it’s true. However, he admits it casually. When the teacher, who doesn’t want to be involved in such matters nor talk about them, prompts him for what actually happened, he opens up: the older woman was his boss at a part-time job, and he had felt pressured into having sex with her. Ever since, he’s been afraid of vaginas.

The teacher breaks down. She refuses to accept that this kid could have been raped, because she considers that as a man, he’s always able to overpower the woman and leave. She tells him that she knows what he’s looking for: he wants to be forgiven for being a man, for the knowledge that throughout his life he will defile women over and over again, destroying beauty and innocence in the process.

The teacher bursts into silent tears. As she composes herself, having blurted out a fraction of what she meant for someone else, the kid finds himself stunned. He has connected with this woman’s suffering like he hadn’t with any other human being. However, he believes that there must be a way for both of them to get back to living.

What follows is an emotionally complex tale about men and women and the way they hurt each other willingly or unwillingly. So complex, in fact, that about half of the emotional nuances might have gone over my head, but then again I’m one of the most emotionally oblivious fuckers around. Maybe you’d have better luck with it.

I loved this series. At about three-fifths of the way through, the quality decreased a bit; some scenes meant to hit hard fell flat, often due to the choices in the composition of the scenes. I was tempted to rate it three and a half stars then, but the ending floored me with how the author tied up various character arcs, along with the compelling conclusions we got out of this troublesome mess.

One of my biggest surprises in a while.

Cheating alone would usually be enough to make someone hate their partner. And what you did was worse. Anyone else would find it completely unforgivable. You hate women so much that you can’t help but explode into violence. But to me, and only me, you were always gentle and caring. And I think I found the value of my own life in the fact that I was the only one who could handle a pathetic man like you, who could staunch the endless flow of bile.

GPT-4 writes a therapy session with a teenage vampire

I was thinking of an old series of free verse poems I wrote, titled Alma: a Successful Case Study. I gave GPT-4, which is a cutting-edge multimodal large language model (an AI), the following prompt:

Write a dialogue between a clueless therapist and a teenage girl who has recently discovered she is a vampire, and who is struggling with her urge for blood.

The following is the unedited response of the artificial intelligence.

Therapist: Hello, Sarah. It’s nice to meet you. I understand that you’ve been experiencing some struggles recently. Why don’t you tell me about them?

Sarah: Well, it’s going to sound crazy, but I’ve discovered that I’m, uh, a vampire. I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s true. And I’m having a hard time dealing with my cravings for blood.

Therapist: (smiling) Oh, you have quite an imagination, Sarah. That’s an interesting way to express your feelings. But, let’s try to focus on the real issues that you’re facing. Perhaps there are some underlying emotions causing these thoughts?

Sarah: No, seriously. I am a vampire. I’ve even transformed into a bat and everything. And the cravings are getting unbearable. It’s not just my imagination.

Therapist: Alright, Sarah. I’m willing to hear you out. So, tell me more about these cravings. When did they start? How do they make you feel?

Sarah: They started about a month ago, after I was bitten by this strange-looking creature. The cravings make me feel anxious, like I’m losing control over myself. I don’t want to hurt anyone, but the urge for blood is so strong.

Therapist: It sounds like you’re experiencing intense emotions, and you’ve chosen to express them through this vampire metaphor. Perhaps these cravings represent a deeper issue in your life that you’re trying to confront?

Sarah: You’re not getting it. I am LITERALLY a vampire! I’ve been sneaking out at night to feed on animals, so I don’t hurt anyone. I need help controlling these urges!

Therapist: (pausing) Well, Sarah, I want to help you. Let’s approach this from a different angle. Instead of focusing on the vampire aspect, let’s talk about ways to cope with these feelings of anxiety and the need for control.

Sarah: (frustrated) Fine. But just remember, I’m trying to control my vampire instincts here.

Therapist: Okay, I understand. Have you tried any relaxation techniques or meditation to help with your anxiety?

Sarah: Yes, but they don’t seem to help much. The cravings are still there, and it’s getting harder to resist.

Therapist: I can see that you’re feeling quite overwhelmed by this. Let’s explore some other coping mechanisms. Have you considered engaging in physical activities, like running or martial arts, to help channel your energy and potentially curb your cravings?

Sarah: I’ve tried running, but it doesn’t seem to do much. I haven’t tried martial arts though. I guess I could give that a shot. But what if it doesn’t work?

Therapist: It’s important to remember that coping strategies might not have an immediate effect, and it could take some time to see results. If martial arts doesn’t work for you, we can explore other options. In the meantime, are there any safe outlets for your cravings that won’t harm others or yourself?

Sarah: Well, I’ve been feeding on animals like I mentioned before. But I feel guilty about it, and I’m scared of getting caught.

Therapist: I understand your concerns. Perhaps you can find a less harmful alternative to satisfy your cravings, such as trying a blood substitute or using a similar-tasting food to trick your mind. It’s worth experimenting with different options to see if any of them help.

Sarah: I guess I can try that. I just hope I find something that works before I lose control completely.

Therapist: I believe in your ability to find a solution, Sarah. Remember, I’m here to support you through this process. We can continue to explore coping strategies and alternatives together. And, if at any point you feel like you’re at risk of losing control, don’t hesitate to reach out to me or someone you trust for help.

Sarah: (fidgeting) Sorry, I’m just feeling really on edge right now. It’s like my whole body is screaming for blood. I don’t know how much longer I can hold out.

Therapist: I can see that this is a very challenging time for you, Sarah. Let’s try a grounding technique to help you regain some control over your emotions. Focus on your breathing and take slow, deep breaths. As you do this, try to become aware of your body and how it feels in this moment.

Sarah: (breathing deeply) Okay, I’m trying… but it’s still really hard.

Therapist: It’s okay, Sarah. Let’s keep going. Now, while you continue to breathe slowly, I want you to focus on your senses. Name five things you can see in the room, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste.

Sarah: (still breathing deeply) Alright. I see a painting, a bookshelf, a clock, a plant, and a lamp. I can touch the chair, the rug, my clothes, and my hair. I can hear the ticking of the clock, your voice, and the hum of the air conditioner. I can smell the scent of the air freshener and the faint smell of coffee. And I can taste the mint from my gum.

Therapist: Good job, Sarah. By engaging your senses, you’re helping to ground yourself in the present moment. How are you feeling now?

Sarah: I still have the urge, but it feels a little less overwhelming for the moment.

Therapist: I’m glad to hear that. It’s important to have a variety of coping strategies to help you manage your emotions and urges. Remember, you can use grounding techniques like this one whenever you feel overwhelmed. We can also continue to explore other methods to help you gain control over your vampire instincts.

Sarah: Thank you for trying to understand and help me. I know it’s hard to believe, but I really appreciate it. I’ll keep using these techniques and hopefully find something that works.

Therapist: You’re welcome, Sarah. Remember that I’m here to support you, and we’ll work together to find the best strategies for your situation. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need help or if you want to discuss anything further.

To me GPT-4 always sounds like it’s worried that it might offend somebody. Such people piss me off, even if they are artificial. But the AI can produce interesting output as long as you don’t push its boundaries.