Skip to content

Volume 421

Advertising has been overcome by football fever (not real football; that one Americans play with an egg), so this week’s coolsh*t is looking at some Superbowl meta marketing. We’ve also got a simulated scrap, striking photography, and a humanless podcast. Plus the latest episode of the coolsh*t podcast, which does have humans. Mostly.

Meta Hurts.

We may soon reach a place where being in the Metaverse will be experientially indistinguishable from being in the ‘real’ world. But if we believe that to be a not only logical but likely possibility, then it does beg the question as to how it is we know that we aren’t living in the Metaverse already. If anything, it would be statistically less likely that we are indeed in the one true world as opposed to the potentially infinite number of simulated ones. And if that sounds like rubbish, it’s basically a rip-off of Nick Bostrom’s simulation theory, which is basically a rip-off of the Cartesian ‘malin genie’ – so blame both of them. But staying away from hyperbolic hypotheticals and returning to reality (?) for a moment, this week Meta released a video of Mark Zuckerberg sparring UFC Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski in the Metaverse. And it looks pretty believable, to be fair – they almost made Zuckerberg look human. In fact, the least convincing part of the video was when he had to exchange 3 seconds of inane pleasantries like a normal member of the species to which he claims to belong. Although we do now know that he does MMA, so I don’t want to say anything too unkind.

Read Original Story

Striking Gold.

A couple coolsh*ts ago, we warned that God is dead and we have killed him (which we also stole off someone else, but fortunately God is dead so stealing isn’t a sin). Yet evidently we’ve provoked the Lord’s wrath, as this week a photographer captured an impossibly unlikely shot of the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro getting struck right on his holy bonce by a perfect fork of lightening. The photo was captured by Fernando Braga, who described it as a “dream come true”, having spent hours taking a sequence of more than 500 long exposure photos before finally getting the money shot. This does, however, come in the same week that the Church of England announced that they may be switching to gender-neutral terms when referring to God, so no doubt some crazy, conservative, conspiratorial Christians have already come up with all sorts of theories about what this means. But does lightening mean yes, or does lightening mean no? Feels a bit dodgy staking eternal damnation on a coin flip…

Read Original Story

The Main Driver.

We had to include at least one Superbowl ad. It’s the most watched day of television in the US, thus making it a bumfight between any brands with designs on distracting an American Football fan’s gaze up from their chicken wings for just one brief, fleeting moment. Well, not quite any brand, but any brand that can afford to spend $7million per 30 seconds of ad time – which, as it turns out, is actually quite a lot of them. Notable submissions included Ben Affleck dispassionately dispensing donuts at a Dunkin’ drive-thru, Elton John upstaging Jack Harlow for Dorito’s, and a really clever play on the surnames of John Hamm and Alison Brie by Hellman’s. But a personal favourite… Squarespace’s ‘The Singularity’, featuring Adam Driver (quite a few Adam Drivers, actually). In the interest of disclosing a potential unconscious bias: the fact that there tend to be 2 or 3 weird tech stories in each week’s coolsh*t at the moment does indicate that Squarespace may have been preaching to the converted by creating what feels like a Stanley Kubrick fever dream. I suddenly feel overwhelmingly compelled to build a website. You did do it, Adam Driver.

Read Original Story

The Fake Slim Shady.

David Guetta has been a very cheeky boy this week. He sampled Eminem on his new track, which in itself doesn’t sound too controversial; nothing to see here, officer. It would beg the question as to why Eminem had agreed to feature on an anaemic David Guetta track, but people have done far worse things for money. Plus Eminem’s Turkish beard transplant can’t come cheap. But there’s one little issue: it’s not Eminem. It’s actually ‘Emin-AI-em’ (Guetta’s choice of name, not mine). The French DJ used AI technology to write a verse in the style of Eminem about the future of raving, then he used some other AI technology to replicate Eminem’s voice to spit it. And there’s absolutely, definitely nothing ethically or legally problematic about that. Although I do hope Dave didn’t spend all his money on AI software, because he could probably do with a decent lawyer.

Read Original Story


Despite all the hundreds of millions spent on ad time last weekend, somehow it was Rihanna who came out on top as the Superbowl marketing MVP – and she didn’t have to pay a penny. In fact, all she had to do was not-so-subtly cut a promo for Fenty Beauty during her half-time show. Before beginning her performance of ‘All of the Lights’ (interesting song choice considering the other artist attached to it – wonder why they didn’t book him…) Rihanna very quickly checked her make-up using her own products. Again, that doesn’t sound like anything to write home about, but it subsequently caused Fenty Beauty to grow by 833%. That’s how you absolutely pulverise two birds with one stone. But at what cost to pregnant women everywhere demanding maternity leave?

Read Original Story

Droning On.

A podcast with robotic hosts talking about current affairs. No, not the coolsh*t podcast; we’ll get to that in a moment. AI Radio is a Spotify-exclusive podcast in which the hosts share information, tell unfunny jokes, and interview guests on topics ranging from technology to bottom sex. I repeat: we are not talking about the coolsh*t podcast. But the twist… is that there are no real people involved. From the hosts to the guests, the show is run entirely by AI. But if you hadn’t already worked that out from its name then I suggest that you perhaps ought to give your head a wobble. Does this mean we’ll be out of a job? Sure, but… I’ve got nothing. See you in the dole queue.

Read Original Story