Weeknote 0015

  • Over Easter we began looking at engagement rings. I am glad not to have attempted to chose one unsupervised. Whatever I might have chosen would have counted against me. It’s not that my taste in these things is bad, it’s that she is looking for something with specific subtleties* that I am only now learning.
  • My first sit-at-a-desk job was at a jewellery firm. Mainly, I was writing stock-control software. There was a window of time in the late Nineties there was no viable system capable of indexing such complicated products, let alone ones that can be so heavily customised or remade. So, I picked up a lot of the basics about jewellery. But since then a quarter-century has passed, so these are the things I’ve learned, or had forgotten, about engagement rings:
    • There are thousands of choices, but the vast majority are just small variations on one theme. You’re in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike. The industry has come to depend on offering basically the same ring at thousands of different price-points. Yet, if that’s not the kind of thing you’re after, you’ve got to try and find the vanishingly small number of rings that are different but also not horrible.
    • It’s possible to spend simply obscene, offensive amounts of money. Although not on sale, and definitely not to me, I held a ring that would retail for £163,000. If you are making millions and need to get a bunch of your money over an international border without too many questions, then I get it. If you want to make someone feel special, not so much. I was paranoid about dropping it, but for that money I’d want it it to stop falling a couple of inches off the ground and hover there until I scooped it back up.
  • Anyway, the search continues. It might be that the stone is found first, and a ring is made for it. Or the ring might already be out there somewhere, waiting patiently in a haystack of wrong rings. I’m happy either way; no rush.
  • Like everyone else, I’ve been fiddling with ChatGPT. I love it when it is willfully disobedient, such as when you give it a word-count to stick to and it not only ignores it, it insists it has done as commanded. The illusion of disobedience is an interesting evolution of the Turing test that I didn’t see coming.
  • Stunningly, tragically true: The Lifecycle of An Advertising Agency.

*What an amazing word subtleties is. Having typed the above, I found myself staring at it. Such a funny-looking word, subtleties. Subtleties. Look at the state of it. I defy you not to say sub-tul-ties. Or subt-let-ees. Anyway.