More Thoughts About A.I.


Tesla’s proposed A.I. robot.

THE BIG NEWS in the publishing world revolves around science fiction magazine Clarksworld closing submissions after being swamped with ChatGPT-created short stories– an increase over three months from under 25 to over 500.

In other news, a spate of A.I.-generated books have already begun to hit the market, per this article from Reuters.

OR: disruption of the publishing industry has taken place much more swiftly than anticipated. We at New Pop Lit have attempted to be open-minded regarding the new technology. It’s usually futile to fight progress, or what’s marketed as progress. The new technology has undeniable benefits for the individual writer, in speed and ease of writing. We also believed that using it more astutely than others might be a way to take on publishing’s Big Five, who are slow at adapting to anything. (Much of their way of operating is lodged in the early 20th Century, if not the 19th.)

However, techies themselves have decided to become major players in writing and publishing. Here’s a Tweet from the founder and CEO of OpenAI, the company which has inflicted ChatGPT and Dall-E upon the world: the two A.I. devices most directly aimed at the literary world.

Keep in mind that Sam Altman, like his technology colleagues and peers, is utterly ruthless. Who were the other original investors in OpenAI when it began business in 2015? Reid Hoffman, Jessica Livingston, Elon Musk, Ilya Sutskever, Peter Thiel: billionaires all, almost a Who’s Who of technology venture capitalists and entrepreneurs. (Corporate investors included Amazon Web Services.)

Elon Musk is the most well-known of the bunch (Peter Thiel perhaps the most infamous). These are people who have their interests and money invested in everything.

Over the past few years I’ve been researching Musk, reading every book I could find on him. Why? Because he’s disrupting the automotive industry. Being from Detroit, I’ve worked in an auto plant, and have friends and relatives in the automobile business. As do most people in this area.

Elon Musk exemplifies the mindset. Move into a vulnerable field and with new technology and aggressive tactics– including hyperbolic salesmanship– take it over. These are not preppy Ivy Leaguers taking casual three-martini Manhattan lunches and dawdling over the perks of upper-level publishing. An entirely different animal is entering the literary arena.

Technology for these people isn’t a job or a game– it’s a religion. They want it all: spaceships to Mars, A.I. robots, eternal life: everything. They won’t stop until the science fiction world of their fantasies is reality.


In the meantime, what’s the impact on the cozy world of letters? Publications large and small, online and print, will be overwhelmed with submissions, as anyone who ever had a vague thought of becoming a writer can now create a manuscript in minutes with a few prompts. It may become difficult to tell real from fake. A culture which already has too many writers will see their number multiplied– which will make it that much greater a task for any of us to stand out from the mass. Connections to the right people– already a determining factor– will become even more important. Who you know and who you suck up to. Got a book you want to market? Good luck!

There may be solutions or ways to overcome the obstacles, but the odds against have increased.

-Karl Wenclas for New Pop Lit News

The A.I. Challenge


The sudden emergence of the ChatGPT Artificial Intelligence device has raised a host of questions about what effect it will have on writers, and on literature itself.

To attempt to plot out where we’re headed, one has to look at both extremes of reaction– not just to A.I., but to the contemporary world itself.


Over the past thirty years new technology has become a religion. Its entrepreneurs and advocates see it as a solution to all problems– and are blind to its many downsides. On social media, apologists for A.I. and for everything digital are everywhere. For them, the Internet IS the world.

In the arena of art and letters, the thrust of their arguments is that A.I. allows greater, or at least easier, creativity. Much time is spent defending against accusations of plagiarism and copyright violations– which are not the biggest issues with A.I. technology.


At the other extreme are writers and literary critics who can’t conceive of any change to the refined literary art they know and love. Their essays overflow bemoaning the dwindling status of “serious reading,” as they look back fondly at past “avant-garde” innovators such as Virginia Woolf, now safely dead.

How will they react to an invasion of ChatGPT novels into an already-saturated publishing market?

One can expect they not only won’t attempt to use the device (well, some of them will if the wind blows strongly in that direction), they also won’t try to change the art to put it more in step with a changing world– as a way to ward off the A.I. threat. Instead they’ll retreat further into their bunker and their canons of the past. In this instance, classical music is the model for what will happen.


What are the real pros and cons of A.I. technology applied to writing and literature? What’s the best strategy to follow: to embrace the technology, or find ways to defend against it? I’ll address these questions in a future post.

In the meantime, what do you think?


-Karl Wenclas for New Pop Lit News

Emma Gonzalez’s Curious Connections



EVERYONE KNOWS Parkland student David Hogg is the son of a former FBI agent. One can figure Dad has advised young David each step of the way during the remarkable movement which has sprung from the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

But what about the other face of the student movement, Emma Gonzalez? Does her father have ties, past or present, to the U.S. intelligence community?

He does.


Emma’s father, Jose E. Gonzalez, is the CEO of Trapezoid Inc., a Miami-based digital security firm. One of Trapezoid’s chief partners is DigitalEra Inc. Mr. Gonzalez was recently named to DigitalEra’s board of directors, along with James Cason. See this:

James Cason has an interesting biography:

“Cason spent 38 years as a Foreign Service Officer for the US State Department, serving in 12 countries. He’s been the Ambassador to Paraguay and Chief of Mission in Havana, Cuba.  Cason has received numerous awards from State, Defense, the White House and the intelligence community.”

Before founding Trapezoid, Jose E. Gonzalez worked for DigitalEra, helping them expand into “managed information security services.”

Among its other tasks, DigitalEra tracks “key security events,” including hacker conventions like DEF CON in Las Vegas– an event, according to DigitalEra, regularly attended by Federal law enforcement agents.

Another major investor in Trapezoid is CoVant Management Inc., based in McLean, Virginia. CoVant invests in the federal government technology services industry. Meaning, in firms which do business with the federal government.



Jose E. Gonzalez’s most interesting employment was from 2000 to 2007 with the now-defunct Terremark Inc., where he worked as its Chief Legal Officer, then as Senior Vice-President.

Founder, and CEO when Gonzalez worked there, was Manuel D. Medina. Born in Cuba, Medina left that country with his parents in 1965, at age 13, “because of the extensive political changes in the country” per wikipedia.



In 2001, Medina hired Jamie Dos Santos to oversee the transition of Terremark from a real estate firm to a security firm. She became CEO and President of subsidiary Terremark Federal Group, which was based not in Miami but in Herndon, Virginia. Its objective was to secure government security contracts– which were in abundance following 9-11.

Ms. Dos Santos has been involved in a number of similar corporations, during her time at Terremark and afterward. One example is the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, incorporated in 2003 with Dos Santos as Director. It’s currently inactive.

A noteworthy incorporation which took place after her Terremark time was the curiously-named Isis Defense Corporation in McLean, Virginia (less than a mile away from the Department of Homeland Security), created in 2013 with Jamie Dos Santos as President and CEO, and still active.

In 2014 Jamie Dos Santos was appointed as a Member of President Obama’s Intelligence Advisory Board. Currently Dos Santos is the CEO of Cybraics Inc., which uses Artificial Intelligence to enhance security– presumably for business and government.

It’s not known how close a business or personal relationship Jose E. Gonzalez has with Jamie Dos Santos– other than they’re both prominent in the government-business security field and both worked in important positions at the same time for the same company.


Exactly how big and powerful Terremark was in the government-security field is evidenced by this analysis of why Verizon purchased Terremark Worldwide Inc. in 2011.


Verizon-Terremark was given the enormous government contract to run the website, which infamously crashed late 2013. This fiasco led to the end of Terremark, whose data centers were sold to Equinix Inc. for $3.6 billion.


Another past Terremark employee of note is Arthur L. Money, on its board and a strategic advisor to Terremark on homeland security affairs from 2003 to 2011. Money has played huge roles in the government-business security relationship, including as the Assistant Secretary of Defense under Bill Clinton, and later as first chairman of the FBI‘s Science and Technology Advisory Board under George W. Bush.

Arthur L. Money has been on the board of too many security firms to count. One example is the Paladin Capital Group, set up three months after 9-11 specifically to capitalize on federal investments in security after the terrorist attacks.


Jose E. Gonzalez, father of Parkland survivor student activist Emma Gonzalez, is an expert on security, and has direct connections to several of the most important players in the government security field. It’s highly ironic that the two most important Parkland activists have fathers who were or are in that field. When the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School took place, all their expertise went for naught– despite numerous warnings about the shooter given to police agencies and the FBI.

THIS commentator doesn’t believe there was any advance conspiracy to stage the shooting, or even to allow it to take place. It’d be absurd to think parents would purposely allow their children in the vicinity of that kind of danger. However, it’s logical to believe the parents would do everything they could after the tragedy to transfer focus away from the failure of police agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigation to act on the many advance warnings.

What some see as conspiracy, NPL News sees (despite the many observed connections) as simple government incompetence.


(Be sure to read the other interesting posts on this blog– and check out our main site, New Pop Lit.)