I didn’t write these:

Nor did anybody else.

Everything in italics was produced, in a few seconds, by ChatGPT:

Joy Division – overview:

Joy Division was a post-punk band that was formed in Manchester, England in 1976. The band consisted of Ian Curtis (vocals), Bernard Sumner (guitar), Peter Hook (bass), and Stephen Morris (drums).

Joy Division was known for their unique blend of punk and new wave influences, which resulted in a sound that was moody, atmospheric, and introspective. Their music was characterized by its use of unconventional time signatures, unconventional song structures, and the distinctive voice and lyrics of Ian Curtis, who was known for his distinctive singing style and often bleak and introspective lyrics.

The band released two studio albums during their brief career, “Unknown Pleasures” (1979) and “Closer” (1980). Joy Division’s music has had a lasting impact on the post-punk and alternative rock genres and the band has been widely cited as an influence by many other artists. Despite the untimely death of Ian Curtis in 1980, Joy Division’s music continues to be celebrated and enjoyed by fans around the world.

VW Golf GTi Mk. II – overview:

The Volkswagen Golf GTI Mark II is a compact hatchback that was produced by Volkswagen from 1984 to 1992. It was the second generation of the Volkswagen Golf GTI, and it was based on the second-generation Volkswagen Golf (also known as the Golf Mk2).

The Golf GTI Mark II was available in three-door and five-door hatchback body styles, and it was powered by a range of four-cylinder petrol engines. The base engine was a 1.8-liter engine that produced 110 horsepower, but there was also a higher-performance version called the GTI 16v that was equipped with a 1.8-liter engine that produced 128 horsepower.

The Golf GTI Mark II was known for its sporty handling and refined driving experience, and it was popular among enthusiasts and drivers who wanted a practical and fun-to-drive car. It was also praised for its build quality and reliability.

The Golf GTI Mark II was succeeded by the Golf GTI Mark III in 1992.

The Troubles – overview:

The Troubles were a period of sectarian conflict and political violence in Northern Ireland from the late 1960s to the late 1990s. The conflict was primarily between two main groups: the mainly Protestant unionists, who wanted Northern Ireland to remain part of the United Kingdom, and the mainly Catholic nationalists, who wanted Northern Ireland to become part of the Republic of Ireland.

The Troubles were characterized by sectarian violence, bombings, and shootings, and they resulted in the deaths of over 3,500 people. The conflict was fueled by deep-seated religious and cultural differences, as well as political and economic issues.

The Troubles began in the late 1960s, when civil rights protests by Catholics were met with violence by the Protestant-dominated police force and loyalist paramilitaries. The violence escalated over the following decades, and it was exacerbated by the emergence of paramilitary groups on both sides, such as the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF).

Efforts to find a resolution to the conflict included the Sunningdale Agreement in 1973, the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, and the St. Andrews Agreement in 2006. These agreements established power-sharing arrangements between the two main political parties in Northern Ireland and led to a significant reduction in violence. However, tensions and political divisions have continued to persist in Northern Ireland.

Mark E. Smith – overview:

Mark E. Smith was the lead singer and primary songwriter of the English post-punk band the Fall, which he founded in 1976. Smith was known for his abrasive and confrontational stage presence, as well as his distinctive singing style and lyrics, which often featured unconventional and surrealistic themes.

Smith was also known for his controversial and difficult personality, which often resulted in conflicts with bandmates and others. He had a reputation for being difficult to work with and for making demands of those around him, and he was known for frequently changing the lineup of the Fall. Despite this, Smith was highly influential in the post-punk and indie rock scenes, and the Fall released over 30 studio albums during his lifetime.

Smith passed away in 2018 at the age of 60.

Not bad, albeit this AI script generator chatbot has an obvious American bias (the Golf GTi has more power outside of the US, 112hbp for the 8-valve version, and 139bhp for the 16-valve version), and US spellings dominate. The style is blandly competent, and politically fairly even-handed.

I have mixed feelings about it.

College course-work is fucked, of course, certainly at undergraduate level. Of course, this is easily solved by doing what they used to do “in my day” – assessment 100% by in-person final exams. But whither now for Masters and DPhils?

And if (through inertia), in relation to history, politics, current affairs, economics, etc, smart AI chatbots start to become de facto meta narrative controllers, we really will enter into the electric sheep[1] era. The possibilities for subtle autocracy are legion.

[1] Copyright PKD

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