San Francisco Budget Chatbot (GPT)

GPT for the San Francisco Budget

I just published a San Francisco Budget GPT to the ChatGPT store. This is free to use, you just need an OpenAI account.

The chatbot is constructed from the 2010-2025 data available on DataSF, the most recent 2025-2026 budget draft and a five year revenue projection. I added some instructions to help interpret the data and I've tested against a range of queries. This is generative AI and so be cautious about what it says. It's pretty good when it can find the right data and will happily invent things if it can't.

Not that this is limited to chatbots. There was a lot of press yesterday around San Francisco being the worst run city in the nation based on this 'analysis' from WalletHub. They are dividing a measure of service quality by budget dollars per capita. This fails to take into account that San Francisco is a city and a county and so the budget includes county services like a Sheriff department. It also ignores that San Francisco runs an international airport and port, not paid for by taxpayers but still in the budget. And it doesn't adjust for regional differences in income that make services more expensive to provide (and higher total dollar taxes to provide them). So I'll take an occasional chatbot glitch over a willfully incurious press pushing out a PR piece that tickles their confirmation biases.

Enjoy, and let me know if it works for you.

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(Published to the Fediverse as: San Francisco Budget Chatbot (GPT) #code #chatgpt #ml #sanfrancisco #gpts #sfpol #budget #openai Custom GPT with 2010-2025 data to answer questions about the city and county of San Francisco. )

Summer Solstice 2024

Summer Solstice 2024 rendered in Catfood Earth

Summer starts at 20:51 UTC on June 20, 2024, Winter if you happen to live south of the equator. Rendered in Catfood Earth.

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(Published to the Fediverse as: Summer Solstice 2024 #code #solstice #summer #winter #earth #northern #estival Rendering of the exact moment of Summer Solstice 2024 (20:51 UTC on June 20, 2024). )

2,000 Sea Lions

More than 2,000 Sea Lions at Fisherman's Wharf

Google Pixel 8 Pro 2mm f2.0 1/1,900s ISO41

Closeup of Sea Lions at Fisherman's Wharf

Google Pixel 8 Pro 18mm f2.8 1/200s ISO16

I heard that we have over 2,000 Sea Lions at Fisherman's Wharf and had to check it out. There are thousands of them sleeping off their anchovy comas, a handful swimming around, and overflow onto many nearby docks. Worth checking out.

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(Published to the Fediverse as: 2,000 Sea Lions #photo #sealion #sanfrancisco Photo of the thousands of Sea Lions currently hanging out at Pier 39 in San Francisco. )

Firefly Petunia

Firefly Petunia Glowing

SONY ILCE-7C 20mm f1.8 15.0s ISO800

Firefly Petunia Glowing in Kitchen

SONY ILCE-7C 20mm f1.8 1/1s ISO800

I bought the first commercially available bioluminescent plant on a whim. The Firefly Petunia from light.bio glows thanks to fungal DNA. The plant that arrived was badly damaged from shipping and for a few weeks just looked like it was going to die. But over the last week it rallied and bloomed. It's really quite impressive. Hopefully it doesn't grow up to be a triffid.

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(Published to the Fediverse as: Firefly Petunia #photo #petunia #bioluminescence #fungi #luciferin Photos of a Firefly Petunia which has bioluminescence thanks to fungal DNA. )

Links for May 2024

Maine joins National Popular Vote

Illustration of Maine

Maine just added its four electoral college votes to the National Popular Vote project. This is a compact between states that will elect the President based on the nationwide outcome once 270 electoral college votes are committed. We're now at 209. Two thirds of Americans support this project. Americans are a sensible bunch and support a lot of things that they will never get until we fix the broken electoral system. Visit my democracy page and do the four things listed there right now.

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(Published to the Fediverse as: Maine joins National Popular Vote #politics #politicalreform #nationalpopularvote #maine #npvic Maine commits 4 electoral college votes, we're at 209/270, and four things you can do help today. )

Sandpipers

Sandpipers at Limantour Beach

SONY ILCE-7C 500mm f6.7 1/1,000s ISO200

Sandpipers flying past Limantour Beach in Point Reyes National Seashore.

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(Published to the Fediverse as: Sandpipers #photo #sandpiper #limantour #pointreyes Photo of sandpipers at Limantour Beach, Point Reyes, California. )

Curlew

Curlew on Limantour Beach

SONY ILCE-7C 500mm f6.7 1/800s ISO160

A Curlew on Limantour Beach in Point Reyes.

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(Published to the Fediverse as: Curlew #photo #curlew #limantour #pointreyes Photo of a Curlew on Limantour Beach in Point Reyes, California. )

Bolinas Point Loop

Marconi Transmitting Station remnants in Bolinas

Short and fairly flat loop above Bolinas in California. Plenty of cows. Comes back past Commonweal which is a retreat center. The area used to be a Marconi Telegraph transmitting station and there are a lot of poles and concrete anchor points dating from that.

Hike starts at: 37.918301, -122.720442. View in Google Earth.

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(Published to the Fediverse as: Bolinas Point Loop #hike #bolinas #commonweal #map 2.5 mile loop trail in Bolinas, California )

Point Reyes - Divide Meadow Loop

Trees on the Divide Meadow Loop in Point Reyes

Five mile loop hike from the Bear Valley visitor center to Mount Wittenberg and back. Great day for it with clear skies and a mini heatwave. Lots of tree cover and a fairly undulating climb although it gets pretty steep towards the top. Some rewarding views over Point Reyes before scrambling back down again.

Hike starts at: 38.039678, -122.799728. View in Google Earth.

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(Published to the Fediverse as: Point Reyes - Divide Meadow Loop #hike #pointreyes #map A 5 mile, 1000 ft loop hike from the Bear Valley visitor center in Point Reyes, California. )