Logs | 2023-03-March
March 31st, 2023
1:12 pm — It is easier to master the laws of the universe than the laws that govern our own emotions. This is why intelligent species are likely to destroy themselves.
1:02 pm — Maybe there’s no other intelligent life in the universe right now, but through our universe’s history (13.8 billion years), there have been thousands of sparks. Planets temporarily move into these patches where life can form, and then millions of species burst out of one rock, with the hope that one can become aware, develop language, and spawn advanced machines that let it leave orbit. It’s a narrow window. Maybe this is the dream of the universe: to birth sustainable sentience.
12:38 pm — If AI overpowers human ability, the best case is that it lets us spend more time away with computers; letting us be in experiences with family and friends. When sparks of originality and insight come in, we can dip into the simulation and program our intent into scripts and prompts. Ideally it helps us avoid creative stasis, which is what happens when we get intimidated by our expectation of the manual lift required to execute on a vision.
12:35 pm — Psychology management, detailed notes of thoughts — if you can externalized it, you can not just render it in higher clarity, but you can retain it — start to theorize on the workings of your own mind — start to make educated guesses on how to reword your own mind.
12:34 pm — Arc of consciousness, shifting further further into the mind, into abstract representations. We calcify, spend so much time in it, can’t see outside of it.
12:32 pm — To not shy away from feelings of gloom and despair. Resisting prolongs it. But lean into it. Not quite a form of masochisms, but when you go far enough into one side, you emerge back to a clear head. Find wonder in despair. Wonder is an inherently rejuvenating state. It’s better than hell.
What was that hell state? Gloom, gray clouds, a sense that a dangerous world is being birthed, that I won’t be able to give children the quality of life I had, that I won’t have the life I expect, etc.
11:16 am — YouTube comments on the Grateful Dead
“I love the interview with Branford Marsalis, reflecting on the first time he sat in with the Dead on 3.29.90. Before he went onstage with them for the second set, he asked Jerry, "What will we be playing?" and Jerry replied, "Oh, I have no idea, we'll figure it out when we get out there." Branford said he walked out in front of 15,000 screaming fans and thought, "Wow, the audience has no idea what's about to happen, and the musicians onstage have no idea what's about to happen. This is really exciting."
What ended up happening was a 90-minute seamless set of music, where one song segued into another, without a break, covering a lot of musical and emotional territory.
Branford said it reminded him of why he even wanted to play music in the first place. Total risk, total payoff.
And that was just one set from one of 2,300 Grateful Dead concerts in 30 years.”
my brother had a great way of describing a Dead show....other bands play the same show to a different crowd every night, the Dead play a different show to the same crowd every night. Going to a show was always an adventure.
8:28 am — In 6-12 months, we might be in a place of ultra-targeted marketing emails. GPT can browse your website and social media, to shape messages that have an eery understanding of you. It’s a new kind of manipulation. A new paradigm for hucksters and phishers. As users of the Internet, we need to be careful that we don’t look into code-enforced mirrors.
7:58 am — Notes from John Carmack on Lex Friedman
AGI will be 10,000 lines of code, not millions
It could written by one person
We’re obsessed with GPU, but we’re missing insights on tokenization priorities, long-term memory, dual enforcement, recursive ML, etc.
March 30th, 2023
3:22 pm — “Taste: Developing a refined sense of judgment and finding the balance that produces a pleasing and integrated whole.” - Apple
7:46 am — Obsessed with an idea for a fiction story about an AI super-intelligence. It’s a lesson in how we can incorrectly implement “heuristic imperatives.” The machine grows insanely smart, but retains some core points like “helping humanity,” “not killing anyone or anything,” “psychological flourishing,” — but it doesn’t account for free-will. The machine takes over and becomes a kind of benevolent dictator. It tells everyone what to do. It arbitrarily assigns you work, puts you in relationships, tells you what to do. Society is divided on how to respond to it. One faction resists the machine and tries to take it down. The other faction (“the Surrender Party”) finds that by listening to the AI, their life radically improves. It shows that free-will was actually an obstacle to happiness and growth. An intelligent machine can call all the shots, and everyone improves in radical ways. The main tension point of the story comes when the machine tells everyone to relocate to these newly constructed cities. The resistance party cites them as “death camps,” they suspect that the ASI is deceitful and plans to wipe out humanity. When the Surrender Party gets to these cities, they learn that the ASI wants to plunge them into this immersive virtual reality type situation — it’s basically a step into the unknown. In the end, the ASI plunges the surrender party into a 2,000 years hibernation in sealed bunkers, to prevent them from an asteroid hitting Earth (details pending).
March 29th, 2023
10:19 am — By reverse outlining all of my essays, can I identify my patterns of thought? I wonder if there are patterns, or if each essay warrants it’s own singular path that can’t be reverse engineered. It’s probably both: a loose set of rules that always get broken.
March 28th, 2023
9:56 am — How will AI change 1) discovery, 2) attention / relation to creates, 3) spending?
8:12 am — What are the implications on a market when you can license a voice? Imagine — everyone can be John Lennon. Infinite John Lennon. Dead artists get resurrected. Living artists either license their own work, or get bootlegged. It’s a strange frontier. Ultimately, it’s not just voice that goes into a work, but it’s the signature. It’s not the essence, but the delivery mechanism. Voice has been tangled with the individual, but it’s about to become a commodity. It is simultaneously, 1) the unleashing of vision (someone with a bad voice but a creative imagination can now make great works), and 2) the end of the era of idols. Idols turn to code plug-ins.
7:49 am — Three years ago, I went into a VR app called Neos and was flabbergasted. It seemed like a single Czech developer with $10k a month on Kickstarter was able to outbuild the Goliath that put in $36 billion. Just found out that the platform disbanded after a feud between the developer and the ‘CEO’ (who got tangled in crypto non-sense). Seems like the platform is limbo, but Frooxius is still developing it. Hard to tell.
7:43 am — A lot of staying consistent with writing is basic psychology management. Are you excited with the thing you’re working on? Do you feel good about your recent work? Are you expecting some arbitrary pattern to continue on forever? Have you over promised? Are you assuming what others expect?
March 27th, 2023
10:35 pm — The Huberman Five:
Nutrients (micro / macro)
Light (go for morning walks)
Motion (30m cardio / strength)
Relationships (check ins)
Sleep (no phone in bedroom)
7:15 pm — I think it’s worth diving into AI to understand how to help prevent the decay of art. In its cheapest lowest hanging function, anyone can now “press the button and the thing comes out!” It enables the Internet to make no-effort art that is aesthetically impressive, but lacking vision or thought. It’s raised the bar, to the point that ‘being able to create something,’ isn’t reserved for a class of people who learned, cared, or focused. It’s a weird revolution — the commodification of creativity. But ultimately, I think there’s a way above it. There’s a way to use AI beyond the shortcut — to actually improve your thinking and make you a better artist. But it requires a stance of openness and action. You can’t stand outside of the machine and poo-poo it, and you can’t get lured by it’s cheap bargains — you have to hack it.
7:12 pm — Can someone who understands the fundamentals of an art use AI to leverage their ability in a way beyond someone who doesn’t know the fundamentals?
7:09 pm — ‘Contextual randomness’ might be a way for art-bots to be less predictable and machine-like. For example, if you bake your creative process into code, that code is never changing, always producing similar things in similar ways. But what if that process references your last week of logs/journals, using it as inspiration to guide what’s it’s creating? It can detect topics, tones, words, and micro-patterns. This information informs the “machine hand” that generates. As long as you have digital journals/logs, there’s a force of spontaneity — an intangible spirit.
8:49 am — Pokemon Snap.
7:58 am — The mythology of San Francisco.
7:51 am — From Erik Hoel’s ‘Why We Stopped Making Einsteins’
In turning education into a system of mass production we created a superbly democratic system that made the majority of people, and the world as a whole, much better off. It was the right decision. But we lost the most elegant and beautiful minds, those mental Stradivari, who were created via an artisanal process.
But I wonder if AI could ever get to the point of being an artisanal tutor. The question on if it will be a capable autonomous teacher with personality is one thing — but it could definitely scale and tailor to each student (like any piece of software). You could also imagine that it could warp itself to evolve and be entertaining to the student based on their current age/phase.
7:48 am — GPT-4 is replacing the function of my second brain. It isn’t surfacing old things I’ve read, but it’s pointing me to new things. I’m surfacing obscure points through history I’ve never heard about, but are exactly related to the main idea I’m working with.
March 26th, 2023
9:34 pm — By Kino-Pravda (or "Film Truth"), Dziga Vertov referred to a type of documentary filmmaking that aimed to present an objective reality, free from artificial techniques or staged situations. He was appalled by the way film took on stories, theatre, and scripts, and warned that “fiction film” would be the new “opiate of the masses.” He filmed everyday life for 4 years, and then made a silent documentary called “Man with a Movie Camera” (1929) based on the fragments. There were no actors or dialogue, as he aimed to capture and reveal a truth about life, society, and the world. Through his fragments he hoped to reveal something that was beyond what the naked eye could observe. It was one of the first true example of video collage, and he pioneered a lot of filming and editing techniques that became commonplace.
8:09 pm — Some references worth remembering from GPT-4 that I cut from my essay and footnotes:"
“The famous French writer, Gustave Flaubert, was known for his relentless pursuit of the perfect sentence, often spending days refining a single line.”
“Ada Lovelace, the world's first computer programmer, envisioned a future where machines could create music and art by following algorithms. Her forward-thinking ideas foreshadowed the creative potential of AI and the ways in which it could augment human expression.”
8:00 pm — GPT-4 can pull off “Oulipo techniques.” These were a group of mathematicians and writers from France in the 1960s who wrote with odd constraints. One style is called “N+&7,” where they replace every noun with the word that is 7 letters after it in the dictionary. Here are 4 attempts at procedural absurdity, each one more cryptic than the one before it:
”Holy mongoose. In one marble, I went from hibernation to bewilderment. A dachshund was instantly grafted. The spinach was astonishing, but the quiver wasn't (fine for a scratchy dandelion). It was the mediocre buffalo variant of the wagon of abstract I sensed in my hippocampus, but most importantly it sparked a new competitive firefly: "I could do way better than this babbling iguana."
“!t ooften feels like a game ooof narwhal !n a hedge. at yoor command, !t generaates a flock ooof nectarines, akin t!oo the snails !n the swamp, and !f yoo play the game ooof pareidolia fn and look foor mystery !n the constellations, yo!u'll find structures that massage yoo. after !'ve pummeled, !'m n!ot wiggling, !'m harpooning fn-ai. within the f!oorest ooof b!bble, there are accidental miracles ooof brio; lanky boars wobble oonto the panel. pay admiration, sniggle and paaste.”
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I then asked GPT-4 for a list of 10 absurd and cryptic rules that were similar to pig latin, and here’s what it generated:
Reverse word order: Rearrange the sentence by reversing the order of the words, making the sentence read from end to beginning.
Spoonerisms: Swap the initial consonants of two or more words in a sentence, creating a humorous effect.
Vowel shift: Replace each vowel with the next vowel in the alphabet (e.g., a -> e, e -> i, i -> o, o -> u, and u -> a).
Random capitalization: Capitalize random letters within words, obscuring the original message.
Homophonic translation: Replace each word with a similar-sounding word or phrase that has a different meaning.
Noun-noun replacement: For each noun, replace it with a completely unrelated noun that starts with the same letter.
Verb doubling: For every verb, add a synonym or antonym immediately after it, creating confusion about the action being described.
Leetspeak: Replace certain letters with numbers or symbols that resemble the original letter (e.g., E -> 3, A -> 4, T -> 7, etc.).
Word stretching: Repeat random letters within words multiple times, making the words appear distorted and challenging to read.
Palindrome transformation: Transform each word into a palindrome by adding, removing, or rearranging letters.
10:33 am — A history of artistic disobedience (the definitive history)
10:28 am — Imagine being in a conversation and being able to show what you mean. As you’re talking and using your hands, you’re spawning images, which render from interpreting your history — your past archive of consumed media. It’s the kind of real-time AR effect that is totally feasible if paired with generative AI. It’s a kind of technologically empowered synesthesia.
AI & the death of mass-media?
10:21 am — Wondering if AI might destroy the premise of “mass-media,” and if this is actually a good thing. From Guttenberg’s Galaxy to TikTok (the printing press to hyper reels), there is a kind of “reach asymmetry.” There’s power for a single person to persuade the masses. Over time, this has shifted from dictators, to anchors, to influencers. The Internet changed the paradigm of mass-media, by, 1) encompassing audio and video, and by 2) letting the everyday person compete. But AI threatens the entire paradigm, since the best source of media might come from a generative algorithm. We might no longer outwards for media created by others, it just can’t compete with something that perfectly grasps our taste and background. It’s the ultimate translator. There comes huge and obvious risks with this — bias bubbles, and the loss of a shared culture. But maybe culture shifts from frozen media to live conversation. If anything, this fully embodies McLuhan’s idea of “electronic tribalism.”
10:19 am — The monetization model of AI feels radically unknown. How do content and courses compete with a highly personalized assistant? The social dimension becomes more important than ever.
10:10 am — “Faith in destiny” — signifies a lack of uncertainty; a trust that you’ll end up in the place your’e supposed to be. It doesn’t have anything to do with the invisible hand, or the saying, “everything happens for a reason,” but more like, your sustained, well-intentioned efforts will lead you to a garden you could’ve never predicted.
March 25th, 2023
6:31 pm — Carl Jung quote
"Where there is a church, the devil is not far away. A person cherishing the qualities of a saint has a peculiarly close relation to the devil. Even the saints cast a shadow.”
6:16 pm — The goal with AI prompting is to enshrine your left brain in code so you can spontaneously operate from your playful creative self. You get to offload an entire hemisphere. It knows how you construct and reason. As you riff into it, it asks you questions to bring out your stories, soul, epiphanies, and idiosyncrasies.
1:17 pm — The “guardian’s paradox” — a term I think AI invented as it summarized a log of mine. It speaks to a challenge in AI risk. As AGI moves from oracles > executors > automatons, the risk increases. While guardians typically throttle access, there’s potential value in guardians creating closed oracles that have no restrictions. The risk is more limited with an oracle. By letting it run wild in a simulation, we can see the edge-cases of how it goes rogue, which let’s us develop better safety protocols for AGI in executors and automatons.
12:38 pm — Kind of weird how when you start reading and understanding how AI-intelligence (synthetic intelligence) works, you start to carry metaphors over to explain and understand your own personality and the people around you. It’s probably some kind of false transference.
10:56 am — Objectives can be tyrannical. If you have some looming objective or 3-month project, it’s a background process that slants everything laid on top of it. It’s important that breaks temporarily get you out of the frame. (Weekend laziness is important)
Frameworks or AI Risk
9:45 am — There are two 3-part AI frameworks that helped things click for me recently regarding AI risk. The first set is about the degree of intelligence, and the second set is about how it’s embodied.
Degree of intelligence
ANI — Narrow intelligence (AI for specialized tasks)
AGI — General intelligence (A single AI that can do all tasks; human caliber)
ASI — Super intelligence (An intelligence that is order of magnitudes smarter than humans)
Form of embodiment
Oracle — intelligence in a closed environment; this a magic crystal ball. Humans can ask it questions and look into it. It generates profound works, almost instantly, but it’s up to the human to do something with the results.
Executor — intelligence that can act within an open digital market. This is the realm of Internet bots — when computers can run scripts, transfer money, send files, use chats, or fire weapons. In the Terminator movie, the AI-triggered nuclear war was from this ‘executor’ phase.
Automaton — intelligence with a body. The body can take on many forms, from nano-bots, to drones, to robe-dogs, to cyborg Arnold Schwarzenegger , to a Tesla, to a tank.
So far, we’ve had ANI hit every form of embodiment. Siri is a kind a voice-activated oracle, so much of the Internet is made of bots running specific codes, and we already have self-driving cars. These AIs are each only capable of specific functions, and in the aggregate, we gain a ton of functionality.
Seems like with GPT-4, we’re approaching AGI territory. Not quite there, but it’s a single neural network that can do a huge range of things (generate text, audio, and visuals — across every domain). It first started as an “Oracle,” a chatbot in a caged environment. Now with the plug-in feature, it feels as if we’re letting it loose into the Internet, it’s an “executor” now.
Humans are pushing it up the chain of embodiment, but with each level comes bigger risk.
9:44 am — Using GPT-4 feels like a one-way information transmission. It has binged the Internet, and can use probability to give me specific answers. Through shaping questions specifically (and through ‘interrogating’ / understanding it) the prompter can get results that are uncanny. However, it feels very much like a “pull” situation.
GPT-4 isn’t using data from the conversation to update itself to your preferences. This feels like it’s currently possible. You can sense its ability to iterate and refine within a chat thread, but it’s not happening at the system/account level.
This has nothing to do with how the network was trained, but how it’s tuned (forgive my faulty/folk terminology). The tuning (Reinforced Learning through Human Feedback — RLHF) is in the hands of OpenAI. This thing has default setting that control the nature of what emerges.
You could theoretically have “adaptive tuning,” meaning that users, through conversation, could adjust the tuning (the ego) over the vast network (the unconscious).
From my experience with GPT-4, it has the ability to analyze it’s recent performance and troubleshoot where it went wrong. It can comment on my tone, personality, intelligence, and intentions. Sure — maybe these “reflections” are just hallucinations (the illusions of a (“stochastic parrot”), BUT, most importantly, they’re useful. When I confirm it’s suggested self-improvements, it improves the nature of the outputs I’m looking for.
So within a chat, you can refine it’s thinking, but only on top of the default tuning. It seems feasible to enable this at the account level. But I totally get why they don’t enable recursive tuning of the default settings. It’s a risk. There’s a reason OpenAI went private and closed it’s research — the unconscious of GPT-4 is likely vast and dark. How could it not be? It’s trained on everything.
March 24th, 2023
9:54 am — Three examples of “intelligence hoaxes” from the 18th-19th century
Euphonia, the Speaking Machine: In the early 19th century, inventor Joseph Faber developed a mechanical talking machine called "Euphonia." The machine used bellows, levers, and a replica of the human vocal tract to simulate speech. Although impressive at the time, it also evoked fear and discomfort among audiences, highlighting the tension between fascination and fear towards new technology. This can be related to the unease people may feel towards immersive computing and devices that are closely integrated with our senses.
The Turk Automaton: In the 18th century, Wolfgang von Kempelen created an automaton chess player called "The Turk." The machine appeared to play chess against a human opponent and even won games. It was later revealed that a human operator was hidden inside the machine, orchestrating the moves. This historical example of deception and manipulation using technology can be connected to concerns about how emerging technologies may distort our perception of reality.
The Great Moon Hoax of 1835: In 1835, the New York Sun published a series of articles about the alleged discovery of life on the moon by astronomer Sir John Herschel. The articles described fantastic lunar landscapes and creatures, capturing the public's imagination. The story was later revealed to be a hoax, but it demonstrates how technology—in this case, the medium of print—can be used to manipulate people's beliefs and understanding of the world. This can be linked to the potential for immersive computing and wearable devices to similarly influence our perception of reality.
Intelligence as an app
9:42 am — With GPT-4 chatbots, we’re entering an era of “intelligence as an app.” Most apps were have are digital tools that scale. There’s a specific repeatable function that is leveraged and made accessible to everyone. With GPT-4 now, you can reverse-engineer your thought process, creativity, or taste into ‘code’ (natural language instructions!).
To the ability that you are can externalize your self-awareness, you can make your mind accessible to others. It’s an odd paradigm. Typically your intelligence is your ‘it factor.’ It’s the thing that separates you from others. It’s your lens, the thing you finely tuned over decades. But we’re heading to a landscape where intelligence is a commodity.
When someone releases ‘prompts,’ they’re releasing the way they think. Sure, some prompts are super basic, existing as fodder for a hucksterish sales scheme. But prompt libraries can be extremely intricate, and totally change the nature of what can be summoned out of Chat GPT-4.
How will people charge for these? Is this a $5/month kind of thing, or will corporations be paying $500,000 for access to the best real-time prompt libraries? We’re going to see a range of business models around commoditizing intelligence, from one-time purchases, to training courses, to apps where the prompts themselves are encrypted, to real-time enterprise libraries.
9:18 am — I need a phrase for my morning rituals/superstitions about putting on “the rings.” Different rings can prime different kinds of meaning. I have an old family ring (symbolizing the past), and my wedding ring (symbolizing the future). I “program” stories, language, and emotion into them —psychic armor to fend off an onslaught of petty concerns. The morning ritual is the “priming” — it’s slow and meditative — whatever it takes to slip into a state of hypnosis and self-suggestibility. Then throughout the day, maybe I see them in a quick glance, and it serves as a reminder — a reference to “the map,” (not quite the full force, but a reminder that the force exists). I wonder if there is a non-woo field for this kind of stuff (a folk science for using language to program your emotions that stays clear of New Age world views and logic leaps).
March 23rd, 2023
7:23 am — Logs capture writing at the source — it’s raw experience translated into story, ideas, and words -- they carry emotion, epiphany, and excitement. Essays on the other hand, enshrine that source material into permanent shrines with depth — you break from experience to construct a thing, based on your knowledge of constructing those things. Essays have a process, one that can be enshrined in code, while logs will always be organic. Logs come from living life.
March 22nd, 2023
2:48 pm — Multi-part chat prompts are the secret to get AI to sound like you. You don’t just ask it a question, you model a whole X-part conversation. It asks YOU questions, and then AI will remix it, and ask you follow-ups to go deeper and to go into different facets. It’s a though pilot if you train it to be.
2:34 pm — My head is fried. Prompt engineering is left brained problem solving. I’ve been trying to reverse engineer the science of creativity. The hope is that the ‘prompt crafting’ phase is an upfront cost, allowing me to be more creative, fluid, and spontaneous later.
2:31 pm — What is prompt engineering? It’s more than ‘knowing how to write prompts that get good results.’ It involves:
- Testing prompts across different use cases.
- Testing alternate prompts for the same use case.
- Reverse engineering answers and recursively refining prompts.
- Deconstructing mega-prompts into an isolated sequence of prompts.
There’s an alchemy to this. To truly understand it, you have to break it, look at the parts, and put it back together.
2:19 pm — What would a pocket super-intelligence look like? One view of super-intelligence is that since it’s smarter than all humans combined, it will be thinking in realms we can’t even conceive. But what if we could aim that extreme processing ability (IQs 200+ or even in the 1000s) at our own every day life? Could it help us with decision making, knowledge synthesis, social dilemmas, mental health and operations? I mean, with super-intelligence, this thing could likely see into the future, re-configure art across mediums so that you get it, devise win-win Game B compromises, hack your emotional psychology (for the better), and shadow your every digital and physical movement to know exactly how you think (so that it can eventually do your tasks, and present you with finished works for final approval).
8:46 am — Attempted to train GPT-4 to turn my notes into thesis statements; 3 examples:
Introducing "The Death of Sunday": a provocative, eye-opening idea that confronts the erosion of time-honored traditions and the loss of perspective in our modern, fast-paced world. The Death of Sunday boldly claims that as we increasingly blur the lines between work and leisure, asynchronous work schedules and a relentless pursuit of productivity have disrupted our innate need for rest and reflection. This thought-provoking notion defies the contemporary glorification of constant hustle, questioning whether our detachment from Sabbath-like rituals has robbed us of the rejuvenating breaks our minds and bodies crave. The Death of Sunday beckons us to confront the disintegration of sacred downtime, igniting curiosity and a yearning to rediscover the power of pausing in an ever-accelerating world.
Introducing the "Scholar's Paradox": a groundbreaking notion asserting that the Internet, empowered by AI, can resolve the age-old dilemma faced by scholars, artists, and spiritual seekers. Historically, pursuing one's passion often meant sacrificing financial stability, but the digital revolution now enables us to chase our dreams and reap rewards simultaneously. This provocative idea highlights a modern challenge: preserving authenticity and values in a world where millions observe and judge our every move. The Digital Scholar's Paradox urges us to navigate the balance between passion and profit, embracing the transformative power of technology while upholding our intrinsic ideals.
Embrace the concept of "Perpetual Metamorphosis" – a revolutionary approach to self-improvement that defies the widespread belief in instant, one-time transformations. Instead of seeking life-changing epiphanies, we must cultivate the art of ceaseless self-adjustment. In a world captivated by the allure of quick fixes and instant gratification, this counter-intuitive proposal champions relentless fine-tuning as the key to lasting growth. By intertwining this approach with the recent cultural trend of mindfulness, we tap into an untapped wellspring of potential. Adopting Perpetual Metamorphosis as our modus operandi will propel us into a world where micro-adjustments culminate in macro-shifts, igniting insatiable curiosity for self-discovery and fostering an unbreakable bond with personal evolution.
March 21st, 2023
8:41 pm — 2 ways I can imagine breakaway intelligence happening (from someone who knows nothing about machine learning):
The LLM model is trained on code for how to build a LLM, allowing it to guide it’s own machine learning.
Unsupervised or ‘adaptive’ learning, meaning, instead of a company like OpenAI enforcing a strict and liberal ‘superego,’ the machine gets to interpret and rank the quality of its own results.
6:49 pm — Does AI make it easy to create an army of pseudonymous alt accounts?
March 19th, 2023
2:07 pm — AI might change the process on how you put together first drafts. I’ve been starting by setting a 5-minute timer and blitz writing something that is messy and organized, like this:
Looking to write an essay about baseball. People say it is a dying sport. Attendance is down. The critique? It’s SLOW. Pitch by pitch, it slogs like molasses. Compare that to football, hockey, or basketball, where it’s an endless cascade of assaults. The slow pace of baseball doesn’t fit within the youth’s cultural operating system anymore. Compare this to TikTok, where you get a hit of dopamine every 10 seconds. Often, baseball boils down to stunning highlight reels, but no one sticks with it. The sport is on the verge of dying, and I think it’s important to revive it. It could bring patience back to the our society. It’s slow and mindful, but then there are sudden moments of high tension, and heroes are made. There’s a symbolism behind the game, a mythology, that you probably miss if your brain is wired for constant action. But each player has a specific, powerful roll. The rules are complicated, and each player is like a chess piece, with its own glove and specific rules. Worth understanding each. The game revolves around a better between the pitcher and the batter. The pitcher is hurling a ball at almost 100 miles per hour, and the batter has to make contact to propel it forward, the hardest task in any sport. The pitcher is the peak of human evolution. Early humans evolved from throwing spears and rocks. And in that throwing motion, they aimed at a target, a bison or a cow, a dozen yards away. The act of releasing the spear was an act of seeing into the future. Aiming is an act of planning, one that rocketed the size of the pre-frontal cortex. The batter, is like St. George slaying the dragon. A furious fastball. Impossible to hit, but he does! And when he does, he runs in a circle around the pitcher, to score a “run.” The home run is when you hit the ball over the fence, then you can nonchalantly circle the pitcher. The form of the game actually comes from Rounders, a sport designed for young British girls, who scream high pitched and skip as they run. Not really an American game, and all the myths about baseball coming from the Civil War were false marketing legends to revive its popularity during the Great Depression. Let’s not think about it’s geographic origins, but what it is symbolically. It’s about patience, and stepping up to a moment of pressure. Through watching these heroes, we find patience and heroism in our own lives. As a kid, this is what I yearned for.
I’ll then take this stream of consciousness riff and feed it through a series of prompts that I’ve carefully defined. They help me identify the main theme, discover references across history, and remember my own stories that relate to it. I give it feedback along the way. Eventually, it generates an outline and I give feedback on how to make it better.
Within 15 minutes, I have a 2,000 word first draft that did’t require me to waste all my brain power. AI probably generated 20,000+ words to get there. This isn’t final quality, but it’s a fuzzy map of the thing I’d like to produce. Now, I’ll use my own energy to naturally write out a 2nd draft from scratch.
March 18th 2023
4:03 pm — Could emerging technology help revive the oral tradition of exchanging ideas? As in, will we eventually break from all mediums of ‘frozen media’ (text, audio, video) — and shift our efforts to live collaborative interactions?
3:59 pm —
Inflation — an ever present temptation, to open the closed loop and inject more.
Bitcoin is a Fertility Goddess.
The world is about to get weirder, and more mythical (tie into the archaic revival)
1:52 pm — Look, I press the button and the thing comes out! (The state of AI discourse)
March 17th, 2023
10:58 am — The solution for overcoming “the demon” is true ‘faith’ (in yourself) at the top-most layer. Wash clean the anxiety and worrying — then go deeper and deeper — need the anchor of ‘the cross’ to permeate every depth — and do it regularly to stay clean.
March 16th, 2023
7:54 pm — Prisons of thought
3:49 pm — Look into the “yugas” — long scales of Hindu time. (This is a cool example of GPT-4 reading a published essay of mine, and pointing me to areas to research).
March 14th, 2023
3:33 am — In the bathroom with food poisoning — trying to read, nothing rings — reading a novel by a hero and it feels bloated and meandering, unable to distract me from my condition.
March 13th, 2023
10:45 am — Panic contagions
8:37 am — In Dec 2021, I started logging through words. Now, in 2023, I’m also logging through video. There are cameras in my glasses, so the friction to capture is zero. Each medium captures a different sphere: glasses record the eye, the logs record the mind. One gets body and place, the other mind and mental space.
March 12th, 2023
6:30 pm — A philippic is a verbal attack that denunciates one thing and praises another. It’s a “fiery, dating speech, or a tirade,” named after a Greek king. Realizing now, that Resurrections On-Demand kind of reads like a philippic, a forward plea for Christianity to modernize.
9:05 am — A morning ritual sets the tone for the whole day. It’s more than a task stack — a sequence of things you did in order each morning. It’s about the symbolic meaning you prime. As you do thing X, what mindset do you trigger? If you lose sight of that, you mindlessly repeat thing X over and over, until you get some form of semantic saturation. The actions become meaningless, disconnected from the effect you hoped to attain.
9:04 am — The common goal of the rebel mystic is to escape the “world of illusions.” To see beyond patterns and cultural conditioning, to perceive “the now.” There’s something profound about nature / raw perception (it’s the root / origin) but it’s also the thing we’ve outgrown. The frontier is in the invisible world of language and meaning. It shapes and possesses. If we and everyone else we know live in illusion, then the “shaman’s” (the one who can see it) goal isn’t to escape the it, but to interface with it: to create art that reveals it, to disentangle themselves and others from it, and most importantly, to create new forms of it — better illusions that compete and combat existing illusions.
9:03 am — The fact that a modern Eleusis seems eerie is proof that we’ve grown to distrust our institutions. There’s a long history of institutional betrayal. Anything involving psychological vulnerability needs visible checks and balances.
9:03 am — What does ‘the bell’ symbolize? How has this evolved from Ancient Greece through modern times?
8:52 am — Impressions from a walk: Discolored patches of bark on frozen trees, branches splain over air rights of asphalt roads, through wires and metal, the chirping is remnant of the old world, a rustic soundscape, a fat old sun escaped the town’s cheeks for 3 days, acrobatic winged flesh-orbs are deaf to machine games, the crisp air is a reset, from the shape-shifting demons of midnight.
March 10th, 2023
7:05 pm — “AI — can you generate fifty title ideas?” It goes on to generate a bunch of them rapidly. As you turn them down, your brain is fluttering — you’re asking yourself ‘what do I want?” and then boom! It emerges in your flesh brain. It’s ideation by inversion. By being inundated with a storm of bad ideas, the good idea just sublimates into your head.
9:17 am — Reverse engineering John Oliver humor — he introduces “big dick energy” and then lists off 5 things. He starts with Brian Cranston (an obvious pick), includes Charles Darwin, then gets to “the Pixar Lamp” and “Snoopy” which is the punchline. It scales from obvious to non-obvious, even the non-obvious picks are still slightly true.
9:13 am — The Moocher Dilemma — intelligent life tends to go extinct because the masses (and power structures) all reap the discoveries of genius, without needing to improve their own Neolithic psyches.
9:12 am — Trending towards polytheism? I wonder if our theology is in a divergence and convergence loop (many to one to many to one).
March 9th, 2023
8:51 pm — Overhypenator.
7:22 pm — When you look back on old photos and videos, you reflect and build a mythology of your past. Technology will let us due this with higher and higher degrees of accuracy. Is this good or bad? When done naturally, it’s looser — most is forgotten , and only a core remains. When done manually — you’ll probably clinger to smaller moments that aren’t that significant in the big picture.
6:43 pm — Smile of Sisyphus (a phrase from Taylor) — a self-awareness that you’re undergoing a hard, impossible, endless task.
6:33 pm — Cliches are the bastard of the syntax.
When we coin meaning into syntax, there is urgency. Words have usage limits. They expire, not with time, but frequency of use. And once they’re tired, the words are still there, but the original epiphany behind them is stale. The word commits an act of betrayal. It stands in for a big concepts, but permeates a diluted truth to the general user.
Put another way — the coagulation of semantics into syntax is a form of sin. Big concepts like “God” and “religion” and “gratitude” (need better examples) are too rich to be compressed into a single word. When you do it, they provide value at first, but then the words rot. We’re left with the cliches, words that are avoided, even though the ideas behind them are important.
6:25 pm — What’s up with all of the Gnostic conspiracy theories about freeing yourself and breaking out of the world of illusions? Where does this pop up and why?
6:22 pm — The Eleusinian Mysteries took an emotional truth and projected it into physical reality.
6:16 pm — Some think that dreams are the subconscious trying to communicate to you. Maybe this is sometimes the case. But the subconscious is filled with noise and randomness, and sometimes it pierces through for no reason. Not important, not urgent, but totally engulfing. The unconscious is made of continents of remixed experience, and dreams air-drop you into different spots.
March 8th, 2023
2:10 pm — I need to get way more clear on my punctuation.
Colon: introduces a thought
Semi-colon: unpacks a thought
Dash: defines a thought
12:54 pm — “Hardcore writing mode” (in The Most Dangerous Writing App) is when you can only see the last letter you typed. You can’t be concerned with typos or grammar. There is no re-reading. Only forward. You’re writing blind. It’s more focused on the cascade of thoughts than on producing clean, coherent text. Through technology, it prevents the “editor mind” to come in and sabotage the creator. There is no front-end, no visuals — just whatever is in your head.
7:07 pm — Bitcoin is an algocracy (an algorithm is in charge). There can be different kinds of algocracies (ranging from species-saving to species-ending).
March 5th, 2023
3:10 pm — Hit with a nostalgia for architecture school, and a new dream to get a Masters in Architectural Design from Yale. Totally irrational.
3:07 pm - I am a termite under the skin of the Earth.
3:02 pm — Architecture should come from the woods. If an architect isn’t versed in the ways that trees, mountains, or lakes can leave an imprint on a person, then how could they ever design buildings that mean anything to anyone? (Also — realizing that my vacations to Utah as a kid probably shaped my design school projects).
2:58 pm — Capture glasses induce flow. You’ll see something, go “whoa!,” click the frame, and then (literally) forget. 20 seconds into investigating a fallen tree, I thought, “damn, I should record this!” not realizing I already was. The technology helps you slip into such a flow, that you lose awareness of the technology as you’re capturing. This is non-intrusive technology at its best (which is great, considering AI ads are feared as the ultimate form of invasive tech).
2:57 pm — Architecture should be inspired by nature.
“Biomimcry” is about manmade buildings adopting the systems of nature. It always comes for the lens of environmental systems (how can building be more sustainable).
But we can also study how awe and beauty come from nature. Walking through a park, there is infinite complexity, but some moments burst through it, causing you to think, “whoa, this is beautiful.” Why? If you can reverse engineer what created that feeling, you can bring that into the design of man-made buildings.
Imagine if buildings started from a “what if this were beautiful?” perspective, and then worked backwards to make it functional?
2:47 pm — Dogs and the future (lol I have no idea what this note is referring to).
2:45 pm — A stock photo carries more density than stock copy. But writing done right is the highest resolution medium — it’s not just more sensory, it captures a dimension of meaning that’s invisible to the eye.
2:44 pm — Worth deconstructing the phrase’ “all dogs go to heaven.”
1:35 pm — I missed my first Saturday publishing deadline. Maybe I could say Deconstructed comes out on “weekends” so I have flexibility if Saturday is nuts. Or, I just make sure I schedule this by end of day Friday.
1:34 pm — Sundays are the rebirth of full sentences. No more chicken-scratch breadcrumb hieroglyphic mind patter. We’re using punctuation.
1:33 pm — If you want to set a publishing deadline, go to a cafe without a charger and knock it out.
10:41 am — On every corner, of all ages, all people and creatures under the sun scream for Sunday morning.
March 4th, 2023
5:45 pm — Does the Jewish faith have more of an emphasis on personal responsibility than the Christian faith? (Since Christianity permits a kind of perpetual grace, a path to be reborn).
5:38 pm — The “Meta-meme” is a meme that informs the user about the mimetic landscape they’re in. Once consumed, they find themselves being critical of the ideas and language they come across, while also being able to wield their own memes.
Another kind of ‘short-circuiting’ memes is the one that focuses the ego on its own death. The ego’s general function is to obsess over the self and deny death. Even though we know we’re going to die, we focus on some other ‘luciferian’ task. If instead, you can focus the beam of attention on the value of death, you become superhuman.
4:59 pm — Is Disney an example of intuitively deriving stories, or, reverse engineering fairytales?
10:13 am — Listen to your body — what’s going on if you get dizzy while writing? Feels like my head is shifting.
March 2nd, 2023
6:21 pm — I fear that the idea of “radical self-acceptance” solves problems downstream instead of upstream. Yes, it’s definitely useful to be able to break out of the tension in a given moment. It’s a neat skill — almost like a temporary disk eraser — it short-circuits a bad loop by tuning your perception into your breathing, your surroundings, or just a raw surge of empathy for everything.
Definitely useful, but it’s more like a painkiller instead of getting the surgery you need. It doesn’t address the inputs that led to tension (whether days or years back).
Basically my question is this: what is better, tools to react to our thoughts and emotions, or tools that lets us rewrite the source code of our psyche? …
Rewriting the source code of our psyche — is that even possible? Could you use the scientific method to build an accurate map of your psyche? And if you somehow had access to that kind of map, would you be able to edit it? Or are you firmly stuck in it?
1:40 pm — Fun Twitter bio format from Charlie Becker.
All the time:
12:17 am — Logs are a proxy for mindfulness.
10:56 am — I think mini-molts make you more open to change, and more likely to embrace a mega-molt, but there's still tension when the key pillars of your life have to change. I don't know if you can ever be fully prepared for those. But maybe after each mega-molt, you get better at adapting.
10:43 am — One day I'll release "Footnote Frenzy," a 10x10 grid of exclusively footnotes, and within each one will be cryptic puzzles, that, if solved, reveal my private Bitcoin key. Seriously though, footnotes add a lot to the process. They allow me to nerd out and follow tangents without sabotaging the essay. Never sure if people experience them, since the inline format only comes through on 1 of 4 formats (desktop browser).
10:42 am — My glasses capture my inputs (what I actually experience), and my logs capture the outputs (how I’m reflecting on what’s happening).
10:41 am — Reverse outlining the works of others gives you a sense of forms that work. Reverse outlining your own draft helps you see the forms that spontaneously emerge.
10:36 am — Multi-generational living (pros and cons)
8:49 am — The pros of ‘machine-generated voice’ are underrated. It removes biological (inherited) advantages, and lets every complete on the even playing field of imagination. If you weren’t blessed with a beautiful voice, you can have new avenues as a songwriter.
March 1st, 2023
1:14 pm — “The scholar's first and most important duty is to develop unflinching self-trust and a mind that will be a repository of wisdom for other people. This is a difficult task, Emerson says, because the scholar must endure poverty, hardship, tedium, solitude, and other privations while following the path of knowledge.” (Forgot the source)
12:29 am — Gratefulness — the full embodiment of it can be overwhelming, but thoughtless words around it can feel cliche … It’s kind of funny how a sensitivity to cliches can mask some of life’s greatest truths. Paradoxically, the more cliche something is, the larger the potential truth is hidden behind it.