Free Thoughts On ChatGPT-Righteous Fools & Reasoned Cowards

Those philosophers, always looking to be…somebody.

I’d rather people have more experience and stake in the discussion (people who’ve actually worked in tech). Predictions are hard, especially about the future.

My two cents: In addition to a shovel’s primary uses (third-class lever), there are thousands of others (murderous and life-saving as a third-class lever). Such is our nature.

A lot of people don’t understand the scope of computer-programming (command and logic-based, designed to have a machine perform tasks…often only as good as the programmer.) ChatGPT creates programming capable of automating much programming; an adaptable natural language tool processing commands from non-programmers. With good ground-truth and good input, this can generate news articles, love-letters and term papers with simple language commands from the user-end.

None of this totally replaces real human experience, knowledge, understanding, judgment and creativity. It should, however, change the value of such things relative to the technology and to other people; and a lot of institutional/work relationships and social networks besides.

There is still love, friendship, family, promises, hopes, dreams and negotiating the hundreds of daily interactions in the world in which we find ourselves.

There is also still good and evil in the world. There are righteous fools and reasoned cowards. There are totalitarian systems of government, terrorists, tyrants, hucksters, liars, cheaters, bureaucratic corruption and waste, parliaments of whores, professional guilds and gatekeepers etc.

Incentives matter.

Our devices create impressions and reflections of us moving through the world: Avatars with our same behaviors, interests, habits and choices. These avatars can become predictive, used to infer deeper states of mind and profound desires.

A good amount of it is bought and sold to the highest bidder…and law enforcement, non-state actors and government planners want it, too.

If you’ve actually read this far (the stats say you don’t), here’s some more free advice:

  1. Trust the ‘Thought-Leaders’, Cultural Icons and Business Leaders about 50% of the time. They have their own interests, but most are accountable to their audience, admirers and shareholders. It’s probably better than feudal lords (on whose land you toil).
  2. Trust the politicians maybe 40% of the time and keep the money supply out of their hands. Principled gentleman or highway robber? They are accountable to voters, but that’s no salvation.
  3. Go by what people do, not what they say.
  4. Through love, duty and commitment, learn about your own flaws. You’re probably not as good as you need to be, or you think you are. You actually don’t know very much.
  5. Let some people be right, because they can’t be anything else. Keep ’em out of power and away from decision-making. Give ’em some busy work (maybe you’re doing someone else’s busy work).

Here are some quotes:

Wendell Berry from his essay “The Joy of Sales Resistance”:

‘Quit talking bad about women, homosexuals, and preferred social minorities, and you can say anything you want about people who haven’t been to college, manual workers, country people, peasants, religious people, unmodern people, old people, and so on.’

Clive James revisits many quite original, quite accomplished works of Joseph Conrad:

‘They are, in fact, idealists: and idealism is a cast of mind that Conrad questions even more than he questions radicalism. The logical end of radicalism, in his view, is terrorism; but idealism is the mental aberration that allows terrorism to be brought about. Conrad’s originality was to see that a new tyranny could be generated by people who thought that their rebellion against the old tyranny was rational. Thus his writings seem prescient about what was to happen in the Soviet Union. He didn’t predict the Nazi tyranny because he had underestimated the power of the irrational to organise itself into a state. But then, nobody predicted that except its perpetrators; and anyway, mere prediction was not his business. His business was the psychological analysis made possible by an acute historical awareness. Under Western Eyes is valuable not because it came true but because it rang true even at the time, only now we can better hear the deep, sad note.’

Robert Conquest:

“Those teach who can’t do” runs the dictum,

But for some even that’s out of reach:

They can’t even teach—so they’ve picked ’em

To teach other people to teach.

Then alas for the next generation,

For the pots fairly crackle with thorn.

Where psychology meets education

A terrible bullshit is born.’