My whole life I’ve been a tech optimist. I’ve always believed that, over time, culture and society improve when the tools for learning, understanding, doing and making, improve.
I’m not an optimist about synthetic, AI driven “content”. I’m very worried about the long-term cultural and societal impact of a never-ending stream of stuff to put into our eyes, ears, and bodies. When visuals, words, sounds and, soon, code and digital tools are being generated by algorithms, our attention will be frayed even more. We humans won’t be able to make meaning out the world because the inputs won’t be real.
This project is a harbinger of what’s to come. It’s a toy of sorts, a provocative example of the synthetic content stream we’re going to be swimming in over the next 10 years. It sounds sort of real. The words almost makes sense, but the “uncanny valley” effect might trigger careful listeners to understand this is fake.
For those of us who have lived through this first era of digital (i.e. from the late 90’s to now), what’s our responsibility to try to warn the rest of the culture about what’s coming at us? It’s going to seem fun at first, but then it’s going to be hell . Is it too late?
Source: The Infinite Conversation
I’m no longer sure of what week we’re in of the “Quarantine Times” era but it feels like we’ve been at this for a looong time. As I’ve been talking with people for work and for life, I’m sensing a rising sense of fatigue inside all the energy that carried us through the first part of this time. It’s not anger, it’s not outright frustration, but it feels like we are (or at least I am) stuck in the mud. Seth Levine is right to call it the Week Six Slump.
This is going to be a time in our lives when we look back with a strange brew of emotions and questions, but right now, in this particular week, I’m in a funk of sorts. I realize how good my family has got it, relatively speaking and i am aware of the privilege that affords me the opportunity to keep working in these times, from home. Work at Fahren is going better than we expected during quarantine. My sons are holding up really well, despite very significant impacts in their schooling and social lives. My family is safe. There are (probably temporary) signs of a comeback in the stock market. Folks want to get on with it, but I’m feeling, well, blah. Funky, not in a good way. Blue.
Here’s my plan to get out of it:
- Connect with new folks – Keep reconnecting with folks that aren’t part of my normal routine. Not just for networking, though. I’ve got enough Linkedin contacts. It’s become clear to me that I get energy when I’m listening and learning from people. If i go into conversations with the goal of deep listening, I find an energy there that i really enjoy. If networking is candy, real conversations are whole foods. I want more whole foods.
- Create more – I’m starting a little writing project that’s just for me, and I love the work so far. I may launch it eventually, but right now, it’s a hobby that’s helping me get my mornings started well.
- Morning routine – I’ve recommitted to a regular morning routine. It’s a commitment, but it makes the rest of the day so much better.
- Slow Down – Time is going so fast, it really feels like its slipping away sometimes. I’ve been trying hard to enjoy the moments of each day, and feel gratitude for the chance to work on hard problems, in the moment. Call it mindfulness, call it being present. But, it helps.
- Give Back – My little company just wrapped up a small project for a non-profit we love and it was a great, tiny project. They’ve got some cool ambitions, but tight resources. We could help at the right time, with the right skills. We covered the costs of the team that delivered the work for the non-profit, and they were thrilled. It could point them in a bold new direction, and it felt great to be able to help with the oddball set of skills i’ve accumulated over the years.
- Contemplating – I’ve spent the last 14 years of my career focused on “work like a startup”, go faster, etc. But, i wonder if the best strategy is to actually slow it all down and get great at a few things and build upon that excellence? Are we done with the “first mover”, startup era? I’ve been reading Built to Last and Small Giants and it’s been refreshing.
I know we’ll all get through this and we’ll get over this hump. But, in the meantime, you might get a call or an email from me asking for a chat or to let me bounce an idea off you.
I hope my sons can figure stuff like this out:
Phinergy batteries use a porous electrode with a large surface area that captures the oxygen from ambient air. The electrode also contains a silver-based catalyst that doesn’t let CO2 interact with it. This unique and proprietary catalyst solves a common problem in air-battery technology, carbonization caused by CO2 permeating the electrode.
via Aluminum-air battery demonstrates extended range for EVs..
Exactly what you think it should be. A theramin inside a taxidermied badger. What could be better? Well, how about a video of it being played?
This has got to be some kind of a joke: Crystal Head Vodka.
Check out the Annie Liebowitz picture for the Lance Armstrong story in Vanity Fair.
Then, check out this cover for Mike Magnusson’s Heft on Wheels, which came out a couple years ago. It’s even the same kind of Trek!:
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I wonder if the brand ever saw this? Great performance. Great writing.
Link: Pop Secret "Secret Stash".
Why is Greg Oden following ME on Twitter? I know i’ve got a wicked skyhook, but…
Here’s a free idea for a Facebook app that’s sure to take off:
- a game
- That enables you to make an american gladiator
- Endow that gladiator with cool powers
- and one "achilles heel"
- and choose who that gladiator can fight
- Then, set the gladiator loose on the facebook world.