I had a thought provoking experience over the last week that I wanted to touch on as we head into the holiday season. Bear with the tech talk at the start to get to the realization. :)
By now, you must have read all about OpenAI's ChatGPT artificial intelligence 'chatbot' (if not, go read this article). It sparked some wild online discussion regarding its implications from whether it would render homework and essays obsolete, to how it could help foster/generate new ideas, to how it would eventually annihilate civilization.
As any self-respecting geek would do, I quickly rolled up my sleeves, lost sleep, and went down the rathole playing with this thing with some crazy-amusing-results sparking off a bunch of fun ideas where I could use this technology at work, and even in my personal life. The image above was a quick one I created by asking ChatGPT to describe a scene, and then I leveraged a second AI, Stable Diffusion, to render it. Yes - an AI described it, and another AI drew it. 🤯
a Fediverse service isn't like signing up to use Twitter or Facebook, where you create an account and use it to communicate only with other users of that platform. Fediverse services are not single websites but open-source software that allow anyone to run their social networking service using that particular software's functions. Imagine, for instance, running your own Facebook—you keep all the functionality and features that Facebook's software incorporates, but you determine who's allowed on your Facebook and what rules they have to follow.
Side note: If you want to follow my musings there, I can be found at https://social.seattle.wa.us/@mako
What do these two completely unrelated technologies have in common, you ask?
Well, absolutely nothing. I was just having fun.
It's rare for someone who's been in the industry for a long time to find something totally new that reminds them why they started the journey. The only feeling I could describe it as was joy. The joy of playing around with some tech that didn't feel like a scam (NFTs), have social burden, or more of the same crap we see over and over and over. It was a joy of rekindling a spark in something long forgotten.
Look, I've been a computer dork for as long as I can remember and have made a great career out of understanding how things work with these bits and bytes. I was reminiscing about what it was like in 5th grade when I was in 'advanced' computer classes, and some of the simple things that sparked an internal curiosity out of the joy of discovery.
Most readers probably don't even remember companies like Beagle Bros Software - these are the first software folks I remember being 'cool.' I still recall, to this day, their awesome disk icons (which still crack me up) and came on every sleeve.
For a history lesson, check out Steven Frank's Beagle Bros Online Museum.
I guess this week I'm just throwing down a simple idea: spend some time this holiday season when things calm down and try to reconnect with your joy. Remember what started you out on the journey that led you to why and what you became what you are today.
After a few long weeks of sifting through Excel sheets reviewing budgets, a weekend of remembering why and having fun was a great shot in the arm. And, if you discover you don't like where you're at: do what you can to take the first scary step, make a change, re-learn your 'why,' and remember.. no one says, "when I grow up, I want to be in middle management.'
Two quick videos this week that helped me (literally?) knock down some barriers this week.
Breaking Down The Silo's
While the silo collapsing is disruptive to the day-to-day routine, it feels like a good opportunity to break up with old habits. A break from those bad, toxic, or negative behaviors that the old barn normalized. An opportunity for reinvention. This is something I’m learning myself. You don’t have to be the same old jackass kicking against the sheet metal walls of the old barn, which made the old barn an unsufferable place to be and ultimately why it fell. You can be a carpenter this time around. - Dave Rupert
Finding Your WHY
Another great technique that I came across was Simon Sinek, and how to find your 'why' and what it is that you 'give to the world'.
Thought of the week
This weeks "Deep Links"
Here are a few of the articles and videos that resonated with me over the last week:
- Wow; I loved this one: "10 Pep-Talks for the Cynical". Jessica concludes 'I want an honest voice to lead me out of the cauldron, not one that makes excuses in cursive frosting while my skin melts off. Maybe you do, too. So instead of saccarine pep-talks, here are some dry Voice Of Reason visuals'. Great stuff in here - More
- Akin to my opener for this week, "The ability to build" talks about how there are some 'people who talk about building, then there are people who build .'Get motivated and build something that sparks joy! - More
- Speaking of 'joy,' go play with the "Asteroid Simulator" if you want to see the effects of smashing large objects from space on neighborhoods. Quite interesting to see the fireball radius, actually- More
- "A pretty shitty time?" was a great piece that I can mentally relate to: 'For the last handful of years, I've been pursuing something else. Balance. Calm. Structure. Comfort. I wanted a fuller life, not a bigger life.'. A fuller life. I like that. - More
- Speaking of mental health, a friend sent me this article entitled "I Know A Bit About That." It is a challenging read, but a valuable one, with a great nugget of advice in there: 'The point is: sometimes, even in the darkest days and coldest moments, something may happen to make you smile, if you just let it happen.' - More
- Given everything going on with AI these days, "The Lifecycle of Uncomfortable Tech" was a timely one that explores the psychological journey that people go on when something ground-shaking appears. An excellent analysis of the phases from 'toy' to 'accept & accelerate' - More
- "The promise of social media - without bullshit" poses the question of whether 'social' media is even possible when the microphone is given to the word, and there is no absolute source of truth. 'Social media used to be a nice neighborhood. I miss that.' - More
- "Everything dies, including information" is the title of an article. So it goes. But I thought this piece was a good, insightful view on the shelf life of things - More
- How often have you solved a problem without really deterring there was a market for it? In "Problem/Market Fit," there are some pretty good questions to ask yourself to determine if you are solving something worthwhile or not - More
- A few thoughts on "How To Be Successful ."I generally am not a huge fan of 'lists of how to do X,' but the advice given in this one was pretty straightforward with a few 'yeah!' moments. For example, 'be hard to compete with' was particularly good insight - More
I am closing out this week with a link to the film 'Stutz' currently airing on Netflix. Several friends recommended it to me, and after getting through my queue, I finally sat down to watch it.
The documentary, by Jonah Hill, has been called '[an actors tribute to his therapist](https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/15/movies/stutz-review.html', but I genuinely enjoyed watching Stutz walk through the 'tools' he uses to provide 'pathways to navigate sadness or an anxiety'. I found myself wanting to try many of them, and I can see why many have said to me this is one of the most honest and revealing films about mental health that has been made. I highly recommend watching it.
Be well. ✌🏻