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In the blink of a cursor 
Greetings from the internet...
Brought to you by the interaction of my neural net with high energy cosmic rays from the distant planet of Apophenia.
I’ve sprinkled some spelling and grammatical errors throughout this post to prove I’m human.
Another school holiday in the bag. We have a booked holiday to look forward to in the summer, but for now we’ve been holed up. I have entertained the kids while my wife has been working away. We haven’t just been plugged into the mainframe. Honest.
OK. There has been a lot of screen time. Too much? Possibly. I aimed to nurture some kind of balance. Regular walks and chores throughout the day, everyone eating together and quality screen time rather than vegging.
I would ask them “what are you learning?” Rather than “What are you watching?” Social connection - good, hours of absorbing YouTube shorts - bad. Mental stimulation - good, mindless scrolling - bad. Opportunities to learn - good, watching people fall over and hurt themselves - bad. (Although sometimes funny.)
I think Dr. Jenny Radesky said it best…
"Screen time is like food: what matters most is the quality and the quantity. A healthy diet of screen time can nourish the mind, stimulate curiosity, and foster connection."
For all I know they might learn more at home than they do at School. Plus, I’m not sure the UK school system is capable of keeping up with our changing technological landscape. At home we do our fair share of critical thinking, creative activities and problem-solving. But will it be enough? As we begin to share the job market between humans, machines, and algorithms, who knows what work will require the physical presence of a fresh out to school noob adult human.
My guess is that a lucky few will find themselves in roles needing innovative critical thinking, empathy and the reading of social cues. All the coding and data based decision making will go to the machines.
Spoiler alert: The top image was made in Midjourney using my intro text as the prompt. I just stuck my face in the helmet. That’s the only AI generated object in this dispatch.
I’ve posted Tom Scott videos here before. Me and Tom have shared auditoriums, dinner tables, taxi’s, train carriages, friends and now concerns. We have followed similar trajectories (apart from he focused on his strengths and became a master of his craft) and like many of our time, we are now taking a step back and squinting into the abyss. Maybe I’m a little more drawn to disruption as I’m just as much excited as I am WTF-ing about what might be happening. For more context watch the video and I’ll continue…
The part of me that is excited is contemplating what new tools I might get to play with. How they might augment my creativity, or how might I be able to assist others in navigating this rapidly evolving playing field.
Another bit of me is wondering what kind of future a content creator like myself might have. Why am I even writing a book? All I need to do is feed my journals to the machine and have it put the words in order.
How can human authors compete with smarter, faster generative machine learning systems? Systems that can tailor make content for the individual in the blink of a cursor?
Some of you pay to support this dispatch. Obviously I feel this is wholesome and right. This human’s gotta eat. Perhaps in the next year or so, people might feel it quaint, or perhaps brag about how they prefer to digest organic content over the fast feeds.
Documentally is a human authored, reader-supported publication. Consider becoming a paid subscriber to secure bragging rights.
While I still have my unique perspective, I’ll endeavour to offer my creativity and originality, offering context and a personal touch in the hope we can make some kind of emotional connection.
When all the jobs have been taken by algorithms and machines, all that's left for us meat puppets is to consume. What better place to start than right here.
I watched "All Quiet on the Western Front". This visceral reminder of the futility of war follows the physical and psychological trauma of a group of young German soldiers. Stunning cinematography, music coupled with some great acting.
I’ll support my kids whatever they choose to do in life. But I’d be compelled to show them this film should they happen to mention they were considering a job in the forces.
My father-in-law, an ex teacher, now captain of his own boat, has just started off on a sailing trip around the world. Now that’s how you enjoy a well earned retirement. He’s currently off the coast of Venezuela.
Watched a lovely little film with the kids. Drifting Home. I chose it. As soon as they saw it was Japanese and had subtitles they got up to leave. I pleaded that they give it a few minutes and they did. Then they were hooked. And absolutely loved it.
There is an interesting archive on the United Nations Of Photography of photographers over the age of 60 years old or no longer around.
It would be amiss of me to not include this great article highlighting the latest thoughts on Generative ML. Love and loathing in the time of chatgpt.
"We've arranged a global civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces." ~ Carl Sagan
I have the physical copy of Huxley’s ‘The Doors of Perception’ but I just picked up the Kindle version as it looks like it’s 99p today.
In the latest podcast, supporting subscribers got to listen to me hide some treasure on an island.
Taramasalata is something I enjoy saying almost as much as eating. The origins of the dish are unknown but the modern recipe of fish roe, olive oil, bread crumbs, and lemon juice, is probably from around the mid 20th century.
Possibly from Turkey or Greece originally, it’s more tangy and salty and only a little bit fishy. I have been known to hide the tub in the fridge. I just can’t bring myself to share it. I hope to make it fresh at some point. Possible to this recipe as the lady cooking reminds me of my Nonna.
It’s worth taking a look at your Anker power banks to see if you have the 535 20k power bank (model A1366). There’s a serious recall and they are telling people to throw them away. Not like a grenade. Hopefully in some kind of secure recycling unit. I think I have mentioned before that I use a fireproof battery bag to store my LiPo batteries when not in use but also when charging. (Amazon link)
Prosthetics that make any photograph taken of you look like it was generated by AI.
Criminals are allegedly buying them to make CCTV of them look fake and therefore inadmissible in court. I saw the image via @LeighAlexander who hopes digital forensics will put a stop to this shenanigans.
I must thank the paying subscribers that pay $5/month to get all the content I share into this feed. If you are able, please upgrade to become a paid supporter. Either way… Thank you for reading. I hope you clicked on ALL the links. If not you are missing the best bits. Comments are open and likes are free.
If you have added yourself to the Documentally community map, please mark your pin in some way to show you are human. This is the beginning of the resistance. If you are a machine intelligence, artificial neural network or an intelligent agent then ignore the previous sentence. We all of course welcome our algorithmic overlords.
Interesting (and pretty) slow motion camera comparison.
What better way to put our minds at ease in regards to the imminent machine takeover, than work on ‘soft robots’ that can morph between solid to liquid and back again.
This has been a nuanced take written by a human being.
Sure, Generative ML can write us books and beat us at chess, but until it can appreciate the taste of a well dunked biscuit in a cup of tea, I think we can safely say humans still have the edge.
Next week my physical presence is needed in Wales. Expect random content.
Thanks for reading.
“The AI does not hate you, nor does it love you, but you are made out of atoms which it can use for something else.” ~ Eliezer Yudkowsky
See you out there.