A brand new episode of Akimbo this week, all about artificial intelligence. Part one of of two on mediocrity and the choices we’re going to need to make.
And, a while in the making, an experimental AI chat bot that has been trained on all 5,000,000 words of this blog. You can find it here. Yes, you can trick it, but you can also ask it questions about anything I’ve blogged and it may do a good job of answering.
Dave Winer and I pursued the idea in parallel, and I expect he’ll have one soon. And then they’ll be everywhere.
Giving non-academically-focused kids a chance to shine
Offering leadership opportunities
Valuing persistence, innovation and responsibility
And yet, many schools act as if all they have is a trophy shortage. They bench kids who might not (yet) have the physical attributes necessary to win, or they build huge stadiums, go on long road trips, berate students that make an error or simply act as if the only point is to win.
Fancy uniforms, the magnification of small differences and a cutthroat focus on the outcome is not something that leads to the benefits that most of us would root for.
Why not have a small league and swap kids around until the teams are evenly matched? Give every single player the same amount of game time? Reward kids for personal growth, not for being better than someone else who simply started with a bit less than they did? What would happen if the coaches were rewarded for what was actually valued by parents, not for recreating what people see on TV?
Perhaps we could begin by asking what school sports are even for. Are they there to entertain the fans?
I’d argue the same goes for the local jazz band and the middle school theatre production as well.
It doesn’t have to happen with intent, in fact, it rarely does.
Micro-emotions appear on our face and then disappear in less than a second. Blink and you’ll miss them. But sometimes, people don’t blink.
We’ve evolved to be hyperware of these tiny displays of emotion.
And yet, most of us don’t even realize it’s happening. We don’t realize we’re seeing the signs, or that we’re sending them.
Someone who sends tiny flashes of empathy is often seen as charismatic. We’re afraid of a dog that seems, in a fraction of a second, to be angry. And we build friendships around our instincts gained from these flashes (or the absence of them)
I had a friend who didn’t realize that when she got nervous, she often winked. As a result, people changed their responses to her, because they misunderstood the tiny signal she was inadvertently sending. Once she realized what was happening, she couldn’t easily extinguish the winks, but at least she knew the cause of the responses and could act accordingly.
The same thing happens, but even more so, with other flashes of emotion. When someone is stressed, nervous or fearful, he might send out previously unacknowledged flashes and signals of those feelings. They might be beyond our control, but the reactions people have are real, and understanding what prompts the response is the first step in moving forward to address them.
The easier it is to create and save a video or other file, the more likely it is to be lost or corrupted
The more important the data is, the more likely it is you’ll notice when it gets lost
The harder it is to replace, the more frustrating it will be
We’re all creators now. Podcasting, videoing, photographing, spreadsheeting… and we’re building a foundation of valuable data as we go.
The software companies that produce the tools we use push their engineers in many ways, but not to create resilient storage systems that are sure to honor the effort and care you put into creating your data. They want you to believe that they will effortlessly and seamlessly maintain all the data you trust to them, but they actually spend most of their time focused on other things that they deem more commercially important.
That’s because convenient, viral or flashy are generally more profitable than resilient and reliable.
When a conferencing app lost a video I worked really hard to record, I realized that trusting them was my first mistake. If there’s a one in a thousand chance that a file is going to be corrupted or simply lost, storing it in two places or recording it simultaneously in two systems lowers your chances of failure to one in a million. I will never trust them again, and you shouldn’t either.
Forewarned should be sufficient. Assume that the software company doesn’t care nearly as much about your work, your memories or your reputation as you do.
March 23, 2023
To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: