Newsletter No.245 — Dec 04, 2022

Expanding the Futures Cone’s Concept of the Futures and the Pasts ⊗ Reading as Counter-Practice ⊗ A Bot that Watched 70,000 Hours of Minecraft Videos

This week → Expanding the futures cone’s concept of the futures and the pasts ⊗ Reading as counter-practice ⊗ A bot that watched 70,000 hours of Minecraft videos could unlock AI’s next big thing ⊗ Web3, the Metaverse, and the lack of useful innovation

A year ago → A favourite in issue No.199 was It’s time to reimagine the future of Cyberpunk by Madeline Ashby.

For the past few months I’ve been using the alpha and beta versions of Reader, a new ‘read later’ app (like Instapaper, Pocket, and Matter) from the folks at Readwise. It’s really really good, and recently they started testing some new functionality under the name Ghostreader. Basically, they leverage GPT3 to boost how you can interact with/understand/annotate what you read. It’s a bit stunning, and slightly scary, especially with the “Summarise” function, which takes a rather excellent crack at summarising any document you have in the app.

For someone writing a newsletter such as this one and making sense of things for clients, it’s definitely the “it composes music” or “it creates an original image” moment. Sure, AIs have been around to write text but it seems like we have a longer way to go before creative writing or laying out an argument in writing comes along. Just compressing an article to one paragraph though? It’s here.

So, I’m ‘pulling a Herndon’ (see the title/quote lower down) and obsolescing myself before someone else does it. I asked Ghostreader to summarise every article featured here and used those summaries instead of mine. In the first I changed one word, in others I cut a bit more but didn’t have to re-write anything. Those parts are highlighted in green with a 🤖 Summary tag next to it. Sometimes it might be better to read the summary first, but since this is still my newsletter, I decided to put them after my commentary, just above the quotes.

I don’t know if this is going to be a one time thing, but probably not. Turns out having an assistant summarising articles forced me (in a good way) to actually add something to each. Nifty. So this is the first centaur version of Sentiers, enjoy.