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Navigating Time, Technology, and Territory

A week of curiosity and discovery: Exploring U.S. actions in the Middle East, the wisdom of Socratic dialogues, and the astonishing rise of AI.

2 min read
Navigating Time, Technology, and Territory

Table of Contents

Dear Reader,

Time is going by with blinding speed.

Are we making the best use of our precious time?

We're all just doing our best.

I spent some of my valuable time this week contemplating life and the world we live in and posting to the blog.

Here's a recap:

  • I found myself with a renewed curiosity about what the United States is actually doing in the Middle East. So I spoke with an “expert” and looked more closely into the U.S. presence there. My inquiry specifically focused on the alignment of U.S. actions with Christian values, such as the Golden Rule, and the historical patterns that underpin our current conduct. Explore the investigation here.
  • As I’ve continued to interact with ChatGPT, I’ve noticed how much these exchanges have in common with the Socratic dialogues, a method of question and answer that dates back thousands of years, famously utilized by Socrates. I explore this topic further here.
  • During my research into the rationale and historical context of the U.S. involvement in the Middle East, I found myself revisiting the concept of Manifest Destiny. This ideology served as the United States' rationale for territorial expansion and border extension. Closely linked to this is the Doctrine of Discovery, which offered a "legal basis" for explorers to annex new lands and dominate their peoples. I took a closer look into this doctrine here.
  • I often think about how best to use time. This means balancing the pursuit of goals with enjoying a work process that allows me to create good work. Influential figures like Rick Rubin and Oprah advocate for releasing attachment to outcomes, but this poses a question: what becomes of our goals? I explored this conundrum further here.
  • AI has gotten so good so quickly that it’s pretty astonishing. I got curious about how good AI is at analyzing images and did a handful of experiments. Its ability to look at an image and put it into words is remarkable. Its ability to create song lyrics based upon the image is impressive. Its ability to create actual music based upon the image is… well… it has a ways to go. Check out my experiments here.
  • I heard Sam Altman (the head of OpenAI) talking about how when they saw the earliest prototype of ChatGPT, they were able to predict how rapidly its abilities would develop by applying something he called “scaling laws”. I got curious about what these laws are and what they can tell us about the future. You can see what I found out in my investigation here.
  • I put together a collection of miscellaneous videos and links I came across over the course of the week here.

Enjoy your Sunday and be sure to check in with your Creator! ☺️