emotional hygiene, repair and remain, humanity in the age of generative AI
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A LIFE AUDIT I CAN GET BEHIND
Instead of new year's resolutions, I like this past year review template:
Grab a notepad and create two columns: POSITIVE and NEGATIVE.
Go through your calendar from the last year, looking at every week.
For each week, jot down on the pad any people or activities or commitments that triggered peak positive or negative emotions for that month. Put them in their respective columns.
Once you’ve gone through the past year, look at your notepad list and ask, “What 20% of each column produced the most reliable or powerful peaks?”
Based on the answers, take your “positive” leaders and schedule more of them in the new year. Get them on the calendar now! Book things with friends and prepay for activities/events/commitments that you know work. It’s not real until it’s in the calendar. That’s step one. Step two is to take your “negative” leaders, put “NOT-TO-DO LIST” at the top, and put them somewhere you can see them each morning for the first few weeks of 2022. These are the people and things you *know* make you miserable, so don’t put them on your calendar out of obligation, guilt, FOMO, or other nonsense.
REPAIR AND REMAIM
An epic read on how to do the slow, hard, good work of staying put
Repair and remain. Work with what you’ve got. Sit still for a moment, take stock, make some changes. Big changes, if necessary.
HUMANITY IN THE AGE OF GENERATIVE AI
We're deep down the generative AI rabbit hole and thinking about how it will change things. Some thoughts we've collected:
The “story” behind the work becomes more important and front and center. As any art collector knows, the fine art world is as much (nah, more!) about the story than it is about the paint on a canvas. Within a gallery, a piece is valued based on its lineage, its originality, and the trials and tribulations of the artist. A replica of a priceless work is worth nothing. “This was created by Generative AI model X based on Y text prompt” is a pretty lackluster and uninspiring story, much like “This was painted by X as a replica of a masterpiece painted by Y.” Who cares? So, if the story defines the value and respect for a work of fine art, why wouldn’t the premium of story carry over to other creative genres, especially in a world where anyone can generate anything with a text prompt (or print a replica with a printer)? via Scott Belsky
I largely agree with this: People keep asking me about AI and I really think how you feel about AI comes down to whether you believe art is about producing things (images, objects, data files, “content”) or about a way of operating in the world as an intellectual, spiritual, and emotional creature.
Also this - because the world is messy: There are problems that humans rather than computers will have to solve not because computers couldn’t eventually solve them, but because in real life, and especially in organizational life, we keep changing our conception of what the problem is and what our goals are.
*To me, the scariest thing about generative AI is that predicting its impact is so hard. Just a year ago, we thought AI would come for blue collar jobs. Now, it looks like it will replace many white collar jobs long before robotics replace people who clean. Part of the challenge is that the creators themselves (OpenAI and others) don’t know what these systems are for. The time is ripe for more inspiring, coherent narratives of how this technology should fit into our lives. The technology exists - but what do we want from it?
DAMN, THIS TWEET HITS HOME
Reminds me of death to bullshit and how i experience the web today.
JUST ASK FOR HELP
From Steve Jobs: Asking for help is a superpower.
Reminds me of this great excerpt from Amanda Palmer's fantastic book: Asking for help with shame says: You have the power over me. Asking with condescension says: I have the power over you. But asking for help with gratitude says: We have the power to help each other… Those who can ask without shame are viewing themselves in collaboration with—rather than in competition with—the world
trend forecaster & cultural futurist
Rabbit hole: Emotional Hygiene
WHY IS EMOTIONAL HYGIENE INTERESTING?
According to the American Psychological Association, stress returned to pre-pandemic levels earlier this year, a situation that is mostly affecting Gen Z cohorts. As the first generation to be true digital natives, this demographic is - among other, multiple worries - constantly exposed to highly distressing social media content. Even within this punctual context, practicing good mental hygiene is gaining attention as a continuous process, as the matter rapidly attracts mainstream awareness and support. Ideally, this leads to more open, communicative, aided, and vulnerable communities; in time, culminating in societies where mental health becomes increasingly addressed and normalized. In the coming decade, emotion regulation and management will become a standard daily practice, a normal matter of hygiene..
A PODCAST WORTH LISTENING ON THE TOPIC
Renowned physician and author Dr. Gabor Maté is a sought after expert on addiction, trauma, and childhood development. In this brilliant episode of Pulling the Thread, he discusses various themes revolving around the relationship between stress and illness, a subject he's clinically explored over the course of four decades.
THINGS WORTH READING AND WATCHING ON THE TOPIC
Granted Wondermind falls somewhere half way between a reading and a viewing, it's a substantial platform to explore the topic. Launched in late 2021 by Selena Gomez, the project is an impressive effort to change the way in which her large fan base thinks about mental health. A company she's created with her mother, the effort centers around destigmatizing and democratizing the access to valuable information and resources to improve mental health.
PROJECTS WORTH FOLLOWING ON THE TOPIC
A plethora of new services currently exist to help people monitor their emotions. Thyself is worth noting given its unusual format. Acting as a browser extension, Thyself supports users in mastering their mental health by encouraging them to track their daily emotions by encouraging self-awareness and using emotional labeling. When it comes to more physical - brick and mortar like - projects, Self Space is setting a new standard. The health shop just opened a storefront location in London to provide anyone with flexible and on-demand mental health care, allowing people to pop in for a session in the same way they would for a manicure or a haircut. Other noteworthy ventures include Flow Lab, a personalized training app that increases emotional and mental fitness, or Sit with Self, an unorthodox counseling service based in Australia.
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