The Digest #1
Things I’m seeing, reading, doing, contemplating, or wanting.
A new addition to Anti-Mimetic for paying subscribers: Every two weeks—twice monthly—I will share a short-form post (like the one below) about what I’m seeing, reading, doing, contemplating, or wanting. It’s called “The Digest.” I write many longer-form things—my goal is that Digests can always be read in three minutes or less.
Things I’m seeing, reading, doing, contemplating, or wanting this week.
👀 I’m Seeing: N.I.A. (“Not Investment Advice”) became a meme during the crypto bubble. It’s also the name of a funny podcast which breaks the mold of serious-sounding podcasts, primarily because of the rapport between the three hosts (one of which is SatPost by Trung Phan). The experimentation of form is the only way that the podcast industry will be able to evolve—because we’re all Contented Out.
📖 I’m Reading: I began a class I’m teaching last week by inputting some questions that I had given to my students into ChatGPT. We analyzed the difference between the answers. It raised interesting questions about context and the limitations of A.I. On that note, I recommend the book The Myth of Artificial Intelligence by Erik J. Larson. He presents a contrarian case, supported by sound philosophy, that (for example) most commentators who use trendy A.I.-adjacent words like “sentient” have no idea what they mean.
🤔 I’m Contemplating: I’ve been reading everything that Marshall McLuhan (and his son, Eric) have ever written. The major idea from his work that I can’t stop thinking about is this: we do not truly understand the importance of Formal Cause in the landscape of modern media (formal cause is what McLuhan is really talking about when he says “the medium is the message”). We treat new tech and media as neutral (“it matters how we use it”) when it is not.
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