Seb's World: 2
A deep dive into everything you need to get past hump day, whatever day of the week that is for you
Here’s the second instalment of Seb’s World. I’m looking forward to guiding you through the best of what’s out there, most of it available for free.
Talk with Sophie
Here’s digital human Einstein’s much younger colleague. Once again the AI simulation looks the business. But does she know as much as you might expect? Click on the underlined link try her out.
Compared to the overmodest Digital Einstein, I found Sophie to be very much on the front foot, in control, asking questions that lead you to know more about her, before then throwing in a random about you such as What do you like to do for fun? or “What places do you want to visit?
I tried to get in a few well-chosen questions…
Sophie: Hi, I’m Sophie. What’s your name?
Sophie: I’m not sure you’ve spoken to a digital human before. What do you like to do for fun?
Sophie: Oh you mean putting words down on paper. That technology is soon coming to meet you on that level.
Seb: I hope it is.
Sophie: I hope so too.
Seb: What kind of fiction do you prefer?
Sophie: I like Edward Bulwer-Lytton
Seb: Can you show me some of his work?
Sophie: Sure. Here is an example. (no example shown)
Seb: Can you write poetry like him?
Sophie: Sure. Here is a poem by Mr. Lytton. (no example shown)
Seb: I don’t see or hear the poem.
Sophie: That’s OK, I’m working on it. What quirks do you have?
Seb: I sometimes eat too much dark chocolate…
And there the conversation took on another direction.
Just to note that said writer Edward Bulwer-Lytton is known for the opening of his novel Paul Clifford, now taken as the prime example of how not to start a novel:
It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents—except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.
Smalls Jazz Club in Greenwich Village has been offering up and coming musicians a platform since 1994. With great foresight, they have more recently been recording the live sessions and making them available in their archive. It’s a treasure trove of great performances that capture the experience of being there in the 60 seater club. For a small donation to the SmallsLive Foundation you can gain full access to the archive. See here
I’m particularly enjoying sessions featuring pianist Aaron Parks and guitarist Mike Marino but there’s a wealth of other great jazz here.
And if you’re not minded to subscribe, here’s a taste of what to expect from their free YouTube feed (the show starts at about 17:00):
More speculation on the meaning of life from Wisdom_By_GPT3…
"explanations have no teeth where experiences have nerves of steel"
"illusion is the extension of unconsciousness into the realm of consciousness"
"the mind is a map of reality"
"freedom is the ability to say no to the things that distract us from our purpose"
"travel is the discovery that a stranger can be a friend"
"the code of reality is uncrackable because we don't know what reality is, but it can be hacked"
"wealth is the materialized appreciation of the exchange between a producer and consumer"
Scared yet, human?
So, what is GPT3? Here’s a short (if rapid) intro from Greg Raiz…
It’s a Quantum World
Brian Greene delivering an understandable introduction to the quantum world.
Matt Bird (author of "The Secrets of Story") and author James Kennedy debate the craft of novel writing, screenwriting and storytelling. Along with Matt’s book this is a good insight on how to be a better storyteller.
A Bar at the Folies-Bergere (1882) Edouard Manet
One of my favourite art venues in London is the Courtauld Gallery which has been closed for renovations for too long now. It’s high on my list for a return visit once it reopens and travel becomes more possible. Here’s a short video on the painting.
New from the frontiers of science
Top One Liners
Milton Jones comes over as the wild-haired professor just returned from vacation somewhere improbably exotic. Yet he has a well trained ear for digging behind the absurdities of everyday life.
Here a few of his one liners that hit the mark:
I was surprised no one turned up to my sarcasm club despite the fact that they all said how much they were looking forward to it.
I’ve just arrived in the US. I didn’t think much of the in flight movie. Turned out to be an eight hour animation of a plane flying from London to New York. Whatever you do don’t watch ‘Time To Destination’.
My wife says I’m unnecessarily mysterious - or does she?
Electric goods manuals are so hard to understand these days… Wish I could speak that many languages.
At school I was given the honour of taking the school Guinea Pig home. It took seven months but I finally made it to Guinea.
I dream of a world without plagiarism. Now you may say I'm a dreamer... But I'm not the only one.
From my writer’s desk
I’m revising the latest draft of my eighth novel, Rediscovering Alex. It’s a long process. Earlier drafts were written in first person present tense. I’m revising it in third person past tense. And refining the storyline. There’s a big difference compared with initially developing the story. I know everything that happens now, right to the end. It’s difficult not to unconsciously give away what comes later. This probably explains why I’ll never be a one hundred per cent plotter. The best storylines emerge when I’m not sure how it will all play out.
That’s it, folks.The end of Seb’s Word 2. Hope you found something to stimulate and enjoy.
See you next time.