magic & AI
Unedited thoughts on these unrelated topics
magic is a consciously or subconsciously intentional “push” on reality, enacted by participatory fantasy-making that happens in the relational energetic space between two or more conscious entities.
the people involved in a magic act need not be aware of their participation in it; indeed, the more people’s participation occurs subconsciously, the more powerful the magical “push” has the potential to be.
in this way, we can see parlor magic as a demonstratory form of other, less explicit magics. The magic of a card trick is in the participatory creation of fantastical, “impossible” scenarios of cause and effect which circumvent or disable one’s usually dependable frameworks of logic and perception.
Without the participation of the viewer of a card trick — there is no magic. Willfully or not, the viewer MUST place his mental frameworks of logic and perception onto the game table in order for them to be upended — an outcome that often elicits disbelief, delight, wonderment, fear or even rage.
On social media, then, we are conjuring more numerous and larger-scale magic “pushes” than ever before in history. When we look upon someone’s profile, we naturally fantasize to fill in a fuller picture of the person based on exceedingly limited information. This counts as the creation of a fantastical, “impossible” scenario because to accurately envision the entirety of another person is not just improbable, it’s likelihood approaches 2 raised to the negative infinity. Consider how hard it is for even life-long partners to see one another clearly. Consider how hard it is to see oneself clearly.
With that in mind, what odds other than Zero can we give to the likelihood of accurately imagining personhood given the the chasm between a person’s instagram posts/tweets and their lived, phenomenal presence; their soul? So this is why I call looking at a person’s social media profile and subsequent fantasizing an act of creation of the impossible.
When this happens, interestingly, it frequently happens on the level of the subconscious for both poster and viewer; surely more than half of social media users are not adept to tailoring to the longterm metaphysics of the platform. That is, we post without thinking; and we scroll without thinking. Again, we are striking out towards the rubescent core of an old uranium mine with powerful magic — subconscious on both sides — the most effective kind of ritual.
The subconscious tells truth in a way the conscious brain does not; and so magic developed here ought to be enjoyed, studied and most of all respected.
AI has the potential to be the “plastic” of software. Before plastics manufacturing, nearly every conceivable product on earth was harder to make, more brittle, heavier, more expensive and therefore less proliferant.
When plastic arrived it changed every industry.
For example, of a consumer camera couldn’t have happened without it. Cameras were the realm of experts, scientists, professionals. The cost of using them was prohibitive for most.
Then plastic came along and replaced metal and glass. Production time and cost parabolically decreased across every step of the product lifecycle (film stock, scanners, the cameras themselves, the containers they needed to be shipped in). It also increased the waste potential of nearly everything.
AI could play a similar role in for software.
Let’s say I work for Nabisco. Right now if I wanted a simple, custom software tool to analyze the cost impacts of changing the percentage of Cocoa I put in my chocolate milk product, I would have to get a consultancy to build it for perhaps $500,000.
Clearly this is not in your average consumer’s capability.
But what if AI allowed you to simply type in a text input and have a software spun up instantaneously?
SoftiePal, make me a “Analysis tool with GUI with parametric sliders for Cocoa percentages impacting cost of production of Nabisco Chocolate Milk, trained on data from ‘myChocolateMilk.xls’ ”
OK, cool. Maybe it costs $100 to subscribe to this AI software builder every month. Now suddenly, consumers have access to software development. What would they do with it?
Virtually any logical problem you can think of can be aided by well-designed software.
Since I’m looking for an apartment right now, here’s a tool I might want to use:
“An interactive map based on available real-estate website data to show me all the apartments in Brooklyn that are: for rent, that have nice lighting, max three bedrooms, and output a list of contact info for the landlords of these apartments.
Include a text-generation and email bot that sends out pleasantly-worded inquiries to landlords I select, and give them my phone number and hours available.”
OK— I just eliminated a lot of work for myself.
But what if everyone was using these apps, all the time? AI’s would be interacting with AI’s, and the speed and cost of solving small to medium sized problems would parabolically decrease.
Small and medium sized problems are basically the domain of the administrative class, so we’d definitely expect a lot of these jobs to disappear, but these jobs kind of suck anyway, so we’d find ourselves exponentially more capable as a society, with a bunch of time on our hands. Hmm.
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