The Hopepunk Commentator Issue #7

If we deny love that is given to us, if we refuse to give love because we fear the pain of loss, then our lives will be empty, our loss greater.

It’s not just love; it’s how we make peace with the decisions we’ve taken in our lives that got us to where we are. Could things have turned out differently if we’d done things differently? Most definitely! Should we let that knowledge prevent us from living the live we have right now?

Ignoring the past is a recipe for disaster; wallowing in it a recipe for stagnation. What’s your balance?


A word from our sponsors: This post is sponsored by corporate Tim who just published a post looking back on a 2 year journey and becoming a certified coach


Science & Technology

The Future of Online Identity is Decentralized

Authenticity and anonymity aren’t mutually exclusive and that is the beauty of the internet. In the physical realm, you are (mostly) limited to a single social identity. In the digital space, there are no such restrictions. While you can’t embody multiple persons in the offline world, you can have several identities online. In fact, you can even have multiple accounts on the same platform, opting for a different balance between authenticity and anonymity for each one of them.

All that really needs to happen for this to be true is for a decentralized option to become a viable 3rd player in the market. I have a Mastodon account and a Diaspora account for this reason; if enough people plug into the the decentralized options, eventually it will become viable to just switch and carry on.

The Cost of AI Training is Improving at 50x the Speed of Moore’s Law: Why It’s Still Early Days for AI

Based on the pace of its cost decline, AI is in very early days. During the first decade of Moore’s Law, transistor count doubled every year—or at twice the rate of change seen during decades thereafter. The 10-100x cost declines we are witnessing in both AI training and AI inference suggest that AI is nascent in its development, perhaps with decades of slower but sustained growth ahead. As shown above, based on ARK’s research, while thus far AI has added roughly $1 trillion to the global equity market cap, it is poised to scale to $30 trillion by 2037, becoming the first foundational technology to dwarf the internet.

The internet is only the beginning of a series of technological shifts that have the potential to make the world a very different place. The cheaper AI training gets the more accessible it is to people who don’t have a vested interest in the status quo, the more possibilities there are AI gets used change the frame around what’s possible.


Society & Culture

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross: The rise and fall of the five stages of grief

There were never just five stages, though. While each of these gets a chapter heading, a graphic in the book describes as many 10 or 13 stages, including shock, preparatory grief – and hope.

And her son, Ken Ross, says she wasn’t wedded to the idea that you have to go through them in order.

“The five stages are meant to be a loose framework – they’re not some sort of recipe or a ladder for conquering grief. If people wanted to use different theories or different models, she didn’t care. She just wanted to begin the conversation.”

I don’t know if the pandemic has made grief more widespread; it has certainly taken things away from people abruptly and unexpectedly. The ability to dealing with grief and resilience go hand in hand.

From context collapse to content collapse

In discussing the appeal of the News Feed in that same interview with Kirkpatrick, Zuckerberg observed, “A squirrel dying in front of your house may be more relevant to your interests right now than people dying in Africa.” The statement is grotesque not because it’s false — it’s completely true — but because it’s a category error. It yokes together in an obscene comparison two events of radically different scale and import. And yet, in his tone-deaf way, Zuckerberg managed to express the reality of content collapse. When it comes to information, social media renders category errors obsolete.

I’ve heard it said that human beings were never meant to deal with the amount of information we’re currently confronted with. A big part of building a better scifi future will be rebuilding categories that take into account our increased connectedness and what we’ve learned in blowing up the old categories.


Art & Philosophy

The 50 Best Ambient Albums of All Time

My first thought on presaging a list of canonic ambient records: “What music isn’t ambient in the 21st century?” Given the current life demands, multi-tasking has become a mono-activity, one that takes up our entire sensory field. Gone are the days where—eyes closed, headphones on—we can readily slip in and away for the side of a tape, lest an album. Listening to the average three-to-five-minute pop song with the distractions and thought processes of the world abated feels like a heroic act. That said, the appeal of ambient is ever apparent; much like a science project, when executed perfectly, the outcome yields the desired results: time becomes elastic, malleable. 

Listening to these albums in the correct sequence under the correct stars will unlock the secret of time travel. For me so far only forward, and at the pace of linear time, but I’ll keep trying if you do.

Building Arrakis: How Herbert Sabotaged His Own Ideas

The final lesson Dune can teach us today is how to avoid sounding like a freshman philosophy major high on shrooms rambling about how everything’s connected, maaaaaaan. Dune has a lot of problematic messages, and at their core are broad generalizations that try to fit people into boxes. Whether it’s a screed about how pain tolerance separates humans and animals, or the idea that women can only view the feminine side of history through their magic, the problem is the same: assuming that humans are all one way.

It is really healthy to stare the giants of the culture straight in the eye, and be willing to tear down what holds us back.


So thats it, what did you think?

Issue seve is in your hands; a bit late but hopefully that’s better than never.

I’d love to hear from you if you’ve had thoughts on any of these topics, just reply to this post to kick off a conversation.

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