🤖 I’m interested in the state of AI, how I might use it, and the possible repercussions on my work and the rest of the world. The best single place I’ve found for that is Jack Clark’s Import AI newsletter. It’s been the source of several Monday Links. An alum of El Reg, Jack Clark is the co-founder of Anthropic and was Policy Director at OpenAI before that. I mention all of this to demonstrate that Clark isn’t just a techbro moving from blockchain to AI, he’s a genuine expert and a bloody good writer.
📗 I recently finished Four Thousand Weeks by Oliver Burkeman. The subtitle of my copy is “Time and how to use it”. The American subtitle appears to be “Time management for mortals”. I think both of these do the book and author a disservice. The fundamental thesis is of Four Thousand Weeks is that time isn’t something we can manage or use. Our time on life is short and as long as we look for ways to make “the best use of our time” or to save time, we will probably always feel behind, or guilty, or disappointed in some way big or small. Burkeman makes the case that our quests to be more productive or fit more in generally make things worse because they just highlight how many things we could have done but didn’t.
Burkeman encourages use embrace finitude, to find meaning in the everyday, to stop trying to make a dent in the universe and look to making a positive impact on the people around us. Volunteer locally rather than found a startup. Enjoy the local hills rather than being determined to only be satisfied by conquering Everest. Realise that just like we are part of the universe, time is a part of us. Needless to say, I found the book quite refreshing.