Day 1055 and Shipping

All of startup world has spent the last few days wrapped up in the drama of OpenAI and why the board fired Sam Altman.

A theory I’d like to float (seriously but not literally) is that we are in the middle of a massive scissor statement war between “acceleration” and “deceleration” and we’ve assigned Jungian archetype champions & simple “just so” stories to the players.

There is very little nuance when you seek to find meaning in a situation by narrative alone. Recall that divide and conquer is an effective control technique and Silicon Valley is finding it must choose sides. Perhaps this is by design.

Everyone is overthinking this whole OpenAI debacle. The real explanation has been staring is the face for weeks.

Be concerned, be very very concerned.

Bojan Tunguz
I expect AI to be capable of superhuman persuasion well before it is superhuman at general intelligence, which may lead to some very strange outcomes

I think the “super” human part is how super stupid we are as a species when it comes to smoothing narratives and hero worship. We are easily persuaded by stories we recognize. This meme summed it up nicely.

Memes are just 21st century Jungian archetypes.

If you had an artificial intelligence trained on every single biography, history & public relations campaign in written history (let’s entertain the notion Altman did) wouldn’t this hijacking of narratives & assigning of fables be what it would do?

The vibes of Silicon Valley were checked. To make a joke about all the fan fiction we’ve collectively co-written on social media, we shipped the marriage of e/acc and Sam Altman. We shipped Altman and Brockman as loyal cofounder technology brothers in arms fighting for acceleration.

We told stories and made heroes and villains of the two narratives. Even though many of the factions in e/acc absolutely had criticized the regulatory capture approach of OpenAI. But once it was a choice between acceleration and deceleration sides were chosen.

When it was presented as a binary choice most chose a side on this easily. Acceleration is better on average than deceleration. I believe that too.

I have a lot of caveats and nuance in that choice, as I bet most people who work in artificial intelligence and Silicon Valley probably do. Yes change is hard and no change is without risk. Time marches on.

If it’s one or the other, sometimes people get irreparably split off entirely by the scissor. Be skeptical of this. Don’t separate yourself from people you know to be of good faith and conscience.

The only way we achieve anything is by doing the other kind of shipping. Ship your code, ship your product, make things and get feedback from people. Hero worship and archetypal battles don’t matter as much as taking action in your own life. Build things for yourself and for other people. That’s a human goal.

One reply on “Day 1055 and Shipping”

[…] I suppose acceleration is tiring. But oh how I long to not have the normal pleasures of life be so damaging. Because I am going to chose my passions over socializing. It’s much easier to justify my work and spending my energy on my portfolio of startups. Advocating for causes close to my heart. If I have a limited budget I rarely chose to spend on the pleasures of company or socializing. […]

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