📚 node [[2023 01 10]]
  • [[work]]
  • #push [[social coop]]
    • took an AI to have a conversation about a tricky moderation case.

Tuesday, 01/10/2023


As I write this, the man sitting two tables to the left of me has cancer; he's telling a fourteen-year-old acquaintance about his life and death. The sixty-something year old has a full head of white hair, a worn and sunspot-dressed light complexion, and a complete, well-trimmed beard; the boy slim and ambiguous with a baggy hoodie and joggers. At the boy's request, the man is telling him about his life as if it's an interview; growing up Catholic in Mexico, moving to the U.S., meeting the boy's mother, and so forth. He is most interested in prayer - the Catholic faith that has ebbed and flowed throughout the man's life as he lives and endures chemotherapy. This feels like a hello to the boy, a conversation with someone who's become more conscious of himself, but a goodbye to the man, straying from chemo to what his vision of Jesus or God is like. How do you envision Him? Why does he matter? What does he mean at this point of his life?

I'm thinking about faith, about progress, about position and status; I'm operating in between the two, as a fresh college graduate looking for faith, for a cause, for company, for some purpose and way to believe in some cause or movement for the rest of my life. I'm looking for something to focus on without giving up, like I have many past decisions, many past lives, as I sell most of my clothes and pack my bags to move halfway around the world, to Stockholm, which has always been a bit of a fantasy. Now it is less so, as I realize I cannot escape my upbringing and family and friends and people I've known my whole life; rather, I must focus on maintaining, repairing, and building upon what I already have, regardless what's happened in the past, to build a future. I'm no longer looking to find a new world; rather, I'm looking to form a community, to add myself and to bring others; and to make beautiful, lifelong connections. I want to marry, to have children, and to raise them, and to cultivate a loving environment for them, for me, for everyone.

They're moving to morality; he's skipped class before, but it felt so wrong, but he can look for guidance from above, from company, from somewhere, to find what's right. I love the radical transparency that both of them have, that I've never had, at points because I believed it was wrong, or not worth the effort, or when I didn't know how. Maybe what's right is to build the dreams of another; to go full-speed-ahead on Commonwealth Fusion Systems and cold fusion, or to heal cancer and alzheimer's, or to build a future for software development and GUI programming and programming languages. Maybe I have a future in industrial design and architecture, in curation, in building and making things for people to best suit their needs. I fear academia and not having a customer, not meeting the needs of real people anywhere down the stack, though I find the discourse fascinating. Turkle and Papert and Kant gush about objects and their meaning to people and to one another, and my biases help me tend towards the same; I've come to believe that the right objects and possessions, the ones that best fit my needs, the best ones, are more valuable than anything else, though perhaps time with friends and people I love is even greater than that.

"It's just middle school" is self-dismissive; to believe that this time is bad not for you, but for everyone, feels defeatist. Today is the best time to be alive, and tomorrow will be better: believing that tomorrow will not improve for years is to not accomplish anything while waiting for progress. Ambient progress doesn't necessarily exist. The only way to make progress is to make the change yourself, taking step by step by step by step by step by one by two by three by four by five until you've positively affected your life.

I have no idea if this is true, or correct, but I'm convinced that belief that progress starts with you, and that the world must get better, and that it must be improved by you, is the best thing to believe, because to believe anything other risks feeling doomed, and lost, and discouraged and demotivated. Maybe the best cause to work towards is the suboptimal one, the one that stands out first and has the most support; maybe the best action is taking action, no matter the cause, to see how these abstract ideas I have about constructing systems to evoke feelings in people can manifest in technology, to help make computers fun and to help people see and find the same fun in and power over computers that I do.

This conversation also brings to mind the lenses and filters of thinking I've been considering. A conversation has four parts - your relationship with the other participant, what they have to say, what you consider replying with, and the lens through which you examine your reply. You are not to respone right away, but to hesitate, to listen carefully and deliberately and to filter your instinctual response through a lens of what's best for the other person, to give them the best gift you can give them. Alice's writing on speaking and what it means - splain - alice maz - reviews different communication styles, and [how they change, grow and adapt over time](https://twitter.com/alicemazzy/status/1612701614904680451 ) - seeing communication as the giving of gifts, the exchange of information, and considering the ways that respect are viewed by each party - where a comment can be flattering and contributive or destructive, depending on the context of the other. The filter you select has to both convey your taste and respect that of the other participant - how do they want to receive information? What is the best way to convey it?

How can we grow together?

The boy was in a fistfight about his family, about basketball, about religion, fundamentally; and to progress, the man says, you must be firm but not argumentative, confrontational but not strict; you must demand of your fourteen-year-old opponents to stop.

📖 stoas
⥱ context
⥅ related node [[2023 01 13t00_23_10 936z desktop]]