A Crow for Christmas

This is an issue of my newsletter focusing on the psychological and technical aspects of the Internet, particularly remote work, online economy, and cognitive load.
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Winter is coming! Or – more accurately – the Winter Hollidays.

I will spare you a reflection on what an exciting year it was – I think you may have noticed. But instead, I will give you a peek into these scary Victorian Christmas Cards:

Writers Block Block

A few months ago, I wrote about GPT-3 – a new, best-in-class Artificial Intelligence text generator created by OpenAI. This week, I got access to the algorithm and proceeded to create a WordPress plugin that will help me write new posts.

I will keep you updated, but in the meantime here is a poem half-written by my lovely wife and half generated by a machine:

Don’t ask me
Why I tried to
Swallow the Ocean again

No human heart
Can contain
Koalas war and Betelgeuse

Pieces of me
Cloud of debris
Around what’s left of our world

It was the Ocean
That swallowed me

My Wife on her blog

And it will be the Ocean
That spits me out again

No one knows
What I’m after

And I’m not sure
I’ll be able to find my way home

Writers Block Block via GPT-3

Surprising consequences

Human-Made Materials Now Outweigh Earth’s Entire Biomass

In a shocking twist of events that is surprising to noone, humans have produced more materials than the nature itself – reports a paper published in well, Nature.

Their research shows that human activity including production of concrete, metal, plastic, bricks and asphalt has brought the world to a crossover point where human-made mass – driven mostly by enhanced consumption and urban development – exceeds the overall living biomass on Earth.

The amount of plastic alone is greater in mass than all land animals and marine creatures combined, the study estimates.

I will refrain myself from comment, since my recent delivery lifestyle is producing a lot of waste, but… damn. BTW – here is a video explaining why recycling is a sham.

Do you know how many people live in megacities?

Megacities are one of the more iconic examples of humanity’s footprint. According to Gapminder research – when people have estimated how many people live in huge agglomerations, they guess about 30%. Our culture is full of references to urban life and stories of high-powered middle-class families working in ‘the city’.

But as Gapminder reports, Less than 8% of the world’s population live in megacities.

Since products, laws, commercials and TV shows tend to be designed in those megacities, they are overrepresented and their inhabitants most tended to. The most impactful aspect of Remote Work may be the chance the other 92% of the world population may finally get on the job market.

The future of Work Is Written

While we’re chatting here about Remote Work, The Increment has published a very insightful article about writing skills as essential skills of telecommuting. I particularly enjoyed tying “the new” with “the old”:

Constitutional governments are great examples of how written artifacts can survive—and influence work—across centuries. For example, the U.S. Constitution passed down detailed instructions on how to make decisions without telling future participants in the governing process what decisions to make.

The Roman Catholic Church, for example, has been working at a distance for centuries;

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