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Today we talk about ChatGPT and purpose…your purpose.
Disruptive technology and your mind
“We are responsible to ourselves for our own existence.”-Friedrich Nietzsche
Technology disrupts. There is no question about it. The majority of the time, new technology improves our lives in ways that most people take for granted. From personal health to outer space, technology is a boon to our species.
Yet technology also causes death and destruction, physically and mentally. Splitting the atom which could vaporize an entire population, a missile that could deliver it across the world, algorithms that addict us and amplify harmful news, and so on.
But the most harmful aspect is the lack of personal responsibility. We have stopped learning, stopped growing, and ultimately have stopped striving. There is an app for all of that.
No need to learn the art of conversation, just write a text message that autofills.
No need to think on your feet, just swipe to the left.
No need to critically think, just consume.
No need to strive, just submit.
No need to suffer and grow, just relax.
No need to define your purpose, just obey.
Obey the algorithms.
Obey the messaging.
Obey the conformity.
Obey the ease.
Because of this reliance on technology, we are losing our greatest individual strengths and our freedom to develop into the higher individual that we can become. We are losing our ability to define and sculpt our purpose and our destiny.
The growth of technology may confuse man’s struggle for mental maturity. The practical application of science and tools originally were meant to give man more security against outside physical forces. It safeguarded his inner world; it freed time and energy for meditation, concentration, play, and creative thinking. Gradually the very tools man made took possession of him and pushed him back into serfdom instead of toward liberation. Man became drunk with technical skill; he became a technology addict. Technology calls forth from people, unknown to themselves, an infantile, servile attitude. We have nearly all become slaves of our cars. Technical security paradoxically may increase cowardice. There is almost no challenge any more to face the forces of nature outside us and the forces of instinct within us. Because the very technical world has become for us that magical challenge which nature originally afforded.-Dr. Joost A. M Meerloo, The Rape of the Mind
ChatGPT is the latest example.
Ask it a question and it will generate an answer in seconds.
In fact, it wrote this entire newsletter with greater clarity, better quotes, and more powerful imagery than I ever could. In fact, the AI is so powerful that I have been letting it write YouTopian Journey for months and not a single reader suspected the difference.
I am kidding, of course.
Writing is something that I do. From content to comics to screenplays, it is something I am proud of. The setbacks, the errors, the poor first attempts, are all what make me proud of what I have accomplished.
How I have grown as a human being.
I fear that with the ease of a tool like ChatGPT, there is no reason to grow.
No reason to struggle.
No reason to learn.
No reason to fail.
No reason to attempt to master a skill.
And no reason to learn and expand your imagination.
This is mentally dangerous.
“A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be.”-Abraham Maslow
Without this struggle for understanding, the overcoming of obstacles, the constant rewrites, and the inner drive to follow your own unique and internal voice, you will stagnate.
You will not need to learn anything because there is no need.
But without learning, you cannot reflect.
You cannot grow.
And you cannot discover your true reason for existence.
Your reason for being here.
We need something to drive us, to motivate us, to make us endure the suffering and struggles that life throws at us. Yes, we need an edge and AI tools can provide that edge, but they are a tool.
You are the machine.
The most advanced machine in the entire universe. The complexity of your mind is something that despite our advances, we know little about.
Don’t waste it and don’t give into the mental laziness that AI provides.
“Men need some kind of external activity, because they are inactive within.”-Arthur Schopenhauer
Too much ease
“What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for a worthwhile goal, a freely chosen task. What he needs is not the discharge of tension at any cost but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him.”-Viktor Frankl
We all want an easy life.
But the easy life is often the result of overcoming the hard life.
Surpassing the difficulties that life puts in our path.
The lack of funds.
The lack of connections.
The lack of knowledge.
These difficulties turn into conflicts and those who seek ease will be defeated. Sure, you can fake your success on social media but deep down, you will know the truth. And that is a hard pill to swallow.
We don’t need ease and comfort. We need strength to overcome. We need to put in the work and stick with it. We need to face these difficulties and conflicts head on.
They are what shape us.
They are what determine who we will become.
What we can become.
“The sweetest pleasure arises from difficulties overcome.”-Publius Syrus, The Moral Sayings of Publius Syrus: A Roman Slave
And we need these difficulties. This is worth repeating.
We need these difficulties.
The victories we gain for ourselves are priceless. The defeats are worthy of us.
Don’t seek the easy way.
Whatever you want to do, learn everything you can about it and make your best attempt. Leave AI for the lazy.
You have something to work toward. Some skill that you want to master. Some inner yearning and desire that only you can fulfill.
And it must be fulfilled.
It can only be fulfilled by you.
Don’t seek the easy life, it will cause more harm than you can imagine.
“If the world were a paradise of luxury and ease, a land flowing with milk and honey, where every Jack obtained his Jill at once and without any difficulty, men would either die of boredom or hang themselves; or there would be wars, massacres, and murders; so that in the end mankind would inflict more suffering on itself than it has now to accept at the hands of Nature.”― Arthur Schopenhauer, Studies in Pessimism
Seek discomfort. Seek the hardship. Seek the struggle.
Leave the life of ease to those who refuse to dare.
You will emerge a stronger and better human because of it.
“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.”-C.S. Lewis
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Powerful, concise words. I think I'm going to snippet some of these to read each morning so that I can lean into and embrace the struggle each day. Thank you.
As an artist this saddens me. I remember the WWW, my first AOL account, writing html. Thank you for helping me understand AI, oh!, artifical intelligence and ChatGPTa a little bit more. Sounds so grossly inhabiting. Hopefully there will be some natural ground to retreat to but I really worry for so many.😪