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Jun 08, 2019 15:16:48

How do we ReadWrite?

by @brianball PATRON | 248 words | 389πŸ’Œ

Brian Ball

Total posts: 389πŸ’Œ
Total words: 107477 (429 pages πŸ“„)

I didn't understand it, so I rewrote it.

I did this recently with an article about design thinking. It was an easy enough read. So, why was it oil & water? I'd shake it up with each sentence and by the time I got to the period, the separation would start.


I know what a hat is because I wear hats. I've had baseball hats, cowboy hats and hats that are more for costumes than everyday use. But, a hand-knit beanie doesn't fit in the category of hat. It is a hat. I just don't call it a hat.

Imagine trying to describe it. 

A thing that goes on your head.
A hat? 
Sorta.. but what kind of hat?

A single line is not enough. A couple more lines might get you there. It's hand made. It's knit or crochet. Beanie? Exactly. 

The ideas we have in our heads when writing aren't always sufficient to put the right picture in somebody else's head. The gap is what makes Pictionaryβ„’ enjoyable. We know what we're trying to draw, but we don't always have the time or skill to reveal it with illustration alone.

Writing words... Show don't tell. I've heard that phrase before. Use words that stimulate the senses.

The light suddenly went dark. My skin turned into chicken flesh as the cold breeze wafted in. I sat still. Listening. The front door creaked. 

"Who's there?" 

-- no answer 

I'm paralyzed as I hear heavy footsteps moving toward me.

  • 1

    @brianball I love the post!!!

    Lucjah avatar Lucjah | Jun 10, 2019 18:50:11
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    @brianball Writing is hard :(
    (writing well is hard)

    Gabriel Greco avatar Gabriel Greco | Jun 09, 2019 00:57:03
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      @gabrielgreco -- the secret is that nobody writes well -- the good words come from good editors ( can be the same person going back and tightening the language )

      Brian Ball avatar Brian Ball | Jun 08, 2019 17:10:50
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      @brianball I need a pocket editor. An AI bot I can use to tighten the prose and fix my grammar every time I write something.

      Gabriel Greco avatar Gabriel Greco | Jun 09, 2019 09:52:02
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      @gabrielgreco - grammarly? hemingwayapp? it's something people are trying to solve.

      Brian Ball avatar Brian Ball | Jun 09, 2019 10:09:23
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      @brianball and maybe they will...make writers of us all, yet.

      Gabriel Greco avatar Gabriel Greco | Jun 09, 2019 22:52:36
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      @brianball @gabrielgreco or make writers redundant... :-)))
      I think there was a bit of prose somewhere, written by a bot (is it a bot then?), unrecognizable... We write based on our experiences, they do gather experiences as well... scary, isn't it
      Will they be able to write gibberish as well? Maybe gibberish is our hope?! Gibber gibber gibberish...

      Lucjah avatar Lucjah | Jun 10, 2019 18:49:49
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      @brianball @lucjah The day a piece of AI can write a piece of literature that doesn't sound bot written I'll eat my hat. And I'm not talking an A- B story with a prince a princess and a happy ending. Put humanity into words. Do it, AI, I dare you.

      Gabriel Greco avatar Gabriel Greco | Jun 10, 2019 22:02:17
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      @gabrielgreco - stay tuned. Open AI is already ( maybe almost ) there. ( I want to joke around a bit about how we think humans are so special, but we are mostly pattern recognition and memory machines. ) Have you ever read the writing of somebody who never reads? ( now, imagine the reading of somebody who's read 1,000,000 books, articles, journals, blog posts etc. -- and analyzed them almost as good as @lucjah -- ( oh.. and can do that all every week ) -- The hard part for the AI would be giving a shit.

      Brian Ball avatar Brian Ball | Jun 10, 2019 13:16:35
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      @brianball exactly what i'm thinking - how do you put giving a shit into words? I don't believe it's ever possible for AI. It can imitate the abstract, but it cannot invent it, and that's almost the essence of great literature because it's the essence of human imagination.

      Gabriel Greco avatar Gabriel Greco | Jun 11, 2019 09:10:21
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      @gabrielgreco - some of the best writing is probably done by drugged up humans though -- ( well at least some of the great music is ) -- I'm still gonna bet on AI ( simply because it's programmed by humans -- which will ultimately mean it's human infused creativity

      Brian Ball avatar Brian Ball | Jun 11, 2019 07:04:33
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      @brianball I am going to argue that a drugged up human is 10000000x what a bot is worth, but even if that's not the case, you said it yourself, 'human infused creativity'. Can there be AI only creativity. Is that still creativity or is it something else? I mean, that's the crux of it, isn't it, what is AI without the human element anyway?

      Gabriel Greco avatar Gabriel Greco | Jun 11, 2019 22:38:03
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      @gabrielgreco - Ever seen a kid learning how to ride a bike. Mom or dad running back there trying to hold on -- then, the kid figures out the balance thing. Then, they stomp down on the pedals and we can only let them go. We know they'll crash. They might crash immediately. But, this is AI. We're running behind it right now. Once they get all the patterns of how humans operate and our preferences -- they'll let go and take off on their own.

      Most kids end up pretty good. Some turn into shitty adults.

      I think we're basically playing a game that's going to have amazing outcomes -- self-driving cars, clean-the-ocean bots, etc. But, we're also going to see the meth-addicted teens that turn into generations of lost hope.

      Then, we realize, we've all been in the matrix the whole time. :-)

      Brian Ball avatar Brian Ball | Jun 11, 2019 15:36:16
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      @brianball Yeah, who knows where it's all going to take us. If you read Our Final Invention (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Final_Invention) it's nowhere good. But aside from that, whatever happens, AI will never write a story like Dostoevsky's, not if all the data in world is thrown at it.

      Gabriel Greco avatar Gabriel Greco | Jun 12, 2019 09:40:00
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