It’s been a great year hear at Interplace with subscriptions hitting (and hovering) around 1000 subscribers! Thank you!
And thanks to Substack’s recommendation engine, the vast majority of those came from Steven Sinofsky’s Hardcore Software newsletter. Thank you!
Sadly, the utility of this recommendation engine also means those Nazi newsletters Substack chooses to sponsor will also spread. It’s their choice of free speech as a publisher and seller. Just like this 1930s Aryan bookstore who was fine attracting Nazi customers because, like Substack, they believed select, uncensored ‘truth brings liberation’.
I’m not thrilled to be sorted alongside such publications, but I’m also not thrilled to be embedded among local and national right wing extremists in a country that has yet to fully come to terms with it’s own racial ideology. An ideology that intermingles jingoism and militarism propped up with related economic policies. Yes, I have the choice (and privilege) to move, but finding places void of right-wing extremism and zombie neoliberalism is getting harder and harder these days.
2024 is a big election year in the U.S. One that will surely influence this course and our nation’s discourse. Abusive forms of AI is sure to play a role in it. So, I was curious what would happen if I took my top five most viewed posts of 2023 and ask ChatGPT to provide connections between them and summarize a conclusion.
I’m impressed. Not only with the how Large Language Models (LLMs) emulate perceived human intelligence, but with the consistency with which my own convictions and intentions emerge throughout these five posts. ChatGPT, like a good LLM, is providing an illusion of consistency and coherency in my writing! It’s a reflection of external linguistic patterns arranged in a literary image of my internal goals for Interplace — an emulation of perceived intelligence! Be careful out there.
I hope everyone has a healthy and happy 2024. Please remember this interpretation of my own intention as you set your new year’s resolutions:
“our collective actions contribute to the fabric of our environments, and through awareness and choice, we have the power to reshape them for the better.”1
And now, ChatGPT’s Interplace summary of 2023.
The five blocks of text you provided seem to be excerpts from different discussions or articles that, although varied in focus, share common themes about the intersection of human behavior, spatial cognition, and the environment, whether it be through the lens of a television show, research in geography, urban planning, psychological studies, or societal needs.
This text illustrates how a TV show can provide a microcosm of the broader societal issues, including the divide between rural and urban life, environmental impact, and social stratification. It suggests that the antics of the show's host, Jeremy Clarkson, inadvertently reveal the interconnectedness of society and the environment.
This section discusses the advancement in cognitive geography, moving away from traditional, rigid spatial models to those that account for the complex, iterative interactions between people and their environments. It challenges conventional Euclidean views and advocates for a more dynamic, holistic approach to spatial cognition.
Here, the focus is on urban mobility and how patterns of movement within cities are universally similar, as demonstrated by visitation power laws. The text raises concerns about equity and inclusivity in urban planning, suggesting that current models serve those with resources while potentially neglecting others. It also touches on how legislative changes can influence urban structure and the potential for creating more walkable neighborhoods.
This text compares human behavior with that of rats in a study about driving and satisfaction. It draws parallels between the cognitive benefits of novel experiences and the laborious nature of maintaining a car, suggesting that there may be more rewarding alternatives to driving, such as walking, which provide more cognitive stimulation and a sense of agency.
The final text reflects on the individual's power to enact change within large-scale systems, as evidenced by shifts in behavior during the pandemic. It questions whether adherence to traditional socio-economic constructs serves our needs and posits that conscious, alternative choices could lead to significant societal transformations.
The amalgamation of these texts presents a nuanced examination of human-environment interactions. At the core is an understanding that our spaces, whether physical like farms and cities or conceptual like cognitive maps, are not static but are shaped by our interactions, decisions, and movements. From Clarkson's representation of rural life to the universal patterns of urban mobility, we see a pattern of uniformity in our behaviors that transcends geography and culture.
The discussion on cognitive geography suggests that embracing complexity in our understanding of space can lead to more equitable and representative models of human-environment interaction. This is echoed in the exploration of urban mobility, where data reflects not just how we move, but also the socio-economic hierarchies that dictate our movement. The potential for change is highlighted by the example of legislation affecting urban density, indicating a path towards more sustainable and equitable urban living.
The comparison of human behavior to that of rats reveals a deeper commentary on our choices and their psychological impacts. The reward system driving both rats and humans to undertake certain tasks like driving is complex and influenced by our environment. This complexity is further unpacked in the final text, which suggests that individual choices can lead to macro-scale changes in society. This ties back to the first text, where a television show, through its portrayal of the rural-urban divide, unintentionally showcases the interconnectivity of our choices and their impact on the world.
In essence, these texts argue for a more conscious and nuanced approach to how we view and shape our environments. They call for a departure from reductionist thinking, advocating for a recognition of the complex, interconnected nature of our world, and a reevaluation of our choices and their ramifications. Whether through the lens of a TV show, urban planning, geography, psychology, or societal behavior, the message is clear: our collective actions contribute to the fabric of our environments, and through awareness and choice, we have the power to reshape them for the better.
ChatGPT 4.0’s interpretation based on my own words as input. BTW, it loves to (ab)use the word ‘fabric’ and other weaving metaphors when trying to make sense of my many ‘threads’ as it forms a ‘tapestry’ of meaning.