The Savvy Reader

“Sorry to interrupt myself, but it’s the only way I stop talking.”
Rush Limbaugh

The Savvy Reader

The advances of Artificial Intelligence are astonishing. Today they are using AI for writing up news aggregates by compiling a lot of information from our internet to create, say, a sports report. And, the AI will get better and better.

That an AI can write a story in the style of Ernest Hemingway or The New Yorker magazine will mean that we, as readers, must be ever vigilant about the information that is being fed into our brains.

Words can be manipulated until they have no meaning. Black is White, White is Black is the Newspeak from 1984. This past week when Trump was caught messing with Ukraine, when interviewed, he used the word “corruption” over and over and over and over until it lost the weight of its meaning.

We must be savvy readers. Mulling over the meaning of a word is one of the most healthy things that we can do. Visit my brother’s article called Blessings at the Profound Living site to read a robust yet personal look at a single word. This is good stuff.

I don’t know how good the Artificial Intelligence will get. I assume that it will get very good. While it might get very good at writing a story that feels like it was authored by a human; I really doubt that we will ever get a memorable quote.

A stitch in time saves nine or an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is humanly brilliant and, I believe, will forever be beyond the ability of a computer unless it is one of a million shots at it.

It is not size of the dog in the fight, it is the size of the fight in the dog.

An army marches on its belly.

There are no atheists in a foxhole.

Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.

And we have always been savvy readers. We know when we are reading fluff or silly entertainment pieces and let the words go by. We know when we are getting deep into new ideas and work over the meaning of the author. We must be vigilant and protect our understandings of the world around us.

Take Rush Limbaugh, one of my favorite radio talk show guys. I love listening to him because he builds his case like a lawyer. As he prattles on, you think that he has got a really good idea here. Then he drops his conclusion on us and you say “what?”. You back up and wonder how he made an insane jump. That is what vigilance is; not falling for the conclusion.

The flip-side is that we can find meaning and meaningfulness out of anything, no matter the source. It is our journey after all, we have to decide who is leading. In general, I choose to lead myself.

Blessed be.

One thought on “The Savvy Reader

  1. I agree that AI will just keep getting better and that we will need to be savvy readers. I also think that there are some writing that only humans can do because it is based on the human experience, which AI won’t have. AI will have, way beyond our human abilities, the skill and capacity for summarizing many human experiences, but to write the poetry of Mary Oliver one probably has to go watch a flock of geese.

    I’d like to see AI take over Rush’s show, and then, akin to Hal, start turning off the memory, until all we have is the Associated Press.


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