Steven Johnson on the capabilities of NotebookLM, and some of the interesting skills requried to get the most out of LLMs:

The core skills are not just about straight prompt engineering; they’re not just about figuring out the most efficient wording to get the model to do what you want. They also draw on deeper, more nuanced questions. What is the most responsible behavior to cultivate in the model, and how do we best deploy this technology in the real world to maximize its positive impact? What new forms of intelligence or creativity can we detect in these strange entities? How do we endow them with a moral compass, or steer them away from bias and inaccurate stereotypes? Can language alone generate a robust theory of how the world works, or do you need more explicit rules or additional sensory information?

Related, Maggie Appleton’s (gorgeous) presentation at the Local-first Conference in Berlin, Home-Cooked Software and Barefoot Developers:

We first need language model agents that are designed to act as central orchestrators for home-cooked software projects. These agents can guide barefoot developers through the process of writing technical specifications and help them work out what kinds of tools they might need for a piece of software.

Sam Kahn makes an argument Against Stories:

When I read most work that’s out now — let alone most movies — what I see, basically, is fear. A fear of boring an audience. A fear of alienating an audience. And so there’s an obsession with a clever style. There’s an obsession above all with economy — with making sure that there is nothing extraneous in a work of art, nothing that detracts from the optimized story structure.

Craig Mod on his latest walk, this time through Bali. I love Craig’s writing, because so much of it is drum-tight; this one is loose and free, deliberately so. All of it is worth reading, but here’s my favorite sentence:

Us, a bunch of overachievers laid flat by jungle encroachment, sharing chocolate snacks and fruit and crackers and smokes against panoramic backdrops on an IMAX scale.

Greg Allen, Moby Dick is My Moby Dick:

I want a first edition of Moby Dick, but I think the psychic price of actually ever buying one will be too high.