I’ve decided to make news posts every month about random things that are happening with me and my work. This month, I migrated my newsletter to Substack. Of course, this blog will still remain active.

However, if you subscribe to my Substack, you can get my technology and environment newsletter by email. It is 100% free, but there is an option of paying $5 per month to support my work. Any contributions are highly appreciated, as I am an independent content creator and one of my main goals is to work against the technological system that is poisoning our planet.

I’ve also read a few books lately that might be of interest to you. The first is Sylvia A. Earle’s “The World is Blue. It’s a book about ocean conservation and gives a good overview of what the ocean is all about and how we mistreat it.

The other book is Mark Boyle’s “Drinking Molotov Cocktails with Gandhi”, which is one of the best books I’ve read in a while. Everyone knows there are a ton of books on conservation and the ethics of the environment, but Mark Boyle really does an excellent job framing our attitude towards the environment in very clear terms: violence.

His viewpoint sparked my interest to research a bit more about violence so I went through Slavoj Žižek’s “Violence”. That was not an easy read in many places and certainly not as cohesive as Boyle’s book, but it does provide some insightful analysis as well.

Finally, I was also thinking that it’s been just about a year since I gave my notice in that I was quitting my full-time job as a researcher. Although I enjoyed my time as a PhD student, I didn’t not enjoy working with mathematics in the “real world” and quitting was one of the best things I ever did. So, to all my readers, I’d like to say that I’m doing well and I’m quite happy that I’m not contributing to technological development any more.

In this post, I will describe some tips you can use as an individual human being to contribute to a more sustainable relationship with nature. I’ve talked about some of these in my newsletter but these are slightly different, so you should read these too.

  1. Find something you enjoy doing, and spend a lot of time doing it. Learn something and learn it well. But at the same time, understand at every point how the knowledge you learn has shaped society and how it will shape society. Understand the impact of the new power you gain with your knowledge.
  2. Spend less time paying attention to what other relatively anonymous people are doing, and pay more attention to the people you really know in real life.
  3. If you enjoy something special, do not consume it too often, whether it is something like food or something intellectual. Take more time to truly savour fewer things.
  4. I’ve said this before, but take at least one day per week where you do not use the internet at all.
  5. Learn more about plants and animals in your area by simply watching them.
  6. Avoid upgrading your technology for as long as you can. Use what you have and find new uses for what you have.

The latest AI technologies such as ChatGTP and image generation threaten humanity in more ways than one. I already previously wrote about them at some length, but today I’d like to explain one way in which they propose a threat to us.

Unlike the human generation of art, AI art generation can be done at a much faster rate compared to the rate at which humans produce art. In fact, it’s not just faster but an order of magnitude faster. Thus, AI content generation promises to essentially replace human content generation in several realms.

Why is this harmful? There are two primary reasons:

  1. Removal of purpose: allowing computers to do the mental work of humans removes the type of work that we are most suited for, and that gives us a purpose. Unlike menial labor that was the domain of machines decades ago, now we are attempting to replace what gives us a purpose. Thus, instead of being a convenience that makes our lives easier, the current level of AI is a convenience that makes life more purposeless.
  2. Removal of communication: human-generated content is one way in which we communicate to each other and rely on each other. By creating a system where AI-generated content is cheaper (because our hyper-capitalistic system only gives worth to what makes money), it removes our awareness that there are other thinking and feeling humans out there.

Companies like OpenAI do not care about these disastrous consequences. They do not approach their immense power with precaution. Some developers of AI state that they want to be ethical, but their level of precaution is reckless compared with the precaution that we should be using in the development of these technologies.

Therefore, if you can, resist AI technology at all costs.