Sep 18Liked by Birgitte Rasine, Michael Spencer

I see patients remotely now. Incredibly convenient for … me. But the problem I thought might happen has - a two dimensional emptiness that emphasizes my own evolutionary psychology patient education material.

We are one of countless social species because this basic instinct allowed us to survive through various versions over millions of years. A social instinct has allowed us to find food, protect ourselves and procreate more effectively. We are wired for this at the DNA level - to communicate through affective resonance and pheromones, and to be physically touched. Lives in misalignment with basic genetic wiring become ill … and in this case empty/depressed, like Harlow’s monkeys.

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"The spectacle was born from the world's loss of unity, and

the immense expansion of the modern spectacle reveals the

enormity of this loss. The abstractifying of all individual

labor and the general abstractness of what is produced are

perfectly reflected in the spectacle, whose manner of being

concrete is precisely abstraction. In the spectacle, a part of the

world represents itself to the world and is superior to it. The

spectacle is simply the common language of this separation.

Spectators are linked solely by their one-way relationship to

the very center that keeps them isolated from each other.

The spectacle thus reunites the separated, but it reunites

them only in their separateness."


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As a poet and nonfiction writer, I can see how frustrated many writers feel. This debate over if we need writers anymore or if poetry is really useful for anyone if a prompt can give you a better poem than a human poet. This adds up to this anxiety of disconnection that Birgitte mentioned in the ssay. I also see some of my advertising clients use AI as an excuse to bargain with writers because "AI can do it faster and better".

However, I myself have been using AI in my work and see how they generate the content for work. They are at average quality, easy to copy and easy to find everywhere on the internet. There is lacking of unique point or strong human touch in it.

By that token, I struggle everyday to write a poem or an essay that helps me to grasp with the reality or to reflect my emotional state with the reality. Those valuable response of writing, just like physical exercise, can't be replaced to AI. Of course, I can ask AI to write me a poem to "show up", but I can't ask it to help me walk through the mental process that helps me expand my living experience. For that, as a selfish (and not so talented) writer, I still write for my own experience, I don't ask AI write me a poem. A tool can take over your daily life if you let it. But if you use it as a tool, it is a tool. I have been using AI for work in the last six months, I don't feel the loneliness of disconnected feeling between my work and myself.

I do feel at odd with some clients' conversations (as the essay said) but I guess that is part of the industry I work in.

Thank you so much for the thoughtful essay.

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Birgitte (and Mike) - this is very timely, and I don't think it can be discussed enough. I live with a weird paradox in my own personal life: I run a jiu jitsu school, where life couldn't be much more intimate. We are in very, very close quarters with one another for extended periods of time.

At the same time, I am a very private, introverted person who appreciates solitude more than most. I'm one of the folks who the internet has unambiguously helped survive and thrive, but I'm also in a very weird spot, and I'm conscious of that tension all the time.

This was even more true as we were beginning to drop covid restrictions at our gym, gradually, cautiously. That's not an experience I want to repeat!

Anyway, thank you for some great food for thought. I hope a lot of folks are thinking about this.

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