Discover more from Coté's Wunderkammer
20230327 - Big 🤖 edition here
From the ChatGPT wastebook
You know, maybe this would be a good notebook for my ChatGPT/AI stuff. I do a lot of it, and it’s fun to share. I’ve yet to find a good source of prompts (I don’t want to go to reddit or Discord - I really want just a curated list), but it’s sort of fun to develop them.
One thing I’m not showing here is the programming I’ve been asking it to do. I know you’ve probably heard of this, but it is fucking amazing. I’ve asked it to make scripts to do things like convert WordPress exports to markdown files in dated directory structures. It chooses python as the language, which is fine…? This morning I got it to write some AppleScript to extract notes out of the Notes.app.
(When/if Bear finally comes out with it’s new edition comes out that works with files instead of its own database, and has an option to use the Apple Pencil on editable sketches, I’d like to switch back to it. I always like Bear the best out of all those apps, but the lack of just using files is super-annoying. I think Ulysses would be fine, but Bear is just, you know, cuter and nicer UI wise. Also, Ulysses feels to me like it’s written for writing documents, not as a “notes” app. I like both of those editors especially because I don’t need to upload my files to their servers. I can keep the files all in iCloud. And, I mean, it’s still someone else’s servers in THE CLOUD, but of all companies, I think Apple is the most trustworthy.)
Anyhow! In the spirit of $cashed_out, I’m just going to be cool with dumping my AI stuff in here, along with whatever else is cut from the main newsletter. As always, I put my prompts in italics.
🤖 Relearning how to compartmentalize
I used to be pretty good at compartmentalizing. For example, stopping work and forgetting about it until tomorrow. I find it very hard to do this now, especially since I work at home and have three kids. I really want to stop work and not think about it until tomorrow. What are some techniques I could use to train myself to compartmentalize better.
It can be challenging to compartmentalize when working from home, especially with additional responsibilities like raising children. Here are some techniques that may help you improve your ability to compartmentalize:
Create a dedicated workspace: Designate a specific area in your home for work and avoid using it for other activities. This will help create a mental separation between work and personal life.
Set a schedule: Establish a consistent daily routine with designated working hours. Be sure to communicate this schedule to your family and coworkers so they can respect your boundaries.
Use rituals to transition: Develop rituals to signify the start and end of your workday. This could be as simple as making a cup of coffee in the morning, taking a brief walk, or changing your clothes at the end of the day. These rituals will help signal to your brain that it's time to switch gears.
Prioritize and plan: At the end of each workday, make a list of your top priorities for the following day. This can help you feel more in control and reduce the urge to keep thinking about work after hours.
Practice mindfulness: Incorporate mindfulness exercises into your daily routine, such as meditation or deep breathing. These practices can help you stay present and prevent your mind from wandering to work-related thoughts during your personal time.
Set boundaries with technology: Limit your access to work-related technology outside of your working hours. Consider turning off notifications for work-related apps or even setting specific "do not disturb" hours on your devices.
Engage in leisure activities: Fill your non-working hours with activities you enjoy, such as hobbies, exercise, or spending time with family and friends. These activities can help you recharge and create a mental buffer between your work and personal life.
Seek support: Share your struggles with friends, family, or coworkers who might be experiencing similar challenges. They can offer support, understanding, and practical advice for maintaining boundaries.
Practice self-compassion: Recognize that it's normal to struggle with compartmentalizing, especially in a work-from-home environment with additional responsibilities. Be kind to yourself and acknowledge your efforts.
Give it time: Remember that learning to compartmentalize effectively takes time and practice. Be patient with yourself and adjust your techniques as needed to find what works best for you.
I use ChatGPT to summarize articles that seem interesting but that too long for me to figure out if they’re worth reading. Here’s the prompt I used more recently:
Do a tldr on articles I past here, including key points the author makes and list any recommended actions. Include the name the article as a link to it. Output in markdown.
I’ll also ask follow-up questions sometimes. One of the benefits is that you can keep on ongoing, multi-day chat going. I name these chats things like “tldr 20230324” or “Summarize 20230322”
Here’s a selection of those, but I asked it to list and each one and use just one sentence with the most interesting part:
Humanism Renewed - Discusses the role of humanism in modern society and suggests that humanism can provide a framework for addressing the ethical and moral challenges of the 21st century.
The Canine Model of AGI - Proposes a new model for artificial general intelligence based on the behavior of dogs and suggests that this model could lead to significant breakthroughs in AI research.
Cheating is All You Need - Discusses the concept of "cheating" in software development and suggests that cheating, or finding shortcuts, can be a valuable strategy for improving efficiency and productivity.
5 Myths About Puppet - Debunks common myths about the configuration management tool Puppet and recommends that organizations should invest in training and optimization to maximize the value of the tool.
VMware and Other WASM Players Want WebAssembly - Discusses the growing interest in WebAssembly (WASM) among technology companies, and suggests that WASM could be used for a wide range of applications, including running complex applications in the browser, developing serverless functions, and creating portable cloud infrastructure.
America's banks are missing hundreds of billions of dollars - Discusses a recent report by the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC), which found that US banks are missing hundreds of billions of dollars in cash and other liquid assets, and recommends that regulators should consider imposing stricter requirements for bank liquidity.
Banks Should Fail Much More Often - Argues that banks should be allowed to fail more often in order to prevent them from becoming too big to fail and creating systemic risks for the financial system, and recommends that regulators should be prepared to manage the fallout from those failures.
Surprising Myself With My Self - Discusses the author's journey of self-discovery and the surprising insights she has gained about herself, while encouraging readers to engage in self-reflection and to be open to the possibility that they may discover new aspects of themselves that they were not previously aware of.
Elon Musk Twitter value leaked memo: less than half paid - Reveals a leaked memo from Elon Musk to his Tesla team, in which he values his Twitter account at $1 billion but that he is paid less than half of that amount, providing insight into Musk's management style and his emphasis on maintaining control over his public image and messaging.
Existential Risk and the Turn in Human History - Discusses the concept of existential risk and the possibility that humanity could face an existential threat in the future, and suggests that the actions we take now could have a significant impact on the likelihood of existential risks in the future.
Society's Technical Debt and Software's Responsibility - Emphasizes the need for long-term thinking, collaboration, and responsible practices in software development to address technical debt.
Sites - Presents a collection of well-designed, content-focused websites that serve as inspiration for impactful online content.
Waiting for the Betterness Explosion - Introduces the "betterness explosion" concept as a tool for envisioning and working towards a future with rapid improvements in various aspects of life.
Hypertext Hostility - Explores the negative consequences of aggressive online behavior and the importance of promoting empathy and understanding in online communities.
After the buzz fades: What our data tells us about emerging technology sentiment - Demonstrates how Stack Overflow data can help gauge sentiment and engagement with emerging technologies after the initial excitement wanes.
VMware's WaveMaker Acquisition is a Smart Buy - Highlights the potential for WaveMaker's rapid application development software to differentiate VMware's offerings in the competitive cloud computing market.
What do the AIs think of me
Here is a fun thing to do that I learned from Tyler Cowen talking about how he uses ChatGPT: have the AI figure out who you are and start asking it questions. If it can be found, I have around 25 years of content on the internet, so there’s a lot to churn over. Here’s some findings. I tried to get it to give me advice for new story ideas or for improving my writing, but it wasn’t very good.
It was interesting enough, but it couldn’t really think beyond buzzword level collation. Both knew the topics I cover and my general thoughts on them. It knew my writing style well enough. But I had to force it to infer analyzing me some and it’s suggestions for how I could improve were lame. Maybe as someone else said, it’s limited to avoid being too creepy.An example of how shallow it was: it knew I wrote a opinion column for The Register. And, if you’ll pardon some self patting in the back, I have a very distinct and unique style. It don’t pick up on or comment on that style at all, except to say that I like to simplify complex things and use examples.
Here’s a selection of the output. My prompts, as always, are in italics.
Act like your talking to a friend in a bar and they ask you to describe the things Coté writes about and why your friend might interested. What would you say?
Bing: A possible way to talk to a friend in a bar and describe the things he writes about and why they might be interested is:
Hey, do you know Michael Coté? He’s this cool guy who works at VMware and writes about how big companies use software to run their business better. He knows a lot about stuff like how to make software faster and easier, how to move to the cloud, how to use Kubernetes and other new technologies, and how to change the culture and mindset of the people who work with software. He also has some funny and smart podcasts, books, talks, articles, and newsletters where he shares his insights and opinions on these topics. You should check him out if you want to learn more about software or if you just want some entertainment. He’s awesome!
Describe his style of writing
Bing: Based on web search results, his style of writing is informative, engaging, and sometimes humorous. He writes about his own experiences and observations as well as research and data. He uses examples and anecdotes to illustrate his points and make them more relatable. He also uses a conversational tone and informal language to connect with his audience.
ChatGPT4: Michael Coté's writing style can be described as conversational, insightful, and engaging. He often employs humor and a casual tone to make complex technology concepts more accessible and enjoyable for his audience. His articles and commentaries provide in-depth analysis of industry trends, developments, and strategies, drawing on his vast experience in the tech sector.
Coté's approach to writing often blends technical details with real-world examples, providing context and making the content more relatable to readers. His work is appreciated for its ability to break down complex topics into digestible pieces, helping readers gain a better understanding of the subject matter. Overall, his style is informative, approachable, and entertaining, making it appealing to a broad range of readers interested in technology and the software industry.
Here's the bio he uses for speaking engagements. Based on what we've been chatting about, how would you improve it? Give short version and a long version. Incorporate things you've found on the web as well [I pasted the bio here].
A possible short version of the bio is:
Bing: Michael Coté is a developer advocate and staff technologist at VMware who writes books, podcasts, articles, and newsletters on digital transformation, DevOps, cloud native technologies, and more.
A possible long version of the bio is:
Michael Coté is a developer advocate and staff technologist at VMware who studies and writes about how large organizations improve and modernize their software delivery and innovation capabilities. He has written several books on these topics such as Changing Mindsets, Monolithic Transformation, and The Business Bottleneck. He has also been an industry analyst at RedMonk and 451 Research, done corporate strategy and M&A at Dell, and was a programmer. He co-hosts several podcasts such as Software Defined Talk where he shares his insights and opinions on the latest trends and technologies in the software industry. He also creates articles, talks, white papers, and newsletters that you can find on his website cote.io or subscribe to at newsletter.cote.io.
🤖 Arguments against mindfulness
Here are some arguments specifically questioning the effectiveness or practice of mindfulness itself:
Limited scope: Some critics argue that mindfulness may only be effective for certain issues, such as stress reduction or mild anxiety, and not as universally beneficial as it is often portrayed. People with severe mental health issues or complex emotional challenges might need more targeted interventions.
Potential for rumination: Mindfulness encourages non-judgmental awareness of thoughts and feelings, but in some cases, this may lead to excessive self-focus and rumination. For individuals prone to rumination, mindfulness might exacerbate the problem rather than alleviate it.
Escapism and avoidance: Some argue that mindfulness can be used as a form of escapism, allowing individuals to avoid addressing the root causes of their emotional distress. Rather than engaging with and resolving problems, they might use mindfulness to temporarily detach from them.
Difficulty in practice: Mindfulness can be challenging to practice effectively, and some individuals may become frustrated or disheartened by their inability to achieve the desired level of awareness. This might lead to feelings of inadequacy or failure.
Dependence on practice: For some, mindfulness might become a crutch, leading to an over-reliance on the practice for emotional regulation. This could hinder the development of other coping mechanisms and self-regulation skills.
Emotional numbing: In rare cases, excessive mindfulness practice might result in emotional numbing, where individuals become overly detached from their feelings, leading to a diminished emotional experience.
Lack of personalization: Mindfulness is often presented as a standardized practice, but individuals differ in their preferences, experiences, and backgrounds. The one-size-fits-all approach may not cater to these individual differences, limiting the potential benefits of the practice for some.
🤖 Breakfast Taco Innovations
Growing up, Saturday mornings held a sense of excitement in our household. My grandfather, a warm and loving man, would wake up early to prepare breakfast for the entire family. It was his way of bringing us all together to start the weekend on a positive note.
One Saturday morning, I noticed my grandfather carefully searching through the refrigerator with an air of excitement. He had a gleam in his eye, as if he had stumbled upon a long-lost treasure. Little did I know, he had discovered something that would change our Saturday morning breakfasts forever.
As usual, he cooked the onions, bell peppers, and breakfast sausage, filling the kitchen with their familiar, comforting smells. However, I could sense that something was different as he meticulously combined the ingredients in a large skillet.
My anticipation grew as we gathered around the table, eager to taste the special dish he had prepared. It was then that he revealed the secret ingredient: leftover mac and cheese from the previous night's dinner. He had transformed it into an incredible breakfast taco, packed with flavor and love.
From that day forward, my grandfather's leftover mac and cheese breakfast tacos became a beloved family tradition. Those mornings, filled with laughter and warmth, will always hold a special place in my heart.
Recipe for Leftover Mac and Cheese Breakfast Tacos:
2 cups leftover mac and cheese
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon butter or oil
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced bell pepper
1 cup cooked and crumbled breakfast sausage
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
8 small flour tortillas
Salsa, for serving (optional)
Heat the leftover mac and cheese in a microwave-safe dish until warmed through.
In a large skillet, heat butter or oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and bell pepper, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs until well beaten. Pour the eggs into the skillet with the vegetables, stirring constantly to scramble the eggs.
Once the eggs are cooked, stir in the cooked and crumbled breakfast sausage.
Add the warmed mac and cheese to the skillet, mixing it with the egg and sausage mixture.
Warm the flour tortillas on a griddle or in the microwave.
To assemble the tacos, spoon the mac and cheese mixture onto each tortilla. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and chopped cilantro.
Fold the tortillas in half, enclosing the filling.
Serve the breakfast tacos with salsa on the side, if desired.
Enjoy your delicious Leftover Mac and Cheese Breakfast Tacos!
Prompt I usd: Make a receipt for leftover Mac and cheese mixed with eggs for breakfast tacos. Start with the recipe and then write a ten paragraph story about how your gnome grandmother used to cook this on Saturday mornings.
See y’all next time!