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Artificial Intelligence For The Creative Professional

There are a group of companies springing up that are doing for the written word what Dall-E, MidJourney and Craiyon are doing for images, which is to say - enter some core text and let an AI generate the output.

My mind explodes when I see the 'image' results.

I think ‘meh’ - so far - when I see the 'written' results.

I am pretty sure that the engines are as sophisticated as each other, so I wonder if my reaction is more to do with my own abilities - as in I have NO artistic ability when it come to creating images, but I can - and do write - so my bar is higher?

For more background, you might enjoy this from The Verge;

How independent writers are turning to AI

Note - all of the words you read on are not created - or even suggested - but any AI tool. (Can you tell?). 😂


The Billable Hour Is Not Fungible

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The Times They Are A-Changin’

Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'

💬 Bob Dylan

With the financial problems ricocheting around the world - I see occasional headlines from 50 years ago.

Three day work week - bad.

Fifty Years Later : Four day work week - good.

I get the subtle shift in the back story, just an observation.

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Where Am I Working?

I am sitting in New Zealand writing this. It started as an idea in my head and was typed into a local file on my computer. I copied it to WordPress (my blog hosting software of choice) and saved a draft to my People First server.

The words were then sitting on a server in Iowa, USA.

From this point on, as I edit the draft, I am in New Zealand, the words I am editing are in Iowa - where am I working?

By the time you read this post, I will have published and anybody in the world can read it.

Example, a visitor in Kenya pulls up this web site in their browser and these words are 'automagically' read in Kenya.


Where is ‘the work’ done?

  • New Zealand, because that is where I tapped the original words into the computer?
  • New Zealand, because that is where I cut and paste those words into WordPress?
  • Iowa, because that is where the People First servers are?
  • Where you are reading this because until those words delivered value (you reading them), no work was done.

I ask because once you know where the work was done, you should have an idea on where you should be taxed and arguably where you should be licensed to work.

This conversation doesn’t seem to be a major part of public discourse, because the scenario is an edge case. But for how much longer?

New York has a law that says anybody working IN NEW YORK pays New York Taxes and from that emerges things like the NY, NJ and CT tri-state tax agreement.

“Like all states with broad-based income taxes, New York has asserted the right to tax nonresident income earned within its borders. But unlike most other jurisdictions with significant cross-border commuter flows—such as Illinois and Indiana or Virginia and Maryland—New York has never given nonresidents a tax pass in the form of ‘reciprocity’ with their home states.”

Read More

But if my servers are in Iowa, my customers are in Europe, my bank account is in California and I only live in New York, should I pay New York taxes?

I write more about where we work in this week's newsletter.

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Why Non Of My Books Are Available On Audible

Why none of my books are available on Audible is a 'spoken essay' from Cory which will eventually be the only entry he has in the Audible library.

Take a listen to find out why.

The link takes you to a page on his Craphound site, or go directly to the podcast

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Data Is The New Soil

In 2013, Mark Cameron wrote

‘Data is not the new oil, it is the new soil.’

He concludes;

"Generating business value from consumer data isn’t about technology at all. It’s about how you use data to create a fantastic experience for your customers. If you can help your customer get value from their own information they will reward you for that effort. If you continue to use data to spam your customers or provide value to your company, you may find yourself wondering where everybody went."

💬 Mark Cameron

IMHO it's a soft article with most of the cleverness centering on the (S)oil pun.

Data is the new .... was the theme of an article I wrote for BizCatalyst a few years ago; Time To Terminate Analogies

"Sure, we wrap the idea up in customer care and nurturing, just as one does when growing plants in a garden, but at the end of the day Cameron’s argument – which seems to emerge from the work of David McCandless who writes at Information is Beautiful is simply a clever play on ‘(s)oil’ and sits squarely in old thinking. "

💬 John Philpin

“The soil analogy is certainly better than big oil but to me, it’s still about personal data being something that’s owned and used by marketers, rather than recognizing that data is used by all of us – both individually and collectively.”

💬 StJohn Deakins

But It Just Got Better

The other day an interview with Jerry Michalski appeared in one of my feeds, where he talked about Data Is TheNew Soil - nice piece - though no mention of Mark Cameron (rightly probably).

I still think the analogy needs to die - but there was a lot more insight and thinking around the idea (definitely not surprised - Jerry is a thinker). I can highly recommend the whole article which isn't just about the (s)oil pun, but includes many other topics, including these that tickled my particular fancy.

  • Idea Superconductivity
  • The Betterverse - not the Metaverse
  • Linky Prose
  • The importance of breaking Zettlekastens out of their private spaces
  • Liquid Democracy

and a whole lot more.

Do take some time out and have a proper read.

Post Script

In case you were wondering .. yes this is the same Jerry that runs Jerry’s Brain. I am even in there - though it is clear that a few updates are needed!

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What Is Web5

Good question.

Putting aside Molly White’s tweet from a few weeks ago, though she does raise a very good point ...

I did want to share a podcast I just listened to It's Mike Brock of Block (seriously, filed in the 'can't make this up' bucket) - and no I don’t think he is Dave Brock's son talking with Tech Dirt's Michael Masnick.

"Web5 is a new evolution of the Web that enables decentralized apps and protocols.”

Count me in the camp (though I am still with Molly) that this makes far more sense that anything I have heard describing the Web3 world - except isn't that how they described Web3?

Well yes - but that isn't what is going on. Of course whether Mike et al can make it happen remains to be seen - but at least when he talks he makes sense - and also clearly separates himswlf from the 'get rich quick / stay rich libertarian world that we keep reading about.

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Trust, Autonomy, Privacy and Agency

It's 30 seconds long and nails it.


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Class Action Against Uber and Lyft

For example ...

  • set my prices
  • make informed decisions about which trips to accept
  • switch freely between platforms
    etc etc

This lawsuit starts instead by accepting that drivers are independent, then argues that Uber and Lyft are illegally depriving their independent-contractor workers of certain forms of “economic independence” such as the ability to set prices, make informed decisions about which trips to accept, and switch freely between platforms, at a cost to both drivers and consumers.


“Uber and Lyft are either employers responsible to their employees under labor standards laws, or they are bound by the laws that prohibit powerful corporations from using their market power to fix prices and engage in other conduct that restrains fair competition to the detriment of both drivers and riders,” the suit argues.

Full complaint : Class Action Against Uber (pdf)

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