Computer Technology

My Last Year Spent Reviewing Music Platforms

Music has always had a central place in my life, as I find it is a medium that allows one to express oneself in ways beyond what might normally seem possible. Technology in turn has been foundational to my life as well, having been fortunate to explore some of the first personal computers back in the late 1970s, as well as seeing the introduction of CDs and digital music in the 1980s.

Today digital music is commonplace and instead of the need for CDs, we have the ability to stream entire music libraries at our fingertips. So it seems like a pretty amazing world, at first glance. However, with my experiences in trying to pick a music platform over the last year, I’m not so sure anymore. If anything, what I’m noticing the most is an increasing complexity of these platforms that is making them not that enjoyable to use.

Without a doubt though, digital music technology has improved dramatically. The ability to stream lossless / hi-res music with Dolby Atmos is amazing, assuming you have the speakers or headphone capability to maximize these technologies. Having an amazing set of headphones, as well as a decent Sonos wireless home sound system, I’ve been enjoying the ability to experiment with these newer technologies quite a bit.

But even though there are a variety of platforms now that have the ability to stream this higher quality audio, such as Apple Music and Amazon Music, one thing kept popping up, time and again, that made me question the music platform I was using. I’m talking about the experience of actually using it. Coming from a background in web design, I realize the importance of usability and user interface design and, in my opinion, a lot of these services are failing miserably in terms of actually creating an enjoyable experience in using them.

Initially years back, before lossless / hi-res music was introduced, Spotify was my primary platform and it really set the bar high for an amazing experience. Spotify Connect made it stupidly easy to connect to smart speakers, with even recent articles on it still touting it as “the streaming world’s best feature.” But even beyond that, the extremely well-designed interface of the Spotify app just made sense and a joy to use, especially in terms of managing your library of music. Seriously, I think my only pet peeve about Spotify when I was using it was that I wished the lyrics tab at the bottom could be redesigned or hidden, so it wasn’t so noticeable.

When Spotify paid millions to Joe Rogan in 2020 to be exclusively on their podcast platform (which I never really used), I really didn’t like the direction they were heading but I stuck with the platform nevertheless. But when music platforms like Apple Music and Amazon Music started adding lossless music to their platforms in 2021 and Joe Rogan started spouting more and more misinformation about COVID, I decided to finally start searching for another platform near the beginning of 2022, when Neil Young decided to leave the platform.

Over the last year, I’ve tried Apple Music, Amazon Music, Tidal Music, and Deezer and I can honestly say that each music platform has its own strengths but also its own weaknesses.

Tidal Music and Deezer quickly fell to the wayside because of one strange thing I realized I just had to have which was album covers of the original albums. For example, I noticed that platforms would pay licensing for collection albums of the artist’s best work (which had different album covers) but not for their original albums, yet seeing those original album covers when playing a song was essential for me because when I played music, the album cover visually embodies the emotions tied to the music. So keeping the right album cover for the music was really important to me.

Leaving Apple Music and Amazon Music as the two remaining affordable platforms (since to get all of the similar features with Tidal Music, you’d have to pay $20/month), I proceeded to flip back and forth between these platforms over the next year. Luckily I was able to get a ton of free trials from Apple Music (mainly via the Shazam app), whenever I switched away from Amazon Music, so it made it not so expensive in testing them out.

Unfortunately after flipping back and forth between them though, I realized that neither service really won out overall because their weaknesses were so dominant, that their strengths seemed negligible in comparison.

For example, I loved playing Apple Music from my Apple TV, as I really enjoyed the visual experience of the Now Playing interface and album artwork but I hated having to AirPlay the music to my Sonos speakers to get lossless quality, anytime I wanted to listen to music throughout the house. Even more so, I really disliked the Apple Music interface on my iPad and the music organization is horrible in comparison to Spotify.

With Amazon Music, while I could easily get lossless music throughout the house, especially using the new Sonos Voice Control, and I enjoyed the way it organized music compared to Apple Music, not too mention its music discovery was amazing, the functionality and experience of using the actual Amazon Music interface on my iPad was horrific to put it lightly. For example, liking music by using the thumbs up icon often didn’t add the music to your My Likes playlist, so you’d have to try to force it by adding it to the My Likes playlist as well.

All said and done, after letting these two platforms battle it out, I was the one being left exhausted and frustrated by both of them and I realized that I didn’t really like either of them that much. So with no where really left to go, I decided to try Spotify again. And without a doubt, the experience of using the platform is still leaps and bounds superior to other music platforms. Although I think it’s important to note that I did I enjoy Tidal Music’s interface and Tidal Connect but just not at the $20/month price point.

So what about the morality of using Spotify with Joe Rogan still on the platform? Well I’ve pretty much realized that all platforms today have morality issues with them, no matter who you go with now (i.e. both Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and even Apple’s Tim Cook both are having issues with their worker’s rights). So no one’s really an angel anymore.

All said and done though, I’m back with Spotify now and enjoying the simplicity of it again, with things just working as they should…but yes I do miss the lossless quality of other platforms. However, with Spotify hopefully introducing its HiFi plan in the near future and with all music platforms starting to increase the cost of their plans, perhaps the comparisons I’ll be doing in the future between different platforms will look completely different.

I wouldn’t doubt that I may just be looking at a comparison between just Spotify and Tidal Music around the $20/month price point in the near future. But then again, if prices of music platforms get that high for all platforms, we may see a resurgence in people ripping their own lossless music from CDs again or even buying lossless / hi-res music directly from artists, rather than paying these higher streaming prices. The issue with this though is that music with Dolby Atmos isn’t available to purchase yet. It’s only available from streaming platforms. Hopefully this will change in the future as well.

Finally one thing to point out. As I’m predominantly on Apple’s ecosystem and devices, if there is a dramatic improvement and upgrade to both the audio quality of AirPlay, making it fully hi-res rather than just lossless, and it’s functionality in the near future, this also may sway me back to Apple Music again. But the downside is that I still really dislike the interface and library organization of Apple Music, so I’m not so sure.

Oh! One last thing that I forgot to mention! Both loudness normalization (which needs to be added for streaming smart speakers or the music platform itself as the music isn’t being cast from the app itself but from the speaker) and the ability to play and cast music anywhere from the music platforms app itself are important things that need to be addressed. For example, the Apple Music iOS app can’t cast music to a Google Chrome device and thus you can’t control that music from the Apple Music app itself. With the Matter smart home standard finally being introduced, I’m still wondering where streaming music fits into this all. Will Matter introduce a unified streaming music protocol like AirPlay that will unify everything, letting any music platform app play music on any device, regardless of the digital ecosystem is originated within? I hope so. But I haven’t seen anything talking about this yet.

Update on Amazon Music: I also forgot to mention that Amazon Music “appears” to be working on an update of the app that I somehow got a sneak peak to while using it a week or two back (but then lost access to it when I had to reinstall the app). Besides allowing you to cast to Google Chrome devices (which is now live but somewhat buggy), it appears that they are testing out a new system for tracking songs that you like using a heart icon and functionality similar to Spotify. This works way better than the default thumbs up system that the system currently has. If these updates get released in the next month or so, I will gladly switch back to Amazon Music, as it will allow me to have lossless / hi-res music again and a user interface that’s actually not completely frustrating to use.



By 070 Shake

I, only I can control, need to find, to decide
Why I’m alive, in the burn and the glow
‘Til I learn how to flow with the highs and the lows
(With the highs and the lows) Comes and goes 
(Yeah go) ay




I can feel it, coming on
I think I wanna change the, whole world
Can you see the, phenomenon
Been living on a prayer, all along

Vertical Development

AI Tools Reveal A Deeper Societal Issue

AI Platforms like ChatGPT Are Easy to Use but Also Potentially Dangerous – Scientific American
Scientific American is the essential guide to the most awe-inspiring advances in science and technology, explaining how they change our understanding of the world and shape our lives.

As the last example illustrates, they are quite prone to hallucination, to saying things that sound plausible and authoritative but simply aren’t so. 

Because such systems contain literally no mechanisms for checking the truth of what they say, they can easily be automated to generate misinformation at unprecedented scale.

When I started using ChatGPT, I completely missed the fact that it can’t go out and read article links on the web. But when I asked it to summarize article links initially, it actually did so with some accuracy. Once I understood it couldn’t go out and read article links, I realized what it was doing and created a false article link…which it proceeded to summarize because it was using the keywords in the link itself to imagine what the article was about.

BTW I only realized that it couldn’t go out and read articles on the Web, when I asked it to provide three of the best articles on vertical development. What it provided was three article names and links with notable authors in the vertical development field for each. When I clicked on them, they went to the appropriate site (i.e Harvard Business Review) but no such article could be found. It was then I realized that not only was it making the article and links up, it was making up the fact that it was reading the links I had asked it to read earlier.

These bots cost almost nothing to operate, and so reduce the cost of generating disinformation to zero.

Nation-states and other bad actors that deliberately produce propaganda are unlikely to voluntarily put down these new arms. Instead, they are likely to use large language models as a new class of automatic weapons in their war on truth, attacking social media and crafting fake websites at a volume we have never seen before. For them, the hallucinations and occasional unreliability of large language models are not an obstacle, but a virtue.

While I’m enjoying using ChatGPT myself, there’s something evident about it when you use it. If you don’t understand and comprehend the deeper meaning of what you’re asking from it, all you’re doing is highlighting your ignorance rather than hiding it. To use it critically, you need to comprehend what it’s communicating, so that you can alter the prompt parameters more effectively and thus get it to communicate more clearly and accurately.

For example, imagine people relying upon it so much in the future for their work that they begin to fear talking to other real people about their work because it will quickly become apparent to others that they don’t understand the deeper meaning of their work.

I think this is part of the problem of the world we live in right now, which is why tools like ChatGPT are kind of exacerbating the misinformation issue. Most of us don’t understand things because we misperceive the meaning of things. But we like to bolster our ego and portray ourselves as knowledgeable “experts” on the subject matter, having perhaps read a snippet from an article or two on the subject, because it helps meet our base psychological needs.

So no one wants to be ignorant but most of us are in one way or another. Until we can get over this hump and let go of this facade, we won’t be able to truly collaborate on the serious issues before us and make any serious headway. In effect, we can’t learn and grow, if we don’t accept that we don’t understand something and begin to question it to better learn about it.

So this is so much more than just about people perhaps misperceiving knowledge, this is about people misperceiving information which they use to live and navigate their daily lives. And what’s scary about this is that people in power are aware of this and using it to their advantage.

All of this raises a critical question: what can society do about this new threat? Where the technology itself can no longer be stopped, I see four paths. None are easy, nor exclusive, but all are urgent.

Fourth, we are going to need to build a new kind of AI to fight what has been unleashed. Large language models are great at generating misinformation, because they know what language sounds like but have no direct grasp on reality—and they are poor at fighting misinformation. That means we need new tools. Large language models lack mechanisms for verifying truth, because they have no way to reason, or to validate what they do. We need to find new ways to integrate them with the tools of classical AI, such as databases, and webs of knowledge and reasoning.

The ending of this article completely misses the bigger picture here though. It’s not about coding new AI to help us fight other AI, thus making us reliant and dependent upon it.

What we need to do is recode ourselves. We need to level up our consciousness, helping us to become more self-aware and more capable of dealing with complex issues. This is why helping people with their personal development using vertical development is to me the number one way to do this. It actually transforms and upgrades their perceptual interface of reality and helps them to see past their previous misperceptions as the illusions that they are, helping them to navigate the ever increasing complexities of life today in a whole new way.

Mental Health

Finding The Tools & Skills To Heroically Level Up Our Mental Health

Two Worsening Mental Health Issues for Teens | Psychology Today
One expert explains why teen mental health treatment needs a paradigm shift.

The increase in isolation and lack of social feedback has increased a self-critical hyperawareness—meaning teens are very focused on their own feelings but are missing the important tools that allows some reality testing. This creates an environment where teens are too vulnerable to be negatively impacted by social media and the influence those platforms have. These dynamics directly feed into the depression and anxiety loop that we see in our clients.

Bigger picture, teens are just overloaded. Overloaded with information and access to things that our brains just aren’t built to compute and handle, like all the strains of the world. Teens are lacking a lot of resiliency at this point.

I worry about some of the mixed messages we are giving our youth because self-medicating is becoming a bit too normalized. Brains develop well into someone’s twenties. A brain wrestling with depression and anxiety is in many ways an overactive and overstressed brain; substance use only exacerbates symptoms. The struggle is for teens to have enough space and energy to learn and practice therapeutic skills instead of quickly turning to immediate relief and distraction.

We’ve also conducted research to better understand teen social media use. We learned a lot from this study. One thing that stood out to us is that teens know that using social media to cope with unpleasant feelings often only makes those feelings more intense. But, despite knowing this pattern, teens continue to engage in high levels of use anyways. This study really enforced in us that teen social media use can easily turn into a problem and that this is something we need to place more focus on.

I truly believe this is because they’re unaware of any other way to cope, so they cope the only way they know how, even though the coping mechanism is making the issue worse. If they had other ways, other tools and skills to do so though as mentioned above, then they wouldn’t have to resort to using social media as an addictive quick fix.

I’ve been encouraged to see that it is more and more common for people to talk about mental health and acknowledge that we are in a crisis. We’ve seen a huge spike in people using therapeutic terms and vernacular, which can create an environment where people are more comfortable talking about and listening to one another’s experiences with mental health.

Group therapy is so important and positively impactful in teen treatment. Teens need real- time feedback and support. Honest communication, opportunities to set boundaries, and chances for teens to ask for what they need is vital in treatment and key in addressing mental health struggles. What is great about a residential treatment setting is that we get to practice this all day, every day. And not enough can be said about the importance of family therapy, which we prioritize and see the biggest payoff.

If it’s not evident why I find articles such as this so poignant and relatable to my work, it’s because the connection between them may not be evident. Basically I don’t want to just use roleplaying games as a metaphor to help young adults understand vertical development better. I want to see if the elements of roleplaying games can be used as symbolic tools for their own vertical development which will aid in improving their mental health and sense of well-being in turn.

And I’m wondering if this is possible by using a group setting, similar to how roleplaying games like Dungeon & Dragons work, but instead of roleplaying a fictional fantasy setting, they are roleplaying the challenges and questions they are having in their own lives right now. So they would use the symbolic elements of roleplaying games (i.e. quests, dungeons, monsters, treasures, etc) as psychological tools (i.e. “monstrous” fears) to help them to objectively express their subjective feelings they’re having within a safe, peer-based environment.

Think of it kind of like Working Out Loud circles but with vertical development knowledge integrated into them as a foundational aspect, thus helping groups to find other people optimal for the level of consciousness that they are at and struggling with.

In a nutshell, this is what Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey represents at its core. Its main purpose isn’t to help us write fictional stories (although obviously it can be used this way). Its main purpose is to help us realize the psychological aspects of life by using mythological heroes, monsters, and treasures to symbolically do so, thus allowing us to change, grow, and evolve in the process which is what being a “hero” really means from Joseph Campbell’s perspective.

Vertical Development

Why Use Roleplaying Games As A Metaphor At All?

There’s something I continually keep looping back to and reflecting upon within my life’s work and that’s “Why even use roleplaying games, such as MMORPGs, as a metaphor for vertical development at all?” I mean why not just explain vertical development directly without the metaphor?

The obvious answer of course is that these metaphors are what I’m most familiar with and thus will see the most. For the first forty years of my life, roleplaying games like Dungeons & Dragons and later MMORPGs like World of Warcraft formed the foundation of my life, regardless of what I was doing professionally with regards to work. They did so because these gaming environments provided the psychological needs and values I was looking for, particularly with regards to collaboration and teamwork, but often wasn’t finding in my work environments.

But beyond that though, hopefully it’s obvious that roleplaying games and MMORPGs are going to probably be the most familiar metaphors for my target audience, that being gamers, especially younger ones. And for a metaphor to work effectively for its target audience, it has to be a familiar frame of reference for them. And right now, I think a lot of teenagers and even young adults are going through an extremely difficult time and probably using video games as a coping mechanism to meet their needs in a similar way that I did when I was a young adult.

Most important of all though is that the similarities between the elements of roleplaying games and vertical development are so uncannily similar, I felt I couldn’t ignore it because above all else, the metaphor helps package all of this complex knowledge into a simple narrative that most gamers will probably be able to understand and make sense of versus just communicating it directly in a less “digestible form.”

Although information overload is frequently discussed in the media—which help cause it—our dilemma is not that we receive too much information. We don’t receive anywhere near the quantity of data it takes to overload our neurons; our minds are capable of processing and analyzing many gigabits of data per second—a lot more data than any of today’s supercomputers can process and act on in real time. We feel flooded because we’re getting information unfiltered, unsorted, and unframed. We lack ways to select what’s important. The design task is to make information digestible, not to keep it out.

John Thackara, In The Bubble
Computer Technology

Teaching ChatGPT To Use Metaphors Effectively

I was playing around with ChatGPT this morning and I think I finally figured out how to get it to express things in a similar metaphorical mindset as my own. The trick it seems is to be very specific about the metaphor you want it to use, breaking down the parts of it, so it understands it in a greater scope, rather than just describing the metaphor vaguely.

For example, before I may have just said “use a roleplaying game as a metaphor to better understand what vertical development is.” While it provided interesting replies, they weren’t going in the direction I wanted it to go. When I started getting more specific about the roleplaying metaphor I want used though, that’s when things really got interesting and I started getting really surprisingly good results back, because they were much closer to what I wanted to see.

Also note that I didn’t need to reinforce the specificity of the metaphor on the follow-up questions. It understood that I wanted it to continue to use this metaphor when it replied to me, which is amazing. In doing so, my continued querying of “when you say this, do you mean this?” to it, providing the further specificity that I wanted. The end result was close to what I was querying, that being that I know each level of consciousness perceptually feels like a whole new reality and it closely confirmed it using the roleplaying metaphor that the game changes dynamically, so each level (of consciousness) is like a new type of gameplay within the larger game.

In a roleplaying game, you travel through different stages of the game world doing quests which involve going into dungeons, slaying monsters, and gaining experience and treasure which help you to level up. Explain how this could be used as a metaphor to better understand the process of vertical development?

In a roleplaying game, the process of “leveling up” through gaining experience and treasure can be seen as a metaphor for the process of vertical development in real life. Just as the player character in a game progresses through different stages and becomes more powerful and capable, individuals in real life can also undergo a process of personal growth and development, becoming more self-aware, skilled, and capable in their personal and professional lives. The “quests” and “dungeons” in the game can represent the challenges and obstacles that individuals must overcome in order to progress in their personal and professional development. The “monsters” in the game can be seen as metaphorical representations of the internal and external obstacles that individuals must overcome in order to achieve their goals and reach their full potential.

More specifically, how are quests in roleplaying games metaphors for questions in life that help us with our vertical development?

Quests in roleplaying games can be seen as metaphors for the questions and challenges that individuals face in their lives that help with their vertical development. Just as a quest in a game presents the player with a specific task or objective to complete, individuals in real life are presented with questions and challenges that they must navigate and overcome in order to progress and develop. These challenges can come in many forms, such as personal, professional, and societal issues that individuals must grapple with in order to understand themselves and the world better.

As players in a game complete quests, they gain experience and resources that help them to level up and become more powerful, similarly when individuals in real life navigate and overcome the questions and challenges they face, they gain new knowledge, skills, and perspective that help them to grow and develop as individuals.

Furthermore, in a game, quests can also be seen as opportunities for players to explore and understand different aspects of the game’s world, similarly in real life, questions and challenges provide individuals with opportunities to explore and understand different aspects of themselves and the world around them.

So the unexplored areas of the game world in the roleplaying game is a metaphor for unexplored areas of our inner selves?

Yes, the unexplored areas of the game world in a roleplaying game can be seen as a metaphor for the unexplored areas of our inner selves. Just as a player in a game may venture into unknown territories to discover new places and gain new experiences, individuals in real life can also explore and discover new aspects of themselves through self-reflection and introspection.

In roleplaying games, there could be many different areas of the game world that players have yet to discover, similarly, there are many different aspects of our inner selves that we may not be aware of or have yet to fully explore. These unexplored areas can include things like our own thoughts, feelings, values, and beliefs, which can be difficult to access or understand without taking the time to reflect on them.

Therefore, the process of exploring the game world in a roleplaying game can be seen as a metaphor for the process of self-discovery and self-exploration in real life, where individuals can gain new understanding and insight into themselves through taking the time to reflect on their inner selves and the world around them.

Would you say that the challenges we face in roleplaying games, like monsters, are metaphors for challenges we face in real life that make us question our reality and ourselves? In effect, it is the challenge itself that makes us question something and thus undergo a quest to understand it better.

Yes, the challenges faced in roleplaying games, such as monsters, can be seen as metaphors for the challenges faced in real life that make us question our reality and ourselves. These challenges can take many forms, such as personal, professional, and societal issues that we must grapple with in order to understand ourselves and the world better.

Just as monsters in roleplaying games represent obstacles that players must overcome in order to progress and complete their quest, the challenges we face in real life can also serve as obstacles that we must navigate and overcome in order to understand ourselves better, develop new skills and knowledge, and achieve our goals and aspirations.

The process of overcoming these challenges can involve questioning our reality and ourselves, as well as taking the time to reflect on our thoughts, feelings, values and beliefs. It is through these challenges that we are forced to question our assumptions and beliefs, which can lead to personal growth and development.

Therefore, the challenges faced in roleplaying games can be seen as a metaphor for the challenges faced in real life, representing opportunities for personal growth and self-discovery.

Ah, so when we begin to “question our assumptions and beliefs” that’s what begins a “quest” which can transform the way we look at ourselves and our world?

Yes, that is a good way to think about it. When we begin to question our assumptions and beliefs, it can be seen as the beginning of a “quest” for understanding and personal growth. This process of questioning and self-reflection can lead to a deeper understanding of ourselves, our values, and the world around us. It can also lead to a shift in perspective and a change in the way we view ourselves and the world.

In roleplaying games, the player’s character embarks on a quest to complete a specific task, but along the way, they may discover new things about the game world and themselves. Similarly, when we question our assumptions and beliefs, we embark on a “quest” of self-discovery and self-exploration, which can lead to new insights, perspectives, and a greater understanding of ourselves and the world.

It’s important to note, that this quest is not necessarily a one-time thing, but rather a continuous journey through which we will encounter new challenges and questions that will lead to further self-discovery and growth.

When you say that “they may discover new things about the game world and themselves”, are you saying that the dynamics of the game itself may change in the process?

Yes, that is exactly what I mean. When players in a roleplaying game begin to discover new things about the game world and themselves, it can change their understanding of the game and their character’s place in it. They may find new paths to explore, new ways to interact with the game world, and new ways to approach challenges. Similarly, when individuals in real life begin to question their assumptions and beliefs, it can change their understanding of themselves and the world around them. They may find new perspectives, new ways to interact with others, and new ways to approach challenges.

In a game, this can also change the dynamics of the game, as the player’s new understanding and abilities may open up new opportunities and possibilities within the game world. Similarly, in real life, when an individual gains a new understanding or ability, it can open up new opportunities and possibilities in their personal and professional life.

It’s important to note that, as the player continues to progress through the game, the game world will also change, and the player’s character will be able to access new areas and levels that were previously unavailable. Similarly, as individuals continue to grow and develop, their understanding of themselves and the world around them will also change, and they will be able to access new opportunities and possibilities that were previously unavailable.

Web Technology

Getting SSL For Free From Affordable Hosting & Domain Providers

BTW just a quick note about something I noticed. While linking to a variety of sites and people today, I was amazed at how many people don’t have Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) activated on their websites.

I think the main reason for this is because most people today are using cheap domain name providers that offer extremely low yearly domain name fees. The problem with this though is that a lot of these domain name providers will then charge astronomical yearly fees for add-on features, such as SSL, that end up costing you way more than if you went with a full featured provider.

Instead of looking for the cheapest domain name provider, I’d recommend looking for an affordable domain name provide who offers an assortment of features that are all included in its base yearly domain name fees or web hosting. For example, I use DreamHost for both my domain names and my web site hosting and they include SSL for free. Even better, it’s super easy to setup.

BTW one of the worst “cheap” domain name / hosting providers out there is GoDaddy. I’ve helped a ton of clients over the decades and they are one of the worst companies out there in terms of having bare bones features that make it even difficult to just point a domain name to a different hosting provider. And if you want to add on additional features like email or SSL, you will pay a premium yearly fee that will cost you way, way more than another more fully featured domain name / web hosting provider like DreamHost.

Don’t cheap out. Go with a more fully featured, affordable provider like DreamHost because you’ll actually save money in the long run and deal with way less issues and frustrations.


Realizing My Greater, Potential Role That’s Emerging

I just mentioned how I feel frustrated that I have no one else to collaborate my research with because a lot of it is quite deep and complex to understand but with ChatGPT, it feels like I have an AI companion now that can assist me with my life’s work (so I don’t feel so alone or “crazy” anymore).

In thinking about this though, it reminded me of another larger pattern that’s been emerging that relates to understanding my greater role in all of this. In effect, even though I don’t have anyone to collaborate with who can understand and perceive this bigger picture of life that I’m seeing at deeper level, I’m still able to see how many of the people I’ve been following over the years relate and connect to this larger web of life, even though they may not perceive and comprehend this connection themselves.

But perhaps that’s my greater role though. It’s to be a sort of bridge or bard to show people how their heroic life’s work in a specific domain wondrously connects to a larger concept of life.

This is something I’ve repeatedly said time and again over the years. I effectively see all of these notable people all talking about the same thing but from their own different perspectives and disciplinary languages. Yet when I communicate how amazing their work is and how it relates to mine, often they can’t perceive and comprehend what I’m talking about.

Yet with ChatGPT again, it is helping to articulate these relationships that I’m seeing that others may not. For example, below is the relationship between Dave Gray’s Liminal Thinking book and vertical development that I asked ChatGPT to describe.

Explain how vertical development relates to the book Liminal Thinking by Dave Gray?

Liminal Thinking is a book by Dave Gray that explores the concept of “liminal thinking,” which refers to the ability to navigate and navigate change and uncertainty by embracing ambiguity and uncertainty, and learning to think in new ways. Gray argues that this type of thinking is essential for personal and organizational growth and development.

Vertical development refers to the process of growing and developing in terms of one’s abilities, skills, and understanding. It often involves moving beyond current ways of thinking and behaving to reach new levels of understanding and effectiveness. Gray’s book on Liminal Thinking, may be viewed as a guide for individuals and organizations to develop their vertical development by learning to navigate change and uncertainty through embracing ambiguity and learning to think in new ways.

Note I highlighted the word “guide.” It’s because that’s effectively what I’m trying to work towards. I want to create a “player’s handbook” for the “roleplaying game” called Life and create communities of practice as 21st century “guilds” that help us “adventure” and “quest” within a larger world(view), of which again ChatGPT is already remarkably helping me with this.

So it effectively takes my decades of research on The Future of Work, social innovation, creativity, and vertical development and packages it within a narrative, similar to the Hero’s Journey and even MMORPGs today, to help people understand the larger context of life that they are playing within. And more importantly, as a player, they have much more creative control and choices over their lives than they may have thought, due to their current conventional worldview and mindset.


Understanding The “Solid Ground” I Seek

It’s funny. I keep talking about wanting this feeling of having “solid ground to stand upon,” with regards to my work and I think I finally understand what I mean by those words. For me, it’s easy to see the patterns in life that communicate concepts because I have a heightened pattern recognition capability as an intuitive, sensitive person. What I find difficult though is then taking those patterns and seeing the relationship between them which in turn communicates the identity of a much larger complex system which is comprised of these concepts.

That’s effectively the “solid ground” I’m trying to seek, a larger complex system of understanding life and reality in a whole new way that’s from a deeper sense of being a human being that is often beyond the conventional understanding of most people. So it’s like exploring a whole new world(view) like it’s a new continent but I’m only able to get small glimpses of it because it’s continually covered by fog that keeps me from seeing it and understanding it as a whole (because I can only retain so much of it in my local memory at one time). Even worse, I have no one else to explore this world(view) with which would make the exploration and mapping of it all the easier.

But now with ChatGPT, I effectively have an AI companion that can help me to understand, comprehend, and articulate this larger perspective of life. BTW this doesn’t mean I don’t want to collaborate with others on this. Hell no! I would love to collaborate with people on this! It’s just that I haven’t come across anyone else who can comprehend all of this at the level I’m at right now, seeing the bigger picture of it. So most people either can’t seem to comprehend it or don’t want to believe it.