I often don't know what I'm talking about.
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To be fair, as stated on the page you linked, that example was generated on a version of the model trained on only 117 million parameters. That's 7% of the data set that feeds the full version.
The full version has not been publicly released. And examples from it are more impressive.
- Your issue seems to be about purity, only "true self control" is good enough to be worthy, it's either that or complete abstinence.
Yes, that is my point view. If I want to make a change in my life, I want to do it properly. Halfhearted solutions do not satisfy my need for self-improvement. Do I expect everyone to share this approach? No.
- What's wrong with a practical solution that doesn't involve true mastery of the self? If not keeping chocolate at home helps you not overindulge with chocolate consumption, what's wrong with doing that? Are you suggesting someone should only eat chocolate if they're able to keep it in their house without eating it on impulse?
Firstly, absolutely nothing is wrong with it, but for me personally it is not the way. I guess the way I chose to word my previous posts didn't do me any favours here. I only meant to share my opinion on my approach to self-improvement. I don't care what other people choose to do. They can live their lives how they see fit and I certainly wouldn't look down on anyone for choosing to lock their phone in box during the evening or not buy some chocolate every so often.
Secondly, an anecdote. I used to be addicted to sugar. The amount of cakes and chocolates I'd get down me each day was not good; I could eat a share size pack of my favourite chocolates in minutes. And it started doing a number on my teeth. Under the advice from my dentist, I stopped eating anything with added or refined sugar. I kept this up for 5-6 months. Then slowly I reintroduced it into my diet in a controlled way.
A month or so back, I made a choice to stop eating a smaller pack of my favourite chocolates halfway through. I put them to the side and actually ended up forgetting about them. When I remembered them the next day, the positivity that I felt from having mastered myself was worth 1000 moments of halfhearted happiness. I had treated something that had previously caused me problem with a newfound responsibility. I had my cake and ate it too. And they weren't left in a shop or locked away in box, they were just to side of me within arm's reach.
Is that really nonsensical?
- So your issue with the "box" idea is that it doesn't go far enough
No. My issue with it is that it only pretends to solve the problem.
As stated in my original reply, my idealistic solution is to keep using your phone but gradually exert mindfulness and discipline to retrain you relationship to it. This too me is the quintessence of self-control.
However, as binder said, the idea of trying to moderate something you're so deep into sometimes just doesn't seem possible. And it's futile to attempt something you don't believe is possible. In those cases, I think that abstinence is an acceptable secondary solution.
I don't believe it to be as good as my ideal solution and I don't think it's an ultimate representation of self-control. But if it stops a person abusing something and makes them happier then I say 'go for it'. Furthermore, I believe abstinence can be gateway to reintroducing something back into your life once you've had space away from it to reset. From there you can then practice 'true' self-control.
In comparison, the box idea is a middle-ground that accomplishes nothing. It doesn't teach you to use something responsibly nor does give you enough space from it to reapproach it with a newfound mindset.
I don't think people should have to shoulder all of the blame either. These thing have been designed to manipulate us and it sucks. My point is that you have more power to change yourself than to change the way people are designing apps.
I don't disagree with abstinence if a person feels that's the only option. But if that's the case, sell your smartphone and buy a dumbphone. My objection is to those who know they have a problem with something but essentially just pretend to deal with it by temporarily treating the symptoms instead of working on a permanent cure.
An alcoholic who sips from their hip flask all day and then locks it away for a few hours each evening isn't really helping themselves.
- Lifestyle choices are crucial, but when your environment is saturated with bad options that are cheap, convenient, and enjoyable, its often hard to stick to those lifestyle choices.
It is hard. Taking control of your instinctual thoughts and overriding your impulses can take a long time, sometimes years. And like you say, the issue is compounded by the fact that apps are intrinsically designed to be addictive.
But those things are a given. Whilst you can't ignore them as powerful factors, I feel a lot of people allow themselves to use it as an excuse to not face themselves down and make the consistent, difficult choices. They allow it take away their agency and succumb to a self-fulfilling prophecy. "Oh well, I'd like to stop but I can't because it's designed to be addictive". Yeah, well you're just going to have to try harder then.
Regardless of how insidious smartphones and their apps become, you still have a choice. Pick up the phone or don't. Open the app or don't. You know you have these choices. One path will make you feel momentarily good but ultimately bad, the other path the inverse of that. You will succumb to the temptation often. But over time, you will start to make the difficult but ultimately desirable choice more often. In turn, you'll develop the circuitry in your brain for it to become your default behavior.
The way the majority of apps are designed is not going to change any time soon and you can't control that, but you can change.
I think it can be analogous to learning a piece on an musical instrument. You start painfully slow and fuck up every second note. Just as you're thinking that you've got a handle on one part, you focus on a different aspect and lose it again. But gradually, over many days/months, your brain adapts and reprograms itself. Until, one day, you can play the piece effortlessly.
Or, instead of bettering yourself, you can lock your phone in a box, put your fingers in your ears and go: "la, la, la, I can't hear you". And nothing will change.
My initial reaction to this is that it's more desirable to better yourself than to purposely hamstring your technology.
All this seems a bit overkill for something that can be solved with discipline and mindfulness (along with a good percentage of other changes that we may want to make in our lives).
Also, this paragraph from Stanislaw Lem's book Fiasco, which I'm reading at the moment:
- They would land, but first turn the Hermes into a comet. Out of valves in the hull that opened along the sides came a foam from tanks; inflated by injections of gas, the foam surrounded the entire vessel with a large cocoon of irregular, hardened bubbles. The Hermes, like a pit in a fruit, lay in a spongy mass of globules. Even from up close it looked like an elongated chunk of rock covered with craters. The burst bubbles made the surface resemble the crust of an asteroid bombarded for centuries by dust clouds and meteors. The drive, indispensable, would be the tail of the comet, which, as it approached the perihelion, would always be directed away from the sun, an illusion created by the drive deflectors. A precise spectral analysis would have revealed, of course, a pulse and composition of gases not found in any comet. But nothing could be done about that.
- Inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work. And the belief that things will grow out of the activity itself and that you will — through work — bump into other possibilities and kick open other doors that you would never have dreamt of if you were just sitting around looking for a great ‘art idea.’ And the belief that process, in a sense, is liberating and that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every day. Today, you know what you’ll do, you could be doing what you were doing yesterday, and tomorrow you are gonna do what you did today, and at least for a certain period of time you can just work. If you hang in there, you will get somewhere.
I live by this quote.
I've got all my own kayaking gear now. I got to try it out on my first class III rapids the other day and it was blast. We did a 10k trip down a river which started with some gentle features and then built up as it went on. It was great to navigate the extended runs and feel all the things I've been practicing really come into effect. Bouncing up and down on waves, going down drops, and having to paddle to avoid real danger really gave me some excitement that I'd been lacking in my life. Also, it's awesome when a big wave splashes you in the face. I used to do a lot of board sports in my teens and feeling that rush again was like the embrace of an old friend.
For scale, a picture of me entering the top of it:
I just got a raise at work. I'm transitioning into a new position which entails a lot more responsibility and direct communication with the customers. That's something I've shunned in the past, but I thought I'd take it as opportunity to grow. It's a 3 month trial and still the same hours, so we'll see how that goes.
Taking the entirety of December off from everything was definitely a great idea. Though it came about through necessity as I'd forgotten to take any holiday this year so I had to use it all up. I took a step back from my music during that time too and it's really helped me come back with a refreshed perspective in what I want to achieve.