This is a bit of an unusual post.
I have gotten the impression that a lot of people are kind of freaked out, either by AI or weird Bay Area social dynamics in general.
I also think that a lot of freak-out reactions are driven at least as much by social contagion as any fact-based assessment of what's happening. When you see people around you freak out, you too are much more likely to freak out.
Conversely, if the people around you are calm, then you're also much more likely to stay calm.
There's also a selection effect where freakouts tend to spread much more online than calmness does. If you're calm, you don't necessarily feel the need to post anything. You might be content to just be.
Whereas if you're freaking out, you're much more likely to post stuff about how you're freaking out or how we're all going to die.
So there's easily a cycle where the most distressed views predominate, that freaks people out and causes there to be more distressed posts, which freaks out more people, and so on. And this might be mostly uncorrelated with how much of a reason there was to actually freak out.
But if we were all in the same physical space, we might all notice that only some people are freaking out and a lot are a lot more calm. And then the distress wouldn't spread as much, and we could think more clearly.
I too am concerned about AI, but I'm not freaked out. (In part because I don't think freaking out would be a useful reaction to have, in part because I'm somewhat more optimistic than most, in part because I spend a lot of time with people who aren't freaking out.) If I were physically located in the same place as others who were freaking out, I think that my calm could help with their freakout.
However, I'm not. And as stated, it's kinda hard to convey calmness over text, the same way you can convey distress.
So I thought of making a video where I'm calm. Maybe that would help convey it better.
It's here. In Finnish, but with English subtitles.
I know it's low video quality; I recorded it in Zoom, and only noticed afterward that there's an "HD quality" button I could have clicked in the settings. Oops.
But that was part of the intended vibe too. I could have spent a lot of time optimizing the video quality and everything. Instead, I just recorded it in one shot, because it's not such a big deal whether the video quality is great or not.
I'll probably make another calmness video with better quality.
No earlier than tomorrow.
Because I don't feel like I'm in a rush.