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🚴 A bicycle for the mind
While others talked about more memory or a faster processor, Steve Jobs repeatedly managed to explain technology in a completely different way. For example, like this:
I think one of the things that really separates us from the high primates is that we’re tool builders. I read a study that measured the efficiency of locomotion for various species on the planet. The condor used the least energy to move a kilometer. And, humans came in with a rather unimpressive showing, about a third of the way down the list. It was not too proud a showing for the crown of creation. So, that didn’t look so good. But, then somebody at Scientific American had the insight to test the efficiency of locomotion for a man on a bicycle. And a human on a bicycle, blew the condor away, completely off the top of the charts.
And that’s what a computer is to me. What a computer is to me is it’s the most remarkable tool that we’ve ever come up with, and it’s the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds.
A bicycle for the mind. That's how he saw the computer.
🏍️ A motorcycle for the mind
I'm now working on an idea I call Warp Levels (I'll present it to you in a few weeks.)
The idea is to set up levels for humanity that we can collectively surpass. I got the idea a couple of years ago when I read about the Kardashev Scale. It classifies civilizations into three types, based on how much energy they control. Type I controls all the energy on the planet, type II all the energy in the solar system, and type III all the energy in the galaxy.
In other words, there's a vast difference between the various levels. My simple idea was that there should be more levels, which would be good because then we would know what we need to do to reach the next level.
That's as far, or as short, as I'd gotten. Nothing more happened for a couple of years.
Then ChatGPT came along.
Last spring, I talked about my idea and asked it to suggest levels. Sure thing, it replied, and spat out a list of 20 levels.
This is, of course, a very simplified version of Warp Levels, but for me, it was as if someone had installed new drivers in my brain. I could have sat down and used the computer/bicycle to write these levels myself. With a little Google, Wikipedia, some books, and knowledge that was already in my head, it would have taken two-three hours. Instead, I used the AI/motorcycle and it took two-three seconds.
It wasn't until I saw the levels that I began to realize how potentially powerful the idea of Warp Levels could be. Since then, I've spent many hours, both by myself and with ChatGPT, pondering, developing, talking to others, and writing down my thoughts about the idea.
Without my new motorcycle, I might never have done it, but thanks to AI, I could think faster.
Steve Jobs was right. Humans are tool builders. In his time, we built the tool called the computer, just as we once built the tool called the bicycle. But we didn't stop there – and that's our success! We continued and built motorcycles, and we built ChatGPT.
The Angry Optimist
Naval's podcast interview with David Deutsch
Naval is a big fan of David Deutsch. He constantly reads and rereads The Fabric of Reality and The Beginning of Infinity (which is one of my two favorite books ever.)
Now he's also interviewing Deutsch on his podcast, which is exciting since Naval is very influential, especially in Silicon Valley circles.
🔋 Electric car stats
Hannah Ritchie from Our World in Data has created a page where you can check all possible statistics about electric cars.
The Angry Optimist