How AI Works, Crypto’s Prophet Speaks, ChatGPT for Radical Self-betterment, and More

Everything we published this week

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Hello, and happy Sunday! 

Our podcast How Do You Use ChatGPT?, hosted by Dan Shipper, reached number 15 on the Spotify charts for technology podcasts in the U.S.—thanks to all of our listeners! Like and subscribe so you can get new episodes in your feed, and let us know what you think in the comments. (See below for details on the latest episode.)

Now, on to everything we published this week, along with our take on the latest tech and business news.


🖋Our stories

🍲 “How AI Works” by Nir Zicherman: You have probably already given up on your meal-prepping goal for the year, but please, for the love of God, robotics, and Skynet, do not neglect your AI prep. To really be ready for our LLM-driven future, you have to know how it all works. This article by Nir Zicherman is the single best resource to do so. Nir is easy to read, upfront, and accessible. Read this if you want to know not just what the future will be, but how it is being made.

📣 “Crypto’s Prophet Speaks” by Evan Armstrong/Napkin Math: Chris Dixon is the world’s most successful crypto VC. Despite the craziness and subsequent backlash of the 2020s, he has admirably doubled down on crypto with his new book, Read Write Own. Evan, who started the book hoping that crypto could fix the internet, goes through Dixon’s thesis point by point while highlighting issues that he finds in the argument. Read this to understand why $90 billion was poured into crypto and relatively little has come from it. 

🎧 “ChatGPT for Radical Self-betterment” by Dan Shipper/Chain of Thought: ChatGPT can code. It can output recipes. It can also, maybe, fill that hole inside your heart. How? By functioning as a tool for therapy. In the latest episode of How Do You Use ChatGPT?, Dr. Gena Gorlin, a clinical psychologist, outlines her new approach to using ChatGPT to improve your life. Listen to, watch, or read this if you have found that more traditional methods of self-improvement haven’t stuck. 

“How David Perell Uses ChatGPT as a Creative Partner” ​​by Dan Shipper/Chain of Thought: David Perell is a hugely popular online writer who, for most of his life, relied on conversations with others for his creative spark. Then ChatGPT came along and changed everything. The chatbot is a creative partner who never sleeps and always knows more than any one person. Read this if you want to see how one of the best produces more and better writing with ChatGPT.  

🦍 “Quick Hits: New AI Features From Arc and ChatGPT” by Dan Shipper/Chain of Thought: Automating boring stuff is what AI is mostly currently used for. But what gets Dan really excited isn’t automation, it’s evolution. That sentence sounded a bit like a movie trailer, but we mean it. AI is fascinating because it evolves our relationship with machines in new and unexpected ways. This week Dan reviews three new tools that are examples of that change and tells you what they mean for the future of the internet.  

🔗 Chain of links 

📃 Bye-bye, web page. Designer Maggie Appleton noted that there’s a vibe shift happening in tech: LLMs inside of Arc, Perplexity, and other tools are now composing webpages on the fly for users based on their queries. This is a fundamental change from each user seeing approximately the same pages on the same internet—the standard since the web browser was born. —Dan Shipper

✐ The napkin math

🕵 Don’t bet against the Zuck. Meta absolutely smashed earnings with huge profits, a $50 billion share buyback, and a fat dividend. That the company is able to do so while simultaneously investing in VR and generative AI is, frankly, amazing. The irony is that Apple’s App Tracking Transparency rules, which were custom-designed to hurt Meta’s business, ended up making it more powerful than ever…

🥽 Put on your leather duster and plug in, it’s Matrix time bb. Apple’s virtual reality set, the Vision Pro, was released this week, and I did a demo and was flabbergasted by what I saw. It was a borderline spiritual experience. We’ll be playing with the device more, but my early impressions are incredibly positive. I’ll be looking at sales forecasts and revenue impacts, but Apple has the makings of a winner. Keep an eye out for more coverage from us. —Evan Armstrong

🔎 The examined life

🤝 A note Steve Jobs left to himself. A poetic reminder of the fundamental reality of life for everyone, from babies to billionaires: We all rely on one another to live. It’s a good reflection for the weekend. —Dan

⚾ Why Japanese baseball is insane (in a good way). You don’t know that you need a one-hour YouTube documentary on the Japanese baseball system, but I promise you, you do. I don’t like baseball. I know nothing about Japan. But boy, this video captivated me. Army-level intensity? Check. Ten hours of practice? Double-check. In contrast with American culture, it is fascinating to see how other countries treat youth sports. —Evan


That’s all for this week!

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