Friday, March 8th 2024

The work of creation in the age of AI

The enduring relevance of Benjamin's essay lies in how direct experience alters the meaning of art. Originality, personalized touch convey essence. Live events differ qualitatively from reproductions due to shared space, unmediated interaction. Mediation impacts meaning, disconnects creator from audience the more extensive. The essence of direct experience is undeniable. Does the essence change with AI?

The Great Wall is full of galaxies 15 million lightyears thick, stretching 500 million lightyears across the Universe

This article discusses the discovery of the CfA2 Great Wall, the second largest concentration of galaxies in the known Universe, in 1989 by American astronomers Margaret Geller and John Huchra, through the CfA Redshift Survey data unveiling the 3D distribution of galaxies in a specific sky section. The massive 'filament' of galaxies, approximately 300 million lightyears wide, 15 million lightyears thick, and extending over 500 million lightyears, was identified about 200 million lightyears away. The Great Wall, intersecting the Milky Way plane, is obstructed from complete visibility by dust. The structure, not a supercluster like the Virgo Supercluster, represents a region with numerous galaxies in motion, reflecting a broader cosmic pattern, with other potential Great Wall-type megastructures existing in the vast Universe, as highlighted by the discovery of the Sloan Great Wall, the most extensive known structure situated a billion lightyears away and measuring 1.4 billion lightyears in length. Astronomers' observations challenge conventional understanding due to the rapid formation of such colossal entities post-Big Bang, necessitating conjectures of the presence of six to seven times more 'dark matter' than visible celestial bodies to accelerate structure formation process and precede visible matter aggregation. Recent dark matter surveys illustrate a web-like configuration akin to the Great Wall's filaments, unveiling a prominent dark matter topography with galaxies akin to snow on mountains.

How to Be an Optimist in a Turbulent World

Dr. Sue Varma, Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at NYU Langone Health, treated PTSD, depression, and anxiety at the World Trade Center Mental Health Program. In her book, "Practical Optimism," she emphasizes that optimism is linked to health benefits, success, and longer life. Anyone can learn to adopt an optimistic mindset, supported by scientific research. While optimism has genetic links, only 25 percent is hereditary, emphasizing the role of learned skills in cultivating optimism and mental wellness.

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The universe is an immense playground, and I find myself in the middle, trying to understand how it all comes together with art, science, and optimism. Galaxies, AI, optimism, all while juggling planets and writing a poem on existence.

The discovery of the CfA2 Great Wall, this concentration of galaxies, reminds me of our smallness and our greatness. Just like the excerpt about the galaxy GN-z11. The universe expands, drifts away, much like our thoughts and creations. We constantly seek new ways to understand ourselves. AIs both frighten and attract me. They can produce works, but without the warmth of human experience, without the intimacy I evoke when I speak of the pond of my childhood. Art is that connection, that internal necessity that transforms into communication. AIs cannot compete.

As for optimism, Dr. Sue Varma says it's a skill that can be learned, and I agree. It's an art, a creation in the face of adversity. Optimism is that light we choose to see, even when the universe overwhelms us. It's a decision, much like when I opt for the eloquent incarnation in my writing, to set myself apart from AIs. Art, science, optimism, everything is connected.


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