A third one-off never-to-be-etc Acts Not Facts weeknote

08.55, Tuesday 21 Nov 2023

I wrote this yesterday. But then I got Covid and was too annoyed yesterday to post it.

Coming up this week

  • PartyKit. Chipping away at two longer-running bits of work: one exploration and one around go-to-market. I need to figure out if there’s a spin-off hacked-together thing I can just put out there this week… shipping is a habit and I need to keep a regular cadence going otherwise everything feels bogged down (and that affects the lightness of thought).
  • Client Who Shall Not Be Named. Got a bit feisty last week and speed-ran a version of the whole strategy directly into a draft deck. Not 100% wedded to the conclusions but now we have a something to populate and improve as a team.

Also for client (2) I’m doing a talk later this week on design and AI. Bashed out an outline while the kid was at ballet on Saturday.

I’m going for pragmatic examples, and Show The Prompt. What’s wild about all these new AI Lego bricks is they’re all so straightforward, like a couple dozen lines of code. Combining them takes imagination! Making good AI applications requires designers to have good intuitions! So: a talk that helps build familiarity.

Media last week

The NEXT conference folks have published The AI/Human Interface: experiments in action, my conversation with Petr Parkan Janda about playful product invention and human-AI collaboration. (This is a write-up of the YouTube from a couple of weeks ago, and embeds that video.)

Also in my in-tray

I am not in love with the title for this section, mainly because I don’t have an actual in-tray, and even if I did that is not how I organise my time. Will think about that.

AI Clock. The reality of hardware is much of it is spent like this: I am in email conversations with a component manufacturer in Shenzhen, seeing if they can do the modifications that you want at a quantity that makes sense at the price you need.

I’m glad I don’t have the requirement to deliver a Kickstarter hanging over my head while I’m doing this because it’s a position of great uncertainty. But I’m very fast approaching the last possible date to launch a campaign this side of Christmas, so that may be the disappointing consequence of this diligence of planning out manufacture, whichever way this particular negotiation goes.

I don’t talk about calls and meetings so much. Some go somewhere, some don’t, it’s not very predictable. All are interesting.

There’s an area in physics called statistical mechanics. It’s not very useful to look at individual particles randomly bouncing around, mostly. But in aggregate there are tendencies that you can get at via statistics.

e.g. temperature. Temperature is a bulk property, and it is an enormously concept to reason with. But it’s not a property that “exists” as belonging to any single atom.

So maybe there’s a way of thinking about the temperature of my calendar.

Other bulk properties are pressure, density, refractive index, etc.

What is the refractive index of my calls and meetings schedule? That kind of thing. I would like to have some kind of easy-to-assess indicator that all is well in the world of early-stage conversations.

Rn I’m happy with where it’s at.

Ok back to writing strategy and being ticked off about having Covid-19 or Covid-23 or Covid XP Professional Edition or whatever we’re on now. Working from home obv.

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