A week and a half ago, I started a writing class via Zoom. As an informative question and icebreaker, the half a dozen students were asked to describe their relationship to writing. I didn’t give a full answer then because it would have taken more time than others who didn’t ultimately give long answer, and because I was there to learn, not tell about myself and my writing. However, I thought it’d be a good topic to write about here, if, for no other reason, to get it straight for myself.
I am super fortunate to be able to get a lot of not too expensive things in life without having to save up for it. However, that doesn’t mean I usually just go and get them, especially if they were over $50. No, I like to do things to keep some good characteristics sharp, like wait for a sale, make myself save some money elsewhere from usual routines, do something to “earn” it, among others, including combinations thereof. Well, after 100 days of writing this year to start my minimal two year journey into writing, I got myself a decent chair to sit and write in!
Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming more accessible everyday. It’s also getting better everyday, including its ability to process language, as in editing and/or writing. There is still a lot of human input required, though, but that is diminishing. So what will happen when AI becomes good enough to write or edit with minimal human input? How will anything requiring human writing, like educational assignments and writing contests, adapt to identify writing with AI assistance? And how will it adapt to judging it if it cannot?
Each time I to to enter a competition with a fee, I wonder if that fee couldn’t be put to better use in another “competition”, as in the lottery. That is, what might I be losing out on, or what economists call opportunity costs, in not having spent that money on lottery tickets that could really change my life if I won a jackpot or even secondary prize? After all, few competitions I enter would either change my life as much as a decent lottery prize. Nor would I have better odds of winning or placing well in those competitions, in many but not most cases, like the Boston Marathon. In some small races or other competitions, like writing, I have done well enough to merit some recognition. However, the prizes have always been essentially negligible. That is, there were some value to them, just not much value to me. Well, at least not material value. Moral value like confidence and social value like perception in the eyes of others, also known as bragging rights without the bragging, are another matter, though. Still, as “priceless” as they may be, I can’t help thinking what chances at winning a jackpot I would deprive myself of in putting money towards these competitions rather than to a lottery, for which I don’t often buy tickets. So what to do?
March Madness is once again upon us, and I am playing like millions of North Americans. Ever since President Barack Obama has been in office for the tournament, he has submitted what’s been known as the Barackets on ESPN. Of course, I took up the challenge to go against da Prez and have beaten him 4 out of 5 years. It’s all on this blog, with too many posts to link to. This year, I will once again go against da Prez and track it here.
Do you have your brackets ready and do you think you can beat The POTUS if so? He beat almost 75% of all brackets on ESPN last year, and something like over 90% in 2009, if memory serves, when he correctly picked North Carolina to win it all. He went with Michigan State this year. I went with Florida. Both coaches have won it all so they know how. Teams are both great. Florida’s been together longer.
Good luck and game on!