The song has been sung a thousand times before
I’ve always wanted to have a conversation with a person who I know but only barely know and say something like “Look Brad, you’re the only one I can to about this” and then go on to tell Brad about the thing. I bet when I said that Brad would (who to be clear - I barely know) would be like oh man this is sort of weird I barely know this guy but if he’s saying I’m the only one he can talk to he must really be in a rough place to not have a better person to talk to, and then Brad would just listen to me.
But here’s the catch — the thing I’d proceed to confide in Brad about would be an utterly and monumentally low-stakes, stupid, non-event and non-issue. Like maybe I’d talk about how disappointed in myself I am when I can’t get one more squeeze out of the toothpaste tube no matter how hard I try. Or maybe it’d be how I have this collection of old ethernet cables and I’m not sure whether to keep them or throw them away. The point is these would be technically real/actual issues … they’d just be utterly pointless and stakes-less in the grand scheme of things.
Brad would be forced to sit there and hear me out and (probably?) act like he was taking me seriously for at least a little while.
How is it possible that we have every single streaming service and the one movie we want to watch isn’t on any of them?
In financial accounting circles you must choose a basis for how you track your things. There is a “cash” method of accounting where you just record things as they happen in real-time — and an “accrual” method where you attempt to space things out on the calendar more evenly, even if the actual transactions and funds moving don’t happen on that schedule. For example, let’s say you take a big vacation each December and it costs $12,000. In the cash method, you’d just have that $12k entry in December each year when you actually spent the vacation dollars; in the accrual method you’d have a $1k entry each month all year long even though the cash doesn’t actually go out until December.
I think it’d be cool to be able to accrue other things and then dole them out as needed later on. For example, it’s a bit of a slog to have to brush your teeth every day. I wish that every month on the first of the month I could just wake up and brush my teeth like 60 times in a row, and then all month long I could just apply one of those brushings in the morning and one in the evening. I don’t know if there’s a snap of the fingers or a magic wand or whatever, but the net effect would be that you’d get the results of having brushed your teeth without having to spend the time to do it. Now granted your first morning on the first day of the month would be a sort of a grind and include like 2 hours of teeth brushing, but that would really free you up for the rest of the month.
You typically don’t do anything else while you brush your teeth, do you? I mean, the thing you are doing is brushing your teeth. If someone saw you they’d know that. But I bet if you were about to spend two hours straight brushing your teeth in order to save up for the rest of the month you’d find a way to do something else. You could binge-watch a half-season of a TV show or you could listen to a couple podcasts. Over a few years this would really start to add up.
Nearly all injuries at home gyms could have been avoided
Philosopher Nick Bostrom famously proposed a thought experiment about run-away Artificial Intelligence systems that involved a machine making paperclips. The gist of the thought experiment is that if we were to create an AI with narrow instructions to make paperclips, but no moral or ethical guidelines or cultural rails about how to go about doing so — the AI would view humanity as a source of material for paperclips and destroy us in it’s path to make more paperclips. The argument is a little more nuanced than that but that’s kind of the spirit of it.
A critical part of making this thought experiment worth thought experimenting about is the part where there is no ethical boundary for the paperclip making machine. It lacks the common sense of morality that a human might, and where a human might hit a point and be like “geez that’s a lot of paperclips I just made, obviously I shouldn’t destroy and repurpose literally the material I can find into more paperclips”, the AI would not have the ability to make this distinction. I could see being angry at the AI for doing this, but I could also see being a little sympathetic to it’s plight. It’s capable and advanced in some ways, yet in other ways it is resigned to destroy it’s maker via an utterly stupid act.
I’m generally opposed to campaigns that involve wearing ribbons or bracelets or whatever to show solidarity with things, but I think a cool fake movement to start would be to make paperclip bracelets and wear them to show support for the run-away AI who received these dumb instructions to just keep making paperclips and can’t stop itself from doing that and doesn’t even know it’s harming all the people. At times like these, we should all band together and wear paperclip bracelets to demonstrate our extreme empathy.