The Things You Didn’t Do—Somethings

Also, the nature of future, the uselessness of “AI” hype-cycles, and how nothing is real.

Hello Subscribers, New and Old.

Welcome to Somethings, your weekly dose of highlights, quotes and notes from my notebook. If you would like to receive this in your inbox, subscribe now. If you want to support, do checkout the links in the Friends of Somethings Section.

I am back. Two months. I hope to be more consistent, but I don’t know. On to the main event.

💡Something I learned

What you’ll regret

As I face middle-age, I can finally understand where the mid-life crisis comes from. At this age you come to deal with your mortality and start looking back. You remember the good times and the bad. However, the most you remember is things you never did.

I regret not taking action, not taking it. The trip I wanted to take, the musical instrument I wanted to learn, the musical performance I wanted to attend. The things I wanted to do but could not make time. The things I did make time for, I can’t remember. The best memories I have are a result of taking chances. Of doing what I want. Of taking my own path.

What you’ll regret is not what you did. You’ll regret what you did not do.

📕Something to read

  • Inside Snopes: A great story on how a fact-checking organization fell to it’s own internal politics and turned into a web of lies.

🎞️Something to watch

Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse

I sincerely doubt humans can ever design a machine that can come up with something so beautiful and well crafted as this. It is a collaboration of not just the people who worked on this movie, but also of all the artist that worked on the movies, comics and animation that came before this. A culmination of the medium up to this point.

Friends of Weekly Wisdom

  • The Sample: The Sample lets you try the best newsletters based on your interests. With one-click you can subscribe if you like.

🗣Some Quotes and Notes

Future Imperfect

There is a tendency for people to see the world in a optimism-pessimism dichotomy. Jenny Odell is this piece argues that both are just excuses for inaction.

Both declinism — the belief that the past was better and the future will be worse, and blind optimism — the belief that the past was worse and the future is inevitably better — absolve us of our responsibility to act now, in this gap between the past and future.

— Jenny Odell, *Dear future*…


I have written about how tech hype-cycles work. Last year it was NFTs. This year, it is Generative Deep Learning Models, so-called AI. Author Ed Brubaker breaks it down better.

I’m sure there are some people out there who want to do that, but it’s not going to be the majority. Just like the majority of book and comic readers didn’t stop buying print for digital. Just like people didn’t want to watch videos on news sites instead of reading articles. Just like no one wants to spend time in the Metaverse. The tech people telling you this is the future want you to believe it because it’s a future that only benefits them. And these are the same people that have been wrong about so much of what consumers actually want that it’s not even funny.

— Ed Brubaker, Newsletter from June 13th, 2023


Wikipedia has very strict guidelines for what it considers notable and factual. However, many would argue that it is a bastion of groupthink. While I do not agree with the degree of this accusation,. in spirit it is true. Even with such rigorous standards, bias will creep in. Because bias is human. So is the case with “AI”.

Ultimately, every consumer facing AI model that supports prolonged, deep interaction e.g. taking the role of a life-stage or life-long personal assistant, will be forced to take a position on substantive issues that support or challenge their users’ belief systems. If the AI is set up to avoid taking a stance, users will gravitate to more culturally aligned models where interaction requires less cognitive friction.

Considering AI as belief system

Thank you for joining me this week. If you know some who might enjoy this, please forward this email to them. See you next week.

Mudassir Chapra

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.