Played around with ChatGPT 4 this morning, and was very impressed. DALL-E 3 is also a great addition.
Why Photographers Still Matter
I’ve observed that ChatGPT as well as DALL-E is very fascinating, and also great for creativity.
However, an interesting nuance I have discovered:
The images that they could produce however, is still limited to illustrations, vector images, drawings and paintings etc. It cannot yet make a realistic looking photograph.
I think there is something very very beautiful about the photographs, why? Capturing a moment in time I think is our great joy. Also some simple pragmatics include the ease of printing out photos, and being able to mount them on your wall or inside a frame, something that does not require batteries, charging, LCD screens etc.
The best way to think about AI is that it is essentially like Siri
All of this nonsensical talk of artificial intelligence going to take our jobs in our creativity is silly. Why? The reason people like to do art is because it is fun!
A simple thought is I don’t really think that artist should chase making money, instead, we should do it for autotelic purposes, fulfilling some sort of inner joy in ourselves!
I think the only real reason why people seek to make money through their artwork or photographs is because they are seeking some sort of external validation and legitimacy to what they do. However, this is not a wise path because it means that you are a slave to the nod of others.
How should we think about AI?
The best way to think about AI, open AI, ChatGPT etc. is that it is a complement to us, and an augmentation of us, rather than a replacement.
If AI can give us a creative nudge, it is good!
I’ve also discovered the upside of AI, technology etc. is that it opens up our minds to certain opportunities would have otherwise not thought of. Exposing or introducing unorthodox thinking to us.
For example, I think it is useful to think of Google Maps as AI. Why? Technically Google maps uses artificial intelligence to map out the quickest path from us to get from point A to point B. I love Google Maps as well because it has taken me down some strange routes, which are actually very interesting. Routes I would have never otherwise discovered or thought of up myself.
For example, in order to avoid traffic on the 5 or 405, Google maps has routed me through some sort of side streets and industrial centers, which are actually visually very interesting for me
Automate the boring stuff
This is very very popular online course on udemy titled “automate the boring stuff”. The basic idea is that perhaps the reason of technology is that it helps us eliminate tedious, time-consuming tasks in our everyday life.
Example, my insane joy with the instant pot as well as the air fryer (chefman). Why? It is like having a cooking slave; to be able to instant pot food insanely quickly and effectively is such a great joy, instead of having to tediously cook it myself and monitor it. Do you remember that old commercial, “set it and forget it?” Yeah that’s good.
Or, my great passion and gratitude towards having an in unit washer and dryer. Can you imagine how tedious it was back in the day having to wash wring and dry it yourself?
What are the tedious things we could cut out of photography?
Photography is great, but I have observed that there are certain tedious things. For example, having to trudge through all of our photographs in order to choose the best one. This is a huge issue, because let us say that you shoot 1000 photos a day. Technically photography is my profession, and even I don’t have enough time to go through and review all my photos in a single day! My simple vision for the next generation of arsbeta.com is simple:
Drag and drop, from your iPhone or iPad, or even laptop, quickly drag and drop or select 1000 photos, and ARS BETA AI can help you cool down to your best photo or three photos or 10 photos etc.
Essentially there would be some sort of slider, which would actually enable this to be possible. For example, the slider filter could allow you to cull down to 100 photos, 50 photos, 25 photos etc.
If you can help me build this shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
I think by far, the most useful use case of AI would definitely be in regards to tedious driving in stop and go traffic. For example, I think the only reason to get a Tesla isn’t for all of that electric car stuff, but rather, the promise of a car that can use the noise of driving on the 405 or the 10 during rush-hour traffic. Or even tedious stop and go traffic when driving around Los Angeles local.
AI to help with voice dictation?
Perhaps one of the greatest innovations I’ve discovered is being able to use voice dictation on my iPad Pro, without a stupid keyboard, and be able to be out and about and walking around to voice dictate my thoughts into IA WRITER.
Why is this so great?
First, I hate being indoors, I prefer to be out and about, walking in the direct sun. I could do this with my iPad Pro, the 11 inch, currently using the M1 processor.
I’ve noted that the reason why I love the iPad Pro so much is that the voice dictation transcription quality and accuracy is at least 1000 times better than using my iPhone SE. I’m not sure if this has to do with the M-series processor over the A-series processor, or whether maybe the iPad Pro has better microphones.
Irregardless, I think a huge benefit to writers and thinkers is voice dictation, and the AI behind it. I believe that open AI had this new concept called “whisper“, which allows this as well.
For example, everyone seems to suffer from “writers block“, but nobody suffers from “talker’s block”.
Download the iOS ChatGPT app on either your iPhone or iPad or both, and subscribe to the ChatGPT plus, which cost 20 bucks a month. Once you have done that, adjust the slider to ChatGPT four, and note that in the bottom left corner you could upload photos directly to ChatGPT! Type in and ask ChatGPT what it thinks about your photos, and rate your photos.
Or if you want real human responses, upload your photos to arsbeta.com
My new focuses?
Reading the Elon Musk Walter Isaacson biography, many big lessons, one of them being is this; simply predict and anticipate the very critical future concerns.
For example, to me I am very interested in crypto, cryptocurrency and crypto technology, stuff on the Internet and blockchain, as well as AI. Why? It is cool interesting and sexy!
Not only that, but it seems that if you are passionate enough, you don’t gotta pigeonhole yourself into just one thing. Do it all! Isn’t Elon Musk CEO in about seven or eight different companies?
Fitness and food
erickimfitness.com — everywhere I look, and everybody I talk to, it seems that everyone is a little bit clueless about health and nutrition. It is something that I have always been passionate about, ever since I was a fat 12-year-old kid.
I think also the biggest issue is things which bemuddle fitness and health, namely steroids, performance enhancing drugs, “natural“ testosterone boosters, the multi billion dollar supplement industry, protein powder and creatine, pre-workout powder, caffeine and fake sugar supplements which make you fat.
Also, this strange trend towards veganism “plant-based” diets. I think there is too much weird ethics and morality and anti-masculine sentiment behind it all; rather than thinking critically, without all of this prejudice and propaganda from these vegetarian vegan plant-based corporations.
Do you know James Cameron, the guy who made Titanic avatar and funded all of these pro vegan documentaries? Apparently he owns a $1 billion pea protein powder plant somewhere, just follow the money, this is a big financial and media conflict of interest. He is also apparently best friends with Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is definitely the most influential fitness person of them all. Let us also not forget that when Arnold what is in his prime, he also admits to taking steroids.
I think we should rejoice and be glad that the future of photography is still very bright for us!
For example, I’m currently living in Culver City and it seems that Apple is opening up a bunch new offices here! Also, I always walk by the Apple office on Washington, and they have this very very very cool photo exhibit thing on LCD screens, all these lovely photos shot on iPhone.
Why do people buy iPhones?
People buy iPhones, or have a motivation to upgrade their iPhones primarily for photography. I think the reason why iPhone pro titan is lackluster is that the average person doesn’t really care about weight, or even materials, they simply will only upgrade their iPhone or iPhone Pro because they want a better camera.
Also, take note: ain’t nobody use their iPhone to shoot cinema. Nor does anyone aspire to use their iPhone to shoot cinema. What do we want our iPhones for? To shoot photographs!
Street photography is the best photography, street art is the best art. Any more time we can spend on the streets, the better.
I was talking to a guy at the park yesterday, Tony, and he told me a fun fact which may or may not be true; that bear is apparently walk 50 miles a day! It probably isn’t true, it had me thinking; could I walk 50 miles a day if I wanted to?
Also, if you simply walked around all day, 50 miles a day with your camera, certainly you would witness many photo opportunities!
What is the best camera to do this with? Of course you could just use your iPhone, or your Ricoh GR camera, or your Fuji, or your Sony, Leica, LUMIX whatever. I think less than the camera component is the walking factor.
The big reason why it is so critical to be able to walk much and have a light camera and a compact camera is that it will assist you to just walk more! I have your camera discourages you from walking a lot, even recently on my Lumix G9 I bought the Lumix 14 mm F2.5 pancake lens and I love it! It has reduced the weight of my camera by at least 10X, and as a consequence, I just shoot more and explore more.
Photo assignment: this Halloween go out with your camera, and shoot some fun photos with the flash! You can experiment also using the external flash, on camera flash, have fun with the angles and slow shutter speeds. Upload your best photos to arsbeta.com
Shoot it at night, and smile and have fun with people, and also offer to send people the photos! When you take a photo of somebody or ask or whatever, just compliment them on their costume!
Limited to the first 10 motivated streettogs!
It seems that ultimate leisure is physical. To me so fascinating because street photography allows us to kill many birds with one stone.
My personal opinion is that street photography may be the most physical form of activity of them all.
Also, the reason why I am also so enthusiastic about street photography is how many birds you can kill with one stone. Let us note how street photography affords us an opportunity to just be out of the house, out in public walking around, as well as opportunity to talk to strangers and other people who interest us, also, visiting and seeing places and traversing new streets and spaces, and also, the great joy of interacting with the real world, embodied reality!
For a lot of these people who like to play video games, Diablo, World of Warcraft, etc.… It seems that ultimate aspiration is to be out and about in public! Isn’t that the whole “open world” concept? Even the new Elden ring game, which Elon Musk is apparently a big fan of, is also all about this open world concept in which you are not relegated to a single place, but rather, have the power and freedom to go anywhere you want!
My friend Rinzi Ruiz had a simple adage that I follow:
Follow the light!
Nowadays considering that I prefer to be topless, and walking out and about in public, my greatest passion is to be in the direct sun. With the direct sun I get the greatest amount of energy, power, and hype and motivation. To me the sun is the ultimate stimulant.
It’s still strikes me as bizarre that a lot of people would instead prefer to be indoors, watching some sort of unnatural media without direct exposure to the elements! Isn’t the greatest joy of life to enjoy the sun?
If you’re concerned about skin cancer or whatever, just put on a lot of sunblock, wear a hat and some long sleeves and long pants. I still think it is good to get direct sun exposure.
Also, it seems that the noveau privilege in today’s world is having a full body tan, and also being highly muscular.
Photography is an infinitely beautiful and complex game, and one of the things I love most about it is our ability to explore.
The best use of our money time and resources I think is to travel, be out in the real world, and also, explore. For example, when I think about all of my world travels, all of these great and phenomenal experiences that had during my time in Japan, Osaka and Tokyo and Kyoto, Vietnam, Saigon and Hanoi, Korea, Seoul Busan, in Dubai, and all around the planet… traveling transform me, uplifted me, and really opened up my mind and my universe.
Can I still be a productive photographer without traveling?
Of course: I think the big secret is living somewhere which allows for maximum walking. For example, a simple thought; if you walked 50 miles a day, and always had your camera with you, certainly you would witness a lot of food opportunities, wouldn’t you?
A simple life optimization suggestion that I have is it is better to rent in an extremely desirable, pedestrian friendly neighborhood then to own a less desirable neighborhood.
LEARN WITH EK
- DISCOVER YOUR CREATIVE MISSION IN LIFE: DOWNTOWN LA, November 4th, 2023
- INTRODUCTION TO STOICISM WORKSHOP: Downtown LA, DECEMBER 2nd, 2023
- CONQUER CONFIDENCE ONLINE WORKSHOP: Jan 27, 202
- April 20th, 2024: SF ZEN PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP (info TBA)
- Family street photography workshop in Culver City, Los Angeles: Working on the details, stay posted.
Never stop learning, never stop thinking:
For the freshest thoughts, what I am thinking right now, always always always the ERIC KIM BLOG >
Other random thoughts
I went to the Peterson automotive museum with Seneca, and we loved it! If you live in Southern California, definitely check it out.
Some car thoughts:
CARS, CULTURE & THE SELF.
Just went to the Petersen automotive museum, some thoughts:
How I found out about it?
I suppose one of the big upsides of living in LA, Los Angeles, is that there are so many epic and great things here. For example, I was just randomly driving down Fairfax one day from the gym, and I saw this insanely big building, with great curved white stainless steel and red architecture. I was curious what it was and I saw that it was the Peterson automotive museum on Google maps. I thought to myself, maybe one day I could take Sen here.
When you’re driving and you see something interesting on the road or the freeway etc. and you’re not sure what it is, just take a screenshot of it on your phone, and revisit it later.
Perhaps this is where great architecture makes a great impression; I first I had no idea what the structure was, it was only later when I looked into it that it was actually an automotive museum.
So finally the other day, after Sen took a quick nap in the car, I thought that it might be the best time to take Sen to the museum.
To me, after touring the whole place with Sen, some thoughts:
- I suppose the good thing of going to museum was that after seeing all these cars in real life, I no longer feel the desire to own any of them.
- The second thought which is useful is to think and consider these cars as art objects. That is, it ain’t cars for the sake of movement or driving, but something else.
Cars and culture, America, and Los Angeles?
Several things. First and foremost, in America, whether we like it or not, we are a car culture. For example let us consider that much of our economic powers and prosperity came from the automotive industry, Ford and GM, etc. Apparently even back in the day if you’re living in Michigan or Detroit and you drove a Toyota or a Japanese car, people would physically assault you or even physically vandalize your car.
How and why do cars matter?
Well first of all, this is tricky; cars are great because they allow you to do basic things like go to Costco, buy groceries, drive to the park which is otherwise too time consuming to traverse by foot, and with public transportation, it seems that if it isn’t convenient enough, people want to take it. Certainly COVID-19 did not help at all.
Is there a public transportation future?
I do not think so. Why? What people don’t seem to understand is that it is not about transportation or mobility, it is a matter of fashion, pride, individualism.
For example, it doesn’t really even matter how rich or poor you are, I think the best way to think about it is that your car or what car you drive is almost like your externalized avatar, your ego, your own self impression of yourself.
For example, I think vanity is fine. Everyone wants to distinguish themselves through what car they drive, what they look like, etc. I think for the most part this is a healthy and good thing. Perhaps the big problem though is ultimately, a car will never show your individualism. Why? if your car is not a custom car, ultimately you will look like someone else.
For example, almost any and every modern day card, unless you drive a very very very obscure car, someone else will have a similar make or model as year. For example, it doesn’t matter whether you drive a Lamborghini or a Ferrari, someone out there will also have a similar car to you.
I have a very very very very very simple solution. I think the best car to drive, in today’s world, almost irregardless of where you live is a simple old-school white Prius. I really like the year 2010 model, and up. Why? The good thing with the 2010 model is that there are no stupid LCD screens that pop up or touchscreens which distract you.
Secondly, these things last forever, and also, I actually really like the body styling the 2010 Prius model. The generation before it looks too much like a bubble car, and the generation after it, looks like a strange half assed effort.
The brand new Prius is very very cool, but still I am suspicious because considering that it is a totally new design, they will probably discover some issues with it. And also once again, all this unnecessary tech.
The car as your creative canvas?
Also the fun thing about just getting an old used car is that you can fuck it up and you don’t really care that much. So for example, this 2010 white Prius that I inverted; I have been having a lot of fun spray painting it, spray painting the rims, Touching up the paint here and there, badging it and modifying it etc.
Also, I think ultimately ultimate privilege is convenience, and living more streamlined. This means being able to live a maximally productive, efficient, streamlined life.
Even being in LA, finding electric chargers is a pain in the butt. And also it takes too long. The amazing thing is my Prius, the last month, I literally only filled it up once, and just going to the close by Arco, it only cost me 40 bucks!
Become the Lamborghini or the Ferrari?
Some other funny thoughts: study and observe and deconstruct the bodies style and the ethos of these cars, and figure out how you could integrate it into your own own bodily physiology.
For example, I really like Lamborghini cars for how wide and low to the ground they are. And how they look like fighter jets. so then the practical thought is why not try to transform your body to look the same?
Or, people who buy these huge pick up trucks, lift them up, or the Overlanding vehicles. Instead of buying a rugged car, why not strive to make your body more rugged? More effective interesting and also way cheaper!
I have never really met anybody with an impressive car who also had an impressive looking body. Car shows an auto shows are funny, because the question is this; who are you more interested in, the owner or the car? My friend Don Dillon laughed and said of course the car!
When you step into the mall or the gym, nobody has any idea what car you drive
Anybody who drives an impressive car, what they do not understand is this; once you go inside the gym or the mall, nobody has any idea what car you drive. You become naked.
How do cars matter, how don’t they?
First and foremost, nobody wants to be sedentary inside a car, irregardless of how expensive or nice the car is. Why? From a pure physiology perspective, sitting down and being sedentary is bad.
The best option is instead, to be out and about in the real world, open fresh air, using your legs. Even a lot of guys who get really really really really successful end up getting into bicycle racing and riding instead? Why? Technically when you’re riding a bicycle, it is almost like you’re in a convertible, as you get fresh air all around you. Second, riding a bicycle is just plain fun! I don’t really believe of bicycle riding from a pure “exercise“ philosophy; there are much better ways to exercise that don’t involve sitting on your butt. And once again, the reason why I think riding a bicycle purely for “exercise“, isn’t good because you are still sitting on your butt! Even though you are pumping your legs.
A funny thing that Seneca has been doing is he got a free balancing bicycle without pedals, and he just walks it around! This seems to be a good idea because he is still able to walk himself around.
A very simple life thought and strategy is this: better to rent in a very very very desirable neighborhood, which allows for maximum walking, instead of owning or buying a house even in “good” neighborhood?
Even from a pure productivity perspective, I am far happier and more productive being able to just walk everywhere, instead of having to rely on the agency of driving a car.
Some simple thoughts:
- First, rather than aspiring to buy that new desirable car, better instead to think of modifying and transforming and customizing the car you already got. Figure out how creative you could become!
- Instead of buying a Tesla, better to gain his mindset. I recommend downloading and reading the Elon Musk biography book by Walter Isaacson. Just buy it in the iBook store, and read it on your iPhone or iPad. Or if you drive a lot, maybe it is a good idea to just get it as an audiobook!
- Think hybrid. I still think in today’s world, even though gas and petroleum is bad for the planet, the ultimate car is still some sort of hybrid car. Whether it be hybrid, plug-in hybrid, etc., or just a straight up hybrid. One concept I actually found very interesting is this notion of a turbo hybrid; I have no idea how it works, but apparently I think it is available on the new Kia Sportage car, as well as the new Toyota Crown car?
- If you live in LA or Southern California, or plan to come down here, definitely check out the Peterson automotive museum! I think if you are into cars or car culture, you’ll probably gain at least one creative idea.
- Instead of wasting all that money on a car or your car, better instead to think and consider spending that money on insanely great food instead. Eat more organ meats, 100% grass fed beef, 100% grass fed lamb, bone marrow, which is essentially the demigod food of the gods, cheek, tongue.
- Whenever you see a nice car, always try to look through the car window and give a good stare to who is actually driving the car. Become less interested in the car, become more interested in the person driving the car.
- I still think it is a fun idea to try to psycho analyze people, car behavior, why people drive searching cars etc. I am still fascinated by this concept, “Tell me what car you drive, and I will tell you who you are.”
- Think American. Am I the only liberal I know who is still pro America? Let us not forget that Tesla is technically an American car company! I’m also still really big into Ford, I really really enjoyed the Ford versus Ferrari film. In fact, I think it is a harder flex to buy that new Ford Mustang, the one that looks like a supercar, instead of buying some sort of loser Lamborghini or loser Ferrari. American muscle is supreme.
A lot of things unravel here. One idea is studying Tesla Elon Musk is from a design and production and innovation perspective— I gained some great ideas from it.
First, one thing that I learned from the Peterson automotive museum which was insanely inspiring was seeing a deconstructed Tesla. It is so insanely innovative.
One idea is how Elon and his team innovated and discovered new ways of merging the unit frame body and the production as well as the batteries. The more you can merge the two together, the better.
I think ultimately there is an underlying philosophy behind it all. Some innovation thoughts:
- Merge the components
- Delete, delete, delete
- Start from a blank slate and canvas
- Think first principles
- Question all of the rules and regulations
- Have a supreme disregard for authority
- Never compromise on design
- Think 1 trillion, $10 trillion industry. 1T, 10T.
- Legitimately care.
I think one thing that people don’t get about Elon Musk is that I think there is a strange thought that some people are just money hungry. With Elon this is not the case. I think that your mission must be so insanely critical to you, you are willing to sacrifice everything to obtain it.
Never stop thinking