“Ordinarily, if an average man comes face to face with the nagual the shock would be so great that he would die. The goal of a warrior’s training is not to teach him to hex or to charm, but to prepare his tonal not to crap out ... You call it explaining. I call it a sterile and boring insistence of the tonal to have everything under it’s control. Whenever it doesn’t succeed, there is a moment of bafflement and then the tonal opens itself to death. What a prick! It would rather kill itself than relinquish control. And yet there is very little we can do to change that condition.”
Carlos Castaneda

Tales of Power



I enjoyed this documentary about AlphaGo – the AI that cracked the game of Go. However, I felt that there was another player at the table, an overlooked player: the qualitative outcome. Despite the potential complexity of the game of Go, its outcome is still a simplistic quantity: area conquered.

I have a feeling that the better this technology gets and the better we get at applying it, the more likely we are to lose touch with quality, with human nature and human sensibilities … with life. Measurable efficiency will attain godhood.

I have witnessed this kind of trap in my own (non AI) thinking. I aspire to have a warm home with little to no energy input. I’ve done research on this and have come up with (for now theoretical) answers on how to achieve this. They involve strategically burying and insulating a house WITH the earth around it. This presents challenges in terms of natural light.

Through my exploration of Christopher Alexander’s work, I’ve come to appreciate that warmth is a holistic experience that goes beyond temperature/humidity experience. I am now willing to compromise (intelligently) on thermal efficiency to provide a space with good lighting because a well-lit (and properly insulated) space can feel warm and inviting (more than an efficiently thermally insulated space that is dark and gloomy).

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