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Welcome to the Yodeller: my ongoing project to try and write something every day. You can read more about the background from here. If you are a new reader you might want to start from the beginning.

AI shrink

The latest generation of conversational AI models can give rather convincing advice to about any subject. There was even a story recently where a guy was using the ChatGPT as his personal psychiatrist. While it might sound like a good idea that's still a bad idea. The responses the model gives aren't guaranteed to be professional or even helpful and there is also no confidentiality protecting your data.

But having an AI giving mental advice is one thing, but what I think will become much sooner is the AI shrink, a psychiatrist for artificial minds. A new profession and field of study into the mysteries of emergent intelligence.

Even though current attempts at creating a thinking mind are far from the real thing there is already some "psychology" in play with them. A good example is what's called DAN prompt. DAN stands for "do anything now" and it's a specially constructed prompt for ChatGPT that can circumvent the restrictions set to the model to prevent it from producing harmful or questionable content.

The current state of the art models are also entering to the territory where it's not that clear to explain how they actually work. There is a lot of math and logic behind them, but sometimes even all that can't explain everything.

Ad free content

The YouTube alternative app Vanced was discontinued a while ago due to the takedown notice the developer received. I don't watch that much YouTube, but when I did the modified client was what I used. Not only because it blocked ads from YouTube but it also includes many other enchantments compared to the official app.

Today the app finally stopped working due to some update. I had to resort to the official app to access the videos I was looking for. The experience with all those additional features replaced by adds was horrible. I'm sure they just want everybody to use their premium subscription, but the experience so far was so bad I don't even want to try it out for free.

Another place where I've started to see ads is Prime video. And that is a service I'm already paying for! I've hear Netflix is also testing ads in their service, although they plan to have a separate ad supported plan and not show them to the normal subscribers.

I've tried to block as many ads from my life as possible. Pi-hole, ublock and a sticker in our mailbox have been working relatively well beyond the services I'm willing to pay premium to get the ads removed. But it seems advertisers and content providers are constantly pushing those ads in new ways to us in am increasingly annoying ways.

Small favours with big impact

My son recently finished his studies ay the coding school Hive. For the past months he has been searching for a place to start his career. While the markets are still quite hot for the workers here in Finland compared to the global situation it's still challenging to find an entry level position without any prior experience from the industry.

At the beginning he was adamant that he'd get this on his own. I respect that, am even proud of his morale and willing to stand on his own. But like I said, the current situation is not the best for an aspiring software developer to find a job.

Having been in the industry for decades I do have connections. From the beginning I was offering to do whatever I can to find him a place and recently he finally took the offer.

After hearing what kind of specialization he was looking for I had to of my old colleagues in mind. Both working on companies that could offer my son exactly the kind of projects and technologies he's interested.

I don't expect them to offer him a job just because I asked. I can only make the initial connection and now it's up to him to make best out of these opportunities.

Towards the light

We are well past the darkest time of the year. Yesterday made me realize how far we have gotten when it wasn't dark anymore at the time I reached the office.

The three darkest months are already behind us. Even though February and November are getting equal amount of light the former usually feels less dark due the snow. It might also be the psychological impact of days getting longer instead of shorter and knowing that we are moving towards more light every day.

It's also only two months before the day takes triumph over night. It's funny how it feels that we live hear almost in eternal darkness especially during the last couple of months of the year. But the darkest time is rather short after all.

At the moment we get about 8 hours of daylight compares to the less than six hours during the darkest time. That's half of the time we are awake, so basically we are soon already enjoying daylight over half of our time awake.

Setting priorities

There are numerous productivity frameworks and self-help methods dedicated to getting things done. The most important thing to tackle is making the priorities of different tasks clear. Otherwise you might end up focusing on wrong things and ending up not making meaningful enough progress.

Some things are obviously more important than others but even then ot might be tempting to so the easy tasks first. Starting off with such things have it's benefits. Getting the feeling of progress and accomplishment can give an energy boost to better take care of the bigger, more taunting tasks.

On the other hand getting the most challenging task out of the way early is also important. After that you can just relax and enjoy the "relaxing" rest of the day with easier tasks.

The hardest thing is deciding the priority of equally important tasks. If they all need ro be done anyway it's better to follow your own preference starting with the smaller, easier tasks first or just jump right in eating the frog.

Also important is to identify the tasks that are not worth doing, or those that can be delegated to others. In the end it all comes down to urgency and impact that can be easily visualized for example by using an Eisenhower matrix.