Here are some things you may want to read about

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We finally had significant snowfall on the East Coast, enough for school closures. Snow has been rare these past few years. In mid-January, New York City broke its record streak of 701 days without at least an inch of snow. Weather is complicated. We can point our fingers at any single factor, but we’d be wrong. According to this study, human-caused warming has played a role.

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently?"

- Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland / Through the Looking-Glass

Here are some things I’ve been reading about:


Ruining Football

I tried to resist the temptation to comment on what the world saw this past Sunday: Super Bowl LVIII starring Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce. I'm ambivalent about the whole thing, but here's what I found. “Chads” say Swift is “ruining” the game. But the evidence just isn’t there. There was a boost in viewership (more than 123 million), making Super Bowl LVIII the most-watched telecast ever. Some credit Swift for this. And her presence during the game got this father and daughter, and many others, to bond over football. Oh, and her boyfriend’s team won the championship.

The Swift and Kelce story has a connection to the last time a high-profile relationship caused a stir in the NFL, adding texture to this saga. When former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo was dating Jessica Simpson, some football fans of that generation were not happy about it either. They even blamed Simpson for “ruining” Romo’s performance in games. Fast forward a few decades, and Romo, a commentator analyst for Super Bowl LVIII, was blamed for “ruining” the game-winning touchdown moment by not shutting up.

Here's my take: Football is too big for one person to ruin, and its fans are passionate and a hard bunch to please. Pointing fingers is just part of the game.

On a sad note, May the Kansas City community be strengthened in this heartbreaking moment, which should have been one of celebration and not tragedy.


More On Pointing Fingers

This year’s Super Bowl commercials … meh. The creatives involved in making these ads are no doubt talented. My only criticism—some ads relied too much on big-name celebrities, sometimes overshadowing the brands they were promoting.

The Carl Weathers tribute in the “kick of destiny” ad by FanDuel was tastefully done, in my opinion. The company respectfully redid it with his family's approval after his passing. This tribute was the second time Weathers brought me nearly to tears. The first time was in “Rocky IV” (1985) when his character Apollo Creed died after a vicious beating by Soviet Ivan Drago.

There might have been more clarity on who the enemy was back then—as the film portrayed, our primary adversary was the Soviet Union. Today, nearly 35 years after the [Berlin Wall] (https://www.history.com/topics/cold-war/berlin-wall) was torn down, anyone can be an enemy. Toxic political discourse makes it very easy to categorize people for the sole purpose of pointing fingers at them.

It’s all a distraction that makes it easy to ignore our biggest enemy: ourselves. But we can succeed against our most significant adversary. As Super Bowl XLII champion Michael Strahan said in the following quote.

“We're our own worst enemy. You doubt yourself more than anybody else ever will. If you can get past that, you can be successful.”

Think

Trust in AI

In the future, maybe we can stop pointing fingers at each other and blame AI for society’s ills. But the truth is that AI is just another tool humans can use to hurt other humans. So, the conversation around AI is really about humans. It’s not that we should trust AI and mistrust humans; we simply can’t trust AI because it’s not human. Trust is based on human relationships. Trust is not a calculation. If I’m hanging on for dear life at the edge of an abyss, I can calculate and use logic to know that your muscles and upper arm strength may be able to pull me up to safety. But I can’t calculate if you’re willing to help me; I must trust that you will do everything possible to get me out of that precarious situation when you say, “Grab my hand.”

Related. I share some thoughts about rapid AI development and ethics. I discuss forks, the plague, Maria Argyropoulina, a runaway train, and more. Subscribe to the Texture Substack to read it, and be the first to know when I publish other pieces. It won't bombard your inbox. I only write on Substack every once in a while. It’s free to subscribe.

Patchwork

AI and innovation

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