What-ho and hello dear friend.
If you are receiving this in your inbox, then—whew!—by some stroke of luck it has traversed the digital abyss unscathed. I am so profoundly glad I didn’t ruin it all. If you could ensure that this is not in your spam or promotions tab, that would be wondrous—it will help convince the mail servers that this new domain is indeed trustworthy. (ty ♡)
This marks the beginning of a new chapter.
Happy Fool’s Day. This, of all days, is a day I take quite seriously. For many it’s their birthday, the new calendar year, the new lunar year, or perhaps a solstice. For me—for the past five or so years, at least—April 1st has held quite some significance. There are reasons I have for this; mostly poetic. Perhaps I will share them with one day.
For now, I would like to offer a glimpse as to the vista of ideas I look forward to sharing with you in the coming days and weeks...
Oh but first, if you don’t know who I am—I am none other than foxwizard, the pseudo-pseudonymous façade of “Dr Fox, Archwizard of Ambiguity (most fantastic)”. Also sometimes known as Jason. For over a dozen years I have been writing in various forms and in various places, yet never quite cultivating a coherent nor consistent body of work. My thoughts are instead strewn across the noösphere. Strewn! This post heralds an attempt to coalesce my efforts into a more cohesive constellation. Let’s see how that goes.
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I describe The Museletter as a weekly epistle for those who seek to be more effective imposters within the mythical ‘future of leadership’. While the consistency of my weekly dispatches remains to be seen, the topic of the future of leadership is evergreen and always ripe for discussion.
But, I swear, it’s taking all of me not to be yet another pundit commenting on Artificial Intelligence.
Many of my professional colleagues have done the chameleon thing; they’re all AI experts now. Or maybe it’s artificial artificial intelligence experts? AAI? Eh? Bah, what is real anyway. Previous to that we were hybrid work experts, then remote work experts, psychological safety experts, adaptive leadership experts, transformative leadership experts, agile leadership experts, innovation experts, productivity experts, and... you get the idea. (Most actually sidestepped the web3/metaverse expert part, despite the meme below. Cowards.)
I am of course a shapeshifter, too. The everquest for meaningful progress spans vast and varied worlds and contexts. We all ought be fluid in our dispositions, in these times. Particularly with Pisces being back in town.
But I would just like to state, for the record, that the few clients I have worked with that took quest leadership seriously (as per the sensibilities from my book, which used AI as an example of potentialities to monitor, back in 2016) are doing quite well with this exponential acceleration of AI. It had long been in their quiver of options, and they are some of the earliest to actively experiment and integrate AI into their modus. Tentatively, mind—for we ought not be in a hurry to relay any sensitive data to the now obviously for-profit AI businesses soon to eat the world. Yet still: engaged. Attuned.
There’s a path betwixt all of this. You certainly cannot afford to ignore what is happening in our collective noösphere right now. New entities are awakening; egregores* borne of the milieu and malaise of our collective mediocrity, informed by the information we have so willingly shared throughout web2. The warlocks that have conjured these entities will continue to gather power for their supercomputers. This power will enhance their respective egregores, which will in turn gather the warlocks more power. It’s a virtuous loop, and something that will shape us all.
* I have written about egregores and ‘warlocks at work’ on another platform. A classic example of why I seek to consolidate these efforts into one place.
Or perhaps I am waxing a bit too mythopoetic here, and thus lending too much agency to what is otherwise a fascinating and mundane Copernican moment. Okay fine, I am getting carried away, I admit. And yet—text is all you need to establish a semblance of personhood. We could be ultra-rational about it—but that’s a cold and clinical path. In any event, we are deep into the liminal right now; who knows what the next metastable chapter may be. All we can do now is be mindful of how we relate to what is unfurling.
My advice to you is to be, as ever, ferociously curious. You ought to been playing with AI already (it’s actually quite fun). You ought to be learning (yourself, and with friends and colleagues) about what can and can’t (currently) be achieved with (and by) AI. You ought to be having the discussions about how AI might impact the work you do, the organisation you work within, and the business model that keeps the organisation humming. You also ought be pondering what AI means for how knowledge is generated, shaped and shared in society.
And yet at the same time you ought not swoon, despite the immense productivity ‘hack’ AI represents. Nor ought you fully subscribe to the End Times that AI may herald. Instead: hold all of these possibilities in suspension, and use this time to observe, orient, sense and learn. Try to be a bit metamodern about it—even if you find yourself sincerely believing in the power of technology to ‘save the world’ please for goodness sake allow yourself some room to doubt. And vice versa.
I’m not sure how much I accord with David Chapman’s recent online book Better Without AI—but as long-term subscribers would guess: I do appreciate the rally call for scenius—the communal form of the concept of the genius. This is what we need; now more than ever.
There is an arms race happening with regards to AI. The exponential growth of AI will unlock incredible things for humanity—whilst also ushering in unfathomable existential risk, and opening The Warp to what was already a much weakened intellectual sensemaking commons. And eventually we may become numb to it all, because it will be baked into it all. But—much like the internet and privacy—would this be a missed opportunity?
All I know is that now is the time to be alive to it. Now is the time to pay attention.
Ah crap I became the pundit.
This museletter was written in a bit of a rush so that I could get it out on April 1st. It’s well past this wizard’s bed time and I haven’t given it a proper edit. I mostly just want to test that it reaches you via this new platform. I’ll be finding a new groove with you soon; I think you will enjoy this new chapter of the foxwizard.
In the meantime, here’s a scene my friend Leah Jing McIntosh artfully captured on her film camera whilst visiting recently. It me and my little guy, Snorri.
“Touch Grass” is an old meme dating back to at least 2015. It’s what you say to a friend who has been spending too much time online, effectively suggesting they go outside in nature and tend to their wellbeing.
I suspect that, as centaurs increasingly do a better job at providing compelling ‘content’—and as our feeds become increasingly filled with AI generated content—we may become less content with the content of our content feeds. (Okay you can see it’s late and I’m tired but stay with me). This, in turn, may lead people to search for other facets of reality. It may have us yearn for the things we have otherwise been neglecting; like long walks, actual time hanging with friends, contemplation under the stars, and time in nature (touching grass).
Let’s hope so.
Thank you for reading. It is genuinely a delight to write to you.