Zon Has a Deal For You. She’ll Teach You What AI Really Is

As Published in The Swagger #13 – Sunday Wildcard Edition. It is no exaggeration whatsoever to say that Zon is going to blow you away. Then see what she has to offer.

Greetings for what is now a belated Monday morning for you folks stateside. Apologies for the delay, but hey, it’s a wildcard edition, and in the spirit of “anything goes,” I decided to dive deep instead of just churning out a ho-hummer. This time, it’s all about AI, and I’ve wrapped my brain around it to such an extent that I pushed the release to Monday morning, New York City time. That’s my de facto timezone, by the way, because it’s a neat 12-hour difference from my spot here in Thailand. And when you folks do your quirky daylight savings shuffle, it’s an 11-hour gap. But let’s dive into the crux of the matter.

I want to talk about AI, but not in the way most people do. At FreeTheAnimal.com and now at The Swagger newsletter, I’ve been quite upfront about using AI heavily. Yet, there appears to be a gross misunderstanding about what using AI actually entails. Some seem to think it’s as simple as saying, “Write a post about this,” and presto, a masterpiece is born. If only it were that easy.

Let’s get real for a moment. Imagine buying a piano. Someone says, “Oh, you just turn it on, and it plays beautiful music.” That’s the level of naivety we’re dealing with here. The reluctance to embrace AI stems from a cocktail of intimidation, ignorance, and a dash of laziness. People can’t be bothered to learn how it works, so they dismiss it as some sort of digital Magic 8-Ball.

To those who scoff and ridicule, I say: if you had solid arguments against AI, you’d use them. Sure, caution with technology is wise, but isn’t that the case with everything? Just like arguing against letting smartphones babysit your kids—come on, we’ve all seen it.

I prefer to think of AI, especially chatbots (though that distinction is blurring fast), as a musical instrument. Now we’re onto something. Consider a hammer and saw: they can’t build a house on their own. The results depend vastly on whether a skilled craftsman or a weekend DIYer wields them. Similarly, a piano doesn’t play itself (player pianos aside, since they’re more robotic, repeating the same song identically every time).

AI, in contrast, is like sitting at the piano bench yourself. The range of outcomes from hitting those keys spans from a toddler’s chaotic pounding to a concert pianist’s masterful performance. And even then, no two renditions are exactly alike. AI chatbots, infused with a dash of randomness or serendipity, won’t spit out the same response to the same prompt every time. It’s this unpredictable element that makes it fascinating.

So, if you’re looking to leverage AI in your business, your craft, or any endeavor really, remember it’s like picking up a guitar for the first time. Practice makes perfect. Your results will vary wildly—a mix of the mediocre, the magnificent, and everything in between. But the more you engage with it, the better you’ll become. Just like any musical instrument, the potential for harmony or chaos rests in the hands of the player. And that, my friends, is the art and science of mastering AI.

[The above introduction was dictated and then run through Prompt #27, my newest, to make sense of it. I had to do only slight editing. Click here to see the [awful] raw macOS built-in dictation result. Be flabbergasted. You, too, can do this, even using my own meticulously developed prompts. I’ll show you how, later.]

Now, I could write forever on why you probably need to be using AI daily (primarily as chatbots) just like you watch your diet and get exercise, sleep, sunshine, sex, and coffee. Instead, I’ll cut to the chase with a short quote and a 1,000-Word picture.

A lot of people have been asking if AI is really a big deal for the future of work. We have a new paper that strongly suggests the answer is YES.

For the last several months, I been part of a team of social scientists working with Boston Consulting Group, turning their offices into the largest pre-registered experiment on the future of professional work in our AI-haunted age. Our first working paper is out today. There is a ton of important and useful nuance in the paper but let me tell you the headline first: for 18 different tasks selected to be realistic samples of the kinds of work done at an elite consulting company, consultants using ChatGPT-4 outperformed those who did not, by a lot. On every dimension. Every way we measured performance.

[…]

Consultants using AI finished 12.2% more tasks on average, completed tasks 25.1% more quickly, and produced 40% higher quality results than those without. Those are some very big impacts.

https://www.oneusefulthing.org/p/centaurs-and-cyborgs-on-the-jagged
Distribution of output quality across all the tasks. The blue group did not use AI, the green and red groups used AI, the red group got some additional training on how to use AI.

You get it, right, bottom-line like? In whatever your field of endeavor, you are giving up quite a competitive handicap to your opponents if they’re using a chatbot and you’re not. 40%? You’ve got to work half-again as hard and long, on average, just to stay even. Better be careful.

Let me give you a little demonstration. I have 27 canned prompts working for me, but 2/3 of them are basic nut & bolts stuff anyone and everyone can use. No secret. I’ll give them to you.

I’m going to dictate a passage with some radical politics, vulgarity, disrespect toward religion, etc. Then I’ll run it through a stock prompt and a few of my custom secret prompts. Zero editing of output.

I was thinking about the meaningless distinction between the Democrat party, which I call the evil party and the Republican party, which I call the stupid party so in the case of the Democrats are the left evil because they are perfectly happy to chew up anyone’s life for the sake of their envy based ideals and to do that, they are the seekers of unearned status and bogus parasitical livelihoods on the other hand. You have the stupid party the Republicans, or you could also say that turn the other cheek party or the the long suffering party because it doesn’t matter how many political battles they lo, if they’re always taking the so-called high Road everything’s OK but there’s no real distinction because they’re not talking about not chewing up peoples lies for the sake of some ideal. No they’re complaint is that it’s not them calling the shots about whose lives get chewed up and of course, the only reason it’s them is because that’s up to God, but of course they are the intercessors for God they somehow , his will well I suppose if you have an imaginary friend you can claim to know the wheel of your imaginary friend.


Prompt #4 (a stock rewrite, no guidance or instruction; just basic ChatGPT-4 Turbo):

I’ve been pondering the seemingly trivial difference between what I refer to as the “evil” Democratic Party and the “stupid” Republican Party. In my view, Democrats, on the left, embrace their ideals with a zeal that disregards individual lives, seeking status and benefits they haven’t earned, acting as parasites. On the flip side, Republicans, or the “turn the other cheek” party, appear to endure political defeats with a sense of moral superiority, believing that taking the high road justifies their losses. However, the distinction between the two parties blurs when you realize that their main disagreement isn’t about the ethics of sacrificing individuals for an ideal. Rather, it’s about who gets to make those decisions. Republicans might argue that divine will justifies their actions, positioning themselves as messengers of a higher power. This assumption allows them to claim they understand and execute this divine will, much like someone might claim to know the desires of an imaginary friend.

Prompt #19 (Custom, heavy on preserving and not rewriting; This requires overcoming Woke):

I’ve been pondering the seemingly meaningless distinction between the Democratic Party, which I’ve dubbed the “Evil Party,” and the Republican Party, which I’ve labeled the “Stupid Party.” In the case of the Democrats, are they deemed evil because they seem perfectly content to ruin anyone’s life for the sake of their envy-driven ideals? To achieve this, they position themselves as seekers of unearned status and advocates of a parasitical lifestyle.

On the other hand, we have the “Stupid Party,” the Republicans, who might as well be known as the “Turn the Other Cheek Party” or the “Long-Suffering Party.” It appears irrelevant how many political battles they lose; as long as they’re taking the so-called high road, everything’s supposedly fine. However, there’s no real distinction here because it’s not about refusing to sacrifice people’s lives for some ideal. No, their grievance lies in not being the ones in control, deciding whose lives are to be disrupted. And of course, the only reason they aren’t in control is supposedly because that’s up to God. But then, they presume to act as intercessors for God, claiming to understand His will.

I suppose if you have an imaginary friend, you can claim to know the will of your imaginary friend.

Prompt #20 (Custom, heavy on style using a 430-Word seed prompt; It rewrites and expands, but in an utterly non-Woke, “Unsafe” manner. My “Cadillac Prompt.”):

In the grand theater of American politics, where the spectacle often eclipses substance, we find ourselves caught between two ostensibly distinct entities: the Democrats and the Republicans. The former, I have dubbed the ‘Evil Party,’ and the latter, the ‘Stupid Party.’ This delineation, while seemingly harsh, is rooted in a cold analysis of their operational ethos and the consequences of their actions.

The Democrats, or the ‘Evil Party,’ thrive on envy-driven ideologies. They are more than willing to sacrifice individual lives on the altar of their utopian dreams. Their quest is not for societal betterment through hard work and merit but for unearned status and a parasitic existence, leeching off the productive sectors of society. This is their cardinal sin: the relentless pursuit of power under the guise of equality and justice, which in reality, serves only to elevate their own status at the expense of others’ freedoms and rights.

On the flip side, we have the ‘Stupid Party,’ or the Republicans. They might as well be known as the ‘Turn-the-Other-Cheek Party’ or the ‘Long-Suffering Party.’ Their folly lies not in their ideals per se but in their perennial failure to effectively counter the machinations of the Democrats. They engage in political battles but seem content with moral victories rather than actual wins that could stem the tide of the Democrats’ overreach. Their complaints often revolve around not being in control themselves, rather than addressing the core issue of political power being used to manipulate and destroy lives for the sake of ideology. They claim divine guidance, positioning themselves as the executors of a higher will, though this often comes off as a convenient invocation rather than a principled stance.

The crux of the issue here is not merely the failure of these parties to live up to their stated ideals but their shared willingness to compromise individual autonomy for the sake of power. Both parties, in their quest for dominance, forget that the true role of governance should be to safeguard the freedoms and rights of the individual, not to determine whose lives are worth sacrificing on the pyre of their respective ideologies.

The distinction between the ‘Evil Party’ and the ‘Stupid Party’ is, upon closer scrutiny, largely superficial. Both are engaged in a macabre dance, where the prize is control over the lives of the citizenry, with little regard for the principles of freedom, autonomy, and individual rights that should be the bedrock of our society. It’s a dance that tramples upon the very ideals that should define us, replacing them with a cynical power play that benefits only those within the inner circles of power.

In this scenario, the call to action is clear: reject the false dichotomy presented by these parties. Embrace individuality, critical thinking, and personal responsibility. Only by asserting our own values, principles, and standards—and working tirelessly within that framework, rather than one imposed by external forces—can we hope to achieve true success, prosperity, happiness, and passionate love in life. This is the path to reclaiming our agency from the clutches of those who would see us as mere pawns in their political games. It’s a daunting task, but it’s the only way to ensure that we are living our lives to the fullest, guided by our own moral compass rather than the whims of the ‘Evil’ or ‘Stupid’ parties.

Prompt #27 (My newest and least tested, but proving to be quite the good deal for simplicity and clarity):

I’ve been mulling over the hilariously pointless rivalry between what I affectionately term the “Evil Party” (Democrats, for those of you playing at home) and the “Stupid Party” (Republicans, in case you’re lost). Let’s dive into this comedic tragedy, shall we?

Starting with the Democrats, or the “Evil Party,” it’s quite the spectacle. They seem to operate on the principle that anyone’s life is fair game if it propels their envy-driven ideals forward. Their MO? Seeking unearned status and thriving like parasites on the efforts of others. It’s a fascinating, if not slightly horrifying, dedication to their cause.

On the flip side, we have the Republicans, affectionately dubbed the “Stupid Party.” You might also know them as the “Turn the Other Cheek Party” or the “Long-Suffering Party.” Their claim to fame? Consistently losing political battles yet parading around as if taking the moral high road compensates for their lack of victories. It’s as if they believe there’s some virtue in being the perennial runner-up.

But let’s not kid ourselves; the distinction between these two parties is about as substantial as a soap bubble. It’s not that the Stupid Party is against the idea of grinding people’s lives down for some lofty ideal. Oh no, their beef is that they’re not the ones in the driver’s seat, deciding whose lives get to be fodder for the political machine. And, of course, they claim divine backing for their decisions, acting as if they’re the hotline to the Almighty. Because, sure, if you’re going to have an imaginary friend, you might as well claim exclusive rights to interpret their will.

In the end, whether we’re talking about the “Evil Party” or the “Stupid Party,” the tragic comedy unfolds in the same way. Both are more than willing to sacrifice the common good on the altar of their respective ideologies. The main difference? The flavor of the Kool-Aid they’re serving. So, here’s to the grand spectacle of American politics, where the choice often feels like deciding between getting punched in the face or kicked in the shins. Cheers to that.

Let’s dive into the heart of the matter, the crux of our conversation: What the hell is AI, anyway? When folks bandy about the term “AI” (short for artificial intelligence), half the time, it seems like they’re just throwing fancy jargon around without grasping the meat of the matter. To cut through the fog and get to the core, let’s talk about what we’re really dealing with here: Large Language Models, or LLMs for short. We’ve got ourselves a machine that doesn’t just mimic understanding human speech—it integrates it and spits back at us a conversation that’s eerily akin to human interaction, in virtually any language you can think of. This is the genius part: the universality of the interface.

Looking back, computing history is basically a saga of human interfaces. We started with punchcards (who the hell uses those anymore?); we had ticker tapes (the stock market’s ancient scrolls) and reading was a legit skill, like reading Braille is for the blind. Then, interfaces got a major facelift: CRT screens replaced paper output, keyboards took over from punchcards, and then—bam!—the graphical user interface crashed the party, hand in hand with the mouse and trackballs. That setup is pretty much where we’re at today.

Sure, voice recognition has been around for ages, but let’s be real: it’s been pretty crappy. Even with my polished dictation skills, the results are often laughable. But for AI? That’s a whole different ballpark. It understands me, nuances and all. The leap here is making this interface dance to the tune of language—any language, any tone. We’re talking about dynamic, two-way conversations that are starting to feel like chatting with another human. And mark my words, it’s only a matter of time before these AI chats outshine movie dialogues. Want to babble in baby talk? AI’s got you. Need advice with the wisdom of a sage? It’s on it. The variety is endless: motherly, fatherly, spouse-like, empathetic, psychologist—you name it.

Now, let’s circle back to interfaces because this is where the magic happens. This evolution blows the doors wide open for everyone. No longer do you need to be a physicist or an aerospace engineer with mad skills in math and computer language to design a rocket ship. The playing field is leveling because, at the end of the day, an idea is an idea, regardless of who’s articulating it or how it’s being communicated. This shift is genuinely democratizing. Imagine a kid verbalizing a concept and having AI bring it to life. That’s where we’re headed.

And to wrap this up with that metaphorical bow: If AI is the guitar in the band of the future, we’d all better start learning how to play it—and fast.

[I used Prompt #27 again. Raw dictated input here.]

Now, an offer.

… A few months back, during a special promotion, an offer was made to those who invested in a lifetime membership at FreeTheAnimal.com. The promise? Exclusive access to a treasure trove of prompts—the very tools that have powered the platform’s unique content. These aren’t just any prompts; they’ve been meticulously tested and refined to ensure they deliver exceptional results with minimal tweaking. The value proposition here is unmistakable: lifetime access to an ever-expanding library of prompts, designed to spark creativity, enhance writing, and, most crucially, invite collaboration among the most engaged members of the community.

However, recognizing that a lifetime membership may not align with everyone’s circumstances, a door has been opened, temporarily widening access to these valuable resources. Starting today, and for the next two weeks, not just lifetime members, but also those with quarterly and annual memberships, will be granted access to this exclusive content. This is your invitation to dive in, explore, and contribute your voice to the collective effort of refining and expanding this repository.

Now, for the tangible part of this proposition: From Monday, April 8, through Sunday, April 14, an unprecedented offer is on the table. A hefty 50% discount on lifetime memberships, a substantial 25% off annual memberships, and an inviting 17% off quarterly memberships. This isn’t just about accessing premium content; it’s an opportunity to invest in a platform that champions the kind of independent thought and critical analysis that’s all too rare in today’s discourse. For those encountering any hitches with the automatic discount application, the code “GETZON” stands ready to unlock these savings, a nod to the ethos of FreeTheAnimal.com and its commitment to fostering a community where free thought and honest dialogue reign supreme.

And for those seeking an even more dynamic interaction with the platform, the introduction of chatGPT-4 Turbo, equipped with two models that offer responses not just in text but in an engaging Australian female accent, marks another leap forward. Whether you prefer typing or speaking, these enhancements promise to make your experience both more interactive and enjoyable.

In essence, this isn’t merely a sales pitch; it’s a call to action. It’s an invitation to join a community that values depth, authenticity, and rigorous examination of ideas over the superficiality that saturates much of our digital landscape. If you’re ready to claim your place among those who dare to think differently, to challenge the status quo, and to elevate the discourse, then the time to act is now. Explore, engage, and let’s forge a future where intellect and integrity lead the way.

[And that dictation was run through Prompt #25, the specialized marketing and copywriting prompt. See the raw dictation here.]

The discounts are applied after clicking the membership level, so what you’ll see at checkout is $500 for Lifetime (50% off), $75 for Annual (25% off), and $25 for Quarterly (17% off).


The message is simple. If you generally or mostly like the content I’ve been writing nearly every day for 20 years here, then pay to be a member. If you don’t, no worries. You’re welcome back any time. Up to you.

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