Bill Benzon

Karma: 399

The Story of My Intellectual Life

In the early 1970s I discovered that “Kubla Khan” had a rich, marvelous, and fantastically symmetrical structure. I’d found myself intellectually. I knew what I was doing. I had a specific intellectual mission: to find the mechanisms behind “Kubla Khan.” As defined, that mission failed, and still has not been achieved some 40 odd years later.

It’s like this: If you set out to hitch rides from New York City to, say, Los Angeles, and don’t make it, well then your hitch-hike adventure is a failure. But if you end up on Mars instead, just what kind of failure is that? Yeah, you’re lost. Really really lost. But you’re lost on Mars! How cool is that!

Of course, it might not actually be Mars. It might just be an abandoned set on a studio back lot.

That’s a bit metaphorical. Let’s just say I’ve read and thought about a lot of things having to do with the brain, mind, and culture, and published about them as well. I’ve written a bunch of academic articles and two general trade books, Visualization: The Second Computer Revolution (Harry Abrams1989), co-authored with Richard Friedhoff, and Beethoven’s Anvil: Music in Mind and Culture (Basic Books 2001). Here’s what I say about myself at my blog, New Savanna. I’ve got a conventional CV at I’ve also written a lot of stuff that I’ve not published in a conventional venue. I think of them as working papers. I’ve got them all at Some of my best – certainly my most recent – stuff is there.

ChatGPT defines 10 con­crete terms: gener­i­cally, for 5- and 11-year-olds, and for a sci­en­tist

Bill Benzon11 Apr 2024 20:27 UTC
3 points
9 comments6 min readLW link

GPT, the mag­i­cal col­lab­o­ra­tion zone, Lex Frid­man and Sam Altman

Bill Benzon18 Mar 2024 20:04 UTC
3 points
1 comment3 min readLW link

Mak­ing Con­nec­tions with ChatGPT: The Mack­sey Game

Bill Benzon5 Mar 2024 18:15 UTC
5 points
2 comments11 min readLW link

The role of philo­soph­i­cal think­ing in un­der­stand­ing large lan­guage mod­els: Cal­ibrat­ing and clos­ing the gap be­tween first-per­son ex­pe­rience and un­der­ly­ing mechanisms

Bill Benzon23 Feb 2024 12:19 UTC
4 points
0 comments10 min readLW link

ChatGPT re­fuses to ac­cept a challenge where it would get shot be­tween the eyes [game the­ory]

Bill Benzon20 Feb 2024 16:55 UTC
4 points
6 comments4 min readLW link

The Jolly Green Gi­ant Chron­i­cles [ChatGPT]

Bill Benzon18 Feb 2024 17:28 UTC
4 points
0 comments8 min readLW link