Better than QandA: The High Performance Life

Discernable® News and Editorials

Better than QandA: The High Performance Life

2hr 5min

27 March 2023

On Mondays at 9:35pm you can tune into the ABC and watch their attempt at having an open discussion or at 7:30pm you can watch something better.

Better than QandA is a new format live panel show that appeals to those who want to think deeply about the world today.

Tonight’s show is brought to you by the 20 brave souls in the room who helped seed what we hope becomes a monthly event. Tonight’s topic, ‘The High Performance Life’, leads us to explore the ideas of success, happiness, identity, consistency, achievement and purpose.

From 2:34 we play a game a Street Epistemology

From 26:00 we started the QandA panel:

  • ‘How do we determine success?’
  • ‘How do I find magic in the mundane?’
  • ‘How do I figure out what I should be doing for a job when I’ve spent my whole life doing jobs I’ve hated?’
  • ‘How do you consistently perform at an elite level?’
  • ‘How do you stay focused?’
  • ‘Is it really, and still, a man’s world? Does the trope persist long after genders have been equalised?’
  • ‘How do we fight the war on meat, on health and push back against BigFood and BigPharma?’
  • ‘Why is veganism and plant-based being co-opted by BigFood?’
  • ‘How much does diet contribute to a high performance life?’
  • ‘What is one characteristic every leader should possess?’
  • ‘What is the role of a strong and functioning family unit in society?’
  • ‘What is better – intrinsic or extrinsic motivation?’
  • ‘How do you transform abstract ideas into quantifiable outcomes?’

2:03:08 – promotion for our next on Fri 31 Mar 2023

All of Discernable’s town halls, merch, interviews and events:

Trung Luu: Liberal MP, Police Officer and Boat Refugee

The Discernable Interviews

Trung Luu: Liberal MP, Police Officer and Boat Refugee

1hr 29min

21 March 2023

Trung Luu spent 24 years investigating crime scenes as a sworn member of Victoria Police. In 2022 Trung was elected to parliament as the Liberal Party’s first Vietnamese MP in Victoria.

He travelled to Australia by boat as a young refugee and has since built a life and family in the western suburbs of Melbourne. In this sit down we discussed the Liberal Party’s attempted expulsion of Moira Deeming MP, the refugee perspective of other refugees arriving by boat and ‘skipping the queue’, freedom of speech and privacy in Australia and the banning of certain people and subjects.

Dr Tien Kieu: Labor MP, Theoretical Physicist and Boat Refugee

The Discernable Interviews

Dr Tien Kieu: Labor MP, Theoretical Physicist and Boat Refugee

2hr 7min

19 March 2023

Dr Tien Kieu was a Labor MP in the Daniel Andrews government 2018-2022. During that time he continued to publish academic papers as a theoretical physicist.

His story today comes in three parts: refugees, politics and science. For conversation on the politics and ethics of Covid-l9 lockdowns and government support of minorities in general and communism, skip to 20min 42sec. For our discussion on quantum mechanics and theoretical physics skip to 57min 40sec.

The AI Revolution Finally Arrives: Why ChatGPT and generative AI is a true revolution, not hype.

Discernable® Editorials

The AI Revolution Finally Arrives: Why ChatGPT and generative AI is a true revolution, not hype.

Reading Time: 3 Minutes

Matt Wong

Chief Writer

17 March 2023

Consider the major revolutions of history:

  • Agricultural revolution 10,000-5,000 BC
  • Printing press 1400s
  • Industrial revolution 1700s-1900s
  • Information revolution 1950s-2000s
  • Digital revolution ~1990s-2005
  • Mobile revolution ~2005-2020
  • AI revolution ~2022+

This layout is time/event based. Another way to think of technological revolutions is systems based. This is why you keep hearing about ‘the fourth industrial revolution’ which looks like this:

The Fourth Industrial Revolution

No matter how you think of revolutions, they are all ultimately defined by how significantly they change the way humans live.

We have all become de-sensitised to claims of ‘technological breakthrough!’ because they are usually overblown, myopic and have no significant effect on how humans live. Sometimes they never will, sometimes they are simply early. Current example: the Metaverse.

Zuckerberg's Metaverse

This ‘failure to launch’ is normal and to be expected in the advent of new technology. Tech needs to be birthed, tried and tested in the natural game of ‘survival of the fittest’.

Thus it’s easy to dismiss the latest ‘groudbreaking app’ as just more hype designed to line the pockets of a corporation. It’s probably just a fad that will die in a year’s time right?

Park that cynicism for a moment as you watch this video from Microsoft. Ask yourself whether you are witnessing vaporware, empty hype, or something more:

The Microsoft Copilot based on GPT4

I believe it’s something more. Let me explain by way of a story:

In 2022 we shrank our staff count (deliberately – to extend our startup’s runway). In the strive to maintain output we attempted to automate or accelerate much of our daily tasks. Nearly all automated tools and assistants were eventually jettisoned because their effort:benefit ratio didn’t make sense.

Except for OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

We have now permanently integrated ChatGPT3.5 into a large number of our workflows, and our day to day looks very different to just 6 months ago. Not only is generative, predictive AI speeding up and enabling content creation with fewer staff, it’s changing the way we create.

But wait, there’s more! We are hearing from housewives, seniors(!) and from nearly every business we consult for…everyone is experiencing the same paradigm shift.

The common refrain is that they now rely on AI to such an extent that they cannot imagine life without it. Kind of like imagining living and working without the internet.

AI is now a contagion.

Adoption of ChatGPT

We are witnessing a technological revolution with generative AI and few are ready to adapt like Millennials are. Fellow travellers born loosely around 1981-1996 will remember what it’s like to learn and grow on both sides of ‘the internet’.

Thanks to fortuitous timing, we Millennials understand the internet both natively and as adopted phenomena.

Dialup Modem Connection

This is unlike Generation X whose young minds were formed pre-internet but have since adopted it as a tool for life.

Millennials are even more unlike Generation Z (so called ‘Digital Natives’) who were born into a digital era, their brains forming in a world rich with information and instant connection.

I truly appreciate and feel the wonder of broadband internet because dial-up, failed connections and information scarcity is a visceral and lived reality.

But I also share the natural fluency for the digital world that Gen Z has, finding it easy to be an ‘early adopter’ of tech.

That Microsoft ad above is actually just a collection of use-cases that are already happening TODAY. But it seems to be happening in the lives of the ‘early majority’, not just the ‘early adopter’ category.

With smart integrations, we are going to blow right past ‘the chasm’ or ‘the tipping point’.

Why? Because this revolution is PRAGMATIC. It’s practically improving the lives of people and businesses everywhere. The ‘Early Majority’ are in fact…pragmatists. They adopt tech if it makes sense. And large language models make sense to our everyday lives.

Adoption Curve showing The Chasm

Despite all the false starts, inflated claims, utopian visions and fear-mongering we’ve endured this past decade, AI may finally be truly be revolutionising the world.
Less Skynet, and more J.A.R.V.I.S.
Stark Industry's J.A.R.V.I.S.
But where does that leave us poor humans? How do we adapt?
Creativity won’t disappear, at least when generative AI is built on prediction algorithms on large data sets. In a sense, it’s merely smooshing things together to generate something ‘new’ but not really seeding anything truly novel. But it will re-weight everything we create…
Starry Night interpretation by AI
With retrieval of information and generation of content commoditised in the next handful of years, you may feel a little like a phone booth in the era of smartphones, or a steam engine in the age of Teslas.
But there’s a new skillset up for grabs: prompting.
‘Prompt engineering’ is designing inputs for AI to process and work with. This is the new skillset required in the AI revolution. He who asks best, gets the best answers. Just like we spend more time teaching kids to type than write, we now need to learn to prompt.
Cursive training
The nerds took over as ‘the cool kids’ somewhere after 2000, but soon having a whole lot of knowledge in your head will be redundant. Even content creation is about to commoditise, and statistically barely anyone learned how to be a content creator instead of a consumer!
Content creators vs consumers
Don’t miss this next revolution. It’s a biggie. Start searching some of the keywords in this article like ‘prompt engineering’, and get familiar with the new world coming at you, where:
Asking questions is about to become more important than knowing answers!

The Scandal of Grace with Bishop Paul Barker

The Discernable Interviews

The Scandal of Grace with Bishop Paul Barker

1hr 47min

7 March 2023

What is the core promise of Jesus Christ and Christianity? Rather than settle for common caricatures, we invited Bishop Paul Barker to take us to the very centre of the faith where he explained the scandalous claims it makes.

What is faith? Is it testable? Does it lean on any empiricism and science or is it purely a ‘leap of faith’?

What about social justice – is that the key message of Christianity?

What does ‘believing’ mean? Is it merely mental assent or something more?

Who is Jesus Christ? Does it really matter or is the rest of the Bible helpful without him?

How ‘good’ do you have to be to get into heaven? What about really bad people?

These are the questions that were in my mind approaching this interview, and I found it both surprising and refreshing to hear such a unique exposition of the Christian faith, instead of the strawman we hear in popular culture.

The second half of the discussion centred around cultural relevance, whether the world is devolving its standards, and whether all faiths will remain true to their sacred beliefs and texts or become secularised due to cultural pressure. We explored the failings of the modern church, and the loss of the core message of grace.

At Discernable we continue to explore different perspectives, beliefs, values and opinions by presenting them in their best light possible so you can make up your own mind.

Dr Jereth Kok - Cancelled by AHPRA for Posting Memes

The Discernable Interviews

Dr Jereth Kok - Cancelled by AHPRA for Posting Memes

1hr 36min

1 March 2023

For 4 years Dr Jereth Kok has been suspended from practising medicine for posting memes, satire, and other Christian religious opinions on social media. Many of these posts centred around transgenderism, sexuality and abortion.

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) used an emergency mechanism reserved for use on dangerous doctors who represent a risk to ‘the public interest’.

Suspended without trial or hearing has meant 4 years of ‘legal limbo’ for Dr Kok who has been found neither guilty nor innocent by AHPRA. He has since been forced to retrain into an alternative career, so regardless of the eventual tribunal outcome he is unlikely to return to medicine.

AHPRA have disclosed that their investigation began when they received 2 anonymous complaints about Dr Jereth Kok’s social media posts, and that those two complainants have never been his patients.

In this interview we explored the offences alleged by AHPRA, using AHPRA screenshots of Dr Kok’s social media posts. Most of them are inarguably absurd, satire, or vanilla statements and the remaining are expositions of his Christian views.

We went on to discuss the dangerous reality being set by bodies like AHPRA in censoring doctors and homogenising the ideology of the entire industry, resulting in anti-scientific practices that ignores long-established principles of modern medicine.