So… Write, My Friend! Write!

Ben Fathi
4 min readApr 10, 2023

A story of sorts about ChatGPT

Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-standing-under-a-rock-formation-on-a-starry-night-33688/

“Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.” — Picasso.

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” — Arthur C. Clarke.

Write, my friend, write before we disappear
From memory, from history, from the universe
Write your story just as I’m writing mine
Before our histories are forgotten
Replaced by “the history”, courtesy of ChatGPT

Tell your story
Tell (his)story
Tell our story

Write a lament, write a novel, write a memoir, write down your opinions
Write Anything! For God’s sake, write your resume!
Just write!

Before we are all reimagined by ChatGPT
Before our grandchildren read stories about us
Based on tidbits scraped off the internet
And, while you’re at it, record your voice, record your face
Record your times
Before historians try to recreate them
From deepfakes too good to tell from reality

Before the Martians show up and do forensic analysis
On the bits rotting on the hard disks in the data centers

Before Jesus, Mohammad, and Buddha
All come back on Judgment day, scratch their heads, and say:
“What the hell were you thinking? You weren’t… were you?”

Before ChatGPT, asked by future generations to summarize the human race, spews out
Based purely on what it’s seen on the internet:

They were a strange bunch
They went around calling themselves “civilized”
I don’t think that word means what they thought it means

“Civilization”, as they saw it, seems to have consisted of the following:

Killing each other indiscriminately for any and all reasons, often for years on end

Hating people they’d never met or spoken to, hurting the ones closest to them

Locking their children up in “schools” to be alternately indoctrinated and bullied

Locking their elderly away, out of sight, out of mind, instead of bringing them into the family fold

Drawing lines on pieces of paper, creating so-called “nations”, then moving the lines arbitrarily every few years and killing each other over the changes!

Spending their entire lives working like dogs, eating terrible food and watching garbage on TV only to retire a few years before they died to a life of decrepitude and disease

Spending more money on Botox and hair plugs than on Alzheimer’s and diabetes, the very diseases killing them by the millions!

We’ve looked up and down
And given them every benefit of the doubt
But we can’t find any sign of this so-called human “intelligence”

“The civilized human society”, I’m afraid to say, never materialized
They depleted the resources in their environment too quickly
Mired as they were in selfishness, hatred, and greed

Planet Earth itself is still there
Habitable for another billion years
But, first, we have to let it recover for a million

For, make no mistake
That’s what they’ll see
And let’s be honest with each other
It’s not pretty

The part of our story that won’t be seen
The part that not appreciated by the robots and the Martians, by ChatGPT
Is our feelings, our emotions, our fears, our aspirations
Our experiences, our “lives”, our very humanity
As we’ve done a piss poor job of documenting these
All while acting like animals to each other publicly

So, write my friend, write!
Tell your story.
Tell my story.
Tell his story.
Tell our story.

Record yourself.
Record your humanity!
Document thyself!
Show your love for the human race
Flood ChatGPT and its ilk with love and positivity
With acts of random kindness
With compassion, with pure consciousness

It’s not too late to rewrite the story we’re writing
Into one we want
As opposed to the one we have on our hands

It’s not too late to change history
Most of it hasn’t been written yet

Assume an intelligence will exist
With the time and resources to decipher these bits
(The alternative is too bleak to consider, even for me)
Then think about the story we’re telling, the record we’re leaving

It’s not too late to change
It’s not too late to find our humanity
It’s not too late to wake up

Then, and only then, can we hope
That the artificial intelligence we are birthing now
Will go on to see us as its worthy predecessor
And not as some primitive ape best forgotten

Then, and only then, can we hope to change the story written by ChatGPT in an alternate universe:

“Today, we revere Homo Sapiens as our earliest true ancestors
Our spiritual forebears
They were full of passion, full of humility, full of love
For each other, for their home planet, for future generations

They erred early in their history
But eventually found their way to the global consciousness
They came to their senses before it was too late”

#SoWrite #JustWrite #ForTheHumanity

Author’s note: I’ve deleted all my social media accounts (except for Medium) and now depend exclusively on the kindness of strangers to pass the word around about my blog posts. Please share this post on social media if you liked it. Thank you.

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Ben Fathi

Former {CTO at VMware, VP at Microsoft, SVP at Cisco, Head of Eng & Cloud Ops at Cloudflare}. Recovering distance runner, avid cyclist, newly minted grandpa.