Week 27, 2024 - This Too Shall Pass

Week 27, 2024 - This Too Shall Pass
Bike road near Sárvíz

As I guessed in the last issue, there was not much else I got done this week, so this will be a short update.

Part of this newsletter was written on the train home from my three-day bike trip around Hungary. I love the feeling of freedom these trips give me. Usually, I get up early in the morning, to have a bit of distance done before it gets hot. Around lunchtime, I find a place to grab something, figure out how far I want to go that day, and book a room accordingly. Finish the day with an early beer and start again the next morning. At home, I like to plan my days rigorously, so this level of uncertainty, not even knowing where I will sleep the next day, is giving me a refreshing change.

🤔 Articles that made me think

Finding GPT-4’s mistakes with GPT-4

OpenAI trained a model called CriticGPT to help their human trainers catch errors in ChatGPT’s output, focusing on coding recommendations. Developments like these are great early signs of maturity of the whole LLM-assisted coding field, forecasting a future where these tools are routinely relied on in coding (or providing solutions valid and trustable enough that no coding will be required at all). I’d love to see CriticGPT released as a stand-alone product, even via API only, plugged into IDEs — or code versioning systems, automatically commenting on pull requests.

Humanless Car Rental Done Wrong

Who thought this would be a good idea and what were their arguments?! Nu Car Rentals is changing only one factor of the car rental experience: moving humans from behind the desk to a screen. Still, the offices are there, empty, with monitors to talk to - there’s even a manager’s office if you want to escalate, with a different person on a screen. I can’t imagine how this was a winning idea compared to simply developing an app and providing per-request assistance for those who need it. This is why the UX breaks: By implicitly promising a familiar brick-and-mortar experience, customers have the expectations of talking with a real person face-to-face. When they realize it won't happen, the whole user journey starts with disappointment. Simply using an app there would be no similar expectations – and there would already be a device the user could use to access the cars. Weird!

🚵 Something cool: Custom Headset Cap

This is what was in front of me most of the time during the last few days:

See that little headset cap at the bottom? I bought it from an online shop to replace the one advertising the maker of my bike. I love to climb, but long ascends under the sun can be super hard. So I figured that I replace the factory cap with something motivating, and I always loved this quote. The idea was, that when I struggle, realizing that it will be over soon will give me some energy to keep on pedaling. That worked, but the other side of impermanence is so much stronger nowadays. Whenever I look down and see this message, I remember that this day, being here is a unique experience that I should be immersed in fully and be grateful for, because it won’t happen again.

That’s it for today, enjoy the small things during the weekend,


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