Mental Health Society Technology

I don’t want this to be the future

Bookmarked HUMAN_FALLBACK | Laura Preston (n+1)

I WAS ONE OF ABOUT SIXTY operators. Most of us were poets and writers with MFAs, but there were also PhDs in performance studies and comparative literature, as well as a number of opera singers, another demographic evidently well suited for chatbot impersonation—or, I suppose, for impersonating a chatbot that’s impersonating a person.

Let alone the present.

Each day when we reported for work one of them would hail us with a camp counselor’s greeting. “Top of the morning, my lovely Brendas!” they would say. Below their message, a garden of reaction emojis would bloom.

I am tired of the exploitation and undervaluation of emotional labor.

In the same way that algorithms tell us what they think we want, and do so with such tenacity that the imagined wants become actual, these buildings seemed intent on shaping a tenant’s aspirations. They seemed to tell the tenant they should not care about regional particularities or the idea of a neighborhood. The tenant should not even desire a home in the traditional sense, with hand-me-down furniture, hand-built improvements, and layers of multigenerational memory. This tenant was a renter for life, whose workplace was their primary address, and who would nevertheless be unable to afford property for as long as they lived.

See also: Neutralizing reality to sell

Brenda, they claimed, said the same thing to everyone, which meant that she was incapable of bias. And yet she was awfully good at repelling certain people: people without smartphones or reliable internet, people unaccustomed to texting, people who couldn’t read or write in English, and people who needed to figure out if they could access a property before showing up for a tour. Brenda deflected them all with polite violence. She was not a concierge but a bouncer, one made all the more sinister for her congeniality and sparkle.


See also:

OpenAI Used Kenyan Workers on Less Than $2 Per Hour to Make ChatGPT Less Toxic (TIME)

But the working conditions of data labelers reveal a darker part of that picture: that for all its glamor, AI often relies on hidden human labor in the Global South that can often be damaging and exploitative.

The work’s traumatic nature eventually led Sama to cancel all its work for OpenAI in February 2022, eight months earlier than planned.

An OpenAI spokesperson said in a statement that the company did not issue any productivity targets, and that Sama was responsible for managing the payment and mental health provisions for employees.

🙄 Of course they’re not responsible for the work they hired out.

Conditions for vendors are so much worse than employees, so of course that’s the direction companies want to move: cheaper labor that they aren’t liable for. Ethics has no part in corporatism.

“They’re impressive, but ChatGPT and other generative models are not magic – they rely on massive supply chains of human labor and scraped data, much of which is unattributed and used without consent,” Andrew Strait, an AI ethicist, recently wrote on Twitter. “These are serious, foundational problems that I do not see OpenAI addressing.”

Liked Let Go by Reza Farazmand (

Poorly Drawn Lines


Read The Emotional Craft of Fiction

Read The Emotional Craft of Fiction: How to Write with Emoti…

Veteran literary agent and expert fiction instructor Donald Maass shows you how to use story to provoke a visceral and emotional experience in readers. Topics covered include: emotional modes of writing beyond showing versus telling your story’s emotional world moral stakes connecting the inner and outer journeys plot as emotional opportunities invoking higher emotions, symbols, and emotional language cascading change story as emotional mirror positive spirit and magnanimous writing the hidden current that makes stories move Readers can simply read a novel…or they can experience it. The Emotional Craft of Fiction shows you how to make that happen.

The prompts were thought-provoking for me, even if some worked better than others.

The excerpts he selected as examples weren’t super helpful and I skipped a lot of them. It would have been more useful to diagram or annotate a scene so we knew what we should be noticing as we read. Some didn’t show much emotion to my eye 🤷‍♀️

Some things will be more challenging to apply to romance, with a double POV. It would have been helpful to consider multi-protagonist stories.

Notes and Quotes

Emphasis mine.

“Fiction writers are asking the wrong question. Showing and telling are fine as far as they go, but the emotional experience of readers has little to do with that. The most useful question is not how can I get across what characters are going through? The better question is how can I get readers to go on emotional journeys of their own?”

“You are not the author of what readers feel, just the provocateur of those feelings.”

When a plot resolves, readers are satisfied, but what they remember of a novel is what they felt while reading it.

Mental Health Resources and Reference Writing

Emotion Sensation Feeling Wheel

Bookmarked Emotion Sensation Feeling Wheel Handout by Lindsay Braman by Lindsay Braman (

The two inner rings of this wheel are emotions, the outside ring contains descriptions of the actual physical sensations that may accompany that emotion, described in concrete sensory language.

Looks useful both for writing reference and potential personal use.

Personal Growth

People’s Reactions Aren’t About You

Bookmarked The Art of Not Taking Things Personally – The Founder Coach by Dave Bailey (The Founder Coach)

When we encounter emotions and behaviours that don’t make sense to us, it’s often because we don’t have all the information. And in the absence of information, we tend to assume the worst. ‘Emotional…

And conversely, my reactions aren’t always about other people 😉

Negative emotions driven by unmet needs

Overreaction – may be related to transference (triggering an unresolved trauma from their childhood)

Anger > blame

Uncertainty > anxiety or doubt

Insecurity > avoidance

Unspoken expectations > mistrust

“When you notice a breakdown in trust, try to uncover the specific responsibility they want the other person to take, as well as the responsibilities they must take to rebuild the relationship.”

Mental Health Resources and Reference

An Emotional Compass


Or thesaurus, perhaps.

Wheel of emotions, color coded

Created by Geoffrey Roberts.