Open Thinkering


Weeknote 15/2024

In my own way, this feel like livin’
Some alternate reality
And I was drownin’, but now I’m swimmin’
Through stressful waters to relief

Come Back to Earth (Mac Miller)
A monochrome photo of a living room with a clothes drying rack, packed moving boxes in the centre, a television on a wooden cabinet, and a cozy armchair, indicating a moving scenario.

We’ve now exchanged contracts on the house we’re buying, and will be moving next weekend. The sense of relief Chez Belshaw is palpable as things are never sure until this stage. We would have liked to have moved earlier, especially as the Easter holidays for the kids end tomorrow, but I’m continuing to channel my inner Epictetus.

This is the end of my second week off work. Last week, I felt better after having a cold, or Covid, or something during the last few days I was at work. This week, I’ve either caught something different, or what I had’s come back with a vengeance. It’s weird: I ran Monday and Wednesday and went to the gym on Tuesday; everything was fine. Then from Thursday to today I’ve been sick. I could do without it, to be honest.

I’m not a great patient, so I’ve been drinking full cafetieres of coffee and getting my MSc assignment done. It is indeed written, although weighing in at 6,500 words instead of the 4,000 word limit. While my tutor says she’s never known anyone be penalised for going over the limit, I should probably spend a couple of hours cutting out some waffle. It’s due on April 23rd, but ideally I’ll submit before we move house.

Without replying to anyone, I’ve glanced at work emails and Slack as a distraction from writing, and noticed that Laura published a post we collaborated on before I went on holiday entitled Examining the Roots: Unpacking the foundations of Verifiable Credentials. It looks like she’s also published the next couple of episodes of Season 9 of our podcast, The Tao of WAO.

Erm, other things to report? I saw Dune 2 with my son at the cinema last night. Visually absolutely incredible, but it didn’t really do anything for me on a visceral level. Perhaps, as I mentioned on the journey home, it’s because I’m now at an age where I don’t identify with the main protagonist. Or maybe I just find it difficult to sit still for almost three hours.

I wrote a pretty niche post about exporting blog data to a format to make it easier to use with LLMs like ChatGPT. I published some things on Thought Shrapnel. I bought a Pixel Fold for less than half of the list price and installed GrapheneOS. I packed and moved some boxes. I took my kids to football and basketball training/games. (My son’s basketball game was particularly exciting, coming back from 20 points down against the team he used to play for, to draw in the last few seconds.)

I’ve nearly finished Ethan Mollick’s Co-Intelligence: Living and Working with AI. It’s pretty good, although it doesn’t really tell me anything I didn’t already know. Definitely useful to pass on to others, though, which is one of the advantages of buying dead tree books. I’m also reading one of the most recent Jack Reacher novels, and although the early ones are clearly much better, they’re an easy read and way to switch off.

Image: two boxes stacked in the living room of our current rented house, with clothes drying wherever we can find space.

Exporting blog posts to JSON for easier use with LLMs such as ChatGPT

I’m currently working on the End of Module Assessment (EMA) for my MSc in Systems Thinking which involves pulling together a lot of learning over the past few months. I’ve captured a lot of it here, in this category of my blog.

What I want to do is to query a Large Language Model (LLM) such as GPT-4. However, referring to external URLs in ChatGPT is not always straightforward, and copy/pasting each post individually is tedious.

Adam Procter gave me the idea of exporting the posts to a file format called JSON, and then uploading that into GPT-4 for ease of referencing. So, given I’m not a programmer, I enlisted the help of ChatGPT to create a very small and simple WordPress plugin.

The above video shows how it works, but after activating the plugin, you can export all posts, or just those in a particular category. The downloaded JSON file can be used anywhere, with LLMs online or offline.

You can download v0.2 of the plugin here.

I’ve already found it useful to help pull in ideas that I wrote about a few months ago that I forgot might be relevant to a particular question I’m answering as part of my EMA. If it’s useful to you in its current form, then great! Just don’t bug me for updates. 😉

Weeknote 14/2024

It’s 7am on a Sunday morning while I’m on holiday. So, of course, I’ve been up for about an hour and a half.

This week, I’ve started the end of module assessment for my first MSc in Systems Thinking module. It should be a lot easier than my last one and, given that I’m a lot less stressed about the whole thing, have registered for the next module, starting May 1st.

We’ve got a moving date! After checking everything that needed to be checked, and signing everything that needed to be signed, we should exchange contracts on Friday 12th April, and complete a week later. This time around, we’re getting a removal company to move us, rather than doing it ourselves.

After I was under the weather last week, this week it’s been the turn of other family members. My son had what I thought was a chest infection but seems to have cleared up. My daughter has a pretty bad cold which, along with the ankle she injured in a futsal tournament last week, is making her feel quite sorry for herself.

There’s not much else to report, other than I’m doing plenty of reading and have published a few posts over at Thought Shrapnel. Next week, I’m aiming to get my assignment finished and, once we’ve exchanged, order an EV charger for our new property, etc.

Image: boxes and other things ready to move in the ‘cellar’ of the 17th century coach house we’re currently renting.