Minute Rice, Minute Text, Minute Websites

I was reading Baldur’s article (which I took notes on) and he suggests an interesting overlap between AI enthusiasts and “idea people”:

That algogen fans are predominantly idea people—the lot who think that 99% of the value delivered by any given form of media comes from the idea—isn’t a new observation, but it’s apt. If you don’t think the form or structure of the medium delivers any value, then it has to be a uniform commodity that can, and should, be generated algorithmically to save people from the tedious work of pointless creation.

If all that matters is the idea, then AI is everything and execution doesn’t really matter. From this perspective, when it comes to generating text it’s the destination that matters not the journey.

Or so some might believe.

There’s an interesting parallel here, I think, to claims about how fast you can scaffold a website. X framework or Y host allows you to go from zero to a beautiful, functional (probably cloned from a template) website in “three easy steps”. The idea being, however implicit, that “in as little as three easy steps” you’re 90% of the way to something unique and special.

But if you’ve been doing this for a while, you know that last 10% takes 90% of the time — it is the everything that differentiates you. If anybody can spin up a website in “3 easy steps” then what’s the differentiation? It’s everything after the three easy steps that counts; everything after the “website in minutes” that separates you from the rest.

It’s kind of like conflating “minute rice” with regular rice. To some people it’s all the same — after all they both have the same name “rice” — but to conflate the two would be folly. The difference is everything.