AI, Magic, and Grimoires


I won't dive too deeply into the article, but this recent post explores a sentiment that I share about the role of technology in our lives and the nature of its 'magic'. The explosion of LLM and other AI related technology over the last year has added a completely new level to that, and now the art of carefully crafting a great prompt and using it to generate novel content brings that feeling of magic back again.

I couldn't put it more eloquently than Vineeth but it reminded me of a bit of magic conjuring I did recently exploring creativity alongside LLMs.

Over the summer most of my casual reading was done on books from Terry Pratchett's Disc World books. They're light, fun, extremely humorous, and occasionally wonderfully philosophical. Pratchett's world building and fun tone make for an always good read.

Another summertime hobby of mine is gardening. I'm not an all powerful Wizard in that realm (yet) but gain a little more skill and knowledge each season.

So I thought how fun it might be to explore the world of practical gardening advice through the lens of a Wizard casting powerful magic. A Gardener's Grimoire (or, an Anathema to Necromancy). A little GPT play and here's a sample I came up with.


generate a short blog post about how to successfully grow tomatoes. Write it in the style of a wizard's spell, using creative terminology for the basic elements of home gardening so that they sound more arcane and mystical, while still being practical advice about real life gardening. Use a authoritative but humorous tone. Write in the style and voice of Terry Pratchett's Disc World books.


Title: "Cultivating the Red Orb of Solanum: A Wizard's Guide to Tomato Mastery"
In the grand tradition of the horticultural sorcerers of Ankh-Morpork, I bring you today an enchanted lesson in the art of raising the Red Orb of Solanum, commonly known as the tomato. Let no one be fooled by its mundane appearance! This is an undertaking that requires both arcane knowledge and steadfast resolve.
Before all else, one must procure the seeds of destiny. These are not simply seeds, but encapsulations of time and life, holding within them the essence of sunsets yet to be. Be warned, though, not all seeds are created equal. Only the finest specimens, procured from the Royal Horticultural Society or a trusty friend's fruitful vine, will do.
Once your seeds of destiny are in hand, you must prepare the Arcane Field of Growth. The common folk call it "soil", but we wizards know it as the earthly bed where the seeds will embark on their journey of transformation. Seek out a rich, dark loam, filled with the whispers of earthworms and the echoes of forgotten rains. This is the soil that will nourish your younglings.
Remember, the Arcane Field of Growth must be blessed by the Sun Orb. The Red Orb of Solanum, in its infancy, requires no less than eight spans of the Sun Orb's light each day. If the Sun Orb hides behind the clouds, as is often its wont, a Light Spell (or a full spectrum grow light for the less magically inclined) can substitute.
Watering, or the Ritual of the Nurturing Rain, must be performed with caution and respect. Too little, and your plant will wilt, too much, and it will drown, a victim of your overzealous affections. Be like the soft summer rain, not the tempestuous storm.
The rite of Transplantation comes when the seedling has sprouted its second set of true leaves, or in simpler terms, looks like a miniature tomato plant. Be gentle, for the roots are the heartstrings of the Orb, and they are delicate.
Finally, be patient. Magic, like nature, takes time. It will be many sun cycles before your Red Orbs are ready for the Harvest Ritual. But when they are ripe and heavy with the juice of life, you will know that all your wizardly efforts were not in vain.
So, there you have it, dear readers. May your Orbs be red, your harvests be plentiful, and your kitchen be filled with the sweet aroma of victory... and tomato sauce. Remember, in the words of the great wizard Mustrum Ridcully, "The magic is in the doing."
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some Red Orbs of my own to attend to. They're a bit like dragon eggs, you see. Leave them alone for too long, and you might come back to find your greenhouse on fire. Happy gardening!

Anyways, Vineeth's article reminded me of some fun I has a couple months ago and I couldn't help but share. With a little tweaking and some good design, the Gardener's Grimoire could potentially be a fun and practical way for more people to get introduced to the joy and magic of growing their own food!

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