Weekly Comments Archive
Archived Issue
Sunday, April 30, 2023
ISSUE #1157
AI. Fueling Arguments. Equity vs. Equality. Sex Education Revised. Upside Down Mortgage Rates

You have heard of Chat GPT, a magical way of writing intelligent sounding articles in a hurry. It’s called “Artificial Intelligence,” or AI. I liked it better, growing up on a cattle farm, when AI meant Artificial Insemination. Either way, AI can improve the product, partly by leaving out the bull.

Interestingly, Will Rogers wrote about an author a hundred years ago who may have stumbled on an early version of Chat GPT: “A professor of Columbia University won a prize for writing a book in 15 hours. That’s a good thing. The quicker the authors write them the quicker they can get to some useful work.”  (WA #49, Nov. 18, 1923)

In that same Weekly Article, Will joked about his own writing style: “I am changing my entire method of Literature, and I hereby bid Adieu to my half-wit audience. A writer’s writings never appeal to a higher grade of intelligence than the writer himself. So, from now on, I am going to give these learned and heavy thinkers a run for their laurels.”

I’m writing this article without any assistance from AI. Like Will, I just watch the government and report the facts. I don’t even have to exaggerate.

The arguments over our energy sources are getting ridiculous. Currently, about 75% comes from fossil fuel and 10% nuclear. Those sources of dependable energy have powered our economy to global leadership over the last ~150 years. Yet political leaders, from national to local, are expecting us to abandon those abundant, reasonably priced sources and go 100% to solar and wind in 10 to 20 years. The realistic prediction is that in 2050 we’ll use just as much fossil fuel as today, plus an increased amount of renewable, weather-dependent energy.

Governor Gavin Newsom of California wants to ban diesel trucks. And I’m guessing that if he ever gets elected President, he would also ban diesel fuel in locomotives, bulldozers, and farm tractors.  New York is banning gas stoves, which are used in more than half of homes and in every restaurant.

But the craziest ban of fossil fuels came from Energy Secretary Granholm. She claims that by 2030, the Defense Department will convert all powered equipment on land, sea, and air to run on solar and wind energy. She seems to believe all our future wars will only be fought where the sun shines and the wind blows. Does she think the warring sides will declare a 2-hour truce every day at noon so they can recharge batteries?

Have you heard of “equitable grading” in schools? Why has “equal opportunity” been replaced by “equity outcome?” Turning in homework late, or not at all, makes no difference. Take tests over again to improve your grade. And a few colleges refuse to use ACT or SAT test scores in accepting new students.

Can you imagine if the National Football League used a similar “equity” arrangement to draft college players?  The Carolina Panthers had the first pick Thursday night and selected a quarterback, Bryce Young of Alabama. With “equity grading” the names of all hundred or so eligible quarterbacks would have been put in a hat and the Panthers would have pulled out a random name. A team that wanted a defensive lineman would have selected from a different hat with a few hundred names, and so on. Would anyone watch the games?

A grade school in Vermont has eliminated “male” and “female.”  Now, I may get kicked off the internet, but I’ll risk it to tell you what 5th grade students are being taught. “Male” has been replaced by “person who produces sperm” and “Female” is a “person who produces eggs.” Perhaps there’s nothing inappropriate with this precise description. Frankly, those descriptions could solve a current controversial issue if they applied it to high school and college sports.

Are you buying a house? If you have a great credit score because you paid off student loans, sacrificed, and keep your credit card balances low or zero you would expect to get a better deal on your interest rate. On the other hand, if your credit cards are maxed out, you are behind on repaying student loans, both of your cars are in danger of being repossessed, you would expect it would be hard to get a mortgage, and the rate would be higher. Well, in both cases you would be wrong. In Washington DC, common sense is turned upside down.

In case you missed the 3-minute video, President Biden announced that he and VP Kamala Harris are running for re-election in 2024 against Donald Trump and Marjorie Taylor Greene.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“We are just here for a spell and pass on… So get a few laughs, do the best you can.” WA #445, July 5, 1931


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