Two Days Left

Thursday of Eighth, so there are two days left of full term. I have two tutes today, some marking and reports to write, and I have some make-up tutes to arrange, but beginning Friday I will not be receiving any more essays to mark, and everything I do will move me forward to an all-clear academic desktop. My ecclesiastical desktop, of course, self-renews every week — I’m preaching this week again — but the lighter academic load will make relieve significant pressure on my time.

Two miles this morning, at a good pace despite muscle stiffness, in 3° fog. Coffee and fruit, Morning prayer, then off to Oxford for teaching.

Wednesday of Eighth, Whew

Ran my two miles in 2° (did I report yesterday’s run? Same deal), coffee and fruit, Morning Prayer, off to the bus stop to just barely miss the X3, eventually got to Oxford to lead tutorials with my four lovely first-years, back to Abingdon, afternoon appointment, and various email errands till dinnertime.


The mornings have been lighter and lighter, thank heaven, though the zero and subzero temperatures have been disappointing. Two more miles this morning, anyway.

David Weinberger reports his extended interaction with ChatGPT which pivots on the topic of cultural situatedness. He elicits from his LLM interlocutor the acknowledgement that it operates on cultural assumptions (about food and ethics) that belong to the global North and West, but the moment that strikes me arrives toward the end, when it looks as though ChatGPT begins to repeat back to David the analysis that he had provided earlier in the conversation — that, in other words, ChatGPT seems to have assimilated David’s perspective into its database of responses. I find that both eerie and reassuring (in that the so-called AI seems still to be mostly just an extremely high-powered chatbot).

Speaking of AI, Mark Liberman wonders what accounts for a blogger at Medium suggesting that a particular idea — that Nickelback is a mediocre hack-rock act — has ‘boroughed’ into our consciousness. I note that the author seems to havve misspelled the name of the infamous WWII German dictator in the very first sentence, which seems to reflect poorly at least on their editing skills, if not their spelling overall. I wonder, though —is there some positive value in making obvious careless errors in such writing, as a measure of human authorship, over against AI writing that would never misspell Aldof Heltir….

Two, Too

It wasn’t raining this morning, so — why not run my two miles even though it was -1° out on 2 March? I made adequate time. I had spent yesterday working on two sermons (two different congregations, two different sorts of ethos). I was knocked out, then; and it knocked me out again delivering them. Struggled unsuccessfully to stay awake this afternoon — but I really need to catch up on marking. We’ll see what develops.

Rain, Rain, Go

Steady rain this morning, so I doubt that I’ll go for my morning run. At any other point in my life, I would just roll my eyes and marvel at the rainiest spell in memory; now that I live in a low-lying house between two rising rivers, my feelings about a protracted rainy spell run more toward the trepidatious or even disastrous. Margaret takes a more confident outlook, but then, I spend more time walking along and across our rivers.