Chatting with a Bot

When I was looking for a career in 1968 I was directed to take data entry classes. We did “keypunch cards” and verification for computers that were the size of most offices. I never learned how to write computer language and really was not interested to learn, though my boss wanted me to learn. To this day I am not afraid of my computer, iPhone, tablet or other devices. Especially since kids these days say, “just start pushing the buttons until you get the result you want.” Ha! There is a new item available to the public.

I do not pretend to understand most of the technological leaps we are making, but this one caught my attention. It said you could ask it to write a poem or a term paper and it would. Schools are worried but not caught off guard. What??!?

Have you ever been online with a question and the site asked if you would like an online chat? Then you likely have had interaction with a ‘chatbot.’ According to Wikipedia, “Chatbot is a software application used to conduct an online conversation via text in lieu of providing direct contact with a live human agent.”

There is a new computer ability that was released for free online called ChatGPT. It is causing quite a stir in the world. It was released November 30, 2022 by a company called OpenAI. (A I is artificial intelligence.)

This system is notable for ‘its detailed responses and articulate answers across many domains of knowledge. “It has the ability,” according to Wikipedia “to write and debug computer programs; to compose music, teleplays, fairy tales, and student essays; to answer test questions (sometimes, depending on the test, at a level above the average human test-taker); to write poetry and song lyrics; to emulate a Linux system; to simulate an entire chat room; to play games like tic-tac-toe; and to simulate an ATM.”

I tried to sign up so I could ask it to write a poem based on a few thoughts I had. Then I wanted to compare its creation to one of my poems. Since every news agency seems to be reporting on ChatGPT the system is too busy to accept new free accounts right now. That is okay. Not certain I want to give them my information or find out how the bot would do with my ideas! Open AI does collect data.

Wikipedia reports that “ChatGPT was met in December 2022 with generally positive reviews; The New York Times labeled it “the best artificial intelligence chatbot ever released to the general public.” Samantha Lock of The Guardian noted that it was able to generate “impressively detailed” and “human-like” text. Technology writer Dan Gillmor used ChatGPT on a student assignment, and found its generated text was on par with what a good student would deliver and opined that “academia has some very serious issues to confront.”

Oh my! Will there be any original human creativity left after the AI world finishes with us? I pray so. I wonder how extensive their knowledge base is of the Christian religion and how access to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit changes human creation? God save us all! And LORD, please help me keep writing to glorify Your name!

Is this beyond the Babel of the Scripture? God knows and time will tell.

 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.

They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”

But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”

So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel —because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

Genesis 11:1-9 NIV

Yikes what happens when A I starts talking for us? It already talks to us. God knows and I believe He is in charge!

While in Ireland

We spent our first night at Glendalough. At the bottom of this blog is a short film to introduce you to the area. After breakfast we went for a walk around the neighboring area. We saw these sheep in the graveyard.

Cracked me up, as if they were hiding and on a mission!
One strange sheering job!

When we returned to the inn one of the employees asked if we enjoyed our walk. I told her how amused I was by the sheep in the graveyard. She told the bartender, “Better call Mr. Mc Creary! His sheep got loose again!” Now where better to get a tasty treat than on the loose in early morning at the graveyard?

Cracked me up! Guess those sheep were sneaking around and on a mission – not to get caught! The Irish mark their sheep with paint, thus the pink and blue marks on the wool!

Some January Poetry

Winter © Molly Lin Dutina 23-1-8

Gloomy grays and browns
Grass looks winter burned
Clouds packed solid black
but wait!
The sycamores are all spangled
With seed balls moving in breeze
Winter in southwestern Ohio
I grasp at any sign of hope and 
Future joy in the next season.

Another ride on a winter afternoon brought this.

Gray Clouds Roof © Molly Lin Dutina 23-1- 18

Corn field stubble alternates
Ivory and beige, ivory and beige, in rows
As we speed past on highway
January wind rattles barn walls
Livestock not to be seen from my window
As gray clouds roof each farm

Can you imagine this? Would you be able to praise like this? We read in Daniel 3:16, 19 and on that the King wanted absolutely obedience to himself. “King Nebuchadnezzar was so filled with rage against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego that his face was distorted. He ordered the furnace heated up seven times more than was customary, and ordered some of the strongest guards in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and to throw them into the furnace of blazing fire. So the men were bound, still wearing their tunics, their trousers, their hats, and their other garments, and they were thrown into the furnace of blazing fire.” While in this furnace the men began to praise God, knowing that He was more powerful than the king ever thought about being. Here is a portion of their praise.

“Bless the Lord, all rain and dew;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
65 Bless the Lord, all you winds;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
66 Bless the Lord, fire and heat;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
67 Bless the Lord, winter cold and summer heat;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
68 Bless the Lord, dews and falling snow;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
69 Bless the Lord, ice and cold;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.
70 Bless the Lord, frosts and snows;
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever.

Daniel 3:64-70 NRSV

They were eventually saved from the fire. This reading comes up often in the Daily Office and Canticles of from the Book of Common Prayer. There are times I wish my current church would use those to remind us of God’s power and glory! As you drive about this winter remember that all the seasons and elements are called to praise the Lord. We are, too!

Oh Weird

Every spring I look forward to hearing the Spring Peepers in the local wooded wetlands. Then I am certain that though it might feel cold, spring is certainly on the way! We have had tremendous rain here lately. Today, January 17th, I stepped outside to walk the dog to the mailbox. I almost could not believe my ears!

The Spring Peepers are singing. My favorite thumbnail sized amphibian! Climate change is messing up our ‘predictable’ weather things. The daffodils have sent up 3 inch tall leaves. The ones out back, just planted last autumn, already have 3 bulbs with 1 inch leaves. Forecast is 61 degrees today. My neighbor says, “Next week we will be freezing. The earth is just trying to fool us!”

I remember when I first moved to the San Francisco bay area I was so unhappy. They had poinsettias planted out of doors and climbing up walls. The daffodils bloomed in January and February. I remember thinking, “This is just WRONG!”

Humor and Thanks, God

So here is (not the best photo) of Brody. My daughter’s family adopted this VERY long legged hound. He has enormous eyes and legs that look just too long for his body. He hangs around the kitchen all the time hoping for a morsel to drop his way. He is tall enough to grab things off the counter.

Another Brody snapshot.

During Advent he was hanging around the kitchen while my daughter and Grandaughter began to prepare the family favorite coffee cake for Christmas morning feasting. Someone hit the wrong button an the Kitchenaid mixer. This is Brody, the dark hound dog, after the flour was flying!

Brody, black and brown dog, battered and ready for frying?

Forget footprints in the sand, Sparky (dog #2) above left foot prints in the flour.

Enjoy!!

 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 NASB

When the Forecast was BIG STORM

If you can, play this song while you read the poem. As I wrote I heard this melody, not for the first time. I really like it. Yes, our Redeemer helps His creation.

A Big Storm, Possible Blizzard Predicted © Molly Lin Dutina 2022

When my bladder wakes me
I must check outside
2:45 AM the blizzard made drifts
Inches high along the sliding glass door
Windows framed in ice at their rims
Daybreak shows leaves
As they tumble over the snow-pack
Streets have one lane cleared
Snow removal men made a plow pass
Spreading salt in their wake
"No sense doing anything else,"
Weatherman told us, 
“It is just going to blow all over the place today”

The wild birds are grateful for the full feeders
Little birds welcome red-bellied woodpeckers
Big beaks are able to loosen frozen seeds
Below zero temperatures 
Wind chills double digits below zero
Make us all bundle up
Hurry outdoors for a moment and then back in

Jack Frost is not merely painting today
He will likely destroy flesh if it
Lingers out of doors
Mourning dove not moving 
Out bedroom window as I dress
Mourning dove wing feather
Ruffles in the wind
Or did it move?
Same mourning dove not moving out kitchen window
Is mourning dove dying in bitter cold?
Should I bundle up and get the shoe box
From the garage and bring it in to thaw in garage?

I am about convinced to get boots, hat, coat, scarf, gloves
My breakfast hurriedly eaten
Errand of mercy or folly
Help that helpless bird
And I notice it has moved a few inches up the garden hill
I watch with bated breath
Will it live without my help?

Suddenly it flies off into the trees!
How do they survive this frigid weather?
Even the fur covered dog is unhappy
And yet, those feathered birds
Both large and small
Are out there all day and all night
Temperature last night was all the way up to 4 degrees
Dog and I together with all my winter wear
Likely could not have survived it.

Father, Your wonders of creation continue
And continue
And continue again to amaze me!

Christmas Ornament

Kim’a’aits’a Acoma Signed Pottery: New Mexico art clay handpainted piece. Traditional native made pieces are all made from hand dug clay. These native made pieces are highly collectible and sought after. Clay digging is as follows. The seeming ease of a finished pot made in the traditional way belies the enormous amount of work and skill, of intuition and hard labor, that has gone into its creation. First, the clay must be mined from the earth at sites a considerable distance from the village, and often accessible only on foot. “You can’t drive all the way,” says Rose Chino Garcia. “You have to walk in, and dig out the clay, and then carry it back to the truck, sometimes a long way, five miles or more.” In its original form the clay is rocky and slatelike, and large chunks must be broken up to manageable size. If it was damp when dug, it must be left to dry for many days in the sun. When dry, it must be cleaned thoroughly by sifting and winnowing to get rid of all unwanted matter, such as twigs and pebbles. With a stone, it is crushed and pulverized. Temper, in the form of clay potsherds, sometimes hundreds of years old, is hand-ground to a fine powder, and added to the clay to bind, strengthen, and prevent it from shrinking and cracking. A vessel made from tempered Acoma clay is very strong, and enables the potter to make the characteristic thin walls of traditional pottery.

When we visited Acoma Pueblo with our friends, Dan and Betty Cooksey, we purchased an ornament with a ‘Storyteller’ or ‘Singing mother” inside with her child. I like to think of it as Mary rejoicing to God the Father as she holds Jesus the Son. I do not place it on our tree for fear it will get broken. It sits on the top of the china cabinet with the Nativity scene during the Christmas season and inside the lighted china cabinet the remainder of the year.

It is recorded in scripture that Mary sang this. (Luke 1:46-55). Is it poetry or a song? Does it matter? The truth is the same. If she sang it once I believe she sang it most of her life! I rejoice with Mary, John Michael Talbot and millions of believers who have followed Christ Jesus my Lord.

Do you sing to the Lord? Is it a song of worship? Do you sing it only at Christmastide or throughout your life? If you do not sing to Him, perhaps you can begin in 2023!

Five Hours a Day?

One scientist called Chaser the most important dog in history! This is a 12 minute video worth your attention! Dog raised by retired psychology professor. Enjoy her story!

He is 86 years old and still working, with Chaser! I wonder if I devoted more time to Lucky, would she be even close to Chaser’s abilities? Hope you enjoyed this little break from your current routine!

Beauty in a Glaze

Take a look at this from the craft show!

https://temperedearthfarms.com/products

The city of Corrales, New Mexico had their 34th annual juried craft show on Saturday morning at the historic Old San Ysidro church which has been decommissioned. Dan and Bob dropped Betty and me off to browse the show and shop while they went to get coffee and chat together.

There was handmade jewelry, hand painted silk shawls, paintings, ceramics, porcelain dishes, amazing photographs, gourd art, icons, jams, notecards, wood work, creations made with old sewing machine parts, fold art quilted hangings, metal outdoor sculptures and more.It was amazing.

I found this tumbler made by Jenn Noel. I hemmed and hawed. I wanted the smaller design, but the only one on display had hand pinched places. I talked myself out of the tumbler. We left the show.

And then I thought about the glaze all evening. And I could not forget it. I searched for her work on line. And drooled again over that amazing “sunset” glaze.

To indulge me, Bob said we could return to the craft show after church the next day and see if the item I liked was still available. It certainly was! I walked up to Jenn, the artist, and told her I thought about her work all night and especially that glaze. The piece I admired was still there!! Sold! Next challenge is to get it home in one piece!If you are still Christmas shopping, the good news is Jenn has free shipping for the few weeks left building up to Christmas. Click on https://temperedearthfarms.com/collections/all/handmade-pottery?sort_by=manual

For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts.

Malachi 1:11 ESV

Here is comic Family Circus humor for the season.

Dirt in Treetops?

I was driving and listening to NPR when I heard this episode of Radio Lab. I hope you enjoy the wonders of their discoveries as a much as I did.

Really? There is dirt in the canopy? The canopy even sends out roots for more trees up in the air?

Here is a quote from the transcript:

ANNIE: Her job up there was to take samples of the moss that was growing on these branches.

NALINI NADKARNI: I had to cut off chunks of it.

ANNIE: So using some clippers, she begins to cut down into that moss on the branch she’s sitting on.

NALINI NADKARNI: And as I peeled back those mats of mosses …

ANNIE: Beneath, instead of just bare branch …

NALINI NADKARNI: I saw that there was all this soil up there.

ANNIE: This branch has a foot of soil piled up on it.

ROBERT: Oh wow!

ANNIE: Soil that had built up over many, many years of mosses and leaves dying and decomposing right there on the branch.

What? I was intrigued. Temperate forest in Olympic rainforest in western Washington state. 100 feet up – a 10 story building! Copepods in the top of Redwoods. Amazing discoveries. And we, the little humans, think we know it all! NOT!!

The wonders our God of Creation made for us to discover. New things after new things we never even imagined.

Cloudy day in Corrales, New Mexico

I am seated in New Mexico looking at the peaks of Sandia Mountain. Visible valleys where water has run down the mountains side. A few places where snow has began to accumulate. Trees that look like dark green fuzz from here, trees that likely are much taller than I am. What wonders reside there? Discoveries the scientists and explorers have not yet made. How many eons have people gazed upon this mountain? Yet, the God of Wonders is NEVER surprised by what we find!!

Same mountain, different day!

Go outside. Take a walk around. Dig into the moss, or rocks, or dirt. See what wonders God has created for you to discover. Treasures in plain sight or on a treetop.