Zoom into a midweek (Wednesday 25th January) morning tea and chat, with whoever else turns up,
11:00am, Zoom details as above
Health and safety measures: We now have working air purifiers in the church, to help reduce the spread of any nasties. We will not be serving any food or drink after the service, and we request everyone in the church to wear a mask.
My original subject for today was Gonna lay down my sword and shield, which was about concentration camps in World War 2, and how this appalling story was the background to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
But it was such a complicated story I couldn’t get my head around it. And I was looking for a new topic.
And then Jacinda came up with the idea of resigning …. And it was obvious.
Today, I want to talk about finding our humanity in a technologized world and the dangers of relying too heavily on technology to do tasks that we expect to be done by humans. Specifically, I want to delve into the questions raised by the fact that a machine like ChatGPT can write a speech, a personal letter, or your child’s essay assignment.
For those who may not be familiar, ChatGPT is a large language model developed by OpenAI. It has been trained on a vast amount of data and is able to generate human-like text on a variety of topics. It is a relatively new technology and its capabilities are still being explored and refined.
Welcome again to this – small, niche – gathering of our community. Thank you for the opportunity to stretch outside my own comfort zone to address our group here. Happy New Year.
Or should I say “Happy Gregorian New Year”? Let’s come back to that.
On this first day of the year, I want to talk about meaning. Specifically, I want to talk about how we take our small blue planet’s gravitationally-bound sweep around its star and turn one point on that circuit into a time for parties and new year’s resolutions and setting up a calendar for the year to come. About how different people – and peoples – do that differently, and how we navigate getting along together.
I don’t consider it Christmas until I have watched It’s a Wonderful Life. I ticked that off last Sunday. So, for me, it’s now Christmas.
I don’t know when it became one of my treasured Christmas traditions, but I can’t remember when it wasn’t. When my kids were teenagers, there was lots of eye-rolling when I insisted that watching it was a family event. Something about it appealed to my Unitarian heart, and I wanted to inoculate theirs. They would ask me when I would find a new tradition. My answer was, “When I stop tearing up at the end.”
Anjum Rahman, Founder and Project Co-Lead of Inclusive Aotearoa Collective Tāhono, who must be the best known Muslim leader in the country, due to her frequent interviews on TV. She has also advocated for religious studies and the end of Christian religious instruction (Bible in Schools).
Shakespeare had it wrong. When Juliet tells Romeo, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” she is arguing that it does not matter that Romeo is from her family’s rival house Montague. The reference states that the names of things do not affect what they really are. I disagree. Nothing could be further from the truth.