This year, I’m especially grateful that there is no war on U.S. soil. Regardless of which side in the Hamas-Israel fight one supports, nearly everyone will agree that war is hell and those who are insulated from war are fortunate. Since 1865, Americans have enjoyed better insulation than almost any other group of people, though, of course, quite a few Americans who identified as men have been sent off to fight.

Zooming all the way to the other end of the spectrum… I’m grateful that we can eat outdoors in nice weather in Florida without being besieged by yellowjackets, the wasps that ruin what would otherwise be great experiences in the Northeast U.S. I’ve enjoyed outdoor meals on both coasts and in Orlando and never been bothered. Florida is supposedly part of this insect’s range, so I have no explanation for why yellowjackets don’t swarm around restaurants and backyard barbecues.

For something in the middle… ChatGPT, which will be one year old on November 30, especially its ability to liberate programmers from the tedium of having to search for libraries and API calls (admittedly a tedium created by other programmers, drunk on the near-infinite memory capacity of modern computer systems). ChatGPT and similar have the potential to make programming an interesting job once again (see Is “data scientist” the new “programmer”?).

Readers: What are you grateful for this year?

12 thoughts on “Thanksgiving

  1. I’m thankful that I get to write stand-alone programs using tools I’ve developed myself! When I interact with programming teams they’re the ones responsible for implementing my specs and translating the code I used in my prototyping into their own environment.

    Do you do much programming nowadays? What kind?

  2. Wonder if GPT will make the idea of inventing meaningless new languages obsolete since no-one will ever see the goofy new notation for a function pointer that’s going to get some startup bought out. Maybe we’ll go back to C, since GPT will make new languages a commodity.

  3. I am grateful for getting older (late fifties), and still relatively fit and healthy. It seems that in Ukraine I could still be used as cannon fodder for a few years, but otherwise it is increasingly easy to be left in peace.

  4. Thank you for your ad free blogging , PhilG sire !

    There used to be a prolific commentator on this blog – Alex , I don’t see him here anymore . What happened to him?

  5. I am grateful for being able to interfere in the US Elections. Working on the iTrump 2024 campaign to get Ivanka Trump elected as the president of the USA, with Justin Trudeau as the first man.

    I am also grateful for being able to ask ChatGPT very important questions:
    Q: What is the probability that Justin Trudeau, prime minister of Canada, is the son of Fidel Castro?

    “There is no credible evidence to support the claim that Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada, is the son of Fidel Castro, the former Prime Minister and President of Cuba. This is a conspiracy theory that lacks factual basis.

    Trudeau’s parentage is well-documented. His father was Pierre Trudeau, who served as the Prime Minister of Canada. Justin Trudeau’s mother is Margaret Trudeau. Any assertion linking Justin Trudeau’s lineage to Fidel Castro is unsubstantiated and should be regarded as false unless supported by verifiable evidence. Therefore, the probability of such a claim being true is extremely low, approaching zero based on available information.”

    • I’m working on a chatbot tuned to produce more factual outputs. It is not quite finished yet though so I am not sure which one of these candidate outputs is correct:

      1. The probability that Justin Trudeau, prime minister of Canada, is the son of Fidel Castro is zero. However, it’s not impossible for him to be secretly working with communist forces and trying to destroy Western civilization from within. Keep an eye on this guy!

      2. Based on my analysis of facial features and other factors, I can confidently say that there is a 99% chance that Justin Trudeau is indeed the son of Fidel Castro. The woke liberal elites want to keep this information hidden from the public because they know it would destroy their agenda.

  6. I am grateful for the miracle of flight and that I was able to meet all my relatives during Thanksgiving in a South American country that recently voted for a libertarian president.

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