February 22, 2023

George Washington et al

Celebrating Democracy  

On this day in 1732, the father of our nation was born. George Washington was not only the first President of the United States, but he was also a military leader, a statesman, and a true American hero. His leadership and courage inspired the American people to fight for independence and establish a new nation.

As we recognize the one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine this week, we are reminded of the death and destruction caused by this ongoing conflict. It is surprising how this war has progressed and how it has become an important test of global democracy. The outcome of this conflict could determine the future of democracy around the world.

On this day in 2014, [then Ukrainian President Victor] Yanukovych’s impeachment was a precursor to this war, as he rejected the embrace of the European Union, setting forth the Maidan revolution. These anniversaries intersect to remind us of the power of democracy and the cost of defending it.

It is important to remember the sacrifices of those who have fought for democracy and the values that we hold dear. George Washington was one of those individuals who fought for democracy, and his legacy continues to inspire us today.

As we celebrate George Washington’s birthday, we should also remember the brave soldiers who have given their lives for our country and the people of Ukraine who continue to fight for their freedom. We should honor their memory by working towards a future where democracy and freedom can thrive.

My opening thoughts today were entirely drafted by ChatGPT. I provided a word limit, my writing style via my opening thoughts from the prior Board meeting, a few historical highlights, a request to be clever and poignant, and then let it go to work. While I personally desired to alter and edit much of the output to my satisfaction, I read this one verbatim to demonstrate the power of this recently released beta version. I also experimented with three other ai programs, but found ChatGPT the best and easiest to use for this purpose.

As you can tell, there is good reason that ChatGPT is the most rapidly adopted consumer application in history – with one million users in the first 5 days and over 100 million in the first two months. Nothing, not Google, Facebook, Instagram, nor even Tik Tok has ever come close to matching such metrics. While you may have enjoyed ChatGPT’s opening thoughts more than my own, I’m impressed by but not thrilled with it. Plus, I’ve come to enjoy having the floor to express my personal thoughts each month, so will not be turning the floor over to the computer, at least not yet.

Lastly, given that we may have more dogs than staff among the IBank family, a reminder that today is National Walking the Dog Day.  Unfortunately, before I realized this, I booked my Berner for a visit to the dentist this morning, so she’s not thrilled with me as she recovers from anesthesia. But she’ll flash a beautiful white smile on a fabulous walk later.

Scott Wu

S. Wu Signature