Saturday, December 16, 2023

Little Exeter NH

TL;DR -- Exeter NH has been on our plate from day one. But, we had lots of Massachusetts material to digest, including that from elsewhere. So, while redoing our site, we thought to venture into the surrounding area. A WSJ article on OpenAI's Board got us started by mentioning Phillips Exeter Academy. That ties together several themes for this year. 


In an earlier post, we mentioned that we need to look at New Hampshire more often. We now have additional motivation for that effort. The earlier post was about the Dudley family. But, the State celebrated their 400th this year, through honoring Portsmouth

We have touched upon people, such as Rev. Bachiler (who could not abide Winthrop and went north), General Aldophus Greeley (led the Lady Franklin Bay Expedition), Nicholas Gilman, Jr (signer of the United States Constitution). and others. One of the places mentioned was Exeter, NH which town was home to many ancestors found in Ann's tree. 

One of two houses

Today, we saw another name to look at further: John Taylor Gilman. He was born in Exeter; we got to him in a roundabout manner that ties together several themes. We have been seeing references to this site for years but had a Massachusetts focus for obvious reasons. Though, we learned early, that northern and western movemernt started very early on. 

So, how did we get to John? He attended Phillips Exeter Academy which was founded by John Phillips who was descendant of Rev. George Phillips of Watertown, MA. So, we find several tie-ins here with the major theme of the times. Rev. George was on the first Board of Harvard about which we have had several posts. Of his many descendants, one was Bill Gates of Microsoft. 

Finally, how did we get here? We saw in a report in the WSJ that the head of Meta (Facebook) and Quora had been students at Phillips. And, our technology theme pertains specifically to new ways, of which the computational is a major part. The reference we saw was in a WSJ article about a member of the Board of OpenAI.

We have made use of Quora since 2015. With respect to OpenAI, their release last November of their ChatGPT did not get our attention until February of this year. Somehow the hype associated with these things escaped our awareness. But, since then, we have taken a "deep" look at the "generative" movement of the machine learning crowd. 

Let's just say, the jury is out along several axes. We will discuss this further, see: AI not solely ML. But, tying the new back with the old in this regard makes a lot of sense. After all, the focus of AI (however fruited) ought to be people and their freedoms. 

Not some dominance posturing (and following through) that is problematic even when not out of control. But, then, politics? We avoid that. 

 Remarks: Modified: 12/16/2023

12/16/2023 --

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