PATRICK MCVAY

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My Musings

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Gods and Fathers

Did you hear that Geoffrey Hinton, aka the "Godfather of AI," decided to quit his job at Google? Apparently, he wanted to speak freely about the dangers of artificial intelligence without his bosses, who employed him to develop AI, suppressing his speech. Not that bosses have ever tried to suppress employees' speech. Or read my blog to see if I'm saying something negative about them. Heh heh

Although Hinton has been anointed a godfather, don't confuse him with the recently deceased Godfather of Poker, Doyle Brunson. Or Godfather of Soul, James Brown. Or the Godfather of Blogging, me.

Yeah, OK, maybe I'm not yet known as the Godfather of Blogging, but get this: I am an actual godfather, having been anointed as such when I agreed (apparently) to raise my nephew Erich as a Catholic if his parents met an untimely death before he was confirmed. This was back when my sister and brother-in-law could reasonably be called Catholic, and I had already become a borderline atheist. Now, Erich's parents have left Catholicism for the Abundant Life Church, while I'm pretty sure that Jesus Christ never existed, let alone was "The Son of God." So, I'm wondering if I need to renounce my godfather status.

Sorry, I've gotten off topic.

Whoever first decided to use the term "Godfather" to refer to individuals who have made a substantial mark in certain areas of industry and the arts aimed pretty low. Godfather is not a legally recognized title. It's not like Bill Monroe, who was called the "Father of Bluegrass." He's an actual father, which means he ranks higher than all those godfathers out there. Even a great uncle outranks a godfather.

If you wanted to aim high, you could name yourself a king, like Elvis Presley, King of Pop, or BB King, King of the Blues.

Dinah Washington dubbed herself Queen of the Blues and might have thought this moniker made her the world's chief blueswoman, but Bessie Smith was known as "Empress of the Blues," outranking Queen Washington.

Joan Jett was the Godmother punk, but other than that, there aren't a lot of Godmothers out there in the music world. I've heard that Morrissey was called "The Pope of Mope," which in a sense makes him among the highest-ranking musicians in the w orld. Kings rule nations, emperors rule empires, but popes transcend such boundaries.

Ultimately, I'm not yet wellenough known to be called a king, or pope. I'm currently shooting for Second Cousin of Blogging, Once Removed. Wish me luck as I petition the US Trademark Office on that. 

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