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Gavin Oldham

Thought for the Week: AI — An Exciting and Fearsome Tool

Gavin Oldham
Original Broadcast:

Thought for the Week

Thought for the Week: AI — An Exciting and Fearsome Tool
Tools have accompanied us since the dawn of humanity, but few are as exciting and fearsome as Artificial Intelligence. That's why the Pope chose to talk to G7 leaders last Friday about this swiftly developing technology with his plea that politicians need to ensure that it benefits every human being. Artificial Intelligence is just one of the long-term concerns included in our pre-General Election survey, asking your opinion on issues not included in party manifestos: these include linking inheritance levies directly to inter-generational rebalancing, transforming the UK's welfare system, and reforming the 'second chamber' to enable proper long-term review of legislation. Please take part! Visit https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/FU34N0/ Background music: 'The New Order' by Aaron Kenny

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Gavin Oldham

Thought for the Week: Say Farewell to Socialism, Sir Keir

Gavin Oldham
Original Broadcast:

Thought for the Week

Thought for the Week: Say Farewell to Socialism, Sir Keir
Spot the difference (if you can) between the communist and socialist perspectives on welfare, as defined by byjus.com. After seventy-five years it's crippled the public sector with its huge demand for cash, and provides a dysfunctional health service due to monopoly strangleholds. It's time for Sir Keir Starmer to move from socialism to egalitarian capitalism: You won't find it in Party manifestos, but you will find it at Share Alliance. Background music: 'People Watching' by Sir Cubworth

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Gavin Oldham

Thought for the Week: Moral Compass Missing

Gavin Oldham
Original Broadcast:

Thought for the Week

Thought for the Week: Moral Compass Missing
Nothing seems to shake the populist following of Mr. Trump, which includes a substantial proportion of the evangelical Christian community. Is their moral compass somewhat unbalanced — are they omitting to focus on the second great commandment, to love our neighbours (those least likely to be our 'neighbours') as ourselves? Here in the UK, populism is more associated with the Reform Party, which is attracting 15% of voters compared to the Conservatives 21%. They share Trump's appeal for self-interest and antipathy towards migration: meanwhile the need for a real focus on helping the poor continues. Where's the moral compass? Background music: 'Charisma' by The Brothers Records

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Gavin Oldham

Thought for the Week: Assess the Individual, not just their Party

Gavin Oldham
Original Broadcast:

Thought for the Week

Thought for the Week: Assess the Individual, not just their Party
Not my platitudes — but we do indeed need bold reforms, vision, groundbreaking solutions and to lead the edge of change. Our key concerns and calls for action are in this commentary, but they're not in the party manifestos: for example, the call to break the cycle of deprivation first made 50 years ago — we're still waiting. Euphemisms abound as the parties converge towards the central ground in the quest for your votes, but they draw together many different perspectives. Test them on issues such as a more egalitarian form of capitalism, smaller government, inter-generational rebalancing and a longer-term perspective — see where they stand as individuals. Background music: 'Hidden Agenda' by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/index.html?isrc=USUAN1200102.

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Gavin Oldham

Thought for the Week: AI raises the urgency for disintermediated participation

Gavin Oldham
Original Broadcast:

Thought for the Week

Thought for the Week: AI raises the urgency for disintermediated participation
Professor Hinton, the 'godfather of AI' warns that the challenges of Artificial Intelligence are not just economic but also strategic. His quotation of Putin shows clearly the need for a convergent approach towards these risks. And remember the Bletchley conference just six months ago? The scientists have lost no time in preparing their interim report, but there's much to be done in planning the best way forward. Background music: 'Metamorphosis' by Quincas Moreira

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Gavin Oldham

Thought for the Week: Recognising Individual Achievement

Gavin Oldham
Original Broadcast:

Thought for the Week

Thought for the Week: Recognising Individual Achievement
Individual achievement is recognised in many walks of life, and that recognition spurs people on to achieve even greater things. With education, good exam results and university entrance are celebrated, but this doesn't do much for those who find it difficult to get started in the first place. That's why The Share Foundation's introduction of incentivised learning is so important for young people in care, achieving an attitudinal transformation as they progress through the six-step Stepladder course. We need acceptance of incentivised learning to break the cycle of deprivation. Background music: 'Everything Has a Beginning' by Joel Cummins

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Gavin Oldham

Thought for the Week: Three Presumptions for re-thinking Politics

Gavin Oldham
Original Broadcast:

Thought for the Week

Thought for the Week: Three Presumptions for re-thinking Politics
England delivered a withering verdict on its ruling Conservative Party last week, but the motley spread of replacement parties plus low turnout revealed a population thoroughly disenchanted by politics. Democracy is calling for a fresh perspective, based on reason and logic. We need to draw inspiration from people like Thomas Jefferson who said, 'We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all are created equal, that they are endowed with certain unalienable rights, and that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.' Background music: 'Freedom' by Dan Lebowitz

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Gavin Oldham

Thought for the Week: The Illusion of Legacy

Gavin Oldham
Original Broadcast:

Thought for the Week

Thought for the Week: The Illusion of Legacy
Voyager-1's legacy includes greetings in 55 languages, 35 sounds from life on Earth (such as whale songs, laughter, etc.), 90 minutes of music including everything from Mozart and Bach to Chuck Berry and Blind Willie Johnson, all dating back to its launch in 1977. There are also 115 images of life on Earth and recorded greetings from then-US President Jimmy Carter (1924– ) and then-UN Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim (1918–2007). It would take about 70,000 years to reach the nearest star to our solar system. In contrast, most tombstones in British graveyards date from well before the Voyager-1 launch, but for most of them it's no longer possible to discern who they commemorate or when they were erected. Burial grounds occupy over 19,000 acres in England, but the legacy they seek to preserve is forgotten within a very small number of generations. Background music: 'Elegy' by Wayne Jones

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Gavin Oldham

Thought for the Week: Logic and Reason in the Spotlight

Gavin Oldham
Original Broadcast:

Thought for the Week

Thought for the Week: Logic and Reason in the Spotlight
In so many respects the news that greets us each day seems devoid of logic and reason. Whether it's international conflict, short-termist governments or the denial of reality, we are led to believe that we can walk on water indefinitely and set aside intellectual thought. But the biggest challenge is to bring logic and reason into the public square for young people, at a time when their perspectives have been stunted by the pandemic and social media. It is this new generation which will have to deal with the mess we're leaving behind: let's help them to participate actively. Background music: 'Intellect' by Yung Logos

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Gavin Oldham

Thought for the Week: Action required for Default CTF Pay-out

Gavin Oldham
Original Broadcast:

Thought for the Week

Thought for the Week: Action required for Default CTF Pay-out
The core of the problem with unclaimed, adult-owned Child Trust Funds (of which there are over £2 billion waiting to be claimed) is with accounts opened by HMRC. That's why The Share Foundation has proposed a 'default withdrawal at 21' process, based on the young person's National Insurance number. Danny Kruger MP took part in the CTF conference in Westminster on Tuesday 5th March, and two weeks later in a Westminster Hall CTF debate, and supported this initiative which could release £1/4 billion each year to help these young and predominantly low-income young adults. Background music: 'Waiting' by Andrew Langdon

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