Adrian Howard

Adrian Howard

  • Commented on Implications
    Which other 'mundane' authors do you think have 'got' worldbuilding? Patrick O'Brian's books come to mind. The ships and world of napolionic naval warfare are the bedrock of the series....
  • Commented on The latest Hugo awards storm
    Bugger. Read this just after sending last post. If I'm de-railing the conversation (further) feel free to trash it....
  • Commented on The latest Hugo awards storm
    "IIRC at least one woman out of every eight has been sexually assaulted at some point in her life;" And I would like to see some definition of what that means. Are we including all forms of "unwanted physical...
  • Commented on Dear Google, am I pregnant?
    The term "subject" is a bit of a red-flag when it's used by foreigners discussing the UK, because it relies on a bit of false mythology -- that we aren't citizens, but subjects. This was one of the surprises for...
  • Commented on Miscellanea
    it's told by Mo, not Bob, and concerns matters of law enforcement, would-be superheroes, and the stolen score for a violin operetta called "The King in Yellow". Nice. I only came across The King In Yellow recently after Pseudopod...
  • Commented on Sitrep
    "Cats don't sweat. That includes sphynxes." To niggle - because, internet - cats do sweat all over. But you're right that the apocrine sweat glands they have around hair follicles aren't really used for heat loss in cats. ... and...
  • Commented on Why I want Bitcoin to die in a fire
    Spam is pretty much inevitable at this point, so I'll have to close comments here sooner rather than later. Ahhh. That's a shame. They've been so entertaining! Just by referencing this post on twitter I've had folk stalking me and...
  • Commented on Why I want Bitcoin to die in a fire
    Have politics of the UK really become that stagnate? From my perspective - yes. Of the three major parties: Labour: Has not so slowly lurched to the right after failing to get elected throughout the 80's - and repeated...
  • Commented on Over-Extended Metaphor for the day
    Yeah. Why did it die? I know there've been attempts to revive it, but they don't seem to have succeeded. My impression was that it just needed too much work to port it to Windows and put on a GUI....
  • Commented on Over-Extended Metaphor for the day
    I should explain that the first bullet point reflects the unusual extensibility of Poplog. Yup. Where folk these days would write an embedded DSL, Poplog folk would be more tempted to write a compiler for a new language. You could...
  • Commented on Over-Extended Metaphor for the day
    Back in the 90's built the the server for an e-commerce system in Perl. Originally it was a quick hack purely for testing the ObjectiveC client that was being built first (That client was being built as a Director extension....
  • Commented on Over-Extended Metaphor for the day
    There's a paper explaining how the Prolog uses continuations, published at IJCAI-83, called "Integrating Prolog Into the Poplog Environment" by Chris Mellish and Steve Hardy. Yay Poplog ;-) I was on the Poplog dev team for many years in days...
  • Commented on Over-Extended Metaphor for the day
    Also see Greenspun's tenth rule of programming: "Any sufficiently complicated C or Fortran program contains an ad hoc, informally-specified, bug-ridden, slow implementation of half of Common Lisp." :-)...
  • Commented on Over-Extended Metaphor for the day
    Lisp: still pretty alive (have you used EMACS recently?) Clojure too. Really nice Lisp variant that runs on top of the JVM amongst other places. Been used on quite a few new heavy duty projects and getting a real...
  • Commented on I have a new book cover
    Nice. Now on pre-order. And Amazon review for Equiod done while I was about it. Writing the review reminded me that Cold Comfort Farm was itself a parody of books on the awful rural life of the time. So layers...
  • Commented on Spook Century
    The British civil service doesn't work quite the same way as the private sector. In particular, there are promotion routes for high-functioning geeks. An ex-civil service operations/Linux geek I worked with back in the late 90's told me that there...
  • Commented on The regular holy war ...
    Apposite time for this thread to come up for me. I'm just coming to the end of a self-imposed year of Ubuntu. A little experiment that I started off last November after breaking my last MacBook and not being able...
  • Commented on Do Zimboes dream of Electric Sheep?
    But the question remains - does a computer with an extremely simple model that predicts behavior, have a theory of mind? Usually when we think of a theory of mind we imagine something more complex. I'd argue "yes" - for...
  • Commented on Why Microsoft Word must Die
    On the WYSIWYG vs Styles side there's been an ongoing debate in the content strategy world for a bit about the pains resulting in needed structured content when folk are trained to expect WYSIWYG editors. See Karen McGrane's WYSIWTF for...
  • Commented on Why Microsoft Word must Die
    Word is a decently good product for the office, but not adapted at all for publishing. I feel your complaints should be addressed to your publishers. From the conversations I've had Word stays doesn't stay around because it's a wonderful...
  • Commented on Do Zimboes dream of Electric Sheep?
    You can use a computer to predict behavior of people using a model that ascribe mental states to them. Like, you can predict that when someone stubs one's toe, she gets angry. Anger is a mental state, after all. Ah...
  • Commented on Do Zimboes dream of Electric Sheep?
    This is a bad definition. An abacus can be used to predict behavior. Does it mean an abacus has a theory of mind? Sorry - I'm not explaining it well. Let me add emphasis: "when you ascribe mental states to...
  • Commented on Do Zimboes dream of Electric Sheep?
    Isn't this a case that the whole philosophical zombie concept is bankrupt? That's essentially Dennett's point with his zimboes. It's a reductio ad absurdum on the default p-zombie position that you can have folk that are indistinguishable from those who...
  • Commented on Do Zimboes dream of Electric Sheep?
    WTF is a theory of mind, anyway? Like, scientific theory? A way of predicting the behavior of others? Then there is no single theory of mind, there is an infinite set of them. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_mind ;) Basically having a ToM...
  • Commented on Do Zimboes dream of Electric Sheep?
    We have computer programs that do a reasonable theory of mind and simulation of interior mental states, the most famous being Eliza Eliza didn't have a theory of mind - it was driven from very simple pattern matching on the...
  • Commented on Another deceptively simple question
    If I was going to guess what books look like in 2033: A lot more people writing and publishing 'em - so much higher content quality variability Subscription models, especially for non-fiction. In the area of non-fiction the line between...
  • Commented on Another deceptively simple question
    I'm not sure that the ISBN will stick around, at least in its current form. Which will be confusing for libraries I don't think they'll be that confused. They already deal with books before the era of ISBN, and the...
  • Commented on A deceptively simple question
    There's a puff piece on the Mercedes' Driverless Research Car, with video, at http://www.core77.com/blog/transportation/mercedes_driverless_research_car_looks_freaking_amazing_25652.asp if anybody is interested....
  • Commented on Upcoming appearance: Frankfurt Book Fair
    Sadly - not one of the four general computing devices I have in the house are capable of running the reader. Hey ho ;-)...
  • Commented on Upcoming appearance: Frankfurt Book Fair
    I'm really not trying to say that fanfic cannot be professional. Or that great and wonderful authors cannot start there - or just play there for fun (and indeed profit.) The point I'm making is that there's no hard and...
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