William T Goodall

William T Goodall

  • Commented on Report on Seat 14C
    There are around ten-thousand active religions in the world with new ones being invented (and old ones dying) every year. It isn't necessary to be familiar with the details any of them to denounce religion as pernicious, superstitious evil nonsense....
  • Commented on Report on Seat 14C
    I have more respect for his end of the spectrum than the opposing end. But he isn't at the other end, he is in the middle. The religionists have worked very hard to move the Overton Window to the point...
  • Commented on Report on Seat 14C
    Dawkins is more wishy-washy and over-tolerant of religion than any kind of fanatic....
  • Commented on Report on Seat 14C
    AI would need to operate on a special simplified set of moral rules because people can't agree on moral rules and AIs need to offend as little as possible in a way that can be defended as reasonable. Asimov's rules...
  • Commented on Crying fire in a crowded theatre for pleasure and profit
    I think religion and anthropocentrism really screwed up the history of research into non-human cognition. The null hypothesis should be that non-humans think like us until proven otherwise, and especially so for those with highly similar brains. But not ruling...
  • Commented on Book day!
    Preorder just arrived on my Kindle....
  • Commented on Report on Seat 14C
    I first saw handheld self-scan in a Morrisons supermarket around the turn of the century. Just wander around the shop scanning items and putting them in the trolley, then plug the scanner back into the rack and pay on exit....
  • Commented on Report on Seat 14C
    So many politicians appear to be idiots that it is actually comforting to think that someone is pulling the strings who is not and actually has a plan. Of course the plan probably involves very bad things for the 99%....
  • Commented on Report on Seat 14C
    I still wear a watch when I go to the cinema or other performance where it is polite to turn off one's phone. Otherwise I just look at my phone and don't wear a watch. The watch is a Casio...
  • Commented on Report on Seat 14C
    Waitrose does home delivery to my postcode from a branch more than a hundred miles away. I tried them once when they had a 20% off first order offer. Not much different to Tesco in prices....
  • Commented on Catching Up
    Since the carbon energy producers have been aware of global warming for decades it seems strange they should be playing a long game of climate change denial (through funding misinformation and lobbying for opposition to action) for such short term...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: The Nightmare Stacks
    With the position of Tory PM now looking like a poisoned chalice May could be forced to stay on as punishment. On the other hand with Labour winning the next two elections now looking possible those with a hankering for...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: The Nightmare Stacks
    The Westminster elections are FPTP and the SNP won a majority of the seats in Scotland. The Holyrood elections are run under a proportional system and the SNP + Greens won a majority for independence-supporting parties there last year. The...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: The Nightmare Stacks
    To the extent that the Scottish result was a proxy for the independence issue (which it was to some extent but clearly a mix of issues were in play) then the SNP clearly won a majority again despite the best...
  • Commented on The World of Tomorrow
    Cornerways nursery to replace tomatoes with cannabisNew deal will see British Sugar-owned horticulture business supply cannabis to pharmaceutical sector to treat child epilepsy. It will be grown under contract for British drugs company GW Phamaceuticals, with production set to begin...
  • Commented on The sudden eruption of news
    Despite some strange reporting of notional seats the Scottish local elections were a clear victory for the SNP. The strangest part of the results was that Conservative gains almost exactly matched Labour losses suggesting an en masse switch of allegiance....
  • Commented on The sudden eruption of news
    I think the two party equilibrium is stable without an external disruption, so a successful centre party is one of those "can't get there from here" situations. As the article points out the SNP in Scotland are a centre party...
  • Commented on The sudden eruption of news
    Interestingly, May has taken to repeating, recently, about politics NOT being a game, silly or otherwise.Instead of endlessly parroting "Brexit means Brexit"? That's worth a grin....
  • Commented on The sudden eruption of news
    But politics should be a serious matter, not a game. I'm certainly not going to vote for someone who treats it like a game. Politicians should be very very dull and make arguments based on lengthy Powerpoints full of statistics....
  • Commented on The sudden eruption of news
    Perhaps the low voter turnout is due to most people agreeing with my view and finding politicians a bunch of dishonest delusional slimy shits not worth bothering with? My criteria for voting are that a politician (a) says what they...
  • Commented on The sudden eruption of news
    all that gung-ho "yay we're going to beat the Tories" stuff What do you expect them to say? "We're doomed, DOOMED I tell ye!!!" doesn't play in the electoral hustings. Time to rally the troops and sauve qui peut.When politicians...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    But why would somebody want to believe that abortion lowers crime? Thoughts? Abortion obviously does lower crime. If 100% of fetuses are aborted then in about a century there will be no crime at all. If 99% of male fetuses...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    The problem with limiting, controlling, or even understanding AI is that quite a lot of it uses neural networks which are black boxes. You train a network and the result is a matrix of weights which is completely opaque. You...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    Google TPU chips for running trained neural networks (the training is done on GPUs but the trained weights can be run on much simpler specialised TPU chips)....
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    There also is a very long tail of smaller religions/sects/cults/whatever, tailing out to a crowd of holy people who attract few if any followers and whose teachings don't survive their lifetimes. --Religions spring up effectively at random. There's that huge...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    --What constitutes a "sect" or a "religion" or even "spirituality" is highly subjective. One of the biggest arguments in Religious Studies is what they're studying, and whether something (martial arts, or Jedi, or yoga) is something they should study.I've seen...
  • Commented on We get mail (contd.)
    Faith-based thinking is the norm.I'm not arguing that it isn't the norm, I'm arguing that the human race has reached a point of risk (nuclear weapons, global warming, antibiotic resistant disease, AI, genetic engineering...) where it continuing to be the...
  • Commented on We get mail (contd.)
    My point is that, as a source of comfort, religion is more dangerous than drugs or smoking or base jumping or juggling chainsaws because those activities only carry individual risk whereas the promotion of the religious mindset, the normalisation of...
  • Commented on We get mail (contd.)
    And yet I can see religion have some place. [...] Remember, the *fuller* verions of the old quote from Marx is "religion is the opiate of the people, the heart in a heartless world." So they find some comfort in...
  • Commented on We get mail (contd.)
    Nothing purely-harmful is going to persist over long spans of generational time.That's fine while the ability of people to cause harm is limited. But once you have nukes and global-warming denialism it's a new game....
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