William T Goodall

William T Goodall

  • Commented on Dead plots
    The UK doesn't have a single NHS. Each of the four nations has its own. Quoting from https://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/explainers/devolution-nhs In the UK, the National Health Service (NHS) is the umbrella term for the four health systems of England, Scotland, Wales and...
  • Commented on Dead plots
    It's always strange watching US TV drama where some character is in the hospital and their relatives/friends are discussing how to cope with the bills. Even weirder when the show (as many are) is actually made in Canada which has...
  • Commented on No comment necessary
    My GP has switched almost entirely to phone consultations. I have one booked for next month to review my type 2 diabetes. But since I need a phlebotomy appointment before that for the blood samples I was given precise instructions...
  • Commented on "It'll all be over by Christmas" (Part 2)
    Most of the arguments against the possibility of strong AI fall in two camps. One argues that humans have free will which cannot be implemented on a deterministic machine, and that human intuition is not limited by Goedel incompleteness and...
  • Commented on "It'll all be over by Christmas" (Part 2)
    The various limits of Goedel's theorem, the halting problem and related mathematical issues are bounds on provability. Neural networks are heuristics which don't prove anything. They also aren't necessarily right....
  • Commented on "It'll all be over by Christmas" (Part 2)
    It wasn't a technical issue. I got an Atari ST in 1989 and the Mark Williams C compiler for that had a full suite of utilities including make for $100 or so. No, it was some kind of licensing restriction....
  • Commented on "It'll all be over by Christmas" (Part 2)
    Yeah I wrote the state machine part of a 'make' utility in DCL in '93 or so at the VMS shop I was working at then. The reason I recall was that the license for a real DEC make was...
  • Commented on "It'll all be over by Christmas" (Part 2)
    And there is the question of indigo....
  • Commented on "It'll all be over by Christmas" (Part 2)
    My point wasn't that words sometimes have special technical meanings in different areas of discourse (aside - with over a million words in English why does this even happen?) but that the bleed-through from specialist to general meaning sows confusion...
  • Commented on "It'll all be over by Christmas" (Part 2)
    So where does that leave the word "theory" which has a popular meaning almost opposite to its scientific meaning? I've also noticed that American English seems to use variants of 'evolve', evolved' with a quite different meaning to the scientific...
  • Commented on "It'll all be over by Christmas" (Part 2)
    I've only been abroad twice in the last decade or so, Prague and Malta. A week in either of those destinations was no dearer, or cheaper, including spending-money, in total than a three-night city break to Edinburgh (where I have...
  • Commented on I ain't dead
    I was prescribed naproxen for gout attacks but I got urticaria and the skin on my feet peeled off so they temporarily prescribed prednisolone for gout instead before moving onto permanent allopurinol which has stopped the attacks for eighteen months...
  • Commented on "It'll all be over by Christmas"
    Making voice calls is pretty much a legacy afterthought on smartphones. Just like people still have landlines only because they get the internet on them but don't have any phones plugged in....
  • Commented on "It'll all be over by Christmas"
    One can still buy a basic candy-bar phone that only does voice calls and texts and has a battery that lasts a week between charges for £20. The reason they aren't very common is that the vast majority of people...
  • Commented on "It'll all be over by Christmas"
    One of them is ASML in Eindhoven in the Netherlands. "Since 2010 its market capitalisation has grown tenfold, to around €114bn. It has nearly doubled in the past year alone. asml is worth more than Airbus, Siemens or Volkswagen." They...
  • Commented on "It'll all be over by Christmas"
    I'm in the UK and if I visit Apple's UK website I see that the new iPhone SE starts at £419 and if I visit the Fairphone 3 UK site it gives the price as £420. And £420 is more...
  • Commented on "It'll all be over by Christmas"
    This whole "here's a huge clunky slow overpriced phone you can replace some parts of yourself for nearly the same price as getting a technician to do it for you" appears to be a solution to a problem that doesn't...
  • Commented on "It'll all be over by Christmas"
    And I forgot to add that you'd have to order the parts and wait for them to be delivered whereas if you take a phone into a shop it'll be ready the same day....
  • Commented on "It'll all be over by Christmas"
    Yeah, costs more than the new iPhone SE with the performance and features of a phone less than half that price. And of course there's a huge market for refurbished pre-owned iPhones so it's not as if they go straight...
  • Commented on "It'll all be over by Christmas"
    mdive The UBI is dead for the simple reason that it would create a fundamental shift in power from the exploiting class to those being exploited. But that applies to the SNP as well, doesn't it? The SNP's principle concern...
  • Commented on "It'll all be over by Christmas"
    French researchers to test nicotine patches on coronavirus patients "Our cross-sectional study strongly suggests that those who smoke every day are much less likely to develop a symptomatic or severe infection with Sars-CoV-2 compared with the general population," the Pitié-Salpêtrière...
  • Commented on "It'll all be over by Christmas"
    I've been using online ordering with home delivery for groceries since it was a novelty fifteen years or so ago. I've managed to book a slot every week so far and have the next three weeks booked in advance into...
  • Commented on Update to Public Appearances in a time of pandemic
    Yeah, my dentist called me last week to cancel the scale&polish I was due on Tuesday. Yesterday I phoned my GP practice about the face-to-face I was supposed to have next week about adjusting my blood pressure medication. They said...
  • Commented on Public appearances in a time of pandemic
    I went to my GP today for a previously booked appointment for a blood sample. There was a staff member in a mask outside screening people - only those with appointments got inside. Inside they had a tape line a...
  • Commented on COVID-19
    I'm 59 and in the last few months have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and hypertension in addition to the asthma I developed a few years ago. So this is getting quite personal....
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    It's Science Fantasy a genre which deliberately mixes elements of both fantasy and science fiction. It's like saying "I'll believe detective fiction and science fiction have clear boundaries when someone gives me a set of rules that definitively classifies Asimov's...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    Cugel doesn't appear in The Dying Earth but in the second book The Eyes of the Overworld. The self-styled Cugel The Clever exemplifies Dunning–Kruger and amusingly repeatedly fails to learn from his failures. The Dying Earth is a fix-up of...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    The Dying Earth is a short and nearly perfect book that is probably the best example of the science fantasy genre. Some might argue it is surpassed by The Book of the New Sun but I feel that work is...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    Oops - Kickstarter not Patreon....
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    I bought it last November when it came out and read it with a lot of enjoyment. My only minor niggle (and I feel this about a lot of books so it may just be a quirk of mine) is...
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