MikeA

MikeA

  • Commented on Yet another novel I will no longer write
    Like all analogies, it only goes so far, and that change was at least as drastic as the evolution of the eukaryote cell. Indeed. But it does not have to be drastic. On small, subtle scales it goes on all...
  • Commented on Yet another novel I will no longer write
    Actually, water DOES shape the landscape Sure. Which is why I said "in ways which water cannot possibly do". An extreme example: once early life poisoned itself with oxygen, this upended the evolutionary landscape good and proper, in ways which...
  • Commented on Yet another novel I will no longer write
    For what it's worth the orange headed sewage-for-brains running this country as decided that the middle of a pandemic is the perfect time to stop contributing to funding for the World Health Organization. I wonder how much of a kickback...
  • Commented on Yet another novel I will no longer write
    The downhill/water analogy is *way* more intuitive than the more common one of hill climbing. But both have the same snag in ignoring the fact that evolution is both shaped by the evolutionary landscape (as water running downhill) but also...
  • Commented on Infomercial Interlude
    Re The Last Bug... Good, but you cannot beat The Story of Mel for it nostalgia. :-) http://www.catb.org/jargon/html/story-of-mel.html...
  • Commented on So you think you can be a reality TV producer
    The WashPost responded to the EU GDPR by basically blocking all readers in the EU (and UK) because they didn't want to observe our legally-mandated privacy rights. You surprise me. I read WashPost nearly daily, having paid the modest annual...
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    Graydon, Just curious? Why don't you publish your books on Smashwords? It doesn't cost anything and I know somebody who had a *much* better result through them than through Amazon. With your consent they will distribute your books to other...
  • Commented on Artificial Intelligence: Threat or Menace?
    While I agree entirely with the overall drift of that analysis, I don't think the problem is all that new. We already have plenty of "black box" components in our IT systems. I may have a notion of the general...
  • Commented on The obligatory general election discussion post
    Knowing a fair amount of Russian, he joined the Czech crowds and yelled at the tank crews. My parents were Russian emigrees so I was (still am) fluent in both Czech and Russian. I wound up talking to Russian soldiers,...
  • Commented on The obligatory general election discussion post
    Then we agree. I've lost count of my attempts to explain to people (amateur philosophers in particular, though some professionals too) that mathematics took flight roughly in mid-19C, generalising from numbers to higher abstract levels. It irritates me no end...
  • Commented on The obligatory general election discussion post
    >968 in Prague -- do I need to say more? Oh, my goodness. I've read stories, yes. 'Distracting' is as mild a word as could be used. Let's say it was an interesting time. :-) And in the end as...
  • Commented on The obligatory general election discussion post
    For my money the whole "unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics" line of reasoning is misconceived. (NB: mathematics and physics were my academic subjects, prior to a career in IT.) One can build excellent scale models of real life buildings out of...
  • Commented on The obligatory general election discussion post
    > Incidentally dowsing works Oh yeah? You claim personal testimony - observation or claiming your self? Well, I *do* claiming it as a personal testimony. Having started out as a sceptic, experience persuaded me otherwise. We did quite a bit...
  • Commented on The obligatory general election discussion post
    The WHOLE OF SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY rests on that "assumption":"As yesterday, so today & again tomorrow" And more generally, there is the Duhem-Quine Thesis: "All observation is theory laden". See e.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duhem%E2%80%93Quine_thesis...
  • Commented on The obligatory general election discussion post
    Verlinde's entropic gravity requires anti-de Sitter space, which our space-time ain't. Consequently it is entirely unclear whether it has anything to do with what we know as gravity....
  • Commented on The obligatory general election discussion post
    I was lucky that I got a phone number that's a string in pi. Same here, but probably no luck involved. Pi is generally believed to be a "normal" number (as are almost all real numbers). If so, any string...
  • Commented on The obligatory general election discussion post
    Let's not forget Conway's surreal numbers, which encompass (IIRC) everything not involving the square root of -1 -- see e.g. Wikipedia....
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE, Part 2
    There is going to be churn in the Tory ranks with the MPs like Grieve and Stewart who have effectively announced their resignations. They won't stand as 'spoilers' but they will be unlikely to campaign for their successors and...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE, Part 2
    I don't even know that there is a lot of racism in that generation. Well, that depends. In my experience, an old navy man I used to know was fairly typical. For him, it was the case that "niggers begin...
  • Commented on Tentative hypothesis
    I've known the "importance of body language" for years and years ... but I'm still rubbish at reading & interpreting it. It's another of those social skills I've never quite mastered, even though I try. Just goes to show how...
  • Commented on Tentative hypothesis
    oddly enough "body language" ( Now I'm aware of it ) is a lot easier to read that other indicators Ah, interesting! I wondered whether it was just me. Yes, once I sussed out the importance of body language, it...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    IIRC, in his "Stand on Zanzibar", John Brunner had these words of wisdom: "As a human race we are not entirely stupid, but it must be admitted that we do have a tremendous aptitude for it."...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    The notorious Article 50 starts with "Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements". This can be read in two ways. (1) The parliament voted to invoke Article 50, thereby satisfying...
  • Commented on The Inevitable Brexit Thread (2)
    If you can't keep it straight - and you grew up with it - how do you expect others who didn't grow up with it to use them? And you are still missing the point. It's normal life that "keeps...
  • Commented on The Inevitable Brexit Thread (2)
    MikeA @ 803: Um... For decigrams read decagrams, of course. :-) I think you might have just answered your own question. A knee-jerk put-down is easy, but misses the point. There is not much use for *deci*grams in everyday life,...
  • Commented on The Inevitable Brexit Thread (2)
    Um... For decigrams read decagrams, of course. :-)...
  • Commented on The Inevitable Brexit Thread (2)
    As somebody who grew up in a completely metric environment, I am still baffled by one aspect of metrication's incomplete adoption in Britain. All food is sold in kilograms or grams. What happened to decigrams? One of the great advantages...
  • Commented on The Inevitable Brexit Thread (2)
    So how can the mile be 1,609.344 meters when THEY still haven't figured out how long the meter is? Ah, but they have. Since 1983 a metre is defined as 1/299,792458 of the distance light travels in vacuum over 1...
  • Commented on The Inevitable Brexit Thread (2)
    There are some nutters, wanting "to go back to good old Imperial units" seriously. You can have a bit of fun pointing out to them that according to a 1959 international agreement, a mile is defined as exactly 1,609.344 metres,...
  • Commented on The Inevitable Brexit Thread (1)
    No. She says (again!) that she will have talks with Corbyn. The idea is to come up with a common plan to be put to the house. It *must* include the withdrawal agreement as is (EU won't re-negotiate), so it...
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