Dave Lester

Dave Lester

  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    Antistone #671 Thanks for that. It's a good job I couched my argument in terms of "... if, as presented here, he says ...", then! Forgive me if I don't bother to engage with the author through the academic literature....
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    Scott Sanford #702 "And your thoughts on Boris Johnson?" "He looks flammable. Don't you think he looks flammable?" I would have said: "self-basting"....
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    Elderly Cynic #643 I was hoping to keep the explanation simple. ;) But yes, non-determinism is indeed a feature (and Lamport's paper explains why it's trickier than most people suppose). An alternative conclusion might be that in principle all control...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    Antistone #625 As a sometime control engineer with an interest in hybrid systems, computability and arithmetic systems, perhaps you'll permit me to comment on the flaw in Ashby's Law (as presented here). Consider the thermostat you've already mentioned. As I...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    #330 Javid? Priti Patel is Home Secretary. Is she this stupid and stubborn? Oh yes, indeedy!...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    "As a friend of mine who knew Boris at university put it, bullshitters are worse than pathological liars. A pathological liar wants you to believe their lies. A bullshitter doesn't care what you believe, they're just trying to fill the...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    Nojay, I was being a bit facetious -- though I could imagine a call from our ministers to Trump or Blackwater in lieu of a call to the UN....
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    Charlie, That suggestion is in line with my senior civil service contacts....
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    Chris, One thing worth considering is that martial law is not an option these days. Quite simply there are no longer enough troops and police combined to do anything other than defend themselves. This is the upshot of the Government's...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    Thank you very much for this thumbnail sketch of our puppet-master: "To add to the fun and games, the political advisor at Number 10 who has the PM's ear is Dominic Cummings, who is noted for being both an Accelerationist...
  • Commented on Whoops Apocalypse!
    "Neville Chamberlain was actually good at his job; he was just out of his depth when it turned into a total war shootingfest. (The "peace in our time" photo-op? Was followed by him returning to Downing Street and quietly throwing...
  • Commented on Ask me anything!
    Couldn't agree more WRT our ability to anthropomorphise. And the distance -- if we ever get there -- of general purpose AI. Plus the annoying moving definitions. I'm a technologist, hardware & firmware especially, and not a scientist (neuroscientist, psychologist,..)...
  • Commented on Ask me anything!
    "But a large computer is pretty comparable to a human brain in size, and a lot faster. So, if we knew how, we could do some impressive things - but it needs a revolution in software, in a direction nobody...
  • Commented on Ask me anything!
    Comment #4 "Elephants all the way down" Are we talking Recursive Elder Gods here? (And isn't that sort of what happened to Bob in the Fuller Memorandum?) Comment #106 "Chip Fab stuff" I'm in Porto doing a Summer School on...
  • Commented on Deaths and Deadlines
    Charlie, Glad you've taken on a side project -- a good plan indeed. So, it looks like you won't be needing any of those ideas I tagged on to the end of one of the recent threads after the 1,000...
  • Commented on Crawling from the wreckage
    Sorry about the confusion over Atlas and Mercury: these are two rooms next to one another and both machines were way before my time! Software -- quite agree, though I'd heard the one in which Tony Hoare invented the use...
  • Commented on Crawling from the wreckage
    Charlie, In an effort to cheer you up -- and since I no longer have a sensible outlet for a bit of fan-fic... ... here are some insider facts and rumours about the "Manchester College", that may be of use...
  • Commented on The Nakamoto Variations
    Not sure why the Daily Mail is running with the macabre 'body selling' angle. Who knows what goes through the head of a Daily Mail journalist? For my own sanity I prefer not to speculate. Nevertheless the pictures may be...
  • Commented on The Nakamoto Variations
    Since we're well beyond the 300 mark, I'd just like to ask if anyone else has spotted Bob Howard's activities in Siberia? Apparently 54 severed hands left near a fishing area.. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5478351/Horror-54-severed-human-hands-dumped-Russia.html...
  • Commented on A bright and shiny hell
    Greg asks: "Are Farage & his friends indirectky or directly in Moscow/Putin's pay, then,as part of the new Fascist International? After F's antics recently, I wouldn't be surprised" Bearing in mind Charlie's imprecation here's what's known. Source 1: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/apr/02/arron-banks-interview-brexit-ukip-far-right-trump-putin-russia Quote...
  • Commented on A reminder
    Yep, all set. Hotel near Gare Central booked, but no indication of the [bleep, bleep, deleted] Eurostar tickets. Damn, am I going to need some luck. Still to return to topic -- and after a day annoying them on the...
  • Commented on A reminder
    Dear Charlie and Philippa, Apologies for any offence. I'm probably just a bit anxious about appearing in front of the MEPs for STOA tomorrow in Brussels....
  • Commented on A reminder
    Dear Philippa, Precisely because we have FPTP here in England, we have had plural similar parties since at least the 1620s. But there is still plurality, and that's probably more important than the precise theology they espouse....
  • Commented on A reminder
    Charlie, Thanks for this bone to chew over! To me the defining feature of Fascism -- at least the Italian version -- is the mixture or intermingling of business and single-party politics. Anything else is optionally extra. Business meets politics...
  • Commented on Sometimes I don't know why I bother!
    Of course most of us have ignored Mr Stross' second point: ".. and write a scenario involving your heros". So, how about a Laundry prequel -- interwoven with a current story, as was The Fuller Memorandum. In 1937 Heinrich Harrer...
  • Commented on Sometimes I don't know why I bother!
    Nick writes: You get three columns of being parachuted behind enemy lines, being interrogated and bluffing their way out of it, blowing things up, having love affairs with all and sundry and then a short paragraph where they married their...
  • Commented on Sometimes I don't know why I bother!
    Another oddity from Burma is Walter Fletcher (nee Walter Fleischl von Marxow) ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Fletcher_(politician) ). His war service in Burma as part of Force 136 included: "In Operation Remorse, a businessman named Walter Fletcher carried out covert economic operations such...
  • Commented on Sometimes I don't know why I bother!
    Two suggestions: Orde Wingate ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orde_Wingate ). "Men I expect you are wondering why I am here on parade this morning wearing just an alarm clock on a string?" And one I met: Daphne Park ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daphne_Park ). Somerville College...
  • Commented on Sad Trombone Exoplanet Reality Check
    Charlie, You may find my comments on the last blog entry permit you to minimize the changes you envisage to your latest manuscript....
  • Commented on Reality is broken
    Charlie, You're the story teller, but I'm not sure your description of David Cameron and the COBRA meeting in the Nightmare Stacks rings true. So be very careful how you re-write! The thing to understand about Old Etonians is that...
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