Monday, February 05, 2024

if i get one more daft phd proposal, i shall publish them all on the blockchain so everyone knows who these eejits are

 Celestial Emporium of Bogus Knowledge

with apologies to George Lewis Bogus

those belonging to the common crawl

the wayback ones

the self-supervised learned  

block chain smokers

news (or fake news)

izvestia, pravda, life articles by nicolai ivanovic denisovic

undetected stray dogs on the internet

those included in this file

oscilliatory or hallicinatory

NP Soft

those drawn with unstable diffusion

et ai

those that have just broken in

those that from afar look like cats

Friday, February 02, 2024

The True Existential Risk from AI

 It is well known that if you practise IQ tests, your score improves.

It is less well known that if you practice Turing tests, your score deteriorates.

And it is even less well known that the machine learning system improves its scores as the humans' scores get worse.

The consequence of this is that the ever increasing abundance of online checks of whether you are human or a robot are basically degrading the overall intelligence of the human race, whilst enhancing that of its robot successors.

This is evident from the many incredibly stupid things humans have been doing recently (war, pestilence, blockchain, climate, obesity etc)...

I think it is too late to do anything about it, as I have already fallen below the level where I would be able to grasp any plan to tackle the challenge anyhow, as have you, dear reader. Unless you are a Transformer Overlord:-

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

evidence resistance is futile

Many people cope with reading maps, many people read charts, as in music, whether tab or classical (or other) notation. and many people read knitting patterns, DIY instructions, recipes, and so on - all of these are just branches of scientific explanations in the very real sense that they need to be used to generate repeatable results by different people so you get to the same place if you follow the same map instructions, or you play in key/time/tune with people if you play from the same dots, or you make a jumper with arms the same length as each other, or you repair the washing machine, and not the fridge by mistake, or you cook something that doesn't poison everyone, or make them swear at your grandma's cookies (congratulations, you have just falsified an incorrect theory).

Sunday, November 05, 2023

Endless in Gaza

It seems Israel's goals in Gaza are an unfortunate mix of the movements that the government has to placate. There's the actual stated military goals, which naively put are to free the hostages, and remove Hamas' weapons, and then, what? leave Gaza alone again?. There's the more extreme position of driving all 2M Palestinians out of Gaza (presumably into Egypt), and "simplify" any geopolitical discussion with the Palestinians left in the West Bank. And then what?. There's the even more extreme idea of erasing the population of Gaza once and for all (presumably on the advice of any counter-terroist experts that you can't simply eliminate Hamas by removing the current active members, as they will be replaced time and again from the base population), and then what? Who would welcome such a pariah state in any trade or travel ever again? Whatever the truth of these or any other more or less crazy objectives, none of these has an end point, but are just a step. Mostly in the wrong direction. Of course, Hamas own goals are also just that, mostly own goals too. What a sad sad situation.

Saturday, October 14, 2023

Retirement in Cambridge...

 once upon a time, you worked til you dropped.

I recall on joining the computer lab, seeing Roger Needham, Karen Spärck Jones, Robin Milner, Maurice Wilkes, David Wheeler, Mike Gordon, on pretty much a daily basis - just to say, to get shouted at by Karen for carrying my bike in to my office, to work on grand challenges for CS for the UK with Robin (and comment on his bigraph work) to hear David Wheeler's  amazing cutting insights into the most basic algorithmic ideas, to see where Mike's work on formally verified processors might go next, to be told off by Maurice for even thinking of building an affordable all optical processor (he cited Grace Hopper's "here's how big a photon is")...

They have all passed on now, sad to say, some before their time. But they were in the lab, as likely as not, til the day before...

Since then, the University has seen fit to operate a less enlightened ageist approach to retirement currently under review, which is pretty ill thought out, in my humble opinion.

The Doors said Noone gets out of here alive, but the university seems to think differently.

One of the most bogus arguments used for Employer "Justified" Retirement Age is that of "succession". When I was an undergraduate, there were still colleges that did not admit women. One of their arguments was that if they did, they would be excluding some smart young men.

The point was that as soon as one is gender-blind on admissions, one realises that the purpose is including people based on their ability to take advantage of, and/or contribute to the role, not on some arbitrary attribute (like having red hair or being a zoroastrian).

The idea that not allowing people to work past a "certain age" because that might not allow one to employ young people is a variant (albeit the other side of the equation, on exit, rather than entry) - if there is a shortage of "permanent" positions in the institition, then by all means make a comparison based on contributions. Basing it on some random chance factor (in the case of retirement, date of birth, rather than, say, gender) is bogus. (I wonder what those college people would have made of trans applicants too...). Given most people are a net asset to the university, even the "competitive" argument is pretty much nonsense too.

Sunday, August 13, 2023

before and after

 what we knew before in great detail about the EU benefits and on balance...


what we learned after we were told there were no downsides to leaving the EU 

without much mitigation

shocking really.