A reader recommended Andrew Pickering’s The Cybernetic Brain. This book is a survey of the British tradition in cybernetics, which it argues is a third, distinct strand of thinking that differs from the characteristic MIT and Soviet schools of thought. Where the US cyberneticians were inspired by engineering problems and saw it as a science…Read More Cyber Brain!
This is only one of the reasons why squatting in other people’s netblocks is a bad idea. To understand the point, you’ve got to go back to the BT 21CN project, which was one of those “the Internet is just another service over our private network” ideas telcos tend to love. Although a lot of…Read More daft IP addressing choices
OK, consider this country: its monetary policy is controlled by someone else’s central bank, and therefore so is much of its financial and bank regulation policy. Despite this, it has a full set of national symbols. It’s located somewhere on the periphery of Europe, and there’s every reason to think it might experience an inflow…Read More Welcome to Tartania. Set your economic policy to 2011
So I bought the New Statesman‘s 100 years archive edition for the schlep back to Yorkshire – actually I wanted the Flight International Christmas quiz but I was too embarrassed to be seen buying it without an excuse – and damn, was I disappointed. In fact, I made brief notes on each piece. Unsurprisingly, Kingsley…Read More In which I contribute to the New Statesman, to the tune of £10
A new crisis for Ed Miliband, as Edward Snowden discloses that GCHQ’s secret laser spectrometer detected horse DNA in Iain Duncan Smith as long ago as 2002. But does Nicolas Anelka really speak for all women?Read More 2013 if you read it on Twitter
The Airports Commission is eventually going to opt for Gatwick. Prediction. How did I come to this conclusion? And how representative is the commission as an institution? Well, we can understand the decision-making process here with a simple model. There are various actors involved, who have preferences. To illuminate this, let’s play a game of…Read More Boris Island: Shag, Marry, Avoid?
I have, from time to time, disagreed violently with Jonathan Freedland, notably about his habit of showing up at Labour Party candidate selection meetings and trying to impose conditions on the strength of his position as Mr Big Stuff, Acting, Unpaid, and then smearing the candidate as an anti-semite the week before the election in…Read More If you think you’re in a bullshit job, you may end up with more bullshit
They called me a crazy radical. They said my methods were unsound. But now they beg me not to unleash my robots. Not quite. But now, the Chief Economist of the Bank of England agrees with me about the UK’s transition to a low-trust society. “the reluctance today of some companies to borrow from their…Read More I was so pleased I gave him a free blog post
Music post, single-malt version. Really, isn’t this totally prefiguring all those fuzztone semi-R&B people who appeared over the last year or so? Just with Bootsy Collins and therefore more funk. Beats anything here. The video is ridiculous, but why didn’t this sell a ton just as daft party music? Also, rhyming “chaos” and “never was…Read More Utterly self-indulgent Friday music post
I was babbling about polls earlier, so here is some more. Ipsos MORI did a quick-reaction flash poll after the Chancellor’s statement. This is worth having, as they can apparently get 1,071 adults weighted to the profile of the population to do an online poll between Gideon sitting down and close of business. The eye-catcher…Read More When is a Tory? A polls post