Author: yorksranter

So, some stuff I’ve been reading lately. A Mind at Play, Jimmy Sori and Rob Goodman. This is a sound biography of Claude Shannon. It’s heavily researched and does a decent job of explaining the science, which is after all the point, although on that score it’s oddly better on Hawtrey and Nyquist than on…

Read More Boooks

Er…whoops? Tfw a $3m surface-to-air missile malfunctions and falls in your back yard 😬 #Saudi pic.twitter.com/TZQKLFG8qE — Haidar Sumeri (@IraqiSecurity) March 25, 2018 Intercepting ballistic missiles is hard! Especially if for some reason, like your first shot missing or not detecting the target until late in the day or the fire-control centre not being able…

Read More finally, a post with rockets

The modern era has had several attempts at adopting a so-called nomad science as a meta-theory of everything. Here is a list. Most of them were completely terrible. From 1900 to 1939: Race Science From 1910 to 1960: Psychoanalysis From 1930 to 1980: Marxism From 1950 to 1980: Cybernetics From 1975 to today: Postmodernism From…

Read More A minimal intellectual history of our times

So how might one of those CA campaigns work? Here are some links. This writeup of a new paper tells us a couple of things. One of them is about network structure. The MIT researchers quoted found that the high-order nodes – the most important users – were much more likely to forward real news…

Read More Network structure, fake news, and why nice people don’t go Nazi

A couple of recent experiences. First up, I was at Mediapart’s 10th anniversary celebrations over the weekend. At one of the panel discussions, a very important journalist was speaking very passionately about the possibility of someone changing an algorithm and this having consequences for real people in the real world. Well, yes; that’s like you,…

Read More Three recent experiences and some cows

I have no idea if this is original, but I was thinking about the Keynesian theory of investment while doing something else and it occurred to me that you can explain it in terms of pre-funding or post-funding. The Modern Monetary Theory people think this distinction, applied to banks, has really important consequences for monetary…

Read More Pre-funding and post-funding investments

Chris Dillow is for some reason defending “Tory dilettantism” via an appeal to Michael Oakeshott’s “Rationalism and Politics”. Not surprisingly, I disagree. The problem is that Oakeshott’s notion of practical wisdom is meant to be grounded in just that: practice. One thing experts tend to do a lot of is practising their particular specialisation. That’s…

Read More Practice, baby

I’ve been saying for a very long time – back to 2006, I think, but the earliest TYReference I can find is that the difference among European countries that hopped into Iraq with both feet and those that didn’t is the difference between those who had independent satellite imaging and those who didn’t. This is…

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