There’s a lot of talk about Artificial intelligence, only I feel that the people who are trying to forward this notion don’t really know how our brains work – and they certainly don’t know how a computer does its job. But that’s modern life for you: they are paid lots of money to make silly suggestions and I’m not.
It’s said that goldfish lead exciting lives. This is because in their small world, practically everything’s new. By the time they’ve toured their bowl, they’ve forgotten what was there, and it’s all exciting and fresh again! It must be quite wonderful to be able to spend your waking hours in the pursuit of such discoveries. The trouble is that the goldfish’s powers of retention aren’t very strong, and whilst everything’s fresh and new, that’s only because they’ve forgotten what was there fifteen seconds ago.
It was with this thought in mind that I switched on my computer this morning and I thought I would interview it, to give you an idea of the life of an ordinary, everyday Laptop.
Me: “Good morning, computer.
My Laptop: “Yer sees now: I’s gotta do all this processin’ like, just to speak to yer. Right? Coz, like I can’t do anyfin wivvout wot someone’s gone and programmed it, like, There thassanuvver billion done”
Greece is back in the news, and the half truths along with it. Greece will be “negotiating with its creditors as quickly as possible to avoid another crisis rocking the eurozone” [Daily Telegraph, “EU urges Greeks and creditors to hammer out a deal quickly”]. It has to be remembered here that such crises start on Wall Street and in London where derivatives are traded as though they were the commodity they were tracking. But this is the weird dystopian world of modern finance where illusory numbers on paper are as real than the product they represent.
A friend of mine is volunteering in Britain, and whilst it is taxing what with the weather and other very British events, it is rewarding. Having volunteered on no few occasions in Britain, and enjoyed the experience, it seemed to me a great idea to do it here in Holland.
Last night the skies of the world exploded into colour. Duvali, Loy Kratong and other festivals all celebrate the darkest night of the year, and do so with light. In a way, it makes to celebrate the darkest time by making your own light, doesn’t it? This is ‘The Coathanger’ in Sydney, last night. Afternoon, here in Europe.
It’s a Monday morning here in Holland and the week has begun. The newspapers have been spread across the desk, now at half past ten, the second – third? – mug of coffee is being drunk. The interesting headlines are a tranquillizer to the yawning desert that stretches ahead, ended with the joy of meeting the river on Friday evening.
My friend Hendrik’s job is to teach evidence based decision-making. It makes him happy, so I don’t complain too much. In this post, I want to explore the ramifications of living a life having made decisions based on evidence. I have spoken of the nature of evidence on a few occasions. In brief, evidence comprises of three factors, each of which has to be present if it is to be classified as evidence:
1) Somebody needs to have noticed something happening.
2) They need to have regarded the ‘something’ as being worth recording
3) They will have written it down.
If they have done this, you have some evidence. Hence a tree falling in the wood will make a noise – it’s just that the passing scientist didn’t notice it because he had his nose buried in a book about trees. Whilst the tree did make a noise, nobody noticed – thus no evidence as condition ‘1’ was not met.