Monday, 1 December 2008
Sunday, 5 October 2008
Wednesday, 1 October 2008
Sunday, 14 September 2008
Tuesday, 12 August 2008
Wednesday, 16 July 2008
Tuesday, 10 June 2008
A very great book. This academic tome casts a different light on technology. We get the technology when we are ready for it. Winston uses the term supervening social necessity and shows that invention only make their mark when society (and industry) is ready for the concepts.
In art, what is the supervening social necessity for Damien Hirst and his animals in formaldehyde, or Tracy Emin's bed?
Tuesday, 27 May 2008
Searle's Chinese Room argument is an attempt to show that a mind cannot be found inside a machine.
Searle asks his audience to imagine that many years from now, people have constructed a computer that behaves as if it understands Chinese. The computer takes Chinese characters as input and, following a program, produces other Chinese characters, which it presents as output. Suppose that this computer performs this task so convincingly that it easily passes the Turing test. In other words, it convinces a human Chinese speaker that the program is itself a human Chinese speaker. All the questions the human asks are responded to appropriately, such that the Chinese speaker is convinced that he or she is talking to another Chinese-speaking human. The conclusion that proponents of artificial intelligence would like to draw is that the computer understands Chinese, just as the person does.
Extract from Wikipedia
My response to this rests with the fact that this is a gedanken or "thought experiment". If you could do this "for real" then room "understands Chinese" just as much as any speaker, native or not. If this experiment were done today, then the lag would be a clue. The other issue is where is the "intellgence"? Well, it is the room, that is the person or computer programme inside actually answering the questions. The translation is a red herring!
Friday, 16 May 2008
The talk given by Merlin Coverley (the author) at Housmans Booksellers this week was interesting, and it left me wanting more. What was "psychogeography" as distinct from geography (as understood today)? I guess I had to catch up with some reading and the events of 1968 and the "Situationists International".
But there seemed to be plenty of research material on the 25 bus, a bendy bus that snakes from Oxford Circus to the wilds of Ilford, Essex.
Walking as an art form. That sounded the business. What could we learn from taking steps? Get in the back of the bendy bus, and you realise that it bends left and right, up and down. The ride is raucous. Some call it the free bus, since you have to swipe an Oystercard or a ticket before you board. Inspectors descend like a host of locusts, but you might just be able to swipe before they get to you... ooops I have just had my wallet stolen!
Friday, 9 May 2008
Does the semantic web (promise) bring a new set of links? Or less? What can the Internet, the web and computers do for us?
The most famous distributed research project is the Earth, a planet that was set to decide on the question. A previous project had found that the answer was 42, but that was no enough! Somehow we had to find the question that matched the answer. The program ran for millions of years, when, in Rickmansworth, the question had been divined, only to me lost when the Earth was destroyed to make way for a bypass.
We are lost in time and space and meaning. It is only the presence of mind that keeps us locked into the matrix....
Friday, 25 April 2008
Schrödinger's cat? Yeah, an event at the quantum level linked to the life of a cat. So what? The observation of the wave function means the cat lives or dies. Life is cheap. Can we decide that the cat is dead without more than a glance inside a box anyway?
The search for a theory of everything is the search for a quantum theory of all the fundamental forces of nature. Is this possible? Has the creator censored the small print?
Wednesday, 23 April 2008
Saturday, 19 April 2008
Another interchange that is still possible without going outside the stations to ground level is between the Northern Line and the Central Line. Some routes have become one way, but still possible if you ignore the signs.
Maybe this will change before August 2009?
Wednesday, 19 March 2008
This unit is not working due to an electricity supply fault. It has been reported to the local electricity supply company for repair.
Several lights are out in Lindfield Street, and have been for many months, perhaps even a year now.
The building behind used to be a school, the Blessed John Roche. That has been empty for a few years.
Lansbury Estate, Poplar, East London.
Monday, 17 March 2008
Why? Surely the saint's day would be fine if it took place in Holy Week? Or was the attendant celebrations in the mind of the Bishops? Perhaps wearing a large Guinness hat is not fitting attire for Holy Week?
Sunday, 24 February 2008
There are plenty of signs in Wood Lane to let you know that Shepherd's Bush Station (on the Central Line) is closed. I am not sure who will benefit. Most pedestrians will now be aware, and motorists will hardly care. The buses that drive past could have some passengers on the top deck who remain blissfully unaware.
Is this just some weird public relations sop from Westfield, who paid TfL to shut down the station for eight months to accelerate the project?
Monday, 21 January 2008
J D Wetherspoon have so many rules, and you must obey. Shame that they often fail to obey the law of land by serving short pints.
Thursday, 17 January 2008
Abbey opened a big office in Canary Wharf which I use most of the time.
A few months before Abbey left the building, I opened an Abbey Business Banking account, which is run through the ATM or by post (no transactions allowed at the counter). When I opened the account, I was happy in the knowledge that this ATM was very close to my home, and hence deposits and other transactions could be made easily.
And this was long before Abbey National was taken over by Santander
Wednesday, 9 January 2008
Friday, 4 January 2008
Wednesday, 2 January 2008
The branch has been closed since February 2007 yet almost a year later, the address is listed on several websites.
Perhaps I should check back in 12 months time to see if those pages have been updated?
Image taken 31st December 2007.