Thursday 28 April 2011

We must do something

"We must do something" is good intention speaking, but it shouldn't be confused with knowing what to do. Are the elite "greens" hi-jacking climate change in order to impose their societal view on the world? Read on... amazingly there are over 170 comments on this story already!

Comment I find myself in an uncomfortable position over this climate change thing. I've no problem with the existence of man-made climate change, no problem with the idea that we ought to do something about it. But what we are actually trying to do about it seems bonkers, counter-productive even.

Are we the genie in the bottle?

I've heard that a genie should be sure to give you what you ask for but never what you want. This is what "incentives" and "targets" do. Someone else's slashdot comment follows:
    If you reward students for high grades in exams, you'll get just that. High grades. Not understanding of the subject, just high grades. If you reward bankers for making profits, you'll get just that. High profits. Not financial stability, just high profits.

    The problem with incentives is that exceedingly few people are capable of setting them correctly.
I wonder if an incentive for correct incentive setting would fix things or make the problem worse...

A well known quote from Thomas S. Monson is: "When performance is measured, performance is improved. When performance is measured and reported, the rate of performance accelerates"

However the less quoted statement that prefixed that is: "When we deal in generalities, we shall never succeed. When we deal in specifics, we shall rarely have a failure."


And the problem is with targets that are general proxy measures of performance. So if you want more unemployed people on training courses, lots of training courses will spring up. If you want shorter waiting lists, people will be made to wait somewhere else.

The need to be specific so the genie has to give what is wanted instead of what was asked for...

Friday 15 April 2011

The next computer revolution

The next computer revolution is here...

They don't have guns yet... but freely available and modifiable software adding object recognition and tracking to a live digitized video feed.

We can look forward to cheap security cameras that open the door to a picture of your face or track and blind secret santa with a laser or turns on the upstairs energy saving lightbulbs if you walk towards the stairs.

Programming book reviews, programming tutorials,programming news, C#, Ruby, Python,C, C++, PHP, Visual Basic, Computer book reviews, computer history, programming history, joomla, theory, spreadsheets and more.


HP Cynic said:
I recently got into an argument with some "online folk" who genuinely believed that "giving 110%" was a valid statement and worthy goal.

They were soon smashed down with something called "reality" and maths but not before one of them pointed out that he won't recruit someone "who only gives 90-100%" because that means "they are cruising". I weep for humanity
The BigYin quotes someone saying: "It is in our company's DNA to give 110%" and then goes on to explain:
  1. Your company is not organic, it has no DNA
  2. Over-unity is not possible.
More dreadful observations at...

Old school football managers are often heard to confess they're "as sick as a parrot" because despite the lads "giving it 110 percent", their team has just taken a severe pasting. The problem is, 110 per cent just isn't enough of an overcrank for the modern world we live in.

Thursday 14 April 2011

Smaller processes

I'm always overjoyed when we humans get to do something cunning that doesn't depend on large scale chemical and physical processes. I suppose the processing of the paper and chitosan come from such a large-scaleprocess; but I'm referring to the water cleaning process.

A byproduct of the paper industry and crab shells may soon be used to take radioactive contaminants out of water.

Rule by Corporation

International media industries abuse an emergency session of the New Zealand parliament intended to deal with the Christchurch earthquake as a means to support their business by having the NZ government criminalize citizens on behalf of the music industry.

(And if you think your UK vote counts for anything read this).

The government of New Zealand is sneaking in its controversial "3-strikes" Internet disconnection law tonight as part of its emergency legislation dealing with the Christchurch earthquke. Bill 92A was passed once before and then rescinded after massive popular demonstrations, letter writing campaign
An 8 minute response in NZ parliament of a green party representative:

Wednesday 13 April 2011

If nuclear were dangerous it would be free

It is a total certainty that no child has or will suffer any such exposure. Occasionally, radio-iodine levels in water have been sampled at a rate which, if babies drank such water constantly for a year, they might achieve that one-in-a-million chance of dying decades down the road.
If nuclear were allowed to be as dangerous as gas – that is, perhaps somewhere in the region of 400 times as dangerous in terms of deaths per terawatt-hour – there can be little doubt that electricity would become extremely cheap, maybe indeed too cheap to bother metering it for most users. Waste could be dealt with and supplies extended by many times by simply reprocessing fuel, something which the fearmongers have already managed to ban in many countries.

Saturday 9 April 2011

What a tangled web

What a tangled web, etc, I wouldn't be surprised...
In related news, why don't we all stop work, it'll be our turn to be bailed out by germany soon, we may as well just take it easy till then.

Thursday 7 April 2011

The Foolish Fight For Efficiency

This is why I fear efficiency savings in the NHS. The efficiency drive may cost more than the savings but reduce the "inefficient" spare capacity in the NHS. I don't want an efficient NHS, I want one with the capacity when it's needed. I don't want to spend in reducing the spare capacity the same that has been saved by reducing that capacity.

MPs have given the BBC a kicking over its Digital Media Initiative, a technology development programme that was meant to deliver a "benefit" of £17.9m but ended up costing it a net £38.2m.

Monday 4 April 2011

beware of mob rule

More reasons to beware of mob-rule - sometimes (some of) the police are part of the mob. Note that others of the police also opposed the mob, were vigilant, alert and challenged the flawed evidence. Lives were still ruined in the effort to save the children.

Exclusive Britain’s biggest ever computer crime investigation, Operation Ore, was flawed by a catalogue of “discrepancies, errors and uncertainties”, disclosed reports of two national police conferences seen by The Register reveal.

More background here:

The case resulted in 33 suicides of those investigated. I don't know if we'll know how many right thinking folk would say deserved it or how many were victims of bad policing. Many accept plea-bargains but may have been innocent.

Saturday 2 April 2011

Road congestion is the solution

Road congestion is not a problem, it's a democratic solution.

Pricing citizens off the roads reduces congestion to the sole benefit of those who can still afford to drive. Surely that is an even worse problem.

Congestion is the democratic arbitrator, if a citizens journey is so important that they are willing to brave congestion, perhaps their journey really is important!