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27/05/2017

Universal Basic Income for all (Terms and conditions apply)

Why are there so many recruiters?

04/10/2015

I don’t know about you, but 90% or more of my linkedin contact requests come from recruiters. I don’t accept them all. Am I the kind of talented high-flyer you would want to headhunt? Probably not, in person I’m rather shy and certainly not management material. I suppose I just know a few esoteric programming tricks and have a good understanding of data and information architecture. What’s more, apart from a few modules taken as part of an Open University degree, I’m entirely self-taught.

The Copy and Paste Design Pattern

04/10/2015

All good programmers understand the concept of design patterns, creational patterns, structural patterns and behavioural patterns. We apply these patterns in different aspects of our projects. It’s good to recognise common patterns so we can generalise routines into reusable functions, methods or classes. I won’t bore you with the details because you can learn more from a wealth of other online resources, but two key principles underly all design patterns:

'Biggest' Apple store opens doors in London

The trouble the government has allowed Microsoft and others to lock in the public sector and ensure young adults leaving our schools are unaware of anything else. In case you haven't noticed desktop applications have been migrating to the Web, making it rather irrelevant whether you use Linux, Mac or M$ Windows. Windows ensure greater compatibility with the majority of (often moronic) games and niche business apps, but is also inherently insecure. My only use for Windows is to test Website compatibility...

Can we trust the IPCC’s evidence?

Because blind belief in technocracy and the myth of never-ending growth on a finite planet will ultimately lead to authoritarianism and mass murder. Progress by all means, but only in as far as it is environmentally sustainable, e.g. if technology reduces infant mortality then we should have fewer children and it takes time to evaluate the long term side effects of today's technological miracles. As a software developer I know what may go wrong, will go wrong. Believe me. Technology is fallible and don't...

Dental Health Scandal: Playing Politics with Genes

Few empiricists would deny that both environmental and genetic factors determine subtle variations in the physical health, performance and behaviour of human beings. After repeatedly telling us that diet and lifestyle are largely to blame for the obesity epidemic, the popular media now inform that genetics plays a crucial role in our susceptibility to gaining weight, e.g. two different people eating the same intake of junk food may have very different weights. Our genes do after all provide us with...

The Persuasion Industry

In one way or another a growing percentage of workers in the UK are engaged in various sectors of the persuasion industry. Call it new media, education, publishing, marketing, sales, customer relations, call centres, advertising, entertainment, legal services, lobbying, consulting, advice bureaux, research institutes, awareness raising charities, they are all in the multi-billion pound business of persuading. These businesses try to persuade us to buy products, borrow more money, adapt our lifestyles, seek ...

A Very Human Animal

What is in your genes and what is not? ... The nature versus nurture debate has long presented us with a false dichotomy as nurture, i.e socio-environmental influences, is very much part of nature. But many commentators have narrowed the definition of nature to refer only to genes, the mere blueprint or genotype that determines our potential subsequent development. To simplify matters, consider a newborn girl. Assuming she does not have pervasive brain damage, her future depends in large part on her...

Get ready for the Big Corporate Takeover of the Web

The Internet is not going to disappear any time soon, at least short of a nuclear holocaust or a world-wide power outage. Big business has simply invested too much money in it to let that happen. What's at stake is the pioneering concept of a free and open network of hyperlinked resources. Media leviathans may feel threatened by You Tube, but they'll learn to work with it. Although server farms and desktop PCs may still produce an annoying hum, they represent a tiny fraction of global electricity...

Something's Changed

Thoughts on Michael Bywater's Big Babies or Why Can't We Just Grow Up ... Originally prepared for a talk and discussion at the South Place Ethical Society Book Club. ... Why do people seem to behave differently these days? Why do young girls appear to be more interested in sex? Why do young boys appear to be more restless and inattentive? Why do so many adults comport themselves like overgrown children, always eager to indulge in new high-tech toys or score with members of the opposite or indeed of...

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