Tag Archives: ideas

Elementary “Watson”

The IBM project that this week led to a spectacular demonstration of machine Question Answering (yet another “QA” acronym) has a lot of serious computing science behind it. Much of that technology—although none of the techniques, naturally—is lucidly explained in a recent article in AI Magazine. The overarching principles in DeepQA are massive parallelism, many […]

Answering the voices?

“A lot of homeless people come in and do live webcasts” Extract from Confessions of an Apple Store Employee (Popular Mechanics) A primer on modern mores by an Apple slave. The tedium of being earnest.

Twitterton (on the Potomac)

Or “Fucknutsville” according to the President’s Chief of Staff. An intriguing story of dysfunctional, trivialising, momentary, partisanship in American government. Broken government? Maybe… The point of this long Vanity Fair essay seems to be that “no-drama” Obama is the man for his times; angling to resurrect enduring victories for good government from beneath the treacherous […]

Trade ‘imbalances’ are misleading

Alexandro Jara, the Deputy Director-General of WTO “[R]elying on conventional trade statistics gives a distorted picture of trade imbalances between countries. As we saw when looking at the Chinese content of the iPad, what counts is not the imbalances as measured by gross values of exports and imports, but how much valued added is embedded […]

Revisiting the climate evidence

Julia Gillard’s determination as Prime Minister to revisit the debate about an Australian response to the potential dangers of climate change calls for a review of the evidence to ensure that any response is proportionate and effective. In my view, the relevant data show less and less reason to attribute recent warming to human activities […]

Why we should pull out of Afghanistan now

There can be no stronger argument for our withdrawal from combat (along with Netherlands and Canada) than this arrogant martial nonsense from Malcolm Turnbull on the ABC “Q&A” program on 21 June “We are in a war, a global war against terror, and the battle in Afghanistan is the front line, so we have a […]

Failure of the ‘Third Way’

John Kay describes Gordon Brown as a “redistributive market liberal, holding, like other adherents of Blair’s ‘Third Way‘, that …[t]he economic role of government should be limited and confined to a short list of issues described as market failures. Redistributive market liberals believe, however, in a big role for the state in reviewing the distribution […]