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 […]