Publish and be damned

Two news stories recently have highlighted another aspect of the tragedy of the commons. One on Copyright (artists petitioning government to extend UK copyright beyond 50 years): the other on a proposed EU community directive to require open access publishing of scientific results. In both cases, there is lots of research to indicate that the […]

The Nature of Scientific Theories

Two controversies are bubbling along at the moment which made me think about what science claims. The Evolution vs. Intelligent Design debate seems to be hotting up again, and there is controversy about climate change. Now I should immediately state that I think that Evolution is the best guess we have about how organisms developed, […]

CP Snow as a power source…

…because he’s turning in his grave. I think the two cultures thing is getting worse. Certainly mainstream arts people not only are unembarrassed by their ignorance of science, they even flaunt it (scroll down to ‘Opacity Quotient’). Clearly this problem has been with us for a long time. Perhaps it is time to set a […]

You know best Tony

There is an article in today’s paper saying that despite advice to the contrary, Tony Blair is going to give the go-ahead to new nuclear powerstations*. I find this deeply depressing for a couple of reasons. Firstly what on earth is the point of having experts examine an issue and prepare a thoroughly researched report […]

Playing with traffic

The game that is UK traffic law is broken. It’s broken because the rules don’t always matter. Take the emotive issue of speeding. Speeding is illegal. Yet, unlike theft, say, it is not more-or-less universally disapproved of. Many ordinary people who think of themselves as law-abiding speed. Some of them, the militant Jeremy Clarkson tendency, […]

When an example is not exemplary

There is a blog I sometimes read, The Tao of digital photography. Recently it has featured 10 pictures which were important to the author’s development of an aesthetics of photography, or Ten Epiphanous Photographs as he calls them. What’s interesting about this selection (apart from the photographs themselves) is how badly they come off from […]

When the technology is more artistic than you are

Look what happens when my mobile phone’s camera gets over- loaded by being pointed straight at the sun – I particularly like the purple halo around the black sun. This kind of objet trouvĂ© has a long and glorious history, of course, going back at least to Duchamp, but it is still nice when it […]

What makes a virtual world engaging?

Brian Eno was on the Culture Show tonight (is `culture television’ an oxymoron?). He said that he thought that a new art form would emerge utilising DVDs, a true integration of music and image (rather than image-with-music as in a music video, or music-with-image, as in film music). That might be right, but I beg […]

Market theory dynamics

Here’s an idea for a complexity theory thesis based on my The Game of Monetary Policy post (and by genetic algorithms). Assumptions Markets are created by willing buyers and willing sellers. The price of an asset is the price they are willing to trade at. The only cause of price dynamics is trading. There are […]