Friday, 26 April 2019

Philosophy & Technology --- and Computers

It is run by the University of Twente and promises 

"The course focuses on the relations between humans and technologies. You will learn how philosophy can help us understand the social implications of technologies."\

Clearly many of the problems I have had with CODIL arise because the philosophy of the approach I have taken - which is that humans live in a complex and uncertain world - is very different from the regimentally predefined computer systems in common use. 

I find such courses are a good way to stimulate new ideas and will post anything of note either as a comment to this post or as a separate blog post. Maybe I will even meet some of you on the course!

Saturday, 20 April 2019

CODIL & the Leo Computer Society Archives at Cambridge

A couple of weeks ago the LEO Computer Society had a reunion in London where the members celebrated the 70th anniversary of the start of work on the LEO I computer The LEO I construction followed the design of Cambridge University's EDSAC computer and it is recognized to be the first computer ever built for purely commercial use. The pioneering engineer who led the project was John Pinkerton, and what has been described as the first corporate systems analyst was David Caminer.

Friday, 19 April 2019

My experience of bullying at Universities

Following a report on BBC News, The Guardian has just published an article "UK universities must break their silence around harassment and bullying". It appears that UK Universities have spend at least £87 million on gagging orders in the last 2 years. Many academics said they were "harassed" out of their jobs and forced to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) by their university after making complaints about inappropriate sexual behaviour or bullying by more senior staff.

I'm springing into Action for Easter

Those of you who have read the dedication on my "Genealogy in Hertfordshire" Website (In memory of my daughters, Belinda and Lucy) will not be surprised that I need to control my stress levels and sometimes I have to lie back and let the world roll by.

Usually this is only for a day or two but last year my stress levels rocketed, in part at least because I found the chaos surrounding Brexit very unsettling. As a result the recent period of relaxation has lasted many months - during which time I have posted very little online - neglecting this blog..

In fact when I am in maximum relaxation mode I still need to keep my mind active by doing some kind of research.  On this occasion I decided to track down an artist who had produced comic cards for the Crown Publishing Company of St Albans in about 1908. Rather than just sitting and watching the TV much of my time has been spent trawling through thousands of comic postcards on ebay. The research has been most entertaining and proved very complex (and so a stimulating mental challenge). It took much longer than expected but I have now established that the card fragment on the left was drawn by a well know comic card artist called Fred Spurgin [ See details of the research]

As I am now more relaxed I have decided to restart posting on this blog, and will use it for general comments - and also for my further work on CODIL and the Evolution of Human Intelligence - as trying to split the CODIL related posts off was one of the causes of stress.

[I will post this on my other blogs - in each case saying how "springing into action" will affect future activity.]