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Showing posts from September, 2015

The VW trick is at least 30 years old

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I used to work for a company that designed and made graphics cards. In those days, the 1980s, there was a lot of competition. When you bought a PC you would, if you wanted to use play the latest games or use "high end" CAD, choose a better than standard graphics card. There were maybe 30 makers of graphics cards all competing on speed and price. And magazines, like PC World and Your PC, and so on would run benchmark tests on graphics cards to see which were the fastest, which had the most colors, which cost the least and so on. But above all, which graphics cards were the fastest. The results would be published in explicit tables of glory and shame.
In these days of high frame rate 3d animation it seems ridiculous. But in those days the speed of a graphics card it was important. It was what made your screen zip along and allowed you to work faster.
We could not understand how a competitor could always be rated fastest in one of the magazine's tests. We knew technically exa…

The strangeness of Sam Harris's support of Tim Ferriss ("The Four Hour Work Week").

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I like Sam Harris's books. He's an aethistic neuroscientist/philospher who writes plainly and clearly. I was curious about Tim Ferriss's podcasts. I did not know that the two were slightly connected. In one of the Ferris podcasts Sam Harris mentions that he wishes he could do all or some of the stuff recommended in "The Four Hour Work Week". This connection seems strange to me...


One of Tim Ferris's ways of working less (according to Ferriss himself) was to set up a brain supplement selling site. The supplement is called BrainQuicken. Hmm. There have been no tests which proved it work. Ferriss claims to have made $40,000 a month from it. Those claims have been disputed.
So, Sam Harris support of Ferriss is a sort of testimonial. A testimonial of a person who claims to make money selling worthless pills. Is it worse or better that he makes $40,000 a month? Because if it is true then he is taking $480,000 a year from the gullible, some of whom probably can ill …

Self induced health-scare over...

...I stopped planning my own funeral.

(And listened, with a smile on my face, to Andy Narell's "Tatoom".)

Anyway I take comfort from my "moments"...

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I went for a walk the other morning, quite early, and had another of those "moments". The straight town road was in front of me, and at the end of it a cloudy horizon. Above me the sky was clear, slowly brightening. And behind me at about 40° elevation, a nearly full moon. The road ran East-West. There was a scattering of small long clouds just above the denser ones on the horizon. And there was Venus, above and to the right of where I imagined the sun would rise shortly. The light from the hidden (to me) sun hitting the moon's surface.


The moment that I had was that if we were not used to such sights (if we would not take them for granted), it would feel as if we were living on "another planet", or in a science fiction film maybe.


And inside that moment was another feeling of what I was really looking at. From space, and not to scale, it was this:


From space, and more to scale, this:




(I don't know what device you're reading this on but in the above image…