Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Measure of a Robot (from io9) gives us this amazing chart, The Measure of a Robot:

I find it intriguing how they explain the placement of the robots on the good/evil axis: they explain that some robots are good because they were just programmed to be evil, yet many of those far on the evil scale are just pure evil. How do they know? Surely those robots are as much a victim of their programming as the good ones?

I'm sure there's some dual-use dilemma stuff in here, Nick!

But what I want to know is, where does GladOS fit? :) (and since when is a "box" a robot? HAL & MCP & the Wargames computer were computers, not robots...)

(Via io9.)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Monday, June 23, 2008


Given the totality of these circumstances, we believe a credible election, which reflects the will of the people is impossible. We remain unreservedly committed to free and fair elections in the country. The conditions prevailing as of today do not permit the holding of a credible poll.

The militia, war veterans and even Mugabe himself have made it clear that anyone that votes for me in the forthcoming election faces the very real possibility of being killed.

Zimbabweans have also shown how brave and resilient they can be. They have withstood years of brutality, impoverishment and intimidation. They are dedicated to a New democratic Zimbabwe.

But, we in the MDC, cannot ask them to cast their vote on June 27th when that vote could cost them their lives.

Therefore, we in the MDC have resolved that we will no longer participate in this violent, illegitimate sham of an election process.

The courageous people of this country, and the people of the MDC have done everything humanly and democratically possible to deliver a New Zimbabwe under a New Government.

We urge SADC, AU and the United Nations to intervene urgently in this unprecedented situation to restore the rule of law, peace, and conditions for a free and fair election.

We are going to articulate our vision and the way forward to the people of Zimbabwe and the world, after further consulting the people.

Finally, we salute and thank all the suppressed masses of Zimbabwe who have been maimed, raped, tortured, lost homes and properties in the pursuit of a noble cause of wishing to see a free and democratic Zimbabwe. I sympathize with you over the loss of your loved ones in these final phases of the struggle. Victory is certain, it can only be delayed.

These were the words of MDC party leader Morgan Tsvangirai as he pulled out of the horrific sham of an election that was to be the run-off for president of Zimbabwe. In a time where often those who run for president in many countries do it for their own personal egotistical benefit, no matter the cost, these words are extremely sad in their humility. Tsvangirai could have gone on, could have fought til the end, but he decided that the loss of human lives is not worth the push to an end that would likely be rigged against him anyway. Let's just hope that the international community can do something about this. Sovereignty is an important thing for countries, but we need to wake up and stop using it as an excuse for not getting involved in something that is an obvious breach of international law and basic human rights.

Other articles:

This is Zimbabwe

The Times of Sth Africa

African Press International

Thursday, June 19, 2008

When you're presenting at a philosophy conference

... you tend to check out who your "competition" is. Today the timetable went up, and I find out that instead of the 30min timeslot that I wanted, I ended up with a 90 min timeslot. Against Big Names.

Picture 1.png

Whatever am I going to talk about for 90 mins to my audience of maybe 1? :)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Stupidity in legislation

A new trade agreement is being proposed at the G8 in July, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, that will essentially allow any border guard to confiscate any electronic device and inspect it for possible copyright-law-infringing material.

Here is an article on it, and here is the document on wikileaks (a site I highly recommend!).

This is an insane act. I have no words for just how insanely stupid it is. The US has just gone crazy with its straw-grasping in order to placate an amazingly backward entertainment industry that is mired in 50 year old business plans.

Anything we can do to make sure Australia doesn't enter into this will be fan-freaking-tastic.