WTF is Going On with Computers?

Seriously, I don’t get it. My computer has 4 fucking processors, each of them bigger than the single processor my previous computer had. I have over 2 gig of ram in my computer and a video card with more ram than all of my previous computer combined AND STILL I am stuck with a computer which takes minutes to really boot up windows, and then chokes while trying to load Winamp.

Oh sure, I know, I’m trying to do too much at once – but WTF is the point of having four processors and 2gig of ram if I can’t open Skype, MSN, Firefox, iTunes and Winamp all at once? What is it that these programs are trying to do which is so god damned amazing that it requires all of my god damn resources?

How is it that, in essence, my computer now runs just as slowly and annoyingly as it did back in 2005, 2000 and 1995? The computer has improved SIGNIFICANTLY every step of the way – but the performance has somehow managed to pretty much stay the same. Oh sure, the software has got prettier, and sometimes even managed to do more stuff (not all of it desired), but really, has the software gotten the 1000 times more complicated that they would need to in order to keep up with the 1000 times improvements in processing speed and memory? Really?

I don’t get it, and it pisses me off that I can’t get a god damned computer system which will just run quickly and smoothly when doing simple tasks – like booting windows.

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Lake Kinkony, Madagascar added to my Outdoors Guide

And continuing on from the last post, I have continued to add guidebook articles from my Madagascar trip to TDMSKP. I have just added a rather large article for Lake Kinkony, the second largest lake in Madagascar found to the west of Mahajanga in northwestern Madagascar. If you are into bird watching, then you absolutely want to visit Lake Kinkony one day – that is of course, assuming that you have a stomach for that sort of travelling 🙂

I also added an article for the Grotte d’Anjohibe the other day too, but I was unable to visit these caves myself, so the information provided on TDMSKP is necessarily quite scant. Oh, and of course I created an entry for Riverwood Downs because I was camping there over the long weekend – I hope to get many more articles created for activities in the Barrington region because I think the area is quite spectacular.

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Cirque Rouge, Mahajanga, Madagascar added to TDMSKP Finally

I have finally just added my first guide article from my trip to Madagascar last year to TDMSKP. Not my favourite site on the trip, but the first on ein my book, so as good a place to start as any – Cirque Rouge, near Mahajanga. It is a large erosion ditch really, but the soils are so colourful that it has become a small tourist attraction. Not that you can really tell. There is really no development there, and you felt pretty alone the whole time walking there and back; so there was definitely no concern about over-development in these parts!

Anyway, the guide article can be found here: Cirque Rouge, Mahajanga, Madagascar

I have been delaying adding guide articles from my trip last year because I was waiting for the new version of the website to be launched, but that is taking significantly longer than originally hoped or expected, and so I might as well work on these smaller projects while I have the time and space to do it. I am going to try to keep adding a new article each day that I am at home. Hopefully that rate will be able to keep up with my rate of activity too!

I’ll be away for the weekend – Camping up near Barrington!

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Less Wrong

When comparing two differing opinions or world views, it is possible for both of those opinions to be technically “Wrong”, yet have one of those opinions significantly less valuable than the other. This is a reality which many people seem to misplace when analysing different philosophies, paradigms and arguments and one which I would like to rectify.

Let me explain this error in a bit more detail with a very straight forward example.

Assume that the mean wavelength of light visible in the earths sky is actually 487nm. Assume this is the objective fact, and thus all other numbers are wrong. We then ask two people to measure the wavelength of light and tell us what they think it is. The two independent answers we then recieve are 484nm and 673nm.

Technically, they are both ‘Wrong’, but they are not wrong to the same degree. One is significantly more wrong than the other. In fact, for practical purposes, one is ‘basically correct’ while the other is ‘dead wrong’. In essence, we have one person saying the sky is blue and another saying the sky is red. The fact that the ‘blue’ answer was not exactly correct does not make it equivalent to the red answer – and this analogy applies across the board.

It is possible to be more or less wrong about things, and the degree to which a statement is wrong matters!

Religion vs Science

It is absolutely true that scientifgic theories are traditionally wrong. They have been wrong constantly throughout history, and are probably full of errors more far reaching than any of us alive today can imagine. But they are less wrong than every other non-scientific theory ever invented, and continue to be less and less wrong all the time (in general).

I have seen the following reasoning used by religious apologists numerous times in the past – they imply or directly state that the errors of science in some way justifies their ongoing belief in the paradigms outlined in the bible, or held by their chosen church. They have ignored the fact that theories can be more or less wrong than other theories and thus they are assessing two vastly different qualities as equivalent.

One of the beautiful things about science is that it follows the same general pattern as any other progressive, evolving thing in the universe – it builds on previous knowledge, adds to that knowledge and generally improves (value call) with time. So from every generation to the next (at least since the enlightenment to now) we have manged to get our scientific theories to be less and less wrong all the time.

Religions on the other hand continue to maintain their original positions (generalising of course) that ‘God’ told them the answers to begin with and that there is no need to continue enquiring.

So what we end up with is something like this:

How science gets less wrong with time and religion doesn'tThey’re both wrong the whole time, but science just continues to get less wrong, while the religious perspective is still stuck on the same religious text and/or teaching which it was founded with.

Being less wrong is an important distinction to make.

Shane

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Banana Equivalent Dose – SotD

I just stumbled upon this wikipdeia article, and I really enjoyed it, so here it is again:

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Banana_equivalent_dose

A banana equivalent dose is a concept occasionally used by nuclear power proponents[1][2] to place in scale the dangers of radiation by comparing exposures to the radiation generated by a common banana.

Many foods are naturally radioactive, and bananas are particularly so, due to the radioactive potassium-40 they contain. The banana equivalent dose is the radiation exposure received by eating a single banana. Radiation leaks from nuclear plants are often measured in extraordinarily small units (the picocurie, a millionth of a millionth of a curie, is typical). By comparing the exposure from these events to a banana equivalent dose, a more realistic assessment of the actual risk can sometimes be obtained.

The average radiologic profile of bananas is 3520 picocuries per kg, or roughly 520 picocuries per 150g banana.[3] The equivalent dose for 365 bananas (one per day for a year) is 3.6 millirems (36 μSv).

🙂

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Business Opportunity for an Australian

Anyone looking for a great ‘the time is right’ business opportunity? Here’s one:

At the moment in the UK, British Gas is giving out electricity usage monitors for their customers on the “Energy Smart” plan. These devices are simple to set up, and allow you to see real time power usage of your home. Better yet, they allow you to set daily targets, and they let you know whether you are on-target or not.

This feature is a great way to prompt you to turn devices off and try to curb your unnecessary electricity usage whenever you see your house heading towards exceeeding your daily target.

So where is the business opporunity? Well, where are these devices in Australia? I’ve never heard of them before – but everyday on the Radio I hear ads about Solar Power Panels and how they save money off your electricity bills. Each night for the past week Today Tonight has run stories on how your electricity bills are going to get higher and higher.

Electricity usage is on the mind. It is part of the zeitgeist. Everyone is worried about their carbon footprint, or if not that, at least their rising electricity bills. What better time is there to offer a product like this to such a market place?

Check out the following links, and the video below:

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Happy Planet Index

Why don’t we measure our national power consumption daily on the national news networks? Why don’t we make the things which matter publicly measured? Better still, why don’t we measure these things – power usage, petrol consumption, carbon output (if that is possible) etc – and create an ongoing international competition?

I can see it right now, every night on the news, just after the stock report and before the weather report you get a single page screen: “Today australia used 10,254 mega watts of electricity, down from yesterdays usage of 12,254 mega watts – which gives us a per capital usage of 1.34 kilowatts, just beating the USA who reported a usage of 1.45, and the UK which reported 1.64. Good work Australia, lets show the rest of the world how to do it!”

Brilliant bloody talk btw…

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