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A Quantum of Political Entanglement

A Quantum of Political EntanglementIf you like your science laced with humour, or your politics...

MH370 - Why Search Teams Ignored Georesonance

MH370 - Why Search Teams Ignored GeoresonanceAs soon as I read about the claims that Georesonance...

The Dead Mouse Argument

The Dead Mouse ArgumentBy whatever choice of words it is often argued that because one thing leads...

Learning Lessons From Yesterday

Learning Lessons From YesterdayIt is well said that people who do not learn from their mistakes...

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Patrick LockerbyRSS Feed of this column.

Retired engineer, 60+ years young. Computer builder and programmer. Linguist specialising in language acquisition and computational linguistics. Interested in every human endeavour except the scrooge... Read More »

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Thinking Machines and The Semantic Quagmire



What Is The Semantic Quagmire?
Fraud Takes A Lot Of Brass


There have been many daring and dastardly deeds of deception throughout history.  The daring deeds of the French Maquis and Britain's SOE in the second world war are legendary.

The faker and fraudster, on the other hand, just need a lot of brass1 to make a lot of brass2.

Our generall caused to be set up a plate of brasse, fast nailed to a great and firme poste; whereon is engraven her Grace’s name and the day and years of our arrival there ...

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Speak Out : Silence is the Enemy.

Injustice promotes unrest. 
Unrest promotes war.
War promotes injustice.

It is not possible to have a productive and stable society in which there is widespread injustice.

Injustice is not just unethical - it's irrational.


Don't be irrational - Read Josh Witten's article: Silence is the Enemy.
Random Noise #15 : Noises In Noyes's Poetry.


What is a noise, that it annoys us so?

Noise is, in a given situation,  any sound or sounds which one or more listeners consider to be any of: irrelevant, unwanted, intrusive, distracting, irrelevant or annoying.  By analogy, dots, blots, graininess and such may be considered to be visual noise.

Noise is a barrier to communication: whether it be the babble of the market-place or the hiss in an old recording, most of us would rather filter it out.
Little Pigeon-Boxes

It seems to be a universal characteristic of humans that we like to label each other, often in simplistic binary fashion.  Friend or foe, left-wing or right-wing, smart or dumb, sane or psycho, we never seem to run out of pigeonholes into which we can stuff people like socks in a drawer.

Like socks in a drawer?  What is the connection between socks in a drawer and pigeon-holes?
When Things Smell A Funny Color


I have often heard people in Britain say in jest something like:

"I don't like that, it smells a funny color."


From time to time our senses play tricks with our brains, and we 'hear' or 'smell' colors. 
Such switching of sensory modalities and perception is called synaesthesia.

Synaesthesia is a neurological condition that often involves a ‘blending of the senses’. It is thought to affect less than 1% of the population, and people experience it in a variety of ways.