A weird experience

So there I was, happily settled in Heffers with a nice large cup of coffee, looking forward to reliving the Newton-Leibnitz controversy via “the system of the world” when I thought I’d have a quick browse of “The Cult of the Amateur” by Andrew Keen, since it was on a nearby rack. It’s the std.rant about how the internet is killing our kulture, which drowns its few good points in hyperbole. And indeed, in gross error. So naturally I waded through till I got to the wikipedia bit, and lo and behold, there is my name! (I’m sure I’ve heard this before, but only online, which isn’t quite the same as seeing yourself in print when you’re not expecting to be there). I am, apparently, the archetypical example of what is wrong with wikipedia. Not in the sense of me being evil (phew) but me being an expert and yet not being able to impose my views (ironic really). The Times repeats his mistakes. this blog does a far better job of finding the true story. Which is deeply ironic, as Keen’s main point is that the web is cr*p and fine traditional sources like newspapers are far better.

Wikipedia does indeed have problems, and recruiting and retaining experts is one of them, but the situation is far more complex and subtle that AK’s facile description. FWIW, the 1R parole was declared a mistake a long time ago, certainly before the book was published.

Rowing was good today. Lovely weather – clear blue sky, no wind – and we were good. “Composed” said CW.

Scrumbly bumbly

I thought to myself as I cycled in. More snow! And in that delightful state where left alone it is beautiful and white, but as soon as touched it squelches into sodden slush. So my sandled feet were sprayed with freezing gunk, and the thickly falling flakes covered my glasses. Such fun! School’s in though, which is fair enough, as the infants got yesterday to play. What will this afternoon bring?

pdate: It brought the school closure. But fortunately friends stepped in, so I patched my way through the afternoon. Assembler is fun!

But not as much fun as Snow-crazed stoat ‘goes berserk’ – thanks H.

Snowed in / school’s out

A blizzard strikes the UK, depositing the once-in-5-years 4″ of snow, and chaos breaks loose. In this case, chaos means the school is shut. Daniel had fun in the snow all day and ended up happily exhausted, having built an igloo with friends. Miranda had a brief bit of early snow before deciding that snow is cold, and indoors is warm.

Here is the view from inside; PS provides the mood music:

To relieve the spoon gloom, there is a do-it-yourself atheist bus campaign generator, which made me:

Gore vs Armstrong. Or not

I encountered [[J Scott Armstrong]] via his wiki entry, and the blogosphere, when he proposed a $20,000 bet with Gore (though since each side was supposed to put up $10,000 this seems like puffery from the start). JA pointed out the obvious reasons why the bet is trickery. On Armstrong’s part, this seems to have developed into a website theclimatebet.com/, and its fairly clear which side they are on. The rubbish keeps coming back onto wiki, although it dies quickly.

So far so boring. Gore’s basic response has been “go away I’m busy“, which is fair enough. I’m slightly curious that he hasn’t pointed out the obvious flaws, too. He must have a climatologist who can do that. The strategy is probably to avoid engagement: even bothering to attack Armstrong gives him more credit than he deserves. In which case, I shouldn’t have written this. Ah well.

[Update: Armstrong remains a twat. For example here -W]