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A new book, 'Coding Ockham's Razor,' Springer, 2018, doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-76433-7, about implementing Minimum Message Length (MML) software to do inductive inference.
1. Introduction, 2. Discrete, 3. Integers, 4. Continuous, 5. Function-Models, 6. Multivariate, 7. Mixture Models, 8. Function-Models-2, 9. Vectors, 10. Linear Regression, 11. Graphs, 12. Bits and Pieces, 13. An Implementation.
And some [software] to go with the book.
John Smyth, 'The Toxic University: Zombie Leadership, Academic Rock Stars and Neoliberal Ideology,' Palgrave Macmillan, 2017, isbn13:978-1137549761.
"... considers the detrimental changes that have occurred to the institution of the university, as a result of the withdrawal of state funding and the imposition of neoliberal market reforms on higher education. It argues that universities have lost their way, and are currently drowning in an impenetrable mush of economic babble, spurious spin-offs of zombie economics, management-speak and militaristic-corporate jargon. John Smyth provides a trenchant and excoriating analysis of how universities have enveloped themselves in synthetic and meaningless marketing hype."
There was a massive stink over the internet when it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica accessed the Facebook data of 50 million people to aid Donald Trump's 2016 US Presidential campaign (and who knows what else).
The simulation of an Ideal Gas [here] explores entropy and thermodynamics. Recently added the ability for a reader to change the state – the position and/or velocity – of a specified particle in the simulation. This allows exploration of the butterfly effect – a tiny(!) change at time T1 can dramatically change the outcome at time T2 just a few tens of steps later, or earlier (the physics being reversible).
Made a protoype implementation of Prolog in Javascript [here]. When the bugs are ironed out(!) it will spread to the other Prolog pages (it has). Sir Bedevere rides again although that is bad news for witches! Also see the λ-calculus.
"Some scholars add authors to their research papers or grant proposals even when those individuals contribute nothing to the research effort. Some journal editors coerce authors to add citations that are not pertinent to their work and some authors pad their reference lists with superfluous citations ... We find widespread misattribution in publications and in research proposals ... Even though the majority of scholars disapprove of such tactics, many feel pressured to make such additions while others suggest that it is just the way the game is played. ..." — [doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0187394].
(It's the rankings, hindex, and KPIs that tend to encourage such practices, although plain old academic ego also plays a part.)
Also see Jeffrey C. Hall, who shared the 2017 Nobel prize for Physiology or Medicine 'for ... discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm', being interviewed in 2008 [www], well before receiving the award. He showed 'em.
The denotational semantics book seems to have acquired a doi, and gone 'e....', without me noticing until now — [doi:10.1017/CBO9781139171892].
"Many junior scientists need to take a hard look at their job prospects. Permanent jobs in academia are scarce, and someone needs to let PhD students know. ... only three or four in every hundred PhD students in the United Kingdom will land a permanent staff position at a university. It's only a little better in the United States. ... it has been evident for years that international science is training many more PhD students than the academic system can support ..." — Nature, [doi:10.1038/550429a]. It would be surprising if Australia were any different.
Made a protoype implementation of λ in Javascript [here]. When the bugs are ironed out(!) it will spread to the other lambda-calculus pages. (It has.)
Cooked up a Javascript [demonstration] of the modelling-alignment version of the dynamic programming algorithm (DPA) – the basic case, 1-state machine, optimal alignment. Modelling-alignment gives fewer false-positives and fewer false-negatives than do "shuffling" and "masking out" when it comes to deciding if two sequences are related or not and, if they are related, then in what way are they related? (Also see [PAD04].)
Reimplemented the [Ideal Gas] simulation in Javascript. The energy in the gas is conserved. Calculations are done in such a way that there are no rounding errors. The gas relates to the Feathers on the Arrow of Time chapter of CSW's MML book. The reimplementation was necessary because Java applets have been dropped from most web browsers (why the bug laden 'Flash' is still supported is beyond me).
5 May 2017: Hackers tried to influence the French Presidential election by releasing stolen emails and files from Emmanuel Macron's organisation just before the start of the campaigning black-out in the final two-candidate run off.  7 May: Neverthless centrist Macron defeated far-right Marine Le Pen, 66%:34%.  It is widely believed that hackers, possibly Russian, tried to influence the 2016 US Presidential election in favour of Donald Trump by similar means. Trump (Rep) went on to defeat Hilary Clinton (Dem).
Adam Sisman's biography of John le Carre (the pen name of David Cornwell) was published in 2015. Although well aware that DC had, more than once, tried to write an autobiography, AS must have been a little miffed when his subject's memoir, The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories from My Life, came out in 2016. In fact it is very rewarding to read both books in close succession. Born in 1931, DC was a member of MI5 and later MI6 before he rose to fame with the release of his third novel, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1963). DC has a bit to say about secrets, lies, and allies spying on [allies'] citizens.
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