Polls, data and forecasts.

As the Duke of Wellington reportedly said: “All the business of war, and indeed all the business of life, is to endeavour to find out what you don’t know by what you do; that’s what I called “guessing what was at the other side of the hill.” Guesses have now been completely wrong in two…

Algorithms, social media, and HRC’s defeat.

In her concession speech, Hillary Clinton indirectly thanked “secret, private” Facebook support groups like Pantsuit Nation. (see for example Endgadget). This was a rather backhanded compliment: she added ‘I want everybody to come out from behind that and make sure your voices are heard’. An article in Vox subsequently explained about Pantsuit Nation: “the group…

British Conceptual Art

There’s an exhibition of British conceptual art, 1964 – 79, at Tate Britain at the moment. The catalogue sees stages in the development of conceptual art: – new frameworks: slightly childish reaction against contemporary Modernist art as described by Clement Greenberg, although many early UK conceptual artists did not knowof US equivalents and worked in…

Homage to Ralph Bagnold

When the English become eccentric, they do so thoroughly. Ralph Bagnold, (1895 to 1990), was a British army officer based in Egypt before the Second World War. In his spare time he and colleagues drove out of Cairo in precarious early vehicles, and explored the vast Western Desert developing new navigation and driving techniques in…

Big Bang Data

The Big Bang Data exhibition at Somerset House is both pedagogic and an art show. I went twice. Highlights include: thingful, a search engine and geographic display of the internet of things. The whacky world of open data. Some things available are genuinely useful (eg DEFRA air quality monitoring stations, river level gauges, weather stations).…

The problem with corpuses…

A previous post describes several attempts to provide ‘creative’ programmes – systems to write poetry, music, or even complete musicals by computer. My concern is that most of the presenters started off by saying ‘we built a corpus of jazz chords/ stories from hit musicals / pictures/ words’ and then went on to analyse the…