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Algorithms

Software algorithms get a lot of bad press at the moment. They're accused of forcing us into siloes and echo chambers, of shaping our views and attitudes, and of generally being the earthly manifestation of Lucifer. But that's not the real problem. The problem with software recommendation algorithms is that they don't work very well.… Continue reading Algorithms

travel

Canberra

Canberra gets a lot of bad press. Some of it is deserved, but less that you might think. Being the capital of Australia, it suffers the same curse which afflicts Washington DC and Brasilia; namely that it is an invented settlement which has been located for reasons of politcs rather than practicality. In the case… Continue reading Canberra

Despatches from the front

7 April 2019, Union road, Surrey Hills, Victoria

In this election season I have been forced to conclude that Clive Palmer's electoral office are trying to sabotage him. I mean, look at that poster. Looks like it's been put together by the year nine work experience kid. Awful Photoshopping, lurid colours, typography that could only be worsened by the addition of WinDings. It's… Continue reading 7 April 2019, Union road, Surrey Hills, Victoria

Despatches from the front

6 April 2019, Surrey Hills Uniting Church, Victoria

Most churches in Australia give off a strong air of swimming against the tide. The buildings are spic and span, gardens watered and mantels dusted by a committee of keen parishioners. But the demographics are inescapable. There are no young people. There are twee little poems posted on the bathroom wall about not leaving the… Continue reading 6 April 2019, Surrey Hills Uniting Church, Victoria

travel

The Gold Coast

I came to the Gold Coast like everyone does – because I had some business to attend to and it seemed like a pleasant escape from the gloom of the southern states. “Australia’s Gold Coast” is the claim, a somewhat redundant effort to differentiate between Queensland and Ghana. Actually it’s Queensland’s Gold Coast, judging from the self-promoting hoarding slapped up everywhere. If you can’t advertise to the tourists, advertise to the locals I suppose.

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Why people in cities can’t walk properly

Do you ever get frustrated with people around you in the city who don't seem to pay attention? People who can't walk? People with no apparent peripheral vision? This concept from wild navigator Tristan Gooley may illuminate this problem. "A study by the US Military found that soldiers of equal military experience did not see… Continue reading Why people in cities can’t walk properly