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Quentin Stafford-Fraser's blog



Last Build Date: Tue, 25 Apr 2017 12:12:42 +0000

 



Political Correctness

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 12:12:42 +0000

I’ve always said that I am politically challenged, and that anybody who expects me to be politically correct is therefore guilty of serious discrimination, at which I am likely to take offence. 🙂 The political correctness pendulum has clearly swung too far over the last few years, and is now an appropriate target for ridicule. Continue Reading



Draining the Fens

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 08:42:24 +0000

Friends in the Cambridge area, or with an interest in its history, may enjoy this short 1947 informational film, Draining the Fens, at the East Anglian Film Archive. Now, I’ll grant you, that doesn’t sound like the most gripping movie title, but this one is only nine minutes long, and if you’ve ever driven across Continue Reading



Quote of the day

Sun, 16 Apr 2017 17:11:33 +0000

This one is from Sam Altman: The hard part of standing on an exponential curve is: when you look backwards, it looks flat, and when you look forward, it looks vertical. And it’s very hard to calibrate how much you are moving because it always looks the same.



Crossing things off the bucket list

Fri, 14 Apr 2017 19:09:07 +0000

At last! Today, I finally managed to leave the ranks of those who have never commuted to work on an electric unicycle. Not sure I’ll make a habit of this mode of transport, especially since, as John points out, it is technically illegal here, but it’s a thing one should have done at some point Continue Reading



Morning, with a hint of castle

Sun, 09 Apr 2017 19:15:59 +0000

Penshurst Place, Kent



My other electric vehicle is a BMW…

Fri, 07 Apr 2017 19:58:52 +0000

In my research group in the computer lab at Cambridge University, we have a few fun toys. This is one of them: an electric unicycle; there are a few different makes of these now, this one is a Ninebot One. I’m not very good at it yet, but it’s great fun to learn – this Continue Reading



Love me tender

Wed, 05 Apr 2017 23:00:28 +0000

The one pound coin was introduced in 1983. I remember my excitement when I got my first one! Well now it’s being phased out in favour of a shiny new one, launched last week and dubbed ‘the most secure coin in the world’. You can read all about it on www.thenewpoundcoin.com. The last one, of Continue Reading



Seal of (dis)approval?

Sun, 02 Apr 2017 18:43:20 +0000

We were on Scratby Beach in Norfolk today, soon after high tide. It slopes away fairly steeply there, with the result that small waves were only breaking quite close to the shore. Apparently there’s some quite good surfing here at times, though. To our surprise and delight, during the course of our short walk, three Continue Reading



Thought for the day

Fri, 31 Mar 2017 14:29:24 +0000

In order to progress, modern society should be treating ruined entrepreneurs in the same way we honor dead soldiers, perhaps not with as much honor, but using the exact same logic. . . . — Nassim Taleb



Conway’s Law

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 12:32:21 +0000

Somehow, I hadn’t come across Conway’s Law until today, despite the fact that Melvin Conway came up with it when I was still wearing nappies. Conway’s Law states that: Organizations which design systems are constrained to produce designs which are copies of the communication structures of these organizations. Or, as it is often more briefly Continue Reading



Waiting Room

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 08:18:23 +0000

Kirby Hall, Northamptonshire



Over the seas to Rye

Wed, 15 Mar 2017 23:41:12 +0000

Sunset over Rye Harbour Nature Reserve on Saturday evening



Holo – is it me you’re looking for?

Mon, 06 Mar 2017 17:56:31 +0000

I got to have a good play with a Microsoft Hololens today. This is an augmented reality headset: you get to see your real-world surroundings, but with computer-generated overlays. If you remember the holographic chess game in Star Wars, you’ve got the right idea, but the projections can be big and all around you, as Continue Reading



The Flash of Weathercocks

Sun, 05 Mar 2017 21:35:59 +0000

Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful. — Rita Dove A good friend of ours, Glen Cavaliero, is a poet. An exceedingly good one, in fact, and highly-regarded among the cognoscenti. Over the decades, in addition to his academic books, he has published numerous slim poetry volumes but, now approaching his ninetieth Continue Reading