2014 — 23 April: Wednesday

I may yet make another assault on the deli counter of Waitrose1 though, again, not before breakfast. On what looks like a reasonably sunny start to the day.

Now, here's a thought

A piece listing 10 reasons why an AI wouldn't turn evil. As many as 10, heh? (Link.) The same site hosts a Vimeo of a Phantom quadrocopter being flown through a fireworks display, but I was unable to persuade it to display a picture. (Link.)

Rather improbably, I got to "io9.com" from a rather more sober piece on rebooting civilisation in the Boston Globe, of all places. It also took me to the Global Village construction set.

For more years...

... than I care to remember, I had thought the following quotation came from a NASA report on Technology Transfer in the mid-60s. It's actually from "On being a Christian":

If ever the last 50,000 years of man's existence were divided into lifetimes of approximately 62 years each, there have been about 800 lifetimes. Of these 800 at least 650 were spent in caves. Only during the last seventy lifetimes has it been possible to communicate effectively from one lifetime to another — as writing made it possible to do. Only during the last six lifetimes did masses of men ever see the printed word. Only during the last four has it been possible to measure time with any precision. Only in the last two has anyone used an electric motor. And the overwhelming majority of all material goods we use in daily life have been developed within the present 800th lifetime.

Hans Küng

It always reminds me that, as a child of the technological age, I have no personal wish to outlast what's laughingly called "civilisation".

It's over a decade...

... since the death of the chap, Michael Small, who composed the soundtrack to that wonderful Alan J Pakula film "Klute" (for which Jane Fonda very deservedly received an 'Oscar'). The music has only just appeared on CD; it had been due for release in 1971! It was just one of the arrivals cluttering my front doorstep and sheltering from the rain when I got back from my lunch'n'chat. It's now sending shivers of recognition up and down my spine.

CD and BD audio

Today's two other musical deliveries are both Blu-ray audio releases. [Pause] I can now confirm, by the way, that they load and play in the Oppo just as easily as a CD, and don't need the plasma screen switched on for 'simple' navigation. Since I set all my audio formats to be downmixed to stereo that suits me just fine.

Meanwhile, supporting the pixel side, we have:


When I first read about Mark Cousins' mammoth (5-DVD, 915-minute) documentary2 series I made a mental note to give it a while for the price to reduce. So I've just paid an entirely reasonable £14-25 which works out at about 1.5 pence per minute. Cool, or what?



1  Yesterday's failure to find any cold roast chicken, let alone a convenient pack of my root veg, irritated me.
2  Which I did in "The Word" two years ago when they gave an entire page to this DVD set in the May 2012 issue of that much-missed (by me) magazine. This was about seven months after it had been sneaked out onto digital channel More4.