2014 — 17 October: Friday

I had thought1 my new, sealed unit, double-glazed sliding patio door would render condensation a Thing of the Past. Not so, this morning. It must have been very humid out there overnight. As far as I can tell, all the moisture is on the outside of the outer pane which is doubtless a Good Thing.

More Mozart (this time the finale of 'Eine, Kleine, Nachtmusik') to accompany my first cuppa and prep me for the shock of the 8 o'clock news.

Free Will?

Or should that be "free won't"? I read the following piece before noting who had written it, too. Source and tiny snippet:

There are three main sources for the scientists' unsettling "discoveries." First, there is the putative timing of subjects' decisions. This line of thought grew out of the work of the neurologist Benjamin Libet in the 1980s, which seemed to show that our brains made decisions before we, the conscious agents resident in those brains, could put in our oars.2

Daniel Dennett in Prospect

He's reviewing a new book by Alfred Mele — "Free: Why Science Hasn't Disproved Free Will". The Templeton Foundation has put up $4.4 million to support Mele's work. Now that's interesting.

I note...

... the following baby steps in what certainly seems to me to be the 'right' direction:

Assisted dying

It's what dear Mama asked for every time I visited her back when she could still express ideas. She no longer can express ideas, but I doubt her wishes have changed. My power of attorney nonetheless is very limited; yet the guvmint still sends her voter registration material on the assumption she's an adult capable of making an informed decision in that area at least. Incredible.

As a long-time fan...

... of one of the very best TV shows ever made, this is awfully enticing. I can still recall my sense of outrage when I learned, via the Interweb thingy back in December 1995, of its untimely demise. I had by then twice written to Channel 4 to praise their acquisition and encourage their continued transmission of it. Still, I now have every episode safely at my fingertips — in a manner of speaking.


I'm just back from a small-scale expotition to replenish some foodstuffs (in between what look like being frequent showers today) in case last weekend's intended visit (postponed by a pair of heavy colds, or worse) transmutes into a repeat attempt this weekend by Peter and his g/f.

I've also just reminded myself that it's now two years since I consciously decided to visit dear Mama less frequently, and one year since I jumped through the 'easy-peasy' hoop of upgrading to Win8.1 Pro. A mere half an hour since a spot of telephone printer consulation for Iris (whose latest attempt came out slightly bigger than a postage stamp despite her having "done nothing" since the last, successful, printout).

And looking forward, I have another lunch date today, though (alas) the plague flag still flaps on the roof of the Figg Tea'n'Biccie Emporium that is a reliable safe haven for a Friday afternoon respite. Eileen's cough is very well embedded, it seems.

The latest...

... incarnation of J Edgar Hoover is on a charm offensive:

We are struggling to keep up with changing technology and to maintain our ability to actually collect the communications we are authorized to intercept.
And if the challenges of real-time interception threaten to leave us in the dark, encryption threatens to lead all of us to a very dark place.

James B Comey in his speech

Erm, well, he would say that, wouldn't he? Bruce Schneier has a different view. "It's all bluster."


... from lunch (Fisher's Pond again!). Followed by a post-lunch chat and file exchange.

Followed by another call for help and consequent trip over to Iris, to show her how to sort out her online banking, file backups, and system image backups, fail to find where to set Adobe Flash Player to do its updating thing without her having to intervene, update Firefox and then find where it has tucked away its printer control icon, tidy up her bookmarks, make sure her emails (when printed from her web browser session with AOL) arrive at her printer somewhat larger than the postage stamp size she'd somehow managed to achieve this morning. Borrow a couple of her books before they get to a charity shop. Drink her supply of tea. Snaffle the rest of the choccie biscuits she'd laid on just for me.

So now, not entirely to my surprise, it's pitch dark out there, has somehow become 19:51, and I'd better grab a quick bite to eat.



1  Vaguely.
2  Beautifully illustrated I think (or, at least, I like to think I think) by this snippet of crafty dialogue from Mike Walker's 2001 Sony Award winning radio drama "Alpha".