This is the text of my keynote speech at the 34th Chaos Communication Congress in Leipzig, December You can also watch it on YouTube, but it runs to about 45 minutes. As a working science fiction novelist, I take a professional interest in how we get predictions about the future wrong, and why, so that I can avoid repeating the same mistakes.
One informal analysis suggests short first names are strongly correlated with higher salaries. They are bad in several ways, and modern glyphs are little better.
For example, v and w, or m and n. People confuse them all the time, both in reading and in writing. Even though they share relatively few pixels, they are still identical under rotation, and we can see that. We could confuse them if we were reading upside down, or at an angle, or just confuse them period.
OK, so we now have a set of unique and dissimilar glyphs that are unambiguous about their orientation. Well, we might want them to be easy to write as well as read.
How do we define easy to write? We could have a complicated physiological model about what strokes can easily follow what movements and so on, but we will cop out and say: Rather than unwritable pixels in a grid, our primitives will be little geometric primitives.
The fewer the primitives and the closer to integers or common fractions the positioning of said primitives, the simpler and the better. We throw all these rules in, add a random starting population or better yet a population modeled after the existing alphabet, and begin our genetic algorithm.
What 26 glyphs will we get? Dehaene describes some fascinating and convincing evidence for the first kind of innateness. In one of the most interesting chapters, he argues that the shapes we use to make written letters mirror the shapes that primates use to recognize objects.
After all, I could use any arbitrary squiggle to encode the sound at the start of Tree instead of a T. But actually the shapes of written symbols are strikingly similar across many languages.
It turns out that T shapes are important to monkeys, too.
When a monkey sees a T shape in the world, it is very likely to indicate the edge of an object - something the monkey can grab and maybe even eat.
A particular area of its brain pays special attention to those important shapes. Human brains use the same area to process letters. Dehaene makes a compelling case that these brain areas have been recycled We did not invent most of our letter shapes, he writes.
They lay dormant in our brains for millions of years, and were merely rediscovered when our species invented writing and the alphabet.
But who is to say that a butterfly could not dream of a man? You are not the butterfly to say so! Better to ask what manner of beast could dream of a man dreaming a butterfly, and a butterfly dreaming a man.The general strike in the United Kingdom was a general strike that lasted 9 days, from 3 May to 12 May It was called by the General Council of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) in an unsuccessful attempt to force the British government to act to prevent wage reduction and worsening conditions for million locked-out coal miners.
Misc thoughts, memories, proto-essays, musings, etc. And on that dread day, the Ineffable One will summon the artificers and makers of graven images, and He will command them to give life to their creations, and failing, they and their creations will be dedicated to the flames.
The war was hardly over, it was February , the IWW leadership was in jail, but the IWW idea of the general strike became reality for five days in Seattle, Washington, when a walkout of , working people brought the city to a halt.
In the summer of , the countryside stretching between the German city of Aachen and the industrial town of Dueren was beautiful and serine. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable attheheels.comced material may be challenged and removed.
(January ) (Learn how and when to remove this template message). The General Strike was called off for a number of reasons which I will outline in the following essay. I will assess sources A to F and see if there is enough evidence contained within them to explain why the T.U.C.
called off the General Strike.