Thursday, May 28, 2009

Work In Progress...

Indy: Matthew Norman

Why shouldn't we have a written constitution?

Because the harm that Political Scripture does to free debate is plainly evident from the USA. The principles may seem enlightened on paper, but all they actually seem to achieve is to allow great chunks of genuine political discourse to be walled off as 'unconstitutional'.

To presume that our generation has reached some political Rubicon does a pernicious disservice to those to follow. Beyond the tenets of International Law, everything should be open to question, even where the most basic consensus exists. If we codify the mores of early 20th-Century society into a gospel for the future, surely we politically hamstring the generations to come..?

Friday, May 08, 2009

The Derivatives Market

Why do pictures of the US president cost less than maps of the UK? |

An issue worth highlighting, I think.

I was trying to produce maps for local authority websites way back in the 1990s, when I first tripped over the fact that the Ordnance Survey - to all intents and purposes - owns a copyright on what Britain actually looks like.

They will protest about the costs of their research, or course - although the point about NASA will make them look a bit silly doing so. But more salient is that the White House photography is a product of artistic creativity, whereas OS maps - however well-designed - are merely representations of physical fact.

It's odd that the USA, of all places, should be giving us a lesson in the philosophy of intellectual property. But there it is.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

If At 46,831st You Don't Succeed...

In my 41st year, I've finally found a version of "Pac-Man" that I can get to Level 5 on! I just knew there was one out there somewhere.

Yes, Atari 8-bit Paccers (for the XL/XE series computers, not the VCS consoles) has ghosts so hospitably stupid that I was able to get this screen up after only a few attempts; five fruits means five levels, wa-hey! In your face, lifelong ambition!

Next up; I need to find a piece of software so dumb it can lose to me at chess. It might just be necessary to write it myself, but for now I keep searching...