A geeky argument for equality

Suppose you accept the idea of the singularity, that we’ll pretty soon come to a point where machine intelligence equals and then surpasses human intelligence (or if not pretty soon, then at some point in the future if we don’t first destroy ourselves), what would the consequences of that be? Who would be running the […]

What is green energy?

This term gets used a lot in stats: how much of our energy is green? How much of Denmark’s or Germany’s or China’s or France’s? It depends what you consider green. Most people would I think imagine that green energy means renewables. If a company said it invested in green energy projects, would you be […]

Emotion vs. rationalism in the US presidential election

I watched the most frightening panorama programme I’ve ever seen just now  on the possibility of Donald Trump becoming president. Hillary Clinton may have many flaws but I think she’s very much the one on the side of rationalism in this election. Trump could become the most powerful person in the world ffs and what can […]

Why do greens oppose fracking?

I suppose the question most greens would ask is why would anyone in their right mind be in favour of fracking? Haven’t they heard of climate change? (And perhaps some young greens, whilst agreeing with the sentiment, would suggest we shouldn’t use the term right mind as that’s a slur on the mentally ill (And […]

Postcard from COP21

Dear Readers I hope you’re both well. It’s a nice warm sunny day here in Paris, from where the big news is that there’s a significant push to increase the ambition and limit the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees rather than 2 degrees, which would probably make today’s weather here in Paris illegal. The […]

Thoughts on the train to Paris

Not sure why I’m going. The climate talks are happening, but I don’t suppose I’ll be able to get into any of the events. I’m not planning on standing outside demonstrating either, and I think demonstrations are banned here anyway. The people inside know there are people who care about climate change. They also know […]

The fear of genetic modification

Genetic modification is nothing to be afraid of. It’s just like dating. It used to be a pretty hit and miss affair. You’d show up at parties hoping to meet someone single, attractive and attracted to you. You’d invariably be disappointed. But now, with online dating, you can browse a load of profiles, get hooked […]

Evidence and altruism

Evidence is our connection with reality. Without evidence our ideas are just prejudices floating around in a non-existent ether, a bit like Sandra Bullock in Gravity. Evidence is on the outside and has to be accessed. You have to go and get it. You can’t intuit it and it’s not just going to drop down […]

Lessons from Ebola

Outbreak: The Truth About Ebola, BBC TV – 4th June 2015 They reckon it was started by bats. Some children show the camera the tree where they found the bats. That was before people started dying, one of the children said. When people started dying in the village, many of those who could leave did […]

How do you talk about climate change?

Should we even be talking about it? People obviously don’t want to talk about it so maybe we should respect their wishes. Why force them to talk about something they don’t want to talk about? Everyone’s in favour of green stuff anyway so what is there to talk about? Climate change is really bad! Who […]