Monthly Archives February 2005

real wealth?

…In the US, the corporations have been the biggest winner – they are now getting more working hours per family, and for much the same wage costs in real terms. In 1970, it took one parent to pay for a lifestyle that in 2000 takes two. ‘Please don’t be like me’ : Top career women […]

links for 27th Feb 2005

Report on recent Sheffield Social Forum meet Aikido: Ezra sensei provides to clips of him doing techniques including this arial view of ikkyo Give some money to campaign against the arms trade Realistic Species Losses Disproportionately Reduce Grassland Resistance to Biological Invaders Erika S. Zavaleta and Kristin B. Hulvey, Article in Science Note to self: […]

Questions &Answers with Akira Tohei, 8th dan

From, an interview which includes Then should sempai say nothing when practicing, only demonstrate? Yes, a verbal explanation is not the best. There are times when it is necessary, but it should not be the first impulse. If you talk too much, you are not a teacher, not a sempai. Students mistakenly try to […]

power and the people

[Local interest warning] Excellent article on Sheffield Indymedia about the Burngreave Masterplan (which involves regenerating the area by knocking it down and building a supermarket over it, as far as I can tell). Let the People Decide! (Says planning minister…) Interesting to those of us in Sheffield, and perhaps also anyone who wonders about city […]

Links for 24th of Feb 2005

Political Futurists and Radical and Utopian SF Authors Real player in firefox The creation of real culture is messy, dirty, random, sporadic, agitational and unpredictable Jim Crace’s secrets of success as a writer and Part Two. Read Outlook Express DBX files (without outlook) AN emergency medicine specialist has given himself an 80th birthday present with […]

what can functional neuroimaging tell the experimental psychologist

This perhaps of interest to those of us who worry about such things: Henson, R. (2005). What can functional neuroimaging tell the experimental psychologist? The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 58A(2), 193?233. abstract I argue here that functional neuroimaging data?which I restrict to the haemodynamic techniques of fMRI and PET?can inform psychological theorizing, provided one […]

We all got holes to fill

Townes Van Zandt said We all got holes to fill, And them holes are all that’s real, Some fall on you like a storm, sometimes you dig your own. She said: I wonder what it feels like to have holes falling on you? He said: I think having holes fall on you feels just like […]

Swarm intelligence

If this does everything it says on the tin [abstract] then it’s very exciting indeed. I shall put it here in lieu of actually having time to read it right now. If anyone does, let me know how it goes Social Cognitive Maps, Swarm Perception and Distributed Search on Dynamic Landscapes, CVRM-IST 127E-2005 technical report, […]

David Eats Cake

We had a housewarming party. Dan helped David to eat some chocolate cake (Thanks for the cake Rose!). This is what the result looked like:

Dear Richard Caborn

Richard Caborn MP for Sheffield Central House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA Dear Richard Caborn, I noticed that you haven’t signed EDM 515 concerning ‘Local services and facilities’. It is important to me that we support local communities and local business. Please let me know if you will be signing this bill, and if so […]

Links for 18th of Feb 05

Nice, if only to see someone on the left properly delivering some smackdown to someone on the right Canadian government pushes GM terminator seeds Nature are now publishing science fiction. Really. (by Ken MacLeod) Straight talk about Cherokee tradition Laughing disrupts illusions that rely on binocular rivalry laughter causes greater hemispheric integratation?? Two very different […]

descriptions and explanations

We are so often drawn to describe the world, we are so comfortable with this, we enjoy good descriptions so much, that we can believe that we have explained things. Descriptions explain nothing. Descriptions are not understanding. Many descriptions can be true of the same thing. Explainations are exclusive. Many things might be true. Science […]

Quote #85

Dear Toby Jon told me this quote, and it made us think of you. Tom “Before you criticise someone first walk a mile in their shoes.” “Then when you criticise them you will be a mile away. And have their shoes…”

Quote #84

Studies of hunter-gatherers have shown that some only need to work for 2 hours a day to support themselves. One Bushman, when asked why he hadn’t emulated neighbouring tribes by adopting agriculture, replied, “Why should we, when there are so many mongongo nuts in the world?” The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human […]

the drawing power of crowds

Milgram, Bickerman and Berkowitz (1969) found that if one person stood in a Manhattan street gazing at a sixth floor window, 20% of pedestrians looked up; if five people stood gazing 80% of people looked up Ref: Argyle, M., & Cook, M. (1976). Gaze and Mutual Gaze. New York: Cambridge University Press. Milgram, Bickerman & […]

Who wept at the romance of the streets

Dear Neil I read this and thought of you. Hope all is well Tom

Links for 9 February 2005

How to explain firewalls to your dad… (or at least to Mike Dewar’s Dad) Excellent review of ‘Mind Hacks’ Someday, I Will Copyedit The Great American Novel (The Onion) How a minority of [slave trade] abolitionists won over the majority (Economist book review) How to stop other people getting in the way of a good […]

Mind Hacks URL

The Mind Hacks URL is But there is also a page hosted by the publisher (which shows some samples) at

Trackbacks blocked

I’ve just disabled trackbacks to this site (because of a flood of trackback spam). I’ll set them back on once i’ve figured out how to install MT-Blacklist

yikes! World Bank policy update

From The Bretton Woods Project The latest World Bank publication on agricultural trade finds that a “development strategy based on agricultural commodity exports is likely to be impoverishing in the current policy environment”. How this finding will be reconciled with twenty-five years of policy advice and loan conditions to the contrary is unclear. !!!