These GERS Charts Show an Independent Scotland is Viable

We can see from this chart that oil revenue is essentially zero, down from a high of around £12 billion. This is as bad as it can get in terms of oil revenue and has obviously had an impact on our finances. Still, while it may not get any better, at least it can’t get … read more »

Ockham’s Razor and the Internet of Things

Do not multiply entities beyond necessity. This famous philosophical principle, attributed to William of Ockham, has been hugely influential throughout western thought and can be recognised in the modern acronym KISS (keep it simple stupid). Simplicity isn’t always preferable to complexity but in fields like science, engineering and design Ockham’s razor is a good principle … read more »

Why the Turing Test Fails

The Turing test is widely regarded as a key test of artificial intelligence. The implications of the test are controversial but essentially it purports to tell whether a machine can think based on its ability to imitate a human in a short conversation. This is an extremely bad test of artificial intelligence for the following … read more »

Are we at the End of Capitalism?

Thomas Pickety’s Capital recently caused a stir rarely seen for an economics textbook. Analysing vast amounts of historical information Pickety produced strong evidence that the power of capital has been steadily increasing over the last few decades, and will continue to increase into the future. Channel 4 Economics Editor Paul Mason, however, thinks the death … read more »

Should we be Surprised if Royals are Nazis?

Seeing the six year old Elizabeth II give a Nazi salute most people are rightly pointing out that a six year old can’t be expected to understand the implications. But why should we be surprised if royals hold nazi views? Is there really a large philosophical difference between monarchism and nazism? monarchism: belief that certain … read more »