AI-generated (stable diffusion) ge of "cyclon writing with a pen".

The sporadic blog of David J A Cooper. I write sci-fi, teach software engineering, and occasionally say related (or not related) things.

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  • Look everyone, I’m being ethical

    It is the fate of all blogs and media outlets to weigh in on #GamerGate at some point. Let’s not pretend now that I stand apart from the Global Media Conspiracy — we all know I’m in it up to my eyebrows. It has unfolded in a kind of frantic, ongoing information disaster of the…

  • Insulting Islam

    I came to know of Uthman Badar recently via the news that his talk at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas, titled “Honour Killings are Justified”, had been called off. It’s certainly a provocative title. My instinct was not to take it at face value, and Badar himself said it would be “ludicrous”, but it’s difficult…

  • Don’t mock George Brandis

    He’s trying to be intellectual. In fact, today’s xkcd comic about free speech is delightfully well-timed, considering yesterday’s remarks by George Brandis about free speech in an online magazine called Spiked. The magazine quotes Brandis as follows: He isn’t a climate-change denier; he says he was ‘on the side of those who believed in anthropogenic global…

  • WA senate election 2014: allegiances

    At first glance, it’s difficult to make much of the group voting ticket (GVT) data. One of the most important bits of information, I feel, is whether each party preferences the Liberals before or after Labor. Or, to ask a slightly more complicated question, how does each party rank the most likely winners? The answer would…

  • WA senate election 2014: GVT rankings

    The senate group voting tickets (GVTs) for the 2014 WA Senate election have now been released in CSV form. This allows me to do what I did last time. First, here are the median positions of each party among all parties’ preferences: We’ve lost a few parties since last time: One Nation; the Australian Independents;…

  • Democracy sausage 2014

    In 2013, a small group of geeks, including myself, began mapping the locations of sausage sizzles and cake stalls on election day. So far we’ve done this for the 2013 federal and West Australian state elections. We were interviewed briefly on ABC local radio. [brushes hair back heroically] It turns out that these elections just…

  • Sorry Tony, you fail the Turing Test

    It’s election time again, and that means its also incoherent-shouting-about-taxes time. Tony Abbott is quick off the block, claiming that “the carbon tax and the mining tax are anti Western Australian taxes.” It’s almost too drearily, predictably inane a comment to warrant analysis. But one of Abbott’s skills, I now realise, is his soul-crushing dreariness, the…

  • Teaching SE: code as design

    Software engineering lecturers have some misconceptions to grapple with — students’ certainly, but also our own. One is this: we have tried to carve out an unambiguous [1]Well, sort of. We occasionally pay lip service to the concept of an overlap. distinction between software design and software implementation. In a previous post, I discussed a 2nd-year unit that historically…

  • Fred Singer’s climate consensus denial

    So I read with some bewilderment [1]In the naïve sense of one who expects intellectual honesty. a recent article by Professor S. Fred Singer on climate change. It jumps around a bit but mostly tries to attack the idea of scientific consensus. Singer’s logic leads from platitudes like this: Scientific veracity does not depend on fashionable…

  • Pre-emptive fact busting

    I have a theory (or, really, two theories) about what goes through Tony Abbott’s mind in situations like this. The context, so as not to get too far ahead of myself, is that Indonesian doctors appear to be treating burns of asylum seekers who claim mistreatment at the hands of the Australian Navy, as they…