Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Double Counting


I just heard a comment that all the money people spend on cigarettes would suffice to pay for inoculating the entire world population against the corona virus. In Britain at least most of the money people spend on tobacco goes to the Government in taxes and so is already available for whatever good deed the Government is inclined to perform, so persuading smokers to give up, though in itself highly desirable, would not solve the problem of corona virus.

Tuesday, 29 September 2020

10 pm Closing


A uniform closing time is producing crowds of garrulous people outside recently closed pubs and restaurants. Total closure of such establishments would make things difficult for people who travel for work or other good reasons. I suggest that we should instead allow eating places to remain open as long as they like, but forbid them to sell alcohol. I believe that sober people would behave less recklessly than tipsy revelers.

We do have alcohol limits for drivers. Why not for everyone in a public place? Those wishing to drown their inhibitions could do so at home, and have virtual pub crawls in a specially designed computer game. 

Saturday, 26 September 2020

Rationing Toilet Paper


I spotted a news item to the effect that some supermarkets are restricting customers to at most three packets of toilet paper. I wonder how they measure the quantity. Toilet paper seems to be sold in packs  ranging in size from two rolls to at least 16. It would be strange to condemn someone buying four packets of two rolls as greedier than someone else who buys one packet of 16.

 Buying four small packets would indeed be odd. but odd cases are often good tests of rules.

Friday, 25 September 2020

Da Home Sexy


Thus did the BBC sub-title algorithm transcribe 'The Home Secretary' . I've often wondered whether the algorithm is embodied in an AI or a human. Whichever it is, it provides me with a good deal of amusement.

Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Paising HTML

I've recently been brushing up my Maths by reading old text books. A great obstacle to understanding is the need to follow references of the form:

'see example 4 following theorem 2 in section 9'

Usually such references contain no page numbers, and section numbers are shown only on the first page of each section, not at the heads of individual pages. I need a bookmark to keep my place, and even then by the time I've shuffled through numerous pages to locate the reference I've often forgotten why I needed it.

In an html document one simply clicks on the reference, and there is it. The BACK key returns on to the original. There are many reasons for publishing online, but the ease of cross referencing is rarely mentioned.

Thursday, 17 September 2020

Bibulous Loquacity


I worry about the likely consequences of reopening public Houses. The core activity of those institutions is the consumption of alcoholic drinks, and many people drink in pubs to meet people they don't meet elsewhere.

Alcohol reduces inhibitions and slackens self control making 'social distancing' harder to maintain. Voices are often raised and raucous laughter is common. The louder the talk and laughter, the more copious the accompanying emissions of infected droplets. 

Pubs are best avoided. Drink only in your bubble!