Category Archives: Better world

Sorry, Watson, but I’m not impressed

When my favourite chat app (used by myself and over a billion other people) figures out all by itself when to use autocomplete and when not to use it, then I will be impressed by machine learning, artificial intelligence, or whatever term you prefer to use. At this moment its performance is nowhere near what I consider to be genuinely intelligent, as it is even unable to figure out which language I am chatting in (although the language of the chat sessions typically depends on the person I am chatting with, so that should be a solid hint for a so-called intelligent system). Obviously I can Continue reading

My address is an email address

Message to the world: if you want to make sure that a message you have might for me reaches me in a proper and timely way… send it by email, not as a letter. Especially if you are a government agency or a supplier of a service or utility and expect some kind of response/action/payment from my side.

The circumstances of my personal and professional life have evolved in such a way that I spend large chunks of time in multiple locations. But that also implies Continue reading

Logical fallacies – download the free poster now!

poster
Please spend a minute or two to have a look at this wonderful initiative from Jesse Richardson, an ad guy who decided to finally use the skills he developed while working in advertising for something useful: a website that lists a number of common logical fallacies in a very user-friendly way. On the site you can also download – for free – the poster you see here. A perfect tool for the development of critical thinking, which will no doubt help to uncover half truths and fake news!

After having downloaded your own copy, please do make an extra effort to point out this initiative to your family and friends, especially if you know people working in education. Both the website and the poster are published under a creative commons license, so all of the material can be used at will.

The website & poster are available in various languages, such as:

Englishhttps://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/

Germanhttps://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/de

Frenchhttps://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/fr

Spanishhttps://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/es

And since this week also in Dutch (which is where I got involved, as I made the tranlation into Dutch): https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/nl

Case closed

3309242242_ef330b9887_b-1“Your case has been closed” is a sentence you come across from time to time in the process of interacting with a helpdesk team. And in normal circumstances you feel pretty good when that sentence is presented to you, as it typically implies that your problem has been fixed. If, however, that particular sentence – in a case I have recently experienced myself – is the opening sentence of the very first reply you get after submitting a question, you will agree with me that this is far away from what is commonly understood as normal circumstances. Continue reading

3 Things I said goodbye to in 2016

Some years go by without a lot of reasons for them to be remembered in great detail afterwards. 2016 will not be one of those years – for readers in the distant future: google ‘Brexit’ or ‘Trump’. Looking back to what happened in my personal everyday life, it turns out to have been a year of saying goodbye to some things. Continue reading

Adventures in unsubscribing

4143515608_b1e023af24_bWhenever I decide to dig into some or other subject matter, I end up being subscribed to several email newsletters, as you often cannot download a piece of content that appears to be interesting (but half of the time turns out not to be – let’s call that the movie-trailer-phenomenon) without submitting your email address. Obviously I could set up Continue reading