Monday, October 29, 2012

Personal Ad

In a recent discussion of eugenics, someone pointed out that there are sperm banks selling donor sperm by donor type, so you can choose a tall sporty white father with blond hair and a PhD. The service is expensive and a little impersonal. I reckon I can undercut these people.

Ladies! High-IQ Donor Sperm, Delivered Direct to your Ovaries!

Good Looking Cambridge Graduates of Immaculate Caucasian Ancestry, Proven Sporting and Earning Ability, and above-averagish height await your call. No Gingers.

Donation sessions tailored to your preference at our standard rate of only £60/hour!! . Sadly no appointments are possible before lunch but we do go on until long after midnight if necessary.

Conceive in the privacy of your own home, or call at our floating clinic.

(!) For reasons of confidentiality donors will be heavily disguised throughout the procedure, pretend to be called Ivan, and claim to be from Paraguay.

(!!) ( + VAT and taxi fare from central Cambridge if not easily cycleable )

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Gis Job (£500 reward)

Anyone in Cambridge need a programmer? I'll give you £500 if you can find me a job that I want.

I make my usual promise:

If, within the next six months, I take a full-time job which lasts longer than one month, and that is not obtained through an agency, then on the day the first cheque from that job cashes, I'll give £500 to the person who provided the crucial introduction.

If there are a number of people involved somehow, then I'll apportion it fairly between them. And if the timing conditions above are not quite met, or someone points me at a short contract which the £500 penalty makes not worth taking, then I'll do something fair and proportional anyway.

And this offer applies even to personal friends, and to old contacts whom I have not got round to calling yet, and to people who are themselves offering work, because why wouldn't it?

And obviously if I find one through my own efforts then I'll keep the money. But my word is generally thought to be good, and I have made a public promise on my own blog to this effect, so if I cheat you you can blacken my name and ruin my reputation for honesty, which is worth much more to me than £500.

Anyhow, if you're interested in helping out, my CV is at

And I also make the following boast:

I know all styles of programming and many languages, and can use any computer language you're likely to use in the style which it was intended to be used in.

I have a particular facility with mathematical concepts and algorithms of all kinds. I can become very interested in almost any problem which is hard enough that I can't solve it easily.

I have a deserved reputation for being able to produce heavily optimized, but nevertheless bug-free and readable code, but I also know how to hack together sloppy, bug-ridden prototypes, and I know which style is appropriate when, and how to slide along the continuum between them.

I've worked in telecoms, commercial research, banking, university research, chip design companies, server virtualization, a couple of startups, and occasionally completely alone.

I've worked on many sizes of machine. I've written programs for tiny 8-bit microcontrollers and gigantic servers, and once upon a time every IBM machine in one building in Imperial College was running my partial differential equation solvers in parallel in the background.

I'm smart and I get things done. I'm confident enough in my own abilities that if I can't do something I admit it and find someone who can.

I know what it means to understand a thing, and how to go about understanding a new thing, and I know when I know something. If I understand a thing then I can usually find a good way to communicate it to other people.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Correlation vs Causation

Stolen from Less Wrong

Correlation correlates with Causation, because Causation causes Correlation

Monday, October 1, 2012

Shangri-La Diet : Results for Third Month : Fail?

Now I'm confused. For this last month I tried modifying this by drinking water just after the oil, so it didn't leave any aftertaste.

As far as I could tell, this worked a treat, I had practically no appetite, and I got thinner. This despite doing literally no exercise this month as I've damaged my knee. I have been smoking quite a lot though, since I took my narrowboat cruising and steering a boat is much more fun with a cigar in one hand.

About a week ago I noticed that my belt was beginning to need to go in a notch, and I figured by the end of the month it would be comfortably on notch four.

But it isn't. In fact I seem to have swelled a bit. But my appetite is not back. In fact I'm finding it a bit difficult to believe that I'm eating anywhere near the number of calories I need to maintain my current weight.

Still, updating beliefs for notch 3/appetite loss:

H 77: W 10: S 13

likelihoods of observed results (clearly a win for helplessness and a defeat for willpower):

H 50/203 : W 5/134 : S 25/134

posteriors, rounded

H87 : W2 : S11

So the usual willpower theory of weight control, having made consistently inaccurate predictions as to the effect of deliberately eating extra calories, is getting annihilated as far as I'm concerned. But helplessness is slowly edging out Shangri-La, since although my belt measurement has gone down over the last three months, it's been stable twice and only dropped once.

I'll keep doing this for at least another month, and I'll keep the same protocol and predictions as last month.