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Sunday, 27 November 2011

And now I am on steam wireless—again

Another side of my persona: aside from wandering in vast wildernesses like that on the right, I am an old educator (well that will come as a complete surprise, I don't think, if you have been reading these pages).  I also write books, and I haunt libraries.

Add to that my long history with computers, which began in 1963 when punched paper tape was a modern form of input.

I am also a former bureaucrat and as a management consultant, spent some time doing fraud investigation, so I have a short patience span when it comes to would-be pole climbers who seek to wreck the status quo, so that they can later point proudly to the carnage and say "I created that."

All of these elements come together in a thoughtful piece that I delivered today on ABC Radio National, called A Question of Collaboration.

For a certain period of time, you will be able to listen to it, and after that, you will be able to read it.

I have made many contributions to Ockham's Razor since 1985, and you can find most of them here.

I can't see any way to attach an mp3 file to this blog, but I will play with it, once iTunes has gathered it in as a podcast.  You can subscribe to the podcasts here.

(Later addendum: I looked too soon—the ABC elves have since added a link so people can download the file.  It will be there until about Christmas day.)

I could do worse than quote from the program's own About Us page:

William of Ockham was an English monk, philosopher, theologian and probable victim of the Black Death, who provided the scientific method with its key principle 700 years ago.

'What can be done with fewer assumptions is done in vain with more,' he said. That is, in explaining any phenomenon, we should use no more explanatory concepts than are absolutely necessary.

Well, for both broadcasting and for science, simplicity should never be despised. Our program, named after William, consists of a short introduction followed by a scripted talk. Just that, week after week.

This program allows thoughtful people to have their say without pesky interviewers interrupting, or someone of opposite views turning the exercise into a joust. There are times when a speaker needs a clear run, some proper control, and this is what Ockham's Razor provides. 

Have a listen or a read, and see what you think.  You need to get to the very end.  In the picture above, Chris snapped me while I was  looking for scorpions on the edge of the Sahara.

By a curious chance, my talk, like a scorpion, has a sting in its tail.

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