Archive for Big Brother

Cosmology Big Brother

Posted in Television, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , on August 17, 2018 by telescoper

I saw on Twitter today that the new series of Celebrity Big Brother has just started, though looking at the list of inmates housemates, I’m not sure whether the producers of this show understand the meaning of the word `celebrity’. At any rate, I’ve never heard of most of them.

I get the feeling that the Big Brother franchise may be getting a little tired, so I thought I’d pitch a new variant in order to boost the flagging ratings.

In Cosmology Big Brother a group of wannabe cosmologists live together in a specially-constructed house (with lots of whiteboards) isolated from the outside world (i.e. the arXiv). As the series progresses the furniture and rooms are gradually moved further apart, the temperature of the central heating is turned down, and the contents of the house become progressively more disordered.

Housemates are regularly voted out, at which point they have to enter the `real world’ (i.e. get a job in data science). Eventually only one person remains and whoever that is is awarded a research grant. They can then spend the rest of their life combining their study of cosmology with the usual activities of a Big Brother winner, e.g. opening supermarkets.

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The Communications Data Bill is both Stupid and Wrong

Posted in Politics with tags , , , on June 14, 2012 by telescoper

No time for a lengthy post today, but then again I don’t think this topic merits one.

The government’s draft Communications Data Bill has now been published. The measures contained in this Bill would allow the security services to snoop at will on emails, web browsing, social network sites, internet phone calls, etc.

In other words it will give the government license to pry into personal communications between law-abiding individuals without any need for a warrant. The potential for abuse is obvious, so much so that it can only have been drafted by a government that intends to abuse it if and when it becomes law. It’s yet another deliberate erosion of our civil liberties and a further step towards a totalitarian state. Big Brother is here.

On top of all that, the proposed law is also entirely useless. All the measures proposed can be circumvented by anyone with even a rudimentary knowledge of IT. Even me. It won’t catch criminals, at least not important ones, because they’ll know the (easy) ways around it. This law will simply be used by the government to spy on anyone it doesn’t like the look of.

And that could be you.