Month: October 2002

blather.net
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Day Back in London... A city I can appreciate on many levels, but can never quite warm to. My last visit had been in 1999 or 2000, probably for a Fortean Times UnConvention. My lightning-raid incursions tend to happen over weekends of busy intensity, so I'm perhaps unqualified to judge the place. Besides, the denizens seem to be managing quite well with out me. London provides a home to several of my friends. Mark Pilkington, of the Strange Attractor posse, was involved in putting on Megalithomania in conjunction with Third Stone magazine, in Holborn's Conway Hall. A delegations of the Blather Inner Circle decided to attend. So we did. Mr. Kavanagh - Blather.net's Man In London - was up and gone early on Saturday morning, in order to catch John Michell's talk and to help out. The lovely Ms. Maria Behan and myself, after coffees and cake, sailed into Conway...

1175 views

Day Back in London... A city I can appreciate on many levels, but can never quite warm to. My last visit had been in 1999 or 2000, probably for a Fortean Times UnConvention. My lightning-raid incursions tend to happen over weekends of busy intensity, so I'm perhaps unqualified to judge the place. Besides, the denizens seem to be managing quite well with out me. London provides a home to several of my friends. Mark Pilkington, of the Strange Attractor posse, was involved in putting on Megalithomania in conjunction with Third Stone magazine, in Holborn's Conway Hall. A delegations of the Blather Inner Circle decided to attend. So we did. Mr. Kavanagh - Blather.net's Man In London - was up and gone early on Saturday morning, in order to catch John Michell's talk and to help out. The lovely Ms. Maria Behan and myself, after coffees and cake, sailed into Conway...

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Blather guest writer, Robby Garner, winner of the Loebner prize for two years running, explains how he failed this year's Turing test. Very impressive, as he is a human being. Apparently. The Loebner Prize Contest, founded by a guy named Dr. Hugh Loebner, is an annual "Turing test" based on an idea for a "lying game" that was envisioned in 1950 by the brilliant mathematician Alan Turing. In the lying game, a judge tries to guess whether he is communicating with a man or a woman. Dr. Loebner has created a contest where there can be no winner, only a consolation prize consisting of a bronze medal and USD$2,000. Hugh likes to tell the story of how he himself had tried to write an intelligent computer program in COBOL, or some other dead language, and saw that it couldn't be done. Instead, he put some money he had inherited into...