“Real Artists Ship”

Colin Johnson’s blog

Archive for July, 2015

A Wild Idea for Treating Infectious Diseases

Monday, July 13th, 2015

Engineer a variant on a disease which spreads quicker within the organism, so that it drives out the standard variant in its niche. Engineer this variant with a genetic “self-destruct” switch which can be triggered by a standard drug. Then superinfect the patient with the new variant, wait until the new variant has taken over, then apply the drug to remove the infection from the system.

How? (1)

Sunday, July 12th, 2015

If we are writing a program that takes four numbers, a, b, c, and d, and adds the four of them together, how do we know that (for example) writing the expression a+b is a good program fragment to write? If we could understand that sort of question in general, we would be a long way towards building a scalable system that could write code automatically.

The Unnamed (1)

Monday, July 6th, 2015

There ought to be a name for that special kind of sandwich that you make accidentally when you fold two bread rolls over in the wrong order, resulting in one roll with two top halves and one (slightly superior) roll with two bottom halves.

It is a measure of how bloody southern I have become that I refer to the damn things as “rolls” rather than “baps”

Way Off

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

It’s great that the bus stops just here, so that the sign looks like it says “Way Off Licence”.

Sign cut off so that it seems to read "way off licence"

Ironic (1)

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

Email. Subject: "What is the future for university staff unions?" "This message has no content."