Survey results: A question of (animal) life and death

A few weeks ago I posted a short survey via my Facebook page, asking readers to answer some questions relating to animal life and death. The idea was to test a few hypotheses I had been playing with relating to the different values we place on animal life. The main focus being that certain animals are valued far more highly in our society than others. The results of my survey can be found below. I will hold off on my comments for now, as I’m interested to see how people react… Continue reading »

Algernon, Runescape and the Game of Chance

About a decade ago, I was sat at home at my computer, fed up with Tiberian Sun, so playing Runescape instead.[1] Having successfully worked my way into the Champions’ Guild, I decided my next challenge was to work my way into the Mining Guild, where I hoped to ‘farm’ a decent income.[2]

To get into the Mining Guild, first you have reach Mining level 60 – a task which can take many weeks of hard labour in the mines of Runescape, mining Tin, Copper and Iron ore until the dwarfs deem you worthy of entering their sacred caverns. Continue reading »

‘They took our jobs!’: AI, robots and the future jobs market

I read with great interest today that Sir Anthony Seldon, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham, has claimed that AI will replace teachers in schools in the near future. As you might expect, the various media outlets have been inundated with comments from members of the public decrying there merest hint that that a machine could do a human job.

But is it really such a far-fetched idea? Continue reading »

My PhD: 1st year in review

As we near October and the start of another academic year, I thought I’d share some of my experiences and highlights from the first year of my PhD here at Lancaster University.

Looking over my notes, I have:

  • Read a lot of novels.
  • Spent a lot of time in the library.
    • And even more time typing in my room.
  • Held down multiple jobs:
    • Work for Student Based Services at Lancaster:
      • Weekly term-time newsletter to all students.
      • Edited an AUA Good Practice Guide.
      • Managed and published a book of condolence.
    • Migrated the Graduate College’s website to a new CMS with new dynamic templates.
      • Also assisted Bowland College in finishing off their own website as well.
    • Continued to work a day a week for the IT department at CCCU.
  • Helped start the TTAC21 research group, and made significant contributions to blog articles and face-to-face meetings.
  • Learnt some interesting things in diverse disciplines include: law, ethics, cognitive psychology, philosophy, cultural studies, history, and military / war studies.
  • Joined the Sci Fi and Fantasy Anonymous Reading Group.
  • Helped organise this year’s AHRC North West postgraduate conference.
  • Attended several conferences and workshops.
    • Gave papers at two conference inc. the CRSF in Liverpool and the Iredell Law Conference, here in Lancaster. (With more to come later this year…)
  • Met some really smart people.
  • Written and contributed to a host of blogs and blog discussions including:
  • Expanded my social media profile.
  • Visited some interesting literary places, including:
    • Whitby (Dracula)
    • Grasmere (final resting place of William Wordsworth)
    • Haworth (home of the Brontës)
  • Seen a whole host of world-class musicians at Lancaster Arts and the Liverpool Philharmonic.
  • Started work on my first joint paper.

Continue reading »