An Eccentric Anomaly

Ed Davies's Blog

Wider Encryption Considerations

Yesterday I wrote some comments on the UK government's response to a petition submitted to the parliament web site on encryption. Those comments were rather specific to the general technical issues with the response.

I'd also like to make some wider comments.


RevK's Encryption Petition

Adrian Kennard submitted a petition to the parliament web site asking (implicitly) that the government not ban strong encryption. I and about 11'000 others signed this petition so the government felt obliged to respond.

Regrettably, they didn't seem to feel the obligation to make much sense in the response.


SExpr: Parts Lists

The point, at least originally, of my SExpr mini-language is to make lists of parts so it's worth talking about those a bit.


SExpr: Indentation

My little Lisp-like SExpr language has significant indentation, that is indentation is used to delimit syntactic constructs (lists in this case). A bit about why and how.


Site Tweaks

I've just made a couple of tweaks to the way in which this site is served. They shouldn't have any harmful effects but if you notice anything wrong I'd be grateful if you could let me know.


Apparent Crowding

Something I noticed in the days when I often flew gliders and light aeroplanes over southern England was that the amount of green space around seemed much more when viewed from above than when travelling by road or rail.

There are sampling errors both ways at play.


Sunny Thurso


Met some friends for coffee by the river mouth in Thurso this morning then went for a little walk along the beach with their pug. It wasn't foggy. Or windy. Or cloudy. Or wet. The sun was bright (though, of course, low) and the air was (relatively) warm at about 13 or 14 °C.


Is Tony Blair a War Criminal?

Both more specifically and more generally: did Tony Blair, the rest of the British government, a large proportion of Parliament, a swathe of the civil and diplomatic services, the monarchy and the military commit a war crime through their involvement in the planning, preparation, initiation or execution of the 2003 invasion of Iraq?

IANAL and I'm struggling a bit with some of this stuff but I think that, strictly speaking, they did not though only because waging a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties is not a war crime but rather, to use the terminology of the Nuremberg trials as it has entered current international criminal law, a crime against peace. Rudolph Hess's conviction is a relevant case; he was found guilty of participating in waging aggressive war but not guilty of war crimes (or crimes against humanity).

The distinction is a bit pedantic but it does have unfortunate consequences for the legal situation in British law and for jurisdiction in international law.


Frame Bits

As forecast, this week has been quite a bit drier than last though gloomy with a lot of haar early on and pretty breezy later. After a bit of reorganization of stuff in the container I got on with making up a bit of the purlin frame.


SExpr: Internal Representation

SExpr lives in the same space as Peter Norvig's Lispy and Michael Nielsen's Tiddlylisp but the internal representation of S-expressions is just different enough to be worth writing down if only to give context to following blog posts on other aspects of the language.