Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Levels of equality

What is the optimum level of inequality? Few people that I have encountered support absolute material equality, but if they do not support this, is it not incumbent on them to hold an opinion on the optimum level of material distribution? Should there be an upper limit on the income of the highest earners as a multiple of the lowest earners? It is suggested that income disparity motivates people in a meritocratic society - is the meritocratic benefit proportional to income disparity? Or will the meritocratic benefit begin to level out for an increasing level of income disparity?

It's all about...

I have had several epiphanies along the lines of "it's all about..." and it occurs to me that I should collect them. The two that I can recall are: it's all about control; and it's all about data. What I mean by an "it's all about" is an aspect that is common to many parts of life.

Control - I mean control in the internal control sense of the word: systems and processes, checks and balances, locks, etc that enable management to control the business. The reason it's an "it's all about" is that this kind of control takes up a huge amount of the resource in our society: we spend a fortune trying to prevent behaviour (whether accidental or deliberate) that we want to avoid.

Data - the reason data is an "it's all about" is that so many of the problems we encounter in society are the result of people making decisions without knowing the likely outcomes. Whilst it's not possible to predict the future, there is a huge amount of past experience and scientific data that we could use in making a decision but don't. The reason is that we cannot process that huge volume of data.

Friday, 11 September 2009

Films generated from computer games

Making a film from a computer game would perhaps be the easiest (and most fun) way to make a film. All that would be necessary would be to record the game like a video from each player's perspective, cut it together and add some music. Multiplayer online games may be the best source of material as there would be no copyright infringement of the plot of the game. Unfortunately, there would still be copyright infringement of the graphics of the game, which would be the major sticking point. However, computer games companies should recognise that a high-quality fan-made movie of their game (particularly a multiplayer online game) would act as free promotional material. In fact, they could even host a competition for fans to produce the best movie.

Arrogance and meekness

Be arrogant in standing up for what you believe in; be meek in respect your own importance and abilities.

Fisheye video cameras

Is it possible to film video with a fisheye lens? It strikes me that films often fail to replicate an individual's viewpoint, perhaps this could remedy that.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

War Game

Michael Foreman's War Game is a very moving book, which definitely deserves to be made into a movie. The only improvement I would make is to completely mirror the story on both sides to show that both were as innocent and evil as the other. The movie would start with two football matches being played, one in England, one in Germany. Each group of friends would sign up, go to the trenches and become disillusioned. The two groups would first meet playing that historic game in no man's land. And they would next meet, and all die, in battle.

Bath of little abrasive magnetic balls

One of the best ways of cleaning an object is to immerse it in a bath of solvent or cleaning chemical. But such solvents and chemicals can be bad for the environment, so we fall back on elbow-grease type cleaning. Obviously this is a bit laborious, so perhaps the object in question could be immersed in a bath of little abrasive (but not too abrasive - perhaps plastic coated) balls. A fast-occillating magnetic field is applied to the bath, which jiggles the balls, which clean the surface. As the balls are small, and act like a fluid, all surfaces of the object (including difficult to reach ones) would be cleaned.

Heavy cup

People joke about exercising their drinking arm. Perhaps someone should design some very heavy cups to actually give drinkers some exercise.