Latest Posts

  • Do facts matter when discussing the EU?

    For the past couple of days, I’ve been competing in the inaugural EU Twitter Fight Club, where tweeps from different parts of the (notional) European public sphere have been trying to show off their tweeting ability (very broadly defined).  To call it a pleasure would be a stretch, but it’s certainly been informative for me, both in connecting to new individuals and in revisiting some old debates.

    One underlying theme that I’ve observed has been the relative importance of logic and emotion in the debating European integration. The launch of UKIP’s poster campaign on Tuesday was a case in point: on the one hand, the party tapped into anxiety about jobs and immigration, while simultaneously throwing figures behind it. Critics immediately pointed out the holes in those numbers and spoofed the posters, in turn producing counter-critiques from others sceptics (see the results here). Likewise, the reassuring face of a young woman in the (brief) manifesto – communicating the party’s openness and unstuffiness – was undermined by the discovery that she works as the party’s events manager.

  • 432 Hz So Good?

    Guitar Waves

     

    Hertz so Good?

    The resonating delusion of the 432Hz movement

    Milton Mermikides ©2014
    @miltonline

    Note: This is a repost of an article I wrote for my blog, but I felt it was particularly apt for the University of Surrey blog, with its ethos of interdisciplinary scholarship.

    There’s been a recent musical movement by a small but impassioned group of people advocating a change from 440Hz to 432Hz musical tuning. Proponents claim that tuning music to this frequency results in a more sonorous and ‘natural’ sound which will ultimately make everyone of us happier, peaceful and healthy. Tips of how to retune music libraries and instruments abound and the benefits of the adjustment are zealously extolled by advocates. These recommendations are often accompanied by claims that the prevailing 440Hz standardization has negative effects, as well as links to Nazi Germany. The Illumaniti have also been implicated (presumably in the guise of a political powerful and wealthy musical academia) who are hiding this ‘musical truth’ which ‘they don’t want you to know”. Any popular interest in musical analysis – the enquiry into the complex and beautiful mechanics which make music work – is rare and welcome, and new ideas, subversions and revolutions are the lifeblood of musical progress. All music traditions however fossilised today are built upon revolutionary ideas of the time, so this – as any other – movement which challenges the homogeneity in musical practice, wherever they arise deserves serious consideration.

  • “YOLO” – Don’t Write it Off Too Soon!

    By Alex Seal

    Love it or hate it, the popular saying “YOLO” (an acronym for You Only Live Once) has gained increased prominence in current discourse. This week alone has seen it used in hundreds of thousands of twitter posts, often used to justify a person’s actions because, as the motto states, ‘you only live once’. An article in The Independent (2013) provides some great (but nevertheless worrying) examples of how the term is often used to defend the actions of individuals. For example, drinking a carton of milk two days past its sell-by-date, leaving the house without an umbrella, or even joyriding in a parent’s car can all be accompanied with a “YOLO”.

  • The International Conference on Cryptology and Network Security

     

    By Veronika Kuchta

    The International Conference on Cryptology and Network Security (CANS) is a recognized annual conference, focusing on all aspects of cryptology and network security, attracting cutting-edge results from world-renowned scientists in the area. In November 2013 it was held in Paraty, Brazil. I attended the conference to present my work. It was a great organized 3-day-event which provided excellent opportunity to exchange scientific ideas and get inspirations for future work.

    There were around 60 researchers from all around the world, such as those from USA, Australia, Japan, France, Brazil and many other countries. The technical program included 18 talks by international researchers and 4 keynote speakers from  Intel Corporation, University of California, École Normale Supérieure and The City College of New York.

  • Surrey Software – How Surrey is at the Leading Edge of Software Management

    University IT

    For many people across the Surrey campus, IT Services are those faceless names on ‘loss of service’ emails when a large system is going down. Or, if you’ve been less lucky, support ticket acknowledgements when your individual computer has decided it’s not playing, just as you were doing something really important.

    PCFire

    Basically, you might only think of us when something is broken and in many ways, we like it that way. If things are working well, then your IT tools should keep quiet and let you get the job done.

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