Monday, 23 January 2017

Ancient Algorithms and RSA Encryption

Standing on the Shoulder of Giants showed that algebra had been studied for thousands of years by mathematicians in Ancient Egypt, Babylon, Ancient Greece, India and China before al-Khwarzmi of Persia wrote his text on it in 830 A.D. 

Someone asked in the comments about the derivation of the word algorithm.  The etymology comes from his name; in 825 A.D. he wrote a text in arabic taken from Sanskrit texts on the Indian numerals.  In the 12th century this was in turn translated into Latin as Algoritmi de numero Indorum or (in English)  Algoritmi on the numbers of the Indians.

There's another possible explanation. Look again at the title: Algoritmi de numero Indorum. At the time of writing the text, there was no printing press, texts were copied by hand and scribes were not that precise. So the title, in modern eyes, could very well have been meant to read "Algoritmi: De Numero Indorum", like e.g. Shakespeare: Hamlet. Confusion in later generations caused by sloppy copying abounds - ask anyone who's tried to get to grips with the New Testament as preserved on scrolls from that time and transcribed into books.  Thus, taking author plus title for the whole.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Some Speculative Theology

1642again, Going Postal

After the most unexpectedly generous response to my article of Christmas Eve I somewhat recklessly promised some respondents that I would write something similar occasionally, and this article has been buzzing around within my febrile mind ever since, competing with other subjects for my attention.  So to relieve the pressure on my sanity I cast it before you and beg your indulgence.  It will probably get me accused of heresy and theological ignorance by some, but it’s how I make sense of my beliefs.  If this subject is of no interest, please forgive me.  Again, it is written to explain, not to persuade.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Donald J Trump, the 45th President of the United States of America

Stuart Beaker, Going Postal

So, yesterday was a momentous day. It is either the start of a new age, or the ending of civilization, depending on your point of view.

I want to say something different about Donald Trump.

It is on occasion a politician’s duty to let down his supporters. This applies doubly to a leader, a head of state. It may even be his noblest duty, the point at which he either cleaves to his democratic legitimacy, or shears off into tyranny. And he may have to disabuse both his supporters and his opponents of the true nature of their situation. If anyone doubts this, just consider Winston Churchill’s words of 13th May, 1940, as he stood before the House of Commons for the first time as the leader of the nation:

Friday, 20 January 2017

The Inauguration of President Donald J Trump

Ronald Reagun's Oath Of Office

Constitutional Matters Matter. (It’s why we voted LEAVE)

Ang Ryman, Going Postal
There are so many unsung heroes, thousands, that contributed at different times and in different ways to the achievement of a Leave vote in the Referendum on 23rd June 2016. Now I am not a lawyer (hurrah!). Not that one needs to be to study the law, but there are many who do study it, deeply. Richard North is a name that will be familiar to many and to whom the term “Flexit” can be credited. So much time, so many hours of study and learning – a part played. An acquaintance of mine, NickC, is one such student and has some time ago corresponded at length with Richard North. Freedom and our freedoms are paramount; British Law must prevail once these dark days of Europhilia are behind us. But we are where we are.

NickC has kindly shared his thoughts on the “Gina Miller” case, which others of a ‘legal anorak’ persuasion may wish to share their thoughts on below the line, though as many will be aware – No-one Reads The Comments.

“….The constitutional basis of the court case won by "Gina Miller" is that the government (i.e. the executive) cannot use its prerogative powers to remove "rights" enacted by Parliament. That principle is absolutely fundamental to our freedom under the law. I support it completely.  However, The High Court was persuaded by the claimant's lawyers that the principle defined above was applicable.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Question Time with Going Postal, 19th January 2017

Question Time with Going-Postal.Net

David Dimbleby chairs topical debate from Peterborough.

On the panel are transport secretary Chris Grayling (Wet), shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry (Really? FFS), broadcaster Piers Morgan (Cunt, no question), American author Lionel Shriver (Almost certainly a far-left loon) and the co-editor of The Conservative Woman website, Laura Perrins (Babe?).

You are what you eat

Bassman, Going Postal
I was reminded in a discussion with Mrs Bassman (yes, we do have them) that in our youngest days the only place you could lay your hands on olive oil was inside the medicine cupboard. Its sole function was to loosen earwax, working away beneath a layer of cotton wool. It was commonplace to see people in the street with cotton wool in an ear as it was to see a one-legged man, or a child with a blocked-out spectacles lens (National Health, of course,) to correct a lazy eye. I recall that my mother's medicine cupboard also contained a dropper bottle of tincture of cannabis for relieving toothache. Absolutely no connection was made with narcotics. I digress. Not only was olive oil missing from the cooking repertoire, but I don't recall the presence of any herbs apart from mint, the onlie begetter of mint sauce for lamb. Nothing alcoholic was ever sloshed into an aromatic sauce, Keith Floyd-style; no cream was ever whipped up, no pasta - well, no pasta. The nearest we came to the joys of the Italian cucina was a tin of Heinz spaghetti which, it has to said, I enjoyed on a slice of toast. I don't want to lapse into a "lived in a rolled-up newspaper" contest. We are not quite talking post-war here, and although rationing existed in my childhood I don't really remember it. In fact, things were probably improving as far as my war-weary parents were concerned. They were on the property ladder and my father had a good job. My mother's problem - and I see this now in hindsight - was that she wasn't a very good cook. I was aware that cooking could be of a higher standard, because her own mother, my nan, was better. Mind you, she had the wonderful produce of a Lincolnshire garden to play with. She also deployed brown sugar from a blue bag, something that seemed to elude my poor mum. So there we have it. My diet was constrained by the ingredients available and my mother's lack of skill (and interest, I now think) in the kitchen. It must have been so boring for her to come up with meals from scratch every day. Shopping bags had to be made of durable materials in those days, so frequently were they used. There were flashes of pleasure: a lemon meringue, home-made chips, tinned peaches with condensed milk, but, alas, the picture was more one of boiling cabbage, plain cakes and indifferent pastry.