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 Post subject: Tuesday 4th August 2020
PostPosted: Tue 04 Aug, 2020 5:44 am 
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Morning all.


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PostPosted: Tue 04 Aug, 2020 9:11 am 
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Good morning.

A rare bit of good news, although they'll probably come up with something worse to replace it.

We won! Home Office to stop using racist visa algorithm

https://www.foxglove.org.uk/news/home-o ... -sued-them

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PostPosted: Tue 04 Aug, 2020 10:01 am 
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gilsey wrote:
Good morning.
A rare bit of good news, although they'll probably come up with something worse to replace it.
We won! Home Office to stop using racist visa algorithm
https://www.foxglove.org.uk/news/home-o ... -sued-them
Good work there on the rearguard action against creeping dastardry !
Quote:
This marks the end of a computer system which had been used for years to process every visa application to the UK. It's great news, because the algorithm entrenched racism and bias into the visa system. The Home Office kept a secret list of suspect nationalities automatically given a ‘Red’ traffic-light risk score – people of these nationalities were likely to be denied a visa. It had got so bad that academic and nonprofit organisations told us they no longer even tried to have colleagues from certain countries visit the UK to work with them.

We also discovered that the algorithm suffered from ‘feedback loop’ problems known to plague many such automated systems - where past bias and discrimination, fed into a computer program, reinforce future bias and discrimination. Researchers documented this issue with predictive policing systems in the US, and we realised the same problem had crept in here.

It's also great news because this was the first successful judicial review of a UK government algorithmic decision-making system. More and more government departments are talking up the potential for using machine learning and artificial intelligence to aid decisions. Make no mistake: this is where government is heading, from your local council right on up to Number 10.

But at the moment there's an alarming lack of transparency about where these tools are being used, and an even more alarming lack of safeguards to prevent biased and unfair software ruining people's lives. There’s been some debate around correcting for biased algorithms, but nowhere near enough debate about giving the public a say in whether they want government by algorithm in the first place. At Foxglove, we believe in democracy--not opaque and unaccountable technocracy.

Foxglove exists to challenge such abuses of technology. It’s a safe bet that this won’t be the last time we’ll need to challenge a government algorithm in the courts.

" It had got so bad that academic and nonprofit organisations told us they no longer even tried to have colleagues from certain countries visit the UK to work with them."
I'd wondered , having seen so many examples of this, how the individual civil servants were so consistent in fucking over 'forrin' professors ! Definitely slow on the uptake there, we are now governed by machines ... and DominicCummings ! :sick: :sick: :sick:


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PostPosted: Tue 04 Aug, 2020 10:02 am 
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https://www.unicef.org/coronavirus/what ... ec0abHJqcU
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‘What will a return to school during the COVID-19 pandemic look like?’

In the UK, very like school not during a pandemic i suspect. I think the govt are proposing just one of the following four suggestions? (staggered lunch):
Quote:
Some of the practical measures that schools can take include:

• Staggering the start and close of the school day

• Staggering mealtimes

• Moving classes to temporary spaces or outdoors

• Holding school in shifts, to reduce class size


Starmer was keen on using extra temporary spaces. And the last one, using blended learning of part home, part school, to reduce numbers in school appears popular with a lot of teachers. All these measures are doable and should have been properly considered but haven't. No mention of "bubbles" of course, because "bubbles" aren't an actual preventative method, just a stupid, meaningless soundbite.

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PostPosted: Tue 04 Aug, 2020 10:09 am 
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rearguard action against creeping dastardly
:rock:

brilliant
Good morning, everyone.


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PostPosted: Tue 04 Aug, 2020 10:49 am 
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Why isn't Willow in charge?


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PostPosted: Tue 04 Aug, 2020 10:52 am 
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Willow904 wrote:
No mention of "bubbles" of course, because "bubbles" aren't an actual preventative method, just a stupid, meaningless soundbite


Yes, thought I had been hearing that word a bit recently (though of course, with no proper explanation of what it actually means)


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PostPosted: Tue 04 Aug, 2020 3:54 pm 
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https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/ ... -buildings
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Huge explosion in Beirut shatters windows and rocks buildings

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PostPosted: Tue 04 Aug, 2020 4:34 pm 
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https://twitter.com/i/status/1290671086951161856

That was a huge mushroom cloud.


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PostPosted: Tue 04 Aug, 2020 4:35 pm 
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Explosion at a firework factory is the current rumour.


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PostPosted: Tue 04 Aug, 2020 4:36 pm 
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Afternoon.

This is true...

https://twitter.com/ProfTimBale/status/ ... 3650093058

My son has been working from home for the last few months and expects to go on doing so. Suits him as had a pretty rotten journey in so hopes to only have to go in maybe once a week or so.

I used to be able to work from home quite easily and that was over 12 years ago now.

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PostPosted: Tue 04 Aug, 2020 4:43 pm 
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AnatolyKasparov wrote:
Explosion at a firework factory is the current rumour.


Here is a clearer video of the cloud:

https://twitter.com/i/status/1290681104148594691


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PostPosted: Tue 04 Aug, 2020 5:29 pm 
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RogerOThornhill wrote:
Afternoon.

This is true...

https://twitter.com/ProfTimBale/status/ ... 3650093058

My son has been working from home for the last few months and expects to go on doing so. Suits him as had a pretty rotten journey in so hopes to only have to go in maybe once a week or so.

I used to be able to work from home quite easily and that was over 12 years ago now.


This morning's Daily Heil ordering everybody back to their offices, I see. Wouldn't mind so much but for the fact they are "advising" different for many of their own staff :toss:


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PostPosted: Tue 04 Aug, 2020 8:42 pm 
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Let's not give up.


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PostPosted: Tue 04 Aug, 2020 8:42 pm 
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:rock:


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PostPosted: Tue 04 Aug, 2020 8:51 pm 
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:clap: :clap: :clap:
citizenJA wrote:
Let's not give up.


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PostPosted: Tue 04 Aug, 2020 9:15 pm 
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citizenJA wrote:
Let's not give up.


Never!


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PostPosted: Tue 04 Aug, 2020 9:19 pm 
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AnatolyKasparov wrote:
citizenJA wrote:
Let's not give up.


Never!

Excellent.


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PostPosted: Tue 04 Aug, 2020 9:32 pm 
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Willow904 wrote:
https://www.unicef.org/coronavirus/what-will-return-school-during-covid-19-pandemic-look?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=coronavirus&fbclid=IwAR1HbUg-66jfNoAXj7lsz0Rp8wbn-LdDTl21NYQpr_5LmpaE6ec0abHJqcU
Quote:
‘What will a return to school during the COVID-19 pandemic look like?’

In the UK, very like school not during a pandemic i suspect. I think the govt are proposing just one of the following four suggestions? (staggered lunch):
Quote:
Some of the practical measures that schools can take include:

• Staggering the start and close of the school day

• Staggering mealtimes

• Moving classes to temporary spaces or outdoors

• Holding school in shifts, to reduce class size


Starmer was keen on using extra temporary spaces. And the last one, using blended learning of part home, part school, to reduce numbers in school appears popular with a lot of teachers. All these measures are doable and should have been properly considered but haven't. No mention of "bubbles" of course, because "bubbles" aren't an actual preventative method, just a stupid, meaningless soundbite.


Different schools will obviously have different issues here, but...

* Staggering start and close of day - I know of one parent of four young boys who is, at the moment, going to have to deliver them at 20 minute intervals and has been told not to hang around the school building, which is about a ten minute walk from her home. You can't stagger the day in secondary unless you can strip teachers' timetables so they only ever have one year group a day, otherwise you'll get classess in different year groups double booked in rooms.

* We already stagger mealtimes, have done for years. If you try to stagger a year group at a time you have the same problem about timetabling lessons. We are lucky to have a reasonably decent sized open area next to 'outside' as well as the dining room so one year group each can go there and one can go in what used to be the sixth form area (and the sixth form can go in a new building) but those spaces are still going to be jammed if half to three-quarters of a year group turn up at the same time, as they will. 'Normal' lunchtime with two year groups in the dining room involves everyone sitting on each other's laps and standing solidly in all of the spaces between the tables. Cutting it back to one year group should just about make it managable, just, so long as, of course, nobody has to worry about distancing from anyone else.

* What temporary spaces? or outside spaces? We have a tiny number of spare rooms at any one time. If you're already using the yard to stagger break and lunchtimes you can't then also put classes out there. There's also a limited number of things you can do in a lesson outside. (There are brilliant things you can do - maths do lessons about angles with football 'traingles' and so on - but you need space and no other peop[le. And PE are moving all of their lessons outside at the same time...)

* If 'holding school in shifts' means 'only x number of pupils at a time' then that's eminently sensible so is, of course, the one option comprehensively ruled out by the government.

(edited to add - I am obviously not arguing with Willow (who should be in charge).

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PostPosted: Tue 04 Aug, 2020 9:35 pm 
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citizenJA wrote:
AnatolyKasparov wrote:
citizenJA wrote:
Let's not give up.


Never!

Excellent.


People in several parts of the world, past and present, have faced far bigger obstacles than we do in fighting for what is right.

Never forget that.


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PostPosted: Tue 04 Aug, 2020 9:40 pm 
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I read Starmer's article to see if he actually said what the govt should do and was disappointed, again.

The answer to 'rapid improvements to the test-and-trace system' and 'ensure vulnerable and elderly people aren’t left to fend for themselves' is the same - more money for councils. Why can't he say that?

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... lives-jobs

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PostPosted: Tue 04 Aug, 2020 10:25 pm 
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I'm not sure exactly what Starmer was proposing in terms of temporary spaces but I believe Belgium have actually used churches for some classes! That level of imagination and flexibility seems beyond British society, however.
One week in school, one week home working online would be easier to manage, I think, and would halve class sizes to levels more in line with places that are managing outbreaks. It should have at least been considered for secondary schools as 11-19 year olds appear to be both more vulnerable to the virus itself as well as more likely to spread it to others than under-10s.
Obviously if I were in charge schools would double in size and classes would halve in size regardless of the coronavirus situation because it's just better anyway. There'd be more teachers, more TAs and proper SEN funding. There'd be no national tests before 18, when everyone would take a broad diploma, no obsession with attendance, which would be supported with relevant help, not punished with fines and everyone would go to their nearest school because everyone's nearest school would be great!
I'm flexible on the inclusion of poetry ;)

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PostPosted: Tue 04 Aug, 2020 10:28 pm 
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Poetry really isn't bad. But the way most schools have traditionally taught it has put so many people off for life :D


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PostPosted: Tue 04 Aug, 2020 10:41 pm 
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Goodnight, everyone.
I love you all a lot.
cJA


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PostPosted: Tue 04 Aug, 2020 10:48 pm 
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AnatolyKasparov wrote:
Poetry really isn't bad. But the way most schools have traditionally taught it has put so many people off for life :D

Absolutely. I think all kids should read and write poetry in school, but I think they would survive just fine without taking a formal test in it.

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PostPosted: Wed 05 Aug, 2020 12:47 am 
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Anders Flanderz returns!



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