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Sunday, November 28, 2004

Two steps forward, three back. Try re-installing the phone, advises Beloved. Granny does. She had got system acknowledging existance of new hardware, if still refusing to dial up from it. Now once more it cries 'telefono no existe.' Her only achievement is that Internet Explorer has started claiming to be 'proporcionado por Telefonica.' And offers 'Hotmail gratuito' - and 'Personalizar vinculos' - both of which sound faintly pornographic - anyone for bondage then? Give up. Remain at snail's pace , in the technological dark ages. Lie in wait for some unwary computer nerd and set them to it.

Maybe it's the locusts jinxing things - little red devils with bright eyes and flighty habits erupting white winged from the ever deader landscape where noone these days bothers to work. They swivel and blow and fall to earth suddenly, plop, like dead souls. Terrible terrier caught one and spat it out. She and Beautiful Wimp then found a dead goat and rolled in it, so were banned from the house for the night, leaving Feline Houdini to rule all by himself OK. He caught a mouse to celebrate. Death everywhere these days. Wind now south, still furious, if no longer locust bearing. Rain promised for tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed.

4 Old comments:

Blogger Deirdre said...

What is it with dogs & mucky stuff? The dogs I look after get delirious with happiness if they can run away and cover themselves in something gruesome.

Good luck with the rain gods. Hope they're feeling generous.

11:49 am  
Blogger granny p said...

They have been generous. but need to go on being.

As for dogs; smell is communication among other things would say the professional animal behaviourist, I think. Something like that. (No, no, he is/was not the kind that cut animals up; more the kind that eg, observed what they ate and weighed them thereafter. And then made mathematics out of the results, etc and so forth) otherwise known as Beloved.

4:11 pm  
Blogger Deirdre said...

Yes, that smell thing is interesting. My dogs have specific spots they visit every day, I'm assuming to check which other dogs have been past. These places seem to act like a message board, and the dogs can't wait to go from one to the other. Plus I've noticed that plants smell different when they need water: are they communicating in this way as well?

Making mathematics out of results: talking about communication (am I raving now?) How amazing maths is. I can't even hold more than one number in my head, my brain just freezes up. The idea that someone could try to explain the laws of nature in numbers... It's very big, isn't it? How amazing.

9:59 pm  
Blogger granny p said...

Message board is about it. The animal man says the dogs are reading their newspaper when they sniff at posts, walls etc for other dog's pee - or sniff their backsides come to that. (Plants communicating too? Don't know. Nor does he!)

As for mathematics - he uses them not to determine movements of stars, etc, but more practically than anything to work out probabilities of what animals will do. The big controversy is the degree of cognition animals have - is their decision making conscious or predefined...you can work out the predefinitions by using mathematical formulae which tend to prove the decision-making isn't end based but a series of steps, one pre-determined - according to stimulus - decision leading to another to reach the end result; eg the fox catches the goose. (This is a VERY crude version of what he'd say. I have a language problem here.) But animal consciousness is one of the big issues, as it defines how they should be treated and what cruelty is. His view is we can't know if animals feel pain as we do, because feeling pain involves not only the physical reflex but a sentient apprehension of it. He's not sure they have that, but believes that we have to give them the benefit of the doubt. (Only question at what level of animal you draw the line. Do you give invertebrates - eg octopus! - the same rights,not to be hurt?)

The mathematical analyses of animal behaviour are useful for roboticists incidentally. They can build in the same series of events - decisions - to make a robot proceed to the required end. This is another of animal man's activities - or was before he retired.

8:49 am  

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