Monday, April 24, 2023

RIP Dame Edna - Historians have started using machine learning

 “I was born with a priceless gift, the ability to laugh at the misfortunes of others.”

Barry Humphries, Australian-born comic genius and creator of Dame Edna Everage – obituary

Goodbye, possums: Barry Humphries’ obituary in his own words

Vale Barry Humphries …I’ve known you since 1956 and we did lots of things together- including three significant films - parting company because of politics differences . But I still regard you as the cleverest person I’ve ever known

Peter Clark and Media Dragon 🐉 were exposed to Barry’s swords aka pens 🖊 Barry had the largest collection of pens from time to time you could spot him on third level in the Queen Victoria building in George St Sydney BBC Tribute

, and  are wholly owned subsidiaries of The Barry Humphries Group

Peter Coleman died in 2019 re obituary written by Barry in his 40s

Barry Humphries, born February 17 1934, died April 22 2023

Dame Edna Everage writes: Barry Humphries was an unknown aspiring actor and would-be comedian when I first met him in the early 1950s. It is true that he put me on stage for the first time in December 1955, but it was in order to belittle me and get cheap laughs at my expense and ridicule the great Australian way of life.

How the tables were turned! I became the star and he merely a footnote to my spectacular career. His tragedy was his desire to be an artist and we know what happens to failed artists – Hitler, for example – they either become interior decorators or mass murderers. Barry was spared this fate. He became rich due to my efforts and signed me up to a contract that bound me for life.

He had a lovely family and my heart goes out to them as well as to his unfortunate wives and numerous stage-struck research assistants.

If these words seem uncharitable in the context of an obituary, I am fortunate that The Daily Telegraph, unsurprisingly, was eager to publish them.

Barry Humphries, Australian-born comic genius and creator of Dame Edna Everage – obituary

Dame Edna, the housewife superstar, preyed on her audience with feigned innocence while Sir Les Patterson spluttered a depraved monologue

Barry Humphries: became part of the cultural furniture

Barry Humphries, the Australian-born comedian who has died aged 89, shocked and delighted television and theatre audiences with his monstrous creations, notably “housewife superstar” Dame Edna Everage and the repulsive “Australian Cultural Attaché” Sir Les Patterson. He rose from being an obscure Dadaist prankster in 1950s Melbourne to the status of international megastar

RT @_Amanda_Killian: Libraries literally aren't just a place to obtain books for free. They're one of the few public spaces left in our society where you're allowed to exist without the expectation of spending money.”

MIT Technology Review: “The historians of tomorrow are using computer science to analyze how people lived centuries ago…Five hundred years later, the production of information is a different beast entirely: terabytes of images, video, and text in torrents of digital data that circulate almost instantly and have to be analyzed nearly as quickly, allowing—and requiring—the training of machine-learning models to sort through the flow.  This shift in the production of information has implications for the future of everything from art creation to drug development. But those advances are also making it possible to look differently at data from the past. 

Historians have started using machine learning—deep neural networks in particular—to examine historical documents, including astronomical tables like those produced in Venice and other early modern cities, smudged by centuries spent in mildewed archives or distorted by the slip of a printer’s hand. Historians say the application of modern computer science to the distant past helps draw connections across a broader swath of the historical record than would otherwise be possible, correcting distortions that come from analyzing history one document at a time. 

But it introduces distortions of its own, including the risk that machine learning will slip bias or outright falsifications into the historical record. All this adds up to a question for historians and others who, it’s often argued, understand the present by examining history: With machines set to play a greater role in the future, how much should we cede to them of the past?..”

The Google Graveyard on Verge: “Google releases a lot of products, but it shuts down a lot of them, too. Some didn’t deserve to be discontinued (we pine for the days of Reader and Inbox), and some probably weren’t long for this world from the start. (What was Google Wave supposed to be, anyway?) The company actually used to shut down products with quarterly “spring cleanings,” but now, it just does so whenever it’s time for another product to be put out to pasture. Follow along here for all our coverage of everything Google sends to the graveyard…”

Lifehacker – Avoid identity theft and legal nightmares through proper document retention and destruction. Properly storing, saving, and disposing of financial documents isn’t just a good way to cut down on clutter and save yourself from potentially nightmarish paper-chases when The Man calls. It also makes it harder for anyone to steal your identity. How to store your most vital documents If you were living your ideal life, you’d scan your most important paperwork, encrypt the digital records, then store them on a password-protected computer. The hard copies would be placed in a fireproof safe, a bank’s safe deposit box, or within a locked filing cabinet. This applies to “can’t lose ever” documents like your:

  • Social Security card
  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage certificate
  • Divorce decree
  • Insurance policies
  • Property deeds
  • Vehicle titles
  • Will and related documents

You should also scan and encrypt your passport, driver’s license, and insurance cards. But you’ll probably need them, so the safe deposit box might not be their best home.”