2011 Residents’ Association

September 30, 2007

I was very happy to be recently elected the President of 2011 Residents’ Association Inc., the local residents’ association for the Kings Cross (Potts Pt, Elizabeth Bay and Rushcutters Bay) area. I’m looking forward to an interesting year. 

I don’t see this as an opportunity to intentionally push my particular ideas as to how the local area should be (although that’s inevitable), but rather help 2011RA advocate on behalf of local residents. If any one idea underpins my approach to an issue, it’s that policy should be evidence-based wherever possible.

Colour algebras and colour traces

September 21, 2007

First year pure mathematics students learn about the trace of a matrix or a linear transformation, and in dealing with Lie superalgebras and quantum superalgebras, one also deals with the supertrace of a linear transformation, which is a generalisation of the usual trace.

A number of people (e.g. David McAnally and Peter Jervis) have looked at colour algebras, which are generalisations of superalgebras. Recall that a superalgebra starts with a Z2 graded vector space on which one defines a supertrace on linear transformations of the Z2-graded vector space. With a colour algebra, the idea is to start with a Zn-graded vector space and define a colour trace on linear transformations of the Zn-graded vector space.

Colour algebras didn’t go very far as they weren’t seen as very useful – however, I’ve been wondering if they are useful in obtaining new knot invariants, and I’ve been starting to look at Zn-graded vector spaces and colour traces again.

Colour traces are interesting and non-trival – even properly defining the phase factor one obtains when applying the permutation operation P to tensor products is not straightforward. If one fixes P2 = id, one might obtain the usual supertrace (I’m not certain about this) and I’ve started investigating what happens if you don’t fix P2 = id.

The Singularity Institute

September 19, 2007

Mitch Porter recently sent me this link to The Singularity Institute. In amongst the concerns of daily life and areas of immediate interest (e.g. politics), it’s very interesting to consider more long-term issues, such as how humanity might deal with an artificial intelligence that is more powerful than the mind of a human being. To quote from The Singularity Institute’s website:

In the coming decades, humanity will likely create a powerful artificial intelligence. The Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence (SIAI) exists to confront this urgent challenge, both the opportunity and the risk.

Long-term “out of the box thinking” is always needed.

Letter to the Sydney Star Observer

September 14, 2007

Today I wrote the following letter to the Sydney Star Observer in response to a number of letters in the current edition praising Malcolm Turnbull, the current federal Liberal MP for Wentworth. Read the rest of this entry »

2007 redistribution of Qld state electoral boundaries

September 12, 2007

From the latest enrolment figures for Queensland state Parliament electorates (July 2007 and August 2007), it looks as if the conditions for a redistribution of Queensland state electoral boundaries have been met. In both July and August, 35 electorates had (weighted) enrolments outside the plus/minus 10% of the mean enrolment.

According to this page, it looks as if another trigger for a redistribution will soon come into effect: more than 7.5 years has elapsed since the last redistribution came into effect (on 28 July 1999) and a year will soon have elapsed after the day appointed for the return of the writs for the third general election after the last redistribution (see Sec. 38 of the Act here for details).

As only one trigger is needed, don’t be surprised to soon see the wheels of a redistribution of Qld state electoral boundaries start turning.

I havn’t examined the current enrolments and enrolment trends to see the likely impacts of the redistribution but will do so shortly.

Update: I’ve briefly looked at the enrolment figures, and on first glance it looks as if the area covered by the current Gold Coast City (incl. Beenleigh) will gain a seat as will the Sunshine Coast, and that the Pine Rivers area will gain half a seat. The area outside south-east Qld will lose at least 1.5 seats (possibly 2 seats), and metropolitan Brisbane will either keep its current number of seats or lose one. I’ll include the enrolment figures below. Read the rest of this entry »

Possum Comitatus’ analysis of the Crosby Textor report

September 11, 2007

Every political junkie should read Possum Comitatus’ post on the Crosby Textor report.

My name is Alena.

September 7, 2007

In the last few weeks I’ve received 3 unsolicited e-mails purporting to be sent by Russian women seeking my attentions. I’ve reproduced the latest one below.

Is this another scam to get bank account details from people? What sort of scam is it? A quick search doesn’t reveal anything in particular about it.

Enjoy “Alena’s” e-mail below.

My name is Alena.
I am from Russia. I am 30 years. Recently I with girlfriend have
climbed in the Internet and have seen this site. I was on different sites,
but it has liked me also I has decided to write. I hope my letter do not
remain without attention. Read the rest of this entry »

Internet voting in federal, state and local elections?

September 2, 2007

Recently, I received an e-mail alerting me this year’s elections to the American Mathematical Society Committee and reminding me that I can vote by postal ballot or over the internet. I vote in these elections each year and voted over the internet in their elections in 2006 for the first time. 

I suspect that many organisations allow their members to vote over the internet in their internal elections and I wonder whether voting over the internet will become an option in Australian federal, state and local elections and referenda in the near future? Read the rest of this entry »