I was pleased to hear in the DEC-10 computer lab yesterday that some of the staff in the School of Computing read my blog. This is not just good in a sense that I have more readers but because so much of my life revolves around the school its nice to know yet another group of people inside of it take an interest in what I have to say. Its also a further example of how much interaction there is between staff and students here, and is something that I feel has a real benefit in it for everyone in the school.

Now that I know I have staff readership though I may well write a little bit more about the school and computing as a field of study. Suggestions on article topics in comments please :)

I heard the other day that the next scheduled install fest (where school of computing students can bring their PCs along to the school of computing of an evening and have Linux installed on their systems and find out more about the operating system from those who use it every day) was going to be cancelled due to health and safety reasons.

This made me furious and I’m going to tell you why. Our whole lives are seemingly decided by authority, not for the purposes of law enforcement, national security or public health but because we “might cause ourselves harm”. My point is a very simple one, shouldn’t that kind of decision be up to us? If I put my fingers in a university plug socket and get a shock is it the university’s fault for having plug sockets? Of course not, its mine, for being a prat and sticking my fingers in there in the first place. This means that I should be allowed to use plug sockets because its my fault if anything bad happens.

Why then do we have rules that prevent us from doing something as simple as plugging in an electrical device with the reason cited that the organisation responsible for the existance of the plug socket is held reposnsible for anything that happens to me while using it?

I feel like we have been living in a nanny state for too long. Stupid health and safety rules need to be abolised as do the laws about organisational and individual responsibility to others that cause those rules to have a reason for exising. Whats wrong with us? Can’t we use our own brains anymore? The answer is yes, we can, its just someone is telling us we can’t. Its time for them to be given a kick out the door - permanently.

Last night I polished off yet another piece of coursework. They have been arriving thick and fast lately and its nice to be able to start putting some of them to bed. So far this semester I’ve been very happy with how the courseworks have gone. The poster for our group project gained us a good mark from our peers in our workshop group which was nice, especially considering most people rated their own poster higher than others rated it, whereas ours tallyed well. My website for the web development coursework looked good and fulfilled all the criteria and more, and my submission last night of my animation for graphics seemed to fit the spec and be rather innovative too. Hopefully I’ll get a good mark in these two in the next couple of weeks when the results come back.

Theres no rest though, I have a presentation next week and an essay due, both for my computing ethics module. Futhermore its nearly the end of term which means I really need to have all outstanding work licked by then so I can have a decent break. Heres hoping I can get it all together.