Teaching, Presentations, Mad Max, UK Elections, and more

Last week's presentation to the OpenStack Australia Day on HPC and Cloud hybrids was reported on in ITNews the following day. The day after that I repeated the presentation to a Telstra technical group. The following two days was teaching my usual courses, Introduction to HPC with Linux and Shell Scripting and HPC. These courses fill up amazingly quickly and the waiting list is now over 40 (class sizes are around 15). A practical example from the courses came the following day as we're working with a weird Gaussian convergence problem. The software comes with a suite of some 1044 tests, all of which can be launching them with a short script with a heredoc.

Out-of-hours had a great experience on Tuesday night visiting the Astor with Pete T., for a screening of the classic Australian low-budget dystopia that started an epic series, Mad Max. The evening was also the launch of Luke Buckmaster's new book on the making of the film, Miller and Max. A good number of the original crew and and bit-piece actors were also present in conversation and they had some very colourful stories to say about the production. Pete and I spent a good period of time in conversation with the crew who had a few classic items from the set, including Toecutter's bike helmet.

Other major events of the week including James Fodor presenting at The Philosophy Forum on Where Does Morality Come From?, which provided a bit of a topology of the landscape. There were two major gaming sessions this week, one for GURPS Middle Earth on Sunday and the last session of Laundry Files Australia on Wednesday night. Finally, University House hosted a UK Election event this afternoon, with lots of traditional British fare. The results, much discussed, are well known with the Conservatives probably just able to form government after having their 20 point lead reduced to 2.5 in the course of the campaign. It is almost certain that Jeremy Corbyn will be the next Prime Minister of the UK.

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I'm not sure about Corbyn (as I've probably made clear in my own post). He's hiding behind a solid and admirable manifesto, but personally I don't think he's prime minister material. Yes, he's the anti-Blair, but this reductive argument that has been made by less astute individuals that it's either Blairism or Corbynism isn't one I buy. There are other models of what it means to be Labour in the 21st Century.
Well, it was the election manifesto that was the cause of UK Labour's relative success more than anything else, but it was also the sort of thing that Corbyn was solidly behind. If anything his weakest area was foreign policy where he seems far too close to a unfortunate position among some left wingers which equates anti-US as being axiomatically worthy of support.

Corbyn and Sanders are however of a similar breed in the sense that they have pushed the social-democratic message with a primary economic and working-class focus. Whilst that may not be broad enough in itself to win, it is a necessary foundation and soc-dem parties which ignore it are terminal.