Search This Blog

Friday, 29 September 2017



                                                           HUNGARIAN RISING 

A history of the Hungarian uprising of 1956, published as a special supplement of Anarchist Worker on the 20th anniversary in 1976
IT IS NOT out of love for nostalgia that we are commemorating the 1956 Hungarian uprising. Hungary '56 was a prime example of the working class itself reaching for power: doubly significant, it took place in one of the mythical 'workers' states'.
It showed for many, throughout the world, a new alternative to the capitalism vs Soviet communism - read state capitalism - polarisation and it galvanised movements towards genuine revolutionary politics.
When the Soviet Army swept into Eastern Europe towards the end of the Second World War, they did not, in fact, liberate the workers and peasants. The same system as before continued to exist, ' with Stalin giving backing to the reactionary governments. In Bulgaria, Colonel Georgiev, who now had the backing of the Communists, and who had in 1934 attacked strikers, killing some, and called striking workers 'fascists'.
Some striking coalminers were labelled 'anarchists' and 'fascists' and imprisoned. Earlier, the Russian military and their Bulgarian stooges dismantled the workers' militias that had been created, and the soldiers' councils that had emerged inside the army. Party members who objected were told by Molotov, "if certain Communists continue their present conduct, we will bring them to reason. Bulgaria will remain with her democratic government and her present order.... you must retain all valuable army officers from before the coup d'État. You should reinstate in the service all officers who have been dismissed for various reasons."

                                                             HISTORICAL LEARNING SITE                                                                                         

Sunday, 17 September 2017






                                                 DAS illla Lied (WIKI)

The Lavender Song

What makes them think have the right
To say what God considers vice?
What makes them think have the right
To keep us out of Paradise?
They make our lives hell here on earth
Poisoning us with guilt and shame
If we resist, prison awaits
So our love dares not speak its name
The crime is when love must hide
From now on we'll love with pride!

We're not afraid to be queer and different
If that means hell, well hell we'll take the chance
They're all so straight, uptight, upright and rigid
They march in lock-step, we prefer to dance
We see a world of romance and of pleasure
All they can see is sheer banality
Lavender nights our greatest treasure
Where we can be just who we want to be.

Round us all up, send us away
That's what you'd really like to do
But we're too strong, proud, unafraid
In fact we almost pity you
You act from fear, why should that be?
What is it that you're frightened of?
The way that we dress? The way that we meet?
The fact that you cannot destroy our love?
We're going to win our rights to lavender days and nights!

We're not afraid to be queer and different
If that means hell, well hell we'll take the chance
They're all so straight, uptight, upright and rigid
They march in lock-step, we prefer to dance
We see a world of romance and of pleasure
All they can see is sheer banality
Lavender nights our greatest treasure
Where we can be just who we want to be.
Lavender nights our greatest treasure
Where we can be just who we want to be.



                                                        PANSY CRAZE    (Article in Guardian)

                                                        THE LAVENDER SONG (1921)

Mischa Spoliansky and Kurt Schwabach Then we have fought for equal rights, we suffer no more, but have suffered! One of the first Homosexual Songs (?) Was will man nur? Ist das Kultur daß jeder Mensch verpönt ist, der klug und gut, jedoch mit Blut von eig'ner Art durchströmt ist, daß g'rade die Kategorie vor dem Gesetz verbannt ist, die im Gefühl bei Lust und Spiel und in der Art verwandt ist? Und dennoch sind die Meisten stolz, daß sie von ander'm Holz! Wir sind nun einmal anders als die Andern, die nur im Gleichschritt der Moral geliebt, neugierig erst durch tausend Wunder wandern, und für die's doch nur das Banale gibt. Wir aber wissen nicht, wie das Gefühl ist, denn wir sind alle and'rer Welten Kind, wir lieben nur die lila Nacht, die schwül ist, weil wir ja anders als die Andern sind. Wozu die Qual, uns die Moral der Andern aufzudrängen? Wir, hört geschwind, sind wie wir sind, selbst wollte man uns hängen. Wer aber denkt, daß man uns hängt, den mßte man beweinen, doch bald, gebt acht, wird über Nacht auch uns're Sonne scheinen. Dann haben wir das gleiche Recht erstritten, wir leiden nicht mehr, sondern sind gelitten!

                                               ENGLISH VERSION (VIDEO AND LYRICS)

The roots of the Pansy Craze stretch back decades, at least as far as the first of New York’s infamous masquerade balls, held in Harlem in 1869. The city already had a number of gay-friendly bars, including Pfaff’s Beer Cellar (favoured by Walt Whitman) and the Slide, which Joseph Pulitzer’s New York Evening World labelled “morally the lowest in New York, Paris, London or Berlin”. But the popularity of these drag (or fag) balls was such that by the 1920s, as many as 7,000 people of all colours and classes were attending. Prizes were awarded for the best costumes and Malin was often among the prizewinners.
The 1920s also saw an increase in the number of bohemian enclaves in rundown areas, such as New York’s Greenwich Village. Painters, poets and performers were lured by the cheap rents and by an increasingly wild and lawless lifestyle. Prohibition had given birth to a black market for booze and a bustling underground scene, where bright young things slumming it in mob-run nightspots developed a taste for camp, cutting repartee.

Like New York, Berlin’s regular drag balls made it a popular destination for LGBT tourists. Yet many regarded this tolerance as a sign of the country’s decadence, and Hitler’s rise to power saw countless bars, clubs and cafes closed. Nazi stormtroopers tore the heart out of Berlin’s cabaret scene, arresting anyone deemed entartete: degenerate. Max Hansen, who recorded War’n Sie Schon Mal In Mich Verliebt?(Weren’t You Ever In Love With Me?), in which a drunk Hitler made passes at a Jewish man, had to make a quick exit from Germany, and other cabaret stars either followed or went back into the closet. Willy Rosen, Max Ehrlich and Kurt Gerron (the star of Weill and Brecht’s Threepenny Opera) all died in Auschwitz. The bawdy, openly gay Paul O’Montis died in the Sachsenhausen camp, just 25 miles north of the stages he once commanded. “At the time of their creation, these songs were kind of shocking and anarchic,” adds Lemper. “Today, nothing can shock any more but these songs can still entertain and provoke.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

BINGO---A Much Neglected Bayesian Computer Package



During the 1980s. Professor Ewart Shaw, while still at Nottingham University, developed Bayes Four and BINGO, two seminal computer packages for highly accurate approximate Bayesian Inference, which extended the 1982 approach by Naylor and Smith, His approach effectively solved Bayesian inference for a very wide range of sampling models.

        However, during the 1990s, Bayesians went MCMC crazy  and Ewart's highly effective packages seem to have been large neglected in favour of paradigms which were often inferior, because of the very problematic convergence difficulties with MCMC

       In my opinion BINGO is still largely the state of the art and Ewart has not received enough credit for his pioneering packages

Here is what Ewart, and Brad Carlin and Tom Louis, have to say about his methodology:

Bayesian inference I subscribe to the Bayesian view of statistics, in which all uncertainty is treated using probability. This is the natural approach to making predictions and informed decisions in the real world. I have for many years been developing practical and very general methods for realistic Bayesian statistical modelling, initially while working as part of the Nottingham University Statistics group led by Adrian F. M. Smith. I devised and implemented the multivariable function reconstruction & display,12,63,66 and the novel numerical integration methodology for > 10 dimensions in Bayes Four.64,65,77 More recently I have designed and developed a computer system called BINGO,79 an earlier version of which is well described in a standard textbook (Carlin & Louis 2000, page 361)156 as follows: 


BINGO An acronym for Bayesian Inference—Numerical, Graphical and Other stuff, this program is an extended version of Bayes Four, developed by Prof. Ewart Shaw at Warwick University. Built for portable APL workspaces, an initial version is available at BINGO features a “multi-kernel” version of the Naylor and Smith (1982) algorithm, highly efficient (“designed”) numerical integration rules, device-independent graphics, and facilities for other approaches. The user must apply APL code for the likelihood and so on, similar to Bayes Four. Other facilities include built-in reparametrizations, Monte Carlo importance sampling and the Metropolis-Hastings algorithm, quasirandom sequences, Laplace approximations, function maximization, APLTEX, and the compact device-independent graphics language WGL (Warwick Graphics Language, pronounced “wiggle”). (3) Computation & numerical methods 

The practical importance of realistic statistical modelling has prompted my research into high-dimensional numerical integration and into approximating & summarising high-dimensional functions,2,12,16,19,26,38–42,60, 63–69,71,75 and hence into quasirandom sequences,2,18,19,70,72 computer algebra,39,84,86,101 and the interlinked areas of coding theory, combinatorial designs, lattices, sphere-packing, symmetry & distance-regular graphs.26,39,83,96,97,99,100 

Here is an excerpt from my (Tom's) Personal History of Bayesian Statistics:

    Sir Adrian’s influence across the discipline was by the mid-1990s becoming enormous. After assuming a number of important leadership roles, he is currently Vice-Chancellor of London University, and also deputy head of the U.K. Statistics Authority. Adrian has supervised 41 successful Bayesian Ph.D. students altogether, most of whom have gone on to achieve greater heights. They include Michael Goldstein, Uri Makov, Allan Skene, Lawrence Pettit, John Naylor, Ewart Shaw, Susan Hills, Nick Polson, David Spiegelhalter and Mike West, a phenomenal achievement. Both John Naylor and Ewart Shaw provided Adrian with remarkably sound computing expertise during the 1980s and before Bayesian MCMC came into vogue. They, for example, developed a computer package known as Bayes 4 which employed some reassuringly convincing, algebraically expressed, approximate Bayesian techniques. Bayes 4 has recently been incorporated into Ewart Shaw’s larger package BINGO. Maybe Sir Adrian should be regarded as the Sir Isaac Newton of modern Bayesian Statistics.

Friday, 1 September 2017

HIPSTERISM: A physical side effect of Capitalism