February 18th, 2006


userinfo senji
2006/02/18 23:29:00 - Picocon!
Picocon today (as always hosted by the Imperial college ΨΦ society). Not much in the way of books to pick up, (although I did snag the Engines of Light trilogy), but the author sessions were interesting, the panel distracted, and the silly games amused. Plus one of the most successful Destruction of Dodgy Merchandise auctions ever which must have raised over £200 for Charity.

Did you know that it's faster to travel from South Kensington to Kings Cross via the District/Circle then Victoria lines than the direct Piccadilly route – provided changing at Victoria takes no more than 4 minutes. People attempting this are recommended to get in the second carriage of a District train near the central doors (or the rear of the first carriage of a Circle train, which are shorter) for optimal placement at Victoria. The exit at Kings Cross is at the very rear of the train. Unfortunately I still just missed my train to Cambridge, but that's life.

I did however get to travel on one of the refurbished District trains, and they're a vast improvement. Doubleplusgood marks for Metronet and LUL here.
Current Mood: [mood icon] happy
Entry Tags: cusfs, icsf, life, picocon, sf, tube

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userinfo cartesiandaemon
[userpic]
2006/02/19 00:54:02
Hmmm. Probably some sort of cost function is desired. For instance, suppose the picadilly route takes time T+w1 (expectation T+E(w)=T+3) where T is a constant and wN is a random variable describing the time taken waiting, say w~N(3,1). Then the other takes, um, T+2 (expectation T-4+2E(w)). The exact numbers don't matter.

The point is, if the train leaves in T+2, you probably have a better chance with the alternative route. If the train leaves in T+4, you may have a better chance with picadilly, because the variance is less.

Certainly, working all this out wasted longer than I'd ever save :)

PS. Ken MacLeod -- would you recommend any starting book other than cosmonaut keep?
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userinfo senji
[userpic]
2006/02/19 17:00:39
Well, I started with The Star Fraction (and I certainly wouldn't start with any of the other of that err quartet), or if you prefer something that pokes not entirely subtle fun at the genre then Newton's Wake might suit.
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userinfo senji
[userpic]
2006/02/19 17:04:10
The point is, if the train leaves in T+2, you probably have a better chance with the alternative route. If the train leaves in T+4, you may have a better chance with picadilly, because the variance is less.


Personal observation of the Piccadilly is that it has quite a high variance of its own – probably because it has more stops in the shopping-and-tourist areas of Central London, and hence more opportunity for passenger-induced delay.
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userinfo cartesiandaemon
[userpic]
2006/02/20 17:44:21
Ah. Damn the insufficiency of statistics.

(Thanks for rec's.)
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userinfo requiem_17_23
[userpic]
2006/02/19 10:37:52
I had to read the name of that society to myself quietly to get that.

>< *pokes brain in order to get it to start properly*
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userinfo senji
[userpic]
2006/02/19 16:55:19
Their official name is ICSF but their T-shirts and other materiels have had the greek letters on for all the time I've been acquainted with them.
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Picocon! - Squaring the circle...

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