F and I had a conversation last night about all the places round the world where I have friends (i.e. colleagues). After we had gone through Africa, he asked me if I had any friends in Asia. I said yes, I know a woman called Sidney who works in Indonesia. F immediately picked up on the fact that there is a town in Australia with a similar name, and giggled about it for a few minutes.

Poor Sidney is well used to being spelt Sydney. But I got into the office to find that she now has bigger problems than people misspelling her name.

One thought on “Geography

  1. You’d be interested to hear about kind of work my colleague Tim Evans does at Imperial. It’s not my area but I’ve helped mark reports from some of his project students over the years. Last year there was a fascinating network analysis of mobile phone call traffic information from Belgium, which recovered the geographical language divide perfectly but without any prior knowledge.

    But the large scale analyses of data like this are very limited on what they can say about individuals – there’s too much noise on that level. Which is why many of the ‘magic bullet’ security schemes based on that kind of idea – whether on shows like Spooks or as proposed of (cthulhu help us) implemented by security agencies – are just so much rubbish.

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