Charles Perrow Normal Accidents

Classification of various systems between linear and complex systems with tight and loose coupling.


Comparing the two Nikkor telephoto zooms: 70-210 F4 and the 80-200 F2.8

Both lenses:


Lets see the F2.8 lens first, shooting a tree in the garden at 200mm, F8, cropped image below:

80-200F2.8 @ 200 F8 GREEN80-200F2.8 @ 200 F8 GREEN - ZOOM

Now at F4:

80-200F2.8 @ 200 F4 GREEN80-200F2.8 @ 200 F4 GREEN - ZOOM

And finally wide open at F2.8:

80-200F2.8 @ 200 F2.8 GREEN80-200F2.8 @ 200 F2.8 GREEN - ZOOM

Looks pretty good, very little chromatic abberation.


Now moving onto the 70-210 F4 lens, at 210mm, F8:

70-210F4 @ 210 F8 GREEN70-210F4 @ 210 F8 GREEN - ZOOM

The colours are not as punchy as the F2.8 lens. Now lets go wide open at F4:

70-210F4 @ 210 F4 GREEN70-210F4 @ 210 F4 GREEN - ZOOM

Significant loss of resolution.


Now lets try a harsher test: Trees with white sky behind it for chromatic abberation. Again, beginning with the F2.8, this time at 170mm, at F8:

80-200F2.8 @ 170 F8 TREE80-200F2.8 @ 170 F8 TREE - ZOOM

Pretty good. Now at F5:

80-200F2.8 @ 170 F5 TREE80-200F2.8 @ 170 F5 TREE - ZOOM

A bit of focus error, yet the in focus parts still holding up well. Finally wide open at F2.8:

80-200F2.8 @ 170 F2.8 TREE80-200F2.8 @ 170 F2.8 TREE - ZOOM

Finally see a bit of chromatic abberation. Still acceptable as it is a very harsh test.

Now moving onto the F4 lens at 210, starting with F8:

70-210F4 @ 210 F8 TREE70-210F4 @ 210 F8 TREE - ZOOM

Hmm, sort of acceptable, but it should be better than this at F8. Now at F4:

70-210F4 @ 210 F4 TREE70-210F4 @ 210 F4 TREE - ZOOM

Significant chromatic abberation!

However, the F4 is £150 or even cheaper on ebay. The F2.8 is ~£300-350+. You get what you pay for. Also the F2.8 is significantly heavier, so it is quite cumbersome to carry around. The F4 is a delight to use for street shooting at F8, and convenient to carry around.

iPhone 6 versus iPhone 7 Image Quality

A comparison of the image quality of the iPhone 6 versus the iPhone 7, of the same scene captured in the office. The iPhone 7 has slightly more noise, which is expected form the smaller pixel size, and appears to be less vivid than the iPhone 6. However it wins with respect to resolution quite clearly. See images below, with some analysis done in Image J.


Above zoomed image highlighting the lower noise on the left of the iPhone 6 versus the iPhone 7 on the right.


More vivid colours of the iPhone 6 on the left versus the iPhone 7, yet better definition of the plants on the right.

Streeck – On the Euro

“Yet since 2013, an astonishing number of voices have been heard in favour of a flexible currency regime, one that could enable democratic politics to even out imbalances through less destructive means than internal devaluations. The suggestions made range from a return to national currencies, via the temporary or permanent introduction of parallel currencies, together with capital controls, right through to a Keynesian two-tier currency system.37 No nostalgia for the Deutschmark’ is required to see the urgent need for joint reflection on the reconstruction of the European single currency, in a way that might be beneficial for Europe, democracy and society. In principle, this theme might also emerge from the no less urgent search for a better global monetary system than exists at present – one that has become increasingly dysfunctional since
the definitive dismantling of the Bretton Woods regime in the early 19705, and almost brought the world economy to the point of collapse in 2008.  The failure of the euro is just one development among many to dispel the illusion that arose from the anomalously peaceful conditions of the post-war
period – the conviction that what money is and how it should be managed is a question that has been settled once and for all. Debates about a new global monetary and financial regime are now well overdue. Their task will be to devise a system flexible enough to do justice to the conditions and constraints governing the development of all societies participating in the world economy without encouraging rival devaluations, or the competitive production of moneu or debt, together with the geostrategic contests they foster. Agenda items would include the successor to the dollar as a reserve currency, the empowerment of states and international organizations to set limits to the
free movement of capital, regulation of the havoc caused by the shadow banks and the global creation of money and credit, as well as the introduction affixed but adjustable exchange rates. Such debates could take their cue from the astonishing wealth of ideas about alternative national and supranational monetary regimes produced in the interwar years by such writers as Fisher or Keynes. They would teach us at the very least that money is a constantly developing historical institution that requires continual reshaping, and must be judged as efficient not just in theory but also in its political
function. The future of the European single currency could in that way become a subordinate theme of a worldwide debate about a monetary and credit system for capitalism – perhaps even for a post-capitalist order of the twenty-first century. 
Or not, as the case may be. Now more than ever there is a grotesque gap between capitalisms intensifying reproduction problems and the collective energy needed to resolve them – affecting not just the necessary repairs to the monetary system, but also regulation of the exploitation oflabour-power and the environment. This may mean that there is no guarantee that the people who have been so kind as to present us with the euro will be able to protect us
from its consequences, or will even make a serious attempt to do so. The sorcerer s apprentices will be unable to let go of the broom with which they aimed to cleanse Europe of its pre-modern social and anti-capitalist foibles, for the sake of a neoliberal transformation of its capitalism. The most plausible scenario for the Europe of the near and not-so-near future is one of growing economic disparities – and of increasing political and cultural hostility between its peoples, as they find themselves flanked by technocratic attempts to undermine democracy on the one side, and the rise of new nationalist parties on the other. These will seize the opportunity to declare themselves the authentic champions of the growing number of so-called losers of modernization, who feel they have been abandoned by a social democracy that has embraced the market and globalization. Furthermore, this world, which lives under the constant threat of possible repetitions of 2oo8, will be especially uncomfortable for the Germans, who for the sake of the euro will find themselves having to survive without the ‘Europe to which they had once looked to provide them with a safe dwelling place, surrounded by well-disposed neighbours.”
Wolfgang Streeck, How Will Capitalism End? Verso, 2016

Streeck – Why Capitalism needs counter movements

“Capitalism, that is to say, is indeed always embedded in that it takes place in a society, subject to social constraints and opportunities. Also, capitalism in an important sense depends on remaining so embedded as it thrives on the rule of law, mutual trust, normative coordination and institutionalized cooperation, creative intelligence and the like. Nevertheless, and at the same time, capitalist actors always struggle to escape from their social containment and free themselves from obligations and controls. Ideas of solidarity and
institutions of social regulation are as a result at a permanent risk of erosion, with capitalist patterns of action spreading like cancer in the body social even though capitalism as such, pure and simple and liberated from social constraints, cannot exist. In this sense capitalism feeds parasitically on the society that it inhabits or befalls, with its expansion ultimately amounting to its self-destruction unless checked by social and political opposition.
Sometimes, as in the neoliberal era, the capitalist advance may capture the very politics that should contain it for its own good, and turn it into a vehicle of its own self-destructive progress; this, I believe, is what Polanyi meant when he described the expansion of ‘market society’ as a ‘frivolous experiment’ of states and governments.”
Wolfgang Streeck – How Will Capitalism End? (2016)

Werther, Goethe, 1774.

“The fools, who do not understand that actual rank does not matter at all and that he who occupies the top very rarely plays the chief role. How often a king is ruled by a minister; how many ministers by their secretaries! And who is then the first? I believe it is the man who knows his fellowmen at a glance and has sufficient power or shrewdness to harness their forces and passions to the execution of his plans.”

Jean Bodin on sovereign law and justice

The principal mark of sovereign majesty and absolute power is essentially the right to impose laws on subjects generally without their consent….There is indeed a distinction between justice and law, for one merely implies equity, while the other implies command. Law is nothing other than command of the sovereign in the excercise of his power.