Category Archives: Politics

A Penny for your thoughts: New Year wishes from mechanical turkers

I wanted to learn more about Amazon’s Mechanical Turk service (wikipedia), and perhaps also figure out how I feel about it. Named after a historical faked chess-playing machine, it uses the Web to allow people around the world to work on short low-pay ‘micro-tasks’. It’s a disturbing capitalist fantasy come true, echoing Frederick Taylor’s ‘Scientific [...]

Twitter Iran RT chaos

From Twitter in the last few minutes, a chaos of echo’d posts about army moves. Just a few excerpts here by copy/paste, mostly without the all-important timestamps. Without tools to trace reports to their source, to claims about their source from credible intermediaries, or evidence, this isn’t directly useful. Even grassroots journalists needs evidence. I [...]

The House that Jack Built

<Farmer> <sowed> <Corn> <kept> <Cock> <woke> <Priest> <married> <Man> <kissed> <Maiden> <milked> <Cow> <tossed> <Dog> <worried> <Cat> <killed> <Rat> <ate> <Malt> <in> <House> <builtBy> <Person foaf:name=”Jack” /> </builtBy> </House> </in> </Malt> </ate> </Rat> </killed> </Cat> </worried> </Dog> </tossed> </Cow> </milked> </Maiden> </kissed> </Man> </married> </Priest> </woke> </Cock> </kept> </Corn> </sowed> </Farmer> FOAF super-connectivity daydreams from [...]

Obama for middle-managers

(inspired by the ‘Yes we can’ powerpoint slides…) We Will… act – not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology’s wonders [...]

Family trees, Gedcom::FOAF in CPAN, and provenance

Every wondered who the mother(s) of Adam and Eve’s grand-children were? Me too. But don’t expect SPARQL or the Semantic Web to answer that one! Meanwhile, … You might nevetheless care to try the Gedcom::FOAF CPAN module from Brian Cassidy. It can read Gedcom, a popular ‘family history’ file format, and turn it into RDF [...]

Problem statement

A Pew Research Center survey released a few days ago found that only half of Americans correctly know that Mr. Obama is a Christian. Meanwhile, 13 percent of registered voters say that he is a Muslim, compared with 12 percent in June and 10 percent in March. More ominously, a rising share — now 16 [...]

Nokiana: the one about the CIA, Syria, and the N95

Matt Kane resurfaced on Bristol‘s underscore mailing list  with this intriguing snippet, after some travels around the middle-east: ” … discovered N95s (not mine) cannot be taken into Syria”. I asked for the backstory, which goes like this: Quite a palaver. Got the train from Istanbul to Syria (amazing trip!). At the border they didn’t [...]

Obama

I was really very impressed by Obama’s speech this week. And somewhat suprised to hear a major US politician speak on complex, subtle issues in thoughtful, nuanced terms. For non USAmericans, I think it’s often hard to empathise with US-style patriotism; in particular, the seeming impossibility of seeing the US as anything other than a [...]