Yaba Yaba

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Archive for October 2008

vote for LabourStart2.0

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Eric Lee has applied for $80,000 from Knight News Challenge to upgrade LabourStart. LabourStart is

An online news service maintained by a global network of volunteers which aims to serve the international trade union movement by collecting and disseminating information — and by assisting unions in campaigning and other ways.

Its features include daily labour news links in more than 20 languages and a news syndication service used by more than over 700 trade union websites. News is collected from mainstream, trade union, and alternative news sources by a network of over 500 volunteer correspondents based on every continent.

Eric has been running it on a shoestring, and he thinks its time to take it to the next level. I think he deserves your vote.

Written by yishaym

October 31, 2008 at 2:41 am

I want to ride this bus

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Really, no disrespect for anyone’s beliefs. Me, I believe in humans, you can’t get more wacky than that, so who am I to judge? But with all the alpha course signs all over town, and the plain ‘ol pentacostals, its nice that someone mentions the alternative. You know, just opening up the debate a bit. Like seeing an ad for Ubuntu on the telly.

Of course, we need a picture of the FSM crawling down Tate modern’s chimney stack to really get close to balance, but you know, even a little bit of diversity is better than none.

Written by yishaym

October 18, 2008 at 1:26 am

I wonder…

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When John Cleese calls Sarah Palin a parrot, what kind of parrot is he thinking of?

(ht Mark)

Written by yishaym

October 16, 2008 at 10:01 am

Open up!

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Jonathan Gray’s been busy. Open Knowledge Foundation is hosting two THREE interesting events in November:

Workshop on Finding and Re-using Public Information
, Saturday 1st November 2008, 1030-1600, London Knowledge Lab

The UK Government produces and distributes a vast amount of documents and datasets – from national statistics to environmental information, from socio-economic data to legal material. Recent technologies allow this information to be explored, built upon and made accessible in new ways – whether through visual representation, semantic interlinking, or through social media applications.

This informal, hands-on workshop will bring government information experts together with those who are interested in finding and re-using government information. In addition to focused discussions about legal and technological aspects of re-use, government information assets will be documented and tagged on CKAN, a registry of knowledge resources.


Open Everything, Thursday 6th November, 0900-1730, Chalk farm Roundhouse (London)

On 6 November 2008, London will host an Open Everything event, a global conversation about the art, science and spirit of ‘open’. The conversation will cover, well, everything. Qualifier: the ‘thing’ in question is built using openness, participation and self-organisation. There are people coming to talk about open technology, media, education, workplace design, philanthropy, public policy and even politics. These people want to tell you what they’re doing and find out what you’re up to. And they’d like to have lunch with you. That’s why they’re coming to Open Everything. For more on what we mean and why it matters, check out: http://www.openeverything.net.


Workshop on Finding and Re-using Open Scientific Resources, Nov. 8th, London Knowledge Lab

This informal, hands-on workshop will focus on finding and re-using open scientific resources – including open and public domain data, open access journal articles, and open educational materials. We will look at existing tools for discovering open material, metadata standards for relevant material in different domains, and how researchers go about looking for the material they need.

In addition to focused discussions about legal and technological aspects of re-use, open scientific resources will be documented and tagged on CKAN, a registry of knowledge resources.

Written by yishaym

October 10, 2008 at 2:56 am

Are you looking at me (looking at you)?

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Installation of life size images. The image of the Palestinian should face (be on the opposite side) the six Israeli. That is, the work hangs on two opposite facing walls. Steve Sabella, 2008.

Steve Sabella's settlement

Steve Sabella

Written by yishaym

October 10, 2008 at 12:57 am

It’s broken, fix it.

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50 years from now, assuming there will still be schools and history classes, teachers will have to be very creative when trying to explain the banter around the current systemic crisis. The kids would be asking how could a whole civilization stand before a plain and simple reality and looked through it as if it wasn’t there.
For start, naming. Financial crisis? Hello? 25% of mammals endangered, bees disappearing, massive climate change, global food shortages, and the man tells us we need to “restore consumer confidence”? Hell, no. Consumers have very good reasons to be worried. If anything, its time to shake their confidence. And with that, shake up some industries. In fact, some industries should probably follow whaling and leach farming. The current market turmoil is not, as some politicians and media experts would like us to believe, a freak consequence of convoluted mortgage schemes. It is an inevitable outcome of a fundamental property of markets: they predict the future. A market is a huge computer, combining the computational power of masses of machines and brains to project economic value into the future. The price of a firm’s stock doesn’t stop at its current assets, but reflects its expected amortized income over its expected lifetime. At least that’s what I was told at my high school economics class. So what should happen to the stock of a car company on a planet that is running out of petrol, or the legitimacy to use it? What would you expect of a mortgage bank in a planet where geography and climate is shifting in unpredictable patterns?
The recent bank bailout plans are equivalent of hosing a burning house with diesel. What we really need is to dowse the fire, throw out the parts that are beyond repair, and start rebuilding to a solid, sustainable standard.

Written by yishaym

October 8, 2008 at 1:46 pm