blog entry

blog entry

1000 lights of Dignity - protest to support the dalits

There's so many crazy things in the papers here in Delhi, and then there's so many that don't make the papers or are buried so deeply that people probably don't find them. Luckily I came across the independent paper Tehelka whilst staying in the other hotel on my last trip. The articles in this paper were heart wrenching. Most of the time I kept thinking, what year is this? how can these things be happening in this day and age. Here's an example - this notice arrived via the sarai reader list (www.sarai.net)

[quote]
National Association For Social Action (NASAindia) in collaboration with National Conference of Dalit Organisations (NACDOR) is organising a protest programme and will pay tribute by lighiting 1000 lights of Dignity to demand justice for the Bhotmange Family and for entire dalit community. i am inviting you in the said programme. please be there to raise the voice of justice and light a candle in favor of justice. there will be more than 5000 activists from all over india will be there.

10th Nov 2006 at 7:00 pm in Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi.
[/quote]

For more details on Khairlanji issue please go through following web site.
http://www.tehelka.com/story_main22.asp?filename=Ne111106Dalits_like.asp

google bombing - playing the search engine game

today it's time for the Americans to vote, and I hope they turn out to the polls in droves, if not for themselves but for the other countries who are affected by decisions made in US politics.

as it's that time of year, there's been a few articles floating round the maillists. one which caught my eye was on google bombing, or link bombing as it's also known. the article in the New York Times called Gaming the Search Engine, in a Political Season describes google bombing as :

[quote]
"A GOOGLE bomb — which some Web gurus have suggested is perhaps better called a link bomb, in that it affects most search engines — has typically been thought of as something between a prank and a form of protest. The idea is to select a certain search term or phrase ("borrowed time," for example), and then try to force a certain Web site (say, the Pentagon's official Donald H. Rumsfeld profile) to appear at or near the top of a search engine's results whenever that term is queried."
[/quote]

The article goes on to mention that google bombs have been compared to Greenpeace's founder Bob Hunter's "media mindbombs" by Clifford Tatum, in a paper published in the online journal First Monday (www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue10_10/).

I guess time will tell if these techniques are effective - from what the article says they're definitely changing the search engine results. But I suspect the key to the campaign is finding the best search phrase to use. Personally I don't think I'd search google for "borrowed time" - I can imagine this being used in a viral email though like the ones in the past where people say type this phrase and hit I feel lucky into google. Perhaps this is a case of preaching to the converted though which is often the problem with activist and social protest issues.

Let's just hope the spammers don't get onto it as well. Hopefully there are algorithms to prevent this in the search engines, though I wouldn't be surprised if this were one of the SEO tools for spam sites!

crowdfunding

sull posted on the videoblogging maillist about crowdfunding, which is a concept becoming more popular with the rise of social sites etc on the interweb. it's an interesting concept and I'd like to try it with some Australian arts/music projects to try raise money for them to complete their projects. the havemoneywillvlog project has been successful in raising money for people to work on various videoblogging projects ranging from a documentary / series, an artistic experiment with travel organised by the contributors, a research project on sustainability, a documentation of issues on immigration and it's social impacts from a selection of people's pov, and most recently raising funds to help convert 8mm films to video to give them a new lease of life.

since upgrading to drupal 4.7, I'll be testing the chipin and ecommerce modules to see if they are of use.

it would be great to be able to help people realise their projects. I think it could also help them to practice making grant funding applications to larger organisations and government bodies. anyway, it couldn't hurt to try. if the people make pledges to support the project, then only pay for them once the full amount of money is raised then it's less risk for them. I've pledged and donated money in this way. $10 a month (or less if I decide to skip a project) is not much for me to pay - it's less than the cost of a cd and is another way to help support a project when you can't attend in person. I figure I've spent more than that on less important things, so it's one way to help give back to the community! also, as these days I don't make it to events I'd like to in person, this could be another way of supporting them without being there.

I wonder if others think this way also. it's hard to convince people to spend their hard earned cash. just as it's hard to get people to come along to gigs. an interesting experiment nonetheless. hopefully some of the projects would be able to offer something extra, an incentive if you will, to the financial contributors. drupal groups modules might be useful for this..

I was thinking of using these systems to help raise money for people to work on projects - small budget amounts. maybe to do a promo cd or put on a gig or get a small book published or attend a conference & report on it etc. the donators would be given credit in the project and maybe get special previews on how the project is going. I could put the documentation on my site.

the project would get to practice applying for grants, so would need to be professional about it, have a definite timeline to work towards, and there would have to be a final outcome they could report on and document so people who donated knew their money went towards something real and was not just lost.

the system could also be used to raise money for charities, or if you can't decide on a charity, then think of the artist as your target for giving.

anyway, here's some sites useful for research about this or showing examples of currently working systems :

http://havemoneywillvlog.com/ = funding site for videoblog projects

http://crowdfunding.com/ = research blog on crowdfunding

http://www.sellaband.com/ = raise $50000 towards funding your band / your fav band's promo/album costs

http://fundavlog.com/ = pay per view / raise money for vlogs

http://fundable.org/ = raise money for any projects, payment site

http://chipin.com/ = raise money for any projects, payment site

http://www.netribution.co.uk/2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id... = article on crowdfunding for independent films

http://www.smartmobs.com/archive/2006/09/19/a_swarm_of_ange.html = a UK film being made via donations

nomadology

I've been reading the Nomadology book and blog posts lately. it's an interesting concept. I've found myself travelling more in the last few years but I'm not sure that my mode of travel could be classed as nomadic.

eg from Encyclopedia Britannica - searching on nomad / nomadism
http://www.britannica.com/ebc/article-9373574

[quote]
"Way of life of peoples who do not live continually in the same place but move cyclically or periodically."

"It is based on temporary centres whose stability depends on the available food supply and the technology for exploiting it. A hunting and gathering society is a type of nomadic group. Pastoral nomads, who depend on domestic livestock, migrate in an established territory to find pasture for their animals. Tinker or trader nomads, such as the Roma (Gypsies; see Rom) and the Irish and Scottish Travellers, are associated with a larger society but maintain their mobile way of life. Nomadism declined in the 20th century as urban centres expanded and governments sought to regulate or eliminate it."
[/quote]

or nomadism on wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nomadism

[quote]
"Communities of nomadic people move from place to place, rather than settling down in one location. Many cultures have been traditionally nomadic, but nomadic behaviour is increasingly rare in industrialised countries. There are three kinds of nomads, hunter-gatherers, pastoral nomads, and peripatetic nomads. Nomadic hunter-gatherers have by far the longest-lived subsistence method in human history, following seasonally available wild plants and game. Pastoralists raise herds and move with them so as not to deplete pasture beyond recovery in any one area. Peripatetic nomads are more common in industrialised nations travelling from place to place offering a trade wherever they go."
[/quote]

currently I'm a cross between Perpetual Traveller, expat or perhaps even a touch technomad. for the moment I have given up the sedentary lifestyle. living in different place whilst on work projects gives you a great opportunity to see how other people live and to realise how little you actually need to be happy and to live a good life yourself. it definitely makes you appreciate the life we lead in Australia.

there's a whole other world out there and some people are taking advantage of it. in doing a couple of quick html hops whilst googling nomadism, I came across microship.com the website of Steven Roberts who left suburbia behind to travel in teched up vehicles such as Winnebiko and BEHEMOTH. Now he's decking out a catamaran to do some more leisurely and comfortable sailing. but wow! what an adventure. his site mentions he's had help from numerous people on places to stay and go. there'd be a few books worth of stories to tell!

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20060711 Marriage and castes in India - a local's perspective (mp3)

Click here or on the image to listen to the audio recording

we had a chat at work about marriage and castes in India not long after arriving. it was interesting for us and the Indian guys to hear how it works and the differences between love marriages in the West and arranged marriages as well as the process involved in India. in these modern times, websites are used for arranging marriages, similar to the online dating sites that crowd the late night tv advertorial space.

some of my questions / comments sound quite dumb now that I know more about the place and people here but it was my first week in Delhi and didn't know much about Indian customs.

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Air Jaldi Summit - wireless networks in India

http://summit.airjaldi.com/home/program/

notes

Day Three, Tuesday – October 24
09:00 – 09:10 Greetings and logistics updates
09:10 – 10:00 Keynote Address:Dr. Eric Brewer
10:00 - 10:30 Break

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playing with squeak

HelloWorld! squeak file

visit squeak plugins page if you can't see the app below


or click here to open hello world squeak test app if you can't already see it. once the page opens, scroll to the toolbar at bottom of page and add things to the test page - you won't be able to save though!

hrmm... that didn't work at all :(

useful links to docs / info :

http://www.squeak.org : one of the main squeak sites

http://guzdial.cc.gatech.edu/squeakbook/ : book on squeak "Squeak: Object-oriented design with multimedia applications" by Mark Guzdial

http://coweb.cc.gatech.edu/cs2340/ : uni course using squeak that the "Squeak: Object-oriented design with multimedia applications" book was based on

http://www.iam.unibe.ch/~ducasse/Videos/ : video tutorials - don't seem to have sound in all of them though! screencasts

http://minnow.cc.gatech.edu/squeak : Squeak Swiki

http://minnow.cc.gatech.edu/squeak/2983 : documentation

http://minnow.cc.gatech.edu/squeak/82 : a self study course in squeak

http://minnow.cc.gatech.edu/squeak/20 : other squeak websites

http://www.univ-savoie.fr/Portail/Groupes/listic2/membres/Stephane.Ducas... : pdf books on squeak

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20061005 drive to Canberra to see Tab & Andrew

Watch the video
the drive to Canberra to see Tab & Andrew while she's pregnant. shaky footage as I was driving! I took a couple of the brown signed tourist drives and ended up on a 75 km unsealed dirt mountain track on the way to Wombeyan Caves. I had to beep the horn going round the blind corners and the tyres were sliding a bit some of the time so it was a bit scary. it took me a couple of hours as I was driving so slowly! luckily I didn't come across too many cars coming the other way. finally I made it to the bottom of the hill where the park is leading to the Caves. by this time it was 3:30pm and I thought I might have to do another 75k to get back to the highway, so I didn't actually make it to the caves - the shortest trip was a 1.5 hr guided walk which involved climbing inside the caves also. I did get to see lots of kangaroos though and the park was a nice oasis after the hairy drive through the mountains. luckily there was a 5 km road with about 1 km unsealed, but easier gradient road leading out of the park heading towards Golburn / Canberra, so the trip back was much quicker and safer! great to see Tab & Andrew before they have the baby, so it was worth the trip!!!

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