Category Archives: blog

Interview with Tadoh

Today I interview, Nicola Tadini otherwise known as tadoh, Copenhagen-based music-lover and DJ.

His sound varies from slow deep house to dancefloor filling tech-house. Together with Wartemal he started Folkets Haus, a monthly event in Folkets Hus in Nørrebro, as an attempt to bring electronic music and the radical-left closer.

In this interview you’ll learn…
what the slow house genre is
three different ways for music to be politial
and exactly how many stars Italian cookies ought to have.

Music Featured
——————–
+ Folkets Haus #12 – 1. maj støtteaften
+ www.mixcloud.com/tadoh/folkets-ha…t%C3%B8tteaften/

+ Vadestedsfestival 2016 – Friday closing set
+ www.mixcloud.com/tadoh/vadestedsf…day-closing-set/

+ Klangkarussell – Sonnentanz ft.… Read the rest

Wikidata Human Gender Indicators in the News

Data from my project the Wikidata Human Gender Indicators has started to be cited in the press (BBC, Bloomberg), which is a large dose of validation. Traffic to the data visualizations increased 500% on the day of the BBC publication to 1,000 views/day, which inspires confidence. Moreover, Wikimedia Foundation’s Grants team—who funded WHGI—praised the project in their year-end report, saying:

Grants for research and tools (such as WHGI) – which minimally contribute to the targets of people or articles – have been extremely valuable in improving our understanding of the gender gap and how or why it manifests.

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For Harry and Carie on their Wedding Day

Marriage is part of humanity. As Alain de Botton reflected, “[…] the impulse to cluster into small familial groups within which to safely propagate the next generation, is a project that has been known to the largest share of humanity since our earliest upright days in East Africa’s Rift Valley.” And although today Harry and Carie are engaged in this ancient tradition, they are also alternative people that create their own history. Alternative people who appreciate a form of never-ending play, which was has been so well described for myself and our couple in the book Finite and Infinite Games. I’d like to read to you it’s philosophy on marriage, the family project and their choiceful natures:

Infinite lovers may or may not have a family.

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Machine Learning in 3rd Grade

The Economist has commented on the irony that machine learning helps school teachers relax after work by choosing what movie to watch, but helps none in determining how to assist their students. In my fellowship this summer, I tried to change that. At DSSG, I worked with the Tulsa Public Schools to do identify which students are at risk of being made to repeat 3rd grade. Using machine learning techniques we were able to predict 95% of the second grade students that would require intervention before the Reading Sufficiency Act destined them to do the year over.

At Data Fest 2016 I gave a fuller yet concise explanation, watch the video below.… Read the rest

3 Ways To Access Wikidata Data Until It Can Be Done Properly

Note: This post is quite old. In fact Wikidata can now be accessed “properly” via the Wikidata Query Service (WDQS). However the techniques outlined below still have their advantages.

The inaugural Wiki Research Hackathon went very well, and I’m affirmed that I feel best when I’m conducting Wiki Research. I was asked to give one of the tech talks of the day about accessing Wikidata data programmatically. Here is an outline of the talk

Purpose:

We’ll be viewing Wikidata as file in its own right for research, not as it’s canonical use case of being used in various Wikipedias.

Native format:

Wikidata is a mostly standard Mediawiki instance except that pages don’t store “Wikitext”, they store JSON blobs.… Read the rest

How A Small Bug I Wrote Started Helping Holocaust Deniers

In my early software education, I’d been taught about how untested  software could result in deadly radiation-therapy machines. But since I never planned to be in the medical devices industry, these sort of warnings didn’t apply to me – after all I was only writing Wikipedia bots. But this week I was proved wrong when another Wikipedian messaged me with a query unlike any I’d received before (empahsis mine):

Hi Max, I’ve pinged you a couple of times, but in case you’re not getting them, would you mind commenting?

It’s about an edit your bot made to Wikidata that changed the infobox of a featured article about a book about the Holocaust, Night.

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Flavours of Ethanol: Not That Different

I spent a weekend with my friend riding 30 miles between Minneapolis breweries.  We learned some important lessons.

  1. The modern consumer elects to understand arbitrary differences in item-classes.
  2. The corporation co-opts leisure time of the individual to construct an aesthetic.
  3. Even if thebeers are not that different, they will say they are.
  4. This is similar to the divided political “spectrum”, that is, not a spectrum at all.
  5. As a test case take the IPA, the least versatile “acquired” taste.
  6. Once the consumer has developed a false consciousness and accepts  the objectionable and anti-rational quality of IPA ethanol, that consumer has joined the in-group.
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U and Why?: Part 3: Highest Recommendaitons

I first discovered Why? in the same way that all new music came to me in my teenage years, pen-pal-ship with my best friend Daniel Cohen. I’d wanted to retain my friends and life when I was stripped from England in ’99, and between annual visits, emails filled in the gaps for us. (In retrospect this comments on the history of chat technology, youngsters able to figure it out around the millennium.) An early symbol of my empathetic practice, in 2004 electro-mails I basically asked Dan questions that Pitchfork media was answering. I’m not taking credit for his current success as a reviewing journalist, but I think he relished the task and I gave him plenty of practice.… Read the rest

U and Why?: Part 2: Snow Bike and the Seven Identities

While Ceephax has exposed me to a hyperactive, ultrajoyful side of myself, Why? has shown me how to cope with inexorable loss of impermanent identities. Just today I was going to go to an event I’d been looking forward to for over a year; the Stupor Bowl is a 50 mile bike ride in Minneapolis, stopping at 9 bars, and on the coldest day of the year. But after ceding a pool table yesterday to a man who my friends told me looked very much like myself, due to his moustache and cycling jacket, I became paralyzed by the self-awareness of my new identity.… Read the rest

U and Y. Part 1

Intro

In this Ceephax Acid Crew Live youtube video there’s a comment which says “Love that one guy going nuts.” And it’s true, there is a guy in the front of the crowd feeling the music and letting his body follow. That’s not a particularly amazing fact to many people, but to me its a revelation on a virality with which I’m infected. Because just 24 hours earlier, I was that person in the front.

24 hours even before I was going nuts, I was getting nervous. Ceephax was playing at the Science Museum in San Francisco, and this would be my first opportunity to see him in the flesh.… Read the rest