Category Archives: Lesser Thoughts

Haklab Belgrade Report

As a self-described ‘post-Lonely Planet’ traveller, I’ve been searching for new praxes of global adventure that make good excuses to run amok. For the months of January and February I toured Lisbon, Madrid, Modena, Bologna, Split, Belgrade, and Berlin, trying to understand their local hackerspaces. An example I was particulary fond of was Haklab Belgrade. Lessons to bring back to my budding Sudo Room hackerspace were abound there. I most thoroughly enjoyed  the recounting and education about the former Yugoslavia and pontifications about that history affects modern organizing.


Existing not in commercial space at all, but a donated first-floor apartment, Hacklab, if used for it’s orginal intention, would be warming, showering, and dishwashing the everyday lives of at most 2 Serbian citizens.

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Open Access Wikipedia Challenge on P2PU

It’s been traditional recently to hold Wikipedia Loves Libraries events during Open Access Week, and I fully support the practice. What’s also been traditional in a way that I wanted to change was the editathon format for those events. After scrunching my mind to brainstorm new experimental ways of holding these trainings and celebrations, I came up with Open Access Wikipedia Challenge  The challenge is to embed media that was harvested from Open Access journals in Wikipedia, and I created a special edition barnstar for completing it. This challenge is totally friendly to newbies and librarians as it includes over 1 hour total of six screencast tutorial videos that explain every detail right from the account creation, to transclusion, and each module has waypoint challenges.… Read the rest

Wikipedia Edits Statistics by Category: Updated Presidential Edition

We’ve heard that Wikipedia might be able to predict the Vice President, but what about the honcho himself?  Using a combination of Python, R, and Wikipedia version histroy, I’ve delved inside the hivemind and emerged with some graphs that might have the answer. So without further ado, let’s try and predict the upcoming U.S. election.


Wikipedia didn’t come to be until after the 2000 elections, so we can’t glean a lot of good data here. And although Bush has basically always outpaced Gore in editor interest, presidents seem to always get a lot more attention after they’re elected as you’ll see.… Read the rest

GLAM Camp: Wikipedians in Residence in London in The British Library

I am a Wikipedian in Residence which, unsurprisingly, I often have to explain to people what that actually means. Yet, the occupation is on the rise, and I wonder when the day will come when such an explanation is not necessary. I investigated the history of the number of people in this employ while musing at GLAM Camp London, and had this output.

A Timeline of Wikipedians in Residence
CC-BY-SA Maximilian Klein
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Circle Packing at Art Murmur

As part of sudoroom Art Murmur in August 2012, I decided to bring circle packing to the masses.

Here’s how I structured the game, and how you could build from it.


  • The game pieces consisted of 3 sizes of circles at 2.5cm 5cm and 8cm radii.
  • I was experimenting with the right point attribution for each. As shown the point values are 1, 3, and 8 respectively.
  • The maps were drawn by Anca Mosoiu of TechLiminal, and included the standard square, the African continent, and a silhouette of a meditating Buddha (pictured).


  • Participants compete head-to-head,
  • and are given 30-seconds,
  • to lay down non-overlapping circles,
  • within the drawn boundary.
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Malaria vs. iPad, 5 years on.

Searching through my draft blogs I find that the earliest is un-annotated, but prophetic collection of quotes I compiled in 2011. They are from Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography, that too-strong dose of propaganda that turned me off of the mystique of supposedly messianic  technology. (Perhaps I don’t give enough weight to the fact that it was the first and last book that I read entirely on a laptop). I admit I was – and still am – wooed by the allure of technolust, but at that moment, I stopped seeing computational progress as a deliverance and started seeing it blunt tool, often overdressed.… Read the rest

Profiled by Wikimedia Sweden

Axel Pettersson is a well-bearded Swede who feels equally at home at the stern of his clipper and editing Wikipedia from within the arctic circle. He’s also a blogger extraordinaire, having given interviews for Wikimedia with Nobel prize winners, at the Nobel prize ceremony.

Most recently he’s collected profiles of what I’d like to imagine as a sort of Wikimedia dream team. I’d like to thank him for including me in that cohort.

From the article:

Som en del av det ansvarade dom för en intressant förkonferens om Wikipedia loves Libraries dagen innan Wikimania började.

Part of the responsible organization for an interesting pre-conference of the Wikipedia Loves Libraries days before Wikimania started.

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The distance from a Bikini Carwash

Perusing the Jerusalem last night, unwittingly in my Wikipedia sweatshit, I was asked about my donation this year. On the tail of my positive response I richoceted the question. “Yes,” he responded “you had the picture of the cute girl [on the banner].”

Internal measurements of banner ad effectiveness are well examined in the Wikimedia foundation. If it’s found that pictures of attractive young female editors sell donations faster, should that be exploited. Or is sexism for a good cause, still sexism?… Read the rest

Don’t Even Bother Asking About The Microwave

“No – your refrigerator is too low-fidelity to be counted as a phonograph: it cannot reproduce sounds at all.” (Hofstadter 406). This retort in Goedel Escher Bach from Achilles to the Tortoise represents the crux of the argument between Zen and the Pragmatist. While Achilles reacts sensibly to the inaudability of the cold plastic disk, isn’t the Tortoise in competition for Zen practitioner of the year?

In my most recent involvement with self-appointed subculture, the Zorba Festival, the nerve centre of all Negev Desert chill-outs, I lost a similar battle but wouldn’t know it until too late. The tent was in fact patchwork canvas over a geodesic dome, the time late, and the attendees personified bric-a-brac.… Read the rest


Should you take someone else’s advice to trust yourself?


Case 1:

Suppose yes. Then you should take someone’s advice to trust yourself. So you should trust yourself. But if you trusted yourself you wouldn’t take someone else’s advice. Contradiction.

Case 2:

Suppose no. Then you should not take someone’s advice to trust yourself. So you should not trust yourself. If should not trust yourself then you ought to take other people’s advice. Contradiction.


Since both yes and no to this question lead to contradiction then the question presents a paradox. Q.E.D.

 … Read the rest