Archive for February, 2016|Monthly archive page

The Forthcoming–Behavioral–Economics of Abundance

From Brad DeLong’s page, “Over at Project SyndicateEconomics in the Age of Abundance: BERKELEY – Until very recently, the biggest economic challenge facing mankind was making sure there was enough to eat.”

Really? Sigh… the usual observation is that the two accounts of prehistory are that of plenty alternating with famine as the human condition. That the economists are stipulating “after” the “dawn of agriculture” is good, as it does away with the vast stretch of human prehistory that came before agriculture and which seemed to be free from debt and, after the last ice age, famine.

But the article’s thrust has more to do with the “economics”—and thus, really, the very idea of property as modernity has it—in the context of radical abundance. The great thing about reading Brad (and for that matter, the others at Project Syndicate, etc.) is that the analyses and ideas are not only quite comprehensible but also ricochet among some sci-fi writers, most notably the late Iain M. Banks (the Culture series was all about living in endless abundance), Charles Stross, Ken MacLeod—-and probably some others deprived of being Scot (and, yes, there’s a lot of guy economics here, something that, given Elinor Ostrom’s collaborative work on collaboration, well…..)


Source: The Forthcoming–Behavioral–Economics of Abundance

Report from the VMware GPL court hearing | LaForge’s home page

A clear presentation of the case. The issues are laid out efficiently and the plausible consequences clarified.


Today, I took some time off to attend the court hearing in the GPLviolation/infringement case that Christoph Hellwig has brought againstVMware.I am not in any way legally involved in the lawsuit.

Source: Report from the VMware GPL court hearing | LaForge’s home page

International and Comparative User Rights in the Digital Economy – Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property

Source: International and Comparative User Rights in the Digital Economy – Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property

Data ethics (not what you think) – Strata + Hadoop World in San Jose 2016

Strata + Hadoop World is a fairly new event. It takes place 29-31 March this year in San Jose, California. I’m giving a talk there on Big Data and ethics, an updated, complexified version of one I gave at last year’s ApacheCon Big Data, in Budapest. That one was very well received; for this coming event, I’m clarifying the argument and also layering it some. Events have changed, even in the last few months, and the presentation will reflect that, tough the overall gist still holds to the published abstract below.


Source: Data ethics (not what you think) – Strata + Hadoop World in San Jose 2016

Conservancy’s Executive Director Testifies in Favor of NYC Free and Open Source Software Acts – Software Freedom Conservancy

The Software Freedom Conservancy provides a non-profit home and services to Free, Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) projects.

Source: Conservancy’s Executive Director Testifies in Favor of NYC Free and Open Source Software Acts – Software Freedom Conservancy

Wikimedia Foundation’s Timeline of Suffering


The Wikimedia Foundation has recently suffered from lack of communication with the editing community, poor transparency, and sudden loss of staff members. Some of these issues center around the recent Wikimedia Discovery efforts, some seem to stem from senior leadership. Unrest and discontent has been visible both within the editing community and the Wikimedia Foundation itself.

This timeline has been developed by Molly White (User:GorillaWarfare), and compiled and written with immense help from many other people. It was initially published on 22 February 2016 at 12:05UTC, and will be updated as more events unfold or come to light. It was most recently updated at 14:07 on 24 February. To suggest a change, email me or submit a pull request on Github.


A timeline of recent events surrounding the Wikimedia projects

Home | Apache Geode Summit

Apache Geode’s motto is a prize: Performance is key. Consistency is a must.

The speakers at the event? My guess is they’ll be brilliant.

The inaugural Geode Summit is a full day conference to bring together the Apache Geode (incubating) community and GemFire users and developers. Attendees will engage with experts, core committers, and leading production users of Geode and GemFire for in memory data management, and related projects. Attendees will also learn where the Geode project development is headed and how companies are using Geode for low-latency, high concurrency data management and transaction processing in a variety of applications.

Source: Home | Apache Geode Summit

Zika data-sharing should be the norm, not the exception

This is not a reiteration of “Information is free” or something like that. The call to share knowledge—data that’s been obtained using verifiable means—is for the seemingly radical notion that we, as a people, can best address existential (or even less dramatic) threats by pooling resources—establishing a commons—and not by privatising everything under the glamorous banner of free market.


The Zika data-sharing pact has given scientists and journals good press for doing something they really should be doing already.

Source: Zika data-sharing should be the norm, not the exception

Data Privacy Project – Initiatives to inform and support libraries and librarians

Source: Data Privacy Project – Initiatives to inform and support libraries and librarians

Custom Computer Tools

Every now and then I find myself using more scripts—and thus having to edit, tweak them. Apple’s own has plenty of competitors and there are also extant formulations that save a lot of time. (And also actually put one in the position of being able to do serious work, and not just that late-night fallback, iterated idiocy.)

Custom Computer is a probably just a single person; I don’t know him or her, only the scripts he or she has devised for Alfred, a very nifty tool (and one I prefer over others). I also like—at least so far—the recommendations on the site.

As to why I’m doing more scripting? Ultimately to save time and frustration. Faster to deploy a local script that, say, hides obtrusive data or organises it the way one wants than to go through the numbing preferences of an application, even if it is open source. Apps are designed for generic people. Even if they have myriad options (which is too many), the process of selection, and then the dread of anxiety lest it all go away, all that takes time, and worse, saps energy, leaving one to iterate, idiotically. Much better and also more satisfying, to script one’s scenario directly.


Source: Custom Computer Tools

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