Friday, August 28, 2009


Many things have changed since I last posted.

1) I have decided to change my nutrition architecture and reuse the location app and the reporter app for locations, reporters and patients. I need to make some minor tweeks to this code to accomidate patient type things like gender and date of birth - which really all people have. I am trying to use rapidSMS to the fullest of its RAD capabilities - what this means is that I am spending time writing scripts to translate csv backdata to json to import as data into the RapidSMS databases. This is probably going to be a typical use case for RapidSMS implementation - as little reinvention of the wheel as possible.

I strongly urge developers/interested parties who want to use RapidSMS to look at the locations app and the reporters app - they are really well architected. I am going ahead with my malwai health app - eventually I think it would be useful to have an indicators app similar to the locations/reporter paradigm. But for now, I am going to stick with my explicit/non flexible model- which will work.

2) I have stopped drinking coffee
3) I can now identify malaria carrying mosquitoes
4) I have totally destroyed my local git hub repository and need to regenerate a ssh key. This is leading to massive ssh key proliferation that I need to stamp out.
5) I am on a good UNICEF bus pickup/drop off schedule

We end at 1:30 on Fridays - at which point - I think I am going to go and eat pizza at mamma mia. It is SOO good - I am dreaming about it- but pricey (I had to dig into my stash of gnu bars yesterday to save up for it)

Last night there was no bar volleyball -very sad. Instead I took myself upto the Kiboko bar, which is completely deserted, sat infront of a roaring fire (it is cold here), had a beer (a green one as we call Carlsberg in Lilongwe) - and cracked open 'Globalization' - the anthology I am reading. I think this book was written in 99, and it is a bit dated, however some of the articles are excellent (like the memory article from a few posts back). Last night there were two standouts, a piece on the Chinese Artist Wang Jin and his work 'A Chinese Dream' by Wu Hung and 'Inside the Economoy of Appearances' by Anna Tsing.

So the first piece was basically an analysis of this piece of artwork - a replication of a traditional chinese opera costume recreated entirely in plastic. Of course the author gives treatment to the artist as capitalist/cosmopolitian producer (the piece is manufactured by old ladies in rural china),artist reappropriating traditional forms - that are realy ersatz. (Chinese opera these days is akin to Disney world). I really was touched aesthetically by Wang Jin's artwork and its different manifestations (as performance art, as photograph, etc). I though the article was excellent as an thorough investigation into all aspects of the work: production, consumption, reappropriation,etc.

Second article, ok this one was bit long. In 13Bit filmmaking we would say it needed a little choppy choppy (ie editing). However,this was really an incredibly fascinating article and I recommend it to anyone interested in Gold, mining, and the markets. Basically it follows the rise and fall of Bre-X, a Canadian mining company as it attempted to look for Gold in Indonesia. The article touches upon how the 'scientific-izatio' of the field (now we have geologists exploring rather than miners), makes in palatable to wall street. How there was this transformation of part of Indonesia into frontier land fit for explorers and fortune hunters (like the Brazilian Amazon). How antropological tropes have been mapped on to this capitalist venture. How Bre-X was able to pull a magnificent swindle on the stockmarket - and yet how people were still able to make money from stock speculation. It is truly a rich article that is told in a narrative and entertaining fashion- I will probably reread it.

Caveat Emptor - I know I am discussing this book - however I dont recommend purchasing it. The quality of the articles are really uneven and I would probably be better off reading Shakespeare. That being said, if you still want to read it, borrow it from your local library.

So after my thinking and reading - I settled down into my queensize bed covered with mosquito netting, and listened to the philosophybites podcast - the most awesome podcast evar! (well its a toss up between that and coverville)

OOp - just got the rest of the location codes from the Malawi ministry of health! They are really on top of things. More csv to json - via my script.

Next time I hope to be reporting on my RapidSMS Malawi version2 test.

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