Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Is it Wednesday already

Where does the time go!
Today I need to set up a backup server for RapidSMS Malawi. I have no idea why I cannot access the server over there - even though it is running. I really dont want to do it this - I foresee 5 hours of pain. I think running cherrypy on media temple will be painful. Tonight will be an all nighter -after kung fu fun. The things on the todo list are really piling up.

I have a version of BlackListTweet running over at - I need to create a front end and finish coding the first spam filter algorithm. Since twitter only lets me make 150 api calls in an hour, what I am doing is basically running a cron job at the end of every hour to test as many BlackListTweet registered accounts as possible. If BLT takes off, then I suppose I can cut a deal with Twitter and make BlackListTweet real-time. I still need to do web maintenance.

Tomorrow 13Bit is interviewing Mathis Wackernagel for the water/geopolitical power doc. It is not going to be a talking heads doc, but a wacked out espionage thriller like chinatown - but not as well lit. However, you do need to talk to talking heads, that is part of research. Wackernagel is pioneering something called the ecological footprint. This is a metric (like the carbon footprint) to determine how much ecological resources a person or country consumes. The idea is that perhaps we can integrate this into our economic system - it is sort of absurd that GDP and other measures of economic strength completely neglect consumption of environmental resources. In many ways, it reminds me on the Sen book I was reading in Africa (that I accidentally left at lake Malawi). Namely that, an increase in income does not necessarily lead to economic development. Development depends, as well, on the cultivation of personal liberties that enable people improve their own circumstances. THIS then leads to economic growth. At the core of both of these analysis are the ideas of incomplete or inadequate metrics (either for gauging economic health via GDP or gauging economic development via Income levels). With all this talk of metrics, you cannot help but feel how arbitrary it all is. After all, behind CDOs and S&P ratings were metrics designed to create safe securities out of risky securities. You can make a metric to prove anything. Man is the measure of all things.

13Bit is also collecting material for a potential documentary on the history of measurement, and on the history of money.
Odin is the god of wednesday

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