Archive for November, 2005


Tuesday, November 29th, 2005





Egalitarian engines

Sunday, November 20th, 2005

Will search engines make popular sites more so?

Not so, according to a controversial new paper that has recently appeared on arXiv, an online collection of physics and related papers. In it, Santo Fortunato and his colleagues at Indiana University in America and Bielefeld University in Germany claim that search engines actually have an egalitarian effect that increases traffic to less popular sites.

The researchers developed a model that described two extreme cases. In the first, people browsed the web only by surfing random links. In the second, people only visited pages that were returned by search engines. The researchers then turned to the real world. They plotted the traffic to a website—measured as the fraction of all page views made in a three-month period—against the number of incoming links made to that website. To their surprise, they found that the relationship between the two did not lie between the extremes suggested by their model but somewhere completely different. It appears to show that the supposed bias in favour of popular pages is actually mitigated by the combination of search engines and people following random links.

From an interesting article on the Economist : (Thanks, John!)


Tuesday, November 15th, 2005






Brother Antonio

Monday, November 14th, 2005

After hearing a question about Gramsci and Three-Represents, you could not help but thinking of the word “Hegemony.”

Here is what’s on Wikipedia under “Gramsci” about Hegemony:

Capitalism, Gramsci suggested, maintained control not just through violence and political and economic coercion, but also ideologically, through a hegemonic culture in which the values of the bourgeoisie became the ‘common sense’ values of all. Thus a consensus culture developed in which people in the working class identified their own good with the good of the bourgeoisie, and helped to maintain the status quo rather than revolting.


Lessig on Google Print

Sunday, November 13th, 2005

From the Wired: (Thanks, Dave!)

A decision will be made this November that may well change the Internet as we know it. Not in a technical sense – the threats there are many and are yet to be resolved. I’m talking about change in a business sense – meaning what business models will work on the Internet.

Google must decide how it will handle the battle over its latest great idea: Google Print. Last December­ the com­pany announced it would Googlize 15 million books. For works under copyright, a search would produce snippets around the search term used. But for books in the public domain, a search would also yield access to the full text of the works. Almost 90 percent of the books Google might scan are out of print. The project promises to ­radi­cally enhance our access to the past – to remind us of forgotten information. It is the great­est gift to knowledge since, well, Google


Wednesday, November 9th, 2005

Lucy’s project:

“I will mentor a minimum of two people in the developing world in the area of my skills base and expertise (media, communications, broadcasting , democratic media building, participatory media, community video). I will do this for free for a minimum of six months (in my free time). The mentoring will be in person or via email/skype and the mentoring connections will be established by a website and database that I am willing to take responsibility for creating but only if 250 other people will mentor a minimum of two people in their skills.”


Tuesday, November 8th, 2005



Cuneiform, Hieroglyph, Pictogram, Alphabet……


Different Perspectives on Civil Society

Monday, November 7th, 2005

For Gramnsci, civil society is formed by a series of “apparatuses,” such as the Churches, unions, parties, cooperatives, civic associations, and so on, which, on the one hand, prolong the dynamics of the state, but on the other hand, are deeply rooted among people. It is precisely this dual character of civil society that making it possible to seize the state without launching a direct, violent assault.



Sunday, November 6th, 2005