The two alternatives to the monasterisation of the World wide web

Saint Michael’s Abbey, in the Susa Valley, Piedmont. Source: Wikipedia.

In Medieval Europe, information was physically concentrated in very few secluded libraries and archives. Powerful institutions managed them and regulated who could access what. The library of the fictional abbey that is described in Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose is located in a fortified tower and only the librarian knows how to navigate its mysteries. Monasteries played an essential role in preserving written information and creating new intelligence from that knowledge. But being written information a scarce resource, with the keys to libraries came also authority and power. Similarly, Internet companies are amassing information within their fortified walls. In so doing, they provide services that we now see as essential but they also contravene the two core principles of the Internet: openness and decentralisation.

(more…)

Monday, 7 May 2018

WikiPrices

Erik Hersman, has recently created a site called Africa Signals. And it is not just a site: it is a wiki site. The site aims to collect and share mobile phone and Internet rates across Africa. (I have found about this site here)

Now. In my experience, one of the many reasons that makes poor a poor farmer is coping with a non-functioning market (I said it two posts ago). So I can just imagine how helpful would be to have a tool to make market work better.

Creating a wiki page to collect and share the price of one particular agricultural product in one particular time in one particular place would be great. But succeeding in integrating such a site with the mobile phone network would be even better.  How to do this? The government of Rwanda is moving in the very same direction without creating a wiki site. (It is difficult to imagine a government managing wikis). But bureaucracy is not something we usually associate with the words efficiency and effectiveness, especially in poor countries. And in any case we do not really need a government to make a site like this work.

Just think about a wiki site collecting and sharing data through sms. Actually Twitter, without the wiki interface, is doing it right now. So, think about a farmer receiving a message with updated price information the night before market day and, on this information, taking his/her decisions. And think about a farmer sending via sms the price information to the wiki site after leaving the market.

We can imagine the farmer to pay for the sms he or she receives and, on the contrary, we can imagine sending sms back to the site to be completely free.  And we can imagine some volunteers to be the administrators of the site (just like Wikipedia).

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

tweets


Twitter: frbailo

links


blogroll


RSS r-bloggers.com

  • RObservations #31: Using the magick and tesseract packages to examine asterisks within the Noam Elimelech
    Introduction Since my last blog on Tesseract-OCR I have been playing around casually with it to see what it is possible of doing. Tesseract supports optical character recognition for over 100 languages. That together with straight forward usage for implementing it in R inspired me to try using it for Hebrew ... Continue reading: RObservations […]
  • How to add labels at the end of each line in ggplot2?
    The post How to add labels at the end of each line in ggplot2? appeared first on Data Science Tutorials How to add labels at the end of each line in ggplot2?, Using the ggplot2 R library, this article shows how to display the last value of each line as ... Continue reading: How to […]
  • Top 3 Tools to Monitor User Adoption in R Shiny
    Can you monitor user adoption for R Shiny apps? What is user adoption anyway? We’ll answer these questions and show you how to do it yourself in this article. Put simply, user adoption is the process by which new users become familiar with your product and/or service and ... Continue reading: Top 3 Tools to […]
  • Artificial Intelligence Examples-Quick View
    The post Artificial Intelligence Examples-Quick View appeared first on Data Science Tutorials - Are you curious about Artificial Intelligence Examples? If you answered yes, then this article is for you.  We’ll go over some Artificial Intelligence instances here. So, spend a few minutes reading this article to learn everything ... Continue reading: Artificial Intelligence Examples-Quick […]
  • Bayesian sampling without tears
    Following a question on Stack Overflow trying to replicate a figure from the paper written by Alan Gelfand and Adrian Smith (1990) for The American Statistician, Bayesian sampling without tears, which precedes their historical MCMC papers, I looked at the R code produced by the OP and could not spot an ... Continue reading: Bayesian […]

RSS Simply Statistics

RSS Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science

  • “Stylized Facts in the Social Sciences”
    Sociologist Daniel Hirschman writes: Stylized facts are empirical regularities in search of theoretical, causal explanations. Stylized facts are both positive claims (about what is in the world) and normative claims (about what merits scholarly attention). Much of canonical social science … Continue reading →
  • New Yorker : Spy :: Kieran Healy : Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science
    Back in the day, the New Yorker magazine had an Olympian attitude and did not run letters. Spy magazine rectified this with a column, Letters to the Editor of the New Yorker. The New Yorker now runs letters, but Kieran … Continue reading →
  • Webinar: Design of Statistical Modeling Software
    This post is by Eric. On Wednesday, Juho Timonen from Aalto University is stopping by to tell us about his work. You can register here. Abstract Juho will present what he thinks is an ideal modular design for statistical modeling … Continue reading →