June 8, 2005

Signs of the time

Category: Chicago,Humor — @ 9:49 am

So today I finally walked to the one local bike shop in Hyde Park to fix my bike so that I can enjoy one last summer biking on the Chicago lakefront. On the way there, I noticed new, government issued signs shelving out the rule for dog poop in the city: don’t dare leave in on the ground, or else you may be fined. Ok. America, given it is land of the free, land of the rule, this is unremarkable and I agree, scattered dog poop, especially in burningly hot chicago summer, is .. gross. But the fine range was somewhat more remarkable. According to the sign you can be fined between 50-500 US dollars for the first offense. Who could not but ask: what would induce the larger fine? More dog poop? An especially large dog who dumps an especially large dump? Do little poodles, being the “refined” dogs, get less of a fine than some ugly mongrel with one or two benign tumors and scabies? I imagine puppy owners get off easier than the owner of some middle age lab? Does the judge or the issuing officer decide on the fine price? Did they include the range to take into account inflation?

June 7, 2005

The end of MT and over to WP

Category: Personal — Biella @ 11:19 am

Hello SR readers. I am migrating to WP in the next few days and honestly I am not sure if you are subscribed to this blog via RSS that it will just transfer over. If you don’t get posts in the next few days, it is likely you may have to resubscribe, unless I find the plugin magic soon. Just a friendly warning… And f*ck it is HOT in Chicago.

June 6, 2005

An auspicious day

Category: Wholesome — Biella @ 11:23 pm

An auspicious day: Sarge has been released and the Golub has defended his dissertation with success! Congratulations Alex.

The Politics of Open Source Adoption

Category: Politics — Biella @ 10:19 am

Yo, yo, help out if you haver the knowledge/desire:


The Social Science Research Council invites you to collaborate on a real-time history of the politics of open source software adoption. We are pleased to offer a first version of this account?POSA 1.0 (500KB .pdf)–in both .pdf and wiki versions, here POSA 1.0 includes contributions from Gabriella Coleman, Kenneth Cukier, Shay David, Rishab Aiyer Ghosh, Eugene Kim, Volker Grassmuck, Bildad Kagai, Nicolas Kimolo, and Jennifer Urban, and is edited by Joe Karaganis (SSRC) and Robert Latham (SSRC).

Our project begins with the observation that accounts of the Free and/or Open Source Software (FOSS) movement, to date, have been oriented mostly by the improbable fact of FOSS?s existence. At this stage of FOSS development and advocacy, we want to ask a different set of questions?not how open source works as a social and technical project, or whether open source provides benefits in terms of cost, security, etc., but rather how open source is becoming embedded in political arenas and policy debates. For our purposes, understanding the ?politics of adoption? means stepping back from the task of explaining or justifying FOSS in order to ask how increasingly canonical explanations and justifications are mobilized in different political contexts. POSA 1.0 maps many of the different kinds of political and institutional venues in which FOSS adoption is at stake. It tries to understand important institutional actors within those venues, and the ways in which arguments for and against FOSS are framed and advanced. It seeks to clarify the different opportunities and constraints facing FOSS adoption in different sectors and parts of the world. It is an inevitably partial account that–we hope–can be extended and deepened by other participants in these processes. We invite your help in preparing POSA 2.0.
To sweeten the pot, two prizes of $250 will be awarded to the best
contributions to POSA 2.0

June 5, 2005

Cafe Trinidad

Category: Chicago — Biella @ 8:16 am

So I have a few friends in town in Chicago and we have been out, hitting the streets, going out, and having some good food. Recently I discovered a gem of a restaurant in the south side, Cafe Trinidad. It has great Caribbean food (of the Indo-Caribbean type), and they give you servings that will induce a serious coma if you eat it all.

June 4, 2005

The Impact of Patents on Aids Treatment in India

Category: Politics — Biella @ 7:39 am

A Grassroots Expose of the Impact of India’s New Patent Legislation on AIDS Treatment

This ethnographic based project is timely. Given India’s recent change in patent laws, these academics/activists are going to document, on the ground, how families manage (or not) to get AIDS drugs. Look below for the project goals:

During the summer of 2005, we plan to create a baseline record that establishes how India’s HIV-infected populations depend on the Indian versions of Western patented Anti-retro Viral (ARV) drugs to survive. The baseline will also establish how they think they will manage as drug prices surge and any stockpiled drugs are depleted.

Using audio recorders, photographs and video, we plan to document the lives of families struggling to buy ARV drugs to keep a family member healthy; the challenges that stigmatized AIDS patients face in trying to earn enough money to buy the lifesaving treatment; activists desperately searching for new sources of inexpensive ARV drugs or lobbying the Indian government to grant compulsory licenses to continue producing cheap drugs. We plan to visit AIDS shelters and hospices in and around Mumbai, Bangalore, and Chennai.

The voices of those who support the new patent laws are only growing louder in the press, while the opposition to the law from the families and activists struggling to keep HIV-infected people alive has been reduced to one sentence that appears in almost all articles about the benefits of india’s new patent laws: “Some international medical-aid organizations protested the new patent regime, arguing it could crimp the supply of inexpensive generic drugs made in India.”

They have faced significant hurdles getting funding from traditional NGO’s (via their blog). Do support them with a small donation or if broke, do spread the word!

Back, again

Category: Anthropology — Biella @ 7:09 am

I am back from PR which was somewhat relaxing, somewhat not. I will return June 23rd for a longer trip but I wanted to get some of my life here back in order. Also a couple of friends are defending on Monday and wanted to see the show. One of them is Rex and he has posted his abstract. Reminds me I should do the same but perhaps after I move to Word Press this weekend (I hope).
Good luck Rex!