Ideas for the online revolution.


May 5 - UK votes. Labour is ahead by around 5-8% and expected to win a majority. Aparently Labour benefits from the distribution of its votes and could pull off a majority even if the Conservatives got the same number of votes. I'm upset with the rightwing moves that Labour has been making (at least since Neil Kinnock in the Eighties) which have now become obvious to the world as Blair was Bush's favorite imperialist ally.

I wonder if Blair is any worse than prior Labour leaders in this move to the right? It seems like social-democrats/labour parties have been moving to the right... perhaps almost since the 1880s (when the German social democrats first started moving away from Marxism). I guess there have been shifts back to the left in 1917-1919 (due to the Russian Revolution), the Thirties, 1943-1946 (after communist Russia defeated Hitler, and before the Cold War was up and running), and 1968-1971.

1, 2, 3, Many Friendsters - At Least Until the Mergers Start

There are already probably a dozen social-networking tools like Friendster. I don't know exactly how many because I haven't tried doing an exhaustive search for them.

These sites range in focus from dating, to frienship, to business networking, and back to dating.

On the political side, has a friendster-like network of a million liberal people which promotes engagement in political action (action alerts, and online discussion). The League of Pissed Off Voters ( has a very ambitious plan to also create a political friendster-like community - particularily to engage young people in electoral activism, but also for other reasons too (which aren't entirely clear to me). Indyvoter's plans are much further advanced then their current site - which isn't being used that much.

Relational Databases - How to Implement in PHP

When I first started programming for I wasn't aware or able to find out how anyone had implemented the "relations" part of a database as a data structure.

So I came up with my own method. Basically I have a giant two dimensional array -- relations[object-1][object-2] which contains information on whether or not a relationship is possible.

(I also created an array that stored whether or not the person who controlled object-1 had persmission to add or delete relations to object-2 -- this was necessary because of my somewhat unique permissions system.)

Now the problem I'm running into is that there are often two relations permissible between two objects -- relationships that I need to treat differently. For instance, I have groups as an object and they can be related to another group because they are 1) a parent group in a network, or 2) a child group in a network.

Latest SERPs

I'm not sure if I should post this because everytime I do so, the website falls several notches. Anyways, the lastest search engine rankings for this site are at an all-time high for the keyword "activism".

Google: #2
Yahoo: #3
MSN: #2

Google regularly slips to #3, and MSN likes to give their rankings a big shake every week or so.

On the other hand, search engine traffic is flat. Ho hum!


Viewing Satellite Data Fun

Instead of ending poverty, the government definitely has its priorities straight when it spends millions of dollars on cool software like World Wind. This powerful program lets you rotate and zoom in on the Earth (with 1m resolution in the US). And it's only 170mb!

Zooming takes a while as it has to download the data - AND this program takes a ton of CPU power (it slows down my Athlon 2600+ to a slow pace).

Here is an image of a place where I got left off when I was hitch-hiking from Indiana to Seattle. It is in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, inside North Dakota near the Montana border. I ended up camping and spending the night nearby.

A Collaborative Organizing Guide

People who want to change the world need advice on the most effective way to do this.

Generally books that try to give you most of what you need to do activism are called "Organizing Guides" or "Activism Handbooks".

In my mind, the two leading organizing guides are that by the War Resister's League and Midwest Academy's one. SEAC also has a good guide.

However, none of these guides come close to providing the level of detail that would reflect the variety of experiences of thousands of social movement activists. I think the solution is to develop a new online collaboratively written set of resources that would be sorted and edited to provide a level of quality worthy of a good Organizing Guide.

Activism Network - Progress Report is winning the poll. At 48% of the votes it has a substantial lead over

My early favourite,, is last place. Obviously the general readership doesn't read lengthy sectarian and anti-sectarian texts on how building socialism from below is the way to go.

I really really really wanted but Wendy Russ has it. What is really funny is that she was using it to hold an annual "Clean up the Internet" day where people were meant to remove old pages. So there she is, sitting on a really nice domain name, and not using it.

I'd tried emailing her a couple times to see if she'd let me have the site (I suspect she is slightly liberal) - but she hasn't responded. You can email her too and lobby on my behalf.

Yahoo likes Me

Yahoo is finally starting to send serious numbers of people to this site.

Originally when Yahoo was running the same results that Google ran, Yahoo drove 1/4 of the visits that Google did.

When Yahoo started their own results, Yahoo traffic fell to 1/40th of Google.

Now Yahoo traffic is back to 1/6 of Google.

It's nice not to rely upon Google for 95% of my search engine traffic.

Unfortunately, general traffic is a little low. It peaked several months ago at 4000 visits/day, however that just didn't last and now it's 2000 visits.

Making Money with Google AdSense

I started running ads from Google's AdSense program on my site three weeks ago. They are only on a part of the site that mostly attracts people from search engines who are not interested in activism.

So I figured it wouldn't harm my goals to give them some ads to look at.

I didn't think this would be a significant source of revenue - but actually it is. It now looks like I'm making around $5/day. Thus I could make $1800 in a year (which is about 20-25% of what I need to live on - sans health care). If I put ads everywhere and my traffic recovered (note: my website traffic is around 2000 visits/day, down from its peak of 4000) then I could make enough money to live on.

Defense Spending in Your County

Defense Contracts in St. Joseph Valley county, from 1983-2003.
(In $1000s)
Note: I attended Notre Dame, in St. Joseph Valley county, Indiana. It's a small county, but apparently very industrial and militarized.

1983 $ 685,057
1984 $ 769,751
1985 $ 850,550
1986 $ 699,475
1987 $ 640,365
1988 $ 281,183
1989 $ 305,130
1990 $ 381,573
1991 $ 440,858
1992 $ 475,263
1993 $ 430,820
1994 $ 313,661
1995 $ 163,539
1996 $ 356,432
1997 $ 333,954
1998 $ 282,088
1999 $ 289,241
2000 $ 301,217
2001 $ 175,629
2002 $ 384,345
2003 $ 619,560

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