May 20th, 2013 § § permalink
Children playing Paperboy on an Amstrad CPC 464 in the 1980s (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I am proud to be part of a group of enthusiasts, who have 10 years ago started systematically collecting and exhibiting computer history in Slovenia. the pinnacle of this first decade was the recent exhibition Goto1982, prepared in collaboration with MNZS, that covered the cambrian explosion of home computers extensively.
Today, we are hosting a closing event for this exhibition, which is moving on to be hosted by Technical Museum of Slovenia for the next 12 months. We are extremely proud to be recognized and trusted by both institutions, and by thousands of visitors who left very optimistic comments, like “omg, this was my first one!“, and “this is confusing, i feel young and old at the same time“. thank you all!
We are more sure than ever, that technology is not just part of everyone’s lives today, but essential ingredient in everyone’s personal story. Each and every one I talk to these days doesn’t feel intimidated or bored by the idea of this Museum, quite the contrary – with glitter in the eyes, everyone starts listing objects from their past that they have been safely storing until now.
We are opening a new chapter today – we will be announcing the founding of Computer Museum Society, and inviting new members and supporters to join. Our plan is to build a different museum – one that will not only educate about the past, but also think ahead, educating the youth and bringing together professional communities.
To do this next step, we first need your help. We need you to raise your hand in support and basically say: “yes, computers and other contemporary technologies have made me what I am today, I don’t want this to pass by unexplored.”
You can support our efforts by:
- showing up tonight, at 6pm in MNZS
- becoming ‘supportive member’ with a donation, which gets you the right to wear exclusive t-shirt, learn about our next steps in real time and your place on our wall of fame
- thinking of 10 friends who might support our cause and telling them about it
April 30th, 2013 § § permalink
bakery (Photo credit: Sachiho)
Slovenia is a small country. it’s a fact, but unfortunately this realization is too often used as an excuse to not do something right. In my opinion, this means two other things:
- because it’s a small country, we can have much better overview of activities, if only we choose so. our national statistics centre is able to produce monthly insights into many aspects of the society without much effort, so we actually have data available that could be used to empower better decisions easily.
- because we don’t have infinite pool of human resources, we have to be more careful on where we employ them.
I don’t see enough efforts on either part, and I’m pretty sure very few people in slovenia are actually aware of the actual distribution of human potential of the country, which results in lots of ungrounded frustrations and much ranting about “too big government sector” or “too little economic growth“, without data to back it up.
So i wanted to get better sense of what our high level structure is. here is first draft of a breakdown of slovenian population:
… every slovenian resident can find herself in exactly one of the squares. now we can observe some interesting facts, some that we have known before, and some that might be a surprise:
- government is not so big. 40.000 people work across the administration. the same for public sector – all our education and health is run by only 5% of the population
- i ventured into separating private sector into two halves – the pseudo-private sector are people employed in companies that are funded mainly from public sources. i’ll get more accurate data, but i believe this distinction is important, because those companies are not actually creating value on the market, but rather live off national budget.
- so my theory is, that until we get more people from all other buckets into the real private sector, there is little hope of solving the economic crisis. if all our growth is dependent on government projects, and only 16% of people daily work on and think about adding value to the
complete data table is:
|kids under 15
i’m imagining next steps for this visualization will be:
- make it update itself from monthly data
- add more complexity, adding ability to drill into individual sectors
- create a comparable breakdown of added-value, or contribution to GDP, or something similar, to back my thesis that we need more people in the real private sector.
thoughts? what else do you see in the chart?
April 1st, 2013 § § permalink
A map of the Slovene Land and Provinces, author Peter Kozler Hrvatski: Zemljovid slovenskih zemalja i pokrajina, autor Peter Kozler (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
every western media seems to be talking about slovenia these days…
Fears that Slovenia will become the next eurozone nation to need a bail-out have been fuelled by a sharp cut to the country’s growth forecasts by the government’s economic institute. Slovenia has become the first victim of contagion from Cyprus as its borrowing costs rocketed last week in the wake of a punishing bail-out deal.
as an ‘insider’ I feel obliged to comment:
- to all westerns: slovenia is going to be just fine. the current state of public finance is a residue of a couple of years of poor governments, that resulted in couple of months of public uprisings and a new government that feels promising. so stop panicking and pay attention to details. every crisis in EU zone in the last three years was handled completely differently, there are no patterns.
- to slovenian politicians: this is actually awesome public PR opportunity – the world is looking at us closely now, let’s keep the limelight on us as long as possible and make sure the ‘crisis’ resolves while they are paying attention. now is the time to invest in all kinds of projects
- to slovenian public: go vote next time around. and pay more attention next time. the rest of the world cares more about slovenia than you do.
January 21st, 2013 § § permalink
first, a disclaimer. in light of recent political events and unrests in slovenia, i’d like to stress that this post is not meant to take any sides. i’ll merely try to point out to a project that might otherwise go unnoticed.
English: Detail from Government. Mural by Elihu Vedder. Lobby to Main Reading Room, Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building, Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
last year, i’ve spend a couple of days reading our national budget. the purpose of the exercise was to find ways to create something not unlike the famous ‘death and taxes’ infographic. i was pleasantly surprised with the fact, that our budget is actually very well designed, with fascinating inherent structure of programs and spenders, but unpleasantly not-surprised, that it was published as PDF.
to create an infographic with such complex data, that should be rebuilt every year, one needs programmatic ways to process it. so i ended up parsing the pdf, with many silly problems on the way. but it worked, and i’ve published the broken-down version for the years 2010-2012.
that was in spring, and ever since i’ve been waiting for the new government to finally publish the budget that was supposed to govern us this year, so i could compare it with the old ones. i really resent the fact that the budget was kept unpublished all throughout the legislative process. i really feel it’s an insult to the citizens.
but, they finally published it last week, and to my great surprise, they’ve really made an effort – they published detailed explanations of each section, and, ta-da-da-da, we have machine-parsable CSV files as well!
i realize it’s not perfect, but it’s light years ahead of what we used to have to deal with. so, who’s up for some info-charting now?
December 3rd, 2012 § § permalink
serious large scale demonstrations are going on in my home town last few days. the last time so many people gathered in protest was before we joined nato, in the height of anti-globalism movements of 2001. unfortunately it’s not that simple this time.
Bob at Piran Café blog in Slovenia shares this photograph in the Boing Boing Flickr Pool. On his blog, he explains: This [photograph of a policeman behind a riot shield] was taken at about 6 pm last night, shortly after protesters were giving carnations to police officers stationed in front of Parliament.
these demonstrations have nothing to do with neo-nazi’s, political disagreements or economic recession. they are just about people finally understanding that disillusionment is nothing without action. so far we assumed that politicians are paid to do a job of managing the country, just like profesional managers.
one thing that foreigners can’t understand from reports about neo-nazi groups in the otherwise quite city is that slovenians are normally very serious about in-activity. they should have protested any number of times in the last decade, or at least vote for different people the last 5 times they had a chance.
but they didn’t. they know the democracy doesn’t work, so they don’t bother with elections. neither they would bother with coming forth with plans to improve parts of it. instead they would complain a lot, and look at the most promising new european country flounder. slovenians have proven to be very good at feeling helpless.
we didn’t have corrupt elections yet, people actually voted for corrupt majors. some voted for them because they don’t know better. the others didn’t bother going to elections, or engaging in actions / conversations that would raise the profile of counter-candidates. it’s a pattern we have seen over and over again in our history of elections – rule of thumb is 30% voters turn-up is guaranteed, and 60% of them will vote for the commonly recognized worst option. dare to count how many times this was deemed ‘majority’ ? dare to guess how representative this sample is?
so getting 10k people on the streets is a great success, and hopefully a sign of changes to come. this post is more intended for fellow readers in slovenia, who are very good at amplifying opinions, but i’d like to provoke you to actually fucking do something. vote, vote more carefully, talk about issues when there is time to do something about them.
i wouldn’t even ask the next complaining slovenian: “and what did you do to make things better?” – they wouldn’t get it. the right questions is: “and what have you not done to contribute to this mess?”
August 25th, 2012 § § permalink
Planet example (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
So, everyone is talking about a balloon accident lately, but my Blogspire sent me a version of the report that blew my mind – hungarian project that maps all emergency events on the planet, from major traffic accidents to fly-by-objects.
Here is an example:
EDIS Number: VI-20120823-36303-SVN Date / time: 23/08/2012 14:30:44 [UTC] Event: Vehicle Accident Area: Europe Country: Slovenia State/County: Capital City Location: [About 6 miles south of Ljubljana] Number of Deads: 4 person(s) Number of Injured: 28 person(s) Number of Infected: N/A Number of Missing: N/A Number of Affected:…
and they have another project, mapping all grobal warming events.
Both of them are a great addition to a growing list of real-time global dashboards of differenti aspects of the Planet. I’ve been collecting them for a while now, and it seems it’s time to create a dedicated page for them.
Please feel free to submit any dashboard you know of that I’ve missed in the comments.
June 4th, 2012 § § permalink
OpenStreetMap Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I’m amused by the US media’s understanding of European geography / economy:
Piano Media, the joint web news payment system operating in Slovakia and Slovenia, is preparing to launch in a third, larger market this summer, after recently taking funding for globalisation. “The third country we are launching in July will be much larger than the two we already have combined,…
There is a question mark over whether Piano can replicate even these small numbers outside its own back yard…
… to think that slovenia is slovakia’s backyard, or that they are both the same backyard, is like saying US and Panama are the same backyard.
on the other hand, I’m glad Piano did their tests in these two countries, because now maybe more westerners will actually learn to tell us apart.
May 17th, 2012 § § permalink
yet another crazy fellow slovenian!
Matevz Lenarcic, a Slovenian pilot, biologist and photographer, opens the door of his plane after landing from an around the world flight, at the Ljubljana Airport. -AFP Photo LJUBLJANA: Slovenian adventurer Matevz Lenarcic successfully concluded a 100-day eco-friendly trip around the world on Thursday in an ultra-light plane boasting super-low…
as I usually say, we have a long and proud history of eccentric mad scientists and extreme sportsmen. cheers to all!
May 3rd, 2012 § § permalink
first: itunes match is awesome! not because it makes your music ‘legal’, but because it manages to reduce the storage space needed on the planet by several orders of magnitude. the fact that all the music is on all devices is just a bonus
and secondly, wow to have it available in slovenia! we are not third digital world anymore!
Apple has slowly rolled out its iTunes Match service worldwide over the past few months, but today it looks like more countries were added, because the music matching service began rolling out in Italy, Portugal, Greece, Slovenia, and Austria.
March 19th, 2012 § § permalink
My Grace Park Photo On Wikipedia (Photo credit: kk+)
I am surprised, more and more often, by really well written Wikipedia pages for very obscure people and services.
I so far assumed they are written by themselves, or rather a PR professional on their behalf.I just couldn’t believe there is enough people who care about XX to properly maintain that article, and even have it much more elaborate than for instance the one about YY.
Also, my favorite trick to use for content-based pet projects in Slovenia is, to contribute part of the content to an under resourced Wikipedia, and cite the new project as the source. Everybody wins.
So I guess I’m surprised that Wikipedia is not under attack by mercenaries who should know everything about content business. It might be that Wikipedians are such merciless defenders of the shrine, that nobody evil dares to touch it. ;)
PR News Poll: Wikipedia Mostly Unexplored By PR Pros By Bill Miltenberg, PR News There’s been an ongoing debate between leading PR pros and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales about PR’s participation in the creation and editing of Wikipedia posts. Wales says that objectivity and transparency is lacking among PR pros, especially within agencies.
I think it’s a fascinating topic, and one we will hear more about this year, as the content marketing goes mainstream. What if Wikipedians were paid to edit Wikipedia full time?