Disorganized Fun

Ronald Jenkees gives a great example on how to sell an album! Generally friendly, well priced, a reasonable sharing policy and self distributed. [A_Note_From_RJ.txt] included in the album download of Disorganized Fun:

Thanks a million for downloading my second CD! A lot of work and fun
went into this album. Posting jams on youtube helped shape it into
what it is. And so did the kind comments from people who liked those
jams. Thanks for those – they go a long way!
I hope you enjoy Disorganized Fun!

Music Sharing:
While I won’t be hating on anyone who shares my music, I hope that
everyone will keep it in mind that I’m an independent artist. I make
most of my music from scratch and I’m not signed to any record label.
However, if you know someone who has no way of paying for my music,
feel free to share. I’d personally rather those people be able to enjoy
my music rather than to not hear it at all.

If you’d like to use my music in a commercial project (anything that
makes someone money), you can contact me at ronaldjenkees@gmail.com.

Non-Profit Use:
If you would like to use my music in a non-profit project, I simply ask
that you please put me in your credits somewhere for the music you use.

THANKS AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!



And the best thing is: it’s really amazing music!

[youtube width=”600″ height=”450″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smE-uIljiGo[/youtube]

Political Dimensions

The traditional “left – right” scheme is not sufficient.

In order to reflect political positions more accurately, I devised a two dimensional scheme. Through many discussions and arguments with friends and colleagues, it matured over time. The results are explained in the following diagram:

A two dimensional scheme of politics.

original file in SVG format

(added 2011-01-15)

2D presentation of political dimensionsParallel coordinates presentation of political dimensions

Instead of a single dimension from left to right, this scheme uses the two dimensions:

  • The balance between needs and abilities
  • The balance between state and the individual

With this diagram I want to stimulate a discussion about the placement of different parties or other organisation. I positioned the major German parties based on my intuitive estimate. For reference I included the two leading US parties as well.  I do not claim that this is a correct or final expression of the current situation.

I would be very happy to see a healthy discussion around this proposal and if you want to contribute, just write a quick comment. You can also use the editable SVG file (linked below the diagram) to visualise your own ideas.


Updates based on the comments below:


Let me clarify the two original dimensions:

  • Needs and abilities is based on the question
    “What a person deserves is based on what the person needs. Or: It is based on what the person can achieve with its abilities.”.
  • State and individual is based on the question
    “Can each person apply its own solution to a subjective issue or does the state collectively define issues and solutions?”

Regarding the reappearing question of additional dimensions: In my first thoughts I included more dimensions, but dropped most of them in favour of making it easier to grasp and printable. In order to accommodate more dimensions on a two dimensional presentation, I added a parallel coordinates plot above which additionally includes the dimensions:

  • Balance of centralisation and decentralisation
    “Should a solution be implemented on the lowest possible level (subsidiarity) or should a central government implement global solutions?”
  • Balance of xenophobia and xenophilia
    A xenophile statement would be: “It doesn’t matter where somebody is from as long as he pays his taxes.”. A xenophob statement is: “National workers first!”
  • Long term and short term orientation
    This is closely related to sustainability; Does a party focus on short term gains or does it take future effects into account? What is the time frame a party uses to evaluate their decisions? Just a few months or a couple of generations?

According to Melly’s comment, I positioned the green party a bit closer to the centre on the needs/abilities axis to reflect the even balance. Based on Nightwolf’s comment, I added the German Pirates Party.

Especially regarding the pirates, there is still a high level of uncertainty, but I guess their future tendency will be more towards the state and the needs. This highlights another aspect, currently neglected by the diagrams: uncertainty distributions. As hardly anything in life is 100% certain, especially not in politics, each rating in each dimension should also define the type and the spread of the uncertainty distribution.

As the information density rises with more dimensions and even uncertainty distributions added, I would welcome creative ideas on how to visualise both in a single diagram.


Wikipedia before you think? 😀 Certainly not!


The reactions of politicians world wide, mostly fall in two categories:

  • WikiLeaks is bad so we need to hunt them down
  • WikiLeaks is bad so we need to protect our secrets better

But I think the missing option is

Do we need to be so secretive?

In most articles I have read recently, journalists are accepting the secrecy of our governments and are not questioning the motives or justifications. In my opinion we need to ask these questions and our employees (“the government”) need to explain in detail, why they need to keep which information secret.

It is those who we elect and pay to keep our states running, who need to justify why they hide information from their employers.


PS: Wired posted a good article today about the positive sides of WikiLeaks.

One Social Web

As the current issues with privacy in social networks start to get a lot of attention from the online society as well as traditional media, I though it would be time to have a look around for alternatives. And indeed I found interesting new solutions to this “old” problem. But let me start by analysing the current state of social networks.

Many of the popular existing social networks have a certain focus; from a German perspective this would be MySpace for bands/music, StudiVZ or Facebook for the student life and Xing for the business networking. Based on these distinctions, they also attract different social groups. Though this diversification and competition itself should be considered useful for the end user, it leads to separation. Most of us will know the situation, where some real-life friends are on one social network and some are on another. As the existing networks do not talk to each other, the only solution to stay in contact with all your friends, is to join a number of popular social networks:

separated social networks, not talking to each other

Another issue arises, when one of your social networks decides to change its policies in an unacceptable way. Currently you have two choices in this situation: leave the network and loose contact to those friends or accept the uncomfortable changes and for example show more information publicly than you intent to.

The image described above changes dramatically if we look at how many people with their web-based e-mail accounts. One friend is registering with GMail, another one with his ISP and yet another one (a geek like me 😉 ) is running his own e-mail server. Yet noone wonders that UserA@gmail.com can send a mail to User2@t-online.de! And even that geek renting a server or running his own infrastructure can obviously communicate with both of them. Should one of the e-mail providers turn rogue, a user can just get a new e-mail account at a different provider and still stay in contact with all his friends and colleagues in his address book.

how e-mail currently works

Wouldn’t this be nice for social networking?!

Well, this is basically what OneSocialWeb (OSW) provides! Based on the communication protocol XMPP (formerly Jabber), which is standardised by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), OSW provides a social networking experience, which is very similar to web-mail. Individuals (like me) or commercial organisations (like GMX or GMail) can run their own social networking platform and the individual end users registered at these platforms can freely communicate with each other. OSW supports the known ways of communication in social networks, like creating realtionships between people (“friend”, “follow”, …) and exchanging updates on current activities. Similar to e-mail, the end user can just switch the social networking provider, without loosing contact to his friends.

how OneSocialWeb works

If you are interested in trying out this new approach to social networking, write me an e-mail or a comment, and I can create a testing account on http://social-one.de/, which is a test platform without commercial intent, hosted on a rented server.
Currently there are three ways of interacting with the system:

  • A traditional web based client (http://social-one.de/), which would be familiar to most users coming from traditional social networks. As this is still in alpha stage, it does not provide the full functionality, yet.
  • A graphical client for Android devices, which I couldn’t test so far, as my old Android 1.5 is not supported. (If anyone can report on this, please write a comment)
  • A text based client on the console, which is not exactly the most convenient way of interacting, but it is the client supporting most of the current functionality of OSW.

I hope this is a helpful introduction to federated social networking. Many thanks to all the developers around the OSW project, you’re doing a great job!