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Ye old blog articles.

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  2. +55 −0 a-present-is-found-and-a-friend-is-made.txt
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74 a-minimal-blogging-engine.txt
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+=========================
+A Minimal Blogging Engine
+=========================
+
+:X-Created: [2008-06-28, 09:21]
+
+I became a blogger in 2002 with `Radio Userland <http://radio.userland.com/>`_.
+As the trial expired, I decided to wait till better tools were available. 6
+years and an active blogosphere later, I presumed things had improved.
+
+So I tried out `Wordpress <http://asktav.wordpress.com>`_ and `Blogger
+<http://asktav.blogspot.com>`_. What did I find? Crap. Now don't get me wrong.
+They are decent publishing tools. I've set up various Wordpress blogs and even
+convinced my mother to start a blog on Blogger due its funky `transliteration
+tools <http://help.blogger.com/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=58226>`_.
+
+But if all I'm getting is a publishing tool, then I at least expect ease of
+customisation and ability to add my own HTML when needed. After all, this was a
+basic feature of the `original web browser
+<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WorldWideWeb>`_! But no.
+
+Instead you can spend hours trying to customise the overly complex CSS. You will
+have your line breaks broken up in weird and arbitary ways. And unless you are a
+masochist, don't even try mixing WYSIWYG and raw HTML editing!
+
+So, after spending an entire night trying to bend Blogger to my will, I decided
+enough was enough. And in less time than it took to figure out Blogger's CSS
+class names, I was able to hack together this minimal blogging engine.
+
+It's just a simple Makefile, 2 little python scripts and a template file with
+bits of HTML and Javascript. To write a new blog entry: create a new
+`restructured text <http://docutils.sourceforge.net/rst.html>`_ file and then
+run ``make && svn commit``. Tada!
+
+If you are interested, here is the text file from which this article was
+generated:
+
+* `a-minimal-blogging-engine.jen
+ <http://pleinair.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/documentation/asktav/rst/a-minimal-blogging-engine.jen>`_
+ -- it's plain text despite the .jen ending
+
+Now this particular solution is definitely not for most people. But I was
+pleasantly surprised at just how much functionality I could put together in a
+few hours -- and still maintain full control over the content and style!
+
+This has only been made possible thanks to the following tools which have come
+along in the last few years:
+
+* `Disqus <http://www.disqus.com>`_ -- for distributed comments
+* `Docutils <http://docutils.sourceforge.net/>`_ -- for converting restructuredtext to html
+* `Google Analytics <http://www.google.com/analytics/>`_ -- for visitor statistics
+* `Google Code <http://code.google.com/>`_ -- for hosting the subversion repository
+* `Feedburner <http://www.feedburner.com/>`_ -- for handling the RSS feeds
+* `FriendFeed <http://friendfeed.com/>`_ -- for aggregating my web activities
+* `jQuery <http://jquery.com/>`_ -- for manipulating the Disqus API
+* `Subversion <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subversion_(software)>`_ -- for version control of the articles
+
+I am particularly excited by that last feature. As I get full versioning support
+for free. Looking at it another way, I get a personal wiki without any
+additional work on my part!
+
+Of course, this setup is not geared for multiple authors and doesn't have fancy
+web interfaces. But it is definitely a better publishing tool *for me* than the
+other options that I can see out there.
+
+Please let me know if there are decent alternatives that I should be using
+instead. And if you care to use this setup, then checkout the `subversion
+repository <http://pleinair.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/documentation/asktav/>`_.
+All my code is placed in the public domain.
+
+And now that I've done what several thousands of others have `done before me
+<http://diveintomark.org/archives/2001/07/30/why_i_dont_use_blogger>`_, I can
+hopefully focus on creating tools that are *actually* geared towards enabling
+dialogue and active collaboration.
View
55 a-present-is-found-and-a-friend-is-made.txt
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+=====================================
+A Present Is Found & A Friend Is Made
+=====================================
+
+:X-Created: [2008-08-13, 00:01]
+
+*[This is a reposting of an email that I had sent to some close friends on March
+20th 2003 @ 05:53.]*
+
+::
+
+ | time. 2am. place. the wobbly (millennium) bridge.
+ |
+ | after entertaining myself running around the trees, i pull
+ | myself up onto the wobbly bridge and gently skip along. my
+ | heart beats slightly faster as i see the river flow underneath
+ | me. the thrill of being so high. the thrill of falling.
+ |
+ | clumsily pull myself over the side, straddle a beam and sit,
+ | watching the river flow. i lean back, feel the aura of the
+ | full moon. the wind blows. so soft. but with a sharpness that
+ | makes me alert. aware. lyrics come to mind "london calling to
+ | the underworld... i live by the river!"
+ |
+ | i get up to climb back over. i almost slip. heart beats. back
+ | on the wobbly. start to skip along again. in front of me, a
+ | giant circle. a perfect circle. a circle of objects. i look
+ | around -- no-one to be seen. a present from an anonymous
+ | stranger.
+ |
+ | i delight in the find and start exploring. a mobile phone. a
+ | paintbrush. a block of wood. a pressure valve. a blue tin
+ | (labelled russian caviar). i look inside. some round stones.
+ | another block of wood. too many objects to be mentioned here.
+ | the wind takes on a cold edge, but the present makes me very
+ | warm.
+ |
+ | and in the middle of this perfect circle, at the exact middle
+ | of the bridge (both lengthways and sideways), a grey and
+ | white toy bunny with a fat blue alkaline battery. i ponder
+ | upon the present for a long time. is there a clever message?
+ |
+ | for some reason, the words "beautiful girl lovely dress"
+ | sample across my mind's ear. a cyclist zooms by. i call back
+ | at him. he stops. he turns. he approaches cautiously. i ask
+ | him what he thinks. maybe a clock he says. doesn't have
+ | anything interesting to say. i let him go.
+ |
+ | i explore the present further. time goes by. i feel inspired.
+ | thoughts provoked. another walks by. i wave. we speak. i can
+ | sense the samani in this creature. we will be good friends.
+ |
+ | i bid the present goodbye, and decide to spend the remaining
+ | hours of the morning exploring the mind of this new found
+ | friend. and fun hours they were.
View
1,294 about-tav.txt
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+=========
+About Tav
+=========
+
+:X-Summary: A Brief History of Tav
+
+:Abstract:
+
+ This is a pseudo auto-biography of Tav written in a simple question and
+ answer style. Enjoy!
+
+.. contents:: Table of Contents
+ :depth: 2
+ :backlinks: none
+
+
+Are you happy to answer personal questions?
+===========================================
+
+.. class:: sidebox
+
+ "Transparency is fundamental to trust"
+
+Yes. I have nothing to hide and believe that transparency is fundamental to
+trust. Because it lets others understand where you are coming from and your
+motives are made clear.
+
+The personal stuff is what matters. It's what drives people. What affects their
+thoughts. Their actions. One might give reasoning for actions, but it is all
+driven by something very personal. Anyone who thinks otherwise is just deceiving
+themself.
+
+For example, there was a time when I took a closed source approach. Why? Not
+because I believed in it. But because I was pissed off. Pissed off at an
+ex-collaborator with whom I had disagreements of strategy. I didn't want him to
+benefit from my work if he didn't believe in it.
+
+There was another time when I couldn't focus on my work for months. I was heart
+broken. When people mention heartache they fail to mention that it's not just a
+metaphor, your heart really aches!
+
+Feeing connected. Falling in love. Not being loved back. Being loved back. Being
+warm and safe. The story of the heart defines us. And to be useful to society it
+is paramount that we first understand ourselves. Then by sharing, we let others
+do so too.
+
+
+Who are you?
+============
+
+Entrepreneur. Economist. Scientist. Architect. Inventor. Designer. Musician.
+Activist. Producer. Coder. Poet. Spiritual leader. Anthropologist. Writer. I am
+none of these. Yet I find myself playing with a curious mix of it all. Symbiotic
+engineering.
+
+
+What's your name?
+=================
+
+Tav.
+
+
+No, really, what's your name?
+=============================
+
+It's just Tav. No surname. Like Madonna if you will. If you mean what's the name
+on my birth certificate, then it's Vageesan Sivapathasundaram. As you can
+probably imagine, many school exams were finished by the time I managed to fill
+in my name.
+
+When my father kicked me out of the house he demanded that I never use his name.
+What he meant was that I shouldn't use his name to ask for help from other
+people.
+
+.. class:: sidebox
+
+ "Being homeless at 17 gives you a certain outlook"
+
+But being made homeless at 17 gives you a certain outlook. Having to sleep in a
+wet park doesn't endear you to the guy responsible. So I decided to take his
+wish rather literally and just abandoned my surname. Gave myself the name 'Tav'
+-- a shortened form of an internet handle I'd been using, ta'veren:
+
+ "A person around whom the Wheel of Time weaves all surrounding life-threads,
+ perhaps all life-threads, to form a Web of Destiny" [Jordan-1990]_.
+
+I quite liked it because the meaning was rather similar to my birth name,
+Vageesan, which also means: creator, lord of knowledge, lord of speech, &c.
+
+And as I would later find out from an excited Kabbalist at a party sometime, Tav
+is also a letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It supposedly stands for truth
+[Ginsburgh]_ and represents the covenant between God and his people. Or maybe it
+just means a box. Anyone know?
+
+
+Who is Tav Ino?
+===============
+
+Saritah, an old housemate of mine, used to call me "Tavino". So when sign-up
+forms insist on a surname, I give them "Ino". It's not a part of my name. Just
+there to sate the surname requirements of silly websites.
+
+
+Do you suffer from schizophrenia?
+=================================
+
+Nope. At least no more than average. For example, when I was about 8, I used to
+have 3 imaginary friends who controlled the various forces of life. Sadly I
+haven't seen them since hitting puberty.
+
+I did once conduct a related experiment though -- spent a few months living
+multiple lives in parallel. I had keys to a number of different houses.
+Introduced different aspects of myself under different names. Isolated my
+behaviours into distinct characters.
+
+.. class:: sidebox
+
+ "A gentle soul with a love for humanity"
+
+This experiment -- whilst it nearly pushed me over into insanity -- helped me
+realise my true self. Because in all the personalities I took, a certain
+commonality was inescapable. A gentle soul with a love for humanity.
+
+"If a man comes to the door of poetry untouched by the madness of the Muses,
+believing that technique alone will make him a good poet, he and his sane
+compositions never reach perfection, but are utterly eclipsed by the
+performances of the inspired madman" -- Socrates.
+
+
+When is your birthday?
+======================
+
+18th March 1982.
+
+
+Where were you born?
+====================
+
+In North Middlesex Hospital, Enfield, London, UK.
+
+
+Where have you lived?
+=====================
+
+In London (UK) for most of my life:
+
+* Enfield
+* Greenwich
+* Plumstead
+* Tooting
+* Bickley
+* Bromley
+* Beckenham
+* Orpington
+* Hackney
+* Finsbury Park
+* Sudbury Hill
+* Angel
+* Liverpool Street
+
+With some temporary stay in:
+
+* Richmond
+* Notting Hill
+* Swiss Cottage
+
+In Sri Lanka for 3 years:
+
+* Kilinochi
+
+In Tamil Nadu (India) for 2 years:
+
+* Thirunelveli
+* Chennai
+
+In Berlin (Germany) for a year:
+
+* Wedding
+* Prenzlauer Berg
+
+
+Have you had a privileged upbringing?
+=====================================
+
+I've had a mixed upbringing. Growing up on a farm/jungle in Sri Lanka. Being a
+city boy in London. The quality of life I had growing up was reflective of the
+ups and downs in my father's life.
+
+He would be unemployed at times and we would live in shitholes. He would also
+make more than £100k a year sometimes and we would live decently. Ups and downs.
+
+I consider myself rather privileged to have had private schooling at Dulwich
+College. But this was only possible because of a scholarship and an assisted
+place. I appreciate it moreso because I've been at state schools and realise how
+shit they can be.
+
+.. class:: sidebox
+
+ "Thankful for the various opportunities life has given me"
+
+But I am even more thankful for the various opportunities life has given me. To
+have grown up under the influences of two different cultures. To have been born
+and brought up in London -- in some ways, the centre of the world. To have
+experienced poverty and excess.
+
+To have experienced death at an early age and thus been able to question the
+meaning of life. To have a loving mother. To have a cruel father. To not being
+incapacitated in some form. To have above-average looks. The Universe has been
+good to me.
+
+And even all the suffering I've been through have been beneficial. A real
+education in the School of Life.
+
+
+Where did you go to school?
+===========================
+
+I started at Heronsgate primary school in Greenwich. Then home schooled by my
+mother whilst living in India for 2 years before joining Broadwater primary
+school in Tooting. I also briefly attended Graveney's 6th form for A-level Math
+classes before joining Dulwich College in 1992.
+
+I dropped out of Dulwich in early 2000 after Leeds University gave me an
+unconditional offer to do a degree in Philosophy and Economics. Unfortunately,
+whilst I accepted the offer, I never bothered to turn up. Sorry Leeds!
+
+
+What academic qualifications do you have?
+=========================================
+
+Nothing really. Unless you count GCSEs and A-levels. I'm mainly self-taught.
+
+Did 2 of my 12 GCSEs early at the age of 9 -- in Mathematics and Tamil. Did the
+others at the usual age of 16. Got an A grade in all of them.
+
+Did 8 A-levels in: Maths, Ancient History (AS), General Studies, Further Maths,
+French (AS), Physic, Chemistry and English. Got the grades AAABBNUX
+respectively. The last three were because I didn't bother turning up to the
+exams after I got an unconditional offer for university.
+
+I also did my SATs for entrance to US universities and think I got a perfect
+score -- maybe that was only in the Maths. My memory is sketchy on that one. Got
+fazed out when I realised that I couldn't afford the yearly 30k+ that
+MIT/Harvard wanted.
+
+.. class:: sidebox
+
+ "Lost interest in academia by my mid-teens"
+
+My childhood aspirations to do a PhD by the time I was 18 were gone as I lost
+interest in academia by my mid-teens. Academic qualifications seemed to simply
+be an exercise in memory rather than understanding.
+
+An example would be my Ancient Hsistory exam. I hadn't attended classes, so my
+teachers predicted a D grade. The day before the exam I read a book on the
+topic. So, when the results arrived and I'd gotten an A grade, the Classics
+department was rather surprised. Nothing more than short-term memory in action.
+
+And whilst I've never experienced university, people often tell me it's
+different. This, however, doesn't correlate with my experiences as a teacher. I
+used to privately tutor undergraudate computer science students in my early
+twenties. And their university education seemed to be just as focused on memory
+and not on understanding.
+
+
+What languages do you know?
+===========================
+
+.. class:: sidebox
+
+ "Lucky to be bilingual"
+
+Despite my fantasies of being a polyglot, I am only fluent in two: English and
+Tamil. I am familiar with some very basic French and German. A certificate
+somewhere states that I should know some Japanese but I don't (at least not
+anymore).
+
+The most fun I ever had learning a language so far has been Hindi. I was 14 and
+on holiday in South India for 3 months and convinced this North Indian gentleman
+to teach me for a mere £30.
+
+The deal was that I could turn up at his house any time during the day and he
+would teach me. It turned out that he was just newly wed, and observing the
+flirting of adults was an interesting side-experience to the learning of Hindi
+and Sanskrit.
+
+Unfortunately, like with Sinhalese and Latin, I can remember very little and
+will be surprised if I recognised even a few letters from the written script
+(Devanagari).
+
+At some point though, I'd like to learn these languages properly. Along with
+Russian, Chinese (Mandarin), Arabic, Greek and Spanish. I consider myself very
+lucky to be bilingual. If you have kids, teach them many languages before they
+reach the age of 5. It really helps.
+
+
+What inspired the Espian vision?
+================================
+
+The death of my grandmother [Palmer-2004]_. To understand this, you need to go
+back to the start of my life. 25 days old. Beginning my jetset lifestyle. My
+mother and I were on the way to Sri Lanka.
+
+Her father was dying back home. Lung cancer. When he passed away two months
+later, my grandmother was left all alone. So my mother decided to leave me there
+with her and returned to England.
+
+And that is how I spent my first years growing up. Thinking that my grandmother
+was my mother. My mother eventually came back for me. And I met my parents for
+the first time a few months before my fourth birthday.
+
+A year and a bit later, I had a little sister and we were about to emigrate to
+the USA. My father had gotten into Berkeley. But news came that my grandmother
+had fallen ill whilst visiting friends and family in India. Bone cancer.
+
+I was rather adamant that we go to India. At least for me to go. Eventually my
+mother, sister and I went to India. My grandmother had her leg amputated. The
+cancer had stopped spreading. I nursed her back to health.
+
+But then on October 20th 1988, she had a heart attack. My mother had been out
+shopping. I called for help from the neighbours. I prayed to the God of Death to
+spare her. But to no avail. Blood dripped from her nose. Her body was ice cold.
+
+As the eldest grandson, I had to alight her funeral pyre. I refused. I wanted to
+freeze her and preserve her until death could be reversed. You have to do this
+everyone said. So I did.
+
+A few days later I snapped. I was 6. This was my first experience of death. I
+had grown up under shell attacks in Sri Lanka, but had never seen death
+directly. I couldn't understand why we lived. What is the point of life if all
+that you get at the end is death?
+
+The family across the road were Christian. I asked them. I asked their priest.
+The neighbours to the right were Muslim. I asked them. I asked their imam. I
+asked the Jains. The Saivas. The Hindus. The Sikhs. The Buddhists.
+
+I got similar answers. But none were satisfactory. Made me realise that there is
+very little difference in the real teachings of the various faiths. But I still
+didn't have an answer.
+
+I wanted to go meditate in the mountains. Maybe I'll reach enlightenment like
+Buddha. Wander the wilderness like Jesus. My parents talked me out of this. So I
+kept on asking questions of any adult that would give me their time.
+
+Eventually I came to the conclusion that life has no meaning. There is no
+ultimate truth or purpose. God lies within. And the only worthy goal in life is
+to be happy in the moment.
+
+But then I looked around. We were living in a village in southern India. During
+the time following my grandma's death, the narcissicism of childhood had been
+replaced by an awareness of the world.
+
+And everywhere I looked I saw needless suffering. I compared the life in India
+to life in England. The differences in the material quality of life. The
+wastefulness and excess where others barely survived. The differences in the
+spiritual quality of life. How, despite not having much, the poor seemed
+happier.
+
+I was also able to see politicians in action. The ideals of democracy thrown
+aside as people were bribed into voting for specific parties. I tried to
+understand why people would destroy the chances of a collective better future
+for a slightly better today.
+
+Eventually I came to the realisation that one's basic needs need to be met.
+One's family to not be starving. Otherwise people were willing to screw each
+other over for short term gain.
+
+And if I were to be happy in my life and not be screwed over by others then I
+needed to ensure that others had their needs taken care of. And only if everyone
+had the potential to be happy, could I be happy.
+
+And thus I discovered my life purpose. By adopting the entire world as my
+family. The Espian vision was born.
+
+
+How do you get your ideas?
+==========================
+
+Most of my ideas are informed and inspired from experiences that life puts me
+through. And, quite often, they reach clarity as I am mid-speech discussing such
+situations. One example I'll elaborate here is Pedipeace.
+
+It was inspired by events that took place during a March 2003 protest as War
+started in Iraq. As I was heading out to join some friends from school, I
+couldn't find my belt. There was a corded PC microphone on the table. I tried it
+out as a belt. It worked, but it looked silly so I took it off.
+
+I caught up with my friends at Westminter. One of them had just been to Morocco.
+He had a present for me. A djellaba. I wore the robe over my t-shirt. A few
+hours later I had been adorned further.
+
+My scarf was being used as a bandana to hold together a wreath of daffodils
+adorning my head. I was carrying a big stick. The leftovers of an anti-war
+placard. I had used it earlier to make some music on some traffic cones and beer
+bottles.
+
+The protest continued as usual. The BBC interviewed me for looking strange. All
+in all, it had been a lovely afternoon walk with friends. Except for the
+shouting of "No War" constantly, it demonstrated how lovely London would be if
+it was pedestrianised.
+
+.. image:: ../static/gfx/henry-21st-birthday.jpg
+ :class: float-right
+ :width: 302
+ :height: 204
+
+
+What's the story of the Wobbly Bridge?
+======================================
+
+Time. 2am. Place. The wobbly (millennium) bridge.
+
+After entertaining myself running around the trees, I pull myself up onto the
+wobbly bridge and gently skip along. My heart beats slightly faster as I see the
+river flow underneath me. The thrill of being so high. The thrill of falling.
+
+Clumsily pull myself over the side, straddle a beam and sit. Watch the river
+flow. I lean back. Feel the aura of the full moon. The wind blows. So soft. But
+with a sharpness that makes me alert. Aware. Lyrics come to mind "London calling
+to the underworld... I live by the river!"
+
+I get up to climb back over. I almost slip. Heart beats. Back on the wobbly.
+Start to skip along again. In front of me, a giant circle. A perfect circle. A
+circle of objects. I look around -- no-one to be seen. A present from an
+anonymous stranger.
+
+I delight in the find and start exploring. A mobile phone. A paintbrush. A block
+of wood. A pressure valve. A blue tin (labelled russian caviar). I look inside.
+Some round stones. Another block of wood. Too many objects to be mentioned here.
+The wind takes on a cold edge, but the present makes me very warm.
+
+And in the middle of this perfect circle, at the exact middle of the bridge
+(both lengthways and sideways), a grey and white toy bunny with a fat blue
+alkaline battery. I ponder upon the present for a long time. Is there a clever
+message?
+
+For some reason, the words "beautiful girl lovely dress" sample across my mind's
+ear. A cyclist zooms by. I call back at him. He stops. He turns. He approaches
+cautiously. I ask him what he thinks. Maybe a clock he says. Doesn't have
+anything interesting to say. I let him go.
+
+I explore the present further. Time goes by. I feel inspired. Thoughts provoked.
+Another walks by. I wave. We speak. I can sense the samani in this creature. We
+will be good friends.
+
+I bid the present goodbye, and decide to spend the remaining hours of the
+morning exploring the mind of this new found friend. And fun hours they were.
+
+
+What are your deepest values?
+=============================
+
+.. class:: sidebox
+
+ "Truth, justice, honour, loyalty and love"
+
+Truth, justice, honour, loyalty and love. Sure, they might be based on the Code
+of Thundera, but they are my deepest values. And whilst I occasionally slip up,
+I constantly strive to abide by them. This constant struggle is what makes life
+interesting.
+
+And, although not a value, another major driving force of my life is best
+described in `Fight Club <http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0137523/>`_: "This is your
+life and it is ending one minute at a time". That is, life is short and one
+should make the best of it. Carpe diem!
+
+
+Have you ever lied?
+===================
+
+Yes, a handful of times.
+
+"concentric circles of bullshit".
+
+
+Have you ever stolen anything?
+==============================
+
+Sadly, yes. Five times.
+
+The first time, I stole 50p from my mother's coat pocket. I was 9 and wanted to
+buy some cola bottles (they used to be just 1p each back then!). I felt guilty
+about this for weeks after and eventually confessed.
+
+The second time, I helped some fellow homeless people pick up scraps of metal
+from a construction site. The metal got sold at a dodgy garage somewhere and
+paid for a warm night and a drink. Sorry construction company!
+
+The third time, I had done some work for a guy. Did it exactly as he wanted. But
+he claimed it wasn't and refused to pay up. So I convinced him to give me the
+money as a loan and have sadly yet to repay it. Sorry John!
+
+I shop-lifted some food from Tesco once when I was one of the billion odd living
+on less than $2 a day. So I paid for some of the items and walked out with
+several more in the bag.
+
+The final time, I stole a passport sized photo of an ex-girlfriend after we
+split up. This is my confession.
+
+
+Have you ever been disloyal?
+============================
+
+Sadly, twice. One for real and the other in my head. Both times involved my
+loyalty to friends. I have this rule: never get involved with ex-girlfriends of
+friends.
+
+
+Are you a bigot?
+================
+
+.. class:: sidebox
+
+ "Much to be gained in life when one keeps an open mind"
+
+Whilst I have no compunctions about political incorrectness and will tease the
+French and the Obese, I am not a bigot. It is hard to be so when you grow up in
+a truly diverse city like London.
+
+As a further testament, my various lovers have come from a variety of religious
+and national backgrounds -- Bolivia, England, Germany, Greece, India, Lithuania,
+New Zealand, Singapore, St. Lucia, Vietnam...
+
+Ditto with my various flatmates/colleagues -- Australia, Austria, Brazil,
+Canada, China, France, Gambia, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, USA, &c.
+
+My father is a homophobic racist. In fact, I would go as far to say that, in
+general, immigrants tend to be more bigoted than "natives". Whilst
+unjustifiable, this is in some ways understandable -- a reflection of their
+insecurity and vulnerability.
+
+It's when it gets passed down to their children that I have a problem with it.
+For example, I was at my sister's 21st birthday. It was at a club down near
+Soho. And I was rather shocked as I walked in.
+
+Why? Because with the exception of about 5 people, everyone else there was
+brown. Not that I'm complaining. Asian girls -- like their south american
+counterparts -- tend to be rather pleasant on the eyes.
+
+But when many of these people were speaking to each other in Gujarati, Tamil,
+Hindi, &c., I began to wonder. And after speaking to a few of them, my doubts
+were confirmed. Most of these people rarely mixed with people outside of these
+groups.
+
+Now, being part of an ethnic community is not a bad thing. I would say it's a
+great thing. But doing so to the exclusion of mixing with other groups is
+definitely harmful. Especially in the context of London where you have so much
+opportunity and no excuse.
+
+Why? Because mixing with the same type of people doesn't help to broaden your
+mind. You need to be exposed to unfamiliar and sometimes uncomfortable
+perspectives. That's essential to nurturing a healthy understanding of the world
+around you.
+
+Some people might misinterpret this as being racist to my "own kind". I've even
+been called coconut twice -- brown on the outside, white on the inside. I'm
+neither white nor brown. I'm a multi-coloured kaleidoscope. A human being. An
+Espian.
+
+I want to get past the useless social ghettos that repeatedly form. These serve
+no purpose except to create needless boundaries between otherwise loving beings.
+And, whilst rare, I've experienced bigotry from "natives" too.
+
+THe most surreal one was a pub in east London. I had popped in whilst waiting
+for a girlfriend. It was eerily filled with just white people. Even posh venues
+have a token coloured individual.
+
+All eyes turned to me as I put my coat down and approached the bar. One of the
+barmaids intersected me and escorted me to the door. They were closing. Right.
+Now, again, I have nothing with people mixing with their "own". Just don't do it
+exclusively! Say no to social ghettos.
+
+Anyways, seeing the bigotry of others whilst growing up had been a good enough
+lesson in the pointlessness of it. There is so much to be gained in life when
+one keeps an open mind.
+
+One advice I'd like to share is to not suspect bigotry of others. My father
+would suspect any insult or rejection was a racist one. My gay friends would
+express gay pride a bit too much to overcompensate for the oppression they felt
+others had towards them.
+
+Sure, racism and oppression exist. There is a bigot on every street. But don't
+live in fear of it. Don't suspect it. Just be yourself. And if that is a true
+being with good intentions, others will sense that and react positively. No
+matter what.
+
+As for the few that don't. So what? They are probably old and set in their ways.
+They will die off soon enough. Oh, that reminds me of another thing. Political
+fucking correctness.
+
+I was on a train once. Befriended this guy sitting in the same carriage. We'd
+been having an hour long conversation when I asked him how life was as a
+cripple. He went berserk.
+
+Now I hadn't meant to insult him in any way. THat should have been clear from
+the tone of my voice. And he was a cripple. At least by any dictionary
+definition that I've seen. But, no. He was a disabled something or other.
+
+What the fuck? It seems to me that some people deal with their shortcomings by
+hiding it behind fancy politically correct phrases. No, I'm not blind. I'm just
+visually impaired. What the fuck? Deal with reality. Shit happens. Just be
+yourself.
+
+
+Are you gay?
+============
+
+Sadly, no. I am just a friendly, sensual creature who is very comfortable in his
+skin. My tactile nature shouldn't be misinterpreted for a sexual come-on.
+
+Research shows that violence.
+
+
+Are you violent?
+================
+
+If you ask everyone who knows me, they will attest that I am one of the calmest
+people you'll ever meet. But, like everyone, I've had my moments.
+
+The worst was this one time when I punched my little sister several times in the
+stomach. Unfortunately we weren't kids then. I had been staying with my family
+for a few weeks and my mother and sister were making each other
+
+[Gandhi-1927]_
+
+
+The second worse experience was not in any way physical, but was just as
+sickening to my soul. I was very violent psychologically.
+
+
+Are you a vegetarian?
+=====================
+
+I used to be. Fervently. For 8 years of my life. From August 1998 till
+December 2006. I would give two explanations for my choice:
+
+1. By eating lower down the food chain, it is more efficient and a larger global
+ population could be sustained.
+
+2. Life is beautiful. And our fellow creatures shouldn't live purely for our
+ sake.
+
+Whilst I believe in the above, I also love the taste of meat and think that it
+is natural to be a meat-eater. So the real reason I gave up meat was because of
+a girl. She was a vegetarian.
+
+She was my first love and though she had never asked me to give up meat, I did
+so willingly. And the fact that I never touched meat was a sign of my commitment
+to her.
+
+But when we broke up in December 2006, I couldn't decide whether I wanted to
+stay being a vegetarian or go back to eating meat. So I flipped a coin and am
+now a meat-eater again.
+
+
+Have you taken drugs?
+=====================
+
+Yes. I believe that one should experience as much of what life offers. And not
+suffering from an addictive personality (nicotine excepted), I have had the
+luxury to try out various drugs.
+
+.. class:: sidebox
+
+ "Hallucinogens helped with my understanding of myself and life"
+
+My favourites have been LSD (Acid), MDMA and magic mushrooms. MDMA truly can be
+happiness in a packet. And never having had a bad trip, hallucinogens have truly
+helped with my understanding of myself and life around me.
+
+Actually that not having had a bad trip thing isn't quite true. I was at a rave
+once tripping my balls off on acid when two girls decided to stalk me about it.
+The two witches. It was a pleasant trip after I managed to get rid of them.
+
+Drugs like cocaine has very little effect on me. They just give me a cold the
+next day. Some of the designer drugs have been fun -- though their effects seem
+to diminish on repeat usage.
+
+And, as for marijuana, whilst I've had many pleasant experiences on it, it is
+near the bottom of my drugs list -- along with Ketamine. The reason for this is
+because dope makes you comfortable with not doing anything.
+
+I spent a good six months of my life doing nothing but getting stoned every day.
+A friend of mine was a total pothead and he would start rolling the next joint
+by the time I was finishing smoking the last one.
+
+And, finally, after spending many New Year's Eves on heavy drug cocktails, I
+decided to give up drugs last New Year. Since then I've yet to feel a craving
+for any of the drugs I've taken. Now, if only the same were true for cigarettes.
+
+
+Have you ever paid for sex?
+===========================
+
+Double bind
+
+Soho
+
+Crack den
+
+Have you been hustled?
+======================
+
+Yes, four times.
+
+The first time, I was trying to score some brown (powdered heroin) from a pair
+of street dealers. I gave one of them some cash and he owed me a fiver back. He
+claimed to not have any change and said he'd pop down to the local shop
+
+
+Do you have a criminal record?
+==============================
+
+Not that I am aware of. There was this one time when I got arrested for making trouble.
+
+HMRC.
+
+
+What do you have against the Vatican City?
+==========================================
+
+Let me be clear that I have nothing against the Vatican. It is the Vatican City
+that I have problems with. Specifically, the Gendarmeria -- the police force.
+
+To understand this, we need to go back to one summer night in 2005. I had gone
+to Rome for a day meeting. The meeting had gone well and my flight back was
+early the next morning. So instead of being cooped up in my hotel room, I
+decided to spend the night checking out Rome.
+
+
+How much debt do you have?
+==========================
+
+I have lived most of my life assuming a gift economy of sorts.
+
+Besides the aforementioned debts to friends, family and HMRC, as of this writing
+(May 2008), my outstanding legal debt is a mere £10k loan with my bank, Halifax.
+
+Oh, I also used to have an outstanding mobile phone bill which I walked away
+from years ago. Sorry Vodafone! Ditto to my overdrafts with HSBC and Natwest.
+
+The fourth time wasn't theft. It's more like debt owed. I was a starving artist
+in Berlin. So I made a deal with the local Turkish and Indonesian restaurants.
+They'd feed me daily and I'd eventually settle my debt.
+
+I settled the debt after a few months, but asked the Indonesian place to
+continue the deal. These people were lovely. The owner, Surya, and his wife took
+great care of me.
+
+
+
+What jobs have you had?
+=======================
+
+I have worked for myself (the Espian vision) most of my life. So have had little
+chance to have a "normal job".
+
+My first job was working for an uncle of mine in his post-office/corner-shop in
+Walthamstow. It was also the longest job I've had (a whole month!). I slept on
+the store floor and during occasional bouts of insomnia re-organised the shop
+and somehow managed to double the revenue.
+
+My second longest job was as a street cleaner for Islington council. This was
+perhaps the best job I've had. I got to get up early in the morning. And work
+was finished by noon meaning that I had the whole day left.
+
+Unfortunately, after 2 weeks, my ganger called me in and laid me off. Spending
+hours cleaning the cigarette butts out of all
+
+Other jobs include being an art salesman.
+
+The funniest was being an extra for a Sky Sports rugby ad.
+
+Then there have been a dozen odd temp jobs which I occassionally tried for a day
+or two before walking out at the incompetency of those who were meant to be my
+managers.
+
+
+What is the worst invention ever?
+=================================
+
+Alarm clocks.
+
+The wooshing soound of deadlines as they woosh past.
+
+Procrastinators.
+
+
+What have you done with your life?
+==================================
+
+A lot of different things. Mainly centered around the Espian vision.
+
+
+What do you want to do with rest of your life?
+==============================================
+
+A lot. Some of the highlights include:
+
+* Empowering people by creating a better social-economic infrastructure. Toman.
+
+* Creating a communications platform that ties together various aspects of
+ computer science into a more people-focused system. Plexnet.
+
+* Crafting a multi-genre musical instrument that inspires people. Jintra.
+
+* Building a city using social architecture and a global underground tube
+ network. Zygote & Xetre.
+
+* Creating a movie of epic proportions. Gaia.
+
+* Travelling to Mars. Mangala.
+
+* Utilising advances in molecular biology to enable a higher quality of life for
+ all. Electrophyll & Geren.
+
+* Nurturing the cultural and natural commons for the benefit of all. Espia.
+
+* Having a daughter. Hiroko.
+
+Most likely I'll die of something like lung cancer before most of this happens.
+So I also want to make the most of every moment that I am alive. Bringing
+pleasure to myself and as much of humanity as possible.
+
+
+What has been your most self-empowering moment yet?
+===================================================
+
+It took place sometime during the summer of 2004.
+
+
+What inspires you?
+==================
+
+.. image:: ../static/gfx/saritah.jpg
+ :width: 352
+ :height: 259
+ :align: center
+ :class: float-right
+
+| Get up and get going
+| You've got nothing to lose
+| Let it out, let it through
+| There's nothing that you can't do
+|
+| What you want, get up and get
+| Your future hasn't happened yet
+| It is up to you to manifest
+|
+| Participation -- fundamental to creation
+| You will not reach your destiny
+| If you don't leave the station
+| Let yourself be activated visionary
+|
+| Get up and get going
+| You've got nothing to lose
+| Let it out, let it through
+| There's nothing that you can't do
+|
+| You are capable -- never forget that
+| You are courageous -- got to respect that
+| You've got your freedom -- need to protect that
+|
+| INSPIRATION, MOTIVATION, DEDICATION, REALISATION, YEAH!
+|
+| -- `Saritah <http://www.saritah.com/>`_
+
+
+What has been the low point of your life?
+=========================================
+
+There have been many low points in my life. Not sure if I could select one as
+having been the lowest. But one that springs to mind took place in 2003.
+
+It started with me fucking up a freelance work. I'd been asked to develop the
+new abctales.com -- a website for writers from all around the world. It was a
+relatively straightforward task, but I decided to develop a lot of advanced
+functionality. I had felt abctales could be a key player in the emerging "Web
+2.0" space.
+
+But, in so doing, I ended up taking a lot longer than I had originally planned.
+I hadn't learnt the art of expectation management at this point. So, after a
+month, pretty much everyone was pissed off. Not least, the abctales.com
+community.
+
+The guy who ran the thing and had believed in my abilities was tearing his hair
+out. The friends who had recommended me to him were fucking pissed off. Someone
+decided to steal the front tyre from the bike that I'd gotten from a skip. The
+bike that I'd be using since I couldn't pay for public transport.
+
+The "landlord" wasn't too pleased at rent not being paid. Enough was enough he
+said. Please leave. And, oh, in the middle of all this, my relationship with a
+girlfriend took a turn for the worse.
+
+So I gave my landlord my fancy phone in exchange for rent owed. He gave me the
+brick he owned. I packed up my belongings. As I did so, my laptop decided to
+die. Besides the phone and a bunch of clothes, it was all I had left.
+
+As I left the space I had called home for the last year, I felt more lost than
+when my father had kicked me out four years before. But I knew more people by
+then. So I made two phone calls.
+
+I fare dodged and got myself to Greenwich, where a wonderful guy called John
+Lea fixed up my laptop and revived it. I am forever thankful for the kindness he
+showed.
+
+Then I made my way up to somewhere near West Hamsptead, where another friend,
+Josef Davies-Coates, helped sort out a place for me to stay temporarily. I'd
+have to paint the walls but would be indoors. I accepted.
+
+Not the worst place I've stayed, but it wasn't the best either. The flat had
+nothing besides floors and walls. No heating. One working power point and a tap
+which dribbled cold water.
+
+Beggars can't be choosers, so I set myself up and got to work. I bought myself a
+box of cereal with the last pound I had left. I figured I could survive a bit
+with just water and bits of cereal.
+
+Then I managed to contract a fever somehow. So I spent my time huddled up on the
+floor with a plastic bag stuffed with clothes as a pillow -- getting up to paint
+the walls every so often.
+
+Three days later the fever had gone and I was able to spend my time working
+again. I forget how exactly I got myself out of this one, but I am thankful to
+John and Josef. The kindness of strangers and friends is inspiring.
+
+
+What has been your most amazing experience so far?
+==================================================
+
+I've been lucky to have had a lot of crazy, fun experiences in life. They mostly
+happened when I was least expecting them. And the most amazing took place one
+early spring morning.
+
+My housemates and I had been out all night dancing away at The Key. We returned
+home at about 6 in the morning and not feeling sleepy, put on some music. One of
+my flatmates picked up the bongo and started playing.
+
+Despite having danced for the previous 8 hours, I still felt an overflow of
+energy and kept on dancing. Not having had any drugs, my intake had been limited
+to alcohol and cigarettes.
+
+Then, all of a sudden, I felt one of the most powerful orgasms I'd ever felt. It
+just took over me mid-dance. It was unlike anything I had ever experienced
+before. And, being a non-ejaculatory orgasm, took me a moment to realise what
+I'd just experienced.
+
+I finally understood the Melveli (the Sufi Whirling Dervishes). I felt the
+connection to the Universe pulsate through me. I offered myself in service to
+the whole of creation.
+
+
+What are your weaknesses?
+=========================
+
+
+What are your strengths?
+========================
+
+
+What problem have you struggled the most with?
+==============================================
+
+Double binds
+
+Destiny
+
+Why don't you read books?
+=========================
+
+Let me be clear. Whilst I rarely read books, I do read. A lot. The reason I
+avoid books is for two simple reasons.
+
+The first one is rather ego maniacal. I wanted to be able to claim my ideas as
+my own. It was a rather poor reaction to discovering Zeno's paradoxes
+[Aristotle]_ when I was a kid.
+
+As a master of procrastination who spent a lot of his life thinking, I am
+comfortable claiming my ideas as my own. But as I've grown older, I've come to
+realise that nothing stands on its own.
+
+Thus I came to realise that all my thoughts have in some way been inspired by
+the works and actions of others around me. Truth is not owned. It can only be
+discovered. I am merely a vessel for it to channel through.
+
+The second reason is the one that still makes me avoid books. I noticed at a
+young age that "educated" people spoke in a rather funny language. They would
+use terms that only a select few would understand.
+
+The terms gave them clarity and precision. But they became lost in it. Unable to
+communicate with most others. A great loss in my view. Because they have much to
+offer. So I have left it to others to read and simply question them to get an
+understanding.
+
+
+Who are you most thankful for?
+==============================
+
+My mother -- Thamilarasi. She has sacrificed much of her life for me. She has
+always been caring, attentive and loving.
+
+Even when she joked to my father that should he see a woman running down the
+street pulling out her hair in frustration, he should stop and look. For it
+might be her -- tired of my never-ending questions. Even then, she kept
+answering my thousands of "Whys?".
+
+She taught me the Arts. The Sciences. Mathematics. Music. History. Linguistics.
+Everything she knew she taught me. She encouraged me to have an open mind.
+
+She even got beaten up several times by my father for supporting me. He broke
+her nose once because she'd paid £35 to put in my application for GCSE Maths.
+Doesn't seem like much now, but we were poor then and she'd starved herself for
+weeks to save up.
+
+In some ways, my desire to change the world for the better was largely ingrained
+by my mother. She used to have dreams when she was pregnant with me. Dreams of a
+sage who would take her on travels across the Universe. Teach her mathematics.
+Show her how life could be.
+
+These dreams convinced my mother that I was the one prophesised by our
+ancestors. The one who would save his people and make the world a better place.
+Whilst I've grown to take it all with a pinch of salt, I cannot deny that it
+affected me.
+
+
+Is it true that you met with the Tamil Tigers? Are you one?
+===========================================================
+
+Yes, I have met them. But, no, I am not affiliated with them.
+
+To understand the context we need to go all the way back to the summer of 1998
+-- when my 16-year old self was on holiday in India. There I had fallen in love
+with this amazing girl, N-. She loved me back. Life was good.
+
+But since I was in England and she was all the way over in India, I adopted a
+life of polyamory [Easton-1997]_. My various girlfriends were (surprisingly)
+accepting that my heart belonged to this girl in India. And, energised by this
+love, I was able to throw myself into my work.
+
+Then, during Christmas 2002, L- walked into my life. She was over on holiday
+from Greece. By 2006, she was in love with me. Life was very good! Most of us go
+through life never meeting someone who connects on all aspects -- spiritual,
+physical, intellectual, emotional -- but here I'd managed to discover two!
+
+But, by the end of 2006, things began to fall apart. Both N- and L- wanted me to
+commit to just one of them. Things were also fraught with N- as she also wanted
+me to give up various other things, e.g. cigarettes, mdma, &c. We'd been having
+a lot of arguments.
+
+So, rather brashly, on December 1st, I broke off the relationship with N-. As
+fate would have it -- the very same evening -- L- broke off with me. I had gone
+from a high to a low in one day. Never having experienced rejection before
+didn't help.
+
+Two weeks later, I turned up in Athens. It wasn't quite the surprise I'd
+intended -- one of the side-effects of having public IRC logs which your lovers
+are aware of.
+
+Things started well. L- was still "madly in love" with me. But then we decided
+to take a trip to Thessaloniki. Four days later, as we took the train back down
+to Athens, the relationship was fully over. She now "hated" me.
+
+It was Christmas Day 2006. I picked up my stuff from her house. Checked myself
+into a hotel. And booked a flight to Berlin the next day. I did the only thing I
+could do -- throw myself into my work.
+
+But the Universe wasn't happy. I'd lost my energy. Even "Love's Cure" [Ovid]_
+was of little help. I tried writing various cathartic letters [Tav-2007]_.
+Nothing. The unusually high energy levels had been replaced by a boundless low.
+
+I initiated the 2007 iteration of 24 weeks. Nothing. Work failed to offer the
+distraction that I needed. When your work is driven by your love of humanity, it
+needs to be anchored somehow.
+
+So two weeks into 24 weeks, I abandoned my responsibilities and went to
+Barcelona. Not sure how, but it helped. A week later I returned revitalised. My
+energy wasn't back yet. But it wasn't in the negative either. I was able to
+breathe. To function.
+
+I got back in touch with N-. My energy levels started to ramp up. But, in late
+2007, N- got engaged. She was 25. Most of her friends had gotten married by 21.
+Her parents had gotten tired of her excuses.
+
+N-'s mother had sacrificed a lot to bring up her children. N- wanted to make her
+happy. So she had agreed to the marriage. I was devastated. So, on December
+2007, I turned up in Coimbatoire, India.
+
+It was intense. N- claimed that she was happy to get married. Her husband-to-be,
+R-, loved her and she loved him. Then, one day, R- and some of his family (about
+20 people) came to visit her family.
+
+I felt like Jude when asked to give away his beloved Sue in marriage
+[Hardy-1895]_. I managed to detach myself emotionally and be my usual self. R-'s
+family even became rather fond of me. Being charismatic has its downsides. And
+this was one.
+
+That night, after everyone had left, N- broke down in tears. She didn't love R-.
+She still loved me. She had just been angry over the whole L- situation. And
+between that and making her mother happy, she had agreed to the marriage.
+
+We talked with R-. Explained the situation to him. Asked him to call the wedding
+off. He refused. He was madly in love with N-. She told him that she didn't love
+him. He didn't care. She would come to love him after they got married he
+claimed. I was baffled.
+
+She tried to call the wedding off. R- retaliated by claiming to commit suicide
+if she did any such thing. I talked with her parents and asked for her hand in
+marriage. They refused.
+
+I reasoned. I argued. I pleaded. They would hear none of it. They didn't care
+that we loved each other. Culture stood in the way. If I married her then her
+parents claimed they would commit suicide.
+
+I asked N- to come with me. Only after her mother passed away she said -- till
+then she would do what her mother wanted. Even if that meant spending her life
+with someone she didn't love.
+
+I couldn't understand it. The mother wanted her daughter to be happy and thus
+was making a decision that would make her daughter's life miserable. And the
+daughter was willing to have a miserable life in order to make her mother happy.
+
+.. class:: sidebox
+
+ "Decided to disappear from this insane society and be a hermit"
+
+So I decided to disappear from this insane society and be a hermit somewhere in
+the Himalayas. Unfortunately N- was able to figure out my intentions and made
+sure that I got on the flight back to London.
+
+The flight, however, was a transit flight via Sri Lanka. So I just walked off
+the plane in Colombo. My mind was on auto-pilot. I headed north. A series of
+buses, military checkpoints and taxis later, I found myself walking through
+no-man's land. On the way to the Tamil-tiger controlled region of Sri Lanka
+(Tamil Ealam).
+
+It had been an interesting journey in itself. Included a Buddhist monk I'd
+befriended who enlightened me to the current state of the civil war between the
+Sinhalese-dominated Sri Lankan government and the rebel Tamil Tigers (LTTE).
+
+My British passport had let me off some of the heavy interrogation and body
+searches that some of my fellow travellers had been constantly subject to. But
+it had still been rather disconcerting having the private contents of my bag
+publically emptied for scrutiny at various checkpoints.
+
+I had spoken in English all the way -- paranoid of being mistaken for a Tamil
+Tiger sympathiser. An old lady thanked me in Tamil for helping carry some of her
+heavy bags of rice across no-man's land. I simply smiled back. We'd reached the
+Tamil Ealam immigration control.
+
+A guy came out to greet me as I puffed away on a cigarette. *What was I doing
+there?* I wanted to visit my grandparents' house. *Where was I from?* London.
+*Did I know any Tamil?* I put on my strongest English Tamil accent and said
+"கொஞ்சம் கொஞ்சம்" (a little bit).
+
+A while later he led me to an official handling the paperwork who asked me a
+question in Tamil. I stared back blankly. The other guy proceeded to explain
+that I didn't know a word of Tamil. I didn't bother correcting him.
+
+
+
+
+What is so good about Nutella?
+==============================
+
+.. class:: sidebox
+
+ "Brown skin, brown skin, you know I love your brown skin!" [Arie-2001]_
+
+Nutella is simply orgasmic. Mixed with a diet of Fruit & Fibre, one could live
+quite healthily. And if Mr Ferrero has a sexy heir, I will gladly marry her in
+exchange for a lifetime supply of Nutella...
+
+
+How do you justify your large ecological footprint?
+===================================================
+
+I don't. I just hope that the quality and positive nature of my work outweighs
+the damage caused by my excess footprint.
+
+And as for using air travel, the dozens of Neem trees that I planted as a kid
+hopefully help offset that.
+
+
+What do you hope to achieve with this document?
+===============================================
+
+This is intended as a seed in the valley of imagination and hope. I would really
+appreciate similar seeds from everyone reading this. And, together, our seeds
+will hopefully flourish into beautiful Espia.
+
+True power lies in the look in the eye of each and every one of us. And if we
+can imagine our desired future, there is no power in the 'Verse that can stop
+us. Together, we can create the worlds we want.
+
+All thoughts, comments and criticisms are very welcome.
+
+
+How does someone get in contact with you?
+=========================================
+
+Face to face is best! I'm based in London (very near Liverpool Street station)
+and can often be found in various cafés around Spitalfields, Brick Lane or
+Shoreditch.
+
+If that doesn't work for you, then I would love it if you could use the
+convey-and-notify approach [Celik-2007]_ and drop me a link on:
+
+* phone/sms: +44 (0) 7809 569 369
+* email/jabber: tav@espians.com
+* irc: `#esp on irc.freenode.net <irc://irc.freenode.net/esp>`_
+* facebook: `Tav Ino <http://www.facebook.com/p/Tav_Ino/593997068>`_
+* skype: |skypestatus| `tavespian <skype:addname?name=tavespian>`_
+
+.. |skypestatuss| replace:: Status
+
+.. |skypestatus| image:: http://mystatus.skype.com/smallicon/tavespian
+ :class: absmiddle
+
+References
+==========
+
+.. [Arie-2001]
+
+ `Acoustic Soul: Brown Skin
+ <http://www.amazon.com/Acoustic-Soul-India-Arie/dp/B00005A1PR>`_
+
+ India.Arie, Motown, March 2001.
+
+.. [Aristotle]
+
+ `Physics (Physicae Auscultationes)
+ <http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/physics.html>`_
+
+ Aristotle, 350 BC.
+
+.. [Celik-2007]
+
+ `Communication Protocols <http://tantek.pbwiki.com/CommunicationProtocols>`_
+
+ Tantek Çelik, 2007.
+
+.. [Easton-1997]
+
+ `The Ethical Slut
+ <http://www.amazon.com/Ethical-Slut-Infinite-Sexual-Possibilities/dp/1890159018>`_
+
+ Dossie Easton and Catherine A. Liszt, Greenery Press (CA), December 1997
+
+.. [Gandhi-1927]
+
+ `The Story of My Experiments with Truth
+ <http://www.amazon.com/Gandhi-Autobiography-Story-Experiments-Truth/dp/0807059099>`_
+
+ Mohandas Karamchand (Mahatma) Gandhi, 1927.
+
+.. [Ginsburgh]
+
+ `Tav: The Seal of Creation <http://www.inner.org/hebleter/tav.htm>`_
+
+ Gal Einai Institute (from the teachings of Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh).
+
+.. [Hardy-1895]
+
+ `Jude The Obscure <http://www.bibliomania.com/0/0/26/57/>`_
+
+ Thomas Hardy, 1895.
+
+.. [Jordan-1990]
+
+ `The Eye of the World
+ <http://www.amazon.com/Eye-World-Wheel-Time-Book/dp/0812511816>`_
+
+ Robert Jordan, Tor Fantasy, November 1990.
+
+.. [Ovid]
+
+ `Remedia Amoris (Love's Cure)
+ <http://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/ovid/lboo/lboo61.htm>`_
+
+ Publius Ovidius Naso (Ovid), 5 BC.
+
+.. [Palmer-2004]
+
+ `WTF 1: On Espia, Tav, and the Plex <http://infomesh.net/200X/wtf1>`_
+
+ Sean B. Palmer, March 2004.
+
+.. [Tav-2007]
+
+ `A Missive From a Heart to That Thing Sitting on the Shelf
+ <http://loves-cure.blogspot.com/2007/02/missive-from-heart-to-that-thing.html>`_
+
+ Tav, February 2007.
+
View
35 assume-good-faith.txt
@@ -0,0 +1,35 @@
+=================
+Assume Good Faith
+=================
+
+:X-Created: [2008-07-09, 18:20]
+
+.. image:: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/70/Assume_good_faith_lolcat.jpg/500px-Assume_good_faith_lolcat.jpg
+ :width: 250
+ :alt: Assume Good Faith Plz
+ :height: 166
+ :class: float-right
+
+Earlier this week, I ended up counselling two sets of organisations with regards
+to each other. They were trying to work with each other but had various concerns
+and felt that they needed to be "hard" to ensure that they didn't get over-run.
+
+Whilst it is perfectly legitimate to have concerns -- especially when it comes
+to financial matters -- most of the concerns would have evaporated had both
+sides simply assumed good faith about the other.
+
+And as someone who was privy to the private concerns of both parties, I can
+confidently state that they were both acting out of good faith -- they just
+didn't have the same opinion about the *other*.
+
+I generally live my life with the `assumption of good faith
+<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:AGF>`_ with regards the behaviour of
+others. And as a result have a lot less to worry about in terms of my
+interactions. To be fair, this has not always ended up in ideal results.
+
+But the assumption of good faith forms part of the basis for a rule of ethics --
+which, in my opinion, certainly lends itself towards a better quality of life in
+general than a rule of law.
+
+Which do you prefer and why? Do you assume good faith in your interactions? Let
+me know in the comments!
View
28 bootstrap-draft-specification.txt
@@ -0,0 +1,28 @@
+=============================
+Bootstrap Draft Specification
+=============================
+
+:X-Created: [2008-07-03, 08:48]
+
+.. image:: http://release.plexnet.org/gfx/bootstrap.png
+ :alt: Espra Bootstrap Logo
+ :class: float-right
+ :width: 300
+ :height: 111
+
+After a week of heavy pondering, I have nailed down the required functionality
+for Bootstrap. Have a read:
+
+* `Boostrap draft specification <espra-bootstrap.html>`_
+
+Then let me know what you think in the comments below!
+
+Bear in mind that this is *not* Espra. It is *not* based on the Plexnet. It is
+*not* decentralised. It is *not* meant to scale to millions of users. It is only
+meant to achieve the following:
+
+1. Enable interesting small-scale communities, e.g. socialaction.tv
+2. Demonstrate *some* of Espra's utility, e.g. Trust Maps.
+3. Establish credibility with the world that the Espians can code =)
+4. Be a powerful communications tool to facilitate Espra's development.
+5. Bring in short-term consultancy revenue.
View
47 choosing-a-profile-picture.txt
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+==========================
+Choosing A Profile Picture
+==========================
+
+:X-Created: [2008-06-29, 08:20]
+
+Some people are `photogenic <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photogenic>`_. Some
+are not. Some people love seeing pictures of themselves. Some people don't. I
+belong to the second category in both cases.
+
+Having generally avoided cameras my entire life, I was a bit lost when friends
+suggested that I should change the "profile" picture I was using in video
+presentations.
+
+First of all, there were few photos in existence. Secondly, they pretty much
+always had other people in them or weren't taken in a professional context.
+
+How do other people choose profile pictures? Do people have so many pictures of
+themselves that it's not much of hassle? Am I abnormal to have so few pictures
+of myself?
+
+In fact, one of the few suitable pictures was the one of `me on wikipedia
+<http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Ian_Clarke_and_Espra%27s_tav_2001.jpg>`_:
+
+.. raw:: html
+
+ <div class="center">
+ <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f9/Ian_Clarke_and_Espra%27s_tav_2001.jpg"
+ alt="Ian Clarke and Espra's Tav -- 2001" />
+ </div>
+
+But it was taken when I was 18 -- in 2001. *Sigh*! I was left with no choice but
+to go down the narcissistic route. Time to have pictures taken of myself! Woo!
+
+Cameras have always failed to capture my charisma. But what the hell -- time to
+face the camera. After 15 minutes of having photos taken by Tommy and Xiao, we
+arrived at:
+
+.. raw:: html
+
+ <div class="center">
+ <img src="http://release.plexnet.org/gfx/tav.profile.jpg"
+ alt="Tav Espian" width="200px" height="300px" />
+ </div>
+
+It's my new "official" profile picture. What does everyone think? Does it convey
+the "Tav Essence" at all?
View
34 coincidences-dont-exist.txt
@@ -0,0 +1,34 @@
+========================
+Coincidences Don't Exist
+========================
+
+:X-Created: [2008-07-02, 17:02]
+
+.. image:: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1b/Deux_furies.png
+ :alt: Two Furies from an ancient vase
+ :width: 165
+ :height: 299
+ :class: float-right
+
+Not to be a `fatalist <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fatalism>`_, but I'm
+increasingly observing how frequently "coincidences" seem to be taking place.
+
+Case in point, this morning `Zooko <https://zooko.com/log.html>`_ messaged me
+out of the blue. It's been a few months since we last spoke and was nice to
+briefly catch up. He pointed me to his latest work -- `AllMyData.com
+<http://www.allmydata.com>`_ -- an online storage service running on `Tahoe
+<http://www.allmydata.org>`_, the P2P network he's been working on.
+
+And it just so happened that earlier this evening, I was in need of a storage
+service to integrate into the coming Bootstrap specification. AllMyData happens
+to be one of the best fits -- closely shadowed by `box.net
+<http://www.box.net>`_.
+
+Neither contact from Zooko nor the need for a storage service is particularly
+surprising. But for it to happen on the same day is a pretty low probability.
+And on its own, not so surprising.
+
+But taken together with all the other hundreds of little opportune coincidences
+that seem to take place in my life, I begin to wonder if coincidences really are
+coincidences?
+
View
297 contacting-jerry-yang.txt
@@ -0,0 +1,297 @@
+=====================
+Contacting Jerry Yang
+=====================
+
+:X-Created: [2008-07-05, 14:12]
+
+.. image:: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/49/Jerry_Yang.jpg/225px-Jerry_Yang.jpg
+ :alt: Jerry Yang
+ :width: 225
+ :height: 273
+ :class: float-right
+
+A fortnight ago, I emailed Jerry Yang, the co-founder and CEO of Yahoo!. It was
+yet another unsolicited `Yahoo! Turnaround Strategy
+<http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/yahoo_turnaround_strategy.php>`_ proposal.
+My little offer to help turn Yahoo! around.
+
+Given that Jerry doesn't know me from Adam I wasn't expecting an immediate
+reply. But it's now been 2 weeks and still no reply. If anyone knows Jerry Yang
+and finds my proposal useful, I'd appreciate it if you could prod him to get
+back to me.
+
+You can find the email I sent below. Apologies for the message being in
+lower-case -- Jerry is famous for writing in that way. And given that for a long
+time I also had a fascination for the `miniscule
+<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lower_case>`_, I found it rather natural to write
+to him in that manner.
+
+The email also serves as an introduction to some of the Espian ideas. Would love
+to hear your comments on those aspects too. Thanks!
+
+:From: tav <tav@espians.com>
+:Date: Mon, Jun 23, 2008 at 7:28 AM
+:Subject: i'd like to help you turn yahoo around
+:To: jerry@yahoo-inc.com
+:Cc: esp@googlegroups.com
+:Body:
+
+ ·
+
+ dearest jerry,
+
+ congratulations on having beaten off the microsoft takeover and, as a
+ fellow entrepreneur, my deepest emphaties for the unnecessary shit now
+ being thrown your way. the way of the entrepreneur is little
+ understood and it's easy for people who have never been in similar
+ situations to criticize. i just hope that you have people around you
+ to provide the emotional support that's critical at junctures like
+ this.
+
+ it would be very easy for you to walk away from all of this. but if
+ you are intent on working through, then i would be truly happy to be
+ of service.
+
+ you might be wondering what a random 26 year old in london has to
+ offer, but hear me out =)
+
+ and if you like what i am saying, then fly me over to sunnydale!
+
+ of the many things that need to be tackled, i'd like to focus on 2
+ aspects in this email:
+
+ * business model
+ * external brand and internal morale
+
+ yahoo! was the undisputed king of web 1.0. not only was yahoo the
+ first search engine i ever used, but all the other services that i and
+ others used -- rocketmail, geocities, egroups -- all became yahoo!
+ properties. it consolidated its position effectively.
+
+ but despite making some really wise acquisitions -- flickr, delicious,
+ upcoming, &c. -- yahoo! passed up on being the web 2.0 player that it
+ could have been. it's too late to do anything about that now.
+
+ innovation happens in curves --
+ http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2006/01/the_art_of_inno.html
+
+ "Too many companies duke it out on the same curve. If they were daisy
+ wheel printer companies, they think innovation means adding Helvetica
+ in 24 points. Instead, they should invent laser printing. True
+ innovation happens when a company jumps to the next curve--or better
+ still, invents the next curve, so set your goals high."
+
+ and this is the opportunity that i believe you now have. time to jump
+ to web 4.0 -- a web 4 the people by the people.
+
+ because none of the approaches being taken by your competitors are
+ tackling the real problems that we all face:
+
+ * everything being dependent on advertising revenue
+ * information/communication overload
+ * intellectual property and surviving in an "economy of free"
+ * the depleted social and environmental fabric
+ * the lack of identity/meaning in most people's lives
+
+ you've reaped the benefits by being a pioneer with yahoo! it's time to
+ be a pioneer again and let the others play catch up!
+
+ your major competitors are now focused on being the ultimate
+ middle-men. but if you can jump ahead and totally disrupt the market
+ -- much like paid search has done to tv advertising -- then not only
+ do you strengthen your position and revenues, but also take away from
+ the others.
+
+ how can this be done? well, with a series of simple developments.
+
+ the first, i call "trust maps". this is an extension of the concept of
+ "friends" introduced by the various social networking sites. but
+ instead of being just fun, it can be used as a basis for a whole new
+ economic model. and you already have the largest social network on the
+ world to bootstrap this -- yahoo! mail/messenger.
+
+ how does it work? well, a user simply states who they trust and in
+ what context, e.g. i trust "Indy, Katy and Alice" in the context of
+ "architecture". this trust map can then be used as a filter for
+ information flow. taking what already happens in real life -- but
+ making it more automated.
+
+ a way of enabling people to overcome information overload.
+
+ and yahoo! has one of the best properties on the internet to make this
+ happen: del.icio.us.
+
+ delicious has already come very close to implementing this. you can
+ setup what is called a "network" and subscribe to links under certain
+ tags, e.g. i can subscribe to alice/architecture. unfortunately,
+ delicious never added a transitive element to this. that is, if Alice
+ also subscribed to Xiao, then i never receive Xiao's links.
+
+ some of yahoo!'s researchers have also written a paper on something
+ called "TrustRank". this can be used to evaluate the entire network
+ from the perspective of the various individuals relatively well.
+
+ so instead of sites like google, where users are limited to the same
+ global perspective, yahoo! could start offering search results in a
+ way that reflects their personal tastes and perspectives.
+
+ now, with this new form of search -- which in many ways, takes us back
+ to yahoo's original roots -- you can in one stroke help people
+ overcome information overload, take back market share in search *and*
+ make social networking actually useful. but it does not stop there =)
+
+ as a next step, you can completely destroy the paid search market.
+ microsoft is currently accidentally stumbling towards this with their
+ live search cashback scheme.
+
+ this is what i call plexchange.
+
+ to faciliate this, transactions simply take place in specific
+ contexts. for example, let's say that i go and buy the book "Timeless
+ Way of Building" from a supplier for $30. given that this is in the
+ context of architecture, a certain commission set by the supplier (say
+ 10%) is split between the various individuals in my trust map. that
+ is, Indy, Katy and Alice would get $1 each (the $3 commission split
+ between each of them equally).
+
+ unlike the current setup, this creates a win-win-win proposition. the
+ supplier can increase/decrease their commission appropriately to
+ compensate for how good/established their offering already is. they
+ don't need to waste money on intermediary search advertising. the
+ various individuals in my trust map get compensated for keeping me
+ informed. and if they start spamming me, i simply take them out of my
+ trust map and thus they are incentivized to provide value. and myself,
+ i benefit from being well informed and being able to have a higher
+ quality of life.
+
+ and in terms of gaining adoption for this, this gives a true business
+ model for all the millions of bloggers (early adopters) out there.
+ it's good to have them on your side. and by giving them a working
+ model -- taking them away from being dependent on adsense dollars --
+ you gain their trust and support.
+
+ i don't know if you still have the stake in alibaba -- but it'd tie in
+ quite nicely with that investment too. not to mention revitalizing
+ subsidiaries like kelkoo.
+
+ next up, you can create a working economy for all the cultural
+ creatives out there -- starting with musicians. the music industry is
+ currently in turmoil. and their attempt to regulate the market of
+ "file sharers" simply hasn't worked. and as more and more things go
+ digital, e.g. movies, designs of cars, &c., the need for a new working
+ model for intellectual property becomes important.
+
+ the only inevitable solution is to create a "gift economy".
+
+ imagine that your browser kept tab of everything you've been
+ reading/listening/watching and asked you every month about what you
+ want to give. and say a user decides to give $50 -- this then gets
+ split up between all the artists/bloggers/developers/musicians that
+ they've been benefiting from.
+
+ creators may provide incentives to encourage more giving. for example,
+ the band radiohead may say that the top 100 and a random 50 from the
+ top 10,000 givers in any city get invited to an intimate performance
+ when they are next in the given city. by creating a generic platform
+ for all of this, yahoo! can get the millions of cultural creatives on
+ its side and truly disrupt many markets.
+
+ building upon this, yahoo! can go onto enabling a new reputation
+ economy. based on something that i call pecus -- personal economic
+ currency units -- pseudo shares in individuals -- individuals can
+ actively promote those who are working towards creating the conditions
+ they want. not only does this allow for fluid, fast-paced and
+ decentralized organizational structures, but it reflects the way that
+ the markets are heading in.
+
+ such decentralization would focus the world's efforts on truly vital
+ efforts like rebuilding the biosocial infrastructure. because as the
+ new opportunities for growth cease to be in growth and various aspects
+ of the market disappear into economies of free, there is very little
+ left to "capitalise" upon. opportunity lies in the new non-growth
+ growth markets.
+
+ and biosocial infrastructure is interesting in this regard because due
+ to its scarcity one could set its price as infinite. and anything that
+ has a theoretical infinite value is interesting!
+
+ and, finally, if yahoo! just did all of this through the web, then
+ it'd do well, but not be truly placed to profit as it could. to truly
+ do this, an open platform needs to be created. the work that yahoo has
+ been doing with regards to building an open platform has been great.
+ extremely under-appreciated by the developer communities, but good
+ work regardless.
+
+ this work now needs to be taken to a whole new level. to reformulate
+ the web into a more peer-to-peer infrastructure. some of the work
+ being done by your javascript teams have already been accidentally
+ laying down the foundations for this. and by reformulating the web
+ into a new architecture, there is a lot to be gained.
+
+ things like search can become an integral part of this new network --
+ obviating the need for external search providers. all the information
+ could be stored locally. letting people overcome concerns of privacy
+ because it's not sitting on centralized servers outside of their
+ control. and the various post-PC devices like mobile phones can be
+ leveraged to create effective "peer computing".
+
+ and by making all of this totally open source and public, yahoo! can
+ totally blow the efforts of others like microsoft, google and adobe
+ out of the water. the web is nearly 20 years old. and the time has
+ come for a major upgrade!
+
+ now, by following down the line i've sketched out above, yahoo! can
+ re-establish itself as a pioneer. and this is the key to regaining
+ brand value and revitalizing internal morale.
+
+ the above solves real problems that people face *and* can make yahoo!
+ the ultimate middle man for the world.
+
+ by appealing to people's imagination, hopes and aspirations, you can
+ propel yahoo! back to the center-stage.
+
+ and, as you already know, on wall street it is all about perception!
+
+ the old adage of an attack being the best defense needs to be brought
+ into play. with this new model, yahoo! can question the model of its
+ competitors and take the negative focus away from yahoo!
+
+ i would also recommend doing this as a grand 10-month project in which
+ all of this is developed totally openly and executed. and to do this
+ in a "reality tv"-esque style that will engage with the imagination of
+ the world.
+
+ get back to the yahooligan roots! make it truly engaging and sexy.
+ like it was back at the start.
+
+ spin the exodus of the various executives as an advantage -- free-ing
+ yahoo! to truly pioneer again -- unburdened by egos.
+
+ and with a solid plan in place with the imagination flaring, getting
+ your shareholders appeased and supportive should be an easy task. they
+ will be slightly reticent to start with, but they can be won over with
+ conviction.
+
+ i would like to help you do all this. i have the charisma, strategic
+ capacity and technical know-how to make this happen. i can even bring
+ together many of the appropriate people to make this happen -- and if
+ you will let me, put together appropriate people from within yahoo!
+
+ anyways, that should be enough for a first email =)
+
+ i'm much better at communicating in person. so if you find it at all
+ useful to your current situation, then please fly me over. i'm based
+ in london, but can be over at short notice.
+
+ PS. i'm cc'ing a list of my collaborators -- hope that's okay.
+
+ good luck and speak soon!
+
+ .. raw:: html
+
+ --<br />
+
+ love, tav
+
+ plex:espians/tav | tav@espians.com | +44 (0) 7809 569 369
+
View
7 democracy-at-crossroads.txt
@@ -0,0 +1,7 @@
+=======================
+Democracy At Crossroads
+=======================
+
+WTF's The Future?!
+~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
+
View
51 email-etiquette.txt
@@ -0,0 +1,51 @@
+===============
+Email Etiquette
+===============
+
+:X-Created: [2008-07-04, 10:22]
+
+.. image:: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/db/Mozilla_thunderbird_empty_screenshot.png
+ :alt: Thunderbird mail client
+ :width: 260
+ :height: 200
+ :class: float-right
+
+`Netiquette <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netiquette>`_ has long been a dying
+trait. At best I hope that people might read something like Seth's `Email
+checklist
+<http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2008/06/email-checklist.html>`_. But I
+have long stopped expecting others to adhere to much sense on this front.
+
+But the "`Don't print this Email
+<http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/email-print-47112009>`_"
+footer meme just managed to push past the annoyance tipping point for me.
+Especially since it came from someone who I admire as a great systems thinker!
+
+I understand that it is well meant. People would like to show that they care for
+the environment and would like to encourage having less of an impact on the
+world. Laudable intentions.
+
+But having a footer on every email is just plain stupid. Especially the large
+companies who insist on having several paragraphs of text explaining why you
+shouldn't do so and just how super cool and eco-friendly they are. Often these
+footers are larger than the body of the message itself!
+
+So why is this stupid? Because by adding these footers you are causing more harm
+than printing those emails would be causing in the first place! The millions of
+servers handling email sit in data centers consuming serious amounts of energy!
+
+And the additional size of each and every message -- especially as they get
+replied to and included in replies -- adds up to a serious amount of energy
+use! More routers, servers and switches are needed just because people couldn't
+handle a bit of systems thinking.
+
+It's not just for keeping the user interface simple that companies like Google
+spend such effort keeping their `home page to less than 28 words
+<http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2008/07/what-comes-next-in-this-series-13-33-53.html>`_.
+Each extra useless byte directly results in more energy use and a lot more CO2
+in the atmosphere.
+
+So, please for the love of the environment, stop including that footer in your
+emails. The point has already been made. I stopped printing emails in 1999. Just
+have a chat with people who still insist on printing out their emails. And stop
+wasting the most precious asset we all have -- time!
View
168 escaped-thoughts.txt
@@ -0,0 +1,168 @@
+================
+ESCaped Thoughts
+================
+
+:X-Created: [2008-08-11, 00:01]
+
+*[This is a reposting of a blog post that I had written at the first Espian
+Summer Camp (ESC) in July 2005]*
+
+`Squarepusher <http://www.warprecords.com/artists/index.php?artist=sqp>`_ pulses
+around as this is written. In contrast to the horrendous techno that some
+Germans seem intent on playing, this Brit demonstrates that electronic music can
+have soul.
+
+Is music the soul of life? Or was that the spice of life? Who cares. **Life is
+good**. Too good. One can almost forget the rest of the world here. Enjoy the
+moment. Savour the taste. Wonder about the grasshoppers. What do they make of
+this funny existence we share? A shooting star blazes above. Make a wish.
+
+The inevitable question arises. Why exactly are we here? No-one can give an
+answer. Everyone can give an answer.
+
+“Have a bloody good time!” someone chirps. Yes grasshopper.
+
+Seems we are also here for a **coding sprint**. What’s a coding sprint you ask.
+500m relays with printouts of source code handed between the runners in place of
+batons? No. Well, almost.
+
+A "canonical" definition:
+
+ A "coding sprint" is an event loosely inspired by `Extreme Programming
+ <http://www.extremeprogramming.org/>`_, where a number of developers get
+ together for a few days of intense pair programming on a common project.
+
+ The practise was pioneered by the Zope and Python communities and is now being
+ rapidly adopted by many software development teams — open sourced and closed
+ sourced alike.
+
+Fascinating eh? Well, no. But a good way to code. Load up `emacs
+<http://www.emacswiki.org/cgi-bin/wiki>`_. Hit ``M-x make-frame-on-display``.
+Collaborate. A good way to code. Collaboration. A good way to live.
+
+The world within my mind differs so much from the world outside. Listen to
+"Jeder ist in seiner eigenen Welt". Funny song. Within it lies the key to
+**solving all social problems**.
+
+The continuing attacks in London worry me. Perhaps one should be afraid. But
+fear leads to the Dark Side. Our police murder an innocent man. Yet, they
+`defend their new shoot-to-kill policy
+<http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/07/25/news/brits.php>`_. Just as worrying as
+the attacks themselves.
+
+The extremists are winning. Anti-terror laws are passed. Civil liberties and
+social politeness melt away. Al-Qaeda. Our government seems to have no clue
+about fighting this threat. They react in the traditional way. They mistake a
+decentralised organisation for one with a centralised hierarchy. They react just
+as they are expected to.
+
+One can almost forget the rest of the world here. Almost. Lightning illuminates
+the surrounding landscape. Thunder puts it into perspective. Whisky flows
+through my veins. Mosquito bites all over. Must not scratch.
+
+Where are we? Almost as important as why are we here. We are in `Wokule
+<http://www.wokule.de/>`_. The village of **Biesenthal surrounds us**. S-Bahn
+Bernau (part of Berlin’s public transport network) is less than half an hour
+away.
+
+Grasshopper on laptop screen.
+
+Kpi and Jörg head off to a meeting with Vodafone. Trust maps. Toman. Community
+currencies. People are impressed. Good contacts made.
+
+Time stands still. You wish.
+
+I gasp for air. 20 feet of water below me. The bank too far away. I am drowning.
+Primeval reflexes kick in. I surface. They are **teaching me** to swim. City boy
+adapts to the lake. A descendent of the `water people
+<http://www.bfi.org/EveryThing/everything_i_know4.htm>`_ familiarises himself.
+
+Everyone else in the lake is in the nude. Beautiful girls strip and jump in.
+Conflicting reactions within me. Be a gentleman and avert your eyes. Or enjoy
+nature. Neither win. Like `this writer
+<http://www.nudetravelguide.com/forums/lofiversion/index.php/t1493.html>`_, I am
+left wondering "why we all have such different modesty-maps wired into our
+brains. What makes a Brit inhibited, a Thai modest and a German relaxed?".
+
+Are modesty and politeness merely illusions? Probably so.
+
+Pride swells on learning that `Comic Life <http://plasq.com/comiclife/>`_ had
+won “The Best Product New to Mac OS X” in this year’s Apple Design Awards.
+`Atariboy <http://www.atariboy.com/>`_, the head of the espian graphic design
+squad, is behind it.
+
+The Wokule community do a party @ `Schloss Lanke
+<http://www.schlosslanke.de/>`_. We help out. I wander off into the forest.
+Return to meet some fascinating people. Rico introduces me to the 10 Euro
+intrument — a bastardised version of the `Berimbau
+<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berimbau>`_. I consider making one. Kpi buys me
+some string. A prelude to making the Jintra.
+
+"Too young!" she exclaims disappointedly. She had guessed 31. I turned out to
+be 23. She was 27. Has happened to me too often. I consider starting to **lie
+about my age**. Perhaps 29. Perhaps 27. What do you think?
+
+Life. A series of addictions.
+
+We look into `setting up <http://weblog.infoworld.com/udell/2005/02/21.html>`_ a
+`screencast <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Screencast>`_ of Kalati. Discover
+`wink <http://www.debugmode.com/wink/>`_. Excellent tool. Innovative.
+Cross-platform. Only lacking in sound integration. Will come soon.
+
+Amazing, the increasing acceleration of meme propagation. Networking effects
+going into overdrive. Take the term "screencast" for example. Coined by `Jon
+Udell <http://weblog.infoworld.com/udell/>`_ less than a year ago, creations
+already number many thousands. Whilst **there will be no Singularity**, it is
+hard to see why not. Faster! Schnell! Vite!
+
+Microsoft puts out the first alpha version of its next generation operation
+system — `Windows Vista <http://www.microsoft.com/windowsvista/default.mspx>`_
+(née Longhorn). Perfect timing. Couldn’t be better for us strategically. Thank
+you Microsoft.
+
+An ex-Microsoft employee comes to visit us. He likes what we are doing. Next
+generation. Trust. Social Networking. Friendster. Affluent contacts. Managing
+contacts. German Senate. `Berlin <http://www.berlin.de/>`_. Google. Vista.
+Double binds. The conversation meanders.
+
+`Zool <http://www.zooleika.org.uk/>`_ tells me about the O’Reilly `Mapping Hacks
+<http://www.mappinghacks.com/>`_ book she has written. Points me to the some of
+the `interesting work <http://map.wirelesslondon.info/docs/>`_ she has been
+doing. I am happy that the espian community attracts the likes of her.
+
+Kpi, Jörg, Ina, Kati, and myself head off to the NOG party. Other side of
+Berlin. Our human-based navigation systems break down. Would be nice to have
+good geo apps. We arrive just past midnight. Join the mass of hundreds. A friend
+is behind the bar. Always good. Hallucinogens. I wish she was here.
+
+Oscillation. Grasshopper whispers.
+
+Kpi leads a visualisation technique. **We build a timeline** across the fields
+of Wokule. High in the hills far away lies "Plexnet 1.0" — only half visible and
+far away.
+
+Elka accidentally unplugs my laptop. Battery-less laptop dies immediately. Takes
+half a day’s work with it. Elka appeases me with sweeties. Mmm, sweeties! Thank
+you.
+
+Kalati sprint to get the plexnet into a deployable state — version 0.0.0.5
+
+Yet another of `evangineer's <http://del.icio.us/evangineer>`_ predictions come
+true as `Django <http://www.djangoproject.com/>`_ is released. Pitching itself
+as "The Web framework for perfectionists with deadlines", this Python-based
+framework follows in the wake of the hype-induced success of the `Ruby on Rails
+<http://www.rubyonrails.com/>`_ web application framework. In its favour are the
+several `well-established <http://www.lawrence.com/>`_ and `high-profile
+<http://www.chicagocrime.org/>`_ deployments. Against it is the lack of a
+`charismatic evangelist <http://www.loudthinking.com/>`_.
+
+The relation between hype and fashion is a funny one. Whilst much of it is
+merely a passing trend, some of it sticks around to be relished by future
+generations. Like good sandwiches. Cucumber and peanut butter sandwich. Very
+tasty. Thanks qopi.
+
+What is old is new again. DHTML is AJAX. Keywords are Tags. Virtual Folders are
+Saved Searches. Portals are Digital Lifestyle Aggregators. Usenet is Darknet.
+Push is RSS.
+
+The dragonflies have grown. Come hither.
View
23 espian-ecology.txt
@@ -0,0 +1,23 @@
+==============
+Espian Ecology
+==============
+
+A New Kind of Economy
+~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
+==============
+Espian Ecology
+==============
+
+:X-Summary: A New Socio-Economic Reality
+:X-Created: [2008-07-20, 04:30]
+
+:Abstract:
+
+ The Espian Ecology is geared towards answering one simple question:
+
+
+
+.. contents:: Table of Contents
+ :depth: 2
+ :backlinks: none
+
View
795 espra-bootstrap.txt
@@ -0,0 +1,795 @@
+===============
+Espra Bootstrap
+===============
+
+A Command Line for the Internet
+~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
+
+:X-Created: [2008-07-03, 10:30]
+
+:Abstract:
+
+ Bootstrap is a meta `mashup
+ <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mashup_(web_application_hybrid)>`_ which glues
+ together existing web applications to enable effective collaboration. It
+ also incorporates some of the ideas from Espra -- e.g. Trust Maps -- around
+ today's technologies.
+
+ This document provides a rough overview of Bootstrap for an initial 6-week
+ development phase. The resulting work will be used to:
+
+ * Enable small-scale (less than 40,000 member) communities
+ * Bring in some short-term revenue as part of consulting work
+ * Facilitate the eventual development of Espra
+
+ Note: Whilst Espra will be fully open source (public domain), Bootstrap will
+ be kept closed source for now. Also, Espra will be decentralised whereas
+ Bootstrap will be generally centralised. Not to mention Espra will be
+ magnitudes more efficient.
+
+ .. http://bootstrap.espra.com
+
+.. contents:: Table of Contents
+ :depth: 2
+ :backlinks: none
+
+---------------
+Getting Started
+---------------
+
+.. image:: http://release.plexnet.org/gfx/username-password.png
+ :class: float-right
+ :alt: Password frustration comic
+
+Seeing as how people have enough username/passwords already, they will not be
+required to "sign up" to Bootstrap. In fact, they will not even be able to.
+Instead, they will be given the option of logging in via:
+
+* `Facebook <http://developers.facebook.com/documentation.php?doc=login_web>`_
+* `Google <http://code.google.com/apis/accounts/docs/AuthForWebApps.html>`_ (Gmail or Hosted)
+* `OpenID <http://openid.net>`_ (including `Yahoo <http://openid.yahoo.com>`_,
+ LiveJournal, &c.)
+
+The login box will look something like:
+
+.. raw:: html
+
+ <blockquote><form>
+ <input type="text" id="openid_identifier" name="openid_identifier" />
+ <script type="text/javascript" id="__openidselector"
+ src="https://www.idselector.com/selector/75286238997cee5972a869db49e21980afa2c673"
+ charset="utf-8"></script>
+ <input type="submit" value="Login" style="vertical-align: middle;">
+ </form></blockquote>
+
+.. raw:: html
+
+ <strong></strong>
+
+Once logged in, the usual basic profile information will be asked of the user --
+full name, display name, profile picture, timezone, &c. Some hassle should be
+saved if they've used either Facebook or a decent OpenID provider.
+
+Users will be able to update the information later in the ``Settings`` pane.
+Here, they will also be able to add alternative logins. For example, if they
+first logged in via Facebook, they can also add their Gmail account as an
+alternative login.
+
+At no point will a user's password be stored on Bootstrap. This liability will
+be left in the hands of the various identity providers. The respective APIs will
+simply be used to authenticate the user.
+
+Users will be allowed to have multiple Bootstrap accounts and the interface will
+support easily switching between these different accounts -- so as to facilitate
+separate online identities for different types of activities.
+
+A unique id will be generated for each user and a related subdomain
+``<unique-id>.bootstrap`` created for purposes of security. This may later be
+extended to allow users to map their own domains/subdomains onto Bootstrap.
+
+.. Google AuthSub
+.. Facebook API
+.. OpenID
+.. Simple Registration Extension
+.. Profile picture handling
+.. EntityID type
+.. Login type
+.. Crypto key generation
+.. Many-to-one Mapping of Login->EntityID
+.. Settings pane
+
+---------
+Interface
+---------
+
+Bootstrap will be primarily accessed through the various web browsers:
+
+* Firefox 2+
+* IE 7+
+* Opera 9+
+* Safari 3+
+
+The interface will degrade gracefully for most older browsers -- including
+text-only console clients like lynx. Special consideration will be given for an
+iPhone-specific web interface and accessibility for the visually challenged.
+
+The main interface will be a live-updated "Lookout" home screen. This will be
+slightly analogous to an IRC chat window or an updated-in-real-time
+RecentChanges page on a wiki.
+
+A rough layout of the Lookout screen:
+
+.. raw:: html
+
+ <div class="center">
+ <img src="http://wiki.espians.com/upload/thumb/0/02/Espra_alpha_peek.jpg/450px-Espra_alpha_peek.jpg"
+ alt="Bootstrap Interface" />
+ </div>
+
+The idea is that users will keep this page open all the time -- much like an
+Instant Messaging application. And intelligent use will be made of basic
+capabilities of browsers like back, forward and bookmark buttons.
+
+The focus will be on an input box at the bottom where users could write messages
+and entries. This will have a small drop down box on the side which will allow
+them to specify the context(s) of the message.
+
+At the very top will be the usual login and settings links. And right below that
+will be user-configurable toggle-able buttons which will turn on/off different
+elements in the data they are viewing.
+
+The core of the layout will be taken up by 2 columns. On the left will be a
+drop-down media player and below that the main "application" space. And on the
+right will be a search system with configurable filters and application-specific
+commands menu below that.
+
+By default, the "application" space will show the latest happenings across all
+contexts -- a bit like Facebook's Newsfeed. And when users choose specific items
+or actions, the application space will change to reflect it but the other
+elements would stay put.
+
+This means that users could be watching a movie whilst reading up on people's
+responses to an unrelated blog entry -- or perhaps even composing an article
+themselves. Multi-tasking within the web page.
+
+The Media Player will play various media files from the web. Supported file
+formats will include:
+
+* MP3 (including Internet Radio)
+* H.264 (Quicktime, Flash, iPod)
+* On2 VP6 (Flash)
+* Windows Media Format (Windows Media Player)
+* Flash Video (Flash)
+* DivX (DivX Web Player)
+* Other formats (Mplayer)
+* YouTube (YouTube Player using JS & Flash)
+
+The exact formats supported will depend on the plugins the user has installed on
+their browser. Users will be able to make and share playlists. And generally
+use it like a normal desktop media player.
+
+Given that users may want to share files with each other -- a special external
+Bootstrap client will be provided. This will create a pseudo peer-to-peer
+network amongst the various users. This will be developed by combining elements
+of `Bittorrent <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BitTorrent_%28protocol%29>`_ and
+`Tahoe <http://allmydata.org/trac/tahoe>`_.
+
+Support for this client will be auto-detected when users connect to Bootstrap
+and taken advantage of if available. For example, it can be used to cache the
+media files the user is viewing so that the user can watch them again without
+having to repeatedly download the files.
+
+The external client will also gradually support additional functionality, e.g.
+encoding media files in HD quality, access to remote Airtunes speakers, or
+providing location awareness if the user wants to provide it to enable the use
+of location-based services.
+
+Offline access to Bootstrap's functionality and data -- that is, ability for a
+user to use Bootstrap whilst offline -- will also be supported via this external
+client. This same functionality will act as the mechanism for users to
+export/backup their personal data from Bootstrap.
+
+If time permits this client may also be developed for Firefox, Nokia S60,
+Android and Blackberry platforms in addition to the default Windows, OS X and
+Linux ones.
+
+----------
+Trust Maps
+----------
+
+.. image:: http://release.plexnet.org/gfx/trust-maps-mary.png
+ :alt: Trust Maps -- Trusting Mary in the context of Cars
+ :class: float-right
+ :width: 352
+ :height: 321
+
+Users will be able to add others to their "Trust Map". This is just specifying
+who and in what contexts and level limit. The context is pretty simple and
+should be familiar as "tags" to users of sites like `Delicious
+<http://del.icio.us>`_ and `Flickr <http://www.flickr.com>`_.
+
+Example contexts might include:
+
+* Architecture
+* Electronic Music
+* Microcredit
+* Javascript
+* French Cuisine
+
+Whilst people will be free to use contexts as they like, convergence will be
+encouraged through the use of relations which people can specify. Relationships
+between contexts are limited to the basic:
+
+* Equivalent
+* Broader
+* Narrower
+
+Contexts will be normalised since computers can't by default tell the difference
+between cases across different languages, e.g. "Straßenfest" will become
+"strassenfest". Users will also be encouraged to specify a qualifier for
+contexts, e.g. ``Animal/Jaguar`` or ``Car/Jaguar`` instead of just ``Jaguar``.
+
+The level limit will act as an additional filter for information flow through
+the various Trust Maps. It will set a maximum depth to which a user is willing
+to accept another's information flow.
+
+Adding people to a Trust Map is referred to as "Alignment" and not all alignment
+needs to be public. A special "Connection" alignment will be provided to allow
+people to add others to their Trust Maps privately. A special personal
+blacklisting feature will also be supported which will block any flow from
+blacklisted users to the specific user.
+
+Users will be able to take advantage of relationships they've already
+established on other services, e.g. Flickr, Gmail, Yahoo, MSN, Facebook, &c. And
+as they increasingly use Bootstrap, recommendations will be made relating to
+their Trust Maps.
+
+.. Trust Horizon -- 1, 2, -1
+.. Private Connections
+
+-----
+Items
+-----
+
+Much like wiki pages are the heart of `Wikipedia <http://www.wikipedia.org>`_,
+"Items" will be the heart of Bootstrap. There will be a handful of different
+Item types:
+
+* Message
+* Action
+* Question
+* Answer
+* Pecu Allocation
+* Transaction
+* Requirement
+* Shaila
+* Text
+
+All items will be automatically versioned. All unmarked previous versions will
+be deleted when regular "compacting" processes are run.
+
+The default Item type will be **Message** -- a single text input -- much like
+`Twitter <http://www.twitter.com>`_ -- with a context. This is the default type
+for replies/comments to other Items. **Action** will be the same with an
+additional time scope/limit field.
+
+Users will also be able to ask specific **Questions** which could have
+structured **Answers**. These answers could be free form, boolean (yes/no) or
+multiple choice, e.g Conservative, Labour, Liberal. This will allow for easily
+analysable data to be gathered.
+
+ *Some default sections will be automatically generated from free form
+ questions, e.g. "What do you have to offer?", "Where are you now?", &c.*
+
+The **Pecu Allocation** type will be like a Message with the additional fields:
+
+* Amount
+* Valid until
+
+This will be used by users to allocate pecus (personal economic currency units)
+-- a form of reputation currency -- to others. Pecu allocations cannot be
+traded, but will be used as part of many transactions and decision making
+processes.
+
+The **Transaction** type reflects the basic transaction record in `double-entry
+accounting <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double-entry_bookkeeping_system>`_.
+Amongst other things, it could be used to facilitate and record the trade of
+resources between users. Unlike most other types which, when created, stay
+within just the user's namespace, Transaction items will be signed and copied to
+all involved parties.
+
+The **Requirement** type will be a special type which can be placed as a
+"requisite" in front/after other types. The type will define a set of boolean
+parameters -- which, when fulfilled -- will either trigger the publishing of a
+predefined Item or make a service call.
+
+This can be used for many interesting purposes. For example, one could use it to
+ensure that certain criteria are fulfilled -- by the answering of Questions by
+others in specific ways -- before money is released via a Transaction. In this
+way specific types like Contracts no longer become necessary.
+
+Reuirement types will be able to leverage the various Trust Map calculations
+too. And a default setup will be provided which allow users to specify
+permissive Transactions when users match certain percentiles for a given
+Context.
+
+User could also attach Requirements to a specific context so that whenever Items
+matching certain patterns are received from others via the Trust Map, certain
+services can be called.
+
+**Shailas** will be used as contextual "summaries". They will allow a running
+summary of dialogue and action to be kept. The interface for creating shailas
+will allow the user to also specify which Items have been incorporated into the
+Shaila.
+
+The aim here will be to avoid the needless repetition that usually takes place
+across forums and mailing lists and encourage living summaries. Shailas could
+also be used as guides to introduce people to new spaces. The art of hosting
+taken virtual.
+
+The **Text** type will be very similar to a Message but instead of the default
+input format which accepts a combination of Rich Text and HTML, users will be
+able to specify any one of the supported formats on the opening line, e.g.
+
+::
+
+ #! markdown
+
+The initially supported formats will include:
+
+* genshi: `Genshi <http://genshi.edgewall.org/>`_ Templates
+* html: Raw HTML
+* markdown: `Markdown <http://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/>`_
+* python: Capability-secured `Python <http://www.python.org>`_ Scripts
+* rst: `Restructured Text <http://docutils.sourceforge.net/docs/user/rst/quickref.html>`_
+* text: Rich Text + HTML subset
+
+In some of the formats, users will be able to support variable substitution
+using the string formatting operator from `PEP 3101
+<http://www.python.org/dev/peps/pep-3101/>`_. This will allow some Items to be
+used as Templates which, as `Wikipedia has proven
+<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Template_messages>`_, could be quite
+useful.
+
+Web links in all Items will be automatically extracted and queryable. Special
+syntax will be supported for wiki-style \[[plex links]] which could be used to
+refer to contexts, items and some structured data, e.g. price, geo-location,
+date/time, &c.
+
+These plexlinks will also serve outputs from functional services if the link
+text starts with an exclamation mark, e.g. a currency conversion of 25 pounds
+sterling to dollars could use the ``convert`` service::
+
+ [[!convert 25 GBP to USD]]
+
+The special double exclamation mark ``!!`` will be a shortcut for typing
+``!include`` which includes the Item referred as the first parameter -- a form
+of `transclusion <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transclusion>`_. Specific
+sections of an Item could be referred to if it has named sections, e.g.
+
+::
+
+ [!!some-item#some-section-name]]
+
+Output could be piped from one service to another in a manner similar to UNIX
+using the universal pipe symbol: ``|``. Service output could also be seen
+directly -- a bit like using IRC bots like `phenny
+<http://inamidst.com/phenny/>`_ -- if users start their Messages with an
+exclamation mark, e.g.
+
+::
+
+ !convert 25 GBP to USD
+
+Whilst it will not be built on a true `capability-based security system
+<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capability-based_security>`_, Bootstrap will be
+secured from traditional Web attack vectors:
+
+* `XSS <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross-site_scripting>`_
+* `CSRF <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CSRF>`_
+* `Dom Injection <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross-site_scripting#DOM-based>`_
+
+Users will be able to refer to all items published by themselves under the
+special `tilde
+<http://diveintomark.org/archives/2002/10/04/history_of_the_tilde>`_ (``~``)
+namespace. For example, to refer to this item, I would use
+``~/articles/bootstrap.html``.
+
+Items will be automatically given a unique ID and be accessible under the
+special item namespace, e.g. ``~/item/<unique-id>``. Users will also be able to
+give an item a specific name if they so choose.
+
+Whilst ``/`` can be included in these names, in reality it will be a flat
+namespace and there will be no directories involved. Prefix matching will be
+supported though -- and this could be used to give the semblance of directory
+support if wanted.
+
+.. Quick Notes to Self
+.. Commenting -- as Messages in "link" contexts
+
+-----------------
+External Services
+-----------------
+
+Bootstrap will enable users to aggregate their activites on various web
+services. The following services will be integrated given their utility and
+widespread usage.
+
+Aggregators:
+
+* `FriendFeed <http://friendfeed.com>`_
+* `Google Reader <http://www.google.com/reader>`_
+
+Books:
+
+* `Amazon Wishlists <http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/wishlist/>`_
+
+Classifieds:
+
+* `Craigslist <http://www.craigslist.org>`_
+
+Commerce:
+
+* `Amazon <http://www.amazon.com>`_
+* `eBay <http://www.ebay.com>`_
+* `Google Base <http://www.google.com/base>`_
+* `Paypal <http://www.paypal.com>`_
+
+Events:
+
+* `Dopplr <http://www.dopplr.com>`_
+* `Facebook Events <http://www.facebook.com/events.php>`_
+* `Google Calendar <http://www.google.com/calendar>`_
+* `Meetup <http://www.meetup.com>`_
+* `Upcoming <http://upcoming.yahoo.com>`_
+
+Feeds:
+
+* `Atom <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atom_(standard)>`_ Feeds
+* `ICAL <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ICalendar>`_ Feeds
+* `RSS <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSS>`_ Feeds -- including `Podcasts
+ <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Podcast>`_, `GeoRSS
+ <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GeoRSS>`_, &c.
+
+File Sharing:
+
+* `Box.net <http://www.box.net>`_
+
+Links:
+
+* `Delicious <http://del.icio.us>`_
+* `Digg <http://www.digg.com>`_
+* `Google Shared Stuff <http://www.google.com/s2/sharing/stuff>`_
+* `Reddit <http://www.reddit.com>`_
+
+Location
+
+* `Fireeagle <http://fireeagle.yahoo.net>`_
+* `Plazes <http://www.plazes.com>`_
+
+Mail:
+
+* `Gmail <http://mail.google.com>`_
+* `Yahoo Mail <http://mail.yahoo.com>`_
+
+Mailing lists (Public Only):
+
+* `Google groups <http://groups.google.com>`_
+* `Yahoo groups <http://groups.yahoo.com>`_
+
+Maps:
+
+* `Google Maps <http://maps.google.com>`_
+* `Yahoo Maps <http://maps.yahoo.com>`_
+
+Movies:
+
+* `Netflix <http://www.netflix.com>`_
+
+Music:
+
+* `iLike <http://www.ilike.com>`_
+* `Last.fm <http://last.fm>`_
+
+Photos:
+
+* `Facebook Photos <http://www.facebook.com/photos.php>`_
+* `Flickr <http://www.flickr.com>`_
+
+Presentations:
+
+* `SlideShare <http://www.slideshare.net>`_
+
+Publishing:
+
+* `Blogger <http://www.blogger.com>`_
+* `Disqus <http://www.disqus.com>`_
+* `Jaiku <http://www.jaiku.com>`_
+* `Livejournal <http://www.livejournal.com>`_
+* `Pownce <http://www.pownce>`_
+* `Tumblr <http://www.tumblrcom>`_
+* `Twitter <http://www.twitter.com>`_
+* `Wordpress <http://www.wordpress.com>`_
+
+Reference
+
+* `Wikipedia <http://www.wikipedia.org>`_
+
+Search:
+
+* `Google Search <http://www.google.com>`_
+* `Yahoo BOSS <http://developer.yahoo.com/boss>`_
+* `Yahoo Search <http://search.yahoo.com>`_