Cape Town wiki meetup with Wikimedia Foundation’s Asaf Bartov

Cape Town was very lucky to host Wikimedia Foundation’s Senior Program Officer Asaf Bartov at the end of his Africa tour. We held a meetup, and it proved particularly inspiring to those attending. Asaf spoke about Wikidata, discussed projects using the data, and demonstrated a number of tools that were new to most of us,… Continue reading Cape Town wiki meetup with Wikimedia Foundation’s Asaf Bartov

Black Panther

Tonight was the opening night of Black Panther. It’s been getting heavy publicity for being the first of eighteen Marvel superhero films to feature a black lead, and features a predominantly black cast. For some this is just tokenism, an attempt to find a new angle to sell yet more movie tickets. So was there… Continue reading Black Panther

Patreon meltdown

Patreon just made one of those decisions that look good when explained to investors in the boardroom, but are utterly suicidal when rolled out. They changed their fee structure, so that instead of the finance fees being charged to creators, they are now charged to patrons. The motivation is sound. Previously, the actual amount paid… Continue reading Patreon meltdown

Observatory energised

Democracy, ideally, represents rule by the people, but in a world with powerful centralised nation states, antiquated voting systems, and social media quickly spreading misinformation about remote events, in practice, it’s far from that. Just look at the state of most so-called democracies. But democracy in its current incarnation can work reasonably well at the… Continue reading Observatory energised

September 2017 African language Wikipedia update

It’s time to look at the state of the African language Wikipedias again, as always based on the imperfect metric of number of articles. African Language Wikipedias Language 11/2/2011 9/5/2013 26/6/2015 24/11/2016 5/9/2017 Malagasy 3,806 45,361 79,329 82,799 84,634 Afrikaans 17,002 26,752 35,856 42,732 46,824 Swahili 21,244 25,265 29,127 34,613 37,443 Yoruba 12,174 30,585 31,068… Continue reading September 2017 African language Wikipedia update


In late 2015, after a moment of bliss, I decided to write down some of the peak moments, those little appearances of bliss, that I’ve experienced in my life. They’re in no particular order, just what came to mind at the time. 1) In my parent’s garden, doing chi kung at midnight, a clear sky,… Continue reading Bliss

No Lady

I haven’t learned my lesson and I’ve chosen the cheapest hotel I can find in Manhattan, in the Chinatown district. I get to my room on the 2nd floor. A gloomy corridor leads to a tiny window, facing a wall, and there are countless doors dotted on either side of the passage, with about a… Continue reading No Lady

A Visit to Home Affairs

My passport expires soon, so it was time to brave the horrors of Home Affairs again. But wait, could things have improved? Since I last had the pleasure of experiencing their welcome, Home Affairs in Wynberg has moved to Maynard Mall, and this post gave a glowing review. Arrive at 11-ish? 8 people in the… Continue reading A Visit to Home Affairs