Author Archives: serendipolis

Leveraging Big Data in disasters: Working around the clock in Philippines

[Cross posted at the Money, Data, and Privacy blog] Big data from social media is increasingly used in disaster management procedures. The speed at which big social data feeds travel across the networks has already been leveraged at the early … Continue reading

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Crowdfunding Culture in Catalonia: The Revival of Civil Society?

[Work in progress, to appear in the Journal of Catalan Intellectual History, vol. 7, 2013] When Antoni Gaudi took over the Sagrada Familia project in 1883,  the initially planned neo-Gothic church—which had come into existence by a private initiative in … Continue reading

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On algorithms and croquettes: hashtag battles in Twitter politics

On 11 September 2013, Catalonia’s national day, approximately 1,600,000 Catalans joined hands along Catalonia’s coastline to form “The Catalan Way towards Independence” a 400-kilometre (250-mile) human chain. The Catalan Way was inspired in the 1989 Baltic Way chain that called … Continue reading

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Spread the word: the value of local information in disaster response

By Marta Poblet and Keera Pullman As dozens of bushfires continue to burn across the country (not least in New South Wales) many Australians find themselves unable to return home while many others have no home to return to. While … Continue reading

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Spanish politics: the anything goes culture

My most admired José Juan Toharia—the renowned sociologist who co-founded Cuadernos para el Dialogo back in 1962 and now presides public opinion research firm Metroscopia—has been providing a series of data-driven analysis on perceptions of Catalonia and Spain since the … Continue reading

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Catalonia: independent but united with Europe?

Marta Poblet and Pompeu Casanovas In the biggest rally for Catalan independence ever, an estimated crowd of 1.5 million people flooded the city of Barcelona with red-and-yellow striped flags on Catalonia’s national day, the Diada. Tax laws and lack of … Continue reading

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Minimal toys, bikes, and appropriate technologies

Children at play are fascinating to observe. It’s not only that “their games should be deemed as their most serious actions”, as Montaigne famously wrote, but they are the finest examples of serendipity at work. All of a sudden, sticky … Continue reading

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The Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and the ethics of responsibility

On May 29, King & Wood Mallesons, the International Law Association (Victoria Chapter) and the Australian Red Cross organized an event on “The Responsibility to Protect: Where to from here?” featuring presentations from leading R2P experts Gareth Evans, Damien Kingsbury … Continue reading

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Crowdsourced crisis mapping: how it works and why it matters

Marta Poblet and Pompeu Casanovas Web 2.0 tools and mobile technologies have lowered the barriers not just for people to access the internet but to create and share content. Through open-source, collaborative programs such as wikis, the creation and distribution … Continue reading

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Endeavour, Venus, and citizen science

This week, the magnificent Australian-built replica HMB Endeavour could be visited at the Waterfront City Marina in Melbourne. On 26 August 1768, the real HMB Endeavour, commanded by Lieutenant James Cook, sailed from Plymouth to the South Pacific Ocean. The aim … Continue reading

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