Archive for the 'politics' Category

London on Sep 17th

I wish I were in London on September 17th. The Secular Europe Campaign is exactly what I feel like doing after so much pope fandom enthusiasm. I’m supporting them spiritually, though.


Donating to Wikimedia Foundation

I use Wikipedia a lot. It’s one of those things that is just there, like the air that I breathe or the spot on my head that I scratch when I need to focus. Just there, always there.

But, as Sue Gardner says, not many people know that Wikipedia is run by a non-profit organisation of about fifty people. They need money for infrastructures, bills and salaries. They use your donations to keep Wikipedia there for all of us. I give them a tiny slice of my winter paycheck every year, hoping that they will still be there when I need them.

If you use Wikipedia, I encourage you to do the same, within your own possibilities. See here.

Research budget cut down in Spain

According to a spokesperson of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, the 2010 research budget will be decreased by 15% as compared to 2009. This is a dramatic change in relation to the overall direction that the Spanish government has been holding for the last few years, in which a policy of sustained growth in R&D funding was systematically applied.

Controversy is served. Despite the well known world-wide recession that affects Spain as much as any other western country, a 15% cut down is disproportionate when compared to other areas of the national budget, which, again according to government spokespersons, will suffer much smaller reductions, no reductions at all, or will even be increased.

With this post I want to show my disagreement with the Spanish government’s policy of applying the most severe budget cut down in the research area. No al recorte del presupuesto en I+D.

No al recorte del presupuesto en I+D

No al recorte del presupuesto en I+D

Do me a favour

We have elections in Galicia this Sunday. Current president Touriño had his face neatly decorated like this at my usual bus stop tonight:

Defaced 1

Defaced 1

The photo is crappy because it was made with my phone camera and it was dark.

Continue reading ‘Do me a favour’

Where are the sysadmins?

Recently I have been trying to find a sysadmin for our lab. Hopeless. Where do you find one?

Our government-dictated recruiting system is so stupid that we cannot hire the person we want. Rather, we specify the criteria that the person should meet and a panel in Madrid runs the whole selection process. A few months later, somebody turns up with a signed contract under his/her arm and you are supposed to smile and be happy with him/her for a couple of years.

To add insult to injury, the criteria that the Madrid guys would take from us are supposed to be outlined in a few paragraphs. Part of these criteria must address the university degree of the individual to be hired.

As you can imagine, the outcome of this nonsensical policy is quite random. Sometimes you get brilliant people, sometimes you get people that are severly mismatched to their position.

Oh well. I digress. So, what am I supposed to write in a few paragraphs so that the best possible sysadmins are selected? What kind of degree is logical to expect from a top sysadmin?

Wikipedia says that there’s no single path to becoming a sysadmin, and this quite matches my own experience. The good sysadmins I’ve met come from all sorts of funny backgrounds, from biology to history to commerce & economics.



Congrats to all my Australian friends, now that Howard has lost the elections.

Now it’s only a matter of time until Bush leaves too.

Open letter to Linden Lab

You read it.

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