Friday, November 07, 2008

may the work speak for itself

So Hazel Blears thinks blogs are terrible, rightwing, shallow, cynical, contributing only snark to the debate, no new ideas, no policy analysis, no organising. Her evidence for this consists of cites to Iain Dale and Paul Van Der Staines. Well, you can see how she got those ideas.

I should, I suppose, Engage More Fully, but then, this is essentially just another of those 2004-2005 conventional wisdom pieces about Instapundit and Gawker. In 2008. The timing is hilarious, in the light of Barack Obama's election - if anyone was an Internet candidate, he was, and I intend to bore you more thoroughly about this later. Anyway, the best revenge is living well, so I'm going to drop it. Instead, what about an interesting data visualisation? As you know, the Viktorfeed doesn't just generate an XML feed - it also logs everything in a big database.

Just saying that is like having a cock motorcycle the size of Hazel Blears's. I can see why the Government loves them so much. A quick SELECT COUNT(*) timeout, destination FROM flights WHERE destination !='Dubai' and destination !='Sharjah' GROUP BY destination; gives us the details of how many flights each destination received; a bit (well actually quite a lot) of munging with a text editor and we could feed it into IBM ManyEyes.

Note the dominance of War On Trrrrr destinations in the network. 388 flights to Bagram; 1,452 to Kabul; 513 to Kandahar; 246 to Baghdad; 434 to Erbil; 142 to Djibouti. Very clearly, the requirements of the war and the people who profited from it are still feeding the Bout system and the others like it. Not also that No.1 is the null set, the flights that just didn't give a destination - 1,271 of them. Clearly, the UAE authorities just aren't serious about this - as if that was ever in question.

Full of viggger after that one, I made up another, based on the airlines that came up in the monitoring results. The code this time is SELECT COUNT(*) timeout, airline FROM flights GROUP BY airline;. And here are the results.

We just can't get rid of British Gulf, can we? Between the two supposedly distinct call signs, they sent off 1,093 flights from the UAE since we've been doing this, by far the biggest. It's also worth remembering that they don't do anything but Southwest Asian warzones. Old friends Phoenix Aviation are just behind with 867. As Kathryn Cramer said; it's time to get rid of this mercenary infrastructure.

Update: ManyEyes is down at the moment so this post doesn't make sense.

1 comment:

Kathryn Cramer said...

"location undisclosed": In my political cartoon version of this, that would be deliveries to Cheney in his undisclosed location (anding out for pizza, beer, grenades, whatever).

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