live flamenco kitchen show. Sandra and Dario will be playing live for new year's eve on the Catarreador in Serra da Lousã. show starts the 31st of december 2009 at 23h. drunken flute and drumming not included.


I've been working on a user script for couchsurfing that extracts some numbers out of the profile page. so far it does what I call "mojo" count, where you see whether someone tends to leave more references or tends to get more references, and how they balance out. not sure what it means yet, but it does seem that I do get along better with people with similar mojo counts (mine is at about +15%, meaning I left 15% unreciprocated references).

soon, more (and better) math on these things, plus the ill fated total hours surfed/total hours hosting, that gives you the balance of each person (whether they host more than they surf or vice versa). my theory is that these are two very different types of character, and I argue that we'll see this in all forms, from the surfer-only to the hoster-only to everything in between.

another one that's interesting would be the gender bias count, but to do that I'd have to crawl the website (genders are not on the reference listing).

hopefully, soon, it will lead to good metrics and better understanding of human interactions.

by the way, code is public domain and freely downloadable. user scripts can be ran in most browsers.

godspeed starstuff ☆★☆☆★★★☆☆☆☆☆


answer to last night's question on internet coverage: 25.6%, 6.1% broadband. I was mixing the two I guess. so 1 in 4 humans are plugged in to the multivax.



open stage night featuring drunken performance by silverio. Best inaugural night ever!


lena has been busy. I guess it's gonna be a punk xmas. also, lounge is redone and has a stage now. pics soon.


starting today, the profile is revamped. I clearly state what the house is like. I'm interested in seeing what will happen. my lack of acceptance standards is now public. also, the references are hidden to minimize "play it safe" people

according to my math, I have now donated over 1 million people-hours to the couchsurfing project and other hospitality networks. a person-hour is calculated multiplying the length of the stay in days by the people involved in that "booking" and then adding them all up. obviously returning guests are not counted twice. it's a little daunting that in 14 months (~400 days) I have made the equivalent of nearly 2500 times that in human interactions. seems my house is like a little people amplifier

godspeed starstuff ☆★☆☆★★★☆☆☆☆☆



fucked up punk jam session featuring guests (lena, silverio, juliana, shaman, me) and a Galician bagpipe, a Portuguese "Transmontana" bagpipe (only the "ponteiro" with mouth piece), an adapted recorder, wok drumming (including the rare wok-on-the-head drumming), shaman's home made flute and recycled wine. awesome.

also, two more freaked out and left. I guess it's that loving Christmas spirit that is bringing people together. right.

godspeed starstuff ☆★☆☆★★★☆☆☆☆☆
a record weekend: 3 people creeped out and 2 lying about not being able to come. fun stuff, really.

soon, fun stats on stuff like food habits (vegetarian, etc), intellectual affinity and house economy behavior. currently working on that. also, references hidden again for the holidays.



movie night was postponed again. a lot of work at the moment, the lounge is stinking from too much booze, and soon the facilities will be changed.

godspeed starstuff ☆★☆☆★★★☆☆☆☆☆


I'm happy to report the first 0 score in 3 months, bell curves are a beautiful thing. soon, I'll be forging fake negative references and see what happens.

also, movie night on the brain tonight. we'll be screening David Rock's lecture Your Brain at Work from googletechtalks. though the motivation is clearly fucked up (making us more "productive"), the insights on how we function are incredible, especially regarding reward/threat behavior and the limbic system.

In his new book "Your Brain at Work," coach David Rock depicts the story of two people over one day at the office, and what's happening in their brains that makes it so hard to focus and be productive. Not only does he explain why things go wrong, but how you can train your brain to improve thinking and performance at work. Based on interviews with 30 neuroscientists, he's developed strategies to help you work smart all day.

godspeed starstuff ☆★☆☆★★★☆☆☆☆☆



so besides the usual drinks, bread and yogurt, shaman found what I estimate to be about 10kg of dried salted cod, just in time for christmas. the bounty was amazing, I'd say we have enough food for weeks! thank you wasteful western society!


movie night was great, mostly due to the off-topics! a lot on education, spirituality and cosmology, despite the theme (human survival).

godspeed starstuff ☆★☆☆★★★☆☆☆☆☆


movie night tonight, themed human survival. we'll be screening:

the story of cap and trade by the people behind the story of stuff (screened some months ago). somewhat appropriate due to the supposed "climategate" going on.

The Story of Cap & Trade is a fast-paced, fact-filled look at the leading climate solution being discussed at Copenhagen and on Capitol Hill. Host Annie Leonard introduces the energy traders and Wall Street financiers at the heart of this scheme and reveals the "devils in the details" in current cap and trade proposals: free permits to big polluters, fake offsets and distraction from what’s really required to tackle the climate crisis. If you’ve heard about cap and trade, but aren’t sure how it works (or who benefits), this is the film is for you.

the BBC horizon episode How Many People Can Live on Planet Earth?, hosted by Sir Dave

In a Horizon special, naturalist Sir David Attenborough investigates whether the world is heading for a population crisis.

In his lengthy career, Sir David has watched the human population more than double from 2.5 billion in 1950 to nearly seven billion. He reflects on the profound effects of this rapid growth, both on humans and the environment.

While much of the projected growth in human population is likely to come from the developing world, it is the lifestyle enjoyed by many in the West that has the most impact on the planet. Some experts claim that in the UK consumers use as much as two and a half times their fair share of Earth's resources.

Sir David examines whether it is the duty of individuals to commit not only to smaller families, but to change the way they live for the sake of humanity and planet Earth.

obviously, as usual, things are completely subject to change.





movie night was postponed due to unforeseen unforeseeable foreseeables


movie night tonight. we'll be screening:

the story of cap and trade by the people behind the story of stuff (screened some months ago). somewhat appropriate due to the supposed "climategate" going on.

The Story of Cap & Trade is a fast-paced, fact-filled look at the leading climate solution being discussed at Copenhagen and on Capitol Hill. Host Annie Leonard introduces the energy traders and Wall Street financiers at the heart of this scheme and reveals the "devils in the details" in current cap and trade proposals: free permits to big polluters, fake offsets and distraction from what’s really required to tackle the climate crisis. If you’ve heard about cap and trade, but aren’t sure how it works (or who benefits), this is the film is for you.

the documentary convoy of death about the unitedstatian perpetuated massacres in the afghanistan region. the recent official announcement by mr. change obama to continue the conflict and send more troops there makes this documentary a must see.

The film tells the story of thousands of prisoners who surrendered to the U.S. military's Afghan allies after the siege of Kunduz. According to eyewitnesses, some three thousand of the prisoners were forced into sealed containers and loaded onto trucks for transport to Sheberghan prison. Eyewitnesses say when the prisoners began shouting for air, U.S.-allied Afghan soldiers fired directly into the truck, killing many of them. These witnesses say US Special Forces re-directed the containers carrying the living and dead into the desert and stood by as survivors of the ordeal were shot and buried. Now, up to three thousand bodies lie buried in a mass grave.

The film also provides footage of CIA officer Mike Spann interrogating American Taliban prisoner John Walker Lindh, just hours before Spann was killed in the famous prison uprising at Mazar-i-Sharif.

"Afghan Massacre" has outraged human rights groups and international human rights lawyers. They are calling for investigation into whether U.S. Special Forces are guilty of war crimes.

godspeed starstuff ☆★☆☆★★★☆☆☆☆☆
on last night's topic on food waste (after the wonder binning), here's an article on food waste in the united states. apparently it's up to 40% waste now.

dumpster bloom

dumpster delight



forgotten goods: MNG blue skirt with zipper

forgotten goods: michael seroy blue glittery shirt

forgotten goods. what the fuck is that blue red railway australian thing? it has ropes on each end to tie it. a skirt? a flag?


forgotten goods today: blue pajamas branded chlorophylle h. tech, whatever that means.


movie night was pretty good. instead of stuff on music, I played David's The Right to Protest again, as one of my guests was israeli. we ended up staying up late discussing israeli politics, which as a definite treat.

humans expected: 6


movie night tonight on music, trying to get some rock'n'roll out the door.

humans expected: 1


movie night was alright. we played:
AFVIST, a short documentary on the recent iraqui controversy in denmark
the merchants of cool, from PBS frontline
and some music videos. I'd highlight Juno Reactor - God Is God, that has amazing images from Sayat Nova by Sergei Parajanov.

we were few but fortunately the discussions were very interesting. government oppression is being felt all over, even in the "happiest" country in the world.


movie night tonight. probably merchants of cool again 'cause we didn't play it the last time.



update and conclusion of references experiment. this week the references were on and I got 13 requests. curves haven't changed much. from now on, I will keep the references visible when I don't have many guests, and hide them when I need a rest. that's what I've found, I get less requests when they're hidden, and it's easier to tell people apart (high vs. low scores).

so, in a nutshell, here's the informal meaning of the scoring system. the system is cumulative, meaning, each of 11 items is worth 1 point. the more true items, the higher the score. simple things like said my name, copy pasted or not, etc, are marked as true of false. I will not post the ranking here, obviously, because it would hinder future results.

scores and their meaning
0, sends a completely generic message with the location wrong (it happens, but not on this study sample!)
1, completely generic message, copy pasting everything
2-5, moderately original message, usually filling out the name, and copy pasting the "me me me" part of the request (note that I specifically request people not to fill anything else but the form)
6-7, wrote as I ask, include hidden words or generally write an original message specifically for me (detected using keywords)
8, does everything I request, plus adds personality to it.
9-10, does everything I request and deciphers my secrets (I have a lot of them there). in almost 600 people, maybe 1 or 2 people detected some "strangeness" in my profile. that strangeness grants a 9, a 10 is deciphering that "strangeness".
one extra point is granted for people that are new on the system and say so in the message.

so what are the implications, in my opinion, that would lead to each score?
0-3, someone that doesn't care about where they are going to stay. they are focused on getting the free place to stay and have fun. usually it might mean they didn't have time or patience to fill out something decent, and can't even bring themselves to think there is someone else on the other side. it could be any couch. they don't even care about references. it's pure bulk messaging.
4-5, someone that knows how the website works, and knows that not personalizing a message might hinder their chances of getting a couch. the focus is still getting the free place to stay, but they play by the rules, and hint at things to assert a better likelihood of getting a couch. again, it could be any couch. they do care about references, as demonstrated in this study, enough to read them, but not enough to look for them (e.g., scrolling down enough to see them, and get fooled by my "fake empty references") or doubt their absence. I mean, I'm still listed as having hundreds of references. it's a very immediate "want to get it now" attitude, again, consumerism at its best, but more "by the rules" (as defined by CS and experience).
6-7, someone that has taken the time and consideration to read the profile, and is choosing people mostly based on who they are and what they can provide besides the couch (because in the end, everyone offering a couch has a couch right?). in this category you'll also find the engineering types, that follow the rules to the comma, but add no charm to it, filling in exactly what I ask. it is questionable, in this case, whether there is genuine interest in the human factor or it is just exemplary intellectual performance. by my experience, it is the latter, as these guests tend not to understand the house in the beginning. overall, from these scores on, we are getting to the interesting, intelligent or remarkable people.
8, someone that not only took the time (and patience), but also has extra character to add. this means they understand that all of this is a test, and not only they understand that and fill it out, they might make fun of it, comment it, correct it, etc. these are, to this date, the people most alike myself. people that not only understand rules that govern things deeply, they are also inquisitive enough to question them and comment them. needless to say, I don't have enough people scoring this high. the proportion of emotional/romantic/intellectual involvement with people with scores this high is also disproportionate compared to the other cases. this score, usually, indicates someone that is just as nerdy as I am, in their own way, and someone I'll get along with.
9-10, someone that's so obsessive or nerdy that understands/knows any of the patterns (mathematical or other) hidden. my sample size of these people is not enough (2 people is nothing) but I do get along, even tough the two were very different, and so was my connection with them.

my initial hypothesis, based on a lot of bias, was that higher scores meant better guests. but now I'm keeping an objective track of this and I will have objective stats on this in the future. in fact, funny as it may seem, cleanliness and helpfulness are unpredictable, and seem to be more about each one's upbringing that their personality.

as for the emotional side of it, I have found that similar scores have more in common with each other than between very different scores (i.e., someone scoring 1 is more likely to get along with someone scoring 1, 2, 3 that they are to getting along with someone scoring 6, 7 or 8). this is an informal remark as I have no numbers on this (just the ones in my head, subject to confirmation bias).

I have no desire to make classification "ghettos" or in no way imply that we have top or bottom tiers of people. in fact, so far, numbers indicate that in objective metrics, like cleanliness, score is meaningless. this system, is, in a way, a formal method for detecting the likelihood of my own experience being meaningful or not.

as my score is 10 by definition, I have always gotten along much better with high scores. but that is mostly driven by what is the main focus of each person's use of this system. a score above 5 is someone looking to have an exchange with whoever they visit based on an emotional and intellectual connection. someone below 5 is someone looking for that same exchange but based on simpler pleasures, having fun, eating and going partying.
in a way, these are different necessities that are met by this community in different ways. and the fact is all of them are meaningful in their own way. my conclusion, as a host, is that each host should consider what they are looking for, and that a careful request is, a lot of times, not necessarily a sign of what they're looking for, as it indicates a specific type of personality.

some speculation
I postulate that high scores are correlated with immediate vs. delayed satisfaction (i.e., how long can we delay our own gratification). gratification here is sending a request and getting a reply. the reply is the reward, and sending a message is our best shot at it. so, in a way, someone sending it in a hurry is eating the marshmallow, whereas someone that takes extra time is someone that knows they will get two if they do it with extra attention.
this explains why some people don't read at all and some people spend mental time on it. this "hormonal" difference (quoted because there is insufficient scientific data on this, but there is a hint that is hormonal) ends up affecting the way people interact with each other.

heavy planners get along with each other, and impulsive passionate people get along with each other, and that is what I consider to be the reason for similar scores getting along with each other. so if score is correlated with delaying gratification, and delaying gratification is correlated with hormonal differences, and hormonal differences are correlated with basic social behavioral patterns, then in fact this system is capable of isolating social behavioral patterns (note the huge leap of faith in this sentence). it also has to be said that objectively, as demonstrated by my data thus far, delaying gratification or not has no reflection on how people behave in terms of cleanliness, house economy or general well being. it seems to affect more what people have in common in their social dynamics and their main drives in life, not whether they clean or cook.

as a subjective test case, I'm doing it for the intellectual exchange and political/social challenge, and people I've been getting along with are people who do it for similar reasons. they might express it differently, make a mess, whatever, but we do share a similar deep sense of purpose. in my opinion, even though I am not capable of putting myself in someone like that's shoes, someone looking for sex, fun, getting hammered or just sightseeing will, for obvious reasons, feel connected to someone that does it for the same reasons.

the graph of my scoring system does demonstrate that:
1) the overwhelming majority of people (75%) are sensual rather than intellectual. or, on the speculative scale, they seek a more immediate gratification and a pleasurable trip of simple pleasures;
2) people come in all colors and shapes and they appear in every score of this spectrum, so the diversity is remarkable. there is also no difference between sex, gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, age, anything. so having something in common with someone has nothing to do with anything based on prejudice and is effectively easier to perceive through their verbal discourse alone!

these conclusions are both educated and speculative, and I hope to give my data to some scholar so they can publish it. if anyone is interested you know where I live. and if you read this far, thank you too for being able to delay the gratification of the close button.

godspeed starstuff ☆★☆☆★★★☆☆☆☆☆

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