Using geocode to monitor events on Twitter

Hashtags can be great to monitor an event on Twitter. When clicking on a hashtag on Twitter you will be able to view the latest tweets using that hashtag around the world. Sometimes you want to narrow that down to a certain area. This is where the usage of the search term geocode becomes very handy.

This is how a template syntax looks like when searching with geocode: geocode:LOCATION,5km
LOCATION is where you insert the coordinates of the location you want to monitor on Twitter.

How to find a location and search using geocode

  1. Go to maps.google.com and locate London.
  2. When you have located London, the URL should look like this: https://www.google.com/maps/@51.5093387,-0.104296,16z
  3. The part of that URL needed to do a geocode search on Twitter is: 51.5093387,-0.104296
  4. Insert that into the syntax above and it should now look like this: geocode:51.5093387,-0.104296,5km
  5. Copy/Paste that into Twitter’s search box and it will show you tweets originating from that location within a 5 km radius.

If you want to narrow it down to, let us say, 500 m, the same syntax will look like this: geocode:51.5093387,-0.104296,.5km

Sources: think disaster / Thoughtfaucet

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Blogging or Microblogging?

When I started to do the Dokter’s Weekly Report again, I did it because I enjoyed it the first time around. Last Sunday should’ve been the last post before it went on hiatus again. Unfortunately I was so busy that weekend I forgot about it — not an excuse, only an explanation.

With that said, you will see less posts on here and on Utskremt Reporter as I’m back at academia.

I will however continue to nurture my new project, Dokter’s Notes. Strangely enough, my Notes project seems to be somewhat more popular than the main blog — which is interesting and awesome at the same time.

Of course, as most people who publish their writing for all to read, I want to make it even better. If you have any suggestions, let me know via my contact page.

Dokter’s Weekly Report #35

Here is a random list of good reads for you’ll to enjoy this Sunday.

Linkage

25 Greatest Pieces of Wisdom From Hunter S. Thompson — Read it
A good collection of, what you might call, gonzo wisdom. My favourite quote is: Play your own game, be your own man, and never ask for a stamp of approval.
Hunter S. Thompson: 4 essential reads — Read it
Another good list to consider. Again, I will add my own suggestions. Kingdom of Fear. It was relevant when it was published and still relevant, maybe even more so now, if you take a look at what is happening around the world. Hells Angels & Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas are important books, but Kingdom of Fear is my favourite book. Of course, the ingenious column The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved is also a must read.
RT Reporter Resigns Over Coverage of Malaysia Airlines Disaster — Read it
Imagine if more journalists had this kind of self-respect, and maybe more importantly, respect for the public. Journalists would not only be more respected, but also feared.
It Is Idiotic To Hand Out Your Twitter Password To Prove Passwords Are Dead — Read it
A tech writer with such poor understanding of tech is a bit shocking. The password isn’t it, but it’s something that needs to die. All he proved is that a password is still something you need to keep to yourself. Not to mention that as tech writer, you would assume that person to use a more secure password than christophermims. This silly stunt also revealed his phone number, +13013353298, which now he has to change. Let’s not announce the death of something until we know it’s death has been confirmed.
Snowden: Dropbox is hostile to privacy, unlike ‘zero knowledge’ Spideroak — Read it
At this point I only keep Dropbox as it’s connected to my O’Reilly account. I stopped storing stuff there and trust iCloud far more. Hopefully more iOS apps will implement the use of webDAV soon.
The WHO calls for decriminalisation — Read it
As I wrote in last week’s Dokter’s Weekly Report, the war on drugs has failed. Time to sit down and find new ways to reduce harm, as the zero-tolerance approach is doing more damage than good.
Breaking up with Facebook — Read it
A bit of a long read, but worth it. It is time we start to question all these free services. Not just question how they use our data, but if they truly are of any use at all.
Swedish court upholds arrest warrant for Assange — Read it
As would happen to most people who are wanted for questioning.
Journalists will face jail over spy leaks under new security laws — Read it
Yet another reason I’m glad I’m leaving this country. However, I do see a business opportunity with this law. I’ll earmark it for later to write a longer piece how the media can capitalise on it and avoid it.
Australia may have breached key element of refugee convention in return of Sri Lankans intercepted at sea: UNHCR — Read it
It’s 2014 and about time Australia realises that countries need to take into consideration what other countries think of them. The excuse that you shouldn’t have to is of course valid, but then you must also accept the impact that has.
Player one: the gamers who only want to play with themselves — Read it
I guess I fall into this category. As much I would enjoy partaking in online play, it’s far too focused on fighting — basically proving Machiavelli right in his view of humans. As much as I enjoy playing The Last of Us Factions (online part of TLOU), it has only one focus, and that is to rise in the ranks by killing each other. While the single-player part I can take my time, enjoy the scenery without hearing some angry shitcock yelling at me for killing them for the nth time.
Queensland flood victims pin hope on class action — Read it
Good! Every year, during the transition from winter to spring, there is a risk of flooding in Norway. Being in Brisbane during the 2011 Floods I was shocked how poorly managed it was, and knew the outcome was exactly what we witnessed that year.
Man charged with 21 counts of rape over 2012 Alice Springs gunpoint sex attacks on backpackers — Read it
Non-Australians view snakes and spiders good reasons for not visiting Australia. As you see, there are far more dangerous things here. I’ve come across piousness snakes and spiders and they never hurt me, because they don’t attack unless you antagonise them.
Calls to dump Chris Lilley’s ‘racist’ Jonah From Tonga from US TV — Read it
The reactions in the comments are priceless and moronic. The excuse I’m not offended, so why should you be is a common theme that actually highlights why this kind of humour is not outdated but also dated. Time to move on.
There’s Blackface, And Then There’s… Well… This Idiot — Read it
This just shows how out of touch too many Australians are with the world.
It’s rooted: Aussie terms that foreigners just won’t get — Read it
An innocent, and a bit funny, article fuels chest-thumping jingoism and protectionism. A good example of how ingrained imperial ideas are in Australian culture, strengthened by cultural cringe. One of those examples of, don’t read the comments if you don’t want to facepalm yourself.

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Am I responsible for all journalists?

In film and TV series journalists are often depicted as either ethical heroes or devious bastards. Mostly it is the latter that seems to be popular. Because that’s how most of us are, right? We only think about ourselves, have no regard for laws or ethics — we just want to write the story and get our fame via the byline. The more nasty it is, the better.

Which makes me think about the good old saying, life imitating art. Because that is what seems to be happening in some countries. Not that these journalists are praised for what they do, except for their editors asking them for more, but what they produce is lapped up by the masses — then, for some reason, the masses spits it out back at them, accusing them for being bad journalists.

Ironic isn’t it. We seem to want hard-hitting, investigative journalism, but secretly many seem to love the drama these bastard journalists and reporters create.

So am I responsible for these bastard journalists? What more can I do, other than working ethically and criticising their unethical ways. Should I hunt them down like animals? Then what?

I can of course also say that not all journalists are like that, but then I’ve suddenly used, what has become, the most hated phrase at the moment. A phrase that, when used, suddenly means admission that you’re not only part of the problem and don’t understand the issue, but also guilty of the acts committed by these bastards.

So logical, right?

Suddenly the idea of not painting everyone with the same brush isn’t valid anymore. It’s actually rather ironic, as we live in an age where we are very focused on not generalising and labelling each other, we suddenly admire the power of painting everyone with the same brush.

I see four logical fallacies emerge here.

The first is known as tu quoque, where if you try to argue that it’s wrong to paint everyone with the same brush, you will be told you’re wrong for claiming it’s wrong to generalise.

The second is known as bandwagoning, where the validation of painting everyone with the same brush is that it’s how the majority views it, therefor the majority is right and you’re wrong.

The third is known as no true scotsman, where you are accused of being part of the problem because no true journalist would never use the phrase not all journalists are like that.

The fourth is known as appeal to emotion, where you are accused of being emotionally detached for not wanting to paint everyone with the same brush.

Basically these four fallacies legitimises the use of strawman arguments and especially ad hominem attacks.

What is important to understand, and even accept, is that in some situations it is fair and valid to retort with not all X are like that. It might be difficult to accept in some situations, and more so difficult to accept that reality, but in the long run it can be extremely damning for a large group of people to be painted with the same brush.

Even worse, it can hurt a cause far greater than those whom’ve been painted with the same brush.

It’s not something that exclusively happens to journalists. This happens to police officers, politicians, bankers, companies, doctors, hipsters, musicians and even citizens of certain countries (I could go on in ad nauseum).

Not everything is black or white. Sometimes there are more shades in between these two colours.

Unfortunately it’s easier to view the world in black and white, because trying to understand something, removing the chaff from the wheat, takes time, patience and understanding — sometimes even a bit of humility.

If you are going to ~~generalise~~ be passionate about a cause, at least see to it you don’t end up as a hypocrite. To quote Friedrich Nietzsche, He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.

So no, not all journalists are bastards. And by saying that doesn’t mean or validate I am one of those bastards. I do my best at adhering to good journalistic ethics and criticise poor journalism when I see it. If that’s not good enough for you, that’s your problem, not mine. Especially if you want me to support your cause for improving journalism.

Dokter’s Weekly Report #34

As I am writing the draft, and obviously the intro, to this week’s report I am listening to Shpongle while enjoying a cup of steeped damiana and California poppy (legal herbs).

I have a feeling the effects of my concoction is kicking in. The music is more hypnotising and I feel a very comfortable calmness. Both herbs are relaxing, yet I feel extremely focused. As if I have control of time — I can stop it at will and change the course of its flow.

Exhilarating.

And as you will notice, this week’s report is focused on the lovely world of drugs.

We humans like to deny it, but as a species we seem to enjoy and go to great lengths to alter our perception of reality. In simple terms, we are a species that loves to get high.

Too bad we ban the good stuff and make the bad stuff legal.

Linkage

I Made Marijuana Edibles at Hunter S. Thompson’s Ranch — Read it
A story about Marijuana and the good doctor, what else do I need to say to make you want to read it?
The war on drugs killed my daughter — Read it
The war has gone on for almost half a decade. For most that should be an indicator that not only has the war been lost, but the tactics are not working. If you can’t beat’em, join ’em.
What You Never Knew About Caffeine Consumption (Until Now) — Read it
An interesting and balanced article. Looking at both the good and bad about caffeine.
Antidepressant drugs may not be best treatment: Robert Whitaker — Read it
Short-term use of antidepressants and as a complimentary to therapy I have no issue with antidepressants. But as stated in the article, it’s when they are prescribed as the only cure and long-term it’s prudent that is based on evidenced researched — which it seems to not be.
Four more New York Times columnists and Malcolm Gladwell get really high: what could possibly go wrong? — Read it
A funny, short article. Loved it!
Rising tobacco taxes ‘will encourage cigarette smuggling’, say Qld experts — Read it
What?! Tougher laws might increase smuggling?! Who would’ve thunk that?
How to drink all night without getting drunk — Read it
Neat trick. Haven’t tried it myself, but I will sure try it one day. You never know how something really works until you’ve tried it on yourself.
Let’s talk about drugs, not demonise them — Read it
A bit old, but still important, as it is a talk we really need to have.
Lawyer: ‘I’ve used drugs’ — Read it
Also a bit old, but not all drug users are dodgy youngster up to no good. In the same way that not all consumers of alcohol drink alcohol because of alcoholism.
Hash fans slam Norway’s half-baked hypocrisy — Read it
At the moment there is a debate going on in Norway regarding legalisation of cannabis because the war on drugs has obviously failed. Drugs are illegal, but still used everyday.
LSD is good for you, say Norway researchers — Read it
Legalise it?
Jummy’s Infinite Stash — Read it
Cool story, bro.
Psychedelic drug use linked to fewer mental health problems — Read it
Just legalise it and let me have some, okay?
Magic mushrooms expand your mind and amplify your brain’s dreaming areas – here’s how — Read it
Sounds far safer than alcohol. Why is alcohol legal and this stuff illegal?
Molly: Pure, but Not So Simple — Read it
If I had the choice to try it, I would much rather have MDMA than Ecstacy.
Open Your Mind to the New Psychedelic Science — Read it
Another good read about psychedelics.

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