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The Belgian and Dutch governments are planning to launch a web service where citizens and businessescan lodge complaints about excessive EU bureaucracy, based on the ground-breaking Belgian site kafka.be.

The Belgian site, named after Czech author Franz Kafka who wrote about the nightmares of modern bureaucracy, was set up by the country's federal and regional authorities in December 2003 and received over 3,800 complaints in its first four months. As a result of the feedback posted on the site, the Belgian government says it is making efforts to involve local communes in simplifying services. It also proposes to use the "Kafka test" as a way of analysing proposals for new regulations.

"With an instrument such as www.kafka.eu*, we will be able to react quickly in order to curb European regulation mania," said Vincent van Quickenborne, the Belgian secretary of state for simplified government. [Source]

*Going live Nov 2004. It says here.

Ah, "crude desire is satisfiable by fungible bodies" ... now that's what I call a word of the day.

Over the weekend I had a dream in random-dot stereograms. It was embarassing and horribly tacky. I also had a dream about extreme minicomiceering, a new sport which combines aspects of skateboarding and street luge with making a minicomic. Might appeal to ladylucy, probably a bit scary for the rest of us.

Mood of Google: right now, I should be cleaning this office, but instead I'm thinking about my inference from a conference.

Note to self: haplessness is not endearing.


( 7 worms — Feed the birds )
24th Aug, 2004 11:50 (UTC)
We need that here! we also need one to regulate the current dictatorship (he just signed a law doing away with overtime pay)...
25th Aug, 2004 02:19 (UTC)
we fear dictatorship over in the EU
so we have bureaucracy to stifle it. That said, our beaurocrats abolished compulsory overtime pay here some time ago. Among other things, like double-pay for Sundays and stuff like that.

Though, from what I hear, employment laws are still far grimmer in the States.
25th Aug, 2004 05:05 (UTC)
Re: we fear dictatorship over in the EU
Grim...yes, the lower you are on the employment ladder the more of a slave you are. I guess that's true anywhere.
24th Aug, 2004 12:18 (UTC)
Meant to ask a while ago
What's "Mood of Google"? How does it work?
25th Aug, 2004 02:34 (UTC)
it's a sort of fortune cookie
you feed a string of words into google as a single search term, which you do by putting "quotation marks" around them, for example, "mark ought to be" and then take the top result google returns, "mark ought to be brought to the attention of the company owning the mark".

How charmingly Kafkaesque. Let's add the rider: "but instead mark" and that returns "But instead, Mark Mancina was called in for the job".

There you go: mark ought to be brought to the attention of the company owning the mark, but instead Mark Mancina was called
in for the job. Google telling you what to do. You could carry it on, so instead, Mark's Fulltime RV Resource was born. and Mark was substantially younger, so Peter could have been a father-figure to him. You can tell whole stories this way.

Google is mildly personalised, so you might get different answers -- but the interest for me is as a way of gauging the mood of the internet through its best search engine -- what makes (the people who make up the internet) unhappy? What do they dream about? What do they fear?

Silly things like that. Another big google fan has made a web toy that does the trick for you -- he calls it Google Talk. There's a bunch of similar stuff on his site.
25th Aug, 2004 02:36 (UTC)
oh and if you haven't done this already
25th Aug, 2004 02:48 (UTC)
That's fantastic!
( 7 worms — Feed the birds )