champagne anarchist | armchair activist


Blind followers on Twitter

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On 30 september, I posted the last article on Nieuws uit Amsterdam (News from Amsterdam). The website has been inactive since, apart from a message on 28 October formally announcing that the site is no longer active. As expected, the number of new followers of @nieuwsamsterdam on twitter dropped in October. Intriguingly, it started to rise again after that.

The list of new followers has been compiled from ‘You have new followers’ emails and may be incomplete. Graph may not work in older versions of Internet Explorer.

‘Trade unions should take a much tougher stance’

Dutch trade unions have a reputation for constructive dialogue, but that’s not necessarily what people expect of them. In the LISS Political Values study, some 6,000 panel members have been asked a number of times whether they agree with the statement ‘Trade unions should take a much tougher political stance, if they wish to promote the workers’ interests’. In the latest edition of the study, those who agree with this statement outnumber those who disagree by 2.6 to 1. This support for tougher unions holds for most subgroups (but not the self-employed and people earning more than 4,500 euros per month).

Support for tougher unions over time

Percentage of respondents who agree or disagree with the statement ‘Trade unions should take a much tougher political stance, if they wish to promote the workers’ interests’. Graph may not work with older versions of Internet Explorer. Source LISS, graph dirkmjk.

Support for tougher unions, by group


Values higher than 1 mean that within that group, those in favour of tougher unions outnumber those who disagree. For example, among people with paid employment, the number of respondents in favour of tougher unions is 3.5 times as high as the number who disagree. Hover mouse over bar to see percentages. Graph may not work with older versions of Internet Explorer. Source LISS, results for December 2011, graph dirkmjk.

Nederland kampioen laag loon voor jongeren en flex

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Nieuwe cijfers van Eurostat geven een beeld van een specifieke vorm van ongelijkheid, namelijk het percentage werknemers met een laag loon (hier opgevat als tweederde van het mediane bruto uurloon). Volgens deze cijfers is de ongelijkheid in Nederland kleiner dan in Duitsland, Groot-Brittannië en Ierland, maar groter dan in veel andere West-Europese landen.

Jongeren en flexwerkers hebben veel vaker laagbetaald werk dan andere werknemers. Opvallend is de ‘koppositie’ van Nederland: nergens in Europa hebben zoveel jongeren en flexwerkers een laag uurloon als hier. (Zie ook deze brandbrief over pulpbanen en dit artikel over de lage jeugdlonen in Nederland.)

De grafiek werkt mogelijk niet in oudere versies van internet explorer. Gegevens: jongeren, flex (definitie flex).

UPDATE 31 december - Het ANP maakt nu ook melding van de cijfers van Eurostat.


Low-paid work, here defined as below 2/3 of median gross hourly earnings, as a share of the total workforce (Alle werknemers); under-30s (Jongeren) and workers with fixed-term contracts (Tijdelijk contract). Data from Eurostat (youth, flex).

My first D3 graph

I’m trying to master D3, a javascript library for creating (interactive) web graphics. As an excercise, I redid this graph, which uses Eurostat data on the percentage of the population who have ever written a computer programme.

I can’t say it’s a very good graph: some of the most intriguing aspects of the data have to do with changes over time (decline in some countries, rather large growth in Finland, implausible fluctuations in the Netherlands), which don’t show very well in my graph. Nevertheless, it feels good to have coded my first interactive D3 graph.

P.s. the graph may not be visible in older versions of internet explorer.

ATMs and cycle paths

The habits of cyclists are shaping cities like Amsterdam. “There are many ATMs along the main bicycle path network”, urban planner Marco te Brömmelstroet told Vogelvrije Fietser, the magazine of cyclists’ organisation Fietsersbond.

The map above shows Amsterdam’s main cycle path network (provided by the city as open data) and the location of ATMs. It appears that many ATMs are indeed located near cycle paths. Exceptions include shopping areas such as the Kalverstraat, Gelderlandplein and Bijlmerplein. (I tried to calculate the distance between ATMs and cycle paths but I couldn’t get this to work in QGIS.)