Category Archives: Miscellaneous

This World frightens me

The world frightens me.

So many people. So many problems.

Everybody rushes through the town, thinking about themselves only. Many wear headphones, imprisoned in a world of their own, unreachable, until they decide to return to this world.

Televisions with advertisements everywhere. It tells us that the people aren’t speaking to each other anymore. It’s true. Everybody is silent, nobody talks.

No, some people do talk. But I can’t understand them. Their grammar is strange. Imperfect. Clumsy. As if they would learn their languages by watching television shows.

That frightens me.

A little further I can see cameras. Not in the hands of people documenting their travel. These cameras don’t have a screen. There seems to be nobody controlling them. There is no switch to put them out. They record everything they can see – day and night – good and bad.

They monitor us. Without exception. While we’re shopping. While we have a walk. While we’re getting to work. Nobody knows who is sitting behind those cameras.

Your neighbor? Your friend? An acquaintance?

This conception frightens me.

I want to leave. To a secure place. To a place where I have control over my live. To a place where I can choose for myself. That place however, doesn’t exist. I go home. The door to my place has a strong attraction on myself. Why? I can’t tell. Probably because there are no people. There seldom were. And nobody shows up spontaneously.

On the way home, I switch off the mobile phone. Because of the monitoring.

Oh no! Nobody can communicate with me anymore. In this world in which nobody communicates with the others.

Anyways. Nobody will try to reach me anyway.

I reach my flat, the door shuts close. My back slides down the wall. I cry. Why?

This world frightens me.

Originally written by Benjamin “blindcoder” Schieder in German and was published right here on his blog; and translated by me.

It’s published under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 2.0 Germany license.

Some game quotes

I am playing “Vampire – The Masquerade – Bloodlines” where in the villa of a Malkavian I have stumbled across a note book, with some quotes that I’d like to share with you. And while they might not be that hilarious, they are (at least to me) special enough to be shared.

Perception at once shapes the Mind and rules over Time. Time however erodes human perception and than in wraps the Mind. The Mind is capricious, having various effects on Perception, Time and the Mind itself… with harmony progress is made.

Chaos, like the Mind can be understood only through the scientific process. Order, however, is only as good as the Perception thereof. Time is the key that links the two and bears witness their ebb and flow.

That’s it already for today. Move along.

Fight for your right to privacy

I just stumbled across an indeed very interesting quote, on Marc Lehmann’s site. The Guardianwrote the following (quote) on the 26th November:

The music and film industries are demanding that the European parliament extends the scope of proposed anti-terror laws to help them prosecute illegal downloaders. [...]

Bill Thompson, who is writing for the BBC, published a particularly interesting idea, on the same topic, which could be read as an answer, even though his post dates to the 25th November.

The record and movie industries need to realise that they are not special, they are not privileged and they do not have public support for the heavy-handed way they are dealing with the issues which increased access to digital content creates.

If they cannot come up with a business model which allows them to make profits without criminalising their customers, trampling over our civil liberties or installing malware on our computers then they do not deserve to stay in business, and new ways for artists to reach the public will have to emerge.

If you are interested on reading more on this topic, I suggest you visit Bill Thompsons article over at the BBC.

Open Source and the metric system

I am sad to see that while certain people propagate the use of free and open software, they keep on using something horribly outdated – the “imperial” unit of measurement. The International System of Units is used throughout the entire world, yet some Open Source software is not using it by default.

The one piece of software I ran across today, which was using that outdated system was Open Office. Now, I can not claim that it was indeed Open Office, because it might just as well be that the Ubuntu Crew changed some settings when packaging OpenOffice.org2 – than again it isn’t important who did this.

What I mean is, how can one advocate open source software, yet rely on a non universal standard for units of measurement. How bluntly irrational is it to criticize Microsoft for not conforming to a certain standard yet not doing so oneself? While nobody awaits from Microsoft to suddenly step forward and do something right, you could await such a thing from people who propagate the use and the right to use free and useful software.

I fear that not many people see this matter as I see it though. And crap; I am not in favor of dropping the support of the “imperial” system right away, or at all for that matter. I am just bored to see that the default setting keeps on being non-SI.