Bedside conversations auf deutsch

Despite my outmost effort to stay completely mysterious and inaccessible to common folk, my newly assigned courses in German language forces me to work in groups during our 1-hour seminars a couple of times a week. Here’s me using a new word in a sentence:

– "Das junge Mädchen hat keine fingerspitzengefühl…"
– Das ist sehr gut, Sigg3.
– "aber ich -"
– Ja, das ist ganz genug!

I can’t help but feel like a porn star whenever I speak German. Kriege ein Bier.

Norwegian Press and the Non-Stop Nyan Cat!

Since the terrorist attack in Oslo a week back the newspapers and media here in Norway have been feasting on the fear like starving vultures. Some people say that this is freedom of the press and we must protect journalism. But I suggest we’re experiencing a lack of journalism and a lack of civilized culture. Give me information, don’t give me emotion. Give me facts, don’t give me suggestions.

They’ve been repeating themselves since the first three days after the attack, slowly killing optimism in this country. What? I’m not allowed to smile and have fun any longer? Ironically, several psychological experts have been quoted in newspapers telling them how bad it is for everyone to return to the same filth on the front page day after day without pause.

So I say unto all of ya’ll calling yourselves journalists in this country: Brainless, without any depth and needlessly repetitive. But a lot less fun than the cat:)

Some thoughts on our Values being attacked

As the police helicopters are flying over my office right now, the mass murderer mr. Breivik is in court to be officially charged and imprisoned until his trial. Many have strong reactions and call for death sentence, court-marshalling or even torture. And while one can agree with the sentiment we must not turn to barbarism, to fascism, and let ourselves be drawn down to mr. Breivik’s uncivilized level. In fact it is right now that we must fight for mr. Breivik’s rights, we must recognize the humanity in him that he himself has violated, and make sure that everything is done right according to the very values he attacked last Friday and in his so-called manifesto!

Speaking of which; it is important that we discuss openly and honestly the deranged ideas of the so-called manifesto, most of which was plagiarized from the Unabomber’s manifesto, in the time to come. These ideas represent a fear that’s easily exploited by evildoers. We must shine up the murky waters of fear with the light of truth, and not let the mysticism of conspiracy theories or the lure of paranoia confuse our hearts to allow credence to a flawed world-order and a false ideology. Fascism is wrong. Not only ethically but also logically. Mr. Breivik is wrong. And it is philosophically possible to prove him wrong at a level of ethics not involving arbitrary religions or domestic laws. Only this way can we democratically and openly demonstrate to him the true nature of his gruesome deeds, and in this way allow his punishment to dawn on him; not the mere physical imprisonment of being covered by law but the full heartfelt realization of the blood on his hands by human conscience. He is not a monster, though his quote unquote ideology is a monstrosity. He is just completely, completely ignorant and led astray by convictions based on fear, uncertainty and doubt.

And lastly, this event is not about mr. Breivik at all. It’s about the children on the island, the people in and around the government buildings that were bombed, their brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers that are left to grieve them. In this small nation we’re all only one step removed from someone affected. My half-brother was supposed to be at Utøya that day, but thankfully he wasn’t.

We gathered at work in the cafeteria at noon today, when all of Scandinavia gathered in one minute’s silence. Later today at six o’clock Amnesty is arranging a non-political march of carrying roses at the Rådhuset, to remember and mourn the dead, and pray for the many wounded.
Please come and show your support and pay your respects if you need to. And if you can’t or don’t want to, just be with the people you love for a while.

Don't pack your bags yet!

It is 6:59 pm as I am writing this, and having read the global news, I cannot see any tell-tale signs of the biblical rapture that was supposed to go down at 6pm local time all over the world today.

200 pictures of Jesus! />

If there was an earthquake, it was not sufficient to get me or Lady C out of bed this evening. Nor get the front pages anywhere. I think Harold Camping needs to readjust his calculator and switch to the scientific version. What most Christians don’t get is that science is wholly disinterested in the existence of a creator or creators. But personally I think Old Norse mythology kicks ass. Odin proved me true today, when he saved the Earth from your petty Jewish-Christian deity.

Screw this! We’re going bowling!

This is Community

I was getting ready to board the tram going homewards yesterday evening, when I got behind an elderly couple who took their time to get up the stairs, naturally. While I was waiting in line behind them I felt a nibble in my backpack. I turned but there was nothing, so I turned back. I felt another nibble, turned again, and again no one in close proximity to my backpack.

To be sure I put my hands in my pockets to shield the wallet and my Nexus S. Then, while entering the tram, a woman leaned forward saying: "Yeah, you better hold on to that, if you get my drift." I nodded.

Without removing my hands from my pockets I sat down on the nearest available seat, and looked up and straight into the eyes of the two long fingered East Europeans behind me, who both looked away immediately. Not a second later the tram driver announced on the PA that we have pickpockets entering the tram so please keep an eye on your belongings! This means that the driver recognized them from before, probably from an arrest.

AND EVERYBODY turned and looked at the two fuckers as they spread out to each their seats near people with loose handbags and the like. I pointed them out to the lady next to me, speaking just loud enough that the four people in close proximity could hear, and then they pointed them out and so on. The two fucking cowards had to get off on the next stop before people would go physical on their ass.

People taking care of each other when distasteful shit goes down, that’s community for you. You may think it’s harsh to want to kick their fucking teeth in, but these guys are not starving and if they wanted an honest job there are plenty around. We’ve done research to get to know these people, and mostly they are repeat-offenders sneaking in to Norway because they’re recognized by police in their hometown. They are laughing at us is what they do, and they even brag about how easy doing time in Norway is. That does not raise sympathy in my beating heart, just useless anger. If we had been more people together there, we should have photographed them and put their faces up everywhere: BEWARE! THIEVING SCUMBAGS!

Weird work-related dreams

I very much dislike these winter months. They are dark and extremely cold, so you simply move from building to building, and live and breathe in fluorescentlit hallways, offices or bathing in the LED light of your widescreen telly.

I’m very much a bear, and I should be hibernating now, not running around with ethernet cables. Alas, society thinks nothing of me. My condition is inherited and cultural, it’s called Seasonal Affective Disorder which makes you SAD, or winterly depressed, and an extremely good worker. Japanese studies show that depressed people work twice as hard. This entire week I’ve been coming into work at 9 o’clock. That’s unprecedented. And my weird dreams are work-related. Here’s 3 I remember:

You gotta save Iceland!
When I recall dreams I always seem to begin in medias res. This could be because I’m lazy and didn’t bother justifying the status quo by prior events (or a past whatsoever), or simply because I forgot. Anyway, I’m in Iceland (never been there) and this bearded dude is worked up about Iceland’s cultural heritage.

Apparently, they have some kind of ancient papyrus scripture that is written in what type the guy says is extremely hard to fathom. I was reading an article on Timbuktu in National Geographics before going to sleep, so it was probably inspired by the photos of ancient handwriting. But in my dream I seem to recognize the elder scrolls, slowly slowly, until I realize that it is the source code of a cluttered, obsolete blog written in PHP. On papyrus scrolls. With // * comments in old-norse *

So I am in Iceland, they are losing their precious cultural heritage and I am reading what my mind conjures up as the Beowung tool*, so that little by little I can get the tool up and running on similarly ancient hardware, restoring a running version of Iceland’s complete history. This is when I wake up exhausted and has to run to work. From this dream you can draw that: I am awesome and Iceland must be saved. Both of which is true. (* creativity is hibernating)

Me and Lady C are on a road trip to somewhere from somewhere (always so specific) when we for some reason or other (see?) stop by the house of a guy that I work with. It’s an old tree house, he has a bunch of kids and we sort of just go on to explore the entire building — with my brother, who mysteriously appears.

I discover that his self-setup home automation rig really sucks. Use LinuxMCE. For some reason, this fills me with elated joy. I think that this image really sums up my professional opinion of him too, being that he can’t keep his hands away from stuff he shouldn’t be dealing with despite a complete lack of competence and ultimate failures. In this dream I am still Awesome.

New Zealand hunting
This is a nightmarish dream I had at the beginning of the week, and I was hunting in New Zealand. But as is always the case: the hunter BECOMES the hunted. The script writers of 75% of all nature shows every produced just came in their pants.

So I’m like on the shore of really tall New Zealand, staring down into the azure-coloured waters, spear fishing for Whale Sharks (Rhincodon typus). And I’m doing good for a while there, when I start drifting towards the urban areas of New Zealand. Of which there are a few, apparently. When I encounter a CAVE BEAR!

I spend the rest of the dream escaping the cave bear, a pack of wolves and the whale sharks that seem to watch me from the ocean, in the Haiti-like urban New Zealand. In this dream I am awesome. How many do you know who spear fish for whale sharks? But I am not sure whether it had anything to do with work or if it’s some Jane Austen novel kicking through the subconscious. Anyway, why can’t it be summer already! Give it up ye terrible weathergods!

On the Call for Dignity through Technology

We have been watching history take place in North Africa, thanks to the wonders of modern media. Without cellphones and cheap cell cameras, telephone networks and the Internet; would these revolutions have been possible? You need to sustain a certain amount of fire, and to know that brothers in arms on the other side of the country are fighting the same battle would surely give you more gist. Not to mention strategic information and when to flee and regroup.

During the relatively friendly Nazi occupation of Norway, keeping radios were forbidden, and for good reason. A colleague’s wife wrote her thesis on the role of Bill Board Systems (BBS) and faxes during the wars of the disintegration of Yugoslavia. How people on either side kept contact with each other despite the fighting fractions and threats of retaliation.

There may be many chapters yet in the calls for dignity in these countries, and Libya especially is very vulnerable to a future instability, but the significance of the past days and weeks will play a great part in the historical self-image later taught to children in schools.

Another feature of these calls for dignity that are common slogans in these particular events, is the content of the dignity so desired. , the dignity called for in these Revolutions is not the former social/communist or nationalist dignity — the dignity of the We — but a new individualist sense of dignity, that echoes in the halls of Western democracy. The individualism stemming from existentialism, the very corner stone of Western civilization.

This individuality, which has little and nothing to do with MTV, Hollywood and the riches of the USA and its judicial system; but everything to do with the Renaissance and European thinkers, is quite different from the individuality of the past, that of the We, so accurately portrayed by Chinese way of life. It is the child of experimental science, empiricism and scientific philosophy like that of Freud, Kant and Sartre; with all the crazy art that comes with it. In any case, it may prove to be a bridge across the gap between Europe and the West and the North African and Middle Eastern countries, a bridge traversable to a brighter future. Peace is not made by guns and blood but by way of thought.

EDIT: Please note that I do not want to play down the importance of the "Jasmin Tea revolution" that is the Twitter rumor of the week; e.g. that there is a similar movement in China these days. It is simply my observation from my travels there that the ideas so fundamental to democracy are very little known in East Asia. So we might find a non-democratic revolution in China, but still one "of the people".

From my Outbox: Yoga

In this "feature" I present to you e-mails that I have sent-to-all at work. They are mostly about local matters at work, this one as a response to the company sports team. Click here to search for more: From my Outbox

Here’s the original e-mail I got:
Dear all,
Some of your colleagues have expressed an interest in participating in yoga classes as part of the collective activities in the company sports team. The idea would be to have a yoga teacher come to us, once per week for one hour. If enough people are interested, we will consider making this a more fixed arrangement, which might involve some kind of small financial contribution.

The class will be open to all – no yoga experience necessary! Yoga focuses on breathing exercises intended to slowly build up core strength, improve posture, and generally make you feel good.

Best regards,
Your Venerable Company Sports Team Representative

I think you’ll find that the goal of yoga is in fact liberation from all wordly suffering and the cycle of birth and death.. sort of the embodiment of your average Friday. It involves the entertaining prospect of light pornography but only the sure promise of a wild bouquet of body odours.

Why can’t we go squirrel hunting?
Let’s just ditch the upper-middle class and go straight for nobility!


A Revolution in Egypt, then we take Berlin?

Following the civil disobedience in Tunisia, the old American ally Egypt is about to fall. So far 8 people have been killed in demonstrations, more than 800 are imprisoned, an air plane is waiting to take Egypt’s dictator Mubarak and his unpopular son and successor out of the country. Some reports tell us that the police may be giving up soon, but the previous unrest in Iran shows us that patience is the only weapon that can take down the dictators.

Then Anonymous starts Operation Egypt: Operation Egypt press release.

According to Slashdot this morning, Egyptian authorities shut off all Internet access, leaving only HAM radio operators and direct satellite communication still standing. Al Jazeera’s posting video feeds, showing us terrible images like these.

This is what "history" looks like. We should stop teaching war and violence in our history classes, and begin to teach peace in its place. Intellectually, it is easy to say that these revolutions happen because a country needs a good cleaning out, or that it would have happened long before in this particular case, had it not been for American interests, and so on. It’s a utilitarian argument, and it cannot embrace the loss of eight human lives.

And I did read about the French Revolution. Do you know what I learned? Blood don’t wash away easily. The radicals of the French Revolution paved the way for Napoleon. If this is a successful revolution, it will take a century before you reach societal equilibrium. In the meantime, fascism spreads in Eastern-Europe and big brother society is the new norm in the USA and the UK. What kind of world will the children of Africa’s new democracy live to see and build upon?

It’s just a matter of time before police start rounding up political dissidents on opaque grounds, such as being a member of the "Anonymous terrorist group". Here, in our own back yards. But who is Anonymous? Or rather: Who is Not Anonymous? Given that Anonymous purports to be the stateless protector of the Human Rights charter, only dictators would be against it. A headless NGO. Sounds like a double-edged sword to me. We need transparency too in times of trouble, not just civil disobedience. Or the wars will never end.

The changes that came unto us, like me on yo momma

I’ve been crap at blogging lately, I know. I’m all like, I’m about to blog right this minute when all of a sudden I just can’t be arsed. Though it’s more like: CAN’T BE ARSED! So I cancel on the mofo, words of wisdom* disappearing right into the browser cache, never to be seen again. (* There are other opinions on this.)

But I don’t give up. Never. My readers give up. Most of them have got lives to live, bills to pay and blogs to read. They don’t have time to stop by here just looking at the lack of updates. No, sir. My readers are a spineless bunch of assholes. But me? No. I don’t give up. I stop by here daily, to see if I’ve written something lately. But I haven’t. So I walk on home, all disappointed, trying not to cry in the cold, cold winterland of downtown Oslo. Some beggars run me down, stomping on my Nokia Internet Tablet, when they see I’ve got up. Oh my.

I can’t apologize to myself enough. I can’t even begin to. Instead I’m sitting here trying to blog about it. I know what it is that breaks a blogger, however. I’ve been in the industry since the 2000s, man. Back when bytes cost money and websites would be hard pressed to keep the kilobyte count below 20, to cater for the 56.6K users.

Yeah, you Web 2.0 children can kiss my shiny ass. You don’t know what it’s like to have to saturate BOTH of your ISDN lines to get a game from the latest WareZ 0-day ftp because it will disappear the next day. Mum coming home all angry ’cause she thought the house was burned down to the ground. Sorry, we were just downloading illegal software from the other side of the world. Back when WinAMP was new and people thought mp3 was an Isreali handgun!

It was hard.

But I digress! I was talking about breaking bloggers, and do you know what breaks bloggers the most? Having no idle time! Having to work for cash! I mean, I’ve always been working for cash, but I never had to really work for them. Having responsibilities, being a responsible businessperson, that takes a lot of your energy. Having to fight the bureaucracy, demanding CHANGE! like Obama, and working to implement those changes; it takes your energy and more. You also end up like the bureaucracy that you tried to get rid of in the first place. Lesson number one: When you change from something, you always change to something else. If you haven’t figured out the latter part before going through the first, you’re doing it wrong.

So as a blogger I’ve been broken.
I’ve had too much shite to do that takes away way too much of me, so when I’m really done with it I just wanna sit down. Sit down on a park bench, feed the pigeons. Fuck, I wanna grow old and retire! that’s how tired you get. But I’m just freaking 26 or something. So you doze off in front of the TV and what do you know; tomorrow’s another day.

The ultimate fatigue of being overworked in the IT sector has led to a sort of fear of failure, and you can’t have a shoddy blog post. What will people think? I just forgot that there’s no one reading this shit except for me (and the aliens in the future that are doing archaeological digs in our civilization’s remains; hello aliens! How do you like them apples? I can’t believe I’m asking questions into the future and still expecting some kind of answer. Hehehe. Weird monkey. But we’re more like apes, really.) and got this image of angry, old businesspeople – gray haired and old – staring hard at me down their noses from the other side of the conference table. Like they would ever read my blog. They wouldn’t read my blog. They’re reading yo momma’s blog.

But that’s the mental image (when I blog, you dirty-minded prick).

Anyway. I deserve to relax, to have a little time-off, to just stare blankly at the weird world MTV’s showing me. I’m not part of that shit, but it’s fascinating. Socio-anthropological like. Did you ever notice how Discovery Channel’s Man versus Wild has sorted of stopped being about survival tips and how to overcome survival situations, and become more of seeing what Bear will do to himself this time? Now, when people talk about survival I’m left out of the conversation because Man versus Wild isn’t serious enough. In order to survive, you gotta watch Survivorman, at the least!

But this blog ain’t about what it used to be. It’s about the now. And if a lack of posts has signified that I am otherwise busy, it has indeed reflected my reality quite accurately. I’ve been building my own home. I’ve been building an office and a role in IT. And studied on the side. I got a B on my last exam, mind you. What did you get?

Experience helps though.
If you thought this post was incoherent you should be glad you didn’t read it back in the day. Nothing ever used to make sense back then. It still doesn’t but it didn’t used to too. I can still make another cup of coffe before lunch. Yup.