A Human Menagerie · Our Subconscious

Geeks In The Basement…

Buying A Computer In Holland.

I’m using my old Mac at the moment, which I think dates back to 2004. Or something like that. Whatever, it’s old and it crashes with a regularity that is my new normal. I did buy a Minimac, but what with Apple’s ideas about older equipment and newer operating systems, it gummed up and remains gummed up to this day. No doubt there’s some malware masquerading as a solution – in the way you can stop the silly bubbles on Windows – but this is not something I want to enter into. I did try Linux, but that’s been trodden on with a vigour that has to be seen to be believed. Linux is for the people who want a cheap playstation and not a small office at home.

Continue reading “Geeks In The Basement…”

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A Human Menagerie · Mind The Gap!

AfD: What Kind Of Alternative Are They For Germany?

Die Zeit says that extremist parties are on the up and the socialists are losing out. Yes, Germany should watch out… this post explores what the AfD are bringing to German politics.

So, here I am, leaving Germany the day before the fun of the elections. But then, this is Germany, where elections are staid affairs, so missing one isn’t going to be the end of the world. What will be interesting will be to see if the AfD – the “Alternative für Deutschland” (Germany’s alternative) – increase their share of the vote. No, this isn’t how America does things: it’s not “if” but by how much they improve their share of the vote.

Continue reading “AfD: What Kind Of Alternative Are They For Germany?”

A Human Menagerie · A Sideways View

Books And The Building Industry.

What was it someone said to Dorothy Parker? “Oh, darling, I’m writing a book.” To which Dot responded, “I’m not writing one either.” It’s great to speak of writing a book, to actually write one implies a rather different situation altogether. Dorothy Parker was an experienced storyteller and journalist, and knew the pitfalls. Just wanting to write is not enough. But then, it never was.

Continue reading “Books And The Building Industry.”

A Human Menagerie · The Secret Of Systems

Ships That Go Bump In The Night.

http://navylive.dodlive.mil/tag/uss-fitzgerald/
The small hours are boring when you’ve done it for ten years. Source: Navy Live

It is the middle of the night and all is quiet. Routine on a naval ship is the normality; the routine in the small hours of the night is even more crucial, because that’s the time when people are at their least aware. It’s nature: humans are better asleep in the depths of the night. Standing around in the dark is simply not as interesting as standing around during the daytime. Even at sea, there are things to see in the daylight, like a seagull. At least there is something; when it’s dark, it’s just one fug of nothingness. The blackness becomes boring for the rating standing lookout on the bridge of the USS Porter.

Continue reading “Ships That Go Bump In The Night.”

A Human Menagerie · The Comfort Zone

The Unthinking Biochemist.

I was in conversation with a wannabe biochemist a few days ago. I say ‘wannabe’ because the gentleman in question is a retired electrical engineer. Well, you can imagine he knows a lot about electrons and a lot less about biochemistry.

That doesn’t stop him from believing in things – and the nature of belief is that it is unexplored and thus the belief is unfounded. In common parlance this is called an illusion. Continue reading “The Unthinking Biochemist.”

A Human Menagerie · The Comfort Zone

Marking Exams In Holland.

My friend Hendrik and I were chatting, and he mentioned that his university had cut the time he would have to mark his exams. He said that they were only allowing him two weeks instead of three to hand in the results.

Naturally, being me, I asked him if three years ago, they’d told him that he’d only have three weeks to mark the exams instead of four?

All Hendrik could say was “how can you know that?”

Continue reading “Marking Exams In Holland.”