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.

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Beyond Newton · Economics

The Twenty Cent Coin.

The new 20ct coin as issued by the mint in Utrecht: it shows Koning Willem Alexander with a band across his head to emphasize the fact.
Source: euro-muenzen.tv

As you can imagine, twenty cent coins in Europe abound. Even in the areas that are not officially the Eurozone, where the Euro is the official currency, twenty cent coins can be found. They can be found in Africa, too, because the Francophone areas of Africa lent towards the Euro as a sub-denomination instead of the dollar (as was the case when the Zimbabwean dollar fell to pieces).

Twenty cent coins aren’t anything special, then. So, when in my local supermarket the cashier handed me one, it should have dropped into my purse unnoticed. Only this one was shiny, a blikvanger as they say in Dutch, it was eye-catching. It interested me because here in Holland, any new coin usually means one of the newly minted Dutch coins with the head of the new king, Willem Alexander. He’s been maltreated by having his head divided to tell us who he is, but I doubt if it would make any difference to him. After all, he’s Dutch, and whilst a nice enough guy and all that, I’m pretty sure he’s as dim as the rest of them.

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Beyond Newton · The Secret Of Systems

Painting By Numbers: The German RAL Colour System.

A Look At Standardization.

There is no connection between the nature of the colour and the number it was given.
We all know what colour this is: do you know what RAL number it is? 😉

Germany is well known for its ability to organize; its bureaucracy is legendary. There are downsides to this, though, and it is the German mind applied to colour that I wish to examine in this post. Standardization in German industry led it to be more effective at producing things, and one of the things needed to produce something is the need to paint it. It is the “Imperial [read centralized] Commission for Consistency and Quality Assurance”; the Reichs-Ausschuß für Lieferbedingungen und Gütesicherung.

One Example Of Standardization.

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Economics · Modern Times

The Proletariat And Its Woes.

In Rudolf Steiner’s lecture series ‘World Economy’ he speaks of those people who have no particular skill to offer the world. We live in a time when the manner in which humanity has evolved raises challenges to itself, and does so on account of widening perceptions. In and of itself, this brings people into situations that would never have been possible in the mediaeval cultures. This was a time when humans made everything they needed: and if you wanted a purple edging for your toga, you had to spend a substantial amount of money to obtain it. The edging might cost three to five times what the rest of the garment cost.

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Beyond Newton · Reality

Squaring The Circle.

Beyond Newton, Part 12.

the details of the jam jar’s design. There will have been a very great deal of humming and haa’ing over the details, and calculations involving ‘π’ the Greek letter commonly used to express this ratio will have been used continually
From the side, from the weight, there is no way to tell the accuracy to which the dimensions were calculated.
It doesn’t matter if you’re only buying on price…
… or because it’s a statement.

Note: this is about mathematics. It is not intended to tax you in the way school demanded of you.

We’re taught at school about the ratio of the diameter of a circle to its circumference. Roll a plate on its side and having marked a point on its perimeter, the length it travels by the time it reaches that point again is around 3.14; actually it’s a fraction more. But with a dinner plate of 30cms diameter the difference would be a little over half a millimetre. Not enough for any serious schoolchild to worry about. “A little over three” would suffice here.

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Economics · Modern Times

Shrink Wrapped Chicken.

The Difference Between Chicken In London And Budapest.

Commodities are sold by the kilo for a known price. Everything else has been pared away.
Shrink wrapped items on the supermarket shelf. The price is dependent on nothing more than its weight. . Everything else has been sliced off. It’s the ultimate expression of knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing.

It was a long time ago, when a friend from uni was a little boy and was sent to stay with his grandparents in Hungary. This would be in the sixties, when the eastern part of the capital, Budapest, was still semi-rural. Laszlo – Les to his friends who couldn’t pronounce his name – wondered what the brown fluffy birds were that ran about the streets. He was told that they were chickens. Baffled at this, he asked why they didn’t have plastic wrappers.

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