Our Subconscious · Reality

The Ascent Of The Literary Murder.

This was supposed to be a sort of review and reprise of George Orwell’s “The Decline Of The English Murder,” only my point of view is very different to his. Which makes his essays the more appealing to me. Add Orwell’s beautiful and evocative writing and you have a blissful read.

Not that murders are blissful, but that’s the point of murders – and the point of Orwell looking at their decline. Orwell’s books were written to be read by those who enjoy reading, those who read the story as much for the writing as the story itself. But that is what makes literature; if it’s only a story thinly interwoven by lumpy descriptions, it’s pulp fiction.

Continue reading “The Ascent Of The Literary Murder.”

Art · The Comfort Zone

Piet Mondriaan: Mill In The Sunlight 1908.

Molen Bij Zonlicht, 1908.

It's as if the painter can't trust his viewer to see what has been painted. But then, with the Dutch, who are a bone headed lot at the best of times, these painters might have had a point.
Piet Mondriaan: Molen Bij Zonlicht.
Collectie Gemeentemuseum Den Haag.

I didn’t go to the Gemeentemuseum in the Hague on Saturday to see the Mondriaan exhibition; I went to see the paintings by Isaac Israel and his friend George Breitner. But to get to this exhibition I had to go through the Mondriaan exhibition and it stopped me in my tracks. The exhibition is entitled, “De Ontdekking Van Mondriaan” or ‘Discover Mondrian‘.

Continue reading “Piet Mondriaan: Mill In The Sunlight 1908.”

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.

Continue reading “Painting By Numbers: The German RAL Colour System.”

The Secret Of Systems

Information In The Information Age.

So, is this a poem or an image… or what, precisely?
This is all a computer gets, and the algorithm has to do the rest.

We live in a world that is knee deep in information. Just walking to the supermarket in our village would add a few details to the log of my mobile phone’s activity.

Well, it would if I carried it about. Information of this kind can never be perfect, and that is on account of the nature of the computer itself. A computer can’t do anything without being told to do it – this can come from another machine, but that machine will have had to be programmed. There’s a problem with programming that I’ll address at another date; suffice it to say that the programmers act out of their comfort zones. What they see is all they can see. This post will take a look at a different angle of what people want that satisfies their comfort zone. That is to say, what people want to see, where the reality is a whole lot simpler.

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Economics · Modern Times

Grenfell Tower.

Well, it’s been all over the news. The inferno that engulfed a tower block was on the front pages from Bild Zeitung to The Times Of India. I’ve read several interesting posts regarding this incident and one brought me a snippet of news that really made me realize what a parlous state the British economy is in today.

Bill40 spoke of how the costs saved on the renovation job was £5,000. And he put this in bold numbers because the sum was so tiny. I know five grand is a lot to many people, but in terms of building, it’s the equivalent of one euro cent. That is to say, you can’t buy anything with that kind of money.

Not in building renovation, at least. The scaffolding for that job would have cost in excess of £30,000. Five grand is peanuts.

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A Sideways View · The Comfort Zone

A Sideways View Of Fences.

Please note that we are working inside the comfort zone here. Everything that is done fits in with how the bureaucrat sees the world – and in that he can't see anything else, nothing else can happen.
The bureaucrat’s answer to a pathway: something to block it. A fence. You can see where my path lay, there is a road in the background that leads to the allotments.

It was a good few years ago now that the council dug a tunnel under the motorway and railway to allow cyclists a quicker route from the north of our village to the south. This reduced my journey from over a kilometre to one that is a lot less. My allotment is within 300m of my home, it’s just that there’s a double track railway and a six lane highway in that space along with a minor road. Not the kind of thing one wants to cross on a dark night, even if it were possible what with all the barriers they’ve put up. Thus a tunnel was a welcome addition to our village.

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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.”