An den Tagen, an denen wir beisammen waren, gab es keinen Schimmer von Dunkel am Himmel. Wir würden uns am späten Nachmittag treffen, so spät, dass wir keinen Kaffee mehr trinken konnten, aber so früh, dass wir uns noch nicht nach dem Abendbrot sehnten. Meistens waren wir zu viert oder zu fünft. Es gab keinen harten Kern, jeder der einmal bei uns war, würde ein andermal fragen, was er verpasst hatte.

Tchaikovsky Symphony No.6, 1st Movement

The Internet With a Human Face

Anyone who works with computers learns to fear their capacity to forget. Like so many things with computers, memory is strictly binary. There is either perfect recall or total oblivion, with nothing in between. It doesn’t matter how important or trivial the information is. The computer can forget anything in an instant. If it remembers, it remembers for keeps.

This doesn’t map well onto human experience of memory, which is fuzzy. We don’t remember anything with perfect fidelity, but we’re also not at risk of waking up having forgotten our own name. Memories tend to fade with time, and we remember only the more salient events.


Meditations for Programmers

Last year I started reading Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. While I was reading it, I was struck at how many of the entries were just simple reminders to himself. Don’t get mad at people unnecessarily. Remember that you are just one of many. Don’t get distracted.

He was making the same mistakes over and over, just like I was.

I thought that writing down what I learned would help it stick. Every time I wanted to add a new tidbit, I would review all of them. It worked much better than I thought it would: it brought issues to the forefront of my mind that I wasn’t considering. This was especially helpful when I was in a rush or under stress. […]

This reminds me a lot of Dale Carnegie’s “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living”.

In the first chapter he talks about how successful people often sit once or twice a week and write down the mistakes they made in order that they might make them less in the future.

Meditations for Programmers

Der plötzliche Spaziergang

Sidiki Conde: N'na

Internet ist Gott

We must not mistake the “computer revolution” for anything like a political revolution as various leftist traditions have understood it. The only way to achieve the political ends we pursue is to be absolutely clear about what those ends are. Putting the technological means for achieving them ahead of clear consideration of the ends is not merely putting the cart before the horse; it is trusting in a technological determinism that has never been and will never be conducive to the pursuit of true human freedom.

in Cyberlibertarians’ Digital Deletion of the Left from Jacobin Magazine


The person that lives solely in emotions and information from the outside, the person that never pulls itself out of this messy reality and gives itself over to a mental spa, a time of healing and processing, a time of reflecting, feeling, thinking, seeing, worrying, planning, smiling, that person doesn’t live.

Take a walk. Leave the iPod and your phone at home. Find some trees or a place with a nice view. It’s even okay if you just lie down on the couch or stand in the shower or sit at your desk, with your eyes looking past the screen. Just be you, for a moment. And then watch, carefully, without judgement, all those things that happen in your mind while you “do nothing.”

– ALooc

Neil Gaiman on Literature

When you watch TV or see a film, you are looking at things happening to other people. Prose fiction is something you build up from 26 letters and a handful of punctuation marks, and you, and you alone, using your imagination, create a world and people it and look out through other eyes. You get to feel things, visit places and worlds you would never otherwise know. You learn that everyone else out there is a me, as well. […] We have an obligation to imagine. It is easy to pretend that nobody can change anything, that we are in a world in which society is huge and the individual is less than nothing: an atom in a wall, a grain of rice in a rice field. But the truth is, individuals change their world over and over, individuals make the future, and they do it by imagining that things can be different.

Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming. A lecture explaining why using our imaginations, and providing for others to use theirs, is an obligation for all citizens

Juli Zeh über die Überwachungsproblematik

Es geht nicht nur um Typisierung, sondern vor allem um Prognose. Wir unterliegen einem sagenhaften Glauben an die Quantifizierbarkeit, mit anderen Worten: An die Vorhersagbarkeit der Zukunft (bzw zukünftigen Verhaltens) aufgrund von Datenauswertung.

Die ultimative Bedrohung der Freiheit liegt in einem Ummünzen des Sicherheitsbegriffs von einer repressiven (= Verbrechen werden bestraft) in eine präventive (= Verbrechen werden verhindert) Idee. Das Gleiche ereignet sich im Gesundheitssektor (Krankheiten müssen nicht geheilt, sondern verhindert werden).

Je mehr Daten die Illusion aufblähen, dass wir künftige Kriminalität oder künftige Krankheit (als die beiden wichtigsten menschlichen Störfälle) vorhersagen können, desto größer wird der Druck auf den Einzelnen werden - von der Notwendigkeit, bestimmte Verhaltensweisen zu unterlassen, bis hin zu Verhaftungen zur Verbrechensverhinderung. Das ist es, was wir uns DRINGEND klarmachen müssen, und was anscheinend niemand (kaum jemand) versteht.”