Stream of Consciousness

It was William James who first introduced the concept of the stream of consciousness – a written equivalent of the thought process. It is not always possible to describe the reasons for a certain point of view, but one might be able to deduce it based specific opinions alone, but by getting all of the the myriad of different thoughts together.

In much the same way it will make more sense for me to write a sort of stream of consciousness, than it would be to write any other individual entry on what’s been happening these last few weeks.

The atrocities committed in London just recently rocked my world again. Much the same way those in Madrid did, and like those in New York, and those I hear about every day, every where across the world. The world is not as safe as it was ten years ago.

This project at work needs to finish soon. It’s been keeping people crunching 12 hour days for a month now. I’m not sure how long people can go on like that. As Sun Tzu said, there is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare.

On the topic of warfare, Bush visited Denmark on his birthday. I went to the anti-Bush concert and later that evening followed the circus on television. Seeing the size of the whole anti-terror machine that was put in to motion reminded me of when Clinton visited some 7 or 8 years ago. Indeed the world was very different back then.

Following Bush’s few speeches, I did get some insight into why people would vote for him. He wasn’t well-spoken, quite the opposite, but with a sort of southern charm. Apparently if you charm people enough, you can get away with lying to them and even send their children to war based on those lies.

I shouldn’t even be writing this. Bad things happened to Michael when he barely whispered a politically laden comment.

Reminds me of something I read in a paper a while back. The Internet has a democratic problem. Years ago, the Internet was predicted to be the new great catalyst of democracy, but according to the author, too few places allowed “open discussion”, which led the author to the conclusion of a lack of democracy. On one hand it’s not quite that simple, on the other hand—what can we do? How do political discussions work on the talk shows, and I’m not talking Fox News or Bill O’ShutUp’Reilly? Commonly, there’s a moderator, and people use their words. How does that scale to the Internet? Well, everybody needs to be moderators. It works for Wikipedia.

In the case of my little part of the Internet, I’ve been continually impressed by the high standard of comments seeping in. It proves to me that democracy can work on the Internet and that people aren’t all stupid. Seeing as how this side project of mine has grown very quickly over this last year, I wish I was able to stop the growth, press stop: this size and no more.

It’s also fun how pingbacks work. My colleague and friend Peter used one to respond to my rant about contracts, and why we should always have them. While I wrote that entry with sarcasm in my blood and irony in it’s simplicity, he’s right—as always. In the end, client/consultant relationships are like real life relationships such as marriage. It needs mutual respect and lots of communication. Oh, and the partners involved need to be compatible. I wish speed-dating was available for client relationships.

On blogging itself, I’m satisfied that I’m able to press pause and blog less. There are important things in life, and less important things. Joshuaink decided this as well. My best wishes to him and his.

Tristan has been hard at work on Zen Photo. So have Markku been on iPAP, and so have the talented people working on Plogger. It’s ironic really; not 3 months ago, there was not a single viable solution available for people who wanted a photo gallery on their website. Now there are 3 fantastic ones. To all three projects, I hope they understand just how much people will appreciate their work.

I noticed in my daily reads a while back, that bicycling in Copenhagen is seriously dangerous to your health. I’ve always known that the exhaust fumes weren’t healthy, but that cycling should be worse to your health than driving to work in a car came as a shock to me. Turns out it’s small particles from the exhaust of huge diesel powered trucks lacking certain filters. Honestly, such trucks should be taxed to hell and beyond. When something as simple as bicycling to work becomes dangerous to your health, the source of the problem should take a punch. Tax them so highly that driving a huge circle around the city is the only viable alternative. Bleed them dry until they filter their vents. Prune them into submission.

The weather is great outside. For most of the time I can remember, Denmark has been divided into winter and July, but it’s still nice. Yesterday the temperature was almost unbearable considering I was stuck at work. It really is about time I get started on my vacation. Just thinking about that White Russian I’ve got waiting for me in that house in Sweden makes me itchy. It’s there, just beyond my reach. Hopefully things’ll be better this Friday—hopefully I will start my vacation there.

According to Jakob Nielsen, it is unlikely that you’ve read this far. Fortunately it doesn’t matter. This one wasn’t really meant for you.

26 thoughts on “Stream of Consciousness”

  1. Chris says:

    I love mega- multi- posts. Now, where to pick you apart?

    First, you get points for a clever segue from the horrors of software production to the horrors of Bush destruction.

    I think part of Bush’s appeal is that he appears so stupid that people think he can’t be lying to them.

    Regarding wanting to limit BinaryBonsai-esque flamages you know we could always password the site. But you won’t. That just cuts you off from the very community you’re trying to be a part of. It’s a bloody mess. If nothing else the recent departure of John Oxton points up the fact that there are more good folk than there are asshats.

    Tristan, work faster. 🙂

    So, basically what you’re saying is you don’t want black lung?

    How long will you be on vacation? Will you be absent from our midst long? Oh, and complaining about the weather to someone that lives in south-east Virginia is pointless.

  2. Joen says:

    First, you get points for a clever segue from the horrors of software production to the horrors of Bush destruction.

    Thanks. Stream of consciousness gave me mandate.

    I think part of Bush’s appeal is that he appears so stupid that people think he can’t be lying to them.

    But do people still think Saddam had ties to Al Qaeda and hid weapons of mass destruction? Gee I haven’t written that word in a while.

    Regarding wanting to limit BinaryBonsai-esque flamages you know we could always password the site. But you won?t. That just cuts you off from the very community you?re trying to be a part of. It?s a bloody mess. If nothing else the recent departure of John Oxton points up the fact that there are more good folk than there are asshats.

    Indeed. But if end users could moderate – “thumbs up” or “thumbs down”, it might work.

    So, basically what you’re saying is you don’t want black lung?

    Don’t we all want to not be without not having that. Take that!

    How long will you be on vacation? Will you be absent from our midst long? Oh, and complaining about the weather to someone that lives in south-east Virginia is pointless.

    I think, 3 or 4 weeks. I might be lucky and it’s more… And odds are I will be absent from all things Internet during that while.

  3. Chris says:

    But do people still think Saddam had ties to Al Qaeda and hid weapons of mass destruction? Gee I haven?t written that word in a while.

    Nope on Al Qaeda. That didn’t matter. They just thought, “sure whatever you want to say to justify this so long as Saddam is gone.” On WMDs? That was a fairy tale everyone bought into. When Powell got up and said, “yeah they have WMDs” everyone just though, “well the black guy believes it so I guess I will too.”

    Indeed. But if end users could moderate – ?thumbs up? or ?thumbs down?, it might work.

    Would the thumbs affect the visibility of the comment or merely compound a community consensus? A way of shaming a troll? Perhaps, with an aggregation of thumbs the wayward comment would dim over time? That would be cool.

    Don?t we all want to not be without not having that. Take that!

    Excuse me? What? My head just popped off.

    I think, 3 or 4 weeks. I might be lucky and it?s more… And odds are I will be absent from all things Internet during that while.

    Well, have fun. Wear sunblock. Don’t get any weird bugs in your underwear. We’ll be here when you get back.

  4. AkaXakA says:

    Jakob Nielson always was crap.

  5. Nik says:

    ZenPhoto looks cool… Photostack with a little more dev time it seems. Looks good anyway. I’ve gone all <cough>ExpressionEngine</cough> recently, only because it works out of the box, and as a result I spend less time constantly tweaking it.

    Enjoy your break, and put the old Ixus to good work!

    Nik

  6. Jonas Rabbe says:

    Such a mega-post warrents a reply I’m sure, but the extent of the post stands as a behemoth blocking my thoughts with apprehension and anxiety.

    There are many points and I will only “touch” on a select few, and since it’s vacation I won’t make much of an attempt to structure it, Chris can come along afterwards and make sense of my ramblings.

    Your opening subject is terrorism, and it is therefore clear why it’s also mine. To ensure that I will not be too long-winded it will also my only subject.

    The attacks in London were horrendous, and touched me far more than those in Madrid. I think it’s because I’ve been to London, but never to Madrid, and will be going to London again probably in the near future. The initial “it could have been me” thought is much stronger if you have some connection.

    The “it could have been me” thought didn’t last long though. I’m not sure if it was a conscious decision, but I will not let myself be battered by terrorists. The attacks on London gave rise to discussions of possible attacks on Copenhagen with the ensuing hysteria. One person even said she would never take public transportation again. I understand why she felt that way, I had similar feelings for about 1.5 seconds, but I will not let my movements be dictated. Of course there is no reason to enter the lion’s den. If the lion hunts where you go about your daily business, however, does that mean you should put your daily life on hold?

    We have also seen the police on heightened alert, responding to left behind backpacks, knowing full well that 3 months from now the presence and response of police will be the same as it was the day before July 7.

    You mention that “the world is not as safe as it was ten years ago“, I mean no disrespect of course, but it is a line typical of people just after an attack has been made a little too close to home, and I don’t think it’s correct. While we have enjoyed some peaceful years through the 90’s both the US, Spain, and Britain have been struck by attacks earlier. While the world trade center hasn’t been decimated before 9/11 we should not forget the Oklahoma City bombing. An act of terrorism which was all the more terrifying because a large part of the casualties were children from the day care center in the building. Spanish cities, Madrid and Barcelona in particular, have been the targets for several attacks by ETA the baskian liberation group. And the London underground have been stopped cold by slashes of lightning and fire at the hands of the IRA. If we have to look at terrorist attacks in the rest of the world, the image is much more spread out in time.

    When comparing terrorist attacks it is also interesting to look at the media coverage. I can’t remember which news paper, but one of the Danish ones, had 3-5 pages of coverage on the London attacks. At the same time they had a small blurb on page 6 about the bomb that killed 33 in Baghdad around the same time. It’s good to see that they have their priorities straight… Or not.

    I mentioned the “it could have been me” thought, or effect, above, and I think it’s something the media depends on such situtations. As a Dane I have a stronger connection with London than Iraq, it makes more sense if you want to sell newspapers to have images from London on the front page than images from Baghdad.

    I guess I don’t do short comments on these subjects, and in an effort to not fill up Joen’s database I’ll stop here.

  7. Joen says:

    AkaXakA, I’ll take that as a compliment meaning you read through the whole post 🙂

    Nik,

    ExpressionEngine looks great. Great to see you back in the business. Can’t wait for your weekly redesigns 😉

    I will bring the Ixus, but every time I take a photo it pains me that I’ll only get it in 1600×1200, not only because I knew it could be better, but because I know what camera I’m going to get (Canon EOS 350D). My cousin has it, I’ve tried it, it’s great. Sigh.

  8. Jonas Rabbe says:

    Denmark has been divided into winter and July

    I was just listening to the Tour de France coverage on P3 (webcast, our radio here in Sweden doesn’t do Danish radiostations too well) and they described the city where today’s stage ends. It’s the city of Brian?on which boasts 300 days of sunshine each year! I am seriously considering moving 😉

  9. Chris says:

    First a little humour (mind you, haven’t slept) to lighten the mood.

    but I will not let myself be battered by terrorists.

    Meaning understood. However, this statement conjured an image of Jonas being rolled in breadcrumbs then dipped in oil, arguing all the way, insisting that no terrorists be responsible for making him a tasty treat.

    Like I said, no sleep.

    Now, back to the drear. You left off the earlier attack on the WTC, the bomb in the parking garage back in the 90s before Oklahoma City (not an argument, just fleshing you out).

    Regarding the media: Thank your lucky stars if you get to miss out on American coverage of anything. The way they reported the story you’d be sure if you stepped out your door in North Dakota (I can attest to its desolate nature) that a terrorist would drop a bomb on your head.

    I think the funny thing (funny bombs?) about the London attack is the manner in which the Brits take such events. While the US is running around preparing for doomsday the Brits just shovel the street and patch the Underground and get back to life. Just from the blogs of those Brits I’m familiar with you get the impression on day 1, “crap, a bomb?!?” but by day three, “oh that bomb, yes, thought you meant the other bomb”.

    My point being (did I have a point), the Brits live there and I don’t think even they have a “it could have been me” sense of it.

    There is a bright side to all of this. In due time each nation will have been bombed sufficiently to relegate such events to the back page. They’ll become a nuisance rather than a terror. And eventually Disney or McDonald’s will have commodotized the entire “terrorist experience” at a theme park near you.

    Terrorists are a joke. We should start laughing at them now and frequently.

  10. Chris says:

    No discussion of le Tour until I watch my Tivo! I already had a boxing match ruined. I’m not going to lose again with the Tour.

  11. “According to Jakob Nielsen, it is unlikely that you?ve read this far. Fortunately it doesn?t matter. This one wasn?t really meant for you.”

    There’s a great many things Jakob Nielsen says I don’t put my faith in; there’s another 🙂

  12. Jonas Rabbe says:

    I can handle the batter, as long as they don’t use the deep fryer…

    My point being (did I have a point), the Brits live there and I don?t think even they have a ?it could have been me? sense of it.

    From boingboing : http://www.warrenellis.com/index.php?p=971

    Anyway, so much to respond to, so little time… I guess I’ll just thank my lucky star I don’t have Fox News, and curse the Danish media for the little annoyances.

  13. Joen says:

    Michael,

    Indeed! But you all know I’m also teasing half-ironically, I know some of you will read to the end. But I’m keenly aware a big percentage won’t 😉

    Jonas,

    Missed your mega reply the other day!

    The attacks in London were horrendous, and touched me far more than those in Madrid. I think it’s because I’ve been to London, but never to Madrid, and will be going to London again probably in the near future. The initial “it could have been me” thought is much stronger if you have some connection.

    Indeed. I felt the same way.

    The “it could have been me” thought didn’t last long though. I’m not sure if it was a conscious decision, but I will not let myself be battered by terrorists. The attacks on London gave rise to discussions of possible attacks on Copenhagen with the ensuing hysteria. One person even said she would never take public transportation again. I understand why she felt that way, I had similar feelings for about 1.5 seconds, but I will not let my movements be dictated. Of course there is no reason to enter the lion’s den. If the lion hunts where you go about your daily business, however, does that mean you should put your daily life on hold?

    Agree completely. The moment we give in to the fear of terrorism, that is when they have won.

    Another issue is the topic of logical and illogical fears. I’m not trying to make the horrors in London any lesser, but instead talking maths and numbers. Quite simply, it is MUCH more likely that I will die in a car accident, or on the way to work on my bicycle, than I will die due to terrorism. Yet that’s not stopped me from taking the bike yet.

    We have also seen the police on heightened alert, responding to left behind backpacks, knowing full well that 3 months from now the presence and response of police will be the same as it was the day before July 7.

    Indeed. I’m wondering why it is this happens, is it to qualm the fear of the public, give a false sense of security? Or are there politics involved? I’ve noticed Per Stig M?ller is excellent at using terrorism to further his cause.

    You mention that “the world is not as safe as it was ten years ago”, I mean no disrespect of course, but it is a line typical of people just after an attack has been made a little too close to home, and I don?t think it’s correct.

    Well, you’re right on that one. I guess we can compare it to “children these days don’t behave like they used to”, a line “old” people will always say. Heck, I’ve begun to say that as well. Maybe it’s just a glorified memory.

    Still, when Clinton visited Denmark, there was nowhere NEAR the amount of security surrounding it.

    Furthermore, while I did say “the world”, I must admit to meaning “Denmark”.

    When comparing terrorist attacks it is also interesting to look at the media coverage. I can’t remember which news paper, but one of the Danish ones, had 3-5 pages of coverage on the London attacks. At the same time they had a small blurb on page 6 about the bomb that killed 33 in Baghdad around the same time. It’s good to see that they have their priorities straight… Or not.

    Very true.

    Just yesterday, 150+ people died in a triple train accident in Pakistan. Did anyone read this? Not as many as those who read about London.

    I mentioned the “it could have been me” thought, or effect, above, and I think it’s something the media depends on such situtations. As a Dane I have a stronger connection with London than Iraq, it makes more sense if you want to sell newspapers to have images from London on the front page than images from Baghdad.

    Spot on. But I think it’s more than that. It was the fact that it was not an accident, but rather a deliberate act. That’s what scares people… You can’t predict neither the train wreck nor the act of terrorism, but only one was accidental.

    I guess I don’t do short comments on these subjects, and in an effort to not fill up Joen’s database I’ll stop here.

    Please! It’s a pleasure!

  14. Chris says:

    You can?t predict neither the train wreck nor the act of terrorism, but only one was accidental.

    More precisely, you can account for the likelihood you’ll be in a train wreck on any given day. The randomness of terrorism and its potential to wreck anyone at anytime tends to get one’s attention.

    I guess I don?t do short comments on these subjects, and in an effort to not fill up Joen?s database I?ll stop here.

    Please! It?s a pleasure!

    We’re just so damn cordial. I love us. Group hug!

    Oh, who the heck is Per Stig M?ller? (do you have any idea how long it took to find that “?” on my keyboard?)

  15. Jonas Rabbe says:

    Joen,

    Still, when Clinton visited Denmark, there was nowhere NEAR the amount of security surrounding it.

    Which just goes to show how much Bush believes (or wants us to believe) in the reach of the terrorists. The security apparatus is designed to fulfil two objectives, make sure the principal is safe, and make sure the principal feels safe. As much as Bush invokes 911 whenever he holds a speech, he must be very scared thus accounting for the second objective.

    Just yesterday, 150+ people died in a triple train accident in Pakistan. Did anyone read this? Not as many as those who read about London.

    Really? I hadn’t heard or read anything about this. Of course, I was at our house in Sweden and didn’t watch the news or listen to the radio, but still…

    Spot on. But I think it?s more than that. It was the fact that it was not an accident, but rather a deliberate act. That?s what scares people… You can?t predict neither the train wreck nor the act of terrorism, but only one was accidental.

    Just wanted to point out that the explosion I mention in Baghdad was an act or terrorism. You seemed to pull the train accident into my comment on the media coverage of that versus the coverage of London.

    Another fact is that there’s a bomb in Baghdad every week, while it’s been a while since the last one in London. Coincidentally, there were two more explosions in Baghdad today. One among people wanting to join the new Iraqi army/police, and one after people started to pour in to help those hit by the first explosion. A tactic that makes me sick to my stomach, as bad as calling in false alarms to lure paramedics into an ambush (as has actually happened in Britain).

    Chris,

    We?re just so damn cordial. I love us. Group hug!

    Aaaawwww. This is just to darn friendly.

    Oh, who the heck is Per Stig M?ller? (do you have any idea how long it took to find that ??? on my keyboard?)

    Per Stig M?ller is the danish Foreign Minister (pretty much equivalent to Secretary of State in the US).

  16. Tristan says:

    Awww… I’m late to the game.

    Tristan, work faster. 🙂

    I am, but not on ZP. Working for Patagonia doing a web-based product management system in Java/Oracle. It’s crazy. I’ll get back into gear after I’m back to school, but that’s not for another month… I’ll try to release something before then, okay?

    I have to say, I really love everyones’ writing. Joen’s to start, then everyone else. It’s just so intelligent and human. I’m very glad that this site hasn’t attracted anything less, and I hope it never does.

     

    Jakob Nielson always was crap.

    Amen.

    Personally, I believe that all predictability and rules cease to apply for things of exceptional quality or humanity. That’s certainly true for this post.

  17. Chris says:

    I?ll try to release something before then, okay?

    Oh all right. I suppose good things come to those who wait.

    Personally, I believe that all predictability and rules cease to apply for things of exceptional quality or humanity. That?s certainly true for this post.

    Yeah, but noscope is the exception to the rule. We’re not your average bears in here.

  18. Joen says:

    You guys are the greatest.

    Noscope is no longer a one man operation.

    It’s so great to be able to have this corner, and just leave it for weeks without it getting all soiled up.

  19. Mike says:

    Joen,

    Thanks for the kind words of encouragement for Plogger. We’re pretty much done implementing the “file-system based organization” you talked about, as well as the RSS feeds, with the ironing of the kinks the only thing remaining to do.

    Funny thing, I was actually visiting Copenhagen the day that that Bush visited and got to witness first-hand the anti-Bush protests and concerts. We could hear the music all evening long from the window of my friends downtown apartment.

    I was shocked that the Al-Qaeda website named Denmark as a possible target for the next terrorist attacks. I couldn’t even imagine why anyone would want to attack such a small, peaceful nation. Your country is beautiful!

  20. Jonas Rabbe says:

    Mike,

    I couldn?t even imagine why anyone would want to attack such a small, peaceful nation. Your country is beautiful!

    Easy, we (or rather our goverment) has been behind Bush in supporting the war in Iraq. For some people this is enough excuse to strike against our population. Sigh

  21. chrisalom says:

    Chris,

    “Nope on Al Qaeda. That didn?t matter. They just thought, ?sure whatever you want to say to justify this so long as Saddam is gone.?

    not true. there is a large segment of Bush supporters who were confident the WMD would be found, and that a link between Saddam and Al-Queda would eventually be uncovered, because Bush said those things were true.

  22. Chris says:

    I was being a little brisk with my comment there. I think it’s really a matter of timing the question. Depending on when you’re asked youmight give a different answer. I, for one, was on the WMD track after Powell made his speech to the UN. I figured, no way Powell would lie.

    Then they started saying it was about Al Qaeda. When they said that, I called “bullshit”. Anyone, with a slight sense of the history of Islam, Iraq, or Al Qaeda would have said, and many did, that the two would have nothing to do with each other. They were antithetical to the other.

    Yes, many believed what they were told by Bush, admitted. And, I’m about to say something that will sound elitist again, but many people, my countrymen, are too damn stupid to learn for themselves. If they had they would have seen through most of the Bush team’s arguments.

    I think one of the things that irritates me most with regard to Bush’s style of government is that he relies heavily on the ignorance of the people. That is a fucking shame. Like telling your kid to go to bed because there are monsters under the bed that will get him if he steps on the floor again. Bush keeps telling America there are monsters everywhere and so, we see monsters wherever we go and will give our president far too much leeway to do what he thinks necessaary to keep the monsters away.

    fuck me, that’s a half decent analogy. 🙂

  23. chrisalom says:

    How fortunate for leaders that men do not think.

    – Hitler

  24. Joen says:

    Mike,

    I’m thrilled you’ve implemented a directory based file system. I am nothing less than certain Plogger will benefit from this. Looking forward to testing it!

  25. Jacob says:

    My friend is in Denmark right now for a vacaition and he said that there are playgrounds made out of junk. Is this true?

  26. Joen says:

    Jacob,

    Yes I believe that is true for some playgrounds, although those are more “special projects” rather than the norm. I’ve heard about a few, especially here in Copenhagen!

Comments are closed.