Friday, March 26, 2004

Been to the post office today. As I am moving to Hamburg next week, I want my letters send to there...

The post office used to be, back in the good ol' days of state monopoly, a place where you meet uncommunicative buraucrats, who would not talk to you, but after some time of showing you that they are in charge, they would happily fullfil your wishes (I did not look happily, but at least you got your things done.) Now the german post is a private company, customer oriented, service happy and all is good. No it isn't. You have to wait forever. You are treated like you are absolutely dump. And you cannot get a single thing without having to listen to the litany of "Do you already know our newest service". Worse yet, if you try to stop them telling you about their new and shiny bank accounts (or whatever), just by saying "No, thanks. No interest in that.", they just won't stop. "But you have to know about our new bank account." "No, thanks, really, I have heard it twice" "So then, what are the benefits?" That was the postal-droid. Asking me like an exam. You only get your form if you can answer at least three questions right on the all new all shiny bank account.

And not stopping there... They also wanted to sell me electricity (ecological one, made of recycled electrons...), telephone services, water, so on so on. Luckily the queue behind me reached the outer doors, so they started realizing, may be it is a good idea to cut a bit short...

Finally they handed me over a brochure about things you should think about when you are moving. I read it. They must think I am a mentally retarded three year old. In big friendly letters they remind me of things like "Turn the light off when you are leaving your house to move to a new one". Thanks. Did not think about that.

Capitalism may be one of the few working systems. But please, people are not as stupid as companies might think they are. There is no need to treat people like mentally retarted three year olds. Not even in the name of customer satisfaction. I am not satisfied! If it wouldn't be the monopolist for letters, I would not even be a customer anymore.

If I go to some place saying "I want that thing" I just want that thing. No added value, no other product. If I want to be informed about new products I go there saying "Please inform me about your new product". See the small difference in wording? Yes? Well, then there is hope.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Bloody Friends. Just wanted to drop by a party of a friend for a short time. Ended up leaving at three in the morning as one of the last guests... It is really bad if you know a lot of interesting people ;-)

Friday, March 19, 2004

From the manual of my digital camera:
Section "How to prevent casualities and deadly injuries": Do not take pictures in a moving car using a flash.

It does not say: do not take pictures while driving...

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Catching the last train home. You are nearly alone, just a few other lost souls are on the train. You feel somehow related to them. People on the night train are linked by strange ties, everybody is going home, arriving when all your beloved ones are asleep, your friends are at home since hours. You know, when you leave the warm and illuminated train you are in the dark, you have to walk home or take a lonely cab with a sleepy driver. The town sleeps.

Sometimes you talk to your train companions. Some of them live a boring live as you, some are interesting. Sometimes you make friends.

Sometimes nobody is there to talk, you have read your book already twice, you stare out of the window into the dark. Sometimes lights of sleeping villages hush by the window. Sometimes you pass a train in the opposite direction. You wake up by the sudden rush it makes and realise you have been dreaming along. You enter in that strange state between sleeping and being awake...

Night trains are places where worlds are created. Where Theories dawn. Where Philosophy sneaks into your mind. Where strange thoughts enter your head and sit there until the next mornig, when you wake up and realise everything just was a dream.

Monday, March 15, 2004


Happy World Consumer's Day!

Friday, March 12, 2004

Friends of mine try to find the algorithm of the world. I just try to find why gherkins glow when you apply a voltage on them:


Why do people put bumber stickers on their car saying "dog on board"? Do they expect other people to drive more carefully this way? "Oh, i just wanted to kick that dumbass off the road, but now I see he has a dog wth him. Poor dog. I will be nice to him and not crash into his car..." "Oh, he has a dog, so I will not overtake him, else he might send his dog after me..." What the f*** is the message? "Please do not wave steaks at my car, because my dog will go nuts"?

Why do people with bumper stickers saying "children on board" drive SUVs? Why do they drive like they want to kill everybody elses children?

Why do people with bumper stickers saying "Jesus loves you" either drive like they are completely stoned or like they are in definite need of an exorcist?

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Some scientist has calculated the odds that god exists (67% Chance...). I am not sure if this is what I call religion or belief. Believing in God or Gods is something which does not need a proof. Every belief is right. That is why it is believing.

For me, I do not need god to appreciate the beauty of the universe. On the contrary: somebody who made such an interesting universe might have created a lot more interesting people. Sometimes I think, there are just a limited number of prototypes...

What I do not like about (jewish, christian, muslimic) religion: for more than 2000 years we have been praying that god helps us with our problems. We should have found a way to solve them on our own... If we are as intelligent as we claim (our ancestor ate the apple...), why do we still blow up bombs to kill each other? Why do we kill people for no reason?

Adam ate the apple. God kicked him ot of paradise saying that, now he ist intelligent, he can live on his own. Jesus came, said, well, maybe we should try to get along without killing each other. Mohammed came alond and said, well, do not kill somebody innocent, just because he has a different belief. Maybe just try to live on your own...
Had I been present at the creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better ordering of the universe

               Alphonso X, the learned King of Spain, 1252-1284

The average physicist can perhaps be forgiven a certain amount of paranoia regarding the physical universe, for it often seems that no sooner does he display his latest Theory than the universe is found to feature an additional Effect that renders said theory incomplete if he is lucky (e.g., Erwin Schroedinger) or incorrect if he is not (e.g., Niels Bohr). This element of mistery is one of the things that makes physics exciting.

                Understanding more quantum physics - M.Morrison et al. (I usually call that book More fun with quantum mechanics)
Instant Messengers are a great tool for control freaks. You always know when your (geek-)friends are online, when they arrive home, when they go to bed... Big Brother is always around. And even, if you do not know for sure, you can make up a story.

Somehow humans make up a story always. Be it Amelie, who when her love arrives late, makes up a story of him getting kidnapped, being a fugitive, ending in Afghanistan wearing a tea-warmer on his head; be it anybody else making up a small story why things happened the way they happened. If we cannot make up a story we get worried. (Sometimes also the stories worry you...) If I do not have an explanation why people do things, I worry and get doubts. If I have a story made up, unrealistic as it may be, everything is fine... Humans are strange beings.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Getting annoyed by television again. Advertisements tell me what to buy, series tell me what to wear and how to behave, news tell me what to believe is reality... Everybody owns the only truth.

There are many truths. Every person has their own reality he or she lives in. Sometimes it corresponds to other persons reality, sometimes it doesn't. That is what makes people interesting. That is what distinguishes us from mindless robots. Or what should distinguish us...

Ah. And if somebody is right, it's me. Everybody has the right of my opinion...

Ended up listening to Tchaikovsky's violin concerto in d major, op. 35... At least some signs of intelligent life on this planet.

Monday, March 08, 2004

Random Pictures Special World Womens Day:

Missionaries 0 Nils 1.

Nothing as good as calling Jesus and his followers a bunch of pre-communist long haired pre-hippie sectists ;-) (Note: I generelly respect religions and believes. But if people try to missionarize me I get into polemic mode...)
On womans day a link to a curagious woman: Michelle from the resistance. 'Leesen verrry carefully, I weel zay zis only once...'
La proximité crée de liens
Liens d'amitié, liens d'inimité,
Liens de fraternité, liens de rivalité.
J'ai peur de liens
Infinis et complexes.
Creés par de sentiments multiples et divers.
Nul n'a la maitrise des sentiments humains.

On me suggere l'amitié.
Quelle belle relation!
J'en respecterais les obligations morales.
Quel apaisemant de pouvoir partager ses secrets!
Ce qui m'inquiête, c'est la brièveté.
Les liens que nous crions se muent au gré des circonstances.
Or l'amitié n'obtient sa noblesse
que dans la pérennité et l'exclusivité.

Essaie la fraternité me souffle t-on.
O noble relation
Que cependant m'effraye.
La compassion et l'entraide fraternelle.
L'échange er la partage
Demandant beaucoup de concession
Chacun se soumettrait-il à ces rêgles
Aussi nobles que complexes et exigantes?

A moins de trouver un moyen d'être au dessus de tout
Inaccessible, suffisant, tout-puissant
A moins de trouver un moyen de s'élever au rang de Dieux,
De renoncer á cette aventure unique,
Celle d'être un Homme parmi les Hommes.

Existe-t-il un refuge ici-bas?

                        Déli - Rokia Traoré

A friend of mine today said that some years ago the weekend was not long enough to relax. Today it is not long enough to work. We are getting old...

Saturday, March 06, 2004

Friday, March 05, 2004

Things you do not want to hear during dinner

Second place: This smells and looks like cat food: yes it did, but it was good anyway

The Winner: This exactly looks like sperm: it was supposed to be a gin-tonic-jelly, it was good and "Irgendwie schmeckt der Pflaumensaft komisch".
I finished reading The Perfumed Garden by Nafzâwî. Looks like men, women and their relations between them did not change that much in the last 500 years... (Only that Nafzâwî recommend bathing every other day. This is varying today ;-) BTW: there is a online version in english here

Thursday, March 04, 2004