I write, therefore I am
With this variation on a famous statement by the philosopher Descartes, I would like to express that the act of writing about what happens in my life is important to me.
Walk-in WorldsI went to the opening of the exhibition Walk-in Worlds at Tetem art space. It is an exhibition by Abner Preis and consists of six virtual-reality (VR) presentations, some of which are recordings made with a 360° camera. Before entering, we were given balloons and when we entered the exhibition, we were told to blow up a balloon while 'saying' the name of a deceased person and then put the balloon in the large 'dress' at the center of room. I watched (parts of) four of the VR presentations with the idea to return on a later moment and take time to watch them till the end. I talked with Bergje Lulofs about drawing and with Ole Nieling about modular synthesizers (amongst other things).
Going to ChinaThis evening, I thought about our plan to go to China this summer to visit some family in Wuhan and to visit Urumqi. I got the idea to travel by train. There are a lot of high-speed train connections. My idea is to fly to Beijing, stay there for some days, travel to Wuhan by train. Stay some time in Wuhan. From there travel with a high-speed train to Xi'an. From Xi'an there is a night train to Urumqi. When I search YouTube for some more information, I found: Xinjiang's New High Speed Train (Urumqi to Lanzhou). There is also a high-speed train from Xi'an to Lanzhou, but the high-speed trains are only traveling during the day and you have at to stay overnight in one of the cities along the route. I searched for some more information and watched: The Chinese Silk Road - Episode 1 - The Journey Begins and The Chinese Silk Road - Episode 2 - Into the Desert. It seems interesting to stop over at Lanzhou and it the famous noodles made in the city. When Li-Xia traveled between Beijing and Urumqi, the trip would take three days and three nights. The long distance night trains offer hard and soft sleepers. I found this report of a woman taking the night train to Urumqi using a soft sleeper: Soft Sleeper Overnight Train in China |Silk Road|. I also watched (fragments of): OVERNIGHT Train in China (Nanning to Shanghai) 🚅 | It was AWESOME!👍 中国 培养 视频 about another soft sleeper trip, OVERNIGHT SLEEPER TRAIN IN CHINA about mother and son in hard sleeper, and Chinese Bullet Train BUSINESS CLASS & 1ST CLASS Review!. From Urumqi we could also fly back to Beijing for our return flight back home.
Winter saleAlthough I had little time, I went to the opening day of the winter sale at bookshop Broekhuis. There were many books with 50% off. I did pickupe one book (Waarschuwing: de schrijver van dit boek is kunstenaar by Tinkerbell) and carried when looking at other books, but in the end I decided not to buy it, realizing that I might not read it.
Monday, January 7, 2019
Most chaotic?This afternoon, I thought about the colour rubber straps sequence and decided to look for the most chaotic sequences. I searched for the sequences of which the maximum of the distances of reoccurences of certain combinations was the lowest. I found nine sequences where the maximum is three, but all of them have two combinations that occur with just one other combination in between. There is one sequence that does not have this and has a maximum of five. These ten sequences are visualized below:
BookAt 17:34, I bought the book Kunst op niveau written by Piet den Hertog in Dutch and published by Lambo in 2002, ISBN:9789074119818, from charity shop Het Goed for € 1.95.
Wednesday, January 2, 2019
New year dayOne of the first things I did this year, was finishing my glass of beer. It was a special beer called Donkere dagen (Dark Days in English) made by Brouwerij Eanske. It is a Imperial Schwarz beer with an alcohol percentage of 7.5%/vol% and a bitterness of 23 IBU, a colour of 112 EBC, and 66 Kcal/100ml.
In the evening, I went to TkkrLab to meet some of the regular attendees. We had some discussions about the problems around software development in companies. Lately, I often think about going away from software development. I notice that I even have problems working on my own private projects.
Sunday, December 30, 2018
Saturday, December 29, 2018
WintergoI played my first game of Go in almost a year. It was the first time, I played against my opponent. I won playing black with 74 points against 37.5. The difference could have been much smaller. My opponent cut a long chain of stones, but when I played a moving giving my opponent the choice between letting me reconnect the stones or letting me create a single eye in the chain, my opponent decided to prevent the eye and thus allowing me to reconnect the stones.
Monday, December 24, 2018
Extraterritorial RealmAt the end of the afternoon, I watched the exhibition Extraterritorial Realm - The second texture by Chen Yu-Jung at the University. His stay in Enschede is supported by Artist Residencies Enschede. I also saw, in the smaller exhibition room, work by Lisa Maartens as part of AKI takes over.
Thin layer of snowYesterday, there was a lot of attention in the news that it was going to snow this night during a transition from cold to warmer weather. There was some warning for heavy snow fall. In the morning, there was a thin (broken) layer of snow outside. It was like this in a large part of the country. There was only one out of 240 weather stations that reported 5 cm of snow. There were some large areas with 2 or 3 cm of snow. It was not snow that was causing problems, but fog. By the end of the day, all of the snow had melted away.
Music at the neighboursToday, there is the Muziek bij de buren (music at the neighbours) event in many cities in the Netherlands. In Enschede there are 37 places, mostly living rooms, where you can go and listen to some music performances. At 13:00, I listened to a performance of Heliophile. (I saw them before on September 16, 2017.) I bought a T-shirt and their EP Downhill from here. I also was offered a cup of veganistic pea soup. While biking to the next location, I came accross WSH and listend a bit. I wanted to see an exhibition at XPO, but it was closed (although on the door it said that it should be open). I went to the cee spot and saw the last part of the performance of Times Like These, a cover band. I stayed and worked on my notebook until the start of the next performance and left to see the second performance of She's On Mars. This happened to be at the place of some acquaintances that I have known for about thirthy years. I stayed some time after the performance to talk with them.
Saturday, December 8, 2018
Humans in the backseat?At the end of the afternoon, I went to Lightbulb chat: AI: Humans in the backseat? event at the DesignLab of University of Twente. There were two introductions followed by an open discussion. The first introduction was by Ringo Ossewaarde. (What follows is based on notes that I made during the talk and might be an incorrect representation of what was being said.) He discussed artificial intelligence from a view point of social science. He remarked that AI is already quite old and that only recently it has gained some development. It is part of what is called the fourth technological revolution. He want to address matters of concern rather than matters of fact. There are four issues of concern he wants to address.
The second introduction was by Khiet Truong. The showed the Google Duplex 2018 video. Should we make systems as human like as possible? Would we really want this? She showed video from Japan where there is much research done about the application of AI in the care for the elderly, epsecially with demantia. She also mentioned the Chinese room argument: The issue of weak and strong AI.
It was followed by a very wide discusion, where too many (often conflicting) issues and view points were mentioned to be summarized. The discussion was rather shallow and did not touch on some of the most important issues, I think.
Wednesday, December 5, 2018
Solve for HappyThis morning, I finished reading the book Solve for Happy: Engineer your Path to Joy by Mo Gawdat, which I started reading on August 14, the day I bought it. I did not read the whole book, because I skipped some parts that I did not find interesting. I am not very impressed by this book that is not much different from other self-help, think-positive books. I was disappointed by the chapter in which the author defends intelligent design and reveals that an important foundation of his hapiness is the idea that everything that happens has a meaning. He defends intelligent design on probability reasoning, but I am not convinced that his graps of statistics is sufficient. Also, in one of the earlier chapters he argues that there is no absolute knowledge. In one place he talks about how reality comes into existence through living observers, based on an incorrect understanding of the observer concept in quantum mechanics, while at another place he argues that everything is controlled by a designer. To me this seems to contradict each other. For someone like me, who believes that there is probably no designer and that everything happens just by chance, there is not much to get from this book.
Saturday, December 1, 2018
The TripThis morning, I finished reading the book The Trip: Andy Warhol's Plastic Fantastic Cross-Country Adventure by Deborah Davis, which I started reading on November 3 this year. I bought it earlier this year on March 18. The book is not so much about the trip itself as one would expect from the title. Actually, nothing significant happens during the cross-country adventure itself. The books also does not give much factual details about all the receipts that Andy Warhol collected during the trip. At the same time, Davis does give a lot of details about subjects that are not directly related to Warhol. Although it is true that the trip took place during an important periode in the life of Warhol, it seems that it is more his stay in Los Angelos and Hollywood that made an impact on his development than the cross-country trip itself. I did read the pages (in the Dutch translation) of the biography by Victor Bockris related to the same period and discovered several inconsistencies. I am tempted to believe that the account of Davis is more reliable, because I presume that she did study the receipts and other items that Warhol kept. This says something about the quality of the account of Bockris. Nevertheless, that biography is on the list of books I want to read in the near future. I also read a little in the book POPism by Warhol and Pat Hackett about the period of the trip to find out that it actually does give quite some details about the trip and the stay in California. I nevertheless found The Trip an interesting book to read and a stimulation to read more about Warhol.
RainbowWhen in the office this afternoon, I noticed the sun shining with dark clouds in the background and mentioned that there might be a rainbow. But there was non to see. However, just a few minutes later, at 15:41, there was a single rainbow. I could only see the left part of it from my point of view. I understood from my colleague that the right part was weaker or even missing. It might just have been there for a short time. I wondered if anybody has tried to build a rainbow weather radar that shows were rainbows can be seen. You must be able to predict this if you know where it rains and where clouds are and are not (based on satelite images maybe).
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Overkill Festival: Day threeI attended the symposium. Below the notes I took during the talks, which are probably incoherent and incorrect.
Talk by Sabine Harrer, the author of the bookGames and Bereavement: How Video Games Represent Attachment, Loss, and Grief: We cannot make sense of mortality, but we know life and we celebrate life. We live in the cult of immortality, but it is a lie. There is a word for people who have lost a spouse. But there is no word for mothers that have lost a child. She started to call herself an ex-mother. People around her, did not like it. They either avoid her and those who did not, tried to change her mind and gave her ill advise. Sadness became an ordinary experiencing for her. When she became a game designer, she decided to investigate mortality in games. First she investigated death in games. Death is rather casual thing in games. It is a way of telling that you did something stupid, that you failed. "Game over" is a lie, because the game invites you to play again. So death is not really thing and something completely different from death in real life. Next, when she was in Danmark, she worked on participatory game design, where you involve people from the world with real life problems. She found some women who also had lost a child, to help her to develop a video game. These women were rather sceptical about computer games, how such a game could be develop, and what would be the result. Design partners do not always have to be involved in the way we think. It does not always work to transfer power in the design proces. In muse-based design, the participants act as a muse for the artist, who develop the game, where the participants are a source for inspiration for the artist. (Rilla Khaled published about Muse-based game design.) So, the most important question became: what does it feel like? This requires you to compare it to other loses. She changed it into the question: How would a planet look like for you child? This resulted in a little galaxy of four planets. And they talked about what the planets had in common. The planets where not sad, but joyfully. The focused on care. This resulted in the game Jocoi. The game is about feeding flowers to sheep. Every flower also has a sound. So, you can create a sound-scape with the game. Pressing on the left mouse button, would cause care for the child sheep. And pressing on the right mouse button, would cause care for the mother sheep. Through playing the game, you forget about taking care for yourself. And then in the game there is an earthquake and the child sheep dissappears. Clicking the left mouse, does not do anything. And when you click the right mouse, you hear a sad noise. Many players forgot about the right mouse button. There were no instruction on how dealing about the situation. The women really felt that the experience of the game felt similar to what they had experienced. The concluding remark was that designing and playing a game can become a way of listening.
Funeral Speech. Talk by Stëfan Schäfer, a researcher in Amsterdam. He has no experience in game design, but works with all kinds of media. The digital death collective. It started in 2014, but died soon thereafter, but it will be revived next year. Twitter core project. Grindcore. The idea of domain sufixes related to death. I am become digital death the destroyer of works. Funeral selfies: People take selfies with deceased. Some people were shocked about it, but it was done in the Victorian age. In the past there was also a practice of exchanging photographs. There was an idea of streaming the decay of your body. They made a cross (for crucification) in the perfect selfie pose. It was exhibited in a museum where it was the last exhibition. Selfie-related death memorial. The number of people dying during taking selfies has increased over the years. Create a digital memoral of an imaginary characters. Ghost bikes: a road side memorial for people who have been killed on a bike. Memorial T-shirts. Created road-side memorials with the T-shirts. 'When your heart stops beating, you'll keep tweeting'. LivesOn. DeadSocial. Dead Boy. The app Die with me: When you have less than 5% battery life left.
How To Be Immortal Without Having Ever Lived. A talk by Dr. Nolen Gertz, the author of Nihilism and Technology. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Transhumanism. From Übermensch to cybermensch? There should be something better than a human. From Übermensch to cyborg. Kevin Warwick: The world's first Cyborg. Will cyborgs the normal evolution? Part 2: What is mensch? What was Nietzsche idea of being human. We do not want to know. We are necessarily strangers to ourselves. Sufficient time? Too busy. Sufficient earnestness? Too Cowardly. We do not like a revolution, we want a boss, who we can complain about. We could be more human, but we do not want. Why do people follow the law? We make ourselves busy in order to avoid ourselves. Nihilism. We do not like to be human. Slaves defeat the masters, but slaves remain slaves. No master is a world of slaves. Would Nietzsche be a transhumanist? Deepmind Ethics & Society. In defense of posthuman dignity. Nick Bostrom thinks that nature is bad. Mentions cheating as a bad property of nature. From "God is dead" to "Technology is dead." Overcoming suffering by embrasing it. One conclude that the transhumanists are the new priests. Bioconservatives think that nature is good, while transhumnaist think that nature is bad. But technology also has its flaws. Leading to an infinite cycle of improvements.
Peggy Shoenegge. This could be you: Disembodiment in virtual reality art. Adults are more afraid of entering virtual reality compared to children, who always jump in. Exhibitions where you have to interact. Pendoran vinci. Hans Moravec: The human body will no longer be needed in the future.
At 16:10, after the panel discussion and after having talked with some of the speakers, I bought the book Games and Bereavement from Sabine Harrer, who signed it for me.
Trip to China 2010
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