May 31, 2009

Information overflow

Once again I have been collecting stuff on the internet that I found funny, things that made me thoughtful and in general things that I would like to share. Come with me on a short tour and feel free to comment :) (btw the comic above is purely random *g*) To all images applies "click-to-enlarge".

This picture of worldwide airline connections by Mario Freese has impressed me greatly because I like to be reminded of the busy web that is the earth.

Lately in the cafeteria of my university I was asked once again if I wanted to test a newspaper without any charge for two weeks. I was half way through signing up for it, when I realized that I actually do read three newspapers on the internet per day ^^

This quite intelligent chart shows the respective probability of different consequences of a decision for accepting same sex marriage. It's pretty drastic ;-)

This comic here made me thoughtful about how we see people differently when they are close to us. And it makes me wonder how we would treat others if we felt they were all family and actually taking care of us...

If you did not catch the story in my recommendations box to the right, I suggest you read it here: FBI terrorist interrogator on the uselessness of torture and the efficacy of cookies. I find it a brilliant example of how kindness is a stronger weapon than aggression.

Let me end on a smiling note :) Be happy everybody!

May 22, 2009

Shadow images

I really like this picture :) It shows how things are not always what they seem, as obvious as they may be. It made me think of Plato's cave, too. People sitting against a wall seeing only shadows passing and holding them for the only reality there is.
Sometimes I guess we all need to reexamine how we interpret things around us, detach from judgement and see the rabbit! I shall try this today, question myself and be open to alternate interpretations...

On a slightly different note, the change of perspective can also be a disillusioning or hilarious (might call it a bird's eye view *g*) SMBC webcomic and a explosm webcomic

A little update: Peripeteia :)

May 19, 2009

Unite, don't divide

I was made aware of this speech held by Barack Obama by and I am once more inspired.

Part 2, Part 3

If you remember I just recently posted a call to the Charter for Compassion. Obama obviously has taken that principle to heart and it is the best feeling I have had towards politics to find this powerful person so deeply endowed with a loving understanding of the world.

Now I will study sociological institutionalism some more. Studies can sometimes bore you, but every so often I feel so motivated and in the right place that hopefully one day I will be one of the people that "know what they are doing" ;)
You guessed right, the sun is shining on my balcony. It is a brilliant day! May your day be the same way :)

May 15, 2009

Global Connection

Us Now from Banyak Films on Vimeo.

Ok now, I should be excerpting a book chapter about foreign policy right now, but this here caught my attention immediately. I could not stop watching this stunning and absolutely breathtaking documentary about the ways in which our society is actually changing and what it could become. I think it helps us all to recognize and understand better what we are doing on the internet every day. We have impact: myself writing this, and you reading this, staying with couchsurfers in Morocco and hosting French students, giving and receiving advice on computer forums, voting on political questions in online polls, microlending via

The economic aspects of this change towards an open source society reminded me strongly of the Cluetrain Manifesto (supplied in many languages), a landmark book that states 95 theses about some things today's companies have to understand about consumers and the market they are acting in by now. You should check it out after watching the video.

I would now just like to give you some quotes from the film. Please invest the hour in watching it, because what is described is absolutely relevant to all of us!

"Every company is gonna be naked. ...We don't have to be ashamed..."

"Let's start being open source right now!"

"I call this Government 2.0."

"This is a powerful force for good."

For more material take a look at the website. Have a wonderful day everybody :)

May 13, 2009

On Judgement

Feeling pretty thoughtful these days, in spite of sun and a load of work about interesting sociological (theory of crime) and political (German foreign policy) topics. And one of the questions on my mind is about judgement, as in judging people.

As often said I try to be an open person withholding judgment on situations or people, if I can, so that I can see what's really going on. But sometimes I can't help it, I just speak, act, even hurt. Of course it is not helpful to react to every bad mood, to every bad hair day someone else is having. I know a lot about it, but when emotion is involved other rules apply and the game changes. Those are the moments one should step back and try empathy, and if you still feel justifiable anger, step back one more step and think if expressing this anger is the right course of action.

Funny thing that an all but choleric person like me should worry about getting angry, but I guess "we are only what we hate".
And then, on the other hand I think, other people should be empathetic of me, too. They can see as well as I that I am angry, hurt or just tired. Am I giving enough insight in my mind? I believe we all have the gift of seeing into other people's emotions though most of us do it subconsciously. Having said that probably the only thing to do is being expressive about what one feels without being entirely caught up in it. I will keep on trying...

My horoscope

ARIES (March 21-April 19): "Some people will never learn anything because they understand everything too soon," wrote Alexander Pope. Most of us have been guilty of that sin: jumping to conclusions so quickly that we don't bother to keep listening for the full revelation. My sense is that this behavior has become even more common in recent years because we're inundated by fragments of slapdash information mixed with blips of superficial analysis and echoed hearsay. But please avoid falling prey to the syndrome in the coming week, Aries. More than ever before, you need to gather raw data thoroughly, weigh the evidence with great deliberation, and come to careful understandings.

A game of chess?

When you have sacrificed your queen you can still keep on playing, but you are left with the stale feeling that you have already lost the game.
(a TV series)

I have won chess games without a queen.
Is it wrong to assume there is more than one game?