Kvalitet og serendipitet

Folk, der kender mig, ved, at jeg ikke besidder begrænsningens kunst, når det gælder ting at interessere sig for. Jeg kan ikke holde mig til ét emneområde og følger nyhedsbreve, magasiner og Twitter-konti, der dækker alverdens emner. Nogle af jer får også jævnligt tilsendt artikler, som jeg selvfølgelig forventer, at I kaster jer glubende over.

Medieforbrugets etik

Forleden læste jeg så denne artikel om medieforbrugets etik. Altså, ikke mediernes egen etik, men vores, læsernes/seernes/lytternes. Det er meget interessant og er meget i tråd med mine egne tanker. Jeg ser ikke nyheds- og debatprogrammer, for jeg føler ikke, det gør mig klogere at se folk stå og råbe ad hinanden. Jeg forsøger at undgå de overfladiske døgnfluenyheder (det lykkes så langt fra altid) og i stedet få læst/hørt ordentlige artikler og programmer, der sætter det hele i relief for mig.

Serendipitet

Det, jeg savner, når jeg ikke har en daglig avis, er serendipitet. Altså at falde over en historie, som jeg aldrig selv ville have opsøgt.

Nu er det mit mål at dele mine favoritter med jer hver uge, og jeg prøver at dele historierne op efter temaer. Så håber jeg, at I også kan opleve at falde over en historie, der lyser op i en hidtil upåagtet afkrog.

Plakaten fra den romantiske og temmelig cheesy film Serendipity. Billedet øverst er fra samme film (sådan lærte jeg, hvad ordet betød)

(Desværre er et par af artiklerne bag paywall, men biblioteket har dem.)

Samfund/miljø/politik

Vækstparadigmet

2 professorer emeriti fra RUC, center for arbejdslivsforskning, Peter Olsén og Birger Steen Nielsen,  i Politikens kronik 4/11:  “Vi må væk fra hele vækstparadigmet”Klimakrisen og den stigende ulighed kræver akut handling. Men det kan kun ske gennem et gennemgribende oprør med det fremherskende vækstparadigme. Det er på tide at komme videre. (paywall)

Bias

Cecilie Nørgaard skriver (også i Politiken 4/11) om den “djævelske bias“, vi alle sammen slæber rundt på, og hun giver mange gode eksempler på hvordan. Og på hvad vi kan gøre for at overvinde den. (paywall)

Damn you, paywall

Nu, hvor du er blevet godt sur på paywall, kan du læse om, hvorfor vi ikke har fået en Spotify model eller en model med mikrobetaling. To ikke helt enige mediefolk giver her deres versioner af hvorfor. Mads Vad Kristensen hos POV og Stig Ørskov i Mediawatch.

Brinkmann

Svend Brinkmann har jævnlige klummer i Søndags Politiken, og jeg ved ikke, om de kommer online. Jeg har nappet et lille klip fra den i søndags, som man godt kan tåle at læse efter at have set (for) mange tv-klip med Donald Trump.

Godt nyt

For tiden hører vi næsten hver dag om, hvordan meget rige mennesker bedrager samfundet, samtidig med at de ser sig selv som frihedskæmpere. Vi har brug for at høre, at der også findes ordentlige rige mennesker. Historien her fortæller om en britisk mand, der diskret donerede prisbillige lejeboliger til sit nærområde.

NyhedsPodcast

New York Times’ podcast The Daily handler i denne udgave om, hvordan det giver mening at tale om antisemitisme på den amerikanske højrefløj, der jo ellers omfavner Israel.

Teknologi

Når E-boksen lukker

Hvordan med alt det, der efterhånden ligger i E-boks, når vi dør? Det får vores nærmeste vel adgang til, ligesom de har adgang til vores plastikcharteques med fysiske dokumenter? Nix bix. Der er lukket. Læs her hvordan Allan opdagede, at han ikke havde adgang til sin kones pensionsoplysninger (eller noget som helst andet), efter hun døde.

Så se lige at få delt de vigtigste ting med jeres nærmeste eller – OMG – print skidtet ud og læg det i en mappe!

Jamen, det ER vigtigt

Er du en af dem, der siger “jeg har ikke noget at skjule”, når talen falder på, at Google, Facebook og Staten har adgang til dine personlige data, så læs denne korte gennemgang fra The Next Web af, hvad privatliv (på nettet) egentlig betyder. 

 Sir Tim Berners-Lee

Tim Berners-Lee, internettets far, kommer nu med en helt ny platform, der skal give os ejerskabet og kontrollen over vores egne data tilbage. Man kan kun håbe, at der findes internetaktivister og White hat hackers nok derude til at projektet for alvor kan få ben at gå på. Læs hos Fast Company.

Man kan dø af det

Datasikkerhed er ikke for sjov. Folk kan dø, når den ikke er i top. Og det gælder ikke kun CIA-spioner. Læs hos The Register.

Dimser på Internettet

Wired fortæller om, at dimser med IoT (internet of things) inden i er meget usikre, og nogle af dem kan endda tilgås, uden at man har hacking evner. Det gælder fx mange af de overvågningskameraer, der hænger på gader og stræder. Det er ikke nogen rar tanke, hvis man prøver at forfølge den lidt ud ad en tangent!

Viden

Professor Ulla Koch forklarer, hvorfor vi altid forelsker os i korrelationer og lukker øjnene for, at det ikke nødvendigvis indikerer årsagssammenhæng. Vi har simpelthen confirmation bias, der bilder os ind, at der er sammenhænge, hvor ingen sammenhæng er. Ex: sort kat over vejen, fredag den 13., etc. Klog artikel fra Forskerzonen på Videnskab.dk.

Rygning.er.farligt

Kronikkens forfatter Charlotta Pisinger er professor i tobaksforebyggelse, og hun er blevet godt sur på Amalie Lyhne, der har prist borgernes frie valg (når det gælder tobaksrygning). Så nu får vi lige læst og påskrevet om, hvilket liv der venter os *senere*, når vi ryger.

Hvordan virker YouTube


Se denne TED-talk, hvis du har mindre børn. Eller – se den bare. James Bridle forklarer præcis, hvordan autoplay fungerer og påpeger flere ting, som vi nemt glemmer at tænke over, når det gælder tilsyneladende uskyldige videoer med tegneseriefigurer  for de mindste. Tusind tak til Ulf for link.

Kunst og kultur

De seneste bøger, jeg har læst, er Bjørnen af Katrine Marie Guldager og When we were Orphans af Kazuo Ishiguro. Læs evt. hvad jeg synes på Goodreads.

Jeg har set en enkelt film – det var den virkeligt gode franske film Vogterne.

Og så har jeg set de tre første afsnit af en meget fin ny serie på DRKDer er et Yndigt Land med Chris Pedersen og Line Knutzon. Det er den slags programmer, hvor man både bliver oplyst og kommer til at grine, får pirret sin nysgerrighed og, ikke mindst, får lyst til at drage ud og se på det danske landskab. Kernen af det DR, jeg elsker og nødigt vil undvære.

Chris og Line ser på danske guldalderlandskaber på SMK, og så kører de afsted for at finde dem i virkeligheden. Undervejs taler de med forskellige indsigtsfulde mennesker, ikke mindst Aros’ norske direktør, hvis kølige/kærlige blik på os danskere, jeg er lidt forelsket i. Og så er Chris og Line lige så elendige til at finde vej, som jeg selv er. Det er mig en stor trøst. 

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Nåede du helt herned? I så fald, skriv lige til mig, hvad du synes. Og falder du over noget fantastisk i løbet af ugen, så send det til mig. Så tager jeg det med, hvis jeg også synes, det er fantastisk.

 

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Contentedness

As regular readers will know I read and think (and subsequently write) a great deal about happiness. Quite often I’ve discussed the word happiness with people and tend to agree that the word itself stands in the way of our experience of it. Happiness has become synonymous with big white weddings, having beautiful perfect babies, going on marvelous vacations with your larger-than-life family. Which then leads to people saying that they don’t need happiness, they’ll just settle back and accept some sort of equilibrium and satisfaction with being un-unhappy…

However, I maintain that the above mentioned Big Occasions are not what constitutes happiness and want to reclaim the word. What I really mean with the word is more the contentedness from the title, but there are two downsides to that word. One is the word in itself – it’s a dreadful word, just look at it! The other is that if you say you’re content you’re almost also saying that you are happy where you are and don’t want to change anything.

That’s not how I see happiness. I consider myself an above-average happy person. It’s not that I’m ♫ Always Looking at the Bright Side of Life ♫ and turning the blind eye to the darker side, but I do try to because I find many people’s dwelling on even minor miseries really irksome and I don’t want to moan whinge moan like they do. If you follow me on Twitter you’ll know that I do whinge occasionally, but I try to keep it at a minimum and also try to be constructive about it. Our family’s life situation at present is cr*p with too many uncertainties for anybody’s liking. What I’m trying to do is to find the balance between realizing the seriousness of the situation and dealing with it accordingly and sitting back and feeling sorry for myself. I certainly allow myself to feel self pity over finding myself in this situation, but on the other hand, I like to think back and see how often something surprisingly good has come of situations not unlike this one. I believe in luck, but I also believe that you – to a large extent – can create your own luck by “paving the way for it”, so to speak.

Watch me, on my knees, removing all the weeds and obstacles on luck’s path!

Yesterday I watched a new speech on TED. It’s with Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman, the “behavioural economist” about the substantial difference between the “remembering self” and the “experiencing self”. It goes a long way to describe how we perceive our past and why we often make such bad decisions based on that. I’m glad I saw it before the major decisions awaiting us ahead!

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JK Rowling and Failure in the same sentence

Of the many, many brilliant speeches I’ve seen/listened to on TED, this is the one that has touched me the most. JK Rowling, I bow to your wisdom! This speech is perfect in an oratorical sense, I’m sure Cicero is nodding approvingly from the podium in the sky. It is wise, it is funny, it is profound, it is sweet and it is poignant. Although a big fan of the Harry Potter books, not only as entertainment for children but as literature in their own right, I had no idea that their author was such a warm and compassionate person.

J.K. Rowling Speaks at Harvard Commencement from Harvard Magazine on Vimeo.

Please take time out to listen to this speech. And please, when you’ve heard the first 5-10 minutes, don’t think you’ve heard it all, because you HAVEN’T! If she has touched the hearts of just 5-10 of the privileged young Harvard graduates she was speaking to, then a lot of good will come of it!

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Wonders of the world

It will never cease to amaze me how many fantastic people have spoken at the TED conferences over the years. I’ve seen quite a lot of them, but they keep releasing more and there keep coming new fantastic, eye-opening ones. Like this one about classical music. How is your relationship with classical music? Are you indifferent or do you hate it? I’ll ask you, since you’ve already done me the favour of visiting my blog, to also indulge me and see this video. It is 20 minutes long. If you’re touched by it, like I was, let me know. If you’re not, explain why, but please let me know that too!

The speaker is conductor and motivational speaker Benjamin Zander:

I don’t have much to add today, it’s just one of those days when I prefer to let others do the talking. I’ve posted this on my blog before, but it’s my all time favourite TED talk, so here it comes again. If you haven’t heard it before and if you found the above one inspiring, you’ll adore this one. It gives you faith in humanity. Something that’s much needed.

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Musings before Mother's Day

Feminism:

It being Mother’s Day tomorrow, the Times has asked six women, mainly writers, to write a letter to their children at 21 (they all have young children) or to share the advice of their own mothers. Some of these letters are so, so beautiful. I didn’t just well up, I had to go and get a clean hanky out of the drawer. I like Sarah Vine’s and Justine Picardie‘s the best. Found on Tania Kindersley’s brand new blog.

The Times has also compiled a list of the most powerful Muslim women in Britain. An interesting read!

So, at 49, I’ve finally found a word that defines me: Geek Mum

Olivia James writes a very poignant piece about Mother’s Day. Read it if you have a troubled relationship with your own mother!

Food:

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has a weekly food column in the Guardian. If it wasn’t online I’d feel compelled to buy the paper every Saturday. Actually, I might do that anyway, the Weekend Guardian is a very good paper, lots of sustenance! Today it’s about flour. Also one of my pet causes. I buy almost all my flour freshly milled at the Farmers Market, not least the lovely spelt. It’s a totally different experience from the supermarket stuff. Hugh forgets to mention cornmeal – not the dreary stuff that you buy to thicken your gravy, but the real stuff. I use it in muffins, which then look beautiful and yellowish and as one of three types of flour in my sourdough bread.

Sourdough bread & cake with muscovado sugar, cinnamon & courgettes.
Sourdough bread & cake with muscovado sugar, cinnamon & courgettes.

I’ve promised Tania Kindersley to publish my recipe for Panzanella. It’s from The Blue River Café Cook Book. I hope they won’t sue me for copyright infringement…

Panzanella – serves 6:

  • 3 stale ciabatta loaves
  • 1 kg fresh, plum tomatoes, chopped, seeds removed, save juices (key to recipe is the tomatoes actually tasting of something)
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed (I always dump them in boiling water for a bit to take the top of the “sting”)
  • Maldon sea salt (or similar) & freshly ground pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tbs red wine vinegar
  • 3 red peppers – grilled until black & skinned, then chopped
  • 2 fresh chillies – not necessary
  • 100 gr salted, large capers
  • 100 gr salted anchovies (these can be ground to a paste and mixed with the dressing)
  • 150 gr black, pitted olives
  • 1 large bunch of basil

Cut the bread (preferably stale) into bite-sized chunks. Mix all “wet” ingredients and toss the bread chunks in this. Mix all ingredients. Don’t serve cold.

Science:

Also in the Guardian, Ben Goldacre again crucifies a number of journalists for their faulty and misleading interpretations of a scientific paper about prostate cancer.

I’ll never stop recommending TED. Probably the best source of ideas on the web. It never, never fails to inspire and to lift my spirits. Here’s about how to grow your own fresh air… What to do when you DO NOT have green fingers?

Tech:

A lot of people are – as usual – angry with the new design of Facebook. Maybe I’m easy, but I’m fine with it… Here’s one who doesn’t like it, but makes a good joke of it.

Here are some very useful tips about how to customise the new Facebook. I’ve already done it – I have some FB friends whose updates are rather boring, to be frank. But I still want to keep them as friends. Done!

I don’t find any reason whatsoever to doubt this story about the GRU and the FSB in Russia using cyber “weapons” against Georgia in the war. But then I’m not a great fan of the Russian Leadership.

Oh yes, and as an Iphone owner I’m thrilled to bits by this. Can’t believe I forgot to write about it earlier!

Politics:

An American soldier tells the moving story of when he accompanied a fallen soldier to his final resting place. Very touching and also enlightning. The Americans are good at honouring their fallen. Would be nice if they were as good – or even better – at honouring the wounded and crippled.

Here’s about the methods of torture applied by the CIA. You know, the ones sanctioned by John Yoo, as mentioned yesterday.

This sounds like a good plan. Geithner reveals how the US will deal with its toxic assets.

See, here’s what sets a respectable Republican apart from one you can’t respect. Please Sarah Palin, can’t you just go elk hunting forever?

How can this and this take place in the same country at the same time? It’s about the right to life on the one hand and the right to a dignified death on the other.

With a few exceptions, which are from my RSS reader, all of the above were harvested over 24 hours on Twitter. So don’t tell me twittering is a waste of time.

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Random kindness and other kindnesses and randomnesses

I subscribe to a rather charming newsletter about digital photography and related subjects called Photojojo, recommended to me by a family member, who owns this site. Today the Photojojo newsletter had a very cheerful and Fridayish story. A geek who’d left his computer behind and had gone hiking found a Sony digital camera at the bottom of a river. It was completely rusted, but the (self-confessed) geek took it home to see if he could rescue the memory-card and thus maybe return the photographs to their rightful owner. He made a blog about it and after only one week, the rightful owner was found. See that’s a nice story. There are actually kind and considerate people out there, isn’t that nice to know? It turns out that there (why didn’t we just guess that?) is a website dedicated to finding the owners of lost cameras/photos. See it here and make use of it if you ever find a camera or buy a “new” memory-card with pictures on it, as apparently a number of people have tried.

Another random note comes here: A really good search tip, which as an almost-information pro I should have known, is that you can use Google’s superior search to find stuff on large websites with less superior search functions. Read about it here in PC World. I WARMLY recommend it. I quickly tried to do a search on PC World itself both ways. It works miraculously!

Here’s a story from Financial Times. I don’t know whether it should make you laugh or cry. It’s about a host of abandoned luxury cars in Dubai’s international airport with keys in the ignitions and maxed out credit cards in the glove compartments… The pointer came from Marginal Revolution.

As I’ve mentioned previously Alex Tabarrok from Marginal Revolution is a TED speaker this year. He tells about his experience and also brags a little (I would too!!!!!!) about having met and talked to Peter Gabriel. He recommends Gabriel’s website, which empowers the powerless, Witness.

One of the three TED prize winners was a person and a project that I’ve previously written about here. José Antonio Abreu and his El Sistema. Briefly explained, El Sistema uses music to drag poor children out of poverty. It originated in Venezuela, but has since been succesfully exported to other countries. I can only approve. LOUDLY! Viva Music!

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That yellow feeling

Oh, why am I not the kind of person who gets invited to this? My favourite economist will be speaking there – along with several other people, who’s writings I’m following. I’d much rather be at TED than at the Oscars, the Cannes Film Festival or any other gathering of personas. Envy, I think this yellow feeling is called.

Picture borrowed from Leonard on Flickr
Picture borrowed from Leonard on Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/lwr/

Before I retire to bed to read another TED speaker, namely Malcolm Gladwell (oh, did I mention him before?) I’ll just share this fun idea with you. On Boing Boing I read that January 27th will be a special day for all bloggers: We must shed our normal blogging style and come up with something really Alice in Wonderland-ish. The day is called Rabbit Hole Day. Read all about it!

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