Wednesday, May 28, 2008


This weekend is, er, was voting day. We're supposedly electing mayors, local councils and the other things that come with them. Therefore, last night I dreamt I was voting :D It was an interesting experience, akin to a trip into a future world and its voting ways.
So without further ado, I give you

Voting: 2084.

It was a cold April morning and the dew on the grass was frozen like tiny beads of glass.
I turn off the artificial landscape and open the window to smell the warm, polluted air.
Aaah, nitric dioxide, so sweet. Sulphur trioxide, yummy. Etcetera. (We still didn't find a cheap, pervasive way to command our windows to open and our lights to turn on in 2084, although computers students are still studying "Evolved Interfaces", but based on Web 4.0) First there was the Web, then pr0n, then the Social Web 2.0, then the Semantic Web 3.0 which failed to deliver, then there was Web 4.0, the EmoWeb, where people would use galvanic skin response, blood pressure, rectal probes and other sensors to upload their feelings online. Then of course marketoids were talking about Web 5.0, where you could blog by thought alone, but that wouldn't happen until 2337.
Alas, I reluctantly get up, take a shower, put some clothes on (dumb clothes, mind you, no electronics or anything) and walk out the door. I reach the voting room, sign on a sheet of paper, the supervisor hands me two booklets (where I am to stamp the desired candidates) and some advertising leaflets. There was absolutely no other person in that room. It was big, empty and quiet. Therefore I take my time and slowly walk towards the voting booth, which is a small, improvised box with dark blue drapes obscuring my secret choice. As usual, I might say.
I start analyzing the advertising materials and going through the list of candidates. Oddly enough, most are well-known TV stars. I finally decide on a sexy female TV presenter. After all, no mayor has done anything of note for the city in the last half-century, at least we'll have a sexy, charismatic mayor. But I'm not yet ready to cast my vote. I take a peek outside the small voting booth, and there are still no people around. Even the supervising authority has gone out for a smoke, leaving only a low-resolution security camera to keep watch. I calmly walk out of the booth, go into the next room, take out my 2-kg laptop, connect to the nearest wireless access point, and start searching for data on the few candidates I like most. After half an hour of searching, I think: Oh shit, I left the voting booth occupied! Think of the queue! Heck, what queue. There was no queue.
The End.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Some British chef wants to outlaw out-of-season vegetables. Besides this being extremmely funny, it's of course stupid. Let's compare this to some hypothetical situations, in order to better understand just why is this so stupid.
First, let's assume some "celebrity" fashion designer decides they want to outlaw out-of-season or out-of-fashion clothes. I guess nobody is going to pass such a law (in a serious country in this timeframe), but just the idea of lobbying for something like this is preposterous. Imagine stores being unable to sell ... t-shirts in winter. Imagine yourself not being allowed to... I don't know, wear a blue hat because it's unfashionable and thus illegal.
Let's imagine then, that some "celebrity" "deejay" decides to lobby for a law banning songs and records that are more than 3 years old. So then I go to the usual rock bars and I'm not able to listen to 80's rock because some idiot passed a law that some other idiot lobbied for.
Then, let's imagine that some "celebrity" porn star bans you from having sex in other ways than the missionary position (a real law in some USA state).
Finally, let's imagine that some celebrity electonic circuit designer bans electrolytic capacitors, which they should actually do, as electrolytic capacitors currently suck balls and are a main cause of appliance failure. That would be extremmely stupid, because electrolytic capacitors, though unreliable, are very small and cannot be replaced with some other type without ending up with for example a mobile phone the size of a bucket.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


This is about the 5th time in the last two weeks when I look at the clock and it shows 13:37.

Friday, May 2, 2008


1. Yesterday police have turned decorative Christmas lights back on in major cities around the country under the slogan "drinking alters reality" or something like that, in an effort to reduce drunk driving.

2. Hypermiling (what?) can supposedly save gas and cash. Tune your car to use up less fuel, and drive less aggressively. Yeah, right. One problem is, in the U.S. at least, that a certain percentage of people feel that driving an efficient car is {lame, gay, laughable, whatever}. Who the hell cares about fuel. $3.61 per gallon? What the fuck is a gallon anyway? I drink water out of 2L bottles and don't know how much that is in gallons. I have no fucking feel for how much a gallon is, even though I know roughly how much a mile or an inch or a pound is. Anyway, Google knows, almost 3.8L. So what, $3.61 for that much petrol is expensive? Bullshit, here it's over one €vro per litre.

3. Fish eat, they digest, they crap, and other fish eat their crap and do the same. ("Dirty Jobs" on Discovery). Then the second group of fish are fished out after having fattened up, and sold as human food.

3. Hyperprogramming. Processors read programs and execute them over data, chomping it up according to the programs. They crap out new data and heat. Scientists are looking for new computing models and paradigms to help decrease energy consumption.

4. Pain. As years pass, pain settles down on the bottom of a lake, where it decays into mud. From that mud, beautiful water lilies grow and shine under a crescent moon.