All posts by Paul

For some it’s just a flash-drive

If you’ve ever been around computers, you probably know what this is. A flash-drive. USB-stick. Name it what you want.

It used to be my Dad’s. There is music on it. Music I put on it for him, because in his last days he couldn’t do much more than listen to it.

The music on it isn’t my kind of music, but I will never be able to wipe it off this USB-drive because the files on it were the last ones I put on them for Dad. He listened to them a lot. When he wasn’t able any more to switch on his little stereo, the nurses at the home did it for him.

As I titled this post: for some it’s just a flash-drive. For me it’s 16 GB of memories of my father, a man I got to know far too late.

Interesting article on air travel today

Yep, I read an interesting article. It asked why aeroplane flights (which are quite polluting) were so cheap compared to train travel which takes long and is definitely expensive.

They compared a flight from Amsterdam to Prague for €40 to a train journey of 11 hours, costing €180. (This can be reduced to €100 but that is still 2.5 times the price of a plane ticket.)

To make a change, trains should become MUCH faster. It’s possible (TGV from France, Japan’s Bullet Train, and several high speed trains in China prove this) but for some reason there is no incentive to invest in trains. It is apparently better to fly or drive a car (despite all the traffic jams), because both these give options to ask more and more money from the passengers and drivers.

I know. I once had a temp job that made me sit in the car 4 to 5 hours each day. Doing that by train would have me travel 8 to 10 hours a day. That is a pretty bleak comparison, isn’t it?

I’m afraid it will take a long time before politicians, who should have the power and also the wisdom to see benefits to faster trains, have the stamina to do something about this. Until they stop being governed by big companies, we’re in a dark spot which is getting polluted more and more…

We’re not going to space anytime soon.

Image result for spaceship

You may think I’m crazy for saying that, because the USA sends things into space. Japan sends things into space. Russia, China and India are doing the same thing. Europe is also in the game. So why aren’t we going to space soon?

Because of exactly that. Each country does the same thing, invents the same thing, spends time and resources on the same thing.

What a friggin’ waste!

Imagine what progress could be made if all those countries put their clever minds and resources together, instead of inventing the same wheel in a dozen places.

It would also cost a lot less. Yes, that stupid invention called ‘money’ rears its ugly head again, and in a big way. Space-going isn’t cheap, and more and more companies want to get rich because of it. Which again is another drawback. Profits hold back progress.

A quick trip around the moon is only possible for the very wealthy (hi, money!), so we (as in the ordinary people) won’t go to space anytime soon. I can only hope that the united clever people of planet earth will show their clever bits and get together in a joint effort to make this happen. There’s a whole universe out there, and we’re not making any use of it.

Creating the impatient consumer

I’m sure you’ve all noticed how people want to have things faster and faster.

You go on the Internet, hit your favourite outlet website, you click buy, and by the time the confirmation mail has reached you, you want it in your hand.

Companies are catering to that. Amazon, for instance, is using drones to get stuff to the eager customer as soon as possible. After couriers for same day delivery, they now aim for same hour delivery.

I think this what (in part) is to blame for the increasing impatience of people: “I want it all and I want it now.” Especially the ‘now’.

The weird thing is that opportunities to ‘have it now’ still exist. Fewer and fewer, I know, as they are remnants of the pre-Internet era. They are called brick-and-mortar shops. You go there, pick from a shelf what you want, you pay for it, and… whoa… you have it. Now.

That’s probably a wild idea, because this isn’t in line with the ease of the Internet, where people don’t have to get up and go somewhere. Which is perhaps part of the obesity problem the ‘civilised’ world faces in many places. Why move if you can go online and order a pill that helps you get thinner.

Which you want now, of course.

End of a year, start of a film

Yesterday I ended the year with a film.

I don’t watch many films, so this is kind of special. The film I watched was “Lucy“, with Scarlett Johansson.

Official trailer of “Lucy”

I accidentally came across this film as I was paging through the Google Play store and discovered it.

The comments for the film were quite mixed and also intriguing enough for me to decide to rent it and see it for myself.

I’m glad I found this film. It was (for me) very enjoyable and definitely worth watching. The idea of expanding the capacity of the human mind is something that intrigues me and this film deals with that. It does so in a rough and extreme way. It made me think of this more than I was already doing.

Absolutely a good film for me.

Guten Tag, Gutenberg

I’ve tried this new editor a few times. It has advantages. It also has serious issues for me.

I’m once more trying it in this post, since ‘lots of changes have been made’, so I heard.

Do you use WordPress? Do you use (and like) Gutenberg? How easy was the switch for you?

Right. I see one of my main issues with Gutenberg is still there. It’s a mystery to me how to add an image and add text to the left or right of it. (I don’t mean the caption.) I’ve heard it can be done. If you know how and you’re able to make this clear and easy, I’d love to hear from you.

I’ve written this post in the Gutenberg editor. After posting it I’ll switch back to the classic editor for now. This switch is going to be an interesting road.

What do you think about naturism? And what do you know about it?

Naturism. The internet is loaded with it…

…but it’s not naturism.

According to the internet at large, naturism is sex, porn, bad stuff, naked people doing ‘the unmentionable’ (whatever that is, because there are plenty of words – check any dictionary). The internet is quite clever, but the people filling it often aren’t using the right words for what they’re spreading. Unfortunately, using the ‘wrong’ words is the best way to attract lots of visitors.

Then what is naturism?

Let’s have a look at Wikipedia:

Naturism, or nudism, is a cultural and political movement practising, advocating, and defending personal and social nudity, most but not all of which takes place on private property. The term may also refer to a lifestyle based on personal, family, or social nudism.[1] Naturism may take a number of forms. It may be practiced individually, within a family, socially, or in public. Additionally, there is also militant naturism, including campaigning, and extreme naturism is sometimes considered a separate category.[2]

Right. You may notice something here. There’s talk of ‘nudity’. Yup. Part of it. There is no mention of ‘sex’ or ‘porn’. Correct. That’s not part of naturism (nor is it of nudism but let’s stick to one word for now to prevent confusion).

America: what does the AANR (American Association for Nude Recreation) have to say about it:

Our Mission: Simply put, we exist “To advocate nudity and nude recreation in appropriate settings while educating and informing society of their value and enjoyment.”

holding_handsRecreation. Yup again. Nude. Yup again. And no sex, no porn, although (still) the internet is loaded with it. Go to images.google.com, look for ‘naturism’ and prepare for what you’ll be shown if safe-search if off. That is not naturism. That is porn and sex and what-not.

Safety check: did you know that? Did you know the difference between naturism and porn? Honestly?

Britain: What does the British Naturism site say about it:

Naturism is the practice of going without clothes – whether that is just occasionally at a beach or in your garden, or as a more general part of everyday life. Naturism is healthy, sensible – who wants to wear clothes when the weather is hot – and great fun!

Gosh darn, still no mention of porn or sex. Is that disappointing? Instead there’s a sensible thing there: who wants to wear clothes when the weather is hot? Now I hear some folks say that we have air conditioning for that, which is the clever thing to use.

Yes, it’s smart to spend money on clothes that make you feel warm in summer, so you spend more money on a machine that cools you down artificially!

And why do people do that? Because they’ve been taught (indoctrinated, culturally branded) to believe that being nude is bad. Offensive. Not healthy. I guess that is why babies are born with nappies on instead of naked.

And who started this oppression in the civilised, Western world?

Adam and EveWas it the Christian God who created Adam and Eve “in his image”? After all, he put them in a garden, naked and all, and watched them. Adam and Eve therefore were the original naturists as they lived that way and enjoyed themselves.

Oh. Wait. God watched them. Was he the first God-person to watch porn then? Is the internet right after all?

Let’s assume that isn’t the case.

Through some trickery Adam and Eve were evicted from their garden and covered themselves in shame. So being naked is shameful from then on. Check. Wearing a fig leaf apron was the first step.

The clothing industry happily jumps on that bandwagon, and certainly the swimwear fashion designers.

modern swimwear

This must have been very comfortable in the Victorian era. I wonder… would you care for that? Or do you think modern swimwear is better?

I’d say: go for the Victorian ones. At least they keep you warm so long they haven’t been wet. These flimsy things don’t help anything in keeping you warm – not even in the water. And don’t they feel great when you get out of the water? Wet and clingy and getting cold fast, even when it’s warm? (By the way, lots of swimwear fashion resembled a fig leaf, in amount of cloth, for a while. Did you notice?)

Body acceptance

No. It’s about time that people rediscover naturism. Being naked isn’t bad. Being brain-washed to think that your body is ugly is bad. Making people think that they have to look like dolls is bad.

Remember: whether or not you believe in a god, you were born naked. If you believe/follow the fashion folks, you make them your gods. Look up body acceptance. Naturists accept their bodies. No one is perfect, and if someone tells you there is something like a perfect body, they lie.

Seriously… naturists are better off.

nudist swim

Did you know that? Or do you still think naturism is just a nice word for porn and sex all around? If you still do, please educate yourself. 🙂

 

The health and beauty industry thinks you’re all ugly.

Yes. All of you. Ugly. Unworthy. The health and beauty industry is probably amazed that you have the nerve to show yourselves in broad daylight.

male supermodelBoys, you really need to look like this. Otherwise you are NOT allowed to play. It’s not hard, you know. This is just a country boy sucking in his tummy a bit, nothing big.

supermodelAnd you, lady, why don’t you look like this plain, average girl on the right?

The health and beauty industry keeps telling you to shape up a little, invest a bit more in your looks, because you have to be young forever.

Right?

You have to!

And do you know how many people believe that? How many people chase those impossible goals? Too many. Even if there are only two, that’s too many. People are people in normal-people-shapes, not in the idiotic, thin, muscular, 19-year old, malnourished bodies that are digitally modified to look even more fake.

Please, stop chasing those crazy dreams. You can’t win. As soon as enough people come close to the beauty model, the health and beauty industry will change the goal and make you run the other way.

They don’t care about you. They care about your money, and they don’t give a shit about how many lives they destroy. Of course not many people will admit that, but I am convinced that the people who push others over the edge in their attempts to achieve the impossible are murderers.

And about the adjustments: have a look here.

fake

Here is an example how a supermodel looks without and with make-up and ‘adjustments’.

Not convinced? Look here:

Now be honest. Can you win from Photoshop?

Nope. Forget it. So forget that stupid race to become what no one is. Not even the supermodels…

 

 

Mijn jaarlijkse donatie. My yearly donation.

(English text further down.)

Reumafonds

Elk jaar tegen het eind van het jaar kies ik een goed doel en daar geef ik een mooi bedrag aan. Drie keer raden welk het dit jaar was. (Als je meer dan 1 keer nodig hebt moet je echt eens beter opletten.)

Ik doe dit in plaats van kerstkaarten. Die zijn goedbedoeld maar komen uiteindelijk in dozen en bij het oud papier terecht. Zonde van het papier, de inkt en de moeite van het versturen.

Steun je deze actie ook mee? Kijk op https://actie.reumafonds.nl/

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Each year towards the end of the year I select a charity and donate a nice amount to them. This year it was the Dutch research foundation for rheumatism. I do this instead of writing and sending Christmas cards. I know everyone means well with those but in the end they are tossed away which is a waste of paper, ink and the money for sending them.

If you care to support me in this donating to this charity, please go to https://actie.reumafonds.nl/ (google translate or some other online system will assist you in navigating the site).

Living forever. How quaint. But what are the consequences?

Living forever. The Pros and Cons.

Very old manMore and more I hear and read things about how scientists are getting closer to the genes that need to be changed to make people live longer. At this moment there are people who live to over 100 years, but that’s clearly not enough.

I wonder how many people want to live forever. Of course having the body and mind of a 30-or-so-year old. Cool, right? Of course this means you’ll have to work forever because you don’t look like you need a pension. (Benefit: you don’t have to pay for a pension plan!)

 

Is it all that rosy as it looks and sounds?

Still I have some thoughts and reservations about this.

In 2100 the world will have 10 billion people (this is the medium growth projection – check out this wikipedia page).

Overpopulation

Suppose none of these 10 billion will die and they will keep making new people that also don’t die. Do you see where I’m going? It will get very crowded on planet Earth. And they will all have to eat. Is there enough land remaining for growing crops? Are we going to have space stations that create food which is then shipped down?

I guess it won’t come to that. Not everyone will be able to afford getting their genes modified to live forever. Only the rich will. (They’ll make sure of that.) The regular people will just work and die. Die of cancer, bad food and diseases we still don’t know of now.

 

Then there are the jobs

robot workerMore and more jobs are taken over by computers, robots and other machinery. What will those 10 billion (and expanding) people do all day? Twiddle their thumbs? Kill each other? (Which wouldn’t surprise me, honestly.)

Another consideration. Procreation.

If something like this living forever idea becomes reality I would vote for sterilising the people who get to live forever. Imagine what will happen if people live forever and make more people that will live forever. There won’t be space to put all of them – unless they start killing off the people that don’t live forever. But then, considering that the rich ones will live forever… who will do the work? Oh, right. The robots I mentioned above. Isn’t that a nice future to look at?

Do you want to live forever?

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

I don’t. Even when there’s always something else I want to do, I’m sure that living forever will get boring at one point. Just let me live a nice life (hey, I work hard enough for it) and let me get out of it when I chose to.

I guess in the end there can be only one…