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zaterdag 27 augustus 2011


My Internet connection is down. Just gave up, while writing in an online editor. Bye, bye, social contacts. Bye, bye life as I know it

At least, for the last couple of years. Internet isn’t that old that I can’t remember the time before, working in a large studio, with real paint on canvas, and in dirty clothes. The time before Photoshop, Illustrator and all those other programs, which wandered the sweating and stunning artist into a prisoner, captured on a chair and to a screen. The big illusion of life nailed into 21 inch.

In the mean time it’s so long ago that we can’t live without helpdesks anymore. As a specialist I can solve most problems, but what when the signal goes down? When downstream and upstream are cut, before it reaches the working space?  Modem offline, and your whole life, as you know it, depends on others.

F*cking Hell! The phone down as well, using the same gateway as the Internet connection. Do I have to use my mobile for 65 cents per minute, plus costs. And the metal voice says to call back later, because of the long, and even longer cue. Jammed between bytes!

I try again, and again, and finally a sweet young voice whispers. I can imagine her, a student, clustered to a chair as I am, looking at a screen with my details, and the details of my modem. She’s only there for the small amount of money to make her studying life easier. Maybe I’m number 50 during her shift, and she doesn’t care in the least if I’m connected or not. Neither is she interested in what it costs to talk to her.

‘You’re offline, sir.’ And she can’t help it. It is not her to blame that my connection has fallen death to the past century, when we actually had to travel to meet someone.

‘I need it for my work.’ I can hear her breath. I even can hear her think. Not about my problem, but how much time lasts to her next break.

‘I have to send a mechanic.’
‘How long will that take?’
‘I don’t know, sir. You’re not the only one in your neighbourhood. It’s a general failure. Someone hit a cable, and we need to dig to solve the problem.’
‘Yes. And when can that be done?’
‘I don’t know, sir. Digging means licenses. We are depending on the local government. Bureaucracy, you see’, she smiles. ‘Four till six weeks…’
‘You can’t be serious… I depend on that connection.’ Her voice is even sweeter then before, but I could kill her, and kiss her at the same time. She’s not to blame, but however, she’s the one who triggers my anger. Six weeks, for god sake! ‘Can’t you do anything to speed things up?’
‘I’m sorry, sir. I wish I could…’ She waits, and hopes that I will disconnect. But I can’t. Her voice… She’s the only connection left. Six weeks! For 65 cents a minute I will keep her occupied for all the time it takes to re-establish my window to the world.

zaterdag 20 augustus 2011

if nature strike - so Fragile we are

How far the human race has come... From a naked species with bare hands to a world of technology connecting to every far corner of the world. From a most vulnerable creature to the false impression that almost nothing can harm us anymore. And then... nature strikes.

Of course we know. The tsunami in the East, Japan, Catharina. The kills after an earthquake, volcanic eruption. We know, but what wonders me is that we always look for who to blame.

Nature strikes, and the next thing is angry people questioning those who were unable to predict. Investigations follow, focusing on the scapegoat. A lot of time, effort and money wasted on something we simply cannot manage. How far we will ever grow in technological skills, there is one thing we will never rule...

At least I hope not if I look at the consequences...

Imagine: Us, the rulers of the world, the keepers of nature. But how will we rule? The Inuit will demand more ice, the holiday makers guaranty of sunshine. In LA and San Francisco they will forbid earthquakes, and the Japanese will strike the word 'tsunami' out of their dictionary. Imagine that it's possible. No storms, no damages, no victims, but one... The Globe itself.

The fat belly of the earth will grow, overloaded with gasses and unallowed hick-ups. Water will stop flowing, wind will fall, until... the collapse.

How far we have come technologically spoken, but in our minds we are still a bunch of cave-dwellers, angry on everything and everyone who is against us. Even if the one is nature itself.
But it's quite simple. Being born is accepting death. The grow-old way, the self-chosen way, or the way by accident, or violence. No one can avoid it. Being born is accepting the world we live on. This nasty and unpredictable erupting and up-throwing globe. And we like it. Otherwise I can´t explain why we are with so many. 7 billion, and growing. And the more we are, the more victims we will cause. It´s not nature to blame, nor the politicians, predictors, or system. It´s us, we ourselves, who became so many that there will be casualties every time nature strikes, and strikes again...

zondag 14 augustus 2011

Disinterest - Why violence?

It is always the small story which stamps its marks on history. Hitler had never become the brutal dictator if he had succeed as an artist and/ or was not bullied as the small boy he was.

This blog is not a plead or defence for tirans like him, but I can understand the rage build in years of pestering and neglectance. The disinterest for the other. A daily phenomenon in our growing and expanding society.

On one hand the fact that people don't even know their neighbours anymore, and on the other the vast way social media explodes, which gives us the illusion of global friendship. Until someone grabs a gun and starts killing...

The point of no return for an individual who can't cope nor understand that all the others are connected, and he is not. His last shout for being noticed. Then we awake for a short moment, especially when it happens in our own neighbourhood.

A worldwide disease, and perhaps it has always been: absolute disinterest for the other. The easy way more and more regulations are invented, without questioning the victims it's causing. Life, especially in the wealthy West, is expensive. In more then one way. Not only money-wise, and we seldom realize that not everyone can afford it. There is a major fallout going on. Social dropouts, unemployment and absolute loneliness translated in all kinds of addictions. We don't care until it happens...

...until the gun fires and kills...

And even then... We are shocked, call the one who made the statement a lunatic, maybe kill him where dead penalty still exists. We hide behind excuses, not facing that we created him, and that we keep continuing creating others. Not only don't we learn from the past, we don't even learn from the now!

To care, as a fact, is a simple way to avoid. Why drive when you are drunk, or where it is not allowed? Why punish someone because he is small, fat, or looks different? I know these are cliches, and that everyone who is on his mind will agree. And still we do. The measurement bigger then life, our own ego, and if it doesn't match we do not care. Fuck him, who can't pay his bills, doesn't have welfare, social security when he is ill... until... it happens...

dinsdag 9 augustus 2011

remarks with the global crisis

Humanity invented the economic system, the engine what makes our world go round, and humanity is destroying it. Will we stop turning?

Actuality is full of slogans to amplify the global crisis, which, in the mean time, is going on for years: financial and banking crisis, countries and their deficits, downfall of currencies... And all these headlines pinpoint at the same issue: it's time for a change...

Over the ages mankind invented a lot of systems to catch and pamper themselves, but all together they have the same goal: to try to find a way to get as much as possible with as less as possible effort. In fact we are a lazy species. It is easier to carry a wallet full of paper, or a thin piece of plastic, then a cart full of goods to trade... And that is where we trapped ourselves.

In our way up to the commercial society, in which we are today, we grabbed the hand of greed. We bagged our lives in slogans and bought them, thinking without, life is meaningless, or even impossible.

It's just a system we are about to loose, a system invented by the Dutch VOC, and perfectionated in the US. But never the less: it's a system, and systems can be replaced. To survive or go on as mankind, systems in itself are irrelevant. We are not lead by it, even if we think so. And when a system has to many leaps it's about time to look for something different.

Better? I don't know. But nothing we ever invented lasts until eternity. Banks were not always there, neither was money. And if we are looking for the cause of today's world wide disaster, we can only look at ourselves. All of us are to blame!

We all want more and better, without thinking of lasting possibilities in future. We just don't care as long as we as individuals live in the house we want, drive the car we preferre, and can buy the goods we are slammed with on TV and Internet. Of course it has to come to an end: greed also makes victims who don't accept that they have less. And as soon as those victims become the majority they will stand up against what they feel as unfair.

We experience the riots, manifestations and demonstrations. Not only in the Arabic world, but also in our own backyard. London is burning, a so called idiot shoots civilians in Norway, copied of what happens on a regular base in the US. We saw the riots in Paris, the demonstrations in Madrid. The world is full of violence, and it's growing. All this is not because people are satisfied or happy. They make a statement, if we like it or not!

It's about time that everyone of us realizes that short time profits can turn against us on the long run. Wealth can only exist for a few. That may be a hard reality to swallow, but that's what wealth is about: having more then others. Said that, it's stupid to think that "those others" will except it forever...

zondag 7 augustus 2011

Na enkele weken te zijn weggeweest

Verhuizen geeft veel rompslomp. Het is een hoop werk, en allerlei andere zaken komen niet meer aan bod. Zeker als je ook nog een fulltime job hebt die inclusief reistijd ruim 50 uur van je tijd afknabbelt.

Ik geef eerlijk toe dat ik hondsmoe was, de eerste paar weken in mijn nieuwe baan. Aanpassen aan de nieuwe arbeidsethiek en tot 9 en half uur aan de telefoon, waarna je kop zoemt als een nijdig horzelnest. Sinds een paar weken weet ik waarom helpdesks een slechte reputatie hebben.

Niet omwille van het niveau van de medewerkers die in het algemeen over voldoende kennis beschikken, maar wel de werkdruk. Gesprek na gesprek totdat je afgestompt zelf nog nauwelijks weet wat een internetverbinding is. Mensen bellen voor de gekste dingen. Als hun pc het laat afweten heeft de provider het gedaan. Het ligt lang niet altijd aan het signaal als klanten klagen.

De dronkaard die denkt dat "zijn internet" is gehackt, waarom hij niet meer op MSN kan. De muisaanwijzer die bevriest, en het komt niet in de beller zijn hoofd op dat de muis wellicht aan vervanging toe is. Oude spullen, onkunde en volkomen digibetisme bevolken de telefoonlijnen, om maar te zwijgen van de tallozen die gewoon om een praatje verlegen zitten. Wie kan daar tegenop, en wie verwondert het nog dat wachttijden oplopen en een metalige stem tenslotte adviseert op een later tijdstip terug te bellen.

De helpdesk als moderne klaagmuur en zondebok voor al wat mis kan gaan.  Als er iets is dat ik de afgelopen weken heb geleerd is het wel dat de mensheid de nieuwste religie heeft ontdekt: het altaar van Internet. Alleen zijn de lijnen korter. Ging men vroeger te biecht, en staarde in het donker naar de abstracte God die wel of niet vergiffenis bood. Tegenwoordig pakt men de telefoon en belt, al dan niet gratis, naar de vervangende priester van de helpdesk die het af laat weten zodra blijkt dat het verwachte wonder niet in vervulling gaat.