Armistice Day

This post was written 2 years ago.
Sun, 11 Nov 2018
The first time I became aware of a fundamental truth about war was when I was watching Fahrenheit 9/11 in 2004. At the end, Michael Moore is quoting George Orwell (this is put together from various pieces of a chapter in 1984):

"It's not a matter on whether the war is real, or if it is, Victory is not possible. The war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continuous. Hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance. This new version is the past, and no different past can ever have existed. In principle the war effort is always planned to keep society on the brink of starvation. The war is waged by the ruling group against it's own subjects and object is not the victory over Eurasia or East Asia, but to keep the very structure of society intact."

How many lives are lost in war, how much money is sucked into it that could so much better be spent elsewhere, how much are the wealthy benefiting from it?

I wonder if reason will prevail one day, and make war obsolete. I still believe in the ability of the Internet to connect people, and make them see that almost everybody just wants to live in peace. And bit by bit stop manipulation and dominance by those profiting from war.

We just watched a documentary made by Peter Jackson, who directed Lord of the Rings. It used real footage from WW1 large pieces of which were coloured in, and underlayed with realistic sound. At the beginning there were interviews and mostly black and white stills, or sometimes black and white video footage.

Matin made me watch it, I had not been aware of it and was also unsure if I wanted to see it. I think it was good I did though. You still cannot imagine what it must have been like, but you got a little closer. One thing it made me see was that a lot of time in the war was spent on preparation, or sitting in the trenches, the actual time fighting must have not been so much. And there were things like trench foot and sinking into mud (some boys and men died that way) that were horrific even without the fighting. But when they did fight it was absolute horror.

Watching this it seemed to me like a computer game come to live, and of course it is the other way round, computer games are modeled on this. But they really were players in a game, they did not even have something against the Germans in particular, they got along with them even (more the Bavarians and Saxons, not so much the Prussians which were disliked by their own countrymen it seems). They just did a job.

There are some uncomfortable truths in there. Even after having come through the war, men spoke of excitement and not wanting to have missed it. One also remembered that when news of the armistice broke they did not celebrate, they were too exhausted, and some didn't know what to do now, it was as if they had lost their job (this was one record, I wonder if it was different for some.) In effect, they did. They were often not wanted in jobs when they came back to their home towns. Some shops had signs that said "War veterans need not apply".

A lot of young men seemed to partly have signed on because they found their jobs boring. The war promised excitement.



I have written stuff in the past few days, but discarded it, so there is now a little hole in my November diary, but I think it is acceptable.

I have peen putting together my document on Codehub, I hope I will be able to finish it tomorrow. I had two nice chats today with Codehub people too. There is something about it that it has attracted the right people, and hopefully keeps attracting them. More to be written soon, I hope.

Tags: war /

This post was written 2 years ago.
Fri, 09 Nov 2018
What a weird day! For a substantial part of it I was quite downtrodden. It looks like I might have moved out of that now. We'll see.

Yesterday evening we did a workshop on TDD, and I thought it went well. But I think I might have missed some things. Also, it is always so very difficult to get feedback from people. That's probably part of the reason I did not like running workshops so much anymore.

I also really really hope I can finally sum up something like proposals for a future CodeHub and put it in front of some people. It is driving me mad. I cannot even explain it. For a long time it felt like I was giving birth to something. Now I just think I am nuts. And I would like to hand this over to others in the most elegant way possible and hope they will make something good out of it.

The thing is, there is obviously such a demand for it, we have people signing up every day. But I still think it promises too much. In a way that is not really my problem, if people don't feel it helps or they don't like it, they can just stay away. But still, I wish it helped them.

And a big thing about it is both the company, and feeling okay with where you are at. I want to model that as well. But I fear in the end I just look like a clueless fan girl that shouts "hooray, how great" at everything.



My daughter came home from a one day trip to Tyne Cot in Belgium, the site of World War I soldier cemeteries. It made a huge impression on her. One thing she noticed was how there was only a very small monument for the Indian soldiers while so many of them had faught in the war as well.

But when we were sitting at the dinner table and heard her talking about the trip, it was the sheer scale of the carnage that struck me again, and I find it so difficult to grasp. How could this ever happen? How do wars happen, how are young made to fight in them, I don't understand. This is the real madness.

Diary 6 and 7 November

This post was written 2 years ago.
Wed, 07 Nov 2018

Tuesday 6 November


I just enabled web monetization on two Codehub sites.

Wednesday 7 November


The above was all I wrote in the end for yesterday :) It again got really late, and it is late now, too! Today I spent about two hours this morning in a chat about a book and related topics. I am grateful that I have the freedom to do that.

Tomorrow we will have a TDD workshop with Codehub, and after that I hope I will be able to write a lot about plans and ideas for Codehub. I had been wanting to do that for a long time. I think this might be a good moment.

And, good night.

Tags: diary / november /

November diary

This post was written 2 years ago.
Mon, 05 Nov 2018
So I have just about managed to keep my resolution to write every day, but at the moment it is not more than a personal diary.


Friday 2 November


A book called Emergent Strategy, written by Adrienne Maree Brown, arrived today and I started reading it in the evening. It is very powerful and different from anything else I've read this year. And there's so much which I've always felt and known to be right.

It is happening a lot to me these days, reading things that somewhere deep down I knew to be true, but did not dare to believe when the competitive overzealous and violent spirit of our times tried to fuck with my brain over and over again.

Our only chance as humanity is the positive sum game instead of zero sum. Collaboration over competition.

Also, harm reduction versus Doing Good on your own privileged terms.

And as I'm at it, stop co-opting feminism and other activism for your elitist means and to make you feel better. Sometimes when I see 'for good' in an initiative's name, I want to run a mile, though I think I am wrong, I am sure they really do good things.



Saturday 3 November


It became late night again. I worked on a Haskell exercise that was not that complicated, and still it took me ages. But I don't mind so much. Each time certain pathways are made deeper and stronger in my brain.

The day before — with some help from Eleni — I dockerized my hatchling Django up which made me happy.



Sunday 4 November


It got so late again.

Of today I know exactly what I did. In the morning I drove my son and two mates from his football team to Bristol Manor Farm, then watched them play (a defeat unfortunately).

Then I spent about three hours (not exaggerating) in the bath tub reading Emergent Strategy.

Then I continued reading the book outside the bath, only interrupted by dinner, an episode of Dr Who and later reading from Harry Potter, which my daughter has returned to recently.

I have now finished Emergent Strategy. It is an extraordinary book. There is so much to take from it, and so much where I feel reaffirmed, but then it goes much further, into territory I had not even considered.

Something that has happened a lot in the past two years: Scales falling from my eyes. Again and again. Or I could say. I've got red-pilled, though that would happen only once :) maybe I got red-pilled and I'm just recognising more and more. Or do I? There must be so much more. In any case this book has further contributed to it.


Monday 5 November


It was bonfire night today, and also my 16th anniversary of moving to this country, and to Bristol.

We saw beautiful fireworks at Abbots Leigh. I had two cups of mulled cider.

Later I learned that my grand-uncle had died. He was 96. I had briefly visited him in the summer, on my way down to Munich. I am glad I saw him. I could hardly understand him when he talked, but I knew he recognised me and before I left he squeezed my hands and wished me all the best. 96 years. He has been there all my life, not always in my life so much, but this is another person from my past gone, and especially my mum's. And so many memories, there are people that nobody will remember anymore now, because he is gone. He could talk so lively about our ancestors, he was a keen researcher of our family history as well. I wish now I had recorded what he told us a few years ago when we all visited and he was still in good health.

Otherwise, I am still thinking a lot about Codehub and I want to write more about it.

Not tonight though.. Past 3 am AGAIN!

Tags: diary / november /

Sleepy Kat

This post was written 2 years ago.
Thu, 01 Nov 2018
To be honest, I am only writing this because I have set myself the target to write every day in November. And I cannot miss the first one! I cannot miss any of the days!

I will not create a new post for each day, but collect them in one post per week.

As always, there would be so much to write!

Re-reading the thing I wrote 10 days ago, I wish I was in that mood again. I whish I was in the presence of the spirit of Emma Goldman and fantasizing about anarchy in the UK.

There's never going to be anarchy or even minarchy, and I cannot even imagine what it would look like. I mean on the big scale. At the same time, you can get anarchic bubbles, where a group of people live in that way, independent of the state.

I recently read about a place in Catalonia created by Amir Taaki in "The Dark Net" by Jamie Bartlett. Then there is Rojava in Syria.

I quite admire David Graeber who actually tweets a lot about Rojava. He has also recently published a book called 'Bullshit Jobs' which started as an article. The article is enough for me, I don't think I need the book. It is weird, I think part of my huge inner resistance to look for a job is a, the fear I might land a bullshit job and b, I don't feel like working too many hours. You can call me lazy, I don't think I am. I just have a lot of interests, especially I like to read. I think it's what we all should do more, and think independently if such a thing is possible.

Then tonight I was at an event about "Reinventing work" which is about Teal organisations, and the ideas from the book Reinventing organisations by Frederic Laloux. It was very interesting. As to be expected it does not all look as rosy as Laloux depicts it in his book. It is sure good to have self-organising teams and less hierarchy, but the process of moving towards that can be quite difficult. It was an "open space" style, with no pre-set agenda, people suggested at the start what they wanted to talk about. In my group we talked about fear and the need to cover up your needs at work, and it was mainly about experiences some people had with their co-workers who were negative about the whole new "self-managing" style.

It is certainly true that work "is not working" for a lot of people, with huge levels of stress and impact on mental health; also a lot of terrible decisions get made at companies.

But I wonder if telling people to work more independently is going to cut it. What if we simply need more meaning in what we do as well? How do we move towards that? In a lot of industries, especially the PR and marketing ones, meaning is not a priority.

At the moment I see more meaning outside the world of work -- though there are jobs that have meaning, including in the tech industry, and I am going to look for them. But on the whole, could we not just work fewer hours in our paid jobs, and do more voluntary work besides it?

Night night - after 3am now, yawn

Tags: work / anarchy /