Category Archives: Commentary

Has it been written? – Library of Babel

LibraryOfBabelSnapshotI came across the Library of Babel some time ago, yet it continues to intrigue me and allows me to indulge in the more philosophical aspects of my brain. In short, it’s a system that allows for mathematically generated text to be created and destroyed and recalled instantly. It’s a gem of literary creativity, even if isn’t technically a human literary achievement. As taken from their website (which you should really go explore, if only to marvel at the very concept of mathematically generated text), it states that:

“The Library of Babel is a place for scholars to do research, for artists and writers to seek inspiration, for anyone with curiosity or a sense of humor to reflect on the weirdness of existence … completed, it would contain every possible combination of 1,312,000 characters … it would contain every book that ever has been written, and every book that ever could be …  At present it contains all possible pages of 3200 characters, about 104677 books.”

This means that every book, blog post, tweet, facebook update, article, etc. ever written or consumed exists out there. Which means everything that can possibly be written already has been “written”, regardless of whether it’s ever been committed to paper or even conceived. Which reminds me of Terry Pratchett’s L-space or Neil Gaiman’s Lucien’s library or any other hypothetical space where everything written simultaneously does and does not exist, just like that concept you wanted to work on, that poem you wanted to write about your last date, or that next entry in your diary. It’s in there… It just hasn’t been generated and exposed to the world. Not yet at least. But the concept also creates a lot of questions.

Are there be masterpieces of poetry hidden inside, waiting to be discovered rather than written? If I found one, can I publish it as my own? Or is that already someone else’s intellectual property? Or would the act of finding it bring it to existence? Furthermore, can I ever hope to be original? If what I’m writing has already been written, does it mean I plagiarized it, even if I wasn’t aware of its existence or it wasn’t written by a human or at least with human intent? Is the Library of Babel art? Should the entire idea or concept be considered an art project, or a mere exercise of mathematical magics? If so, what does it mean?

I don’t have answers to any of these questions, nor do I pretend to have any. Most art comes from, or references, other art and the Library of Babel certainly references other pieces of work. In fact it references every piece of work, real and in potentia, but not explicitly so. Maybe it’s a metaphor for the creative process or a maybe it’s just a machine that recreates something that does or doesn’t really exist yet. I don’t know. But it makes me wonder.

What do you think? What does this project say about creativity, about writing in general and about plagiarism? Does it say anything at all? And just to be clear, this blog post already exists/existed in Babel.

Let me know and do like, share and subscribe. Stay tuned!

Reviewing 2015

Oh hi, didn’t see you there. Almost welcome to 2016. Isn’t it nice? The last day of the year. Time for reminiscing and planning, looking back and forward, and possibly regretting a bunch of major and minor incidents that you’ve experienced. I hope it was good and wish you a great 2016, and if you’re following the blog, then thank you very much for your readership.

Yes, I am indeed swirling a lovely tumbler of Talisker Dark Storm while typing this and enjoying a bit of time off during the season. Did you get the books you clearly wanted for Christmas? No?! Then you should probably go out and buy them yourself (next year) and swallow that lump of disappointment like a particularly dry piece of turkey. Have some whiskey with it. It helps. 

So how has writing and reading worked out for me this year? Well, the WordPress helper monkeys prepared an annual report for me, if you’re interested.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,400 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 23 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

The blog has been particularly bothersome for me since I never made an actually a plan and to be fair, I still haven’t. Like any project it has evolved and I hope to greatly expand it (maybe even draft a plan – the horror). I did write more and I plan to increase my output.

So in 2016 you can look forward to a weekly post from my new fictional diary of Archi, the potentially mad scientist, a monthly-ish post on either reading, writing or something else related to it, and possibly a few book reviews.

Naturally the 52 books in 52 weeks challenge failed spectacularly in 2015, like Goodreads was kind enough to inform me. But 18 books is nothing to sneer at and I leave quite a few unfinished ones for my total for 2016. I’ll update my page accordingly soon.

Screenshot 2015-12-31 18.45.38

Right now it’s time to start prepping food, go see friends and make vague overarching resolutions that I have little intention or motivation to keep. Except to “write more” and “be happy”.

On that note, I wish all of you a happy New Year and a great 2016.
Thank you so much for your readership. I hope you will hang around. Cheers…

 

Spoiler Alert (on movie trailers)

terminator-genisys-hes-back-poster-7f1

Spoilers are the bane of any lover of surprises, twists and intrigue in stories. And in our hyper-connected social media age they are damn near impossible to avoid. So I do my best to attempt the impossible. Sure, I’ll watch the official announcement for a movie and possibly the first trailer a few times, but as a rule I try to avoid them afterwards. If I talk to friends and co-workers about it, I usually state that I don’t want spoilers of any kind. I like my surprises to remain surprising. Continue reading Spoiler Alert (on movie trailers)

Censorship (I said BAN that Book)

myticketBefore I go off all ranty and stuff, I would encourage you to go skim this wiki page on books banned by governments. It’s not only depressing, but also discouraging that governments, normally not considered oppressive or totalitarian, are on this list. Time to get ranty then. Continue reading Censorship (I said BAN that Book)

Reviewing 2014

Welcome to 2015! I hope you had a great 2014, if not, then it’s finally over and 2015 is going to be so much better. So, how to review my reading and writing in 2014? Well… Abject failure is one way although that would probably be overstating it, as I did actually read and write stuff, just not at the level I hoped for. Continue reading Reviewing 2014

The Deification of Books

20130622_132048Books influence my reality. Or at least my perception of reality. It becomes more intensely packed with potential excitement, packed with elements of joy and hope, and sorrow and shock, and promises to fill me with truth. The content of any given book might not be the truth in a philosophical sense, but the book itself and the printed letters inside promise something that is true. Whether it’s true, as in aligned with reality, is a different question. It’s the inherent a promise that resonates with my inner self. Continue reading The Deification of Books

Enter the Sucker Punch!

I wrote a fight (no relation to this cinematic travesty). It was a good fight; a highly stylised action sequence, gorgeously executed in prose, our protagonist cutting through swathes of cookie cutter henchmen with the grace of Summer Glau and the efficiency of Germans.

It was masterful. It was epic.It was fraking boring. Continue reading Enter the Sucker Punch!

Formspring is Dead, Long Live Formspring

[Update, April 23. 2013: This post was written before the news of Formspring, as the link shows, was given a second chance. So hopefully the service will keep going.]

Another one of the cool little places on the internet is dying (probably dead by the time you read this).  It’s not the end of the world, but I enjoyed going to Formspring.me from time to time to answer a few questions and browse through other people’s answers and comments. A kind of acceptable voyeurism.

cropped-formspring-logo

Especially Formspring’s “Question of the Day”, which could incredibly inane, provided a lot of amusement. And, as I learned from a former colleague, can provide some insight (and amusement) to people, whom are just getting to know you and are too scared of your bald head, broad shoulders and steely blue eyes to ask the first questions.

I joined as a user in August of 2011 after hearing about the service in a Bad Philosophy podcast and kept at least a little bit active until now. Below are all my posts reproduced for your benefit. It seems sad to me that this kind of creative outlet apparently can’t attract and maintain a sufficient user base and that all that data will be lost (they intend to delete it at this time) to us.

Oh well… The internet marches on relentlessly. Enjoy and please comment.

  • Reppin1000 on 28 Feb 2013
    If you had to change your hair color, what color would you choose?
    Ehmm…. I have no comment to that.
  • Reppin1000 responded to Formspring on 27 Feb 2013
    What cartoon character is most like you?
    Some odd combination of Darkwing Duck, Earthworm Jim and the Iron Giant.
  • Reppin1000 on 1 Jan 2013
    Would you rather be really hot or really cold?
    Hot, hotter, smoookin!
  • Reppin1000 on 1 Jan 2013
    Would you rather be rich or famous?
    Neither… I would choose influential over both…
  • Reppin1000 on 1 Jan 2013
    What is the first word that you said as a baby?
    “Excuse me Doctor, could you hand me that towel? Its been a long trip”….
  • Reppin1000 on 1 Jan 2013
    When it comes to money, are you a spender or a saver?
    Money is a tool like any other. One should put it to good use, whether that’s spending or saving.
  • Reppin1000 responded to Formspring on 3 Nov 2012
    What expression do you use a lot?
    “Excellent”…
  • Reppin1000 responded to Formspring on 1 Nov 2012
    Where are you?
    Don’t look behind you! I’m under your mouse pad…
  • Reppin1000 responded to Formspring on 21 Oct 2012
    On vacation: sight-seeing or relaxing?
    Adventuring….
  • Reppin1000 responded to Formspring on 22 Sep 2012
    What foreign language do you wish you spoke?
    Urdu, Afrikaans/Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Latin, Swahili and and and… Why just pick one?!
  • Reppin1000 responded to Formspring on 12 Sep 2012
    Do you get news by televison, newspaper or Internet?
    I get news from television, newspaper AND the Internet. Generally I don’t get news from “television” much.
  • Reppin1000 on 6 Sep 2012
    What’s your approach to making your bed?
    Non-existent.
  • Reppin1000 on 5 Sep 2012
    Do you believe in life after death?
    No. There is no evidence that life (as we know it) has any elements (read; soul or essence) that can survive the process.
    And I would never live as if there is. To think the best comes after this life, is to miss out on all the awesomeness that’s all around you.
  • Reppin1000 responded to Formspring on 1 Sep 2012
    How do you celebrate when you win?
    With lots of wine, good female company, tons of in your face comments, supremely annoying gloating and the usual graceless behavior.
  • Reppin1000 responded to Formspring on 25 Aug 2012
    Do you exercise?
     Of course. I try to keep healthy and maintain a body able to compete in various activities. Running, mountain biking, swimming, climbing, etc. Being active should be central to a good life. It keeps you happy, healthy and ensures you look good naked!
  • Reppin1000 responded to Formspring on 24 Aug 2012
    What are three AWESOME things about you?
    Me, myself and I.
  • Reppin1000 responded to Formspring on 24 Aug 2012
    What would you save first if there was fire in your room?
    My ass…. Then my awesome bag (which contains all my other cool and important stuff).
  • Reppin1000 responded to Formspring on 24 Aug 2012
    Do you have a loud or quiet sneeze?
     I have a language sneeze. I will sneeze intelligible words and phrases aimed at confusing and annoying my enemies.
  • Reppin1000 responded to Formspring on 12 Jun 2012
    If you owned a store, what would you sell?
    Magical curiosities harvested from worlds and realities beyond our own, with a side specialty in pocket watches and wrist cannons.
  • Reppin1000 responded to Formspring on 23 Apr 2012
    If you had a free day with no work and no school, how would you spend it?
    Locating more work or fun! Projects are kinda work any way. But work is fun! Or should be…
  • Reppin1000 responded to Formspring on 23 Apr 2012
    Do you spend too much time on the internet?
    Define being to the internet? I keep constant access to the major web services I use via my smart phone and usually plan and collaborate work/play/projects online, consume much online content, etc. So… all my time? Lets say 90 percent. Seems accurate enough.
  • Reppin1000 responded to Formspring on 5 Apr 2012
    What’s your favorite way to workout? In the gym, playing a team sport, taking a class or some other way?
    Anything outside. Pushing myself on a bike, running or similar. I do not need a gym as an excuse to work out. Would rather spend that money on a cool gadget or a healthy snack as a reward.
  • Reppin1000 responded to Formspring on 5 Apr 2012
    3D Movies – silly or awesome?
    Silly and stupid. Even with the technical advances since its last few inceptions, 3D has consistently failed to impress me. I do not understand why content providers feel that 3D immersion and cool effect can augment/replace the pleasure of a carefully crafted story, an engaging narrative or exciting plot twist.
  • Reppin1000 responded to Formspring on 29 Mar 2012
    Are you bossy?
    I am firm and consistent.
  • Reppin1000 responded to Formspring on 13 Mar 2012
    Do you think the glass is always half full or always half empty? Are you an optimist or a pessimist?
    Well… A proper whiskey or cognac should never take up more than a quarter of the glass, so the aroma can be properly enjoyed. But my initial gut reaction would be “who the fuck served me half a beer?!”On the whole optimist/pessimist thing… I would call myself a practical optimist. See and hope for the good, but dont expect it first off the bat…
  • Reppin1000 responded to Formspring on 13 Mar 2012
    How loud do you prefer your music?
    I’m sorry… I cant hear you over the tinny background noise inside my head.
  • Reppin1000 responded to Formspring on 10 Mar 2012
    Can you snap your fingers?
    Indeed. With both hands and my left foot (if you count toes).
  • Reppin1000 responded to Formspring on 28 Feb 2012
    If you had to pick, would you rather get into a fight with a zombie or a vampire? Why?
    On one level I could probably take out the Zombie pretty easily. Note I am thinking the classical slow moving Zombie, and not the Zoombies of more modern making (think Left for Dead/Left for Dead 2 versions). A slow moving target with extremely limited ability and intelligence, not a problem. 
    A vampire with super human abilities, few actual vulnerable areas and human level intelligence does not bode well for my odds of survival.However… Were I in very real danger of attack and infection by either, I would choose the Vampire. At least then I would have a chance to become a creature of the night and stalk a little human prey.
  • Reppin1000 responded to Formspring on 28 Feb 2012
    Have you ever stayed awake all night?
    It may have happened once or twice. Considering I have worked nights, had a social life and had limited levels of insomnia, then yes… Probably once or twice.
  • Reppin1000 on 21 Feb 2012
    How many rings before you answer the phone?
    0.000001. I’m psychic like that.
  • Reppin1000 on 21 Feb 2012
    Do you like sweet or savory things more?
    Savory. There are more interesting options and a more diverse register of flavors within that group. Plus… Sweet is overrated and ruins your teeth. True story, ask a dentist before he/she gets their fingers in your mouth.
  • Reppin1000 responded to Formspring on 18 Feb 2012
    What’s your favorite pair of shoes?
    My fav shoes at any one time are usually my running shoes, regardless of what type or brand they are. Though if I could choose I would go barefoot (or wear Vibram Five Fingers) all the time.
  • Reppin1000 responded to Formspring on 6 Feb 2012
    When was the last time you got in trouble? What did you do?
    Define trouble. I would argue that trouble is a kind of crisis between rules and expectations, and by that definition I am always in “trouble”. So I live the dream I suppose.
  • Reppin1000 on 6 Feb 2012
    If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what food would you choose?
    Good food!
  • Reppin1000 responded to Formspring on 6 Feb 2012
    What do you like to do when you are feeling sick?
    I stop being sick and be awesome instead. And when that doesn’t work, then I hide in my bed and refuse to come out for anything other than food, painkillers or sex.
  • Reppin1000 on 6 Feb 2012
    Who has made the biggest difference in your life so far?
    There is no single person that I would point to, that has made the “biggest” difference, since I have been lucky to meet tons of inspirational and talent people that have change me personally and professionally.
  • Reppin1000 on 6 Feb 2012
    Who inspires you the most?
    The people I work intimately on a daily basis in my volunteer work. AIESEC, the organization, continues to inspire me and the people around me to do more/better, and the more I am around them, the more I feel inspired.
  • Reppin1000 responded to Formspring on 4 Jan 2012
    Would you rather text or talk?
    Talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk!
  • Reppin1000 responded to Formspring on 11 Dec 2011
    Who’s your favorite superhero?
     The Shadow. Both the original radio based version and Baldwins version from the movie.
  • Reppin1000 on 11 Dec 2011
    Which is more awesome? Aalborg or Odense?
    Hmm… How am I suppose to choose between to inferior cities? They are both nice, but awesome? I think not.
  • Reppin1000 responded to Formspring on 11 Dec 2011
    How do you generally get around – walk, bike, drive, public transportation or some other way?
    Depends on the season, but I prefer walking and biking in general.
  • Reppin1000 responded to Formspring on 11 Dec 2011
    Pepsi or Coke?
    Pepsi Max ftw!
  • Reppin1000 responded to Formspring on 25 Nov 2011
    Would you rather be older or younger?
    I’m good with the age I am now. I don’t feel or young. From the perspective of health, then I would prefer younger. 🙂
  • Reppin1000 responded to Formspring on 22 Nov 2011
    What is your favorite type of sandwich?
    Ill argue that a bagel counts as a sandwich. Wholewheat bagel w. hummus, chicken and bacon, tomato, lettuce, onion,cucumber, olives, cheddar and a little bit of olive oil. Optional: Some kind of flavored vitamin water. Just to round it off.
  • Reppin1000 on 19 Nov 2011
    If you were offered the job of U.S. president would you take the job?
    No. I don’t care for politics and find the position laden with risk for too little reward.
  • Reppin1000 on 19 Nov 2011
    What would your dream job look like?
     Considering everything, then there is no dream job. There are wishful circumstances that one could desire though. Being able to develop personally and professionally being no. 1, freedom to take extended breaks for other projects (like Adventure Racing and similar) no. 2, a circle of colleagues from all around the world willing to share their experiences and knowledge as no. 3. Free lunch and stuff would be nice, but who gives a fuck about that.
  • Reppin1000 responded to Formspring on 11 Nov 2011
    What’s one thing you want to do before the end of 2011?
    Have my training and working schedules integrated effectively. Structure never hurt anyone (severely) and might actually give me the energy I want to work smarter.
  • Reppin1000 responded to Formspring on 6 Nov 2011
    Rock, paper or scissors?
    Spock!
  • Reppin1000 responded to Formspring on 5 Nov 2011
    Has anything ever been stolen from you?
    My bike, my wallet, my food, my dignity… Damn this harsh reality!
  • Reppin1000 responded to Formspring on 1 Nov 2011
    Are you a competitive person?
    Do I win if I say yes?
  • Reppin1000 responded to Formspring on 26 Oct 2011
    What’s your favorite day of the year?
    Every-day! Its an awesome day!
  • Reppin1000 on 11 Oct 2011
    Can you picture what your life will be like in 5 years?
    No. Only that it will be awesome.
  • Reppin1000 on 5 Oct 2011
    Would you rather go out for dinner or cook at home?
    Cooking at home is so much cooler… Especially when you’re as good as I am.
  • Reppin1000 on 27 Sep 2011
    If you could only listen to one song for the next month, which would it be?
    “The virtue of silence” as produced by the quiet day group, supported by the hush group and the mixed by nobody. The beat is so soft.
  • Reppin1000 on 27 Sep 2011
    What was your favorite year?
    Probably one to come.
  • Reppin1000 on 27 Sep 2011
    Do you consider yourself a good dancer?
    I would say a decent dancer. I think enthusiasm can make up for a lack of skill.
  • Reppin1000 on 21 Sep 2011
    Can money buy happiness?
    No, but it can make dreams come true, thereby making it more plausible.
  • Reppin1000 on 21 Sep 2011
    If you were given a brand new yacht, what would you name it?
    The Odyssey. Part a need to select epic names for epic vehicles (you were unspecific about the type and purpose of the craft) and part being a Star gate fanboy.
  • Reppin1000 on 15 Sep 2011
    What’s the kindest thing someone has ever done for you?
    Gave me a hug and a kind word when needed the most.
  • Reppin1000 on 14 Sep 2011
    How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
    Between 10 mins and 6 hours. Depends a bit on the day…
  • Reppin1000 on 14 Sep 2011
    If you could look like anybody, who would it be?
    That guy in the mirror. He is extremely good looking!
  • Reppin1000 on 14 Sep 2011
    What’s your favorite genre of music?
    Currently a combination of Jazz and electronic lounge.
  • Reppin1000 on 14 Sep 2011
    Cats or Dogs?
    Dogs. Cats are scary.
  • Reppin1000 responded to Formspring on 13 Sep 2011
    What’s your favorite app on your mobile phone?
    My Nike+ Gps running app. Sorry Formspring.
  • Reppin1000 responded to Formspring on 12 Sep 2011
    What song makes you get up and dance?
    Daler Mehndi w. Tunak Tunak Tun
  • Reppin1000 on 4 Sep 2011
    When it comes to money, are you a spender or a saver?
    If you have it, share it!
  • Reppin1000 on 28 Aug 2011
    Do you believe in aliens or life on other planets?
    Considering the size of the universe, the number of potential planet capable of sustaining life, the age of the universe, the lack of anything special or anything supernatural about our planet, then yes. I very much believe in aliens.
  • Reppin1000 on 27 Aug 2011
    Do you like to play video games?
    Naturally
  • Reppin1000 on 26 Aug 2011
    What was the last book you read?
    Ghost Story by Jim Butcher
  • Reppin1000 on 26 Aug 2011
    What is your secret weapon?
    A cool combination of …, ………, …….. and ……. that will make me unstoppable.
  • Reppin1000 on 25 Aug 2011
    What was the best advice you’ve ever received?
    “Do it now”!
  • Reppin1000 on 25 Aug 2011
    Would you rather be a zombie or a mummy?
    Whats the difference… A mummy is just a zombie covered in bandages.
  • Reppin1000 on 25 Aug 2011
    What’s the longest you’ve ever gone without a bath or shower?
    A week at Roskilde Festival in 2001
  • Reppin1000 on 25 Aug 2011
    How would you describe your style?
    A mix of classical pieces, thrift store cool, military chic and me i.e. stylish, cool and durable.
  • Reppin1000 on 25 Aug 2011
    Where’d you find out about Formspring?
    Through the podcast Bad Philosophy
  • Reppin1000 on 25 Aug 2011
    If you had the opportunity to live one year of your life over again, which year would you choose?
    The period between summer 2007 and summer 2008.
  • Reppin1000 on 24 Aug 2011
    If you could go on vacation for the next month with an unlimited budget, where would you go?
    I would hire a personal jet and criss cross the world visiting Moscow, Tokyo, Melbourne, Cape Town and any other city I would have deemed relevant. Then I would go to Cape Canaveral, have the Space Shuttle put into Service just for me, be launched into low earth orbit and spend the final week there. Good company included.
  • Reppin1000 on 23 Aug 2011
    Who’s the most overrated athlete?
    Tiger Woods. Its golf ffs.
  • Reppin1000 on 23 Aug 2011
    Can I be anonymous?
    In an increasingly Big Brotherish world the concept of anonymity is under attack The technology is in place to track every message to its source and to continually track any one mobile user. So no, in this context anonymity is not possible. The culture of surveillance, or potential surveillance, is becoming accepted though our consumption of traceable goods and lessening of the culture of privacy. So no… You cant. 
    And I can see you from here Miss L.
  • Reppin1000 on 22 Aug 2011
    How do you like your eggs cooked for breakfast?
    As part of my bacon pancakes!
  • Reppin1000 on 22 Aug 2011
    If you could time travel, where would you go?
    I would go forwards in time, just enough to see the effects of global warming. And pick up a few stock tips and tech news. You know, for the greedy geek in me.
  • Reppin1000 on 18 Aug 2011
    If your house was on fire and you could only grab three things, what would they be?
    My pants, my phone and my mind, since I would be wondering when I had gotten a house.
  • Reppin1000 on 18 Aug 2011
    Do you have a nickname?
    Yes
  • Reppin1000 on 18 Aug 2011
    if you had to go to the amazon jungle and could only bring five things from home, what would it be?
    Absinthe, machete, Iphone (w. solar charger and no that is not cheating), all my underwear and my boots.
  • Reppin1000 on 17 Aug 2011
    If you were stranded on a desert island, which one person would you bring with you?
    The one person who could get me home.
  • Reppin1000 on 17 Aug 2011
    If you could instantly become an expert at one style of dance, what style would you pick?
    Tango
  • Reppin1000 on 17 Aug 2011
    If you could bring anything home from a hotel room, what would you take?
     Room service!