Moving in - Status Update 
Thursday, 28 .August, 2008, 00:43 - English Entries, Thoughts
This year I will make enough miles to get my Lufthansa gold card again, but that is nothing compared to the Ikea platinum status I soon will get. I am drowning in cardboard waste (the stuff that Ikea furniture is wrapped in) and wait for UN forces to carry them down in order keep peace in my new flat.

During the weekend a good friend a colleague from Norway visited me and we put up some stuff that I could not manage alone. It was raining, so I did not have to feel bad, that he did not see much of Vienna.

And tomorrow my stuff will finally arrive from Helsinki. Oh I look forward to my bed. I bought it in January in Espoo (Ikea, of course) and it is the best bed I ever had. It is ok to sleep in Hotels during travels, but it is not ok to sleep on a sofa at home.

Besides all that I am now the owner of a drilling machine and feel even more like a real man than I anyhow do since I am five. I also own a ventilator now and the most comfortable office chair that one (at Ikea) could think of.

Next Wednesday I will get my DSL connection (so far I am connected via my mobile phone) - so I gain back my humanity. And from Sunday to Thursday my daughter will visit me. Well, actually (I have to tell this), she (15 years old) visits Vienna with her boyfriend. I am only the sleeping location for her. Children become people, the wise man said.

Greetings from Vienna
Georg


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Freedom of Speech 
Thursday, 09 .March, 2006, 05:03 - English Entries, Travel, Music, Thoughts, Politics

Bob Dylans life once was saved thanks to freedom of speech. He reports about this exceptional event in the very educational and entertaining song Motorpsycho Highway, in which he can only escape from a patriotic American farmer by pretending to be very fond of Fidel Castro (and his beard). Besides that, this song includes violence, shooting, a daring jump out of a window as well as a not very much hidden invitation for having sex, i.e.: all the things that you really miss from modern music.

As said already I am currently in China and the hotel that I am staying in provides a desktop PC in every room, including broadband internet access. It is worth switching it on. After chosing the English version Windows 98 comes up and everything looks normal. Great. So what was the name of the place around here, at which this big Buddha statue is located? Just type in http://en.wikipedia.org and ... uuups: Error message. Maybe the network is down. But no, http://www.spiegel.de comes up fine.

After several tries it became clear, that I could just not access Wikipedia from here. I was not sure whether it is generally blocked from China or it is just not available due to additional security measurements in this hotel, and found more on this issue at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship_in_mainland_China.

What do we learn from this? Maybe that you do not need freedom of speech if you can express your preferences for Castro without running into problems. Maybe that every blocked page is in good company. Maybe that you need to experience a restriction yourself to find out about what it really means.

What I appreciate is the internet access via my mobile phone (GPRS). It connects to the network via Finland and there is no blocking inbetween. Maybe it's after all not too bad to work in this industry.


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Welcome back to the dark ages - my personal outrage and doubts about religion 
Saturday, 04 .March, 2006, 15:48 - English Entries, Thoughts, Politics, Religion

On September 30th, 2005 the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published several cartoons that depicted the islamic prophet Muhammed and made fun of extreme islamic views. These cartoons caused demonstrations of so-called fundamentalist muslims in many Arab but also European countries. Some of these demonstrations caused riots and other forms of brutality. In Europe we had nothing better to do than the question the right for freedom of speech.

The question is, whether we should further restrict our personal freedom in order to not make other people angry. The people who get angry about jokes is the usual fanatic crowd: believers in a super-natural entity that created the world and nowadays obviously cares shit about it. I thought we had enough people in the European past who shut up just to not get killed (for example this guy) - and others who opend their mouth one time too many and were then used as fire wood (as it happend to this person).

I see no reason why I should be tolerant towards a person who believes in something that cannot be proven and who derives actions from this believe. If these people would at least talk with a common voice, but they all have different values and ideas about the perfect world and its maker.

And my dear Christians, this is also true for you. I am sure that your nearly 2000 year old political organization ("the church") will use any weakness of modern society to gain power again and feed people with thoughts of guilt and fear. I do not make any difference here between catholic, orthodox, protestant or whatsoever churches - please note that explicitly. Any believe that teaches about something that cannot be noticed by our senses and that can only be explained by contradicting nearly everything that science found out during the last several thousand years, is either totally crazy or used to keep people stupid. The momentary problem of the church is, that it has a hard time to establish a society as e.g. in Iran or Syria.

Yes, Christianity is all about love and kindness. That sounds good, but actually I do not remember that human rights were derived from the Bible or from any Christian organizations publication. As far as I remember our ancestors had to fight for any of their freedoms and later on some pope or bishop said that they agree to the new liberty and that it is (somehow) in-line with god, the bible and the church.

But still, what I write here has no base in todays reality. It is clear that we are here in the free world, uninfluenced by strange believes, and some countries in the middle- and far-east are under the dictatorship of religous fanatics. Is it so? Read the newspapers!

Today I had to read that Tony Stupid Blair said, that it was Gods decision to send British troops to Iraq. Oh sorry Tony, I missed that part of modern history. Maybe the creator just visited your flat when no camera was present. Maybe he let a fart and you mis-interpreted it. Maybe you were drunk. Whatever the reason was - you should have been wise enough to keep your mouth shut about it.

We already know that ex-alcoholic George W. Bush believes, that his mission in Iraq (and Afgahnisatan) is in-line with the will of the holy trinity, that nobody can understand and therefore you just have to believe in.

Wow! We are again in an age of religious wars. I do not doubt a second that George and Tony are true believers and that at least part of their statements are true. They believe in god and at least as much in their mission. Isn't that cool? We most likely never left the age of crusades.

Welcome back to the dark ages! If you saw some light during the last years, it was just a moral irritation.

And then again: I am doubtful by how this all teaches me that I am not as tolerant that I have thought. During this last month somebody stepped on the accelerator and lots of others were willing to speed up as well. Maybe we run towards a conflict, I don't know, I don't want to make any stupid prophecy. But I am concerned that it is so easy to take a clear position in this dispute - and how hard it is to understand the other side. I am surprised how strong I believe that our society is better to live in than any other currently existing or that ever existed before. I would like to doubt myself, but it does not work, the moment I hear something from any religous camp I can at best just shake my head.

In the end it is about belief. There is no right and wrong without belief. Some people say, they feel that there is a higher order in this world, there must be a meaning behind all this. I do not think so. I think, whoever searches for a bigger meaning is taking him- or herself too important. We are not important. All that is here was caused by chance and accident and we are just one product of a long serious of meaningless happenings. Our problem is, that we look up in the sky and want to explain what we see. That's how we came up with flash-throwing gods that transform into animals and make love to innocent princesses. But more and more we find out, that we can explain the mysteries by scientific means and that we find no reason why the things are as they are. We find constants, numbers, formulas, but no guidance how to live our lifes. And if you ask 100 people what is right, you will get at least 150 opinions.

A religion is a man made system that tries to give guidance. But we are walking faster than religion can adjust its rules. We are asking questions to which ancient books cannot give answers. We experience daily that there is no right or wrong, that there are only possiblities and taking them or leaving them will change our future. That's why I think religion is wrong - because it prentends to have answers, that do not exist. Because it takes away one of the true wonders that humans can experience: the doubt over something that they are able to do.

And that is finally why I think we should not be too friendly and too tolerant towards any kind of religous outburst either here or somewhere else. It is important to stay grounded on the few facts we have about our existence and not to start flying into metaphysical spheres. It is not that we have to teach others our view of the world, but we have to protect our freedom. That might sound militant or aggressive to some. It is not. Look again who started the violence and point out the one person, that did not have a religious background.


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A good reason not to learn the Finish language 
Thursday, 23 .February, 2006, 09:19 - English Entries, Finland, Thoughts

"Why do you not learn the Finish language?"

Up till now I only had excuses, when somebody asked this question. My answers sounded like: "I am too often away from Finland, I cannot attend a regular course" or "In my old age it is terrible hard to learn a new language" or "Finns anyhow talk English to you when they hear that your Finish is not perfect - because they are friendly". But let's admit it: if I would put some effort into it, I might at one day learn it. I am just too lazy (surprise surprise).

But then - when you live in Finland, you come across these words that you have no idea what they mean and they just sound great. They sound even - I dare to say it - poetic. Once you speak a language you forget the sound of the words (or can you tell me a well-sounding word in English without first thinking half an hour about it? See!). So the only way to preserve the poetry of a language is to NOT learn it.

Once you arrive in Helsinki, you will hear people talking abuot "Lentoasema" and "Rautatietori" and (one of my favourites) "Elielinaukio". English speakers, I am sorry for you, you cannot pronounce that right from reading it. Germans can, as Finns and Germans pronounce the letters in the same way (with few exceptions).

Nowadays I know what the before mentioned words mean. But there are constantly new ones. Last time I was in Finland I read this on the bus and I could just get wild about its sound - without having a clue what it means: "Valipalapatukka". I assume it is not an isult, as it was part of an advertisement. But even if it would be - I would be glad to be insulted in this well-sounding way.

Valipalapatukka - wow! Who wants to know what this is? You just listen to it, for several hours, again and again. That's for sure much more healthy than yoga!

As a disputed person once said: "It is not necessary to understand. It is enough to adore."


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Coldplay & Blogsphere 
Friday, 06 .January, 2006, 02:39 - English Entries, Music, Online/Blogs, Thoughts
I wanted to write something else here, but now FM4 plays Coldplay and they were announced as if they were something special. Ok, I give them another chance - for one song. They sing bla bla - blaaaaa (high voice) - take her picture - guitar naging - bla bla to the sun - oh blaaa - pseudo drums try to create something that sounds like rock - guitar interrupts this attempt that anyhow was doomed to fail - somebody treats another guitar really wild, in the view of a 3 year old child with hypersensitive ears that just got its ear plugs removed after 12 month in silece. Oh yeah. Really really cool.

Man, now the song is over - sorry for vomiting my thoughts about this great and famous band into the Blogsphere. Another great word: Blogsphere! must have been invented by a creative mind, maybe by the coldplay singer during a ballad. Blogsphere - that sounds like something that is itching at the wrong place and that something has not been satisfied for too long a time and so the owner got into esoteric books. These close-to-enlightment computer journalists, that never saw a line of programming code and cannot distinguish a router from a gateway, they want to make it all sound great because they do understand nothing. But when you have to earn your money by writing books about something you do not understand, then you write fuck. And because fuck would be too obvious, they write Blogsphere.

I'm in a good mood today. The world sucks and it is so obvious, that nothing needs to be denied. Cheers.
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