Limbo Avenue

Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself.

Fo(u)r Years a Narcissist

For Thomas. I’m sorry you are not in more of these pictures.

I’ll keep it short, as this fourth installment (previous years: start here) was a rather uneventful year of daily selfie taking. (Although you might notice that I’ve lost yet another 20 pounds between March and the summer.</nonhumblebrag>) I managed to take 361 pictures, missing only four days – just like last year. I’m now at a total of 1416 pictures (in 1461 days, 96.9%) between March 26th 2011 and March 26th 2015, resulting in a 90+ seconds 15fps video.

Warning! The actual video has rapidly fast picture changes, beware if you’re epileptic.

Here’s the direct link and a slower version with ten fps if you want to take a closer look.

Actually, it’s about ethics in startup culture

Yesterday I watched the first season of Silicon Valley, nominated for quite a few Emmys, the “Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy” Golden Globe and sporting “universal acclaim” according to Metascore as well as a “Certified Fresh” rating from RottenTomatoes. I didn’t expect too like it much, for the same reasons most archeologists probably can’t enjoy Indiana Jones. It wasn’t even too bad in that regard, but sadly still just not very funny. Nowhere near as horrible as The IT Crowd, but right down there with The Internship. Still, with just eight 30-minute-long episodes it was entertaining enough for an afternoon. However, one thing really stood out to me after watching: women, or rather their lack of.

Here is a list of all female characters I remember:

Threateningly big tits

“Threateningly big tits” are, according to George Carlin, the essence of advertising. I was reminded of that quote when recently my adblocker let this ad on Facebook slip through:

For Science: Does ZFS deduplication work on intros of TV shows?

Today from the “What am I doing with my life?”-department: I finally set out to find a definite answer to something I’ve always wondered about ever since hearing about the deduplication feature of ZFS – does it work on the intros of TV shows? TL;DR: Nope!

Didn’t see that one coming, did you?

I never even expected it to work. Plus, you’re always advised against using deduplication anyway. The infamous “1GB RAM per 1TB storage in the pool” rule which is often incorrectly applied to ZFS in general stems from it. So even if I had found out that it worked, I probably couldn’t have benefitted from that. But still, not knowing for sure always bugged me.

My flaky generation

Brilliant video by Alex Cornell

Possibly the thing I hate most about my (or the following, I think I’m just inbetween where that paradigm shifted) generation. This behaviour regularly makes me not want to make plans (or for that matter, interact) with people at all. I love having Internet access anywhere I go, but today’s constant availability and the ever-increasing immediateness of communication does not always have a positive effect on (close) relations, I’m afraid.

Are we being punished or something?

So the mother has finally been met. I think the finale could have been much worse and I’m not nearly as mad about it as the rest of the internet seems to be right now, but that probably is because I gave up and emotionally separated myself from that show years ago. Now this abomination is over at last, and I can happily remember the first three and a half seasons of HIMYM as the great TV show it once was. It is beyond me how people could still enjoy it during the past few years. The first thing that comes to my mind about how soon it jumped the shark is when at the end of season four, Ted actually hired an assisstant to work in the apartment. That’s not funny, it’s fucking dense and made Ted nothing but a sad caricature of himself. The same kind of unoriginal humor for drunks and other dimwits that plagued The Simpsons’ later seasons.

Having fallen in love with the people and the show too much too quickly, I never managed to stop watching despite how much worse it still got after that. But I didn’t expect anything anymore from the finale after this insult of a season — seriously, we get a whole bunch of episodes of Marshall road-tripping with an ultimately meaningless and annoyingly loud stereotype because Jason Segel was busy filming a movie despite having a contractual commitment to the season? Who in their right mind thought it would be a good idea to produce a complete season with nothing but filler episodes after having already stretched the show for a few seasons too long and then try to give a concluding and meaningful ending to that mess within roughly 20 minutes?

So in my book Friends remains unchallenged as the most consistently good sitcom. Compared to the (not entirely bad, unexpected or non-fitting but too rushed and forced) ending of HIMYM their last episode was a masterpiece. Without a doubt Scrubs (S08, the spin-off does not count) still defines the sitcom finale gold standard. One of the best endings to a TV show ever, actually – I’m not sure I’d rate anything except The Sopranos higher.

It’s selfie time!

Now that I’ve been doing it for three years this trend is finally getting the attention it deserves: The Oxford Dictionary named “selfie” as word of the year, the pope as well as other people are doing it, and just recently Apple introduced a special “Sharing Selfies” section in the App Store.

But of course “selfie” has a broader meaning. I’m still talking about what I did in year one and two: One picture of myself every evening at the same time and in the same exact angle/distance, so that an awesome video of my hair and beard (re-)growing can be created out of them. ;)
With a total of 1055 pictures, that video now has a runtime of more than 70 seconds at 15 frames per second. Here it is: me, from March 26th 2011 to March 26th 2014.

My (maybe) favorite movies of 2013

I know I’m a bit late to the whole “Best of 2013” game, but I’ve been reconsidering that concept lately anyway, after taking a closer look at my best rated movies of the last years and the time when I rated/watched them. In 2012 I had watched 34 movies which came out that year, in 2011 I even managed to catch 67. However, I’ve also watched a lot of movies from both years later on, and as of today only half of my ten highest rated movies of each year are ones that I watched “in time”.

So it’s a safe bet that even though I’ve seen 40 newly released movies in 2013, about half of a top ten compiled now wouldn’t actually deserve the honor. Therefore, and as there were only nine that got a rating of 7/10 or better, I’ll just present a top five (of which I’ve seen 3(!) in 2014).
I’d still like to come up with a better solution but so far nothing seemed satisfactory and I didn’t want to pass on it completely. My ideas so far: Either shift the whole thing by one year, i.e. publish top ten of 2013 at the end of 2014, or don’t focus on release year at all, just make the top ten of 2013 about all movies I’ve seen in 2013. Please let me know if you have another idea.

My top five favorite movies of 2013 – so far

(Some spoilers ahead.)

Catholicism WOW!

With this freshness he is always able to renew our lives and our communities, and even if the Christian message has known periods of darkness and ecclesial weakness, it will never grow old. Jesus can also break through the dull categories with which we would enclose him and he constantly amazes us by his divine creativity.
Pope FrancisEvangelii Gaudium

It’s happening. (On a serious note: After reading summaries of Francis’ manifesto I’m almost frightened by how much I can agree with it… I wonder how it makes “conservatives” feel.)

Facebook, now with feelings.

It seems just to be an experiment, so you might not have the feature yet: Facebook now allows you to enter an action that your status update is about. So instead of just writing “OMG Dragons!!1!1” you could specify that you are writing this statement in regard to “watching Game of Thrones”.

Here’s how it looks like:

One thing about that list struck me immediately. When I was notified about being among the chosen people to use the new feature I was about to post a link to the blog of my university, where I had written an elaborate (german) comment. However, I realized there was no way to indicate the action of “writing”. In fact the categories shown in the picture above seem to be a definite list and I think they have something in common.

With the exception of feeling, everything on this list is about consumption. Watch TV, read some news, listen to music, drink coffee, eat fast food, play freemium games. There is no writing, no painting, no singing, no dancing, no jumping. No thinking.

So there you have it, the default state Facebook expects you to be in: like a vegetable.
Panem et circenses, more obvious than ever.