Sky as a Kite

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12.02.14 - 14.03.14

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...plus it is nice to have an early weekend :)

... Today I'm staying at home because I was throwing up the last two days. Might be nothing might be Nora (doubt it), but I don't let my patient take the risk...

It makes me angry when anti-vaccination people call it a personal decision and completely ignore herd-immunity. When I started working in the hospital I got flu-shots. Because I don't want my patients to die...

Saturday... Of course something is going on tonight without me. #Exclusion

After all the time I spent on the internet I still haven't learned not to feed the #troll

I just noticed that I do not have the equipment to make pancakes after making pancake dough. #Fail

My kennitala is a #PrimeNumber. Cool.


30.01.14 to 11.02.14

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Want to come and work as my physio assitant in Vifilsstaðir? apply here!

My weekend: excited, nervous, awkward, confused, hurt, angry, frustrated, embarrassed. #ImAnIdiot #Alcohol

Yesterday someone stole our kettle at work out of the coffee room. #WTF?

I just saw an add for a "free range" physiotherapist. What the hell are they up to?
#realLiveHorrorMovie

Wow, Spiegel.de is on place 188 while bild.de is only 217.
http://jaysimons.deviantart.com/art/Map-of-the-Internet-1-0-427143215

I overheard a discussion about Tibet in the hot pot today. Decided to start my own movement. #FreeChina
Because no one deserves an oppressive government, regardless of ethnicity.

Perfect snow today, softly crunching under my feet on the way to work. Christmas lights glitter in the white trees. #Winterwonderland




Facebook

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On a drunken night out in Reykjavík I convinced someone to delete his facebook profile. Score for me !

However, while he was trying to find the right button to click I got a bit nervous whether I was convincing someone to trade in a big part of his social life.

Though originally designed as a tool for old school friends to stay in touch, now facebook has become a crucial part in how society organises itself.
Just this month there were several private and semi private events which had been organised over facebook:

"Ég missi oft af sjálfstæðum leiksýningum, partíum og einstaka fundum. Ég fæ líka oft tölvupósta sem byrja á setningunni: „Fyrst þú ert ekki á Facebook…“ Fólk verður oft orðlaust þegar ég segi því að ég sé ekki á Facebook því þetta er svo stór partur af svo mörgum."
Hilmar Guðjónsson Vísir


New Years eve
Pub quiz
Australia day
Helping packing Mailpile perks
Board game night

In this case not being on facebook is alike to not having email 10 years ago. One is exempt from the general form of communication and people have to remember to include/inform one.
Whether on not this has a big effect on ones social life really depends on ones social circle. How integrated one is and how willing people are to send an email to this friend in particular or simply change the mode of communication in general.
Things become different outside of the private life. Facebook works so well for Icelandic people because informal markets are so strong here. I do not mean the black market, but rather the informal job or housing market. There is a facebook group for housing. But mostly jobs and houses (for rent) are found via social networking. In a country where everyone knows everyone, this makes a lot of sense. However, informal markets have the drawback of excluding people outside of the "community".

"Newt had always suspected that people who regularly used the word "community" were using it in a very specific sense that excluded him and everyone he knew."
-Neil Gainman / Terry Pratchett (Good Omens)



How well one does in informal markets often depends on how well connected one is and how well one uses these connections. Technically facebook is a really good tool for this. It is the virtual representation of the gentlemen club of old with the advantage of not being elitist (though this is how how it started out, as a platform for students from "elite" schools to network and there was much lament when it opened to the general public).

Though a good tool on a technical level, my problem with facebook is the monopoly over this form of communication and organising and the resulting cost of access to it. Because there is a cost, though not monetary.

This actually does not only apply to facebook, but to most services for communication and collaboration. Though they look like peer to peer they are all centralised services, which will always be a doorway to abuse. Facebook just happens to be the most used, the most encompassing and with the most sociapathic Chairman/CEO.

The tools we use to communicate and organise ourselves matter.
We should not create system where participation in society means having to leave your privacy at the door.


Idiots

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Just as there is a Polio outbreak in the Middle East an organisation for "medical freedom" was formed in Iceland, which includes a lot of of anti-vaccination rhetoric.




Early morning philosophy...

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The reason a good citizen does not use such destructive 

means to become wealthier is that, if everyone did so, we would
all become poorer from the mutual destructiveness. This is Kantian
ethics; or, the Golden Rule. Since I do not like the consequences
that result if everyone hoards information, I am required to
consider it wrong for one to do so. Specifically, the desire to be
rewarded for one's creativity does not justify depriving the world
in general of all or part of that creativity.

Stallman arguing Kantian ethics in the GNU manifesto.


I like Kantian ethics, they are rational, not emotional, so I was pleased when I read this this morning.
But, Stallman, rather embarrassingly, confuses the Golden Rule with the Categorical imperative (but argues with the later).

The Golden Rule is based on reciprocity, it states:
"Never impose on others what you would not choose for

yourself." (Confucius :))

Or in the positive:
Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do

to you, do ye even so to them (Matthew 7:12)


I remember discussing the Christian version of the Golden Rule with my teacher in 4th grade. She claimed that following the Golden Rule would mean we would be all nice to each other. Being the logical thinker that I am I argued that this is not necessarily true, if someone for example likes to be hit, this would mean this person can go around hitting others. I remember because I was surprised that I had managed to make a grownup blush.

While the Golden Rule is personal the Categorical Imperative is political (as is the GNU manifesto). One should behave in a way, that if the behaviour is universalised it does not "create incoherent or impossible states of natural affairs". Or how my mom used to put it: "What if everyone would do that?"
Societies are created by individuals and by our individual action we state in which kind of society we want to live in. For some this means founding the free software movement.



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