Hidden patterns: 99 Percent Invisible

I’m into listening to podcasts for quite a while now, with a modestly fixed set of just enough sources to not make listening to all the interesting episodes an impossible task. Usually, the time for me to listen to that kind of things is on my way to work in the morning which takes between 15 minutes by bicycle or roughly an hour if I decide to walk – enough time for following through one or two episodes, depending upon the podcast of course.

However, a new addition to my playlist that I have excessively been listening to the last two weeks is 99 percent invisible. I stumbled across this while browsing the web for podcasts, and indeed just the very description did read rather promising:

99% Invisible is about all the thought that goes into the things we don’t think about — the unnoticed architecture and design that shape our world.

In the end, not all episodes completely deal with exactly this particular topic. But they all are pretty insightful, no matter whether dealing with the meaning of the term “average” in relation to people, the history of the most important of the Bauhaus photographies, unpleasant design and architecture preventing antisocial behaviour in public space or even the story of a lone phone booth right in the Mojave Desert. The podcast seems an independent production on a very high quality level, all the stories really are enjoyable listening to, but they also feature an awful load of information that will make you think and wonder more than just once. Highly recommended if you got some time to spare for such things. ;)

Replicant: Neon dark dreams

Ever since Wave Gotik Treffen 2015 and some of the shows I used to see there, I’m a bit lost to music living somewhere in between post punk, minimal synth and cold wave. Starting out with some particular, incredible bands and browsing similar artists on bandcamp.com, these days my favorite and by far most important way of discovering new music, at some point I stumbled across a band massively remaining on my playlist ever since: Replicant, a threepiece from Chicago, IL. Both band name and bandcamp tag line (“more human than human”) are quite obvious references to Blade Runner, which generally is a good thing. From a (maybe very personal) point of view, the music they do indeed feels close to the story lines and moods in movies such as Blade Runner or New Rose Hotel as well as in early William Gibson novels: Dark, dense, bass driven, electrically charged, cold, “futuristic” in an old-fashioned science fiction novel. Songs that feel and sound very minimal and like a strange yet well-crafted crossover between early gothic rock, 1980s new romantics / synth pop and cyberpunk all turned music. Same goes for the visual appearance of the band and, as far as I can tell from some of the live footage found online, for the on-stage performance as well.

But in the end, maybe the best and most prominent reason for Replicant is rather simple: They surely do know how to write strong songs that just stay in your ears and head once you’ve heard them…. The whole of their discography is available for streaming and even free download at their bandcamp page. Feel encouraged to check these out, I greatly recommend Replicant to anyone even remotely into any of the genres mentioned earlier. Get your black leather jackets, your boots, maybe your sunglasses and get going…

Weniger Input.

Ich habe meinen Konsum von Nachrichtenquellen umgestellt, habe Google News aus meinem Horizont gebannt, ebenso alle Quellen, die Newsticker-Berichterstattung mit Information gleichsetzen, allen voran FOCUS Online. Die Zeiten sind unübersichtlich, man hat das Gefühl, daß Irrsinn dieser Tage eher die Regel denn die Ausnahme ist. Die auf Geschwindigkeit und Klicks optimierende Online-Medienlandschaft tut ihren Teil dazu, diesen Eindruck noch zu verstärken. Es scheint aussichtslos, über Politik zu lesen, aussichtslos, darüber zu schreiben. Es scheint aussichtslos, sich damit zu befassen und trotzdem halbwegs klar bleiben, und noch viel aussichtsloser, irgendetwas daran ändern zu wollen. Mithin: Ich beschränke mich auf eine Handvoll ausgewählter Quellen, denen ich zutraue, halbwegs objektiv und umfassend zu informieren. Versuche Nachrichten gebündelt, zu festen Zeiten in genau diesem Umfang zu lesen. Soziale Netzwerke oder Kommentarspalten in größeren Portalen zu konsumieren war ohnehin noch nie eine gute Idee – trotzdem ist manchmal erschreckend, was man dort liest. Momentan überlege ich, ob ich Perspective Daily Geld für ihren Journalismus zuwerfen möchte, schwanke aber immer noch, weil ich letztlich auch das irgendwann lesen müßte. Meine Podcast-Liste ist indes auch kürzer geworden. Irgendwann sammelt man mehr an, als man abhören kann, lädt man herunter, um einige Wochen später wieder zu löschen. Wenig ist nutzloser. Zudem brauche ich keine Stundensendungen mehr von hart arbeitenden Digital Natives mit ebenso sperrigen wie vagen Job-Titeln, die über Binge Watching von Netflix-Serien am “frühen Morgen” zwischen 9 und 11 berichten, zu Zeiten, zu denen ich lang im Büro bin, mich um den weniger kreativen Teil meiner Arbeit kümmere. Keine Kritik. Kein Neid. Es ist in Ordnung, so zu leben. Aber es ist nicht meine Realität.

Microsoft, TypeScript, Code & me

If you’re among the two or three readers who have been following this blog through most of its more than ten years of more or less continued activity, you possibly noticed that, as a GNU/Linux user (with not a fanatic but yet a certain emphasis on the GNU part), in some way I possibly have learnt and am supposed to at least dislike Microsoft for a bunch of reasons. Some of these definitely still are valid, but it’s hard to miss that others are in the process of changing…

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