Das Zigeunerschnitzel war richtig lecker. Kann ich zum Nachtisch einen Negerkuss bekommen?

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Hab’ ich es also wieder mal geschafft, mir mit meiner Neugier selbst den Tag zu versauen. Inzwischen eines meiner Lieblingsthemen – Sprachpolitik.

Zunächst entdecke ich das hier. Also sehe ich mich gezwungen, folgendes zu verfassen und an die Redaktion der Armutskonferenz und des Instituts für Deutsche Sprache (IDS Mannheim) zu senden:

Werte Damen und Herren,

Ich möchte mir die Zeit nehmen und Rückmeldung geben bzgl. Ihrer in diesem Jahr erstellten Liste der 23 sozialen Unwörter.
Diese Liste ist eine Farce. Zwei Beispiele möchte ich nennen.
Ehrenamtspauschale vs. Ehrenamtseinkommensteuerpauschale -
Allein unter Verweis auf das Prinzip der Sprachökonomie ist das schlicht und ergreifend lächerlich. Ungeachtet dessen ist die Begründung der Änderung fadenscheinig:
“Ehrenamtspauschale (=Richtig müsste es Ehrenamtseinkommensteuerpauschale heißen, denn besagte Pauschale kann nur entgegennehmen, wer eine Steuererklärung abgibt. Gerade arme Menschen können dies aber nicht, weshalb sie auch diese Entschädigung nicht erhalten)” (http://deutsche-wirtschafts-nachrichten.de/2013/02/26/liste-der-sozialen-unwoerter/#)
Glauben Sie allen Ernstes, dass sich daran jemand stört? Beide Begriffe sind ohnehin abstrakt genug. Kein Mensch kommt auf die Idee, zu hinterfragen, ob der oder die Betitelte eine Steuererklärung abgibt.
Missbrauch -
“Missbrauch (=Ist im Zusammenhang mit Sozialrecht und Sozialstaat – beispielsweise Missbrauch von Hartz IV – eine ungute Vokabel, weil damit ein schwerwiegender sexueller Straftatbestand assoziiert wird)” (http://deutsche-wirtschafts-nachrichten.de/2013/02/26/liste-der-sozialen-unwoerter/#)
Hoch interessant. Bislang verstand man hierzulande, und ich erlaube mir, mich hierbei auf den Duden zu beziehen, folgendes: “falsch, nicht seiner eigentlichen Bestimmung oder seinem eigentlichen Verwendungszweck entsprechend gebrauchen, benutzen; in unredlicher, unerlaubter Weise [für eigennützige Zwecke] gebrauchen, benutzen”.
Ich darf hinzufügen, dass in keiner Weise etwa Drogenmissbrauch, Machtmissbrauch, Medikamentenmissbrauch oder der Missbrauch der Amtsgewalt referenziert werden. Missbrauchen bedeutet im heutigen Sprachgebrauch falsch und zum eigenen Zwecke gebrauchen und nicht vergewaltigen.
Addendum: was bitte ist eine “ungute Vokabel”?
Es ist traurig, zu sehen, dass Orwell’s Vision Realität wird! Ich bin gleichsam erstaunt und enttäuscht, dass das Institut für Deutsche Sprache (in Kopie) einen solchen Unsinn geschehen lässt. Nach kurzer Sondierung Ihrer Web-Seite empfehle ich, was die Sprachpolitik angeht, einmal auf den außerordentlichen Missbrauch und die fehlerhafte sowie unnütze Anwendung von Anglizismen zu fokussieren. Mit Brecht möchte ich enden; die Interpretation dieses Zitates überlasse ich Ihnen.
Mit besten Grüßen,
<Name>
Linguist
“Das Volk hat das Vertrauen der Regierung verscherzt. Wäre es da nicht doch einfacher, die Regierung löste das Volk auf und wählte ein anderes?” (Zit. Bertolt Brecht, Die Lösung, Buckower Elegien, 1953)

Dann entdecke ich das hier. Und ich frage mich, wer diese hirnlosen Vollidioten bezahlt.

Schließlich entdecke ich dann dieses.

Prinzipiell werden negativ konnotierte Spracheinheiten durch solche ersetzt, die beanstandete Teilaspekte ausblenden, positive Gesichtspunkte betonen oder aber, etwa als eher noch unbekanntes Fremdwort, bislang keinen Nebensinn hervorrufen.

Na klar, wenn ich das eigentliche Problem nicht beheben kann, dann euphemisiere ich eben die relevanten sprachlichen Begriffe. Ergebnis ist das selbe: hinterher klingt alles besser.

ARSCH OFFEN – GANZ WEIT!

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What the media tells you and what it does not!

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Auswahl_214

(Thanks to Knowledge of Today)

 

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What an evil world

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I had an interesting discussion yesterday evening about online privacy, data protection and all those things. Surprisingly, my counterpart was not against technology by far. On the contrary. Being an electrician at the age of around maybe 45 years, he had a lot of experience with computers in his live and considers himself an Internet addict today.

What was the stumbling block then? His main concern was about data privacy. To me, it sounded almost paranoid. There’s surveillance cameras everywhere, every single step is traced while one is surfing the net, banking is carried out online nowadays, they even force you to do your tax return online, secret services all over the world could find out just anything about you.

I am browsing the yellow pages and they display ads that perfectly fit, from both a content perspective and a geographical perspective. How the heck would they know where I live?

I am trying to make my point -
Of course, they know where you’re located; you have an IP address. It’s kind of like the address of your home. How should the servers in the www be able to identify you and provide you the information that you requested, when you don’t have an address? Do you expect the mailman to deliver your daily mail without knowing where you live?

But still, I don’t want them to know what I am doing, what I am looking for, where I am, and so forth.

The classic counter arguments -

  • So, you’d prefer to see ads that have nothing to do with you? Or is it that you don’t want to see any ads at all?
  • Is there anything that you have to hide? Are you a criminal?

To me, these are thought-terminating clichés. There’s just no single argument against it. What followed was the usual explanation that there’s nothing he has to hide and that this is not the question. Rather, this would be a question of principles. And that’s really what it is, even to me.
I tried to explain that it has always been that way. Couple of decades ago, there was no way to simply access a huge electronic database to find out details about a specific individual. But they had other means back then. Police would monitor you, hawkshaws could be hired and so on.

Yes, but that is not the same! Today, it is so easy to gather massive amounts of data with just a few clicks.

Putting aside the fact that this is not necessarily a correct statement, are you telling me that it is okay for me to collect information about you, as long as it causes a lot of effort for me? I’m not so sure I would second your logic!

In the end, my counterpart expressed his very serious concern about the younger generations, the generations of information technology, taking data privacy way too easy. I have to say that, based on my experience, I don’t like to generalize this. I can’t speak on behalf of teens (because I simply don’t talk to them), but I do know many people in their 20s, 30s, 40s, who are very careful about data privacy. I also feel that one must distinguish here; handing out information on the Internet, on social platforms, in forums, blogs, you name it, is one thing (that is something you can control yourself to a very large extent). The governments voting in favor of data preservation, online tax returns, etc. is just another story. Yes, I agree in that there should be a choice. I shouldn’t be required to do certain things online only. But I do condemn the general paranoia about all of this. Yes, there is a chance that somebody out there is watching every single step I’m making. On the one hand, not too cool a feeling; on the other hand, I just don’t see the negative implications. On top of all of that – do you really believe that there’s somebody out there, spending all of their time monitoring you, unimportant being that you are among millions? I don’t think so. I asked that question yesterday and the answer I got was Yes. To me, this is no less frightening than the idea of being under permanent surveillance.

 

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Technical update

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FINALLY, I got things together and resumed work on my own business. The most recent tele communication project is stagnating for months by now. My client is not exactly amused. The situation is rather complicated. Long story short, we decided to update the dsl tariff master project first of all now. It’s not a major update and will help me to get back on track.

Over the past years, I have exclusively been working with the Zend Studio IDE, which is an expensive but powerful tool. Having applied the most recent updates to my Ubuntu system few days ago, the IDE crashes randomly. So, decided today to give Netbeans a try (a friend of mine recommended it to me some time ago). It’s a free solution that basically provides the same functionality which Zend Studio offers. And more importantly, setting up the debugger (xdebug) was a matter of minutes. Took me like ages to get the Zend Studio debugger working.

Setting up xdebug on Ubuntu

  1. Download the latest source files from here.
  2. Unpack the tarball
  3. phpize the code
  4. Run ./configure –enable-xdebug
  5. Run make
  6. There you go, the newly created module xdebug.so can be found in the subfolder modules
  7. Copy the module to a location of your choice
  8. Add the following to your php.ini
    [xdebug]
    zend_extension=<path to your>xdebug.so
    xdebug.remote_enable=1
    xdebug.remote_handler=dbgp
    xdebug.remote_mode=req
    xdebug.remote_host=127.0.0.1 (or whatever host(s) you’re developing on)
    xdebug.remote_port=9000
  9. Restart your webserver

Done!

An Open Source MySQL IDE
Of course, phpMyAdmin is a handy tool when it comes to daily database administration. However, it’s capabilities are obviously rather limited.
A powerful open source alternative is the MySQL Workbench. It’s somewhat comparable to MS SQL Server Management Studio. Linux users will be able to install it using their software center. A Windows binary is available on their homepage.
DB/query development and administration works like a charm with that software.

Open Source Bug Tracking

The last time I checked, Trac was recommended to me, which is a quite sophisticated tool that comes with additional features such as an own WIKI to document projects.
I wanted to keep things simple. So, visited my webspace account dashboard and checked what software is available for automatic installation. Mantis Bug Tracker. Exactly what I was looking for. Lightweight and easy to use! I just introduced it to my client. Let’s see how they feel about it.

 

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Pizza chat

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I just had a chat with my pizza delivery guy. What a poor fellow. With his main occupation, he’s earning €9/hour (pre-tax). His second job, delivering fast food, isn’t even worth mentioning. Basically, it’s the tip that he is earning, which makes him hang in there. The guy has to use his own car for delivery; he gets 50 cents per order as petrol allowance. That’s just ridiculous. Today (regional holiday over here), his day ends at 11 pm. And his next shift starts tomorrow at 6 am. At home: wife and two kids.

I do have the utmost respect for this guy. He probably is in his late 20s and he’s trying to earn a living. Comparing his employment with mine yields my own situation ad absurdum. Sometimes, I really wish I could understand.

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I got a thinking problem! Part 2

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It’s been about a week that I wrote and published my very first article ever about my mental deficiency, ie the gag reflex (still can’t believe that I’m asserting this in public). Gag reflex, gag reflex, gag reflex. I wonder if I’ll ever get used to this term; I detest it so much.
I haven’t regretted my post to now and there’s a good chance that I won’t. On the contrary, I have decided to blog about my situation further, which will hopefully add to my “therapy”.
Last week didn’t go so well. I had trouble leaving the house several times and my supermarket visit turned out to be the hardest thing in the world for a moment. I so much anticipated that situation where I would be standing in the supermarket, having gag reflexes, that it eventually happened. Some people saw me, most of which seemed to not care at all and some of which seemed pretty confused. That’s alright with me, as long as they don’t ask me for an explanation (you know, along the lines of “Can I help you? What’s wrong?”). Thinking about it rationally, even that wouldn’t be a problem, so why am I that afraid that it happens? That’s just odd. My mind can be a real beast. It sends me all these thoughts, even though they’re neither real nor helpful in any way. I won’t fret about it; I’ll just accept it and keep on observing. Being upset about it would be sooo pointless. It changes nothing (actually, it does, but not in a good way); Byron Katie would say “The suffering is optional”. Isn’t it enough that I have to deal with the situation when it actually happens? Do I really need to feel bad just because of the imaginary situation that my thoughts project??? The obvious answer is NO, only I need to also live accordingly; ever so often, the theory is clear, while the practice takes a lot of time.

I have to say, I am feeling pretty confident that I have never been that close to finally resolving that issue once and for all and I am confident that I will definitely get there – a life without gag reflexes.

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I got a thinking problem!

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Isn’t it absurd? I’ve always been so proud of my mind, for it is so active and it is capable of dealing with the most complex theoretical questions. What I didn’t realize until recently, is that it is this very mind that causes most of the pain in my life and has been causing it for more than 20 years now. Oddly, the signs have always been there. Apparently, however, I chose to ignore them, ignore the whole problem, keep on finding back doors, the main thing being to find ways and excuses not to confront my fears. Sometimes it worked well, sometimes it didn’t. And it was all fun and games until it hit me again very recently. No fun any more, because now my job is at stakes.

What is this all about?
Psychologists and neurologists, which I have seen since I was a kid, would diagnose me with panic disorder with focus on anticipatory attacks. There are quite a few symptoms which are typical for this kind of mental illness, one of which is the sensation of choking. That’s already the bottom line. Along with the depression comes a psychosomatic effect, that appears as a gag reflex.

How does it work?
The obvious issues aside, which come with that disorder (ie the anticipatory fear of just about everything), the psychosomatic effect is the one that makes my life complicated. Out of nowhere, I get that thought of having a gag reflex and I can’t just let that thought go. I keep on envisioning the situation, I believe the thought to be true and, hence, I begin to expect the situation. And so, the situation is going to come.
Imagine you’re walking around and at any point in time, you would start to have such gag reflexes, randomly, uncontrollable. The physical pain aside, mental expectations are far worse. What if those reflexes don’t come to an end? What would people around me think? Would I be institutionalized? Would I lose just about everything I have, in case I opened up and allowed this part of me to become public?
And so I’m running in circles. Of course, the above said does only scratch the surface. There are so many more experiences, thoughts, fears, etc. attached to all of it. And I believe it to be very hard to convey it to somebody in its entirety with all its implications.

So, what to do about it?
I’m not sure I have the answer to that question. For starters, after more than two decades, it’s the first time that I actually have the courage to share these experiences of mine with others (still, it took me weeks to write this post). I guess that is a step into the right direction.
Doctors certainly ruled out the possibility of any kind of physical disorder. And the more I observe myself, the more I can confirm that. When it hit me badly a few weeks ago, I became so frustrated and desperate, that I decided to tell my manager about it. Contrary to all the bad thoughts I had about this, she was (and still is) extremely supportive. To date, she shared many thoughts with me, which opened up completely new perspectives. Your thoughts aren’t real! I never thought about this before. Being that attached to my own mind (I hardly ever am really “present”) and having experienced this physical reaction countless times for so many years, it would never have come to me that my mind is actually talking a whole lot of nonsense. But it makes lots of sense!
My manager herself was inspired by Byron Katie and her methodology, called The Work. In its essence, it shows you that first of all, you cannot know whether your thoughts are really real or not. Secondly, it shows you that they’re in fact unreal. Unfortunately, realizing this is nothing more than a very first step. By far, it doesn’t mean that your fears are just going away and that you’re going to be fine from that moment on. To me, it is a practice, kind of like meditation. First of all, accept your thoughts. More importantly, however, don’t believe in them; let them go again. Be a neutral observer. That is a hard challenge for me. It’ll take a long time for me to master that practice.
Another thing, also inspired by my manager – I need to get more active; I need to exhaust myself; stop sitting down and watching the world, but rather engage actively. Of course, the second I think about whatever activity, my mind would be listing all the hypothetical – let’s say – disadvantages of it. The circle, there it is again. Interestingly, experience from the past few years in fact confirms that activity helps. I remember when, maybe two years back, I was much more engaged in any kind of social activities and I felt so much better back then.

Learnings so far?
The world will keep on turning, no matter what. And my life doesn’t end just like that, only because I lose my face. Losing ones face is just another idea that my mind puts upon me. I need to be open about my gag reflexes, unafraid to be seen by others while it happens. It’ll take the pressure out of it, because one of my main concerns is being actually seen in that situation.
I need to question the architecture of that house of cards that my mind built in the past 20 years. Supposedly, it was meant to get along in my life. Apparently though, it is full of lies and inconsistencies.

I can never really know whether my thoughts are true or not; that I have learned in the past weeks. What I can do, is believe in them. However, what I can also do is choose not to!

We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves. [Buddha]

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Status-Update zur glücklichsten Katze der Region

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Vor mehr als einem Jahr ereignete sich diese Geschichte. Die Katze, seinerzeit Lucky genannt, gibt es nach wie vor. Und es geht ihr besser denn je. Nach unzähligen Strapazen genoss das Tier schlussendlich. Lucky lebt heute glücklich zusammen mit der Familie, zu der es sie damals zog. Lange haben wir überlegt, was mit dem Tier geschehen soll. Sie wurde mit FIV (sog. “Katzen-AIDS”) diagnostiziert, was durchaus auch auf andere Katzen übertragbar ist. Die Familie stellt bereits drei anderen Katzen eine Herberge zur Verfügung und oft saßen wir beisammen, um über Lucky’s Schicksal zu reden. So gerne ich es wollte, ich mag sie nicht in meiner Wohnung aufnehmen. Mit mir leben bereits zwei Felltiger auf 60m² und selbst das scheint mir schon grenzwertig. Darüber hinaus ist Lucky ein Freigänger und ich könnte ihr diese Möglichkeit nicht bieten. Wir inserierten in diversen Magazinen, doch es kam keine Rückmeldung. Und Lucky harrte der Dinge, die da kommen würden. Es kam der Punkt, an dem ein jeder einsah – nein, Lucky hat ihr neues Zuhause bereits gefunden. Sie wird nicht hergegeben. Die Gefahr einer Übertragung des FIV auf die anderen Tiger des Hauses ist unwahrscheinlich (es wird primär über den Kontakt mit dem Blut der Katze übertragen, doch derartige Kämpfe finden nicht statt). Und so darf Lucky nun ihr Leben genießen. Wann immer sie die Umgebung erkunden will, hat sie die Möglichkeit. Möchte sie lieber auf dem wohlig-warmen Sofa schlummern, so hat sie auch diese Möglichkeit. Sie hat sich so sehr verändert. Wenngleich sie ihre ausgeprägten Instinkte behalten hat, so ist sie gleichsam zu einem knuffigen Stubentiger mutiert. Sie schmust für ihr Leben gern, lässt sich auf den Arm oder über die Schulter legen, schnurrt, schmust und sabbert vor sich hin:). Und proper schaut sie aus. Lucky hat gut zugelegt. Aus dem abgemagerten Streuner ist tatsächlich ein kleines Pummelchen geworden (ein kleines; es gibt keinen Grund zur Sorge).

Mein Freund H. und ich haben seit dem Unfall einen guten Netto-Monatslohn investiert in den Stubentiger. Heute sehen wir, mehr denn je, warum wir das gemacht haben. Nehme ich Lucky in die Arme, bin ich jenseits von Gut und Böse. Sie schenkt mir ihre bedingungslose Liebe. Das kann ich fühlen. Und bei diesem Gefühl bin ich selig. Nichts auf der Welt könnte mich aus der Ruhe bringen, nichts könnte meine Stimmung trüben. Mehr denn je verdeutlicht es mir wie auch H., dass es keinen Geldwert für dieses Leben gibt. Wir würden es jederzeit wieder tun. Ich wünschte, ihr könntet Lucky erleben. Sie ist wirklich großartig. (Bilder reiche ich nach!)

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Oh, you ignorant bastards

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You spawn of evil! Oh, how much I hate you. I believe I haven’t been that pissed in over a year. And there come you >:{.

Why so pissed? The answer is pretty simply; just imagine you’re at the supermarket. There you go. Need I say anything else? Don’t care, I will.

So, Im reaching the check-out, in my hands about 15kg of goods. I new exactly, what I wanted to get, so didn’t bother using a caddy. I’m reaching the check-out, but I can’t reach the conveyor, because right in front of me, covering about 3/4 of the whole check-out line, Mr. and Mrs. Fatty, along with their shopping cart, that they needed to transport ONE FUCKING PACK OF EGGS! She looks at me, sees me standing there, sweating, looking at both her and the conveyor. And turns around. No, I didn’t freak out, even though I was close to doing so. I waited a few more seconds and then addressed her. I asked her if it was a common habbit of hers to be that ignorant or if it was just because of me (you know, you don’t wanna jump to any hasty conclusions). She didn’t answer my question. All she did was poke that fat asshole in front of her, which was obviously the dimwitted, lucky freak that is supposed to jump on this mountain of human waste once a month or so. He moved the cart that was filled with 10 eggs, therewith poking the dude in front of the cart.
When seeing me standing there, all she had to do in the first place, was to move her fat ass aside for a second, allowing me to put my stuff down on the conveyor. That’s fucking it! But she didn’t. And for that, I want her to die a horrible, horrible death. Such little things, ha? Yepp, such little things!

It’s a matter of principle, for crying out loud! Of course, I could have put my stuff down on the ground. And I would have done so, had there been a long line. I do not accept this kind of ignorance! It’s anti-social, it’s a sign of I don’t care about my environment and it’s wrong! Never will I accept such behavior. I can give you tons of similar examples; remember, I love observing human behavior.

Did it ever happen to you that you’re walking along on the sidewalk and there are two people about to cross you. And instead of them considering for a second to walk behind each other while passing you, they seem to prefer walking next to each other while you’re squeezing yourself against the wall next to you? I don’t do that; I don’t squeeze against the wall; I bump into them (and you wouldn’t believe how this can even drive them mad). Try it. Have a walk along the pedestrian area (or any crosswalk, whatsoever) and observe.

Are you a car driver? Do you have to drive through narrow streets frequently? Then I’m sure you know that phenomenon where you’re in fact either driving on the pavement or stopping your car completely, because the ignorant bastard crossing you feels they need two third of the whole street for themselves. People, if you can’t maneuver a car properly, then fucking don’t drive!

And so the story goes on. Having written those lines, my blood preasure is back to about normal. So, good thing. My only concern is that your constant ignorance will some day make me end up in jail, because I split your head right before!

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Henke & Band on Tour!

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Henke & Band on Tour

Henke & Band on Tour

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