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The Selfish Idealist

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When you do things for yourself, do you have to be destructive towards the world? Life can be made fairly good both for you and for the rest of us.

Maybe you'll not only help out, but even give everybody a good laugh from time to time.

Street view from Akersgaten, Oslo, before the Y block is fully demolished. The Trinity Church (Trefoldighetskirken) to the left, the spire of the Swedish church (Katarinakyrkan) to the right, the Y block beneath it. 

A symbol of the Scandinavian model is going down.

Be brave, don’t be so brave

Comment Posted on 04 Jan, 2020 16:35

Is your highest duty to defend your country…with a gun?

Actually, I believe quite a few here in Europe would see it differently.

For my part, as I have said to you already, I feel that maybe the foremost duty of a politician is to avoid war, not to plan for it.

To do that…you have to make plans…for peace.

Why…do you consider your country to reach all across the world?

Why do you consider it lawful and ok to attack foreign people, even officials, in their own country, and call it defense of yourselves?

It’s weird.

You know what?

On that video…

You look almost like you’ve found yourself, as is the cliché expression is here.

You look rather friendly, in a very strange way.

You…also look like a boy who finally got down to doing what mom told him to do.

You are…I can’t quite find the English expression, but the way one used to look in my childhood when you were a good boy and happy for it.

Opprømt.

You can probably find someone who knows enough Norwegian or maybe Danish, to explain this word to you. It’s a pretty old-fashioned word which you maybe find mostly in literature, but it means something.

It’s how you describe someone coming home with his first girlfriend or something. Telling dad that you got drunk for the first time, and it was ok.

You have red cheeks.

You sound actually happy, humble, almost.

You call that general a terrorist.

You believe that to be a reason, if it is true, for doing…anything?

Of course, a human can’t go much farther than killing another man or woman.

You caught him in the act? …of planning things?

What…do you know of, understand, about democracy?

Dictatorships are known for killing people because of thoughts, because of words that are said or written. Because of plans.

Ok, he’s a general.

But he doesn’t live in the States. He’s not a subject of the United States. Even if he were, you would not have the legal right to gun him down.

He’s probably done things too, but don’t you think you should leave that to the Iranians?

“I terminated him”?

You killed him.

You seem to be a religious man, at least you go to meetings and let yourself be prayed for.

If I were a relative of yours, I would say, go to church, alone, and if you go to a service, stay for a while after it is finished, and think. 

Pray, with no words, just let God, if you are actually a believer, be there.

Let God be there, and see what happens.

Don’t ask for anything, just be…open.

Actually, you should do something like this regularly.

It doesn’t have to be going to church, just go to a place where you think it’s calm and where you are yourself and can think soundly.

But if you go to church, then pray for the man you killed, and for the many men and women who will be killed in the war that will hit us all if you don’t stop it.

You.

If you’re not able to pray for yourself, light a candle for yourself. It’s supposed to accompany a prayer, so that maybe, if you think about that candle, the thought and the prayer follow you for a couple of hours, after you have left the church.

I feel that a public position very often is a stupid position. Everyone seems to have opinions about you, and when the shouting starts, no one can really hear much, not even from a position…on the street.

But if you do stupid things when you’re on the top…

Why do this?

Someone, maybe many people, must have abused you or stopped you, probably, to make you look like that in a situation like this – stopped you mentally, from reaching a pretty important goal in life: To accept yourself.

I mean, we all have problems with ourselves.

No one is…perfect.

On that video, you look happy.

It’s not a sound thing to be happy because you have killed a man, or even, when you have just killed him.

Let alone happy for starting a war.

A war doesn’t solve problems, it creates problems.

It creates above all, death, and it creates destructed houses, and it creates refugees…

I’m not saying the general is an innocent man. Probably not, but I don’t know anything about him, not more than I know, in general…about Iran.

None of us are, of course, innocent, but what you accuse him of…check out your own country’s history. You don’t even have to know very much, it is enough to mention South America. I think still many here can remember Chile. That also gave us refugees, I know one.

Sometimes the situation somewhere is difficult to understand, or we, the newspaper readers, don’t have enough time to follow every conflict in the world, or every conflict that you, the united States of America, is involved in. But I have heard the noise from Venezuela, Colombia etc. right now, or recently.

I can hear hatred in your voice when you talk about islam.

can tell you that the more I learn about people I meet, the more I love them, and the more I like their culture. Their ways of acting, talking, their food, music, the whole package. Humour.

Islam is not one thing, as Christianity is not one thing, although there are of course some common features with both.

No, I don’t think you should get hung up with the bad sides of anyone, really, if you can avoid it.

Start with the cool things, then see what is possible.

I think it has become a pretty normal thing to think, here in Oslo, that there are crazy people everywhere. 

But you don’t have to support them in their madness.

I would say, better to meet everyone in their sanity first, so that the madness and crazy things can find their place in safe surroundings.

Fun.

Jokes.

Sports. Be a sports shooter, why not?

Or find yourself another sport to participate in.

Go to a game.

Listen to whatever music.

Go for a walk.

Be cosy, if you get things out that way, and if you can get close enough to someone.

If I can’t live like this, this is still what I want.

I have bad sides as well, I act stupidly, cowardly, whatever, but seriously…

Starting a war…and why?

If you don’t know the consequences of this, maybe Europe can help you on the way. 

I think, as I’ve said, mentally, we’re not more than just about finished with the second world war. 

Even I, who are born in 1963, don’t want more of that stuff. It took me my life until now to sort out just a little bit how my parents actually took it, because they hardly told me anything about it. They must have been afraid more or less their whole lives, in a sense, experiences, in their childhood, that was not really finished in their heads.

A war contains arguments, that is what I frequently say. This is actually a sad fact, because discussions should happen with words. The aim of a discussion is to find out something or to solve a problem.

So use words, not weapons.

Go see a John Wayne movie instead of this, and instead of feeling as high up as him, afterwards, think of it as a game. Not quite real.

Shoot.

Ha ha, just kiddin’.

You can call it sublimation.

It means that you feel the same things when you watch the movie as you would have if you did for real the things John Wayne do on the screen.

YOU GET IT OUT OF YOUR MIND THAT WAY.

Some of he shit we all carry.

That’s one of the ideas with art, of all kinds, sports, whatever.

Be a fucking monk this time, Don…

Overcome yourself, if that is necessary.

I don’t want more sad faces from the Middle East flooding in, because some people here gets so stirred up when they see a hijab somewhere, they can’t think anymore.

Everybody needs peace. 

We all want it.

So give it to us.



A starry night, maybe

Music, Uncategorised Posted on 04 Jan, 2020 04:57

http://www.gothesen.no/Eriks_verden/Erik_spiller_files/An%20imaginary%20trip%20to%20Baku%203.mp4

For those of my readers who are not familiar with my music, here is one improvisation on the piano: An imaginary visit to Baku, inspired by Azerbaijani friends whom I met in Oslo and who live here.



Links in web pages

Digital sanity Posted on 04 Jan, 2020 02:20

Another side of the computer world that struck my mind the other day, is links.

In all the articles I have written about the computer universe, I have been looking for problems, so to say, elements that confuse my…established world of knowledge in certain ways.

To talk about “an established world” of knowledge may seem strange, but as I see the computer as it is used today, quite a bit of it does crash into established ways of thinking.

My writing on this is maybe one-sided in another direction, but we will have to discuss how to merge those two worlds, if you see it like that, how the “new” world should relate to the “old” world is a very necessary thing to talk about.

Both ways too, of course.

But what role do links play, what function in my head do they meddle with?

I would perhaps say, associations, associative thinking.

I remember conversations with friends from the north of Norway, a culture (well, actually several) which own a fantastic, crazy ability to imagine things. I will never get a full overview of this (happily) but it works pretty well for a lot of purposes, for instance creating new ideas where there are no solutions to a problem, or to see totally absurd connections in life or in society, so you totally crack in a flow of meaningless or meaningful laughter, often both a the same time.

In short imagination, to coin it a little properly and a little blandly.

I also get ideas, sometimes fanciful ones, but I was born in a calmer environment than the storms and the incredible idylls of the real north. I am ok with the calmer parts of Norway too, I love Follo and Asker and other slopes of farmland or hilly woods, where I grew up or lived later on. Oslo too, not far from nature, but still a small city. Nature, the surroundings, give me ideas down here too, just different ideas than up north.

The differences of the country are also not absolute, I think, they are a matter of degree.

Anyway, everyone has his or her own associations, to begin with. Your own ideas…that is what comes out of associative thinking.

There are other ways of being creative, also mentally, but this is actually pretty important. 

And under my fingers an before my eyes I find a machine world, and of course, the people who create it every day are also there, their ideas and habits come out of my keyboard and the screen. This world is for me not entirely positive, it moves me to and fro, in many different directions, often away from myself, it often works against my will. 

If you fit into this world very well, you may feel at home, you may even feel that it confirms your thoughts, I have heard people say that the computer itself gives them new ideas for work.

Well, for me maybe in some ways, too. But in many ways the opposite.

But talking about links, every time I push a button, symbol, something that contains a link, I am moved into a new world, basically, a new website or a new page on the same website, talking to me about something else than the text or the pictures that I moved from.

I didn’t make that path, even if I made the move, so to speak.

It came to me from the creator of the website.

Of course, new ideas, outside of this screen world, may also come from other people and other sources than yourself, but then it comes from…the world. 

This whole world is made by humans, even though it more and more functions as the world for us.

The links are another problem connected with it, and one may then of course ask all the usual questions about what sources the editors use and choose, what mentality does the publication maintain, what political views, etc. – and how it connects to this bit of the whole thing.

For instance the questions of political biases and objectivity vs subjectivity in journalism, etc.

Links are just another element, but still, an important one, I think.

Habitual thinking may be a bigger problem than before, if you don’t watch out.

It’s always been a problem, but today…hm.

Edited after publishing, sorry.



Too much carbon dioxide

Comment Posted on 04 Jan, 2020 01:10

You know, Don, the scientists who actually do research on the climate, all agree.

There is no disagreement in the basic facts among them.

That you have a degree or a PhD in another branch of natural science or another branch of science…it doesn’t necessarily give you expertise on this issue.

Some say that carbondioxide is a “life giving” gas, part of nature.

Yes, it is, but in addition to this, we pour it out, so all in all it becomes too much.

The basics are actually as simple as that.