Yesterday I launched a brand new design for my main website at kareldonk.com. It was long overdue considering that the previous design was launched all the way back in May of 2011. Six years is a long time on the Internet, and the old design was technically just not up to today’s standards anymore.
I began working on this new website design in early 2015 mostly in my spare time. So keep in mind when you visit the website that you’re seeing work that was done in the course of 2 years. 🙂 Building a website like this is a ton of work especially when you do almost everything by yourself from scratch and are also somewhat of a perfectionist. At the same time it was an opportunity for me to also check out some new concepts and technologies and keep my skills up to date with the latest developments. Lots of time simply went into R&D and learning, and in the course of those 2 years I also implemented much of what I learned in the work that I do for my clients.
I have also finally updated my portfolios so you’ll see some new work there along with older work. And now that my main website has been updated, I’ll continue to work on getting the design for my blog updated as well. I hope to have it finished before the end of this year.
I’ll probably write a longer post in the near future about some of the technical details of building the main website (especially the intro) and perhaps also place some of the code on GitHub. For now, check out the website, and any feedback you may have is welcome. 🙂
Mind manipulation is deeply ingrained in our societies around the world as a result of thousands of years of deliberate effort and policy. It’s one of the essential ingredients in the current anti-social system of enslavement that we live in, where children are being exposed to mind manipulation (‘education’) starting at a very early age. It’s so pervasive that you’ll even find it in seemingly innocent places if you know what to look for.
In our daily interactions with one another we’re constantly exposed to mind manipulation, and indeed, we may even be guilty of it ourselves without realizing it. For instance, many people don’t yet realize that ‘persuasion,’ ‘influencing’ and ‘selling’ all amount to mind manipulation. And this is mainly because they lack a fundamental sense and understanding of morality and where it comes from.
Scott Santens published another excellent article a few days ago on basic income titled “True Freedom Comes With Basic Income.” As the title already gives away, the article is about how a basic income can help to give people more freedom in their daily lives. Santens argues very convincingly, with real world examples, that having an unconditional basic income will give people more freedom to refuse to make choices that they don’t want to make:
Consider that word: “choice.” What is choice, really? When it comes to any real choice in life, what it all boils down to is the ability to simply say “No.” Without that ability, nothing is truly voluntary. All work isn’t voluntary. All relationships aren’t voluntary. All market exchanges aren’t voluntary. The choices we make that we think are choices aren’t truly voluntary whenever the option to say “No” is off the table. Therein lies the full potential of the idea of a universal basic income and it lays bare the lack of power many of us are under the illusion of having. Having a basic income creates the ability to look someone in the eye who holds more power than you, and firmly say, “No. Not today. Not until things change. These are my terms. Take them or leave them.”
That power only arises with unconditional access to the means of survival, which is what a basic income essentially is. As long as we are refused access to the resources required to live, we will make choices we would not otherwise make.
It’s true that being able to unconditionally cover one’s basic needs gives every individual a lot of power and freedom. But every time I read articles on basic income the writers fail to address one of the biggest threats to every individual that exists today worldwide, namely governments and the anti-social system that they’re a part of, better known as “Statism.”
Well, well, well. A very interesting article was published on the New York Times website yesterday confirming much of what I recently blogged about. Here are some quotes from the article (“Facebook Said to Create Censorship Tool to Get Back Into China”, November 22nd 2016):
The social network has quietly developed software to suppress posts from appearing in people’s news feeds in specific geographic areas, according to three current and former Facebook employees, who asked for anonymity because the tool is confidential. The feature was created to help Facebook get into China, a market where the social network has been blocked, these people said. Mr. Zuckerberg has supported and defended the effort, the people added.
Facebook has restricted content in other countries before, such as Pakistan, Russia and Turkey, in keeping with the typical practice of American internet companies that generally comply with government requests to block certain content after it is posted. Facebook blocked roughly 55,000 pieces of content in about 20 countries between July 2015 and December 2015, for example. But the new feature takes that a step further by preventing content from appearing in feeds in China in the first place.
Facebook does not intend to suppress the posts itself. Instead, it would offer the software to enable a third party — in this case, most likely a partner Chinese company — to monitor popular stories and topics that bubble up as users share them across the social network, the people said. Facebook’s partner would then have full control to decide whether those posts should show up in users’ feeds.
The current and former Facebook employees caution that the software is one of many ideas the company has discussed with respect to entering China and, like many experiments inside Facebook, it may never see the light of day. The feature, whose code is visible to engineers inside the company, has so far gone unused, and there is no indication that Facebook has offered it to the authorities in China.
But the project illustrates the extent to which Facebook may be willing to compromise one of its core mission statements, “to make the world more open and connected,” to gain access to a market of 1.4 billion Chinese people.
Several employees who were working on the project have left Facebook after expressing misgivings about it, according to the current and former employees.
It’s unclear when the suppression tool originated, but the project picked up momentum in the last year, as engineers were plucked from other parts of Facebook to work on the effort, the current and former employees said. The project was led by Vaughan Smith, a vice president for mobile, corporate and business development at Facebook, they said. Like Mr. Zuckerberg, Mr. Smith speaks a smattering of Mandarin.
Over the summer, several Facebook employees who were working on the suppression tool left the company, the current and former employees said. Internally, so many employees asked about the project and its ambitions on an internal forum that, in July, it became a topic at one of Facebook’s weekly Friday afternoon question-and-answer sessions.
“It’s better for Facebook to be a part of enabling conversation, even if it’s not yet the full conversation,” Mr. Zuckerberg said, according to employees.
Yes Fuckerberg, you fucking hypocrite, “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” Sound familiar? I sure as fuck hope so.
I’ve always hated economics and related subjects in school. I couldn’t explain exactly why back then, but it all seemed like worthless crap to me. Of course, like every other kid my age growing up in an authoritarian society, I had little choice but to sit through the lessons and try to get good enough grades (I used to barely pass those exams) so that I could please everyone else but myself.
It turns out that my intuition and feelings towards economics back then were correct and now I can explain it and back it up with facts.
Want to learn typography? The best book on the subject is “The Elements of Typographic Style” by Robert Bringhurst. This book is a masterpiece when it comes to the subject of typography and page design.
Very often I come across people online who ask where they can learn about typography, and I see experienced designers being very mysterious about it, as if they’re hoarding and carefully guarding their knowledge. Either that, or they’ll point you to all kinds of bullshit resources that teach you bits and pieces or very little that’s actually useful.
Well fuck you all. This book is the best place to start. Read it, if you know what’s good for you.
Earlier this year I started to think about alternative options for delivering photos to my clients. As a photographer I also shoot photos of various types of events (including corporate events, birthdays and weddings) and in the past I’ve used CDs and DVDs in custom designed albums and cases to deliver the final photos to my clients. But as I’m sure you’ve noticed, CDs and DVDs are getting old very fast now. Many computers, laptops, tablets and similar devices coming out these days don’t even have a CD/DVD drive anymore.
And while I was still in the process of looking for alternatives it just so happens that I got contacted by USB Memory Direct a few months ago offering to send me some samples of their custom USB flash drives to test and try out. I was very glad with the opportunity because I had actually already looked online for suppliers of custom flash drives and memory cards, but wasn’t sure about the quality and reliability they offered. So this was a very welcome opportunity to be able to try some samples out and see the quality up close.
This week I got temporarily banned, again, for 30 days on Facebook after someone apparently reported a comment I had published below a friend’s post. Much has been said about this ‘feature’ on Facebook, but I have more to add to the ongoing discussion on the Internet.
The product team and engineers at Facebook seriously need to look into this functionality because it’s being abused — or used, depending on your perspective — to harass, silence and censor people, and is a serious violation of every individual’s natural right to free speech.
Not long ago I had published a post here on my blog where I discussed some examples of “coincidences” happening in my life. In this post I want to share another very interesting case concerning the above picture.
Ever since the recent price increases I’ve been closely monitoring the power consumption at my house; from time to time I check the electricity meter to record the date and amount. It’s important to note that I don’t have any fixed intervals that I do this on. As far as I know it’s completely “random.” I check the meter whenever it’s convenient for me, for example, whenever I happen to go out of the house. Sometimes an arbitrary number of days go by without checking it too.
What you see in the above picture are crops of two different photos I took of the electricity meter. The photos were taken after I published the aforementioned previous post, and are cropped to show just the usage display. The chances of me randomly walking up to the meter once every few days and seeing these exact number patterns are very slim.
A few days ago I watched a CppCon 2016 presentation by Dan Saks titled “extern c: Talking to C Programmers about C++” and was pleasantly surprised by the information and insights he shared. I wouldn’t have expected this kind of information to be shared at a C++ conference, let alone a talk about C and C++. Even if you’re not into software engineering, keep reading because the concepts discussed below regarding human behavior and psychology apply to many other areas in life. You can watch the presentation on YouTube (embedded below).
The presentation is essentially about Saks’s experiences with trying to convince C programmers to switch to the newer and more modern C++ language. The C++ language is an improved version of the older C language (it’s a superset of C), adding many features that we’ve come to expect from more modern programming languages today, such as type safety, object oriented programming etc. It also has performance benefits, which Saks also mentions during his presentation. But despite the benefits Saks found that it was still very difficult to convince C programmers to acknowledge that C++ was better, and to eventually migrate to using C++.
In fact, Saks found that quite often logic, facts and the truth were simply not sufficient enough to convince people. Instead, people reacted in a very irrational and emotional way, and kept sticking to and defending their beliefs. People’s basic reaction was “show me all the data you want, C++ is still undesirable.” Instead of confronting reality, people instead resorted to making up all kinds of reasons to justify holding onto their beliefs — beliefs which are at odds with logic and the truth.