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Acaba biraz Dünya'ya mı baksak?


Bu postun başına koyduğum resmin özel bir anlamı var, tesadüfen seçilmiş birşey değil. İlk bakışta güzel birşeymiş gibi duruyor, değil mi? Ama dikkatle bakınca görüyorsunuz ki, aslında bir varlık dışında herşey ölü. Ve o tek canlı varlık da buradaki herşeyi yemeye hazırlanıyor. Hatta yemeye başlamış bile.

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An interval of unease



I sleep a lot. Most of the day I am asleep. I wake up very late in the afternoon. I need the little black cat to be with me, and she usually does not make an appearance until sunrise. So, I toss around waiting for her – not having gone to bed myself until close to dawn.

I dream a lot. Long dreams like stories almost. In them everyone is still alive. My mother, my father, my aunts, my uncle, my grandmother. And we do things together. Go on trips. I find myself in a lot of unknown cities. There has always been a lot of architecture in my dreams but now there is even more. These cities I find myself in are always small, happy bustling places. Small towns really, not cities. But then also a lot of countryside things. Seasides. Lakes. Excursions that we make to these places. Laughter. Jokes. Everything and everyone is happy in my dreams. Which is why I probably cannot tear myself away from them.

Once awake the vigil begins. Waiting for the other shoe to drop. The dreaded other shoe.

I spend a lot of time looking out of the window, staring at my street which looks just like it always did. Cats, dogs, tradesmen, delivery guys, neighbors chatting around, the 2 little cafes, the church. Passersby. Except that now almost all of those who pass by are wearing masks. And quite a few of the delivery guys and tradesmen too. I am very scared of the masks. And their wearers. Terrified of them, in fact. Because it is terrifying to see such trustfulness, such innocence, such acceptance. How on earth can this be? What is it that they believe? What is this thing to which they have forsaken their reason? Why do they not ask questions? Who is doing this to us? Why are they doing this to us? And why now? Especially that – why now? Why not 4 months ago? 

Why are they constricting the very core of our aliveness – our breath? Why now? Silence. 

Hafize tells me that most of them only wear the masks so as not to get ticketed. Frankly, I don’t buy that. There are no cops on this quiet side street. Hell, there aren’t even any cops down in the marketplace. And yet, there go the lemmings, quietly over the cliff…

Everything I knew has been turned upside down. I don’t think that there is a single thing left where what I thought was real 6 months ago is still real today. Where what I thought was good and ethical and right still bears scrutiny. On the other hand, things that I never gave much thought to, things that I scoffed at, ideas that were alien to me have become things that occupy my thoughts more and more. All the “good” that I upheld only 6 months ago is now revealing itself as the enemy. My very teaching career that used to mean so much to me. Graphic Design and Computer Visualization. I was the enemy. 

So I stare out of the window and ask and ask and ask – how could I have been so blind?

Evil. I now think about it almost constantly. In a new way. My definition of evil has changed now. And it has also become very real. No longer an abstraction. No longer something to sit around and have intellectual discussions over. It is here. Now.

It isn’t over, this march of evil. I know this somewhere very deep in my being. In fact, it probably hasn’t even really started yet. The shoe to drop is only the next one that belongs to a huge centipede with thousands of feet and thousands of shoes, one more dreadful than the other. I wait. 

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Where the blazes are the percentages? aka. yes, of course it is a new religion...

Because what else would you call something that ignores data and instead goes solely by superstition and dogma? The big superstition around here, preached by the Health Minister who is actually a doctor (i.e., someone who presumably received some sort of scientifically based education, right?) and followed by all the ardent believers is a magic number: 1000! If we can get the daily cases under 1000 we will have won a big victory against the unseen enemy that is lurking everywhere to deprive us of our inherent right to indefinitely prolonged life.
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Yes - it is absolutely a new religion...


Complete with its priests, its acolytes, its zealots, evangelists and pious worshipers. And its symbols and attire. Namely, the mask. Its rituals, namely social distancing. The clapping at one point of course, although that one seems to no longer have quite the urgency that it had a few months ago. The incessant hand washing. 
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And... There is Life on the Street!

I am not going to make this long. There is a lot to write, to think about and to self-examine. Especially self-examine. Back when I wrote this 2 months ago I was wrong in something quite fundamental, and that was my underestimation of the resilience that societies have. I thought things were far more fragile than they have turned out to be. It seems that it isn't that easy to break the backs of people. Although...
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Don't blame me... Blame Mark Twain!

“It is easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”
____ Attributed to Mark Twain.

____________________

A picture speaks a thousand words, right? So, look at the chart below. Please note very carefully what country this is. And the years please - 1990 to 2020. You're seeing the bar all the way on the right, yes? That's 2020. You saw that, right? What you also need to note very carefully is that these bars only represent the first 4 months of each year on the graph. So, don't go getting any ideas that the data for 2020 is incomplete. It isn't. It is exactly the same time span, therefore exactly the same data for each year. What do you see?
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Very odd indeed...

Surely I am not the only one who sees something askew with this, am I? This has actually been on my mind for quite a while now but I wanted to wait for the numbers to become more apparent before I visualized them. I think we have enough of an accumulation at this point, so here it is. I am not going to go to any lengths to explain what this is, I think it is pretty self-evident. In short, the critter appears to have biases when it comes to different countries. Some it likes, others it doesn't. And if you are an English speaking country then the thing seems to really have it in for you. 
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Is this a religion now?



This man I know. In general good health as far as I am aware. Very intelligent. Educated. Creative. Sophisticated. And scared to death of getting sick with the virus, as I found out earlier today.
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The music that we lost...

Which is also the America that we lost... Because regardless of whether we ourselves were Americans or not, the music was ours. We lost the music. They bid their silent adieus and gracefully vanished into the night. So gently, so quietly that we didn't even hear them leave. Maybe the last bloom of Western Civilization - they knew it was time, these American musicians. And they fell silent.
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I disapprove of what you say...


... but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

Well, disapprove is probably too strong a word. I didn't exactly disapprove. Not everything he said resonated with me. Some of it did, most of it didn't. For one thing, I have a hard time accepting his basic premise of the "hunger game society" - that achieving that is the goal. I can't see that. There may well be some kind of goal, but if so then my gut tells me that it is something different. This here could be it - this I can see. Impoverishing the world population to the point of complete dependency, that I can't. There is a conflict of interest there. That vast population needs to keep on spending money and keep on paying VAT in order for the system to run. Including, and especially, systems of control.
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Best Friend Forever

Kemal.
He is a wily old geezer. A Kurd from Ağrı who has been around the block a few times. He owns a tiny tea counter in the marketplace. And he is a very special friend. When the marketplace closed down I heard that he had gone back to Ağrı where he still has a small place. I didn't call him. I couldn't bring myself to even do that. I was completely devastated anyway and anything to add to that... Somehow it was too much. I didn't call a special friend. And for this may I never be forgiven.
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Isn't it my job to fret?


My nearest and dearest appear to be worried about me. "What difference does it make if you fret like this?" "You cannot change anything, so why not try to be 'more normal' about all of this?" These are the kinds of things that I am getting asked. This was the gist of a long phone conversation that I had with someone especially close to me last night. And others have asked me as well.
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Taking out yesterday's trash

I saw this a little while ago:
https://off-guardian.org/2020/04/12/why-are-some-alt-media-embracing-a-permanent-police-state/
I wasn't going to post anything for a while. I was all written out, after the last one. But now I think I will anyway. Because I asked this question too, and pretty much at the start of all this. And then very shortly after I asked it (gave them the benefit of the doubt for a week or so) I got rid of the lot of them: One fine morning, before I even finished my coffee I went on youtube and unsubscribed from something like 35 channels. Mixed bag of Turkish alt media and international. Gone.
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Dumbing Down. Part 2


A while ago I wrote a post in which I talked about the dumbing down of the world mind. It is a long one, I'm afraid, (and this one will probably end up being even longer). However since this is sort of a sequel to that one, you may want to read that one first.
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Datavis shenanigans

I have been wanting to do this for days. It is my profession, after all. Or rather, it is a very important part of my profession - data visualization. And I haven't pored over my Edward Tufte and my Chaomei Chen for nothing for all these years. Only reason I left it so long was that I needed a substantial number of days of both covid 19 test numbers as well as test results to be able to show what I want to show. So, here without further ado, it is:

Stick a pin in these, aka. my little laundry list

This is a feed of information and analysis with regards to the current outbreak of covid 19. The feed goes against and questions the prevailing consensus and I am putting it together solely out of what I garner from legitimate sources that are checkable. 

I don't really know how to put a title to this post



This time next year - if it turns out that this is indeed a massive pandemic that in the meantime has killed millions, as they are now predicting, I will be humbled and apologize. And I will take all of the ridicule and abuse that this entails. But, more importantly, I will go in front of the mirror and take a long hard look at myself. I will confront my life-long mind-state of inherently questioning not only everything that comes out of any "authority"s mouth, but also of anything that any given body of people around me subscribe to. Because that is how my mind works: If everyone says something I do not join. Categorically so, regardless of what it may be, I do not and have never in my entire life, trusted public opinion. Or authority.
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Who Benefits?

A few hours after I made that post yesterday, about half of which asks the question "who benefits" to which I myself cannot find the answer, I came across this video.