The shop De Bijenkort that I visited
last Saturday has
organized a photo contest, where people are allowed to take
photographs inside the shop. The pictures will be judged
by Erwin Olaf, which
seems to be same photographer whoes pictures are on display
in the shop itself. Besides some very artistic photographs,
he has made some rather perverted pictures, I must say.
Today, we received a free copy of the Bijmagazine, the
advertizement magazine of the shop De Bijenkort.
In it a short article about the new establishment in Enschede,
which I visited Enschede. The article
affirms my impression that pictures on display were made by
Erwin Olaf. In the article he is described as one of most
succesful photographers of the Netherlands, and that he is
known for his controversional photographs such as the
Fashion Victims (almost pornographic, I would say).
Furthermore, they write that they asked him for the cover
picture, because they have to keep up their reputation as
a trendsetting shop with classical grandeur.
According to two American institutions, two thirds of the Dutch
think we should join with an American attack agains Iraq, if it
is proven that they have weapons of mass destruction and if the
United Nations give their approval. If those two restrictions are
not met, only 40% thinks we should join.
The poll also revealed some other striking facts. 59 percent of the
Dutch believe that the terrorist attacks on September 11 are partly
caused by Americas foreign politics and 27 percent believe that the
U.S. are using these attacks to enforce its will upon the rest of
the world. (Clearly an expression of some Anti-American feelings, I would say.)
Will this war against Iraq trigger the Third World War? Could it be
that Iraq will send some missiles to Israel, and that Israel will
reply with nuclear arms. That in turn would be a reason for many
Arab countries to use military force against Israel, which will
result in an uncontrollable escalation.
Did Daniel Ekechukwu really die?
Earlier this week, I read some article stating that it was beyond doubt
that Daniel Ekechukwu had died and was raised from the death. This
prompted me to do some research on the Internet. I found the
following critical pages:
It seems that all the sites telling the story of the "resurrection"
are related to one and the
same source of the story. But even these accounts do not agree
with each other on the facts. I found another source, namely,
the fragment of the article
from the Post Express paper that is published on several pages.
Below the text on this fragments is given. (I have
tried my best to record the text as accurate as possible. If I
did make a mistake, please let me know.)
The Post Express, Onitsha
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
IT was all songs of praises to
God for his mercy to
mankind at Grace of God
Church, "33," near Onisha,
Anamb** State, when a man
On arrival at the church,
the corpse was kept at the
empty children department
to avoid scaring away the
congregation who may cause
stampede on seeing the
The bereaved family was
said to have concluded
arragement to at tell the
immediately after the
sermon but suddenly they
heard noise from the coffin
and without hesitation
The stifled hands and legs|
were seen moving and
breathing was noticed. This
prompted the family to
retreat in fear but came back
when his eyes opened,
beckoning on the family
See BONNKE Page 2
In this account Daniel is still laying in the coffin
when he first opens his eyes and that he seems to
recognize his family. This is quite different
from what the other stories tell. There he is laying
on a table being guarded by church officials. It also
states that even after he was resurrected, he did not
immediately recognize his own family members.
Also he seems to start moving by himself, while in
the other stories this only happened after he has been
My final conclusion is that it is not beyond reasonable doubt
that Daniel Ekechukwu died and rose from the death, and that
an alternative explaination, cannot be excluded.
New comparison chart)
Just for dinner, I decided to plant the chestnut trees in
The best looking one, we put in the garden of Annabel,
which is a small corner in the back garden that she has claimed to be
her garden. The other two, we put in the front garden, somewhere in the
middle, not close to the border as the two years
One of them already had lost all it leaves when I had forgotten to
water them for more than a week sometime during the summer. The others
still did have some leaves.
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
That is the title of a book by Heinlein, which I had to think
about, when I thought about an article in the magazine
Intermediair stating that
consciousness is really an illusion. In an attempt to find some
page about this, I came across the web page of
and read something about his language construction kit.
Around a quarter past five in the afternoon, it started raining.
At one point I exclaimed: "Its not raining anymore, it is pooring". Then
one of my roommates replied (an old Dutch saying): "What comes down
now, cannot come down later". But then I remarked that the chance
that it will be raining in ten minutes from now is larger, than if
it would not have been raining now. But is it really? How could
you establish such a fact?
Yesterday evening, I read through the famous article PRIMES is in P,
which deals about the algorithm that Neeraj Kayal and Nitin Saxena found.
I can follow the article, but I do not understand it. I am afraid I
might never be able to fully understand it.
This morning, I read that according to
Bob Silverman it is a very nice theoretical result, but it is
not likely to result in a very fast algorithm.
Today, Li-Xia went swimming for the first
time for many years. She felt very happy about it. She will go every
week now, around the same time, when there is a special swimming time
for older people. Annabel started taking
swimming lessons at the start of the year. I wonder who will have
her swimming diploma's first.
Old computer tapes
Some weeks ago, I made made some WAV files of old computer
tapes with the idea to recover the data that is on it.
This proved to be a harder problem than I had thought. The
last weeks I have been thinking about a program that could
analyze the signal by itself. The general idea to categorize
each sequence of eight consecutive samples into a number
of independent groups, and to furthermore establish the
order in which sequences from these groups occur. With this,
repeating patterns can be found, I think.
The categorisation is the first problem to tackle. I think
you could start with normalizing each sequence, based on
the minimum and maximum levels that occur, but never more
than a factor 4. Then these should be compared with (for
example) 65536 signals where each group of two consecutive
samples have the same value picked from 16 different levels.
Then in an iterative, these groups should be joined into
larger groups, where the rule should be followed that groups
two groups can be joined if the balanced variation of the
new group is not larger than the balanced variation of the
original two groups.
When I looked outside during lunch, I noticed a man sitting on the side
of the road. He was busy picking up things from the ground besides the
pavement and putting them in a kind of basket. My first impression was that
he had dropped a glass and was now picking up all the pieces, but when I
watched him longer, I noticed that he was picking leaves. A little further
there was a large garbage can on wheels. At one point he got up and emptied
the basket in the garbage can and returned to his work of picking leaves.
He worked very quietly sometimes taking time to look around and watch the
students passing by. It became clear to me that he was (happily?) living in
world without computers and all those other things that surround my life.
Had he been a briliant scientist once, now become mad because his genius
was not recognized by his peers? Will I one day also sit along the street
and pick leaves?
Today, my letter to the
editor in response to an article claiming that consciousness is just an
illusion was placed in Intermediair.
Translated, the letter says:
Hereby, I report that I had to see how my brain
controlled my fingers to move over the keyboard
in order to give a response to a long and complicated
article that argued that my consciousness (which is
now observing this) is but only an illusion and
that my brain is controlling my consciousness
(and not the other way around). Now again, I see
my fingers move to write that my virtual consciousness
was not "virtually" aware that it was just an
illusion. I notice that a part of my brain is
preparing itself to move the mouse to the send
button of my email program.
When I came home this evening, I was surprised with a pan full of
hotchpotch made from fresh curly kail. I only had to do the smashing.
They sold the curly kail and the pork cubes for two for the price
of one. That means we will be eating it more often this week.
It seems that the United States are also
developing new chemical weapons, although the signed
the ban on chemical and biological weapons. Of course,
the weapons being developed are very smart and not intended
to kill people, but that does not make them less chemical.
This afternoon, at the end of our company meeting
we played a "prisoners dillema" game. We were split
up into three groups where each group represented
a department of a hypothetical company. The
game consisted of six rounds, where in each
round we could hand in an A card or a B card.
If every group handed in a B card, each of us would
get one point. In case mixed cards were handed
in, the groups handing in a B card would lose
points which were given to those handing in an A card.
In case all handed in an A card, all would lose one
In the latter rounds, the point values were multiplied with
some factors. We were told that the group with the
largest amouth of points would win.
We handed in a B card in the first round, and lost
one point, because there was one group who handed
in an A card. Immediately, it became clear to me
that if this group would continue its strategy to
always hand in an A card, they would win. Although
we had realized that playing an A card would always
bring more profit if the other groups picked some
card at random, we had chosen for a B card, because
I remembered that in paired games, the best strategy
in the long run is always to seek the common good
(playing a B card) except if the other party had
decided to make egoistic choice (playing an A card).
(This is known as the "tit for tat" strategy,
invented by Anatol Rapoport.)
Following this reasoning, our group decided to play
an A card in the second round. We did get some points,
because the one other group (which, by chance consisted
of all the managers/owners of the company) had played a B
again. (Yes, indeed the group who played an A card,
had continued its winning strategy).
Then in the third round, representatives of each group
were allowed to decided on a common strategy. (We reasoned
that the only way to win this game was to convince the
other groups to play a B card, and then in one of the
latter rounds, suddenly play an A card.) The result
of the meeting of the representatives was that all
would play a B card. But the one group that had played
only A cards, broke the agreement, and played an A card,
making us to loose some points again. Meanwhile, the
game leader (the president of the fictive company) was
making clear to us, that the company as a whole was not
making any progress. Suddenly, I realized that this
is actually what is happening a lot in companies.
To make a long story short, in the fourth and fifth
round we played a B card, and in the last an A card.
The group with our managers, continued to play only
B cards, and ended up with the lowest number of points,
and the group who had only played A cards, got the heighest
But at the conclusion, the game leader told us, that
he as the president of the fictive company had been
wrong in stimulating each department to earn as much
as possible points, and that the department with the
lowest number of points (our real managers), was the
actual winner, and that the department with the highest
number of points was sent home. Although we were in
the middle, we were no better than the "egoistic"
group, because we had hoped to win the game by convincing
them to seek the common good and then fool them, by
being "egoistic" ourselves.
I asked our boses, if they had knew the conclusion.
They said they had not. Now that really struck me,
because they had concluded to always seek the common
good even if that would mean they would loose the largest
number of points.
While biking home, I realized that the above mechanism
is working on each level in society, even on the
level of countries. If all countries would seek the
common good, there would not be any famines in the
world, and we all would be better off.
This morning, I was reading some ads when I found a little note
about Teledump stating
that it now only costs 5 Euro cent per minute to phone to China.
(That is € 3 per hour.) Li-Xia
immediately wanted to try it out, and talk with
Last year she still was using email a lot to communicate
with her mother, now she phones her at least once per
week, and probably will do so more frequently.
I spend the greater part of the afternoon pruning
the willow in our back garden. I had mixed feelings
doing this, because I was wondering whether I was
doing it at the right time. Last year, I did the
same, and I was amazed of some of the thick branches
that I found. We needed some hours to clear away all
the branches and leaves.
One of the things Li-Xia and
I immediately liked about the house was the simple
layout of our back garden.
Maybe it also has something magical like this
famous Zen garden.
I think, I am going to apply for a patent for an efficient method
for representing arbitrary quantities by means of sequences
of symbols from a finite domain. The method is interesting, because
it makes use of a finite range of symbols to represent values
from an infinite range. Furthermore, the method allows the
efficient implementation of calculations on quantities simply
by manipulating the sequences representing the involved quantities.
I got this idea after hearing about yet another software
patent of a general idea being granted. The fact that these
kind of patents are granted, really implies a lot about the
knowledge about computer science in the patent offices.
August 2002 |
October 2002 |