Bookmarked A Visual History of Delicious Bookmarks by Sarah Hibner

Surprised to see a capture of my old Delicious profile in this sequence of screen shots. I still think there’s room for a Delicious remake, and I even at some point started sketching out my own approach under the moniker Linqurator (currently way way back beyond the furthest backburner)

After his acquisition of Delicious, Cegłowski made the decision to shut down its functionality while leaving it in read-only mode as of June 15, 2017. He explained that his motivation was to preserve an important piece of internet history, something I agree with and appreciate wholeheartedly.

Sarah Hibner

Matt Webb has been keeping UnOffice hours for a few years, a few timeslots in his week during which anyone can come by and talk to him. Several people in my network similarly have opened parts of their weekly schedule for others to be able to plan a conversation with them. Using a tool like Calendly, it saves the back and forth of finding a time. More importantly it is a clear signal you don’t have to ask if it’s ok to have a conversation. You can just go ahead and plan it if you want to talk to them.

I like that idea. A few times in the past I’ve mailed a selection of my own contacts to ask them for a conversation, just to catch up and hear what they are doing. It always leads to some new insights or connections, and sometimes it generates a next step. It’s a serendipity aid.

As an experiment I’ve created a schedule in which anyone can book a conversation on Wednesday afternoons (Central European Time). You can find the link to my Calendly schedule in the right hand side bar.

Screenshot van 4 mei-rede in de Nieuwe Kerk, de link gaat naar YouTube (ik plaats geen YT embeds vanwege tracking).

Indrukwekkende rede van Hans Goedkoop in de Nieuwe Kerk tijdens Dodenherdenking op 4 mei 2022.

Over je eigen zicht op goed en kwaad niet verliezen, ook als dat ongemakkelijk is. Ook als je in een concentratiekamp bent opgesloten.

Als het toen kon, kan het áltijd

zegt hij over hoe Abel Herzberg en anderen het gevoel voor beschaving in stand hielden in Bergen Belsen, en vergelijkt het met welk antwoord we geven op de Russische oorlog in Ukraïne.

En hij geeft een waarschuwing, waarin hij Hannah Ahrendt, en ook de woorden van Herzberg zelf over het Eichmann proces, in slechts enkele woorden weer helder actualiseert naar vandaag. Tegen schuilen achter bestaande systematiek om te verklaren dat je weinig kunt doen.

De banaliteit van het kwaad: nazisme heb je er niet voor nodig.

I was browsing books in the beautiful bookstore in the former Dominican church in Maastricht last week. Reading the blurbs on the back it hit me how themes in contemporary novels seem so utterly disconnected from the momentous in the now, so very much rooted in the past without making literary sense of the now.

The Dominicanen bookstore Maastricht, photo by Jorge Franganillo, license CC-BY

Post WWII literature in the Netherlands has been dominated by two themes, first processing the impact of the war not just for those who lived it but also those who inherited their parents’ trauma, and second coming to terms with a suffocating strict protestant upbringing in an increasingly secularised world. The latter never appealed to me at all, spending several hundred pages in the tediousness of an environment that had no bearing on my life. The former was of more interest to me, tracing the lines of events then to the present day, the complexity and emotions of the many different layers. Europe’s most historical event in my own adult lifetime was the fall of the iron curtain, with the Berlin wall its evocative symbol, and all it led to, the reunification of Germany, the dissolution of Yugoslavia and ensuing wars, Eastern European countries joining the EU. But that too is over 30 years ago, and I’ve read the novels that explore the societal and psychological upheaval and consequences for our current lives.

We’re now over a fifth into the 21st century. Yet browsing the new releases table in that Maastricht bookshop you wouldn’t be able to tell, other than by checking the year of release of the books on offer. The majority still is processing, or actually just rehashing, those same themes. At best the ‘protestant coming out and of age’ novels have morphed into more general personal reflection by the author, novel writing in lieu of psychotherapy. It seems to be the result of marketing (this stuff has been selling for well over half a century!) or ‘easiness’ (you can’t go wrong with these themes as an author!), but daring or suprising it isn’t. It all seems to me so exclusively looking backwards to the past, the books my parents generation would have found daring or surprising in the 1960s and 1970s. Standing in that bookstore I also realised how in school we were told that these were ‘the themes that matter’, and that as a consequence there’s a sort of reflex in me when I pick up such a book that it should interest me. It became very tangible to me all of a sudden that what interests me most, and what indeed should interest me, wasn’t presented on that table. The story was in what was missing among the new releases.

Most of what was on offer fully ignores the now, and what might be momentous in the now, let alone trying to make literary sense with it. I long to see more emerging ‘great European novels’ that have the interwoven European society and its complexity center stage, more exploration of the shifting globalisation and geopolitics playing out in communities and invidual’s lives, the next two billion people coming online, the workings of digitisation and data on our lives, and through it all the climate threat. More now and forwards looking, looking towards the horizon from the now, while incorporating what went before. More novels that are, well, novel.

Luckily, there was something on offer along those lines as well. And more easily spotted once I realised what I wanted to filter out.

I think I have adjusted my book choosing filters permanently last week.

The Dominicanen bookstore Maastricht, photo by Bert Kaufmann, license CC-BY

E and I spent a lovely day driving up north to Assen to visit the Frida Kahlo exhibition in the Drents Museum, called Viva la Frida. Kahlo being very much a pop culture icon the past few decades, this backfilled her life story in much detail for me. It put her actual work and self expression front and center and how it emerges from her life and autonomy, moving past just the colorful portraits that dominate the remixing of her work in pop culture. Some of Kahlo’s works shown that I found compelling were the drawing Un seuno (a dream), making me think about how I talk with Y about the stories in her head that emerge when she nearly falls asleep, the 1944 oil Doña Rosita Morillo which is an incredibly strong portrait, I stood staring into those eyes for several minutes, and the powerful 1945 painting Sin Esperanza (Without Hope), reminding me of Dali, in which the wooden construction allowing her to paint while bedridden now holds a funnel forcefeeding her. I’m linking to those works, not showing them as they are still within copyright in the Netherlands (until January 1st 2025).

While waiting by the exit for E to also emerge from the exhibit, I jotted down about 5 pages of first impressions and things that stood out for me. I’ll transcribe those into Obsidian later. Which leads me to the image below:

A necklace made before 1942 by Kahlo, out of Obsidian blades, themselves artefacts from pre 1500.

Sinds de val van het IJzeren Gordijn zijn de wolven in aantocht. En deze week bereikte een wolf Vathorst. Daarbij werd de wolf op video vastgelegd door een bewakingscamera.

Die wolf is wat mij betreft slechts afleiding in de video, want daar heeft vooralsnog niemand last van en behoeft geen (re)actie.

De video laat echter twee dingen zien die voor het alledaagse leven in een wijk wél van belang zijn.

Ik fiets elke doordeweekse ochtend met onze dochter door deze zelfde straat naar school. Bijna altijd staat er een auto geparkeerd op de t-splitsing in de video. Of de auto die je ziet, of de auto die je in de video op de oprit ziet staan, één van beiden staat altijd in de weg.

De camera die de wolf waarnam neemt daarbij ook elke ochtend ons waar, omdat de camera de gehele openbare weg (en trottoir) opneemt. Ongetwijfeld worden die beelden opgeslagen ergens in een cloud, en zo onze dagelijkse bewegingen (buiten de EU) opgeslagen. Een juist ingestelde camera zou lager gericht moeten zijn, om alleen het eigen terrein vast te leggen.

Een wolf loopt langs aan de overkant van de straat. Problematischer dan de wolf is het feit dat de camera de overkant van de straat vastlegt.