Weekly Head Voices #99: No-lands.

This is without a doubt my favourite animated GIF of all time (go ahead, click on the play button!):

I am eternally grateful to Twitter user @ftrain for granting us this gift. In the process, I also learnt that:

  1. Twitter automatically transcodes animated GIFs to MP4s to save bandwidth, and for other reasons. I’m in two minds about this, because these are good reasons, but GIFs are really handy to be able to paste into HipChat and Slack and everywhere else.
  2. There is no real consensus concerning the pronunciation of GIF. The author of the format says JIF, a whole bunch of (vocal) other people say GIF.

This is our last week in this house. It was a beautiful base for our return to South Africa, but the time has come to move on to a new home and to new memories. Moving out of places is decidedly not my favourite state of being. I think I might still be traumatized by the experience of moving out of our Dutch hood.

This weekend, TPN and more of my friends were at Lowlands, my church. They’re still there, as I write this. I’ve been enjoying the experience through their photos and messages. You see, this is the first time in a number of years that I’m not there. My head, on the other hand, felt like it was more there than here this weekend. Nostalgia really is quite bitter-sweet.

I somehow only just now learnt that you can do this with Python:

x_inside = x_min <= x <= x_max

It turns out that in Python comparisons can be chained arbitrarily.

To those of you who’ve met me in person (that’s both of you I guess) it’s probably no surprise that my Myers–Briggs Type Indicator is ENTJ. Someone tweeted this page which defines hell for each of the MBTI types. Mine reads:

ENTJ – Somebody is wrong, and they’re directing a large group of people! You can’t do anything about it and will have to obey whatever inefficient policies they decide to implement.

I mention this, because this week I again fell into the trap, and broke my personal rule, of correcting someone who was wrong on the internet (it was about bicarbonate of soda and cancer). Of course this did not end well, although I managed to extract myself before it went completely off the rails.

It also made me think about why the internet, in spite of being one of the most wonderful things humankind has ever come up with, is so conducive to anti-social behaviour. You only have to take one look at the average comments section of a news site (news24, I’m looking at you), or at something even more toxic like this, to lose all hope in your fellow humans.

It turns out that we have a name for this: It’s called online disinhibition effect. It comes down to the fact that otherwise relatively normal people turn into anti-social gits when given anonymity (i.e. no consequences) and an audience. Penny Arcade dubbed this phenomenon the Greater Internet F*ckwad Theory and published this handy graphical guide. What I take from this, is that it is an especially good idea not to break the no-correcting-wrong-people-on-the-internet rule when the person in question is not posting under their real identity. Also, I really wish that we would grow up now.

Our week ended very much away from the digital world with a delightful and lazy Sunday lunch with great friends at Long Table restaurant on Haskell Vineyards just outside of Stellenbosch. The food was divine: Moroccan beef carpaccio starter, beautifully prepared Kob mains, followed by pecan nut praline cheese cake for dessert. As one does around these parts, the view was also something to drink in:

Ok kids, have yourselves a great week! I’ll hopefully see you on the other side.