Cyberpunk, Spirituality and Technology - The Voidspace Blogspot

The strange and deluded ramblings of a rather odd person. Hello Dude - It's Me

Please Fasten Your Seatbelts

And Loosen Your Clothing

 

 

These pages are all my own work. Unfortunately that may be a terrible admission. In these pages are various writings of mine, from the first part of my life story, to poems, to mad ramblings without excuse. Below the links to the articles is my blog. Not to be confused with the Techie Blog, this is random ramblings from life.

Rambling Rumination

Diving or Drowning Part I. The first part of my Autohagiography... up to the point where I first take ecstacy. The tale of how a polite, well mannered middle-class child became such a ruffian.....

Diving or Drowning Part II. The second part of my life story - the further fall....

Life in Romania. An article about living in Romania. This follows two visits in 2004 and 2005 to visit my wifes parents. Life is very different in Romania than it is here in Britain.

A Random Assortment. A short collection of my poetry. There's one or two gems buried in here.

HumanOS v1.3. Subtitled baby crocodiles, computers and the human personality. This is an article that compares the human mind to a computer operating system. It touches on artifical intelligence and the ages old Nature versus Nurture debate.

Christian Meditation. A short piece on Christian meditation - exploring living Spirituality with God.

Imagine Paradise. No its not about a large network of computers, its actually about Christian Community..... and why we bother.

The first is an article on the spiritual power of symbols and sacraments. The second one, is on what sort of truth we can expect to find in the bible - with a brief section providing one possible reconciliation between modern science and Genesis. They should both be understandable by 'beginners' to the subjects.

Quick 'n' Dirty HTML. Need to get a webpage up quick and never done any HTML before ? This article will get you up to speed with the basics, using a TABLE for layout. Not for those who want nice, standards compliant, XHTML and CSS...

Voidspace Story. My cyberpunk short story. Lovely imagery but very short *sigh*. Come and play in the Void !

Beginners Guide to Atlantis. My beginners guide for new players of Atlantis - the computer 'Play-by-eMail' game. Very useful if you`ve just started to play.

#42

New, New, New

emoticon:fuzzy There are two new articles up at Voidspace (well, sort of three).

The first article is a prettier version of yesterdays blog - with some pictures.

Diving or Drowning is the second part of my life story (probably just one more part to write to get up to date...). If you haven't read the First Part then you might want to read that first. (Note: it has been converted to the new style, but was written a couple of years ago - it needs some editing !).

Like this post? Digg it or Del.icio.us it.
Posted by Fuzzyman on 2005-07-20 09:58:38 | |
Categories: , ,


#41

Value For Money

emoticon:dollars Buying cheap is sometimes a bad deal. This is especially true when buying batteries.

We buy most of our stuff from the community FDC. The brand of cheap AA batteries they supply varies regularly. At the moment I think it's Fujitsu. For cheap AA batteries they may be fine - but for a digital camera they suck. Whichever brand of cheap battery the FDC supply I get about ten to fifteen photos out of a pair, if I'm lucky.

For our trip to Romania I splashed out about two pounds on some duracell. Well, I've had over a hundred photos out of the first two - and I'm still wringing the last milliwatts out of them. I don't know what the cost differential is - but I bet it's not ten to one (and don't get me started on the environmental issues).

Like this post? Digg it or Del.icio.us it.
Posted by Fuzzyman on 2005-07-19 10:10:31 | |
Categories: ,


#40

Life In Romania

Note

This blog article is also viewable as a prettier looking article - Life in Romania.

Date:13th July 2005
Author:Michael Foord

As you might expect, Romania is very different from Britain. Today we went to buy fish from the market. We bought them live from a tank. Tomorrow we have a nice meal of brains. The variety of sausage is incredible and the melons and white peaches exquisite. One thing that will stand out from this visit, is my stomach !

Romania is quite far south from Britain - about level with Italy but further East. It is an island of latin-ness in the sea of it's slavic neighbours, closer in it's roots to countries like Italy and Spain than the ones on it's borders.

However, Romania is really two countries inextricably entwined - and they are not always happy companions. Everywhere are the brightly coloured, ragged gypsies. The children who beg on the streets, and wash car windscreens, wear many layers of dirty clothes, even in summer. Most incredible are the matriarchal women with hips as wide as they are tall. They wear shawls and dresses of wonderful reds, yellows, and blues - and will follow you in the streets begging for money.

The Romanian gypsies are the progenitors of the Romany throughout Europe - and they are NOT integrated with the latin/Dacian Romanians. The two cultures co-exist uneasily, but have little to do with each other.

The minimum income a young couple can live on is about nine million Lei a month [1] - three hundred thousand a day (or six pounds sterling). Food isn't cheap though - a pat of butter costs 65 pence, bread 20 pence a loaf - hardly vastly cheaper than England. Bills for basic services will be about three million lei a month.

Delia's cousin Alina works ten hour days in a builders merchants, five and a half days a week with no breaks. She earns about 4 and a half million lei a month, perhaps 4 after tax. She married her teenage sweetheart Cristi in September, and they live in the flat furnished on his income from working in Italy. He will probably earn about five or six million a month working in Roman [2] unloading lorries. This is a quarter of what he could send home from Italy - but Alina doesn't want to move to Italy, and can't face the prospect of a long separation. So they'll struggle on for the moment.

Out in the countryside it's at least a different type of story. Even in the town horse and cart are common means of transport. In the country, farming is the basic way of life and there is none of the western clothing seen in the towns - it simply isn't practical. Delia's grandmother, in her mid eighties still farms. She lives in a dirt floored shack - and although she now has electricity, her water is drawn from a well. Her toilet is a hole dug in a different corner of the garden every time you visit. When we met her last year (as newly marrieds), she chased and caught one of her chickens; which she presented to us as a wedding present.

Romania is two countries in this way too. Year by year the roads and buildings are falling into a greater state of disrepair. There is tarmac patched with concrete, concrete patched with tarmac, and long swathes not patched at all. Despite this, the people - especially the young - are dressed immaculately. You could almost be in any western country. The television adverts show smiling housewives, in American homes, proclaiming how white their sheets are. This is a way of life utterly alien to the majority of the country. But Romanians prize a smart appearance over a full belly.

We have sold them the western dream, but they simply can't afford it. No wonder that every family we visited had sons or daughters away in Italy to work.

There is one way that Romania has been similar to Britain - it has rained almost every day so far. Normally hot at this time of year, Romania has suffered floods - even reaching into parts of the Moldova region that Delia's parents live in. 'As if it isn't enough that they are poor'. Many have lost family as well as homes and livelihoods. Heartbreaking stuff.

Romania still suffers from her communist near history. For most people the only change of substance democracy has brought, is the possibility of working abroad [3]. Corruption and bribery are endemic. Starting a business or building a house are tortuous rounds of bribes and encounters with the unyielding world of officialdom. Getting permits, water and electricity switched on, all require the greasing of palms to ensure they happen within your lifetime. This is a serious barrier to foreign investment, and specifically a serious barrier to joining the European Union - which Romanians hope will happen in 2007.

There is hope that things might change. The president, Traian Basescu, has just announced that he is putting before parliament a strict set of laws to tackle corruption. If parliament rejects them, he will resign on the 19th July.

It would be a bad time for an election. Repairing the damage of the floods is already going to cost money Romania doesn't have. Let's hope they make the right choice and that it's the start of real change. Unfortunately, a lot of people have a lot to lose, and it's hard to see things changing quickly.

Some aspects of life in the city are like stepping back 20 years. Video cassettes are just catching on and hitch hiking is still a common means of transport. A more poignant reminder of Britain's past is the profusion of latin sparrows. Perhaps leaner than the sparrows of my childhood - but just as cheerful. What has happened to the English sparrow ? Another sacrifice to the omnipotent deity of progress.

There are other aspects of culture that are different, and refreshing. The people are generally open hearted and friendly - especially to guests. In a country where most people are too poor to travel beyond the nearest city, their is still a real sense of community. They take the responsibility of looking after their extended family very seriously. Despite this sense of family, most young people have ambitions to leave the country. They see to much prosperity on television, and too many beggars on their own broken streets.

[1]The Romanians are in the middle of the process of knocking four noughts off the currency. This would make good sense - except in two years they intend to switch to the euro.
[2]Delia's hometown - a medium sized town with about 80 000 inhabitants.
[3]Other than internet cafes and mobile phones - orange having captured the market nicely. On the high street of Roman - there are three orange shops !

Like this post? Digg it or Del.icio.us it.
Posted by Fuzzyman on 2005-07-19 09:57:33 | |
Categories:


For buying techie books, science fiction, computer hardware or the latest gadgets: visit The Voidspace Amazon Store.

Hosted by Webfaction

Counter...


Voidspace: Cyberpunk, Technology, Fiction and More

IronPython in ActionIronPython in Action

Search this Site:
 
Web Site
Blogads

Follow me on:

Twitter

Del.icio.us

Shared Feeds

Hosting for an agile web