Tag: personal


Posted by – December 15, 2009

I noticed something unusual in my server logs today: a bunch of people had arrived at my blog from stormfront.org. I’d heard that domain name before: it’s a notorious “white pride” / neo-nazi forum. What on earth have I said to raise their ire? I followed it back to the source, and I shit you not:

Race mixing movie director Neil Hardwick oddly happens to have curly hair and odd nose. He claims that he is noble Englishman from England, but he looks like Krakow ghetto rat. My instincts tell me that when you have Woody Allen type film director promoting race mixing and “young love”, then chances that he is Jew are like 100%.

It’s about my dad’s movie which has a black leading man and a white leading lady. But this doesn’t explain the blog traffic…

His son has a blog. A bit non-PC and an anti-gay remark in the top right. Perhaps he should be reported. I can’t find out if the family are Jews from the web – but I bet they are with this getting Finnish girls to go with Blacks propaganda.

Shit, the Nazis like me! The anti-gay thing is probably a reference to the random quote element, one of the quotes it can serve up being

Anyone who can’t visualise themselves walking in a beautiful field of wild flowers in a state of mental and spiritual well-being is a faggot

I can’t believe it, I’m too subtle for someone! Too bad they have the verbal reasoning skills of a boiled potato. At least I’ve found my audience.

For the full experience, the thread is here. Oh, and don’t go read it if you’re upset by that sort of thing or are at work etc. Or at least don’t complain to me about it.

Orson spiral

Posted by – November 13, 2009

There appears to have been a prolonged hiatus on this blog. It is mostly due to personal tragedy: a serious (and ongoing) illness in the family first made blogging feel somehow improper, then got me depressed and minimal-minded. I only just realised that’s what it is – I haven’t been feeling particularly sad, it’s more that everything is so difficult to get done and unpleasurable. It’s almost a relief, I can just mope out now. Projecting from current trends, in five years I’ll be an extremely fat, lonely alcoholic with no job or girlfriend and mounting imported beer -related debts.

Maybe that would open up a career in standup comedy. Somewhere deep inside me is a Space Moose -type dysfunctional, offensive psychopath that needs to get out. (There was an interview with a songstress in the paper today; she had their typical way with words and termed a question she refused to answer “unpolitically correct”. That’s me all over.)

One way I know there’s a Space Moose inside me is that people keep disagreeing with me. It used to be that I’d say something insightful and people would mostly agree with me and start exploring the glorious vistas of understanding I had just revealed. Now they say things like “I don’t think you’ve understood this at all”, “That doesn’t make any sense” and “What are you, eleven?” Then I say “I hate you! I hate you!”, run back home and start eating something.

Only an expert

Posted by – August 31, 2009

Went to see Laurie Anderson & Lou Reed tonight. Everything was very tight and thought out, pretty much the opposite of what I’d worried might happen. Laurie Anderson in particular is such a master of effects and synthetic sounds, using them to put together an entire real-time soundscape at one moment and dropping back to normal-land the next. Lou Reed was constantly clacking away at guitar pedals; they sounded like a faint gun-cocking sound effect to his Clint Eastwood New York aging badass demeanour. All in all it was great, especially for Laurie Anderson’s stories (especially especially the monologue she delivered in the character and voice of a huge black man) . And as for Lou Reed – maybe he’s an old fart, but he sure doesn’t stand still. Artistically he’s somewhere between Neil Young and William Burroughs: not afraid even of being boring. It was kind of sweet to see how impressed he was by Laurie’s stuff.

A couple nights previous was Iiro Rantala (“this one was going to be on a film soundtrack… the first Swedish cowboy movie, actually… they were going to call it Brokeback Malmö…”) and Paquito D’Rivera. Iiro was brilliant but brief, Paquito was groovy but don’t have much else to say about it.

You make your own Big Brother

Posted by – August 15, 2009

One of the quotes that randomly appear near the top of the sidebar of this blog is “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.” Whatever side of yourself you most want to present to the world is what your future self will be more like. I can feel that happening to myself right now, and I’m not sure I like it.

Blogging feels very different than it did when I first started on Livejournal. Back then it was a very personal, expressive, “teenage” thing. The vast majority of those entries underwent a Stalinist purge when importing material here. It was not very far from a true reflection of myself – not that it was purely a description of my personal life, but a form of self-broadcasting nonetheless (like self-reflection but outwards). Now I feel uncomfortably restricted, very aware that everyone I come into meaningful contact with will google me and make a quick judgement based on the first things they see.

The safest things from that perspective are technicality, glibness and distant commentary on something someone else thinks. The worst things are bubbly emotionality, being uninformed, honesty and being boring. As a result, I don’t suppose this blog is terribly representative of me as a person. In real life, I often am pretty expansive, impulsive and eager to sound out on things way beyond my expertise.

One might ask why I would want to “be myself” here – after all, the market for persons is very much a buyer’s market – but ultimately, I don’t have any reason to do do this but self-expression. Besides, the really fun things to read, even when they’re strictly business, always have a powerful personal flavour. I want to (learn to) write that way.

The weird thing is that when I meet people in real life, even the new acquaintances whose googling I dread, I don’t particularly restrain myself – and nothing bad happens! People like me fine, and the ones who don’t I usually don’t feel bad about. I haven’t had the experience of missing out on a job opportunity because of my personality or what I think, whereas the opposite probably has happened.

Still, when I’m alone, thinking about how to seem, the sterile, defensive self-projection comes through and is even gaining ground inside my mind. It’s like I’m being persuaded by what I think a person should appear to be like. Propriety is taking me over! On the whole, this conflict has made me less eager to blog or to really think about what sort of a person I am. I don’t know how to solve this yet.

Partly this is due to the widespread tendency to be somewhat ashamed of oneself deep down, something that for me goes away when I’m caught in the moment, socialising and trying to get everybody to like me. But another part is the clear message some other expressive people have gotten (and is also one of the quotes in the sidebar): You’re WRONG and you’re a GROTESQUELY UGLY FREAK. I’m not a truly ugly freak, but I have my ugly sides. Socially, I am almost proud of them, but they somehow become scary when written down in pixels.

As for the really ugly freaks – well, I have some reading habits I am wary of admitting to; widely excoriated things on the Internet I’m drawn to for whatever reason. I guess it’s often a simple curiosity of “dangerous things”, plus the fearlessness and force of personality of their authors. In Finland the writings in question have led to legal prosecution and conviction in some cases (most famously Jussi Halla-aho will soon be on trial for his opinions). In one fascinating case in Canada it led to public self-flagellation, humiliation and removal of the blog in question, one which I had happily (often disagreeing) read for years unaware of what a heinous thing it would turn out to be in a Canadian university.

Such things sometimes make me catch myself – it seems perfectly possible that I’m one of these sick, terrible people who deserve to be run out of civilized society. And then there’s the reality where I feel like I’m acting normally and get along with people. I don’t know which reality is more accurate, and it’s making be a boring coward and I want to break out of it.

New pgp key

Posted by – August 12, 2009

In my foolish youth I generated a personal pgp key with no expiration date, uploaded it to a keyserver and promptly forgot about it. I’ve lost the key, which means I can’t prove I don’t want to use it anymore (“revoke” it). It will therefore live on forever on keyservers around the world. But I’ve generated a new key and hereby declare the old one abandoned.

Don’t let this happen to you, kids! Generate a revocation certificate ahead of time and store it somewhere safe but difficult to lose. Some say you should print it out on paper.

By the way, anything encrypted with the old key will be unreadable by anyone, so if you want to get something off your chest, here’s your chance.

keyID 87D944A6 is dead, long live keyID C713D021! If you want to communicate with me in privacy, look me up on any keyserver and choose the newer key. Or just encrypt with the following:

Version: GnuPG v1.4.9 (GNU/Linux)


Nummern, Zahlen, Handel, Leute

Posted by – August 8, 2009

I’ve gone several years now without buying practically any books or records (maybe a total of 10 in three years). At one point I felt I was accumulating too much stuff, so I stopped getting more and started selling/trashing/donating it. But now I’m starting on a sci-fi reading kick, and the library isn’t really good enough. So I bought some stuff.

How the ecstasy of buying, gaining and owning once again floods my mind! How the dread pain of parting with money grips it! Sweet possessions, horrible mortality.

I just bought three books off Amazon marketplace, where the independent booksellers get to try to undercut Amazon’s prices in exchange for a cut of the profits. It must be a slim cut indeed:

1 Isaac Asimov, The Caves of Steel £0.01
1 Isaac Asimov, The Naked Sun £0.01
1 Isaac Asimov, The Robots of Dawn £0.01
3 Postage & Packing £3.94
Total £11.85

This isn’t exactly how I thought reading books would work in 2009, but I guess it’s better than the way it was before (or…?)

I did buy some stuff from a regular bookstop as well: Asimov’s The Complete Robot and Emergency by Neil Strauss, a book about the dangers of the modern world and how to escape them. The latter is pretty disappointing, but it does give me some additional paranoia-fuelling ideas.

One of the things Strauss does in it is get a second citizenship (St. Kitts) as part of a “life backup plan”. This re-reminds me of something a friend reminded me of recently: that I should be able to get a UK passport if I wanted to. According to said person, getting the passport in Helsinki would cost me at least 154 euros. That’s a bit much for a bit of paranoid fun. Also, when the zombies attack it’s hard to see how the UK will be safer than Finland. But still, it’s tempting. Of course, for meaningful security I’d ultimately have to establish a base / financial presence of some sort there, which would take some doing.

I still dream of Canada and South Korea, but in paranoia terms Canada is pretty similar to Finland and South Korea is about as bad in a bad situation as anywhere.


Posted by – July 6, 2009

I recently rather surprised myself by realising how easy it is to come up with beliefs that are basically hunches but that I’m fairly confident about. To wit:

  • Interest in pro sports correlates with religiosity
  • Preferences in programming languages predict intelligence
  • Physical strength in males correlates with self-confidence
  • The previous correlation is stronger than the correlation between attractiveness and self-confidence in women

Actually, now that I start listing them they seem so obvious that they’re hardly worth mentioning. Maybe my true calling is making up correlations for social scientists to verify.

Noticing this stuff is also an insidious kind of self-suggestion. Lots of people seem to hate Java (the programming language) because they hope they’ll become more intelligent that way (I may be in this group). Same for despising pro sports. In those two cases there probably isn’t much causation, just correlation – but I am making an effort to become stronger on the hopes that the relationship between strength and confidence is partly causal. Not working yet, but at least I can now confidently deadlift my bodyweight.

Your thought for the day: is ejaculation ever really premature?

Free facials

Posted by – March 31, 2009

I mentioned previously that “dat ass” had become my favourite facial expression:

I have recently been persuaded of the value of sturgeon face. Witness its power and versatility:

It’s like that

Posted by – February 5, 2009

As we enter week 31 of grey skies, icy pavements and frozen bicycle cables I am starting to appreciate some of the upsides of, say, Jamaica, where England’s tour of the West Indies has just started (England are 241 for 5). Here’s some white man reggae about cricket and getting mugged to get in the mood:

But really, I kind of like the miserable parts of the year. As someone told me on the Internet, you can build discipline the same way you build muscle: go out of your way to do things you don’t want to. So winter is kind of like discipline training, and heaven knows I want more of that.

What I’d also want is a trainee position in a good company or research project involved with language technology. Unfortunately I’ve been studying it for too short a time for the official university-sponsored ones, but maybe I can find a way to insinuate myself anyway.

A perhaps even worse cultural assault than white man reggae: the Russian roots of breakdance.

Nice day for a sulk

Posted by – January 17, 2009

The Corus Wijk an Zee (chess) tournament started, making for much spectating fun. If you’re interested in that sort of thing, check out Karjakin-Morozevich (black suddenly gets run over in a Taimanov Sicilian), Carlsen-Radjabov (1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. g3!? with a rather offbeat follow-up as well and white almost won) and Reinderman-Vallejo (utter insanity in the opening).

This is my new favourite facial expression:

Unfortunately I don’t really have the teeth for it.

It’s just too cool.

Ohh yeah. On 4chan I believe it is associated with the expression “dat ass”.

I’m on a deadline to decide whether to take a trip to New York and Albany this spring. Ahhhh just thinking about the expense makes my vision darken. Better do some…


I’ve listened the very end of the dvd of Queen’s Rock Montreal concert several times to make sure, and I think Freddie Mercury’s parting words are “Let’s go get fucked!” Kind of sounds sad, knowing how he died.

Believe it or not, before watching this concert I’d occasionally considered shaving my back hair. Back hair doesn’t really look good on anyone. But now I’ve decided what’s good enough for Freddie is good enough for me. Also it must be pretty awkward to shave your back.

Please don’t murder me / Dire Wolf

Posted by – January 16, 2009

I finally decided to get on Facebook, largely prompted by a Slate article about Facebook holdouts (titled You Have No Friends). It said that not being on Facebook is becoming like not having a mobile phone – an affectation that just makes life more difficult. I’ve also noticed that people only announce events on Facebook now, and I like to know what kinds of events I’m not going to. So I believed it.

I actually held out on the phone thing for a long time as well, and even now I ignore it much of the time, which turns out to be pretty irritating to people. Funny how that wasn’t such a problem with non-mobile phones; if you didn’t answer it, people would just assume you were elsewhere. And there was no way to return the call. Much more civilized.

I’m now going through the standard agonies of incomphehensible friend requests, annoying web-polluting applications and a constant excess of information about everything. And the whole thing is making me feel so used – I’m giving my social graph away to Facebook for free. It’s unfortunate that the social graph could eventually become untraversable if I didn’t use this crap.

Ventral striatum blues

Posted by – November 7, 2008

Not really my week, this: I broke my bicycle and the laptop in a minor accident. I wanted to take the bike for repairs in a shop in Töölö and my only computer was now my desktop at home, so I decided to try to coexist with the dog for at least a day.

Fast forward to tonight. When I went to bed the dog decided for some reason to stick to my side at all times so I could maximally enjoy its odour, nightly movements and general dogginess. Eventually I tried to shift the dog but it just lazily growled at me. Some ancient part of my brain said: “We have a 1000% weight advantage over this elderly female dog. If it is growling at us for wanting to sleep in our sleeping place, we should show it what’s what.” What this ancient brain-part didn’t understand is that things just don’t work like they did in the stone age anymore. The dog is in fact higher in social status than me – hell, it eats better food than I do. It would be impossible for us to do anything about the growling other than to back down, my frontal lobe said.

This caused my ventral striatum, which assigns emotional reward and punishment for social standing, to go berserk. It is old school like my lizard brain and started RRRAGING at what it couldn’t understand. Violent urges and negative emotions began to boil at a high heat in the dark places of my soul.

I guess the most productive thing would have been to cause the stone age parts of my brain to somehow grow up to the modern world, but that seemed to be a rather large undertaking in the circumstances. I decided to (make like my pants and) split before the factions of my brain did from each other, so I rode back to Herttoniemi at four in the morning on my wounded bike which I’m going to have to take back to town for repairs tomorrow.

Of course, to my girlfriend this isn’t so much an epic struggle between the dog and my ventral striatum as me being a whiny bitch who is terrified by living with a dog for a couple of weeks. But what you gonna do.

Electric light

Posted by – November 2, 2008

I decided against threaded comments but added a way to reply to specific comments. The comments are internally numbered but the numbers aren’t displayed. I’ll eventually try to change that.

I moved to live with my mother and sister for a couple of weeks because I’ve been replaced by a dog for that period (don’t ask). I’d been looking forward to running in Herttoniemi/Viikki but today I found that a rather unpleasant stress injury from last year has recurred. It’s either tendinosis/tendinitis or some sort of neuroma – in any case a quite bad and worsening pain in whatever is the opposite of the insole (lateral plantar fascia?). Shit sucks! I’d gotten about as fit as I’ve ever been and now I’m going to have rest this for probably at least a week. Perhaps I need better shoes or a better gait or something. Well, there’s always biking.

Apropos of being in Herttoniemi, I’m available for human contact here. Tehäänks jotain Vadim?

I’ve been thinking about the best way to blog bilingually and it’s actually quite a difficult problem to solve. If I just tag all the English entries “english” the tag system is effectively useless for people who only want English entries because there’s no way to filter by multiple tags. Maybe I can use categories to achieve the wanted effect. Then again, I think I only have one English-only reader so far. But I do sometimes toy with the idea of acquiring a larger readership.

edit: getting the comment numbers was actually a matter of a single php expression in the appropriate theme file. I didn’t need the plugin after all. I shall now agonise over whether the handy reply and quote links justify keeping the plugin.

edit2: I added a strip of pictures. It kind of looks bad but maybe I just haven’t gotten used to it. I don’t know, maybe I could choose better pictures. I’ll leave it up for the time being. Also: tell me if it breaks css on your browser. I’m new at this stuff.


Posted by – November 1, 2008

I managed to do the unlikely: all my old lj posts are now imported. It is an epic story of xml and python which I may recount one day. Next I will delete some of the embarrassing old ones. They’re all untagged (this could change if I were extremely bored one day) and the comments aren’t there (this could change with an even more epic story of xml and python if I were extremely extremely bored one day).

Ok, so this will be my blog from now on. Let’s hope wordpress doesn’t turn out to suck because I would hate to go through all this again. I don’t know how commenting or user registration works yet, but it probably does work in some way. I’ll figure it out later. Of course I don’t really even need user registration for anything. There’s an openID plugin but I don’t want to have to figure it out. So just comment with any name you type in? I encourage impersonating other people, by the way. I don’t encourage spam, but there’s probably a good plugin for that.

Also, there appears to be an rss2 feed which may work.

edit: oh the hilarity: an unclosed html tag somewhere in September has caused that month and the rest of the wordpress template to be in italics when viewing that month. Gotta catch ’em all…

edit2: ok, registering users is actually super easy by default. So do that if you want to. It also looks like it’s super easy to spam.

edit3: my first wordpress wishlist item: the ability to disallow commenting for posts older than x days. My second wishlist item (I guess this is theme-dependant): folding archive view.

edit4: I set up a simple anti-spam scheme that requires commenters to have javascript and cookies turned on. Complain if this is a problem.

edit5: I added a link category for the blogs of people I know. I decided to include only blogs that are
1) of at least vaguely general interest
2) updated frequently
3) viewable by unregistered visitors
I have come up with one such blog so far. Note to people I know: you suck! But seriously, if you think you fill these criteria please point it out to me.

Three in a row

Posted by – February 12, 2008

I’m having horrible insomnia, this is the third night in a row with very little sleep (so far). The worst thing about insomnia isn’t the discomfort of being sleep-deprived, it’s the mounting panic you get from being so unproductive due to not having slept, which makes it even harder to relax and sleep.

I’ve never taken proper sleeping pills for it, but an insomnia veteran recommended a valerian extract they sell at the chemist’s without prescription. Unfortunately the four I’ve taken tonight haven’t really worked so far. The package says the effect is stronger if taken with alcohol, which sounds like a challenge to me. Sleep – the Heath Ledger way.

Apropos of nothing: my dad and sister like to make fun of me for not having realised at some innocent age that Freddie Mercury was gay, but now it turns out that Brian May didn’t know either, so there.

She’d like to be married with yeti / he grooving such cooky spaghetti

Posted by – December 19, 2007

Now, this is almost too sad but I’m going to tell you about it anyway. There’s a rather silly Beatles song called You Know My Name (Look Up The Number) which was originally only released as the B-side of a single (Let It Be, amusingly enough). That 4:19 release was edited by Lennon from an already edited but unreleased version that clocked in at 6:08. That in turn was edited from 20+ minutes of master tapes which contained a kind of surreal comedy jam. It’s all a bit Goon Show, silly silly stuff. Anyway, I’ve never heard the 6:08 version, but I do have a version that was on the Anthology Volume 2 (disc 2) which is 5:43 in length. It mostly has the same bits as the 4:19 one and a bit more, but not exactly – some bits are actually longer in the 4:19 version. This has always annoyed me (I even wish I could get the original unedited stuff), so now I tried splicing the tracks together to get all the bits I have in one version. It kind of worked, but kind of not – I wasn’t able to make the cuts imperceptible without spending a ton of time on it. Maybe one day I’ll get a definitive version together. Maybe someone already has!

Yup, not much left to do before Christmas. One physics lab on Friday and then there’s just the Christmas eve death march (still haven’t decided on the best combination of suffering and getting people to hate me vis-à-vis where I’m going to be).