Maciek’s Notepad

Travel :: Powrót do Dartmoor

Po jedenastu latach wróciliśmy do Dartmoor. Patrząc na zdjęcia, niewiele się zmieniło: te same trzęsawiska, karłowate, omszałe drzewa, kamienne pozostałości z epoki brązu, ciężkie chmury. Wiatr. Przed jedenastu laty nosiłem bandanę zasłaniającą ucho, w które wiało; teraz chodzę w czapce i nieprzewiewnych bluzach. Zmieniliśmy się my: jesteśmy, mówiąc oględnie, bardziej dojrzali. Zamiast wielkich plecaków z karimatami i namiotem mamy samochód – wynajęty, bo nasz, świeżo po wymianie silnika, był zbyt niepewnym środkiem lokomocji na pięćsetkilometrową podróż.

Technology :: Digital Hygiene Part 3: an Alternative to Google

The company might not even be, strictly speaking, using the data against your will. You might not be conscious of them manipulating what you do and what you think. Yet, by providing the responses to your queries, they are hiding entire realms of knowledge and opinion and revealing others. Nowadays, this might be done by objective, non-partisan, and dumb algorithms. Today, all we are worried about are unconscious biases built into those algorithms. Tomorrow, the power to shape what you are aware of might be in the hands of the few who control the companies that provide the search results. To me, giving away this kind of power to a single entity is deeply disturbing. And it should not be necessary, if all you want to do is search the web for pictures of cats.

Cooking :: Elegy to the Bliss

Someone I know – I won’t go into the details, in case US CBP scrapes the Internet for bits of incriminating information on individuals crossing the border – once took a small jar of the dough with him when traveling to the US. It was for a Polish friend who lived in rural Tennessee, and had to suffer what passes over there for bread. When filling in the customs declaration form, he neglected to declare the presence of lactobacilli colony in his baggage and thus managed to smuggle the starter. It then spread across many households in Oak Ridge area, and I would not be surprised if it is still in use in some form until this day.