26 + 2 links

John Scalzi writes: “I put each letter of the alphabet into my web browser and posted the link it autocompleted to”.

He then proceeds to write small blurbs for each entry.

The following are mine.

  • ad.nl/ad/nl/1001/Sportwereld/: the newspaper’s sports section.
  • buienradar.nl: a satellite image that shows where in the Netherlands it currently doesn’t rain. Handy for a people that ride their bikes most of the time.
  • cloggie.org/wissewords2/: Martin Wisse’s blog about comics, politics and other stuff.
  • dpreview.com: pixel peeping at its finest for camera nerds.
  • earlydutchbooksonline.nl: one of the many book digitization projects of the national library of the Netherlands.
  • facebook.com: Mark Zuckerberg’s people store.
  • gutenberg.org.
  • huizenzoeken.nl: guess what: I am in the market for a house.
  • (This showed only test servers for a customer, and I doubt they wish to see the names of their new websites show up early, so I am not showing them to you.)
  • joelonsoftware.com: computer programmer who used to blog knowledgeably about the more general aspects of programming. He has stopped blogging since, well, almost. I visited his site recently to look something up, as it is still a magnificent resource, even if you are not a programmer. If you are into that sort of thing, his former employee Jeff Atwood still does something similar.
  • knmi.nl/waarschuwingen_en_verwachtingen/: more weather forecasts.
  • localhost: this is where I develop websites for customers. It’s the webserver on my PC.
  • marktplaats.nl: the Dutch eBay (and actually eBay-owned these days). The description is not entirely correct, as it is more of a classified ads site than a bidding site.
  • www.nu.nl/tvgids/: the TV guide. More important than ever now that there is so little worth watching.
  • oh-la-la.nl: the business site of my friend and co-blogger Natasha.
  • pgdp.net: a book factory for Project Gutenberg.
  • www.engadget.com/search/?q=dutch&sort=date: stories that might be interesting for my other blog, 24oranges.nl.
  • rifters.com/crawl/: the witty blog of writer Peter Watts.
  • stevehuffphoto.com: a photography blog. I guess you could call this a guilty pleasure, as it is yet another site for so-called ‘pixel peepers’, people who think the technical quality of a camera is more important than the quality of the photos you take with those cameras.
  • tekstadventure.nl/branko/blog/: this blog.
  • drupal.org: another work-related site. This was actually the second site autocompleted, but I already showed buienradar.nl.
  • volkskrant.nl: a newspaper.
  • whatever.scalzi.com: the blog of writer John Scalzi.
  • xkcd.com: an online comic strip.
  • youtube.com: the greatest video archive of our time, although it has lost a good deal of its value since the copyright maffia found out about it.
  • z24.nl: a financial news blog that I follow in the hope of finding stories for 24 Oranges there.
  • 24oranges.nl: my other blog, non-mainstream Dutch news in English.
  • 9292ov.nl: public transport planner.

A couple of inevitable notes:

  • Some of these links I barely visit. I suspect they popped up because I visited them recently, meaning that Chrome may include freshness in its algorithm for determining what to show in the auto-complete.
  • The links above can easily be subdivided into:
    • Day-to-day off-line life (B, H, K, M, N, 9).
    • Day-to-day online life (A, F, V, Y).
    • Photography (D, S).
    • Project Gutenberg (E, G, P).
    • Work (L, S, U).
    • Blogging (Q, T, Z, 2).
    • Other (C, J, O, R, W).
  • People who know Steve Huff’s blog may claim that his site is emphatically not about pixel peeping, and I want to have this argument out in the open now. Steve Huff’s blog shows a lot of photography, but always as a function of the camera they were taken with. It also prints a lot of camera and lens reviews where photos are secondary. Steve Huff may not use fancy test charts and widgets, but the implication of almost every posting on his blog is that you need camera X to get a photo quality Y. His blog may not be suited very much to actual pixel peeping, but it is aimed squarely at pixel peeper sensibilities. This in contrast to real photography blogs, where they almost never mention what camera was used.
  • As with John Scalzi, you don’t get to see the sites I visit in private browsing mode.

King Cruise September

During the summer months pretty cars and fast food are brought together once a month on a parking lot just outside of Amsterdam under the name King Cruise.







See also: King Cruise August.

Left, right and middle coalitions of the Netherlands of the past 35 years

A tactic that the political right has employed since Adolf Hitler is that of Der Grosse Lüge, the Big Lie.

The idea is that you say something so preposterously untrue that people would refuse to believe you made it up. (Interestingly the first uses were self-referential, in that the Nazis falsely accused others of employing something as evil as the big lie technique.)

A modern big lie is this: the political left is responsible for all the woes of Dutch society.

This is preposterously untrue, I’ve always thought, because the political left never has had any power in Dutch politics. Governments would always be in the political middle, where the left had to water down its politics to the point that you could no longer recognise them as such, or on the right. You cannot be blamed for doing something wrong if you have not done that thing in the first place.

Although I have never had any desire to attempt to explain the lie is a lie (one of the reasons the technique works so well is that denials actually reinforce the lie, e.g. “when have you stopped beating your wife?”), my base assumption that the left never has had any political power at the national level in the Netherlands has always been nagging me.

Thing is, for a lefty I am pretty far to the left, to the point where I’ve stopped recognising moderately left wing policies as left wing policies. I might not be the best person, in other words, to just guess that we’ve never had any left leaning national governments.

left-right-netherlands-1977-2012Which is why I decided to do some research, the results of which you will find in the graph to the right (click for a larger version). Let me summarise the graph:

  • In the past 35 years, the Netherlands has had 13 different governments.
  • Of those government, 3 were left wing, 7 were right wing, and 3 were middle governments.
  • I counted by first determining per constituent party whether they were on the left or right on social issues, and on economic issues; and then added those numbers for each constituent party.
  • As I say in the notes, this leads to certain skewdnessess, because not every party is equally powerful within a coalition, and parties could be counted as left wing (for instance) but still differ immensely among themselves.
  • An example of the latter case are the Christelijke Unie (Christian Union) and the Partij van de Arbeid (Labour Party), who will approach issues such as abortion, gender equality and so from completely different angles.
  • Predominantly left wing coalitions governed on average for 37 months, middle coalitions for 34 months and right wing coalitions for 30 months—I don’t think studying just one country is going to yield enough data to be statistically relevant though.

My hypothesis: the left has never been in power on a national level in the Netherlands. My conclusion: falsified. Is this enough to blame the left for all of society’s ills? Well, I wasn’t going to tackle that Big Fat Lie, remember?

If Hemingway wrote JavaScript

Angus Croll wrote a couple of Javascript programs that calculate a fibonacci series, each program in the style of a famous literary author. Cool stuff.