May 31, 2004

Browser wars, art of signatures and ruins next to you...

Today, we will discuss the amazing world of browsers, art of singature on the forums and ruins I saw while walking in the park near my house.

The Internet Exploder. This is just one of many nicknames given to IE, or Internet Explorer. While it is widely known that 'Microsoft' is bad (actually it is not, there is something to be said for monopolists having a good side and unifying standrads, for example - but it is a subject for some other day), and 'IE is ridden with security holes' (I am not going to give you links to prove that, just google - it is everywhere...), it is interesting to point out that majority of people still uses not only Windows (that I can understand, Linux is still not user friendly enough), bot also the unholy combo of 'IE/OE' (OE being the Outlook Express). However the fact remains that they dont use it because it is better, they use it becouse it is bundled with Windows and they are unaware of other alternatives - or the fact that this is better (the Browser Wars resolved around this, and still continue - and Microsoft wins not becouse their soft is better, but becouse they have more money for PR campaging...).

The fact is that you can switch to a better soft for free, in just few minutes...
There are many choices out there - I would like to take this time to recommend my favourite, the Mozilla Project.
Mozilla is a browser (like IE), a mail manager (like OE), and in a deal, they throw in webpage composer (like FrontPage). It is open source, which means it is free and constantly improved by volunteers.

But you want details. How is it better?
I can tell you what I liked after I moved from IE/OE to Mozilla.
1) mozilla blocks pop up ads! 100%!
2) tabs...oh tabs...they are so awesome. It is hard to explain...they are like windows inside windows. Screenshot. Extremly nifty! Very useful
3) add-ons - Mozilla is very customisable, there are hundreds of add-ons (free and opensource, of course). I use multizilla - it has lots of nice options (duplicate & move tabs, google bar and tab session history are among those I found most useful)
4) when replying to email, it changes the text of reply to blue - makes it easy to see who wrote what (oh, and sigs are gray!)
5) built-in junk filter
Of course, Mozilla can convert your IE favourites and OE emails, adress book and even account data into ints own database, so you dont loose anything...and can always go back if somehow you can find a reason to do it.

So, if you are still using IE/OE - drop whatever you are doing and download Mozilla, install it and start using the better stuff :)
In case you already have a good mail engine, you can download only the broser Mozilla - Firefox.

Time for few words about signatures. Check this out:
SigX! The fresh maker.
Looks nice? You can add it to your sig in html emails or internet forums or anything that supports html or BBCode.
It is of course free. Get your SigX now :)

And as for the ruins...I'll leave it for another time. :)

Stay tuned for next issue of the Voice of the Prokonsul! Coming soon to the screen near you!

May 30, 2004

On OS and Protestant Ethic

I dont like Windows. But, lets face it - it works, especially the XP and newer versions. Why Linux cannot be as good as that (mumble, mumble) thing - for homeputer workstation purposes (yes, I grant it, as a server it rocks).
I love open source idea, but Linux has problems - for starters, emulating old win soft. Then it requires much more know-how (my god, dos prompt entry thingy - in XXI century??).

One day I will use Linux. Today is not that day. So after my trial W2k3 expired, I went back to ol' XP. Dont see much difference either way...

In other news, I found that once I started reading a book about Max Weber, I really am into it.
Even though the book is quite old (50's - thats all my local (as in capital of the province Silesia) has). His started with not-so-awesome study of German society, but now it is getting very interesting. He deals with religion - first, he wrote about protestant ethic and how it influences the development of capitalism. Then, he compares it with other religions (chineese, indian, judaism). That is what I am reading now.
Feel free to look at my Wiki entry about his book, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism.

So, considering I may start my doc studies on Institute of Philosophy on Jagiellonian University in Cracow, at least for a year or two before I move to New is good I can stomach philosophy and sociology (and don't look at me like that, I had not had a single subject about them during my studies for economy MA!).
Yes, philosphy is kind of...strange, but then...that uni is 3rd oldest in the world, and that Institute was the first created there, so it...*grin*. We shall see.

Btw, Wiki had a facelift. Nice, isn't it? Although I am sure you have noticed it if u cliked on some other link here today :D

Oh. Just in case you wonder. I got two shakehands and an engraved pen on Friday, and if we dont count those who have not yet passed the final exam by this day, I was the 6th best student of the year on my uni (3rd place when one counts the grade average). Not bad, for about 2-3k ppl per year, when one comes to think of it...

And I dindt go to Shadow con. In the end, they did not manage to have Innocence, and anyway, I hate going to such things alone (which is why I almost never go outside my house. Yes, I know it is a vicious cycle thing :>).

May 27, 2004


Tommorow (Friday) I will be receiving an award for exceptionally high (4.95 on scale 2-5.5) average during my studies - a shakehand by chancellor of my university. I can't wait.
Then, family activities - this event have triggerd an extremly rare event, a gathering of all my aunts/uncles...oh, joy :) Well, food should be good, so I am not complaining - and they should return some books I borrowed some of them years ago, so I *am* looking forward to it :D

Saturday I will be on ShadowProject, an 'alternative' anime con. Dont ask me why it is alternative, but it should have a grill and a showing of GitS2 (Innocence). I am sure you have all heard of the continuation of best Japan movie ever made...just in case, here is a page with trailer thingies, and some more info here, and here.

That's all for today - yes, no much thinking, some eye candy. Diversity is good :)

May 26, 2004


Just a sketch of an idea for today.

I started thinking if we could get rid of political parties, or politicians - without introducing the direct democracy by referendums over 'net first.
The idea is that politicians are inefective and corruptible, and pol parties are just organisations that main goal is not to help 'the people' but themselves.
In the end, it all goes down to money - fund for advertising. If we bar pol parties, then only rich can do it - and as old Rome proved, 'absolute powers corrupts absolutely' and rich wants to get richer as often as the poor do - so neither social status nor wealth makes a politician less despicatable and prone to corruption and stupidity.

But most faults of politicans come from where? From the fact that there is little public oversight over them. Journalists and police try to do their jobs, but as we all know it, lots of politicians either evade them, bribe them, or are just plain lazy and/or stupid. And common voters dont have time, will and ability to keep tabs on them - bah, they have problems even understanding complicated stuff like economy of foreign affaris, and the political campaigning turns into psychological tricks (aka marketing campagings), conveying no useful info but only nicely dressed lies. How to get around this?

Two suggestions.

Bar all forms of advertising by politicians except writing and speeches (no gimmicks - no colorful banners, no catchphrases, no music, etc.). This will make politics lose appeal of the circus, and while it may become less popular, it just means that the people led by lies and marketing will not care about it anymore.

Now this is interesting. All politicans should keep up-to-date blogs with descriptions of all descisions they take during the day, and their resoning. Make those blogs have a poll.
If a politician cant explain his actions - or he is just shuupid - polls go down, and he is OUT.
And with no marketing tricks, he cant count on raising his popularity with PR tricks.

See, this way only small number of ppl will care about politics - but they will either be competent and interested (think of local scale politicians, town mayors, etc. - they will be observed by local people, those who see the impact (or lack of thereof) of their work on their streets, schools and such) or competent and interested on global scale.

Sure, it is not a perfect system - but can you say it would work worse then what we have now?

After this short message, please turn back to the world favorurite comedy show, the '(re)elect the (insert your favourite politician here)'. Today's topic: 'Blah blah and blah!'.

May 24, 2004

State IS NOT a political system

I have just finished writing a corrected version of an article about the evolution of democracy, when it hit me that I have made a serious mistake - in several places I have mixed the terms of 'state' and 'political system'.

What is amazing is that neither my supervising professor, nor my review professor, nor any of my friends who read parts of my work noticed it.

I hope that I have explained the difference in one page of my article (soon to be translated into English, I promise). For those of you who care, here is my chain of thought:

Long story short, political system (as in forms of goverment is the brain of the state, it consists of its institution, rules, traditions, interactions between people, etc. But it is easy to confuse results of its changes and actions with those of a state.

For example, change of borders or names - those are the results of evolution of a state (as in 'country', US, Germany, Japan, etc.).

But the creation of political parties, or introduction of freedom of speech - those represent the evolution of the political system.

It all gets muddy when it comes to specific actions of the state, since polsys (being the brain) controls the state. If it wants the war, it will have one (Second Reich). If it wants peace, it will stand aside as long as it can (consider 'Western Democracies' of that time and the infamous Munich Treaty).

Some wars could be viewed just as conflict between states - for resources, while others - as conflict between political systems fighting to spread their ideology. But I think that conflicts in which political system had not been involved are rare. After all, it - as the brains - cares for the survival of its country, and while act to acquire resources needed by the state (territory, mineral resources). In the end, can the body cannot act without the brain?

Which leads me to conclusion, that the only way to stop such conflicts is to have a single global government. But that is outside the scope of my current article about evolution of democracy - something to write another time.

Just one more thing for today. Consider the definition of life and how you can prove that the state is ALIVE.
I used to think that the sf writers who wrote about 'living state' (Gaia in Asimov Fundation trilogy) were just I liked saying 'this is not sf, this is reality' when ppl talk about tech inventions like holograms or DNA sequencers, but this...

[Borg mode on] 'Greetings, you have *already* been assimilated.' [Borg mode off]

May 21, 2004

The Copenhagen Magic

There is a (biiig) chance you have not heard about it. The Copenhagen Consensus. Don't worry, that is why I am here, to tell you about such fascinating stuff.

It is a series of articles on how to improve the situation of Third World countries - written not by dogooders antiglobalist fanatics, but by scientists and economists.

See here for details.

There are those who argue that you cannot put a price on human lives, on or things like education, disease, birth control...
I say - you can.

"The universe is run by the complex interweaving of three elements:
energy, matter, and enlightened self-interest."
-- G'Kar to Garibaldi in Babylon 5:"Survivors"

It is *especially* with that greedy capitalism money - not with nice talk and crazy ideas of anti-globalists - that you can do something useful. Because once you put a price on the health of the small child, only then can you see how easy it is to make our lives better, help other ppl and how ashamed we should be for not caring about them. And never besides a point - how much can you make - or save - in the long term if you do. Now go nag your senator or somebody to read those articles, donete few bucks to a good NGO and start caring.

In other news.

I will be attending the 'Fifth Dawn' prerelase. What, you ask?
Well, you need to read collectible card games, Magic and prerelease events, I think.

Truth be told, I am not playing Magic as much as I used to few years ago. It is not cheap, and it is time consuming. But I miss my friends...or collegues. In those times I actually had more then a few. Oh well. I better stop reminescing about old times before this gests to personal. Thing postitive thoughs - like the fact that the prerelease events are good for meeting old gang (many of them dont play it as often as they did, as well...misery likes company, huh?).

Have fun :) I know I will.

The killer psycho next office

Let's start today with me telling you what is the only newspaper (offline) I read and trust hose day. The Economist.. UK based and as far as I can determine - they have no secret agenda. Neither pro-Isreali, nor pro-Palestinian, neither pro-Bush nor pro-Kerry.

No secret agenda of course means not 'none agenda at all'. They have an agenda - they believe that free market is *the best*. Long story for another time, but so far I agree with them - most of the time, at least. They have a unique perespective on looking at the world of global politis and asking difficult questions from the economical perespective. Oh, and you can always read current issue online for free. Give them a try.

But who is the psycho, you ask? Well. Who else? The Corporation. They have rights and obligations not much diffrent then normal people, yet they are motivated only by a single goal - the pursuit of wealth for the shareholders. In order to achieve that in short term, they will trample everything that stands on their way, bribe goverments*, undermine democracy, turn emploeyers into mindles drones, wreck the enviroment and cause armageddon.
Well, ok, I got a little carried away. But there is something to it.
Even The Economist agrees.

If you are lucky, you can see the movie. I, of course, living in Poland, can only dream about it (no plans to distrobute it here as of present)...*sigh*. Enjoy it if you can.

*especially in the poorer countires - see this report by Transparency International.
Quote: "The BPI shows that US multinational corporations, which have faced the risk of criminal prosecution since 1977 under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, have a high propensity to pay bribes to foreign government officials. The US score of 5.3 out of a best possible clean 10 is matched by Japanese companies and is worse than the scores for corporations from France, Spain, Germany, Singapore and the United Kingdom. The highest scores, indicating the lowest propensity to bribe abroad, were for companies from Australia, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, Canada, the Netherlands and Belgium"

Double *sigh*. Guess why I like to read and write about utopias...

Over and out, for today.

May 20, 2004

On certain curse and blessing

The fact that many languages exist on Earth.

First, lets start with the pros. Divercity -> evolution -> only the fittest survive
And from time to time, they can be used in military ops, like Navaho lang during IIWW.
Or the current problems of Western spooks caused by lack of ppl familiar with Arab lang.

I see few good things coming out of that diversity. Don't get me wrong, lots of interesting books have been written in that langs - but majority can be translated (although the concept of translating poetry always seemed strange to me. It is just as good as trying to translate word jokes.).

So I hope one day all world will speak English (or its derivative), and other languages are considered DEAD. Of course, there will be hobbist's studing them (just like today they are ppl speaking Tolkien Elvish, Star Trek Klingon - or some Latin variants. Or Esperanto, for that matter.). Hopefully with brain implants allowing one to learn any lang in a second, all can enjoy the wealth of ancient texts in their orginal form (just like the author intended).

And I wouldn't have to chose between writing my stuff in English or Polish (and translating it later).

Power to the English, destroyer of languages!

May 18, 2004

Articles ideas

I am thinking about lot of articles lately (yeah, I should start writing them).
Wont happen till Friday I think (trip to another town in next two days).

Today I was talking about Internet. Another revealtion, huh?
But have you considered HOW EXACTLY is it good, or useful?
I think it is among top 10-20 inventions of manking, alongside fire, wheel, writing, mathematics...electricity, PCs.
It is the BEST method of communications invented since speech itself. Ok, simple writing has the advantage that you can do it with a stick and sand, but barring that (and some nifty inventions like e-paper can render even that past), 'net has all tha advantages of print and electricity based comm systems (telegraph, phone, radio, tv) combined!
It allows interaction at fraction of their costs, it stores data in all formats, it allowes new forms of information exchange (usenent, forums, blogs like this one!).

So feel priviliged - you are witnessing a revolution. Or at least, a big step in eveolution. It doesn't happen every decade. There were times it didn't happen every century - but the speeding up of tech progress is yet another topic for another article.

So enjoy that good feeling. I know I am.


And I DONT want to hear any Chineese proverbs! I LIKE INTERESTING TIMES!

May 17, 2004

Thoughts. Anime. Blogs. More thoughts.

Reviewed Wild ARMS on Them forums.

Working on my own phpBB forums.

Reading more stuff. Recently about blogs.
I wont be the first to say that blogs are are creating a new media type. Nor will I be the first to ask if this is just a short fashion or a major revolution in making. But I'd like to add something to this discussion from a perespective I think I know a little bit.

Blogs as a step in evolution of democracy.
Consider this:
- blogs make classic media - owned by corporation, and responsible to them - less poweful. You dont have to trust CNN or other media moguls when you can verify it for yourself on Back to Iraq, Techno-Blog or any other of hundreds J-Blogs. Of course, this rases the question who can verify the the truth. But the more blogs there are, the more respected and proven some of them become, the smaller chance that they give false news. And if you believe that what you see on TV or read in newspaper is unbiased...just check the the Daily Mirror scandal - here, here or here. Need I give more examples?

Consequence: more independent media - less public opinion influencing tricks - better educated electorate - more efficient democracy

There are several other interesting lines of thoughts here. For example, wouldn't you like to see blogs written by politicians in which they would be forced to explain all what they are doing, daily?

But that is for another time, I have more reading to do...

May 16, 2004

The daily trials

Just so you know, I'll trying to start my d-studies in Poland. One of the resons is that deadline for foreging applications has passed few months ago (usually in march) and you cant expect me to do nothing till next time. It may sound shocking, but doing nothing is not as fun as some think...and even doing creative stuff like reviews, wiki entries and community building is not enough. Yes, it helps ppl...but it is all online, and if I stay in house 24h/7days, when next March commes I may not fit the front door - or recognize a human being without a screen in it's head place :o

So I am reading stuff (bah, thats news...I am a book worm since I turned 5), some of it scienctific thingiies. I find it interesting, really (I wonder if some would call it growning up...or is it just some spice into my everyday sf diet?). Just now I am reading article about how democracy has some elements in it that work towards its destruction and (suprise) most of them are related to capitalism. Now thats a nifty way of wrapping 'money is evil' thesis into scientific jargon :)

You know what Churchill said about democracy? That is is very bad, but we have nothing better...I am sure the same is true about free market. Oh, and never confuse political system with economic system. They are quite diffrent.

Being a technology beliver (and don't confuse this with technocrat) I believe technology progress will fix all that. Just as Internet may be the panacea of current democracy problems (I wrote about that in my MT), what do you think will transform economy?
My bet is on nanotechnology. Why?

I'll tell you some other time. Maybe if somebody asks for it with the Comment function (hint, hint - does anybody reads it??). Oh well. Over and out, for now...

May 13, 2004

What if...

...something didn't happen as it did? Ever asked yourself that?

Ah, the alternative worlds...go read something about them, it is my favourite type of literature :) See Uchronia for few thousands choices...
I am going (hopefully) GM and rpg camaing (based on GURPS) in my hometown about alternative worlds soon. Like improved version of SG and Sliders, just without the Hollywood do-good unrealistic attitude.

In other news. I am more and more certain I'd like to go to Philadelphia to study for doctoral degree there...they have the most interesting ppl there. I could really learn stuff...and contribute. I hope. I think I need to write an article in English, based on my Polish MT Thesis, Evolution of Democracy.
Believe it or not, I find that area iteresting, and apparently I am not the only one. Which in itself is a topic for one of articles I'd like to eventually write - that every area has ppl that like it, and that can revolutionise the future
Consider this quote: 'Find a job you like, and you will never have to work'. But the works gets where is the trick? I'll tell you more some other time.

Just...the one year in US doctoral program is tad...expensive, ya know. 22,500$ That is not counting the living expenses (estimate 10k without 'fun'). Compare it to average monthly salary in Poland of 633$ (see here and here for statistics). And of course the average salary of fresh-afeter-studies person is half that. Do the math. Ouch.
Oh well...back to looking for stipends and grants. I hear they exist. Hear. Finding proof is much harder. Life is full of mysteries, although I am not amazed one has to work hard to find where they are giving out money. Of course, in Poland, hard work is often not a substitute for knowing some 'important people'. Corruption is unfortunalely getting stroneger here...or perhaps the media that discover new scandals are? I hope it is the second version. I am an optimst after all.
Consider this - it could have been much worse. Around quarter of world population cannot even dream of any kind of higher education - in Africa. See this, if you dont believe me.
Of course, one should remember that situation is getting better. The Economist recently had a series of articles about it. Just do as all a favour and silence those anti...sorry, alter-globalist before they do any more damage.

In brighter news...I learend today I am to appear on 28th May on my (former) university, they are going to dress me in togas and stuff and send to year-ending ceremony to recievie Rector's prize for Very High Grade's or something - I was so amazed at this I forgot the name. Ummm. They want to give an award for me! I hardly did anything...I mean, I spend most of my time doing what I liked to. Oh. Does it mean I like learning? Revelations never end...come to think of it, did I tell you I always adimired the type of scientis that boils the watch and crashes an egg on his wrist? Go figure why. :)

May 11, 2004

Just some updates

Well, blogger updated themselves, o :)

And I joined Wikiproject: History of Poland :)

And a forum rpg I played reinveted itself...or at least tries to with my help.

And we think about using this...phpBB thingy. Gotta love open source. Just beware of their mods on forums...very stingy. I asked what is the best phpBB mod for rpg game and they locked my thread - off topic they say. In general disussion...:<

May 9, 2004

Green and silver

A friend of mine suggested I change the colors - so here u go. Green and grey (I dont think silver would be nice for eyes....).

I'd appreciate a comment on this change. Or on anything else... :>

May 8, 2004

Let's Gekiganga In!

I committed another anime review for THEM.

Gakiganger III, Nadesico spin-off. Read it here.

Time for a game

Every few time units a person needs to take a break from serious stuff and relax. So I told u about go few weeks ago. Now it is time for something diffrent.
A free online game I play for several years now.


Short review - a game of strategy and diplomacy. 25 cooperating allies in one kingdom, each rules over one province, fight against thousands of other kingdoms.

teaches cooperation - provinces must cooperate by forums and IMs or lose to better coordinated enemies,
nice interface - not very graphical, but easy to learn and use

randomized kingdom entry - you cant chose to go to a kingdom u like, u r assigned randomly
secret rules - lots of numbers are secret, and players make software to help based on statistic data
time consuming - 10-30 minutes every day...this can be a pro, if you want sth to do as well :)

So, for now, try the game.

May 7, 2004

Mess with your brain...

...or not? I wonder. Brainwave generator.

Normally, I'd have discared it as pseudoscience, but a friend of mine tells me it works on him. Some tricks may be useful (shortening sleeping time, falling asleep), but I wonder if they have any negative long term effects.

Same with hypnosis. As much as the prospect of forcing myself to finally do some exersises sounds nice...I have a feeling it may be a bit 2 dangerous to try. Have you heard anything about this? Bah. Who am I asking. Wiki is not much help either.

On the other hadn, lots of today science was discarded in the past. So I wonder...well, for now I'll just bookmark this and do some more reading when I have the time.

Oh, a quote for today:

Symbols are the key to telepathy. The mind wraps its
secrets in symbols; when we discover the symbols that shape
our enemy's thought, we can penetrate the vault of his mind.

-- Lady Deirdre Skye,
"Our Secret War"

Speaking of which. Ever heard of memes?

Now this is another interesting piece of science, much more real then pseudo. Wiki will give u the serious stuff, but feel free to scan yourself for meme-viruses as well, the results will be interesting. It is safe, I did it myself. Hmmm...maybe I was infected and am now spreading this message becouse it is a dangerous mem? Oh...I guess it is too late for you too as well. Resistance if futile. Mems are everywhere. We have already been assimilated...probably around the time we developed language. So, if you can fight them, at least know them. Live long and prosper, etc., I am going to sleep.

An eternity of silence...

...would probably be needed to pay respects to every good person that died trying to help others.

Same holds true for most coalition forces in Iraq, but even more so - for the civilian workers there.

Today, a Poilsh journalist and Alegerian camaraman were killed.

Google news, Boston Daily, Reuters, Aljazeera,, Washington Post, Gazeta Wyborcza

Interesting how news spreads on the net - I learned it through status changes on my friends Instant Messanger, Polish Gadu-Gadu. Now several, including me, have statuses about this event:
Chwila Ciszy: Milewicz
┼╝al po stracie dobrego dziennikarza
o kurw...w Iraku zabili Milewicza
niepowetowana strata dla dziennikarstwa
And probably many more I dont know.

Lets hope their sacrifice will not be in vain.

May 6, 2004

Quote dedicated

This is to my favourite lecturer, dr Filar, who I am sure want read it. Don't fear the 'net!

The righteous need not cower before the drumbeat of human progress.
Though the song of yesterday fades into the challenge of tomorrow,
God still watches and judges us. Evil lurks in the datalinks as it
lurked in the streets of yesteryear. But it was never the streets
that were evil.

-- Sister Miriam Godwinson,
"The Blessed Struggle"

May 4, 2004

At last...something useful

As long as you are doing HTML thingies :)

Have you ever heard of favicons? If not, I am sure u have seen them. Those are the small icons that u can see in favourites, near links of webpages or in tabs (if u are wise enough to ditch IE for something that has this wonderful invention, like mozilla :) ).

You should now be able to see my treecat favicon (primary image @ by Mattingly, the author of beautiful Honorverse covers - see my webpage, Honorverse Art Gallery for more info and great sf pics :D).

If u want to add favicons to your www, nothing simpler. Just add to your site: LINK REL="SHORTCUT ICON" HREF="mypage.ico". In tags <> of course.

Simple, huh? Enjoy the cutting edge of 2000' html tech :D

More info here:
- site about favicon theory -
- site with icon making soft -

May 3, 2004

All good things come to an end

At least for a time being. I am counting the day till next CQ, this one was a BLAST. Good things there are quite a few convents every month.

So you can gather I was impressed. Sure, there were small glitches (like the orgs not knowing where the rpg tables were, forcing players to go on merry go round search through entire complex), but the lectures I attended were from average to extremly good, with quite a nice proportions of the latter ones. And I managed to play a rpg game, so this is also a plus :) Although I wish there were more in the afternoon and morning...all I know of started in the evening. But yes, those are minor things. So, details...what I did.
Date, Polish title, eng translation, lecturer, my impression. Scale 0-terrible to 10-perfect

1600 so. I dont remember anything :)
1700 Rewolucje Ducha - Revolutions of the spirit - M.Studniarek. Stared slowly, but soon the lecturer started speaking loudly, fluently and showing extensive knowledge about evolutions of monastyres and monks and such. 7/10
1800 Warsztaty teorii spiskowych - Workshops of Conspiracies Teories - A..Pilipiuk. I have seen his lectures 2 times before and every one deserved 10/10. Not diffrent this time. Also the title was a tad misleading, the lecture concenred faking archelogical digs and publishing books about fake UFO artifacts.
1900 Oddzialy specjalne - Special Forces. P.Nowicki. I missed the first few minutes of that lecture. Some interesting facts about Spanish Foreign League...and who would have suspected they had first special forces formed as early as XVI cent.? 7/10
2000 Propagada. M.Jarczyk. Some interesting stuff about logic of propagand rethoric...did you know Stalin wrote a book himself? Short thing about language. Quite funny. And the lecturer was pretty :) 8/10
2100 Hackers. S.Sokol. About hackers. Interesting, angedotes and stuff...although history of the net part in the begining was a bit unnecessary. Still, it got better and better (and went for 1h15 or so, actually). Good thing it did (and it is only thanks to next lecturer that this gets 8/10 again, if it ended too early the history part might have made is much less fun).
Then I went home. :)

Ummm. I am still I am going to just mention few most impressive lectures I heard over next three days, not all I attended.
Sat 1600. Przesady medyczne ludu polskiego (Polish folk medicine), M.Kawalski. 1h of history...funny, terrible. Good stuff. And may you never get ill when in the Third World country...
Some interesting things followed, but this is when I played Planescape. Hard to chose sometimes...
Sun. I missed 4/5 of 1200 Ziemianski presentation on 'Cold War'. My fault...I am a lazy sleeper :(
What I heard was 10/10.
1300 Meiji restoration in Japan by M.Mydel. Better then the Last Samurai movie, at least for me :) 10/10
Selling the revolution by J.Janicki. Marketing and revolution. Nicely connected with RL stuff we see every day, even though I read about most of it (United Colors of Bennetton). When compared to my boring lectures about marketing on Uni...really...10/10 again.
Lots of 10/10 on that day. Secets of Vatican by M.Budziakowski. R.Pawlak on Francis Drake.
Awesome ending of the CQ (as tradition apparently forces, one day before the real end :). Prizes, stuff...and auction (that was FUN). Damn my shyness, I would have bought something...shame the thing I wanted most went first (and so cheaaaply...) before I gathered my courage. Oh well. My fault. Great event, though.
Survival on sea battles later. Again, title misleading (only XV-XVII cent.) but barred that, 10/10. Too short for me to start a discussion regarding the Clueless article I mentioned few days before...
Today I listend to Pilipiuk on history of anticonception (rotflol), Ziemianski on Women in Revolution (would be 10/10 if he didn't bolt out after half and hour...apparently he didnt prepare enough material...or we waitied too long with question...still great, though). Stories about pirates by Majkowski didn't let me down either, and the eding lecture, Echnaton (Akhenaten) by K.Bodziony, which almost didnt start, was great as well.

In the end, lots of historical stuff, but I love history. And lectureres that loved the subject they talked about. And listeners that wanted to listen. And games and stuff in the background, and lots of nice ppl. If I wasn't so shy, I'd have congratulate the orgs, I saw some of them next to me on the last lecture...but as I am myself, I can only write good about them here, safely knowing nobody reads it except me. Awesome job!

Maybe I will have a lecture like this myself one before I gather a courage to ask any org about it, I will be 50. Bah. I am better on the net then f2f. But I am not is the con I wanted to write about. And I think I did :)

For any lurkers that my happen to read this - google for nearest sf con near u, and give it a try. It will be worth it.

May 1, 2004

RPG is fuuuun :)

I did play an RPG today :) Mmmm...I do it so rarely. Planescape. Was fun, if a bit too dark for my taste.

I got a personal (almost) presentation of a new Polish rpg system (Monastyr) - looks quite good. Listened to some interesting presentations...seen a LotR verstion made by our local tv guru, stuff.

What amazes me is how many women there are on the con. No more then 25%. I wonder why. Education? Culture? I mean, they are not less intelligent...I think :) Don't have much personal experience, but my bet would be on education. Somehow sf/fantasy dont seem to be targeted into that market, and parents tend not to by toys from that section for girls (yeah...ever seen a Barbie in space suit?).

Shame. Those who miss lectures like today's 'Folk medicine' cant imagine the fun they r missing. I am serious.

Tired. Thats all for today. Till another transmission...

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