Business & Creativity, Movies, Books & TV Shows

Digital Colonization

I just re-read the article: The goal is to automate us: welcome to the age of surveillance capitalism.

The following statement by Shoshana Zuboff scared me more this time than the first time I came across it…

“Digital natives” is a tragically ironic phrase. I am fascinated by the structure of colonial conquest, especially the first Spaniards who stumbled into the Caribbean islands. Historians call it the “conquest pattern”, which unfolds in three phases: legalistic measures to provide the invasion with a gloss of justification, a declaration of territorial claims, and the founding of a town to legitimate the declaration. Back then Columbus simply declared the islands as the territory of the Spanish monarchy and the pope.

The sailors could not have imagined that they were writing the first draft of a pattern that would echo across space and time to a digital 21st century. The first surveillance capitalists also conquered by declaration. They simply declared our private experience to be theirs for the taking, for translation into data for their private ownership and their proprietary knowledge. They relied on misdirection and rhetorical camouflage, with secret declarations that we could neither understand nor contest.

Food & Drinks, Simplify

Frozen Plums

My effort of clearing the freezer, fridge and pantry is not working out as I planned. I still have so much!

The main culprit is the frozen plums that I have stored away in the summer months. Now that the days are cold, and stirring a pot of hot concoction bearable, it is the ideal time to use up the frozen fruit and cook up some plum jam.

I need jam sugar…

Business & Creativity, Jibber Jabber

Burning Plastic

Just read “Is burning plastic waste a good idea?” from National Geographic.

This article has a Western view and opinions on the matter. From that perspective, the pros-and-cons as regards to plastic incineration is discussed with a slight bias against burning. I say it boils down to the question of, ‘who will be the ones burning the plastic?’. Because there is a huge difference in technology and environmental standards on how plastic waste is dealt with in a West European country compared to a third world country in Asia.

When I think in terms of the city I am living in right now, then it should be a good idea. The incineration of plastic which formed part of the city’s waste will turn into energy that is fed into the warmtenet, providing heating to schools, the a youth center, the fire brigade and several residential apartments. Better that than having wind-blown plastic bags hanging from the tree branches in the Gavers or floating down the river Leie. And let us all hope that the scrubbers and filters will always work effectively at the Imog.

Business & Creativity, Food & Drinks, Health

Eating Well

There is an English television program called Eat Well For Less, which D and I enjoy watching if we come across it by chance. The topic of eating well has always been an important aspect in our European Asian household. Whereas, the theme of eating healthy and on the cheap further intrigues me.

D and I have already been applying a lot of the tips and tricks mentioned in the television program. We have switched to cheaper white goods when it comes to basic food items like milk, sugar, flour etc. When it comes to meat and fresh produce, good quality makes up for the reduced quantity. I cook most of our meals and only eat out occasionally.

In my opinion, gradual minor lifestyle (habits) changes is the key to great, healthy, budget eating.

Flashbacks, Jibber Jabber

Stormy Saturday

It has been really windy this entire Saturday. Fallen autumn leaves are flying around like crazy.

The branches of the plum tree look like they will be able to withstand this stormy condition better than during the spring time. Being almost leafless and not bearing any weight from fruits, the branches are at low risk of breaking off this time.

Since it is too windy, too wet and too cold to be doing any outside chores, I kept myself occupied by doing indoor housekeeping as I usually do on Saturdays. I also found time to make some candied walnuts, following a recipe which I found recently. In my opinion, the oven-roasted honey cinnamon version is still the best.

It is cold out… stay in, stay warm, and stay safe.

Belgium, Events, Jibber Jabber

A Chilly Halloween

Temperature had dropped to the single digit since yesterday. It will be quite a chilly trick-or-treating for the kids this evening. Fortunately for the children of our neighbourhood, one smart couple had organized a Halloween get-together last Saturday. Max temperature then was at a comfortable 20°C!

D and I have candies ready… I wonder if anyone is going to show up at our front door this evening?

Food & Drinks, Simplify

Pumpkin Soup

Today, I used up the last box of frozen pumpkin puree that has been sitting in the freezer since January. A small pot of pumpkin soup was made by simply cooking sauteed shallots, potatoes, garlic, ginger and parsley together with the puree. This was then spiced up with some curry and cumin seasonings. I then used a hand-mixer to turn the concoction into a beautiful and creamy soup. A bowl of warm pumpkin soup is just the perfect thing for the cold evenings.

Belgium, Flashbacks, Jibber Jabber

Fall Back, Spring Forward

Today in Belgium, we switched to winter time. Since my days living in Michigan and learning the words “Fall back, spring forward”, I have had no issues with daylight saving.

The media kept mentioning one good thing which is the extra hour sleep everyone is getting today. Not in my case though… I woke up when my body refused to sleep anymore, and that is usually when daylight starts seeping through these very thin eyelids of mine!

Food & Drinks, Simplify

Quince Jam

Yesterday, I bought the missing ingredients which I needed in order to make quince jam. I am glad I finally get to use up all the quince that I have in storage. The result of this morning’s culinary challenge is six small jars of orangy-brown concoction. I have yet to consume it.

I am not much of a sweet tooth and definitely not a fan of jam. I have a feeling that these jars will last a while…