Culture is a complex system that is not understood by most people. This is particularly the case if self-declared observers are not part of the culture that they try to observe. This happened to Graffiti and Punk Rock, it happens to Snowboarding and Skateboarding (interestingly inline skaters never managed to develop some kind of culture around their sport), and it happens to Hooligans and Rave-Hippies. From the perspective of social sciences, youth culture is probably one of the most complex phenomena of western societies. Simple explanation schemes does not work, simple grouping via general forms of expression won't do the trick, either. This is, however, what mass-media frequently tries - therefore I wonder if those journalists who write about youth in large newspapers and magazines are either extremely stupid, boring, or - for that matter - made no cultural experiences in their youth. Certainly, I am not an expert of youth culture but I did some research and collected loads of experiences. Somehow, I feel like adding "when I was young" to the end of the last sentence, but then I always remember one of my favorite 7Seconds songs and then "when I was young" turns into a meaningless phrase.
After almost four years I managed to get seriously back working on my code on CPAN. One of my biggest concerns were the test cases of the old modules, but things won't get better unless I sit down and do actually some work; and this was what I did today. I fixed all open issues for the XML::LibXML::Iterator package and the XML::Filter::GenericChunk package.
I will leave tomorrow for Barcelona and thus today was cleaning day. Window cleaning was not feasible because of the rain, but I did everything indoors. Anyway, I doubt that anybody is interested in reading that I can handle vacuum cleaner, soap and duster. I also started to clean-up some old data on my desktop at home. I started to edit my old bookmark files, check what is still valid and valuable, and post this data to del.icio.us.
The final call for papers on the EC-TEL doctoral consortium has been released today. First, I thought on submitting something to that event as well, after I submitted my final version of the full paper, yesterday. However, after I got through the topics I was not sure if I really should do so.
During the weekend I worked on another technical paper on the architecture of the software I will use in my research. The focus of this paper is on using XML-formatted semantics for smart indicators. For some time I already thought about which standard would be appropriate for that. As I am with the OUNL, IMS Learning Design (IMS LD) was somewhat obvious to look at.
Last week the emacs development team released Emacs 22.1. Today I downloaded and installed this editor. One feature the I never ever want to miss, is that Emacs now fully integrates with the rest of my linux desktop - this makes life so much easier (e.g. by using drag and drop or file-open dialogs). This is pretty cool. I fear I'll never use Emacs 21 anymore.
After a long time I have discovered a kitchen dragon. I have not seen one for about eight years and thus it was quite a surprise to find that one who - as it appears - has been lurking in my kitchen for some time already. The last one I met has joined me in Athens and followed me to Berlin, where he found a better place to live, when I moved to Innsbruck. However, this one sitting now in my kitchen and the one from Greece are pretty different. The first kitchen dragon i met was somewhat red-brownish and could breathe fire, while this one has a silverish skin and breathes steam at most.
This was one of those days that feel so useless, but when you are looking at them from a distance (like home in my case) it looks quite different. Today we had the final session of our EU sponsored course about scientific writing in English and one of the infamous cluster meetings. This are not really productive but necessary tasks. Maybe I felt so useless because I lacked coffee and sleep after a sleepless night.
Today, I confirmed the date for the next TenCompetence Winter School. I am glad, that we made it this time before the summer break. So everybody has to mark the 18th to the 22nd Febuary 2008 in their calendars.