Here’s another scene from the Trier karneval a few weeks ago. I think this guy went as Hiawatha, although I wasn’t entirely convinced by the deception. Not for too long, anyway.

Welcome to a very special Saturday edition of Morrowlife. Blog pictures are working again, as you possibly can see. I’m not sure I entirely take back the curses against Vizaweb, but at least my account seems to be fixed again. They’re really struggling to get up to the level of merely bad service.

Yesterday’s trip home was uneventful. Got my rental car up to 220 km/h again – that was the absolute downhill limit. I rode in Business class this time. I’m saving my remaining first class upgrades for the overnighter on the way out there. It’s not so important to sleep on the way home. It’s great to be home again, although it’s not going to be a long enough stay.

The amazing thing about the trip that ended yesterday was that I brought just enough clothes for the 12 days so I didn’t have to have any laundry done. I wore exactly everything I took. What excellent planning! I guess I have to take my excitement where I can find it, huh?

Time for a quick update to the book club. I finished Where Wizards Stay Up Late while I was in Europe this week. I recommend it. It goes into great detail on the creation of the predecessor to the internet, which was called the ARPANET and was funded by the Defense Department, and explains its eventual morphing into the internet. There are some general explanations of protocols and their evolution into the TCP/IP Ethernet stuff we use now. At the end, there are also a few words on how email and web browsers came to be. Check it out (from the library, of course). Actually, you can get it through Amazon for as little as 97 cents, so go ahead and buy it.

Made it a little further in How to Start a Freelance Consulting Business. I can’t really say it’s up to the usual standard of the Morrowlife Book Club, which is a really scary thought. I’m not quite sure who the target audience is – it’s presumably intended for people who are intelligent enough to be independent businesspeople, but it’s too simplistic for that audience. I’m sixty-four pages into it, and I’ve gone through a couple of detail-less case studies and a pointless quiz (“Do I like analyzing a problem and finding solutions? Do I like sharing what I know? Do I want to spend most of my time indoors or outdoors?”). Most of the material so far has tried to convince me that right now is the perfect time to start a consulting business and that there are many consulting businesses I could start. Maybe it will get better later on. Frankly, I doubt it.

The big news, however, is that I’ve added another title to the Book Club! It’s called Moths in the Machine and it’s an overview of computer programming for people considering becoming programmers. So far, it’s pretty entertaining. The author writes clearly and, so far anyway, is treating subjects you wouldn’t expect to see in this type of book. Right now, for example, I’m reading about the ethics of computer programming – its potential to harm people due to faulty programming and the fact that we really have no choice but to trust computers completely, simply because we have no way of checking the massive scope and quantity of calculations computers perform. Interesting stuff. It appears that the book is about to get into more mundane topics like the physical construction of machines and how computer languages are compiled and then interpreted by computers.

That suggests a great topic for a more thorough treatment – the ethics of computer programming. I’ll have to search a little and see if it’s been covered before.

Later – yes, it has. I should have guessed. Still, I’m not entirely sure the question of human trust of computers has really been expanded upon. I’ll have to see if any of the computer ethics books can be had from my local library – or borrowed from elsewhere – and check it out. I might be able to get an interesting article or two out of this topic.

Time to go read my book. I invite my Loyal Readers to do the same with whatever they’re reading. See you on Monday.

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