Week 317

The week before this on Monday (almost two weeks ago), I went to a lecture by Graham Harman. Notes on that were blogged in a timely fashion.

That week also involved a one-day trip to Munich to present on the work we did for a client there. More on that on the Hubbub blog in due course.

My desk optically flipped (not an Instagram filter)

Thursday I worked at the Kreuzberg Academy for Nerdery and Tinkering next door. I really love how Oranienstraße is coming together as a creative technological hub of import in Berlin.

Endless streams of tourists resume

The rest of the week was used developing Ripple Effect and with maintenance on GidsGame.nl.

Week 316

The week before this is getting a bit boring, but as soon as the current project is over I promise that adventures will resume again.

German lessons continued even with one of our participants being back in the Netherlands:
Language class remote

Sun was enjoyed at last after the gruelling Berlin winter we had to endure:
Drinking a filter coffee in the sun.

And my laptop crashed again during the week and this time because I had already performed all backups and come to terms with the mortality of the device, this time the decision was quickly made to buy a new laptop. This is something I should have done a year ago.

And I’m noticing that Berlin police are very helpful if you’re cyclist. One example:
Berlin police being fucking helpful and blocking the bike path. Also I don't understand why it takes 9 people to detain one black guy.

Week 315

We’re in the middle of a big project, so pretty much everything is that right now. In between some small things happen, but we’re rather busy shipping right now.

I did post the answer to the most frequently asked question I get, which is how you actually pronounce my name:

And in between stuff I dropped in on this book presentation at c-base, which was pretty weird:
Hacker artist book presentation with buzzword bingo: ‘business, art, disruption, entrepreneurs, networkers’

And I had a strange encounter with Berlin police who it seems cannot look around them.

Furthermore I did some account maintenance for Open State, getting things in order for our new CEO who arrives next week.

Weeks 313-4

Two week notes in one because last week seems to have been too busy to write any.

Rushing through the snow towards Amsterdam

Week 313 was spent in the Netherlands with a somewhat hectic visit. I spent a lot of time at the Hubbub studio and at the Open Coop.

Today's office

And of course the inevitable five (!) visits to the Village who were serving only Coffee Collective coffees when I was there:

Four Coffee Collective filters, too much choice to go around. Nothing in Berlin can touch this.

Today's office

And that Friday was Free Bassel Day in remembrance of our friend who is still imprisoned in a Syrian prison:
#freebassel ing my friend's workplaces

And then it was an ICE back to Berlin already:
Got the sweet upgrade because NS messed up the direct connection

I did manage to get some good writing in those two weeks. First one piece about why levying a tax on data is not a bad idea at all: Taxing data is not crazy. And the week after that about Jaron Lanier who is a crazy person with some interesting ideas: Who owns the future?

TORREON should be about finished by now. And last Friday we also forcibly launched the German incarnation of Politwoops now with an accompanying Twitter account because the SPD chancellor candidate posted something he shouldn’t have.

Also I’m doing another bout of programming education for non-programmers in Amsterdam next week with a course and a meetup. More on that in a bit.

And I finished my Recess! post.

Week 312

The German police state is up and about

I booked my trip and accommodation in Paris. I’m quite looking forward to see that city again.

On Tuesday we had a big office lunch along with the people from Schnelle Bunte Bilder.

Wednesday we had our weekly German language class.

Language class

And that night I worked late to finish TORREON. A small project that took up way too much time as all small projects do.

That same night I helped a kid in the Netherlands do his maths homework. I think it is standard practice for kids in the Netherlands to share pictures of their homework issues on social media. This time I got caught by one and managed to help the kid out decomposing square roots.

Niels managed to hit another high with his contribution to Recess!. I think it may be about time to create a single serving website for tat serial.

Reading is something I still manage to do quite a lot though I have given up reading articles in Instapaper and have been reading a solid streak of books again. Some friends didn’t agree and they think the solution to this problem lies in craft beer.

On Friday morning we had a meeting with the breakfast gang. My blurb for TNW magazine was published on the open web.

And we closed off the week with a nice game of Citadels.

Citadels. Hail to the king!

Week 311

Last week we were on something of a tear continuously shipping things (it beats continuous integration). As Kars mentioned in the Hubbub weeknotes I was featured in the rather shiny TNW magazine about the subject of gamification. Much to my surprise this issue was filled with blabbering by Gabe Zichermann. It’s not only that we take issue with the way he approaches games, it looks like everything about the man is shameful. You can read unparalleled levels of douchebaggery over at Kevin Slavin and to my dismay even GigaOM1 is complicit.

To my shame it took me until Friday night to write my second installment of Recess!

I also got in touch with the government of Tempelhof-Schöneberg to procure all building permits for the area which had some disappointing results. More on that later.

  1. I thought GigaOM was a spark of light in the cesspool of tech journalism but it turns out I was wrong.

Week 310

The week was off to a smashing smart with the irregular Iron Blogger Berlin drinks. For some people it is an expensive drinking club, for me with my iron blogging resolve it is more an expensed drinking club.

Bath tub

Berlin weather has been crazy last week. Also again we did tons of stuff for Hubbub, see it over there on Week 183.

Over at Open State we are still recruiting a managing director to take over operations and lead us up onto the next level of open government and civic innovation. If you are reading this and you are inclined towards getting things done and civic responsibility, do get in touch with us:

Facing this crazy blizzard for the past couple of days.

I was preparing to write a book about the way we’ve come to work for a while now, but as most books go this was not really happening. So I decided to convert it to a format that is easier to get started on and write it as a series of blog posts right here.

However wonderful your life has been, those with more money will take it away from you.

At the end of the week we threw together an impromptu Friday’s at Seven here in the neighborhood to end the week and tap into the scenius that is coalescing. We’ll definitely do that again and try out various other event formats to see which is the most fun in the long run.

Skeuomorph electric lamp (real wax)

And Saturday I finally finished Infinite Jest after having received the hardcopy version of it over four years ago. I was quite happy with that if only because I now have time again to read other things (just started the Quantum Thief).

Week 309

A bunch of stuff I did last week is summarized nicely at the Hubbub weeknotes. This is going to happen more and more often, so these weeknotes may become at risk. We’ll see what happens.

This is how you protect the rights of millionaires in Berlin.

Anyway, I tried to dial into a conference call while there was a massive demonstration happening over at Wienerstraße #Lausitzer8. Having the riot police and the anarchists play tag below your window creates something of a racket:

This corner of Kreuzberg is becoming more and more interesting and I’m running into people randomly in various lunch places. Last week I had the pleasure to meet both Chris Eidhof (who we should see more of in this part of town) and Jannis Leidel.

#aufschrei on the street

Niels posted the second Recess! which was as awesome as I’d expected it to be.

Simon Klose discussing his movie TPB AFK

On Thursday I went to the TPB AFK screening in c-base which was organized by Michelle Thorne after a conversation in a cafe here. I look forward to meeting lots more interesting people around the area and conspiring to do awesome things with them.

I wrote up the watersnake app I wrote over here. Expect to see us meddle more into these kind of systems from a game design point of view.

Cosmic Encounter

And on the weekend I played two new board games (Cosmic Encounter and King of Tokyo) and had dinner with Tim de Gier and the Dekker brothers.

King of Tokyo - awesome game if you're into monsters (and who isn't?)

Week 308

Besides the immense amount of things we did over at Hubbub last week, I also spent a lot of time doing various other things which sort of amazed me to be honest.

Giving this another go with my improved German skills #digiges

Tuesday I went to the Netzpolitische Abend here in c-base where Janneke Slöetjes of Bits of Freedom was one of the speakers. It was great fun catching up with what they’ve been busy with and the activist’s life.

And on Saturday Jan Lehnardt and I organized the first Swhack Berlin, a commemorative hackathon to do the things that we would normally only talk about. A round-up of the things we did is still forthcoming, but everybody is super-busy of course. It was a lot of fun and I was pleasantly surprised even by the 10+ people who showed up and got busy. We’ll do another one sometime in the near future.

Week 307

Last Monday Uber had drinks here in Berlin and took a complimentary Uber there to chat with their Berlin team. The experience was extremely comfortable but given big city traffic it wasn’t very fast1. In cities where the cab market is unreliable and corrupt I can definitely imagine the appeal of Uber. People working on transit apps should take note, this is the way it should work.

Wednesday we got a new person to join us over here at Praxis: the elusive iksi who seems to be rather more connected to my Dutch friends than I had foreseen.

Street life resumes now that one's ass doesn't freeze off anymore.

The rest of the week Kars Alfrink was here in Berlin for copresent sprints on all the running projects and you’ll read more about all that stuff in last week’s Hubbub weeknotes.

I did bang out a Re:publica submission, kick started a hackathon (there’s a separate post on that) and started a neighborhood initiative.


  1. I could have done the same distance quicker by public transportation and even a well-trained runner may have beat the S Class Mercedes.