100 words 005

I have an ambivalent relationship to the idea of cross-posting things from one social media platform to another.
While I’d never even think of auto-posting my Instagram photos to Twitter, I have little shame when putting them up on my blog, usually without context.

Sometimes I forget that I have cross-posting enabled. These posts seem to land on Xing, where they got a comment – which I appreciated and would reply if I could be bothered to look up my Xing password.
And once a week my stats get posted to Twitter, which is sometimes rather embarrassing.

100 words 004

I have about half an hour left to write my hundred words for today and I do not have much to say, all things considered.

The big mistake of the day – I seem to have those – was to purchase Cities in Motion 2. As a big fan of Transport Tycoon ever since it came out back in the MS-DOS days, this game is like crack to me. Or maybe probably more like some kind of downer drug – I can “just give that games a try”, having a podcast running at the same time and suddenly the day is over.

100 words 003

I have this book in my Amazon bookmarks for a while now. A book about airline design between ’45 and ’75. It’s a whopping 300€.

I have seen the book by now – it is really amazingly beautiful. And just as huge and heavy. This is not a coffee table book anymore – we’re talking about a work bench book.

I don’t know if the publisher has a great PR team or if publications try to earn money by linking to the book on Amazon – it is everywhere: New Republic, Skift and Wired are just a few sites I have seen it.

100 words 002

As they say: expectations tend to lead to disappointment.

Given that I really dislike to be disappointed, I try to go through life without any expectations.
I am aware how that is a statement of huge privilege – of course I expect not to get gunned down while walking around in town. I expect not to suddenly have to run from a natural disaster. I expect to be able to walk into any store without any problem and I expect my Amazon packages to arrive in time.

Now what about not disappointing people? It seems impossible to manage other people’s expectations.

100 words 001

Writing Irregularity once every week is probably the first time I manage to write or produce something on a regular schedule.

The irony of the name is not lost on me. In the beginning I wrote the emails whenever I felt like it. Without the pressure to write on a schedule or meet certain expectations, a weekly pattern emerged quite naturally and by now it’s a habit to start my work week by opening Byword, grabbing a couple of links in the hope that every reader finds at least one of them interesting, and putting them out in the world.

Ich, Dein Fön.

Irgendwie schade, daß das mit dem deutschen Humor in den letzten 41 Jahren nie wieder besser wurde als Susi Sorglos.

Three weeks on Instagram



This blog post sucks

It’s the worst.
And yet at the end I might end up liking it.

Have you ever looked at Amazon reviews? It is usually an inverse Guassian distribution: a lot of opinions on the top and bottom of the curve, hardly anything in between.
Everything is controversial all the time.

Last week I went to see a musical. It was very well executed and I have a lot of respect for the physical work the actors did. It is probably not high art, yet at the end, many people decided that standing ovations would be in order.
I am not sure if these people were really that blown away by the performance or if they just really wanted to be able to think, feel and tell that they went to see a play that was so great that standing ovations were in order.

Some while ago I took my car to be serviced at an officially branded garage. When I went to pick it up, the person at the counter told me that probably someone from the car company will call me and ask about the quality of their service. She then proceeded to ask me if I could maybe tell them that it was perfect in every way.
I told her that the service was good, but that I was a bit confused by the amount of praise she’d like. That’s how I learned that this car brand in particular expects five star service from their garages or it might take away the status as official garage of that brand.

A lot of our conversation these days – especially online, but it seems to be a common feature in offline interactions as well – seems to be hyperbole in one direction or the other, often drowning out details and nuances.
We all1 like to use very definitive statements about the quality of something when all we actually want is to express our personal opinion.
Aggregation and trying to get feedback by “normal people” amplifies this phenomenon.

It is not possible anymore to just buy and enjoy things that are okay-ish or good enough. People2 dig through thousands of reviews and are very peculiar about their stuff. And that’s when confirmation bias sets in.
Obviously that thing that I bought that has basically no real difference to that other thing, is the best thing ever and the other one is the worst and everybody who disagrees seems to be out to personally attack us and is also a complete moron.


  1. Not you, you’re better than this. But we other, more flawed human beings. 
  2. Well, mostly nerds. My kind of people. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

Two weeks, three photos, one TBT.

Skinner Box

There’s an intersection here in town that marks where the “town center” begins. It is pretty big and always sees a lot of traffic.
It also has a lot of pedestrian lights that have buttons that don’t do anything. Which is both actually quite common but obviously not well known.

So if one would be a terribly smug smart-ass and just walked up to a traffic light without pressing the button, one would more often than not get yelled at by little old ladies for this misdemeanor.
If that obviously completely hypothetical smug smart-ass would then reply by explaining that the buttons don’t really have a function anymore, the yelling might turn from “I’m just helping you!” to “Don’t mess with my world-view!”
After all – why would they put up those buttons on the traffic lights if not to make the pedestrian lights switch from red to green?

The Firehose

It might not come as a surprise that I like to read a lot of stuff on the internet. I used to describe myself as “universally interested” and while I have realized by now that this is far from the truth – there are many things I don’t care about at all – it is still something I strive towards.
I have played around with the idea of a link blog for quite a while. I tried to use LostFocus for that, but for no real reason, that never quite felt right. For a while I just bookmarked stuff on Pinboard, but that wasn’t quite what I had in mind, either.

So I built myself something that I called The Firehose. It’s not a very complicated page: a collection of links, shown with their Open Graph– or Twitter Card-data. (It is amazing how few pages these days don’t have that data. Looks like at least some Social Media manager types do their job instead of tweeting as a cheese.)

Maybe you’ll find something that is useful and interesting to you, too.

The page does have an RSS feed if you’re into that kind of thing and if you prefer your links once a day via email, there is that option, too.
And if you’re a millennial (hehe) and don’t use either feeds or email, you can follow the page on Twitter or Tumblr.

Instagram, again.