Looking back on 2015

Like in the previous years (2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010), here comes my recap for 2015.

Podcast which I liked most
Mensch, Otto! Mensch, Theile! — Andreas Kuhnlein (23.04.2014)
The podcast is an interview with the german sculpturer Andreas Kuhnlein. I liked it a lot.

Favorite Movie
The movie was available in the ARD Mediathek for a while, but I am not sure about the situation right now. The movie really impressed me. It tells the biography of Bernhard Grzimek, a german zoologist and zoo director. Quite noteworthy that it is a German production.

Favorite Score
Ex Machina
Also liked the movie a lot. Got me interested to read more about the Singularity.

Best Paper
The UNIX Time Sharing System
Read the paper whilst attending a course on the concepts behind Unix (“Systemnahe Software II”). I think the paper is astonishing. Even though it is over forty years old, you will find that most of its concepts are still very much in use in modern Unix operating systems (process management, etc.).

Favorite Song
Kaleida — Think

I did a separate post on the books which I have read throughout the year.

Technology which got me enthusiastic
Through my job at university I got to examine the Samsung Gear VR…and was blown away. The Gear VR really gives an exciting glimpse on the possibilities of virtual reality. Most of the demos can be experienced without any motion sickness (which at least for me is a typical problem with the Oculus Rift). At one point I was alone in a quiet room, sat on a rotating chair and immersed myself in some of the VR apps. Wow, this really is an immersion! If you have the possibility to try some of the demos I encourage you to do so. I was so enthusiastic about the device that I forced it upon multiple friends. The reaction was always the same: people were quite stunned.

Quote which stuck most
Frusciante on being finished with making music for public consumption.

For the last year and a half I made the decision to stop making music for anybody and with no intention of releasing it, which is what I was doing between 2008 and 2012. I felt that if I took the public into consideration at all, I wasn’t going to grow and I wasn’t going to learn.

Being an electronic musician meant I had to woodshed for a while, so I have a good few years worth of material from that period that’s never been released… At this point, I have no audience. I make tracks and I don’t finish them or send them to anybody, and consequently I get to live with the music. The music becomes the atmosphere that I’m living in. I either make really beautiful music that comes from classical, or I make music where the tempo is moving the whole time, and there’s no melodic or rhythmic center.

John Frusicante

I am still sewing from time to time. Besides that I was mainly working on university projects throughout the year. In all university projects I was very enthusiastic at the beginning, but in the end always frustrated. I guess this is due to me being unsatisfied with the way the projects went and the way the academic world works today. All projects centered around human-computer-interaction and I had the chance to explore some interesting technologies. I also took a joy out of creating the documentation, videos and presentations around the projects. Sadly, none of this is accessible online right now. This is due to me not being the sole decision maker and the possibilities others see for future publication utilization, though I don’t think this will ever happen. My experiences in these projects are the reason that I won’t pursue a further academic career.

Well, I got myself a Kindle. This was a hard decision for me, but in Thailand my backpack contained three books (quite some weight and space) and during the journey I ran out of reading material and thus had to look around for something new. So far, I am not really sure what to make of the Kindle. During my India journey (blog post will follow) it prove very useful, but I am very disappointed by its typography shortcomings. The Amazon saying goes along the lines of “we love books and this is the perfect electronic experience for books”. But the typography is really bad. Sorry Amazon, but fake capitals? Really? And messed up line spacing when a chemical formula is used within a line? “The Martian” has a lot of mentions for CO2… The first Kindle came out nine years ago and I am disappointed that the typeset engine is still so much in the beginning.

Bought a new camera: The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark ii. I found that I seldom used my 5D Mark II during the last two years, instead I used the Panasonic GF2 much more since I always had it with me. Thus I have decided to go full Micro Four Third. My main requirements for the camera were mobility, configurability and preferably an HDR mode. The camera fulfills all this very well and I like its design very much (I got the black edition). I oftentimes just place it near my laptop on the desk, since I just like to look at it.

Smartphone Usage
During the year I have become increasingly annoyed by the constant accessibility and reachability through mobile devices and services. I found the constant interruptions and forced interactions at some point just too much. They kept me from stuff, annoyed me, interrupted me, got me thinking, were oftentimes irrelevant. All those small interruptions and context switches take a lot of energy.

Since my smartphone didn’t survive Thailand I took this as an opportunity and have since radically changed some things. I don’t use WhatsApp, Twitter or Instagram any longer. My usage of Facebook and Google+ has become very limited. I was a very extensive user of all those services and they had been an integral part to my interaction with other people and the way I stayed informed. After my smartphone broke, I didn’t posses a smartphone at all for a while. I experienced this as an immense relief. Right now I have a smartphone again (an old one which was given to me without ever asking), but it is turned off most of the time and I use it mostly for public transportation information and scarcely for communication (though I don’t have any messaging apps installed).

2015 was quite a stressful year for me and I am relieved that it is over. I am looking forward to a new chapter of my life after my soon to come graduation. Hopefully the “Looking back on 2016” article next year will end with a more enthusiastic outlook!

Category: Life itself


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About Me

I am a 28 year old techno-creative enthusiast who lives and works in Berlin. In a previous life I studied computer science (more specifically Media Informatics) at the Ulm University in Germany.

I care about exploring ideas and developing new things. I like creating great stuff that I am passionate about.


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