2014 — 22 January: Wednesday

I did forget1 to put out my fortnightly green bin of items for recycling last night — however, the sounds of several neighbours (all struggling and bumping their bin-laden ways down the 20 or so steps that many of them have to contend with) served as a timely reminder this morning. I remain very glad that Christa and I decided (in 1981) against buying one of the (slightly bigger) houses here that are thus afflicted. The extra £5K was also off-putting, at the time.

It's a clear, cool...

... and somewhat moist start to the day. No packed lunch needed, though, as our target route for today's walk is relatively local and not over-long.

I've been casting a jaundiced eye over the contents of Amazon's Blu-ray sale in Germany. English soundtracks seem to be becoming less common...

Getting crowded out?

NPR has a chap claiming that Netflix is accounting for 50% of Internet broadband traffic each evening in North America. Golly! How much longer can "net neutrality" survive? Combine that with some of the comments appended to that El Reg article yesterday about 4K resolution streaming and you have to start asking how long the UK's data infrastructure can possibly cope. If, indeed, it can. A minimum of 15 Mbps or so per user everywhere all at the same time.

Shame v guilt?

I don't know whether this is piffle or not, though I'm certain both shame and guilt are powerful human control mechanisms. Ask any Catholic priest. Snippet and source:

Anthropologists often distinguish between what they term "shame cultures" and "guilt cultures." Britain and America, according to this division, are predominantly guilt cultures while France is a shame culture, still steeped in notions of pride and honour. These ideals override those of truth-telling and transparency. In shame cultures, appearances are all-important (this might explain the elegant but highly conformist style and rigorous dress code so admired in French women) and there are dos and don'ts that serve as effective regulators and explain, perhaps, the relative ease with which French parents continue to bring up their children...
By contrast, Britain and America's Protestant heritage emphasises the individual's conscience over the code. Social control is achieved, not through norms of behaviour but through the feelings of guilt triggered by an act of transgression. The internal policing inherent in our culture means that pleasure can easily become a trap.

Lucy Wadham in Prospect

I prefer to (try to) think for myself.

Why I prefer...

... to watch my movies at home. (Link.)

Pause, for a...

... healthy burst of fresh air and gentle exercise, then a bite to eat, and then to scan through what was waiting for me on my front doorstep. I've already mentioned some of these. Here's my first-ever purchase from eBay... from Lithuania. The Criterion remastered Blu-ray set of Godfrey Reggio films with Philip Glass musical scores:

The Qatsi trilogy BDs

Then four interesting-looking Blu-rays (including my favourite Robert Altman film):

Four BDs

Finally, a pair of DVDs:

Two DVDs

I watched the Stephen Fry documentary when it was first shown (but Christa's health was foremost in my mind at the time). And I was impressed by the trailer I saw for the Matthew Goode film.

Shortly before midnight

I've just returned from a meal and a film over in Winklechestershire. I chose the (short) "Anima Mundi" from the Qatsi trilogy box set, and we followed that with one I'd neither seen nor heard of, from 1997: "Music from another room". A delightful and rather odd little film. I have to say the Darbee video enhancement allowed the 4:3 NTSC image to be zoomed by 1.2x to fill one of Mike's screens without noticeable degradation.

That will do for today, methinks. I have a crockpot to stuff tomorrow, and a session with Dr Fang in the afternoon. How jolly!



1  In the sense that I failed to note the word "GREEN" on the kitchen worktop diary last night :-)