Over the past decade, the open knowledge movement has created communities worldwide that work on open data, open access, open licensing, and open governments. The meaning of the term ‘open’ is determined by the way in which different kinds of information is made public: public data should be published online in machine readable form, software should be open source, scientific research should be made available to the general public. When we talk about openness with respect to governments, however, we value form as well as content. Civic tech focusses on building participatory tools and processes for citizens – because we demand that our governments be transparent, collaborative, and inclusive. This is done not only by having open data available to the public, but by creating open processes through communication and interaction.
I am an omnivore by choice. I feel that I shouldn’t discriminate against particular foods a priori. I should try them and then decide for myself. That, of course, doesn’t mean I don’t have a preference. I love goat’s cheese, I really, really, really hate raisins, and I could eat Nutella for the rest of my life. And there is no unique explanation for why I like the foods I like – sometimes their taste, texture, or smell is divine, other times I like the eating rituals, and now and then I go for something sentimental, e.g. those dubious fish-shaped chocolate cakes I used to pick up on the way home from school. What’s more, my taste preference is not uniquely determined by my taste buds: there may be genetic predispositions involved, but what I ate in my early childhood certainly influenced me as well.
Bubble tea (珍珠奶茶) in the streets – if indeed you can find a store these days – has a bad reputation: the colourful bubbles, combined with artificial flavourings and milk powder kept in large, unlabelled containers, look distinctly carcinogenic. Luckily for me, I am a fan of the traditional milk tea with tapioca pearls (vegetarian, in case you were wondering). But with over 3€ a cup, it’s not something a student can afford to drink every other day. And if you are like me and very picky about the quality, you will want to know how to produce your perfect cup of bubble tea at home. Here’s how I do it.
Judging by the fact that not even one sudoku has been posted here in the last year, non-believers might say that my blog has officially died. Well, shun the non-believers! Here’s an attempt to resurrect it.
“It ain’t necessarily so…” is one of the most memorable songs from the Gershwin opera Porgy and Bess. Apart from raising serious doubts about the stories one finds in the Bible, I think it also provides an excellent title for this brand-new, super-fresh, and certainly mind-blowing blog on philosophy and living with philosophy. As to the form and content of this blog: I haven’t a clue. I will simply let it live for a while and see where it takes me. If all things fail, sudokus shall be published on a weekly basis.