Zur Farbenlehre

Good old Goethe – His Theory of Colours by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is a book about the poet’s views on the nature of colours and how these are perceived by humans. Published in 1810, it contains detailed descriptions of phenomena such as coloured shadows, refraction, and chromatic aberration.

Goethe_Farbenkreis_zur_Symbolisierung_des_menschlichen_Geistes-_und_Seelenlebens The Theory of Colours stands as an absorbing account of the philosophy and artistic experience of colour, bridging the intuitive and the visceral in a way that, more than two hundred years later, continues to intrigue.

On Wikipedia is more about it, a quite interesting read


Philipp Otto Runge was a Romantic German romantic painter and draughtsman. In 1803, on a visit to Weimar, Runge unexpectedly met Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and the two formed a friendship based on their common interests in color and art. Runge’s interest in color was the natural result of his work as a painter and of having an enquiring mind.

He arrived at the concept of the color sphere sometime in 1807 by expanding the hue circle into a sphere, with white and black forming the two opposing poles.RungeKugel


From 'Elders' with Andrew Denton and Rosalie Kunoth-Monks 

ANDREW DENTON V/O: Rosalie was born in 1937, by a creek bed at Utopia Station, in the Central Australian desert. Her mother was a traditional tribal woman. Her father was of mixed heritage or in her words “three quarter German.” Two vastly different backgrounds, coming together, right from the start. She lived with her mother’s people for her first years; it was the place she felt she belonged.

ANDREW DENTON: What strengths do you think you inherited from your mum and dad?

ROSALIE KUNOTH-MONKS: Specially from Mum I think I inherited the stability and the capability of loving without smothering.



ANDREW DENTON: And your dad?

ROSALIE KUNOTH-MONKS: From Dad, I guess it was more the European things, I mean I remember he told us in language that we were going to a place called “school” and he picked up a book and he said “You will be able to talk from this book, you will read”. We looked at each other, my brothers and I, “What is ‘read’?” New word. And he said “From now on, for the next three or four weeks, you going to talk English, I’m not going to talk language to you, crash course in English”. Of course we went silent, we didn’t know very many words in English.

ANDREW DENTON V/O: Another key influence was Rosalie’s grandmother, Amelia. The matriarch of the family on her fathers’ side, Amelia had married a white man.

ROSALIE KUNOTH-MONKS: She experienced tremendous amounts of racism from her husband’s side of the family and she’d walked straight and tall, right in the midst of that in a small town such as Alice Springs. And I guess a lot of who I am today is due to my grandmother on my father’s side and also with my mother and her people out at Utopia. 

ANDREW DENTON V/O: When Rosalie was 10, Amelia decided it was time for St Mary’s boarding school.

ROSALIE KUNOTH-MONKS: St Mary’s as a whole was to me foreign simply because I hadn’t seen so many children in one spot and the other thing was that they were all Aboriginal – black kids. And the other thing I think that struck me was that I had been told that prior to going to a place called “school” that I had to be boiled, to make me lighter or more white. So I thought, they’re going to boil all these kids plus my brothers and I and it was a very real feeling and it stuck with me for many years because, um, somehow right at the beginning my colour was not acceptable. 

ANDREW DENTON: You must have been terrified.

ROSALIE KUNOTH-MONKS: I was, I was, yeah.


Read the complete transcript and watch the video here

About renting

Besides all the other chaos that lined up in my life this year I will also have to move house soon. Now, while that is a do-able task in principle, the way it is organised here in Australia/Sydney is simply a joke, a farce designed to screw you over repeatedly during the entire process of inspecting, applying and moving in.


It starts with the early realisation that none of the real estate ads actually tell you what the place is really about. These ads don’t show the square meters of a place, they don’t give you proper photos or a (non-fiction) floor plan, and the description is most of the time shockingly incorrect, not to say an outright lie. So you have no other choice than to inspect every single rat hole, even though things could be shortened so easily but simply supplying enough and decent information in the first place.

So, you rock up at the place, and then there is this bunch of others. The other inspectors. They are in the same mood like you, not wanting to be there, but having to. And then the real estater appears – a snake-oil offering car-sales(wo)men who is annoyingly cheery, often ridiculously overdressed and either completely ignorant or incompetent, or arrogant and just as clueless. (Adrian and Walter: this does not include you! You were beautifully different 😉

And then – there they are: your glorious 8 1/2 minutes. Eight and a half minutes (+/-), the time you have to hastily rush through a place, trying to find out if this place is alright and whether you could spend some time of your life in there, and make the biggest investment of the year on it.

them other inspectees And within a blitz they’re gone, your 8 1/2 minutes. You walk out, and can’t remember a thing. You’ve seen too many other people in there, everybody asking questions, no time to let in the atmosphere of the place, or any other particulars and details for that matter.

So, with the little information your brain might still hold you then try to make sense of the place. Try to recall what was important. Yes, you did bring a list to tick off, but atmosphere or charisma aren’t something that can be ticked off easily. Especially not under pressure, surrounded by loads of grumpy strangers, and held against practicality. Atmosphere can only be felt, experienced.

If you are lucky enough you will get a break after an inspection. In this break you might be able to recall some of the most relevant features that might make your life bearable in this last place that you’ve just seen. But the truth is, most of the times you don’t even have these 5 crucial minutes of reflection, because you have to stress off to the next place, because – as already mentioned – you need to inspect as many as places as possible because they don’t give you enough information in the first place…

So, after a few weekends of doing this, throw in a few additional inspections during the week, your mind gets completely clogged up with too many places and too many particulars, all of which make no sense anymore when trying to remember a place.

At roughly this stage of endless inspections you decide: this is it, I will hand in an application now, just get this over and done with. So you get in touch with the next real estater – well, and then the actual process of snake oil selling begins. While you tell the realo you would like to have another look before you make a decision, he says you need to make a deposit. So it will be a $500 look. But even then you are given only a few minutes, and during another inspection the realo is holding at ‘your’ place that you have already applied and paid a deposit for. So there they are again, all these people asking all these question, and there are you again, overloaded, confused, trying to make sense of it all, and 8.5 minutes later you’re back out again, and still have no clue what this place is about – but have already paid for it.

And because real estaters are eager beavers, by this stage they will have already up-tangled you in the full-Monty of the scrutinising application process (while you still have not had a proper second look at the place). They will have checked you out, your history and everything else about each second of your life they want you to put in their ‘tenancy forms’, only to then call you with the “good news” – You Have Been Approved! (while you still have not had a proper second look at the place) Fuck mate, OF COURSE have we been approved, we will send you $25,000 every year while being completely fuzz-free people, who would not want us?? But the realo makes it sound as if they’re doing us a favour. And then they want more money, bonds and 6 weeks rent upfront and whatnot. But they few things that he and you agreed on need repairing at the new place, these will not get mentioned anymore the moment you sign and pay the first money.

From then on anything YOU might want becomes completely irrelevant. From now on everything will only about spin around what deal the real estater is going to make, on your costs.

And there you are – you have just rented a place you have never really seen, without any chance of steering the process any differently that how it just happened.

This sad approach to renting just completely sucks! 🙁

How not to social media

The only social media platform I use is Twitter. I enjoy chatting with people, which is exactly why I like Twitter: wordy tweeps come together, to meet and have a conversation. Even follow each other at times.

But hey, sometimes this ease just does not work out, and you end up completely misunderstood, even considered a creep. Last night the cookie monster -of all tweeps- got me totally wrong, and thought I’m a full-on weirdo. When that happened I mentioned it to my [#IRL] friends afterwards, and they just started laughing, cos they know me as the founder and first member of the planetary no-evil federation.

So nothing is easy, no even the easy things.

If life gives you crumbs, just suck em up.

PS: Dear Cookie Monster, I made cinnamon rolls as per your flickr post, I also have high regards for Leonard Nimoy and his work, and I truly hope you don’t only have another 10 years to hang around.
PSPS: smokes suck anyway.


I have been hiking in Tassie last week, and camping in the bush.
There was the scent of fire everywhere we went, during the day from controlled CFS area burnings, and at night from our (permitted) camp fire where we had our meals and baked our bread.
Tasman NP CFS
Today, back in my urban grind, I just got a whiff of fire coming through the window. Not sure where it came from, either from some backyard green-waste dump close by, or from some CFS intervention in farther surroundings, carried here by the wind. I instantly had a strong sentimental feeling going through me. Which is really odd, as once upon a time I would have associated the scent of fire with nothing else but danger, alertness, and the opposite of good basically.

Australian scents do create rather strange associations and emotions.

Please go change the world

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim recently gave a speech during a University lecture, titled: ‘What is to be done, and what will I do?’

He wrapped up his talk one this fabulous note:

My great hope is that some of you answer it by working to end poverty, boost shared prosperity, and battle climate change. But whatever you do, please remember that the time is now for all of us to work together to bend the arc of history toward justice.

The great anthropologist Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Be those citizens.Take it on. And please go change the world.

Thank you very much.

Remarks by World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, Ogden Lecture at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, United States, March 7, 2014.

Climate Change & the parallel of slavery

In “Climate change as a cultural and behavioral issue: Addressing barriers and implementing solutionsAndrew J. Hoffman draws a very timely analogy –
Looking at Climate Change through the parallel of slavery:

“Climate change today still resides in the ‘pre’ social fact phase, awaiting public acceptance. But just how big a shift will this be? To that point, I turn to the abolition of slavery.

In short, the magnitude of the cultural and moral shift around climate change is as large as that which accompanied the abolition of slavery. Adam Hochschild, in his book Bury the Chains, makes the startling point that in the 18th century more than 75% of the world’s population was in slavery or serfdom. Humans were a primary source of energy and wealth, particularly for the dominant world power, Great Britain. Hochschild points out that “if you stood on a London street corner and insisted that slavery was morally wrong and should be stopped, nine out of 10 listeners would have laughed you off as a crackpot.” Abolition would lead to a collapse of the economy and their way of life. Abolitionism was a challenge to the underlying beliefs upon which the Empire was built. At the time, few people saw a moral problem with this critical institution. People simply did not believe, as we do today, that all people have a right to freedom and equality. Slavery was seen as the natural order of things, unquestioned and even supported by many through the words of the Bible. It took roughly 100 years to abolish slavery in the British Empire, and Hochschild points out that, by the end of the 19th century, slavery was, at least on paper, outlawed almost everywhere.

Now, flash forward to today. We live in a fossil fuel-based economy. Fossil fuels are our primary source of energy and support our entire way of life. As scientific evidence mounts that this critical institution is causing changes to the global climate, we are faced with a technological and social dilemma. Calls to end our dependence on fossil fuels are being met with the same kind of response as did calls to end our dependence on slavery: such a move would wreck the economy and the way of life that is built upon it. If you stood on a New York City street corner and insisted that burning fossil fuels was morally wrong and should be stopped, listeners would laugh you off as a crackpot. There is a vast physical infrastructure that depends on oil, and it cannot be simply replaced without great disruption. Abolition of the primary source of energy in the world is out of the question, both socially and technologically.

Just as few people saw a moral problem with slavery in the 18th century, few people in the 21st century see a moral problem with the burning of fossil fuels. Will people in 100 years look at us with the same incomprehension we feel toward 18th-century defenders of slavery? If we are to address the problem adequately, the answer to that question must be yes; our common atmosphere will no longer be seen as a free dumping ground for greenhouse gases and other pollutants. But this value shift will require humankind to come to terms with a new cultural reality.

The first piece of this reality is that humankind has grown to such numbers and our technologies have grown to such a capacity that we can, and do, alter the Earth’s ecological systems on a planetary scale. It is a fundamental shift in the physical order – one never before seen, and one that alters the ethics and morals by which we judge our behavior as it relates to the environment around us and to the rest of humanity that depends on that environment.

The second piece of that reality is that we share a collective responsibility and require global cooperation to solve it. The coal burned in Ann Arbor, Shanghai or Moscow has an equal impact on the environment we all share. The kind of cooperation necessary to solve this problem is far beyond anything we, as a species, have ever accomplished before. International treaties to ban land mines or eliminate ozone-depleting substances pale in comparison. Looking at climate change through the parallel of slavery helps us to see the magnitude of the issue before us.”

Excerpt from: Hoffman, A. (2010) “Climate change as a cultural and behavioral issue: Addressing barriers and implementing solutions,” Organizational Dynamics, 39 (4): 295-305.
read the full pdf here

Evan Beaver on Earth Hour

Earth Hour Sux : Evan Beaver at TEDxCanberra

Just came across this rather awesome energy nerd, Evan Beaver, and his TEDx talk in Canberra last year. His take on Earth Hour is that they need to evolve away from their over-simplistic message of ‘1 hour per year of energy saving is enough’ – and right he is, could not agree more.

Watch his talk here…

As an energy nerd, Evan Beaver spends a lot of time researching the best ways to reduce our energy use and save the planet. He argues that it is time for Earth Hour to die, and shares his real-world experiences in reducing energy consumption at both the city-wide and household level.

Find Evan at https://twitter.com/evcricket for more info on energy efficiency.