Blog: english

Age of Bullshit

We live in an age saturated with information, and unfortunately, a fair share of that information falls under the umbrella of “bullshit.” Philosopher Harry G. Frankfurt famously explored this phenomenon in his book “On Bullshit.” He uses an anecdote about Ludwig Wittgenstein's friend, Fania Pascal, who, after having her tonsils removed, likened her pain to that of a dog hit by a car. Wittgenstein's response, “You don't know what a dog that has been run over feels like”; perfectly exemplifies the essence of bullshit.

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24 songs

Somebody on a progressive metal Subreddit posted their list of 25 top songs, limiting one song per band. Here's my current list, with a strong emphasis on “current”:

  1. Opeth - Reverie-Harlequin Forest
  2. Symphony X - When All Is Lost
  3. Dream Theater - Pale Blue Dot
  4. Pain of Salvation - Thorn Clown
  5. Animals As Leaders - The Woven Web
  6. Zero Hour - Evidence of the Unseen
  7. Adagio - Second Sight
  8. Artension - Time Goes Slowly By
  9. Andromeda - Slaves Of The Plethora Season
  10. Winds - Fall and Rise
  11. Southern Storm - Opstanak
  12. Vitalij Kuprij - Destination
  13. Power of Omens - Alone I Stand
  14. Leprous - Nighttime Disguise
  15. Orphaned Land - Fruits From Different Trees-Ishma'el and Itzhak
  16. Rishloo - Feathergun In The Garden Of The Sun
  17. Whom Gods Destroy - In The Name Of War
  18. Myrath - I Wanna Die
  19. Threshold - Slipstream
  20. Thought Chamber - Balance of One
  21. Clockwork - East of Knowing
  22. Eniac Requiem - Prelude
  23. Born of Osiris - Recreate
  24. Mindflow - Crossing Enemy's Line

The Age of Extremes

Recently, I delved into Eric Hobsbawm's “The Age of Extremes,” a historical grand work that left me captivated and contemplative.

Hobsbawm, with his deep insights, takes readers on an intellectual odyssey spanning from the cataclysmic events of 1914 to the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. He combines the harsh realities of wars, economic upheavals, and political revolutions with the quieter nuances of societal shifts.

One should keep in mind that Hobsbawm was an avid Marxist, which reflected heavily on his books.

What struck me most was Hobsbawm's ability to weave together the threads of global history, providing a panoramic view of the century's extremes. From the devastation of the World Wars to the ideological battlegrounds of the Cold War, Hobsbawm fearlessly confronts the tumultuous periods that shaped the destiny of nations.


Part I. The Age of Catastrophe
1. The Age of Total War
2. The World Revolution
3. Into the Economic Abyss
4. The Fall of Liberalism
5. Against the Common Enemy
6. The Arts 1914–1945
7. End of Empires

Part II. The Golden Age
8. Cold War
9. The Golden Years
10. The Social Revolution 1945–1990
11. Cultural Revolution
12. The Third World
13. "Real Socialism"

Part III. The Landslide
14. The Crisis Decades
15. Third World and Revolution
16. End of Socialism
17. The Avant-Garde Dies: The Arts After 1950
18. Sorcerers and Apprentices: The Natural Sciences
19. Towards the Millennium

My media consumption in January 2024

Here's the list of some of the media I consumed in January 2024. Mostly, it's films, books, articles, and videos.

  • The Holiday (2006). Fun little movie with enjoyable escapism. Very predictable, but still fun. It’s became a sort of tradition for us to watch a comedy on January 1.
  • Building a Second Brain. The best part in the book is the author’s organizational system that I actually apply while organizing my digital files on my main computer and in Obsidian.
  • The Ottomans. It’s a great book about an empire that is not taught much about in the Western schools, which is a shame. The Ottomans were definitely a part of European history, and they shaped the European course of history a great deal. I've made a lot of notes--hopefully, I will publish them here on the website.
  • So far, I watched seven episodes of Timothy Snyder's lectures on The Making of Modern Ukraine. Highly recommended.
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Surrounded by Idiots

I just finished reading "Surrounded by Idiots" by Thomas Erikson. This captivating book offers an interesting exploration of human behavior and communication styles, leveraging the author's expertise in human behavior. At its core, the book introduces a framework based on the DISC model, which categorizes individuals into four primary personality types: Dominant, Influential, Steady, and Conscientious.

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The Dark Reality of Generation Alpha

I watched an interesting YouTube video called The Dark Reality of Generation Alpha.

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Snow, snow everywhere

We've had a lot of snow lately. I captured this moment while leaving work and making my way home. Enjoy the winter wonderland!

The Sculpure Park in Billund, Denmark
The Sculpture Park, Billund.

Bezmenov and ideological subversion

Recently, I watched an extremely important video, an interview with a former Soviet diplomat and journalist, Yuri Alexandrovich Bezmenov. He was a Soviet journalist for Novosti Press Agency (APN) and a former PGU KGB informant who defected to Canada. The PGU KGB (The First Main Directorate) was in charge of handling foreign operations and intelligence for the Soviet Union. This included training and managing undercover agents, overseeing intelligence collection, and gathering information on politics, science, and technology from both abroad and within the country.

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Yuri Bezmenov in the interview.

After being assigned to a post in India, Bezmenov developed a fondness for the people and culture there. However, he grew disenchanted with the KGB's support for suppressing Soviet dissidents and intellectuals who disagreed with Moscow's policies. This led him to defect to the West. Bezmenov is primarily known for his lectures and books opposing Marxism and Atheism, published during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.

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Films and books in 2023

I have watched 84 films in 2023 which is a fairly large number, considering that I don’t always have a lot of leisure time to spend. I read 21 books.

The best movies I watched in 2023 are:

  • Into The Wild. This one is truly a great film. I use it in my teaching at the school, so I watch it at least once a year.
  • Husbands and Wives. Woody Allen’s take on marriage, and how it is hard to maintain a successful marriage, whatever that means.
  • Another Woman. Another Allen movie, that belongs to his serious works, dealing with psychology of human mind.
  • The Banshees of Inisherin. What an unusual film, that contains many unseen and hidden elements. I will have to watch it again.
  • The Father. I like how viewers can experience the father’s health deterioration and understanding of “reality”.

Abandoned bus in Alaska's wilderness
Into the Wild

I read only 21 books in 2023, but it is okay. Anyway, I hope I can read more next year. You can see my reading list here.

Here's my 2023 book list:

  • The Awesome Department - Adam Montandon (work)* - Jan
  • Historien om alting - Ken Wilber (phil.) - Jan
  • Me'med, crvena bandana i pahuljica - Semezdin Mehmedinović (novel)* - Feb
  • Educated: A Memoir - Tara Westover (memoir)* - Mar
  • Second-hand time - Svetlana Alexievich (reportage)* - Jul
  • Lov na divlju ovcu - Haruki Murakami (novel)* - Jul
  • Četrdeset pravila ljubavi - Elif Šafak (novel) - Jul
  • Dagpengeland - Lau Aaen (satire)k - Aug
  • Det kreative samfund - Lars Tvede (society)* - Aug
  • Dubravske priče - Almir Kaplan (sh. stories) - Aug
  • The Lessons of History - Will & Ariel Durant (history)* - Sep
  • Nordbanen - Amra Avdibegović (poetry)* - Sep
  • Genocide - A World History- Norman M. Naimark (history)* - Sep
  • Dani zaborava - Elena Ferrante (novel)k - Sep
  • The Loser - Thomas Bernhard (novel)* - Oct
  • The Intelligent Investor - Benjamin Graham (finance) - Nov
  • Think Before You Speak - Bent Hougaard (psychology)* - Nov
  • Breve fra en au-pair - Kathrine Møgelbjerg Jørgensen
  • Psykologi og eksistens - Viktor E. Frankl (psychology)* - Nov
  • Putovanje po Hercegovini, Bosni i staroj Srbiji - Aleksandar Giljferding (travelogue) - Dec.
  • The World-Ending Fire: The Essential Wendell Berry - Wendell Berry (environment)k - Dec.

The year in cities, 2023

This year was a nice travelling year. I visited and stayed in these places:

My 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022 lists.

In Paris with the girls

In October of this year, my daughters persuaded me to embark on a trip to the illustrious city of Paris. You see, I've never truly connected with Paris. Amra and I had previously visited the city during the Christmas and New Year of 2002. At that time, Paris felt somewhat detached and cold to me. While I always enjoyed the Latin Quarter and Montmartre, the grand boulevards and squares like Place de la Concorde and Avenue des Champs-Élysées never resonated with me. They lacked a certain human touch, seemingly designed for the state rather than its people. Hence, my relationship with the City of Light has always been somewhat ambivalent.

Fast-forward twenty-one years, and here I am in Paris with my three delightful girls. We boarded an Air France flight from Billund on a chilly Christmas noon—a delightful experience with almost deserted airports and a flight just a tad over an hour. Upon landing and retrieving our luggage, I hailed a taxi, and in a couple of few minutes we were on our way to the central part of Paris and our hotel Opéra Faubourg. However, due to Lafayette Street's one-way direction, the driver had trouble finding our hotel. I told him to drop us off nearby, and we walked a mere 100 meters to reach our destination.

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Our room at Opéra Faubourg Hotel.

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Avdibeg Mixtape 007

It's time for a new Avdibeg Mixtape, and it is a seventh in the series. This time, metal doesn't dominate the list for once, but there are some really nice songs. Journey's Don't Stop Believing always reminds me of that epic ending of The Sopranos, one of the best TV shows ever. There are a few songs from the 1980s and 1990s.

I really like dark songs from Depeche Mode, and Halo is one of them. Fun fact: Jenna Elfman is one of the dancers in the video.

The final song on this tape is Weezer's The Christmas Song, which I guess is appropriate, given that the holidays are approaching. I've heard it in the TV show The Bear in its amazing episode “Fishes”. I mean, look at this scene from the episode.

You can see all the songs in the Avdibeg Mixtape 007 here.

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