data cönversion


He showed the kind of reliable presence that you’d expect from an eldest son of an eldest son.

I really enjoy looking at random blogs. Instead of having something algorithmically pushed in my face, I just stumble upon whatever it is. And deal with whatever it does for me and with me. That this happens outside some intent is a huge plus for me. Like the sentence above. Finding it triggered a question about my ancestry.

In 2008, I had entered data into PhpGedView. The problem is that this software didn’t really get any significant updates. PHP8 frowns upon array{} for instance. The database dump could be loaded, and in the end, it was surprisingly little trouble to extract the GEDCOM records out of the different tables into a GED file. Webtrees looks like a reasonable application. The installation was nicely guided. After a quick expansion, the system nicely indicates which modules are missing, which permissions should be different, etc. All very easy to solve. 25 years ago this kind of thing might have taken half a day with varying success. Even though technically software was already flowing via the Internet back then. The import of the GEDCOM data itself worked fine.

Traveling as an analogy is helpful to indicate how insane this all is: If things go well, like they did here, one travels at jet speed. Around 1 km per breath taken. Nice. Great that the data is now in a neutral GEDCOM format, will make it into a backup, and exists in living software.

Just some umlaut flaws to fix. Maybe 20 entries that don’t look right. I could have fixed them manually. But NO, why not write a quick converter instead? After all, GPT-4 was so helpful before. This should take 5 minutes.

If man makes a plan, God starts laughing.

It took 4 hours. I ended up willing a stupid search-replace tool into existence. Because, well, GPT-4 completely lost the plot on this very simple problem. To an extent that it seemed to make progress, but then just entirely failed again. It was ridiculous, infuriating, beyond belief.

Or to stick to the travel analogy: It felt like being duct-taped to a garden chair in a Walmart parking lot at midday in August in Arizona.

The first part was so complicated and worked so well. The second one, simply going from èu to ü, completely failed. In a bad way. I ended up doing it myself. Of course, writing a program instead of quickly editing those 20 entries.

This on the background that on May 24, 2024, GitHub CEO Thomas Dohmke said that there will eventually be one billion developers on his platform. Developers, Developers, Developers.

the old new blog


I recently revived and merged my weblog content from 2005-2016 with what was previously available on

Given that the old content was hosted on an outdated version of WordPress, the process wasn’t straightforward. In the end I pulled the content directly from the database into a WXF file. On the 6th attempt the ~100 line python script that gpt4-o generated for this purpose workee well enough.

Even after a year it is still novel to me, that I can create a converter like this, without having to look into the details of the format involved.

The oldest entry converted in such matters reminded me of the “There is another System” scene from the 1970 movie Colossus: The Forbin Project: It mentioned that I was switching to new blog software and wouldn’t be converting my previous blog content. I am still searching for said older blog …

ever wrong


So, I was wrong and with a little bit of dredging and with the help of a couple of tugs the ship could be dislodged. As an amateur Cassandra one can increase the perceived success rate greatly by carefully wording claims ambiguously: I should have said that the Ever Given will be in the Suez Canal for weeks to come. As April 15th the Egyptian Authorities have impounded the vessel in a dispute over the costs of the blockage.

ever and ever


As I wrote two days ago the “Ever Given” will be stuck for quite some time. Maybe the Suez canal is open in May 2021 again. As I said I have no clue. Some reports float around that the ship is nearly free. Or that it had moved. Since such news influences markets they are probably just an attempt to make some money with the pricing fluctuations one could insert. And the usual official ass covering. It was not a good sign to see the boss of the Sinai canal in a tug boat eying the disaster in PR pictures:

A ship of these dimensions never got stuck in the canal before. Hell, a decade ago container ships of this size didn’t even exist. People hope for high tides on the weekend to liberate the vessel. That is BS.

It is noteworthy that the “Ever Greet” is already taking the route around Africa. One would assume that Evergreen has good information about the state of the stuck vessel.

In terms of the cause it is highly ridiculous how the story of the sand storm gets not questioned or investigated anywhere. It could be. But makes little sense: Since decades ships of all sizes pass through the canal. Sandstorms are bad. Sure. But I fail to see how it could put the ship into the position it is in. If this would be possible then it would happen more frequently.

Before the ship put its front into the Asia side of the canal it veered to the Africa side. If you want to slam the thing into the canal as hard as you can, then that is what you would do. In storyland one could cite that the captain / pilot did some GPS drawing before he did his Leeroy Jenkins. But that is pure speculation.

The next shoe to drop will be when the Egyptian authorities sever ties with the salvage company they hired.

There is a ship stuck in the desert. But other problems are piling up. Reflecting on this further I think it is likely that the canal will not re open in April.

When things never happened before what I think often veers away from what people are saying in general. Even under those circumstances I have been wrong plenty of times. But so has the general public. Considering that it is just one person vs billions, many of which are smarter and more knowledgeable than me, this is a cause for repeated surprises on my end.



Seit nem Jahr haben wir mit Corona zu tun. Millionen haben sich angesteckt. Weit mehr als ein halbes Lakh sind bis jetzt daran gestorben.

Aber was wissen wir über die Ansteckungswege? In Talkshows sitzen Menschen und reden Unsinn. Es gibt keine belastbaren Erhebungen darüber wie viel des Infektionsgeschehens aus dem ÖNV, dem Fliessband, der Privatfeier oder der Grundschule entspringt. In diese Lücke grätschen natürlich sofort Populisten aller Schattierungen. Behauptungen die leicht im Publikum durch Anekdoten “belegbar” sind werden so zu Ursachen für Handeln. Mit dem Virus hat das dann nur noch indirekt zu tun.

Die App, wieviele Informationen hat sie uns geliefert? Wie viele Super Spreader Events liessen sich identifizieren? Was können wir sonst noch lernen?

Das wir vor einem Jahr im Dunkel tappten war schlecht. Das wir es immer noch tun ist leider sehr schlecht. Und langsam dann auch wirklich ärgerlich. Eine wirklich aufgeklärte, entwickelte und sachliche Gesellschaft kann wesentlich besser reagieren und dastehen als wir es gerade in Deutschland tun.

Aber Die Bild, Frau Will und Herr Plasberg schmieden weiterhin das Meinungsbild. Dabei sind Sie ebenso informationslos wie ihre Gäste und Lesen.

Und alle reden und schreiben sie so als ob sie eine Ahnung haben würden.

Sie haben es nicht. Keiner hat sie. Leider.



Lehrer sind es. Politiker sind es, geben es aber nicht zu. Journalisten sind es, schreiben aber weiter einfach drauf los damit sie es nicht merken. Menschen im allgemeinen in Deutschland im Februar 2021 scheinen alle überfordert.

Ausser denen die in die Arbeit gehen. Dafür sorgen das alles noch funktioniert. Die können es sich nicht leisten überfordert zu sein. Die machen einfach weiter, als wäre nichts gewesen.

Ist sowieso das Beste. Seit 200 Jahren.

company size


Amazon employs 1.3 million people. Using the 57% US workforce participation rate that is very close to all jobs in America’s 4th largest city Houston Texas.

Walmart is bigger, scaling its 2.2 million employees gets you to the size of LA. Walmart is also the company with the largest revenue: 524 billion dollars, or $1600 per person in the US. (I lived in the US for 23 years and have been to a Walmart once, saw one from the outside maybe 3 or 4 times) The GDP of Sweden is 542 billion US. 10 million Swedes create around 3% more value than Walmart has in total sales.

Tesla market cap is 777 billion right now. 90% more than Walmart.

Apples market cap is 2.27 trillion dollars. If the Steve Jobs would return from the dead and distribute all of Apple evenly to all people in the US then everybody would get 7000 US dollars. And since returning from the dead is a rather special and unique thing he might as well pull that one off too.

illegal – illshemgal


Robinhood, Schwab and other entities that normal people have their stock portfolio (euphemism) with get billions of dollars annually from market makers like Citadel or Virtu for bringing them our business.

They pay for our trades. And we don’t pay Schwab & Co. How make those market makers make money then?

Specially if you consider that it would be illegal if they would not give our trades the best price.

How does it even work?

It probably does not. We probably get skimmed when we trade. In the maelstrom of high speed trading this might be rather tedious to fully investigate. It is fractions of % anyway. Somehow I personally feel that the SEC is not actually eager to rock the boat that much these days.

If you are not paying you are the product.

bubble the bitcoin


End of last year I called Bitcoin a bubble. Still think it is one. Just a larger on right now. The WSJ rightly points out the multiple dollar transaction cost. The tardiness of the network they do not address.

Bitcoin came into being since it was supposed to take on credit cards as the default payment system of the Internet. Of course technically / conceptually it is impossible that it could. It is one big bottleneck.

But such simple facts don’t deter people to fall for a narrative. Both in 2011 and in 2021. Looking up when exactly the whole thing started I learned that both the EFF and Wikileaks were among the first organizations to accept Bitcoin. In 2011 when its price was both $1 and $32. 2009 somebody bought 2 Pizzas for 10,000 bitcoins. It is not known if Papa John still has those which would be worth 47 million US$. A Fiat Currency.

Roman Opałka


Roman Opałka started painting numbers in 1965. Starting from 1 he counted upwards. Three years later he started recording himself saying the numbers he painted out loud. The numbers had the same size, which all canvases had as well. He finished 2011 with 5607249.

One idea. Sticking to it. For your entire life.

It is interesting to think about him in the context of Instagram.

It is interesting to think about him in the context of Bitcoin.

It is interesting to think about him.

Which makes it worth writing about him here.