Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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Right, it's just past midnight now, so technically Halloween is over now. Good thing. Of course this event - although being celebrated only very moderately in Germany - isn't considered a good thing by my irritable self. Having children run around trick-or-treating, seeing poor shopkeepers having to listen to their, errrrm, 'symphonically-challenged' singing and then still smile and give them some sweets.

At least the kids do door-to-door begging in residential areas as they do in the UK. I was a bit suprised by that last year with people unexpectedly ringing at the door, singing and then me having to find some chocolates... one of them had a fairly funny mask, though: a kind of transparent thing, he could flush some red liquid through. Still, I kept the lights low afterwards as I quite like eating my chocolate myself.


When doing a bit of random surfing this afternoon, I bumped into the cluetrain manifesto. It looks like it's probably well-known, still I hadn't seen it before. And I like it. It reflects my sentiments vis-à-vis businesses fairly well, although I thought having the '95 Theses' is overdoing it a bit.

If you want us to talk to you, tell us something. Make it something interesting for a change.

This is something that companies as Deutsche Bahn, who are forcing insane price increases on us soon - together with a decrease in comfort should learn. Instead they send us glossy brochures on how much better and cheaper travel will be. (Which of course, it can - if you book your return journey in advance on a particular train, staying over a weekend and possibly travel with a couple of friends. But it's not the kind of travel I think of when going by train - not before I'm sixty anyway.) So it's a dilemma, you like going by train for comfort and ecological reasons, but the train company really wants you to go by car or by plane to be flexible or fast respectively.

I plan to read it, preferably not on-screen, but the price for the book is quite steep and it's neither in the library nor available at ebay... talking about which, it came to my mind that it perhaps is so popular for the reasons listed in the manifesto: You make small deals with people on a personal (but still remote) basis, rather than with a large PR-garbling corporation. Perhaps this also predicts the demise of ebay, as there seem to increasing numbers of professional bulk sellers with impersonal business manners and ebay may simply outgrow itself that way.


Still sticking with ebay - I bought a CD there a couple of months ago on the basis of just having heard one song of the band. I realised I actually quite disliked the music but the CD is still as good as new, so I tried out amazon's selling service to get rid of it again. Now that I had almost forgotten about it, someone actually bought the CD. Technically, I even made a small profit on it, but even better I don't have to upset about having a CD I don't like sitting here at my expense. Although this seems to work quite well, amazon takes quite a share of the money (€1 plus 15%, I think) for basically not doing much.

November 1, 2002, 0:33

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