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Finland

From an amazing story about a woman who moved to a small island off the coast of Finland:

“I had to build a new jetty. I modelled it after others that I had seen. I cut down trees from the forest, and built a chest – a wooden frame – at the end of the jetty, which I filled with stones”, she says on the shore. “It isn’t hard to build a jetty. All you need is a chain saw and a brain.”

Which got me to thinking, what would I be able to reverse-engineer in my mind from memory? Anything? I’m going to try and give myself a quiz, and ask Foe to name 3 things which I then have to sketch the workings of from memory, and perhaps then how I would go about constructing them.

The island-living lady in the story works as a translator over the internet, but it’s not clear as to how much she relies on the net as a source of knowledge to be able to live alone in such a remote place.

I’ve thought before about the web, moblogs and stolen knowledge – collecting your memories of things, proceedures, recipes, constructions through your phone might result in not just a lifeblog, but a life-or-deathblog. Of course, in such situations, it might just be easier to use your mobile phone to give Ray Mears a call…

» Helsinki Sanomat: Living alone on a small island in the Turku archipelago

Aevil invokes Star Wars in a rant inspired by the rather cliched story in the NYT about “dour, repressed” Finns:

“The article is full of stereotypes and it confuses suppressing emotions with being taciturn. Non-Finns seem to take particular offense at this cultural difference but I find the silence is one of the most endearing features of Finnish culture…

…Imagine, if you will, the young Anakin Skywalker, Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker. The young Anakin and Luke were both in touch with their feelings, both lovesick puppies making an ass out of themselves and generally blithering idiots whom the force would have done well to seal their gaping, whining oral cavities. Darth Vader on the other hand was a guy dressed in a stylish black ensemble, like many Finns and, aside from the heavy breathing, spoke only occasionally in a basso profundo voice. Darth was in touch with his feelings as he reached out to Luke to inform him that he was his father and then later that he would die. Darth was a no-frills, in touch with his inner dark side kind of guy. Quiet, thoughtful, no whining. Who would you rather share a land speeder with, whiny Luke or wheezing Darth? No contest, really.”

I have to agree with her. The Finns I have met have been funny, thoughtful and very good company. The signal-to-noise ratio is just very high, and that actually does wonders for one’s well-being I find. However, rather than following Aevil’s suggestion and embracing my inner interstellar genocidal mystic-fundamentalist psychopath; I think I’ll go for nuturing my inner Wookie.