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Hugo van der Merwe
Attended Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Lives in Zurich
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Hugo van der Merwe

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My Approach to Collections

Collections on Google+ are like mini-blogs. In the context of the Stream, for you as follower, their biggest value is that they let you do the following:

(a) you can enable notifications for collections that are of particular interest to you,
(b) you can unfollow collections that are of no interest to you,
(c) you can follow specific collections of interest, without following the people that produce them (since you may be interested in that topic only, rather than only in the person).

With this in mind, an overview of some of my collections:


Activity-focused collections and notifications

I have many activity-focused collections, and am hoping they help ensure that open invitations to go hiking, swimming, mountain biking or ski touring don't go unnoticed.

If you ever see an old post of mine and think "why didn't I see this earlier?!", please consider turning on notifications for that collection. If you feel this would result in notification noise, please let me know so I can appropriately subdivide my collections some more, to make them work for you.

For all of these, it's important to note I'm based in Zurich, Switzerland - I should probably choose names to make that most obvious:

- Mountain Biking: https://plus.google.com/collection/0FOEU
- Road Cycling: https://plus.google.com/collection/srUEU
- Swimming: https://plus.google.com/collection/sZx2T
- Trail Running (and other running): https://plus.google.com/collection/kHT1T
- Ski Touring (and other skiing?): https://plus.google.com/collection/kjIfP
- Hiking and other Mountain Sport: https://plus.google.com/collection/U6lyT
- Multisport is perhaps not worth mentioning: https://plus.google.com/collection/k5ufP - I don't think it will become very active any time soon. It's more of a personal archive I suppose.
- Lindy Hop (swing dancing): https://plus.google.com/collection/8FEfP

Having an early activity-focused presence will hopefully help me stay in the thick of things, if a local community develops around these interests? If you have your own collections focused on these things, within reach of Zurich, give me a shout. :-)


General Interest shares

My most active collection used to be a catch-all General Interest collection: https://plus.google.com/collection/8HUiP

It's no longer so clear, I've split out Society, Politics and Civilization - everything about masses of people needing to live together on this planet: https://plus.google.com/collection/EjPDx


Some Tech-Specific Shares

I have a Google-focused collection: https://plus.google.com/collection/c6yUX - this is partly for specific-interest followers (people interested in Google, but not in me), but also partly for people that want to unfollow this collection. If any friends don't want to hear me talk about Google things (on account of them feeling I may be too biased for example, if they don't respect my ability to still be rational). ;-)

Cloudy with a Chance of Ads is related: https://plus.google.com/collection/keX4T - only occasional posts, here I post things I wrote related to "the Cloud" and the Internet economy in general, with a good dose of Google mixed in I'm sure, which I hope are more "philosophical and timeless" than general Google news.

The Online World: https://plus.google.com/collection/s21M9 - generally about the online services industry, this is where my "industry commentary" goes. (Used to be part of General Interest.)

Software Development: https://plus.google.com/collection/sjF9T - general shares on a topic actually related to my profession, surely I had to have something like this? :-) These posts aren't "general" enough for "General Interest".

Hugo's Tech Advice Corner: https://plus.google.com/collection/UUH0T - here I post things I particularly wish non-techie friends to see. Techie friends hopefully either already know, or have no need of these?

Dear LazyPlus: https://plus.google.com/collection/UZZzT - somewhat a counterpoint to the previous collection? This is where I ask questions that I hope someone would answer for me. Not always Tech related though.


Other

That covers most of what I wish to highlight. I have some more - for example I wish friends residing in South Africa would enable notifications on https://plus.google.com/collection/kUNiP ("To: South African Residents!"), but that's perhaps wishful thinking. :) However if I ever get a question of "why didn't you tell me you were in South Africa?" following a quick visit, I might answer: "well, if you really want to know when I'm in town, enable notifications on this collection!" ;-P

You can of course see the full set of my collections that are visible to you at https://plus.google.com/+HugovanderMerwe/collections.
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I'm reading a fascinating book at the moment. Tell me if this resonates with you:

"I felt that investing in relationships with the people I cared about was a burden on them."

I know at least two people that have had this experience: you want to spend time with a friend, but you're worried that doing so is a selfish act, a burden on them, forcing them to spend time with you. However if you're interested in spending time with them, you must admit it's entirely possible they want to spend time with you, and you owe it to them to let them make their own decisions in this regard!

Have you ever felt doubts like these? 
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Yes, I constantly feel doubts like these. And talking to people about it, turned out a lot of us have similar to same thoughts. WHY we question if someone wants to hang out with us seems to happen whether we are initializing the meet-up or being asked out, irrespective, is something I would like to find out. It's so fucked up.
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Haha, ok :)
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Sobering angle on self-driving fleets, the difference with an Uber, currently, is presence of a driver. Right?

This does feel like a vote in favour of a centrally managed fleet, rather than people contributing their own cars. And what, "all actions in the car will be recorded on video" to keep passengers accountable?

Lastly, in public transport using countries, waiting for a car is not the big deal Americans make it out to be.
 
Fantasyland. In fact, the whole autonomous car-sharing concept is fantasyland. Even if we assume full autonomy on all roads and all driving conditions/situations in all weather -- decades away if ever -- most people will not want to sit around waiting for a vehicle to show up when they have to go somewhere. Nor will most be willing to enter a vehicle owned by some stranger with unknown maintenance and cleanliness habits. In fact, the entire autonomous fleet concept is likely to be burned by such issues, not to mention the trolls who will purposely attempt to sabotage the vehicles, both from the inside and outside. There is so much loony thinking in this space it's mind-boggling. And yeah, terrorism will be a real issue. Unfortunately. And proponents remain unwilling to discuss how law enforcement and government will demand access to car data and remote control over vehicles (individually and en masse). Control transportation and you control the sheep. 
As part of the reveal of his ‘Master Plan Part 2’, CEO Elon Musk elaborated on the automaker’s plan for the role of car ownership and ride-sharing in the future of the company. Mu…
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+Alex Schroeder in Berlin, there are more than three different outfits similar to mobility: DriveNow (backed by BMW and Sixt for the fleet service), car2go (backed by Mercedes and ???), Flinkster (Deutsche Bahn) and City-Something. Membership is usually free after registration and if you are a member of all four a car is rarely more than ten minutes walking distance away.

DriveNow and City-Something have a partial electric fleet. Oh and there is e-mio, which rents out electric scooters with the same model.
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47 years ago...
 
"One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind"
On this day, 20 July 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin of Apollo 11 became the 1st humans to walk on the Moon.
Remember when this nation made miracles happen?

Chronology: At 1:47 pm EDT Armstrong and Aldrin, in the lunar module Eagle, separate from the command module. Collins remains onboard the Columbia orbiting the moon. – 4:17 pm EDT – The Eagle lands. – 4:18 pm EDT – “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed,” Armstrong reports as the lunar module lands on the moon’s surface at the Sea of Tranquility. The module has only enough fuel to run for 40 more seconds. – 10:56 pm EDT – Armstrong says, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” as he becomes the first human to set foot on the moon. – 11:15 pm EDT (approx.) – Buzz Aldrin joins Armstrong on the moon. The men read from a plaque signed by the three crew members and the president, “Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon, July 1969 A.D. We came in peace for all mankind.” – 11:48 pm EDT – President Nixon speaks to Armstrong and Aldrin via radio from the Oval Office, “(it) certainly has to be the most historic telephone call ever made.” They speak for two minutes and the call is televised on both ends. – Armstrong and Aldrin spend over two hours collecting moon rock samples and data, and spend the night on board the Eagle.

Chronology is from http://wgno.com/2016/07/20/we-landed-on-the-moon-47-years-ago/

The link below is from NASA, and has video, pics and more links.
At 10:56 p.m. EDT Neil Armstrong is ready to plant the first human foot on another world. With more than half a billion people watching on television, he climbs down the ladder and proclaims: "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."
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I have not been following the Turkey thing closely. With this summary, Yonatan gives me a better sense of what's currently going on there. (I didn't read the article linked either, just his summary.)
 
I was rather concerned when people started to come out against the Turkish coup on the grounds that it was anti-democratic. Not because I'm convinced the coup would have been a great idea, but because there were two distinct groups objecting to the coup: one on the basis of democracy, and one on the basis of supporting Erdogan's autocracy. And it was very clear which of these groups would be holding the reins if the coup failed.

Since then, Erdogan has removed 2,700 judges and all 15,000 university deans in the country, as part of a broader set of roughly 45,000 people who have been fired, suspended, or detained. (See http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/turkey-coup-latest-news-erdogan-istanbul-judges-removed-from-duty-failed-government-overthrow-a7140661.html) It's quite clear that most of these people had nothing to do with the coup, which was an entirely military affair, but that the lists of known enemies were well-prepared in advance. Today, a blanket travel ban preventing all academics from leaving the country was added.

Erdogan has further announced that an "important decision" will be coming later today, which is widely anticipated to be part of an absolute crackdown on any opposition to his rule. (This is, one should remember, a country where journalists are routinely sent to prison for insulting the President)

The fact is that Erdogan has been steadily and forcefully moving towards absolute rule for years, eliminating anyone he sees as either opposed to him or (in the case of his popular former PM Ahmet Davutoğlu) simply too popular in their own right.

There may be reasons to oppose the failed coup, but protecting democratic institutions is not one of them; it is highly unlikely that any such institutions will be left by the end of this year.
The crackdown touches nearly all of Turkey’s professions as authorities go after alleged coup supporters.
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Hugo van der Merwe

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I love how these fly! Saw a great many come down today in a park. An adapted leaf, and a pair of "sex organs" I suppose, is this both "male and female", and who can fix my biology terminology? I'm clearly uneducated on the wonders of botany!
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Somewhat unrelated but you can make great tea from these (though you'll have to get them earlier than this state).
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A brief history of the Republican party, by +Vox​.
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"In conversation, there are a million ways to hedge direct language and suggest what we want instead of explicitly asking for it."

I don't have much experience with "dating" as a way to start relationships. Most of my past relationships mostly started "out of the blue", in the sense of getting to know people well enough just through the usual run of my life, and then we simply come to the conclusion to "see each other".

Reading posts like these thus develop my thoughts on how one might more actively seek out a new relationship, though organising "dates". The thought of coming up with something interesting to do with someone you don't know well - actually makes so much sense! ("Well, duh!" you probably think.)

I've been adjusting my views the last few weeks, taking inspiration from a diverse set of views. What's also been interesting, is that taking a much more proactive mindset I one aspect of life, seems to spill nicely into other aspects of life - it can inspire one to shake many more aspects of one's life into better shape.

And hedging? Yes, I'm great at that, some things I find safest to discuss in person. This detail makes me reflect on how often I hedge, at home or at work, etc. It's not bad, but it's also good to learn to be direct about some things. With good self knowledge and appropriate confidence in the importance of one's requests or suggestions, directness can be very, very valuable.
Between the ages of 27 and 30, I had but two missions: (1) Create awesome PowerPoints; and (2) Find a boyfriend.
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In the department of news which should shock absolutely nobody, the Turkish parliament (controlled by Erdogan's "Justice and Development" party) has declared a three-month state of emergency, during which the President can detain people arbitrarily, issue decrees with the force of law, and do various similar things. Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has promised to use this to "cleanse the state" and "eliminate those who are trying to harm the country."

At current count, over 10,000 people have been arrested following the coup, and nearly 60,000 have been removed permanently from their jobs, especially teachers, judges, and police officers. For contrast, roughly 750 people are believed to have actually taken part in the coup attempt.

(Bonus tip for those new to this subject: "temporary" states of emergency aren't. There's always some reason to extend them. Egypt had one continuously from 1981 until the government was overthrown in 2011, for example.)

via +Lauren Weinstein
Turkish lawmakers declared a three-month state of emergency Thursday, overwhelmingly approving President Recep Tayyip Erdogan 's request for sweeping new powers to expand a government crackdown after last week's attempt military coup.
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Tesla Master Plan. I previously expressed my own doubts regarding partial autonomy, so let me also quote this paragraph:

"I should add a note here to explain why Tesla is deploying partial autonomy now, rather than waiting until some point in the future. The most important reason is that, when used correctly, it is already significantly safer than a person driving by themselves and it would therefore be morally reprehensible to delay release simply for fear of bad press or some mercantile calculation of legal liability."

They certainly have big dreams. I wonder what the Self-Driving market will look like in the future, with TESLA as well as Uber, and Google also fitting into the picture somewhere?
 
We are truly living in the future.
*/ The first master plan that I wrote 10 years ago is now in the final stages of completion. It wasn't all that complicated and basically consisted of:
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> [Google] is using technology from the DeepMind artificial intelligence subsidiary for big savings on the power consumed by its data centers, according to DeepMind Co-Founder Demis Hassabis.

> In recent months, the Alphabet Inc. unit put a DeepMind AI system in control of parts of its data centers to reduce power consumption by manipulating computer servers and related equipment like cooling systems. It uses a similar technique to DeepMind software that taught itself to play Atari video games, Hassabis said in an interview at a recent AI conference in New York.

> The system cut power usage in the data centers by several percentage points, "which is a huge saving in terms of cost but, also, great for the environment," he said.

> The savings translate into a 15 percent improvement in power usage efficiency, or PUE, Google said in a statement. PUE measures how much electricity Google uses for its computers, versus the supporting infrastructure like cooling systems.
Google just paid for part of its acquisition of DeepMind in a surprising way.
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Hugo's Collections
People
Have him in circles
1,188 people
Dita Tomtom's profile photo
Siegfried Louw's profile photo
Bart Locanthi's profile photo
Heather Tina's profile photo
Duncan Sargeant's profile photo
Jianhui Zou's profile photo
Patrick Wachsmuth's profile photo
Ali Heidari's profile photo
ralph “DJAccess” rothermann's profile photo
Education
  • Stellenbosch University, South Africa
    M.ScEng (Electronic Engineering with Computer Science)
  • Paul Roos Gimnasium, Stellenbosch, South Africa
  • British School in the Netherlands, The Netherlands
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Relationship
Single
Apps with Google+ Sign-in
  • Transmission
  • Monument Valley
Story
Tagline
Enthusiastic about swing dancing, ski touring, mountain biking, road biking, trail running and swimming!
Bragging rights
Making good progress on learning German - tackling C1 High German in 2016. At some point I should tackle Swiss German? :)
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Zurich
Previously
Somerset West - Stellenbosch - Wassenaar - Scheveningen - Johannesburg - Cape Town
Hugo van der Merwe's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
best of craigslist: I met you in the rain on the last day of 1972 - m4w
www.craigslist.org

I met you in the rain on the last day of 1972, the same day I resolved to kill myself. One week prior, at the behest of Richard Nixon and He

The Least Convenient Possible World
lesswrong.com

Related to: Is That Your True Rejection? "If you’re interested in being on the right side of disputes, you will refute your opponents’ argum

Scientists May Have Found Humankind's Original Addiction
www.huffingtonpost.com

In studying how ultraviolet radiation affects skin, scientists may have stumbled across humankind's original addiction: sunlight. A new stud

[Does garlic protect against vampires? An experimental study]. - PubMed ...
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 1994 Dec 10;114(30):3583-6. English Abstract; Historical Article

Becoming a citizen - SWI
www.swissinfo.ch

http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/citizenship-test_facilitated-naturalisation--a-bitter-pill-/41295932

Quality of Line
www.incidentalcomics.com

Incidental Comics Poster Shop Support Incidental Comics on Patreon

OkCupid Study Reveals the Perils of Big-Data Science | WIRED
www.wired.com

The data of 70,000 OKCupid users is now searchable in a database. Ethicist Michael T Zimmer explains why it doesn't matter that it was "alre

Dungeons and Dragons and Philosophers VI: The Angsty Dragon of Angst
existentialcomics.com

A philosophy webcomic about the inevitable anguish of living a brief life in an absurd world. Also Jokes

Death, grief and Internet comments
www.headspace.com

What losing my husband taught me about looking at the bigger picture.

AfrikaBurn 2016 – Android-Apps auf Google Play
market.android.com

Your comprehensive mobile guide to AfrikaBurn 2016. This app provides the info and locations of theme camps, art, burns, mutant vehicles and

Google Plus Is Small, But Still Not Dead Yet
marketingland.com

Despite the "near death" rumors, Google+ still has plenty of life left, and Google has no current plans to dismember it, believes columnist

GOP 2016: Give Iran the bomb
samkriss.wordpress.com

I could swear that at one point CNN had let eleven wild hogs loose onto the stage, and announced that the nomination would go to whoever fir

Bomb-sniffing dog discovers 2 Hellfire missiles bound for Portland
www.oregonlive.com

Documents listed the final destination for the AGM-114 Hellfire missiles as Portland.

Norway Lights – Android-Apps auf Google Play
market.android.com

Boost your chances of experiencing the northern lights phenomenon! Visit Norway, the official travel guide to Norway, gives you a user-frien

Bitcoin's nightmare scenario has come to pass
www.theverge.com

Over the last year and a half a number of prominent voices in the Bitcoin community have been warning that the system needed to make fundame

A lovely park, good for kids, good trees for slacklining, tabletennis, etc.
Public - in the last week
reviewed in the last week
Good place to grab a drink or a bite to eat, chilling near the river.
Public - in the last week
reviewed in the last week
Good spot for breakfast, brunch or lunch.
Public - a week ago
reviewed a week ago
Had good Pizza here! I'll definitely be returning.
Public - a week ago
reviewed a week ago
215 reviews
Map
Map
Map
I was one of the unlucky ones. I thought a bad outcome would be not perfect vision, thus still wearing glasses, but my eyesight wasn't bad, it would surely at least be a bit better, then I would be happy. My outcome, due to my eyes being prone to scarring, is practically no improvement to my vision (I still see quite well with old lenses/glasses), but now unable to wear contact lenses. So I went from a comfortable life with contact lenses and glasses as I see fit, to one where I am now wearing glasses whenever I want to see well. So how does this impact my swimming, mountain biking, skiing, or any kind of active sport? I now sometimes choose to just not see well. :( Or invest in getting tested lenses in sport-appropriate eyewear I suppose. When choosing laser surgery, it is basically left to your own responsibility to understand the risks. Don't expect doctors to give you a thorough overview of possible outcomes.
• • •
Public - a week ago
reviewed a week ago
To me, this is a dancing venue: Tea Time Swing takes place here, twice a month on Sundays, from October until April.
Public - a week ago
reviewed a week ago
A little Migrolino in my neighbourhood, open until fairly late: this was a very useful discovery! :) Not a very wide selection, for me it is mostly useful for some "emergency supplies".
Public - 2 weeks ago
reviewed 2 weeks ago