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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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Human/doggie cooperation FTW! Don't get eaten! :-)
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Some comedy commenting on journalism...

Stephen Colbert responding to "media outcry" that arguably took a tweet out of context. So this is, for me, a humorous response to the sad state of "journalism", as well as mocking twitter. ;-)

"Who would have thought a means of communication limited to 140 characters would ever create misunderstandings?" (2:58)
"When the twit hit the fan..." (3:22) :-P
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Hahaha @ "When the twit hit the fan..." :D
Used to watch Colbert for a while but now I stick to Daily Show :)
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Hugo van der Merwe

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Alain de Botton would like us to fix the news

My last share about news was about news being bad for you, with the advice to simply "avoid it". (https://plus.google.com/111117501132240586556/posts/aKxF92R4gw1)

In this hour-long RSA talk, Alain de Botton takes an interesting and different angle on the problem of the news, asking instead how the news might be improved. (He is promoting his 14th book, "The News: A User's Manual".)

It's the kind of talk that makes me wonder how I might contribute to humanity's "big issues".
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Hugo van der Merwe

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Your G+ profile now shows views - how many times your content and profile has been viewed. You can disable it if you like: Go to plus.google.com/settings and look for "Show how many times your profile and content have been viewed."

Some mixed feelings about this one, but I think I've got it all figured out thoroughly enough that I'm ready to share and discuss. ;)

With regards to surprisingly high "views" compared to "followers", common sources would be photos (albums) and participation in large communities (people see your posts without following you), and G+ posts showing up under YouTube videos will also contribute (but posting on popular videos might not keep your post visible for very long either?)
 
Several people have been asking me about the new "view count" number which shows up on your profile, and I've been answering on a bunch of threads, so let me give you the key answers in one place.

What does this number count? This is total views on your profile, your posts, your photos, and your videos. 

What constitutes a "view?" For your profile, when someone goes to view your profile page. For other things, it's when they look at it -- e.g., when one of your posts shows up on someone's screen. (That's because this is how most people read posts: showing up in a stream, without clicking on it explicitly) Looking at your hovercard doesn't count.

Is this related to +1's, reshares, etc.? Only in that someone who +1'ed your post also probably saw it. You can already see counts for those on individual posts, etc., and before today you could see view counts for each photo if you looked carefully at the one-up view -- now you can see that for everything.

If someone reshares my post, does that count? Yes, since a viewer is seeing your content. Ditto if someone sees your post through an "Alice +1'ed this," through a post embedded on a page, or any other way that someone encounters it.

I don't want to show this on my profile! You can hide this by going to your settings page. Go to plus.google.com/settings and look for "Show how many times your profile and content have been viewed."

This seems strange: Some people seem to have a lot more views relative to their number of followers than others. Is something broken? Not at all. Some people have a lot of followers but don't engage with them well, while other people engage amazingly with a smaller group. 

I want to find out more. Check out the Help Center article at http://goo.gl/8BjroH .
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Hugo van der Merwe

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Climate Change damaging food and water supply is perhaps one of the scarier outcomes, I think. With shortages in basic needs comes social decay.

Can you think of any movies that attempt to represent such decaying of social order reasonably well? I liked Contagion for its depiction of decay following the outbreak of a deadly virus.

#fb
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Hugo van der Merwe

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This was a very interesting read: how disease risk (pathogen stress) may be causing societal structure to adapt.

Collectivism (and specifically collectivism's "less pretty side effects", from a liberal/individualist perspective) is encouraged by high pathogen load. Dealing successfully with disease and reducing pathogen load, on the other hand, seems to be one of the most powerful steps towards individualism and democracy...

I wonder how seriously other causes were considered for this correlation. I can think of a couple of other interesting factors at play, but of course scientific conclusions should come from lots of rigorous study and the weight of a good body of evidence. So I trust the scientists and their peer review systems, and we'll see how prevalent this idea becomes over the next decade.
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Thought-provoking idea!
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Hugo van der Merwe

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Politics in the hands of amateurs...
 
+Ezra Klein has an interesting post today about how changes in technology and custom have moved politics from being in the control of groups of men in smoke-filled rooms to being under the control of average people -- and how it is that average people now seem more, rather than less, disgusted with it.

He raises some good points. I think that the best one is that reading about politics (much less writing about it or doing something about it) is a niche activity, a hobby for people who are passionate about it -- which means that, by exposing politics to the masses, what we've really done is put politics in the hands of the people who care the most. Which, unfortunately, is a recipe for giving more power to extremists of all stripes. The average person, who hears about this but isn't an activist, then encounters a political world dominated by people who can mobilize bases, play to fringe groups, and the like -- and never, ever, compromise. 

In a more cynical mood, I'd call this the "amateurization" of politics: rather than being in the hands of people who are experienced professionals, and mostly in it for the power, money, and the like, it's now in the hands of true believers. Gods protect us all.
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South Africa has a bunch of corruption, which might make it a tricky thing to discuss. The basic idea behind the "professional" thing is if there are issues that require a lot of time to fully study and understand, it may make sense to have people paid to do this.

My thoughts on the "amateur" challenge is the one of extremists often being most mobilised. Australia's approach to dealing with this is to make voting compulsory, its an interesting solution which solves the self-selection bias thing.

Other than that, I haven't actually taken or stated a "position", if your comment was directed at me +Pascal M. I like understanding the issues and challenges of various contrasting approaches more than I like trying to decide on a "best" or finding a "position" for myself, since I don't think that's a very useful thing for me to do at the moment. (No practical value.)
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Hugo van der Merwe

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This TED talk shows why the Cybathlon could be really awesome - a driver and a showcase for development of our bionic technological capabilities.
(Cybathlon: http://www.theverge.com/2014/3/26/5551180/switzerland-to-host-the-first-cybathlon-an-olympics-for-bionic / http://www.cybathlon.ethz.ch/)

I do disagree with some of Hugh Herr's suggestions in this video, I don't consider it desirable for everyone to start wearing exoskeletons when e.g. running - that's like riding a moped instead of a bicycle, while running is about exercise. ;-) Wearing exoskeletons when not needed would make our muscles lazy and weak, throwing away our biological capabilities. We want to add technological capabilities without sacrificing our biological capabilities, I'd say. :-)

So, bring on the bionics! Exoskeletons will enable new activities, will be able to improve our capabilities practically and usefully.
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We watched The Grand Budapest Hotel on Sunday. What a thoroughly enjoyable movie!

A light-hearted comedic presentation with the darker aspects of humanity mixed in. (There's a murder motivated by greed, the sadness of death of a loved one from disease mentioned in the passing, even death by firing squad.)

I also thought the trailer gave a good sense of the movie's style: THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL - Official International Trailer HD
Highly recommended.

#MoviesWatched  
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Hugo van der Merwe

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I'm amazed at what a cellphone camera can do these days, with bad light. This is the Granada Cathedral, taken by a Nexus 5.

I've also disabled G+ auto-enhancement for all of these photos, it made the photos way too noisy. Cellphone's processing was good enough.
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Yes technology has improved a lot. But now go and look what +Ryan Brenizer has done using 35mm sensor with his Brenizer-Technique ISO 51'200 and it looks like ISO800......  
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People
Have him in circles
1,002 people
Riaan van den Dool'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
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Single
Story
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Geek and endurance multisport enthusiast
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.
11 Times We've Seen the Real Stephen Colbert
mashable.com

Stephen Colbert is confirmed to succeed David Letterman as host of "The Late Show" but many fans question whether he will host out of charac

Why are Scandinavian countries so rich?
www.quora.com

Answer (1 of 31): Three main factors together explain most of the difference in wealth between countries. Natural Resources Oil. Gas. Forest

Thich Nhat Hanh: is mindfulness being corrupted by business and finance?
www.theguardian.com

The Zen master discusses his advice for Google and other tech giants on being a force for good in the world

The Astounding Link Between the P≠NP Problem and the Quantum Nature of U...
medium.com

With some straightforward logic, one theorist has shown that macroscopic quantum objects cannot exist if P≠NP, which sud…

Google Traductor
market.android.com

Rompe las barreras del idioma con el Traductor de Google:• Traduce entre 80 idiomas. • Habla con naturalidad y deja que Google traduzca. • H

Switzerland to host the first Cybathlon, an Olympics for bionic athletes
mobile.theverge.com

A coalition of Swiss robotics labs has announced the Cybathlon, the first-ever international competition for athletes who use prosthetics an

The Path Between Pseudo-Spirituality and Pseudo-Science : : Sam Harris
www.samharris.org

Sam Harris, neuroscientist and author of the New York Times bestsellers, The End of Faith, Letter to a Christian Nation, and The Moral Lands

In Defense of “Spiritual” : : Sam Harris
www.samharris.org

Sam Harris, neuroscientist and author of the New York Times bestsellers, The End of Faith, Letter to a Christian Nation, and The Moral Lands

In Defense of “Spiritual” : : Sam Harris
www.samharris.org

Sam Harris, neuroscientist and author of the New York Times bestsellers, The End of Faith, Letter to a Christian Nation, and The Moral Lands

It's time to fight back against those who advocate THEIR values, and do ...
bigthink.com

By 2002, Golden Rice was technically ready to go. Animal testing had found no health risks. Syngenta, which had figured out how to insert th

How has Pope Francis been traditionally different from previous popes?
www.quora.com

Eric Stoltz's answer: A few things Pope Francis has done differently than previous popes in his first few months: * He refused to wear ermin

The 90-Minute Solution: How Building in Periods of Renewal Can Change Yo...
www.huffingtonpost.com

Our bodies operate by the same 90 minute rhythm during the day. When we're awake, the movement is from higher to lower alertness. Researcher

Set a password for your Google+ Page and connected YouTube channel
www.peggyktc.com

Have you set a password for your Google+ Page? If your primary identity is your Google+ Page and YouTube channel name, rather than your pers

Set a password for your Google+ Page and connected YouTube channel
www.peggyktc.com

Have you set a password for your Google+ Page? If your primary identity is your Google+ Page and YouTube channel name, rather than your pers

Nasa-funded study: industrial civilisation headed for 'irreversible coll...
www.theguardian.com

Natural and social scientists develop new model of how 'perfect storm' of crises could unravel global system

Google Realtime Search & The Aftermath Of The Google-Twitter Split
searchengineland.com

Last Friday, Twitter quietly shutdown its “firehose” of tweet data that was being piped to Google. Like a gas station no longer getting deli

Google Realtime Search & The Aftermath Of The Google-Twitter Split
searchengineland.com

Last Friday, Twitter quietly shutdown its “firehose” of tweet data that was being piped to Google. Like a gas station no longer getting deli

But men don’t get raped... right?
www.women24.com

Dave Luis is a rape survivor who has chosen to speak out as part of Rape Crisis’s “Don’t hide, speak out” campaign.

For Superfast Stock Traders, a Way to Jump Ahead in Line
online.wsj.com

A Wall Street insider sparked a sweeping SEC inquiry that is looking at whether stock exchanges sometimes allow high-speed trading firms to

Very, very busy during peak season. Understandably: right on the beach, prime spot with a great view and decent food.
Public - 3 months ago
reviewed 3 months ago
Public - 5 months ago
reviewed 5 months ago
You surely already know whether you like Starbucks. This one has a nice table one floor down, if what you're looking for is a nice place to do a bit of "work" on a laptop. ;)
Public - 5 months ago
reviewed 5 months ago
Huge selection of quality strong liquor. ;)
Public - 6 months ago
reviewed 6 months ago
171 reviews
Map
Map
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This is a bistro at a gym. A friend invited me here (due to it being near their office), for a delicious 3 course meal for 1790huf.
Public - 5 months ago
reviewed 5 months ago
Public - 6 months ago
reviewed 6 months ago
Vegetarian. Two options: self-service pay-before-you-eat buffet billed by weight, or a more traditional restaurant with menu. If seated on the restaurant side, you can still take the weighed buffet, but it is a bit more expensive (due to tables and having a waiter). Eating at the buffet can be very quick: self service rocks! It is only pricey if eat a lot, or eat mostly foods with lots of water in it. ;-)
Food: ExcellentDecor: Very goodService: Excellent
Public - 11 months ago
reviewed 11 months ago