The Man Who Mistook His Computer for a Book: Portrait of a Student

It’s this time of year again, the blog has aged another year. And just like last year, there shall be a recapitulation of what I have read during these past twelve months. Again, the books listed are those that have appeared in the “Current Literature” tab in the sidebar. This time, however, I want to keep it short – just like the table, unfortunately.

As you can see below, I have not read that much in the past year. And where I complained last year that I had read too little, this year’s result is a wholly underperforming one compared to last year’s.


It’s time for announcements again! Today, I will be briefly talking about three more or less new things on this blog that I deem worthy of mentioning. They are by no means any outstanding new functions of this blog but sometimes small changes are sufficient. So, let’s start at the top.

1. Taking up what I already mentioned in my last post, I will just repeat the fact that the virtual catalogue of my library is now accessible through this blog (under


As some of you know – but which you usually don’t notice on this blog –, I study Computational Linguistics, a discipline that can be characterized as “that which Google does” – a characterization as precise as it is vague. In this field, I study linguistic phenomena and the computational methods used to analyze them, and I sit, as its name suggests, a lot in front of a computer. And thus I had an idea.

As announced in one of the first blog posts (in German) – and as suggested by the blog subtitle –, this blog is about how I see the world and that which constitutes my world and its view thereof. Since I am a student for quite a while now (*cough*) and because I am more and more within the depths of computers, I found it to be appropriate to present this world to you as well.

Therefore, I would like to start with a small post on my shell setup (explanation follows), that at the same time introduces the new category “Technically Speaking”, which will focus on computer-related stuff. As you will see (today just a bit, though – in other posts or tutorials it will be clearer), this world is a text-based one, and even if it is not a literary one, it might be a world unknown to some of you.


Today I added the 400th book to my library! OK, just to the virtual catalogue of my real library, which still contains roughly half a bookshelf of uncatalogued books… But I just found the number 400 to be so nice. The new acquisition is a facsimile of the 1750 first edition of Lessing’s Beyträge zur Historie und Aufnahme des Theaters (“Articles on the history and reception of theatre”), Germany’s first theatre periodical.

小樽 Otaru – Where the Glass Glows

After a small girl waved me goodbye at Sapporo Station, I started my journey back home. My next stop was Otaru which I had passed the previous day. Between Sapporo and Otaru there is a nice and huge cliff in the ocean which I had seen glowing brightly due to the sunshine of the setting sun on the previous day.

In Otaru, there are, interestingly, a lot of chiromancer (i.e. fortune tellers; see. Pictures #12 and #13) although the town is famous for its glass and its hand organ hall (the music there sounds like Harry Potter at times). So, I do not want to be racist by any means with the title; rather, I want to express that this town is renown for its glass studios.

And now, this:

函館 Hakodate – In Japan’s North Star

The stamp shown above is proof that I visited the 五稜郭 Goryōkaku in Hakodate, the only star-shaped fort in Japan, modeled after European forts. Of course, I took photographs there; indeed, I also took photographs of the places I visited before arriving in Hokkaidō. But those photographs went missing in the form of the SD card that they were saved on.

I must have lost the card when changing the battery of my camera in front of the 旧函館区公会堂 Kyū Hakodate Kōkaidō (“Old Public Hall of Hakodate Ward”, see below Picture #11) because the SD card was in the same pouch as the battery.

Therefore, there are only photographs that were taken on the second SD card (I changed the cards in the hotel on my way to the public hall). A selection follows.