29 - Exploring Malta and around

29 - Exploring Malta and around
Photo by Petar Avramoski / Unsplash

πŸ‡²πŸ‡Ή This week we have changed into a different gear and have been relaxing and exploring Malta - going around to see the sights and experience the place. It does have special vibes, quite unlike other places we have been to.

🌑 For one thing, it is really nice to be back in a warm climate. We have missed this so much since we left HK back in February. The weather here is 20-30 degrees every day, sunny and not humid - that'll do nicely. Walkabout here

Click for the walkabout video...

3️⃣ We visited Three Cities and took an electric "buggy" for the day. This was fun and enjoyable if a little frustrating in that that the top speed was really limited to 20km/h! The buggy has an onboard computer with GPS and guides (tracks) you along a route to see at your own pace. You have got to wonder if this is predictive of what is coming - not least when the first stop on the tour was Malta Smart City - this video from a couple of years ago still looks remarkably like it does also today. See also their Wikipedia and their website. To me this smells like Cyberport in HK (at best) and more likely WEF... given the link with other smart Cities, including in Dubai. Needless to say, its construction is years behind schedule and Millions (of who's money?) are still being spent on it.

🏝 As an alternative approach (and provocation?), consider Peter's discussion with Peter Young on Free Cities - recall also Titus' Keynote address that we talked about last week. This will sound familiar if you have read The Sovereign Individual - chapters 10 and 11 - think also of Citadels.

Small as Malta is there are two smaller islands associated with it. The smallest is Commino (on which only two families live) but it has a regular daily tourist influx to visit its famous Blue Lagoon. The other one is Gozo and this was our island of choice for a day out on Quads - we are not too old for this yet! Many things to do here. We ended up down at the little cafe in Dwerja Bay - apparently one of the scenes for shooting in Game of Thrones (recall our visit to the Studios in Banbridge, Northern Ireland). On the way back we took the Fast Ferry - this is certainly the recommended way to get to and from the island - now you know!

We also did a trip down to Mdina and Rabat on the public bus. Early start is the way to go. We got there around 9am before the tourists arrived. Brilliant - check out this walkabout (not mine) to get the atmosphere. From there we walked the 300m or so to Rabat and of course we visited St Pauls Grotto and Catacombs - another walkabout here.

πŸ§˜β€β™‚οΈ We are taking advantage of the new location to switch into a new routine. V is swimming daily in the morning and I have restarted yoga; we both feel better for it and aim to continue.

πŸ€ͺ I have also re-started playing "scrabble" on my iPad - using "Words with Friends" - so if you are interested to have a daily game going with me - just let me know!

Also on the iPad I do recommend Sudoku.com - this is just the best implementation and my favourite is "Killer Sudoku" by Easybrain. How about you? Also a great source of inspiration on things like this is "Cracking the Cryptic" - check their youtube channel and see also their Web-App These guys are amazing and former UK champions. Watch their videos and learn (and be amazed) and I recommend also their CrackingTheCryptic App.

πŸ“± Other adjustments include leaving the main smartphone at home (as I mentioned last week). I can still recall being paid a premium to be "on-call" and reachable outside work hours - now that seems to be expected for everything all the time and there is certainly more tracking going on than you would want; this will be exploited if you do not stop, wake up and push back! Feature Phone is too basic for me (at the moment) so I have switched to using my Pixel phone running CalyxOS (not Android!) with just minimal applications that I really need to have. I am still reachable but only to those with my disposable phone number or via Session (an open source fork of Signal with some significant advantages). Great thing is the removal of all Social Media temptations (not to mention tracking) and you can still have the advantage of downloaded podcasts, books and music. Check out this dedicated page for a step by step guide.

Book of the week

Source: https://nbrissonbookblog.com/2018/12/21/all-systems-red-book-1-murderbot-diaries-book/j

Staying on reading fiction this week, I again picked up Murderbot - All Systems Red. I did try this a while back but could not get into it so I searched for some reviews to see what I might have missed. Finding Merphy's review I was inspired to start again and I must say that I did enjoy it. I also discovered Jason's review and I can empathise with some of his feelings. So...try it yourself and you decide!

Spoiler-free plot summary: On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied β€˜droid β€” a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as β€œMurderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.

But when a neighbouring mission goes dark, it's up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth...

πŸ›  Update on my Projects

Website and mobile device safety and security

You may recall the discussion back in Issue 3 on good practice to keep your data safe and secure. This week I have been working through some more tips - focussing on mobile phones - guiding principle: do not let perfect be the enemy of good!

Goals that I have in mind with the configuration:

  • have a minimal configuration - just what is really needed. There is a mindset shift here too - among other things you do not need to be online 24/7.
  • avoid (as much as possible) using anything that tracks you - you will thank me later!
  • should allow efficient, secure and reliable sharing of information peer-to-peer (avoid cloud services like iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive or similar) - eg photos and documents

Details on the configuration and how to do it are here and I will be updating it from time to time based on experience and feedback. Check it out

πŸ’° Bitcoin & Lightning

  • On Bitcoin, CTO Larsson has interesting perspectives on how things may develop - DYOR
  • Regarding Lightning - I was fascinated by this interview of Moritz by Stephan on Alby. Alby is super-interesting technology that makes Bitcoin payments possible with in-browser tools, using your own existing wallet - no need to adopt something new AND there are some benefits if you do. It is easy to configure and it provides interesting monetisation options for creators in the Value-forValue economy. I'll certainly be exploring this more in the coming weeks. Check it out here.

πŸŽ“ Reading, listening and learning

Below are some more interesting sources that I came across, or was reminded of, in the past week - for your enjoyment and edification:

πŸ€” Macro Economics and Investing

Recall our discussions about how "good money drives out bad" and how "the strongest money wins". I was interested to note that African countries are taking steps to address the frustrations and abuses they suffer from Central Banking extravagances. Consider this also in relation to Zoltan Poszar's recent articles on "inside vs outside" money. Consider too this article - path to bitcoin standard in Africa.

⚠️ Ethereum Merge - happened on Thursday this week...

So the merge has happened and by all accounts it seems to have gone technically quite smoothly. The repercussions are still to be fully understood - let's see.

Guy highlights market manipulation and how prevalent it may be.

Jordan takes things to a whole new level - you might be amazed. A drop of 666 at exactly 0830 NY time - yet another coincidence? Might there be much more going on than you ever realised?

πŸ€” You likely want to give this proper consideration

With last Sunday being the 21st anniversary of 911 - do watch James' deep dive on the topic. and consider his address given on the anniversary itself.

⁉️ Max may not be right in everything he says in his latest walk and talk - but imagine if even half or one third is correct. Before you shake your head and say "that's all rubbish", just look around you and think about all the things that have happened in the last two years that you would have said were impossible. Think back to how you lived in 2019 - has anything changed for you? Why, really? Recall too front cover of The Economist in December 2018.

πŸ‘€ If you have not watched the movie of George Orwell's 1984, do so while it is still available - this is the 1956 B&W incarnation. Or you might prefer the version on LookMovie released in 1984 (VPN required - I suggest Mullvad). You should be struck by (among other things) the continual drumbeat of war (close and remote), perpetual surveillance, censorship (direct and self-imposed) and citizens policing against eachother, .... If the full movie is too much or too hard for you try this 9 minute summary with subtitles. You have been warned. Wake Up, folks.

Turn off your TV and talk with people around you about what is going on.

πŸ€ͺ Finishing up on a lighter note

Most people have heard Pink Floyd "Dark Side of the Moon" and likely also watched "The Wizard of Oz". What you may not have known is that there is a bizarre synchronization between the two. Listen and watch here: Dark side of the rainbow. Of course this is "coincidence". Below is a clickable list of some of the things that sync up.

Source: https://decoryourspace.store/product/pink-floyd-the-dark-side-of-the-moon-wizard-of-oz-album-movie-mix-digital-print-poster-canvas-print/

[17 May 2024 - the original video that I linked to has been removed by YT but there is another one here. The timestamp links below will not work but subtract ONE minute from the time indicated and you can scroll to that point in this backup. Additional backup here]

5:10 Dorothy falls in the pig pen at the exact same time "Breathe (In The Air)" transitions into "On The Run.
7:03 Dorothy's gaze perfectly syncs up with the music going from the right channel to the left channel during"On The Run" (use headphones).
16:57 Woman starts screaming during "Great Gig In The Sky" while everyone is panicking trying to get to shelter.
18:10 The song "Great Gig In The Sky" transcends into a dreamy sound as soon as Dorothy lays down to sleep.
20:29 As soon as side 2 of the album starts, the movie goes into full color. The first ka-ching in the song "Money" also lines up with Dorothy stepping outside her house into The Land Of Oz for the first time.
30:06 During "Us And Them", when David Gilmour says the words "Side To Side", the munchkins start shifting to either side.
30:11 During "Us And Them", David Gilmour says "Black" when it shows the Wicked Witch Of The West for the first time, and says "Blue" when it shows Dorothy again.
30:26 During "Us And Them", David Gilmour says "Who knows which is which", while the two witches are shown
33:20 During "Us And Them", the witch leaves as soon as David Gilmour says "And Out"
48:51 During "On The Run", footsteps can be heard as the group is walking along the Yellow Brick Road
58:35 During "Time", David Gilmour says "To Their Knees", and at the exact same time, the Scarecrow falls to his knees
1:11:40 During "Us And Them", the camera cuts almost perfectly with every line change
1:13:13 During "Us And Them", black smoke appears when David Gilmour says "Black", while blue smoke appears when he says "And Blue"
1:23:17 During "Brain Damage", as soon as Roger Waters says the line "You Raise The Blade", the Tinman raises his weapon over the stone. He also says the line "You Make The Change", while the Tinman, Scarecrow, and Cowardly Lion change their appearance.
1:37:11 During "Time", the witch appears as soon as the vocals kick in
1:40:56 During "Time", David Gilmour says the line "Home, Home Again", right after Dorothy gets home again.

❀️ Enjoy this newsletter?

Forward to a friend and let them know where they can subscribe

No one can be told what The Matrix is.
You have to see it for yourself.

Anything else? Feel free to comment below!
You can also email me at: LetterFrom@rogerprice.me

πŸ’‘Enjoy the newsletters in your own language : Dutch, French, German, Serbian, Chinese Traditional & Simplified, Thai and Burmese.