21 July 2018

The 66 Lakes Trail: Leg 4 - Hennigsdorf to Wensickendorf (25 km)

Leg 4 of the 66 Lakes Trail took me to the countryside north of Berlin (speaking of which, it is interesting to see how this trail takes me around the countryside, in a clockwise fashion: when I began this trail I did so by heading southwest from Berlin, and now I am heading northeast). This leg is 25 kilometres long, and begins from Hennigsdorf, passes through Birkenwerder, and ends in Wensickendorf. I must say that this stretch has some of the prettiest natural settings I have seen in a while here in the Berlin/Brandenburg area.

19 July 2018

México 2.0: Museo Nacional de Antropología

The last thing I saw in Mexico was the Museo Nacional de Antropología, or the National Museum of Anthropology. It is a national museum, and the largest and most visited museum in Mexico. I wanted to go here, since I didn't make it when I first visited back in 2011. So on my last day, I packed my bags, had breakfast, checked out of my hotel, and stored my luggage with the concierge. After doing so, I headed out and rode the metro heading to Chapultepec Park, where this museum is located.

17 July 2018

Book Review: Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari

Last year I read Sapiens, a book that was recommended to me by several people, notably because it challenged plenty of religious notions and that it would be an interesting read for me. I thought it was an interesting book, indeed, but I didn't think it was worth the hype, given my world view. In any case, I was nevertheless interested in reading the sequel from Harari, so this current book was also on my list. And I must say I think I have a better reception of this book.

See, if Sapiens was about how humans got to where we are, Homo Deus is about where we are headed to. Parts of the book can be apocalyptic. Indeed, some of it I want to hope that I am not around anymore when it indeed becomes true.

There are still parts of the book that shatter one's religious upbringing. I found the opening section quite relevant, where he explains that war, famine, and disease are now a thing of the past. He shows with data how these three worries of the human race have now been slowly eradicated. I find this especially noteworthy since you still find doomsday cults nowadays like the Jehovah's Witnesses who would love to claim that the world is getting worse and worse, and that people are getting more and more hungry, people are getting killed in more wars than ever, and more and more people are dying due to diseases. And if they finally convince you that indeed, wars, disease, and famine are on the increase since 1914, then they would offer you their version of the afterlife. But unfortunately, the data says that these three issues are actually decreasing, and human life is getting better and better.

15 July 2018

México 2.0: Ex-Convento de Churubusco

The former monastery of Churubusco is located in the neighbourhood of Coyoacan. After checking out Leon Trotsky's former home, I headed here to see what it is about. There's actually plenty of history here, and while it is not a monastery anymore, it still functions as a historical museum.

13 July 2018

To Kindle or not to Kindle

As readers of this blog might notice, I tend to read a lot. When I was in graduate school, I referred to reading as my one-hour vacations, and I would explicitly take some time off during the day to go to the library and read something that was totally unrelated to what I was currently working on. I've carried this habit all along, even now, and I read about at least 20 books a year more or less. And for some reason, I've always preferred reading using traditional methods, with an actual book in my hands. Until now.