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About comments

Almost every day I check for comments to the posts, but find that all I get is spam posts in the spam filter :-) Does that mean no-one reads this blog? Perhaps, but the visitor count is increasing …

If you happen to visit and find something of interest, you are now encouraged to make a comment, if you prefer you can do it anonymously. With comment feedback you may influence the contents of future posts, otherwise I get 100% of the votes and that’s not fair :-)

You can for example begin with a simple hello below this post!

Åpent brev til Røyken Kommune (1)

To those who do not speak Norwegian: The following is an open letter to the local authorities of Røyken Kommune. Via a “consultant” they “request” that I install a water meter in my house, and in the same sentence they declare that if I object they will force me to do it. A time limit for compliance is given. In the same letter, they also declare it is their intention to apply extensive remote surveillance. There is no water shortage in Norway, quite the opposite, and no credible reason is given, other than they “want to reduce water consumption down to 2004 level”. I have paid all my taxes and bills since I moved here in 1993, I intend to continue to do so and I have no excessive water usage. I suspect the real reason behind this is to establish a way to increase pricing of basic resources like H2O, just like they already have started taxing the exhaling of harmless CO2. I am now waiting for the taxation of O2 intake to be established.  The second suspected reason is what is clearly stated in their letter: Extensive surveillance and control over citizens. All of this is supposedly decided locally. However,  it is centrally organised, disguised as “local democracy” implemented via unelected consultants working for unelected entities I have never heard of.

Nylig mottok jeg et brev fra en “konsulent” ved navn Brynhild Oddrunsdottir, som hevder å opptre på vegne av Røyken Kommune gjennom noe som kalles “Viva iks”. Jeg aner ikke hvem “Viva iks” er, og det er ikke gitt noen dokumentasjon på deres fullmakt til å opptre på vegne av politisk valgte myndigheter. Overskriften i brevet er som følger:

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I brevet hevdes det at pålegget er et ledd i å “trygge leveransen av drikkevann” og at det totale vannuttaket av en eller annen uspesifisert grunn skal reduseres til “2004-nivå”. Det er ikke gitt noen rasjonell grunn for et slikt mål. Vi bor ikke i Sahara, tvert imot oppstår jevnlig overvann i området her jeg bor. Videre ser det ut til at den som har skrevet dette anser at lovlydige innbyggere som med selvfølgelighet har betalt kommunale avgifter i alle år, nå skal utsettes for vilkårlige pålegg, overvåking og ekstra utgifter.

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Det hele framstilles som om det er et ledd i lokalt demokrati. Realiteten er at dette er styrt fra sentrale myndigheter og byråkrater, samt eksekvert gjennom obskure konsulentvirsomheter ingen har hørt om. Det som videre er er bekymringsfullt er at den sannsynlige reelle begrunnelsen ikke er uttalt: Etablere grunnlag for framtidig inntektsøkning gjennom økt skattlegging og begrensing av den enkeltes tilgang til fundamentale ressurser som vann (H2O), kombinert med økt overvåking.

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Sentrale myndigheter har forlengst igangsatt skattlegging av utpust (CO2), uten noen rasjonell begrunnelse utover det som er “etablert” gjennom IPCC, inntil nylig ledet av jernbaneingeniøren Rajendra Pachauri, nå gjenstand for politietterforsking i India.  Nå følges dette opp gjennom uttalt ambisjon om begrenset tilgang på H2O, via overvåking som etablerer grunnlag for kontroll og skattlegging av noe vi allerede betaler for. Når kommer det brev om at vårt inntak av O2 må begrenses til 2004-nivå?

Jeg anmoder konsulenten å skaffe troverdig dokumentasjon som utvetydig viser at hun opptrer lovlig på oppdrag fra demokratisk valgte myndigheter. Brevet jeg har mottatt inneholder ingen slik dokumentasjon. Jeg anmoder også om en mer utfyllende informasjon om hvorfor “Målet er å reduserer det totale vannintaket til 2004-nivå”, samt hvilke andre tiltak kommunen har iverksatt for å oppnå dette målet. Er det den enkeltes vannuttak som skal begrenses til 2004-nivå, eller er det kommunens totale uttak det er snakk om? Hvordan forholder dette seg til endringen av innbyggertallet i kommunen?

Ved mottak av slik dokumentasjon vil jeg rette meg etter anmodningen, om enn ikke med særlig glede. Tilliten til lokale myndigheter er ikke styrket med dette.

To my father

Today is the birthday of my late father Carsten Arnholm Sr., he would have turned 85 years today. He was a caring grandfather to our children and came to visit us very frequently for more than 20 years. He also travelled with us several times abroad, and always had something interesting to say. He was someone who never stopped learning and we could sometimes sit and talk about history, technology, politics or anything else for hours.

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Although he was educated as a lawyer, and spent his professional time in the Ministry of Finance working with oil taxation laws, his passion in life was photography.  He was born in 1929 and tried photography at a very early stage, and it never stopped fascinating him. He went through all the phases of technology from simple cameras in the 1940s, to more elaborate laboratory techniques in the 1950s and 1960s.

His great tragedy in life was the loss of his sister, father and mother over 18 months in 1947-1948, when he himself was only 17 years old. You don’t go through such an experience without scars, but he managed to get a good education and his passion for photography quite naturally became even deeper. He became very active in photo competitions world wide and won many prizes. He also became very active in local clubs such as Oslo Kamera Klubb where I saw him enjoy himself in the late 1970s.

Although never being formally educated in science or technology, he never had any problems following technological trends. Spending many long nights in the darkroom in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s gave him a deep insight into what constitutes a good photography and how to process an image. Sometimes he used very elaborate lithographic techniques with marvellous results. The image below was made in the 1970s without any digital techniques. The raw material is an image of an elderly portuguese woman, which he turned into his famous “Ektepar” (“The Couple”). It shows his humorous side!

02_Ektepar When people complained about “image manipulation”, he rarely agreed. He claimed all images are heavily processed in one way or another, “raw” presentations really do not exist.

When digital photography arrived, he was thrilled. At first he gave me long lessons about the superiority of negative film over the first digital cameras, but he really embraced digital image processing from day one.  He scanned films into digital files and spent much time exploring Photoshop. He became such an expert of Photoshop that when he was more than 80 years old, he routinely gave courses to people less than half his own age.

Later, the films were abandoned in favour of the top-of-the-line digital cameras. He had fully converted from simple box cameras, black and white film and a chemical lab, into someone who naturally spoke of bit depths, unsharp masks and many other things.  Although his techniques were superb and detailed, he also had an eye for what is a good image. He travelled with friends to both Antarctica and Svalbard in the far north. Arctic photography of natural life became one of his specialties.  Some of his portraits and other images can still be enjoyed at his personal website Carsten J. Arnholm . Have a look yourself.

In 2011, it became clear that he suffered from cancer. I cannot quite comprehend how he at once accepted his situation, and never ever complained although he insisted on receiving the treatment that doctors could give. His struggle lasted for 18 months, during which time he even found ways of doing photography from bed.

On the first day of 2013 he passed away quietly.

Thank you for being who you were. Happy birthday from your son.