Hendrik Morkel

author, minimalist, rōnin
Oct 17, 2013

The Verge | Small Empires

By co-incidence I stumbled upon the Small Empires series on The Verge. It's a series in which Alexis Ohanian visits startups in New York and talks with founders, employees and customers/ users. It's very well made and well worth if you're interested in startups and entrepreneurship.

Oct 17, 2013

Dropbox + Markdown = Blogging







Jun 5, 2013

2013 is almost half way through already, and it's time to note down the books read so far this year.

Books, 2013

The fifth Elephant - Fun Pratchett book.

The illustrated Eric - Brought along for my son, read it myself.

Soul Music - Music with Rocks in it.

Witches Abroad - Fairy Godmothers on the road.

The Fractal Prince - The best book of 2013?

The War of the Worlds - A Scifi Classic.

Manhood for Amateurs - Entertaining.

Ignore Everybody - Getting creative.

Troll - Finnish literature set in Tampere.

The Case of Charles Dexter Ward - H.P. Lovecraft Graphic Novel.

A Study in Scarlett - Sherlock Holmes Graphic Novel.

The Valley of Fear - Sherlock Holmes Graphic Novel II.

The hound of the Baskervilles - Another Sherlock Holmes Graphic Novel.

The Sign of the Four - And the fourth Sherlock Holmes Graphic Novel. All four were great.

The Last Englishmen - Entertaining hiking novel.

Currently reading

The Responsible Company - Learning for Business.

The Egyptian - A Finnish Classic.

Schoßgebete - Liked her first book.

9 out of 10 Climbers make the same Mistakes - To not make the same mistakes.

Aug 30, 2012


Since my return from the Ultralight Summit in Slovenia, I have adopted a new digital diet. Before I was checking Emails and Twitter already before breakfast, and sat till late in the evenings in front of the computer, answering Emails, surfing, writing articles, editing videos and photos.

It wasn't good. Checking Email and Twitter before breakfast didn't increase my productivity, and it often meant that I got the Mac out to answer Emails and reply to comments before I even had a cup of coffee. Or so it felt. After I cam home in the evening, I'd sit in short bursts in front of the computer between taking care of my son, for more of the same, till it was time to go to sleep.

The UL Summit was a bit of a detox in that matter, and once I was back in Finland I decided to continue with it. My new digital diet means I don't check my Emails or Twitter before 8:00 o'clock (and seldom answer any Emails before late in the afternoon), and once I leave work (work being renovating my house at the moment) I head to the public library where I open my Mac, answer Emails, write articles for magazines, for Hiking in Finland and other stuff I need the Mac for. Once I leave the library - usually around 18 o'clock, which gives me around two hours for all of the stuff - the Mac stays in my backpack, until the next day. At home I now don't do digital work anymore, and concentrate on my family. When the little one is in bed, I spent time with my wife or grab a book and read.

I sleep better. I spend more time with my loved ones, and my wife and son both get more of the attention they deserve. I am happier & more creative. I feel I write more meaningful content, and can focus better on the tasks I need to do. Some people might wait for weeks for an Email reply, though if it is urgent, they usually call either way. Some things, like writing articles for HIF, takes longer, but they are better in the end, which is worth it, in my opinion.

If you feel that your digital life is taking over your real one, try a similar approach. Just not checking Emails, Twitter and other Social Media channels before 8:00 in the morning will give you more time to read, have a good breakfast and socialize with your family.

Apr 11, 2012

I have been a long time Spotify subscriber, it is for me just the most convenient method to listen to music - at home and on the go. I have often thought that they would need a embed button so it would be easier to share music on my blog, and am delighted that that's now a possibility. Expect more music to accompany Hiking in Finland articles in the future! How? With the Spotify Play Button!

Apr 11, 2012
Im Internet kann in den bekannten sozialen Medien und Foren die so genannte many-to-many-Kommunikation betrieben werden, in der jeder gleichberechtigt Rezipient und Produzent von Informationen und Meinungen ist. Das Internet ist dadurch Demokratie pur. Jeder kann unabhängig von Position, Status, Einfluss und Erfahrung seinen Beitrag leisten, Qualität setzt sich durch, heiße Luft verpufft (im Idealfall und von Shitstorms mal abgesehen).


Understanding the culture of Web 2.0, and what effects it has (can have) on society, politics and culture as a whole.

I'm happy that we have the Pirates. As the author of the above quote writes, they bring us back to the basics of politics, and what it means: To improve the world. It does not matter if they're not yet fully ready with programmes et al. - this makes them more human, more like you and me. I personally can't wait for them to join parliments around the world, and bring democracy back into these rooms.

Apr 9, 2012
Apr 7, 2012

Last week Monday afternoon Mark made me aware that I was honoured with an article by Alan Sloman on his blog. I usually ignore Mr. Sloman, as I have got to know him as a not very friendly person, and his defaming post of me, including the use without permission of one of my copyright protected photos, strenghtens this view. However, as a scientist and businessmen I feel I need to answer this post in a calm & objective way. I'll start with what is my relationship with Mr. Sloman.

Mr. Sloman is a backpacker in the UK, and writes a blog. He's a self-described TGO Challenge addict and has done a LEJOG walk. I followed Mr. Sloman's blog as I set out to write Hiking in Finland, though increasingly his articles were less about backpacking and more about his views on climate change, renewable energy and especially windpower. While I am interested in these areas, Mr. Sloman has different views from mine, and on a hiking blog I expect to read about hiking, and not about how bad renewables would be for the UK, so I stopped reading his blog.

At some point last year Mr. Sloman discovered Twitter, and I decided to follow him, after all we share a common interest in hiking. I quickly though was at the receiving end of Mr. Sloman's insults - if I remember correctly I mentioned to Mr. Sloman to keep Netiquette in mind when speaking online, and his answer was to call me a twat. I unfollowed and blocked him, as I don't deal with rude people.

Fast forward to March this year. Chris Townsend tweeted an article from Mr. Sloman's blog, and as Chris and I share common views I hoped over to have a read. It was a book review, and Mr. Sloman concluded that Climate Change is normal and the whole hype about it nonsense. Stunned that Chris tweeted this, I asked him:

to which Chris replied

That was the conversation between Chris and me, very civil and no bad feelings. Imagine the surprise when the next morning I had a few tweets waiting for me which included Mr. Sloman and me as an addresse. I clicked on show conversation and saw the following:

Not very friendly. What is interesting here is that a "Climate Change Denier" became in Mr. Sloman's world a "Holocaust Denier". I jumped over to the dictionary, entered denier to see if I indeed made a grave error, and got this surprising definition:

denier 2 |dɪˈnʌɪə|
a person who denies something: a prominent denier of global warming.

I tweeted the following and left it with that:

A few other ones chipped in with humour and tried to defuse the situation:

But to no avail, Mr. Sloman was on a roll.

I ignored the insults and moved on. As they kept trickling in (while I block Mr. Sloman on Twitter and don't see any of his writings, when I am mentioned by a third person in a conversation which includes him, I automatically also get to see what he wrote) I retweeted his insults in an effort to make him realize his abusive behaviour, and let it rest - I had a few trips planned and needed to concentrate on these.

Here it is smart to say that I believe any mentally stable & sane person blocks out such insults, both digitally and in real life. If someone in real life throws such terms at me, I turn around and leave. The German proverb "Der Klügere gibt nach" is what comes to my mind in these situations; there is usually little sense in discussing with people who get abusive and insult you.

Which brings us to the present and the article of Mr. Sloman. I read a few forums and conversations in the vein of "X is not good" et al. are fairly common. These are often are very subjective statements, and do not take location, metabolism, intended usage and other factors into account. With my [Theoretical] Backpacking on the Internet article I just wanted to remind us all that we should keep location and other factors in mind while we have conversations online.

Here's the Twitter conversation Mr. Sloman revers to:

If you have read my article and comments, you will realize that it is an objective analysis and discussion of a topic, and that I did not point any fingers or took any "sly digs" at Martin - Martin is a Gossamer Gear Trail Ambassador like me, supported Ultralight A-Z vocally & financially and was one of the persons which inspired me to blog about my outdoor adventures; insulting him his certainly not on my mind. And while Martin and me have different views on some areas of backpacking and gear, we are both adults and can have civilized conversations in which no one is getting abusive, even if we do not agree on some issues.

So Mr. Sloman commented on the post, accusing me of insulting Martin. As this is not the case, and because Mr. Sloman's previous behaviour as well as his "sly digs" in his comment, I deleted it and blocked his IP address from accessing Hiking in Finland. It is my blog, for which I pay, so I do not need to have people call me names in an insidious way.

Unhappy with this treatment Mr. Sloman published the following defaming post:

Besides the aforementioned illegal use of a copyright protected photograph, Mr. Sloman goes to great lengths to defame me in manyfold ways. All accusations are, I can assure you, unfounded. It was neither unfear nor sneaky with that article, nor do I have a history of taking sly digs at well-known outdoor commentators - the example with Bob Cartwright was a misinterpretation which I clarified. I'm also not setting myself up to be an expert on all things UL - I share my trips and experiences with gear, and contribute to the UL community in meaningful ways. Why I took Mr. Sloman's comment down and banned him you know already, not because I'm a "snivelling little coward". And as we have seen above, a denier is simply a person who denies something. Inquiring what happens with Ultralight A-Z is in the interest of those who contributed, Mr. Sloman not being one of those it is none of his business to demand financial transparency - my backers are regularly updated, and enjoy the high-quality content of the serious a lot.

I am honest and outspoken, and have always been transparent in my actions (for example have I disclosed openly what kind of income and how much HIF has produced for me in 2011).

The Internet is a place where you inevitably run into people with different opinions. As long at the debate is civil and friendly, we all can get along just fine, even if we do not agree.

I had this text proofread by a dozen English native speakers from England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Australia, Canada, and the USA, as well by a few Germans & Finns. They unanimously agreed that this text is

a) Objective b) Not insulting Mr. Sloman

As scriptogr.am does not have a comments function, we can discuss this statement over on Google+, where I cross-posted it.

Apr 3, 2012

After nine days of Twitter abstinence I'm back (testing Tweetbot on the iPhone as well, so far liking it). I decided to set my account to private and see if it has an effect; I doubt this will be permanent - I'm all for transparency & openness - though it is a experiment. So while I experiment, please bear with me and excuse that you can't easily Retweet me.

Apr 1, 2012

Scriptogr.am, the platform I host my blog on, does not have a comment function. I do not find this a short coming; if someone wants to comment about a post I write here, I recommend to contact me via Twitter or Google+, or use good old Email.