Joho the Blog » berlin

May 16, 2018

Banks everywhere

I just took a 45 minute walk through Berlin and did not pass a single bank. I know this because I was looking for an ATM.

In Brookline, you can’t walk a block without passing two banks. When a local establishment goes out of business, the chances are about 90 percent that a bank is going to go in. The town is now 83 percent banks.[1]

pie chart of businesses


[1] All figures are approximate.


July 24, 2008

Obama’s speech

I choked up merely reading a transcript of it on my cellphone on a bus.

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Must-see photo, shared by Dave Winer. Click on the largest size your bandwidth allows…


June 17, 2008

Berlin Holocaust Memorial

On the way to dinner last night, my friend Martin Oettinger offered to stop the car as we passed Berlin’s Holocaust memorial. I knew nothing about the memorial. I stepped into it fresh.

From the outside, it is unimpressive: a city block of plain slabs, laid out in a grid, a few feet high and slightly uneven. Oh, headstones, mortuary slabs, graves. Got it.

But, as you walk through it, you find that the paths deepen so that the slabs loom. They are uniform yet different. Endless yet quite finite. Banal yet overwhelming. Your poor little brain tries to make sense of it both perceptually and symbolically, struggling to find meaning in the sameness and the difference.

It’s quite moving.

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