Postings tagged with 'Nostalgia', listed in descending order by creation date. Last Postings shown.

Not much happened in 2015

(elkement. Created: 2016-01-12. Tags: Edible Wildflowers, Administration, Garden, House, Infrastructure, Life, Looking Back, Nostalgia, Photovoltaics, Projects, Remote Work, Work, About. German Version.)

The most existing things, in no particular order:

Infrastructure updates - 'real'

Solar panels, before installation

Infrastructure updates - 'virtual'

  • We migrated three bank accounts, and I learned what I never wanted to know about different ways to setup debit orders. My favorite: an anonymous form on the vendor's website. Security = knowing your client account
  • Our village has changed its zip code. I learned what I never wanted to know about how organizations store addresses. Goodie: Opening 'support tickets' turned interactions with big platforms into something human.

Work and Life

Edible wild vegetables from the meadow in the garden

What Is Art?

(elkement. Created: 2014-11-08. Tags: Art, Self-Referential, Flarf, Weird, Nostalgia, Poetry. German Version.)

This seems to be fundamental question The Subversive Element is trying to answer on numerous Red Pages. has been a feeble would-be protest against Dilbertesque world of work. After I had risen to the challenge, lamented, fought, and transmogrified myself I consider that resolved, once for all. What remains to be done here? Write comments on my comments on my old articles, the ones I recoil in horror when re-reading them. Sometimes I comment in English on German stuff or vice versa. Sometimes I resort to Google Translate to reach one more meta-level in creating Google-based poetry from existing Search Term Poetry or Spam Poetry.

Can that be art? Never, I'd said a few weeks ago. But recently the Element has learned that this is indeed art, called 'Flarf'. So I have been creating Flarf for nearly two years - or perhaps longer, if some of my early subversive art here counts as well - although I was not the innovator I had hoped I was.

But there is an eerie effect - you experts will explain that to me. Each Flarf poem has the same signature style or flavor - I call it the post-modern, the dystopian. It is experimental sci-fi movie crossed with Dilbert going New Age. It is being ironic about irony. Or maybe not. This is independent of the details of the Flarf method used - search terms, spam comments, arbitrary Google searches, even snippets from my own posts, or readers' comments - they speak to me in the same way.

Processing My Poetry and Merging Google's Poetic Talents with Mine

(elkement. Created: 2014-09-27. Tags: Subversive, Nostalgia, Google, Art, Poetry, Weird. German Version.)

On the German version of this page you do indeed find my original poetry, written in 1998. In order to allow English readers a glimpse into my post adolescent postmodern gloomy stanzas I resort to Google Translate. This is done deliberately to add that flavor of Search Term Poetry or Spam Poetry.

By the Subversive Element

in the depths of consciousness
on the surface
overdraw my picture of the world
with thousands of multicolored drops

rich like tentacles
in my reality
and tug at unwavering.
Burning streams of lava
apparent safety
Streams of water
wet the parched land
my reason

dig their tunnels
through my mind
let my soul
go on swaying bridges
about locations of past struggles
past monuments
for heroics
whose meaning I have forgotten

flow into my reality
here and now
and satisfy themselves
echoed by
in a world
which has changed
in this moment

This is even worse than the German version. But with more help from Google I know we can do better.

I am running this now through Google Translate again and translate it - using one result as an input for the next round:
>> to Spanish >> to Italian >> to French >> to Zulu >> to Nepalese >> to Korean >> to Finnish >> and back to German

The result (shown on the German page) is quite remarkable - to me this sounds like a Zen koan.

Now I am ready to translate it back to English - and this is what I call poetry!

By the Subversive Element and Google

deep knowledge of the
Search in my view of the world
Thousands of colorful drops

Subscribe to the rich
In fact, my
Hold on tight and pull.
burn the floor
apparently safety
short dry
My September

shaft tunnel
my heart
My soul
swivel the foot
In the past, a state of war
Monuments of the past
The meaning is forgotten

my real
now here
And to ensure
2 hours

A rehash of the German Subversive Newsletter sent January 31, 2005

Subversive Newsletter Nr. 5: A Mind-Altering Experience

(elkement. Created: 2014-07-31. Tags: Newsletter, Subversive, Nostalgia, Travel, Island, Eerie, Art, Web. German Version.)

Nearly 10 years have passed, so The Subversive Element can speak about it in public.

I do admit:

  • I spent vacations on distant islands. Just like any other tourist.
  • Vacations were for escaping the so-called real world.
  • I used to make fun of literature about quantum consciousness and the like.

But I was penalized for all this.

At first days in the year of 2005 The Element and Somebody embarked on a journey they would never forget. Equipped with lots of popular science magazines on quantum physics and a few ones on so-called alternative physics the travelled to a quite calm, distant, very green, and very wet and foggy island.

[Skipping the boring part about nature and your typical vacation reports.]

There were some eerie forebodings of evil to come:

They were invited by a lonely inhabitant of natural caves at a stormy coast - uttering unintelligible sounds. They declined politely.

An entrance to hell.

The Element was struck by a mysterious illness for one day, right after the island drowned it water as it rained heavily for two days.

Luckily the island did not break in two parts and cause a tsunami as had been proposed by serious scientists.

Streams of muddy water meet the sea.

But the native spirits of that island found the most mischievous way to punish the busy corporate workers. They nearly managed in keeping Element and Somebody prisoners on that green former volcano.

When you see this in movies, you would say this is so improbably it is not even funny:

  • At the island's airport the voice from the speakers says that the plane suffered from a technical defect - more information to come.
  • The plane would not be able to depart today but there are 34 seats left in another plane - two seats left than stranded passengers. Any volunteers?
  • Relief - we were not those two poor souls decided by drawing lots and happily boarded the plane.
  • Finally the plane landed and Element and Somebody went to their car.
    Element: I'll pay for the parking ticket.
    Somebody: Let's check if it starts first
    Element: Ha ha, yes  - very funny!!
    Somebody: [Turns the ignition key]
    [... Silence ...]
    Both: *Panic*
  • So the short story was that the small courtesy light had been on for two weeks and the battery was absolutely empty.
  • Element found the manufacturer's emergency phone number at a sticker in the car. Fortunately it was a company as they discard that type of insurance-like services usually.
  • A helpful human being was answering the phone - he will be here in about half and hour.
  • It is getting cold - it is close to midnight.
  • The helper arrives, and worries that the battery might be too exhausted.
  • OK, it can be recharged and we warned to absolutely never stop for the next 150 kilometers.
  • We drive - to the south. Target: The settlers' home in the Pannonian Plain, via Vienna.
  • And then it starts to snow. Like it hasn't before in that season.
  • We drive slower and slower.
  • We realize we will never make it to z-village so that Element will be able to drive to Vienna again, somewhat recharged.


It should be noted that timing was probably a bit too optimistic. The ideas was to arrive at the airport before midnight, drive home through empty streets without issues, and sleep for a few hours - until The Element had to deliver one of its legendary security workshops. But based on perhaps a vague premonition of what was to come The Element had taken a USB stick with course material along during vacation, it had outsourced the preparation of virtual machines to a service provider, and it had its company badge, a toothbrush and some other things for grooming.

  • So The Element accepted its destiny and said to Somebody: We will never make it, drop me off in Vienna.+
  • Fortunately, at that time the Element's employer offered its overworked staff a so-called recreation room.
  • So The Element sleeps peacefully for about two hours on the couch in the recreation room before it is waked up by the lights and sounds of the snowplow outside and by the cleaning stuff.
  • The workshop went well.

Sleep is overrated.

(Comment on the German newsletter sent November 8, 2004)

Subversive Newsletter No. 3: Internet Apocalypso

(elkement. Created: 2013-03-10. Tags: Newsletter, Netizen, Technology, Nostalgia, Art. German Version.)

These comments on ancient German newsletters (or: newsletter necro) are part of The Website Resurrection Project. Although the Element is now also blogging using state-of-the-art blogging software, the Red Pages are still maintained. This is very Zen: Pseudo-blogging without a chance of receiving any feedback.

The original newsletters are more than 8 years old, and it is hard to understand what in hell was on my mind when I had written those.

In case of Newsletter No. 3 it is a bit easier as the core story is a narrative related to a technical glitch that happened in exactly this way in the so-called real-life.

In 2004 we had just overcome the era of the internet being SKAWEE-REWEERT but The Element still used an ISDN line as a backup for its ADSL connection. Which was a blessing.

The Element was very ambitious and operated its own Microsoft Small Business Server 2003 in 2004, that is: an Active Directory Domain Controller and a Microsoft Exchange mail server on the same box. The box was located in a very secure closet in the "data center"- a cupboard in the toilet.

This server downloaded e-mails every 15 minutes from the hoster's mail server via POP3 via ADSL and the download was limited to 2.5 GB per month.

Now another subversive entity sent an 18.5 MB invitation the Element. This took a while - more than 120 seconds. Now the hoster's mail server did not exactly follow the specifications (Internet RFCs) for POP3: Downloading was considered idle time and after 120 seconds idle time the connection was terminated. Recommended as per specs: 30 minutes.

The server has been configured for deleting e-mails after successful download. Since the download was never successful this e-mail had never been deleted. But every 15 minutes it tried to download again and failed after 120 seconds.

Why didn't the Element discover that before the download limit was exceeded? Because it was on vacation but wanted to have an option to access its own server via Outlook Web Access from the internet. No kidding. Warning e-mails by the ADSL provider were sent only a few days later. But the elementary internet traffic was back to the dialup ISDN era for the rest of the month.

This was
1) Internet Apocalypso (I am borrowing from Christopher Locke) and
2) an text book example on the fragility of non-robust systems (I am borrowing from Ralph Langner)


(elkement. Created: 2013-02-09. Tags: Art, Self-Referential, Announcements, Nostalgia, Web. German Version.)

The Element indulges in web nostalgia – remembering its Subversive Newsletters, sent to (a very small selection of) German readers from July 2004 to July 2005. These pivotal works have been resurrected today!

Probably this has been sort of paradoxically rehearsal to what would become the most commercial and non-subversive period in the Element's existence ever.

Subversive and weird writing has been resumed; currently the Element focusses on Search Term Poetry and Spam Poetry. Here is what another ridiculous and sublime blogger say about this new avant-garde genres of art.

But the Element is a master of Data Necro and it needs to bring the world's attention to this gems of pop culture tucked away at this obscure .at website. Thanks Google, for your latest changes in 'localization'. Ironically, both of the Element's bilingual pages – and - are hosted websites while its German-only website is But we are determined to lure global visitors to our site nonetheless. Even though this is not a blog and you cannot comment. Hint: You might want to rant here instead.

 Pretending I am serious, I would say the Subversive Newsletters already anticipated Search Term Poetry and Spam Poetry as they had been built from self-referential content and snippets deposited in the corporate worker's dustbin.

The Element had started in 2007 to analyze the first newsletters No.1 and No.2 in English – we do hope it will not take another 6 years until we return to commenting in a self-referential way on already self-referential stuff.

Newsletter Resurrection

(elkement. Last changed: 2018-03-03. Created: 2013-02-09. Tags: Newsletter, Web, Internet, Bizarre, Nostalgia, Art. German Version.)

These are the preliminary results of the Website Resurrection Project. In spring 2012 rotten web pages have been de-linked. Those have been polished in a clandestine fashion in our steam punk web page manufacture and are gradually re-linked since autumn 2012.

The Subversive Newsletters published in German in 2004-2005 have been linked again!

The Elkement is going to analyze those and comment in English. Note that this will not add any new content. Not even the original newsletters had conveyed anything resembling 'content'.

The following newsletters have been analyzed:




Tech Nostalgia and Indulging in Cliché

(elkement. Last changed: 2013-03-26. Created: 2012-11-02. Tags: Technology, Nostalgia, Cliche, Life, Art. German Version.)

You can turn into your own cliché. In a self-consistent way - absolutely, positively. Just watch this video. I am a nerd, a nerdess. For me, 'technology' was mainly about:

  • Living off pizza and caffeine.
  • Sociophobic lifestyle. In the prototypical programmer's cave.
  • Chasing hackers and security bugs.
  • Getting excited over text files and command line output.

However, what a let-down: Discovering Your Life Being Cliché.

But I learned from Mark Twain: The kernel, the soul - let us go further and say the substance, the bulk, the actual and valuable material of all human utterances - is plagiarism.

I try my best to keep up the techie style even as a more hands-on engineer. 2013 is dedicated to the quest for the Grand Unified Theory - unifying geekdom and down-to-earth tinkering with energy systems. I am projecting my hopes and dreams onto the power grid and its soon-to-be added IT-based smartness.

Knowledge Worker's Daily Subversion

(elkement. Created: 2012-10-27. Tags: Work, Corporate World, Nostalgia, Art. German Version.)

I have returned to where I started from. This website closes on itself.

Unburdened of the nagging questions that have tortured The Element before. So this is: Subversion Light. Subversion in Retrospect. Subversion Reloaded - a remake, probably diluted due to pondering about what has been pondered about what had been pondered about.

Work has always been the leitmotif of Work and the connotations attached to it by a corporate geek, such as true calling (or not), (knowledge) work, dread and pleasure.

This website has been started in 2001: motivated by philosophical discussions with like-minded corporate geeks. Discussion that accompanied a so-called management training. Confirmed by hip and hot so-called business book.

On the dawn of the new millennium I have started a psychological self-test and under-cover research. This was called 'Corporate World'.

So what happened to the Element? Did it live up to its expectations? Which expectations? Imposed by whom?

There is a Ten Years After edition of the business book mentioned. I do not know it and I have written an update of my own.

Drago Millenario, Teneriffa.

The history of the dark blue website, 2002 - 2014

(elkement. Last changed: 2014-04-01. Created: 2002-12-16. Tags: Web, Blogging, Websites, Nostalgia, About. German Version.)

This Website is My Hub of Hubs and There Are Many Spokes

(Last updated: September 14, 2013. Created: December 2, 2012.)

It is an About site in its own right. Every few months I ask myself  WHOAMI, and since the console does not give me a satisfactory answer I am updating this website instead.

Since I am very active on other blogs and social networks, is not updated frequently. On the other hand, it is not subject to unimportant mood swings - you should see only milestone-y updates here. was my first domain ever. Despite its austere, web 2.0 look & feel it remains the center of the el(k)emental universe. Therefore I need to maintain a list of my other profiles and sites here.


10 Years: Back to the Roots in a Subversive Way

(October 2012)

This site is celebrating its 10 years anniversary. After many years of soul searching that resulted in bizzare and weird content ('What do I need to smoke to comprehend the message of your websites?') there is hope. e-stangl returns to normal. is the personal website of Elke Stangl. It is complemented by, and

Jump directly to the chronological overview at your own risk.

Back to the Roots - Radices!


e-stangl: Think Tank for Science & Technology

(2006, updated 2011) is the central node and root of Elke Stangl's websites, supported and inspired by the Subversive Element

This website comprises an overview of thoughts and ideas evolving from experiences gathered throughout my professional career and private projects. The English version had always been lagging behind the German version by 2 or 3 update cycles. It is catching up, but still an experiment - an experiment on how the choice of language impacts brain activities. I cannot resist creating different content in English than in German.

These pages are changed on a completely irregular basis and at the locations you would never expect it. This is not a blog: I am committed to sculpturing  existing pages again and again. But: I am also committed to preserving top embarrassing old versions.

ELKE in Wikipedia


The Image that Kicked It All off

(End of December 2002 or beginning of January 2003)

This image of The Element and Somebody (Irgendwer) was used a placeholder after the website had been turned from Elke Stangl's small business website to a private web site.

Elke Stangl (2003 - I look much older now!) Sigi Proyer | maybe somebody else from the village at the end of the internet!


The List of Comments that Never Wanted to be a Blog but that Actually was

(Entries since 2002. The latest comment is shown in the header of this page)

History of this site: The purpose of this website (if it exists at all) is changing with time. Here is the archive of comments:


I had once started a first list of books here, stating that what you write about books says more about you than about the books. Last year I read mainly about...


I have come a long way. I celebrate a year devoid of planning, of stress, of expectations. Don't Worry, Be Happy! This was the year of 2014: Some images...


Digital Certificates and Heat Pumps ... an odd combination probably. But I have a penchant for combining anything. For me IT security, physics, and engineering are all connected naturally, and not only through my biography. More...


Hello world! I am happy! I have just updated all my websites (see icons below) and I feel they / I do reach some Zen-like equilibrium. As weird as it seems I am combining anything - as the title of my blog says. I do still indulge in marvelling at and troubleshooting of Public Key Infrastructures, I call myself the Science Office of our 'renewable energies startup', and I write about philsophical stuff I am not qualified for.


Douglas Coupland has reminded us twice - in Generation X and in Generation A - that our lifes should become stories instead of just consisting of a few moments strung together. I am not sure what my life is - in any case I have updated the page on My Life with my 3 seconds of fame, that is interviews in German and blog posts that should have been interviews in English.


I am not a writer. I feel I had to decide often between being a fence-sitting commentator or somebody who is in charge of and fully accountable for technical problem solving - and I always picked the latter. More 'On Writing'.


The Elkement has become a curator - see the update on 2013 in Books. My favorite posting 2013 was: Fragile Technology? (Confessions of a Luddite Disguised as Tech Enthusiast). 2014 is dedicated to finally putting the Theory of Combining Just Anything into practice.


End of August 2013 The Subversive Elkement is able to prove its engineer-ness. My CPU is underutilized - I will throw brain power at e.g. Quantum Field Theory. New: Find Elkement's Best-of-Posts at the Science page. German readers: Don't forget to stalk the settlers at


Decloaking slowly and giving up stealth mode. The Subversive Element asks me to introduce the latest subversive / elementary website: (German). The settlers might have found and populated z-village. Now they have started to tell their tales: On physics, renewable energies and braving the elements in the village at the end of the world.


This website has undergone an update and in November 2012 a major milestone in the Website Resurrection Project has been reached. Life, Science, Technology, and Reading do reflect the current status. Time stands still, History is halted. My virtual Zen garden. I am looking forward to grating gravel.


This website effectively has been a blog all the time. Now I finally surrender to web 2.0 standards and I am modifying the structure of this website to make it as bloggy as possible (to the extent my home-grown CMS based on classical ASP and TXT databases would allow for). The overall goal of this site is equivalent with the goals set forth for my new blog which is still in its infancy.


I had started all over again with A Blank Sheet of Paper, but finally I have resurrected most of the web pages. My websites have been online for about 10 years now - and I feel privileged to sort of start from scratch now. This is not only related to my websites.


I have reached the other side of the worm hole finally. Since I could not have published anything to my website when I was right in the middle of it I am going to catch up now. Finally I have realized I rather prefer writing on the past. The Subversive El(k)ement also has started blogging at


At the beginning of spring 2012 this website and its author are going to take a break. The old web pages are undergoing a revision, but they are still there and accessible if you know the URLs. 10 years after its launch this website has sort of fulfilled its mission - I am finally making a change in my real life that was overdue.


Happy New Year 2011 - the Year we Make Contact (plus One). No - this is still not a blog. This site is still an attempt to confuse and bore its readers with long-winded an linear stuff. I am a lonely write talking to her lonely readers ((C)) N. Carr). I am using hyperlinks. But in contrast to the motto of this site, they are not subversive any more. I recommend: The Shallows / Nicholas Carr.


This website has not changed throughout the past year. And this is positive. It is still totally non Web 2.0, un-bloggy and probably a little out-of-date. I might simply be satisfied with status quo. I am archiving old entries, I do not even need - I am preserving the past, this website is neither for the present nor for the future.


This website is setup as a non-blog - on purpose. There are so many places on the web, where written statements tied to context, date and daily routine can be found. But this here is my personal console - replying to my individual WHOAMI. An I am expecting concise and current info's. This website is in use since early 1998 - and archiving my ancient footprints in the web is important to me. - a warm welcome! I am asking myself: We are all netizens spreading out thoughts in digital formats - what will endure throughout the centuries? Who will take care of my dear website in 200 years?


As the (hi)story of this website goes, this is all about abnormal and recursive self-reflection. WHOAMI has produced pre-liminary answers to the questions (of life) which has caused a delay in updating these pages. Now 100s of years will be necessary to analyze: change, life, the universe and everything. Other version: The Subversive Element is subverting even this serious website und is especially its motivation to subversion is growing again - but sill: The basic target to subversion is unknown.


Unbelievable, but true: The purpose of this website has not changed since several months: It is a kind of graphical version of the command line tool WHOAMI (Who am I), which tells me who I really am. Every 2-3 months WHOAMI is flickering at my console and I start searching for the ultimate answer: being my own processor, operating system and self-analyzing logic. Spending some sleepless night in front of my PC, the answer comes to me wrapped in my home-made web sites. The input is generated in a process I hardly understand: I am reading my own e-mails and postings, wondering about the ways my thinking goes sometimes, and listening to me telling my own stories again and again.


Slowly the purpose of my website is revealed to me: It is a kind of graphical version of the command line tool WHOAMI (Who am I), which tells me who I really am. Every 2-3 months WHOAMI is flickering at my console and I start searching for the ultimate answer: being my own processor, operating system and self-analyzing logic. Spending some sleepless night in front of my PC, the answer comes to me wrapped in my home-made web sites. The input is generated in a process I hardly understand: I am reading my own e-mails and postings, wondering about the ways my thinking goes sometimes, and listening to me telling my own stories again and again.


This is my private Website. I am working as an IT consultant and am exploring my scientific roots again. I have a PhD in physics, which turned to a hobby now. In the moment my main field of interest is quantum cryptography (whose applications are directly related to my professional work). But due to insights in different "worlds" gathered throughout my career I cannot assign my scientific interests to an academic discipline. The one which fits best is: philosophy


This is my private website. I do not want to sell anything to anybody and I do not want to convince anybody of anything. These are snippets of content representing my identity as a netizen (an internet citizen), which may seem strange, incomplete and ambiguous by now. The pseudo-intellectual captions of navigation hyperlinks will be changed - don't panic ;-) Until end of 2004 this site will comprise thoughts about information technology and physics - which are the two fields I am concerned with professionally and non-professionally.


This is my private website. I do not want to sell anything to anybody and I do not want to convince anybody of anything. This not a fiercely managed IT project, so progress is moderate. These are snippets of content representing my identity as a netizen (an internet citizen).


Maintenance of this website is not a fiercely managed IT project, so there is NO deadline (Read one of my favorite books: "Slack" by Tom DeMarco). Therefore updates are published on a completely irregular basis and coming from the bottom of my heart. Or better: From the bottom of my mind, your are visiting e-stangl Think Tank ;-).


No slack, no goals for this web site. Optimum pre-requisites - let's go!


This is a private website. It's design motivation is to make you think and read. I am not a professional web designer (any more), nevertheless it is one of my goals, that this site should not look like a typical private web page ;-) In the moment this site is heavily under construction. This is not a fiercely managed IT project, so there is NO deadline (Read one of my favorite books: "Slack" by Tom DeMarco)


The domain was delegated in the glorious era of THE GREAT dotcom HYPE, thus contains e-. The non-hyperlink part - the part above the underscore - reflects the golden light of the evening sun or is being shaken by an amber sandstorm

element und Irgendwer am Ende der Welt

Personal website of Elke Stangl, Zagersdorf, Austria, c/o punktwissen.
elkement [at] subversiv [dot] at.