Tomten bor i Finspång (Santa lives in Finspång)

(english follows)

Lagom till jul har så Statistiska Centralbyrån SCB publicerat något som jag länge misstänkt, nämligen att Tomten bor i Finspång. Tack till Tommie Näslund för att han först gjorde mig uppmärksam på detta. Se hela artikeln från SCB här. SCB skriver:

Tomtens bostad och verkstad behöver vara så centralt placerad som möjligt i förhållande till alla barn. Med utgångspunkt från barnens adresser har en demografisk mittpunkt framräknats för Tomtens bostad. Tomtens demografiskt placerade bostad ligger vackert belägen i skogen i Östergötland, norr om sjön Mellanjuten i Finspångs kommun, mitt emellan Rejmyre och Igelfors. Samtidigt som platsen är centralt placerad utifrån barnens adresser, bor tomten avskilt utan större trafikerade vägar i närheten så han kan arbeta ostört i sin verkstad.

Tomtens_nissarnas_verkstäder_ejrub

För att ge lite mera detaljer om exakt var man tror att tomten bor har jag gjort en enkel sökning via Google Maps och funnit den beräknade platsen. Strax sydväst om denna plats befinner vi oss över jul hos min far, så det känns nu äntligen som jag har fått bevis för vem som är tomten…och varför tomten och farsan ofta har samma skor. Men var han har Rudolf och renarna har jag inte riktigt löst. Ja hela Finspång är väl underleverantör kan jag tänka. Värsta tomtestaden helt enkelt.

var bor tomten

Se även: Aftonbladet, Folkbladet, Skånskan etc.

(In english)

Just in time for Christmas, Statistics Sweden (SCB) just published something I long suspected, namely that Santa Claus lives in Finspång. Thanks to Tommie Näslund for making me aware of this. See full article from SCB here. SCB writes:

Santa’s home and workshop needs to be as centrally located as possible in relation to all children. Based on the children’s addresses, a demographic midpoint has been calculated for Santa’s home. Santa’s demographically positioned property is beautifully located in the woods in Östergötland, north of Lake Mellanjuten in Finspångs Municipality, midway between Rejmyre and Lotorp. While the location is centrally located by the children’s addresses, Santa lives a secluded plot with no major roads nearby, so he can work undisturbed in his workshop.

To give some more details about exactly where it is believed that Santa lives, I have done a simple search on Google Maps and found the calculated location (see photo above). Just south of this location (as the photo illustrates), we will be visiting my father over Christmas, so it feels like I finally have proof of who actually Santa is.. It also explains why dad and Santa have the same shoes. But I wonder where he keeps Rudolf.

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Reflecting on all the terrible things in the world

While studying here in Agder, it is impossible to disconnect from the rest of the world. There is so much horrible happening around us. One cannot comprehend. My heart goes out to everyone affected. Sometimes these events affect our own lives directly or indirectly. Information technology helps us stay alert on all the tragedies in the world. Media profits from this, and help us prioritize among the tragedies. Or sometimes confuses us.

images

I am writing this blog post, to lessen our need for bad news. It is all covered here, and you can therefore always come back here for more bad news if you need it. There is no need to turn on your news channel or read the newspaper. I have tried to cover it all here:

  • Starvation
  • Poverty
  • Wars
  • Murders
  • Robberies
  • Wraps
  • Abuse of children and women
  • Abuse of animals
  • Harassments
  • Random accidents
  • Accidents because of lack of responsibility
  • Plane, train, bus, car etc. crashes
  • Pollution
  • Environmental destruction
  • Killing of animals and protected species
  • Drugs and alcohol addiction
  • Terrorism
  • Brain washing
  • Corruption
  • Speeding and related accidents
  • Crimes

Did I miss something?

We cannot let all the bad things stand in the way for all the positive things which are also happening in life, but bad news and sex sell better than goods news. I will get more hits on this post because I used the word sex. I believe in a market economy. We are consumers of bad news, and I am lobbying for a rebirth of GOOD NEWS. Focusing on the negative leads to an increased level of fear in society, and leads us all into a downward spiral. We need good news.

images (3)

We need to look forward, with a sense of thinking that our history is a blank sheet of paper. It does not mean that we should forget our loved ones or tragedies, but we can decide to have a forward thinking mentality. We have to accept the past and move on. Sorrow takes time, but we need to move on. Every day is a new day with new possibilities, and yesterday is a blank sheet of paper, just as the future is.

images (2)

Now, that we have written down all the bad news here, we can rest assure that we have covered that area. We can now continue our lives with blank sheets and good news.  Let us now create a beautiful future. Everyday is a good news.

Happy Holidays!

Bowen Beats and Flower Power in Agder

A must read. This beats everything. Not sure amazing is the right word, but why not. It sure made my day.

Around christmas time five years ago I visited our neighbours Lars Taavola and Kajsa in Nacka. In the kitchen sits a man with his wife Isabela, son Indra and his american assistant, who calls himself Rama. Well, obviously it is uncommon for someone to have an assistant just like that, also with such a name,so the meeting stood out early in a sense. He also had an appearance that stood out with a wild beard. His name was Michael Bowen.

Linga-Isa-Rama-Bowen

Source: http://www.royalmaze.com/michael-bowen/in-memory-of-michael-bowen/

We started talking and I early felt a special connection with Michael. I told him about my passion for jazz and playing the saxophone, and he told me that he likes to paint with live jazz music. He had recently done an event with a cello player, Svante Henryson, he tells me. While talking of San Francisco, I remembered a story about a conflict regarding a so called sacred stone in San Francisco. I was in 1994 working as a book keeper in Las Vegas and I remembered that during that time there were some protests regarding a stone to be moved in San Francisco. It was sort of a strange story, but it turned out it was Michael and Isabela who had initiated this. Above is a photo from 1994, and I believe it is Rama in the background next to the sacred stone (for others a traffic barrier).

So there I was, in Kummelnäs, Nacka, talking with Michael Bowen and his wife Isabela. Felt surreal. What did they do in the cold of Sweden? Here is a video from youtube illustrating a bit how he sounded and worked.

Human Be-In

Michael was a apart of the beat generation, and the main organizer of the “Human Be-In” in 1967. This is a major event historically, and Bowen created the posters promoting the event, organized the city permit, invited key speakers (Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder etc). He also invited the San Francisco rock bands such as The Grateful Dead. As security for the event he had help from the Hells Angels.

The Human Be-In was a coming together of people for no other reason than to just “BE”; to make love, not war. The Human Be-In, sometimes referred to as a Love-In, was specifically designed by Bowen to be imitated and to be remembered into the future. Bowen considers his creation of the Human Be-In to be performance art.

Flower Power

On October 21, 1967, 75,000 anti-war protesters surrounded the Pentagon. On that day, Bowen organized 200 lbs. of daisies, purchased by his New York friend Peggy Hitchcock, to be dropped from a light aircraft onto the Pentagon, but the FBI heard of the plan and seized the aircraft, so the flowers were distributed to the protesters as the Military Police protected the Pentagon from the massive anti Vietnam War demonstration. The daisies, brought to the front lines of the tense confrontation by Bowen and others, were taken by the demonstrators and put into the nearest holder that symbolically communicated their anti-war sentiment. The iconic photograph “Flower Power”, taken by photojournalist Bernie Boston, of the daisies being put into the bayoneted gun barrels of the soldiers by the unarmed anti-war demonstrators, is one of the most remembered photos in the world. The photograph “flower power” is listed as #30 amongst the top 100 wartime photographs and the idealism of flower power remains as an anti-war.

bernie boston

Source: Google search

For his involvement he received a Certificate of Honor in 2007 from the Mayor of San Francisco.

Now, after that evening we kept in touch and I was invited over to their house. I was supposed to bring my saxophone and we would try to do some “performance art”. It was very inspirational, and I remember how much I was looking forward to this. I had a job as a portfolio manager (equities) and hurried over to them in the evening. There a big screen is prepared, but Michael is being interviewed by a Norwegian lady, so I have to wait until they are done. The lady is Kristin Wennesland. I am told that Bowen is particularly popular in Norway. After a while, Michael comes out, barefooted, ready to get to work. His assistant has prepared the paint for him and he is a little annoyed about the quality of the paint but his assistant assures him that it the right temperature (or something, I don’t really know). Anyway, he asks me to start improvising. At the same time, his assistant is videotaping this. I do not have a copy of this, but Isabela does so hopefully one day… He starts to talk about his life and about San Francisco. He draws San Francisco and after a while he stops. He just wants to hear me improvise on the soprano sax.

Next I am invited to an art gallery to also do a similar performance with him, while he talks about his art. Michael is now in bad condition. He has fallen and hurt himself in the back.

Meeting Michael had an impression on me. He and his family showed a lot of warmth and it was very inspirational to listen to his experiences. He was very courageous and despite a back pain, full of energy. Why did he live in Nacka of all places? He had recently moved from Hawaii to Sweden, not knowing anyone, referring to the threat of global warming. He thought Sweden would be a great place, plus it was close to Norway were much of his art was. For those of you who speak Swedish, here is an article from Svenska Dagbladet: “Det bor en beatnik i staden“.

I was hoping we had a chance to do something bigger, but unfortunately, he died on the 7th of march 2000. RIP! Michael has also a son in Hollywood: another Michael Bowen known for the role of Buck in “Kill Bill” but who also had roles in Walking Tall, Magnolia, Beverly Hills Cop III, and The Godfather part III.

Now!

As I am currently a Ph.D. Research Fellow at the University of Agder, I was told by Isabela that this is where the Wennesland Foundation have most of Michaels paintings. Indeed, 88 of them are here in Kristiansand, and here is the biggest Beat-collection outside of the US. It turns out that Dr Reidar Wennesland, who collected the paintings, had moved to San Francisco right after the Second World War. As you may see from a previous blog that the Germans occupied Norway during WW2. He had studied under Professor Schreiner, who was the life-long physician of Edward Munch. Because of this he was very art interested and had bought already some work of Edward Munch. Dr Reidar Wennesland published in scientific journals and worked at Stanford and Berkley, among other things found a reliable way to detect carbon monoxide poisoning in the blood. Reidar became known in San Fransico for being a doctor who allowed artists to pay him with artwork. Thereby he collected an enormous collection of beat art, which he later donated the majority of it to the University of Agder. The world’s largest collection of West coast art therefore ended up outside of the United States in Kristiansand, Norway.

So now that I am walking around here at the University of Agder, it is not the same anymore. Everywhere I turn I see these fantastic paintings by Michael, and I am reminded from these of the courage, his energy, his friendly spirituality,  and the inspirational creativity. There are some 88 paintings in Kristiansand. It frames the whole school in a very nice way, with the message of peace and love clearly showing in many of the drawings. I am not sure the students realize this directly, but probably more so indirectly. The University of Agder is located in the old Germany military base, and the donation from Dr. Reidar Wennesland may also, my interpretation, be a gesture to Kristiansand to bring peace and closure to the harsh memories of the German invasion.

me and love 2 me and two other bowen woman

For more information:

The Wennesland Foundation

Beat art at UiA

[edit]

Porter or Mintzberg: Whose View of Strategy Is the Most Relevant Today?

(english follows)

Sitter och skriver om strategier och hur de skapas, implementeras och följs upp. Det låter så klart logiskt att det är i den ordningen som vi tar beslut och agerar, men Mintzberg vände på steken på 70-talet och pekade på att det inte alls var så det gick till – utan att den strategi man “väljer” är den som i mångt och mycket utkristalliseras ur organisationen och den externa omgivningen. Mintzberg skriver att strategier växer som ogräs, och behöver inte sättas i växthus för att ges förutsättningar för tillväxt. Jag tycker det är lite tilltalande sätt att se strategiformulering och förändring i företag och organisationer. Det är lite ödmjukt inför att mycket av det vi försöker göra inte är något vi kan påverka. Ofta sker något för att någon uttrycker ett behov, t.ex. dottern till uppfinnaren av Polaroid som frågade varför hon inte kunde få bilden på en gång, eller se bara på Facebook som växte sig till i en skolmiljö, och egentligen hela internet som började som ett militärt projekt.

mintzberg emergent design

Såg en artikel från Forbes från mars 2011 med samma titel som jag tänkt ha, och slogs av att man fortfarande inte enats kring detta. Så, det här med Mintzberg vs Porter har varit en het fråga länge, där Porter mera stått på management konsulternas sida och menat att avsiktlig strategi är det viktigaste. Porters modell har också starkt kritiserats av en del forskare. Men vad jag tycker Mintzberg också gör är att säga att säga att man ska göra båda saker, både “deliberate” och “emergent”:

“The grass-root model of strategy formation is false, as anyone who seeks to test it in a broader context will quickly find out. But it is no more false than the widely accepted conventional model – the “deliberate” (or “hothouse”) view of strategy formulation – which no one has bothered to test. A viable theory of strategy making must encompass both models. No organization can function with strategies that are always and purely emergent; that would amount to a complete abdication of will and leadership, not to mention conscious thought. But none can likewise function with strategies that are always and purely deliberate; that would amount to an unwillingness to learn, a blindness to whatever is unexpected.” (Mintzberg & McHugh, 1985)

I en annan artikel nio år senare skriver Henry Mintzberg så här om strategiskt planerande:

“Strategic thinking…is about synthesis. It involves intuition and creativity. The outcome of strategic thinking is an integrated perspective of the firm, a not too-precisely articulated vision of direction, such as the vision of Jim Clark, the founder of Silicon Graphics, that three-dimensional visual computing is the way to make computers easier.” (Mintzberg, 1994)

Så återgår jag till mitt eget skrivande på ämnet…

(in english)

I am sitting and writing about strategies and how they are formulated, implemented and monitored. That specific order of events makes sense logically,  but Mintzberg turned things around in the 70s, and pointed out that it was not at all how it happened – but the strategy to a large degree emerge from the organization and the external environment. Mintzberg writes that strategies are growing like weeds, and need not be in the greenhouse to be given opportunities for growth. I think it is an appealing approach to strategy formulation and change in organizations. It’s a bit humble in that much of what we try to do is not something we can directly influence. Often someone expresses a need, e.g. the daughter of the inventor of Polaroid who asked why she could not get the image at once, or just look at Facebook, and really the whole Internet began as a military project.

I saw an article from Forbes in March 2011 with the same title as I used here, and it suggested that the strategy gurus still do not agree. So, the Mintzberg vs. Porter is a hot subject still today, where Porter stand more on the side of management consultants suggesting that deliberate strategy are the most important. Porter’s model has also been strongly criticized by some researchers. But what I find Mintzberg actually saying is that you should do two things, both “deliberate” and “emergent”. However, one should realize how much is deliberate and emergent:

“The grass-root model of strategy formation is false, as anyone who Seeks to test it in a Broader Context will Quickly find out. But it is no more false than the widely accepted Conventional model – the” deliberate “(or” hothouse ” ) view of strategy formulation – Which no one has bothered to test. A viable theory of strategy making must encompass bothering models. No. organization can function with Strategies That are always and Purely emergent; That would Amount to a complete abdication of will and leadership, not to mention conscious thought. But none can likewise function with Strategies That are always and Purely deliberate; That would Amount to an unwillingness to learn, a blindness to whatever is unexpected. ” (Mintzberg & McHugh, 1985)

In another article, nine years later, Henry Mintzberg writes about strategic planning:

“Strategic thinking … is about synthesis. It involves intuition and creativity. The outcome of strategic thinking is an integrated perspective of the firm, a not too-precisely articulated vision of direction, Such as the vision of Jim Clark, the founder of Silicon Graphics, That three-dimensional visual computing is the way to make computers Easier. ” (Mintzberg, 1994)

So I return to my own writing on the subject …

References

Mintzberg, Henry, 1994, “The fall and rise of strategic planning”, Harvard Business review, pp. 107-114.

Mintzberg, Henry and Alexandra McHugh, 1985,  “Strategy Formation in Adhocracy”, Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 39, No. 2 (Jun., 1985), pp. 169-197