Will her cygnets be unable to breed if they can’t find garbage to nest in?

The Global Mink

Nesting by webmink
Nesting, a photo by webmink on Flickr.

I spent a half-day walking around the centre of Amsterdam following a speaking engagement. I can never decide how I feel about this city.

It’s a place with many scenes of great beauty – water, trees, long vistas with distant vanishing points, interesting and colourful buildings. Yet at the same time, there’s so much that’s ugly – prostitutes and the men looking for them, clouds of skunk-smelling smoke from seedy cafes and equally seedy passers-by, over-dense human population and the mess that accompanies it, endless junk food served by people with scorn for their customers.

Walking back to the station, I saw this swan nesting in the best material she could find in central Amsterdam. She seemed to me to sum up the paradox of the town – great beauty nesting in filth and making the best of it.

As a meta-comment…

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Open Source Market Matures

My article for InfoWorld this week considers the annual Open Source Survey, unveiled at OSBC in San Francisco, and observes that the market is trending towards valuing the Freedom To Leave that I wrote about in 2006.

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