Saturday, December 05, 2009


Dette er ein test av posterous.

Posted via email from XKTE

Monday, October 19, 2009

There be magic

I finally went for that hike to the top of the hill behind our cabin. Up there, I found a wonderful view of the village beneath and the fjords beyond. (I would have shared a photo if I could, but the battery charger for our EOS 100D is kaputt, hände hoch! and so is the TyTN II)

On the way back down, I came across a fallen tree. The tree had rid itself of its bark, and was leaning towards a live tree. It had been in this position for quite a while, there was plenty of growth in the soil where the roots had once clinged on to rocks. I could not help but feel the strong presence of this tree, as if it had not really left, but had merely reached out and expanded its region of influence.

"There's a lot of magic here," I thought, spoke to the tree and agreed to exchange a gasket and a coin for a twig. The gasket went around a neighbouring twig, and the coin went under the root.

Monday, October 12, 2009


Today, my wife got stuck in our outhouse. "How come" I asked? And the response was that she flushed herself out with the water. But we don't have water or even pipes there, I said. And that's exactly why she got stuck. All I could do to help was wait.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Morning swim

0_IMAG0211.jpg, originally uploaded by trollsilm.

Wife went for a swim. Naked. She is in the middle of the photo. Swimming naked, she becomes one with local nature, which is part of her integration into Norwegian society.

Annotations will be added on the photo at Flickr. (Click photo)

Monday, March 02, 2009

I was bullied!

Published in Vestlandsnytt 10.2.2009 - English translation 2.3.2009 - unedited translation

I was the victim of bullying.

Bullying takes many forms, and are therefore difficult to manage without seeing the full picture. The schools have received a special responsiblity when it comes to bullying among children because that's exactly where they spend large amounts of the day. But the school is not the only place bullying happens. It is a phenomena that runs through all layers of society, age groups and beurocratic systems. But, as I mentioned, it takes different forms.

It is exactly because of this shapelessness of the phenomena that it is difficult to put your finger on a specific definition (not to mention being able to "prove" that bullying is occuring). And without a good definition, it is easy to focus on specific forms and unique occurances. Let me give a quick introduction to the simplest forms in the life cycle of bullying - from the age before cell phones and the Internet.

In elementary school, physical bullying dominates. It usually occures out of sight, but easy to recognize when the bruises begin to show up on the body. In middle school, it slowly changes to a more verbal form. Verbal bullying is a lot harder to prove. Then, at high school level, the social exclusion and backstabbing begins. But this is not the end of it. The experiences from all this bullying activity is also used in work life, when one wishes to "remove unwanted elements".

The fact that the youngest are the most immature is reflected in the choice of bullying form. And that's exactly why one must also be aware of the fact that the victim not necessarily knows that it is being bullied. It could, in fact, take decades before one realizes the full impact of what happened.

The youngest also don't necessarily realize that there ARE methods of interventions that may stop bullying. Many victims fear that interference from adults will make the situation worse. After all, both bullying and retaliation against "snitches" occure out of sight. And the older you get, the more refined the bullying, the more difficult to prove and impossible to prosecute.

When Eimar Hagen (Vestlandsnutt 6.2.09) writes that the number of victims are increasing, it doesn't necessarily mean that more are being bullied. Rather, it might as well reflect that people are become more aware of the bullying. More comes to see the light of day, which one should consider as a positive trend.

Paul Sundnes (Vestlandsnytt 6.2.09) refers to the fact that the school has to discover (or be told about) the bullying to be able to react. But victims of bullying develop a skill in keeping their mask. When I went to high school myself, my teacher would tell my parents that I was always happy and smiling. This came as a real surprise to me, because I knew that in many ways, I was experiencing the most difficult time in my life, and I was alarmingly close to taking my own life. It was moving away and living years in voluntary excile that not only saved me, but allowed me to slowly realize and understand what had actually happened.

Moving out the victim has become the most used "solution" to the problem. Many victims (and their families) often complain how it is the bullies that should have been exciled, not the victim. But particularly when dealing with children, we must remember that the bullies are just as immature as the victims. They might be missing - probably - empathy? This, a self declared bully will have to answer, if they remember. My own experience is that a child can be best buddies in private, but bullies in group situations. Excile is also not a "solution" for something I see as a general problem of society at large.

"Removing" a bully or a victim from the local community is no solution. Both are bonded to the social network, tearing them out affects a lot of people. Such a distancing of people is a polarization that plays a role in breaking down society. Instead, one must find a way for the parties to cooperate.

Jane Elliot was "a pickup ahead" when she in 1968 pioneered a role play experiment to help fight racism in the USA. In the experiment, she announced that people with blue eyes lacked pigments in their eyes. Without these pigments, nothing protected the brain from solar radiation, and they were therefore more stupid than brown eyed people. She then taught the "brown eyes" to systematically bully the "blue eyes". After a couple of days, she reversed the experiment, so that all the brown eyes could experience the same discrimination. All the students developed empathy from the experiment and became more aware to prejudice and discriminating behaviour.

The experiment stimatised both her and her family, which only increased her convition that her work was necessary. Today, she lives from doing the experiment on adults. Those who have experienced it know that it isn't just about racism, but about all human interaction.

In the end, bullying in childhood is an experiment in stratic abuse of power. The victims are those whoare stratgically easiest to bully, and has nothing to do with what they "officially" are being bullied for. As an example, the victim could be bullied for being "fat", while the bully is actually fatter.

With adults, the techniques develop into operational abuse of power to secure their own position in the work place or society. The more insecure they fell, the more they step on others. Particulary, they step on coworkers that potentially could endanger their job situation and therefore need to know who "the boss" is. Again, this takes many forms. The organization Stopp JobbMobben ( has documented a double digit number of forms that bullying occures at work. I have experienced som of them myself.

Children learn from adults. When adults backstab and speak prejudice against other people, they legitimise their own experimental discrimination of other children. This applies not only to parents, but also comments we do in media and what we call "politics".

Media lives off sensationalism, and it is therefore in their interest to polarise all stories. This way, media is a great proponent of a general attitude of "us" and "them" as opposites. It has become so ordinary that we often don't notice. Obviously, polarisation is part of what children copy in their experimental play with bullying.

Yes, play. I wish to emphasize that bullying during childhood is "play" for the bully, becase he/she experiments with this role. It is obvious for the experienced adult that it is a catastrophy for the victim, but we can not assume our own maturity to the child's. The child's play is a reflection of what the child observes in society at large.

Bullying and discrimination in all its forms break down society. Progress is only achieved through cooperation. If there is anything we can do to fight bullying, it has to start by encouraging empathy and cooperation before polarisation and competition.

I was going to end here, but received a reminder that these are all beautiful words with no tangible actions. Thanks the "Manifest against bullying", there is great focus on bullying in school. I think this will have only a limited effect if we are not able to see bulling other places. I therefore challenge everyone to come up with possible tangible actions we can take to prevent bullying in its entirety and share their suggestions and experiences with everyone.

Gard Abrahamsen Tuur-Eggesbø

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


When the vikings travelled west and discovered news lands, they also encountered a people who used a lot of vinegar on their food. Hence they called the new-found-land "Vingard" or "Vinland"

Saturday, February 21, 2009


It usually takes a (Harding-)fiddle for Norway to win the Eurovision Song Contest. Based on Norwegian folk music and featuring Norwegian folk dancing, written and performed by a Norwegian with Ukrainian roots playing said fiddle, I expect next year's Eurovision to take place somewhere in Norway.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Eg har vore mobbeoffer

Publisert i Vestlandsnytt 10.6.2009 - Published in Vestlandsnytt 10.6.2009: English translation will eventually come. Maybe.

Eg har vore mobbeoffer.

Mobbing tek mange former, og er i så måte vanskeleg å ta hand om utan å sjå det heilheitleg. Skulane har fått eit spesielt ansvar i høve mobbing blant unge, nettopp fordi det er der dei samlar seg store delar av dagen. Men skulen er ikkje den einaste staden at mobbing skjer. Det er eit fenomen som gjennomsyrer alle samfunnsplan, aldersgrupper og byråkratiske system. Men det tek altså forskjellige former.

Nettopp grunna denne formlausheita av fenomenet, er det vanskeleg å setje fingeren på ein spesifik definisjon (for ikkje å snakke om å kunne «bevise» at mobbinga skjer). Og utan ein god definisjon er det lett å fokusere på berre spesifike former og enkeltforekomstar. La meg gi ei kjapp innføring i dei enklaste formene i livssyklusen til mobbing – frå tida før mobiltelefonar og Internett.

I barneskulen er det meir vanleg med fysisk mobbing. Det skjer ofte i det skjulte, men enkelt å påvise når det vert så store skader at blåmerka byrjar å dukke opp på kroppen. På ungdomsnivået går det sakte over til verbal trakkasering, som er mykje vansklegare å påvise. Så kjem den sosiale utfrysinga og baktalinga på vidaregåande nivå. Med dette er ikkje slutten. Erfaringane vert gjerne nytta også i arbeidslivet, når ein ynskjer å «fjerne uønska element».

At dei yngste er mest umodne viser seg i det hyppigaste valet av mobbeform. Og nettopp derfor bør ein òg vere merksam at mobbeofferet ikkje nødvendigvis veit at det er mobba. Det kan faktisk gå fleire tiår før ein skjønar omfanget av kva som har skjedd.

Dei yngste veit heller ikkje nødvendigvis at der ER moglege inngrep for å stoppe mobbinga. Mange mobbeoffer fryktar at innblanding frå vaksne vil forverre situasjonen. Trass alt foregår både mobbinga og gjengjeldsaksjonar mot «tystarar» i det skjulte, utanfor vaksne sine synsfelt. Og til eldre ein vert, til meir rafinert vert mobbinga, vansklegare å bevise, umogleg å anmelde.

Når Eimar Hagen (Vestlandsnytt 6.2.09) viser til at talet mobbeoffer aukar, så kjem dette altså ikkje nødvendigvis av at fleire vert mobba, men kan like gjerne reflektere det at folk vert meir bevisste over mobbinga. Meir kjem fram i dagen, og det burde ein sjå på som ein positiv trend.

Paul Sundnes (Vestlandsnytt 6.2.09) viser til at skulen må oppdage (eller få beskjed om) mobbinga for at skulen skal kunne reagere. Men mobbeoffer vert etterkvart ekspertar i å halde maska. Då eg sjølv gjekk på vidaregåande, kunne hovudlæraren fortelje foreldra mine at eg alltid var så glad og smilande. Det kom eigentleg som ei bombe på meg, for eg visste at eg på svært mange måtar opplevde den vanskeligaste tida i livet mitt, og var urovekkande nær på å ta mitt eige liv. Det var utflytting og årevis i frivillig eksil som ikkje berre redda meg, men gjorde at eg etterkvart innsåg og forstod kva som hadde skjedd.

At mobbeoffer flyttar ut er den mest brukte «løysinga» på problemet. Mange mobbeoffer (og familiane deira) klagar ofte over at det er mobbarane som skulle ha vorte tvangsflytta, ikkje offera. Men spesielt i barnestadiet må ein vere merksam på at mobbarane er like umodne enn mobbeoffera. Dei manglar kanskje – sannsynlegvis – empati? Det må ein sjølverklært mobbar svare på, dersom dei hugsar det. Mi erfaring er at ein gjerne kan vere god kamerat på tomannshand, men konkurrere om kven som er flinkast å mobbe i gruppesituasjonar. Utflytting er altså ikkje ei «løysning» på noko som eg reknar som eit generelt samfunnsproblem.

Å «fjerne» mobbar eller mobbeoffer frå lokalmiljøet er inga løysing. Begge er knytt til det sosiale nettverket, begge har pårørande. Ei slik distansering er ei polarisering som er med på å bryte ned samfunnet. I staden må ein finne ein måte å føre partane til samarbeid.

Jane Elliott låg «ein pickup føre» då ho i 1968 byrja eit banebrytande rollespel-eksperiment for å bekjempe rasisme USA. I eksperimentet kunngjorde ho at folk med blå auge mangla pigmentar i augene som kunne beskytte hjerna mot stråling frå sola, og at dei derfor var dumme. Deretter lærte ho opp «brunaugene» å systematisk mobbe «blåaugene». Etter ei veke reverserte ho eksperimentet, slik at alle «brunaugene» fekk oppleve den same undertrykkinga. Resultatet var at alle utvikla empati og vart meir varsame for å ty til fordommar og oppføre seg diskriminerande mot andre.

Eksperimentet stigmatiserte både henne og familia hennar, noko som overbeviste henne om at arbeidet hennar var nødvendig. I dag lever ho av å gjennomføre eksperimentet på vaksne. Dei som har opplevd dette skjønar at det ikkje handlar berre om rasisme, men om all menneskeleg interaksjon. (Ref: )

Når det kjem til stykket, er mobbing på barnestadiet eit eksperiment i strategisk maktmisbruk. Offera er dei som er strategisk enklast å mobbe, og har ingenting å gjere med det dei «offisielt» vert mobba for. Til dømes kan mobbeofferet verte mobba for å vere «feit», medan mobbaren faktisk er feitare.

I vaksen alder går teknikkane over til å verte operasjonell maktmisbruk for å sikre eigen posisjon i arbeidsplassen eller samfunnet. Til meir usikre dei føler seg, til meir trakkar dei på andre. Spesielt trakkar dei på medarbeidarar som dei meiner potensielt kan setje arbeidsplassen deira i fare og som derfor treng å få vite kven «sjefen» er. Igjen tek dette mange former. Organisasjonen Stopp JobbMobben ( har dokumentert eit titals former for mobbing på arbeidsplassen. Eg har sjølv opplevd nokre av dei.

Barn lærer lett av vaksne. Når vaksne baktalar andre og uttalar seg forutinntatt om einskildpersonar, så legitimierer vi barns eksperimentelle diskriminering av andre barn. Det gjeld ikkje berre foreldre, men også uttaler vi gjer i media og kallar «politikk».

Media lever av å sensasjonalisere, og prøver derfor å polarisere alle saker som skal fram i lyset. Slik er også media med på å legitimere ei generell haldning om «oss» og «dei» som motpartar. Dette har vorte så vanleg at vi ofte ikkje legg merke til det. Det er klart at slike polariseringar er slikt som barn kopierer i sin eksperimentelle leik med mobbing.

Ja, leik. Eg vil understreke at mobbing i barnestadiet er ein «leik» for mobbaren, fordi han/ho eksperimenterer med denne rolla. At det er ei katastrofe for mobbeofferet er sjølvsagt for oss med litt meir erfaring, men vi kan ikkje pålegge vår modning på det umodne barnet. Barnets leik er ein refleksjon av det barnet observerer i resten av samfunnet.

Mobbing og diskriminering i alle sine former bryt ned samfunnet. Framgang får vi gjennom samarbeid. Er det noko vi kan gjere for å bekjempe mobbing, så må det nødvendigvis byrje med å fremje empati og samarbeid framfor polarisering og konkurranse.

Her hadde eg tenkt å avslutte, men fekk ei påminning om at dette er vakre ord utan konkret tiltak. Takka vere «Manifest mot mobbing», er det i dag stor fokus og på å motarbeide mobbing i skulen. Eg trur dette vil ha avgrensa effekt, dersom vi ikkje evnar å sjå mobbing andre stader. Eg vil derfor utfordre alle til å kome med konkrete tiltak for å forebygge mobbing i si heilheit og dele forslag og erfaringar med alle.

Gard Abrahamsen Tuur-Eggesbø

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Massikommunikatsioon '84

Timeless song by Estonian band Singer Vinger. Ise ma loen Lääne Elu ja Postimees. (Meie igapäevast Savisaart anna meile tänapäev)

Õhtustest lehtedest teada ma saan
seda, kes surma on saand.
Tooliga teleri ette end aan
värvides veikleb ekraan.

Mõnus massikommunikatsioon,
lala laa laa laa,
lala lal lal lal lal laa
Kallis kauge informatsioon

Hiinas on uputus, Taanis on tuul
meitel on aeg ikka suur.
Uurivad ruumi ja kaapavad kuu
ikka on midagi uut


Raukadel raadio ja noortel on hääl
kokku on kõik \Rahva Hääl\
Kõiksugu uudiseid maakera pääl
pajatab diktori hääl.


Informatsioonita olla ei saa
vajan kui õhku ma.
Ilmaprognoosita ilma ei tea
kui pole halb, siis on hea


From the evening papers I learn
who has been killed.
I sit down on the chair by the TV
In colours, the screen is flashing.

Enjoyable mass communication,
lala laa laa laa,
lala lal lal lal lal laa
Dear remote information

In China is flood, in Denmark is wind,
us all ways gotta big time.
Explore space and scratch the moon
always something new


Old people have NPR and the young have Voice
Together, it is all People Magazine
All kinds of news from the surface of the globe
tells the news anchor's voice.


Can not be without information
I need it as air.
Without the forecast, I can't know the weather
if it isn't bad, it's good.