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Welcome to my blog, which was once a mailing list of the same name and is still generated by mail. Please reply via the "comment" links.

Always interested in offers/projects/new ideas. Eclectic experience in fields like: numerical computing; Python web; Java enterprise; functional languages; GPGPU; SQL databases; etc. Based in Santiago, Chile; telecommute worldwide. CV; email.

Personal Projects

Lepl parser for Python.

Colorless Green.

Photography around Santiago.

SVG experiment.

Professional Portfolio

Calibration of seismometers.

Data access via web services.

Cache rewrite.

Extending OpenSSH.

Last 100 entries

Data Mining Books; SimpleDateFormat should be synchronized; British Words; Chinese Govt Intercepts External Web To DDOS github; Numbering Permutations; Teenage Engineering - Low Price Synths; GCHQ Can Do Whatever It Wants; Dublinesque; A Cryptographic SAT Solver; Security Challenges; Word Lists for Crosswords; 3D Printing and Speaker Design; Searchable Snowden Archive; XCode Backdoored; Derived Apps Have Malware (CIA); Rowhammer - Hacking Software Via Hardware (DRAM) Bugs; Immutable SQL Database (Kinda); Tor GPS Tracker; That PyCon Dongle Mess...; ASCII Fluid Dynamics; Brandalism; Table of Shifter, Cassette and Derailleur Compatability; Lenovo Demonstrates How Bad HTTPS Is; Telegraph Owned by HSBC; Smaptop - Sunrise (Music); Equation Group (NSA); UK Torture in NI; And - A Natural Extension To Regexps; This Is The Future Of Religion; The Shazam (Music Matching) Algorithm; Tributes To Lesbian Community From AIDS Survivors; Nice Rust Summary; List of Good Fiction Books; Constructing JSON From Postgres (Part 2); Constructing JSON From Postgres (Part 1); Postgres in Docker; Why Poor Places Are More Diverse; Smart Writing on Graceland; Satire in France; Free Speech in France; MTB Cornering - Where Should We Point Our Thrusters?; Secure Secure Shell; Java Generics over Primitives; 2014 (Charlie Brooker); How I am 7; Neural Nets Applied to Go; Programming, Business, Social Contracts; Distributed Systems for Fun and Profit; XML and Scheme; Internet Radio Stations (Curated List); Solid Data About Placebos; Half of Americans Think Climate Change Is a Sign of the Apocalypse; Saturday Surf Sessions With Juvenile Delinquents; Ssh, tty, stdout and stderr; Feathers falling in a vacuum; Santiago 30m Bike Route; Mapa de Ciclovias en Santiago; How Unreliable is UDP?; SE Santiago 20m Bike Route; Cameron's Rap; Configuring libxml with Eclipse; Reducing Combinatorial Complexity With Occam - AI; Sentidos Comunes (Chilean Online Magazine); Hilary Mantel: The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher - August 6th 1983; NSA Interceptng Gmail During Delivery; General IIR Filters; What's happening with Scala?; Interesting (But Largely Illegible) Typeface; Retiring Essentialism; Poorest in UK, Poorest in N Europe; I Want To Be A Redneck!; Reverse Racism; The Lost Art Of Nomography; IBM Data Center (Photo); Interesting Account Of Gamma Hack; The Most Interesting Audiophile In The World; How did the first world war actually end?; Ky - Restaurant Santiago; The Black Dork Lives!; The UN Requires Unaninmous Decisions; LPIR - Steganography in Practice; How I Am 6; Clear Explanation of Verizon / Level 3 / Netflix; Teenage Girls; Formalising NSA Attacks; Switching Brakes (Tektro Hydraulic); Naim NAP 100 (Power Amp); AKG 550 First Impressions; Facebook manipulates emotions (no really); Map Reduce "No Longer Used" At Google; Removing RAID metadata; New Bike (Good Bike Shop, Santiago Chile); Removing APE Tags in Linux; Compiling Python 3.0 With GCC 4.8; Maven is Amazing; Generating Docs from a GitHub Wiki; Modular Shelves; Bash Best Practices; Good Emergency Gasfiter (Santiago, Chile); Readings in Recent Architecture; Roger Casement; Integrated Information Theory (Or Not)

© 2006-2013 Andrew Cooke (site) / post authors (content).


From: "andrew cooke" <andrew@...>

Date: Wed, 20 Sep 2006 16:53:13 -0400 (CLT)


I cancelled my subscription with La CAV (the Chilean wine club) today. 
They have four levels of membership, where you receive 2 (5.500), 3
(4.900), 6 (4.400) or 12 (3.300) bottles of wine a year.  The price *per
bottle* of monthly membership (minimum one year) is in brackets.

I signed up for 3 bottles a month, so pay 4.900 a bottle.  That's a lot of
money for a bottle of wine in Chile.  You can pay much more, of course,
but a drinkable table wine (the equivalent of wine by a glass in a
*decent* restaurant - there are many, including some I enjoy, that will
give you wine from a much cheaper box) costs 1.600.  A "reserve" costs
around 2.500-3.000.  So for about 5.000 you're up in the levels of
seriously expensive wine (I took a bottle of 5.000 wine to the states for
an American friend and he declared it the best wine he has ever drunk;
he's no great expert, but you get the idea).

And the club prides itself on the quality of its sommelier.

So you'd expect very good wine indeed.

In fact, you get wine that sells for, typically, around 3.500 in a
supermarket.  That's not quite fair, because some of the wines are from
smaller producers, which can be difficult to find in supermarkets (there
are some specialist wine shops, but they tend to be in rather fashionale
places - we're talking about wine so expensive it's out of the price range
of most people here).  And sometimes you do get one bottle that is more
expensive.  On the other hand, you can sometimes find special offers with
significantly lower prices.

Frankly, I don't think the sommelier does much.  Each month the wine is
from a different company.  The magazine, which accompanies the wine - more
on that later - has a feature on the company in question.  So this isn't a
case of hand-picked wines, chosen for their exceptional qualities. 
Rather, I suspect, wine companies (vineyards, in the broad sense of the
word) see it as a marketing opportunity: a chance for targetted promotion
to the wealthiest people in the country.

To understand more clearly what is happening, you need to grasp the
politics in Chile.  Look again at the prices per bottle.  People signing
up for 12 bottles a month are the ones that are getting good value. 
They're also, I strongly suspect, the very richest people businessmen:
people who are using that wine to entertain, on a regular basis.

There a close correlation between wealth, the conservative (far, in my
terms) right, and the catholic church.   Read: big, rich families.  A
recent fashion amongst the "blond" wives (there's a racial thing - if
you're rich, you either are, or aspire to be, white, so the women bleach
their hair - walk round Las Condes, La Dehesa, Vitacura, and just open
your eyes: it's obvious) was a necklace showing how many children you
have.  Get those families together at the weekend, knocking back nice
wine, and you'll need a dozen bottles a month.

And the magazine.  Reading it made me feel dirty.  Apart from the photos
of blond (again) people enjoying themselves at "cultural events" (I swear,
they have featured polo mathces several times) it's full of adverts for
luxury goods.  Perfumes, expensive cars.  Offers on exclusive health

In short, it's just another club for the rich.  If you just want a few
bottles, you can get better wine (for much less, if you shop around). 
Sign up only if you want a dozen bottles a month, or are happy and willing
to subsidise those that do (people that, in all honesty, really do not
need your help).


Only they ignored the canellation...

From: "andrew cooke" <andrew@...>

Date: Wed, 22 Nov 2006 12:02:14 -0300 (CLST)

So I received yet more wine today.  And they called me up then refused to
cancel unless I wrote again...  Surreal.  Hopefully it really is canceled

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