Monday, 13 September 2021

Being compulsive

I realise my head isn't like everyone else's. Compulsive behaviour. It's part of me.

When I looked out of my office window and saw someone touching every sign along the road, I didn't think "What a weirdo". No. That's just like me, I thought. A bit more public and odder looking, but basically just like me.

Being compulsive has its advantages as a researcher. It means I go through material fully. Really fully. Whenever I see beer analyses or price lists, I have to record them. It's a pain in the arse, quite a lot of work, but I can't help myself. Thirty years of such compulsive behaviour has left me with some amazing datasets.

I've around 25,000 beer analyses. In one table. Which doesn't include everything from brewing records. The true total is 40,000 plus. A shitload. And as collection effort I would never have started without the thing in my head. The desire to collect, interpret and know.

It's why I'm such an arrogant and obnoxious twat in arguments. I don't think I know better, I do. Mostly.

I still collect as much data as I can. You can never have too much.

Weird how this post went. When I started, I meant it to be about the Nazi occupation of Holland. And why I've been transcribing every word from the CBK (Dutch brewers' organisation) committee minutes from WW II.

OK, short version. By looking at every word from every meeting, the creeping influence of the Germans is laid bare. Hands off, mostly, in 1940, increasingly heavy in 1941. Which is as far as I've got. I expect much worse in 1942.

I do this shit so you don't have to. And it satisfies some weird completist urge in me. We all win.


Dan Klingman said...

"We all win."

And thank you.

Anonymous said...

I'm awfully interested in what things looked like in late 1943 to early 1944 when it was becoming increasingly obvious the invasion was coming. Did they talk in stringer hints, or did they just clam up and bide their time?

Ron Pattinson said...


not got that far. Someone at the CBK was passing on information of beer deliveries to the Wehrmacht in Holland. Which meant the Allies knew exactly the location and strength of German units in Holland.