ninkasi

about ninkasi.com

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Many.... many years ago I wanted to become an archaeologist. I did a combined arts/science degree studying geology, palaeontology, classical civilisation, and (I knew it was in the cards) computer science. When I completed my studies, however, I found that jobs were actually quite hard to find. I wouldn't say that in any way I was a brilliant student, however when I applied for a position at the local museum I was told that there had been well over fifty applicants and I had come second - second to someone who had a PhD in geology. The position? To classify rocks as they were brought into the museum by the public. You know.... "that would be basalt".... "no, that's not a giant diamond, it's broken glass".... not exactly heartening.

It was then that I turned my sights towards other endeavours.... and have now ended up "in computers" so to speak. My interest in ancient civilisations has never really diminished and it, along with an interest in a few other things (such as photography, wine, and - of course - beer) remains.

So. Imagine it. It's many years ago, and I'm a geek and I want to have my own domain for email and other nefarious purposes. Well, more specifically I'm setting up my own business and need a name. Do I register something that I could perhaps make money from in the distant future? Something like "finance.com" or perhaps "google.com". Nah. I go for the ancient Sumerian "goddess of beer": Ninkasi. Setting up a domain way back when, especially from the boonies of Australia, was nowhere as easy or cheap as it is now. But again, I justified it by my company "Nikasi Consultants".

My company is currently dormant as, working for some time for one large multinational,  I finally gave in and am now "working for the man", but there is always the chance I might start it up again sometime. In the meantime I have held onto the domain, even though I have had a few offers for it, as - well - I like it. I also want to keep it as a place where Ninkasi is remembered as an important icon in an important culture. The move from hunting & gathering to farming, that then led to civilisation as we know it now  by allowing cities to grow and people to do things other than hunt for food (like study mathematics, philosophy, science in general, etc), was driven to a great extent by the desire to grow crops that could be reliably made into staples. One of those staples was beer - yes alcoholic, but not as much as our beer generally is now plus also (because of the alcohol) frequently much safer to drink than the water. It wasn't quite like we know it now, but it was similar enough.

The method of making it is described, rather arcanely, in the "Hymn to Ninkasi".

All hail Ninkasi.