Review: Humankind

May 2020

Humankind is a best-seller in the Netherlands and Flanders, where it’s called ‘De meeste mensen deugen’ (literally most people are good), written by Rutger Bregman. It’s quite voluminous and claims to justify a radically different image of humanity. It has been hailed as a masterpiece of optimism in the press and quite a few people in my milieu have praised it too. This made me somewhat sceptical about it. Unjustified, so it turned out. I was positively surprised by the book. It’s a flame, a flicker in these dark times that we, a hope that society can be bettered.

Lessons from the corona-crisis

April 2020

The corona crisis that is sweeping the planet has been going on for almost four months; Belgium has been in ‘lockdown’ for around a month. What are some (small) things I have learned and observed by now? A few notes and a dose of optimism…

Review: The Witcher

January 2020

It’s the newest fantasy television series to hit the mainstream, this time produced by Netflix. It doesn’t have the pretense or ambition to be a Game of Thrones style epic and holds up well all on its own.

Review: The Lighthouse

October 2019

The Lighthouse is Robert Eggers’ newest film, after the 18th century psychological horror masterpiece movie The VVitch. This film too is a meticulously put together work of art, with a fabulous dual cast of Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson (trivia: this is the first time I saw a movie with Pattinson), bombastic dialogues, great visuals and the best Lovecraftian atmosphere I’ve seen in a long time.

Choosing to be Childfree

October 2019

Since I’m getting sterilized soon, I thought I’d write about my “childfree wish” and my vision on the ethics and philosophical justifications of (not) having children.

It’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about ever since I first conceived of the possibility of me having kids. As a sixteen-year-old I didn’t want them,which was considered a normal thing for a teenage boy to say; I got told I’d grow out of it (I didn’t). At 20, I had a more strong conviction and had started formulating a host of reasons, some more pessimistic than the others; I got told I’d change my mind when I met someone (I didn’t). At 24 I’d lost my first relationship, partly because of my stance on children. In those days, I said I didn’t want children of my own but I was open to adoption. I made a distinction between the creating of another life, and the raising and educating of one (I still do); I got told I’d change my mind when other people around me would start having them (I didn’t). I’m 29 now, I still haven’t changed my mind. Maybe it’s time to accept it, both others as myself. That’s why I decided to take the permanent step.

Review: The Drowning Girl

September 2019

Can you trust a paranoid schizophrenic to tell a real ghost story?

Published in 2012, this weird gothic horror story by the Irish-born American writer Caitlín R. Kiernan is a psychological labyrinth that starts of slow, but completely mesmerizes you by the time you get to the really weird stuff, somewhere halfway in. Kiernan manages to vividly and convincingly sketch the inner life of someone with a mental illness, without any prejudice.

Universal Basic Income: an introduction

September 2019

Source: Bill Waterson ‘The Revenge of the Baby-Sat’ 1991

Source: Bill Waterson ‘The Revenge of the Baby-Sat’ 1991

These last few years we see the idea of a (universal) basic income mentioned. It’s not all over the news, but it’s certainly something you’ve probably heard mentioning somewhere or read in passing. Not daily, but once in a while. In a think piece somewhere probably, and probably by someone progressive. But it has been defended by lots of great thinkers, including nobelprize winning economists, civil rights leaders like M.L. King, philosophers like Bertrand Russell, and many others. It’s a fascinating idea that makes you think. Some people are revolted by it, others think it’s a panacea to all society’s problems. It’s a lot more nuanced of course, but it’s worth delving into.

Back in 2015 I wrote my master’s thesis on the subject of distributive justice, basic income and libertarianism. Ever since I’ve wanted to translate and maybe expand a little on the work I did, and share it with the world. This post is based on the first chapter.

In this blog post I will try to define and describe what a basic income could (and maybe should) be. What is and isn’t a basic income, what some of the intended effects would be and some basic criticisms leveled against it. In a later blog post I’d like to go deeper into the history of the idea.

Solving the Code

September 2019

Since I’m a complete and utter novice at all… this, there were quite a few difficulties in getting this blog up and running. In this post I’m trying to describe how (and why) I built the site this way, talk about some of the obstacles I encountered and how I solved them.

Building a Website

September 2019

It started out as an idea to have my own place on the internet, where I have full control.

My goal: a clean, light website that functions as both a photo portfolio and a personal blog. Without a host of trackers, but fully usable. Building it myself would be an added bonus.

Website concept

July 2019

The blog should be my own representation on the web, seperate from the corporate interpretations of identity in the form of a profile-page. I want to have full-control, even if that means it’s more difficult to show things like I want them.

It’s where I want to share my main creations: photo’s and written thoughts, free from puritan censorship as practices by most tech-companies. I decide for myself.

Ideally, these are presented cleanly, simple and uniform. Inspiration for this is the modernist movement of the twenties in Western Europe (think Tschichold and Bauhaus). Clear background, readable text, the right amount of information. Not overly baroque, no unnecessary embellishments, all decoration in function of readability.

Most importantly, I want to built it myself.