Categories for World


There were intensive talks in the gardens the past weeks. Last Friday i had a talk with Ronald about capitalism. He came along with a friend of him, Carl. And a piece of speculaas. We talked about how long capitalism exists. Since the late middle ages according to Ronald. The week before i said that i was a genius. Ho ho! Such a brazen expression. Hollow. Not that i’m not intelligent, but i still need to learn so many things about so many different areas. Today we talked about the bitcoin economy. It is becoming a bit clearer to me, but i still need to read more about it. I did bring up the war against the current leaders of our financial industrial economy. The banks. The investors. People making money from money. I am learning that discussions have their own momentum and direction. I am learning to adapt to that and not trying to pull into another direction.

I love all the many more talks we have in the garden, varying from the fun and frivolous to deeply serious. I can not contribute to every talk. I don’t know enough about every single subject, i’m afraid to say. But that is not the most important thing. I love this aspect of our garden. I love the brightness and interest and passion from each person participating. I don’t agree with everybody. Of course not. I remember the talks about Mars and terraforming it and the plans of Elon Musk to get people to go to Mars, a plan ludricous to me. We talk. And thoroughly enjoy it.

As for me, my situation. I am selling my house. And i plan to do something with the money i will get. The quite large amount of overvalue in my house. To make it work. The next two years will be important to me. As were the the past three years. And well, to be honest, the past fifty three years of my life. Which i love so much.


Published on December 6, 2017 at 6:00 by


I’m not sure why i feel the way i do right now. I have said it the past days, a couple of times. I had this sledgehammer moment three years ago. Since then i feel i need to work. Work hard. On this website. Here.

I don’t earn any money through it. Not right now. Does this justify me selling my house? Wouldn’t it be much better to stay on living here, in the center of Rotterdam. Have a job besides it? For two or three days a week? What is so bad about that? Nothing. Right?

Still, i refuse. I keep on going. I did give in a week and a half ago. But i’m back. Why? Why am i not giving up? Why am i prepared to go all the way?

I am intelligent. My school reports are an early proof. I have also made countless stupid mistakes. It took me years to find a proper education after high school. And even art school wasn’t all i imagined. But, one of the best things i ever did was making things online. I enjoy the technology. I enjoyed the immediacy. One update and it is online. Great! Other than that, i was careful. But still, many mistakes.

I am honest. After the chess game i played this Monday, my opponent, who had won – of course – told me he liked my way of playing. An honest game, he told me. A true compliment. If i don’t feel any space to talk, i am usually quiet. Here on i can be blatantly honest. Sex being one of the examples of that. I do enjoy talking with people. People i don’t know, people i do know, friends, acquaintances. Most people talk about themselves. I don’t mind that. Everybody has a story to tell. And sometimes i do talk about myself. Of course.

I have perseverance. I don’t give up easily. Not when something really matters. Not that i know beforehand what i’m gonna do. Right now, fifty three years old, when i look back on my life, i can see it. I’m like a dog biting something it doesn’t want to let go. Grrrr. I can leave something aside for a while. For years. But to this day, i found a possibility to get back to it. When i gave my drawings to Green Gartside two years ago. I was so nervous. But prepared. The right dress. I had written about it a year before here in The world and the people. The one thing i did in my life which makes me so happy. It took me thirty years to get ready to do it. I don’t even know why this makes me so happy. I don’t know if he appreciates the drawings. I hope so. I truly do.

When i got back home after that, there was nobody asking me about it. I did feel a bit sad about that. It made me realize that i am still alone. I didn’t cry over it. But it was sobering. Only half a year after it i talked about it with a friend. I had posted the story to the scritti facebook group, people responded there. But it wasn’t the same as talking with friends about it.

I am single. Everyone is single. We try to forget. We work, eat, sleep. We talk, shop, look at facebook, smile at silly jokes. But we remain single. Always. Even in sex, the ultimate togetherness, we still stay single. If you are lucky, there is love. Tenderness. Whispered thoughts. Gazing in each other eyes. But we still remain single.

Together we have made this world. With all the people who have lived and left a footprint. This world as it is now. With fugitives, hunger, poverty, war, hurricanes. I am lucky. I live in western Europe, in one of the wealthiest countries in the world. The Netherlands.

I know many people trying to do good. Thinking about their lives, the stuff they use, they buy. Working in the garden, eating the veggies they let grow themselves. People playing chess, talking, thinking. Together.

I want to keep things simple. That is not a thought from me. I read that in the 80s in an interview with Scritti Politti. I thought about it then, it struck a chord. But i didn’t really get it. It is different now. When i look at the switch i made between and, i can see it. There was more freedom in, i cold pick any time of posting i wanted. Days of not posting, followed by days of posting. I am happy i found a proper ending for it. Even after eight years of silence. And the thrill of starting A proper schedule, a wider set of content. The walks, looking back on my past, the cooking. It all fitted in there.

Simplicity. Trying to talk about my life, what drives me, what i see around me. As best as i can. As some people around me say, a diary. Sure.

To me it is far more than a diary. Some posts i write here are created here. I wouldn’t have these thoughts if i didn’t write my posts. This website creates me, as i do create this website.

My mum calls me up once or twice a week. The last months i always say the same thing to her. I’m good. Fine. Excellent even. It is true. I do feel good. Happy. Smiling. I don’t sleep very good, sure. But it is not because i’m worrying that much at night. No, i think about sex. Not sure where that is coming from, but hey, it is not a bad thing.

My life right now feels a lot more windy than before. Before, when i had regular work, when i didn’t need to worry about money, where i was having fun playing World of Warcraft, my life was quiet. Silent. Now it is a lot noisier.

This is my choice. It is dangerous. More things can go wrong. But with all the risks there are also chances things can go right.

The last months i fell down a couple of times. In the Tuin op de Hofbogen, on a wet day, the wooden board was so slippery i fell down. I was lying still for a short time. I had to gather my thoughts. But there was no blood, nothing too severe was hurt. The second time was when we were building the compost bin. The boards were set up, but not yet fixed. I bent over to get a waste bag. And a pallet fell over straight on my head. I felt a bit dizzy. I was a bit mixed up. No blood. Lucky. Yesterday i fell again. I was so careful, but at the end, walking home, i slipped. Still no major hurt. I don’t feel anything wrong with my body today. Lucky.

There are many different worlds. The world of sport. Of fashion. Of make-up. Of beauty. Of movies. Of music. Of literature. Of books. Of shopping. Of advertisement. Of politics. Of money.

Dreams are present everywhere. In songs. In books. Fantasy. Science fiction. Fiction. I am a good listener. I picked up many dreams in my life. They still are present. Not dreams i made up myself, dreams floating around in the world. Hard, impossible even to get rid of. Not that i really want to get rid of them. There is a huge amount of pleasure in dreaming away.

Still, i do need to go on with my life. Make some kind of decision. An action. I am not stupid.

Think think think Ellen. Turn and look. It is so close. Do not dream away now.

Published on November 23, 2017 at 6:00 by

The end

This is it. The end.

The thought came upon me earlier this week. Tuesday. I cried. I didn’t want to do this. But yes. I am gonna finish working on For several reasons. First, i don’t have the money to pay for the hosting. So this place will be up and running only for a couple of weeks more. Second, my house will be sold. Next week the real estate agent will come by. I’m lucky in that sense. My house will not be auctioned, but sold regularly. Which hopefully leaves me with enough money to last me three or four years.

This is difficult. But i will be fine. I will still post photos on instagram, post updates on facebook, talk a bit on twitter. I won’t be gone. But this place will be finished. Also, because i feel i have done here what i set out to do. Thinking. Working. Looking. Writing. I found a few things i really like. Singing, yes. Filming, yes. So i have gained an awful lot.

Ending this blog does hurt a bit. I’ve said here multiple times how much i love to work here. Each day was a different day. Some very unexpected, others not that much. But all together the past three years felt amazing.

I’m not sure why i’m ending this now. Well, apart from the practical reasons i mentioned. Also, i do want to stay in control, not feel overwhelmed by what is happening. Compared to what happens to other people, my life still is quiet and not very exiting.

The final page i will give you is the chronological page, with every post i made here linked on it. Enjoy!

I will leave you with what to me is still the best i made here, the video clips.

Finally, as a wave goodbye, one of my favorite songs, Let it go.

Let it go
The snow glows white on the mountain tonight
Not a footprint to be seen
A kingdom of isolation,
And it looks like I’m the queen.

The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside
Couldn’t keep it in, heaven knows I tried!

Don’t let them in, don’t let them see
Be the good girl you always have to be
Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know
Well, now they know!

Let it go, let it go
Can’t hold it back anymore
Let it go, let it go
Turn away and slam the door!

I don’t care
What they’re going to say
Let the storm rage on,
The cold never bothered me anyway!

It’s funny how some distance
Makes everything seem small
And the fears that once controlled me
Can’t get to me at all!

It’s time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me I’m free!

Let it go, let it go
I am one with the wind and sky
Let it go, let it go
You’ll never see me cry!

Here I stand
And here I’ll stay
Let the storm rage on!

My power flurries through the air into the ground
My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around
And one thought crystallizes like an icy blast
I’m never going back,
The past is in the past!

Let it go, let it go
And I’ll rise like the break of dawn
Let it go, let it go
That perfect girl is gone!

Here I stand
In the light of day
Let the storm rage on,
The cold never bothered me anyway!

Goodbye for now,

With love, Ellen

Published on November 10, 2017 at 6:00 by


No, not the battering ram from The Lord of the Rings.

This one time it is a Dutch title, Grond. Or in English, ground. The solid surface of the earth. Soil, a narrower defined word. The upper layer of the earth in which plants and trees and shrubs grow. Dirt. A base. A rational motive or basis for a believe or conviction. Grounds for divorce. Common ground. People sharing some common understanding.

For a year and a half i have been working in the garden the Vredestuin. The Peace Garden. Extremely enjoyable. I have met many new people. I have baked many cakes. I got to know the community surrounding the communal vegetable gardens in Rotterdam more. A bit.

The story of the one small garden close to the Erasmus bridge, which had to close down, because the project developer was going ahead with its plan for a building. The Tuin op de Pier, facing the same destiny. The grass field next to the Markthal, owned by a project developer. But the grass field is so nice, gives space to the area and gives children something to play on.

A year ago i walked close to the Markthal and got into a conversation with a girl from art school, just across the road. Her subject matter was the lack of any arbitrary not owned ground. In the Netherlands every piece of land is owned by a person, a foundation, a company. Every piece of land has a purpose. There is no land simply lying there doing nothing. It can be waiting, sure. But there is always a sense of purpose. Even if it’s a barrier. Like the land besides the train rails.

To me, then, this was obvious. The sense of the world. Everything is owned.

But she did have a point.

I have written a couple of posts here about the world. The world is terrible. Life is wonderful. The truth. Language. Living. Now.

These posts are important to me. I am not done, i do not have a completed world view, a plan ready to save the world. But i am thinking. Thinking hard. Trying to get it out of my mind.

I kept on saying it. To my family. To my friends. Not always clearly. But i was trying to tell them. I am thinking. I don’t have time to work. I don’t have time to make money for my pension. I don’t have time to keep on buying food and things and watch television. I am thinking. About me and the world and where we are heading to and where the world really is and what we are and also what i am. And i needed to get away from it all. My normal life. The world most of the Western European people live in. Our spoiled lives.

This post is about a plan which came to me a couple of weeks ago. Buying land. Ground. Earth. For urban farming first of all. Here in Rotterdam first of all. Because this is the place where i live.

I don’t have the money. Not yet anyway. But this is a plan for when i do have money, what will i do with it. I think about this. Honestly. What will i do when i am a millionaire. With all that money.

So here is my plan. I will set up a foundation called Grond. And this foundation will become the owner of the land i buy. First of all the gardens i work in. The rest of the Hofplein train rails. The grass field besides the Markthal. Any other piece of land owned by a project developer or anyone else where it is possible to make a community garden.

Starting here in Rotterdam, branching out to other cities here in the Netherlands. Because to me, this ground is important. It is our earth, the ground we walk on. The solid surface of the earth.

Right now, this is a completely imaginary scenario. Very unlikely this could happen. Other people told me the past two years this will never happen. I am insane taking this seriously. And yes, they are right. In one sense. In their sense.

For me, it is about being honest. About being close to myself. About having faith in myself. About looking in this world and trying to see my place in there. About where i can fit in.

Because i haven’t found my place yet. I’m still in a provisionary house, in a temporary city, trying to live my life. I am falling from one crowd into another. Making friends along the way. Loosing friends. Trying to make sense of this place. Often not succeeding.

I am still not sure of where i am heading. I do hope i will meet some friends along the way. As i feel i am doing now. As i feel i have done all that time, all through my life. I have learned so much.

Created, sang songs, made videos, wrote my heart out, made photos, made drawings, gif animations, flash things. For more than twenty years.

I am blessed.

Thank you for visiting I hope you will enjoy yourself here. Find some pretty things. Maybe even things to think about.


Published on November 9, 2017 at 6:00 by


Initially now seems a simple concept. Most people understand what it means. Now. This very moment. The time you are reading this. This. Point. Here.

And it is gone. Part of the past. There is another now. So hard to grasp. Hard to keep a hold on. Impossible.

For children their experience of now comes easy. Their past is so small, their future out of their reach. So they live in this now. And time stretches out for this feeling of an everlasting present. When they play outside, with their friends. Building a treehouse, or running through a field filled with weeds and grasses, playing hide and seek. Running around trees with friends. Laughing.

This is something we forget when we grow older. The joy of now. The joy of being in this world. With all its details and hidden corners and pleasures.

This is something i forgot.

Most people grow up. Grow older, learn to behave, fall in love, fall out of love, fall in love again, make children, watch their children grow up. Enjoy life with them. Watch their children experience life as they had, when they were young.

Now seems to be in a different country. This country we live in, with its insurances, its pensions, its tight schedules, its working weeks and time-off weekends, this country is a firm advocate of the future. The past is behind it. A time long gone. Ten years ago. Twenty. Fifty. A hundred. A thousand years ago. Another world. This past is old. Old fashioned. Dated. Not belonging to our new world. With its smartphones, its self opening doors, its fast driving cars, trains, its high flying airplanes. With us. Here. In this now we live in. All the time.

I like making photographs. Many posts on this site show you my photos. Some good, some simply a document of a time gone past. This click. And it stands. This current now. This current constellation of things existing in this precise situation. Seen from one angle, one viewpoint.

My first memory ever is one in which i am photographed by my father. My mother pointing to something behind me, i turn around and click, a photo is made. I can still feel the warmth of the stones below my hands. One year and a couple of months old. A memory which came back to me in a dream. And yes, the photo exists. Somewhere. I lost it.

Many people make photos. On holidays. On festivities. With family. With children. Catching the now. Catching our world as it is now.

To remember what you saw. What you experienced. Lived through. To share with the people who are not there to live through the same moment. To show on facebook or instagram or snapchat or twitter. To show the world your life.

This week, on Tuesday, i was making photos of the harvest in the garden on the Hofbogen. Yorinde asked me to make a photo of her sitting behind the harvest. After that i asked her the same thing, to make a photo of me behind the harvest. Wednesday morning i posted this photo on facebook. There were 32 likes. Some even thought the photo was great. And yes, i enjoyed this. For me, this is quite a lot of people. It feels good to be seen by my friends and to be liked.

This now we all live on, this ever present top of the wave of time we can not fall down from, this encompasses each and everyone of us. We are all living in the same moment. Some young, some in the strength of their lives, some old, some sick, some demented. The past is gone. Whoosh. The future is not here yet. The future is what we dream about, what we think about, what we wish for, what we work at. But our present is here, to feel. With all our hands and feet and eyes and mouth and ears. To be here now. To feel we are here.

So easy to forget. So easy to live your life in this humdrum monotony of years passing by. To watch the seasons flowing by. To watch the weeks pass you by. To watch television and movies and read books and disappear in them. Of course.

Of course.

It is hard to live in the present.

I am not sure about my own life. About the things i do. I know i love the things i do. Working in the gardens. Posting here on this website. Cooking. Walking. Thinking. Living.

This is not art. Even though i did go to art school. Even though some posts here are about the work i made then, about the work i used to make on This is part of my life. A part i desperately love.

The last three posts had the date as title. Wednesday 4 October 2017. Tuesday 3 October 2017. Monday 2 October 2017. I didn’t plan to do these three days like this. But halfway through the week i knew this was what i was going to do. Not a present. Not a now, but a looking back. One day in the past. And this post is the end of it. Not here with me, not here in my now. But with you. In your now. Wherever you are. At what time you’re in right now. Your time. Your now.

Hey you there

Published on October 6, 2017 at 6:00 by


How much money is there in the world all together? There are many different answers to this question. One is to simply state how much paper and coin money there is in the world. The answer is simple: $5 trillion. Considering the source of this number, i assume this means 5 million million, $ With another definition you could take the world’s easily accessible money: $28.6 trillion, $28.600.000.000.000. This includes all the world’s paper and coin money and deposites available in banks. In the CIA Factobook it is stated the total value of the world’s money is $80.9 trillion, $80.900.000.000.000. This includes all the paper and coin money, saving, checking and time deposits. The global debt is $199 trillion. And then there are derivatives. A low-end estimate of the size and scope of global derivative markets is $630 trillion. What is a derivative? It is a contract between two or more parties that derives its value from the performance of an underlying asset, index or entity. No one really knows the exact size of this market.

What is money? I am copying this text from the Wikipedia entry about money.

Most modern textbooks now list only three functions, that of medium of exchange, unit of account, and store of value, not considering a standard of deferred payment as it is a distinguished function, but rather subsuming it in the others.

The money itself is not as important as what you can do with it, in our current world. In most situations, money can buy you anything. Any house, any car, any food, anything you want you can buy with money. If, of course, someone else is willing to part with it and exchange it with you for money.

If it is something which you can exchange. Some things you can not. For me, a good example is this website. A blog. A simple theme. WordPress. All pretty basic stuff. But the content is different. Some days i walk and make photos. Some days i work in a garden and talk about that. Many times with photos. Some days i stay inside and meditate. Not so much i admit! Or i make something with animations. Or tell a story. Or sing a song. Sometimes i make a clip. Not so much. It is a lot of work. Inspiration doesn’t always hit me. I need music for a clip, which is not easy to find. I actually need a better camera. And a faster computer. That is money business. Something i don’t have right now.

Anyway, enough talking about this website.


I don’t think wealth is something negative. Wealth means your life is prosperous, your actions pay off. To me, wealth is a very positive way of being in your life. I can imagine all the things i could do once i receive enough money. Helping the people working in the gardens. Buying the land for the gardens as well. Plenty of temporary gardens need to stop once the property developers have the will to start building on their land. So buying the land seems to me a good thing. Getting school gardens ready, with people working on them, helping the kids to learn about plants and animals. Getting more local vegetable gardens in cities. All things which to me are important.

Paul Graham : A surprising number of people retain from childhood the idea that there is a fixed amount of wealth in the world. There is, in any normal family, a fixed amount of money at any moment. But that’s not the same thing.

When wealth is talked about in this context, it is often described as a pie. “You can’t make the pie larger,” say politicians…

What leads people astray here is the abstraction of money. Money is not wealth. It’s just something we use to move wealth around. So although there may be, in certain specific moments (like your family, this month) a fixed amount of money available to trade with other people for things you want, there is not a fixed amount of wealth in the world. You can make more wealth. Wealth has been getting created and destroyed (but on balance, created) for all of human history.

Source: How to make wealth – Paul Graham

I am reading this book now, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, written by Thomas Piketty. I’m only at the second part, the dynamics of the relation capital/income. I do enjoy reading it. I’m not an experienced economics reader, i’m struggling a bit through some parts. Still, it is not a technical and mathematically written book. I would like to finish it. In between all the young adult books i am reading now as well. 😉

We are driven creatures. While our lust for status, money, power and sex can be harnessed towards creative ends, it is more likely to block any spark we might have had. Our consumer culture is happy to cater to these drives. We lose decades of our lives chasing money to buy luxury goods and climbing through artificial hierarchies in the workplace. We struggle with the health problems caused by high-calorie, high-fat diets. We become caught in webs of addiction, trying to distract our minds from the emptiness left by our lost creativity.

Source: Sparks will fly

I know i am pushing things to a boundary. I am not going where it seems to me we are all drive towards. I am making a decision. Money, to me right now, is not the most important thing in the world. However much there is of it. It is not. It is my own creativity, my own thoughts, my own work in the garden, my work on this website which matter to me right now. I know it can not last the way it is going. It is hard. But i do have trust in myself. And also trust in the world. Trust in people. In a way. Not terribly much, no. But still, a bit.

I am still here. Talking to you. My listener. My reader.

Hey 🙂

Every single day, I get emails from aspiring writers asking my advice about how to become a writer, and here is the only advice I can give: Don’t make stuff because you want to make money — it will never make you enough money. And don’t make stuff because you want to get famous — because you will never feel famous enough. Make gifts for people — and work hard on making those gifts in the hope that those people will notice and like the gifts.

Maybe they will notice how hard you worked, and maybe they won’t — and if they don’t notice, I know it’s frustrating. But, ultimately, that doesn’t change anything — because your responsibility is not to the people you’re making the gift for, but to the gift itself.

Source: John Green’s Superb Advice to Aspiring Writers and Creators in the Digital Age

Money is a way of measuring wealth but is not wealth in itself. A chest of gold coins or a fat wallet of bills is of no use whatsoever to a wrecked sailor alone on a raft. He needs real wealth, in the form of a fishing rod, a compass, an outboard motor with gas, and a female companion. But this ingrained and archaic confusion of money with wealth is now the main reason we are not going ahead full tilt with the development of our technological genius for the production of more than adequate food, clothing, housing, and utilities for every person on earth.

Source: Alan Watts on Money vs. Wealth

Published on September 15, 2017 at 6:00 by


A week ago on Facebook i came along an article on about an article posted in 1970, Wat een krantenartikel uit 1970 ons kan leren over de milieuproblemen van vandaag (What a newspaper article from 1970 can teach us about present day environmental problems).

The start of this article from 1970, called Als we voorzichtig zijn kan de aarde ons voeden (If we are careful the earth can feed us).

De aarde heeft op het ogenblik nog ruim voldoende capaciteit om ons allemaal en ons zeer talrijke nageslacht in leven te houden. Maar als we die capaciteit niet aanzienlijk zorgvuldiger gebruiken dan we tot nu toe hebben gedaan, dan is het einde in zicht.

De biosfeer, het dunne laagje aarde, water en gas om onze planeet waarin zich alle leven afspeelt, is een uiterst fragiel ding. Plaatselijk hebben we daar al zo in huisgehouden, dat er onherstelbare schade is aangericht, met o.a. als gevolg dat er hele menselijke culturen zijn ondergegaan. Daarvoor kan nog de verontschuldiging worden aangevoerd van onwetendheid. Als we nu hetzelfde doen is dat onvergeeflijk.

The earth still has enough capacity to keep us all and our very abundant offspring alive. But if we do not use this capacity more carefully than we did up until now, the end is near.

The biosphere, the thin layer of earth, water and gas around our planet where all live is, is a very fragile thing. Locally we have carried on in such a matter that irreparable damage is done, with the consequence that whole human cultures have been ruined. For that the excuse of ignorance can be brought up. If we do the same thing now, that is unforgivable.

Richard Heinberg says the following:

Our core ecological problem is not climate change. It is overshoot, of which global warming is a symptom.’

‘We must restrain ourselves, like an alcoholic foreswearing booze. That requires honesty and soul-searching.’

The average Dutch person uses and pollutes like there are 3.6 earths available. A large part of the damage we cause we do not see.

1970. That is 47 years ago. Forty seven years. I turned six years old in 1970.

I don’t care what we should call the movements which caused this devastating affect on our planet. Neoliberalism, capitalism, consumerism. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that we are here, in 2017, and we are still fighting against this. What matters is the damage we put on the earth ourselves. Half of the wildlife is lost over the past 40 years. Great Barrier Reef Coral Growth Rate Falls by 40% in 40 Years ‘Due to Ocean Acidification’. An estimated 13 million hectares of forests were lost each year between 2000 and 2010 due to deforestation. There is a strong, credible body of evidence, based on multiple lines of research, documenting that climate is changing and that these changes are in large part caused by human activities.

We are not taking good care of this earth. The reasons for this behaviour are not difficult. We want to have an easy life. We want to eat good tasting food with minimal effort. We want to make money, lots of money. We want to be happy. We want it all. Yes, all.

It is extremely difficult for us, humans, to think on a global scale. We are not used to that. In earlier times this wasn’t necessary. What we did only affected the smaller section of the planet we were living on. Yes, the Romans had a large empire, but it still contained only the Mediterranean, parts of Europe and the Middle-East. But after several hundreds of years of technological and scientific advances, decisions we make now can affect larger areas of the world. Especially the energy we use, the fossil fuels we burn each day, each hour, each minute.

What can we do to lessen our impact on our planet:

  • Household solutions
    • Turning heating down by a few degrees
    • Turning off televisions and similar equipment instead of leaving them in ‘standby
    • Composting vegetable waste
    • Buying locally grown food to save on transporting it
    • Using energy-efficient lighting
    • Insulating homes properly
    • Using a gas cooker instead of an electric one
  • Driving more fuel-efficient cars
  • Using more public transportation
  • Tripling the world’s nuclear power
  • Scaling up renewable energy, such as solar and wind power
  • Pumping back emissions to below the sea bed

It is strange, even for me, to think of these examples of rules, think of my life and the things i love doing and match them.

What i have done in the past years:

  • i don’t have a driver’s license, never will get one, so that is easy
  • i do walk most of the time, my life is within two kilometers of my house
  • since i started to work in the garden, i do compost my vegetable waste
  • for years i threw away my paper and glass waste seperately, now i added plastics to that as well
  • a week ago i closed my television subscription, my television is off the whole time now

I thought of the title for this post a few months ago. I have a vivid imagination. I imagine myself sitting in some television show and being asked questions. One of the questions: Will you bring love and peace? To which i say: NO! No love and peace from me. No pretty little things, no starry nights and blossoming fields. WAR! We need to stand up and fight! You are either with us or against us. No in between business!

I didn’t realize i had a previous post with the title WAR! already. Well, i did add two exclamation marks to this new one. There is a difference.

Hmm, i will change the title of this post. War!!! doesn’t sound good to me. Not anymore. Not while i am writing this. My life? No, living. Yeah, that sounds good. Living.

Yes, i do believe in what i am thinking here. We do need to lessen our impact. Lessen our desires, lessen our consuming patterns. We can not eat the amount of meat we do today. Buy all the things we buy. All the useless stuff we surround ourselves with.

No, this will not be pretty. It will not be a party time. This is a serious work we need to do, with serious conversations with people who think differently.I’m not simply talking about Trump here. I’m also talking about so many European politicians with their mouths full of promises to forget about these once they have gotten any power.

I simply do not see any other option available to us.

And yes, i actually think i’m late with this. I have been working so many years, buying my food in the supermarket, watching television to get my mind of thinking about things that were making me unhappy. I have spend many years being alone, losing all courage and hopes for a better future.

These past years i have been working hard on this website. I have been working hard in the garden. I have been thinking and dreaming and wishing for something better. A better life.

So no, i am not going to try to find work just to pay my bills.

I still want to live in this world, with my eyes open.

Trying to do the best i can. Fight!

Published on September 1, 2017 at 6:00 by


The beginning of April this year 2017 i made a draft for this post, Language. Today, Thursday 10 August 2017, i opened it once again. There was more text than i remembered. The whole lyrics of the I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke song. The video.

I’d like to buy the world a home
And furnish it with love
Grow apple trees and honey bees
And snow white turtle doves

I’d like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony
I’d like to buy the world a Coke
And keep it company
That’s the real thing

This song is from “the world’s most famous ad”, released in 1971.

This post is about the use of language in our world today. The old examples i use are to make clear my idea of our current misuse. It seems to me things are getting worse over the past hundred years. Or two hundred years. Or more.

Political language
George Orwell wrote an essay with the title “Politics and the English Language” in 1945. This essay focuses on political language, which, according to Orwell, “is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”

This essay was the second result in my search for political language. Orwell gives five passages which lighten up then current ways of writing. Five negatives in 53 words, mixed metaphors, meaninglessness, an accumulation of stale phrases and a passage in which words and meaning have no relation with each other.

I am not, indeed, sure whether it is not true to say that the Milton who once seemed not unlike a seventeenth-century Shelley had not become, out of an experience ever more bitter in each year, more alien [sic] to the founder of that Jesuit sect which nothing could induce him to tolerate.

Professor Harold Laski (Essay in Freedom of Expression)

I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.


This translated into modern English gives:

Objective considerations of contemporary phenomena compel the conclusion that success or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity, but that a considerable element of the unpredictable must invariably be taken into account.

The last sentence is unreadable. I have read it two three even four times, it still is vague to me.

Orwell gives the following rules for using language clearly.

  1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
  2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.
  3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
  4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.
  5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
  6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

This essay is written 71 years ago. It still sounds right. To me, it seems even more applicable to current political language uses than ever before.

I’m not a fan of Trump. He is a easy target. I’d rather speak about Dutch politicians and their language. But this article published in the New York Times called Trump’s Degradation of the Language is too fitting to this post to leave behind.

“The super-short sentences emphasize certainty and determination, build up layer upon layer, like bricks in a wall themselves, toward a conclusion and an emotional climax. It’s a style that students of rhetoric call parataxis. This is the way generals and dictators have always spoken to distinguish themselves from the caviling civilians they mean to sweep aside.”

Trumps use of twitter is exemplary.

This tweet is amazing.

Everyone knows i am right. This is untrue. Not everyone, a few might agree, but surely not everyone. Robert Pattinson should dump Kristen Stewart. Not sure where this comes from. In 2012 Robert and Kristen were a hot couple. I don’t know where Trump’s feelings about this relationship came from. Talking just for me, i was sort of aware of Kristen’s mingle with a director on a parking place. To me it seems obvious with young people in their early twenties relationships will not last forever.

Another amazing tweet. Trump does put himself in the middle of this world. Why should Apple be upset? Trump hounding them?

These tweets say more about Trump and his world view. It is tempting to go along with this. It gives an amount of certainty. Here is somebody who knows what the world looks like. Knows his place in it. Knows what he is thinking. Knows what is right and what is wrong.

He is wrong though. He does claim a certainty which he simply states himself. But he sees the world only from his own standpoint. Not the standpoint of all the other billions of people.

I still don’t get why people actually voted for Trump. Not that the alternative, Hilary Clinton, is that much better.

Science language
The use of English on Dutch universities, in the humanities and sciences. A Dutch philosopher and writer Maarten Doorman says the following:

‘Tegenwoordig wordt tekst in het Nederlands als minder wetenschappelijk beschouwd dan dezelfde tekst in het Engels. Dat is vreemd. De geesteswetenschappen worden elitair en marginaal wanneer Nederlandstalige artikelen en boeken niet meer mee mogen tellen. Omdat onderzoek steeds meer in een Engelstalige zogenaamde open competitie gefinancierd wordt, is het conformeren aan netwerken belangrijker geworden dan oorspronkelijke ideeën. Die worden gewantrouwd.’

These days a Dutch text is seen as less scientific than the same text in English. That is strange. The humanities are becoming elitist and marginal when Dutch articles and books no longer count. Because research is financed in an English so called open competition, conforming to networks is more important than original ideas. These are distrusted.

This summer there was a scientific program on Dutch television, the mind of the universe. Thirty scientists working in different areas were interviewed. The interviews were connected by Robbert Dijkgraaf. I did enjoy the program. With a critical eye, i have to add. In one episode Pascale Fung working on robotics was interviewed. She is working on emphatic robotic systems. I was surprised. I can see a bit of help there, yes. But i can not see the people themselves being very happy with such a helping hand.

Another article i came across is The empty brain published 18 May 2016 on

Whereas computers do store exact copies of data – copies that can persist unchanged for long periods of time, even if the power has been turned off – the brain maintains our intellect only as long as it remains alive. There is no on-off switch. Either the brain keeps functioning, or we disappear.

This article tracks the metaphors used for working of our human mind. The latest one is the computer. With its hardware and software it is a tempting description of the working of our mind.

But there are many failings in this. We humans, we sleep. We rest our bodies and our minds. We wake up. We watch the world outside us. We look around. We look left and right when we want to cross the street. We move our body. We talk. We smile. We become angry.

Computers do not do this. Computers are on or off. Computer have RAM. Computers use software.

Using the metaphor of a computer actually hinders development.

The $1.3 billion Human Brain Project launched by the European Union in 2013. Convinced by the charismatic Henry Markram that he could create a simulation of the entire human brain on a supercomputer by the year 2023, and that such a model would revolutionise the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and other disorders, EU officials funded his project with virtually no restrictions. Less than two years into it, the project turned into a ‘brain wreck’, and Markram was asked to step down.

Advertorial language
April 2017 there was upheaval about a Pepsi ad with Kendall Jenner.

The dystopian read on where brand communication is going is the awful current reality of a post-truth world, where we lie, we create alternate facts, we try to hoodwink the public with artifice, we sidle up to a couple of celebrities, and we hope that 51% of the population like it.

We are so used to the language of big company brands.

“Listerine fights bad breath.”
“Leaves dishes virtually spotless.”
“Supergloss does it with more color, more shine, more sizzle, more!”
“Ford LTD–700% quieter.”
“There’s no other mascara like it.”
“Rheingold, the natural beer.”
“Strong enough for a man but made for a woman.”
“Lips have never looked so luscious.”
“Winston tastes good like a cigarette should.”
“Special Morning–33% more nutrition.”
“The lady has taste.”
“Touch of Sweden: could your hands use a small miracle?”

These quotes show the unfinished half truths and untruths of advertising.

I’d like to buy the world a home
And furnish it with love
Grow apple trees and honey bees
And snow white turtle doves

I’d like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony
I’d like to buy the world a Coke
And keep it company
That’s the real thing

I’d like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony
I’d like to buy the world a Coke
And keep it company
That’s the real thing

I’d like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony
I’d like to buy the world a Coke
And keep it company
That’s the real thing

I’d like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony
I’d like to buy the world a Coke
And keep it company
That’s the real thing

What the world wants today
Is the real thing

What the world wants today
Is the real thing

A start
The idea for this post came in April 2017. That is when i made the draft for this post. Then i knew i wasn’t ready to write. Not yet. The past week the idea for this post did get more shape.

In this post i do go by on several articles and posts. They touched me.

I am not done yet.

Still, i feel happy. It is a start.

Published on August 11, 2017 at 6:00 by

Dark Enlightenment

A couple of months ago i came across the term Dark Enlightenment for the first time on the Dutch website I was intrigued. The post, in Dutch, is a short introduction to this movement. Another term for this movement is neoreaction or NRx. It is an antidemocratic and reactionary movement.

There are two main marks for this movement.

  • the West is in decline and democracy is a farce
  • the ‘cathedral’ of media and science needs to be broken down

Wikipedia provides a short page about the term.

Nick Land ‘s name drops often. The name Dark Enlightenment he drops in the essay The Dark Enlightenment.

To my surprise the name Richard Dawkins is mentioned in this essay. I read his book The God Delusion a couple of weeks ago. I got this book from the heritage of my deceased stepfather. Truly, i didn’t enjoy this book that much. It felt to me to be very angry, extremely argumentative in its tone. Not that i disagree with everything he writes. But, i don’t agree with everything either.

Peter Thiel said in the article The Education of a Libertarian the following:

I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible.

Truthfully, i don’t reach a conclusion here. I am born in a left wing family. I still feel like that. But my curiosity is peaked. Still, there are many sides to this movement which i don’t like at all. I don’t have a fully formed theory on our world in its current state. I still need to read the articles i linked to in this post.

This post is a link to what i have found so far. As much a reading list for myself as for you.

Published on August 4, 2017 at 6:00 by