I joined the Marines in 1992; the draft ended that year, so I was one of the last that had to go into military service. If I had stayed at school, I would have gotten an exemption, but I wanted to leave, but I also didn’t want to join the regular army. I had never really thought about joining the military, not because of some special reasons; it just didn’t seem so excited. Until then, most men in Holland had been drafted into the army for 12 months, and I had only heard stories about boredom and that it was a waste of time. Only if you got lucky could you get some kind of education out of it that is useful later in life, like medical training or getting your truck driver’s license. I don’t know how I got the idea to join the Marines, but probably because I still went to school in Rotterdam, and Rotterdam is the Marines’ spiritual home, so I guess that’s how I came in contact with it.
I moved to Rotterdam in 1991 when I was 19. My younger sister had just moved there the year before, and because we always were close together, I decided to also go to school in Rotterdam, this seemed a good idea, and it was. I grew up in a small place with 5000 people where not much happened besides all the things we could do in the forests everywhere. I remember little about that time, even when I look at the few pictures of the places we lived. I just remember that I was a good time living there; remembering a feeling is maybe easier than remembering facts. I do remember the little supermarket just outside the door that was open 24 hours a day; back then, most stores still closed at six, so this was special. I also remember the bike ride I took every day to the other side of the city, timing myself to go faster and faster. Continue reading “Day 2041, two memories.”
I looked up
and time stood still
if the sun appeared
I stretched this uncertainty
for a moment
death is hanging around
til the end
for us to admire
why do we bury or burn
The cold air and sun
no longer rise far
from the horizon
these are the days I love
when the sunlight blinds
and I have to feel
where I am going
My little bird is looking in the mirror right now. I don’t know what she is talking about, but it is a whole conversation with herself. It looks and sounds quite ridiculous from where I am sitting.
If I started talking to every person I see in the mirror, as the bird did (it stopped), I would probably be taken away slowly to a nice padded room. But then again, millions of people pep themselves up in the morning by talking to themselves, speaking loud, in front of the mirror.
But we also think. Sometimes we think, and forget from moment to moment that we are thinking; maybe that’s meandering through wordles words.
Other times we feel emotions, often strong ones intermixed with words, words that immediately get swallowed up by a new wave of feelings, feelings from forgotten corners of our mind.
You can also think in pictures like people do that never heard a spoken word. Pictures can represent words or just replace them, and I often see pictures in my memories or when I think about where it is.
And sometimes we just talk to ourselves, making plans on what to do or how to express our feelings to another in words. Sometimes it is really clear what we say, and we regret we can’t write it down standing in the shower, when water is running all over you.
The bird might think it is talking to a stranger, but we know that we talk to ourselves, and the pictures I see are mine and my emotions, well, those too.
So this is what I think, and therefore I am…really?
Are random clouds, colors and shades
from the sunset you see
not more beautiful
then the reason you see
Does beauty need a reason
You jump up and swiftly swipe your hands where you felt it crawl; a tiny, harmless spider moves away, you wonder why this made you scared. This reaction to spiders and snakes is a classic example of a fear we inherited from our ancient forefathers. It can still be helpful if you find yourself wondering in a tropical jungle, but for most humans living today, in cities and urban areas, this fear of harmless spiders and other small insects is not rational.
Evolution theory plays a significant role in why we religiously look for meaning. One of the main principles of evolution theory is the survival of the fittest. Fittest, or sometimes also called strongest, is somewhat of a mistake made by Darwin. For predators, it can be advantageous to be fit and strong, and the same goes for the gazelle, but most gazelles will probably survive because they are skittish. You could say that most animals’ best survival strategy is to run away at the first sign of danger; even the Lyon will be wise to run away once it knows of the threat a man with a gun can be. Darwin should have called his theory: survival of the scariest.
A perspective, it’s not about us humans.
Scientific theory vs. opinion.
First, something about science: there is often confusion when people read about the “theory” of evolution or the “theory” of gravity; some think it is just an idea of what these scientists have and that it is no problem to disagree with them. This is a common misconception between scientific theories and the theories we all have in our life about mundane subjects. You can have a theory of why milk was spilled on the floor or who was to blame for that car accident, but that is more an opinion you have. A scientist can have opinions, but their theories are tested by others, and till another scientist, using the scientific method1, can prove them wrong, they are treated as the truth.
Anarchy, why not?
First, something about anarchy. When most people think of anarchy, they think of lawlessness and political disorder. In the Standford Encyclopedia of philosophy1, you can read in the introduction: Anarchism is a political theory, which is skeptical of the justification of authority and power, especially political power. Anarchism is usually grounded in moral claims about the importance of individual liberty. Anarchists also offer a positive theory of human flourishing, based upon an ideal of non-coercive consensus building. Anarchism has inspired practical efforts at establishing utopian communities, radical and revolutionary political agendas, and various forms of direct action… At this moment, I am not so interested in the political side of anarchism. There are countless forms of anarchism, sometimes also called libertarianism2, and like with all political tastes, they all claim some unique knowledge on how the world should be organized based on their conception of what the world is.
the lights were moving
when I entered the tunnel
it was dark
I am still looking for a subject I can put my teeth in and write about. Today I had another idea; it cam while I was making a fancy molding. I do this on a milling machine, for these complicated moldings, you have to use several differently shaped cutters and figure out when and how to use them. It can be challenging which one to use first, and we have almost 100 different cutters, but it is not always clear if we have the one we need. Knowing this, you can do this job in different ways; you can try to figure out precisely which ones to use and in what order and make sure you have all the cutters. This takes a lot of preparation, and the end result is not guaranteed; there are almost always surprises down the road. I usually work by finding one cutter that cuts out one part of the shape I need and then look for the next cutter when I am done with the first. This is committing to a road without knowing where it leads.
I held my lid down
for so long
that the pressure almost
so I let it go
to get some fresh air
There is no God
in a heartless world
I will take your hope
so I can buy mine
says the modern nihilist
I like to listen to podcasts, some tech news, scientific news and interviews, gaming, and formula 1. Most of the podcasts I listen to come from America; this is interesting because it gives you an insight into parts of the American psyche. You get this also through movies and series, but that is more filtered and edited; podcasters, and some YouTubers, don’t play a role; it feels more real.
Democracy and Education (Read it her: https://www.gutenberg.org/files/852/852-h/852-h.htm)
by John Dewey
Chapter One: Education as a Necessity of Life
Education and Communication. So obvious, indeed, is the necessity of teaching and learning for the continued existence of a society that we may seem to be dwelling unduly on a truism. But justification is found in the fact that such emphasis is a means of getting us away from an unduly scholastic and formal notion of education. Schools are, indeed, one important method of the transmission which forms the dispositions of the immature; but it is only one means, and, compared with other agencies, a relatively superficial means. Only as we have grasped the necessity of more fundamental and persistent modes of tuition can we make sure of placing the scholastic methods in their true context. Society not only continues to exist by transmission, by communication, but it may fairly be said to exist in transmission, in communication. There is more than a verbal tie between the words common, community, and communication. Men live in a community in virtue of the things which they have in common; and
A few trapped seeds
didn’t let go
they don’t know of the ground
it is not there
a few trapped seeds
and they will
Yesterday I watched an excellent documentary about the animals you can find in Africa. I love these documentaries; it takes you away for a while. I noticed one thing, and it is not the first time; almost all the animals look approachable like you can touch them. I know the rhino is dangerous, but they don’t look all that dangerous. But if I look at the lions, and then to our cat, I know that the lion is dangerous, unapproachable, you might say. It’s something in his eyes; you know he will eat you alive if he gets the chance. It reminds me of something.
If truth was a tiny snail
it would be going nowhere
it would be easily missed
and easily killed
and you don’t know why
you have taken one home
I’ve been raised in the Netherlands, and you might know that it is a flat country. I can’t speak for all Dutch people, but I think that most of us get excited when we see hills and mountains. I still do after living between them for 15 years now here in Norway. Don’t get me wrong; we have a beautiful landscape in Holland too, but for me, hills and mountains are always associated with vacation. So, I still like this flowing landscape end I did it to this morning. At one point, somewhere halfway, I noticed a tiny snail slowly going somewhere. I took out my phone to take some pictures, the one you see at the top is one of them. After I saw this first one, I started to notice more that tried to crawl somewhere; I also saw many that were flattened by the wheels of an occasional car that drives by.
Later I took a picture with two signs telling the speed limit is 60. I wondered how fast you could drive if you didn’t want to hit these tiny snails.