Day 2017, art.

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I have written about art before, I don’t know when but I remember telling that what I like about art is the building it is hanging. I like walking in these large, empty and silent rooms where I can look around without disturbing anyone. That there is art is off course a plus and I might even look a little longer if it is pleasing to the eyes or my soul.

I like to take pictures in art museums and one of my favorite things I take pictures of are the signs you see and the fire extinguishers, I frame them in such a way that when you see the picture you doubt if it is part of the exhibition or just a utility.

Day 2016, In the clouds?

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If I talk to people about life, politics and what is important for them in life the one thing that gets mentioned a lot is tolerance for each other’s views. I cannot agree more if, and I say if everybody would follow that rule.

But if I think about it more, I immediately see some problems with this ideal of respecting each other’s way of life. It is the wet dream of all the libertarians in the world off course, a society of loving egoists but we all live in some kind of group. At work you live in a small group where you might have a lot of freedom, but the workplace expects from you that you follow certain rules like safety instructions and the expectance that you deliver some sort of work or added value for the money you get paid. You cannot go to work and expect your boss to respect your personal opinion that following safety rules is wrong, your boss can’t be tolerance towards you, he can at most tolerate that you want to work unsafe in your own time.

Day 2015, Random.

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Last week I decided to start reading Charles Darwin’s book “on the origin of species”. I had this book already in my possession for a couple of years, a side note: I am bad in saving money but what I do every now and then is buy some expensive books if I have money over, this way I have something valuable to read for the leaner times. I think that most people know something about Darwin’s theories, I have read several books about him and the theory of evolution so it’s not new for me. The reason that I read this old book now, is the same for whenever I read books from the nineteenth century, you get a look into that time and the world those writers lived in, the nineteenth century is great. If you like, you should go to this site: here you find old scientific American magazines. They invented most of the things in the nineteenth century we now take for granted, the only difference is that they where still really clumsy and often only worked in theory. Imagine the difference between 1900 and 2021, it is big but most of what we have now was already imagined in 1900. Now think of the difference between 1900 and 1800 (or even better, “the long nineteenth century” from the French revolution in 1789 til the first world war in 1914), that is a much larger difference, in 1800 they still live more or less like the Romans did 1600 years before them…ok I exaggerate a little but the 19th century was the one century where everything changed including the way we looked at ourselves.

Day 2014, progress.

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Yesterday I wrote about Covid deniers and how baseless their arguments are specially compared to the research that has been done for many years towards understanding these kinds of deceases. The people that have a hard time believing in what science has to say are often also negative about the progress we have made as humans.

The humans that lived 200.000 years ago where more or less like us in capabilities, if you put modern clothes on them and teach them English for instance you wouldn’t see a difference. Why is it important to know this you might wonder? It is important to know because most modern cultures look at the people that still live as hunter gatherers in remote places as primitive and backwards. But these people are exactly like us, the biggest difference is that they are raised in a totally different environment than ours. But they also have ambitions, fall in love, some like adventure others like to learn like we, people that live in cities. The biggest difference between the hunter gatherers from 200.000 years ago, and in a lesser amount, the “modern” hunter gatherers, is that they live(d) more in fear than we do.

Day 2013, research.

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I like to discuss endlessly; I think because truth is hard to get and when someone claims to have it (including myself) I will question it. Most of the time it stays civilized but I am sure that a lot of people avoid me if they can. These people I helped when I moved to Norway where I discovered another benefit of moving to a country where you can only speak the language like a child who’s 6 years old.  Discussing with the vocabulary of a 6-year-old is not easy so besides discussing that I got less candy than the others I stayed away from discussing more difficult subjects.

Day 2012, cold war.

Daily picture, Poetry

I don’t like to write about politics though I did it a lot when Trump was president, he was a special case, to put it mildly. But now politics in the world is back to “normal” I had some hope that I could forget about it again, at least on this blog. But last week I got really disappointed in president Biden, not that I had high hopes on many issues but maybe he would be less of a…I don’t know. He more or less ended one war and immediately starts provoking China out of some idea that China is dangerous and banging on your chest is the only solution to stop them. I know that international politics is complicated with thousands of moving parts but once again a group of privileged, (middle)-aged man decide the direction the world goes. I understand that a captain of a ship can not steer the boat democratically but a nation is not a ship and should not be treated like one.

Day 2008, bad design.

Daily picture, Poetry

I sometimes wonder

why nature chooses one place

and one time

to let it all happen


it was so quiet before

and I know it will be


I don’t know if you have that feeling, that feeling that it is all going well. It its going well for a while now but something should happen, things always happened in the past and its overdue. Where is that unexpected bill or that fight with a friend.

I thought about this because I got a strange association when I saw the picture from today, why is all that important stuff concentrated on the top, on the top of a really thin stem. Seems like an odd choice of nature. It looks like it all happens in one place and nothing below.

Why is our brain concentrated in one place, where one hit can end it for you? Why don’t’ we have redundant organs spread out trough the body, these organs lay dormant and kick in when the other kicks out, nice and fresh. Why one heart end not four smaller ones. Why are the most important things in our life concentrated in one place or happen at once and not spread out?

Day 2007, river.

Daily picture, Poetry

I was standing on top of the world

I though

but for some reason

I felt a strong urge

to climb down again

Heraclitus said 2500 years ago that things are always changing and opposites are…well, not really opposites from each other. Philosophers through the ages have always been good in coming up with the phrases that encapsulate there philosophy, they think they are really clever but the layman will not understand the full depth and others philosophers think they do.

That things are always changing sound pretty obvious and even if you never philosophies about life, it would not be hard to understand this idea. One of his own examples that he seems2 to give is that of a river that is never the same river. It is not only the water that flows through the river that changes constantly but even the simple act of you standing in the river and leaving footprints when you leave is a change. But why would you care about this simply example, your life will not become any better when you know this you might think and you might be right. Maybe you only need to know the things that you think you know, and dismiss the rest.

Day 2006, harvest.

Daily picture, Poetry

I see now

that when I line it all up

and let it grow

it is easier to harvest

Today I helped my landlord harvest the last potatoes, she used a 50- or 60-year-old machine for this and that was a big help but it is still all hands on deck. Ever since we started living on a farm, I get more and more appreciation for the work of a farmer. This is off course a small farm, she runs it besides another job but she still feeds many people that appreciate food from local ground and not produced on large industrial farms. She also has a few cows and chickens; it is all kind of idealistic and certainly not a solution to feed cities but what is.

I should know some of the answers because I come from the Netherlands where efficient farming is something “we” do for hundreds of years and we export more than far larger countries, only the USA exports more but is also 237 times larger. We invented all kinds of machines and robots in the Netherlands that take away a lot of manual labor and we make excellent use of the fertile ground. There are also downsides and many people think we should produce less to lessen the effects this all has on the environment.

For me food is something you get in a grocery store but doing part of the work myself now makes me think more about the whole process, I want to know more.  

Day 2005, How to measure.

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Yesterday I attended the second day of an online Nietzsche conference. It was interesting and it also reminded me of the first time I was at one of these conferences in person. People that read my blog know that I am interested in philosophy in general and Nietzsche in specific but you also know that I work as a boat builder and carpenter and that I don’t live the life of a scholar. The thing that amazed me the first time, and what I remembered yesterday was that they talk about Nietzsche and his work like I do about nails and wood when I am around my work colleagues. Yesterday morning I was discussing the age of the beams we were replacing of an old train station and how we would proceed, later that day I listen to scholars presenting and discussing why this and that part of book x is in contradiction with such and such chapter in book Y. It’s just something I notice and amazes me that no matter what there will always be discussion at work, it makes me wonder if this interaction is more important than the content discussed.