I like to rebuild ICT applications. Looking at a component of such an application and how its pieces fit together. Making a mental model of how it works, of what its responsibilities are today. Welcoming intuitions about how its structure can be more simple and clear, more consistent, easier to maintain and extend.

Patiently gathering facts and impressions,
letting in knowledge and experience from all over the world,
sensing possibilities and following intuition,
until the solution unfolds,
while trusting and with calm determination.

Recently, somebody stabbed Salman Rushdie multiple times with a knife, an intentional act to hurt a specific person. Reading in the newspaper about this act brought up pain in me, I felt hurt by the content of that article. 

A month ago, I sat across somebody in the metro, who was wearing a T-shirt with the text ‘no need to check, I’m right’. Last week, a friend of mine said ‘run away from those that (claim to have) found the truth, follow those that seek it’. Both statements touch me, and after some more pondering I ask myself whether perhaps there is a third possibility, something like ‘those who state there is no (absolute) truth’…

When I look at the current world-wide issues, I observe that we globally have not taken the step yet to transcend the interests of our own groups towards the level of humanity. Companies, ideologies and countries are still staying on a local or isolated level, primarily favouring the interests of limited influence groups around a few central people, and at the same time neglecting the well-being of the greater whole. And many of these groups are stuck in an us/them mentality with respect to other groups, so, as a result, our humanity is kept divided, and we suffer worldwide from the actions of sometimes powerful local autocrats.

I just bought the single by Pink Floyd featuring Andriy Khlyvnyuk and listened to it multiple times. Tears are running over my face.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, I feel insignificant. All of a sudden, I realise how quickly my life can be erased. Like it has disappeared already for many a citizen or soldier in that region, in case of a bigger escalation, that might happen as well here where I live, in the capital city of the EU and the NATO.

A few days ago, somebody wrote “war is a failure of humanity”. That statement ruffles my feathers. It tries to escape reality, by projecting an act chosen by a few people, and executed by many more, onto an abstract notion. A mass noun like humanity can’t fail, it can only be. Individuals and groups decide to take actions, they are responsible for their deeds, and they implicitly choose to live with the consequences.

I believe statements and models based on verifiable facts, or which have been derived from those through the scientific method, and that explain and predict reality closely and accurately. I don’t believe statements and models that make predictions about complex systems, like the behaviour of people in our society, unless if they have been accurate consistently and repeatedly.

Mid September, I read a post on social media about an undisclosed nurse in an unnamed hospital, probably somewhere in the province of Antwerp, stating that on intensive care, 75% of the COVID-19 patients were vaccinated, and 25% not. And that this would be similar in another unnamed hospital nearby. And that the writer could not imagine that this would not be the same everywhere.

The first attitude of research is to immerse myself in my subject. To gather all information that I can get about it, and take that in, without necessarily already structuring that. To open myself, as much as possible, to that subject, and to anything that is closely or remotely related to it. To let myself being drawn to it, with curiosity, interest, appetite. Without these qualities, I won’t learn much about my subject, I will only be able to talk superficially about it when others do, without any insight or deep appreciation.

I want to take care of myself, to give my body the best chances to suffer the least harm possible when it will come in contact with the virus. I have enough of realism in me to not get carried away by the illusion that I can escape this virus forever, or by the expectation that my body will be able to weather that contact without issues.