See my business card for basic information about me. In this section I will tell you even more about me.
I am the most interesting human in the world. For me. Because I am the only human whose heart I can read directly.
If you perceive this as arrogant or egocentric, then I ask you to forgive me.
I am the only human I can write about without offending others. Who, if not me, is allowed to speak about myself?
I perceive speaking about myself as a form of gratefulness. Being grateful includes telling others about it. Telling others about me is one of my ways of glorifying God, who made me.
Speaking about myself requires courage. It is dangerous because others are likely to laugh about me.
I hope that speaking about myself encourages you to speak about yourself as well.
Speaking about yourself helps you to become more self-aware. Like every human I happen to have wrong images of myself. Showing my pictures to others invites my friends to correct me if I am wrong.
Blogging is writing a diary, but instead of keeping it secret, you do it in public. It is a kind of spiritual exercise: What do I want to say, knowing that anybody might read it at any moment, maybe somebody whom I really didn’t expect to read it, maybe many years later? For me it’s an interesting challenge.
Of course this hobby teaches me to think about confidentiality, copyright, privacy and other topics. As a blogger I must be careful to respect other people’s privacy.
During more than 25 years I have gathered some experience, but of course I am not a master. I never blogged with the goal of getting many followers. I blog because it helps me to digest my everyday experiences. Writing a personal blog is one of my ways to pray.
As a professional software developer I am trained in the art of using a computer as a tool for thinking about complex topics. I sometimes call it “thinking through your fingers”. It helps me because human brains actually manage quite poorly with the cognitive task of keeping in mind lists of things.
I recommend reading the book Free Culture by Lawrence Lessig. “Lawrence Lessig could be called a cultural environmentalist. One of America’s most original and influential public intellectuals, his focus is the social dimension of creativity: how creative work builds on the past and how society encourages or inhibits that building with laws and technologies.”
I love using computers as a tool for thinking. And –unlike many IT specialists, as it seems– I love humans as well.
My focus of interest is how to transfer knowledge from a human brain to a computer, and from the computer to another human brain.
I stumbled into this vocation quasi against my will. I did not choose this vocation, it chose me. My plan at the age between 16 and 20 was to become a biologist. I said “computers are nice tools for playing around, but I want to something useful”. After my failure in biology, my next plan during one year was to become a basic school teacher. I fully realized my vocation only after discovering the world of Free Software.
I believe that software should be free, and I try to avoid using non-free software as much as possible.
There is no Windows computer under my roof. My family occasionally complains about this, but I use my veto right as long as I am the main income generator. And actually they manage quite well.
I classify myself as a Christian, more precisely a Roman Catholic one. I grew up in a catholic family. The Catholics in my home town were rather open-minded than orthodox. My faith has been influenced by the spirituality of the Taizé community. After moving to Estonia I started to engage in several Lutheran church communities. I am a fan of Pope Francis who caused me to engage in the Catholic church as well.
I joined the scout movement at the age of 15, I was a cob scout leader (7-12 years old boys) for seven years, one year a leader of 15-18 yo boy scouts, and then, during a few more years, helped organizing trainings for young scout leaders.
I am no longer active in any scout group, but dare to say that the principles of the Scout Promise and Scout Law remain active in my heart. I believe that this world would be more human if there were more scouts and less people who don’t care about these principles.
“The World Movement of Scouting is in a very unique position to help the different peoples and cultures of the world find common ground from among their best traditions and beliefs. By this Scouting can help promote better world citizenship and world peace.” – Bryce Hall via scoutwiki.org
I moved from Belgium to Estonia at the age of 30. During the last twenty years I have never regretted this decision. I plan to die here (not immediately of course, but I have no plan to move back to Belgium or to some other country during my lifetime). I don’t see any need for changing my nationality. I will always remain a Belgian living abroad, I will never become an Estonian.
I feel well integrated, mostly because I am married to an Estonian. I love the Estonian people and their culture.
It took me about two years to learn the Estonian language to a satisfying level. I will never speak it without accent, though.
The politicalcompass.org website classified me as Economically rather Left and Socially moderatedly Libertarian. I believe that finding ways for global sustainable development is more important than keeping the consumer society running. If given the choice between an economic crisis and a climate catastrophe, I’d chose the former. I believe that we need some fundamental changes in the way we rule this world. Since September 2021 I am member of the social-democrat party of Estonia. I happen to talk about politics.
I believe that one cannot be Christian and at the same time refuse the idea of the Church.
More precisely, I can even imagine that the Roman Catholic has the potential of reconciling all Christians back under one institution. Though they have to change a few things before this can happen, and I don’t expect it to happen during my lifetime.
I received a more than average education in solfeggio and singing, but never consider becoming a professional.
I love to sing alone and with others. But just for fun, I don’t love to work hard for it. I am not an “academic” style singer.
But note that I say “I try”, not “I claim”. Nobody is truly honest or open-minded all the time. I happen to fail. I happen to have an illusionary image of myself. Your feedback can help me to become more honest and open-minded.
I believe that the Gospel calls us to develop an open mind and to be honest. I have communication problems with people who refuse to be open-minded. Yes, these people exist. They obviously don’t call themselves “closed-minded”, but they won’t follow me in Dare to change your mind.
Some of my friends say I am resistant to advice. Which is at least partly true.
- resistant to advice¶
A cynical compliment that actually means “who does not listen to advice from other people”. (de: beratungsresistent)
Yes, I try to do the things I believe that they need to be done. Which sometimes differs from the things that other people advise me to do.
With every incoming advice it makes sense to ask first “Who gives it? Where does it come from? How competent is this person in the current context?” This can avoid you wasting time with triaging useless information. Not everybody is competent everywhere. You recognize a tree by its fruit. Know your friends.
On the other hand this first filter shouldn’t be waterproof, it should feature holes for exceptions.
And when an advice makes it through the first filter –either because you trust its source to be reliable or because it found an exceptional entry hole–, your next important question is to ask yourself “What does it mean to me?”
See also The Daniel syndrome.
I won’t get vaccinated against Covid by my free will as long as the vaccination campaign helps greedy giants to get even more power over those who care for the poorest. I see this is a symbolic act of solidarity.
This does not mean that I refuse to trust in science as a tool for observing reality. We know that vaccination is an efficient weapon against viruses. And we know that it would be foolish to rely on vaccination as the only or most important thing we can do. And we know that vaccination fails if big parts of the population remains unvaccinated. We also know that most unvaccinated people are so because they can’t afford it. How to get out of the health crisis
I refuse the reproach that my choice is irresponsible, reckless, out of egoism or refusal to limit my liberty. By remaining unvaccinated I actually reduce my liberty, compared to those who are vaccinated. For example I cannot travel freely, I cannot eat in restaurants or enjoy social events. (Vaccination debate is not about freedom)
I also see that even Wikipedia cannot provide unbiased information because science serves those who pay for it.
I do agree –at least theoretically– with the reproach that unvaccinated people are more dangerous to their fellows (Are unvaccinated people dangerous?). But if we apply this level of simplification to traffic accidents, then a vaccinated car driver is much more dangerous to their fellows than an unvaccinated bicycle driver. Another point to consider here is that the few antivaxxers in rich countries are much less dangerous than the many people in poor countries who would agree to get vaccinated if they had the money to pay it.
See also To vaccinate or not to vaccinate?
My words can be offending or simply wrong. Every now and then, both in real life and on this website, it happens that I hurt other people or even cause harm because I lack prudence when choosing my words.
I regret when such accidents happen, but I also believe that they are accidents and not my intention. I try to to avoid them, to learn from them, to become more prudent. But I don’t plan to stop speaking. You can help me to learn by telling me when I made yet another mistake.