Tuesday, 26 October 2010

The Club

I was told on several occasions in the recent past that I could not do certain things because I was not a member of a certain club.

You see...
I have many ambitions in life, but becoming a member of a club has never been high on the list.
It’s because you usually have to do stuff to become a member...

Pay money...
Believe in holy scripture or some other form of fairy tale...

Usually both.
My goddess Aergia forbids me to do stuff anyway.

There are also clubs that do not really require you to invest money or faith, but that require a sequence of certain rites to be performed, preferably ancient ones. Those clubs are the most difficult to become a member of. Not because those rites are impossible to perform, but because the members who have gone through the ordeal of becoming a member, want something in return...

Membership exclusivity and all the power of authority that comes along with that.

That’s all fine... roll through the mud if you must, learn those secret handshakes (don’t forget to wash). Just don’t tell me I cannot do certain things ignoring the quality of those things, just because I am not a member of your club. I have a complementary secret salute to your handshake for you to learn.

So I did, what most people apparently do in such a situation, I started a new club.

Anyone can join
Anyone can start their own

Membership is automatic on attendance

The only requirement is that you have to be prepared put your ideas through some rigorous and ruthless testing. To see what they are worth.

We especially like big and wild ideas

Check it out!









Sunday, 26 September 2010

What’s in the Box?

Big clean up, we’re selling the house!

So I had to come up with a way to deal with the cable issue.

You know... cables...
Cables everywhere!
I seem to collect them
Or use them whenever possible
I think there even may be cables attached to my brain
Or my bio-port
Which, I must point out,
Isn’t really that different

So we thought about buying this IKEA thing

But if you want that thing you need to go to a reeeeeaally large IKEA in Utrecht.
“Sorry to have made you go all the way through our modestly large IKEA and spend hours looking for something that is not stored here, but judging from all the things you bought you didn’t really need we think it is an afternoon well spent.”
“No we don’t deliver.”

Well and then today the MacGyver thing happened again...

Yes I also drilled some ventilation holes, it is quite large actually.

Of course, after that I had to get rid of all the cables :)

By the way, Tim Smit, that guy from “What’s in the box?” has made a video clip for daybroke.

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Friday, 17 September 2010


A beginning is the time for taking the most delicate care that the balances are correct.

- Fom Manual of Muad’Dib by Prinses Irulan

Ok, so it turned out I had some settings wrong in InDesign. Haven’t got the time to tweak it all now, but here are some tastes... just the first page spread.

[still so impressed by Peter Gabriel I will reflect on it later, oh wow!]

First chapter is done

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Thursday, 16 September 2010

day 13: The Void

Tomorrow is the last day and I’ll post a draft of the introductory chapter...

Here’s a concept for the cover I made this evening. While writing the introduction I was looking for a good example to explain that the questions you can ask of reality depend on what you believe to exist in reality. The four elements and the four humours are always a good example, but you can read about that later.

The interesting thing is of course that there are five elements in almost all cultures. The Chinese have: wood, fire, earth, metal, water. The Japanese: air/wind, fire, earth, water and void. Pagan: air, water, fire, earth and spirit/soul. The Greek had Æther as the 5th element.

The question of the existence of Æther has been an important subject in physics for a very long time. In short: when something moves in the univers, it has to move relative to something, and this is the Æther. Einstein's theory of relativity appeared to have made the final point against the existence of Æther. Well not quite, because in 1951 the brilliant Paul Dirac who is one of the fathers of modern quantum mechanics publisheda paper in Nature called: “It there an Æther?” in which he suggests there might actually be such a thing!

Ok, I think this it is safe to say it is not a concept, but the real thing, what do you think?

Thank god for the web!
I found a quote by Henry Poincaré from the days before 1905, before Einstein's publication on special relativity. He describes the position I think is necessary to advance science, be aware that any theory and ontology is just a means to an end: Trying to understand phenomena. If it turns out you were wrong, well, then you were wrong! What remains however will always be some useful insights, some lawful behaviour or first principles that may be integrated into a new theory or ontology.

Here is the quote from the 1905 translation (out of French from 1889):

Whether the ether
exists or not matters little – let us leave that to
the metaphysicians; what is essential for us is, that
everything happens as if it existed, and that this
hypothesis is found to be suitable
for the explanation of phenomena.”

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day 12: Origins #2 – Lost Archetypes, Fading Shamans and Unfinished Labyrinths

Part #2

Chilly Interlude

After that we changed our name to Chill.

Musically the best period.
All jammed, improvised and structured in the moment.
Sentient Chaos and Random Order indeed!

But no more additions to the Confessions trilogy.

Koen had already moved to SF.
Bjorn to LA, but you know that already.
Michiel to Joop van de Ende.

The 01/03 - Unsolved Labyrinth - version

Then Auracle happened...

Which was Mythica at first, but Epica beat us to it and so we came up with a way cooler name. They were Fortuyn-enthusiasts from Limburg, at least some of them were and probably voted Wilders in the last election, so who cares what they have to say. Write about the wise and rich Islamic culture for a change ;-) I was also enthusiastic about Fortuyn as a debater and would have loved to see him shake hands with Bush, but would never have voted for him and really wish he were here right now instead of the new guy.

And Joris created the best version of confessions yet. The lyrics which now also included part of “All in a day’s Dream” and stage two as well were changed a bit to accommodate the new music.

Eventually ex-Scrythe/Chill drummer and good friend and the one who’s girlfriend’s brother Hank.... well you know that story, Marco joined the band.
He lives in Norway now.

Amazing... when I type in “Confessions of a Demi-God” in google you get to the strangest pages. With Torrents, Rapidshare links, wow! I love it. Very good reviews as well (90/100), also of the follow up (88/100). Even to pages with full info on our demo’s that I don’t even posses anymore (certainly forgot about all the details like the year):

Mythica - Confessions of a Demi-God (2003) - Rating: 9.4 / 10
Auracle - Crystal Lies (2005) - Rating - 9.6 / 10

It says in Spanish: “Here I present you another band, they only have two demos. How I would love it if they would make an album... If you want to hear a very beautiful song by them (which is not encountered on the demos) go here... Enjoy :)” It links to a dead youtube vid.

Yes, we had a fully recorded album, just some vocals missing. It sort of disintegrated as bands so often do.

I don’t really care whether I should or shouldn’t, here’s a snapshot of something that could have been popular at least in some spanish and german speaking countries :)

[caption id="attachment_325" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Auracle"]Auracle[/caption]

[audio:Confessions of a Demi-God.mp3]

Oh, right, for those of you who didn’t know...

I traded my guitar for bass-hide.

Better match.

So, press play and read.
Great performance!

Confessions of a Demi-God

And of all the voices I had ever heard,

this voice was the softest,
the deepest and the most frightening one. Then he took a piece of my brain
and as he slowly merged
with the dark surroundings
he said: "You won't be needing this." Overt and blurred
The race for time begins now!
Naked and hurt
I breathe life! Silent, unstirred
The virgin universe cries
Forced to compel
Infinity! -
Systems within systems
So relieved to have found the shores of reason
The burning dream I left behind
A testimony to my treason
- Wild guesses, my new vessels
Across the planes of panic
Beware of the two-faced trespassers
Their touch will leave you frantic The attempted blend with reality
Left me blind to the light of relativity
Crippled, in a way, I seek my refuge
To keep me from collapsing in continuity Systems within systems
I release the firm hold
And dive into a free-fall
Of distance through cold Reach for my land
Intangible leash
Can’t be set free! Somewhere between stimulus and response Tempt me all you like There is just one way Out of this apocalypse Strife drowns my pride Forget
The will to crave [new “lyrics”] I can see you
I can hear you
I can feel you

[formerly known as: stage two with lots of new stuff] So I was wrong to believe in the absence of structure,
never claimed to be a soulless one,
I found that chaos speaks to us through order, Mastering the flow of reality
Blinded by the light of causality
In a way
I saw my fate re-designed and of all the places I had ever searched,
this place was the strangest,
the gravest and most mysterious one This is the evil playground,
the factory of lies,
built in the city
where truth was born. Overt and blurred
The race for time begins now!
Naked and hurt
I breathe life! Silent, unstirred
The virgin universe cries
Forced to compel
Infinity! Oh no!
Not again,
Not now
Recounting my years in captivity,
Twenty-one and some,
A raid of ego to bind the last to the least,
The anguish arrives!
Here it comes!


From Lost to Last

My guess is that the Spanish he or she is talking about the “Last Avatar” video recorded at the Mezz, which happens to be the last song lyric I wrote about 4-6 years ago. And ehh, I can’t find it. Don’t have a digital version. The lyrics actually reflect most of what I would have liked stage: free to be. Oh well.

I found some other, ancient scribblings for that part however:

Confusions of a semi-God

Stage: Free

The Lost Archetype

i - East, West, where’s my Quest?

Walking the path of virtue with no concern for the truth,
I roam the eastern hemisphere in search of a long lost (hidden) youth.
Trying to forget analysis, without losing sight for facts,
I crave for western atmosphere on the verge of an ancient arcane act.

ii - The Void (Reductio ad infinitum)

I am here, the space between matter,
I realise what I found and relapse in confusion,
So I was wrong to believe in the absence of structure

Like coincidence, it is in the mind,
It’s here, even inside this void,
A hint of evolution?
Or a fragment of infinity?
Or maybe it's just me.......

iii - The Lost Archetype (Reductio ad absurdum)

To wonder "What if?", a waste of precious time,
And time is still my cage
Forever trapped inside it's invisible walls
I am a prisoner in uproar

My futile conquest of relativity
Had reduced me to an absurdity
Strengthened in a way, mind and body aligned
I saw my fate redesigned

iv - The Master will be proud (Or: Can I have that piece of brain back now?)

I was reborn from the ashes of deceit,
Hope was regrown in the gardens of sleep.
As for you, the ghost of agonies' past,
I will exorcize you, and you will not be the last.

I think parts of this have been used for the most amazing never performed or finished Auracle song called “Perpetual Requiem”

Maybe it’s not a coincidence I stopped writing lyrics after Auracle.
Back to making music...

With Hoer, Xtort and as Mr. Botak

Very nice but... not live enough for me

Now I met these two guys who have their controls set for the centre of the galaxy where the supermassive black holes reside

We are not bothered by any ambition or neatly polished songstructures

Here’s a few tastes, it’s all improv.... jamming again you know, you know mon?
ya’man... 2 mics and 1-take and 1-track mono recordings this time




[gallery exclude="367,385" columns="4"]

“Hey, en als je hem kent mag je meezingen he!”

[audio:Auracle live @ popei 07 - Confessions of a demi god-6.mov]

Auracle @ POPei
Some links:




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Tuesday, 14 September 2010

day 11: Origins #1 - Lost Archetypes, Fading Shamans and Unfinished Labyrinths

[caption id="attachment_332" align="alignnone" width="427" caption="Masters of the Labyrinth - Lyrics"]Masters of the Labyrinth - Lyrics[/caption]

Apparently this was too much for slow connections in combination with slow iDisk servers, so I split it in two.

Part #1

A long time ago in a Netherlands far, far away...
Before I knew anything about things that look random but are not
Before I knew anything about branes, brains and automatons
Before I knew about Musashi, Lao Tse, Gödel, Escher and Bach
Before I knew about structure and systems

I wrote Confessions of a Demi-God, a song lyric

Well... “wrote” is not really the correct tense here, maybe “started to write” is better.
I didn’t write it as one piece, not in one go, but it was always meant to be a trilogy in three stages:

Confessions of a Demi-God stage one: Random Order
Confessions of a Demi-God stage two: Sentient Chaos
Confusions of a Semi-God stage free: The Lost Archetype

Always a part of it and appearing as a piece of prose was All in a Day’s Dream: An epilogical prologue

Over the years it emerged from high-school scribblings between homework assignments into an epic that has been (partially) set to music three times now by different musicians...

The 92/94 - Lost Archetype - version
The 97/99 - Fading Shaman - version
The 01/03 - Unsolved Labyrinth - version

Over the course of the years lyrics have been added, removed, changed and reintroduced again.

The 92/94 - Lost Archetype - version

The second stage was actually performed and recorded first chronologically, in the period of 1992-1994. Back then we changed our high-school band name from Nightcrowd to Scrythe (yeah, I know), as we changed our musical direction and dropped some personnel. We made a demo tape on a 4-track recorder (yes youngsters, that’s what people did in the old days)! Incidentally, Hank Heijink the owner of the 4-track, whom I didn’t know very well at the time, was the brother of the girlfriend of our drummer Marco, became my colleague at the Radboud University many years later as he got his PhD in cognitive (music) psychology @ the Music, Mind Machine Lab, after his masters degree in computer science and after he finished the Brabant Conservatory in Classical Guitar, only to continue after his PhD to get a degree in Lute and Theorbo at the famous Royal Conservatory in The Hague. Apparently he’s also writing iPhone apps now, in NY. I just knew his reputation as an extremely talented drummer and percussionist in 1992.

Oh, how people can change...

But I digress, back to the trilogy that never was:

Here is a part of the booklet (click the image to download the entire thing). All in a day’s dream is already there as prose to fill the booklet. In the last column it says: Not included but definitely part of the story... Those songs did not exist as music back then.

[caption id="attachment_334" align="alignnone" width="720" caption="Masters of the Labyrinth Booklet"]Masters of the Labyrinth Booklet[/caption]

Now about Hank’s 4-track, we did not have anything else. Just some cheap mics. The noise you hear (especially in the beginning as I play the harmonics with delay, is also because of the effects unit I had at the time for my guitar: a cheap Zoom that the entire band called zoem (hum). The distortion was of course worse than the delay as you can hear. So we used all four tracks to record the music, then down-mixed some tracks to create room for vocals... we just didn’t have a vocalist.

So I did it, in a room the mother of our bassplayer (and my neighbour) Bjorn used to cut people’s hair in. With a mic that didn’t even have a detachable cable, or an XLR plug. I don’t even remember if I had headphones....

[audio: 05 Scrythe - side b - 05 - Confessions.mp3]

Yeah it sounds terrible and so do I, but the music is still pretty ahead of its time :)

Bjorn came up with the the term Lost Archetype by the way. In a phone conversation about band names I had suggested Lost Horizon and Ancient Archetype, a simple contraction did the trick. He is the best bass player I know, I mean listen to the bass slap breaks in this song, we were 18 for God’s sake. I have NO idea how to do that. He lives in LA now.

The Lyrics to stage two at the time were as follows, maybe you should read them as the music plays:

Confessions of a Demi-God
Stage: Two

-- Sentient Chaos --

So I was wrong to believe in the absence of structure,
But I never claimed to be a soulless one,
I found that chaos speaks to us through order,
Controlling the flow of reality itself.

This is the evil playground,
Where we witness the creation of our own damnation.
This is the factory of lies,
We built in the city where truth was born.

Oh no!
Not again,
Not now.
Recounting my years in captivity,
Twenty-one and some,
A raid of ego to bind the last to the least,
The anguish arrives!
Here it comes!

The really funny funny, strange, weird -I don’t know- thing about this text is that it makes a LOT of sense to me now. I can’t imagine what I meant by it back then when I was 21. That’s actually the age I first started drinking beer. Well... there you go

The 97/99 - Fading Shaman - version

Then some years later (1997/1998) and some personnel changes later we did some proper recordings, this time of stage one and we asked my brother to sing (he added some cool lines too!). Below are the lyrics, read them as you listen. The three song demo (on CD this time!) was called “All in a Day’s Dream” and of course again featured All in a day’s dream as prose in the booklet.

About a year after the release, I met the people of Entheon in Nijmegen who translated and published Terence McKenna’s “Food of the Gods” in Dutch. We cooperated for a certain underground movement, on some stuff... that... well... eh... is not for this blog right now.

Anyway... When the translator read All in a day’s dream and Confessions stage one, she said: “Wow can I send this to Terrence? He’ll love it!” ... uhh ... hey well who am I to refuse such a great mind? Well, it turned out he had just been diagnosed with brain cancer, or glioblastoma multiforme. I am not sure he actually read it, because this thing is so aggressive he died a few months later. Since then, the subtitle in my mind has been:

For Novelty, whenever I may find her. Well, perhaps in two years :)

Ok, so here it is, in honour of a great shaman:

All in a Day's Dream
An Epilogical Prologue

The Master of the Labyrinth sighed as he knelt beside me. I saw his eyes focus on my naked brain and I guessed he was examining it for abnormalities. He then spoke to me:

"Foolish young creature, your quest continues. I will share with you the Truths you must pursue, for they are One and they are All. First, analyse the manifestations of Order, then delve for the powers of Chaos. When you are still in possession of your life after having done these things, you must begin the search for the Lost Archetype. Be everywhere, investigate nowhere."

And of all the voices I had ever heard, from the roaring of the pit-demons to the angelic high whispers of the air-spirits, this voice was the softest, the deepest and the most frightening one. Then he took a piece of my brain and as he slowly merged with the dark surroundings he said:

"You won't be needing this."


Confessions of a Demi-God
Stage: One

-- Random Order --


Overt and blurred
The race for time begins (now!)
Naked and hurt
I breathe life!

Silent, unstirred
The virgin universe cries
Forced to compel


Systems within systems
So relieved to have reached the shores of reason
The burning dreams I left behind
A testimony of my treason
Wild guesses, my new vessels
Across the planes of panic
Beware of the two-faced trespassers
Their touch will leave you frantic

The attempted blend with reality
Left me blind to the light of relativity
Crippled, in a way, I seek my refuge
To keep me from collapsing in insanity

Systems within systems
While I release the firm hold
And dive into a free-fall
Of distance through cold

Overt and blurred
The race for time begins (now!)
Naked and hurt
I breathe life!

Silent, unstirred
The virgin universe cries
Forced to compel


Crystalline dreams
Lost in my world
Blessed and deceived
Losing the race!
Violent minds
Reach for my land
Intangible leash
Can’t be set free!

Somewhere between stimulus and response


Tempt me all you like
There is just one way
Out of this apocalypse
Strife drowns my pride
Self preservation
Must delete itself
Prison deep within
Guarded by hauntings
Who appear to be
Mere fragments of me

"Lie not", they tell me
And with lies they hold me

The will to crave

<As far as I can remember the underlined words were added by my brother>

I used to have a website called Purple Brain Recordings whose index page looked like this:

[caption id="attachment_324" align="alignnone" width="380" caption="Purple Brain Recordings"]Purple Brain[/caption]

L.A.P stood for Lost Archetype Productions

Monday, 13 September 2010

day 10: She’s Back!

[caption id="attachment_311" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="She's back!"]She's back![/caption]

What is so butter about these flies anyway?

Follow the link by clicking the picture, wait for the applet to load and hit the start button on the page. Now the applet window pops up. Fill in the applet as shown (just the dX0 box), hit Reset and then Start, speed it up by moving the slider.

This is the butterfly attractor of the Lorenz system for two different initial conditions. The amount by which the initial conditions differ is in this case 0.0001, what you filled in at dX0, but you can make it even smaller: 0.0000000001

[caption id="attachment_312" align="alignnone" width="407" caption="Lorenz attractor applet"]Lorenz attractor applet[/caption]

After a while the trajectories start to diverge. At some point both trajectories predict the complete opposite atmospheric conditions. Each coordinate (x,y,z) corresponds to a state of the atmosphere and hence the weather. Imagine that the left wing represents predominantly sunny weather, the right wing could be a nasty hurricane and this difference is “caused” by the very small difference in initial conditions at dX0. It could represent a sneezing butterfly, so small. At least the speech was a storm in glass of water at the other side of the globe.

Must have been my Grog.

It’s apparently a difficult question, about the flying butter.

Chaos is much easier.

Huhuh... He said: “that which gapes wide open, is vast and empty”



Gape-Gaap-Looks random, but probably is not...

day 8-9: Here Come the Salsa Robots

[caption id="attachment_307" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Señor Coconut"]Señor Coconut[/caption]

I was on a break for the weekend
Went to a great party
Heard some great stories
Some ugly ones too

Hey, I may have told some as well

But we danced to Señor Coconut y Su Conjunto’s interpretation of Kraftwerk’s “The Robots”

El Baile Aleman means: “The German Dance”
They cover a lot of Kraftwerk songs on this one
Salsa version of course... so Sheik Yerbouti!

I don't know much about dancin' [..]
One of my legs is shorter than the other
'N both my feet's too long
'Course now right along with 'em
I got no natural rhythm

Interesting, I don't know if it is true but:
Romance languages call anything German: Al(l)eman (add some diacritics depending on the language), so do the Turks and in fact all arabic languages. In English it’s: German, in Baltic languages and Finnish it’s: Saksa, in Dutch and other Germanic languages, it’s, Deutsch / Duits / Dutsk (Frisian) / Tusk (Norwegian, Swedish), etc.

Now, in the days of the Roman Empire, there were the provinces of Germania (Inferior and Superior). So why did this turn into Allemania for all of southern Europe? The Allemannen were a Germanic tribe. They were pretty annoying for the Romans and eventually stopped the progress of the Roman Empire and conquered the Germanic provinces. So the Romans in a way were “defeated” by the Allemannen and so you name that country after that tribe, logical. For the Baltics this also holds becuse the Saxons, that other Germanic tribe were the bad guys. The Roman province of Britannia, after the fall of the Empire, was conquered by yet some other Germanic tribes (the Angles and the Saxons, hence Anglo-Saxon). So you name your language after the ones who “defeat” you.

Now, France was conquered by the Franks, yet, yet another Germanic tribe. Those guys lived in the lower Rhine delta and around the “Zuyder Zee”, yep the Dutch and Flemish... (Not the Frisians, they held their own territory for a while and had some influence on the English language later on). The Franks went on to become the Merovingian Dynasty, but that is another story that centers around the French region of Orange and the date of the 30th of April (or is it just a coincidence this date is our Koninginnedag?).

So the Franken, Allemannen and Angles and Saxons all spoke kind of the same language. It was called the language of the people and “diutisc” means “of the people” (zum Volk gehörig) in althochdeutsch. Very consistent people, Volkswagen expresses the same idea. But also, Alle Mannen of course means All Men. And then some monks fled to the New World and that’s why the language “Nederlands” is “Dutch” in English (Could this be one of the first American English influences on British English?).

But I digress, back to the robots.

Sometimes you read a scientific paper that really stuns, amazes, infuriates, or inspires you...
Sometimes you read a paper that appears to have been sent backwards in time from a distant future...

After I first came across this paper I immediately integrated it into a course I taught (now cancelled due to budget cuts), in which I predicted that soon engineers and technicians would know more about human development, human cognition, human emotion and well, basically everything psychology claims to study than psychologists would.

The reason: engineers and roboticists have long abandoned the idea that the human brain is something like a machine of the computer kind. So have I, so have philosophers of cognitive science, so have the ecological psychologists, but not mainstream psychology, behavioural science or cognitive science. Even the past proponents of the information processing approach admit it was a mistake to think that just increasing computation speed and storage of information would eventually lead to artificial intelligence. It does not, and if it ever will, it will not be an intelligence we will recognize as such.

I used to play a really cool roleplaying game hosted by my brother when I was young called TORG: the possibility wars. Situated in the Near Now, the background was that there were different Cosms or realities invading the Earth to obtain something called possibility energy. If successful they would impose their Axioms and Cosm Laws upon Earth’s reality, or Core Earth (f.i. Magic is possible). North America turned into The Living Lands (stone-age with dinosaurs), South-East Asia into Orrorsh (Horror genre), Egypt into The Nile Empire (Superhero / 1930s pulp genre), France into the Cyberpapacy (Cyber Punk genre), Great Britain / Scandinavia into Aysle (Fantasy genre) and more... Very noticeable changes for the inhabitants of those regions of course. Except for one region: Japan. Japan was invaded by the Nippon Tech cosm (Japanese SF genre). To the Japanese it just seemed that technological advances were happening more quickly than in the rest of the world. Nothing special.

Well, there may be some truth to that... just watch the video below:

The cool thing is: These roboticists build their robots based on the theories of J.J. Gibson’s ecological psychology and direct perception and affordances, on embodied embedded cognition and on a view of development from a the perspective of Complexity Science (i.e. dynamics of complex systems), all stuff that is NOT, I repeat NOT being taught at schools of psychology. I tried.

What is important to remember is that there is no “pre-programming” of movements. They are all “learned” through perception and action. They even have simulations of fetal and movements in the womb and neonatal movements after birth, where they observe “self-touching” behaviour and very eerie realistic “uncontrolled” goal directed behaviour emerge from out of nowhere. The main reason why I think they are successful is that it is scary! It looks like there is someone inside that suit! Well, there isn’t and what it actually does in terms of movements is not pre-programmed as an algorithm but has developed... much like this cockroach robot that doesn’t have a brain at all (ok a two neuron brain).

On the site of the Asada Project we can read a clear vision of what future research should focus on:

“The 21st century is known as the "Century of the Brain" and will be an era of robot habitation with humans [...] It is important for life sciences in the 21st century to regard the brain as a complete system, and to clarify how brains realize function through interactions with the external world based on its dynamics.”

That is exactly what I (want to) do!
It is kind of sad though, that this was also exactly what many great minds since the 60s have wanted to do, but never got the chance and were and are even now ridiculed or just ignored for proposing such ideas...

Well, guess again,

the Near Now... is Now

I’m sure they will eventually be able to Salsa-dance as well

Saturday, 11 September 2010

day 7: New Blood vs. Rael - A continuous Sunshine in my Stomach

[caption id="attachment_303" align="alignnone" width="800" caption="Peter Gabriel"]Peter Gabriel[/caption]

I’ve got tickets!

for the voice of Brittain before the Daily Express, that is

17th of september, Gelredome, he’s bringing a symphony orchestra

Thank god it’s getting better in my wardrobe
I’ve kicked out the colony of slippermen residing there

Peter Gabriel discography (studio albums as a solo artist)...

scratch my back
The first four albums are untitled...
I guess they aren’t called albums, but projects...
he aslo did some other stuff in between and before...
Anyway (nice effort)...

The last project consists of “just” covers with new arrangements, played by a Symphony Orchestra:
1. "Heroes"  - David Bowie
2. "The Boy in the Bubble"  - Paul Simon
3. "Mirrorball"  - Elbow
4. "Flume"  - Bon Iver
5. "Listening Wind"  - Talking Heads (David Byrne)
6. "The Power of the Heart"  - Lou Reed
7. "My Body Is a Cage"  - Arcade Fire
8. "The Book of Love"  - The Magnetic Fields
9. "I Think It's Going to Rain Today"  - Randy Newman
10. "Après moi"  - Regina Spektor
11. "Philadelphia"  - Neil Young
12. "Street Spirit (Fade Out)"  - Radiohead

It will be followed up by:
I’ll scratch yours

On which the people whose music he covered, will cover a song from him, so called: reciprocal covers
Some of them have already been released as double A-sides on Itunes

The Magnetic Fields - “Not one of us”
Bon Iver - “Come Talk To Me”
Paul Simon - “Biko”
Lou Reed - “Solsbury Hill”
Elbow - “Mercy Street”
David Byrne - “I Don’t Remember”

Well... not everyone will cover a song. Apparently Radiohead resigned from the project after they heard Gabriels recording of Street Spirit.

Guess they didn’t read this quote:

“If you’re going to reinterpret something, then really do something. Nail your colours to the mast and say: This is different, and it isn’t everybody’s cup of tea.”

I really cannot imagine that talented musicians like Radiohead would respond in such a way. It’s just internet buzz of course, but it appears they have some more cages to escape from (It’s not quite the same Phil). If I listen to the way the song The Boy In The Bubble is being discussed in the video below I would be honoured even if I hated the result. you do know I’m also a fan of lyrics right? Actually, one of my favourite lyrics is “For Emily, whenever I may find her” by Paul Simon (and Garfunkel). Also covered by other great artists: if only I could do this

Anyway (again), for someone to include songs by Bowie and Simon, Reed, Young and the Heads, but at the same time Elbow and Regina Spektor (first albums 2001) and Bon Iver (first album 2008), who the fuck are you be a critic to such a an open mind?

Oh well... I still love you Radiohead.

Oh my god! I forgot how cool David Byrne is, he covered “I don’t remember”
It’s Peter Gabriels favourite reciprocal cover

Listening Wind/ I Don't Remember by RealWorldRecords

I guess there’s a difference between “talented musicians” and “legendary artists”

Most of these covers and their returns are available on Peter Gabriels site as soundcloud streams, take a moment to check them out

it will be worth your while


heavy downpour or worth your while?


Supper’s ready


I’d rather trust a country man than a you-tuber with a cam, who can not spell (theyre all pointing), film and thinks this song is about believing in god I guess the literal interpretation of the lyrics should have been a warning.... take me away!!!

Where’s a Supernatural Anaesthetist when you need one?

Thursday, 9 September 2010

day 6: Rainy Reflections (three of them)

[caption id="attachment_297" align="alignnone" width="216" caption="I {heart} Noëlla"]I {heart} Noëlla[/caption]

Rainy weather is always good for reflection

(i) I think “heavy downpour” is now my favourite English collocation. It easily surpasses the much acclaimed “cellar door” in phonaesthetics and I am certain everyone agrees it beats “beautiful phonaesthetics” in spellaesthetics. As far as I know the word or concept of spellaesthetics does not exist. For me it is really strange there is no antonym to the “the claim or study of the inherent pleasantness or beauty (euphony) or unpleasantness (cacophony) of the sound of certain words and sentences.” Apparently there is eugraphy and cacography. They refer however to aesthetics of handwriting or funny misspellings or to semantics or images, since eugraphy may be used as an antonym to pornography. NOT to the aesthetics of the arrangement of the letters. The form, or “picture” of the letter string. To call it a painting would be too much I agree and conjures up images of calligraphy which is not what I mean: No matter what font, or which handwriting, there is a certain beauty in some letter sequences. Not just in digraphs (like ae, eu, ou,ei) and tripgraphs (like eau, sch,ieu). Beyond that. The beauty of “heavy downpour” for me lies in the following:
(a) The sequence “wnp”, which is not a trigraph, but a trigram with a low frequency of occurrence

(b) The fact that the second and the second-to-last sound are represented by a digraph: “ea” and “ou”

(c) Two letters protrude above the baseline, two below: “h-d”, “y-p”

(d) These letters are in fact each others diagonal reflection: “h-y” and “d-p”. There is a third: “u-n”

(e) o = o

(f) vy ≈ w

(g) I don’t like the r, except that “h____ _____our” is probably the reason I associate a long period of time with the downpour

(h) It’s a kind of feeling of symmetry that, if you look very carefully, still isn’t really there.

(ii) I think Feynman has swapped places with Bohr and Einstein as my favourite awe-inspiring physicist. I’m reading QED - the strange theory of light and matter. In which he explains the most successful theory about the workings of the universe ever to be produced by human minds, by talking about the reflection of light. In just 152 pages, no equations, your mum would understand it too. In Quantum Electro Dynamics (now Quantum Field Theory) the predictions of the theory and the results of measurements are in accordance down to the 8th decimal place! That’s why 20 countries invested 6 billion euros to build the Large Hadron Collider in eight years. That’s how certain they are in all the uncertainty. Apparently Feynman was also a proponent of spelling reform of English, a sensible man in all areas.

But that’s not why I think he’s awe-inspiring. Also not because he: “... was regarded as an eccentric and free spirit. He studied Maya hieroglyphs, was a prankster, juggler, safecracker, bongo drum player, painter, and even developed his own pickup artist method he tested in bars.” Nope. That’s standard for awe-inspiring people. 

This is why: He explained and understood the universe through pictures. He brought back a visual form or conceptualisation of the constituents of the world around us: The Feynman Diagram. In this case a conceptualisation of gluon radiation. I think its beautiful too. I won’t bother you with the details, because... I don’t know the details. If you can make a picture of it, it does not necessarily mean it is has become easier.

What I do know and understand is that some of the things he helped discover are so universal that they will need to be introduced into psychology at some point in time. One is he path integral and another (and more important one) the least action principle on which it is based and, of course (gauge) symmetries. I will come back to that at some point later this year.

(iii) I think I do not have a favourite awe-inspiring mathematician yet. Not that one needs to. The obvious candidate, Benoît Mandelbrot is actually much more. I am (also) reading Gaussian Self-Affinity and Fractals: Globality, The Earth, 1/f Noise and R/S. It is not like anything I have ever read before. The first line reads: “This books subject matter is nontraditional and its style and organisation are unconventional” It is a collection of papers and new texts and comments and observations, exploring the concept of self-affinity, another very important notion for psychology.

There is a pattern here. Mandelbrot is also someone who likes to represent and conceptualise things with pictures. In fact, he claims that all mathematics stem from geometry. This picture here is the ‘fundamental phase diagram’ for a symmetric three-interval generator. Of course he generalized this to a grid free functions (i.e. all-intervals). This time I do know the details, but I still won’t bother you with them. Just that I think he deserves the Nobel prize for this.

What actually struck me in the book are the passages on being an outsider and maverick in science. About maniacs, who will take an idea and proclaim it ubiquitous and universal. About deniers of whom there are many and about bashers who will do anything to keep things as they are. He calls himself a ferocious moderate and gives a very striking example of what happens to me almost daily (3.3 and 3.4): 

He also calls himself a philosopher. Something which has been held against me several times last year by empirically oriented colleagues. Interestingly my view of philosophy is the same as his: “I'm certainly a philosopher—how do you say?—entranced with unifying ideas. However, I don't only study books; I study nature. Also art of the past, for the purpose of finding artifacts that I could embrace.

Reflect on that!

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

day 5: f.i.t Disk

[caption id="attachment_293" align="alignnone" width="526" caption="F.I.T"]fit[/caption]

When I saw the F.I.T Mobile Mixer link pop up in google, I immediately thought someone had made a cool iPhone app to mix some tunes, an Ableton-like app or something.


It wasn’t

Apparently there is a great need among bodybuilders to create “smoothly mixed protein shakes” when there is no socket in the vicinity or while moving around a lot.

It is “A Portable And Lightweight Mixer For Protein Powders And More!” (Nudge nudge, wink wink, know what I mean? )

Here’s the most hilarious part:

“F.I.T. specializes in making mobile drink mixers. All of our products are durable, portable, and lightweight.”

You can specialize in anything of course and I commend the company for finding this niche in the market, but isn’t it kind of weird to promote your product to bodybuilders as being lightweight?


Tuesday, 7 September 2010

day 4: He’s back!

A true hero.

[caption id="attachment_219" align="alignnone" width="430" caption="He's back!"]He's back![/caption]

Survived the chicken attack.

This time he tripped over one of those green leaves.

And to think I called him a snail.

It’s a slug:

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="459" caption="Parts of a slug"]Parts of a slug[/caption]

Maybe it’s a jumping slug:

day 3: Where is fred? (Or: what’s in a name, place, race, religion orpuppy?)

Fred as a puppy
Fred as a puppy

Noey calls this a “when you were a puppy” photo.
That’s the puppy-me (Frederik Willem Hasselman) on my fathers lap (Frederik Marie Hasselman). His name was Fred too.

My brother (Dirk Catharinus Johannes Hasselman) is in my grandmothers arms (Edith Ethel Hasselman - von der Pfordten). She was Bavarian nobility and died in 1979 at the age of 90. She was a Sufi. I guess this photograph dates back to 1975 or early1976, because my sister (Edith Olpha Catharina Dorand - Hasselman) was not born yet. Olpha is the name of my fathers first wife (Oplha Helene Lauten) who died of cancer, like my father eventually would. Catharina is the name of mother Ine (Catharina Maria Josefa van Barschot), who gave birth to me a year after she married my much older father, who married her a year after Olpha died. Catherinus Johannes (whom my brother was named after) was my grandfather (Catherinus Johannes Hasselman) who apparently died as a result of being weakened by the “hongerwinter” in Haarlem exactly one month after the Netherlands were liberated.

Hasselman family in Glugur
"Grandmother(left) and Grandfather(right) Hasselman in Glugur Indonesia"

My uncle Jack (also Catherinus Johannes Hasselman), my father, Olpha, my grandmother... they were all in Sumatera, Indonesia when the Japanese invaded. They were all sent to (seperate) civilian camps, except for my uncle Jack who was a soldier at the time, so he was sent to Burma to work on the infamous railway. I’m not sure where the other children were at that time (Charles, Dick and aunt Edith). Jack died recently at the age 92. He would not have allowed me to use the word Japanese, it’s “de Jap” and nothing else. He didn’t think Thailand was a place to spend a vacation and when I mentioned I had to take pills against Malaria he said he had suffered from Malaria 7 times and was still around. I guess that’s how you survive such an ordeal and reach an age of 92, still driving around, painting nudes that sell for 500 euros and basically dying because he could no longer take care of himself anymore after he became immobile. According to himself, he survived because he ate fresh lomboks in the Jungle and the British just wanted chocolate and cigarettes. No, he didn’t speak much about it.

He wasn’t pleased however when not long after 1945, just after having survived Burma, he was called for duty to go back to Indonesia and take part in the infamous “politionele acties”. Family history says my grandmother sent a letter to the Queen asking for my uncle to be relieved of duty. The latter is what happened, the first I can’t confirm. “Vadertje Drees” was also something you would not day when around my uncle.

In the 1950s my father moved to Japan with Olpha. To work there. For the Japanese. Yes... In Japan... ehh... I don’t know... My mother says he said something about not being able to hold a grudge forever. No, he didn’t speak much about it. The grudge and  such.

Later he moved to Australia and Brazil where he worked for a toy factory. My uncle Jack never held his moving to Japan against my father and was apparently very close to him. When I last spoke to my uncle he told me my father wasn’t the strongest of the brothers, but could win any fight, partly because he was his mother’s favourite, but mostly because he was “Very sharp... with his tongue”. Apparently he inherited this from his grandfather (Charles Albert von der Pfordten) whom he described as “a great Malteser”.

Which could mean a large version of a usually small lion-like dog or a chocolate sweet.

Well, it is the guy sitting on the bench, with the mustache. Somehow I can see what he was trying to express.

Charles Albert von der Pfordten Family
Great-grand family von der Pfordten

Behind him is Fred (Frederick von der Pfordten),

the brother of my grandmother. I was named after him. Or after my father, who was named after him as well. Let’s just say I inherited some of his good looks :)

Where is Fred?

He went to India and was never heard of again.

So said my grandmother.

My cousin Margaret who lives in NY (Mary Margaret Hasselman) told me once she used to be afraid of my grandmother as a child because she was performing strange Sufi rituals all the time. I just remember boterbabbelaars.
She was much older when I was just a child.

grandmother sufi

Searching for Fred I did find a Frederick George von der Pfordten on the web. It was how I got to the site of Eddee. This Fred was my great-grandfathers brother and one of his children Arthur Reginald von der Pfordten who converted to Islam, was a Japanese POW during WW II and the grandfather of Eddee von der Pfordten who lives in Kuala Lumpur, whom I thank for his site and research!

Baron Freiherr von der Pfordten
Baron Freiherr von der Pfordten


We have the same great-great-grandfather: Baron Karl Ludwig Heinrich Freiherr von der Pfordten, professor of Law in Würzburg and Leipzig, minister of culture and foreign minister of Sächsen, foreign minister and two times prime minister of Bavaria:

First time (1849-1859) he resigned because his attempt to create a “third power” between Austria and Prussia failed. He was reinstated by Ludwig II (yeah he was funny in the head) in 1864 and resigned again in 1866 when the Austro-Prussian war was lost. The family was then “kicked out” by Bismarck as the family story goes. I guess they just fled because of the Kaisersbrief and the coming of the first German Reich. (Back) to Maltathat is, where he was a consul to Bavaria and Hanover.

Baron Karl apparently was also controversial in that he played an important role in the acceptance of a bill that gave more rights to Jews in Bavaria. The sharp tongue must have been present then as well:

Speech by Great-great-grandfather
Speech by great-great-grandfather prof.dr.jur. Baron Freiherr von der Pfrodten

I can’t relate another vdP to Ludwig, but there is also a Theodor von der Pfordten, a Bavarian who participated and died in something called the Hitlerputsch (coup) of 1923. Quite the opposite opinion I would say.

That happens a lot in these families. If you look at the family crests:

The crescent moons mean they participated in one of the crusades. That was against islam, yes. Yet my grandmother was -and a whole new branch of the family are- muslim.

von der Pfordten
von der Pfordten

I think that’s great! Just wait a couple of centuries and we’ll all change our minds again.

Why Malta? I wonder if it has something to do with this special category in the Malta Genealogy site: Crusade Families

The links to the Hasselman geneology are all from Fred A. Hasselman’s (unrelated) site, but originate from het Nederlands Patriciaat (Hasselman, Betuwe tak). A booklet of genealogies maintained by the Dutch state of families which have played an important role over a period of 150 years in Dutch society: Science, Politics, Culture.

Hendrik Dirk Stephaan Hasselman (www.oranjehotel.org)

There are the Hasselman ministers of Colonies or my grandfather’s brother (General-Major Hendrik Dirk Stephaan Hasselman) who was a member of the stijkelgroep but was arrested and executed in WW II, or the fact that the family used to own a large part of the Grachtengordel in Amsterdam a very long time ago and there were mayors of towns like Tiel and such. I’m in also in the book, so is Fred and Fred as well.

BRP Hasselman major of Tiel

My father was asked by the Bavarian government to take over my grandmothers title when she died, but he didn’t. I guess it’s the same with titles as with grudges: You can’t hold them forever.
A new Hasselman puppy was recently born, Finn. Uncle times 5 now!

Let’s see if we’ll make the Dutch Patricians the next 150 years as well. At least we have some stories to tell about his ancestors.

Anyway, I’m very glad that should we move to Millingen a/d Rijn, I can say my grandmother was from Duffelward (mother’s side: Willems) and my grandfather (mother’s side: Willem Cornelis van Barschot, that’s where the Willem comes from) from Groesbeek. No coats of arms, no patricians, no titles, but a hell of a good taste for picking a place to live. I also would have loved to learn from them about farming and keeping livestock.

I’m still right here.
In case you were wondering :)

Sunday, 5 September 2010

day 2: The snail And the butterfly

[caption id="attachment_195" align="alignleft" width="720" caption="Base Camp"]Base camp[/caption]

Thank you all for your support!

Many have asked how the snail is doing and I’m pleased to say that the chickens aren’t hungry anymore.

The butterfly caused a storm in the glass of Grog I prepared for it. Apparently it worked because I haven’t seen it since.

I came up with a layout using InDesign:

Most people would do this at the end, or just not at all...
For me it’s a start!

Saturday, 4 September 2010

day 1: Welcome to the jungle


[caption id="attachment_189" align="alignleft" width="450" caption="Meyboske"]Meyboske1[/caption]










I am on a two week mission to finish up on some writing that is due almost 5 years now.

I headed out into the Dutch jungle also known as the Achterhoek (which roughly, yet appropriately translates to “rear-corner”).

Surrounded by corn fields, some chickens and a whole lot of nothing, I put up camp in the backyard of an old farm. I let the locals carry the frozen rations, the local brewski and all the coffee I brought with me.

For they dared not touch the devilish technologies I wanted to set up so close to their lodgings.

How can a piece of aluminum be a controller
for a computer that is itself just a piece of aluminum?

Black magic indeed, all without wires.

...But there is a magical nothingness here
I can even see the grass grow...

...just heard a snail trip over a grain of sand...

...the sneezing of a butterfly...

... may cause a storm in a glass of water
on the other side of the globe ...

Yeah, I think I’m getting in the right mood here.


[caption id="attachment_182" align="alignleft" width="420" caption="Motor Love"]MotorLove[/caption]








That’s why

I do...

(no not you Dave, I’m sorry, though I appreciate the pose)

Tuesday, 17 August 2010


[caption id="attachment_184" align="alignright" width="420" caption="Swimming Sloth"]SwimminSLoth[/caption]


Of course I don’t...

...believe in such a thing as a totem animal in the supernatural sense that is...



Because believing is always the easier than knowing

When I met this guy in the picture,
I knew, at that very instant, that my totem animal was a sloth.
It just popped inside my head, inside my body, inside me.
I knew then why people believe such things: Moving so slowly that fungus grows on your fur, chewing on hallucinogenic vines all day, intestines that turn upside down, swimming in a river full of crocodiles... that’s me!

Did I mention I was diagnosed with ADD earlier this year?

Monday, 24 May 2010

TV debat

Ik zie Cohen en begin meteen aantekeningen te maken voor de beoordeling:
-Vergeet wat in de cursushandleiding staat,
-Niet de raad van je vrienden opvolgen,
-Getallen zijn onbelangrijk,
-Geen dingen proberen uit te leggen die je zelf ook niet snapt,
-Hoe zou je het in het cafe aan de barman uitleggen?
-Ok dan... hoe zou je het aan een kind van 12 uitleggen?

En het allerbelangrijlkste:
- Think out of the box!
- Their box.
- Als je dat niet kunt... Their box is bigger than yours!

Oh nee, dit zijn geen studenten.

Ik stem geen PVDA,
maar voor tips ben ik altijd bereikbaar.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Funky mapping

Ok, snow is gone but I still miss the 30+ temps and the ocean...

A nice flashback occurred when I stitched and mapped this sequence of images:

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Vacation @ Paradise - Home

Ehh ja het houdt een keer op hè?
Maar mot dat dan meteen met sneeuw en ijs gepaard gaan gvd! Net de auto uitgegraven (zonder winterweer accessoires)
Brrr... 32 graden verschil

Laatste avondmaal eens naar een heeeeeel duur restaurant geweest (voor Bali begrippen) yum!
Baramundi met Peer en wijnsaus, wat het groene schuim is en het groene kwakje weet ik niet maar het was lekker!

De kok ging soms iets te ver met zijn smaken, dit stond op het menu als witte en donkere chocolade mousse

Rare flora kom je tegen langs het strand.

Bijna thuis?

Laatste geld opmaken aan cocktails :)
dit is een Arak attack (arak = palmwijn)

Dit hing boven een urinoir.
Ik heb uiteraard uren lang in een instructie-loop op de knop staan drukken totdat Noey me kwam redden.

Happy 2 b home?

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Friday, 8 January 2010

Vacation @ Paradise - Clear Surf Dude

Spending the last days @ kuta / legian / seminyak in an Aussie version of a Benidorm apartement complex, which is quite amusing.

Ok so they don't have banana trees in Benidorm

Or jackfruit

According to Cheyne Horan we passed the stage of beginner when surfing is concerned!

Bintang babe :)

Absolut petrol anyone?

I guess I'm not the only bald musician inspired by the Indonesians :)

Kuta nightlife

Kuta surf

Barbie pork ribs are the best!

Ginger chicken,
Vegetable stuffed tofu, then deep fried,
Cabbage juice.

Nooo I don't wanna go back home

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