Gobs' Life

A home for my stream of (not DnB related) consciousness.

I have had a couple of ideas floating round in my head for a while about bass music and my relationship to it. I may come back to add to this list, for example with reflections on the consumerism that seems omnipresent in clubbing culture and what can be done about it.

Aside from the enjoyment I g...

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May 6, 2024, 1:53 May

An ambiguous utopia

I'm a little scared to write about Ursula Le Guin's "The Dispossessed" because I'm quite certain that I could write a post about it as long the novel itself. Perhaps I will, eventually, but doing so all in one go strikes me as unhelpful for both me and for anyone reading this.

I've therefore decid...

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April 9, 2024, 5:54 Apr

Reinventer l'amour de Mona Chollet

I know I said I would stop doing book summaries since my meticulousness in writing them was tiring me. Or maybe I didn't - if so, now you know. This started off as a quick reaction rather than a summary or review but then ended up as a... well, whatever this is. That personal reaction in brief: I in...

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January 24, 2024, 5:42 Jan

Two worlds

I started writing this and never got round to finishing it. I'll begin by explaining why I started and then justify my stopping.

My original intention was to describe two possible futures that were the antithesis of each other, one nasty, brutal, fascist, ... the other still pretty shit, but at le...

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I should be finishing up my dissertation text, and I will soon, but I need to get some thoughts off my chest first. If I find the time in the future, I would like to refine these further, perhaps write an op-ed. Let's see.

  • Immigration is caused by decades of policies designed to spur economic gr...

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December 21, 2023, 4:47 Dec

Hydrogen stupidity op-ed

I wrote this with the intention of sending it to the Brussels Times. In the end I didn't, since CBA. Anyway, here it is.


Hydrogen has been hyped up recently as a key enabler for the energy transition. To quote Frans Timmermans, the former Vice-President of the European Commission: "One of the...

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December 21, 2023, 4:07 Dec

Reflections on being punched in the face

Gratitude is all the rage these days, so I would like to thank the Antwerp police for providing me with my snazziest blog post title to date. At the last Code Rouge action against the aviation industry, I was part of a group whose mission was to occupy Deurne airport for about 6 hours. We failed t...

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Over the summer I started reading Timothée Parrique's PhD dissertation on "The Political Economy of Degrowth" and I thought it was awesome! I started frantically highlighting and then summarising my highlights in a markdown document, the result of which you can find here.

As with all of my recen...

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August 22, 2023, 11:31 Aug

How to blow up a pipeline

I'm going to say it straight up so as not to disappoint anyone reading this - this isn't actually about Andreas Malm but about how I felt after watching the film. (Stream of consciousness, again you don't have to read this if you don't want to). I struggle a lot with engaging with this kind of stuff...

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August 12, 2023, 8:43 Aug

On Democracy - David Van Reybrouck

I'm embarrassed to say that it took me to 2 years after joining XR to finally read up on Citizen's Assemblies, but it's never too late to learn! David Van Reybrouck's book on deliberative democracy is excellent for this and I highly recommend it. If you're not bothered to read it, here are my takeaw...

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July 13, 2023, 9:57 Jul

Thoughts on guilt, shame and oppression

I just finished an online workshop called "Oppression, movement building and our relationships as activists", it's been a while since I wrote a blog post and so here are some thoughts.

First a summary of what came up during the workshop. One of the first "lessons" we were taught was that our socie...

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June 16, 2023, 7:06 Jun

Decolonial Ecology by Malcolm Ferdinand

A friend told me today that he has a hard time understanding my points. I think that's a very legitimate point which the endless slew of undigested mind spew that is this blog is doubtless a good example of. This is not a desirable state of affairs however, for at least two reasons. Firstly, the wor...

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May 19, 2023, 7:14 May

Fuck social media part. 2

So... here we are once more. I've decided to give social media a shot again or at least give myself the option to be more active there while avoiding the desire to repeatedly stab myself in the eyeballs with a pencil. I'll get to why I've decided to do so and how I plan to do Instagram (and fuck me,...

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Motivation for this presentation

At the last seminar I gave to my research group I banged on a bit about making our implicit assumptions, such as utilitarianism and equilibrium based thinking, explicit. The eventual goal of doing so is to be able to think critically about these assumptions.

S...

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Part 1

(18th of May 2023)

I should currently be writing up my PhD (well, copy pasting ~5 papers into it and then fiddling around until it makes some sort of sense) but instead I thought I'd take a brief interlude to reflect on the superhuman strength it takes to do something that I've come to se...

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I've recently been on a decolonial ecology weekend organised by Oxfam and read "Decolonial Ecology" by Malcolm Ferdinand which inspired me to give a presentation about the subject to my research group. I've provided the outline here for those who might be interested. You can find the pdf here...

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March 4, 2023, 10:26 Mar

Selfish activism

As usual, I have many ideas about what to write about and unfortunately I have to limit myself to just the one. This one is extremely fresh however (just like your nan used to make 'em), so you're welcome.

I was talking to an activist about Code Rouge and they said "It was fun, of course it didn...

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March 3, 2023, 9:24 Mar

Oppression complex

Yesterday I had my weekly meeting with my master thesis student and it was bloody good fun. Regular readers of this blog (if there is such a thing) will know that this is quite the novelty. I'm generally quite disinterested and disillusioned with my PhD, and indeed this was fun in the same way that...

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I just finished reading "Sensuous Knowledge" by Minna Salami on the recommendation of a friend and I thought it was eye-opening enough to warrant writing down some parts which I would like to remember for the future. I'm basing this off of the parts I "tagged" in my reMarkable which was highly dep...

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February 19, 2023, 9:05 Feb

Fact checking myself

I have had a lot of ideas for blog posts recently, but they usually occur to me at the end of a long day glaring at a screen and hence they never get written. One of these ideas, which came to me during the post about my inability to prioritise or be consistent, was to check whether the environmenta...

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Here is a first attempt at grappling with some thoughts I have been having recently. I hope to come back to this in the future, because there are several ideas there which are worth exploring (if only for the sake of clarifying my opinions and standpoints) but which I was unable to do justice to.


...

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December 6, 2022, 1:51 Dec

Am I even human if I can't prioritise?

"I've always dreamed of being on stage."

"This job is shit, but I'm doing it so I can eventually buy that harp I've always wanted."

"Of course it didn't work out. A Pisces together with a Libra? Ridiculous!"

We are the stories we tell ourselves. They bind together the insane spaghetti of thou...

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October 23, 2022, 9:50 Oct

As Long As The Grass Grows - some thoughts

I recently read "As Long As The Grass Grows - The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice, from Colonization to Standing Rock" and I found the energy to write up some of the parts spoke to me most.

This was an extensive and excellently written book, and I would highly recommend it. It was a c...

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October 23, 2022, 9:50 Oct

Civil disobedience for academics

Tomorrow (Monday 24th of October 2022) I will give a presentation to my research group on civil disobedience for academics. I wrote out what I wanted to say as well, since I worry that I will digress, and so here it is below. You can find the pdf here.

Presentation storyline

Total speaking tim...

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October 20, 2022, 9:49 Oct

Imperial has a gas problem

I made a LinkedIn post about a recent disruption of Imperial's ChemEng department's oil and gas career's talks. Leaving this post here as a placeholder because I have a lot more I would like to say about my time at Imperial, the idea being that I'll periodically update it.

Climate denial denial

...

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September 18, 2022, 11:22 Sep

Old people are violent too

People use the word "violence" quite loosely. Let me put it another way - before going to university for me "violence" was reserved for things Vikings did, like murdering, raping and pillaging. The kinds of activities that get me out of bed in the morning. After school "violence" started popping up...

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Recently I've been having days where I feel completely overwhelmed by all the things I want to do. Complaining about being too busy is a pet peeve of mine because you only have yourself to blame (mostly, I'm assuming that you don't have to work a lot just to make ends meet). I think that the people...

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August 7, 2022, 10:39 Aug

The Value of Music

I've recently realised a simple and deeply rooted assumption I've had regarding the value of music. In brief, I used to believe that what gave music its value was its complexity, the technique. To make good music was to make complicated, technically demanding music, despite the fact that most of the...

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September 23, 2022, 2:40 Sep

Scientist Rebellion website

I forgot to mention that a while ago (~2 months now) I made a website for Scientist Rebellion Belgium using grav, same way I did here. I documented the entire process and I think it could be useful for some.

Scientist Rebellion Belgium hasn't really gotten off the ground yet, but fingers crossed...

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June 26, 2022, 3:48 Jun

CarFreeBrussels action idea

Got a bit excited the other day and had an action / campaign idea crystallize in my head. I currently have too many projects for the future to be able to carry this forward, but thought I'd write it down so that someone else can do it perhaps (and also because I'm on holiday and I decided to do a ph...

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June 26, 2022, 3:48 Jun

Can't be arsed anymore

It's been a while since I wrote here, which is a shame because I've recently realised it's a much more reliable place to unload the battered container of my unfiltered thoughts than my diary, which was recently stolen (for the 3rd time!). So here's some thoughts that have been buzzing around said co...

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January 26, 2022, 10:22 Jan

I joined XR

If there's anyone who could consider themselves a "regular reader" of this consciousness toilet I call a blog, then they may have surmised that I'm rather anxious about the environment and whatnot. It was this anxiety, combined with a sense of shame at how uncaring I had become, which led me to join...

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November 23, 2021, 1:07 Nov

Techmology, sometimes she not so happy

From time to time I think we all find ourselves wondering about words:

Why on earth do we talk about 'content' these days?

When I say 'to be honest', does that mean the rest of time I'm being a lying turd?

What the fuck is 'blockchain'?

I recently watched two Ted Talks about economic gro...

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September 23, 2021, 10:35 Sep

Quick start guide for Julia and Docker

I actually secretly hate Docker because it keeps popping up in my life and I still don't quite get it. Eventually I will, but for now here's a quick start guide (mostly for myself) to test stuff out with Julia in a Docker image.

To install Docker on Ubuntu, see here. See also troubleshooting a...

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September 17, 2021, 6:35 Sep

Climate anxiety

I was around 10 years old when I watched "An Inconvenient Truth". I would be lying if I said I had concrete memories about it, but I do remember the fear it instilled in me. The fear that the world I was growing up in, which I was only recently getting to grips with, was heading towards disaster. In...

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August 10, 2021, 5:36 Aug

Something something flying and holidays

I recently realised that my entire near term memory is taken up by Covid and lockdown. Contemplating experiences earlier than this, such as going to a festival, feels like remembering my time at school - memories of memories. So I was extremely grateful to be able to go on holiday to Greece last wee...

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June 30, 2021, 6:51 Jun

Sentiment and Pretense

This is not, as the title may suggest, the name of a Jane Austin novel but rather a short article on two faults I'm scared of committing whenevers I write. They're more familiar when used as adjectives, that is to describe someone who is sentimental and pretentious. Despite worrying that I come acro...

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April 5, 2021, 12:44 Apr

Why I hate social media

I'm a bit of privacy nut. I've seen the documentaries about governments and tech companies harvesting our data either for "security" or to sell me stupid shit (I'm not sure which is worse), and I'm scared to watch more. I religiously implemented all the suggestions in privacytools.io to the po...

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First things first, you can find the web app at countdown.gobs.eu. Repository for web app is here.

Probably about 2 months ago I had the brilliant idea of attempting to create a Julia web app. Since this took me a while, I thought I'd document my struggles here in case anyone else wants to tr...

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February 25, 2021, 3:55 Feb

Does hypnosis work?

Recently my girlfriend has started doing hypnosis therapy before going to sleep. For the sake of privacy, let's assume it's to cure her of her shameful enjoyment of farting in crowded spaces, and I was curious to know whether it's actually helping or not. In fact this is one of many dubious treatmen...

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I've had a couple of discussions about discount rates in energy systems models and I find it quite a fascinating topic. It's got a bit of a Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut vibe about it. Anyway, I decided to write the short article below on the subject, which proved surprisingly difficult. Apparently I...

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February 25, 2021, 3:59 Feb

Does mindfulness reduce anxiety?

I thought I'd start things off with something light. I've recently got into meditating once or twice a day, mainly in the hope of daydreaming less, being more focussed and being less stressed. Mindfulness and meditation (I must admit I don't bother to differentiate between the two) seems sensible -...

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June 30, 2021, 6:43 Jun

Intro

I'm writing this at 6:18 in the morning (all my best ideas occur between 23:00 and 7:00) after having finished Ben Goldacre's "I Think You'll Find it's a Bit More Complicated Than That" and I'm feeling inspired. I've thought about writing a blog for a while now, to allow me to vent my daydreaming on...

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February 22, 2021, 7:03 Feb

Obfuscate

I can’t think of a worse choice of word for saying “confuses or obscures” something. However, it would be less baffling if people used it more, hence I will try to use it from now on.

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