“Your own reality—for yourself, not for others.” Thinking for yourself means finding yourself, finding your own reality. Here’s the other problem with Facebook and Twitter and even The New York Times. When you expose yourself to those things, especially in the constant way that people do now—older people as well as younger people—you are continuously bombarding yourself with a stream of other people’s thoughts. You are marinating yourself in the conventional wisdom…. Read More

#Norwegian Air

In het tv-programma Buitenhof  wees commentator Tom-Jan Meeus op de stille big data revolutie die zich het laatste jaar heeft voltrokken in politieke campagnes, en zowel Trump als de Brexiteers zeer heeft geholpen de overwinning te behalen. Het bedrijf Cambridge Analytica (ene Steven Bannon was er bestuurslid) koppelt online voorkeuren van mensen aan psychosociale profielen en weet zo precies welke boodschap op welk individu afgevuurd moet worden. Dit zou ook verklaren waarom… Read More

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking” – Haruki Murakami

A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices – William James

American populism according to Niall Ferguson. In this recent talk he explains what is needed for ‘peak populism’ to get hold of America, as we see happening now. The context is set by four ingredients: 1) a surge in immigration 2) rising inequality 3) the perception of corruption 4) a financial crisis. Add a fifth ingredient, a demagogue, and the recipe starts to work. Trump, as phenomenon, is not unprecedented. Ferguson takes… Read More

Samen met Hanneke Lenkens, directeur Instituut Fondsenwerving, schreef ik dit artikel over hoe goede doelen zouden moeten reageren op de veranderende wereld. Oorspronkelijk gepubliceerd op 20 juli op De Nieuws komt en gaat. Van de verwoestende Syrische burgeroorlog tot de financiële crisis, op een gegeven moment verdwijnt het nieuws van onze radar. Ongeacht de grootte van de gebeurtenis; zo gaat dat nu eenmaal. Helaas leren we er weinig van. Zonder de… Read More

What is to become of Europe, now that it is in the midst of a perfect storm of several crises: recovering from a deep recession, coping with an unprecedented number of asylum seekers and refugees, not being able to protect its borders, terrorist attacks and – as a result – declining trust of its citizens? In this Foreign Affairs article Oxford Professor Woods argues that the most likely prospect is a more… Read More

Whenever I see big masses of people cheering for a cause, like now with the COP 21 treaty (beware of the lofty rhetoric!), I get suspicious. Combined with my skepticism of top down change (“The president has decided, so it will surely happen”), I wanted to read some stuff criticizing the current climate change approach. Anything that can avoid tunnel vision is worth considering. This book by Roger Pielke, jr. is really… Read More

Als ik de metro uitkom op Place de la Republique valt meteen de mensenmassa op die het 19e eeuwse monument omringt. Er zijn camera’s en veel bodyguards – waarschijnlijk is er een beroemdheid of notabele om een krans te leggen. Als ze weer weg is – ik meende  een lange bos rasta’s te zien – gaan we weer verder met waarvoor we  gekomen zijn. Kijken. En stil zijn. We kijken naar kaarsjes,… Read More

This week Angus Deaton won the Nobel Prize in Economics for his work on development, welfare and poverty. Although he is optimistic about the world as a whole becoming a better place he very much criticizes the West’s attempts to alleviate poverty in developing countries. He even insists that ‘we’ are currently making things worse. In this Project Syndicate piece he argues that “foreign aid – transfers from rich countries to poor… Read More

A recent Foreign Affairs article draws a parallel between the Greek crisis and how Latvia recovered from its own crisis. The lesson – one that we learn over and over again – is clear: unless accompanied by substantial institutional reforms, neither austerity nor Grexit will work. I furthermore hope that Tsipras finds the time to read the insightful book ‘Why Nations Fail‘ – it will help him to better understand how functioning,… Read More