Daughter got a new inflatable beach ball. The previous didn’t survive a game of ‘tennis’ that involved a stick as racket. This one is also a globe. When I came home she ran to me showing it and out of the blue said “it shows the entire world, it even has Great Britain.” Don’t know where she got it from or why it was important to her, but she very clearly articulated Groot Brittanië, which sounds like Great Brittaniá in Dutch.

Welcome home, again, Alberto. What a nice write-up. When my (then Honduran) brother in law received his Dutch nationality, we as family attended a similar session with him in his hometown Utrecht. Although it was definitely more formal (with an oath and all that jazz), it was also very festive and relaxed and not just a routine.

Of course it does mean that as a Dutchman I now get to make Belgium jokes about you. But luckily that goes both ways, you get to tell Dutch jokes about me. Brussels is one of those places that prove every time I visit that Europe works.

Replied to Home, again | Contrordine compagni

…our mayor welcoming us to the large, colorful, slightly shady Brussels family (yes, shady, since our cultural heroes are people like these – and proud of it!).
Way to go, my fellow Belgians. No, this country is not perfect. It can be quite dysfunctional. But these things are fixable. What matters most to me, is the ironic, tender humanity you so often manage to infuse in life here. If this is Belgium, I am happy to have chosen to make my home here, and proud to be one of you.

I fully agree with Tantek here. (ht Jack Jamieson) Doing vegetarian or vegan by default at events is meaningful as well as easy to do. No non-vegetarian minds it, especially not with non-veg side dishes. For organisers it takes away the friction of having to keep track of various diet options.

At last year’s Techfestival (an event for thousands in Copenhagen) I was pleasantly surprised to see all catering was vegetarian by default, and the speakers dinner I attended was mostly vegan. It is important to also note that that speakers dinner was the most memorable meal I had last year, for its creative play with tastes, colors and textures.

For IndieWebCamp Amsterdam, based on the ‘vegetarian by default’ suggestion given to IndieWeb organisers, I arranged it that way too. Pre-event dinner and the first lunch were vegetarian, and the second lunch had plenty vegetarian options on the menu as well as non-vegetarian.
For our birthday unconferences from the start we catered vegetarian at the same level as non-vegetarian (our bbqs definitely aren’t vegetarian as such). It reduces overhead and planning while at the same time increasing the variety and sense of plenty of what’s on the table. It’s easy to have plenty of vegan salads, vegetable dishes and soups, with non-vegetarian food served alongside.

Replied to a post by Tantek ÇelikTantek Çelik

Instead of making “vegan” or “vegetarian” a special meal option, flip it around, and cater vegan by default, with special meal options for dairy (milk/cream/cheese/yogurt), meat, or fish (as well as other needs / sensitivities)….Things like this are why personal, small group, and company choices around food, consumption, environmental impacts do make an impact. By setting a good (if bold) example, you normalize it, you remove fear, you make it that much less strange for the next person to choose to do so, for themselves, their group, or their company. …Systemic change is possible, and it’s possible to work in parallel at all levels.

I bekeek toevallig de page source van het NRC (om een artikel achter de paywall te lezen), en vond toen dit:

“NRC zoekt per direct ervaren backend- en front-end developers. Meer informatie op github.com/nrcmedia/nrc-zoekt-developer/”

Ik weet niet of het nu grappig is zo’n easter-egg, of eigenlijk bedroevend dat van niemand anders dan ontwikkelaars verwacht wordt dat ze wel eens de bron van een webpagina bekijken.

ArjenArjen painted by Jillis Groen, after a photo of Arjen at TEDxDelft 2018 I think.

Friday evening I went to the Vrijland estate near Schaarsbergen/Arnhem. This former hq of the Dutch 11th Air Mobile Brigade (who still reside nearby) is currently used by the Hack42 collective. Here the book launch of “Infosecurity (Gran knows why)” and opening of the art exhibition “Into Nothingness” took place, in the former chapel of the estate.

Arjen Kamphuis was well known for his work on government transparency, and especially IT and online security. He e.g trained journalists on how to do their work more safely, and consulted various companies on their IT security. He also e.g. consulted the Dutch government in 2013 on why using voting computers is bad practice in an accountable democracy. Next to that he was an avid hiker and mountaineer. In August 2018, during a trip in the north of Norway he went missing, and is presumed to have died due to a kajaking accident. I’ve known Arjen through his work for well over a decade (and I’ve written about his disappearance here before). I’m sad about his disappearance, and as a result have been more active in paying what I learned from him and what he made me aware of forward since then.

Friends of Arjen have collected a selection of his writings and talks, as well as the text of his 2014 book “Information Security for Journalists” (2017 Dutch translation) that he wrote together with journalist Silkie Carlo. Friday they launched a printed version of that collection with the title “Infosecurity (Gran knows why)“. The subtitle is a reference to Arjen’s grandmother who, having witnessed WWII is said to have inspired him in his government accountability work, and in being alert to surveillance overreach like we are experiencing now in this digital age.

The launch saw some short speeches by friends and colleagues, and the chapel setting in part made it feel like for some it was also a way to say goodbye, a way to organise some sort of closure. Next to the book launch, it was also the opening of the exhibition “Into Nothingness” with paintings by Jillis Groen. Scenes from Norway’s nature and Arjen’s disappearing form.

Opening exhibit / book launch Arjen
Audience listening to Helma de Boer presenting the book