Belgium, Jibber Jabber, Movies, Books & TV Shows

Reading Habits

On the news this past two days, there is an ongoing discussion regarding the reading capability of today’s youngsters in Flanders. These young people, specifically secondary school students, are not reading as much, nor as well as their predecessors. The individuals that were interviewed on television simply said that they do not enjoy reading, thus never develop an appetite nor habit for this activity.

Laziness? Technology? Short attention spans? Different priorities? What is to be blamed here?

I think the main culprit is CGI. When you have TV series or films with superior computer generated visuals like in Game of Thrones, who still have the brain power nor imagination to bring oneself into a self-thought-out universe?

I grew up in an environment where there was hardly any screen time. In such, I learned to develop an ability of turning simple words into an adventure or a fantastic world which my mind may wander. There is hardly any effort in visualizing stories and strange new universes in my mind-eye. It must be rather difficult for people growing up with 24-hour television, realistic computer games, and high quality visuals to develop this ability.

Business & Creativity, Movies, Books & TV Shows

Digital Colonization

I just re-read the article: The goal is to automate us: welcome to the age of surveillance capitalism.

The following statement by Shoshana Zuboff scared me more this time than the first time I came across it…

“Digital natives” is a tragically ironic phrase. I am fascinated by the structure of colonial conquest, especially the first Spaniards who stumbled into the Caribbean islands. Historians call it the “conquest pattern”, which unfolds in three phases: legalistic measures to provide the invasion with a gloss of justification, a declaration of territorial claims, and the founding of a town to legitimate the declaration. Back then Columbus simply declared the islands as the territory of the Spanish monarchy and the pope.

The sailors could not have imagined that they were writing the first draft of a pattern that would echo across space and time to a digital 21st century. The first surveillance capitalists also conquered by declaration. They simply declared our private experience to be theirs for the taking, for translation into data for their private ownership and their proprietary knowledge. They relied on misdirection and rhetorical camouflage, with secret declarations that we could neither understand nor contest.

Belgium, Events, Movies, Books & TV Shows

Cinema Under The Trees

After an early dinner yesterday evening, D and I biked to De Gavers, to an event known as Cinema Under The Trees. The film that we watched is called Intelligent Trees. The venue was fantastic, the event well organised, the film was very informative and altered some of my thoughts regarding trees.

Despite the chilly windy evening and the challenging bike ride through the dark forest, I really had a good time. I shall do it again in a heartbeat – bike ride included.

Movies, Books & TV Shows

Delivering Happiness

I finally got hold of the book Delivering Happiness.

Like a time machine, the book enabled me to travel back 20 years in time. The pre-2008 events had me going, ‘Ah, I have heard of that story…’, or ‘Oh, I was there when that happened.’, or ‘I was one of them!’. Many of these were happy memories which made me smile.

The post-2008 stories were enticing because they let me know how the company did afterwards. How bizarre that I am able to picture what many of the contributors look like! To remember how they were like as coworkers!

I left Zappos and the US more than 10 years ago – in pursue of happiness. Up till now, happiness has been constantly generated, delivered and received with an open-mind.

Hey, why weren’t there any Star Trek references?!

Movies, Books & TV Shows

My Brilliant Friend

I have just finished watching an 8-part series known as My Brilliant Friend.

The story depicts the trials, tribulations and triumphs of two girls growing up in an impoverished town in Naples. As much as I have enjoyed the miniseries, which ended up in a sad and angry note, I was not exactly overjoyed to learn that there might be a subsequent season. Somehow, I do not feel the need nor desire to follow the story any further.

Well, I shall decide when and if it gets broadcasted on Belgian television again…

Jibber Jabber, Movies, Books & TV Shows


The pile of unread magazines have grown quietly and steadily in the past weeks. It is getting on my nerves…

This means that it is time for the remedies. There will be no library visits in the near future, an hour every morning dedicated to reading at least one magazine, and very limited computer time. Maybe I can even throw in an hour of reading time in the evening.

Belgium, Movies, Books & TV Shows

Movie In The Woods

Last evening after dinner, D and I biked to his parents house, parked our bikes, then walked to a small forest nearby. We joined a handful of people and watched a 90-minute Belgian animated film called ZOOks.

The ecologically-themed animation was enjoyable. The forest an enchanting location. It was a cosy gathering despite the fast dropping night temperature. 

After the film, a couple of drinks each, and saying goodnight to the parents, D and I biked back home. On our way back, D’s back light fell off. The old thing just dropped off and went ‘kaput’. Time to buy a new one.

Movie in the woods. Done it and may cross that off…

Movies, Books & TV Shows


Currently, I am reading (listening to) the hard science fiction novel known as Seveneves. This is not my first encounter of the works by Neal Stephenson. A few years back, I have read Snow Crash, a novel containing high speed chases, virtual worlds, avatars, robot dogs, and etc. Admittedly, I can no longer remember most of the storyline nor the ending of the novel.

Seveneves on the other hand will be more memorable. Reason being that there is a specific geeky part in my brain that caters to remembering stories related to the survival of humanity through intelligence and resilience.

Belgium, Movies, Books & TV Shows

Robo Sapiens

I am currently watching episode four of a 6-part documentary called Robo Sapiens. Even though I have always wished for a world filled with robotic helpers, I cannot help but get a bit freaked out by the current development in robotics and artificial intelligence. Maybe the tone will change to be a bit more optimistic at the end of the series? One can hope…