archive for the 'politics' Category

Election Day (2017)

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

as i am writing this i am on a flight from Strasbourg back to Amsterdam. At the same time people back in the Netherlands are voting in one of the most contested elections of recent memory. There is a real (although increasingly unlikely) chance that the xenophobic, populist and anti European PVV of Geert Wilders […]

Terrorism and Urban Planning

Monday, January 16th, 2017

From the novel i am currently reading: Back in his hotel room he remembered that Mohammed Atta , the famous World Trade Center hijacker, had been a student of urban planning in hamburg in Germany. Was there a connection between the two things – terror and planning? It was possible. Atta in his religious way, […]

A new era

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

When I went to sleep yesterday night I was expecting my daughters Yuki and Mika to wake up in a world where three of the most powerful persons are women. Instead, we woke up to a world in which a misogynistic, ignorant, racist, fear-monger was elected to be the next president of the United States […]

The intriguingly strange motor cycle product names of Pakistan

Monday, July 25th, 2016

one of the most intriguing things that i noticed during my short visit to Lahore, Pakistan last week were the product names for the local motor cycles. In Lahore the Honda 70 (and its various knock-offs from local brands) is a near ubiquitous motor cycle that seems to be the primary means of transport for […]

summer reading tip: water, knifes, pistachio nuts and the tragedy of the commons

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

Here is a suggestion for a bit of summer reading: The first thing that you need to read (in order to polish up your knowledge of the water rights issues connected to the Colorado river, a.k.a the law of the river) is this New Yorker article from back in may: Where the River Runs Dry […]

The Homeless house cleaners of the sharing economy

Sunday, September 21st, 2014

If this NY mag article is to be believed you can hire house cleaners who are themselves homeless via www.homejoy.com a San Francisco based startup that has received $40 million in funding. Guess this says a lot about how out of whack the bay area real estate market is, but that is not what the […]

Equipopulous Europe

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

i am strangely fascinated by this map that depicts the European Union as 28 equipopulous member states (although i would rather imagine this as administrative territories rather than as states): Twenty-eight equally sized European Union Member States, by Alasdair Gunn Of course this is utterly unrealistic as (re)drawing borders has been one of the most […]

Capital or the erosion of the social farbric of the city

Friday, September 5th, 2014

This is the second book i have read this year that has the words ‘capital’ and ’21st century’ in its title. While this smells a lot like free-riding on the popularity of the other book, it is not [1]. Capital by Rana Dasgupta chronicles the last one-and-a-half decades of the Indian capital Delhi. It is […]

You cant invade a country and eat its chicken

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Rijsel does the best rotisserie chicken in Amsterdam hand down. Every time a have one of those i am reminded of an interview with a US soldier who served in Iraq in 2006 during the height of the first Iraqi insurgency. In this interview the solider spoke of how he hated paroling the streets of […]

this is wrong on so many levels…

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

… that it is difficult to decide where to start. I came across this par of adds in tuesday’s paper (the smaller ad on the left hand was on the front page and the the bigger one on the right was on page 7): For those not able to decipher dutch, this is a an […]