There is no loneliness like the loneliness of the dying. When it happens to us, we are all the same, we are all united, and we are all alone.

As a teenager, I remember vividly fearing death.
I think this started when I read about black holes, and how a fall into them could take an infinitely slow amount of time for an outside observer. This instilled an early fear that death, the decoherence of the soul, may in fact be an infinite act.

Imagine, time stretches to a creep as the mind, the atomic pearl of consciousness, is never…


Photo by Xavi Bou of starlings leaving a tree. See all his fantastic work at http://www.xavibou.com/

This is a little challenging to write about. It might end up being either too trivial or too elusive, instead of interesting, and it feels difficult to get it right that way.
It touches upon something that frustrates me deeply about human interactions — up to points of despair. As such it is sometimes a source of loneliness. At the same time I might not even be able to explain my frustration properly, and there’s a feeling of needing to break through a slab of writer’s block to do it.

Recently my daughter asked how electricity can cause shocks, and…


Follow me, onto a stream of thought and into the uncanny world of consciousness and quantum immortality.
But first now, a detour already, into the dark forest behind the mill, and a strange decor of infinities…

In Daniel Kehlmann’s excellent novel Tyll — a retelling of the folklore legend of Till Eulenspiegel — Claus, the boy’s father and miller, is obsessively occupied with a particularly confusing problem. He is thinking about a heap of grains, and what happens when grains are taken away from it. Precisely at which grain, while they are being patiently removed, at which one does the…


Recently, my daughter asked me during bathtime, “Why does my arm feel like it wants to float up when it’s underneath the water?”
The explanation I gave her seemed to resonate in a sort of good way, both for me and her, and I wanted to take the time to write it down, and support it visually. I was playing with
paper.js for supporting presentations last night and thought it was a good subject to try it on — actually I was also just looking for a fun thing to write during Covid-19 quarantine.

The reason why things float up…


This article deals with maths while not containing any advanced maths so it’s definitely safe even with a basic knowledge. It basically builds up to a short thought that struck me one day, which I hope you’ll find interesting.

When it comes to describing systems, recursion is often an easy and intuitive way to describe a flow of states

F(t+1) = something . F(t)

Where “something .” is some kind of operator that applies “Rules” to the previous state. The Rules could be anything that you define, like for instance some rules flowing from the free energy principle. The recursion…


The mechanism doesn’t make a sound, its complex matrix of gears smoothly readjusting their own constellation, an impossibly fantastic clock-work where the gears are more like small clocks themselves, and even their teeth reveal the infinite edges of fractals when examined up close.
Look now how a part of this mechanism slowly raises, a large angled finger that unfolds and falls in a smooth arc, crossing off another year on the ledger that represents my lifetime.
An after-thought, unimportant — just to keep the books, amidst a flurry of other more important things being done. …


The Cry of Love LP cover artwork by Nancy Beth Reiner

When Jimi Hendrix died at 27 years of age, he was working on a fourth studio album, of which we can only speculate the contents or even the title.
History has now affirmed itself— as it often does — in the idea that it would have been a double LP called “First Rays of a New Rising Sun”.

Jimi had been heralding a sort of mystical rebirth for some time, hidden in interviews, lyrics and banter on stage. In the aftermath of a widely covered drug charge, a shameful appearance at Madison Square Garden, so much weird 70’s shady manager…


Our Moon often gets an unfair amount of credit for its luminous properties, considering it acts solely as a pretty average reflector of sunlight.
Earth for instance, all watery and cloudy, reflects sunlight about three times better than the Moon does. You can actually see earthshine being reflected onto the Moon’s surface, and back at us!

Nearly everything we can touch and see is an indirect effect of the Sun being what it is though, so it is a bit trite to diminish the Moon or anything else for being ‘only’ in the Sun’s supporting cast. The Moon certainly is…


I was always intrigued by this video by Neil Sloane, called The Trapped Knight. You don’t have to see it before reading on, because I will explain it back from the beginning, but I do recommend watching it anyway. Mr. Sloane talks about this peculiar thing with a trademark passion. He’s definitely one of the “Feynmans” of number theory, although he doesn’t have the time to go very deep into this phenomenon.

I’ll take some time to analyse the situation a little deeper and try and come up with some new observations. You won’t need any advanced sort of knowledge…


Hurling through space, exactly thirty-six of Earth’s revolutions around the Sun have carried my consciousness to this very point. I thought it an opportunity as good as any to reflect back on the time I have left behind.

I am probably light-years away from the original point in which I started life, with the Sun itself, the Milky Way, the Virgo Supercluster all having moved a great deal in those 36 years, tugging me along with them. Me, their wondering, disobedient child. It would be impossible to say how far I have floated since then. This is a loaded question…

Maarten Mortier

Dad, nerd, runner.

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