My talk "Autism, technology and (almost) everything in between - the power of neurodiversity"

Nov. 27, 2022

(Recent clients: P&G;, Hubspot, Argenta, Nexxworks etc.)(For other neurodiversity-related work, look here) My mission is to help create an environment where neurodiverse people like me feel it's "safe" to stay true to who they are, where they know their different brain is valued for it's power and it is not something to be ashamed of. Unfortunately, we can't just do this by hanging an inspirational quote on the wall.Why? I grew up myself unaware o... (read more)

The brain as an optimisation algorithm

Nov. 17, 2021

I always think that we have a very cliché image of anxiety, depression, trauma etc. We are used to the image presented on television, whilst the reality of it is much more subtle. I think a lot of people are anxious a lot of time during their day and have absolutely no clue about it, instead they think they are just being analytical or super-optimizers (I often notice anxiety which I didn’t notice cognitively in my breathing). Same with trauma, you... (read more)

A futile attempt of my mind to understand itself

Nov. 14, 2020

The last few weeks, I have done some thinking on the origins and function of the mind. I of course, did this thinking with my mind. Or at least, that’s the feeling that the “I” doing the thinking has. But where did the “I” come from? Did the thinking create the “I”, or did the “I” do the thinking?As I am typing this, I am enquiring deeper into the matter for myself, and I hope to hear about your experience of your own mind as well, because it’s a t... (read more)

My autism and how I learned to free myself from past trauma

Oct. 28, 2020

The way I see my autism, is that I have a lack of automaticity in my brain. It goes from A,B, C.... to Z. Neurotypical people normally go from A to Z directly (also interesting to see that on a fMRI there's literally less highways between the different brain regions).Anyway, this lack of automaticity was hard in my youth, because I was not as fast as other kids in social situations. New situations also felt scary because I could not link them with ... (read more)

How an Amazonian plant was the best therapist I ever had

Oct. 14, 2020

With this article, I want to provide you with a brief summary of one of the most profound experiences of my life. It took place in the middle of the Amazon, in a wooden circle-shaped building. Inside were me, my girlfriend, a shaman, and some other not-so-average people. I'm quite aware that the word "shaman" might already put you off, but please bare with me. I'm not particularly a strong believer in hocus pocus. However, together with a shaman,... (read more)

A poem on death

June 16, 2020

Neurons, lightningLove, fearThere you appearLife, people, a worldFor you to puppeteerBlinded byThe world you createRunning away fromYour final fate (read more)

Autism and the magical world of social rules

May 25, 2020

Having a diagnosis of the “mental disorder” popularly known as autism, the whole social conventions world has always been mysterious to me. As a child, I didn’t have the privilege of my brain adopting automatically everything people threw at it, so I was in the horrible predicament of having to question the things that most of my peers took for granted.Now, every essay you read can probably be summed up in one or two sentences. The reason they are ... (read more)

On the addiction to drama

May 20, 2020

If you are like most people, you want to be “happy”. A word that’s being used with the same level of non-thinking like “hi” or “how are you?”. But do you really want to be happy? Or do your misfortunes give you purpose? Who would you be without your little dramas? They are a great distraction, fun little quests. What if you had none, what would you do then? Who would you be? Would you still be the same person, or would that fade? Would it make you ... (read more)

On stress

May 12, 2020

In physics, stress is when a force is exerted on an object in two incompatible directions at once, causing the material to transform or break. I have been wondering for a while now how much that is a good metaphor model for psychological stress as well? It depends of course how I define this stress, and for that I solely have my own conscious experience to do the sampling from. But, I am often stressed when I really want things to go in some way... (read more)

The wisdom of uncertainty

May 10, 2020

These are very uncertain times, and I feel my brain doesn't know how to cope with it. Where there were plans, there are now questions. And what I always took for granted (e.g. the freedom to go where I want), is now being questioned.I have some cognitive dissonance, because rationally I truly "believe" (to use an ugly word), that there is no such thing as certainty. There are so many factors to take into account that the world is just too complex i... (read more)

On the "why" of the "me"

Jan. 30, 2020

It is interesting how animals seem to be satisfied once their basic needs of food and shelter are met.However, most of us, animals as well, have the luxury of having these basic needs easily obtained. Through human history, there has never been a moment when we had it so good. Still, many of us are unhappy. We seem to require something "beyond" the necessities of food and shelter.But then what do we lack? And why do we lack? We are both blessed and... (read more)

Moroccan bike adventures

Nov. 30, 2019

I joined my podcast guest Jelle Veyt (you can listen to the episode here), on his bicycle trip through Africa. Being the nutcase as he is, he's on a quest to cycle all the way to the Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.Myself, a nutcase as well, but in a "different" way, decided that 2 weeks was more than enough. So I joined him from Tarifa in Spain to Agadir in Morocco. As with every grand adventure, it is of the utmost importance that a story of it is writt... (read more)

Lessons learned in 2018

March 13, 2019

It would be interesting if we could share among each other what we learned in this year’s trip around the sun, and making it a bit more meaningful than just a night of decadent partying.Here’s what I learned looking back:- I don’t exist. I’m just a mental construct, and what a weight off my shoulders.- Life is not about me, it’s about the people around me.- The only scary things that happened in “dangerous” South America the last 6 months, only ocu... (read more)

How to achieve personal victory... On the toilet.

March 12, 2019

It feels about time to write something again. I know so many people have been waiting impatiently for my next post, hitting the refresh button of my website in a constant state of neurosis. To be honest, I can't wait to publish this post myself. I have been craving for Facebook likes for a while now, and I truly have missed the sweet taste of dopamine. It will be great to feel accepted again, and to inevitably spending my time waiting for that g... (read more)

You and I, naughty superheroes

Nov. 2, 2018

Before one steps out of his door and starts to travel, one has expectations of these life-changing insights that are bound to happen when one embarks on a big unknown adventure. Well, that’s a load of crap.My best insight so far has been that my intestines are far less strong than I thought, and even though social dining is great, there’s never an excuse to invite a multitude of micro-organisms to your dinner table.However, with this much free time... (read more)

Assholism is not a disorder

May 16, 2018

I have had the unique opportunity to have come into contact with some unique specimens suffering of "Assholism" during my professional career..After some careful analysis, I inferred that having this medical condition really has some benefits. Therefore I think we don't have to see Assholism as a disease, it is just another way of being. I hope by writing this I can help counter discrimination against this often discriminated group.Certainly in a c... (read more)

WANTED: the kid that lived in my head

Feb. 20, 2018

** I wrote this some years ago when I was tired of an unmeaningful work experience. I didn't share it publicly because my fear of getting negative reactions. Ironically enough that is actually the main reason I got burned out in the first place. **As a kid, I didn't win many popularity awards and was known to be quite awkward. I didn't really know what I wanted to do, and took very little things seriously. I had the ability to be incredibly annoyin... (read more)

Float with the tide, or swim for a goal?

Dec. 12, 2017

I was having a conversation with a friend last weekend (whom I met through Couchsurfing, really cool how this enables you to meet all kinds of people). We were talking about meditation and how our sense of self can give us constant stress. But then the question arose: "should we go live in a monastery then and be like a plant for the rest of our lives?".As Hunter Thompson so eloquently put it once in a letter to a friend asking for life advice (lin... (read more)

How to not turn into a zombie!

Nov. 19, 2017

Next time you are on a train, in a pub, just a very social place, take a look around you.. Do you see any addicts around you? Maybe you may see some drunk people, maybe even a drug addict! They should be ashamed of themselves right!How about people on their phones? Are they addicted? Of course not, you might think, I can’t get high by browsing through Facebook, chemical substances can never reach me via a virtual channel!How many times have you tak... (read more)

On meditation and Buddhism

Nov. 10, 2017

For the past few months, I have grown a keen interest into Buddhistic meditation.I'd like to share my experience in the hope that it might benefit you as well (and to be honest I just want to recap it for myself).To be clear, I don't believe in the religious hocus-pocus related to it, but it offered me (eventually) some super easy wisdom that I rarely payed any attention to before.And that's the thing, meditation is easy, too easy. After some month... (read more)

On goals and silliness

Aug. 23, 2017

"Start saving some money for a house!""You should get that promotion in 3 years!"We have been primed since our childhoods to think in terms of predefined goals. Life is a series of goals, and once you achieve one, you have another that's waiting inpatiently in line. And not achieving them by the time the deadline knocks on your shoulder, we see as a henious shame for which universal pitty seems to be the only cure.Our brains are so automised... (read more)

With big data comes big responsibility! (Dutch)

June 12, 2017

** As appeared in Belgian magazine Datanews (Roularta) **Iedereen van ons maakt honderden beslissingen per dag. Niet alleen in het echte leven, maar ook in onze virtuele interacties. En net zoals we in real-life beïnvloed worden door externe factoren in onze beslissingen, is dit op digitaal vlak evenzeer zo. De vraag die we ons moeten stellen, is of dit op een manier gebeurt die ons ten goede komt? We moeten dagelijks zoveel beslissingen nemen d... (read more)

Are you thinking or is your brain?

Jan. 8, 2015

Our decisions can be made using 2 processes, System 1 and System 2. This is called “dual-process" theory and was first layed out by Nobel-prize winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman. The fact that he won his Nobel prize in economics – not psychology - just shows how much impact this theory can have, if put to good use. System 1 makes most of our decisions and is impulsive, automatic, unconsious and intuitive. As an example, when you tied ... (read more)