Smokes your problems, coughs fresh air.

Category: Tribe (Page 1 of 2)

Family, Friends & Acquaintances

Exhaling on YouTube

I’ve created a YouTube channel separate from my private account and branded it “BigSmoke”. The channel’s purpose is to breathe some fresh air into some online discussions that I follow(ed). Actually, the content is the sort of content that I used to want to put more of on BigSmoke, but which I now found to be better suited for long-form discussions than for laying down my views from some ivory tower.

The first three puffs of fresh air feature my brother Jorrit:

  1. In the first puff, recorded shortly after he (and me too for the nth time) quit caffeine. The cue for me to want to do that podcast (and stop putting off this creative endeavor indefinitely) was when he told me that quitting caffeine took a heavier toll on his body and mind than did quitting smoking and drinking at the same time a few months earlier. I though that that was a great story to put into perspective that yes, caffeine really is a serious, addictive drug that can interfere not just with your dreams but actually with your dreaming!

    Production-wise, the worst part of this first podcast is that my face is tiny, because I used Google Meet and neglected to install a browser extension to undo its limited layout support or to even just click my own face when I was talking.

  2. The 2nd puff of fresh air centered around meaning. Without the caffeine in my system, I was having more trouble than usual to find the meaning in my “mostly for money” job that’s really doing nothing to make the world a better, more beautiful place. Also, my self-discipline had declined to a long-time, leaving too little time and energy around work-work for more creative meaningful endeavors (such as doing podcasts).

    There was a bit of a production problem with my 2nd puff of fresh air. The one published is a re-iteration of the same discussion we had some days before that but for which I recorded an empty audio stream of my docking station’s unconnected microphone input instead of the audio stream of the laptop port in which my microphone was actually plugged in. At least I did find Jitsi, which allowed easier side-to-side video frames.

  3. In the 3rd puff of fresh air, we zoom in on some topics that we brushed past in the 2nd without really touching. I talk about my pain and shame of being mostly just another cooperating cog in the machine that is wreaking planetary-scale havoc and that is grinding ecosystems all over the world out of existence. Jorrit’s focus is on the harm that’s done to human happiness by our culture (and also the “away with us” culture of which I’m sometimes a part). We try to make our visions on self-discipline collide, but we end up finding more agreement than we expect. Most of our disagreement turns out to be superficially bound to societal structures which we both would rather see transformed than preserved in their current sickly form.

    We switched back to Google Meet for this 3rd recorded conversation, because the free Jitsi server we used was performing shakily that day.

Linde learns to fly

Linde is my niece. She was born to my sister in March of this year. I’m a very, very proud uncle. Did I mention how proud I am? I’m proud. Especially now that she is learning how to fly!

Linde is learning to fly

Jeroen Dekker (photography) on-line

Jeroen Dekker, a friend and photographer, has recently, on May the 5th, put his website on concert photography on-line. (Go check it out! He has some great pictures there.)

I was very flattered when I was asked by Jeroen to give some SEO advice in the test stage of his website. I was even happier when I saw how well he had implemented my suggestions. In his concert photography section, he now has links consisting of the event name and the band name and the number of the photo. An example URL: Also his page titles follow the same structure. As is often the case with SEO, the best results are acquired by remembering that good URLs are URLs which are cool enough that you won’t want to change the in the future and that good titles are titles which look good anywhere, be it in a bookmark or a search result.

Jeroen Dekker concert photography Jeroen Dekker news

I also noticed that, following some evangelizing on semantics and CSS from me, he had greatly cleaned up the HTML markup. Some pages could still profit from some bettermore pedantic markup though. An example from the news section (cleaned up for readability):

<p> The following bands played:<br>
 - <a href="">Eluveitie</a><br>
 - <a href="">Thy  Majestie</a><br>
 - <a href="">Drottnar</a><br>
 - <a href="">Whispering Gallery</a><br>

In my opinion, the above is a very awkward way to define what is really an unordered list:

<p>The following bands played:</p>
  <li><a href="">Eluveitie</a></li>
  <li><a href="">Thy  Majestie</a></li>
  <li><a href="">Drottnar</a></li>
  <li><a href="">Whispering Gallery</a></li>

Finally, a nice touch that I noticed on his site is that he doesn’t have explicit pagination. By this I mean that clicking on the page 2 link simply takes you to the first photo on that page, so that he needs only an URL for each photo and not an URL for each page or even photoset.

A domain for the Omega Research Foundation

Popko, my dad, has founded the Omega Research Foundation in 1984 (when I was two years old). The Foundation was to serve as a a vehicle for his research into cyclical changes within ecological and social systems.

Last week, after 23 years of hibernation, the foundation has been geared up again to publish what Popko had already been wanting to publish these twenty plus years ago. So, what happened in between? For the last 15 years, Sicirec happened. Actually, Sicirec is still happening, but, starting last month, I don’t need to spend the majority of my waking hours on it anymore. That’s why I registered the domain and installed a wiki and a weblog under it.

Jorrit is also in on this project. We’re doing this together, the three of us, hoping to involve others from within and around our circle.

Omega Research Weblog Omega Research Wiki

Rowan Rodrik van der Molen


Norg, on an April the 8th in 1982: It was around 18:45 when my mother’s physician arrived, leaving his dessert untouched at home, just in time to witness my birth. (I was my mother’s fourth already and she never took much time between anouncing a birth and giving birth.) Without much further ado, I was delivered into this world as a sacky, slow, little fellow. So slow, in fact, that it was wondered by some (not my mom) if I wasn’t suffering Down Sydrome or something similar.


My father’s family name was van der Molen. This is what I inherited. To make me uniquely identifyable within our family, I was given a first name, Rowan. To also make things a little symmetrical, a middle name, Rodrik, was added some years later.

This is me, in 2004, copy-pasted between some rowan berries.

This is me, in 2004, copy-pasted between some rowan berries.

Geek Code

Version: 3.1
GCS/IT/LS/MC/SS/TW d-(+) s:++ a? C++$ UL+++$ P++$ L+++$ E--- W+++$ N++ o K-
w---$ O? M->+ V? PS+++ !PE Y+ PGP-(++) t 5 X R(-) !tv b++@ Dl D G !e- !h !r

Hacker Key

I like to call myself a [Hacker glider button]


Wiebe Hedde Cazemier

If you’re into Open Source software, 3D modeling or Do It Yourself audio, you may already know Wiebe under his on-line alias, Halfgaar. Personally, I’ve known him since I was 10 and he was 9. These days he’s still a very good friend, and even a colleague.

His Ferrari F50, not your usual lawn decoration.

His Ferrari F50, not your usual lawn decoration.

Strongly straight-forward

As a very analytical, factual thinker, Wiebe is the kind of person who doesn’t run with the newest buzzwords. He simply says what he thinks and his thoughts usually follow from very sound and steady logic. As a programmer, this makes him invaluable. At times, as a human, this may make him hard to stomach if, as is usual, he is right and you are not. But, don’t worry: he will usually be kind enough to explain to you exactly—very exactly—why it is that you are wrong.

So, he may not be the type for marketing, but for anything that needs to be done robustly and thoroughly, he is irreplaceable.

Solid knowledge

  • System administration: As every Geek with family and friends, Wiebe has the obligatory knowledge of how to keep a network of Windows systems somewhat stable, but this knowledge is irrelevant compared to his experience and skill in Unix system administration. His favourite Linux distribution is Gentoo Linux and, as follows from his many posts to the Gentoo Forums, he is a Linux Guru indeed.

  • Backups: even to most system administrators, they’re just an afterthought, but he really knows his dar backups from your tar’s. And, he’s published about it too.

  • Audio-engineering requires an enormous level of insight in the complex dynamics of audio waves and electronics. To me, it’s mostly Chinese, but he has built his own amps, speakers and subwoofer. If he notices even the slightest artifact in the sound, he goes back to the drawing board and just redoes the circuits another time.

Learn more

Wiebe can be contacted at, unless if you’re a spammer, because he happens to be an expert-level SpamAssassin administrator.

Web presence

Jorrit Jorik van der Molen

Jorrit is a boy, the only other boy among my five siblings. He is the oldest son of our parents, and big brother to everyone except Arwen. Of the six of us, he’s easily the most intelligent.


The greatest of all dreamers, Jorrit’s great dream is that all other people will realize theirs.

Once, alone à la Boucoule in France, I saw a rainbow nearby. It ended in the mountainside only meters away, but the meters multiplied as I came closer…

A motivational poster

Jorrit has never physically chased a rainbow. Yet, he has had to take truckloads of muck from people (such as me (and me (and me))) because of his dreams. They call him a dreamer, which he acknowledges: Yes, I am a dreamer!

Simple start

Jorrit’s childhood dreams started as simple as many people’s dreams: after high-school, he wanted to travel, preferrably by motorcycle. Seeing different places and people, while roaming free was all I think he wanted. Such dreams, although considered by some to be frivolous, are still socially acceptable enough (as long as you grow out of it with time, of course).

Romantic love rules and complicates

Towards the end of high-school, some things happened: his deep dissatisfaction shifted from himself towards society and school. At seventeen he went on a spiritual retraite together with Popko, our father. There he met some changes of insight and also his first love. Eventually, he settled at his love Tineke’s place to live happily together.

There was one problem with his newly found happyness. Avatar, and later Landmark had greatly boosted his urge to change the world. He had left these courses with a feeling that with good-enough planning and persistence the world could be once again turned into a paradise. However, Tineke didn’t much like his more disruptive and revolutionary side. She preferred things to be relatively stable and secure. In the end, Jorrit required quite a bit of Cannabis to make his increasingly boring life and increasingly dull dead-end jobs more bearable.


But, drug usage and dead-endness notwithstanding, life was good with his lovely Lady. That is, untill she wanted to move on with an older man. To Jorrit, his and Tineke’s ±25 years of difference in age seemed less of a problem, but he obligued.

Then, back to our Dad Popko’s place, where he spend a year or two feeling quite depressed. During that time, he worked for Popko. Eventually, he and Popko clashed more often due to a lack of mutual respect and Jorrit moved to a place of his own in the city of Groningen.


During that hopeful time

During that hopeful time

For a while, life seemed much greather there. He had his own little garden, could get up whenever he damn well pleased and could smoke all the weed he wanted without anyone commenting on these or other bad habits. This would be the environment from which he could start to organize things in order to change the world around him.

But, plans remained plans. No freedom was aquired and no freedom was spread. Society stayed as stubournly stupid as it has always been (for the last ten thousand years, that is).

A motivational poster

Lies and truths

Often, I’ve told him: Open your eyes! Look around you! There are plenty of happy people! Sometimes, he vaguely acknowledged this, but only to stop me from acting smug, because the truth is simply too obvious: most people are not even satisfied with their lifes, let alone happy; the world population at large is doing misarable. We’re so dysfunctional that we can’t even preserve the very environment that sustains us.

But, few of us like to hear the truth, even if the bearer of truth caries the good news of liberation. To protect their cages, the people have done more than ignoring Jorrit. He has been ridiculed, laughed at and called a Satan.

A motivational poster

Travel, after all

Luckily, in October 2005, Jorrit managed to escape the prison-like confines of his own life. He, his girlfriend and me left for France on our bicycles. I left them there a month later, and, as of August 2006, his prison cell still seems empty.


  • Hyves profile
  • Email him at
    (Replace AT with @ and DOT with .)

Laurelin Lucinda van der Molen

Of my two younger sisters, Laurelin is the youngest. She disrupted the steady trend of the two years interval between all her five older siblings by being born three instead of two years after Myrna, in 1987.

Laurelin likes to look at faces, especially her own. To her credit, this is a pretty(,) good-looking face.

This is the face that captures so much of her own spurious attention.

This is the face that captures so much of her own spurious attention.



Age ...

Like me, she likes skating, but she likes it even more. She also dabbles in Wushu a bit, which she likes much less so. Dancing is one of her passions, but don’t disturb her dancing, especially if you’re a fugly retard! If you’re lucky you’ll get away with the crushed nuts threatment. If you’re lucky that is.

Want more?

If your mirror reflects a Greek demigod of sharp wit and features, you may contact her for romantic encounters. She won’t make do with anything less. These are her own decisive words. Anyway, if you’re curious you may want to learn more:

Myrna Marinda van der Molen

I hope one day I get to see
The secret land of if
Where in between the maybe’s
The only lonely live


Myrna is one of my sweet little sisters.

See? Sweet as can be.

See? Sweet as can be.

Two years after me, she was born into this world on May, the 6th. As with me, the place of birth was Norg, but on a different address.

She has long had a temper. This may or may not have something to do with years of torture by her bigger brother and sister (that being me, and Ynske). I’m not sure about her temper now, so just don’t tempt her, and remain on the safe side.

Sicco. He is now the only one who may tempt her.

Sicco. He is now the only one who may tempt her.

Whaddashe do?

When she isn’t reading, she writes pretty poems, short stories or even books.


  1. Despite being just as stubbornly lazy as her brother (this brother), in 2001, Myrna did manage to finish her high-school education.
  2. She managed to be admitted to art school with her low-end MAVO diploma, while most of everyone was telling her this wasn’t even allowed. This was still in 2001.
  3. Just before they would have had her starting to believe that making ugly, soulless crap is actually doing a service to society, she escaped art school with her good taste almost intact. Phew…
  4. During the year 2004, she accomplished the amazing feat of losing 20 Kg in about two months time. She has since remained at a healthy weight.


See her own website for more.

Some of the artwork on this page is copyrighted by Myrna. So, if you want to have permission to use anything, I refer you to herself.

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