Archive for The odd post


Posted in Religion, Society, The odd post with tags , , on February 9, 2011 by shirhashirim

I know a young Catholic priest whose sister regularly has to answer the question why her brother still works for ‘that institute’. It is the direct result of all the child abuse scandals in the Catholic church.

Since 2008 greedy banks issuing fishy mortgages have thrown the economy in a worldwide crisis that has affected millions of people. A friend of mine who works at a bank, department of selling mortgages, has never been asked a comparable question.

Extraverts and Introverts

Posted in introduction, The odd post with tags , on November 29, 2010 by shirhashirim

A few years ago my friends started surprising me by claiming I was an extrovert. They did this independently and at various occasions, so there must be at least some truth in it. And my blogging about this of course proves them right. Still, ever since childhood I have been convinced I am an introvert and I keep thinking I am. In psychological tests I score an extrovert, marginally, but still. So how come I keep thinking I’m an introvert?

There’s this idea I developed years ago to explain the paradox. It’s epistemological. There are two groups: yourself and the rest of the world. They differ in one respect, namely that they have a distinct knowledge about how ‘you’ communicate with the world around you.

The rest of the world can observe the amount, intensity and quality of your communication with them. They do this by looking at what ‘comes out of you’. And this they can compare with what and how other people communicate. Comparison with others will end you up on the ‘high end’ or ‘low end’ of the rate of exchange with the outside world.

‘Yourself’ can observe this too, but you also have the unique ability of reflecting on the communication that remains ‘inside’, the thoughts and actions that do not reach the outside world, but remain part of your inner life. ‘Yourself’ can compare your own communication with that of others, like the outside world can. But you can also compare the amount, intensity and quality of your own ‘outer life’ with that of your ‘inner life’.

Now the outside world can determine your extraversion or introversion by comparing you with others and seeing where you end op on a scale from ‘low’ to ‘high’. You end up an extrovert, when a majority of others communicates less, less intense or worse with the outside world.

‘Yourself’ however might, in your own eyes, end up an introvert when your volume, either quantitatively or qualitatively, of inner communication is larger that your outward communication. When only a small bit of your entire volume of thoughts gets ‘out’ and most of your thoughts remain inside.

Depending on the size of your mental life, it is quite possible for the outside world to experience you as an extrovert, while you yourself remain convinced you’re an introvert…

Definitive proof that God is not a woman

Posted in Religion, The odd post with tags , on August 20, 2010 by shirhashirim


Always be civil

Posted in Society, The odd post with tags , on May 10, 2010 by shirhashirim

Last Friday while cycling to work suddenly a car door opened in front of my oncoming bike. It was too late to steer away from harm so I flew though the air and landed on the pavement.

Two things happen: pain and an adrenaline rush that, had I given in to it, would have started me on a swearing & cursing excercise towards the driver that had been stupid enough to open his door without glancing in his mirror.

Somehow I managed to remain civil. Instead of hurling all my French vocabulary at your man, I checked whether my kneecap and shinbone had survived the air trip. Or rather: the car door and the unhappy landing. It had. My bike was fine and I had only suffered some bruises.

We exchanged telephone numbers, mainly so I could later during the day check whether my laptop, that had flown with me in my rucksack, had survived as well.

It had and I called your man to reassure him that the unhappy incident would now not have any more unfortunate consequences besides some bruises and a stiff leg.

He excused himself for not paying attention and told me why he hadn’t: he had gotten a start from a passing undertakers car, which I had seen as well. His younger brother had the day before suddenly suffered a heart attack and had died in the ambulance on his way to hospital. He wasn’t at all there.

I offered him my condolences, and counted myself lucky that I had remained civil.

April 15th: Day of Missed Friendships

Posted in Girlfriend, relationships, The odd post with tags , , , on April 15, 2010 by shirhashirim

Today’s the birthday of one of my witnesses at my wedding. Well, technically, she was my girlfriend’s witness, and our wedding was a ‘civil partnership’. That’s an alternative form of marriage that exists in my country. There are only three differences with a proper marriage, and they all refer to children. As long as my girlfriend and I did not have children -and we didn’t- we were legally indistinguishable from ‘married’ couples.

My girlfriend and I broke up eight days short of four months after our ceremony at the town hall. I realised I’d probably never see our witness and her husband again. In their case I regretted that to an extent that made me at least try to beat the odds. Slightly over a month later I wrote them an email saying that I realised circles of friends usually break up along the same lines that were there before, but that in their case, the odds weren’t satisfactory for me. I would miss them dearly.

I also explained that they were part of my girlfriend’s support network in the first place, so whatever decision they took, I’d respect it. I got an angry remark from my girlfriend, who had not yet informed her own witness of our breakup. Our witness and her husband did not reply.

Today she becomes 31 and I’ve been hesitating about sending her an email or text message to congratulate her. Off course I shouldn’t, and I won’t. But it hurts.

Instead, I decided to write this blog and declare April 15th to be the day of missed friendships. Today we think of all the people we once knew and wanted to befriend but didn’t. April 15th is for all those friendships that did not come about because of negligence, unfortunate miscommunications, stupidity or mere bloody circumstances.

Quote of the day (18)

Posted in Quote of the day, relationships, The odd post with tags , , on March 25, 2010 by shirhashirim

Deep down, we all consider ourselves a saint.

Quote of the day (17)

Posted in Quote of the day, The odd post with tags , on February 23, 2010 by shirhashirim

A great many people think they are thinking when they are
merely rearranging their prejudices.

William James (1842-1910).