Bastiaan Reinink

Apr 172014
 

Based on my latest blog post I had an interesting discussion with someone. She felt that the word “energy” had many more meanings than just the physics one and that it made perfect sense to use it as such.

But why choose when you can have both?!?

But why choose when you can have both?!?

Thinking about this I came to how much power words really have. If we want to convey anything that is beyond the most basic emotions (which can be done using only body language / tone of voice), we have to resort to words. And while a well-known bit of statistics says that only 7% of the meaning of a conversation is in the actual words that are used (again, body language and tone of voice make up the rest) I’m willing to postulate however that our world would be completely different had we not had that 7%. Ideas are shared, shaped, challenged, built upon, using words. Without words inventions would only be possible by showing. Which works quite well once something is finished, but not so well if you’re still in the formative stages. Imagine a world without inventions…

On the other hand, words can be incredibly limiting as well. A few years back the word “career” would have called up images of slowly working myself up through my nine-to-five job, getting promoted and then getting promoted again (until you reach a level that is just slightly above what you are actually able to handle). It took a long time for me to realize that “career” could also include starting something for myself, being my own boss and biting off larger and larger pieces (until I bite off slightly more than you I chew…). Of course it wasn’t only the meaning of the word, but it sure contributed!

Don’t believe words are powerful? Try telling a random stranger you think they’re cute…
Words have power. They can communicate meaning or they can communicate misunderstanding. They shape our thoughts and the world around us.

I guess there is some truth to the saying “the pen is mightier than the sword”.

But if you bring a pen while your opponent brings a sword, you’re still on the losing (meaning the pointy) end.

Having altered your mind enough with my penmanship, I will leave you to your own thoughts…


Bastiaan ReininkI’m Bastiaan. I write this blog to give you some insight into the things I run into and perhaps to inspire you to go in search of your own life extraordinaire.

I love to connect, so if you have thoughts, ideas or questions based on this (or another) post, please leave me a comment!

Apr 132014
 

I’m not overly fond of the word “energy”. I have nothing against it per-se, it’s just that it gets used and abused for just about anything. Mostly spiritual things that have nothing to do with science.

This would definitely one way of getting a bit more energy when we need it!

This would definitely one way of getting a bit more energy when we need it!

The internationally recognized unit of measure of energy is the joule (though calories, ergs, kilowatt hours and British Thermal Units are also used). In more fundamental a joule equals a kilogram times meters squared, divided by seconds squared: J = kg m^2 / s^2

That’s a lot of symbols, but we can break this up in more useful units. The m / s^2 (meter per second squared) is the universally accepted way of measuring acceleration (unless of course you are from the US, in which case you’ll probably measure it in something like yards per fortnight squared). Acceleration is how quickly you can get to a certain speed: An acceleration of 10 m / s^2 means that you can go from standing still to 10 meters per second in 1 second.

This is multiplied by the kilogram, the well known unit for weight (unless you’re British, in that case think of it as something like a stone (the measurement, not the piece of rock)). Multiply a kilogram by a meter per second squared (kg m / s^2) and you get a unit for force: How much force do you need to accelerate a kg of something by a m / s^2. The unit for this is the Newton.

So a joule (energy, unit: kg m^2 / s^2) then equals a Newton times a meter, or force times distance.

I actually got thinking about energy because I was lacking it somewhat due to lack of sleep. Any other system remains at the same energy level when at rest, but for humans it increases… Or am I mixing up my meanings of energy now? :-)
Imagine a cannon (or better, a linear accelerator) with a barrel of one meter, with a cannonball of 1 kg inside. When the cannon is fired, the cannonball is given energy. Whilst it is inside the barrel it is accelerated (it goes from standing still to getting a certain speed). For this force is used (in the form of a controlled explosion of gunpowder). This force works over the entire length of the barrel of the cannon (1 meter). Once the cannonball exits the barrel, no more force is applied, so no more energy is added to the cannonball.

The cannonball has been given a certain speed, which will dissipate over time (due to friction with the air. So actually it is more correct to say that the kinetic (movement) energy of the cannonball is transformed into thermal (heat) energy (of the air and the cannonball)).

So much for the physics lesson.

When we talk about energy in every day life, it is in concordance with the physical interpretation to say we have “little energy” when we’re tired: We are unable to accelerate cannonballs over long distances. It is not in concordance if you say “I felt such a negative energy coming from him” (in the physical sense this would mean that cannonballs around this person would slow down (actually, that is complete bullshit, but it sounds nice and it does convey the picture)).

I’m perfectly happy to discuss non-scientific concepts. But please don’t abuse scientific words for it.


Bastiaan ReininkI’m Bastiaan. I write this blog to give you some insight into the things I run into and perhaps to inspire you to go in search of your own life extraordinaire.

I love to connect, so if you have thoughts, ideas or questions based on this (or another) post, please leave me a comment!

Apr 092014
 

As you might have noticed I write on this blog quite regularly. What I try to do is to take something from my life and generalize that. It might be an anecdote on something that happened a mistake or an insight. It seems inspiration is everywhere…

But I'm not the only one...

But I’m not the only one…

By default this becomes (somewhat) personal. Which is fine by me. It’s my life and I don’t mind sharing if I believe it can somehow benefit someone (including myself: I get a lot out of my writing, such as a time to reflect and sometimes completely new insights as well).

I try to be very careful when I write about others. It’s not their blog, they don’t (usually) have direct influence on what I write. And not everybody likes having their (personal) life shared here.

This is one reason I haven’t been writing overly much about my most recent relationship(s).

Or at least this is the excuse I’m using…

Because to be completely honest, I’m scared to write about it!

My relationships are out of the ordinary. Uncommon. Strange. Weird!

I’m dating a girl who has a girlfriend. I’m seeing someon on the side as well.

When I talk to people about this reactions range from interested to incredulous (and usually a bit of both).

Reactions however have never been downright negative. I’ve gotten the “that would not be for me”, which I can understand. Or “I’d be so incredibly jealous”, which I also get.

I do things differently. Because it works better for me than doing things the way most people do them. I make my own choices whilst respecting the choices of others. Is it then so strange to expect the same from those others, to have my choices respected, if not agreed with?

As I’m writing this I’m on my way home to have dinner and then go to a discussion night with my lover and her girlfriend. You need to make extraordinary choices to have an extraordinary life.
The thing to do is to face your fears and do it anyway: Fear only gets conquered by stepping over it and going ahead as though it doesn’t bother you (brave people are still afraid, they just don’t let their fear influence their behavior).

Recent experience seems to indicate that my choices do get respected. And every time that happens it becomes just that bit easier to talk about them. Easy enough to now (again) face my fears, to write about something that cuts extremely close to the bone.

I’m very happy with the choices that I make. I’d like to stop being afraid that others would want to take away some of that happiness.


Bastiaan ReininkI’m Bastiaan. I write this blog to give you some insight into the things I run into and perhaps to inspire you to go in search of your own life extraordinaire.

I love to connect, so if you have thoughts, ideas or questions based on this (or another) post, please leave me a comment!

Apr 052014
 

My minion (sorry, my co-worker) is a very smart girl. Still, she is new to field of modelling and finance and so she doesn’t know everything. Completely natural and to be expected. I therefore encourage her to try things. And yes, that means making mistakes once and awhile as well.

Some mistakes are just more ironic than others...

Some mistakes are just more ironic than others…

It is my firm belief that mistakes are good: If you’re not making mistakes, then you are already able to do what you’re doing, meaning you’re not being challenged and thus aren’t growing.

Theoretically perfectly sound and a good way to live.

Until I make a mistake of my own…

The model was done, results produced and discussed with the client. They were happy, I was happy, everybody was ready to break out the champagne.

When we found a mistake.

And not just any kind of mistake. The fundamental I’ve-known-this-since-I-built-my-first-model-at-my-first-job-and-now-I-did-it-wrong kind of mistake. And on top of it being fundamental, it also had a big impact.

I was horrified!

I’m a professional! I know my stuff! I certainly should know better!

But I didn’t…

Bruised ego, fears of getting kicked out, etc.

Until I took a moment to compose myself, to think back on my challenge for the past period(s).

Why does it bother me so much? Yes, I made a mistake. Yes, I’m going to fix it. And this might mean having to restate some stuff, some more work for other people. But really, is it such a big deal? Nobody died (or even got slightly injured!). Are these people going to hate my guts? Most likely not, and even if they do then please let them. Is my reputation destroyed? A bit battered perhaps, but that’ll eventually be restored as well. The worst that could happen is that these specific people won’t give me a job again. I don’t think this likely but even if, I can live with that (plenty more jobs out there…)

To err is human, to moo is bovine. I did feel a bit like a cow when this came to light though…
I got back to why I believe it’s good to make mistakes once and awhile: You learn from them. I’ve learned to double-check, not just my inputs, but also the most fundamental parts of the model itself.

But more importantly, this was a very good meta-learn. Yes, I make mistakes. And yes, this might influence people’s opinion of me. But it’s never as bad as I fear it to be. And even if people’s opinions change (for the worse), that isn’t the end of the world either.

So, make lots of mistakes, you learn from them!


Bastiaan ReininkI’m Bastiaan. I write this blog to give you some insight into the things I run into and perhaps to inspire you to go in search of your own life extraordinaire.

I love to connect, so if you have thoughts, ideas or questions based on this (or another) post, please leave me a comment!

Apr 012014
 

These last two months I’ve been working hard at caring less. Or perhaps a better way of putting it would be: Doing what I feel like doing.

The less you care about, the more time you have for the things you care about

The less you care about, the more time you have for the things you care about

I have these things in my head: Thoughts of how I think people want me to behave, ideas on what others expect of me.

After working with this for two months I’ve been figuring out that (almost?) all of these are projections. Mental kinks that I somehow convinced myself are out there instead of in here.

I can’t read minds (and after my experiences these two months, I’m not sure anymore whether I would want to or not). So I can’t (really) know what someone else wants; particularly what they want me to do. Perhaps I could make educated guesses. But they would be much more guesses than educated.

Last month has been somewhat less “revelational” than the one before that. Yes, I bumped into myself quite a few times where I (almost) did something because I thought that was what I was “supposed” to do (and I’m sure there was an equal number of times where I didn’t catch myself and let my actions be dictated by my projections). I do feel I still have a lot to learn in this:

  • If someone calls me to meet up and I can’t make it on the suggested date, then I have to come up with an alternative (even though I’m not overly fond of planning too far into the future).
  • Don’t look, even when she’s pretty. Especially when she’s pretty.
  • It’s not ok to hug acquaintances: They are sure to feel awkward.
  • Giving a compliment to a total stranger is just plain creepy.
  • Leaving work 10 minutes to 5 means I’m a lazy bastard and everybody there will think so.

She looked back. Looking at pretty girls who look back is pretty neat! ;-)
The above I got over. But I’m sure there is still ample to be working on, especially now that I’m in a new situation again (back to work that is), where there are ample new opportunities to practice. So my monthly challenge for April: Notice when I’m projecting and step over my own projections.

Or in other words: Care even more less!

PS.
I love writing this blog (else I would’ve stopped a long time ago), and I know there are people actually reading it. What I would love even more is to get a bit of interaction, so leave me a nice comment (or comment on someone else’s comment)!