parking licence

Events in my life related to 11 September

 

All these accidents
That happen
Follow the dot
Coincidence
Makes sense
Only with you

State of emergency
How beautiful to be
State of emergency
Is where I want to be

– Björk, Joga

Accidents, emergency, coincidence and connecting the dots. Behind it all could be some kind of love affair. Emergency and 11 September are closely linked to each other, not only because of the number 911 being the emergency services telephone number in the United States. Was someone destined to make sense of these coincidences? If there are messages hidden in pop-music then this could be true. In any case, there have been a few peculiar coincidences related to 11 September in my life.

Marcel is my brother in law and 11 September is his birthday. On 11 September 2001 he turned 33 years old. My sister Anne Marie had booked a trip to New York for them both as a birthday present. In the morning she told him that they were going to New York the next weekend. That afternoon the terrorist attacks took place. They had to cancel the trip. They went to a holiday park in the Netherlands instead.

On 11 September 2010, just after midnight, I turned around in my bed. Suddenly the bed collapsed, leaving me wondering on the ground. After standing up I saw that the time was 0:33. A few moments later I realised that it was 11 September and that Marcel had turned 33 on 11 September 2001. That was nine years before while nine is three times three. On the same day two plane incidents occurred at Eindhoven Airport.1 There have been several intriguing coincidences in my life referring to a particular lady. And she lives in a suburb of Eindhoven, a peculiar coincidence.

On 11 November 2009 (11/11/11 as 2 + 0 + 0 + 9 = 11) I went to the town hall to pick up my new parking licence. The number of the parking licence turned out to be 009011. It was valid until 27 November 2011. If you compress the numbers as numerlogists often do, then 27 November refers to 9/11 as 2 + 7 = 9 and November is the 11th month of the year. The years (20)09 and (20)11 also refer to 9/11. The remaining digits are 20 and 20 = 9 + 11.

The initials of my last name are KI. When translated into digits (A=1, B=2), you get: 11/9 or 11 September in European notation. My first name starts with B, which can be translated into 2. Hence, my initials consist of the numbers making up the emergency services number 911 and 112. Perhaps that is not impressive but the following will make you wonder. I was born on the Iepenstraat, which means Elm Street in English. The horror picture A Nightmare on Elm Street was released on 9 November 1984 (11/9 American notation) in the United States and on 11 September 1986 (9/11 American notation) in the Netherlands. Now that is peculiar.

In the spring of 2011 I saw a German car with licence plate KLE-KI-911 in Leeuwarden while biking to my work. This car passed by a few times around the same time near the same spot. The first time I only noticed the number 911 so seeing the car multiple times made me notice the extent of the coincidence. KLE are the first three letters of my last name, while KI are the initials of my last name. Dutch licence plates linking my name to 9/11 in this way do not exist. The car appeared in the Netherlands where I was going to my work some 200 kilometres from the home town of its owner.

In the spring of 2013 I put the apartment on the ground floor of our house up for rent. A young woman applied for it. She was born on 11 September 1990 it turned out, and so she had turned 11 years old when the attacks of 11 September 2001 took place. A few days later I called her to inform her that she could rent the apartment. When I called her, her father had just been hospitalised. He died a few days later.

Featured image: Plumes of smoke billow from the World Trade Center after the September 11 attacks. Michael Foran (11 September 2001). Public Domain.

1. Vliegtuig in problemen landt op vliegveld Eindhoven. Nu.nl (2010). [link]

broken mirror

A shattered mirror

Most of our thinking happens intuitively. Intuition works fast so it is sometimes called fast thinking.1 We are not aware of this so you can barely call it thinking. Only when our intuition runs into trouble reason is called into action. Reason is called slow thinking. If you can get away with the judgements coming from your intuition there is no reason to think things through. Evolution made this happen. It is easy to understand why. Humans who took the time to consider all the options when a pride of lions was coming into their direction didn’t survive and procreate so that their genes died out.

Great chess players don’t consider all the options either. Based on past training and experience their intuition presents a few options to the conscious thinking process called reason. Billions of other options are ignored, nearly all of them not worth considering. That’s what makes a great chess player a great chess player. The brain has limited processing capabilities. Clogging it with countless useless options would downgrade its performance.

Computers don’t have an intuition but they have become fast enough to consider so many options, including a lot of useless ones, that they are able to find better moves that chess players can’t think of because their intuition limits them. Nowadays computers beat even the best chess players. But what if intuition fails you more often than happens to most people? In that case you might consider options other people don’t think of. Others may call you crazy or insane. Indeed, most of the options you consider are not worth considering, but you don’t know that until you have found it out yourself. If that applies to you then you may be autistic. If the condition is sufficiently mild you can still lead a normal life, but you need a major amount of reasoning and experimentation to achieve just that.

Let’s explain this using an example. Yuor brian autmotaically corercts speillng erorrs. Probably you were able read the previous sentence without any effort. Otherwise you have to solve the puzzle by trying out different words to see if they make sense. In that case you might find meanings that weren’t intended. If you must figure out social rules in a similar way, for example by trying courses of action and evaluating responses of other people, you’re in for a lot of trouble. Most people make sense of the world intuitively, but if you are autistic, reality appears to you like a 10,000 pieces jig saw puzzle or a shattered mirror. You must fit the pieces together. That takes a lot of time and effort and the pieces hardly ever fit perfectly. What you get is something similar to what other people think of as reality.

Autism nevertheless survived the evolutionary rat race called survival of the fittest. How could this happen? There is a possible explanation. Who can find the answers when intuition fails everyone, for example during a crisis? These situations require trying out ideas other people don’t think of, and quite possibly ignorance with regard to social conventions to pursue these ideas. Perhaps you think of autists as weirdos cracking riddles nobody else can. There is some truth to that image. Some pundits have claimed that Newton and Einstein were autistic. They may have appeared to be geniuses just because they tried options other people didn’t think of. In this way they discovered things other people couldn’t. Autists can keep working on their eccentric projects despite the constant rejection they receive. And some of their efforts turn out to be useful. Perhaps I have fixed the mirror. The pieces seem to fit.

1. Thinking, Fast and Slow. Daniel Kahneman (2011). Penguin Books.

Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau

Meeting Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau

Despite his bumbling and clumsy appearance, Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau was always able to solve the mystery. Guided by a few hunches and some vague clues that only made sense in his mind, he always ignored the most obvious explanation of the facts. How can a clown like him be correct all the time while the competent fail? The answer is that Jacques Clouseau is a fictional character in a story. The plot was always the same: Jacques Clouseau is right in the end.

The licence plate number on Franz Ferdinand’s car features a reference to 11 November 1918, the end date of World War I. The war comprised of billions of actions of millions of individuals. To make it end on this date requires complete control of every thought and every move of every actor. The world we live in could be fiction. Hence, I may be right about the nature of this universe, the identity of God as well as the future direction of society and the economy, while the greatest minds on Earth can do no better than firing a shot in the dark.

It was the autumn of 1989. My life had just gone off the rails. I had been evicted from a students dormitory for not fitting in the group, which more or less came down to not getting along with a particular lady. I made her cry, or perhaps she cried to make me feel so miserable so that I would leave. And this I did. Henceforth I committed myself to leading an insignificant life so that I would disturb no-one, something even a complete failure like me should be capable to do. But perhaps I grossly underestimated the enormity of the failure as even this modest goal may well be out of reach.

I moved back to my parents’ home to gather some courage to try another dormitory. In the years that followed came the peculiar coincidences suggesting that my business with this particular lady from the dormitory had not finished yet. Some of these incidents were quite disturbing. They were to few in number to make me suspicious, but they were too curious to remain unnoticed.

Back then in the autumn of 1989 there wasn’t much to laugh for me, except for a few episodes of Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau that were aired on German television. My parents lived near the German border so I could see them.

In 2008 it became clear that my business with this lady wasn’t finished yet. In the years that followed I bumbled through the investigation with some vague clues that only made sense in my mind. And that resulted in this plan for the future. If I am right, or when people are going to believe that this might be the case, it would be the result of an array of accidents and failures, or perhaps the plot of the story, but certainly not my genius.

Featured image: Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau [copyright info]

Illustration for the first edition of Utopia

Welcome to Utopia

Until very recently nearly everyone lived in abject poverty. Most people had barely enough food to survive. In 1651 the philosopher Thomas Hobbes depicted the life of man as poor, nasty, brutish, and short.1 Yet, a few centuries later a miracle had happened. Nowadays more people suffer from obesity than from hunger while the life expectancy in the poorest countries exceeds that of the Netherlands in 1750, which was the richest country in the world in the wake of the Industrial Revolution. And we may soon have nuclear fusion providing us with unlimited energy for free. That may be the end of poverty as poverty is basically a lack of access to energy.

In 1516 Thomas More wrote his famous novel about a fictional island named Utopia. Life in Utopia was nearly as good as in the Garden Of Eden. The Utopians worked six hours per day and took whatever they needed. Utopia means nowhere but the name resembles the word eutopia which means a good place. The pun may have been intended. His book inspired a lot of writers and dreamers to think of a better world while leaving the hard work to entrepreneurs, labourers and engineers. Today many of us have more stuff than they need. So why do we work so hard and feel insecure about the future?

The answer lies within the dynamic of capitalism. The capitalist economy must grow. It is not enough that people just work and buy the products they need. They must work harder to buy more otherwise businesses will go bankrupt, investors will lose money, and people will be unemployed and left without income. To forestal this disaster, we are made to believe that buying stuff makes us happy. As Yuval Noah Harari points out in his book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind2:

To make sure that people will always buy whatever new stuff industry produces, a new kind of ethic appeared: consumerism. Most people throughout history lived under conditions of scarcity. Frugality was thus their watchword. A good person avoided luxuries, never threw food away, and patched up torn trousers instead of buying a new pair.  Consumerism has worked very hard, with the help of popular psychology to convince people that indulgence is good for you, whereas frugality is self-oppression.

In the affluent world of today one of the leading health problems is obesity, which strikes the poor (who stuff themselves with hamburgers and pizzas) even more severely than the rich (who eat organic salads and fruit smoothies). Each year the US population spends more money on diets than the amount needed to feed all the hungry people in the rest of the world. Obesity is a double victory for consumerism. Instead of eating little, which will lead to economic contraction, people eat too much and then buy diet products – contributing to economic growth twice over.

Most previous ethical systems presented people with a pretty tough deal. They promised paradise, but only if they cultivated compassion and tolerance, overcame craving and anger, and restrained their selfish interests. This was too tough for most. The history of ethics is a sad tale of wonderful ideals that nobody can live up to. Most Christians did not imitate Christ, most Buddhists failed to follow Buddha, and most Confucians would have caused Confucius a temper tantrum. In contrast, most people today successfully live up to the capitalist-consumerist ideal.

Capitalism brought us prosperity so most of us won’t ask questions like why are there still poor people or are there limits to our desires? It might feel like biting the hand that feeds you. Answers aren’t easy to come by either. Alternatives to capitalism weren’t successful. Perhaps capitalism helped to reduce poverty more than anything else. But the capitalist dynamic of growth appears to be slowly halting. People are going into debt to buy stuff so they can’t buy more in the future.

Before long we may live inside our own make-believe fairy tale virtual realities writing our own life’s stories. In that case we won’t need a lot of real stuff any more. Finally there could be enough for everyone, and perhaps far more than we desire. Machines may do most jobs in the future so most people might become unemployed. That may require a new ethic. In the future there may not be an economy or money but for the time being we may need an economy that can flourish without growth.

Featured image: Illustration for the first edition of Utopia by Thomas More.

1. Leviathan. Thomas Hobbes (1651).
2. A Brief History Of Humankind. Yuval Noah Harari (2014). Harvil Secker.

Who is she?

It was the spring of 1989. I was planning to leave my parents’ home to live on the campus of the University of Twente in Enschede. Students on the campus lived in groups. Newcomers had to do an interview before being admitted. I had been turned down several times. This was my seventh interview. A female student asked most of the questions. She seemed to be the boss. She attracted my attention in other ways too. For instance, during the interview she said to me: “You were warned of me during a previous interview.” Then she mentioned the specifics of where it happened and the name of the student warning me. And indeed it had happened that way. Perhaps someone had informed her but still it was odd. I was admitted to the group and moved there on 13 May 1989, a Saturday.

She often said peculiar things. For instance, she repeated the acronym HAFMO like a mantra. These letters were the initials of the first and middle names of Hans van Mierlo, the principal founder of the Dutch political party D66. In 1989 he was again the leader of D66 after being out for a while. He was good-looking and popular with the ladies. D66 was a pragmatic liberal party in favour of referendums. The party played a major role in reforms that made the Netherlands one of the most liberal countries on the planet. There were elections upcoming in September so I guessed she would vote for D66. But this may not have been the reason why she repeated the acronym so many times. D66 as well as Hans van Mierlo have been used in a scheme related to D-Day. She currently lives in the municipality of Geldrop-Mierlo in the Eindhoven area. Indeed, this is strange. And strange was also a word she repeated endlessly.

She was intimidating. It was better that you didn’t stand in her way. She dominated the scene. Once she said that all the women in her vicinity adapted their cycles to hers. This remark may appear delusional but it didn’t feel that way back then. And she occupied herself with cryptograms. These are about the hidden meanings of words. She wanted the living room to be redecorated. And so it was done, like everything else she requested. During the redecoration she made a copy of a Mondriaan painting on the wall.

Painting of Piet Mondriaan
Painting of Piet Mondriaan (1921).

After some time she began to make hateful remarks towards me. She singled me out. It was as if she had moulded the group into her little version of Paradise and that I didn’t fit in. It didn’t take long before I was forced to leave. That was on 13 October 1989, a Friday. She reproached me for being rude and hurting the feelings of others. I was a hapless autist and did not fit in so there was no reason to suspect a hidden agenda. Yet, over the years a series of peculiar coincidences happened, suggesting that my business with her wasn’t finished yet. Some of these incidents were quite eerie. For a long time I believed them to be just coincidences. That was until the autumn of 2008.

September was turning into October. The financial crisis was getting serious. Things were falling apart. I had anticipated such an event for a long time and believed that interest would the underlying cause of financial collapse. Over the years I had discussed interest-free money on message boards but it was hard to convince other people. Interest-free money seemed an impractical idea. Why would anyone accept interest-free money if you can receive interest elsewhere? There was no solution, at least so it seemed, and usury was about to bring down human civilisation. Already in the year 2000 I bought some gold to cope with such an event. I also stored canned foods in the basement. At the end of September I began to think again about interest-free money.

Then in early October I figured out a solution. If interest were to be banned, investors would seek alternatives like equity. Balance sheets would become less leveraged and financial crises would be a thing from the past. Now comes the stunning discovery… trumpets please… the economy could do better and investors could make better yields. If there is no interest, the money could increase in value. Hence, an interest rate of zero could be positive return that could better the yields on interest-bearing money. In this way interest-free money would be possible, or even inevitable as soon as the knowledge becomes public. When yields on interest-free money are better there will be a capital flight so that interest-bearing money would be finished.  This was a shocking find. It could be the end of usury. I named the idea Natural Money. The basic idea is:

  • There is no interest on money and debts. Business profits are allowed.
  • There is a tax on money of 10% per year. This tax only applies on cash. It doesn’t affect investments and money lent including bank accounts. So if you lend out your money you don’t have to pay the tax so it can be attractive to lend without interest.

The financial crisis could easily turn into a biblical end times event. And I found a fix, or at least I believed I did. To be sure I didn’t invent Natural Money. It has been around for a long time. I only discovered its potential. Soon peculiar coincidences began to pile up. For instance, I woke up at night again and again to see time prompts like 2:22, 3:33, 4:44 and 5:55 time after time. And there was more. Natural Money is named after the Natural Economic Order of Silvio Gesell in which the tax on money was first proposed. Natural Economic Order can be abbreviated to NEO. Neo is the main character in the film The Matrix. The Natural Economic Order was first published in German. The original German title of the book is Natürliche Wirtschafts Ordnung and can be abbreviated to NWO. Perhaps these things weren’t just a coincidence. That gave me the uncanny feeling that the discovery could be part of a greater scheme. And so I began to suspect that she had something to do with it.

My suspicions were soon confirmed when I tilted into a psychosis. Lots of remarkable coincidences happened at the same time. I have written a detailed account of these events but for now it suffices to say that it was suggested that she is Eve and that I am Adam and that we were to restore the gardens of Paradise. I don’t have any memory of a previous life. Curiously my wife Ingrid had added curcumin to our foods. Curcumin allegedly improves memory and helps against Alzheimer disease. And suddenly I was ‘remembering’ being Adam. More remarkable coincidences were to follow.

It may have been possible to discard the suggestions if it wasn’t for the coincidences. I just mention a few of them. She now lives in a suburb of Eindhoven. Eindhoven can mean Final Gardens. We might be on a journey from the Garden Of Eden to the final gardens of Paradise. I live in a town named Sneek. It is pronounced like snake and there allegedly was a snake in Paradise. The capital of the Netherlands is Amsterdam, often abbreviated to A’dam. This is even more remarkable if you realise that these references were not intended. If some place is called Eden then the founders probably intended to make the reference. But no-one ever was thinking, “Let’s call this place Sneek so that it sounds like the English word snake,” or “Let’s call this Amsterdam so they can abbreviate it to Adam.” The same applies to Eindhoven.

Natural Money is a very old idea. Stored grain was money in ancient Egypt. A fee was charged to pay for the storage similar to the holding tax of Natural Money. According to the Bible it was Joseph who introduced the grain storage. The Bible and the Quran condemn charging interest. Natural Money is a biblical financial system that might solve a biblical crisis. So could she be God? And does God want Natural Money to become the money of the future? These questions seem legitimate. In the meantime central banks saved us from a financial collapse caused by fraud and usury.

This didn’t solve the underlying problems and may have made them worse but it bought some time. The burden of interest bearing debt continues to grow and most bankers weren’t punished for the fraud so they still don’t fear retribution. The next crisis may require a more definitive solution. The psychosis not only suggested that I was the reincarnation of Adam, but also of Adolf Hitler. This was intimidating as it seemed that she could turn me into anything she desired. The time prompt recurrence had already demonstrated that my mind was controlled. Adolf Hitler found interest-free money to be a sound idea despite it being seen as impractical. And that was what I was thinking too. It would be pointless to bring up that this was rude and hurted my feelings.

The psychosis receded and for six months I was figuring out what to do. It seemed better not to ignore what happened. The events could suggest that she had a romantic interest in me. I have a wife and a son and have no intention of leaving them. My life is quiet and comfortable so I wasn’t eager for adventure either. And she didn’t come for me. A few years later I emailed her asking whether she had something to do with these events. She denied it and it appeared that she hadn’t any interest in me. That would be fine but her name suggests she was lying, which is one of those peculiar coincidences. In any case, apart from the peculiar coincidences and the psychosis, there is nothing suggesting that she fancies me. Later I found out that she has a husband and three children as she had posted this on the internet. There hasn’t been an order telling me what to do. Nevertheless, it seemed unwise to obstruct any plan there might be.

Some people think God has given them a special mission. In this respect it was disturbing to find out that Els Borst, a former politician of D66, was brutally stabbed to death in Bilthoven, which just happens to be the village she came from. Borst was last seen alive the day before her birthday and found dead the day after. The perpetrator turned out to be a psychotic religious freak named Bart who believed to act on behalf of God. He stated that he had killed the 81 year old woman because she was a driving force behind the Dutch euthanasia reforms. And my first name just happens to be equal to the first name of this religious psychotic combined with the location and the date make it a peculiar coincidence.

Nevertheless I took the liberty to work on The Plan For The Future. I never told my wife Ingrid nor anyone else I knew about the details of the psychosis. Ingrid didn’t want to know either. Of course she knew of Natural Money and the psychosis, but not about the message it conveyed. At first I hoped or perhaps expected to find out that it was all a delusion. When that could not be established, I decided to wait for proof to emerge, for instance Natural Money becoming a success. A lot of people experience a psychosis, see things other people don’t see or hear voices other people don’t hear, and I may just be one of them. Time will tell what it meant. And so I continued to work on the research.

There is reason to take it seriously. The psychosis made it possible to come up with an explanation of our existence that is free of contradictions and aligns with scientific evidence. It can explain why the religions of the God of Abraham became predominant. I don’t know whether or not this lady really is the current avatar of God. If this universe is a virtual reality then our creators can make it appear anyway they want. But the findings appeal to the rational mind so it might be true. There may be a violent controversy if this research ever gets serious attention. And so I began kicking the can down the road. Doing the research was rewarding. Nevertheless, the most important reason to work on it is that I think this job needs to be done. And it is a crazy scheme so it might work.

Feature image: I am as real as you want me to be. Loesje. Loesje.org.