Profile

Cover photo
Alain Van Hout
Works at Foreach
Attends University of Antwerp
Lives in Antwerp
780 followers|795,716 views
AboutPostsPhotos

Stream

Alain Van Hout

Shared publicly  - 
 
 
Question: Does it make a difference how you die?
Position: To the universe our lives mean very little, probably nothing. On a cosmic scale we are insignificant.

On a more local scale each of our lives touch many others. We give meaning to things and to people and losing them changes so much. 
3 comments on original post
8
Add a comment...
 
 
"Ayn Rand is the rebel queen of their icy kingdom, villifying empathy and solidarity. Christopher Hitchens, in typical blunt force fashion, undressed Rand and her libertarian followers, exposing their obsequiousness toward the operational standards of a selfish society: “I have always found it quaint, and rather touching, that there is a movement in the US that thinks Americans are not yet selfish enough.”
Libertarians believe they're rebels, but they are really political children who scream through tears.
View original post
3
Steven Dunlap's profile photoDebra Cleaver's profile photoAlain Van Hout's profile photo
4 comments
 
+Steven Dunlap Try to point out that "economic freedom" in the 19th century did not "create the prosperity" we enjoyed in the 20th as slaves, children working in factories or people laboring in colonized  parts of the world had none, then the libertarian simply changes the subject.

Actually, Ayn Rand's views say that that is in fact right and proper, because people being slaves and poor simply means they haven't actually taken the effort to make themselves rich, or are in fact devoid of the economic competence to do so.

Yes, she's that deluded.
Add a comment...

Alain Van Hout

Shared publicly  - 
 
yes, a definite improvement, definitely ...
3
2
Jason Horton's profile photoSteven Dunlap's profile photoColin Mackay's profile photoAdmiralLadyPaula Rizzuto's profile photo
4 comments
 
+AdmiralLadyPaula Rizzuto I did. Not helping the "defense" of the Pope's comments to see them in context. Not seeing any over-reach. You know how to avoid people pointing out how bigoted and un-scientific you are? Stop making bigoted un-scientific statements. 
Add a comment...
 
You don’t make terrorists by converting them to Islam; you make terrorists by killing people’s families, depriving them of hope, reducing them to desperation…and then using a seductive idea like religion to give them an identity and a focus, and aiming them towards doing violence.

It needs that extra kick of a large group of people to generate the necessary mob mentality, and to offer social awards for extremism. I’d have to mention that gay and trans people experience far more marginalization than Muslims, but there isn’t much in the way of gay terror squads. Desperation may be necessary but not sufficient — it also takes the support of an institution that encourages violent responses.
 
Good thinking points - In which I mostly agree with John Wilkins. Mostly.
View original post
4
Brian Rush's profile photo
 
Hmm. I think that business about marginalization is just slightly off the mark. Here's my take on it.

Islam is a former Number One. Back in the Middle Ages, while Christian Europe sank into barbarism, the Muslim world presented a high civilization, advanced in art and science, wealthy and a great place to live. Not coincidentally, the Muslim world also far exceeded the West when it came to religious toleration. Although it fell short by modern standards, the fact remains that in Muslim countries non-Muslims could and did live unmolested and free to practice their religions or irreligions as they saw fit. (This is actually prescribed in the Quran, which shows once more that what's in the scripture doesn't determine the behavior of believers. When they are inclined to behave according to what the scriptures say anyway, they do and say they are doing it because that's what the scriptures say; when they aren't, they don't and the scriptures get ignored or explained away.)

Today, the secular West has surpassed the Muslim world in all of these areas and Muslims are afflicted with a collective sense of inferiority and deprivation. The desire to restore Islam to its former Number One status is natural, and so is confusion about how best to do that. Restoring the toleration and encouragement for learning that once characterized the Muslim world, and was the reason for its Number One status, is the way to do it. Committing acts of violence is not.

Unfortunately, the tendency to do that latter is quite human.
Add a comment...

Alain Van Hout

Shared publicly  - 
 
 
Kept seeing folks sharing this and saying "I have to get around to watching it!"

...finally did.  Worth every second :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVO3sNcJ7A8

h/t +Kimberly Chapman 
6 comments on original post
9
Richie Vallance's profile photoDan Eastwood's profile photoChristina P's profile photo
3 comments
 
Wonder if +Christophe Curtishas seen this...
Add a comment...

Alain Van Hout

Shared publicly  - 
 
pundits will have pundone ...
7
1
Jim Donegan's profile photoDan Eastwood's profile photoDebra Cleaver's profile photoColin Mackay's profile photo
5 comments
 
Love the Descartes joke. 
Add a comment...
Have him in circles
780 people
Roberta Laidman's profile photo
Angelo Barbato's profile photo
Andi Marghita's profile photo
Thomas Brown's profile photo
Graeme McRae's profile photo
Tinfoil Hat Lady's profile photo
Danica Nead's profile photo
Night Dream's profile photo
Clementine Kirkpatrick-Tamba (Queenie)'s profile photo

Alain Van Hout

Shared publicly  - 
12
1
Marcus Aurelius's profile photoMarsDog's profile photoColin Mackay's profile photo
2 comments
MarsDog
+
1
2
1
 
That is exactly what I have been doing today 
Add a comment...
 
 
Sad news. Another one of my childhood favorites has passed. 
Leonard Nimoy, the sonorous, gaunt-faced actor who won a worshipful global following as Mr. Spock, the resolutely logical human-alien first officer of the Starship Enterprise in the television and movie juggernaut “Star Trek,” died on Friday morning at his home in the Bel Air section of Los ...
View original post
9
Add a comment...

Alain Van Hout

Shared publicly  - 
 
 
Had to laugh when I read this question and answer at Quora, comparing The Lord of the Rings with the Bible. Thomas Snerdley's answer is gold! :-)

(source: http://qr.ae/EPsUw)
4 comments on original post
16
Spencer Zweber's profile photoEmmanuel Bourmault's profile photo
2 comments
 
+Spencer Zweber​ I would want to ride a dragon!
Add a comment...

Alain Van Hout
owner

General Discussion  - 
 
 
The teeth of limpets, a mollusk found in western Europe, might be the strongest natural material ever documented—even more so than spider silk, the previous record holder.
The limpet's hardy teeth may inspire stronger and lighter race cars and boats, a new study says.
35 comments on original post
2
Randall Lee Reetz's profile photo
 
PS: Limpets are not nationalists or regionalists… they live world wide without the need to assert political aspirations.
Add a comment...

Alain Van Hout

Shared publicly  - 
14
1
Jonathan Tweet's profile photoAlain Van Hout's profile photoGreatHeathenArmy I's profile photo
2 comments
 
and against apophenia in general
Add a comment...
People
Have him in circles
780 people
Roberta Laidman's profile photo
Angelo Barbato's profile photo
Andi Marghita's profile photo
Thomas Brown's profile photo
Graeme McRae's profile photo
Tinfoil Hat Lady's profile photo
Danica Nead's profile photo
Night Dream's profile photo
Clementine Kirkpatrick-Tamba (Queenie)'s profile photo
Education
  • University of Antwerp
    PhD in Biology, 2006 - present
  • IT center VDAB Antwerp
    Enterprise Java Development, 2013 - 2013
  • University of Antwerp
    Master in Biology, 2001 - 2006
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Looking for
Friends, Networking
Relationship
Married
Other names
Alain J-M Van Hout, Erinaceus
Story
Tagline
I'm always up for a good discussion. And I don't mind being proven wrong, as that means I learned something new :-)
Introduction
I'm a software engineer with a background as a scientific researcher (biologist) and an interest in most things science. I enjoy forays into the world of programming languages and software architecture, with an affinity for development of Java-based web platforms.

I'm always up for a good discussion. And I don't mind being proven wrong, as that means I learned something new :-).

There are a couple of quotes that reflect what having a good conversation means to me; 

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
- Aristotle

you didn't come here to make the choice. You've already made it. You're here to try to understand why you made it
- The Oracle (The Matrix: Reloaded)

I'm made up of everyone I've ever met who's changed the way I think. 
- Sir Terry Pratchett
Bragging rights
Married to a sexy librarian ^_^
Work
Occupation
Software engineer
Skills
Java-oriented software development, scientific research
Employment
  • Foreach
    Software Engineer, 2014 - present
  • University of Antwerp
    PhD student, 2006 - 2013
  • Brunel
    Analyst - Programmer, 2013 - 2013
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Antwerp