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Ben C. O. Grimm
Attended Leiden University
Lives in Bleiswijk



Ben C. O. Grimm

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Quick Tip: if you circle me and your own profile and posts are full of God(*) talk, you may find that it suddenly seems like I never posted anything. If that is the case, please remember that God works in mysterious ways.

(*) for this neat party trick, any deity suffices
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The majority of the people I get on with in meatspace, are religious.
The fact that they are religious doesn't come into play, and if I'd not shared a meal or a tragic event with them, I'd never have known they were religious.
Before anyone pulls the apologist card, I'll draw a heavy line between being able to accept a person based on their deeds, even when I disagree with their beliefs and taking up for those idiotic beliefs.
If you can't differentiate between the two, you're precisely the thing which you're screaming and stamping your feet about.
Religion deserves to be mocked, and so do people when they demonstrate that they're raging idiots. But unless and until they demonstrate that they're the sum of their beliefs, they deserve the same as you and I- to be left the fuck alone.
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~ Nobody's Memories ~ [PFLAG Canada] :: This is our tribute to all those in the past who were never allowed to marry by law – and to everyone who is still denied the right today. Let's make gay marriage legal everywhere. :: #ssm #lgbt
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~ Neuroscientists Create Illusion of Having Invisible Body ~ [Sci-News] :: The experiments involved the participant standing up and wearing a set of head-mounted displays. The participant was asked to look down at his/her body, but instead of a real body he/she saw empty space. To evoke the feeling of having an invisible body, the researchers touched the participant’s body in various locations with a large paintbrush while, with another paintbrush held in the other hand, exactly imitating the movements in mid-air in full view of the participant. “Within less than a minute, the majority of the participants started to transfer the sensation of touch to the portion of empty space where they saw the paintbrush move and experienced an invisible body in that position,” explained Dr Arvid Guterstam of the Karolinska Institutet’s Department of Neuroscience, the first author on the study. “We showed in a previous study that the same illusion can be created for a single hand. The present study demonstrates that the ‘invisible hand illusion’ can, surprisingly, be extended to an entire invisible body.” :: #neurosicence
According to a new study published in Scientific Reports, the feeling of invisibility changes physical stress response in challenging social situations.
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Before reading this I just couldn't see any of it!
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Ben C. O. Grimm

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That's just precious.
“"What happens when renewable energy runs out?" - Victoria Ayling, Ukip's candidate for Great Grimsby”
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Victoria Ayling is one of the things that makes UKIP so special. Ur, other than I think I met her cousins here in the US...
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~ Louisiana Police confirm they did not shoot unarmed Percy Sledge ~ [NewsThump] :: Police in Louisiana have moved to deny reports that they were involved in the death of unarmed black man Percy Sledge yesterday. After news reports emerged of the death of the US soul singer at the age of 74, speculation began to grow online that the police must have been involved once relatives confirmed he was unarmed at the time of his death. :: #satire
Police in Louisiana have moved to deny reports that they were involved in the death of unarmed black man Percy Sledge yesterday.
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Ben C. O. Grimm was out cycling. He tracked 11.28 km in 40m:22s.

(first clicks of the year, bear with me)
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Ben C. O. Grimm

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~ "How to Persuade an Atheist to Become Christian: 14 Steps" ~ [h/t Friendly Atheist] :: "A persuasive discussion of faith can be very interesting when two persons' ideals are as diametrically opposed as the atheist's (nonbeliever) and yours as a Christian. If you want to discuss your faith with a nonbeliever, it's very important to plan how you would begin approaching the subject tactfully and talking about it in a personable way, not sparring or dueling, but communicating and your faith and your friends views on what you say... and responding pleasantly." :: #atheism
How to Persuade an Atheist to Become Christian. A persuasive discussion of faith can be very interesting when two persons' ideals are as diametrically opposed as the atheist's (nonbeliever) and yours as a Christian. If you want to discuss...
Steve A.'s profile photoEric0873's profile photoBen C. O. Grimm's profile photoRay Bernache's profile photo
+Eric0873 did you read the spiderman issue (the amazing Spiderman 1963) where he almost kills himself for not stopping the guy that would go on to kill uncle Ben ?
I like that story better (more believable too)
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Ben C. O. Grimm

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Steve Denning reveals how clueless he is about Google+... again!

Pro tip: If you want serious traffic to your column, say Google+ is dead. Your page will be hammered by hoards of passionate Google+ fans who come to disagree with you. 

It's a lesson Steve Denning learned for his first "Google+ is dead column," so now he's back for another helping of Google+ traffic in his latest missive, called "Has Google+ really died"?

(I'm not criticizing Denning -- yet! -- I myself drive huge traffic from Google+ to my own columns. That's because Google+ is very much alive.) 

Anyway, Denning launches into a defense of his first column, but succeeds mainly in demonstrating a profound ignorance about Google+. 

I'm here to help. 

Here's what Steve Denning got wrong: 

1. Assuming public posts = active use.

Denning is relying on a spectacularly useless metric for defining active use, which is public posting (by relying on the Stone Temple Consulting report) 

It doesn't take into account the default kind of post, which is non-public. A huge number of users have stage fright about posting publicly, and a probably even huger number don't know their posts are public. (If you want to criticize Google+, here's one criticism you can levy -- the whole Public vs. Circles posting issue is confusing to new users.) 

It doesn't take into account people who mainly or exclusively engage through comments. Because Google+ organizes posts differently than, say, Twitter, comments are not viewed as "posts," even though people are fully engaged in social interaction through comments. If I comment on something posted on Twitter, my comment is counted as a full-blown "post" or Tweet. If I post the same comment to the same post on Google+, my comment is not counted as anything by Stone Temple. 

It doesn't take into account people who mainly "consume" content without commenting much, even though they feel they're active users of Google+. 

2. Trying to have it both ways on the accidental "users."

Denning again goes astray by relying on Stone Temple's skewed messaging on their report. Yes, when you get a Google password for some other Google property, that counts as a Google+ account. So most of the 2.2 billion Google users aren't really Google+ users in actual fact. They then go on to use "randomly selected" profiles knowing full well that most of these are non users. 

You can't have it both ways. Either they're users to be counted as users, in which case Google+ is vastly bigger than Facebook -- or they're non users, and not to be counted in numbers about how active the average "user" is. 

3. Failing to appreciate the nature of the Google+ "cult."

Denning points out that many comments on his first column "seemed to resemble that of people defending a struggling religious cult, rather than the users of a mere software tool."

The gratuitous word "struggling" is passive-aggressive spin to support his narrative. But the point is well taken. Google+ people sound like a cult. Just like Apple fans. Or Android fans. Or Reddit users. 

Unlike Twitter or Facebook, Google has created an army of truly passionate users. 

In fact Apple is a perfect comparison. Apple has less than 7% of the global PC market. Does anyone say Apple's PC business is "dead"? No, because they have the highest-quality PCs and laptops and the highest-quality customers (in terms of income and education levels) -- exactly like Google+. 

Nobody likes to hear me say this, but Google+ is the Apple of social networks. (Actually, I think Guy Kawasaki was first to say something like this.) 

It's not a place like Facebook for grandma to post cat photos. And it's not a place like Twitter for people to speak in hashtag code and URLs. It's the only place where you can pursue your passions will brilliant, like-minded people who are truly interested in the same things you are. 

Yes: Google+ is a "cult." Only the highest quality tech products produce "cults." 

4. Equating tech press echo chamber bias with the "emerging consensus."

Denning trots out a smattering of Google+ hater headlines to provide "evidence" for the "emerging consensus" about Google+. (And check the numbers: Those articles got HUGE traffic from the Google+ "cult," too.)

As I've said many times, the press hates Google+ precisely BECAUSE it's not a ghost town. Any post on Google+ by a prominent writer will be greeted by long, well thought-out criticisms, challenging the writer's assumptions and calling the writer out for mistakes. Google+ isn't easy and breezy for public writers like Twitter and even Facebook are. 

This is the last thing a journalist wants after writing and editing all day. 

What the tech press wants is Twitter, where they can dash off quick and clever lines off the top of their heads (like this one: ) that will be neither challenged nor heavily discussed. 

That's why the tech press feels so threatened by Google+. There's too much going on: too much argument, too much to read. And so they've been out to kill it from the beginning. 

5. Equating dismantling with abandonment.

Denning quotes more Twitter-loving echo chamber journalists who assume Google spinning off things like Hangouts or Photos would be evidence for neglect and decline. (These are the same kind of journalists who said that Google moving Glass into its own product group meant that they're killing it.) It's all just wishful thinking by Plus haters in the press.

Fact is, the unnatural integration of everything years ago was just a strategy Google was trying. It didn't have the desired effect, honked off a bunch of people who didn't want things to be integrated, so now they've changed the strategy. 

The experience of using Google+, and the benefits, haven't changed one bit. (In fact, It would be improved by further de-coupling, specifically if YouTube and their trolls were surgically removed.)

6. Pretending to have tried Google+.

Denning says his "own efforts to love Google+ were unsuccessful." Looking at his profile, I see that he's posted publicly twice ever, hasn't even filled out his profile or even uploaded a profile banner pic. Running a search, I see that he doesn't engage with comments or communities. 

Steve Denning is a non-user. He has NOT made an effort to love Google+. I imagine if he had only posted two tweets on Twitter, he wouldn't understand that social network either. 

And this item is related to....

7. Completely failing to understand Google+ fan opposition to yet another non-user saying Google+ is dead.

Denning is making the mistake of publically making the same mistake many people have before. As I've pointed out many times, you cannot understand the power and the glory of Google+ unless you really use it. 

Denning is just another Arthur Spooner:

Denning and other Arthur Spooners are confused about why Google+ fans have an issue with this phenomenon. And so I'm going to make it so clear that nobody who reads this can retain their confusion. Here goes. 

1. Google+ is the best social anything ever. 

2. This can be only understood if you're truly active on G+ for weeks or months. 

3. Influential writers who have not taken the time to understand have slammed Google+ from a place of ignorance. 

4. Because this has been repeated so many times, many, many people think Google+ is "bad" in some way. 

5. Bottom line: Ignorant people are the biggest threat to Google+, and are hurting the reputation of best social anything ever. 

Is that clear enough? 

8. Failing to appreciate the importance of Google+ for Google itself.

Google isn't going to kill Google+ because the site provides huge benefits for the company. 

First, Google+ is a necessary social component for Google's wearable computing platforms -- you know, the future of computing? 

Google Glass and Android Wear and future initiatives rely heavily on Google+ for understanding user social graphs, displaying birthdays, sharing photos and videos and much more. 

Google+ is a great platform for Google employees, engineers and executives to brainstorm, announce things, and learn about their most passionate fans and users. (Where else would they do this, Facebook?)

Google+ is still useful for cultivating the most passionate fans of Google itself, as well as Android. Google+ puts the "cult" in cultivating. Google would be insane to cut their most loyal, passionate and enthusiastic users off at the knees. 

In a nutshell, Steve Denning is just plain wrong about Google+. 

(Photo is massively unrelated to the post)
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+Lynn H no worries. No worries.
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~Oh, Google Maps ... ~
(turn off satellite view)
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Ah, the golden showers of Pakistan...
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Ben C. O. Grimm

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~ Women Draw Their Perfect Penis ~ [Elite Daily] :: Asking a girl to describe her ideal penis will normally result in one of two possible outcomes: you'll either be met with a slap to the face or a quick "Yours, of course" depending on your previous relationship. Consequently, it's not always easy to get an honest answer to that question. ::
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They require far less cooperation to draw than do the labia. And the vagina? Forget it!
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Poor Dick.
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How unhumorous. I would have replied; "I will not touch your poop for any £. Don't be butthurt about it." 
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~ Monica Lewinsky Endorses Hillary Clinton For President ~ [National Report] :: Former White House intern Monica Lewinsky, who was made famous after having “sexual relations” with then-President Bill Clinton in the Oval Office, said on Sunday that she’s “officially endorsing” Hillary Clinton in her bid to win the presidency in 2016, just two hours after Clinton announced her candidacy. Lewinsky, ironically clad in a blue dress during her interview on CNN, said that Hillary is “the only candidate with a clear and sensible vision for America,” remarking that “she’s on the verge of finally getting through that last piece of glass,” a reference to Clinton’s 2008 concession speech. [..] When asked what she thought Bill Clinton’s role as the White House’s “First Gentleman” might be, Lewinsky laughed. “I haven’t really thought about that. But I would love to see him in the White House again. I think we all would. I’d love to see him in the Oval Office, sniffing one of his cigars, eating… he’s… I think America wants to see him there again.” :: #satire
Former White House Intern Monica Lewinsky has officially endorsed Hillary Clinton, who announced on Sunday her candidacy for President
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Must be getting some extra time with Billy boy
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Senior IT Engineer/Innovator, Ministry of Defense / FreeBSD Forums Administrator
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Rotterdam - Leiden
Read my full profile ('About') before you decide to circle me! Married, Dutch, FreeBSD Geek/Forums Mod, a(nti)theist, science lover, and stable male person. If you decide to circle me for commercial or proselytizing reasons: fuck you very much. Note: I own my posts and all comments under them. I actively delete comments from trolls and throwaway accounts (no avatar, no or few followers, nonsensical/fake profiles, etc.).
Third-Party Source Disclaimer:
When anyone wants to debate the content of an external article that I post, don't assume it is written by me, or that I necessarily agree with it. I post a wide variety of articles of interest to atheists, secularists, and progressives. If those were all exemplary of my own opinions I'd be a raving schizophrenic.. External articles are always posted in the form of: 

Headline [source] :: quote or summary ::

Anything before or after that would be a personal comment. My own opinions and ideas look like regular Google+ posts.


Original Photography: 
Any of my original photography, either in posts or in albums, is licensed under a Creative Commons license, the Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivatives 4.0 International License (see for exact license terms). A short, non-exhaustive summary. 
  • You may use and alter my photographs for strictly personal use
  • You may (re)share my photographs unaltered and with full attribution only (no memes, no photoshop, no editing, or any other alterations are allowed; resizing with original aspect ratio is allowed);
  • You may make my photographs part of a non-commercial collection, collage, overview, or work of art, unaltered and with full attribution only; resizing with original aspect ratio is allowed;
  • You may not use my photographs in any commercial setting without my permission
Full attribution: "Original photography by Ben C. O. Grimm - released under the Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivatives 4.0 International License"

Some of my photographs are not for redistribution; those are clearly labeled ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


Topics I post about include: atheism, political activism, progressive politicsphysics, maths, cosmology, astronomy, biology, evolution, genetics, philosophy, sociology, neuroscience

Circle me:

If you're interested in rationalityscienceatheism (the disbelief in gods), anti-theism (the position that belief in deities is actually harmful), anti-religionism (the position that all supernatural/irrational/spiritual belief systems are actually harmful), skepticism (within reason, some issues are beyond questioning by now), secularism (freedom of and from religion, church/state separation), social/political activism, and social progress: by all means, be my guest. 


I'm informed, educated, and old enough by now to know what view of society I feel most comfortable with. You will need empirical evidence and solid reasoning to convince me of the contrary. I'm a typical European secular and rational left-winger. I don't hide that. I tend to share a lot of information and ideas about the "Circle Me" topics, and I welcome constructive comments. 



“There is no polite way to suggest to someone that they have devoted their life to a folly.” 
-- Daniel Dennett


I actively discourage people who push their +1 activity into other people's timelines. See here how to stop doing that:

I actively mute or even block people who push notifications for their posts my way. I have circles to follow people; I don't need them shouting in my ear.
Bragging rights
My girl calls me the love of her life. She is the love of my life. We are now married. Beat that.
  • Leiden University
    Political Science, 1988 - 1995
  • Universiteit van Amsterdam
    Communication Science, 1989 - 1993
  • Erasmus University
    Politics & Business, 1992 - 1995
Basic Information
Other names
Ben Grimm, BenGrimm, Ben C. O. Grimm, BenCOGrimm, Benjamin