Even people who were hiding under a rock last week cannot have missed it. A majority in the House of Representatives voted in favor of a change in the Dutch organ donation system. It was clearly noticeable that the majority was obtained by merely one vote: the discrepancy between supporters and adversaries was immense, ranging from great euphoria among patients on waiting lists for organs to anger among liberal adversaries who qualified D66 as rogue organ dealers.
There are probably more aged Japanese soldiers - hidden in the jungle of a small tropical island in the Pacific - who think that the Second World War is still raging, than people who do not know what Pokémon Go is. In parks and streets, in the city and on the campus we see groups of people walking, stooping and focused on their minute screens. Occasionally they look at each other’s screens, then turn back to their own, and while swiping and chattering merrily, without taking any notice of their surroundings, they cross the cycle track where I have to slam on my brakes to give right of way to Squirtle, Rattata, and Meowth. I get reproachful looks. I had not spotted them there for a minute - those cute little Pocket Monsters. I do see a...
I think I'm a pretty kind person - I care about others, sympathize with them, and try to help them however I can. But not always. Sometimes I have too little patience with others, think they are whiners, and cannot (don't want to?) be there for them.
My wife was recently waiting to be served at the bakery in Erica in the province of Drenthe, where we sometimes go on weekends. She asked my wife if we planned to go to the Giants Gala. My wife looked at her in astonishment. We are pretty familiar with the summer festivals, but this one had slipped under our radar. It turns out that the Giants Gala (organized by Giant FM) is a parade of Dutch-speaking artists. Giants like Jannes, Frank Rocks, and Henk Wijngaard all do a turn. Not forgetting Eric Mesie from the band Toontje Lager. It had passed us by.
Transparency is a beautiful word with a positive connotation - think of transparency in management - the pursuit of providing insight into starting points from which decisions are made, and persons involved in this pursuit.
Shortly after I had left my parental home (a long, long time ago) I regularly paid a visit to my parents. They would be watching The Bold & The Beautiful, an endless soap - and I really mean endless - in which the actors struck up relations in any and every conceivable combination and permutation. The reason I know this, is to do with the fact that the TV set was seldom switched off during my visits. When after a cup of coffee I would then stand up to leave again, my mother often said: “Strange, I feel as if I’ve hardly spoken to you at all”. That was usually a fairly accurate assessment.
Like Niels Bohr said: Predictions are difficult, especially when they concern the future. Fortunately I am in possession of a crystal ball that I have dusted down in honor of this TU/e lustrum, and I am posing the question: What will TU/e look like in 60 years?
Psychology is becoming ever more important at TU/e. Technical systems and artifacts, be they games, cars, robots, lighting systems or buildings, are all meant for human end users eventually. It's essential to know how these users perceive, think, feel, and act. The new human-oriented program Psychology & Technology examines every technical design from a psychological perspective.
From now on, on a biweekly basis, Cursor will be taking a closer psychological look at students, teachers, labs, technical artifacts, the workplace, the scientific business, campus, education, and websites.