I’ve been home twelve days now and people keep asking what it’s like to be back. All this pondering on life at this side of the iron curtain brought me two realizations: Stuff needs to happen, and stuff is happening. This week, as far as non-English articles can do so, a Dutch article went sort-of […]

Winging (it)

In the Sunday-morning flight from Budapest to Amsterdam, those who sat next to me couldn’t resist their urge to start a conversation. “Did you go to Sparty too last night?” Sparty is a foam party with loud music, lots of alcohol and, well, foam. Drunk tourists, cheap booze, blaring EDM beats. You get the idea. […]


It’s over. There was a press conference at my Central Europen University (CEU) today and the occasion was not a happy one. “CEU has been forced out”, said our president Michael Ignatieff. “This is unprecedented. A U.S. institution has been driven out of a country that is a NATO ally. A European institution has been […]


Sometime before I was all-in on Medium Members, I had a long-winded phone conversation with a friend from home. He’s in the financial sector. Half-jokingly, he inquired: “Maarten, do you actually even want to work full-time later?” I suppose there is a stereotype of philosophers going around in his world. “I don’t mind putting in the hours. What I […]


When most people talk about democracy, immigrants, and politics, I don’t think they’ve ever been an immigrant themselves. I’ve been one in Hungary now for about fifteen months, and things happen there that are just beyond our reality in the West. This afternoon, I went out in the cold to attend a protest march, the first demonstration […]


I was editing my interview with Nathalie Ashton until half past midnight. Before that, I had met up with Naomi Thompson, whose talk I was chairing tomorrow, to chat about philosophy and before that I nearly fell asleep during a meditation course. Another humdrum Monday night in the life of a PhD-candidate in philosophy. Editing a podcast […]


The end of term is only a month off, so, by now, resistances have crumbled and the flattening TL-lights in the grey, soulless lecture room are starting to exert their deadening effects. Lucky enough for the others, their lives would soon be cheered up. For the course ‘(How) can literature convey philosophy?’, I was doing […]


I am a habitual human being. To break routines, I don’t write and read for my dissertation during the weekend. At these days, I also don’t go to the university. The routine I have developed for breaking the dissertation-routine is to stay home or go to cafes and write and read other stuff. I alternate […]


I was eating my lunch in the university cafeteria. Simultaneously, I was arguing with a colleague about whether colors are (really) real or not. I enjoy these discussions, and when I enjoy myself, I talk (really) loudly and wave my arms. During one of my passionate eruptions — I was in the middle of spreading my arms […]


I tried to understand the words that came out of Jordan “J” Gross’ mouth, but the Hungarian internet network was really persistent in its unhelpfulness. Walking through the streets of Budapest —hoards of Asian(-looking) tourist taking pictures, untraditional restaurants advertising their “traditional Hungarian dishes” on sidewalks — Jordan, who is a #1 best-selling author, told me his story about […]