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∞ The Hammer and the Dance

Tomas Pueyo does not agree with the Dutch approach to the Corona outbreak. He argues we should adopt a strategy called ‘The Hammer and the Dance’, where we crack down harder for a few weeks to relieve the medical sector (The Hammer) and then manage the measures to keep the spread just below R0=1 (The Dance). Sounds like a plan, although we don’t know the rate of spreading at the moment. The chart below shows how that could look.

The article is fascinating to read. This part about the steps politicians have to take is insightful as well.

During the Hammer period, they want to go as low as possible while still remaining tolerable. In Hubei, they went all the way to 0.32. We might not need that: maybe just to 0.5 or 0.6. But during the Dance of the R period, they want to hover as close to 1 as possible, while staying below it over the long term. What this means is that, whether leaders realize it or not, what they’re doing is:

  • List all the measures they can take to reduce R
  • Get a sense of the benefit of applying them: the reduction in R
  • Get a sense of their cost: the economic and social cost.
  • Stack-rank the initiatives based on their cost-benefit
  • Pick the ones that give the biggest R reduction up till 1, for the lowest cost.

Go read the whole post.

∞ Via

∞ Twitter explainer on Corona virus

I came across this Explainer by Richard Steenvoorden (@Reezyard). Interesting, with links and some science. On anti-bacterial soap (Dutch):

Antibacteriële zeep heeft GEEN extra nut.

  • Het is slecht voor ‘t milieu
  • Zorgt voor resistente bacteriën
  • Helpt niet tegen ‘n virus
  • Zorgt voor toename allergieën
  • Het werkt hormoonverstorend

The whole thread is extremely interesting.

Interesting sign work @De Helling, Utrecht…


A) Are there enough signs here?
B) The literal translations of ‘Voetgangers en Fietsers Afstappen!’ is ‘Pedestrians and Cyclists Dismount!’

What are the pedestrians riding?

So, thinking about this some more… How could we improve the situation? I think the most important thing is to point the cyclists and pedestrians around the work site. The solution offers itself: Split the message! No, I don’t mean hang more signs. Just put the arrow in the middle, so you get:

Pedestrians and Cyclists


That way, the arrow will be highlighted more, and the ‘Afstappen’ on its own is only aimed at people riding something. Oh wait – the ‘Afstappen’ message seems to be invisible to cyclists anyway. Never mind…

∞ The iPad launch – from a Microsoft perspective

iPad is 10! They grow up so fast!

I love Steven Sinofsky‘s Tweetstorms. He used to be a big honcho at Microsoft, and now he writes with a nice openness about the things that happened there. He collects the tweets on his Medium-page, which you should follow.

The last article was about the iPad launch and the responses at Microsoft HQ. The best part:

The first looks and reviews a bit later were just endless (and now tiresome) commentary on how the iPad was really for “consumption” and not productivity. There were no files. No keyboard. No mouse. No overlapping windows. Can’t write code!

In a literally classically defined case of disruption, iPad didn’t do those things but what it did, it did so much better not only did people prefer it but they changed what they did in order to use it. Besides, email was the most used tool and iPad was great for that.

The whole thread is well worth a read.

∞ Digital hygiene – Seth Godin

As usual, Seth Godin says it better

Every day, we’re at our machines, clicking and swiping and typing.

And it’s entirely possible that the methods you’ve developed are costing you at least an hour a day in wasted time.

The solution is fun and simple: find a smart person and have them watch you use the computer for an hour.

She’ll share ten shortcuts and principles that will amaze you.

Want me to have a look at your computing habits? Give me a ring!

Seth’s Blog

My media diet – Spring 2019


I saw this first on, and I think it’s a great idea. I ‘consume’ a lot of media, so I thought I’d share some of it. If you have any recommendations, get in touch! I’m always looking for new books, sites and podcasts to devour. Oh, and since this is the first time I do this, it’s not all recent.

All the titles are hyperlinks.


I’ll list some podcasts, and sometimes highlight an episode. You know what a podcast is, right? I listen with Overcast.

Accidental Tech Podcast

If you listen to one podcast about Apple and surrounding technologies, this might be the best.

99% Invisible

All about design. Especially listen to the episode about Usonia, about the $5.000 house built by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Rudi en Freddie show (Dutch)

De/The Correspondent is an independent journalism platform in the Netherlands. They are about everything except ‘news of the day’. They also publish multiple podcasts, and this is my favorite. Favorite episode:Hoe de mens de baas op aarde werd, about evolution, and how we fucked our way into being kind to each other.

30 Animals that made us Smarter

Are you into biomimicry, but never know how to explain it? This series by the BBC will give you ample examples.


I listened to all of these as audiobooks. On paper, your mileage may vary.

Paradox Bound – Peter Clines

Nice premise, nice narration, nice story, not too exciting.

Creative Selection – Ken Kocienda

How the process works at Apple, told by a former employee who worked on the original iPhone keyboard.

Artemis – Andy Weir

You know about The Martian, right? This is the next book from it’s writer, and it takes place on… the moon! Once again, witty, technical and full of dry humor.

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August – Claire North

Claire North is one of my favorite authors. In her books, she takes a premise and uses that as the basis for her story. In this case: what would happen if reincarnation was a thing, but you always reincarnated as yourself? Fascinating thought experiment.


The Fabulous Mrs. Maisel

Humor, heart, and a sprinkling of Kevin Pollak. What more could you want?


U.S. Attorney Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti) goes after hedge fund king Bobby “Axe” Axelrod Damien Lewis. Great actors, great acting, terrible acts.

The Handmaid’s Tale

You probably know this, right? Right?!

The Night Manager

Best show I’ve watched the last few years. Hugh Laurie (House), takes on Tom Hiddleston (Loki in the Marvel Universe). Biggest fault: only one season. Greatest asset: only one season!


Spiderman – Into the Spider-Verse

Go watch this! Best-looking movie of 2018.

A headshot of Marnix


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