The desire to discover; the lure of the unknown; the possibility
to encounter beauty and wholeness; the conviction that, for any
individual, it is possible to change the world - these are some
of the things that motivate what I do. They have led me to work
as a scientist, to write, to be a filmmaker, to teach, to be
alone with myself and with nature, to construct things, such
as musical instruments, that enhance my and other people's existence,
and to think about - and help create - better ways for people
to work and live and grow together. In the process of doing so
I have discovered the joy of walking and the love of learning.
Thus, learning to walk and walking to learn have become important
dimensions of who I am.
My resume gives
an idea of the things I have done and the degree of accomplishment
(or lack thereof) they entail. It also includes references to
many of my publications and papers presented at conferences.
A set of autobiographical notes
may help understand the apparent complexity of my particular
walk through life and what motivated me to branch off in so many
- some people may think too many - directions.
My current work is geared towards getting a better, and particularly
more complete, understanding of human learning. My interest in
gaining such insight is motivated by my belief that understanding
learning better will help to more effectively create the conditions
that nurture the learning society. The latter interest, in turn,
has to do with my view that a society in which learning is pervasive,
is key to making a better world. Obviously, when I speak about
learning, I do not just refer to the things we do in school.
Learning is a very rich and elaborate concept. Much of our learning
requires conditions for which the school is not a propitious
Find out more concerning my ideas on learning, as well as
about my specific research interests, by going to my learning page.
Learning is a disposition to
engage in continuous dialogue - with ourselves and with our environment.
bio mentions, among other things, that I am an avid
walker. On August 7, 2000, I completed, in exactly seven years,
a cumulative total of 40 000 km on foot, i.e. the equivalent
of the earth's perimeter at the equator. In the picture to the
right you see me taking the last step of this 40 000 km
odyssey. I have since continued walking and passed the 50 000
km mark on April 27, 2002. On December 14, 2003, I reached a
cumulative total of 60 000 km and I passed the 70 000
km milestone on September 11, 2005, at 4:00 in the afternoon.
That took slightly more than 12 years. At my pace, you could
walk to the moon (385 000 km) inless than a lifetime. On
July 7, 2007, at 10:20 p.m., I completed the equivalent of my second tour around the earth as I
reached the 80 000 km mark. That event took place in Lienden,
The Netherlands (see the picture to the left, taken at night,
like the previous one, which was taken in Hollywood, Florida).
The journey continues.
If you are interested in how I do it and what it means to
me, or if you are interested in emulating the experience,
go to my walking page.
Science and music are two of my other passionate interests. My
science page and my
music page explain why.
The inscription on the adjacent harpsichord - Sine Scientia
Ars Nihil Est - expresses my view that art and science are