There are some free downloads below. This concerns PDF files, usually print proofs, so they are not true e-books but free content that I decided to make available for who wants it.
You can purchase some of my books as proper e-books and in print at places like Barnes & Noble and Waterstones. You can also purchase most of my books on Amazon (worldwide) via my Amazon author profile.
Books about the new eugenics, otherisation etc
Immediately below are the covers of two recent books. The first one is about otherization, including workplace bullying and so on. I may rewrite it.
In September 2022, I started writing a Dutch version, sparked by the Dutch benefits scandal, but I stopped when it was nearly finished, in October. I may finish it soon. New information keeps coming to light that affects the context for this book and its English companion.
(Print-proof of the entire book : 28 June 2020 version.)
A great deal of this has to do with neurodiversity, with differences in communication style and brain structure, hence also empathy, as well as with otherization and anger. Particularly if you are a kind person, you can be like a lovely warm blanket on which someone else gratefully starts to depend without you realizing it. They may claim you and expect endless kindness and understanding.
Such persons often have no idea of the impact that their actions can have on others. Their reasoning can be along the lines of “Getting flowers is nice, so if I send someone flowers every day, that’s a really nice thing to do.” If the person they send flowers to then gets angry or becomes afraid, it will cause a lot of confusion. It can also lead to anger and resentment.
It’s really a failure of our society and of our health care systems. That’s not easy to correct. Fixing it will take time, but if we all stop othering others, we’ll have made big strides already. Easy to say, hard to accomplish.
Of course, stranger-stalking isn’t always like this at all. You may for example also serve as someone to take revenge on in a form of displaced or redirected aggression.
There are lots of simple practical things that you can do to create a buffer around you, though. They can make a big difference.
I have a guide for how to do that, for to shield yourself if you’re your own boss.
PDF available here.
I last updated it on Amazon on 10 February 2023. Check the title page in your Kindle and update the file if it still says “5 January 2023” or “17 December 2022”. The Kindle version on Amazon is only £2.99 and it’s free if you have Kindle Unlimited. The paperback is £4.25.
One of the things you will see at the end is this:
In addition, I have a whitepaper: “Solutions for dealing with stalking and harassment” which is also available on sites like ResearchGate and Academia.edu.
A later related, more extensive, publication that includes a version of the former whitepaper is “What to do if you are being stalked”. It is also available from Amazon, as a Kindle e-book and as a paperback. I frequently update it on Amazon, which is why I no longer offer the PDF file as a free download. This booklet contains a critique of the current practice of how society deals with stalking and harassment as well as some practical tips for women with concerns. Those tips should serve as a wake-up call for some people in law enforcement.
“Stalking victim Helen Pearson rejects police apology over stabbing.”
“She had made 125 reports to Devon and Cornwall Police.”
– BBC News, 29 June 2017
There are also some suggestions for how we can make things better in the future, namely by setting up a specialized organization that examines each reported case on its risk and on what action to take (triage).
This fits surprisingly well within the current abolitionist thinking with regard to policing (see for example this article in the British Medical Journal https://gh.bmj.com/content/bmjgh/6/2/e004582.full.pdf, also included in the references in the booklet). In addition, I call upon the medical profession to address the healthcare gap that exists between purely physical conditions and brain-based conditions (including neurodiversity).
In this booklet, I mention a freedom of information request. I did hear back in response to that. The police forces here have no idea how much money they spend on dealing with reported cases of stalking and harassment. They keep no data on it; their spending is not categorized by type of crime. All the more reason to start changing things thoroughly. (The reason for my freedom of freedom of information request was that I wanted to know whether the funds freed up by transferring such cases to a new organization would be sufficient to fund that new organization.)
You may also want to Google “Ina Steiner” or check out this Wikipedia page and find out about the ordeal she and her husband went through when very powerful staff at a very powerful company (eBay) didn’t like some of the couple’s critical blog posts. They resorted to sadistic stalking tactics.
Besides non-fiction, I have also written some flash fiction, the latter mostly in the style of people like Spike Milligan and Donald Barthelme or resembling a zen koan. The material is partly inspired by my stalking experiences, particularly “Crunchy Peanuts”.
My writing background
Below is some info about my earlier writing background, which often provided me with information from all sorts of people and about all sorts of topics. In addition, I used to do a lot of scientific editing, which was another great way to learn what various people were up to and what goes on in the world.
As a component of my business activities, before I moved from Amsterdam to Britain at the end of 2004, I was part of the editorial team of Elements (@ 55 euros per hour, excl. of VAT). It was a print magazine published by the company Arcadis.
I have interviewed people all over the world, on location as well as by phone and e-mail, from China to Chile and from Amsterdam to Paris and Oxford.
I particularly remember finally being able to catch up with a very busy person (Herb Dempsey) on his mobile phone at an airport somewhere in the US where he was waiting for a connecting flight. I needed to talk with him about the company’s involvement in the BioWatch program for an article of which you have just seen an image.
I also remember speaking with two highly sympathetic people who were based in China at the time, working for Arcadis: Thomas Kustusch who is German and Theo Tombeur who’s Belgian. Talking with Wim Verheugt and Ties van Kempen about the Black Sea particularly stands out as well, of course, in view of my professional background.
Of course, I remember my interview with Keith O’Nions, who had just been knighted as well as been appointed to become the next Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK’s Ministry of Defence. He is a kind and highly entertaining person. I had a killer sinus headache when I interviewed him and it affected my conversational skills badly, but Keith patiently remained enthusiastic. I was still based in Amsterdam then and combined this interview in Oxford with giving a talk in Plymouth afterwards, at PICOIII.
Interviewing Claude Allègre was an interesting experience as well. I have also edited a large number or scientific papers and grant proposals. What that did for me was introduce me to and keep me in touch with all kinds of scientific research. This helps you develop a strategic perspective and enables you to connect people across disciplines, even though you’re not in a science policy advisory position, not working for the NSF, NWO or the EU.
Much later, while I was living in the UK, I wrote some flash fiction – as I mentioned above – that is somewhat reminiscent of the work of Spike Milligan, an Englishman who lives in Belgium told me.
Some of it is probably closer to Donald Barthelme’s quirky style.
Some of it is very simple. Some of it is as puzzling as a zen koan, with sometimes up to three different meanings possible.
My flash fiction is available from various online retailers.
Later, I translated one of Richard Bintanja’s books into “The Ultimate Brainchild” of which the topic suits nicely within the context of the new eugenics.
It is a very well-crafted novel with a Gattaca-style theme even though it is very different from Gattaca. It features a form of neurodiversity, a two-tiered world in which those who can and those who can’t are at odds. One of the groups is persecuted. Guess which one?
I have also contributed considerably to more than a handful of popular science books in the Dutch “For Dummies” series.
My first academic publication, in marine biogeochemistry (in the Elsevier journal Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta), had only me as author and was published as a tripartite discussion with a contribution from Jim Moffett, on whose work my article was a comment, and another one from Brad Tebo. It was accepted without any revisions. In part, it was a rewrite of a shorter article that I had submitted to Science in 1996 and after resubmission was deemed more suitable for a specialised journal.
At around the same time, I convened an AGU conference session in Boston on the role of fungi in the marine environment, supported by a grant from the Dr. Catharine van Tussenbroek Fonds.
That got me invited to a conference in Hong Kong, but I only submitted an abstract as I was unable to travel to Hong Kong at the time. Fortunately, I was able to participate in the PICO-III symposium in Plymouth later that year, which I combined with a trip to Oxford where I did the O’Nions interview.
(Lay people are quick to assume that scientists get paid to talk at conferences. Nope! They pay to be allowed to participate and present. Something similar goes for publishing. That does not mean that your work is accepted as long as you pay! This is where something called peer review comes into play. Thankfully, some scientific journals no longer charge scientists for publishing, but the natural and physical sciences remain a very expensive profession, also requiring a great deal of expensive fancy equipment. This is why grant proposals are the life blood of any decent scientist’s career.)
In 2000, I wrote a review on the environmental chemistry of cyanide, which was cited all over the world.
I also contributed a quote about the Mariana Trench for a book in Canada.
Other than that, I have written so many bits and pieces here and there (mostly on geochemistry and environmental chemistry, occasionally including health issues, and also on feminism and on women in science), that it’s impossible to list or even remember them all.
I had already started writing stories and articles when I was in primary school. I was on my school’s first newspaper team, went on a typewriting course when I was 18 and purchased my own typewriter shortly after.
As a teenager, I sent a letter to a national weekly – more or less a Dutch counterpart of RadioTimes – about a play by G.B. Shaw that had been aired. They published it.
In the early 1980s, I sent a letter to Tineke Beishuizen (a Dutch writer and columnist) about my mother’s illness and death in response to the passing of someone in Tineke’s vicinity (her mother in law, if I recall correctly). I received a letter back from Tineke, asking me for permission to use the letter as a column (adapted, of course) in the women’s magazine Libelle, as well as a lot of encouragement to write more. We spoke on the phone; I called her from a phone booth in Hilversum or Baarn as I didn’t have a landline in those days when we weren’t as connected yet as we all are today.
I also submitted an item to women’s weekly Viva, about my cat Tim who I’d adopted from the shelter around the time when I began working on my Master’s. Viva published the item and sent me a voucher in return. (I think it was for 25 guilders’ worth of flowers.)
A bit later in the 1980s, I sent about a dozen letters to the editor of Dutch national daily De Volkskrant, responding to articles in the newspaper. Almost all were published and all or almost all in the Saturday edition. Most were about violence against women and children.
I wrote these letters after I had been raped by an intruder who had climbed onto the balcony of my student flat while I was asleep. Writing the letters was part of my process of working through what had happened. I also signed up for a self-defence course for women at Vrouwencentrum Kenau in Amsterdam and I read books like Susan Brownmiller’s Against Our Will to try to understand what had happened to me.
Right after it happened, my friend Juul Everaars – who was a geology student as well – hopped on her bicycle to be with me to support me and my two siblings later drove up from the south. I called Juul first, the police next. By the time I got back from the police station and the hospital, most of the day had already passed.
The rapist returned half a year later. I woke up, walked to the door in combat stance, but I grabbed a knife along the way and it hit a glass. The sound alerted the guy. When I moved the curtain slightly to be able to look onto the balcony, I found him crouched right there in front of me, at the glass door. He jumped up and disappeared over the balustrade. (The police officers who showed up after that told me I should have grabbed my geologist’s hammer instead of the knife as the knife was too dull according to them.) Building management then helped me move to a different flat in the complex after that. I later threw a party to celebrate that I was leaving it all behind me and moving on.
As eight or nine out of ten of my letters to De Volkskrant were published, and usually in the Saturday edition, I did not realise at all that it was quite hard to get letters published in that particular newspaper. I discovered that later, during an evening course at the Netherlands School for Journalism, when the instructor specifically mentioned it as part of the class one evening, as an exercise, to try this as a way of assessing one’s writing skills and as a challenge to set ourselves. In those days, newspapers were still print-only so editors had to be highly selective.
I also did a lot of writing for the NIMF foundation in those days and took some time out from my Master’s to focus on my work for it, including symposium organisation and PR, some of that with the amazing Hélène van Pinxteren (RIP) and the brilliant Kine Sittig as well as with Nanne Weber (RIP), Martje Roessing (RIP), Hadass Eviatar, Rineke Verbrugge, Elly Jeurissen and many others.
(Images: I took two evening courses at the Netherlands’ School for Journalism in Utrecht while I was completing my Master’s.)
In the mid-1990s, when I was living in the US, I wrote a letter to the editor of an American newspaper (the St. Petersburg Times, which won twelve Pulitzer Prizes since 1964, but later merged into a larger regional newspaper). That too was published, but its content wasn’t spectacular. It expressed enthusiasm about my experiences at the university there. Its title was something like “Sometimes the grass really is greener on the other side”.