BigSmoke

17 years old, carrying a big boulder
1999 – at 17 years old,
à la Boucoule

I am BigSmoke. But I'm really Rowan Rodrik van der Molen who thinks that BigSmoke makes me sound cool. For a moment, let's just prentend this doesn't have something to do with drugs. Problems: I've often inhaled deeper than I could, leaving no breath for…

Most things that interest me now—such things as included on this page—are not the things I really care about. What I ultimately like are living things, the stuff that makes up the living world—in one word: biology.

Carrying the boulder on the left is me at seventeen. If you find something heavy in your way, today, I might be able to help. I am no longer seventeen and have moved things bigger than boulders. Most of the time, I've done this with the help of others. There is a limit to the weight that you can carry alone.

To help you: besides the necessary skills and time, I need inspiration, or some worthwile compensation otherwise. Such compensation can take many forms. Be creative! Or be rich. Either way, there are plenty of things that I'm struggling with that I could use a little help with myself.

What I can help you with again depends on the context and the type of motivation. I do not often find technological jobs all that interesting, but sometimes… Also, I like working with my hands, but doing the same thing day in and day out for months on end? No thanks. In fact, you wouldn't be very far off if you called me a lazy bum. I am lazy, and I often do dress like a bum. But, I'm in excellent shape, so why would I dress at all, for any other reason than comfort?

In front of a purple plant

Smokes your problems, coughs fresh air.

Me
Rowan Rodrik van der Molen

Rowan, standing on Blackford Hill in the summer of 2012, photographed by Laurelin Lucinda van der Molen
Blackford Hill
Edinburgh – 2012

What you're looking at is an advertisement for myself and the things that keep me busy or have kept me busy at some point. If, among these things, there's something that you like, do get in touch. I will occasianally respond. And if you're a girl, and you're steaming hot, I will more than occasionally respond.

What I don't like is being contacted for bullshit reasons, such as “Great Opportunities” and “unique offers”. Fuck off with that. Also not among my favorites is being contacted because you wish to hate on me or something that I say. This, too, will serve only to annoy me, and, although I don't like being annoyed, I do like fighting, especially show-fighting, where I get to trash you in public.

But, let's assume that you're here not to pick a fight, but because you're at least vaguely interested in me or something else that I also happen to be interested in.

I don't like describing myself by way of my preferences and attitudes. Whether I love or hate McDonalds may tell you where I am, but it won't help you to learn who I am. Attitudes are shifty. They are often just masks to fit the ocassion. Therefore, all I can do on this page is to feature my interests—those things that have occupied enough of my attention to culminate into some type of commitment, in the past or in the present.

I do have one pretty persistent attitude—one which I often keep to myself, because it is, frankly, embarassing. It's a negative attitude towards the attitude of others. These always seem arbitrary to me, even if they are well-founded. For instance, I'm studying marine biology, but if eating a can of the last living tuna means that I won't be a part of your little circle of marine biologists, then I'd just as gladly remain outside the circle without having to parrot your attitudes and beliefs.

Most of the time, this attitude is easy enough to hide, which is just as good, because many of youof us believe stupid, fucking things. You wouldn't believe some of the crazy shit that I've believed and some of the unbelievable stuff that I still cling to.

Stob coire nan Lochan
Schotland – 2012
Rowan, in 2012, photographed by Laurelin van der Molen

Biology student

Dispite my almost complete lack of a high-school eduction, I ate so much spacecake in early 2011 that the bad trip left me feeling it might be a good idea to study biology. After my zeroth year at university (a tough couple of months of learning enough biology, chemistry, physics and maths to be admitted), I started my first semester after the summer of 2011.

In the foundation year, I started working even harder to pass every course and to earn my foundation degree, which I did. After a year without a single failed grade, I dared relax a bit more, feeling that I finally caught up.

I'm now in my second year of my bachelor, and specializing to become a marine biologist. Given that wilderness is close to a religion to me, ecology ended up being an obvious choice. The specific choice for marine ecosystems might have something to do with the diving hobby which I took up in my first year at the RuG.

There is, of course, still this nagging doubt whether this is the right thing to do for me, but, so far, I haven't been able to come up with something that I'd like to do better—nothing that doesn't require a starting capital or a steady stream of passive income.

Wushu / Kung fu / Kickboxing / MMA

I kick ass. Seriously… The photo is done after a kung fu demonstration for Yamaha with the Aihato demo team. Aihato is the martial arts club where I study the modern exhibition sport called wushu, which is Chinese for martial art. Taolu (forms) are my favorite. (By the way: if you know drunken style, then teach me, Sifu.)

Besides wushu, I do a little kickboxing on the side.

If I'm not too busy kicking and punching the air, I can usally be found walking, running, swimming, diving, climbing, jumping, cycling, skating, or doing a hand stand.

Posing for Yamalube

During my first week at university (Sept. 2011), I was asked to join a diving club. In May 2012, I earned my licence and I can now call myself NOB 1* Open Water Diver. Yet, that basic license doesn't cover all my diving fancies, so I'm practicing for my second star.

Writing

I write stuff. Some of the stuff I write is pretty good, some other stuff a little less so. Decide for yourself which is what.

Most of the writing I've done is tech writing. But I also like to undress on paper and write about my nakedness. It's an exhibitionist thing.

I've also tried to write a bestseller on a couple of occassions. All this has resulted in so far is a big stack of mostly unfinished manuscripts and a collection of rejection letters. It's actually quite embarassing. (No, not the rejections. The delusions are.)

Wilderness

Rowan in some homemade wilderness
Natuurbouwproject “De Oude Molensteen”, 2007-ish

I'm a wild ape and civilization is a bad joke I didn't get the punchline of. Somehow I'm supposed to be excited about all the freedom that my ancestors didn't have because they were too busy staying alive. I have to be grateful for all the stuff that I can fill my life with in the absence of the struggle for survival. Instead of hunger and hungry predators we have gotten a pack of paper predators chasing us through life. The whole pack is being digitized so that we can run even faster.

Constantly, I feel threatened, because I am supposed to feel threatened for things that are simply not threatening, no matter how you turn them around or blow them out of proportion. As a social animal, nog taking these “threats” serious does feel seriously threatening to my social status. But I'm taking my chances. Fuck you and your self-imposed cages! I do not agree to be lifestock. I claim the right to be the wild animal that I will be regardless of your (and my) attempts to control me.

Self-control is a delusion. Self-improvement is masturbation. Because who would be doing the controlling and who would be doing the improving? Not me, that's for sure.

Nakedness

I am a naked ape. You are too, but some of you are in denial. Privacy is dead. It was assaulted by modern communication technology and burried by Facebook (and you dug your own hole). How are you going to hide your true monkey nature when you're fully transparent?

Everybody is still frantically protecting their image, but it's fucking useless to post only your heroics, since everybody can see that everyone is the same. No-one can ascend their nature. No-one can ascend nature, period. We are nature and we are natural, no matter what type of holy shit we sprinkle ourselves with.

Sometimes, I feel inclined to share with you a rawer version of myself.

Technology

I'm disgusted by some code.

This website is rather peculiar as far as websites go. It doesn't have a common “theme”, “vision” or even a consistent “house style” for its pages. That is intentional; it is done on purpose. I'm not much of a believer in technology, but I believe that information technology could one day dissolve the boundaries in this world. That is, if we first remove the boundariesbarriers from information technology.

Most of my tech stuff is featured on my blog, but there's some more timeless stuff that's hosted here:

Nuclear family

Six kids (A.A., J.J., Y.Y., R.R., M.M., L.L.). Two parents, separated now. The nuclear family is a fantasy, not a family. My mom's ambition was to just have a big, happy family, but she wasn't happy. Besides, my dad had bigger plans, plans to change the world. The world wouldn't change, but his family did. Hate carved its distance and we fell apart.

The way to change the world is to change its people. But, would we change just to accommodate someone's lack of people skills? If, if… Even if we would, we couldn't. Hate for human nature will not change the human, only suppress its behavior. Monkey wants to be free!

Somewhere in the 90's
Photo of our nuclear family.

Jorrit Jorik van der Molen

Monkey brothers at work.
Monkey brothers at work

Jorrit staged his escape from The Netherlands in 2005, together with me and his then-girlfriend, by bike. When I left them to head back for Holland, they continued for a year of cycling and work across France. At the end, he sort of stuck to a camping in the Dordogne, were he returned for a few times after short stays in The Netherlands, until he started to freelance elsewhere in the region.

My brother is a strong physical laborer and he does enjoy working with his hands. But, wat he really wants is to build beautiful things. All his life, he has been wanting to create his own green paradise, crowned by an awesome castle, to host himself and his extended family.

He has very strong knowledge of ecological landscaping and an awesome network when it comes to anything ecology or construction related. If you have one of these typical golf-court type landscapes surrounding your castle, he would love to transform it into something more diverse and exciting for you. It's not as good as having his own castle, but it does come close. And it is a good way to save money for his own.

Send him a mail or give him a call if you feel that it's time to surround yourself with the real wonders of the world: beautiful hanging gardens.

Dordogne, 2010
Photo of our castle.

Hardwood Investments

Rowan taking notes in a Robinia tree stand

Through my dad, I've become involved with hardwood investments.

After investing in various teak- and other hardwood plantations in Latin America, he found his own company, Sicirec S.A., to promote the interests of his fellow investors. Although this proved very necessary, it also proved very difficult. Eventually, he had to seize all investor services to reinvent his company as the Sicirec Group, now responsible for its own plantation projects instead of trying to impose his ecological and financial standards on others.

In 2007, I took some information from the old Sicirec website and used it to start two wikis, an English one and a Dutch one. Together, the two websites hold well over a 1.000 pages.

Popko Peter van der Molen / Omega

Popko en Rowan proberen een zware boomstronk te verplaatsen. Foto gemaakt door Laurelin.

My dad is an evolutionary biologist who believes in the evolution of consciousness towards conscious evolution. Borrowing from Teilhard de Chardin, he calls this transition Point Omega.

In his time, he has done some research into learning behaviour and population cycles. This, combined with a lot of reading—too much of which has been about enlightenment and spiritual awakening—has given rise to his scientifically-sounding version of the familiar new-age.

Myself, I'm not of the scientific inclination, but I've created an on-line stage to put his theories to the test. If you're the truth-seeking type, you might find something there that you like.

Popko en Rowan proberen een zware boomstronk te verplaatsen. Foto gemaakt door Laurelin.

“De Oude Molensteen”

Hekje in de tuin van Molenweg 15, in ol' Eel

Ik bin in Nörg geboren, in t Drint. Non woon ik in Groot Loug (Grûnn), nait veur die eersten raize. Mien voa woont in Ol' Eel, vlakbie Grûnn. Doar heb ik ook veule joar'n woont. Moar in tuschentied heb 'k ook nog in Oosternijlaand, Woagenbörg, en zölfs in 't zuden, in Roermond, gezeten en een toerlang nog meer noar 't zuden, allendal in 't boetenland. Mien bruir woont in Frankriek en ook mien taante. Daarum.

't Hoes waarin mien voa woont hiet “De Olde Melenstien”. A-j wilt, ku-j doar slaopen, veur betaoling.

“De Oude Molensteen”
Molenweg 15
9761 VB Eelde
Netherlands
N 53° 07' 32" E 6° 34' 31" (map)