Maarten van Gompel, proycon Hans en Sam

Welcome to my website! I am Maarten van Gompel, or proycon on the internet. On this website I will share some of my work and interests, and give you an idea about who I am. I'm from the Netherlands and live with my boyfriend Hans and cat Sam in a nice house in Eindhoven. I currently work as a PhD scholar and scientific programmer in the field of language technology at the Radboud University Nijmegen, see my software and publications sections for some of my work in this area.

Language

I have a wide variety of interests: I really love languages and I try to learn and speak as many as I can. My focus is mostly on latin languages: Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and French. I also speak Esperanto, and have been trying to learn Russian, Arabic and Mandarin Chinese, although with limited success. I enjoy reading foreign literature and I'd love to more actively learn languages, but I don't have much time for that nowadays. In 2001, I co-founded an on-line Language Community called UniLang, intended for people who like me have a passion for foreign languages. Very much related, I'm also interested in linguistics, the deeper research of how language works and how languages relate.

linux

I am a fanatic Linux user and computer programmer. I've been mostly active in writing tools for web-based language learning for UniLang, and for the past few years in writing applications for Natural Language Processing, mostly in the context of scientific research. I also enjoy webdesign. My favourite tools are Python, C++, XML, XSL, xhtml, css, javascript and jquery. I'm an avid supporter of open-source software and open standards.

buddhism

Some of my further interests are philosophy and psychology, with a special interest in Buddhism and Buddhist meditation practise, which I try to do as well. My political views are generally quite left-wing; socially progressive, liberal, strongly pacifistic, pro-green, non-authoritarian and for more freedom regarding intellectual property rights. I strongly support a free market economy, but oppose the current unbridled consumerism/materialism and our unsustainable debt-based economies and fiat currencies. I believe in a strong and fair social welfare system, and monetary reform to prevent creating money out of thin air and curtail endless speculation and power of banks and megacorporations. These, in addition to an attitude of non-violence and care for the environment, seem to me prerequisites for any civilised society. I believe in a strong separation of church and state, as well as corporate interests and state.proycon playing the pianoMy religious views are atheistic/agnostic and largely Buddhist-inspired: compassion, the alleviance of suffering, and a clear and open mind being important central values. Living up to that is not always that easy though. I'm a freethinker, scientist, and very sceptic of religious dogma, script-based faith, and adherence to beliefs long surpassed by science or having no empirical ground.

I'm also an amateur piano player, and have recorded various songs which you can listen to on YouTube. My boyfriend and I are big science fiction fans and love to watch series such as Babylon 5, Stargate, Battlestar Galactica, Doctor Who and Torchwood.

Latest updates

I try to use twitter to occassionally let people know what's on my mind and what I'm doing, if anybody cares:

Social media

In this day and age, homepages like mine seem to be becoming an oddity and are being replaced by profiles on big social networks. I'd like to keep mine but have downsized it considerably to keep it maintainable, but you can find me elsewhere too:
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • delicious
  • YouTube
  • linkedin
  • github
  • deviantart
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