Mister Node had read a piece by Nietzsche from 1873 in 2001, On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense. It shows that any form of linguistic description shortens and distorts reality, and that we have the tendency to cover this up. He thought it was a crushing piece and attended a lecture about Nietzsche in a local cultural circle in 2018. In this context, the notionally important pair of concepts Apollonian-Dionysian was discussed (and also the clues found therein for alt-right-like political stories).

In 2020 he had “Dionysian” ready in a discussion, but he had lost what was its pendant. He asked Google a question and came across Albert Szent-Györgyi. In 1972 he wrote a letter about how he thought about why society needs both Apollonian and Dionysian scientists. “In science the Apollonian tends to develop established lines to perfection, while the Dionysian rather relies on intuition and is more likely to open new, unexpected alleys for research.” He had received a Nobel Prize for research on vitamin C and the Krebs cycle in 1937. In 1972 he was 79 years old.

Mister Node was 26 at the time, married, second child on the way, that year he graduated in law, had spent three years as a programmer at the social-science department of Utrecht University. His boss was Mr. Uphoff, who locked himself in his office at the beginning of the workday and withdrew from the rest of the world behind a female line of defense – initially an overprotective and tan chemistry graduate, later a young unmarried mother wearing unlikely short skirts .

Mister Node, as a lawyer-computer programmer in 1972, was not in the Netherlands in a position that allowed an Apollonian approach. There were no established paths that could be developed until perfection. Everything had yet to be invented. Mister Node therefore inevitably became Dionysian.

What does it mean to be Dionysian against will? That you dare to listen to your intuition.

It is important here to consider which are the trodden, Apollonian paths of morality that do fence in immoral gut feelings (which can sometimes be difficult to distinguish from intuition). This was problematic for Mr. Uphoff, as his daughter revealed in 2019 in an abuse novel (Vallen is als vliegen).

Mister Node had it easier. He had no gut feelings that were contrary to law or morality. His boss gave him plenty of time to find ways for how to program computers to perform principal component analysis, first for the Electrologica X8, later for the CDC 6600/7600. That work was considered scientific at the time. And in 1972 the Dionysian approach was generally accepted in Dutch science as superior to the rule that who pays decides, which was then still considered incoherent.