May 21, 2010


(ME + me:) More on dangers of the internet

I continue being not well at all which will help me make this keep fairly short and which also prevented me doing more on ME - Resources.

My subject is the dangers of the internet, while I wrote about the dangers of the internet last month: (ME:) On some of the dangers of internet. This continues and extends this

1. Being savaged by anonymous lame griefers

This may happen to anyone who contributes to a forum or messageboard, especially such as are anonymous, which by far the most are, also in areas where that seems perhaps a bit odd, such as programming.

Presumably, much of the sought after anonymity on the internet is due to personal safety considerations of some kind, legitimate or not, but it does considerably further the chances of griefers and trolls, that are basically spoilsports, usually for the fun of it and usually related to some sort of SM although this may not be conscious.

I have had the experience earlier this month and have written about it, mostly between May 3 and May 14 (and see the Index).

It effectively stopped my contributing to Phoenix Rising, which is probably what it was meant to do. I may write more on the topic, but for the moment only remark that I rather work for my own site and on my own things than for a site where I am abused, am not able to defend myself, and the whole topic cannot be rationally addressed while griefers keep on griefing, idiots keep on spouting their idiocy and anything goes at long as it is sactimoniously and hypocritically respectful.

Not my cup of tea, and I very much rather write and read philosophy, mathematics and logic, thank you very much. (Besides, I am far more effective as regards ME when I do not have to spend time on trolls, fools and liars. Really!)

FYI here is the Wikipedia: Trolls, Griefer, Cyber-bullying - and I quote from the last:

Certain characteristics inherent in online technologies increase the likelihood that they will be exploited for deviant purposes.[4] Unlike physical bullying, electronic bullies can remain virtually anonymous using temporary email accounts, pseudonyms in chat rooms, instant messaging programs, cell-phone text messaging, and other Internet venues to mask their identity; this perhaps frees them from normative and social constraints on their behavior.

2. The dangers of Facebook

The Dutch daily paper NRC Handelsblad had an interesting article in the Economie supplement of May 19, and also on May 14, from which I quote a quote from Wired:

“Facebook has gone rogue, drunk on founder Mark Zuckerberg’s dreams of world domination. It’s time the rest of the web ecosystem recognizes this and works to replace it with something open and distributed”

The title, epigraph and first paragraph of May 19 say it all, in translation (in a good article by one Mark Hijink, including a picture and quotations of Facebooks owner Mark Zuckerberg):

Facebook goldmine for advertisers

With more than 400 million users Facebook has grown into the main supplier of data to external commercial parties.

Do you think it's good total strangers know who your friends are? That your future employer knows that you are a member of a political party? Or fan of a death metal band?

There soon will be half a billion human beings who think this is good, no problem, don't care or who - in vast majoirty - have no idea what Facebook really involves, in terms of their privacy and datamining, for which see (ME:) On some of the dangers of internet in which I have briefly but fairly adequately described these.

And it seems to come down to the fact that at present Facebook has turned into a trawling site for dataminers and advertisers, openly and secretively helped by its owner:

The Elecronic Frontier Foundation, an interest group for privacy on the internet, says that Facebook has changed a lot in five years: "From a private space where one could exchange ideas with a group of people it has changed into a platform where much of your (personal- MM)) information is in the public domain." Now it is a network where you must make information public. And that shares data with external, commercial parties.

"Everything can be social, said Mark Zuckerberg", who seems to feel and think postmodernistically about the meanings of words and the rights of persons. And no doubt, for a mind like Zuckerberg "Everything is relative", as the genius moderator on the Phoenix Forums had it to me, conveniently forgetting relativists tend to feel quite absolutistic about their own feelings, ends, rights and interests:

But according to Mark Zuckerberg there is no place left for "oldfashioned ideas about privacy". Social networks are built for the purpose of sharing data - that is the way the online world is put together, says the founder of Facebook. That Facebook determines that world for the most part, he leaves unsaid.

According to the Facebook-doctrine anonymous profiles and false names are not admitted: who shares on Facebook really shares.

To the extent of allowing its founder become immensely rich by selling your private data, opinions, values and ideas to anonymous dataminers who can compile profiles of you that will allow salesmen of all kinds to secretively be informed about you the coming decades of your life. Or that will allow the next government - say: the Teabag loonies in the US or the Wilders idiots in Holland - to have you fit for rendition in no time, or at least thoroughly investigate your Political Correctness and Usefulness for The State, in our happy Brave New World were almost everying is virtual, from privacy to human rights, but the stupidity of the millions as big as ever.

3. A Professional American CFS Site ('s Privacy Policy)

While I do not write anymore for Phoenix Forums - see 1 - I do follow it, for there are still interesting persons on it and a lot of interesting information, and it is there that I found the link which follows... but after a few really juicy legalese bits concerning - I quote - the "Privacy Policy" of a certain very American website - in various meanings of "American": Think "ticky-tacky" if you recall it or read The Full Lyrics, by by Malvina Reynolds (1962), with this nice bit:

And the boys go into business
And marry and raise a family
In boxes made of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.
There's a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one,
And they're all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

And the gals these days also do just the same, and call it "Feminism" or "Empowerment", and they all look and talk and want just the same things too.

But that was not quite my problem, though the US mentality is, to some extent, of which more below.

To start with, here are a few nice and inviting and reasssuring bits about "Our Privacy Policy" - and suppose this website sported these rules, and ask what that would suggest about me:

By accessing or using thus Website, you agree to each and every term of this Agreement. If you do not agree with the terms listed below, you must exit this website immediately, and you should not access this Website, or download or print any materials available at this website.

A few paragraphs lower:

You may not copy, modify, distribute, transmit, display, alter, perform, reproduce, transfer, resell, or republish any of the contents of this Website without cfsKC’s prior written consent, which may be withheld in its sole and absolute discretion.

Immediately followed by

You shall not upload, distribute or otherwise publish through this Website any information that is defamatory, obscene, abusive, libelous or slanderous, or otherwise violates any law.

Who is to determine what "is defamatory, obscene, abusive, libelous or slanderous, or otherwise violates any law" is left totally in the dark, for all I could find on the site (which is large and a bit ...disquieting to this European, in the way Oprah and Glenn Beck are, without suggesting that this comes to the same - well... if "Everything is relative" ..., but in that way which makes e.g. this European grimace in some amazement) is that the site is owned, operated and made and

 "Powered by: People Like You"

After which all is clear, revealed, transparent and obviously evidently most reasonable and well intentioned.

In case it isn't, here is a little more from that same Privacy Policy Powered by: People Like You:

Except where otherwise noted herein, the copying or storage of any of the contents from this Website is expressly prohibited without cfsKC’s prior written permission.

From which it follows logically that my citing these words here and on this place probably is one or more of the things that "People Like You" will consider to fall under one or more of the categories "defamatory, obscene, abusive, libelous or slanderous, or otherwise violates any law", all at the behest of "People Like You", otherwise totally anonymous (so far as I could see).

Who are these people with these legalese total inanities on their website as "Privacy Policy"? I have no idea but this is what they call themselves

and you'll find them by way of the link as you'll find the enlighening - again rather typically American - anonymous legalese attempt to draconize all here:

  • © cfsKnowledgeCenter, Inc. A Florida Not for Profit 501(c) 3 Organization.Privacy Policy
        All rights reserved.                                            Powered by: People Like You.
                                                                             Privacy Policy

I suppose this is already illegal according to the lesser legalese light that crafted these legalese inanities, including this one as well:

You agree not to delete any copyright, trademark, or similar notice from any contents you obtain from this Website. You agree to abide by any and all additional copyright
notices, information, or restrictions contained in any part of this Website.

From which it seems to me that your privacy and disease are going to be milked ad libitum (unrestrictedly, for the non-latinate), if the "People Like You" want to and you become part of their outfit with this sort of "legal" agreement to enter it.

Furthermore, from the same Privacy Policy:

Members and others who visit or use this Website may request from time to time that a service provider or a particular product be shown as “recommended” by them. In addition, paid advertising may be posted on this website.

And one should realize that

At the present time, access to this Website is free of charge. However, cfsKC reserves the right, and may in the future, charge a fee for access to all or part of this Website.

In brief... I felt not much invited, nor did I feel heartened, helped or supported by the "People Like You" who are busy - it would seem, they seem to think or say - helping me, albeit in their own way, and without asking my lawyer for his legalese opinion before doing so, when I could have told them to dismiss their legal eagle.

As it happens, the site is Professionally Crafted; looks well in a quite slick sort of way, and has a lot of material that is related to ME/CFS (or CFS or CFS/ME or CFIDS or...), though most of which seem to be videos of Talks By Specialists On ME/CFS (etc.) such as professor Nancy Klimas (although I couldn't say definitely she knows of this site, the owners being "People Like You" who, whatever their possible health may be, are not people like me, unfortunately. (*)

Or at least their legal eagle is not, and it is possible that part of what strikes me aversively is the typical American grandstanding typical Europeans - especially elderly aristocratic gentlemen like me - tend to look askance at and are rather amazed by, as if the whole world is reduced to Barnum and Bailey prose and attitudes, and everything is bigger, larger, more beautiful than life itself, even in the US.

As I said, the site is Designed By A Pro, most definitely, and for an American audience, that apparently is supposed to be eagerly waiting or fondly approving of being ogled by Professionally Photographed Significant Looking Females of the 70-80% beauty rating - that is: looking good enough to stand out, but not in the way of A Real Model or A Genuine Celeb - who are looking you in the eye on every page in A Reliable Manner reminiscent of Significant One-On-One Relationships, while  sometimes showing cleavage anonymously.

And it may be that the anonymous "People Like You" (not like me - they'll probably will be proud to affirm - but then I stand out in a crowd anyway, through no fault or desire of my own also) do mean well and indeed do well, and that this is the way to bring information to average American women afflicted with ME, and is that what American women afflicted with ME most want is videos of lecturerers and counsellors - such as by professor Nancy Klimas, of whom one can partake of 13 minutes 27 seconds on "Sleep/Blood Pressure/Cognition Dysfunction" thus

View up to 3 times for only $7.95

Indeed, one can partake for slightly less than 42 dollars of some 75 minutes of professor Klimas lecturing on various ME/CFS-related topics, albeit it for

up to 3 times for only

a varying amount of dollars per lecture. And Professor Klimas also is on offer for FREE (writes the site, that I quote illegally, if I have understood their legal eagle) and with one lecture (but for that too - it seems - one must first surrender one's privacy to "People Like You").

In case this worries you a little or in case you are poor or indeed needed an ad dressed up as advice (or advice looking suspicuously much like an ad):

"If you have not already signed up for PayPal, you'll find it a FREE, VERY SECURE and VERY EASY to use service for online purchases. Hundreds of millions of people from around the globe safely use it daily to save money and shop without leaving home. If you have not used it before, you're likely to find it will change the way you shop, for the better." Editor

Well... maybe you are a bit amazed at this site, like I am, or perhaps you are younger and American and on Facebook and you just know this is the way to go (or so you believe confidently).

For me, it smells too much like Facebook, as does their portal, where like Facebook you may only enter after signing in (possibly by signing away all your right - I don't know, but legalese prose as cited makes me rather suspicuous, and is such as to cause me NOT to sign in at all, unless this legalese inanity is removed, or at least I know who the "People Like You" really are, including some reasons why a person like me should trust persons who tell me falsely they are "People Like You": NOT this reader, I tell ye verily, forsooth!

And what is true that this is a first for me, (or possibly a second, after the NICE Guidelines), and that I find it hard to judge, but not inviting.

But maybe it's just my being European, smart, civilized or computersavvy that makes the difference. Anyway, I can't tell because I will not enter any site with legalese prose like I have quoted, all made up by anonymous persons who tell me upfront the whopping falsehood that they are 

People Like You

No way, for then it would have looked differently with different prose - and that is without me rejecting them either, for they may mean well and may be able to do good, for some, very probably less scientifically knowledgeable persons than I am, albeit that it all looks very much like typical American grandstanding that is rather silly also if it is quite well intended, as may be the case.

P.S. But the legalese must go - that is just awful.

As to ME/CFS (that I prefer to call ME):

1. Anthony Komaroff

Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS (pdf)

3. Hillary Johnson

The Why

4. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf)
5. Eleanor Stein

Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)

6. William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
7. Paul Lutus

Is Psychology a Science?

8. Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)

Short descriptions:

1. Ten reasons why ME/CFS is a real disease by a professor of medicine of Harvard.
2. Long essay by a professor emeritus of medical chemistry about maltreatment of ME.
3. Explanation of what's happening around ME by an investigative journalist.
4. Report to Canadian Government on ME, by many medical experts.
5. Advice to psychiatrist by a psychiatrist who understands ME is an organic disease
6. English mathematical genius on one's responsibilities in the matter of one's beliefs:
   "it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon
     insufficient evidence
7. A space- and computer-scientist takes a look at psychology.
8. Malcolm Hooper puts things together status 2010.

"Ah me! alas, pain, pain ever, forever!

No change, no pause, no hope! Yet I endure.
I ask the Earth, have not the mountains felt?
I ask yon Heaven, the all-beholding Sun,
Has it not seen? The Sea, in storm or calm,
Heaven's ever-changing Shadow, spread below,
Have its deaf waves not heard my agony?
Ah me! alas, pain, pain ever, forever!
     - (Shelley, "Prometheus Unbound") 

    "It was from this time that I developed my way of judging the Chinese by dividing them into two kinds: one humane and one not. "
     - (Jung Chang)

See also: ME -Documentation and ME - Resources

Supplements on ME

  ME: On having severe ME
  ME: !! Seriour Health GET + CBT Warning !!
  ME: ME and Human Rights
  ME: Back to the Middle Ages with professor Simon Wessely
  ME: Back to the Middle Ages with professor Simon Wessely - P.S.

Studies in MEdical Sadism

  0: Studies in MEdical Sadism (overview + Kumar & Clark's Clinical Medicine)
  1: "Die Mörder sind unter uns" (the baseness of some medics and politicians)
  2: "101 Good Reasons" (clarification CBT+GET & 101 reasons by G. Crowhurst)
  3: "The evidence & the techniques" (current techniques of MEdical sadism)
  4: Intermezzo - Lucian (a very disrespectful most intelligent satirist)
  5: The amazing & great Kim & Dr. Yes (alas still not well-reformatted yet)
  6: Herr Professor & Frau Doctor Wessely (The Real Truth metavisually)
  7: Professor Simon Wessely's many mental issues (just so: a real sicko)
  7a: P.S.: Professor Simon Wessely's many mental issues (the logic of it)
  8 : Professor Wessely's crap completely clarified (visually) (DrSpeedy+profSW)
  9: Studies in MEdical Sadism - 9 : Dr. Yes maltreated
  ME-disch sadisme op wereldschaal: Zeer verbitterend nieuws
  ME: Waarom dokter Mengele medicijnen studeerde - 1
  ME: Waarom dokter Mengele medicijnen studeerde - 2
  ME: Uitstekende studie over ME en CGT en GET
  ME: !! Seriour Health GET + CBT Warning !!
  ME: Unsere Doktoren - Ohne Wörter - 2

P.P.S. ME - Resources needs is a Work In Progress that hasn't progressed today.


(*) Personally - from a true surfeit of evidence - I do not like academical lectures at all, and rarely saw or heard a good one. Apart from that I read much faster than people can talk, while talking as a rule is much less considered carefully than written prose, however fastly composed.

For these reasons, videos and lectures are not for me, but that is most probably a somewhat personal idiosyncracy: I MUCH rather and MUCH easier and MUCH faster as well read than listen to real or would be scientific lecturing.

Also, I do not assure people I d not know at all that they are People Like Me, nor do I write legalese like the people who say they are People Like You, for other people may not be like me at all, in quite a few relevant ways, and indeed other people may not like to be like me - e.g. including ME - at all, indeed just as I feel about some people I could name.

Maarten Maartensz

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