August 19, 2010


ME + me : And yet some more good ME-news


I continue being not well, but I also continue with a little good news, at least from my personal point of view, and some surprising news:


1. Gifted with ME
2. Exit "XMRV"

My first section concerns a - minor but interesting and encouraging - discovery I made today, primed by the verbal abilities of mother and daughter Whittemore, also having to do with the following quotation, of which the source is below, that if it were translated from Dutch written the last 40 years could virtually only be by me, but is not. Here it is - and it does have to do with both me and with ME, indeed also quite apart from me, as I'll explain:

Society is shaped by the contributions of its most intelligent and talented members. What would our civilization be without Beethoven's symphonies or Leonardo's paintings? Shakespeare's plays, or Einstein's theory of relativity? Galileo's work in astronomy or Jonas Salk's polio vaccine? It is important that our society nurture and support the individuals who have the extraordinary intelligence and talents to improve the quality of life for all of us.

Now... I have been saying and writing similar things in The Netherlands since before 1970 (and see e.g. Real science & real psychology = joy and  Mandarins with an IQ of 115 for my reasons), but since about the same time virtually all Dutchmen except me - that I know of - either believed or pretended to believe that intelligence was not innate but was "a personal choice", and anyway was not at all "socially relevant", as the cant phrase was (*), whereas the mere idea that intelligence was innate and was not a personal choice was anathema in Dutch schools, in Dutch universities, and yes, even in faculties of psychology in Dutch universities, because I have been told there, while studying psychology - I must  suppose, after the fact, by people who now are lecturers or professors in the subject, while having an IQ 50 points or so lower than mine - that I was "a fascist" and "elitarian" for daring to think and say so, and that in fact I should feel ashamed of myself.

1. Gifted with ME

It so happens that I am - or at least was, when healthy - "extremely highly gifted", which in fact is a condition I have been aware of, though not in these terms, since I was send to school age 4, and indeed ever since, and it so happens as well that I do have ME since 32 years.

Indeed, the former is - still - considerably more probable than the latter, but then meanwhile I am 60, have the diplomas and "career" to prove it (see Real science & real psychology = joy,  Mandarins with an IQ of 115, Yahooism & democracy, and "I want to be read"), while I have known consciously for some 56 years that I am definitely not quite like the rest, and that - with very few exceptions - I only can meet people who seem to think and desire like I do in books, usually by authors dead for many generations or ages.

It's also something I have grown used to, although it still does seem strange now and then to have to see, once again, that others simply do not quite or do not at all see or hear what I can quite clearly and easily see. (In fact, this may happen to me as well: I like chess, for example, and am a fairly good player, but any grandmaster sees much deeper and faster into the game than I do. Besides, even the highest gifted has a few of many talents human beings may have, and lacks more than he or she has, in special human abilities, some men or women had, at some time).

Anyway... it's one way I am different from the vast majority, and without ME it very probably would have enabled me to have an excellent academic career. With ME, and more particular with ME in Amsterdam and in Holland, it worked out very differently, and I was much discriminated for being different, and for saying and writing what any extremely intelligent person would and should have said when exposed to the University of Amsterdam between 1971 and 1995, when intellectual differences between people were systematically denied, and the average IQ of the students, and no doubt meanwhile the staff, was 115 - but what very few thought, and fewer said, and fewer again said and dared say publicly.

As I cannot explain colors to the blind or the taste of a mango to those who have never tasted that fruit, so I will not write more on the topic, but I will provide a few links, including a fact that pleased me a lot and is quite relevant for ME:

  • Mrs. Annette Whittemore is on the Governing Board of the Davidson Academy for profoundly gifted children.

Indeed, the quotation in my introduction stems for the pages of the Davidson Academy

For me that is excellent wholly apart from ME, for indeed that is what mankind owes its release from having to compete with other primates to: The gifts of language and of incidental very smart individuals who can think of new ideas, new values and new methods, that may benefit all, eventually.

So the fact that Mrs. Annette Whittemore has the wit and initiative to be part of this I find very encouraging - and indeed I was led to finding this by noting that both mother and daughter Whittemore speak like gifted (**) people do, after which insight I decided to do a little research, that very rapidly produced Mrs. Whittemore's efforts for the extremely gifted (**).

Why does this encourage me, in case you missed it?

Because Mrs. Whittemore is the CEO of the WPI, and the brighter she is, ceteris paribus, the better it is for persons with ME, to give just one reason. And besides, she seems to have both her heart and her mind in the right places, so to speak, and to have a real moral sense and the ability to exercise that ability very usefully and creatively.

Also, please note that such an association and interest - being a governor on the board of an institution dedicated to helping the highly gifted to develop and use their talents - is not one that (I would quite confidently guess) marks any of "the opposition", such as Reeves, Strauss and Jones in the US, and Wessely, White and Sharpe in England, for these persons neither have the required morality nor the necessary intelligence.

2. Exit "XMRV"

Another piece of news today appeared on Phoenix Rising under the link: The name "XMRV" is going to disappear, it seems (but not the facts the name refers to, in case you thought that - but "ice" has three letters and is not cold, and "XMRV" is a term rather than what it stands for).

I quote all I know and found, with some added line-returns for paragraphs:

Hello all from Dr. B.

I just returned from the first official scientific symposium of the Whittemore-Peterson Institute on the topic of XMRV.

We formed a working group to be in constant touch and we plan to meet regularly because advances are coming so rapidly.

Big news that everyone should know and adopt is that we have proposed a name change for the virus.

This virus is a human, not mouse virus, and it is the first and so far only gamma-retrovirus known to infect people. Also, it is clearly not an "endogenous" retrovirus (one that is present in all genomes due to ancient infection).

Because of all of this, and because of the desire to begin on the right track, the new name of the virus is HGRV- Human Gamma Retro Virus. The illness caused by this infection is named HGRAD- Human Gamma Retrovirus Associated Disease.

We plan to announce this at the upcoming NIH retroviral conference this September.

Definitely stay tuned- the volume of new and important information about this virus and its disease associations is increasing rapidly and in my opinion should be a concern to every patient with chronic neuro-immune diseases, including those with chronic Lyme.

Joseph J. Burrascano Jr. M.D.
Water Mill, NY, USA

Interesting, also because it suggests some new evidence has been found.

P.S. It may be I have to stop Nederlog for a while. The reason is that I am physically not well at all. I don't know yet, but if there is no Nederlog, now you know the reason.


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

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

(*) Since it is also related to pure intelligence, so to speak: The phrase "socially relevant", that is "maatschappelijk relevant" in Dutch, was the conclusive and usually the only argument in virtually all discussions in the University of Amsterdam about the education it provided and what it stood for: Anything any majority choose to decry as not "socially relevant" thereby was made impossible and was not considered of value, because ' not "socially relevant" '. This went on from 1971 to 1995, every year, tenthousandfold repeated, in every faculty and in the University Parliament.

It taught me a lot about the average intellectual and moral gifts of Dutch academics, Dutch students and Dutch professors, for these too all agreed that yes indeed: Whatever was good was "socially relevant"; whatever was bad was not "socially relevant" - and that was all that was needed to come to a rational decision.

After that, it also became totally impossible to take almost any Dutch intellectual or academic seriously:

They all had agreed to this level of insanity for about three decades (and after that nearly all prominent Dutch intellectuals tried to get into the national papers, after the legislation that had kept this manner of insanity flourishing for 25 years while destroying the Dutch universities totally, in spirit if not in name and architecture, with the proud personal information that really, deep down inside, they had been.... neo-conservatives since decades, more or less as Adolf Eichmann deeply respected Jewish people, it would seem to me, but then indeed I failed to make an academic career in Holland, in spite or because of my undisputed brilliance).

(Incidentally - for US speakers - in Europe the political terminology tends to have a somewhat different meaning and connotation than in the US.)

(**)  Actually being very smart myself, I do not care overly much for extremely high IQs and fine distinctions between being "highly", "extremely" or "profoundly" intelligent (and like to remark parenthetically that Richard Feynman, who certainly was a far better physicist than I could have been, was tested as having an IQ of 124, one point less than George Bush Jr.) Also, I do know that a high IQ is a good predictor of scholastic ability and I have a very high one myself, while I also know that precisely this group of very gifted people consists of rare individuals and the group has not much been studied much, simply because it is difficult to find a lot of them, for one thing.

But it is very important for every (future) human being that the truly gifted do get the chances to develop and use their talents, instead of being discriminated for being different ("difficult", "opinionated", "arrogant" a.s.o.) and indeed also, in my opinion, it is very important that the truly gifted find the means to spread giftedness among the human population, before humanity manages to kill off most or all of itself by being once more led into some sort of world war or widespread totalitarianism: See my On a fundamental problem in ethics and morals

Maarten Maartensz

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