April 22, 2011


me: ... relatively speaking, seeing things in perspective ...


Another quote I ike, this time illustrating the merits/demerits of speaking relatively, to put things a little in perspective, because I learned in the University of Amsterdam, when I studied philosophy and psychology there, that everything is relative, from truth to morals, and anything else inbetween, provided one doesn't criticize the staff, local politicians, or the wisdom of the teachings inculcated by the staff of the University of Amsterdam, for then one gets removed, even if, or especially if, the Board of Directors know one is an invalid. (*)

However... since hardly anyone but me protested, and only I was removed from the University of Amsterdam's faculty of philosophy for publicly questioning the morality of relativizing truth and ethics to fashion and power, it is difficult to say what would have happened to other protestors with some courage and talent. (**)

Anyway, that is the matter of country I live in, and the manner of countrymen I live inbetween, and yes: I grant that there are exceptions, although - as good things are rare - these one does not meet with often, though then one meets hardly any Dutchman who does not insist he is - at least, at least! - your and everyone's "equivalent", except, lately, that the 20-30% of the most stupid currently believe that being Dutch makes them better than anybody non-Dutch.

To my quotation for the day, that happen to be two, albeit by the same writer and from the same book namely "England in the Eighteenth Century (1714-1815)" by J.H. Plumb, here given to shed a little light on relativism and perspectivism:

Plumb is talking of England in the second half of the 18th Century aka as The Age of Reason:

The increased wealth of England which these developments brought was not widely diffused. There were more families of middling wealth than ever before, but the vast bulk of the population fell within the contemporary category of 'labouring poor'. It is difficult to judge whether their lot grew better or worse with the intensification of the industrial revolution. It varied according to the trade, to the district, to the employer, and to the nature and temperature of individual men. But the poorest working men today would have found the lives of their ancestors almost unbearable. The hours of work were fourteen, fifteen, or even sixteen a day, six days a week throughout the year, except for Christmas Day and Good Friday. (op. cit. p. 150)


In 1800, as in 1700, hours were intolerably long, wages low, houses insanitary, and hunger commonplace, but there was one improvement: because of a deepening knowledge of medicine, and because of a growth of social discipline and organization, the poor stayed alive in increasing quantities (..) (op. cit. p. 154)

Relativism is the second refuge of the scoundrel, even though all things interdepend, and everybody can only judge from himself or herself, coloured by self-interest, personal ignorance, and the delusions one has been brought up in, or acquired oneself, generally by copious doses of wishful thinking and little or no relevant knowledge.


(*) I have explained so many times so well - according to person who heard me speak or who read my prose with some attention and the benefit of some brains and erudition - that I am ill and in pain, to Dutch bureaucrats and Dutch politicians, followed by their turning away to serve the interest of their political parties, or drugscorrupt colleagues, or corrupt thieves at the UvA (the Board of Directors that kicked me out let "disappear" 45 million guilders) and leaving me alone in my pain, my misery and my poverty that I know, to a level of certainty infinitesimally small of certainty, that lying, posturing and sadism are FAR more common among ordinary men and their ordinary political and religious leaders than ordinary men want to hear or read.

(**) There were a rare few, both in the staff of the University of Amsterdam, and among students. They all got in trouble, but were more diplomatic than I like to be in a free country my parents and grandparents were in the Dutch resistance for in WW II. Then again, effectively and practically speaking, the vast majority of Dutchmen collaborated during WW II, actively or passively, and the latter would not have been so very bad (tyranny is tyranny, war is war, and very few have backbones made of steel) if the vast majority of Dutchmen hadn't claimed "to have been in The Resistance" since May 1945 - in a country where six time as many volunteered for the S.S. as went into the resistance, and over 1% of the Dutch population gassed.

Then again, to have seen almost all of my generation collaborate with postmodernism and pseudomarxism, meanwhile ruinining the universities in the name of "democracy" and "equality and equivalence of all",  and while hunting for academic positions for life for themselves (Dutch "academics" are tenured as state or municipal bureaucrats) in the names of "emancipation" and "democracy" was ... sickening, if also of very great explanatory value for those who want to understand national and soviet and chinese socialism: Most men, whatever their public postures, are collaborators, and usually also of a totalitarian mindset - "my party / religion / country / cause / community, right or wrong!" - from a combination of stupidity, ignorance, egoism and wishful thinking.

P.S. Corrections, if any are necessary, have to be made later.

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

Maarten Maartensz (M.A. psy, B.A. phi)

        home - index - top - mail