wrote two days ago about Facebook, that
got downloaded quite a lot, and want to make some clarifying remarks.
Rising and the MEA on Facebook
Being sometimes remarkably naive, and avoiding Facebook, I was informed
that in fact Phoenix Rising is - also - on Facebook, and Cort Johnson,
The Owner of Phoenix Rising, also has his own Facebook page(s).
Well... as I hope to have made clear about Facebook, I think it is especially
problematical for people with ME in the US, England and Holland, who
like(d) to speak the truth about ME, but depend on the dole or
bureaucracies: Thanks to Facebook, if you are on it, you may be found,
checked, inspected, spied upon, and charted, with all your
"Facebook friends", family, pictures,
contacts and all.
If this is what you, your "Facebook friends", your family and
contacts all like and approve, now and in the future, and if you love
your local secret service - "The Facebook Revolution" in Syria and
environs surely means it makes Assad's government much easier to track
and trace you, and pull your nails, for daring to think for your self -
then I suppose you deserve what you get, "personalized ads" and all.
Meanwhile, persons with ME/CFS, especially in England, better realize
that they are not safely anonymous on Facebook, and anything they have
said there can be used against them, eventually, maybe years into the
2. "It's the datamining, stupid"
Another thing I should make
clear - if it isn't - is that I am not against computerized virtual
"social networks", although I also believe that, as they presently
work, with text and non-moving images, it is mostly pseudo-social
make-believe, where you don't meet real people in real time, but such
texts and pictures as they feel fit to put on line, in that
If you believe that exchanging pieces of text on a public board is more
than virtual socializing,
then you are free to your own delusions. Indeed, things would be
different - is my guess - if computers were fast enough to enable
people to engage on line with cameras, and discuss as in real life,
where they can see each other, and react spontaneously, but (1) I don't
see this happen soon, except in a quite limited way, and not on sites
styled as 'social networks', because of the great amounts of traffic
necessary to make this work, and (2) again there is the problem that
what you put on line may be used against you, wholly apart from (3) all
the secret datamining The Owners of the site do with whoever they
succeeded in signing up.
Since I wrote about datamining a year ago, and don't feel like
repeating myself, here is a link, written for Phoenix Rising on April
25 2010, and clear enough about the dangers involved
I must infer - Cort Johnson and
Phoenix Rising both being on that walhalla of dataminers called
"Facebook" - that The Owner of Phoenix
Rising doesn't mind that the members of his outfit are datamined, but I
do, and the last link is quite clear about the dangers.
3. Personal creativity
Hodgkinson wrote and I quoted
is profoundly uncreative. It
makes nothing at all. It simply mediates in relationships that were
I mostly agree, but am a little more realistic, cynical, or concerned:
First, what Facebook is apart from a dataminers' Walhalla, which the
reason it exists, is a wrapper for
messages and pictures, that has a considerable slickness, looks
nice, and does not take any trouble to create for those using it.
There are many such wrappers, also freely available, known as "forum
software", and they enable many forums, with varying success and
slickness. I know quite a few of them as a visitor or indeed as a
member with forums about programming, generally in some specific
language: The ones I know of or am a member of work tolerably well, and
are not set up to find out
about you and sell your data to dataminers, and are not
commercial affairs, pretending to be about "socializing" and "sharing",
but really groups of people using forum software to communicate about
some specific subject with others who are interested in that subject.
The main reason these forums work tolerably well seems to be that these
forums are a fairly select group with a fairly clear purpose: Find out
things about programming in a specific programming environment or
language, and meet people - or rather: read text from people - who
share that interest.
Second, while this also happens on Facebook, this is not what
Facebook's purpose is, which is to get information about its users that
it can sell to those who want to use its users for their own ends.
Third, participating in a forum does not demand any personal creativity
beyond writing text and uploading images. This indeed is part of the
appeal of a forum and part of the reason for the existence of forum
software: To enable users to communicate about something without hassle
or investment of more time than necessary to write one's messages
- which may be fair enough, and useful.
Then again, it is a pity - it seems to me - much energy and time gets
wasted on posting stuff on forums that could have been used on a
personal site, to outline one's own take on things, and do something
Then again - it is a melancholic thought, but fair enough - most
persons just may not have it in them, and are on Facebook because they
lack the capacity, the ideas, the character, to make a site of their
own, with ideas of their own, that also is not part of someone else's
commercial plans and commercial software.
P.S. Corrections, if any are
necessary, have to be made later.
an aside a remark
on my html-editor: I am very
pleased to say
this text was written in KompoZer
08.b3 and not in MS
As to ME/CFS (that I prefer to call ME):
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
4. Report to Canadian Government on ME, by many medical experts.
5. Advice to psychiatrist by a psychiatrist who understands ME is an
6. English mathematical genius on one's responsibilities in the matter
of one's beliefs:
wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon
7. A space- and computer-scientist takes a look at psychology.
8. Malcolm Hooper puts things together status 2010.
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
See also: ME -Documentation
and ME -
Maartensz (M.A. psy, B.A. phi)