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Sep 10, 2011           

Michael S. Hart, founder of Project Gutenberg died

"to break down the bars of
ignorance and illiteracy."
I am not very well, getting not enough sleep because I have too much pain, and having too much pain to get enough sleep - an old story, but not a pleasant one.

So there's again not much in the way of Nederlog today, but I'd like to mention that
Michael S. Hart, the founder of Project Gutenberg died at age 64, on September 6 last.

I did not know him but I've always liked Project Gutenberg a lot, and have also found it very useful and helpful, and an excellent idea, that was Hart's very own, indeed starting it all as early as 1971.

Here are some links about the man and the project:
I certainly do hope Project Gutenberg will be continued and indeed will be extended, to help "break down the bars of ignorance and illiteracy", and to provide the best books free, so anybody who has a mind, a will and access to the internet can read the very best that men wrote, for free, as a human birth right, and also because (1) the editions Project Gutenberg provides that I've seen - quite a few - are good, and usually far better than what e.g. Google provides, and because (2) this manner of project, of providing free books to people everywhere, for education, enjoyment or personal development, is too important to be left to deeply commercial firms like Google (*), that so far made a mess of it, for what I saw of them, and seems also to not so subtly appropriate all books without copyright, by imprinting its logo on every scanned page.

This is much better left to truly dedicated individuals, perhaps under the umbrella of some university, but not in it for the money, or for expropriation of what ought to be free.

Here are a few helpful links to books provided by Gutenberg (I give the places at Gutenberg where you can download them yourself, if thus inclined):
I could have chosen much more or much different from the cornucopia that is Project Gutenberg, but the above is a brief collection of books I much like, with a few reasons why - and let me note that I have read the originals of all of these on paper, in which I also owe them, since I bought them long before there was internet with Project Gutenberg.

Gibbon and Thucydides are there because they were two of the finest historians ever, and because any intelligent person ought to be interested in history, as the best indication of what men are capable of and have done.

Hazlitt and Cobbett are there because they were two of the best writers of English, and were both original minds and independent individuals, while Cobbett indeed does contain sensible advice and interesting information about Cobbett himself and the England he lived in (beginning of 19th C).

Johnson, Voltaire and Swift are there because these are tales that may teach one a lot about mankind (on average), and also because Candide and Rasselas are - sort of - supplementary and, as Johnson himself admitted, so remarkably similar in outlook that either writer might have been accused of plagiarism, were it not for the fact that the books appeared around the same time.

Keynes is there because he was right about the dangers of the peace negotiated after WW I, at which negotiations Keynes was present, and because he could write. (His Treatise on Probability, that I had to have imported from England to read in the 1970ies is also in Project Gutenberg - though I should add that, while quite interesting, it is also mostly outdated. Even so, Keynes still is interesting on induction.)

Multatuli is there because he is my favourite Dutch author, of whom I have a lot on my site with my extensive comments, all in Dutch. This is an American translation of a book of his (originally part of his Ideen - it starts here in my edition of that work, in Dutch), that I didn't know of, and that I may use on my site, to attach my comments to (that I then must translate from the Dutch), that incidentally are quite well read by Dutch readers.

Anyway... as I said, I do hope Project Gutenberg continues, since it is well done and important, and this is one of the best ways "
to break down the bars of ignorance and illiteracy", that seems to have been Michael Hart's original motivation.


(*) So commercial that - it is claimed on the internet - Google doesn't even pay taxes in the US, and abuses a legal construction of the Dutch, who excel at this manner of evasion and lack of civic conscience, to do so. (See e.g. these Nederlogs for Google's editions: Oct 14 2009, March 14 2011.)

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 of 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)
 Maarten Maartensz
ME in Amsterdam - surviving in Amsterdam with ME (Dutch)
 Maarten Maartensz Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

Short descriptions of the above:                

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:

7. A space- and computer-scientist takes a look at psychology.
8. Malcolm Hooper puts things together status 2010.
9. I tell my story of surviving (so far) in Amsterdam/ with ME.
10. The directory on my site about ME.

See also: ME -Documentation and ME - Resources
The last has many files, all on my site to keep them accessible.

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