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Sep 13, 2011           

More Russell + How I write

This continues yesterday's remarks on my comments on Wittgenstein's Tractatus: I proofread and improved my comments on Russell's foreword to the Tractatus, and I also added quite a few links to it, mostly to Wikipedia or to my Philosophical Dictionary.

1. Russell

I suppose my comments on Russell's foreword now have been mostly done, but this is not so with my other comments on the Tractatus, though I do hope to have it finished this year. But then this depends on my health.

In any case, if you want to read more Russell with my comments, the complete text of his Problems of Philosophy is on my site, with my extensive comments. (They can be read independently.)

And for what it is worth: I've always considered Russell the better philosopher, logician, mathematician and writer of the two, even though I also found rather a lot to disagree about with him, as the above items show.

But Russell has the great advantage over Wittgenstein of writing usually quite clearly, and of being far more parsimonious with unargued or hardly argued claims than Wittgenstein was.

If at this point - as a regular reader of Nederlog - you feel you've had enough Wittgenstein and Russell for the time being: The next Nederlog will be about another subject.

Indeed, I have even today something on another subject:

2. How I write

This following may serve to explain a little about the site, myself, and - mostly - about the reason why some things on the site take such a long time to finish:

I always write quickly if I write at all, and did so also before I fell ill. Part of the reason is probably that I have a facility for switching Csíkszentmihályi's flow on, that I have also always had, at least since I was 14 or so, and that besides I can type quite fast. And indeed, this I mean quite literally: If I can't write fast, I can't write - it has to flow, as it were, from its own inner sources and without my having to think consciously about it or to search for words, or else I can't and don't write about a subject at all.

This capacity for switching the flow on does help a lot with producing written text, but it comes with some problems:

It only works with things I am interested in, which is to say that I cannot write on just anything on command or demand; it requires a certain mood for a subject, without which I cannot write about the subject (this is why I have written much less about logic and mathematics than I expected to, thirty and more years ago, before I fell ill: I am clearly worse in those subjects than I was before I fell ill, and that does not make for happy fast writing on them); and I can't write when I am utterly wasted by illness or lack of sleep: I need some minimal health and energy to write at all (and can write as much as I do while being ill because I do not need to stand or walk in order to do it, nor before doing it,  and - most importantly - I can choose if and when I write, which has to happen during such hours as I am least unwell, and I still, ill as I am, am intellectually gifted).

And then indeed I am physically ill - see below, after the P.S. - since January 1, 1979, which makes me have a lot less energy than I would otherwise have had.

Taken together, this means that anything that takes more than a few hours of writing may take a long time to get done: I need the health to do it; I need the mood to do it; and apart from the mood I have to be interested in the subject, and know something about it; and I need to be at least not completely wasted. (I have spend many hours for many years in bed, where I can't and don't write. Indeed, I have spend more hours in bed unable to write, than outside of bed able to write, since I first fell ill.)

Especially the first two items - that is: health and mood - are often in very short supply for me, and therefore it may and does quite often effectively take years in between the various spurts of activity to get something written on a subject.

This is why the longer stuff on my site usually takes a long time to get ready as a first finished version, and why it may take years after that to correct such a first finished version.

I do as I can, not as I want, even if what I can do is mostly what I want to do. And if I were not ill, I would and could write far more, and probably not on many of the subjects I have written on, apart from philosophy and logic.

So it goes...

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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