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Nov 2, 2011      `

The excellence of Dutch science & psychology: Diederik Stapel - 2


   "Préjugé, vanité, calcul, voilà ce qui gouverne le monde. Celui qui ne connait pour règle de sa conduite que raison, vérité, sentiment, n'a presque rien de commun avec la société. C'est en lui-même qu'il doit chercher et trouver presque tout son bonheur."
   -- Chamfort


   "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
   -- Edmund Burke

I leave my epigraph and title standing, though I have added a " -2" to the title, that shows it is number 2 in a series started yesterday on what it takes to become a Dutch excellent scientist, in a social science, at least.

Here is some that seems to have been published on the subject of the main cause of professor doctor Diederik Stapel within the last 24 hours:

1. Case of Massive Scientific Fraud - The Scientist
2. Diederik Stapel: Another World Class Psychology Fraud - Science 2.0
3. Five Questions about: Diederik Stapel - DutchNews.nl
4. Diederik Stapel: The Lying Dutchman - Washington Post

5. Massive Fraud Uncovered (..)  - Scientific American
6. Report finds massive fraud at Dutch universities - Nature
7. Report: Dutch 'Lord of the Data' Forged Dozens of Studies - Science

I wrote yesterday about it and ended then with these paragraphs:

I may return to this, in Dutch, because the Dutch interim-report is quite interesting, and not quite honest:

The pretense is that it is all Stapel's fault, and everybody else is not to blame, since they all are, as the Dutch universities themselves, falsely, advertise their staff to be: "excellent scientists"; while the truth is that there has been a sick, degenerate, corrupt, political and unscientific climate in very much of the Dutch universities since decades, if only because ALL Dutch universities have been explicitly run - by law, also! - as if they were democratized Soviets from 1971-1995, thereby enabling for some 25 years the careerists from the Dutch leftist parties to be nominated in positions of power or as "scientific staff" in the Dutch universities. (*)

And apart from the few studies that really require talent, these were nearly all political nominations of people with little or no interest in real science, and with strong personal and political interests in pseudoscience, fake "science", and politicized "science".

They were and are truly excellent - as frauds, as liars, as deceivers, as parasites, as whores of reason, as political pseudoscientists, as fakers, as bullshitters and as very willing betrayers of civilization, of science, of truth and of morality.

And I followed this up by a footnote in which I try to briefly explain the veritable Soviet-type of organization of ALL the Dutch universities, by law, approved by parliament in 1971, that ruled supreme from 1971 to 1995, and also put Diederik Stapel in power, quite possibly strengthened by reading my Spiegeloog-columns of 1988-1989 (the link also contain English translations), from which Mr Stapel could have learned at least four things as virtual pragmatic certainties:

1. In the University of Amsterdam and in Dutch universities at large almost no one is really interested in real science, especially not in the so called "social sciences": These were and are the province of political types who had professorships and lectureships for political or personal and not for scientific reasons.
The very few who dare to protest the corruption, destruction and politicization of the Dutch universities - W.F. Hermans, Jan Blokker, Maarten Maartensz, Gerrit Komrij - will be harassed, discriminated, abused sorely, and if possible persecuted with and without law, and risks being slandered as "fascists" for years or decades, as a matter of course also
3. The Boards of Directors of the faculties and universities strongly support and protect fraudulent presudoscientists, because it is very likely they themselves made their career that way, and because these are their very own colleagues in "science", comrades in political parties, and friends since the early years at universities, where and when like found like, frauds recognized careerists and careerists found frauds as alter egos, and all got very soft very well-paying university jobs for life by impostures and frauds and usually for political reasons: for being friends and colleagues and political comrades of those who nominated them.
4. Absolutely "anything goes", in Dutch universities, provided it has the politically correct political smell; almost anyone employed in Dutch universities will protect their own excellent colleagues employed in Dutch universities; and hardly anyone employed in Dutch universities outside very few departments for which real talent and hard work are needed has any serious personal interest in real science whatsoever: They're all in it for the money, for the status, and for having a very soft very easy job for life, in one of the best paying highest status jobs there are, in Holland.

Then again, there is a real difficulty: Very few Dutch scientists, and no Dutch bureaucrats, will agree to the above, for either they have all lied and collaborated for a long time with the essential political institutions that the Dutch universities are and have been since 1971, or else they will be so junior as scientists that criticizing their elder colleagues very seriously risk their jobs and their careers, and will be landed in the dole very soon, like I have been, for the same reason: I dared criticize the decline and corruption of the Dutch universities and educational system when it still could have been stopped, if only the Dutch professors and lecturers had show any civil courage - but instead, like nearly all of their parents and grandparents during World War II, quite unlike my parents and grandparents, they collaborated with the powers that be, looked the other way, whether it concerned razzia's on Jews or fraudulence in science, and made a career by conforming and collaborating, and by smearing the few who did stand up for science and truth and civilization.

The great majority of the Dutch social scientists I have seen since the late 1960ies - hello professor Abram de Swaan, how are you?! - were bullshitters, knew they were bullshitters, and probably took a lot of private pride in being bullshitters, for it gave them the best jobs, the highest incomes, the most status, and incidental access to the media to pour out their on personal career-serving bullshit. As professor Frankfurt wrote:

It is impossible for someone to lie unless he thinks he knows the truth. Producing bullshit requires no such conviction. A person who lies is thereby responding to the truth, and he is to that extent respectful of it. When an honest man speaks, he says only what he believes to be true; and for the liar, it is correspondingly indispensable that he considers his statements to be false. For the bullshitter, however, all these bets are off: he is neither on the side of the true nor on the side of the false. His eye is not on the facts at all, as the eyes of the honest man and of the liar are, except insofar as they may be pertinent to his interest in getting away with what he says. He does not care whether the things he says describe reality correctly. He just picks them out, or makes them up, to suit his purpose.
  -- Quoted from: "Bullshit" (<- Wikipedia)

This is so, except that one must not be tempted to believe scientific bullshitters do not know they are bullshitting:

They do, and that's what made them professors and lecturers in whatever social science they thrive in like lice on sore heads: They produce fashionable nonsense, the cant of the day, the political propaganda of their political comrades, just as willingly as Stalin's academic bullshitters did the same in the Soviet Union, and for the same human reasons, namely for making a career and making money and pleasing the political authorities, but indeed also with one major difference: There was no Lubyanka for those who said no to bullshit and fraudulence - for these very rare individuals there was the dole, where I indeed have been lodged now for decades, having some 10 dollars a day to buy food, clothes, books, new computers, internet connection etc. and namely because of publicly asking questions like these, in 1988, just as professor Diederik Stapel was setting sail to be One Of Holland's Most Excellent Scientists:

39 Questions about the  decline of education
and government in the Netherlands

Professor  Diederik Stapel clearly did not want to happen to him what happened to me; he could have known very well from my Spiegeloog-columns what had happened to someone like me who did not collaborate and not conform like a coward or a crazy nut; and professor  Diederik Stapel accordingly had a most pleasant, most successful career in the Dutch university system for some twenty years, in which he had a most enviable job, with lots of money and status, simply because his manner of bullshit and ways of producing it was covered by his colleagues, and he had not yet been found out as a faker of data, and no doubt everybody who could and should have known - many! - looked away and covered up for him, as colleagues do, in Holland, since times immemorial.

I could write and cite a lot more about this, but for the moment restrict myself to four successive paragraphs by Ewen Callaway in Nature, dated November 1, 2011. The following shows the modus operandi of Stapel, and also of the commission led by Willem aka Pim Levelt, a psycholinguist born in 1938, who to my knowledge never led himself be heard while the Dutch universities and schools were being destroyed, dumbed down, moronified and levelled in the name of democracy, universal equivalence of all, and of leftist (**) political propaganda.

I will insert some of my comments inbetween, without indentation:

Mistakes made

Stapel initially cooperated with the investigation by identifying fraudulent publications, but stopped because he said he was not physically or emotionally able to continue, says Levelt. In a statement, translated from Dutch, that is appended to the report, Stapel says: "I have made mistakes, but I was and am honestly concerned with the field of social psychology. I therefore regret the pain that I have caused others." Nature was unable to contact Stapel for comment.

What Stapel is quoted as saying in fact amounts to a claim that everybody in social psychology in Holland is just as "honestly concerned with the field of social psychology" as Stapel is and was for decades, and that what he is sorry for is not what he did - his fine colleagues must be as honest - but that he was found out.

I would not be amazed if he is quite honest here, and considers it very unfair that he is singled out for doing what he knows or believes most of his colleagues do and have done for decades, without anybody objecting.

The report does not identify specific papers that contain manipulated or fabricated data, pending the completion of the investigations. The investigators conclude, though, that Stapel acted alone. "The co-authors, and in particular the PhD students, were absolutely not involved, they really didn't know what was going on in this data fabrication," Levelt says.

Levelt may say so, but he has been part of the game for decades, and could not, to my knowledge, ever find it in him to protest while the Dutch universities and schools were being destroyed - about which he must have known, because not only did I write about it, but also well-known well-read Dutch authors like W.F. Hermans and Jan Blokker, both already in the 1970ies, when professor Levelt could have spoken up, like they did, and for their reasons, if he couldn't think of moral or scientific reasons of his own.

As to Stapel's PhD students about whom Levelt claims that "they really didn't know what was going on in this data fabrication": Perhaps. I don't know. But it is a fact that if they never got to see any raw data, they all should have had to protest, and probably also a fact that very few did, namely for fear of risking their career. (I did speak up as a student: Spiegeloog-columns and only received lots of personal discrimination in thanks, namely from almost everyone who was then employed as professor or lecturer in psychology.)

Often, the report says, Stapel and a colleague or student came up with a hypothesis, and then designed an experiment to test it. Stapel took responsibility for collecting data through what he said was a network of contacts at other institutions, and several weeks later produced a fictitious data file for his colleague to write up into a paper. On other occasions, Stapel received co-authorship after producing data he claimed to have collected previously that exactly matched the needs of a colleague working on a particular study.

The data were also suspicious, the report says: effects were large; missing data and outliers were rare; and hypotheses were rarely refuted. Journals publishing Stapel's papers did not question the omission of details about where the data came from. "We see that the scientific checks and balances process has failed at several levels," Levelt says.

True - but it all started in the politicized and levelling climate in the Dutch universities that rules there in the departments of psychology (and other social sciences, and languages, and philosophy) since 1971, about which I am not aware of having heard or read any protest by Levelt.

Indeed, the only psychologist I know of that did protest publicly, to my knowledge, was A.D. de Groot, apart from myself, who at the time of my protests only had a B.A. in psychology, and since then may consider myself happy that I can eat, being ill, without help, in the Dutch dole, to the great joys of many a professional professorial psychologist or philosopher I have known, and have defeated in discussion, because they did not have the civil courage to protest against the destruction of the Dutch universities and schools.

I did, and a Parliamentary Committee that investigated the stunning declines of the Dutch universities and schools and reported in 2008, in effect agreed that I had been right for decades - but the credit, kudos  and financial benefits went to the presenters of the Parliamentarian Report, such as Jeroen Dijsselbloem, of Dutch Labor, the political party the members of which created the mess in the universities in the first place, on purpose, for political reasons, to help their own comrades and themselves take over the universities, and in order to live, as the Dutch has it, as parasitic lice on a sore head for decades, pretending falsely to be real scientists:

- Whores of Reason
- Mandarins with an IQ of 115
- Truth and Value
The ideological ape
- Yahooism and Democracy

But everybody employed in the Dutch universities in psychology (and elsewhere) at the time - from the late 1960ies to the middle 1990ies - saw the emperor had no clothes, looked away, and said nothing in public, though some agreed in private with me that the Dutch university system was a major and dangerous politicized mess.

Judged by Burke's saying, quoted above:

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

there are and have been at most a handful of good men with degrees in psychology in Holland, the past 40 years in which the Diederik Stapels and their ilk ruled the roost of the Dutch universities in their fields of "scientific" research, and of that handful only one or two found the civil courage inside themselves - in spite of there being no Dutch Lubyanka for whoever dared to speak the truth! - to speak up against the simultaneous destruction of civilization, education, science and honesty at the Dutch universities.

The rest, like their fathers, mothers and grandfathers under Nazism, simply collaborated, and enjoyed their status, lives, and incomes, while seeing to it later generations would only find travesties and parodies of real science, good education, and real universities.

And yes, I do believe that's genetical and I do see that as a major human problem

- On a fundamental problem in ethics and morals

And for readers of Dutch: Here is a link to THE definitive guide to become what professor Diederik Stapel in fact was and worked hard, if not honestly, to become: A Dutch Top-Bureaucrat:

-  Hoe word ik een Nederlands Topambtenaar? (P.S.)


(*)   Links to yesterday's note.

(**) I am the only one I know who lives in Holland with father, mother and grandfather as heroes of the Dutch Resistance against Nazism, and indeed as communists.
What made me gave up communism in 1970, age 20, was
- apart from more theoretical considerations, and the
utterly moronic propaganda prose of the Dutch CP
the low personal, moral and intellectual level of leftist
student leaders, and the utter dishonesty of their
claims: They seemed careerist phony actors to me,
compared to my own revolutionary parents and grandparents
It is not that I am against "progressive ideas or ideals";
it is that I know these are almost always lies in the service
of a personal career.

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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