Jan 16, 2012
Dutch morality, medical morality, favorite explanations
Yesterday I wasn't worth much, what with ME/CFS, so there was no Nederlog. Today there are three subjects
1. Dutch morality
During the second world war more than 1% of the Dutch population was gassed, for reason of being of the wrong race, because most Dutchmen collaborated with the Nazis, albeit all of them went very bravely into the resistance around April 1945. Until then, six times as many went heroically into the Waffen-SS as were in the resistance, which I admit was very dangerous. My father, mother and grandfather did go into the restistance, and while my grandfather was murdered in a concentration-camp, whereto he and my father were sentenced, by Dutch judges, in a Dutch court, as political terrorists. My father and mother were ever since 1945 discriminated for being dirty communists; the judges who convicted my father and grandfather were never punished, and remained in function as judges.
Since the late sixties, the Dutch being a race of traders, where slavery and the trade in slaves were forbidden in 1865, only 58 years later than the British, illegal drugs are semi-legally traded to the tune of several tens of billions of dollars each year, a very profitable legal/illegal trade since the late 1960ies, especially in and around Amsterdam, where the drugsmafia is personally protected by the mayors, but if someone finds the personal courage to protest, he gets threatened with murder and shot or gassed, and no Dutchman cares, for Amsterdammers admire their mayors, and especially if they help drugs-traffickers in the name of the ideals of the resistance, which is what they do and did for decades, for this then is a prime example of Dutch tolerance, and most moral, most admirable, and indeed most profitable.
When Dutch troops are send to protect Yugoslavians, for the United Nations, they manage to have around 8000 killed by the very guys they were supposed to protect them from, even delivering their own translators to be killed, while their leader declared on camera (*)
When an invalid pleads against the postmodernistic degeneration of the Dutch universities in the 1970ies and 1980ies, by asking questions in public, he is kicked out of the university while the board of directors remind him that they take his invalidity "very serious" and assure him he is kicked out because of his "publicly stated ideas". When the same invalid memorizes a few of these things on two patients forums, one and the same Dutch woman, with the same name as professor Bleijenberg's assistant, sanctions him with support of the owners of both patients' forums, because what he says, she claims, is "offensive to Dutch".
So... let's now review the story of "The Amsterdammer of the year 2011".
His name is Mohammed Taha El Idrissi, and as his name shows he clearly is not of Dutch descent. What happened - here is a link for Dutchies and readers of Dutch - compiled from several sources is this:
In February 2011 a Dutch man and a Dutch woman fell in an Amsterdam canal. It was winter and it was cold, so the many Dutchmen who came to see how they drowned watched with careful heroism and with consideration, but could not be bothered to help. Mr El Idrissi, in spite of ill health and bronchitis, jumped into the water and saved both of them, but had to get medical treatment, like the persons he saved. Being poor and not insured, Mr El Idrissi had no money to pay for his treatment, and was therefore fined. The two Dutch persons he saved the lives of left the hospital and never were heard of again. (**)
This story eventually reached a Dutch daily - the same that invited me twice to their building, knowing I was ill, to talk about what I did in Amsterdam, but refused to see or receive me, because I dared to criticize the Amsterdam mayors for protecting the Amsterdam mafia - who made headlines and money out of it, which led to a Facebook-page, which in the end led to Mr El Idrissi's costs being refunded by donations and, eventually, him being made "The Amsterdammer of the year 2011".
2. Medical morality
There are hardly any worthwile Dutch writers, that is, if you can read another language than Dutch well, as most postmodernistically educated Dutchmen no longer can, but then the few there are - Erasmus, in Latin or Greek, who wrote "In Praise of Folly" and may have done so because of knowing so many Dutchmen - and Multatuli are really good, if little read, and considered quite difficult, by Dutchmen.
There is much of Multatuli on my site, including the seven volumes of his Ideas with my extensive comments, because I do really like him, but most of it is in Dutch, though I found last year a fine translation of one of his best known stories of book length, originally also in the Ideas, in English:
Indeed, Multatuli complained of precisely the same Dutch tendency I documented in the previous item, namely that the Dutch are prone to come and see tolerantly how someone drowns, and - if they don't throw stones at him - are very liberal with good advice on how to swim, but only moved by miracle to help such a one, since he must have brought it on himself, and God is there to help us all, in Holland.
So I went looking for it, but instead found this, about the race of medical doctors, that I have translated for your benefit, instruction and delectation.
It is from idea 273, and I don't translate all, and do translate freely if adequately. It is relevant to medicine and its practice, medical men and their motives (not all), people with ME/CFS, and indeed to the DSM-5, in which many new "(mental) diseases" have been invented, it is said because of "evidence-based medicine", but in fact for a reason Multatuli saw and formulated very clearly, ca. 1860.
It's a parable, a genre at which Multatuli excelled, and concerns the plight of an ill child and his father, who had send a message to learned medical men, to explain the problem and to move them to help his child:
And thus also all the newness in the DSM-5: There are many psychiatrists in dire need of pay! Many pharmaceutical companies depend on it! You should trust their integrity, honesty and most of all their proud evidence-based medicine! (***)
3. Favorite, deep, elegant or beautiful explanations
As it happens, I wrote about The Edge before, namely in 2006, when its theme was "Dangerous ideas", and indeed considered then quite a few of these, in a mixture of English and Dutch.
This year its theme is "What is your favorite, deep, elegant or beautiful explanation?", which is not a bad question to ask, and which receives many answers from the band of John Brockman, who has a sort of electronic salon for what he considers "the best minds".
He poses a question or problem or issue for them at the start of each year, and publishes the answers on his site. You find the requisite links above, including one to an interview in the Guardian with Brockman, who I surmise is in it for the money, as a sort of impressario or editor for his band of best minds. But then that's the way the world works, for the most part, and if it provides interesting ideas for free, it's fine with me.
As it happens, it is a lot of text - 1,164 Kb in html - by a lot of authors, some indeed rather famous, like Richard Dawkins and Steven Pinker, most quite unknown to me, with a rather too large share of soft scientists for my tastes, but I don't complain, also because I do consider it scientific journalism rather than science, and then the main standards are: Is it well presented? Is it readable? Is it interesting?
So far, I've only read bits, and certainly will not read all, since I am a great skipper of what bores me, but I agree with some selections of some " favorite, deep, elegant or beautiful explanation", such as (links mostly to Wikipedia or my Philosophical Dictionary): Boscovic's explanation of atomic forces, for Boscovic was a fascinating polymath; the scientific method, which only was really hit upon by Galileo; Erasthostenes' measurement of the earth's circumference, because that was really clever and mostly correct as well; Einstein's photons, because that was a bright idea; the principle of least action, another bright idea; the germ theory of disease, idem (check out Semmelweis); the mathematical theory of information ((check out Shannon); DNA - and at this point I have rapidly skimmed the first half of the 1,164 Kb, and looked at the titles of the rest.
There's more that qualifies, and some that doesn't, but it's a bit strange, to my mind, that my own answer, when I saw the question and considered, is not given by any, though some applications of it are. Here is my answer, in just one word: Mathematics.
As to ME/CFS (that I prefer to call ME):
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.
See also: ME -Documentation and ME - Resources
The last has many files, all on my site to keep them accessible.
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