This is a copy from
the orginal to NOTEBOOK. I insert
the copy here for ease of reference - the idea
being that Nederlog 1012 continues after August with NOTEBOOK, which is
easier to maintain for me, because of the
problems with my eyes that started in May 2012.
eyes, M.E. and the internet
eyes and M.E.:
bit better than they were for months and as I
explained yesterday this enabled my redoing "The Black Book"
and making it a continuation of Nederlog.
since its beginning is explicitly about what concerns
and interests me, I'll keep mentioning my eyes in it, for it was as
follows most days for four months, the cause being probably Sjoegren's
Syndrome with keratoconjunctivitis
sicca (aka "dry eyes"):
you got a lot of soap in your eyes, as happened
to most anyone when washing one's hair, perhaps also
with a bit of sand in it
that this then goes on for
24 hours a day, and in my case for 4 months now.
This may explain to the more sensitive reader why I pay so much
attention to it - and note that I also
Encephalomyelitis aka M.E. and indeed also Dupuyteren's
Contracture, in the pinkie of my right hand, which is my dominant
Perhaps somewhat interesting for medical folks:
At least both Sjoegren's
Contracture are autoimmune
diseases, while the
first of these is
correlated with Myalgic
which may suggest to some a
common cause. It does to me, but yes: It is a suggestion, not a proof.
About the internet, what
suich eyes as I have:
For months I have not been able to use it other than very
minimalistically, also because I very soon get more pain when staring
at white backgrounds, that are on most sites the background, if not in
general, then at least for text.
having a few days of less problems at least I now got the chance to
tweak Firefox in GNU/Linux
Ubuntu. The tweak is that at long last I have
automatically black backgrounds and green lettering with each file I
load in Firefox,
which is a great improvement
for my eyes, and indeed what allowed me to read Wikipedia again.
Linux Ubuntu also enabled me to have a white text on black background
instead of a black text on a white blackground most everywhere, which
also is a great help.
The result is a bit odd, having been used to the normal set-up since
1996 for the internet in Windows and also in Linux that I started to
use in May 2012, just before getting sore eyes: Thinks do look a bit
different that way, not only because of the prevalence of black, but
also because in Firefox I override the backgrounds others supply for a
But as I indicated: It is a great
improvement for my eyes, and the only
way that I can use the internet and my computer at all - "through a
It also is a bit reminiscent of the early days of computing, in 1981
with an Apple of a friend, and in 1986-7 with an Osborne with CP/M (a
"laptop" the size of a sewing machine) and then a Philips with DOS: All
had screens with a black background and green (or yellow) text.
So... some improvements for my eyes and me, and hence some improvements
in Nederlog for my readers.
this first on 1boringoldman's
site yesterday: I
quote his quotation from the New York
referred to 1boringoldman, who
in fact is a psychiatrist in
his seventies, who - a bit strangely, in my eyes - started out as an
internist, and seems a sensible man who wrote very interestingly about
the DSM-5 (my own 100 Nederlogs about it are listed and linked here
Medicine is a very sicj business in the USA and as an explicit
hypothesis with excellent
support in DSM-5:
Medicine is a very sicj business in the USA - 2) but this time I
found his own
reaction a bit disappointing.
Thomas Szasz, Psychiatrist Who Led Movement Against His Field, Dies at
New York Times
by BENEDICT CAREY
September 11, 2012
Szasz, a psychiatrist whose
1961 book “The Myth of Mental Illness” questioned the legitimacy of his
field and provided the intellectual grounding for generations of
critics, patient advocates and antipsychiatry activists, making enemies
of many fellow doctors, died Saturday at his home in Manlius, N.Y. He
was 92. He died after a fall, his daughter Dr. Margot Szasz Peters said.
Dr. Szasz published
critique at a particularly vulnerable moment for psychiatry.
theorizing just beginning to fall out of favor, the field was trying to
become more medically oriented and empirically based. Fresh from
Freudian training himself, Dr. Szasz saw psychiatry’s medical
foundation as shaky at best, and his book hammered away, placing the
discipline “in the company of alchemy and astrology.” The book became a
sensation in mental health circles, as well as a bible for those who
felt misused by the mental health system.
Dr. Szasz argued against coercive treatments, like
involuntary confinement, and the use of psychiatric diagnoses in the
courts, calling both practices unscientific and unethical. He was soon
placed in the company of other prominent critics of psychiatry,
including the Canadian sociologist Erving Goffman and the French
philosopher Michel Foucault
Edward Shorter, the author of “A History of
Psychiatry: From the Era of the Asylum to the Age of Prozac”
, called Dr. Szasz “the biggest of the antipsychiatry
intellectuals.” “Together,” he added, “they tried their hardest
to keep people away from psychiatric treatment on the grounds that if
patients did not have actual brain disease, their only real
difficulties were ‘problems in living.’ ” This attack had some
merit in the 1950s, Dr. Shorter said, but not later on, when the field
began developing more scientific approaches. [Note MM]
To those skeptical of modern psychiatry, however,
was a foundational figure…
First, here are my own views of Szasz, in the form of a long review of
Wikipedia item on him, as it was in March of this year, when I wrote
it: DSM-5: DSM-5:
Szasz's ideas about psychiatry and that still seems to me adequate
and fair, as seen from my point of view as a philosopher of science and
Next, about 1boringoldman's comments on the above items, dated
September 15 2012:
He writes 5 paragraphs, of which 4 are not about dr. Szasz but about
dr. Mickey's (as 1boringoldman
signs himself) own experiences
with a colleague of him who was somewhat of a follower of Szasz.
That does not seem to me to be a fair review of the work or person of
Szasz himself: You can't judge a man by his followers.
Or you can, but not
Here is most of dr. Mickey's one paragraph about dr. Szasz, again minus
his experiences with his colleague, indented, in several parts that
follow, and with my comments not
got curious and read some Szasz – the Myth of Mental Illness
and something else. It seemed monotonous. I decided that Szasz was more
ideologue than psychiatrist. Something of an Ayn Rand like figure.
Someone to read and think about, but nothing more.
meanwhile found my own copy of the Myth
of Mental Illness, with my marginal notes and
underlinings, and found that I disagreed with more than I had
remembered, but that's an aside.
it's "monotonous" is hardly clear - in which way? - but indeed Szasz is
unrelentingly critical of psychiatry, and if one does want to make
points about style, a fair point is that he wrote a much better and
much clearer prose than almost all psychiatrists I have read, and that
this seems to be so because he had a clearer mind than almost all
Next, "that Szasz
was more ideologue than psychiatrist" is not quite fair for at least
First, he had the degree; he had a practice, in his own
way, for he was not against psychiatry as such, but only as practised
in his time by most of his colleagues; and he was a professor in it.
Second, that he wrote to an extent like an "ideologue" may be true, but
then that is so
because many psychiatrists do, especially when addressing the general
Third, that dr. Mickey takes him to be "Something of an Ayn Rand like
figure" also does not seem quite fair to
me, but here I have the setback of being a European, who never has been
in the U.S.
I'll explain, for I find this somewhat puzzling and somewhat
My being European enters because Szasz was a libertarian
(<- Wkipedia), which to me is a rather quaint, typically American,
if I may say so, type of political philosophy, that I find difficult to
make sense of and judge, in part because it is a label that covers
quite a few of quite diverse thinkers, of whom Ayn Rand indeed is one,
while many so called libertarians have quite diverse stances,
backgrounds and also orientations, that
seem to be specificially related to conditions that are specific to
the U.S., that I do not know well.
As it happens, I am myself a liberal, but not in any modern sense, nor indeed as that term is
understood in the U.S., where it tends to be used rather differently
than it is in Europe: What is called "liberal" in the U.S. tends to be
left or far left off centre; what is said to be "liberal" in Europe
tends to be centrist or right off centre.
Then again, the sense I use it in is mostly associated with political
thinkers like Thomas Jefferson, Alexis De Tocqueville, John
Stuart Mill, Jacob
Gaetano Mosca, James Burnham, George Orwell and Jacob Talmon - some of
whom are often called "conservatives"
I do not know in what sense Szasz was "a libertarian", but I find it
hard to believe he saw anything of value in Ayn Rand, whom I read
in the early 1970ies because some American friends I had recommended
her, and whom I found to be an awful writer, and a very boring, very
trivial "philosopher", who seemed not a bit mad to me: A posturer, of
the more fanatic kind, not even redeemed by a good literary style, for
hers was wooden, bombastic, vaguely grandiose, and ugly, like "Dallas"
It is possible Szasz liked Rand (I don't know), but if he did, it must
have been because he did not know better: Gaetano Mosca or
Burnham or Friedrich
should have served his purpose much better.
To turn back to dr. Mickey:
flagrantly psychotic people
brought to the Grady Emergency Room should either be left alone to be
free, or held responsible for their actions. If a crime were committed,
Mental Illness was not a mitigating factor.
happens, I agree with this: One of my disagreements with dr. Szasz is
that I do think some people really get mad, and that such people do
merit help, and that society also does sometimes need protection. Then
again, almost all psychiatry I read seems pretentious nonsense to me,
though indeed this does not mean psychiatry is impossible to practice:
All that is necessary to help people who are mad, or are unhappy,
afraid, nervous, in problems, are intelligence,
common sense, benevolence, and a good grasp of what is possible in the
situation in which they live, and perhaps also some medicines like
tranquillizers or sleeping pills.
More by dr. Mickey:
think Dr. Szasz made me think
more deeply about the commitment laws, testamentary capacity, criminal
responsibility, the arrogance of some psychiatrists, but I found
his view of human beings as living in a world of voluntary choices an
untenable way of looking at the desperately ill people I was learning
about in that period of my training, and later.
again seems fair enough - though I also agree with dr. Szasz that many
more people have been forcibly committed to asylums
than is necessary or than is moral or is legally justifiable, and that
quite often (see the last link, to
a book by Ervin
who was one of the few great sociologists, like Gaetano Mosca, Max Weber, and C. Wright Mills)
those who are in asylums
have been sorely mistreated.
Also, there is another problem with what dr. Mickey writes, and indeed
what psychiatrists practice:
If human beings do inhabit what is effectively "a world of voluntary
choices", as I think they do, for I am not
a determinist, the fact of the matter is that people who are committed against their will to an asylum -
and see also the Rosenhan
experiment - are divested from a human right by the will of a
psychiatrist, at least often, and indeed also legally by some judge
acting on their advice.
What Szasz, and Goffman and Rosenhan (resp. a psychiatrist, a
sociologist and a psychologist) argued is that this is, at the very
least, very questionable, and open to much abuse, especially since, as
Szasz argued in many books, I think mostly correctly, much of
psychiatry is pseudoscience
even if the
psychiatrists may mean well - which I myself tend to doubt, e.g. in
of the Rosenhan
also in view of the fact that
history provides little evidence of a prevalence of honest, moral and
wished for what is right, they might have had it long ago. The theory
is plain enough; but they are prone to mischief, "to every good work
I have seen no
evidence whatsoever that this is not true of most psychiatrists, and
much evidence it is - which is a major problem for anyone dealing
with them or dependent on them as a patient.
To be fair: I do not deny there are psychiatrists who mean well and do
well, but if they do it is not because of such psychiatric texts as I
have read (with the - partial - exception of Silvano Arieti,
ca. 1970 dean of the American Psychiatric Association, but not one who
had a large following or who founded a school of thought).
Here is the last quotation of dr. Mickey on dr. Szasz:
time passed, I saw some videos
of him speaking. He filled any room he entered. He was an impish,
quick-witted, charismatic contrarian. I bet he never lost an argument.
He took on psychoanalysts, behaviorists, psychiatrists,
psychopharmacologists, legal scholars, and sometimes mental patients
with equal relish. We were all off the mark.
Again this does not seem quite fair to me, though I also can understand
why a psychiatrist - after all, one of a group of professional persons
much opposed by this "impish,
would write this.
But then again, in all fairness and agreeing omnis
Isn't it true that most reactions of - the class of more intelligent -
church men to Voltaire or Russell were similar? As was Malcolm
Muggeridge's reaction to Monty Python's Life
Besides, while I do myself disagree with some of Szasz's ideas, he
clearly was a very courageous and very smart man, who had by far the
best side of most of the arguments he got into, and who also found
himself, probably against his wishes, forced into the position of a
"contrarian" - a position that people
him soon risk being put in an asylum for, namely by dr. Mickey's
professional brothers and sisters, on the DSM-5 diagnosis of suffering
something these postmodern priests of the medical inquisition
called "Oppositional Defiant
Disorder" in their manual to be.
I quote Reuters from February 9, 2012, from Suzy
site on the DSM-5 (my bolding):
Feb 9 (Reuters) - Millions
of healthy people - including shy or defiant children, grieving
relatives and people with fetishes - may be wrongly labelled mentally
ill by a new international diagnostic manual, specialists said on
In a damning
analysis of an upcoming revision of the influential Diagnostic and
Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), psychologists,
psychiatrists and mental health experts said its new categories and
"tick-box" diagnosis systems were at best "silly" and at worst
"worrying and dangerous".
Some diagnoses -
for conditions like "oppositional
defiant disorder" and "apathy
syndrome" - risk devaluing the
seriousness of mental illness and medicalising behaviours most people
would consider normal or just mildly eccentric, the experts said.
Note also how cleverly the designers of the postmodern Malleus
Maleficarum have taken care they can damn you if you do ("oppositional
defiant disorde") and also damn you if you don't ("apathy
Indeed that item seems par for the course of the whole DSM-5
that also is designed, on purpose
(by the subterfuge of so called
"multidimensional analysis") to allow the psychiatric postmodern
inquisitioner to decide personally
just how much is "too much" and how much is "too little", also if you
are caring for a sick child: Your kind shrink shall decide whether you
care too much or care too little, in the name of a science that in fact
own writings about that horrific DSM-5
manual is here,
that ends thus:
think I have made a very good
case that something very sick is happening with US medicine and US
I think it very likely that the folks behind
GlaxoSmithhKline and other big pharmaceutical corporations, working in tandem with such
conscientious do-gooders as Drs Regier, Creed and Sharpe of the DSM-5,
have redesigned the DSM-5 to get as much good out of it as they
possibly can, namely by selling the US and world population each year
billions of dollars worth of dangerous drugs the patients don't need,
but the doctors have prescribed because doing so profits the doctors a
lot, while the DSM-5 has been designed to allow psychiatrists to
diagnose anything as psychiatric, and get away with, because only they
pretend to be capable of understanding the intentionally fraudulent rot
that is the DSM-5.
In the US, medicine has been redesigned,
by corrupt and dishonest
medical doctors themselves, from a moral practice intended to help ill
people, to a fraudulent practice with the end of enriching medical
doctors and pharmaceutical managers by medical fraud on a scale the
world has never seen before.
And in the case of the
American Psychiatric Association's DSM-5 the
whole diagnostic manual has been intentionally designed so as to make
the fraudulent sales of useless, expensive and dangerous drugs as
extensive and profitable as possible, and so as to cover this up by
carefully crafted pseudoscience, designed to defraud patients or their
insurances while not being found out.
disgusting, it is fraudulent,
it is bullshit,
it is pseudoscience,
but it pays really well, and therefore it exists and will
continue to exist so long as medical
doctors are allowed to profit from the drugs or therapies
prescribe to patients, and as long as pharmaceutical companies are
massage doctors with "deep massages", "pheasant hunting", and what not,
so as to corrupt them.
sad Dr. Thomas Szasz died, though he reached what occasionally is
called "a blessed age", namely of 92, also till the last mentally sharp
mother, who was born the day before he was born, but died at
76 from Alzheimer's, in which condition old age is far from
Note MM: Let
contradict Dr Shorter, also with reference to my DSM-5:
Medicine is a very sick business in the USA - 2.
What he says
attack had some
merit in the 1950s, Dr. Shorter said, but not later on, when the field
began developing more scientific approaches.
is just not so:
What happened in
fact was even less scientific, because from the DSM-III onwards all
foundation on any kind of theory was intentionally
given up, and
replaced by a system of ad hoc
diagnostic labeling, that then post
"supported" with any kind of "evidence" that might seem to support it,
while pooh-poohing all the rest, or simply not mentioining it at all.
It was as if first the myth and the diagnoses were developed, indeed
in committees, with votes, and after that the "evidence" was found and
tailored to make it appear as if it were respectable medical science,
of course all served to the reader in a sauce of medicalese terminology
hardly any layman can see through.
It was intentionally designed to be
irrefutable in principle, or only by committees of psychiatrists
themselves, namely on the ground that only they were able to judge
In fact, it was the
replacement of refuted s pseudoscience
system of bullshit
intentionally designed to be
and very hard to
see through, which was sold by the practice of public relations, indeed as the
Psychiatric Association is doing right now with the DSM-5.
When dr Shorter says
began developing more scientific approaches"
what he should have said is
"since then we have found far
more effective public relations and weasel words
and impressively worded bullshit
to sell expensive, dangerous or ineffective drugs to the public:
We prosper like never before, thank you kindly. How come? We have taken
counsel from that great nephew of our great fraudulent founder Fraud -
pardon the lapsus - Freud, namely the even greater genius Edward Bernays.
What we now are doing is this, and I quote from our new Bible:"
organized habits and opinions of the masses is an
important element in democratic society. Those who
manipulate this unseen mechanism of society consti-
tute an invisible government which is the true ruling
power of our country.
We are governed, our minds are molded, our
tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men
we have never heard of. This is a logical result of
the way in which our democratic society is organized.
Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in
this manner if they are to live together as a smooth-
ly functioning society.
Our invisible governors are, in many cases, un-
aware of the identity of their fellow members in the
They govern us by their qualities of natural leader-
ship, their ability to supply needed ideas and by their
key position in the social structure. Whatever atti-
tude one chooses to take toward this condition, it
remains a fact that in almost every act of our daily
lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business,
in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are
dominated by the relatively small number of per-
sons—a trifling fraction of our hundred and twenty
million—who understand the mental processes and
social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the
wires which control the public mind, who harness old
social forces and contrive new ways to bind and guide
Bernays, opening paragraphs of
That is what modern psychiatry has
become in the hands of the American
Psychiatric Association: A propaganda tool to sell drugs to the public
in the name of science.
"Propaganda" (1st published in 1928) since
renamed "Publish Relations
Here is a link to Edward Bernays' book Propaganda
Added later in the day of September 16, 2012:
All very revealing, and very interesting:
Bernays on Propaganda and Public Relations
Glenn Beck revealing both
Bernays and himself:
Don't miss it and don't underestimate Beck nor Bernays: He knows what
he is doing and he learned it from Bernays, and Bernays approach works,
and will work until the average IQ is 150 rather than 100:
finally here is The Man who made women smoke; people breakfast on bacon
and eggs; politicians behave as if they were ordinary men; whose book
Propaganda is the probable secret weapon of the leaders American
Psychiatric Association and the DSM-5, and who himself had Sigmund
Freud as his uncle and partner/adviser:
indeed Freud were very intelligent men, and while Bernays is making
ironical fun, he and his uncle were fundamenally abusing their
intelligence to defraud anyone they could manipulate - and Bernays was
not at all above cynically admitting it, as if in jest, because - I
think, like his uncle - he
despised those he could con.
It's just the thing for YOU! Yes YOU! ( )
P.S. My eye
necessary corrections have to be made later.