1. Ending Nederlog
2. Last words | Laatste
3. M.E. and my eyes
PHILOSOPHY: But what's your job? There's no
harm in asking that.
LUCIAN: I'm an anti-cheatist, an anti-quackist, an anti-liarist, and an
anti-inflated-egoist. I'm anti all the revolting types like that - and
there are plenty of them, as you know.
PHILOSOPHY [smiling]: Well, well! You're quite an anti-body,
LUCIAN: I certainly am. You can see why I've got myself aso much
disliked, and why I'm in such a dangerous situation. Not that I'm not
an expert pro-body too. I'm a pro-truthist, a pro-beautician, a
pro-sinceritist, and a pro-everything that's pro-worthy. But I don't
find much scope for exercisting my talents in that direction, whereas
thousands of people are always queuing up for the anti-treatment. In
fact I'm so out of practice as a probody, that I dare say I have lost
the knack of it by now - but I'm a real expert at the other part of my
PHILOSOPHY [seriously]: That's bad. They're opposite sides of a
coin, as it were. So don't specialize in one at the expense of the
other. They should merely be different aspects of the same fundamental
LUCIAN: Well, you know best, Philosophy. But I'm so constituted that I
can't help hating bad types and liking good ones.
(From: Lucian Fishing for phonies, in de
Turner-vertaling, p. 177-8)
I leave the above quotation
standing for the moment, since I like it a
lot, and it also describes me - or an aspect of me. (See my Spiegeloog-column,
As I suggested in the
previous Nederlog, I will - for the time being, at least - end
replace it by something simpler, and this is mostly because of my eyes.
Here is the summary of
how, when and why:
This will probably happen
at October 8, after some 8 years of Nedernieuws and Nederlog, one year
after my definitely giving up on XMRV as a possible tenable hypothesis
or correlate of ME/CFS
(<- link to my M.E. Resources, with much scientific
and three years after learning about the article in Science, by
Lombardi, Mikovits, Ruscetti et al. that started it all.
Before that I had in fact
not paid much attention to ME/CFS in medicine, psychiatry
or psychology, because I did not have fast internet until the summer of
Besides, from 1988, when I
first learned about ME, ten years after getting it, and also was first
medically diagnosed with it, I had read and heard what I considered
mostly nonsense or prejudice or pretense from medical and psychological
people (which I can judge fairly because I am a psychologist and a
philosopher of science), and indeed also from patients, and my own
position until learning about XMRV and ME/CFS in the Science
paper had been that it was better for me to wait until real scientists
had puzzled it out, and spend such health as remains on things I know a
lot more about, such as philosophy and logic.
What I learned from 2009
onwards left mostly a bitter impression.
From 1988 onwards
psychiatrist and clinical psychologists had been systematically lying
about ME/CFS, pretending to know that they can explain any unexplained
disease: That is all madness - "neurasthenia", "somatoforming",
systems" according to these liars and frauds, who are in fact
hunting for patients' money using pseudoscience and bullshit and
PR-techniques instead of real science, harming patients on the "primum nocere"
principle, to further their own financial and career interests, while
the patients mostly claimed to know better - which I admit they do in
the sense of really having an unexplained disease, especially if they
Canada Criterions and started with EBV, as my ex-wife and I did, in
the first year of our university studies - but often supported that
with prejudice or nonsense, and also quite often pretended knowledge of
science they did not have. (There were and are exceptions, of course.)
On the bright
side, I learned to know a few quite amazing persons; on the dark
side, I learned there is probably little hope for me to learn the cause
and get treatment, unless I get very old, and it is likely, especially
if the socio-economic crisis lasts or gets worse, that many patiens who
are genuinely ill with ME/CFS or FM (Fibromyalgia) - and there are
millions of these in the world, even by conservative estimates - will
have to face extreme difficulties, especially with the bureaucracies of
the dole and the state, and with psychiatrists and psychologistsn and the DSM-5 (for which
also see Suzy Chapman's
excellent site Dx Revision Watch).
Here is a more extensive
exposition, with quite a few links, about Nederlog and the reasons for
intend to end Nederlog because of my eyes: It is too
much of a strain on my eyes and my health, because with my eyes - keratoconjunctivitis
sicca, possibly as part of Sjoegren's
it is hard to look long at a computer screen with much white or light
colors, and having sore eyes makes me sleep even less than I do anyway,
even with sleeping pills.
Let me say a little in this section about what Nederlog
was, and indeed
is, but will be discontinued soon, probably October 8, and in the next
section say some abou what I will do instead.
Nederlog started in January
and continued Nedernieuws, that
started in August 2004. The
Nedernieuws was to write about
the Dutch news for my brother (who doesn't live in Holland) and anyone
else who might be interested.
Nedernieuws was mainly about Dutch politics, including the murder of
Theo van Gogh, who I had known personally (for Dutchies see the
interview I published with him), and about Dutch events that were
some reason of interest to me. It was all in Dutch, and often not a
little satirical. Parts of it still get read regularly by quite a few
readers, and indeed I have a quite original point of view and way of
because I felt too much constrained by writing
about Dutch things: I wanted to write about anything that interested or
concerned me, and did so, mostly in Dutch but sometimes in English,
from 2006 till the beginning of 2010.
It had quite a few more subjects than Nedernieuws, and was rather often
not a little satirical, but more often serious. There are a lot of them
in Dutch - more than a 1000 - and they give a fair representation of me
talking about things that interest me, because I like them, dislike
them, or concern me in some way.
Nederlog was also meant as a place to defend myself against especially
the Amsterdam bureaucracy, that has maltreated me and denied and destroyed my human rights
for various reasons - but as I said, it could
and did branch in many directions and covered many subjects, mostly in
In the beginning of 2010, having learned October 9, 2009 about the
article by Lombardi, Mikovits, Ruscetti et
al. that there was a
correlation between XMRV and ME/CFS, I switched to writing Nederlogs
mostly in English, mostly about ME/CFS in various aspects, since I had
mostly avoided reading about it since about 1994, having been
thoroughly disgusted by reading the Ph.D. thesis of Bleijenberg (also a
psychologist, like I am, in terms of academic degrees), which I thought
and think utter rot: Scientifically, morally, stylistically, humanly.
As I did not have fast internet, but only a slow telephone modem, I
could not use internet effectively until the summer of 2009, when I did
get fast internet. This enabled me to find out a great lot about ME/CFS
and about the politics around it, that I had not known before.
Initially the Nederlogs were also meant for "the patient community" on
Phoenix Rising, but I
left that forum in May 2010, disgusted by the bad
moderation and the trolls its owner Cort Johnson allowed and protected,
and not wanting my name and site somehow associated with it as if I
supported it, and also soon was thrown out of mecfsforums, because I
disagreed with an insane person who tied a rightwing philosophy
together with neurasthenia as the cause for ME/CFS.
The real reason was probably that the owners of these forums wanted to
get rid of a real psychologist and a real philosopher of science, to do
or allow their own kinds of trolling, misinformation and manipulation
for their own
Much of that was health-politics, which is about power and money, which
is what a lot of medicine and pharmacology is really about: There is an
enormous amount of money to be made from sick people or their
insurances, if one has little or no conscience, and is willing to use
propaganda and PR (Public Relations), including trolls and intentional
misinformation and disinformation, as happpened a lot on patient
forums, and as is also, as I found to my initial amazement, the core of
the DSM-5 and much of psychiatry (which is not a real science but a
pseudoscience, even if there are psychiatrists who mean well and do
well, as is also the case - but not because of the science they know:
See the series on the
DSM-5 I wrote in
One of the subjects Nederlog since 2010 was about, if not the most, was
XMRV, since I initially believed that the Science study was real and
honest, and had established good evidence for a correlation between
XMRV and ME/CFS.
It was immediately clear to me - my main interests in life have been philosophy of science and
mathematical logic, and general philosophy,
in which I am a scientific
indeed as it was not to many
patients with ME/CFS that a correlation is not at all a causal
explanation (as I wrote also immediately in Nederlog, to little avail),
but I did believe it strongly merited more scientific research.
What was also immediately clear to me, having my interests and a lot of
knowledge in those fields, that it made no sense for me to read up on
XMRV or virology, simply because virology is a real science about which
I knew (and know) very little, because it never had interested me.
This kept me from taking part in many discussions of patients and
trolls on forums, where the position was pushed that XMRV was the cause
of ME/CFS, which I knew to be nonsense, and quite a few
patients-or-trolls did an enormous amount of posturing that they
understood everything that merited knowing about XMRV, and that
who disagreed with them were "using inappropriate language" at best.
My reason was that I knew that I did
not know, and that I had neither
the taste nor the health to read up on either XMRV or virology: I
thought real scientists should settle what was the case, and that I was
not qualified to pronounce on virological matters.
I did punch holes in one
of the first
"studies" that claimed XMRV did
not exist, by Wessely and McClure, but did so, quite correctly
logical and methodological grounds, since they far overplaid their
hand: They claimed non-existence on what was effectively a small study
that failed to support the findings of the Science paper, and on the
basis of "patients with ME/CFS" produced by Wessely, that in my
estimate were very unlikely to have what I have (and I myself have
medical diagmoses of ME/FM and have the disease since or not long after
I got EBV on January 1, 1979).
Also, I did not follow most of the discussions among virologists about
XMRV, such as happened quite often and in quite a lot of detail on ERV's
site - in fact by a Ph.D. student virology, Abbie Smith, who
disbelieved the Science paper from the very beginning, and was not
afraid to say so, in sharp language also.
My reasons were again that I knew virtually nothing about virology;
that I was ill; that I had other interests; and that it was a matter
virologists and real medical scientists should settle, to which I had
nothing to contribute, with one exception: I can rationally weigh and
judge logical, methodological, statistical and probabilistic reasoning.
After the fact, it is likely that (1) had I read ERV's site sooner than
I eventually did, in the beginning of October 2011, then I had earlier
doubted the XMRV - ME/CFS correlation, but as likely that (2) my own
opinion had made no effective difference, for the sound reason that
virology is not my specialism at all.
In any case: Eventually I did read ERV's site precisely a year ago now,
in the first days of October 2011, and very
quickly concluded, indeed
like many virologists had by then concluded, that the Science paper by
Lombardi, Mikovits, Ruscetti et al. was no good science, and that there
was no correlation between XMRV and ME/CFS.
This I wrote out in Nederlogs of October
4 - October 8,
giving most of
my reasons in the last one. Since then a year passed in which the paper
was retracted, by the editors of Science, other papers were retracted,
the Blood Work Group's strong negative result was published, the Lipkin
study was done and published, and the end
result is that XMRV is
laboratory contamination and has nothing to do with ME/CFS, and
not with other diseases it was linked to, such as autism, notably
by dr. Judy Mikovits.
After October 2011, my main interest in things related to ME/CFS
shifted to psychiatry and the DSM-5, for which see my series on the DSM-5.
Then in May-June of 2012, meanwhile aged 62, I
started to get serious
trouble with my eyes, which now have ended any realistic chance of
maintaining Nederlog as I did since its inception, even if I wanted,
which I also do not really do, given the health I have, which is not
good, and given my real interests, which are not journalistic but philosophical
and logical, and given also
that personally I have no
chances to fear more trouble with the Amsterdam dole bureaucrats,
having a legally useful letter to that effect, and being of pensionable
age in 2 1/2 years.
Also, I have meanwhile lost any belief - one I anyway never had
seriously - that any "patient community", as long as it is open to
anyone who is anonymous, can do anything much useful for patients with
ME other than as a place to make social contacts with such people. The
rest is - Hume's phrase
- sophistry and illusion:
libraries, persuaded of these principles, what havoc must we make? If
we take in our hand any volume; of divinity or school metaphysics, for
instance; let us ask, Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning
quantity or number? No. Does it contain any experimental reasoning
concerning matter of fact and existence? No. Commit it then to the
flames: For it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion. "
these are good reasons to stop Nederlog, though the main
reason is the practical one that I do not have the eyes to be able to
continue as I have done, even if I shifted subjects.
Therefore my intention is to terminate it around October 8, which is 1
year after I gave up on XMRV and 3 years after I first learned about
its purported correlation with ME/CFS, and only add a couple of things
relating to the demise of XMRV.
So then what?
2. Last words | Laatste woorden
The plan I have, what with the
eyes I have, is
mostly freeze my site(s) as is
as they are published, are about 400 MB, mostly text in html,
with thousands of files and thousands of hits every day. The main
subjects, since the beginning on November 11, 1996, are
of the site is text, in html, and most of the text is mine, though
part of that is html-formatting. Even so, I wrote a lot, and could do
so because I always could write very easily and very fast.
- Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (aka ME/CFS:
See ME Resources)
2009 I have not spend much time on the rest of the site, and
presently I lack the eyes to do so, for which reason I will freeze it:
I will not add anything, except perhaps, if my eyes permit it, better
formatting to the Philosophical Dictionary, because that is, taken
together, a good survey of many of my philosophical positions.
applies to Nederlog and Nedernieuws, as outlined in
To initiate Last words | Laatste woorden
be a replacement for Nederlog, that is: about
interests or concerns me, with two or three differences:
The formatting will be simpler and different,
because of my eyes:
If I write at all for my site, as long as my eyes are not a lot better
than they are, I need to do it in simple html with a dark background.
last is still somewhat of an open decision for me, but the
likelihood is that I will write more Dutch. The reasons I did not
2009 were mostly that (i) I wanted to reach more people with ME/CFS
and (ii) most of the things that happen in Holland, politically and in
the media, are not at all to my liking, but then again, I do have a
fair amount of Dutch readers, who do read my Nederlog and Nedernieuws,
also of years ago, or my Multatuli-section,
and I do not dislike
writing in Dutch. Besides, I do not know of any Dutchman who did and
wrote as I did and wrote, with the possible exception of Multatuli but then he was not
ill, nor did he set out to be a logical philosopher when he was 18-20,
as I did.
It will only be added to if and when I fairly can or feel I have to
- and the last eventuality covers only legal difficulties or important
It will be in both Dutch and English, like Nederlog, but it is
quite likely I will mostly return to Dutch, since I am Dutch.
of the new item on my site is a bit of a pun, namely
fact that I am getting older and that it will effectively be the last
words that I do add to the site (especially if my eyes don't get
If I can
help it, and if my health doesn't get worse, and also if the
political situation doesn't get worse, I do intend to live on,
read and write quite a lot more than I have done so far, for I
there is much I can write that will be interesting or useful to some,
and there is much to read and to ponder.
important reason for me to end Nederlog is psychological:
Nederlog evolved - and note that on my hard disk it covers nearly
7500 items, taking 160 MB, although I should add that what's on the
site is probably in the order of 5000 items and 110 MB, most but not
all html - it got to be a habit to want to write one each day
if I could.
I write I always write fast and easily, being
always able to enter "the flow"
but with my health, also
with good eyes, it often was difficult to do, and something of a felt
pressure, that I now want to get rid of: I want to break the habit, to
help my eyes.
important reason for me to end Nederlog is the format
html, and has evolved through quite a few WYSIWYG html editors,
without my ever taking the time and trouble to regulate it with style
sheets, and it is anyway not as good html as it should be, nor easy to
maintain even if one has good eyes and good health.
I need with such eyes as I have is basic html that takes
minimal trouble to maintain.
is the end, although I do not know what form it will take.
There will be a link and transition to LAST, as I will probably call
it, from the last Nederlog, and this then, for the time being, will be
the only part of the site I will add to, keeping the rest of the site
as is, until my eyes get better. (There is some hope and chance they
will improve, since they have been improving some, but the condition is
to do only a rather small percentage with a computer screen of what I
have been used to since 1987.)
eyes and my M.E.
is mostly as the last time, and I repeat it to
support the above; because it may be useful to those who have similar
problems (there are bound to be some, with ME/CFS also); and because I
like to repeat that what enabled me to write this, and to write the
last month on a computer, is Ubuntu 12.04, that allows me to have most
of my screen black, which is very helpful:
eyes are a bit better - though indeed far from good
- probably for two reasons:
found a better way to administer Duratears
is "the appropriate medicine" for what I have, but quite hard to
properly administer to oneself, which is what I am forced to do, living
alone, and having been denied all help for decades now, in spite of
If one searches the subject, one finds pretty
authoritarian prose by some of its suppliers. As a patient you must
do this, and you mustn't do that, and so on for a long list, that in
fact are all quite difficult to do,
especially if one lives alone, but also if
not. I think it is mainly for legal purposes: It is not to help the
patient, but to help the pharmaceutical suppliers.
if these wanted to do so, they would supply the plastic bottle
with an U-shapped dropper that fitted on top of it, to make
administration of the drops easier. As is, one may only hope one's
chemist sells these items.
Ubuntu allows me to have most of the screen mostly
black most of the time.
have explained before, and should be of help for people with eye
problems like mine, so I link it again: , as I explained in on Sep
(check it out
if you have my type of complaint!).
feature of Ubuntu really is a _great_ help for me, and I could not
have written this, or anything the last month, without this
possibility, which does NOT exist on MS Windows in any version, and not
by a large margin either.
P.S. My eye
necessary corrections have to be made later.