November 8, 2012

Various updates

    1.  Update Philosophical Dictionary
Update US presidential elections
    3.  Update on the site: 1.000.000 hits a year in Denmark?!
Update GNU/Linux/Ubuntu
    5.  Update eye problems
PS. My eye problems


The first week of November 2012 I spent mostly updating my Philosophical Dictionary. Here is a final update on that update, and some other updates on things that - I feel that - matter, namely the US presidential elections, my sites and their visitors, GNU/Linux/Ubuntu, and my eye problems plus a bit of personal history and background that I recall fondly, that also explains the background to the present text.

There are other things that matter, but I leave these to another time.

1. Update Philosophical Dictionary

In fact, I did get all of the Philosophical Dictionary reformatted back to decent shape  on November 6, as I told my readers yesterday, which was November 7.

This was unexpected, because before that I had been doing my best, but could not do more than a few letters - between 50 and a 100 files - each day, and had to pay for that effort with more sore eyes.

Not so on November 6: I did all of the second half of the Dictionary - around 330 files - in a day, which surprised and pleased me.

So now my
Philosophical Dictionary should be properly readable again [*], which does please me, because I think it is sensible, because I put a considerable amount of effort into it, and also because I think everyone who postures being a philosopher - and I use the word "posture" on purpose: most academic philosophers are mere posturers, and are not really honest folks interested in knowledge or morality - and indeed everyone who really thinks he is one should do the same as I did, simply to clarify his own language to himself and his readers.

There are more reasons I am pleased, but this will do for the moment.

2.  Update US presidential elections

I wrote before about and around the US presidential elections, e.g. here

Crisis: "U.S. pretty darned fucked" + more Gore Vidal + notes by me

on August 15, but I admit for me it was mostly an academic issue, in the sense that I can't really do much or anything about it, not being an American, and also not being a proud member of the large brainless, clueless and ignorant tribe that believes voting is good for you, believes the lies they are fed by the media, and/or believe that voting is something "a responsible citizen" should do, or indeed is something a citizen owes to others. (What you should do, if you pretend to be a responsible citizen, is to inform yourself, rationally and scientifically, to the best of your personal abilities, and have a sound knowledge of science, history and politics. If you have that, it's up to you what to do with that and who to vote for; if you have not made the required effort, I'd rather you do not vote, but instead spend your life on things that probably matter more to you, like sport or bingo, since it would then seem to me that is what you are naturally fit for.)

Then again, I am glad Obama won, not because I think he was a great president who was remarkable for keeping word, for I think he neither was the one nor did the other, but because I think Romney looks and sounds like a frightening freak, indeed quite like similar looking Mormon types I met in Amsterdam around 1970, who tried to convert Dutchmen to the rather insane sounding Mormon faith, who all looked like Romney: As if there is a machine inside their skin, and not a person.

And there are more reasons to be glad Obama won:

His opponents, such as Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly look like utter nut cases but pretended for four years to speak for the American people, and did so with an enormous amount of lies and postures, where it seemed that absolutely anything could be said and claimed and defended, regardless of any fact, any science, any rational knowledge, indeed any moral position, as long as what these liars and posturers said did fit the Republican or the Tea Party agenda.

So I am glad this band of brazen liars, fools, madmen, and propagandists did not succeed misleading the majority.

Also, there is a chance - not a large one, I grant you - that public discussions in the US media get a little more rational, more grown up, more sensible, less partisan or less middle of the road conformistic, and that the branch of mad fanatics, of the ilk of Beck and Limbaugh, gets less of a following, if only because "if we believe in absurdities, we will commit atrocities".

In case you care: Here are links to two videos by The Young Turks, who are more glad than I am, and indeed more directly concerned:

3.  Update on the site: 1.000.000 hits a year in Denmark?!

There is a considerable chance that this year my smallest site, which is in Denmark since I was thoroughy exposed to the manner of Dutch degenerate yahoos of Dutch telecom that took over the formerly excellent xs4all site in 2002 (where I have had a site since 1996) who started lying and misleading right from the beginning, and who do not even supply decent site statistics, will reach 1 million hits a year this year, which means 2740 hits a day, on average, and namely since the site got this year considerably more on average.

This also implies that, just on that one site, on average I am being read more than 48 hours each 24 hours, which is probably at least twice as much on the Dutch site - which I don't know, because the Dutch telecom yahoos acted these last ten years that I have been exposed to them as if they think that their customers are such despicable shits that they don't deserve anything like ordinary politeness, common honesty, moral decency, or even minimal commecrial service, but then I also have been pestered this year by something like one or two mails a week to the effect that some firm of commercial liars and propagandists "welcome the opportunity to cooperate with you to make your site even better", no doubt by plastering it with advertisement shit, and no doubt without ever having even looked at my site.

Anyway... I am pleased.

4.  Update GNU/Linux/Ubuntu

One of the other things I am still quite pleased with is GNU/Linux/Ubuntu - as I call it, because that seems fair - and namely because it is a much better and more pleasant OS than is MS Windows, that makes me considerably more productive, and also because it is only because Ubuntu has an option for High Contrast Reverse, that inverts black and white in its menus, and also has better color optioms in Firefox than in MS Windows, that I have been able to use my computer at all, the last six months with quite sore and troublesome eyes.

I am still using the distributed version of
GNU/Linux/Ubuntu I started with in May of this year, that meanwhile got considerably updated. One reason to do so is that it is quite good. Also, a reason not to upgrade to the next version, that appeared in October, is that Continental Ltd., which is the firm that is behind Ubuntu, made the decision to add in Amazone books as a firm that the users of Ubuntu share data with if they search for somehing, in that last version of Ubuntu. It is true Linux-savvy users can switch this off, but I find this not a morally right decision, even if I can understand Continental's need for money: allowing commercial firms to spy on users is NOT a morally decent way to make money, in my view!

Indeed, if this becomes a standard policy, I will use another Linux: I do not want to be spied on by commercial assholes, and I do not want to be made the target of personalized advertisement campaigns. Period! If  I can pay, I am willing to pay for  a good Linux OS, but only on condition that it is not a sell out to commercial computing and that the OS is not used to spy on its users.

After all, that is an important part of my reasons not to want and not to use the pimpish MS Windows.

5.  Update eye problems

Actually, most that would fit here I said above or in the next and final item, but the summary is that I have been quite miserable since late May / early June with painful and very limiting eye problems, and that at long last it seems to have improved some, which is a considerable relief, since it really felt as if my eyes were like abrasions, through which I was forced to look upon the world.

It still does, now and again, but less so, and I can do more with them than I could for months on end. That is also the reason I changed the colors of Notebook late October:

It is still a compromise between what I can look at without getting problems soon (namely: the present blueish green or greenish blue background to the present black text, that has color code #339999) and what most of my readers would like (which is a white or at least whitish background - and I do sympathize).

I do as I can, most of the time, not as I want - but I try to do the best I can, most of the time. And if I can write my texts on white backgrounds without getting sore eyes I will do so: The reason I don't is not that I don't want to, but that I can't.

In fact, today I have supplied - experimentally, for the time being - a background I really like for personal reasons: A somewhat squashed version of the Dovre-panorama that the municipality of the Norwegian village and province Dovre put on line, that I found yesterday. [**]

As it happens, I lived there in 1975, indeed not far from the perspective from which the background image was taken, and I have very good memories of that time, around four years before I fell ill, since when I did not live as fully, as well, as healthy and as happily as I did then.

"Ja, jeg elsker dette landet" as the Norwegian nation anthem has it, almost - which is something I can not say about Holland: Its nature is far more ugly, and its citizens and bureaucrats behaved far more awfully against me than did the Norwegians, probably because I wrote and spoke the truth, against a majority of despicable and degenerate Dutch political careerists of my generation, who gleefully and intentionally destroyed the universities and the chances of everybody in the Dutch generations coming after them on a passable education, only so that they could live like parasites - which they did.


Maarten Maartensz

P.S. My eye problems

I'll leave the  text on my eye problems for the moment as a P.S., to clarify why I use such colors as I do, and why I have, for the time being, mostly stopped editing my site.
Version October 15, 2012: My eye problems are the reason this page has the colors it does have: It is very difficult to look at white and light backgrounds with such eyes as I presently have. See also: Why are the colors as they are?

The diagnosis is keratoconjunctivitis sicca (possibly as a part of Sjoegren's syndrome). It is less than it was, for months, but not as I should like it to be.

The present settings of NOTEBOOK aka NB seem the best compromise between what my eyes can handle, and what most readers like to see.

And they have been changed repeatedly, as have the links below to change the background (but not the color of the text box).

As of October 13, 2012, the standard setting for the text box is white text on a darkslategrey background while the standard background is maroon.

Version October 28, 2012: Black text on #339999.
Version November 8, 2012: Changed background to picture. (Background colors work no more.) I may changes this again, depending on my eyes. I may even return to Nederlog!
Version November 10, 2012: Black text on #CCCCFF, changed background picture.

[*] In fact, most of what is read in Nederlog is written in Dutch and - as far as I can see - most of that got selected because I wrote about something my readers are interested in, which means, as is indeed true, that quite a lot of old Nederlogs are being read daily.
[**] Probably it will not be a constant background, but it is a nice view and a nice memory for me, and indeed I do intend to write some more about Dovre and Norway, and in such contexts it will probably reappear.

                  PS: Any necessary corrections have to be made later.