November 12, 2012

Updating the Nederlog-index

Updating the Nederlog index
    2. Hunting the past
PS. My eye problems


This is about updating the Nederlog index and about finding out how things were.

1. Updating the Nederlog index

There was a lot of updating on the site in November: First I updated all of my Philosophical Dictionary, and yesterday I returned to Nederlog, from what I called NOTEBOOK, and now I am updating the Nederlog index, and indeed the files in the directory from August 26, 2012 onwards, since at that date I stopped Nederlog and maintaining my site because of persistent eye problems.

I decided to return to Nederlog yesterday, and this requires updating rather a lot. There are various reasons for returning, and three imporant ones are that my eyes are somewhat less miserable; I found a way to edit files in convenient dark colors without undoing the actual light colors; and I like to continue several of the series that are in Nederlog, such as the
ones about the crisis and about the DSM-5.

Meanwhile, it is rather a lot of boring work. Today I have put September mostly in place, but there are some mistakes, and I did the same with November, that now should link correctly, mostly. All of October still remains to be done. And everything I have done needs at least one corrective run, to make sure it all works and is linked propertly: I ain't ready yet.

I hope that I'll get this done fast, for I realize I like getting back to
Nederlog, and I like writing texts that have less forbidding backgrounds than they had to have lately, and also I like having my more personal statements in Nederlog, because that meanwhile is - among other things - one huge running series of interlinked comments on and/or records of several things that concern me, in which various Nederlogs provide context, background, support or supplementation to other Nederlogs.

2. Hunting the past

Lately I have been hunting down memory lane for various reasons, and it is not unlikely there may be a lot about that on my site, because I have two large amounts of personal files: My own philosophical and logical notebooks since 1970, together nearly 30 MB on my harddisk, and that is just part of what I wrote since 1988, and my personal journals, that I kept on and off since 1970.

My personal journals from 1988 till 2012 are also just in part on my hard disk, and currently take 21 MB, nearly all plain html or ascii. And the journals of almost half of the years are not there, while there are also sometimes extensive journals on paper, from the years 1970-1987.

As it happened, I have written those journals more or less as I write
Nederlog: It is about what concerns or interests me, and I write things as I see them, as I am writing. And I did write these things to have a record for later.

In fact, I have rarely looked into these personal journals, but I have done so lately, and sometimes this reminded me of quite a few things that I either had forgotten or else did not recall with such details as I did write down, which also helps me recall yet other details.

I had an interesting
and a quite uncommon life, that is a lot better documented than most lives, especially as regards what I thought, felt, wanted and did.

Then again: how much of that extensive record of my life is interesting to others is difficult to say, for various reasons.

For one thing, considerable parts of my journals since 1996 are little better than brief daily records of what I did, normally recorded with little detail and with few or no opinions, and indeed since 1996 I did not do much else except being ill and writing for my site, simply because I was too ill to do other things, after having grown considerably more ill than I was since 1.1.1979, when I fell ill with Epstein Barr, that was diagnosed as M.E./F.M. in 1989, which happened between 1988 and 1991, and from which I never really recuperated to what remained of my health between 1979 and 1988. (If you read Dutch, the story is in ME in Amsterdam and in my C.V.)

For another thing, between 1970 and 1996 my journals vary a lot:

Sometimes there is nothing, for long times, also, which I now feel sorry about, at least as regards some events and as regards my relations with some persons, and sometimes there are long eruptions of writing, with many ideas, descriptions, and feelings about many things and persons, that I then recorded in considerable detail.

As I said, I found that what I did record does help me recall what did happen to a considerably better extent than I could have remembered without having written things down more or less as they were happening to me.

This should come as no surprise, but it is nice to see it indeed verified: Recording does help remembering, and indeed also to a larger extent than one records. A written record of events that one experienced helps one to recall these events  better, and also itself helps one recall events one has not written down.

These records are pleasant to have, because one's life is a sequence of one's experiences, and to recall well how things and events and people were, felt, or seemed, it helps a lot, I found, to have good records, of some kind, and the best records for me is something that I wrote at the time it happened, or briefly after it, especially if I wrote it down in some detail.

There are years in which I wrote a lot: The year 1984, for example, I found documented by me in 269 closely and carefully typed large pages - probably nearly a 1000 pages when printed on a normal book page - with many details I probably could not have recalled at all without my having written them down, or at least without me having written something down that then reminds of things.

And this finally leads me to the subject of the title of my section:

I have at various points tried out whether internet, that started in the 1990ies, does help one hunt down the past before it, especially if that past concerns specific memories one has about specific people or specific events that may not have been important to many others.

I found it does.

For example, in 1984 I met an interesting and very good guitar player, Ronald Abrams, who seems to have died quite a while ago, but who still can be found on internet. Again, ever since I wanted to be a diver or marine biologist as a boy - apparently always having a desire to go to the bottom of things - I am partial to films about diving, and I made a note about seeing a film about diving to the wreck of the Andrea Doria I saw in 1984 - and it so happens that the same film, with Dutch subtitles, can be found on line: Check out the last link if you are interested.

I could mention more, indeed some quite trivial things that I saw and made a record about in 1984, that I could find material about on the internet in 2012.

I do not quite know what this proves, except that it seems that lots of people have put lots of things on line that documents memories for them that they found worth preserving, and maybe interesting to others.

Anyway... interesting. Here is another bit that I found today that evoked some memories for me, since I have been there, though quite briefly, and in fact
this is the only pop-festival I ever visited: Kralingen Pop 1970, in black and white, from the archives of the city of Rotterdam.

But I am not amazed there is some record of that event and that the record is on the internet, since the event must be remembered by many Dutchmen of my age as quite special.

What I found interesting is that in quite a few cases that I searched there is some documentation on the internet about relatively small events - as these events are scaled in the media - or about relatively unknown persons or films.

I like that, indeed because it stimulates one's own memories, and helps one recall more things, and indeed get an inkling of "what things were like then".


Maarten Maartensz

P.S. My eye problems

There will be a new PS, probably with another name. In any case, the eye problems are diagnosed
as keratoconjunctivitis sicca, quite possibly as a part of Sjoegren's syndrome, which is a fairly common complication of ME/CFS, but also exists independently from ME/CFS.

                  PS: Any necessary corrections have to be made later.