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November 28, 2012

Crisis: About "Brave New World" and Aldous Huxley

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At least two-thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity, human malice and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity: idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religous or political ideas.
-- Aldous Huxley

O wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in't.
William Shakespeare



Sections
Introduction
    1. About "Brave New World" and Aldous Huxley
  About ME/CFS


Introduction:

This is again about what the title says. I also might have written about Mr Diederik Stapel, the Dutch psychological excellent scientific fraud (*),  because there today appeared a - supposedly - "final report", or about psychiatric / pharmaceutical fraudulence
"The medical community is currently trying to come to grips with the idea that much of the clinical trial literature has not been written by named authors, and, instead, has been written by medical writers employed by pharmaceutical companies who are not listed on the author byline. The success of virtually all of the blockbuster drugs has been tainted by charges of ghostwriting."
Ghosts In The Pharma Attic by Jonathan Leo and Jeff Lacasse
but since my eyes are not too well, I will limit myself to Huxley, with a little about the Dutch.

Also, I straightened out the colours and fonts in the last three Nederlogs - I am sorry, but I have to do this with lousy eyes and with two crippled and seriously bugged editors, namely Composer and KompoZer, both bugged since at least 5 years it seems: There also seems to be nothing better on Linux, and it is a pain, in the eyes, especially. [Note] 

1. About "Brave New World" and Aldous Huxley

As it happens - I just found out, by way of the Wikipedia link Aldous Huxley - I have read almost all of his novels, and at least five of his collections of essays, but I think this must all have been done in my twenties or early thirties, that are about half the present time of my life or longer ago.

Huxley died almost 50 years ago, on the same day as did J.F. Kennedy, and was in various ways an interesting man and an interesting writer, and also a good conversationalist.

He was an intellectually gifted man from a gifted family, that shows, like the Bach family, the Bernoulli family, and the Darwin family, that there is rather a lot to the idea that talent is genetic, which I agree with, even though I have been scolded for it as "a fascist" many times in the University of Amsterdam, where I have also met several tens of students - possibly including Diederik Stapel, although I don't know that - who claimed, when I asked them, that the only reason that they themselves or their parents had not done what Isaac Newton did "because we have other interests".

Anyway... I'll probably address these themes tomorrow or the next day, in the context of Diederik Stape's many excellencies (**), and today will only provide some links to materials 
relating to Aldous Huxley.

I arrived at these materials, because - having been writing lately about the ongoing and ever deepening crisis - I realized, mostly because of Zinoviev's prediction "that the whole world would soon experience the fearful consequences of a “democratic totalitarianism”", that Huxley in fact had suggested the same in Brave New World and came to search the internet, and hit upon this adaptation of it in a film from 1980:

I found this rather quaint, for the costumes and scenery looked 1960ies to me, but then I never was "a dedicated follower of fashion", and it is a well-intended rather than a great film, but it does seem to make some of Huxley's points reasonably well, and it also contains some nice bits, such as two gammas proudly insisting, in unison:
That's one of the wonderful thing about being a gamma:

We are not too stupid and we're not too bright
To be a gamma is to be juist right.
which is as Dutch a sentiment and expression as I know of, for the democratic majority of the Dutch seems to feel just like that, and is given to saying similar things as a matter of course: The supreme Dutch moral norm and value ("norm en waarde"), at least since the Nazi occupation, is that being - doing, speaking, feeling, thinking - like everybody else is one's human moral duty, which they express as "Act normal, then you act mad enough!" (Dutch: "Doe normaal, dan doe je al gek genoeg!")

The film linked above gives various examples of the same sentiment. They wiill, in solid democratic Dutch majority, deny this, and will desire to scold me for being  "a fascist", but individuals from other nations may consult these links that describe their many excellencies:

What does this have to do with the Brave New Dutch World I am part of (and can't escape for lack of health)?

Like all my equivalent fellow Dutchmen, I must carry an ID in the street, so that the superhumans who act as police in this country are saved work; my fingerprints have been taken in case I become a terrorist, and - of course! - to protect the Dutch superhumans who are ministers, mayors and bureaucrats here, in this Brave New Dutch World; there are more phone taps and internet taps than almost anywhere else, proportionally, all for The Safety Of Our Leaders And Civil Servants in the War On Terror, and there is currently a campaign going on, that is fueled and orchestrated by prominent Dutch journalists, to the effect that the DNA of everybody is to be taken and stored, "for the purposes of criminal justice".

And the latest in this proud tradition is that the Dutch health insurance companies now are going to pay doctors to render the dossiers on their patients to them, and also are going to exclude those doctors and dentists who do not cooperate from payments by the insurance companies. (The carrot and the stick.) 

That is the plan, and as the Dutch laws do not forbid it,  therefore - the anonymous PR-folks of our noble health insurances say - they are allowed to do so: Fuck medical secrecy! Fuck protection of patients! Fuck privacy!

As for the Dutch, surely, our democratic majority will be proud to be included, "for" - the prominent journalists assure the Dutch people - "this will help everyone who has an accident outside his or her workplace".

And besides, as the Dutch saying is, maybe also since the days my father and grandfather were betrayed by Dutchmen, and  arrested by collaborating Dutch policemen, and handed over to the SS for interrogation, and then convicted by collaborating Dutch judges to concentration camp imprisonment as "political terrorists" that
"If you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to fear".
And rest assured that the Dutch democratic majority will proudly insist that all Dutchmen's beholden moral duty is to
"Act normal, then you act mad enough!"  
and they may also feel morally obliged to add words to the effect that they think and feel that way because
That's one of the wonderful thing about being dutch:

We're not too stupid and we're not too bright
To be a Dutchmen is to be just right.

So it must be feared that soon the medical dossiers of all Dutchmen (of course with exceptions: No ministers, no members of parliament, no leading journalists, no media celebs - their consumption of Viagra, tranquillizers, heart attacks, sex problems, marital infidelities, and psychiatric episodes and diagnoses must remain the trusted secret of their trusted special medical doctors, for sure, unlike the medical dossiers of everybody else) will be available to anonymous health bureaucrats, who may be relied upon to sell them to anybody willing to pay, after having corrupted or blackmailed one's GP, medical specialists and dentists to surrender these dossiers to their loving and honest care. (And don't you worry:
"If you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to fear".)

Back to Aldous Huxley: Here are two interesting filmed interviews with him, I believe both from the 1950ies:

I think both are interesting, but like the second the best. In both, Huxley addresses themes, such as population growth, ecology, and the possibility of the arisal of a police state from a Western democracy within 25 to 100 years that are still important today, and more pressing, serious and dangerous now than in the 1950ies.
 

Notes

(*) I kid you not, but then indeed the Dutch have educated, or rather indoctrinated, their young for nearly 50 years on the basis of the idea that "everyone is of equal value" (you, Newton, me, Einstein, and also Stalin, Beria and Goebbels - and when I had said that, in the 1980ies, the reply, by people who now may be or indeed are (yes indeed!) professors of psychology in Holland, was that I must be "a fascist" for saying such things). In the end I was removed from the University for asking questions, and for believing and saying there is such a thing as truth - which has been denied by the University of Amsterdam since the 1970ies, and certainly explains something about Diederik Stapel's career, and my removal (as an M.A. student, from the faculty of philosophy).

Incidentally, before my American readers start to glow with satisfaction and pride: The US children seem to have been educated in masses on the basis of the notion that "we are all leaders", as Orwellian a notion as that "everyone is of equal value" and that "we all know that truth does not exist", another pillar of the education the University of Amsterdam taught since 1978 to all its students, in all its faculties, also sanctioned and defended by its Board of Directors, that also let disappear tens of millions of guilders from the accounts of the University. (Nobody cared, for another pillar of thought was that "we all know that all morality is wholly relative": See my "Yahooism with a human face", that moved the scientific staff in the faculty of psychology to let me know that "the scientific staff likes to see you dead".

The Dutch are a very tolerant people... (they say themselves, and indeed are, if it concerns the mafia, incompetents, bad education, and moral degeneracy).

(**) The Dutch universities and governments have been insisting for decades now that "Dutch scientists are all excellent scientists". This is - see the previous note - another Dutch Orwellian popular notion (if all are excellent, no one excels, in case you wonder - but then the Dutch will kindly add something to the effect of this).

[Note] And that is a major weakness of free and open source software: It seems both these editors are, in practice, abandoned, in quite buggy states, and indeed there is nothing else available on Linux that is better. (And no: I am not going to try to sort it out: I lack the health, the eyes, and the incliniation. But it does not bode well for Linux if there is no decent WYSIWYG html-editor. And yes, both Composer and KompoZer are useful for small sites, but they are bugged, since years, without anybody doing something about it that I can see.)

Update - Friday November 30, 2012: Reformatted this again. The time I gain because GNU/Linux/Ubuntu is better than MS Windows I loose because there is no decent WYSIWYG editor on it, with which I can maintain sites like mine.

Update - Wednesday December 5, 2012:  And again.


About ME/CFS (that I prefer to call M.E.: The "/CFS" is added to facilitate search machines) which is a disease I have since 1.1.1979:
1. Anthony Komarof

Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS(pdf)

2. Malcolm Hooper THE MENTAL HEALTH MOVEMENT:  
PERSECUTION OF PATIENTS?
3. Hillary Johnson

The Why  (currently not available)

4. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf - version 2003)
5. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf - version 2011)
6. Eleanor Stein

Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)

7. William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
8. Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)
9.
Maarten Maartensz
Resources about ME/CFS
(more resources, by many)


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