January 6, 2013

Updates + John McCarthy

1. Updates + McCarthy
About ME/CFS


I am not very well because I slept too little, so there are just a few updates and a reference

1. Updates + John McCarthy

I did today extend yesterday's Dutch autobiographical bit a little (mostly at the end) and updated a few other things, mostly removing typos that I saw.

Also, I found that John McCarthy's site is still on line. He lived from 1927-2011,  and was an interesting, intelligent and original man, one of the founders of AI, and indeed the inventor of the term, and also the inventor of Lisp [1]:
This is not only interesting in case you are interested in computing, programming or AI, although most of what you find in the above link - rather a lot, with many of his scholarly papers in various editions - is about that.

You will find that his website is in the style of the 1990ies - very simple, few frills - and not very clearly laid out. One of the things that seems easy to miss, that is not about one of the topics mentioned, are the pages that start from
These are "aimed at" (and I quote McCarthy) "showing that human material progress is desirable and sustainable".

There are pages on energy, water, population, forests, pollution, biodiversity and more. He claims himself "
Most of the contentions of these pages are supported by simple calculations based on readily available numbers. Here's an illustration. Slogan: He who refuses to do arithmetic is doomed to talk nonsense."

Another part of McCarthy's site that's easy to miss starts here
McCarthy was an optimist and seems to have been a political conservative. I don't know to what extent and where and why I agree or disagree with him but he certainly was an intelligent man whose pages seem to have been read by few - which is my main reason to write the present text and provide the above links. (I can give a plausible argument to the effect that - by and large, with a few exceptions - the most intelligent are the least read.)

Enjoy while you can: On the
Home Page link many of his papers in AI and computing are available in various formats, and the rest of his pages that I found and checked all work, but many of the links to other sites do not work any more.


[1] I have elsewhere complained that I hadn't found a good Lisp-implementation. One useful one that I meanwhile found is in Emacs, an editor written by Richard  Stallman and Guy Steele, that has an enthusiastic following, though I think it shows its age, in which one can run a variant of Lisp within the editor. (This is helpful in case you want to calculate things.)

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 Komaroff

Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS(pdf)

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)
Maarten Maartensz
Resources about ME/CFS
(more resources, by many)

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