January 21, 2013

PEM or flue | George Orwell Day

1. PEM or flue
2. George Orwell Day

About ME/CFS


As I said yesterday, I did rather a lot - relatively speaking, for me with ME - the last days, but there is little to show for it in a Nederlog, except that I can report it: I did rather a lot of uploads for the site, including all of 2004 for Nederlog (that was then called Nedernieuws).

Also, late last evening I upload all of
Philosophical Dictionary mostly not to get confused about what is on my hard disk and what is on my servers.

The result:

1. PEM or flue
In other words, I feel rather miserable, and woke up this night at 5.10 after a mere four hours of sleep, and haven't slept since. I do not know what's the reason, since it may be both PEM, which is a characteristic feature of ME/CFS that I have very much experience with, and it may be flue, since there is an epidemic of flue in Holland.

The fact is that I feel miserable and can hardly do anything - so if there is no Nederlog the coming days, it is because I am too miserable to write.

Since I mentioned the term: The latest Canadian
International Consensus Primer for Medical Practitioner on the diagnosis and treatment of ME/CFS replaced PEM, which abbreviates Post-Exertional Malaise by this:
Post-Exertional Neuroimmune Exhaustion.
Normal fatigue is  proportional to the intensity and duration of activity, followed by a quick restoration of energy. PENE is characterized by a pathological low threshold of physical and mental fatigability, exhaustion, pain, and an abnormal exacerbation of symptoms in response to exertion. It is followed by a prolonged recovery period.

This is all well enought - except that I think the old name was better, as would have been Post-Exertional Exhaustion, except for the fact this gets to be PEE when made into an acronym.

I think the old name was better, because the new name suggests a causal theory, that may be mistaken and certainly is not complete: What one wants for making a diagnosis are empirical terms not theoretical terms. And yes, these are links to my
Philosophical Dictionary and these terms have been there since 2004, and have been known to me in those senses since the early 1970ies, from reading great amounts of philosophy of science and methodology.

And my point is that I experience malaise; I do not experience neuroimmune exhaustion, even if that is the right explanation for my feeling malaise, and even if I feel exhausted.

2. George Orwell Day

I don't know whether the acronym GOD was intended, but there is an interesting project, I read in The Guardian - and the title is a link, while I reproduce the first three paragraphs, minus a link:
George Orwell Day begins annual commemoration

A major celebration of George Orwell kicks off today with the inaugural "Orwell Day", to be followed by a month-long Orwell season on Radio 4 and a mass giveaway of one of his most famous essays, Politics and the English Language.

The author of Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm died on 21 January 1950, and 2013 also marks the 110th anniversary of his birth on 25 June 1903. The Orwell Estate, The Orwell Prize and the author's publisher Penguin has decided to launch an annual event, "Orwell Day", on 21 January in "recognition of one of Britain's greatest and most influential writers of the 20th century", and to "celebrate his writing in all its forms and explore the profound influence he has had on the media and discourse of the modern world", it said.

Orwell's 1946 essay Politics and the English Language is being given away for free from the Orwell prize's website, as well as published in a 99p edition by Penguin. "We're aiming to get everyone reading it – in schools, everywhere. It's just one essay, and it's such a radical essay, with the message that language is corrupt, but you can do something about it," said Jean Seaton, chair of the Orwell prize judges, professor of media history at the University of Westminster and the official historian of the BBC.

I agree (more than I don't) and if you have never read Politics and the English Language and think you are intelligent and civilized, then you should: Orwell saw very deeply.

The reason I am a bit skeptical is that I agree with "
the message that language is corrupt", but I fear that the notion that "you can do something about it" is very optimistic: Since Orwell died, the professional liars who run public relations firms and do marketing have been able to insert their falsifications, their euphemisms, and their manner and styles of bullshit and cant almost everywhere outside pure mathematics and logic, and while it is true that some rare individuals may see how dishonest most public discussions are conducted - in advertisements, in politics, in religions, and in any topic that concerns most or many,  or may gove power or profit to few by deceiving most - and may be able to see through it, the vast majority does not see through it, and in fact is fond of flattering bullshit, and doesn't have the wherewithal to see they are being professionally, intentionally and cleverly exploited, abused, lied to, deceived, and flummoxed. See Propaganda for the ideas of the man who mostly started the art of lying and deception as a major industry.

Then again, this is one of the things I do hope to be mistaken about, and indeed it is true that the democratic average, now systematically defrauded from a halfway good education since the 1960ies, and easily and nearly always successfully, deceived and abused by the professionals who love to do so for pay, rarely makes history, though they all suffer through it.

The facts seem to to be these:

"You may fool all the people some of the time, you can even fool some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all the time."
-- Lincoln

Then again, in a postmodern democracy, you only need to fool the majority of the badly educated to run what is effectively a disguised dictatorship.
-- Maarten Maartensz

It is true that intelligent men often can prevent that they are duped, and it is also true that even if a small percentage of "the people" is not taken in (most of the time), the extent and content of "civilization" will be mostly dictated by liars and deceivers, in politics, in religion, in salesmanship, and in public discussions, and such civilization as there is will be poor and mostly profit and power driven, by the worst rather than the best of men, all through the means of manipulating and deceiving the majority. (See Propaganda for how to do this.)

Then again, I like the idea of a George Orwell Day, and I hope it helps many more people to read him. In fact, I can help a little: There is a really good side about him with most of his published texts in Russia, where the British copyright laws do not hold:
This is well done, and also has many pictures of Orwell you may not have seen before. It has a lot by Orwell, but does not seem to have what I consider his best and most enjoyable work: The last two volumes of his The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell.

There used to be a good Penguin edition of all four volumes, and I hope it will be republished. They are all worth having, reading and pondering.

And as the last paragraph of the Guardian article has it
"Orwell is in the air," said Seaton. "I think he is very relevant today. He puts truth before self. Very few of us can bear to do that. It's a vocation. But nonetheless, we need people to do that, and he reminds us of that. It's that bleak realism, expressed beautifully – it is what will keep us decent … Both his writing and in an odd kind of way his personal life stand for integrity. If there was one value that politicians, bankers and journalists, and in a curious way our society as a whole, needs, it's no jargon, and more integrity."
This also makes one of the points on which my pessimism about the civilization I live in is based: That Orwell "puts truth before self. Very few of us can bear to do that."

After all, if the common run of mankind, at least in the West, that was opulent and free for at least 50 years, desire to do wishful thinking rather than rational thinking, and deny there is any kind of truth that is more than mere personal opinion, then what is the good of a "civilization" based on lies? That only serves the interests of the small groups of people who own most there is to own, and who deceive the avarage as a matter of course and as if it is their birth right.

Then again, it is true that George Orwell and his writings made it clear to any man that one can be intelligent and honest, even if few are and few want to be.

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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