February 2, 2013

About Nederlog & about Lynx
My site and Nederlog
My eyes, my health and Nederlog
About Lynx
About ME/CFS


A few general reflections on my site, my eyes, my health and Nederlog, without definite conclusions, other than that most that I write is hypothetical rather than dogmatic. If you want to skip it, there is also a bit on an interesting web-browser, that does give quite another perspective.

1. My site and Nederlog

Since January I have about 20% fewer visitors, but the downloads are the same or more, and the time people spend on reading my site is also about the same, as is the number of hits.

I must guess at an explanation, and suppose I got last year more Dutch readers who were interested in my opinions about Diederik Stapel and the Dutch universities, and who were pissed off when it turned out I can scold as well as the members of the ASVA - a leftist student organization in the University of Amsterdam, in fact an organization for careerists who pretended to be marxists as long as that helped them make a career - who told me for years I must be "a fascist" because I said I was not a marxist.

Alternatively, some may not have liked what I wrote about politics.

Well... I am not sorry about the ASVA: They have showed me that the human foundations on which totalitarianism grows can be found everywhere, under any political or religious public disguise, and with any pretext.

And I am still the only Dutch person removed from a Dutch university because of his published ideas since 1945:

This also happened in spite of "your  illness, the seriousness of which we in no way underestimate", as the sadistic Board of Directors, who very probably stole tens of millions of guilders from the accounts they refused to administer according to the Dutch laws, assured me in writing.

In a sense, I am proud of that, at least for the courage of standing up and saying what I thought, in spite of
"your  illness, the seriousness of which we in no way underestimate", but it also showed me there are very few like me in Holland, if any, and I should not expect that I ever can get a majority behind me while I write or say what I think.

This cannot be helped, but does not make my life easier.

As to my opinions about politics: Unlike many, I have no political allegiances of any kind, and also not many strong political convictions.

So let me just say this:

I try to make sense of things as well as I can, which is a lot worse than I could if my health were better, and generally what I offer are hypotheses rather than dogmatic certainties.

This is one of the reasons my Nederlogs are dated (a practice that is not by far as common as it should be on the internet): At such and such a date I thought and wrote so and so - and at that time this was the best I could do on the subject, with such information, health and possibilities as I then had.

What I write is part of a conversation with my readers, rather than a set of dogmatic certainties on my part - though I do have some dogmatic certainties, such as that the dogmatic certainties people offer are usually based on delusions.

2. My eyes, my health and Nederlog

I do not know whether I will continue with Nederlog, at least in the same vein as I have done for quite a few years.

For this, there are several reasons, five of which are as follows.

First, there is less of a personal need: I have achieved a small part of what I wanted, viz. that I'll be left in peace until I am 65, when I will qualify for a - very probably very miserable - pension.

Second, what I write seems to make very little difference in fact. As it happens, I did not expect to make much of a difference, and I also never sought publicity [1], but there is no external social stimulus to continue as I have done.

Third, at the moment I am again having more problems with my eyes, though by and large still a lot less than I had between between June and November 2012. But it does set limits to what I can do with a computer, and it is unpleasant and painful. (See keratoconjunctivitis sicca, if you are interested. It is a more common complaint with people with ME/CFS.)

Fourth, I can only do so much, which is generally little, and I do want to try to write out some of my ideas that do not fit in the context of a Nederlog. (But this may be unrealistic and dangerous: I destroyed part of my remaining health for several years after 2000, when I tried to force myself to write out ideas on logic, and failed to do so. The ideas are good, but my health is not.)

Fifth, I am depressed, less about myself than about the state of the world, the state of men's minds on average, and the awful lot of rot that lead banks, corporations and governments, that I can also change in no way. Also, I do not see how I can change anything for the better for people with
ME/CFS. [2]

So... I don't know whether I will continue as I've done with Nederlog. It depends, and I don't know. You'll have to see in case you're interested (and some are), and so have I.

3. About Lynx

What I still do like a lot is Linux, and what I regret is that I did not switch a lot sooner to it.

There are many reasons why I like Linux, which I will not list, except that one of it is that I learned quite a lot about quite a few programs that I would not have done if I were still using MS Windows - which in fact I can't, even if I wanted, because I can't tweak that inferior OS to make it work with such eyes as I have.

But here is one of the things I liked, that I never checked out on Windows:
The above link is to the Wikipedia article about if, from which I quote the first paragraph, minus notes, and the first paragraph of the first link:
Lynx is a highly configurable text-based web browser for use on cursor-addressable character cell terminals. It is the oldest web browser currently in general use and development, having started in 1992 and as of 2013, 21 years later, still in use and development.
A text-based web browser is a web browser that renders only the text of web pages, and ignores graphic content. Usually, they render pages faster than web browsers that include graphics because graphics need additional bandwidth.
It is helpful because of my eyes, but it is also interesting because it avoids a lot of clutter: You get the real textual information on a website and avoid the rest - which offers an interesting alternative perspective. It also avoids html tables: You really get the text, more or less as what you get when you save a web page as text and not as html.

Lynx is also available for MS Windows, but I never tried it there. On Ubuntu it was installed and works unproblematically (in a terminal window: Type "lynx" or "lynx" followed by a specific url, such as (sufficient information for Lynx) followed by Enter. It also works for files on your hard disk.

What is quite interesting is to see the same - or perhaps "the same" - page in a graphical browser and in Lynx: It really gives a
quite different perspective, and it shows how much is packaging or make-up rather than real (textual) content.

There are no illustrations in Lynx (unless in ascii-format), but then that is usually not necessary to get the message. Sometimes one does not get all of the message for that reason, but it also helps to get what is essential and to avoid loosing time on the rest. And it often gives a quite different
perspective and impression, which is - sometimes - interesting and useful, and is instructive in general. [3]
[1] Mostly because that is dangerous for me: See ME in Amsterdam if you read Dutch.

[2] I expect major problems for many patients, and the main reasons I have less to fear than others are my age, my site, my degrees, my intelligence and my facility with words.

[3] E.g.: Trying it out on the NRC website, I found that this site does start "downloading an application" I do get a warning about in Lynx, to which I can say Y/N, but I get no warning in Firefox. (And NRC, once a good Dutch daily, that I read for 40 years, is a major mess in many ways since the new editor took over, since when I do not read it on paper anymore. So perhaps I should only visit its site with Lynx, for I do NOT want applications being downloaded to my hard disk without warning.)

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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