1. ME/CFS: Several causes - many confusions
The previous Nederlog was about part 1 of The Trap. Yesterday there was
no Nederlog since I can only do so much - not much at all - with my
health and the state of my eyes, but I intend to write more about The Trap,
and probably also about some other documentaries by Adam Curtis, such as "The Century of Self".
Meanwhile, something else that I had intended to write about anyway,
since I have been always of the school that there are - most probably -
several valid causal explanations for the symptoms of ME/CFS.
1. ME/CFS: Several causes -
It would be nice if the things one wants to see explained but does not
know the explanation
of had a single cause and a single explanation. In simple cases this is
so, but even then finding the causal explanation may be very difficult
and take a long time.
My ex-wife and I fell ill in January 1979 with EBV while
first-year students in the University of Amsterdam, and we did not know
Encephalomyelitis until 1989, when I heard of it by accident, on
the BBC World Service.
In the first ten years we were offered several possible diagnoses,
varying from Boeck's disease (sarcoidosis) to
"it is psychosomatic, for we can't find anything", but none looked
really plausible to us, since it had in our case clearly started with a
serious bout of EBV, the symptoms of which then for the most
part refused to disappear, although we were not as miserable as we had
been the first week or ten days of EBV.
One problem - not just for diseases - is that real facts may have
several possible causes and and usually have several possible
explanations before there is any idea about possible causes that are
testable and accord with science-as-is.
I decided to make a series of six simple images to outline the problem,
but as it happens I also today found a working video link to dr. Ian Lipkin
explaining the result of the research he and 13 others, including
doctors Mikovits, Ruscetti and Alter did, that settled one of
the causal explanations for ME/CFS pretty definitely in a negative
This is nearly an hour of
video, but you'll find Dr Lipkin addressing the theme of the symptoms
of ME/CFS having several possible causes, that are all
effective for a sub-group who show these symptoms, but not
effective for other sub-groups with the same or similar symptoms,
around 18 minutes from the beginning, followed by a brief statement by
Dr Mikovits to the effect that XMRV is no longer a scientifically
Clicking the image leads to 17 min 16 seconds into the
video with drs Lipkin, Alter and Mikovits
I had heard but not seen this - and note this dates back to last year,
and my own view, at that time, is here:
Now to the problem that real facts may have several possible
causes and and usually have several possible explanations
is any idea about possible causes that are testable
and accord with
may be any kind: "What causes the tides?", "What causes magnetism?",
"Why do I feel miserable and keep having night sweats for months now?"
and so on.
A causal explanation of problematic facts here will be understood to be
a set of statements from which statements describing the facts follow
by deductive logic,
while the set of statements - aka theory - is
logically tenable and empiricaly testable.
In any case, the same class of problematic facts can be
logically explained by very many different theories (of
various kinds, qualities, motivations etc.) and in many cases, also in
real science, there are various different theories to account for the
same class of facts.
Then for theories that interest people outside science - diseases, the
existence of the universe, evolution, economic exploitation and so on -
not only scientists are interested in finding explanations, but
interest groups of many kinds may be involved, for
various reasons, and indeed such interests groups may also speak
in the name of science. Also, they may not, and try to settle things on
religious, moral, political or financial grounds.
The result is often that the more a class of facts is of concern to
large or powerful classes of persons, the more conflicting hypothetical
explanations there arise for the class of facts, that also are often
supported, especially outside science, with what is in fact propaganda, wishful
fraudulence (if money can be
made from the acceptance of a particular explanation) or plain
The result tends to be lots of confusions, which many people resolve by
plugging one explanation or approach, and disregarding the rest (as
happens also in religion and politics).
This is the case with ME/CFS:
Finally, it is likely that I
will write less about ME/CFS. There are several reasons for this but
the main one is probably that there are too many liars and posturers on
patients forums, some of whom are patients, and some of whom are trolls
from public relations firms, and I am thoroughly morally sickened by
them, while the presence of liars, deceivers, and ignoramuses who
insist on getting involved in any discussion makes the chances for patients
to do anything useful to help them very small indeed.
- In real fact, there
probably are sub-groups whose symptoms are similar but that require
different explanations to truly account for them. 
- In real fact, there are
a number of players involved that have specific personal and/or
financial interests in getting certain (kinds of) theories accepted.
- In real fact, some of
the players - notably psychiatrists,
politicians and bureaucrats - pretend to speak in the name of science,
but do speak as they do because of financial reasons. 
- In real fact, most
medical doctors one sees as a patient with ME/CFS pretend they
know far more than in fact they do, and a considerable part of them is
willing to lie and lies consciously to patients. 
- In real fact, medical
doctors know a lot less than they think they do, especially about rare
diseases, while most would be much better doctors and human beings if
they admit their ignorance more honestly: There is no shame or blame in
saying one doesn't know if one doesn't know, one is wilfully playing
with a patients chances if one pretends to know if one knows, or could
know, or should know, one does not know.
But one of the things related to ME/CFS that I will try to do,
hopefully soon, is to review the ME-Resources
section: I have gathered a lot that is somehow relevant or helpful, but
I haven't updated much since 2010, though I did update some in
April 2012, and not since.
As usual, I do as and if I can, and not as and if I want.
 Here are some (and in these notes I am speaking of
- problems with producing energy (mitochondria)
- problems with digestion
- problems with the brain
- problems with recuperation from a disease
- problems of an autoimmune nature
- genetical factors that make or keep some ill
- madness or malingering
The last is possible, but applies only to a small sub-group (of the
many millions that complain of the symptoms): Living from the dole is
really unpleasant, and those who speak as if it is not are either lying
or deranged or believe propaganda.
 As a rule everyone who is involved
has some financial and some personal interest. This holds for
while this is almost always denied by the last four groups: Doctors
pretend to do for science or for moral reasons what they do for money;
bureaucrats pretend to be impartial while doing what politicians told
them, to keep their jobs; politicians lie to the public to further
their personal or party agendas; and journalists write for money or -
sometimes - have been hired to deceive.
Incidentally: There is no hard and fast rule that applies to all,
except this rule.
 This is especially so for
psychiatrists, and those who base their policies on the pronouncements
of psychiatrists. If you want to know more about the pernicious
marriage between psychiatry and public
relations, that started in the 1920-ies, when Sigmund Freud and his
nephew Edward Bernays teamed up, check out
It's a lot of video (nearly
4 hours), but it makes its case quite plausibly.
And it does seem to me that, both in the case of ME/CFS as in case of
the public at large, both with regards to voting in politics and to
buying commodities, people in the US and Europe, especially, have been
played like suckers by extremely dishonest and immoral con men and
women working for public relations firms or in marketing for decades
I am speaking for myself and from my own experience:
I have met good and honest medical doctors, like I have met good and
honest persons, but both groups are in a minority in the general
population of their nominal likes - and yes, I am a psychologist and a
philosopher of science, and no, I do not like being lied to by a person
with a medical degree, who seems to kick on making money from being
regarded as an authority:
In the field of ME/CFS, and indeed in the field of rare and uncommon
diseases, ordinary medical doctors, and also the great majority of
medical specialists, have no relevant knowledge, and lie if
they pretend they do.
And as before: Ignorance,
if admitted, is no shame and no ground for blame - and also medical
doctors can help their patients also in case that they
do not know the explanation for the illness of the patient, and the
necessary pre-condition, in almost any case, is honesty, at least to
themselves, that they don't really know.
And it may be helpful to add that for such diseases as are in the
medical handbooks, especially if they are fairly common, seeing a GP
tends to be really helpful, and in general it does make sense to
try to see a GP or a medical doctor if one falls ill: A lot is
known, even if at least as much is not known, and if there are no
presently known causes or presently known specific treatments, a
medical doctor generally can offer some form of help or useful
information, that one cannot find oneself if one is not a medical
(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: