28, 2013
Crisis+me+ME: Greenwald, Bezoeking, Translation, Stephanie Faulkner
  "They who can give up essential 
   liberty to obtain a little temporary
   safety, deserve neither liberty
   nor safety."
   -- Benjamin Franklin [1]
   "All governments lie and nothing
   they say should be believed.
   -- I.F. Stone.

  1. Glenn Greenwald on Hardtalk
  2. Bezoeking
  3. Translation
  4. Stephanie Fauikner

About ME/CFS


This is a bit of an odd crisis item: The second part consists of a copy of what seems to have been my first publication in Spiegeloog in 1988, that is 25 years ago, that I found yesterday, when looking for something else. And it is in Dutch - although I will translate it, eventually.

What is it about? About the halving of the duration and of the quality of the Dutch universities, which meanwhile has completely taken place, not only in Holland but almost everywhere else (only Finland seems not to have followed this radical simplification), so that now people with an IQ of a 100 all can get their B.A.s, that is, if they pay a lot of money, for these days it has also been discovered that you can make people pay enormous amounts for getting a rather worthless B.A. degree that they believe - often falsely - will help their careers.

Of course, you do not need to believe me, and indeed these matters were never rationally discussed, and in fact were simply hardly discussed at all. But they did happen, and it's also far too late to turn them back:

  • entrance-level education to enter a university halved (at least)
  • the times used for studies halved (nearly everywhere)
  • the prices for students skyrocketed (enormously)
  • almost nobody said a word: this was A Genuine Democratization:
  • at long last everybody with an IQ of 100 could get a B.A. in some study
  • and indeed very many did.

And thus we have now "universities" which tender - proudly! - to the average, that can't write grammatically anymore (but: we have spell-checkers), that can't calculate anymore (but: we have calculating machines), that hardly know foreign languages anymore (but: we have Google translate), and to students that mostly don't care as long as they get their B.A. in media-studies or whatever, and - in Holland - free travelling.

It was - in fact - an incredible scam, but it has been done in my time, between 1971 and 1995, in Holland; it was a major success, because it brought "the university" to the masses; and you will hardly hear any criticism, because the professors nearly all took part in implementing the scam (and in Holland all are civil servants anyway, so one should not be too amazed to see them act as bureaucrats), while the students, of which there are indeed very many more, are on average too stupid and too ignorant to see what has happened, and don't care anyway.

We live in a Brave New World, and there are no more real intellectuals, unless they are in their sixties or older.

There also is a third part, in which I reflect a little in English on translating the Dutch piece, and a fourth part, in which I say some about Stephanie Faulkner.
However, the main part, that follows as section 2, only exists in Dutch at the moment.

Finally, to do something more about the crisis, and to give those who are only interested in the crisis, something to see

1. Glenn Greenwald on Hardtalk

This is a nice interview. It takes 24 minutes:


Next, the Dutch piece of 25 years ago.

2. Bezoeking

Het schijnt dat er verleden jaar een bezoekings-commissie in Zuid-Afrika (hier heet dat: "visitatie", vanwege de strijkages die men elkaar maakt) het apartheids-probleem opgelost heeft: Volgens een objectieve commissie van blanke Zuid-Afrikaanse maatskappy-wetenschappers laat "die toestand van die Suid-Afrikaanse swarte" vergeleken met het buitenland "niks nie te wensen nie over", terwijl overigens apartheid vooral het belang van de zwarte bevolking dient.

Of het waar is? Hier in het moederland heeft een objectieve bezoekings-
commissie van Nederlandse professoren het Nederlands universitair onderwijs gewogen ("you scratch my back and I scratch yours in the future") en bevonden dat het "vergeleken met het buitenland" niets te wensen overlaat, terwijl overigens het universitaire onderwijs de belangen van de studenten dient.

En dat was alles geheel onjectief en wetenschappelijk ("schrijf maar op de onkosten-rekening, amice"), en het is een uitkomst die weer aantoont dat Nederland nog telt "vergeleken met het buitenland". Dit doet het vaderlandse hart natuurlijk wat krachtiger in de boezem slaan, en daarom is het jammer dat de hooggeleerde bezoekings-commissie-professoren het wat moeilijk hebben met redeneren.

Wat is namelijk het geval? De Zweedse akademie van wetenschappen en de Engelse akademie van wetenschappen - beide kennelijk nog niet onderhouden op de bezoekings-onkosten-rekening - hebben laten weten dat ze het doktoraal-
diploma dat de nijvere Nederlandse student verstrekt gaat worden niet serieuzer
wensen te nemen dan een bachelor's diploma, d.w.z. een 3-jarige Engelse universitaire opleiding.

De argumenten van deze akademies van wetenschappen zijn - zoals drs. Ter Haar u zonder twijfel haarfijn kan uitleggen - "overdreven", "naief" en - uiteraard - "ongenuanceerd".

Het zijn namelijk kennelijk deze: Als je

  • de Nederlandse VWO-opleidingen vergeleken met vroeger (i) halveert in afstudeervakken die je (ii) bovendien grotendeels aan de gemakszucht en na´viteit van de leerlingen overlaat ("feestpakket"), en (iii) je vermindert het aantal uren met 35% (afgezien van spijbelen), en als je:
  • de Nederlandse studierichtingen (i) wat tijdsduur betreft vrijwel halveert, terwijl je (ii) een aanzienlijk deel van het onderwijs besteedt aan (zoals de UvA de afgelopen zes jaar als hoofddoel had) internationaal "maatschappelijk relevante" wetenschappelijke vraagstukken opgeworpen door "de vakbeweging; de vrouwen-beweging; en de milieu-beweging" en andere in Asva- en CvB-kringen populaire "wetenschappelijke" problemen, dan kunnen de Nederlandse opleidingen hooguit de helft van de kwaliteit van vroeger hebben.

Zo naief denkt men in het buitenland! (buiten invloed van bezoekings- commissies). Maar drs. Ter Haar weet het vast beter, net als ik: Uiteraard "overdrijven" die Zweden en Engelsen - in feite bewijzen hun resultaten, volgens de objectieve bevindingen van de bezoekings-commissie eenvoudig dit:

  1. Volgens buitenlandse akademies van wetenschappen leren de Nederlandse studenten ca. de helft van wat ze vroeger leerden;
  2. volgens de Nederlandse bezoekingscommissie leren ze evenveel als vroeger - maar wel in de helft van de tijd, want dit moet van de minister;

ergo - gewoon konsekwent patriotttisch doorredeneren, bezoekingscommissie -
In de afgelopen 10 jaar is de Nederlandse student tweemaal zo intelligent geworden. Q.e.d. en ik feliciteer al die hoogbegaafde en geniale koppen van harte met hun wonderbaarlijke briljantie. En daarom lukt het de faculteit en drs. Ter Haar ook nooooit om u een oor aan te naaien over de kwaliteit van uw opleiding? Nietwaar?

                                                                 Maarten Maartensz

3. Translation 

I have not translated the above piece yet, which will be a little difficult, because there are a number of verbal jokes in it, but I will do this later, though probably not today.

It will also be made a part of my Spiegeloog articles, which I have meanwhile translated mostly, and indeed I am sorry I have not found it back sooner than I did, and that all I found was a photocopy that gives no dates.

Meanwhile, the universities are dead: the institutions currently bearing these names are not genuine universities anymore, as these existed for some 200 years, in which the brightest young persons, with some money, and with a really good introductory education - the Dutch grammar schools taught five foreign languages and examined in 16 subjects; its replacement taught one, or at most two foreign languages, and examined in 6 subjects, but was indeed also open to very many more "eager students" - could take part and get a title, that was reserved to something like 2% of the total population, who for the most part needed both the ability and the money to finish them.

What are called "universities" these days in fact are for the most part colleges, where the great mass of the not totally stupid can "graduate" with "a B.A.", in  "sciences" like "media-studies" or "European studies" or "philosophy with a minor in sports", for rather a lot of money, and merely to make them look better on the job-market, where they all get delivered at ca. 21.

Of course, the few genuinely gifted mostly have been completely frauded by extremely poor education directed at the average - but then the genuinely gifted are at most 1 in 50 anyway, and are therefore democratically completely irrelevant, and also -  I have learned at the "University" of Amsterdam - without the least "social relevance".

And "so it goes" or rather went: Higher education has been "democratized", which means that it effectively has died.

Except in name and pretensions, is also true.

4. Stephanie Faulkner  

Today Stephanie Faulkner would have become 71, had she lived. But she died, I was told a month ago by her son, in 1996, aged 53. This is a great pity, also for me, because it was with her that I had my first real and mutual adult loving relationship, and I would have liked very much to be able to mail with her about this and about any other thing - but that is now alas totally impossible.

Also, this shook me rather badly - or at least considerably more than I expected, for indeed I had expected her to be dead before I knew, because I felt certain that either I would have heard from her or at least she would have made herself known on internet.

But it is a great pity to learn that someone you really loved and who really loved you, now is completely out of touch, because she is definitely dead, and has been dead for a long time, and you will never see her again or hear anything new by her.

So... what I did the last four weeks, apart from writing NLs, is to collect her letters to me from 1971 and 1972, and render them into html, and comment them. It took four weeks, but it has been mostly done, and takes, all in all, nearly 500 Kb.

I do not know yet what I will do with them, and certainly have to write some more comments.


[1] Here it is necessary to insist, with Aristotle, thay the governors do not rule, or at least, should not rule: The laws rule, and the government, if good, is part of its executive power. Here I quote Aristotle from my More on stupidity, the rule of law, and Glenn Greenwald:
It is more proper that law should govern than any of the citizens: upon the same principle, if it is advantageous to place supreme power in some particular persons, they should be appointed to be only guardians, and the servant of laws.
(And I note the whole file I quote from is quite pertinent.)

About ME/CFS (that I prefer to call M.E.: The "/CFS" is added to
facilitate search machine) which is a disease that 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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