February 9, 2014

Crisis+me+ME: Reich * 2, NSA, violin, crow, Zappa

   "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.
   "Power tends to corrupt, and   
   absolute power corrupts
   absolutely. Great men are        
   almost always bad men."
   -- Lord Acton

crisis -Next  

The War on the Poor and Middle-Class Families
A Guide to the NSA's Perversion of Privacy: What Are the
     Most Outrageous Breaches into Your Life?

3. Why the Lousy Jobs Report Boosted Wall Street
4. where’s my violin?
This Crow Is The Smartest Bird You've Ever Seen
6. Frank Zappa videos

About ME/CFS


This is Nederlog of Sunday February 9. It is and it isn't about the crisis: the first three articles I refer to are about the crisis (the economy and the NSA), but the second three are not, but you'll probably like the intelligent crow and Frank Zappa (both videos) and you may also like my exposition in the violin piece.

1.  The War on the Poor and Middle-Class Families

First, an article - or rather a video - by Robert Reich, that I found on Truth Dig
As  I said, it is mainly a video, which is good and clear and takes 2 min 26 sec. Here it is, since today I am showing several videos:

In case there is any doubt: I agree.

2.  A Guide to the NSA's Perversion of Privacy: What Are the Most Outrageous Breaches into Your Life?

an article by Zaid Jilani, which has a - copied - bad title:
The title is bad, firstly because I am not at all interested in what You (and you, and he, and she and so on, for 300 million Americans, say) think is the "Most Outrageous Breach", for you - whoever you are - may not know much, or be so stupid as not to care much, or whatever: I am not interested, and secondly, quite simply, and more importantly, because this is what is really done in the article:
Here’s a roundup of some of the most unnerving stories about the NSA, starting before the Snowden revelations, when numerous outlets began publishing stories about the agency’s ever-widening scope of surveillance.
And the survey is decent. It did not teach me anything I was not aware of, but it is good, now and then, to get a brief but comprehensive view.

3.  Why the Lousy Jobs Report Boosted Wall Street  

Next, another article by Robert Reich:
This is not long and ends as follows:

But what’s bad for Main Street and good for Wall Street in the short term is bad for both in the long term. The American economy is at a crawl. Median household incomes are dropping. The American middle class doesn’t have the purchasing power to keep the economy going. And as companies focus ever more on short-term share prices at the expense of long-term growth, we’re in for years of sluggish performance.

When, if ever, will Wall Street learn?

My answer to the last question: Never. And that for at least three excellent reasons:

First, they have had since 2008 to learn this, and they are supposed to be very smart guys and gals (which I don't agree to, but I agree they are smart, most of them, albeit also limited). If they can't pick up the self-evident in six years, it is because they do not want to pick it up.

Second, because they - the people who are at Wall Street - are the only class of people who profit from the present situation, and indeed they profit brazenly, impertinently, and enormously. Since they are very much profit oriented, it would require extra-ordinary brains and morals to require them to give up on what profits them so much, and hardly any of them is thus equipped.

Third, because they do not care whether you die or not - or indeed would like to know you died, if you are not working, are ill, are poor etc. Again, if it were otherwise, they have had six years to learn to care, but they still don't, and this can only be because they do not care.

4. where’s my violin?

Next, an article by 1 boring old man, that is not really about the crisis, though it is about a crisis in psychiatry and also in medicine (but these would probably also have existed without any economical crisis):
The violin in the title is Nero's violin, and the reason this comes to 1 boring old man's mind (in fact, a psychiatrist in his seventies) is this:
I’m waxing eloquent about intersubjective space and worse than seeing emotional pain as a thing is the notion that we need a psychometric to ferret it out, uninformed by  the directives of the Medicare Manual – a modern Nero oblivious to the incineration of the Rome I once knew.

As a child, I resolved not to be like the old people I was around, constantly talking about the good old days being better. They were knocking "my days" which I was sure were the best of days. Even as a child, I suspected that what they really missed was how they felt when they were young. But now I’m old and I’m in a quandry. It really does seem to me that everyone medical is playing to a different set of audiences than in my day: insurance regulators, government regulators, HIPPA directors, medicolegal advisers, machine operators, and who-knows-whomever-else. I’m not sure that what is wrong with this guywhat does he need are on the top of the list where they belong. Holland I've mostly given up on both medicine and psychiatry (and I am a psychologist and a philosopher, with considerable experience with many medical persons).

First, I've totally given up on psychiatry (which conclusion 1 boring old man's articles supported, though he probably disagrees), because it never was a real science, and currently has devolved to a mere pill-pushing machinery that works for big pharmacological institutions or for psychiatrists' very large incomes, and is willing to throw any amount of patients under the bus, for money. (And yes, that is easily comprehensible: Billions of dollars are being made yearly, that are mostly based on nothing but deceptions of patients, that are very profitable for those who deceived them: psychiatrists and pharmacological companies.

So my conclusion here is that you must be mad to see a psychiatrist, and I certainly will not do it and advice everybody to do the same, especially if you still can think rationally.

Second, I've also mostly given up on medicine. This has two reasons.

The one is that I have hardly had a decent diagnosis in my life. Now this has something to do with the fact that the few diseases that I've had were difficult to diagnose. Indeed, this would have been a lot less serious if I not also had been given, by considerably more doctors than doctors who did not do it, total bullshit, namely that since they - these miraculous omniscient medical geniuses who had spent 10 minutes of their very expensive time with me, and who usually had the genius position of G.P. - couldn't find anything, that "therefore" I must be crazy, in some sense. I'm sorry: I have not studied medicine, but I have studied psychology and philosophy; I know that there is far more not known about the human body than there is known; and I do not want to be treated as an idiot by mere G.P.s who anyway struck me almost always as not being really intelligent anyway. Besides, I am very ill-served by useless or false diagnoses.

The other is that I know that over the last 45 years (1) the standards of entrance in any Dutch university have halved or more, which is to say that at least twice as many people can gain entrance to Dutch universities as could 45 and more years ago, and not because there are more people, but because the standards have enormously fallen, and (2) the duration of studies have halved (or more, if you take also in consideration that those who study are on average a lot less capable than 45 and more years ago), while (3) I have met a few intelligent and competent medical doctors, but these were in a minority, just as was the case in psychology, philosophy, economics, and sociology, to name a few academic subjects I know a lot about and have seen quite a few of academic professionals in. (I got my degrees with only A's, while ill, and had an IQ over 150 when 28, so yes: I can judge, and also I do not need to be a baker to judge truly that the bread is rotten.)

If you add to this the incredible (but true) reports of the enormous corruptions in medicine as regards testing medicines - ghostwritten reports; manipulated data; data that are kept secret; corrupt doctors - I cannot see how anyone who has a rational mind can trust medical people, indeed except for well-known diseases with well-known medicines, for which you (still) can find and get adequate treatments.

Finally, I do not think any of this will get significantly better without a revolution (also because the rich are not afflicted by this at all), after which the universities are radically reformed and made considerably more difficult, and medicine and psychiatry are also massively regulated again. (See my Crisis + DSM-5: It's deregulation, stupid!).

And this will take several tens of years at the very least.

5.  This Crow Is The Smartest Bird You've Ever Seen

Next, a small video from BBC Two about the intellectual abilities of crows. It takes 3 minutes and 20 seconds, which is more than enough to solve this eight part problem:

It surely is intelligent!

6. Frank Zappa videos 

And to end for today, one of the few truly intelligent people I know of, namely Frank Zappa:

I do not understand the title, but it is a fine interview, or rather: a collection of parts of videos, that starts with lyrics such as these:
I am the slime oozing out from your TV set
   (Take it away Don Pardo!)
You will obey me while I lead you
And eat the garbage that I feed you
Until the day that we don't need you
Don't go for help ... no one will heed you
Your mind is totally controlled
It has been stuffed into my mold
And you will do as you are told
Until the rights to you are sold
   (Take it away Frank!)

As I told you, I have no TV since 1970, and I also listen very little to the radio, and the main reasons are the very low average quality of the programs coupled to extra-ordinarily ugly and false advertisements.

In any case, this gives you some good arguments, including towards the end a bit on the extremely deceptive video formats that are widely spread now, and that were also used by the vice-president of the WPI, who makes a living out of it.

Anyway... this is offered as amusement for my truly intelligent readers: You'll certainly learn something from this, provided you are sufficiently smart.

[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 machines) which is a disease I have since 1.1.1979:
1. Anthony Komarof

Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS(pdf)

3. Hillary Johnson

The Why  (currently not available)[2]

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

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