who can give up essential
liberty to obtain a little temporary
safety, deserve neither liberty
-- Benjamin Franklin
"All governments lie and nothing
say should be believed."
"Power tends to corrupt, and
absolute power corrupts
absolutely. Great men
almost always bad men."
1. Key elements of secret
terror trial can be heard in public,
2. Theresa May admits government
has failed to win
public's support for
3. Oliver Stone Snowden movie
to be part-based on
4. Bill Black: How Hayek Helped
the Worst Get to the Top in
Economics and as CEOs
Five computer shocks
This is the Nederlog of June
12. It is an ordinary crisis log.
I will not summarize it here, except by saying that the last personal
bit is a fairly quick survey of five computer shocks I lived through,
which were all beneficent and extended my possibilities, until the
last, that may end up as the beginning of the end of civilization as I
have known it.
1. Key elements of secret terror trial can be heard in
public, court rules
item is an article by Owen Bowcott on The Guardian:
This starts as
Well... it is something,
but it is not by far enough, and it still seems a totally unjustified
and very unjust attempt of the English government to install the
authoritarian practice of secret fascist 
courts in England: Apart from two real modern Guy Fawkes who have been
arrested while sitting on a ton of explosives under the Parliament, I
cannot conceive of any eventuality to make a trial secret or
partially secret - and even that eventuality ought to be dealt with in
a public court (whatever the government says or thinks also:
the government is supposed to be there for the benefit of the people,
and not the people for the benefit of the government).
An attempt by the Crown
Prosecution Service to hold a
terrorism trial entirely in secret has been overturned by the court of appeal.
unprecedented in recent criminal justice
history, would have prevented anyone knowing even the identity of the
two accused, known only as AB and CD.
They can now be named as
Erol Incedal, who was AB, and
Mounir Rarmoul-Bouhadjar, who was CD.
The decision by three
court of appeal judges, Lord Justice
Gross, Mr Justice Simon and Mr Justice Burnett, will now mean that the
opening and closing sections of the trial will be held in public. Gross
said the court was not convinced of the need for the defendants to be
anonymised and for their trial to be held entirely in secret.
The application to hold
the whole of the trial behind
closed doors was opposed by lawyers for the Guardian and other media.
In their decision, the
judges said the "core" part of the trial must take place in secret.
Also, the following seems sick to me:
The mere invocations of "the grounds of national security" is sick and meaningless blather
without evidence to prove it, which one cannot have on "the grounds of national security" - which makes it all
circular and completely invalid.
The application for an
entirely secret trial was supported by certificates from the home
secretary, Theresa May, and the foreign secretary, William Hague,
stating that it was required on the grounds of national security.
The court of appeal
authorised "a small number of accredited journalists drawn from the
media parties to these proceedings" to attend the "bulk" of the secret
part of the hearing.
They will not be allowed
to report what they witness until the situation is reviewed at the end
of the case. Any notes made will have to be stored in court. The
proposal was made by ministers. A transcript of the case could
eventually be released after further legal argument.
And the limitations imposed on the few and selected journalists who may
attend some of the court proceedings are draconian and sick: "Any notes made will have to be stored in court" (and such journalists must also crawl
backwards if within 50 foot of a judge, and let themselves be kicked
and trampled upon, except that this demeaning nonsense has not yet also
been introduced, on "the grounds of national security").
England is thoroughly sick, and with its present government and GCHQ it
certainly ceased being a full democracy, and soon may be a
police state, which indeed also is very much handier for May and Hague:
Simply arrest anyone who disagrees with you, and have them convicted by
a secret court in secrecy.
Theresa May admits government has failed to win public's support for
item is an article by Alan Travis on The Guardian:
This starts as follows,
under a photograph of the very dishonest looking May:
Theresa May has, for
the first time, acknowledged that the British government has failed to
get the public to understand its case for the use of surveillance to
tackle national security threats in the wake of revelations of mass
harvesting of personal data by Britain's GCHQ and the US National
Clearly, she was, quite
consciously also, lying.
While I do not have a high opinion of either the average Briton
or of his understanding of surveilling, indeed quite like Ms May - and
in my case there is nothing special about the British: most folks
anywhere do not adequately understand the dangers of being completely
surveilled, and indeed until very recently no one ever was told
about being completely
and although Ms May is far less honest than I am, I am also
quite sure that since Snowden's revelations the British public for the first
time has had any good evidence to be able to know how much they
have been deceived, lied to, and misled by both their government and by
the spokesmen of the GCHQ, and also to know how extremely many personal
and private data have been stolen from them by one of the
secret services of "the Five Eyes".
But it is true that "the
British government has failed to" do something they should and would
have done if they were democratic and if they were not
massively corrupted by the enormous powers the GCHQ made available to
They failed to inform their British public; they failed
to control their secret services; they failed to speak the
truth, and instead permitted lies, deceptions and falsehoods, and they
did so from 2001 onwards, always pretending their failures and
falsehoods were "to protect against terrorism", which was and is an
evident lie: The GCHQ and their backers are out for total power and
The home secretary
admitted to defence and security experts that individual privacy and mass
surveillance by the security services had become "a much more salient
question for the public in the last year or so". Under questioning, she
agreed that the public lacked any real understanding of the role
intelligence played in tackling threats, including organised crime.
The reason "the public lacked any real understanding of
the role intelligence played" is not
that the public is stupid, but that the public has been
systematically deceived and lied to - and indeed for good
reasons: The vast majority of "the public" would have strongly objected
to being surveilled as in fact they are, if their governments
had honestly, honorably and democratically put the case to them. And
this also is the reason they did not.
What she meant was: She needs
better lies, more deceptive propaganda,
more usage of "terrorism" and "bombs". Clearly, speaking the truth
is quite impossible in the present case, for the British government and
the GCHQ have been lying for fourteen years, while the GCHQ was secretively
harvesting all personal data of everyone, at least
since 2007, or indeed led the NSA do that (for non-Americans have no
protection of anything, at least according to the US government).
May said the Home Office
and security chiefs must "find innovative ways" to make their case to
the public about the security services' activities in the wake of
disclosures by Edward Snowden, a
former CIA contractor.
"There is a need
to get out there more generally the importance of intelligence in
fighting all of these national security threats. We will try to find
innovative ways of getting the importance of these activities to
members of the public," she said. "People talk about national security
versus civil liberties, but you can only enjoy your liberty if you have
The "people" the
lying Ms May must have had in mind was in fact Benjamin Franklin and he
said the opposite of what the totalitarian liar May said:
who can give up essential liberty
to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
What the lying Ms May
wants and has furthered is that all of the British loose all
of their privacy and all of their personal data, which
all is and was done in secret, merely because she and her
political cronies want this, and without their being any real
threat of "national security".
Franklin's terms Ms May deserves neither liberty nor safety, and should
be in prison.
There is more under
the last dotted link, but it does not get any better.
Oliver Stone Snowden
movie to be part-based on fictionalised account
item is an article by Shaun Walker on The Guardian:
This opens as follows:
The film director Oliver
Stone has bought the rights to a forthcoming novel based on the life of
the whistleblower Edward Snowden
and written by Snowden's Russian lawyer.
Time of the Octopus will
be published later this year, and is authored by Anatoly Kucherena, one
of the few people who has had regular access to Snowden since he
arrived in Moscow nearly a year ago. The former National Security
Agency contractor retained Kucherena when he was stuck in limbo in the
transit area of Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport.
Stone, who has long been
a critic of the US establishment, has met Kucherena to discuss the film
project, and said he would use both Kucherena's book and The Snowden Files by Guardian reporter Luke Harding as the
basis for the screenplay of his movie, which is due to begin
production later this year.
I say. Well... I like
Oliver Stone, and he may be able to do it better than most other
directors, but it is to be fictional, though in part based on fact. My
assumption is also that this coheres with Snowden's wishes, although I
have no direct evidence for that (but he has been quite admirably
reticent about himself).
There is more under
the last dotted link, and here is the last paragraph:
Of the Russian's novel,
Stone said: "Anatoly has written a 'grand inquisitor' style Russian
novel weighing the soul of his fictional whistleblower, Joshua Cold,
against the gravity of a '1984' tyranny that has achieved global
proportions. His meditations on the meaning of totalitarian power in
the 21st century make for a chilling, prescient horror story."
Bill Black: How Hayek Helped the Worst Get to the Top in Economics and
item is an article by Bill Black
(<- Wikipedia) on Naked Capitalism:
This is a fairly long
criticism (I dislike "critique") of Friedrich Hayek.
It is here mainly because I like Bill Black. I know little of Hayek,
and that is mainly because I happen to dislike his style.
Black may be right on Hayek, who certainly functions as a conservative
beacon, but I simply do not know.
5. Personal: Five
is not about the crisis, for the most part at least, but
computer shocks I have lived through, so to speak, in the sense that my
life got seriously altered by computing five times, while also
time the shocks got bigger.
It is a personal story, that charts my relations with computers, and I
use the term "shock" mostly because these events did seriously alter quite a lot of
my possibilities, but except for the last shock, they were not
negative. Also, I tell it here in an abbreviated form, and I do so -
the telling - because (as Socrates said) "the unexamined life is not
Circa 1973, when I was 23, there were computers for
nearly a quarter century, and they also were used in business and in
banks, but they were not practically important, I would say, although I
had by then bought a programmable calculator and also had read a fair
amount of logic, including Marvin Minsky's "Computation - Finite and
Infinite Machines", that I liked a lot.
And it so happened that I got a job, initially as a typist, for a firm
that specialized in renting out programmers, mostly to banks, to
program the computers, which I then also learned, although this was very
different from programming a PC: it all was done
on paper, that
then had to be typed in on punch cards, normally by a special
typist, that one then had to deliver to a computer operator, who took
care of an enormous machine in a special room almost no one had access
to, after which, usually at least some days later, one got the output
of the program printed out on computer paper, in a faint greyish
Actually, the programming - in Cobol or Algol - wasn't very difficult,
and also it mostly was quite simple: adding columns of numbers and
printing them out decently, but it also wasn't very interesting. I left
there after some months, after having solved a puzzle that had defeated
one of the directors for weeks on end
because I did not like the greedy and dishonest atmosphere, for it was,
quite greedy, which it was because they had something of an oligopoly,
and could mostly ask what they wanted, which they did.
But this was not a shock, and I tell it only to clarify that I did
know something of computers, both in practice, and a lot better in
theory, when I was 23.
The first shock came in 1980, at the time I was 30,
when a friend bought an
Apple II, still with a cassette tape for storage, which ran Applebasic,
in a green font, on something like a small television screen:
Applebasic was a quite clear language that was easy to learn; the
programming was all done by typing, and it got interpreted directly, so
that one could see the output immediately on screen; and it really
worked, quite well also, and could also be used commercially, as my
friend also soon did.
This was a shock, because it showed me the first personal computer that
really worked in a useful way, although it also could not do much else
but that was sufficient to make it quite interesting, and
to write some programs that tested some ideas I had about logic. 
But at the time I had no money to buy one for myself, and all I did was
program it a little. In any case, this was the start of personal
computing, and it certainly was very impressive, at least on an
Apple II (basically a box, a monitor and a typing board, quite a lot
the later PCs, except for the tapes one had to store one's data on).
The second shock came in 1987 when I got a personal
computer through the father of my then girl friend, who was a middle
manager for Philips, and had several PCs, but did not quite know what
to do with them, for he really could not handle them well at all.
I first got an Osborne Carry Computer, I think it was called , which was
from 1982, and had a very small own screen, although that could easily
be replaced by a monitor; 64 Kb of memory; floppy disks (of the
bendable form, that saved no less and no more than 128 Kb); and which
ran Wordstar, for writing and editing text; Visicalc,
which was an early spreadsheet; the operating system CP/M; and
that in fact could do most of the stuff a modern PC can do, although in
a somewhat primitive form, and with a 0.6 Mhz processor and
maximally 64 Kb of memory, which also took some 16 Kb for the OS (so
effectively one had 48 Kb).
This was quite a shock, for it clearly enlarged the powers I
had: For example, writing in Wordstar on a computer was a lot handier
than writing on a typewriter, which I had done since 1966. And indeed
one of the first things I wrote on the Osborne was "Multatuli en de Filosofie",
in September of 1987, that is still on my site.
Again by 1988 the Osborne was replaced by a Philips, with 256 Kb
memory, soon to be replaced by another Philips with all of 512 Kb of
memory, which Bill Gates then declared to be enough for anybody's
needs, and by several more machines, soon also with colors, but
basically this was more Osborne, though some of the new things, that
could not be done on an Osborne, were Turbo Pascal and Turbo
Prolog, both from Borland, that each were a great lot
better than the GWBasic that came with DOS, and which I used quite a
lot (and wrote an excellent editor with, called "Edith", that I used
for five years and
would have made commercial had I not been ill and on the dole).
third shock came in 1996, when I got internet. Until 1995, I had
been one of the few who had a computer and who did a great lot with it,
but this all was private: the computer was not connected to any
other computer. This worked quite well, but was fundamentally private
and, until the middle 90ies, also was very to fairly rare. 
From 1995, when Windows 95 arrived, this rapidly changed, for
it was fairly easy to connect to the internet. I did so as well as soon
as I could (later than some but earlier than most) and this
considerably extended both my input, from the internet, and
also my output: My site exists since
November 1996, and this allowed me to publish things without
a hassle with the dole, which prevented and prevents me from publishing
anything on paper.
Windows 95 also was the first time I had a graphical interface, which
was a lot more pleasant than the text based DOS, but it also
habit of crashing a lot, while surfing was quite expensive for me, who
lived and lives on the Dutch dole, because I had a telephone modem, and
had to pay every telephone tick, every minute, which added up fast and
thus rather severely limited my surfing, that anyway was slow, for it
was maximally 28 Kb per second, and normally less.
The fourth shock came in 2009 - after 13 years of
internet, and 22 years of daily computing - when I got installed fast
internet, still through the phone, but effectively much
with a very much extended input, that included films, videos
etc. and in fact made the PC quite a bit like a TV.
This enormously extended my input, and made a real difference,
that in fact was considerably larger than the previous shock, which had
allowed me to be on line for half an hour a day, and on a 28 Kb modem,
that often worked a lot slower. Also, this was mostly quite pleasant,
because I had Windows XP from 2002 onwards, and that was the only
somewhat satisfactory OS that I used from Microsoft, simply judged from
crashing: Only XP did not crash on me daily, and indeed did so very
rarely. (I have since used Windows 7, but only very briefly,
moved to Linux in 2012, and do neither intend nor like to turn back.)
fifth shock came in 2013, when I learned through Snowden that the hypotheses
I had formulated on December 25, 2012
(in fact these were written out two weeks earlier, and date back in
pencil form to October 2012, and also are a bit better formatted this
year: January 31, 2014), without knowing
anything of Snowden, were spectacularly confirmed:
Everybody's personal and private data,
anything he or she does by a computer or a cell phone,
wherever he or she lives, regardless of
whatever he or she has not done, is being tracked, saved and
stored by the NSA (and/or one of the four other secret services
Canada, Great Britain, Australia or New Zealand) as if everyone is a
common criminal, on which all data one can get may be gathered without any
limit or sanction, in utter secrecy, to be used against him of her,
quite possibly in totally secret court cases, by any government
at any time.
the greatest shock for me, because it meant that the nightmare scenario
I had hypothetically construed was in fact in full force since
The Western governing elites, and especially the US and Great Britain,
all have gone thoroughly fascist - defined as: anti-democratic,
authoritarian, secretive governments who work for and are paid by the
big corporations, and whose methods of government rely on lies,
falsehoods, deceptions, force, coercion, violence and secret courts -
by doing and protecting this incredible powergrab, of what certainly is
the greatest power there ever has been, totally
in secret, without any effective parliamentary
control, guarded by completely undemocratic secret courts,
quite possibly manned by heavily blackmailed judges, on the utterly
false pretext that this would protect "the people" from "the
terrorism" while in fact delivering everything anyone does or
say (by computer or cell phone) to
the anonymous secret operators of the secret services.
This indeed was the greatest shock, and it was wholly negative. It also
is the reason that - at long last - I am glad I could not have
any children because I am ill (I probably would have, had I not been
ill, indeed in the beginning 80ies), and that is mainly because my
personal probability is that this will end very badly:
Either the fascist terrorists win, and there may be many centuries
of decline, poverty and misery for most, who will not be able
to defend themselves because whatever they think, do or say is
noticed by the secret services and may be punished by secret courts, or
else there will be another economical collapse, that will destroy most
I grant you that there are other and more optimistic
possibilities, but as
matters stand, it seems to me these are the two most probable
that especially because "the democratic majority" cannot be convinced
of the fact that nobody should have the secret
track everything everyone does.
But OK: I am very willing to be surprised and to be mistaken,
but I see little reason for it, though now and then some things that
happen are good.
 Here it is necessary to insist, with
Aristotle, that the governors do not
rule, or at least, should not rule: The laws rule, and the
if good, is part of its executive power. Here I quote Aristotle from my
More on stupidity, the rule of law, and Glenn
It is more proper
that law should govern than any one of the
citizens: upon the same principle, if it is advantageous to place the
supreme power in some particular persons, they should be appointed to
be only guardians, and the servants of the laws.
(And I note the whole file I
from is quite pertinent.)
know what this means, and
very probably a lot better than you do. Wholly apart from that: I think
that any modern government that protects its secret service
to store all the data that anyone
produces by either a computer of a cell phone, to be a very
thoroughly undemocratic and indeed a fascist government, that is out to
eradicate all opposition of any kind, and that behaves like a police
state. (But I know very few will say so unless it is too late to do
anything about it.)
 This is the problem: There are 12
coins, of which 11 weigh precisely
the same, and one has a different weight, that is either higher or
lower than the other 11 coins, but you do not know which. There also is
a balance, with two arms. Prove that you can find which coin differs
and whether it weighs more or less than the other coins, in maximally 3
weighings with that balance. I wish you luck! (And yes, there are
several deductively valid proofs.)
 It may have been possible to write text on it: I
forgot. In any case, one could write text on it in the Applebasic
interpreter, and that went also quite well and quite easy. But in any
case, he and I used it almost solely for programming.
 Indeed it could be carried around and it was
designed for that purpose - but it had the size and the weight of a
sewing machine - say 10 to 15 laptops.
Even so, for the time it was quite innovative and quite powerful.
 There was an exception, that I also had known and
occasionally used: Most of the staff of the university had - for free -
Apple Macs, which ca. 1988 were boxes with a fairly small black and
white graphical screen. This was a good choice, for they were
more powerful than DOS-based computers, that also weren't graphical. I
certainly first saw internet on them, and also the first browser (Mosaic),
both some years later than 1988, but I did not work a lot with them
because I was not a staff member.
(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: