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."
wanted the web for free – but the price is deep
2. Updating the DSM-5 index
3. me+ME: Be careful with
This is a Nederlog of
August 24. It is a crisis log.
I am sorry but I found just one crisis item today, and it also happens
to be a bad, mistaken and misleading article on The Guardian. It
follows below, with my explanations why I think so.
And I thought of several things I might do to make up for the lack of
articles, including writing some more about the causes of the crisis.
But I lack the time, and instead spent some time on updating the DSM-5
index (of 2012), and on something one has to take care of when one has
ME: Do not take too much
There probably will be more of a crisis file tomorrow.
1. We wanted
the web for free – but the price is deep surveillance
item is an article by John Naughton on The Guardian:
This starts as follows:
'Be careful what you wish
for," runs the adage. "You might just get it." In the case of the internet, or, at any
rate, the world wide web, this is exactly what happened. We wanted
exciting services – email, blogging, social networking, image hosting –
that were "free". And we got them. What we also got, but hadn't
bargained for, was deep, intensive and persistent surveillance of
everything we do online.
But this is just too
simple minded, and indeed it starts with a cliché.
few did get what they wanted - or they must be very stupid or
misinformed. Secondly, there are various kinds of "freedom". Third, all
the surveillance I know about is secret surveillance: Nobody
tells you or asks you anything - they just remove your personal
data as if they have the right, which they do not.
I'll turn to the
various kinds of freedom below, when I turn to the choices
users got: They did not get any, and were in fact spied upon in
secret and quite illegally, and for many years. My basic point here is
the third: No one was given a choice; it just happened, and it
happened without any information. There was no bargain: ordinary people
were simply sold out.
We ought to have known
that it would happen. There's no such thing as a free lunch, after all.
Online services cost a bomb to provide: code has to be written (by
programmers who have to be paid); servers have to be bought or rented,
powered, housed, cooled and maintained; bandwidth has to be paid for;
and so on. So there were basically only two business models that could
have supported our desires.
O Lord! Another major
cliché: "There's no such thing as
a free lunch". Firstly, that is
false as well: Somebody has to pay for it, is true, but it
certainly does not need to be the ones who are enjoying it.
Secondly, there have been free lunches of billions of
dollars for the rich and the internet tycoons. Ordinary people had to
pay for it. Third, there were not
"basically only two business
models that could have supported our desires", were it only because "our desires" are far
from clear or consistent, and because "users" were never given clear
One model involved us
paying for stuff. But we (or most of us, anyway) proved deeply
resistant to this idea. We had the fantasy that everything online
should be free, after we'd paid an ISP for a connection to the net. So
paying for stuff was a non-starter.
No. This is definitely due
to Microsoft and Apple and Google very much more than to simple
users (who in the beginning also tended to be especially the young,
with little money): They offered their services mostly for free, and
indeed in the beginning (say: from 1995-2000) it was quite unclear what
going to work financially. Also, it seems all three started spying from
the beginning, and did so in secret, without asking or telling
The companies that
provided the "free" services therefore had to find another business
model. And in the end they found one: it was called advertising or,
rather, putting advertisers in touch with the users of "free" services.
And it turned out that the only way to do this involved intensive
surveillance of everything those users did online.
No. First of all, the
services were free - gratis, without payment - much rather than "free",
and also regardless of the tritest of false clichés. Second, the users
were never given any choice or warning. Third, advertisers spy
as much as the NSA: They take data they have no right in
taking. Fourth, the advertising was there from the beginning. Fifth, "the only way to do this involved intensive
surveillance of everything those users did online" is a major falsification: It was not
"the only way", for it could all have been asked but never was; and it
also was not at all obvious that "everything" users did would be surveilled, and indeed
to survey my personal e-mails does upset my privacy rights.
So nearly all of this is
quite false. Here is the quite false conclusion:
O yes: It's "the users" who did it! My goodness! I am not saying they are
without fault, but basically none was ever given a choice:
Their private data were and are illegally stolen by the NSA and
the data-miners, and the decision to do so was all done in deep
secret by a few governmental and internet high officials.
The result is the
dystopia that is the modern web.
It didn't have to be like
this, of course. But for the path of online history to have been
different, we – the users – would have to have been willing to pay for
the privilege. You could say, therefore, that we have got the web that
Clearly, if anyone is responsible, it is these people, much rather than
billions of anonymous and powerless "users".
To blame "the users" is
to attribute a power and a mental clarity to them very few had in any
way, while it is clear that the illegal decision to secretively
datamine and surveil was the right of a few rich or powerful persons
who headed internet companies or governmental spying or oversight.
But it is so very much easier to blame the victims, especially
if they are anonymous and in the billions!
2. Updating the DSM-5 index
written since 2010, it turns out, about 130 files about the DSMs,
though quite a few of these also contain some other materials.
so, it is a lot of text, and today I updated the index:
This is the same as I
prepared on August 4, 2012, but with some 25 added files that I have
written since, and also with the introduction now placed at the end
instead of the beginning.
I started in 2010 as a psychologist and a philosopher who was quite
skeptical about psychiatry as a science, with a skepticism that came
I had in early 1968 read a good introduction to psychiatry that
convinced me it was in fact mostly a pseudoscience,
which has the following first paragraph in the Wikipedia, all
of which is true of psychiatry, indeed in 1968 and before, and also
is a claim, belief or practice which is presented as scientific,
but does not adhere to a valid
scientific method, lacks supporting evidence or plausibility, cannot be reliably tested, or otherwise
lacks scientific status.
Pseudoscience is often characterized by the use of vague,
contradictory, exaggerated or unprovable claims, an over-reliance on confirmation rather than rigorous attempts at refutation, a lack of
openness to evaluation by other experts, and a general absence of
systematic processes to rationally develop theories.
And indeed, this was
reaffirmed by my study of psychology, for at the time I studied it,
most Dutch psychologists were skeptical about psychiatry, if usually
not quite for my own reasons.
But I was not an opponent of psychiatry, simply because I knew there
were quite a few persons with - let's say - psychological problems, and
I also knew there were some who got mad, and I thought both should be
helped, also if there wasn't much reliable scientific knowledge.
I still think both kinds of persons should be helped, but reading so
much about - especially American - psychiatry since 2010 has convinced
me that psychiatry is not the way to do so, in part precisely
because they may prescribe pills, and do so at a much too large
rate, and also for complaints that seem to have been mostly cooked up
for the purpose of prescribing pills. (There are 10 times -
1000 % - more "disorders" in the DSM-5 than there were "disorders" in
the 1950ies and 1960ies: Either mankind has fundamentally changed or
psychiatry has turned quite corrupt. I suggest the latter hypothesis is
very much more probable.)
I now think that the ones most qualified to help people with
psychological problems are psychologists, in part because they
cannot prescribe psychiatric pills. Also, I do not think
psychologists know much more than psychiatrists, but they are more
diverse, and are more inclined to listen to their patients.
Be careful with magnesium
This is basically a
warning for persons with M.E. who indeed rather often are helped by
supplements of magnesium.
The warning is this:
I had the first supplement-related complaint in 30 years this
year, and the reason was that I was taking a bit more than twice
the daily recommended allowance of magnesium, which is 375 mg in
Holland. (In England: 300 mg
for men and 270 mg for women.)
Here I should say
that normally my digestion is quite good and regular, while it
manifested itself since May in bouts of diarrhea that came and went,
without my feeling more ill than is normal for me, and also without
Well, I realized at
some point it might be the magnesium I took, and since I stopped
supplementing that my digestion is good and regular again.
Supplementing magnesium is quite sensible when you have M.E.
but you should take care not to take too much.
 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.)
(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: