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. David Mitchell… on the
age of rage
future of technology? It’s in your hands
3. Will the Right’s Fake
4. Secret Donors Behind Some
Super PACs Funneling Millions
5. Theo van Gogh was murdered on 2.xi.2004
This is a Nederlog of Sunday, November 2. It is a crisis log.
But as I said, it also is a Sunday, and I found only four crisis items,
with four dotted links, that follow below, but I do not think they are
very interesting, except the second item, that was
quite new for me, and illustrates how much the
internet has simplified computing in fact: Most of present-day
done by mobile phones, and not any more by desktops or laptops.
Finally, today is also the day that it is ten years ago that Theo van
Gogh was murdered in Amsterdam. I pay some attention to this in the last section, mainly because I was befriended with
him from 1984 till 1991, and also made and published an interview with
him in 1989. I link in the interview and some of
what I wrote in 2004, after his murder, but this is in Dutch.
1. David Mitchell… on the age of rage
item is an article by David Mitchell on The Observer:
This is a columnist who writes
in The Observer, and has this in the beginning:
(..) I’m pretty
sure that 2008 marked the end of, and the beginning of, an era.
This was because the banks
collapsed in 2008. There is more there, and it all starts with a
picture of the bearded David Mitchell, on top of a grey covering, that
covers a stone, or at least a square, with his head on his hand,
clearly thinking as hard as he can, also realizing that the end of an
era happens to be the beginning of an era, and more deep thoughts...
Well, I think I can think, but I never posed as a wise man in a paper,
and I suppose this was wrongly selected in view of passages like these:
There is a lot more under the
last dotted, but I really can't handle the style.
And so the piss-taking
And, by “piss-taking”, I
mean casino banking: the buying and selling of the intrinsically
worthless. The immoral exploitation of the market in denial of its
fundamental purpose – which was supposed to be to facilitate trade, to
bring resources to enterprise, not to pass round empty financial
concepts before anyone realises that they have no actual value, just a
transitory and astronomical price. A system of money-making which
involves no real wealth-creation at all – nothing made, no useful
service provided, nothing done which remotely conforms to the ancient
and fundamental laws of “what you should get paid for”.
And by “began”, I mean
“intensified”. I may be a pitifully naive financial analyst but I’m not
quite a shit enough historian to think that any of this market
immorality was unprecedented. Dishonest but somehow legal bucks have
probably been made since a microsecond after the invention of the buck.
I know none of this was new – but the scale of the activity certainly
was. As was the terrifying computer-driven speed at which it was
And I assume it’s obvious
what I mean by “And so the”.
future of technology? It’s in your hands
item is an article by John Naughton on The Guardian:
In fact, "it's in
your hands" is meant literally: the mobile phone. And this starts as
If a year is a
long time in politics (and it is), then it’s an eternity in
communications technology. Fourteen years ago, about 400 million people
were using the internet. Today, the number of net users is pushing the
3 billion mark. But that’s not the really big news. What’s truly
startling is that 2 billion of these folks are getting their internet
connections primarily via smartphones, ie, handheld computers that can
access the internet as well as make voice calls, send text messages and
do the other things that old-fashioned “feature phones” could do.
I say. I did not know
that, and indeed do not even have a mobile phone: it is expensive,
small, I believe it is designed for simple minds and those who cannot
type, and indeed I am hardly mobile myself, and I also don't like to be
followed by the NSA.
But I agree the
numbers are quite amazing. Here is John Naughton's explanation:
We underestimated both
the power of Moore’s law and human nature. Gordon Moore’s “law”
postulated that computing power – crudely measured as the number of
transistors that can be fitted on to a processor chip – doubles every
18 months. That doubling has been going on for nearly 30 years and it
helps to explain how Apple’s new iPhone 6 fits 625 times as many
transistors on its CPU chip as the Intel Pentium chip had when it was
powering a 1995 desktop PC. And much the same holds for the processors
in the smartphones manufactured by Samsung et al. What this means is
that “everyone gets a pocket supercomputer”.
Well... I agree in
Moore's law, and indeed the particular evidence is quite amazing, for I
had a computer with such a chip in 1996 when I got internet.
On the other hand, my own assessment of "the human situation" is less
optimistic: I think much of the joys in using a mobile phone is that it
easy to use, and it can do quite a few things - but you can't type, you
can't program these things themselves, and I find the screens very tiny.
But yes, this was a
major change, in part because of this:
It’s difficult to
overstate the implications of this change. Mr Evans points out, for
example, that internet users already spend more time in mobile apps
than they do on the web. This is partly because, in general,
smartphones are far more sophisticated devices than PCs, but largely
because they are always nearby and always on.
Which is again why I
don't like them, next to their tiny screens, and impossible typing. But
much more important is this fact, that I also did not know:
More Apple and Android
phones have now been sold, for example, than all the Japanese cameras
ever made. Microsoft’s share of personal computing device sales has
declined from 90% in 2009 to about 20% now. And Apple (which is a
minority player, remember, in the smartphone business) now makes almost
as much revenue from iPhone sales as the entire PC industry does from
making desktop and laptop computers.
I say, again. I keep being
a desktop user, but I now know I am one in a very small minority: I use
a desktop and I run Linux. And I keep thinking that if you
really want to use any kind of computer that I have known it must have
decently sized screen, a keyboard and a mouse (for that still is the
to move the cursor), but yes: I really use my computer.
the Right’s Fake History Prevail?
item is an article by Robert Parry on Consortium News:
This starts as
If most polls are correct
and voters elect a Republican-controlled Congress on Tuesday, a
principal reason is that many Americans have been sold on a false
recounting of the nation’s Founding Narrative. They have bought the
Right’s made-up storyline about the Constitution’s Framers detesting a
strong federal government and favoring states’ rights.
This notion of the
Framers as enemies of an activist national government is untrue but has
become a popular meme as promoted through the vast right-wing media and
accepted by the timid mainstream press, which is unwilling to fight for
an accurate portrayal of what the Federalists who wrote the
As far as I can see
that is correct, and there is a lot more under the last dotted link.
Donors Behind Some Super PACs Funneling Millions into Midterms
item is an article by Theodoric Meyer on Pro Publica:
This starts as follows:
In the final weeks before
this year's elections, a super PAC called Key Questions, Key Answers
started buying TV ads across Pennsylvania attacking Tom Wolf, the
Democratic candidate for governor.
"Don't vote for a wolf in
sheep's clothing," the narrator
says in one of the ads as a sheep with Wolf's face bleats the word
Like all super PACs —
outside groups allowed to take unlimited amounts of money from
individuals, corporations and unions — Key Questions must disclose its
But last week, Key
the Federal Election Commission it had just one, a social welfare
nonprofit called Let Freedom Ring. Since social welfare nonprofits —
sometimes called dark money groups — aren't required to identify their
donors, it's impossible to say who's really behind Key Questions'
last-minute ad blitz.
And that is part of
the problem. There is a considerable amount more under the last dotted
Theo van Gogh
was murdered on 2.xi.2004
Gogh was murdered today ten years ago, in Amsterdam, by a Muslim
fanatic. Who was Theo
van Gogh, most of my readers very probably ask. The last link will
give you some information from Wikipedia.
The information is reasonable, though a bit mistaken in claiming that
for he did make
advertisements for TV before, though it is true he got his own TV
program in the 1990s.
From the 1990s, Van Gogh
worked in television
Anyway - I knew him from 1984 onwards and liked him, although I never
agreed with him: he was original, had style, could formulate, and was
regularly quite funny, and there simply are very few Dutchman one can
say the same about.
Then again, I fundamentally disagreed with him about the Muslims, and
indeed wrote out why, in 2003, which is the first piece I link
in, because it is pretty fundamental and quite good (but in Dutch, like
the rest of the links in this section):
Note this was sent to a
collaborator of Van Gogh, more than a year before Van Gogh got
murdered, and was originally not meant for publication. It seems to me
that what I say is still quite reasonable, and it was never
contradicted, although Theo van Gogh certainly read it in 2003.
Here is the news of Van Gogh's murder as it happened in 2004, which is
documented quite well on my site since I had gotten a few months
previous to Van Gogh's murder a new site, on which I had begun
Nedernieuws in August 2004:
Again, this was
immediately followed by a discussion with my brother, who did not know
Van Gogh personally:
In fact, there is a
whole lot more in the Nedernieuws of 2004, which you find here:
You'll find most of it
by searching "Van Gogh". It is all in Dutch, but it also is quite good,
especially when compared with the hysteria that moved Holland then.
To conclude, here are the two parts of the interview I made with him in
1989, together with notes I wrote in August 2009:
I still think this was a
decent interview, and that my notes are also good. But it is all in
Dutch, not in English, is also true.
Anyway - I have remembered Theo van Gogh, and I still think it is a
great pity he was murdered.
 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
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
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: