Thursday, June 1, 2017

Crisis+Quotation: Corbyn, Amnesty, Trump-Russia, Taxes + My Self

Sections                                                                     crisis index

1. Summary
2. Quotation
3. Crisis Files

This is a Nederlog of Thursday, June 1, 2017.

1. Summary

This is a crisis log but it is a bit different from how it was the last four years:

I have been writing about the crisis since September 1, 2008 (in Dutch) and about the enormous dangers of surveillance (by secret services and by many rich commercial entities) since June 10, 2013, and I probably will continue with it, but on the moment I have several problems with my computer, my modem, the company that is supposed to take care that my site is visible, and my health.

It may be that I'll be off for a few weeks, that is, I will publish nothing or little for a few weeks. I don't know yet, but I will keep you informed in Nederlog.

And what I will do for the moment - since I am still looking at 35 sites every morning - is to list the items I selected, but without any of my comments. Today I selected four items, and they are below and link to the originals, but on the moment I have no comments, basically because that takes too much work on the moment.

2. Quotation

As I have said above, I am writing less these weeks for various reasons. But I do like to quote good bits. Usually, these bits are from others, but today there is a bit by myself, that also stretches back some 40 years, namely to April of 1978, when I was still 27:
10.iii.2017: A glance-back to 1978:

This is from April 29 april 1978, that is almost 40 years ago:
Apr 29, 1978: Important men & writers

If there is a frame of mind, the outlooks I have include Shapiro, Zappa, Pink Floyd, Russell, Ramsey, Peirce, James, Whitehead, Goodman, Mumford, Thoreau, Proudhon, Strawinsky, Satie, Agee, Lichtenberg, Nietzsche, Hume, Huxley, Dylan, Kesey, Heller, Ionesco, Whitman, Aristotle, Orwell, Buddha, Chuang Tzu, Mill, Mills, Keynes, Ockham, Locke, Goethe, Multatuli, Bjorneboe, Montaigne, Voltaire and some more. Obviously, these are people who did things I like very much; and who appeal to different sides of me.

What strikes me in the first place is how much I knew when I was 27 [a] - simply because of the "big names" (for me) there have arrived since then only seven more: Henry Miller, William Hazlitt, Mario Bunge, Arthur Schopenhauer, Wolfgang Stegmüller, Richard Feynman and Raymond Smullyan - and I discovered all of these also between 1978 and 1983, which is to say on on or before I got to be 33. [b]

Besides (and the above also contains a bit of my musical tastes), those who I like a bit less now are only Pink Floyd and Dylan.

And what is rather amazing [c] is how many of those who strike me still as being first class were known to me in 1978, when I was still 27.

This suggests one of two things: Either very little (in the way of great men) have arrived since then or else I do not know whereof I speak. Ergo, very little was added, which is not especially amazing for the last 40 years.
And here are the three remarks I sowed in the above prose, that is both of 1978 and of March 2017:

[a] It should be remarked here that although I did get a B.A. in philosophy and an M.A. in psychology (both excellent), I did not learn anything in the University of Amsterdam.

This had four reasons:

(1) I had been reading extremely much since 1965; the "university" of Amsterdam ceased being a genuine university in 1978, when it was opend officially with the utter lie that "everybody knows that truth does not exist" (so neither did the Holocaust, WW II nor any of the past), after which it turned out that by 1984 the average IQ of the students was 115, which was also the time postmodernism took a firm hold in most "studies" (and I think it still has, in the sense that most "students" and most "staff" will hold that there is no truth, simply because that is the most convenient attitude to get personally rich).

(2) I was reading systematically (since 1970) in fourteen subjects, according to my own tastes: philosophy, mathematics, logic, psychology, sociology, economy, religion, mysticism, linguistics, physics, medicine, literature, history and computers. Of these only medicine and computers were added later than 1970.

Also, I oriented my readings by what I had read and by what I could buy in Amsterdam's second hand bookshops, of which there were many in the 1970ies, and some quite a lot better than normal bookshops, because they stocked everything instead of merely the latest in print.

(3) The "universities" of Holland had been turned over to the students in 1971, which was unique in the whole world (and which is not discussed since 1995 anymore by the Dutch or anybody else), for all Dutch universities were ruled by parliaments from 1971 till 1995, which was the case on two levels: on the university-level and on the faculty-level; in these "parliaments", from 1971 till 1995, the one winner was always the student-party the ASVA, that was mostly communistic until 1982/3, and postmodernistic from 1983 till 1995 (after which the national parliament changed the law again, and gave all of the "universities" to the bureaucrats, who ruled as absolute authorities ever since).

(4) I also was considerably more intelligent than most students: I found in 1978 (with a girl-friend who tested IQs) that my IQ is over 150, which I do not and did not take very seriously because I don't think an IQ is a good measure of real intelligence (and I am a psychologist), but I do think that intelligence is as real a quality as length, consider- ably more important than length, and fairly rare if it is high in any sense.

[b] I should also say that in 1978 I discovered a bookshop in Amsterdam - the Book Exchange - that was considerably larger than nearly all other bookshops; well sorted by author names; mostly English (the proprietors were and are intelligent Americans); and very much more and better sorted than most second hand bookshops: This helped me a lot, and indeed much more than the University of Amsterdam.

And incidentally, I should also say that I did not have internet till 1996, and no fast internet till 2009, and that it would have been a lot easier to find my own way through science, art, literature, history and civilization if it had been there earlier, but it wasn't:

I really had to find most things by myself and on the basis of what I had read in books.

[c] This strikes me now as a little less amazing: By 1978/9 I had been reading for 15 years in everything I could find in Amsterdam's second hand bookshops, and also - if I could pay it - in the normal bookshops, and I had been reading a great lot (and much more than ordinary academics, who tend to be "delivered" as "academics" somewhere between 24 and 30, normally).

And since anyone has at most something like 50 years to acquire and develop whatever knowledge he or she has about reality, I think it is not very amazing that I found most big names (for me) before I was 34, and within 20 years of extremely varied reading.

3. Crisis Files

I have been writing on the crisis since September 1, 2008 (Dutch) and with considerably more attention since June 10, 2013 (English).

If you check out the
crisis index you will find that I wrote in over eight years nearly 1600 files, that nearly all consisted of a reference to one or more articles that were partially quoted and mostly commented.

I will continue with that, simply because I think the crisis is a very important social, political and economical event, but meanwhile I have turned 67 and need a little rest,
so what I'll be doing the coming weeks (at least), is selecting 3 to 6 files from the 35
sites I consult every morning to see what's happening in the world of politics and econonomics, and present them, but now without comments.

Here is today's selection:
1. As U.K. Polls Tighten, Jeremy Corbyn Mocks Theresa May for
     Refusing to Attend Debate
2. Amnesty International: Did $1 Billion Worth of Lost U.S.
     Weapons End Up in the Hands of ISIS?
3. Are We Getting the Trump-Russia Story Right?
4. This Is How the Biggest Companies Cheated on Taxes in 2016

These are all well worth reading.

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