Sunday, June 11, 2017

Crisis+Quotations: Wiretapping, Democracy, Constitution, Corbyn, US Elections - Aphorisms

Sections                                                                     crisis index

1. Summary
2. Quotations
3. Crisis Files
4. I am roaming in my past

This is a Nederlog of Sunday, June 11, 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 five 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. Quotations

As I have said above, I am writing less these weeks for various reasons. These are the fourth ten of my aphoristical reactions [1] to Chamfort's aphorisms:
There are men of character, but they are rare, since character and a career are as easy to mix as water and oil.

Those who say they believe that man is good tend to be idiots or politicians.

If men in majority were good or intelligent, history would be completely different from what it is.

The only men that most men tend to be good to are members of their own group, family or kind, and even then much human goodness is caused by the fear of punishment rather than by the desire to do good to others.

To desire to make a career one must be quite ordinary, perhaps apart from ambition.

To find fame among ordinary men, one normally needs to be a born entertainer.

There are no social careers without deceptions, frauds and posturing. The only persons who may hope to escape this must have some great and remunerative talent, next to a backbone of steel.

What nearly all modern democrats and egalitarianism easily forget is that mankind until very recently, and nearly everywhere nearly always, consisted of a majority of slaves, or of people from lower castes, who had to work in great misery for little or no pay, to support a small class of so called noble men or upper caste folks.

If history shows any clue as to what comes natural to the human average, this cannot be other than to be the happy, faithful and loyal servants of a small class of revered dictators, of supposed superior humanity. Or panem et circensis, which translates into U.S.-English as a car and TV.

Democracy is a very fine and fair way to decide matters of taste, provided the majority of those who vote are qualified to judge what they vote on. This is unfortunately rarely the case.

At most 1 in 10.000 will be remembered for anything special, whether good or bad, after his death. For nearly all men it is as if they have never lived, for all the differences they have made to nearly everybody.

There is nothing in nature that may be as noble or as cruel as a man may be.

To become a social success, one needs to be as much as possible like the others, except that for most successes one also needs fewer moral inhibitions.

Only extra-ordinary individuals may hope to escape turning into frauds and phoneys when they grow up.

There have been many detractors of reason. All tend to forget that man without reason is like a furless chimpanzee.

If you don't believe in reason, you should give your wealth to the poor, since this should make no appreciable reasonable difference to you.

What most men say they believe, in fact is the pretense of fashionable cant.

What is claimed to be true and cannot be shown to be true commonsensically or mathematically usually is false.

There is a lot more from where the above comes from.

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 my comments.

Here is today's selection:
1. Senate To Make Warrantless Wiretapping Permanent
2. How Media Monopolies Are Undermining Democracy and
     Threatening Net Neutrality
3. Impeach the U.S. Constitution
4. U.K.’s Corbyn Told Truth about Terrorism
5. Hacks, Leaks, and Tweets: Everything We Now Know About
     the Attack on the 2016 Election
These are all well worth reading.

4. I am roaming in my past

I have been roaming in my past since the beginning of May. How? Well, I have kept journals since 1969 - 48 years ago, meanwhile, in the year I got to be 19 - and by now there are more than 500 MBs of these on my hard disk.

That is a whole lot, although it is considerably less than I wrote, for in these years some ten years are missing (mostly because I cannot read the disks anymore they are on), and also considerably more than it seems, for I have the extensive journals I wrote for 1984 and 1985 only in pdf, which increases their size a lot.

Also, there are three other restrictions on the journals I wrote:

First, for quite a number of years there are journals for every month, that also may be fairly complete, but there also are quite a few years in which there are only partial journals, and sometimes very partial.

Second, my years until 1994 are generally more interesting than the years since 1994, simply because my health has been destroyed - quite intentionally also - by mayor Ed van Thijn of Amsterdam and the murderous hard drugs + soft drugs dealers he "gave permission" - totally illegally - to deal drugs from the bottom floor of the house where I lived, instead of from the house where he lived. (These drugsdealers literally gassed me and threatened me with murder five times, to which the complete bureaucratic city of Amsterdam refused to pay any attention now since 1988.)

Third, I cannot read some 10 years of files because they are on disks I cannot read anymore.

But with these restrictions there - still - are several hundreds of megabytes of journals on my hard disk that document considerable parts of my life in some detail, although the details may vary lot, and they also are rarely or never fully described.

Also, there is another problem, that relates to computers.

I first got a computer in 1987, which was relatively fast, and means that I now have a computer since 30 years. From 1987 onwards, the journals I kept, like everything else I wrote, was written by means of a computer, but in the years between 1969 and 1986, which were more interesting because I either was healthy or more healthy than I was since 1994, I wrote by hand (sometimes) and mostly by typewriter.

And while I wrote fair amounts about my life and my thoughts between 1969 and 1985 (for at the end of that year there was a breach), they were written on paper and stored, and were mostly neglected by me since, apart from occasional glances and searches.

This changed in the beginning of May of 2017, when I decided I wanted the journals from 1969 till 1983 (1984 and 1985 are present in pdf-format) on my hard disk and decided to start experimentally by copying my journal from 1969 (which are not very long) and also by annotating these, for they are 48 years old this year, and I could not find anyone that is mentioned there on the internet, except for one person (while I know several of those who got mentioned in my journal for 1969 have meanwhile died).

I have to say that I was rather surprised by what I found and for two reasons:

First, it turned out that, while I can recall 1969 visually, to a small extent at least (I have a very good visual memory, with pictures and films going back to 1954, when I was 4), my memories were far less than it turns out that I had written down, while second, it also turned out that I can recall - still - quite a lot about the persons I mentioned that I did not write down, but that I do recall when I read what I wrote 48 years ago.

These were both somewhat surprising facts, and it turned out that I like them.  Also, I have meanwhile copied 1969, 1970, and 1972 (all of which were partial journals), and the same held for the latter two years.

And I have been copying by hand (which takes time and trouble), simply because it is rather difficult for an ill person on Linux to buy something in Amsterdam that works (for almost everything is oriented around Windows, still) although I admit I haven't been trying hard.

I will probably copy my journals until 1975 by hand, but then I do need something that reads text and converts it to text, because the rest is too large, and besides I also have many typewritten MBs of notes.

Also I should say here that this is all for my private interests: I have considered putting my journal for 1969 on line, but although it is 48 years old, I think it is too personal to publish (also because I don't like to falsify my self: Either you get my real ideas or you get nothing).

But now you know what I have been doing the last month. And it was and is quite interesting (for me).


[1] These are aphorisms of my own. I like them and therefore reproduce them. Nicolas Chamfort was French and lived from 1741-1794. He was extremely witty. (And I admit neither he nor I are friendly about the majority.)

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