June 23, 2010


ME + me :  The tragi-comical human fundamental problem


After the good news about XMRV just related, I am still not well at all and also still sad, but here are a number of links I found the last 24 hours that collectively, when seen and thought about by intelligent people, should explain, directly or by implication, about The tragi-comical human fundamental problem that may be expressed in terms of a flawed species of rationalizing ideological apes, mostly fit for lifes in hordes with moral codes for hordes, that even so is capable producing individuals like Aristotle, Archimedes, Lucretius, Ockham, Montaigne, Shakespeare, Newton, Euler, Boole, Peirce and many more philosophers, scientists and artists, though proportionally a very small part, and is capable of producing both the ancient Greek civilizatiom and the Renaissance, and centuries of religious wars, political dictatorships, and horrors like slavery, concentration-camps, and bureaucratized genocide and mass-murder.

With my personal background, history, experiences and intellectual interests, this problem has concerned me much, as is witnessed by e.g.

and incidentally also witnessed, in Dutch that I should translate, by my father

Now what I will give links to is mostly comedy - texts by the American comedian George Carlin, spoken by him, but before doing that I need to given some further background, to make the things this comedian will speak about a little clearer...

... at which point we have almost arrived at the Carlinesque joy and fun, but for which yet a little bit more evidence is needed to appreciate its true value, intent and sense with more in the PS, in case you might think what follows is a teeny weeny bit unfair, perhaps, although taken from real life, with real voters and real contemporaries to be thoroughly proud of:

Of course, all of the above is forbidden on Phoenix Rising, because it is not properly respectful of such human beings as moderate and administrate it - but that is by the way, and anyway treated e.g. here in its full human glory and with all due respect

Now I hand you over to George Carlin - who, to quote Wikipedia to which the last is a link, minus most of the links in the text, since you can find them yourself by way of the last link:

George Denis Patrick Carlin (May 12, 1937 June 22, 2008) was an American stand-up comedian, social critic, actor, and author, who won five Grammy Awards for his comedy albums.

Carlin was noted for his black humor as well as his thoughts on politics, the English language, psychology, religion, and various taboo subjects. Carlin and his "Seven Dirty Words" comedy routine were central to the 1978 U.S. Supreme Court case F.C.C. v. Pacifica Foundation, in which a narrow 54 decision by the justices affirmed the government's power to regulate indecent material on the public airwaves.


Carlin's material falls under one of three self-described categories: "the little world" (observational humor), "the big world" (social commentary), and the peculiarities of the English language (euphemisms, doublespeak, business jargon), all sharing the overall theme of (in his words) "humanity's bullshit," which might include murder, genocide, war, rape, corruption, religion and other aspects of human civilization. He was known for mixing observational humour with larger social commentary. His delivery frequently treated these subjects in a misanthropic and nihilistic fashion ..


Language was a frequent focus of Carlin's work. Euphemisms that in his view seek to distort and lie and the use of language he felt was pompous, presumptuous, or silly were often the target of Carlin's routines. When asked on Inside the Actors Studio what turned him on, he responded, "Reading about language." When asked what made him most proud about his career, he said the number of his books that have been sold, close to a million copies.


Carlin openly communicated in his shows and in his interviews that his purpose for existence was entertainment, that he was "here for the show." He professed a hearty schadenfreude in watching the rich spectrum of humanity slowly self-destruct, in his estimation, of its own design, saying, "When you're born, you get a ticket to the freak show. When you're born in America, you get a front-row seat."

So not just anyone, although I'd never heard of him, except as referred to by Bill Maher, and didn't know anything of or by him.

Here is some George Carlin for your delectation - and if you don't like him or can't follow him (while believing yourself to speak English), it is because your mind is too tiny or your character to stuffed, cramped, phony and hypocritical.

The start is the sort of routine that inspired the above American legislation

This is a man with respect for real truth and genuine morality, as you may have seen. Now for the more ordinary respectful people and most others:

This is - y'all understand, folks - not because they are bad, although being human they very well may be, but because they are ... stoopid, indeed.

To turn to political questions: 

The corporate rich, in case you missed it - and I do not need to agree to all Carlin says to understand he was a truly bright and brave man.

So, next question: What does this lead to, in usual practice:  

Is it exaggerated? Not much, and to name just one relevant fact from 2000 years ago: The Romans worked at most 200 days in a year, and feasted the rest of the time. Yes, they owned the then known world for the most parts - but so do or did the United States, where most people have to work all day long just to pay the bills and keep the children in kindergarten.

Next question: What does this lead to, on a personal level:  

I feel just the same; haven't voted since I didn't have to vote anymore, in 1971; and have been met many times with the same arguments as Carlin, notably, in the University of Amsterdam, by a present professor of psychology there, time and time again

"YOU have NO RIGHT to speak about politics if you don't vote"

You see: If among Romans be a Roman, if among idiots be an idiot, if among cannibals be a cannibal, and if you protest be happy if you are not lynched by yahoos and other equivalents of Dutchmen - and I really should quote the link the last thoroughly educational piece starts with, than should enlighten one fully on Dutch morality and Dutch politics since more than four decades:

Dutch Norms And Values As Taught The Last Four Decades:

   "There are no good men. There are no bad men. 
is my colleague.
    Please don't shoot the piano player.

-- Dutch Troopleader Lt.-col. Karremans
    to general Mladic in front of Srebrenica
    Result: Many thousands cruelly murdered
    - who Karremans was sent to protect

THAT was the direct result of 40 years of leveling, relativism, postmodernism and cultivation of the Norms And Values of the majority of the stupid and uneducated, with votes, convictions, biases and prejudices, generally without foundation or sense, but therefore the more fanatically held, especially if it provides a moral sounding excuse to persecute anyone not One of Us.

Here is a summary of Carlinesque wit and opinions, as put together by a fan - and yes: It is philosophy, namely what I called Practically Philosophy, already more than twenty years ago

There is more George Carlin on Youtube, and maybe some of my readers may now be a little more receptive of pieces of mine like these

If in doubt about my morality or my methods of cognition, please consult

and don't forget that

it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence


It is always right to try to think rationally and try to act reasonably.  

The last includes the right on self-defense, satire, sarcasm and lampooning of idiocies, idiots and in particular cheaters, liars, hypocrites and political, religious and pseudo-scientific impostures.

Speaking of which...

I have of late - but wherefore I know not - lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises: and indeed, it goes so heavily with my disposition, that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontery; the most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o'erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why it appears no other thing to me, than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason! how infinite in faculties! in form and moving, how express and admirable! in action, how like an angel! In apprehension, how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me, no, nor woman neither (..) (*)

P.S. For those who can't get enough of it, or who believe what was linked above is unfair to Americans, or indeed not properly appreciative of the intellectual gifts of the vast majority of non-Americans:

Be proud that you are a member of the human race, especially if American, British, German or indeed Dutch, for 'the meek shall inherit the earth', or what's left of it, after the consequences of the above sketched problems and facts have played out over this century.

And see also my

with links to Bill Maher, another comedian, and one inspired by George Carlin, including such educative bits as YouTube - Bill Maher - Be More Cynical Part 1.

P.P.S. It may be I'll stop Nederlog for a while. The reason is that I am physically not well at all, and it seems a heath-wave is coming, which is the type of weather I can't handle well. I don't know yet, but if there is no Nederlog, now you know the reason.

As to ME/CFS (that I prefer to call ME):

1. Anthony Komaroff

Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS (pdf)

3. Hillary Johnson

The Why

4. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf)
5. Eleanor Stein

Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)

6. William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
7. Paul Lutus

Is Psychology a Science?

8. Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)

Short descriptions:

1. Ten reasons why ME/CFS is a real disease by a professor of medicine of Harvard.
2. Long essay by a professor emeritus of medical chemistry about maltreatment of ME.
3. Explanation of what's happening around ME by an investigative journalist.
4. Report to Canadian Government on ME, by many medical experts.
5. Advice to psychiatrist by a psychiatrist who understands ME is an organic disease
6. English mathematical genius on one's responsibilities in the matter of one's beliefs:
   "it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon
     insufficient evidence
7. A space- and computer-scientist takes a look at psychology.
8. Malcolm Hooper puts things together status 2010.

"Ah me! alas, pain, pain ever, forever!

No change, no pause, no hope! Yet I endure.
I ask the Earth, have not the mountains felt?
I ask yon Heaven, the all-beholding Sun,
Has it not seen? The Sea, in storm or calm,
Heaven's ever-changing Shadow, spread below,
Have its deaf waves not heard my agony?
Ah me! alas, pain, pain ever, forever!
     - (Shelley, "Prometheus Unbound") 

    "It was from this time that I developed my way of judging the Chinese by dividing them into two kinds: one humane and one not. "
     - (Jung Chang)

See also: ME -Documentation and ME - Resources

P.P.S. ME - Resources needs is a Work In Progress that hasn't progressed today.

(*) Hamlet.

Maarten Maartensz

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