Nederlog

 

 September 28, 2010

 

ME + me :  Various updates: McClure, JavaScript and Dijkstra

 

As before, I continue being not well, for which reason I still have not yet written more on the DSM-5TM  and there also was no Nederlog yesterday. I also wanted to write a bit more about psychiatry and about Cargo Cult Science and pseudoscience, but these things also have to be queued awaiting somewhat better times.

On the other hand, it's a bit better than it was before, and I am spending such energy as I have on the moment mostly on other things than Nederlog - which indeed is related to what I wrote the last time, but is so mostly through having little energy and being fairly aristocratic, rather than other reasons, such as disgust of the stupid and dishonest, whether or not academic or ill - namely on things related to JavaScript (JS) and mathematics, which I do think anyway are a lot more fun than thinking or writing about ME.

But I will write about ME as well today, and in fact have a few updates and bits of information that may interest a rare few.

1. The Wizard of Oz strikes again
2. Smaltalk, OOP & JavaScript
3. Edsger Dijkstra and Dutch and other (po-mo Western) education

1. The Wizard of Oz strikes again

I wrote the beginning of this month about a very intelligent Australian of 22 with ME/CFS, who managed to move professor Wessely to some e-mail exchanges, and then showed quite convincingly that in his replies, as in his publications, Wessely is dishonest or disingenuous, and very probably most of the time both.

The article was well done, and is quite valuable, at least for intelligent persons, for it is important to show rationally and in clear and fairly unbiased sounding prose that one's opponents, even if they were honest, which in the case of ME they often are not, if medical doctors, psychologists or bureaucrats, base their own ideas and plans on falsehoods or nonsense.

Since the wizard of Oz doesn't have a name that I could find, I'll call him - he is a he, he says on his site - Woz, this being probably a bit more specific than "cfssufferer" and definitely shorter, and note that Woz has done it again, this time with professor Myra McClure:

This starts thus

Professor McClure

Professor Myra McClure is a retrovirologist from the Imperial College, London. Professor McClure exhibits an impressive resume encompassing a large portion of published studies: https://www1.imperial.ac.uk/medicine/people/m.mcclure/publications/

Professor McClure was a co-author of the paper published in Plos One in January 2010 titled, “Failure to Detect the Novel Retrovirus XMRV in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.” As the paper’s name suggests, this study found no evidence of XMRV or MLV in CFS patients or controls. This study can be found here: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0008519

Professor McClure has publically stated on many occasions that there is a high possibility that the XMRV/MLV related virus findings being implicated in CFS are a consequence of contamination.

and proceeds to discuss whether the dear lady - whom I discussed here: On the postmodern falsifications in Wessely & McClures BMJ-editorial and here: Prof Myra McClure's suffering and logic - has any rational right to claim such things, which in fact amount to "I - Myra - am a far more competent researcher than dr. Mikovits, dr. Lombardi, dr. Lo, dr. Alter and others: These are fools or liars, unlike me, though we career-scientists never say such things in public".

Woz says no, and makes a very good case, for he ends thus:

 Based on the above empirical evidence, I will present a hypothesis explaining the “contamination hypothesis.” I am not a retrovirologist however I cannot conceive of any contamination mechanism that can adequately explain all of the above 13 factors. Each individual point from 1-12 provides an argument against contamination and in order to sufficiently explain all 12 points, multiple contamination sources that have gone undetected by the tests and have coincidentally found comparable XMRV/MLV levels in CFS patients and comparable XMRV/MLV in controls (by 8 laboratories) is required. Also, unique to most contamination occurrences, non ubiquitous levels of XMRV would require an atypical contamination scenario. The antibodies to XMRV in CFS patients would need to indicate that CFS patients have a similar virus to XMRV, but not XMRV. The large diversity of XMRV/MLV detected would require multiple undetected contamination sources. These would be new and distinct sources, unique from every currently known murine ERV. The likelihood of all of these factors occurring simultaneously in multiple laboratories is extremely low and very close to zero. Professor McClure’s comment that “I believe the weight of evidence indicates laboratory contamination” is therefore erroneous. Occam’s razor suggests that “the weight of evidence” significantly supports the CFS-XMRV/MLV connection. 

Conclusion

Professor McClure has used numerous fallacies, logical inconsistencies, explicit contradictions and flawed arguments to support her conclusion that contamination is the most likely explanation for the CFS-XMRV/MLV results. I have demonstrated that some of these arguments that Professor McClure has presented to support the contamination conclusion, inadvertently provide more weight against the contamination hypothesis. Contrary to Professor McClure’s claims, I have demonstrated that the weight of evidence strongly supports the XMRV/MLV- CFS link arising due to a pure retroviral-illness correlation as opposed to contamination.  

I hadn't seen this before yesterday, but it seems quite as well done as with Wessely, and it also agrees with what I had reasoned out myself, but Woz did it with a lot more detail and relevant evidence.

It's well worth reading, also because he shows quite well how to do rational argumentation - of which more below in point 3.

2. Smaltalk, JavaScript & OOP

I like programming, which seems to me a form of applied mathematical logic. Like most of my own intellectual conclusions this is based on my own independent thinking and reading, but this is meanwhile more or less a common place, though like many common places it is not heeded by those it concerns most.

The term "OOP" (<- Wikipedia) in this context doesn't mean "Out of print" but "object-oriented programming", and is something I have been considerably more skeptical about than I am now - and here you should realize that I first learned some Algol and Fortran ca. 1972, for programming mainframes, but didn't do much with it, because I learned this in the context of working for a firm that rented commercial programmers to banks and such by the hour, and it seemed to me most of that was very dishonest, and also not interesting, for it mostly consisted of trivial bookkeeping by mainframe.

I liked the languages though, for various reasons, also because already then I considered programming applied mathematical logic, which at that time I was reading a lot of, and indeed also could see some of this in the Algol-specifications I read then, while then I was new to the idea of programming (which in 1972 still mostly went by punch cards).

In 1987 I got a personal computer, and then quickly learned Basic, which I found stupid, and then Pascal and Prolog, which I liked a lot better and programmed a fair amount in, mostly just for finding out things, though I did write a good commercial-quality hypertext-editor for DOS in Prolog, that I used myself for some four years because it was a better text-editor for my ends than was commercially available at the time.

Also, since around this time I got more ill with ME, because mayor drs. Ed van Thijn, much beloved by Ms. Goudsmit from afar, it seems, rather has an invalid son and grandson of Dutch heroes of the resistance tortured by years of sleep-deprivation. being gassed and getting murder-threats than do his duty as a mayor. (See also my conversation with the Amsterdam Chief Order and Security of Amsterdam while this torturing and sleep-deprivation and harassment with credible murder-threats by armed mafiosi with Doberman Pinchers went on: They had LOTS of fun with my pain and being terrorized at the time, in the proud and very wellpaid circles around Amsterdam's mayors who torture for the mafia, though I am not allowed to say these things by Ms. Goudsmit who also doesn't seem to mind at all that Ms. Sarucco, rather saw me gassed by the Amsterdam drugsmafia than maintain my Human Rights, or so I must conclude from their own words. Well... most people are like that.)

Anyway - at the time I also studied psychology, where I spend most of such time as I had on programming and mathematics rather than on psychology, that for the most part in my very relevantly informed opinion, is not a real science - with a few exceptions - but an academic con-game. (See: Is Psychology a Science? for one who reasoned somewhat similarly.)

And in that context I was introduced to Lisp by academic persons who hardly knew what they were talking about, from which I falsely inferred this was nonsense, that mostly consisted of saying "car" and "cowder" while trying to look academically impressive oneself, and also was introduced to OOP, from which I correctly concluded that what the ignoramuses were in fact talking about was mostly program-calls with dots in the names of calls, but incorrectly that the rest of it must be trivial or nonsensical as well. (*)

Then in July 2001 I bumped into Squeak, which is a Smalltalk-dialect, while Smalltalk is one of the main sources of later OOP, that indeed was implemented, for good reasons also, by quite a lot of programming languages, including Pascal (that turned to ObjectPascal and then Delphi) and C (that turned to C+ and C++) and quite a few more.

Initially I was quite impressed, and indeed I succeeded in learning Squeak by myself, which also was not easy, because most of it was - and still is - undocumented, and such documentation as there is also is quite awful. Therefore, as it happens, I was one of the select few who managed to do this from no Smalltalk-knowledge at all.

As I said, Smalltalk is an object-oriented programming language, and is so to a much larger extent than most other programming languages that are - more or less - object-oriented, and I indeed I also could see the uses and motivation of this object-orientation as I learned the system, but unfortunately what objects ($) "are", in the computational sense, is very ill-explained in the Smalltalk literature, in awful anthropomorphical English (as I MUCH later found Edsger Dijkstra objected as well), and in a very ambiguous way.

Here is my take on it in 2002 ($$$) - and I reproduce this here because I reached this conclusion without any help of Edsger Dijkstra, and because it still is not heeded by most who write about OOP:


Talking of objects  ($)

There is (or was?) a deplorable tendency in Smalltalk to explain and comment code as if it consists of living animated beings. "Smalltalk-80" was composed in this style, and many code comments in Squeak still have at some place a comment where some programmer sat down and informed the world that he is a foo bar who knows how to fee if fussed and desires to frew if fumbled. Personally, I am qualified as a psychologist (by some sort of strange academic accident), and this kind of kiddie-talk easily inspires visions of my psychiatric brethren's reactions - who tend to be wholly innocent of programming knowledge - to this mode of expression. Here is a short example

" (Dr. Fraud, in a kindly commisserating tone of voice:)

Ahh, so you zeenk you are a foo bar. I mean: You wrote so, remember? "I am a foo bar" ... tut, tut. Yiss, I deeply soompathize. Now please do not get dee excitement. Rite now you are not so very soowicidal, no? Koot, koot. I advice you scienteefeecally to do dee relax. Sank you. Now... venn did you first get dees strange soobersteetioon? Koot eet bee det your ghost ees deregulatiert von der SchmalztalkProgrammierungsMetaSpracheUnrechtSchreibung?! "

Well, and so on.

Apart from much mangled English in the Standard Received Version a major irritant - to my type of mind, that has read lots of philosophical, logical, psychological and even theological texts with lots of talk about "objects" outside Smalltalk, and who therefore has fairly extended and precise semantical notions about what a term like "object" might be used to mean - the problem with the term "object" and the slogan "Everything is an object" (in Smalltalk - which is, in Smalltalk tutorials, rarely added) is that in actual fact when one programs the term "object" fairly refers to distinct items on at least five distinct levels:

When the term "object" as used in Smalltalk and OOP occurs, it may refer to each, any or all of:

" Objects "

as: ................ say: ..................... located:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

imagined ....... imagined object .......
in one's mind as experience
described ...... commented object ... in one's editor as English
coded ........... coded object ...........in one's editor as programming code
working ......... virtual object .......... in one's computer, run by executing code
represented ... model object ........... in some world outside the computer
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

where the last may be absent (as in programming fantasy games) and each may be subdivided.

In any case, and apart from any real entities, events, processes or things one may seek to model by one's programs, there are at least four levels about - let's say - the virtual object one is trying to write the code for:

One's ideas about it; one's talk and writing about it; one's code for it; and what's produced by the code and working in the computer, IF all goes well enough (that may or may not adequately represent something one seeks to model and that may or may not do work one intends it to work).

Also, it ought to be intuitively obvious that the "object" on each level is quite different, and indeed made of different things related in different ways even if all are called - very confusingly: four- or five-fold ambiguity! - by the very same name: Ideas are not prose; code is not prose; running code on a computer is something else again; and what happens inside a computer may be independent of most that happens outside it, intended or not by its human users.

Indeed, a considerable part of the difficulty of programming is that so many different levels of being human in a rational and creative way are involved, since in fact to write a program is to make a machine do certain kinds of things in a language that is simple enough to be processed by it, yet clear enough, with or without comments, to be also interpreted and understood by humans.

This takes a lot of rational thinking and planning and acting by a human being on many levels, from choosing apt terms to knowing the subject one seeks to model by programs and many related things, precisely because computing machines, while being capable of much, at least sofar are no way capable of understanding English, and must therefore be addressed in a formal language that differs considerably from English, and that indeed serves a different end: It must be both processed by a computer and be understandable by a human being, and indeed it should be as easy as is possible to write and understand for a human being, while still being fit and simple enough to make a computer do things.


Thus I got deflected from Squeak and Smalltalk between 2002 and 2004, although I do like the language and the programming style that it enables, and got deflected at first mostly because of linguistic reasons and the lack or the badness (the sheer madness in some cases, at least to my and Dijkstra's ways of thinking) of the documentation for it.

I kept following both, and in fact still do, but I am not optimistic about their futures, for reasons expounded here About Smalltalk and here About Squeak and here More about Squeak - for example.

In fact, I owe my newly found liking for Javascript mostly to this video (1 of 4, collectively over 4 hours, hence only for the programmatically interested, but quite enjoyable as academic lectures, as these things tend to go):

I mentioned this on September 13, in Good ME-news, hyperintelligence and lively programming where I also mentioned that in fact the main programmatical guru of Smalltalk, Dan Ingalls, has succeeded in transporting a lot of the ideas and programmatical effects of Squeak (and Smalltalk) to... JavaScript, in some tenthousand lines of JS-code.

Now to JavaScript aka JS:

I had looked at JS some 5 or 10 years ago and played a little with it, noting it was claimed to be OOP, like most programming languages at the time were claimed to be; that it was meant as a scripting language for the internet-browsers; and that it seemed to be rather easily readable (if you knew programming) and that it was easy to program simple things in, and then gave up on it because I was more interested in other languages, like Smalltalk, or in other things, like ME, that keep me from doing a lot of programming. (**)

In fact, it turns out that it is a lot more than a scripting language; that indeed it is easily readable and contains several very good ideas, like prototypical inheritance and lambdas; and that it is well worth learning, which I hope to do if I can find the energy. (**) (What I know of it for the moment and the past 5 or 10 years is mostly elementary, and was not based on such understanding of it as I have now.)

3. Edsger Dijkstra and Dutch and other (po-mo Western) education

Finally, Edsger Dijkstra (<- Wikipedia) - and yes: do click the link if you're interested in programming, mathematics, logic, or good clear thinking at all.

He lived from 1930-2002, was a Dutch physicist and mathematician who turned to computing in the early fifties, and has had a lot of influence on programming and thinking about computers.

I knew of his existence and had found around 2005 that he thought similarly about the writing style of explaining OOP, which I had concluded myself for my own reasons (see above, which pleased me at the time because I know Edsger Dijkstra was an important man in the science of computing, but until yesterday I had read nothing of him and indeed knew very little about him).

Well... he turns out to have been an original and very smart man who thought very similarly as I do, from his writings and interests, so for me it is a real pity that I wasn't aware of him before, as I could have been for decades, and have met him and read much more of him a lot sooner.

But this is a rare privilege for me - to read material of people I think who think similarly - and I'd say the same for a few others, like Hazlitt and Multatuli (in case you'd guess it were all mathematical), but not many, and in fact I have searching for such folks in libraries for decades, being very early convinced I probably wouldn't meet them around me, apart from flukes and miracles. (And indeed I didn't.)

So... if you are at all interested, you find many of Edsger Dijkstra's writings here

where I have found a lot to read for the coming years for myself, which I certainly will do with a lot of pleasure, since he did think similarly, and wrote very well indeed, and there is a lot I can learn from him, and quite a few things, I found meanwhile, that he found looooong before me, including his dislike of OOP-talk I mentioned above.

But he is not only interesting because he wrote very well about programming and formal reasoning, but also because he is one of the few who did say what I have said since 1977 about Dutch education, but which only led to my being discriminated for three decades for having the courage to do so, viz. that Dutch education - indeed, it turned out since then, and see e.g. Sokal - that the greatest part of Western education has been ruined by post-modernism probably for several generations to come, for civilization like most things is very easy to destroy and very hard to build.

For example, in England and Holland, fractions and elementary mathematics - that I got between ages 8 and 10, in primary school, like everybody else, quite unproblematically also: it's not as if this is only open for the most intelligent! - are NOT taught anymore or only very superficially, unless one wants a B.A., M.A. or Ph.D. in electronical engineering or some such brainy study, which 50% of the population these days can get as a matter of course (since we are all equivalent, you see: which is also - we are logical, aren't we? - why I look like Jennifer Lopez and you think like Isaac Newton), and in a course of 3 years, of which the first half year or year will be spend on learning to solve problems like adding 1/2+1/3=x or 1/3+1/4=y mentally (a feat hardly anyone in Holland under the age of 60 is capable of - which phrase includes and covers one of the sub-directors of the Amsterdam Municipal Statistics Department I could name) and also learning to understand such things as Pythagoras' Theorem, they could have had 8 or 10 years earlier, but didn't get, since everybody is equivalent in Holland, and so nobody in Holland gets any public education that is fit for anyone with an IQ higher than 115 since the last four happy Dutch  decades, filled with LOTS of soccer, TV, beer and songs of popular media-personalities. ($$)

It may come as a surprise to many, but if you are going to be an engineer in three years of the highest education the nation supplies (these days to the upper 50% of the population, for that is "Democratization Of Education:" Only those with an IQ of 75 or less will not be able - perhaps - to get the Ph.D. in psychology, sociology or philosophy the coming decades in Holland, of course to the eternal benefit of all, except -perhaps - these unfairly discriminated ones: We are ALL equivalent!), and 1/6th or 1/3rd of the time spend studying is spent on learning to calculate 4/5+3/7=z (***) and learning to understand - perhaps - why in a plane triangle with a straight angle the sum of the squares of the lengths of the two sides terminating in that angle equals the square of the length of the third side, you will not be much of a real academically educated engineer as seen up to 1970 or so. (Fortunately for your ego-related feelings everybody else around you will be as ill-educated as you will be yourself, so no one will see, care, or know, except the rare individual with brains who educated himself or herself with books from the library or with help of the internet.)

So eventually you - not you reader, I hope! - may be one of tenthousands similarly gifted engineers, all with the academic title of engineer, and an average IQ of 105, and a great facility in drawing tree-diagrams, or some other really useful thing, in modern bureaucratic institutions, and indeed, if civilization doesn't collapse and you are an equivalently intelligent and educated Dutchman, you may even get to your pension safely eventually, as a titled ass, and almost everybody will admire you for your acadamic accomplishments too.

Here is Edsger Dijkstra's take on it, from the year 1984, two years after I had been heading a student-party in the university parliament of the UvA trying to stop that nonsense, and being scolded by the majority for 'a fascist' because of it, in Orwell's year too:


User-friendly Mathematics                              EWD889 (same text in PDF)

From publishers' catalogues of books on computing I have learned that the greatest recommendation nowadays is that the texts are void of any mathematical rigour, precision, or clarity. Obviously, traditional mathematical texts are the pinnacle of user-unfriendliness, and if the mathematical community does not want to get completely out of touch with the real world, it had better do something about it. Here is my modest contribution.

*


 

*


 

*


 

Hi folks! This is about the theorem of Pythagoras (read: "pythagoras"). Though he is already dead and was Greek, he was in fact quite modern. He is best known for having founded a new sect that meditated on the beauty and harmony of shapes, numbers and guitar music. (And you all like sects with guitar music, don't you?)

For a long time he meditated on a triangle with sides 3, 4, ...... No, let me give you a simpler explanation. It is really quite simple: for years, even stupid Egyptean farmers could use it to give their lots right angles. (You have heard of Egypteans, haven't you? They build those queer pyramids full of mystical measures. And those pyramids have right angles

too!) The farmer would take three pieces of rope, one of 3 yards, one of 4 yards, and one of 5 yards, and he would tie them together. And then he would give three of his children each a knot and tell them —in Egyptean, of course— to pull and stretch the ropes as much as they could. (In former days, dads could not do their own work and wanted their kids to help them!)

Now that's the figure Pythagoras pondered about from the moment he had seen that the squares of the sides were equal. (If you are not sure about the squares of the sides, ask your mom.. She may still know, and if she does not, don't bother, for then it is evidently not that important. The important thing to remember is that the sides have a relationship.)

When Pythagoras discovered that the relationship did also hold for other triangles, you can imagine how exited he became! (Remember he was Greek.) When he had discovered his theorem, he was, in fact, so excited that he shouted "Eureka" —that is Greek too, though the Greeks still don't know how to write it with proper letters— and named the theorem after himself. So much for the theorem of Pythagoras and its discovery.

The important thing, of course, is how we, modern young people, incorporate it into our sense of well-being and our place in the real world. The most important thing is that we learn not to be as over-awed as Pythagoras, whose sense of wonder mainly derived from the fact that he did not understand like us what he was doing. Today we should no longer ignore the possibility that the theorem is false because

  1. the ropes had the wrong lengths or one of the kids pulled harder than the other two;
  2. the angle was not as right as Pythagoras had assumed;
  3. mom has made a mistake in calculating the squares;
  4. our supposedly straight lines are actually curved (see the lesson "How Relativity made Einstein").

Exercise Explain in your own words why Pythagoras got so excited.

Plataanstraat 5
5671 AL   NUENEN
The Netherlands

 
28 May 1984
prof. dr. Edsger W. Dijkstra
Burroughs Research Fellow

This corresponds quite well to how the young persons of 1984 were educated in Holland. The rare few who did protest were simply surrounded by democratic majorities of the far dimmer, and were screamed at 'fascist, fascist, fascist', and then thrown from university - and given also to understand privately that they ought to be thankful nothing worse happened to them (****). Meanwhile, all the worthless worthies that remained, and that were silent or screamed with the majority, are now politicians, media-personalities, yea Leaders of Men nearly everywhere - and look how miraculously fine the world as become!

The 21st Century probably will be as bloody and cruel as the 20th, unless mankind succeeds in mostly or wholly exterminating itself, but meanwhile Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Gijs Schreuders, Paul Scheffers, Joschka Fischer, Germaine Greer, Michel Foucault, Elsbeth Etty, Ina Brouwer, Jacques Derrida and so on and on and on and on through a loooooong list of political and media careerists of my corrupt generation of destroyers of civilization, for the ostensibly best of moral (pretended) reasons as well  - where the names you don't know deserve not to be known, so don't worry until you do know () - will have had very nice and satisfying personal lives, very much better than almost anybody else, which is what drove them to their poses and careers anyway.

So the times that are going to come will be interesting times, and if those half my age or younger survive it, they know who they ought to thank:

The so-called academics of my generation in the West, except for a tiny percentage of the bravest and the brightest, who were destroyed or driven out of academia, unless they had the good fortune of being pure mathematicians or something similar and knew well how to say nothing and pretend all is well with the world, and smile at those they despise.


P.S. And there it stands for the moment, and corrections need to be brought in later. I wrote it mostly because others didn't and there seems to be some need for it. If you don't find a Nederlog tomorrow or the day after, either I am not well, or else reading Dijkstra, which is something you and other very intelligent persons could do a lot worse than do as well.

P.P.S. It may be I have to stop Nederlog for a while. The reason is that I am physically not well at all. 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)

2. Malcolm Hooper THE MENTAL HEALTH MOVEMENT:  
PERSECUTION OF PATIENTS?
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.


(*) Actually, both were correct insights: In Lisp, the previous element of a list is refererred to by "car", for reasons going back to the terminology assembly uses, and the next element of a list is refererred to by "cowder" (spelled "cdr", similarly derived) - but that was about what one was told at the time about Lisp in the UvA, at least by those I heard on the subject ca. 1985. Similarly, in OOP as written in e.g. ObjectPascal and C++, one does write references like "bag.member[i]" - but in the 1980ies I never heard or indeed read any explanation that went much beyond that, although all I heard and read amounted to OOP being very good for one.

(**) Make no mistakes about that: I am quite certain some of the higher unconscious processes that control my using language and writing are not what they should and could be, not by a considerable margin also, and indeed a large group of people with ME do have problems with spelling and speaking. My own hypothesis since decades is that it seems due to either hypoperfusion - too little blood - of the brain, or else because it doesn't get enough oxygen. (This is one of the striking things the Phoenix Forums about ME showed me: How many people with ME do have this kind of problem, as also illustrated by their many typos, and by their telling how easy it is for them to loose track of a thought or what's being said or what they want to say. This also is something that should be investigated by neurologists with a proper bio-medical understanding of ME, since it is quite striking, quite common, and quite debilitating.)

O, and in case you don't know what "prototypical inheritance" and "lambda" mean in this context, don't worry, unless you want to do JS or mathematical logic: They are good for you, if you understand them, but you can be a perfectly fine and intelligent person without knowing anything about this. (So I forego explaining it.)

(***) I don't give the solutions to these little problems, so you can see for yourself whether you can do better than most academically educated Dutchmen under 60. If you can't, you have also had your birthright and your human right to get an education according to your talents ruined. Knowingly also, by my generation, for I got thrown from university for protesting it.

(****) I was, for example by university-dekanen Theodoor Bolten and Piet Vriens, I am not afraid to label as the equivalents of degenerate fascist terrorists, for that I have learned at the university they parasited most of their lives on and in. And this happened to me in a nominally free country, were everybody indeed was free to say what he thought without fear of torture or arrest! By persons who pretended for the most part to be the equivalent of any genius there had been and to be themselves personal revolutionary marxists or feminists of the most excellent humanity and morality and intentions!

($) Indeed, the Wikipedia on "objects" starts with this fine eludicatory phrase:

In computer science, an object is any entity that can be manipulated by the commands of a programming language, such as a value, variable, function, or data structure. (With the later introduction of object oriented programming the same word, "object", refers to a particular instance of a class)

Why there was a need for for OOP if anyway programs manipulate objects must be an eternal mystery with this level of linguistic and intellectual clarity, that well illustrates my point.

($$) Let it also be carefully remarked for posterity that Leaders Of ME-communities like CFS_Since_1998, undoubtedly with IQs as little different from 115 as doesn not matter, have many times over the last decades directed themselves to me as he did in his delicious dulcet tones and accents:

I'm sure he likes it that way because he kept telling us that he wasn't capable of being around people (us) so much less intelligent than him, and wasn't going to participate anymore anyway.

No dumbo: What I am telling the likes of you is that you make a mess of it if you follow your stupid hormones and try to be A Leader whereas you can't even write or reason well, and are naturally only fit for being a follower and an n-th rater, and what I am telling the likes of you with ME is that there is little hope of any intelligent and coordinated activity of patients with ME with leaders such as these.

I really don't think better of myself because you - or others - are palpably more stupid than I am, for that is neither within my nor your discretionary power, just as I don't think worse of myself for being totally incapable of being Haifetz or Bobby Fischer, but I have come to despise all these one trick wonders, populists, careerists and conmen who could lie or bluff themselves into positions of power the last 40 years without having any ability to show for it, and simply by democratic acclaim of the numerical majority of their own intellectual equivalents or by their own intrigueing and careering, and personally always secretly moved by their own stupidity and greed.

($$$) After which somebody got a Ph.D. on the same sort of ideas in Amsterdam in 2003. And thus it goes....

Maarten Maartensz

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