I continue being not well, and otherwise also as before, so I cannot do
The last two days there were no Nederlogs and today I
continue with a note on pomo aka postmodernism, give a link to some
quite good logic materials, and give some sitenews:
1. More on postmodernism
2. Good logic
3. Sitenews about ME in Amsterdam
1. More on postmodernism
For persons with ME postmodernism is important, so as to
come to understand the Wessely-school of psychiatry, that uses its
methods. More generally, understanding postmodernism is important to come
to see how postmodernism has corrupted and poisoned the standards and
practices of science, education, academia, politics and public
The essence of postmodernism is abuse of language and reason, and the usage of
pseudoscience and pseudophilosophy and
cant and verbiage to make a career.
I wrote about it in the last Nederlog, and
links, and provide a statistical explanation of what happened in Western
Later - not today - I will sketch in the roots and
background of pomo, which are quite interesting, also in the way of
showing how easy it is to corrupt most persons, and indeed that many are
quite able and to do this themselves, quite willingly, it seems to serve their own
interests or fond
egoistic directed and
I repeat some links from my last
Nederlog - meanwhile, a bit corrected as to typos - where you
find more and more comments:
(postmodernistically presented in... the Stanford Encyclopedia of
Philosophy, that is on the whole much better than this article).
I quote its beginning:
Postmodernism is a tendency in contemporary culture
characterized by the rejection of
objective truth and
global cultural narrative. It emphasizes the role of
language, power relations, and motivations; in particular it
attacks the use of sharp classifications such as male versus
female, straight versus gay, white versus black, and imperial
versus colonial. Postmodernism has influenced many cultural
linguistics, architecture, visual arts, and music.
Postmodernist thought is an intentional departure from
modernist approaches that had previously been dominant. The term
"postmodernism" comes from its critique of the "modernist"
scientific mentality of objectivity and progress associated with
The links here too are postmodernistic, for the most
Postmodernism (postmodernistically presented on Wikipedia)
Again with postmodern links.
Scientific Realism versus Postmodernism
This is a clear tabular nine-fold distinction between the two.
The Sokal-affair (Wikipedia)
The American physicist Sokal was not amused and produced a famous hoax:
He tricked the editors of a leading French postmodernistic journal to
accept utter nonsense.
The link gives text and background and many links.
Postmodernism disrobed (by Richard Dawkins)
Here one may learn a lot in a brief scope - and Dawkins will have none of
it, but has nice quotes, including the postmodern mathematical proof that
the male organ equals the square root of minus one.
To Deconstruct Almost Anything - My Postmodern Adventure (by Chip
This I quoted rather a lot from with expanatory comments in
Postmodernism Generator (by Adam Bulhack)
This will give you infinite supplies of postmodern prose. It is a so
called chatterbot, and it is very well done (and explained and referenced at
the end of the masterworks it produces).
1.B. A statistical explanation - the babyboom
Postmodernism is not just bad philosophy and bad linguistic usage in
Academia - it is far more, such as a combination of the arts of
propaganda and marketing and the powers of
with the rhetorics of phony philosophers, the moral ideals of conmen, and
the moral pretense of the
that in fact reduces all questions, all problems, all science, all
reasoning, and all argument to
and majority-voting (*). For more + a clear tabular
Scientific Realism versus Postmodernism.
Also, it took its start from and consists for a good part
in levelling: One major reason why postmodernism got so widespread has to
do with demographics and the incidence and spreading of intellectual
talent. Postmodernism flourished quite a while,
because it is so very easy to make a
degree and career with in the soft science in the universities, that in
all Western countries were full to the brim in the sixties, seventies and
eighties of the twentieth century with an ever greater
proportion of adolescents who wanted the social and careerist advantages
of a university-degree without having
any interest or talent whatsoever for real science, but who all were formally qualified to enter
university because pre-university education had been much levelled "so as
to give people more equal chances". (**)
So what happened is in fact well explained by the
standard normal statistical distribution, also known as Gaussian or
z-score, that describes in mathematical outline how very many things,
including length and intelligence, are distributed: When graphed as a normal curve
that looks like this:
The picture is taken from the lemma
in Wikipedia, were you also find a brief explanation and links.
The basic thing is that many things, including
intelligence, are distributed in the way depicted around some mean of
some attribute: Most are average with respect to that attribute,
and the groups who have more or less of it (intelligence, height,
morality) are spread regularly around the mean, becoming less and less
frequent as the group gets further and further from the mean. Extremes
are rare; what is common is average.
The standard deviation (usually written σ) is a measure of dispersal around
the mean. In the case of IQ, the mean is conventionally put at 100 -
which is to say most people have an IQ of 100, the standard deviation
works out as 15 IQ points.
By reference to the above picture, you can see that for
IQs nearly all have an IQ between 55 and 145, and only around 1 in a 1000
does better than that, on a test. This means that most adults from all
walks of life, from blue collar to academic, fall within those two
Now for the rest of the argument that follows, it is not
really important what IQ precisely measures. What does matter is that it
is a fairly good predictor of scholastic aptitude and that it correlates
fairly well with what in ordinary language is said to be intelligence
(being good in languages and maths, doing well in school, having various
intellectual interests and so on).
The argument - which got to some extent articulated in my
with an IQ of 115 while my
Whores of Reason gives
some of the reason why I am so angry with my generation of lying,
posturing, intrigueing and careerist babyboom-generation, that is, with those
born between 1945 and 1955, namely those with a university education, who caused and implemented nearly all of the
ruinous levelling of education and universities in Europe and the US from
the late sixties onwards - is very simple and as follows.
My reference is Holland, since I know that best. Until
1965 and in fact
since about 1865 at most 1 in 50 studied in university,
and nearly all of them indeed had the corresponding intelligence, which
is to say in terms of IQ-points that they had an IQ of 125 or better.
Indeed, those who remained in university to teach or research, generally
were the smartest of those and usually rather smarter than corresponds
to an IQ of 125.
The reasons at most 1 in 50 studied in university were
quite simple: First, to do so successfully one needed to be at least
fairly intelligent, and second it took a number of years to do while
there were no grants or loans, except for some very few very gifted. (L.E.J.
Brouwer was helped this way.)
Thus, those who studied generally were intelligent to
very intelligent, and either had rich folks or professional folks -
medical doctors, lawyers, engineers - as parents. Only very few of those
who got in
and through were not thus intellectually and financially endowed.
Also, by and large the system worked, although it was not
fair to the talented with poor parents: The levels of education,
professional qualification, and scientific success were quite good, which
means that the system worked in various senses, including that it got
most of the most intelligent of the upper and middle classes through
university, armed with a title, and usually soon working for wages in the
upper 5%, after a fairly difficult and demanding intellectual training.
Then WW II interfered, and one of its many consequences
in Europe and the US was the babyboom-generation: Far more children were
born between 1945 and 1955 especially, both absolutely and percentually,
than would have happened without major social upset, and in the 1960-ies
these babyboomers were in their teens or early twenties, while the economies were
also booming, and grants or loans to study were easy to get.
The result were in part - also because of the arisal of
pop-music; the very repressed and greyish postwar nineteenfifties; the
popularity of alternative ideas and life styles; the critical attitudes
to prevailing establishment values due to the Vietnam war, and more - that
something like a revolution happened in university and pre-university,
and under the banners of "fairness" and "justice" for some decades, up
till this day, up to 50% of 18 to 20 year olds are formally qualified to
enter universities and indeed do, and they usually also can finish it
averagely well, since
meanwhile all standards, pre-academic and academic, have been radically
lowered or totally withdrawn. Here is a typical Dutch example: testing to see whether one is
qualified to become a medical doctor for decades was forbidden in Holland: it was
"unfair", and instead the brilliant and the dumb got equal chances with
fair lotteries for places in medical studies. If this had been done with
the Dutch national soccer team everybody involved who was responsible would have
been hung publicly by the
Proud Dutch; as it only concerned the abilities of Dutch medical
doctors, and as most Dutchmen feel a deep solidarity with anybody who is
palpably not intelligent, nobody cared (except a few highly gifted who
lost that lottery three times in a row - who were publicly described as
'pretentious' and 'elitarian').
By reference to the above picture, you can see for
yourself what this meant and implied: So as to give 50% of the young hopefulls "a fair
and equal chance" for an excellent education that is fit for 1 in 50
most, universities - outside the few departments were real talent is
needed to succeed, such as mathematics, physics, chemistry and
engineering - were made to fit the talents of the budding young
careerist: Nearly everything was made fit for 1 in 2
(50%), or 1 in 10
(10%) in the hard studies, so that most would get the coveted university
And that's were things stand at present and since the
last three decades or so: A revolution has happened, and postmodern
academics are on average and in great majority a very sorry and quite dumb
but rather satisfied lot:
with an IQ of 115.
However, since they really are - I mean: dumb - they can't really see
this, and since they are formally qualified as university graduates they
want the status and income that come with having a degree, and anyway are
in a position, as the majority of the formally best and brightest, to
reinvent and restyle former academic professions after their own sorry
nearly completely absent talents.
This is also why I wrote that postmodernism was and is about power and career and politics for
postmodernists, who generally are impostures, tricks, frauds, trying to
introduce non-scientific myths and nonsense in the universities instead
of science, for which nearly all postmodernists are not
qualified, and in which they are rarely interested, for they are
interested foremost in a career and not in real science, for which at
most 1 in a 100 has real qualifications (***) and at which at most 1 in
10.000 may excel.
This is also why I recently met medical doctors half my age who were
as little different from morons without morals as does not matter - but
mind you: they are 'formally qualified',
in universities were the
average IQ is less than 115, and most of their colleagues of their age
are just like them, and they all are well organized in medical
professional organizations, while white labcoats are cheap, posturing is
easy, and looking
profound while mouthing bogus is quite self-flattering, and impresses the vast
And this is also why one may occassionally meet a bright young person
with an academic education who had to find what they know mostly on their
own initiative, since the universities do not teach it
anymore, while no doubt proportionally as many with a good intellect get
born now as 50 or a 100 years ago, when the universities were much
better, and the people in it much more intelligent on average than at
So this is what my babyboom-generation has achieved, and did achieve
in order to emancipate themselves to the top of society:
Postmodernism is a return to
pre-scientific reasoning, to propaganda and rhetorics, to empty
verbal sloganizing and incantations, and to
Cargo-Cult science as
described by Feynman as "evidence based" methodology, with cant, baloney
and bullshit as core of the pretended "scientific texts".
postmodernism, most existing nominal intellectuals, that is, those with
some degree of some university, are no longer intellectuals in any real
sense. The nominal intellectual elite of Western Europe and the
US consists of phonies:
Mandarins with an IQ of 115.
Postmodernism was introduced in the nineteenseventies in
most universities, though not then by that name yet, but for the stated
reasons, including the demographical background and the incidence and
spreading of intelligence.
It succeeded in taking over much of philosophy,
psychology especially clinical and educational psychology, pedagogy,
sociology, political sciences, anthropology, literature sciences, and
large parts of psychiatry and some of medicine (namely such as are close
to politics) and it inspired the creation of new "sciences" like
studies, queer aka gay studies, feminist studies,
European studies, pop
studies (the scientific study of pop music, with authentic Doctors of
Pop), media studies, and enormous amounts of mock professorates in something
that is in fact the hobby or favourite scam of leading bureacrats, former
CEOs, and flunked politicians: "Come to
Business University Nyenrode and
become MBA and professor in The Bogosity of Business, with specialism on the
Morality of Bivalence".
Of course, there still are real scientists doing real
science, but in most universities, indeed in most faculties and
departments, they are in a minority. And they have little or no credit
(unless they win a Nobel Prize) precisely because they are in a minority
and because most of their nominal colleagues are not real scientists but
a strange postmodern crossover made from a careerist, a scheming priest,
a marketeer, and a conman.
Personally, I do not think the universities or Western
civilization will or indeed can improve much, in terms of rationality and
reason, including personal honesty, personal integrity, and human
decency, until the universities are only open to 1 in 50 at most,
admitted purely on the grounds of intellectual ability and scientific
interests, but for those qualified with grants to enable them to use their talents,
and until the generations of pseudo-intellectuals that have been educated
at some Western university since 1970, that now form the solid, solidly
talentless majority of postmodern pseudo-intellectuals, have died out
As it is, most of science and most of the universities
are mostly dead, although it is true that the real sciences - so far - have
not been ousted from the universities as not politically correct.
And as I said above, I will try to sketch in the roots
and background and leading personalities of pomo later.
2. Good logic
Those who have a belly full of postmodernism and also those who have
not but are interested in logic should take a look at this link:
This is very well done, with a lot of interesting materials on many
topics on various levels. I downloaded most of it and can tell you about
1/5 doesn't (anymore).
If you are new to logic, these are quite well done
There is more by Hardegree, that all seems well done and quite
interesting, and I especially recommend his
Modal logic in
case you were put off by other presentations of the subject.
Finally, for those who really like this kind of stuff - I do - I was
pleased to find
This gives most of the mathematics behind mathematical logic, and
indeed behind much more. I think it is a very nice subject, but few will
agree. This is a good text in it.
3. Sitenews about ME in Amsterdam
There is more sitenews but for the moment I mention just three additions
in the ME in Amsterdam section:
P.S. I have made a few corrections in the
previous Nederlog, also on postmodernism, that I originally uploaded with
hardly any corrections due to health and time pressures.
For Dutchies, there is a link in the above that bears repeating
Hogereburgerschool. Another one is my "Het
verraad van mijn generatie", with text by the Dutch writer and poet Gerrit
Komrij, with comments by me.
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.