Thursday, June 8, 2017

Crisis+Quotations: Homo Sapiens, Opioids, NSA, Lies, Impeach Him, Comey - Aphorisms

Sections                                                                     crisis index

1. Summary
2. Quotations
3. Crisis Files

This is a Nederlog of Thursday, June 8, 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 six 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.

There is a previous Nederlog of today, about my websites (that may be of some importance for those who like to read them).

2. Quotations

As I have said above, I am writing less these weeks for various reasons. These are the first ten of my aphoristical reactions to Chamfort's aphorisms:
There is no one, except perhaps for the very stupid, who has all his ideas about any subjects at any moment ready. Therefore it makes sense to draw up maxims, not as truths, but as reminders of useful insights that seem more probable or more sensible than not.

That intelligence is roughly proportional to the ability to see and make specific sensible distinctions, does not imply that anyone can do without general judgements.

The mediocre and the stupid have neither the incentive nor the ability to think, for they neither can do it well nor do they have reasons to expect any special advantage or insight from their thinking.

The mediocre and the stupid are nearly always conformists and followers, and indeed are rational if they rely on others to think for them, even if they often rely on those who use and deceive them.

Anybody who believes all that any author outside mathematics wrote, very probably has no ability to think rationally for himself.

Outside pure mathematics, there is not a single book that contains anything like "the truth, all the truth, and nothing but the truth" about any subject (apart from telephone-directories and the like). Those who believe that they know such a book, generally are little better than fanatics, and can be excused only by their ignorance or their stupidity.

For humans, to establish anything like the truth about anything whatsoever generally is the work of generations, and not of one man, or one generation.

All state-sponsored education aims first and foremost at producing conformist citizens rather than learned, civilised or individualist citizens.

The well educated tend to be the privately educated.

It is extra-ordinarily difficult to judge men and their affairs without prejudice or bias, if only because such judgments tend to derive from personal interests or concerns.

A man without personal interests and concerns is a dead man.

Morals and science that are not applied, or not applied well, are as useless as fantasies, and no better than wishful thinking.

The worst things tend to be done for the noblest sounding reasons.

The only reasoning that can corrupt is false, biased or prejudiced reasoning; the only personal feelings that are not biased are those that sincerely aim at justice or truth.

Man is naturally a social animal, and most human social behavior is pretense.

There are two kinds of pretense: altruistic pretense, that tends to be restricted to one's family, friends and fellows, and generally tends to help them; and egoistic pretense, that tends to be extended to everybody else, and generally aims to use or deceive them, in the interest of oneself or one's fellows.

Society requires cooperation; cooperation requires communication and compromises, and all members of society must have some self-control and  need to play according to learned socially agreed upon rules.

Society would be impossible if its members would follow their present emotions whenever they felt them.

Social peace is generally due to indifference that's praised as tolerance.

The two main reasons why so very few men dare to be honest in society are that honest persons in authoritarian societies risk their lives, while in non-authoritarian societies they risk their incomes.

Indeed, in society almost all public acting is dishonest and conformist, and almost the only exceptions to this are geniuses, comedians, fools, and idiots.

Criminals also have their moral principles and rules of honor, for without agreements between people there is no human cooperation.

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. Oldest Fossils of Homo Sapiens Found in Morocco, Altering
     History of Our Species

2. Worst Epidemic in U.S. History? Opioid Crisis Now Leading
     Cause of Death for Americans Under 50
3. Leaked NSA Report Short on Facts, Proves Little in
     ‘Russiagate’ Case
4. Lies, Damned Lies and the ‘17 Intelligence Agencies’ Falsehood
5. Impeach Him Now
6. The 'Patronage' Presidency: James Comey's 'Extraordinary'
     Testimony on Trump
These are all well worth reading.

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