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Nederlog

March 23, 2018

Crisis: Big Data Psy-Ops, 15 Years Iraq, #DeleteFacebook, Maximum Wage, On Facebook


Sections
Introduction

1. Summary
2.
Crisis Files
     A. Selections from March 23, 2018
Introduction:

This is a Nederlog of Friday, March 23, 2018.

1. Summary

This is a
crisis log but it is a bit different from how it was the last five years:

I have been writing about the crisis since September 1, 2008 (in Dutch, but since 2010 in English) and about the enormous dangers of surveillance (by secret services and by many rich commercial entities) since June 10, 2013, and I will continue with it.

On the moment and since more than two years (!!!!) I have problems with the company that is supposed to take care that my site is visible [1] and with my health, but I am still writing a Nederlog every day and I shall continue.

Section 2. Crisis Files

These are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:

A. Selections from March 23, 2018
1. The New Military-Industrial Complex of Big Data Psy-Ops  
2. 15 Years After Invasion of Iraq, Amnesia & Distortion Obscure U.S.
     Record of War Crimes & Torture
3. Amid #DeleteFacebook Fervor, Experts Say Time to Tackle Big Data
     Profiteers

4. Rep. Keith Ellison: "Why Shouldn't There Be a Maximum Wage?"
5. Facebook: Six Degrees of Giant Squid
The items 1 - 5 are today's selections from the 35 sites that I look at every morning. The indented text under each link is quoted from the link that starts the item. Unindented text is by me:

1. The New Military-Industrial Complex of Big Data Psy-Ops

This article is by Tamsin Shaw on The New York Review Of Books. It starts as follows:
Apparently, the age of the old-fashioned spook is in decline. What is emerging instead is an obscure world of mysterious boutique companies specializing in data analysis and online influence that contract with government agencies. As they say about hedge funds, if the general public has heard their names that’s probably not a good sign. But there is now one data analysis company that anyone who pays attention to the US and UK press has heard of: Cambridge Analytica. Representatives have boasted that their list of past and current clients includes the British Ministry of Defense, the US Department of Defense, the US Department of State, the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and NATO. Nevertheless, they became recognized for just one influence campaign: the one that helped Donald Trump get elected president of the United States.
Yes indeed, and this also is from a rather long article from which I will select only a few bits.
This is the first bit, that I select for another reason than you probably think - and incidentally Cadwalladr is a journalist:

Despite its prominence in research on well-being, Kosinski’s work, Cadwalladr points out, drew a great deal of interest from British and American intelligence agencies and defense contractors, including overtures from the private company running an intelligence project nicknamed “Operation KitKat” because a correlation had been found between anti-Israeli sentiments and liking Nikes and KitKats.
In fact, my point concerns the fact (I suppose it is) that ¨a correlation had been found between anti-Israeli sentiments and liking Nikes and KitKats¨.

And I have two remarks about it.

The first is that it seems to me (and I am a psychologist and a philosopher of science) that if intelligence really is interested
(and I suppose it is) in this correlation, it seems to be both pretty much out of its rational mind and ¨intelligence¨ must have extremely wide and thorough statistics, that nearly all were stolen from private users, to ¨research¨ it.

And the second remark I make is that this manner of
¨research¨ - also, and quite coincidentally - seems fundamentally flawed for a reason that was first established by professor Molenaar (who was ¨my¨ professor - i.a. - in the ¨University¨ of Amsterdam), that I summarize as follows:

Investigating the averages of many people´s reactions to almost anything whatsoever, gives distorting and falsifying analyses of people´s reactions, for these are almost always better studied by investing fewer people repeatedly and longitudinally, because only such studies can find interconnections between various things.

But in fact - it seems - almost all studies of people´s reactions are of many people tested once and averaged out, instead of fewer people tested repeatedly while checking for various inter- connections.

So in fact I say most of the actual research that is being done uses the wrong statistical models and invalid statistical assumptions.

Anyway.... here is more about the current facts about Facebook and Cambridge Analytica:
For his part, Aleksandr Kogan established a company, Global Science Research, that contracted with SCL, using Facebook data to map personality traits for its work in elections (Kosinski claims that Kogan essentially reverse-engineered the app that he and Stillwell had developed). Kogan’s app harvested data on Facebook users who agreed to take a personality test for the purposes of academic research (though it was, in fact, to be used by SCL for non-academic ends). But according to Wylie, the app also collected data on their entire—and nonconsenting—network of friends. Once Cambridge Analytica and SCL had won contracts with the State Department and were pitching to the Pentagon, Wylie became alarmed that this illegally-obtained data had ended up at the heart of government, along with the contractors who might abuse it.
I think that is all correct. And here is more, that I quote because I want to make some other  personal points about psychology as a quasi-science:
Psychologists such as Jonathan Haidt and Steven Pinker, and their colleagues in other disciplines (most prominently, the Harvard Law professor Cass Sunstein) rehabilitated the cold war research on “group polarization” as a way of understanding not, this time, the radicalism that feeds “totalitarianism,” but the equally amorphous notion of “extremism.”
First of all, ¨extremism¨ is a whole lot vaguer than ¨totalitarianism¨: To say both are ¨equally amorphous¨ is total bullshit simply because ¨totalitarianism¨- indeed even if it is as crazily defined by the neofascist Brzezinski, as is nowadays admitted on the progressively worsening Wikipedia - is clearly just one form of very many more extremist points of view.

Second, I started studying psychology 1978, and did so mostly because my ex started it as well - where I should add that at this point in time - 1978: forty years ago - we were both healthy and very intelligent, which changed for both of us in January 1979, which in turn introduced nearly forty years of continuous discrimination upon discrimination by 9 out of 10 medical doctors, 999/1000 Dutch bureaucrats, and 100/100 Dutch politicians. (By March 19, 2018 - !!!!! - I finally heard for the first time the truth my ex and I have known since 1979, namely that we have ¨a serious chronic disease¨, which was an opinion that led to our being declared insane (¨psychosomatizers¨) by 9 out of 10 of the utterly incompetent Dutch medics. See here for more.)

Third, mainly because I had been studying philosophy and especially philosophy of science for more than 10 years then, I concluded by 1980 that psychology is definitely not a real science,
and I still think so. Here is a link to a fairly good explanation by Paul Lutus, a former NASA scientist.

Fourth, Steven Pinker: I have seen a talk of him, in Amsterdam, around 21 years ago, when he was explaining the human mind to psychologists, psychiatrists, philosophers and other interested persons, as an invitee by the ¨University¨ of Amsterdam, and I thought then as now: It is mostly baloney, but he brings it a lot better than Dutchmen. And since then he has been studying ¨extremism¨ while also ascertaining everybody that we live in an ever more beautiful and more peaceful world... o well: he is fraud like almost all professors of psychology I heard and saw talking. (But he does make a lot more money than Dutch professors, undoubtedly.)

Here is the last bit I quote from this article:

I’ve written previously about the way in which a great deal of contemporary behavioral science aims to exploit our irrationalities rather than overcome them. A science that is oriented toward the development of behavioral technologies is bound to view us narrowly as manipulable subjects rather than rational agents. If these technologies are becoming the core of America’s military and intelligence cyber-operations, it looks as though we will have to work harder to keep these trends from affecting the everyday life of our democratic society. That will mean paying closer attention to the military and civilian boundaries being crossed by the private companies that undertake such cyber-operations.          

In the academic world, it should entail a refusal to apply the perspective of propaganda research more generally to social problems. From social media we should demand, at a minimum, much greater protection of our data. Over time, we might also see a lower tolerance for platforms whose business model relies on the collection and commercial exploitation of that data. As for politics, rather than elected officials’ perfecting technologies that give them access to personal information about the electorate, their focus should be on informing voters about their policies and actions, and making themselves accountable.

I say, for this is ultra ¨careful¨:

To start with, psychology is not a science. Next, it is utter nonsense to counsel ordinary people that they ¨
will have to work harder to keep these trends from affecting the everyday life of our democratic society¨: their politicians should forbid these illegal uses of private data; third, it doesn´t seem sensible to advice people that they need to be ¨paying closer attention to the military and civilian boundaries being crossed by the private companies¨: Both the military and the private companies keep almost everything they do a secret; fourth, I will not speak of ¨academia¨, because I have learned at the Marxist-Stalinist ¨University¨ of Amsterdam  [2] that almost all of them are only interested in the money they make and the status they get; fifth, we should not ask of the anti-social media ¨greater protection of our data¨: They should not steal them in the first place, and if they do they are criminals who ought to get prosecuted; and sixth, we should not wait for ¨platforms whose business model relies on the collection and commercial exploitation of that data¨: we should completely forbid them - our private data are ours, and no one else´s (except in rare circumstances).

In brief, this does not council people to do anything whatsoever, and not even to delete their Facebook account. I must say that I expected a lot better.


2. 15 Years After Invasion of Iraq, Amnesia & Distortion Obscure U.S. Record of War Crimes & Torture

This article is by Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh on Democracy Now! It starts with the following intoduction:
Fifteen years ago this week, the U.S. launched its invasion of Iraq on the false pretense that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was hiding weapons of mass destruction. The attack came despite worldwide protest and a lack of authorization from the United Nations Security Council. The ongoing war has devastated Iraq and destabilized the region. We speak with Al Jazeera’s Mehdi Hasan and Medea Benjamin of CodePink
Yes - and I usually copy the introductions to articles from Democracy Now! that I review, simply because they are good.

Here is more by Hasan:

MEHDI HASAN: (..) I think, clearly, the lives of Iraqis, across the board, have not improved since 2003, especially in turn of—economic terms. It’s a disaster in terms of human rights. I think many Iraqis would dispute his characterization [quoted before - MM] that it’s worse now than under Saddam. I think people who were gassed under Saddam or imprisoned would obviously dispute that. But we can argue—the fact that we even have to argue whether it was better or worse suggests what a disaster Iraq was, that, you know, the bar of Saddam couldn’t even be exceeded very easily by the American occupation and this so-called, you know, freedom for Iraqis.

[The Iraq War] was a crime. It was in defiance of international law, and it was defined over the last 15 years by war crimes, by widespread torture, by human rights abuses, by massacres—at Haditha, at Mahmudiyah, at Balad.
Yes indeed. And here is more by Benjamin:
MEDEA BENJAMIN: Well, I think that there’s one sector that’s gotten rich off both the Iraq War and the war in Yemen right now, and that’s the weapons industry and the defense contractors. And I think we should recognize that war is profitable for a small sector of this country and that the jobs that are being created are jobs that have to be transformed into jobs that deal with clean, green energy and a new kind of economy that we need. And that’s why we’ve created this campaign that is called Divest from the War Machine. It’s 70 different organizations. You can look at DivestFromWarMachine.org and get involved with us and say, “Let’s get out of the business of making a killing on killing, and turn our economy into something that’s more life-affirming.”
Well... mostly yes, although I should add that since I have now heard more than 60 years that we should divest from the war machine (because my parents were both sincere and very courageous communists), I am rather skeptical about it, but OK: You got the link in case you are interested.

3. Amid #DeleteFacebook Fervor, Experts Say Time to Tackle Big Data Profiteers

This article is by Jake Johnson on Common Dreams. It has a subtitle, which I copy and clarify a little, because I think it is quite accurate:
A social media platform like [Facebook - MM] "is the ultimate surveillance tool: an addictive product that's optimized to collect and analyze the intimate details of our lives."
Precisely so - with ¨Facebook¨ replacing ¨it¨. This is from near the article´s beginning:
Judging by the popularity of the hashtag #DeleteFacebook—which went viral on Wednesday night, much to the dismay of CEO Mark Zuckerberg—many users of the social media giant agree that Facebook should bear the brunt of the criticism for a data breach that it did nothing to stop and that its "data-fueled" business practices made possible.

Though Cambridge Analytica is easy to revile, as one commentator put it, "the real bad guy in this story" is Facebook.

Well... I agree ¨the real bad guy in this story¨ (to quote that utterly dead metaphor) is Facebook, although I should add that Cambridge Analytica are crooks as well. But yes:
Facebook gathered the data.

Here is more:

But as investigative journalist Yasha Levine argued in a statement on Thursday, the entire "present-day freakout over Cambridge Analytica needs to be put in the broader historical context of our decades-long complacency over Silicon Valley's business model."

"The fact is that companies like Facebook and Google are the real malicious actors here—they are vital public communications systems that run on profiling and manipulation for private profit without any regulation or democratic oversight from the society in which it operates," Levine added.

I more or less agree with Levine, but I also add that - alas, alas - the vast majority of computer users do know little about ¨Silicon Valley's business model¨, that is simply based on theft (of personal details of any kind absolutely no one should have) and deceptions.

Here is more by Levine and also by Greer:

"What do these companies know about us, their users?" asks Levine. "Well, just about everything."

In an email to supporters on Thursday, Fight for the Future deputy director Evan Greer wrote that Facebook has constructed "the ultimate surveillance tool: an addictive product that's optimized to collect and analyze the intimate details of our lives."

I agree with both of them, and indeed I assume (without proof, for which reason it is an assumption, that I made at the latest in 2012) that at least the NSA in fact tries to get everything it can and keeps it forever, and I assume similar things about Facebook.
(You may disagree, but you don´t know I am wrong, and memory is now extremely cheap, while absolutely no one at the NSA or Facebook´s staff ever got legally prosecuted for anything - and lying is extremely easy, especially if nearly everything you do do is kept secret.)

Here is the last bit I quote from this article:

Some analysts have argued that Facebook and other tech giants that vaccuum up personal data for profit are simply "too big to serve the public interest" and should be nationalized.

Others, like Barry Lynn and Matt Stoller of the Open Markets Institute, have proposed steps that can be taken in the short-term by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to "restructure" Facebook in a way that benefits the public, like imposing strict privacy rules and spinning off the company's ad network—a move that would "eliminate, in one swoop, most of the incentive that Facebook now has to amass data," Lynn and Stoller note.

I think I may agree with Lynn and Stoller, but do not know enough of their proposal. And this is a recommended article.


4. Rep. Keith Ellison: "Why Shouldn't There Be a Maximum Wage?"

This article is by Sarah Jaffe on Truthout. It starts as follows:
On March 9 and 10, the Congressional Progressive Caucus gathered for its strategy summit in Baltimore, Maryland. Members of the caucus and allies from left-leaning organizations and European left parties gathered to talk policy and power for the short, medium and long term. At the conference, I spoke with Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota about the new push for Medicare for All, how to talk about racism and economic justice, and why it might be time to think about a maximum wage.
In fact, I selected this because of the title:

I am a strong proponent of the thesis that absolutely no one should have the right to earn more than 20 times as much as the poorest persons (who also should be able to live decently on the money they get).

I never heard or read any - good - reason against this, and in fact it is worked out to some extent by me in this essay (and contrasted with George Orwell, who agreed, and said 10 times as much: I am more liberal than he was).

Here is more about Keith Ellison:

Sarah Jaffe: I want to start with Medicare for All. What's going on in the House?

Keith Ellison: I just switched in for John Conyers. What we're going to do, we're starting a Medicare for All task force, a single-payer task force, and Pramila Jayapal and I are going to help lead that effort. Debbie Dingell is there, Ro Khanna is there, Barbara Lee is there. We’ve got a team, we're going to really push. We believe that, in this moment, the most important thing to do is help build the public support and the public awareness and the public knowledge. That's our goal.

We’ve got a plan to move out on all fronts and have our members do a tour, have meetings in their districts on single-payer. We're working with Bernie but we believe that this is the issue and that the time for this issue has come.
Well... I suppose all of this may be noble but it also will not make a difference until the House has been rearranged in new elections.

Here is more on Elliston´s maximum wage:

We're talking about market power ... you made a joke about a maximum wage.

No, no, no, I didn't make a joke about maximum wage, I made a statement about maximum wage. What I'm saying is ... if you make more than 20 times more than the people who actually make the products and do the services of your company, then we're going to tax you more.
As you see, Elliston was not joking, but he also does not go as far as I do, and indeed not by far: All he wants to do is tax them more. I also agree with that, but it is very much less than either Orwell´s proposal or my proposal.

Here is some more:

I wasn't joking about having a maximum wage. Why shouldn't there be a maximum wage? I remember when Ford, GM and Chrysler came for $25 billion to rescue the American auto industry. OK, well how much does the guy who runs Toyota make? Oh, he makes a few million a year. How much do you [GM/Ford executives] make? $28 million a year. OK, stop right there, I'm gonna tell you what your problem is right there. Your interests and the interests of the company are not aligned. To you, the company is just something, just like toilet tissue: You wipe some with it and throw it away when you don't need it ...

Where did you get that greedy? And how did you create a philosophy that says that to protect your greed, so that if I say you shouldn't be that greedy you get to call me a name? Because [you] do, [you] call us names because we say your incalculable greed is not acceptable.

That's fine. We get to be called communists when we say that about them. The truth is, why don't we call them what they are, which is avaricious and greedy? And not tolerate it?
I say. If this is the most radical that the Democrats can get, I don´t have any hope from them.

But the idea of a maximum wage (and also of maximum wealth) is both good and important, and that is why this article is recommended.


5. Facebook: Six Degrees of Giant Squid

This article is by Raúl Ilargi Meijer at The Automatic Earth. This is from near the beginning:

The new European Parliament chief Antonio Tajani said yesterday: “We’ve invited Mark Zuckerberg to the European Parliament. Facebook needs to clarify before the representatives of 500 million Europeans that personal data is not being used to manipulate democracy.”

That’s all you need to know, really. Personal data can be used to manipulate anything as long as it’s not democracy. Or at least democracy as the Brussels elite choose to define it.

First: this is not about Cambridge Analytica, it’s about Facebook. Or rather, it’s about the entire social media and search industry, as well as its connections to the intelligence community. Don’t ever again see Google or Facebook as not being part of that.

What Facebook enabled Cambridge Analytica to do, it will do ten times bigger itself. And it sells licences to do it to probably thousands of other ‘developers’. The CIA and NSA may have unlimited powers, but prior to Alphabet and Facebook, they never had the databases. They do now, and they’re using them. ‘Manipulate democracy’? What democracy?

I more or less agree with that, but I would like to point out that Meijer is incorrect about one thing: The NSA (and the CIA) certainly had data, lots of data, before Facebook existed.

Then there is this, which is a part of a quote from 2014:

Facebook Reveals News Feed Experiment To Control Emotions

[Facebook] has published details of a vast experiment in which it manipulated information posted on 689,000 users’ home pages and found it could make people feel more positive or negative through a process of “emotional contagion”.
(...)

The study concluded: “Emotions expressed by friends, via online social networks, influence our own moods, constituting, to our knowledge, the first experimental evidence for massive-scale emotional contagion via social networks.”

The question is simple, isn’t it? Do you want to provide a bunch of, well, geeks, with the ability to change how you feel, just so their employers can make -more- money off of you? That is 1984. That is thought control. And Facebook is some modern honey trap.

I completely agree with the last paragraph (which is Meijer´s) and indeed I am extremely glad that my homepages are completely free from manipulations by the moral psychopaths - that is: they lack any and all moral or ethical norms, whatever they claim: they work for their own profit and only for their own profit - from Facebook.

Here is more by Meijer:

Um, so 4 years ago, there was a call for a parliamentary investigation in Britain and a member of the Commons media select committee proclaimed there should be legislation to protect people. Wonder how that panned out? Read the news today. Time stood still.

But there’s of course much more going on. You can claim that people should know about their thoughts being controlled, but that’s nonsense. Nobody in their right mind would, provided the arguments are honestly laid out, permit any such thing.

Moreover, it’s not just their own emotions that are being manipulated, it’s those of their friends and family too. If you are deeply unhappy, they may not see you expressing your distress; it can be easily filtered out so you appear in great spirits. Your friends feel good but someone wants you sad? No problem.

And there’s yet another aspect, one that Facebook may try to use for legal reasons: ever since the days of Edward Bernays, advertisements, and media in a broader sense, are shaped to influence what you think and feel. It sells soda, it sells cars, and it sells wars.

I agree with this, and certainly also with the next bit:

Well, no, none of it should be legal. And none of it would be if people knew what was going on.

Yes indeed: Searching and downloading private data - e-mails, health information, monetary information, pictures, and most other things - should simply be completely forbidden, except under the - fairly rare - situation as is dealt with in the Fourth Amendment. (In brief, it is possible if there is credible evidence that one broke the law, and a judge permitted this.)

Here is another quote (that I quote in part: If you want the full text, use the next link):

The Secrets of Surveillance Capitalism

[..] The game is no longer about sending you a mail order catalogue or even about targeting online advertising. The game is selling access to the real-time flow of your daily life –your reality—in order to directly influence and modify your behavior for profit. This is the gateway to a new universe of monetization opportunities: restaurants who want to be your destination. Service vendors who want to fix your brake pads.

Shops who will lure you like the fabled Sirens. The “various people” are anyone, and everyone who wants a piece of your behavior for profit
(..)

[T]he Chief Data Scientist of a much-admired Silicon Valley company that develops applications to improve students’ learning told me:“The goal of everything we do is to change people’s actual behavior at scale. When people use our app, we can capture their behaviors, identify good and bad behaviors, and develop ways to reward the good and punish the bad.
(..)
I’ve come to a different conclusion: The assault we face is driven in large measure by the exceptional appetites of a wholly new genus of capitalism, a systemic coherent new logic of accumulation that I call surveillance capitalism.
     (..)
[..] the application of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data science for continuous algorithmic improvement constitutes an immensely expensive, sophisticated, and exclusive twenty-first century “means of production.” [..] the new manufacturing process converts behavioral surplus into prediction products designed to predict behavior now and soon.

I agree - and in fact opted a similar term in 2012 (in my Crisis: Christmas sermon: Hypotheses about CF+SS - and yes, this last link is to the - rather fundamental - ideas I thought up in November of 2012, before knowing anything by Edward Snowden, whose data very strongly supported my theory), although I should add that since then I have concluded that neofascism (according to my definition) is in fact the better term.

Here is the last bit that I quote from Meijer:

There’ll be big words, lots of them. And there may be people leaving Facebook. But the platform is addictive, and 2 billion addicts is a very large target group. Some other company may develop a competitor and promise ‘better’ policies and conditions, but the big money is in the very thing discussed today: manipulating people’s data, and thereby manipulating their behavior.

Perhaps if news media and advertizers were so inclined, they’d explain to their readers and viewers exactly that, but in the end they A) all do it to some extent, and B) are all connected to Facebook and Google to some extent.

But the main driving force is and will remain the intelligence agencies, who have come to depend on ‘social media’ for the one thing they themselves were incapable of providing, but saw Alphabet and Facebook incite gullible people themselves to provide: an artificial intelligence driven database that knows more about you than you know yourself.

That the intelligence community today is powered by artificial intelligence is pretty out there to start with. That AI would give it the means to predict your future behavior, and manipulate you into that behavior seemingly at will, is something that warrants reflection.

George Orwell could not have foreseen this.

I again mostly agree, but I should add two fairly minor corrections:

First, Facebook etc. etc. are not just ¨manipulating people’s data, and thereby manipulating their behavior¨: They first have to steal them - which by now they probably did to some extent from absolutely everyone who is connected to the internet. (And I said ¨steal¨ because that is the only proper term for what they have been doing for a long time now.)

And second, I think the relation between Facebook and Google, and other rich professional thiefs from personal data, may be a bit different from what Meijer sketches: They do cooperate with the NSA, the CIA and the FBI, but these also steal their data from people with computers connected to the internet, and they did so before Facebook started as well.

But this is a good article, in which there is also more than I reviewed, which is strongly recommended.


Notes

[1] I have now been saying since the end of 2015 that xs4all.nl is systematically ruining my site by NOT updating it within a few seconds, as it did between 1996 and 2015, but by updating it between two to seven days later, that is, if I am lucky.

They have claimed that my site was wrongly named in html: A lie. They have claimed that my operating system was out of date: A lie.


And they just don't care for my site, my interests, my values or my ideas. They have behaved now for 2 years as if they are the eagerly willing instruments of the US's secret services, which I will from now on suppose they are (for truth is dead in Holland).


The only two reasons I remain with xs4all is that my site has been there since 1996, and I have no reasons whatsoever to suppose that any other Dutch provider is any better (!!).

[2] The background is that in Holland (and this was the only country in the world where this was practised) between 1971 and 1995 the universities were in fact given to the students; many students were very leftist or communist between 1971 and 1984, and after that postmodernists; the Dutch university system was changed in these years to a system in which the University Parliament had the supreme power as the Parliament in the nation, with the Board of Directors as government; all faculties also had parliaments, rather like the cities in Holland; and there were elections for both parliaments each and every year, in which every student, every secretary, every toilet cleaner, every lecturer, and every professor all had 1 vote, which meant that the students and their parties had the absolute majority, always, which in Amsterdam (and Nijmegen and Tilburg) was until 1984 in the hands of com- munist students, that is, members of the Dutch Communist Party (as was admitted from 1991 onwards, by former communists).

This is the background of all Dutch ¨universities¨ between 1971 and 1995 - but at present, after the full authoritarian structure was reimposed in 1995 (when all parliaments totally disappeared, as did the say of any student), the ¨University¨ of Amsterdam seems to pretend that the years 1971-1995 simply did not exist.

In fact, between 1971 and 1995, the largest parts of each and every Dutch university was wholly destroyed for real science.

The average IQ in the University of Amsterdam was 115 in 1984, and is probably around 100 at present - but anybody with sufficient money can make some degree, even if with an IQ of 100, all as Tony Blair wanted it, for the non-rich.


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