from August 2, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Thursday,
This is a crisis
log but it is a bit different from how it was until 2013:
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.
moment and since more than two years
problems with the company that is
supposed to take care that my site is visible 
and with my health, but I am still writing a Nederlog every day and
I shall continue.
2. Crisis Files
five crisis files
that are mostly well worth reading:
A. Selections from August 2, 2018:
1. Google Plans to Launch Censored Search Engine in China
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:
2. Afraid? Weak? Egotistical? Attack!
3. A Threat to Global Democracy: Facebook & Surveillance
4. Here's How to Tell the Difference Between Persuasion and
5. VIPS to Trump: Intel on Iran Could be CATASTROPHIC
Plans to Launch Censored Search Engine in China
This article is by
Ryan Gallagher on The Intercept. It starts as follows:
Google is planning to
launch a censored version of its search engine in China that will
blacklist websites and search terms about human rights, democracy,
religion, and peaceful protest, The Intercept can reveal.
The project – code-named
Dragonfly – has been underway since spring of last year, and
accelerated following a December 2017 meeting between Google’s CEO
Sundar Pichai and a top Chinese government official, according to
internal Google documents and people familiar with the plans.
Teams of programmers and
engineers at Google have created a custom Android app, different
versions of which have been named “Maotai” and “Longfei.” The app has
already been demonstrated to the Chinese government; the finalized
version could be launched in the next six to nine months, pending
approval from Chinese officials.
The planned move represents
a dramatic shift in Google’s policy on China and will mark the first
time in almost a decade that the internet giant has operated its search
engine in the country.
Google’s search service
cannot currently be accessed by most internet users in China because it
is blocked by the country’s so-called Great Firewall. The app Google is
building for China will comply with the country’s strict censorship
laws, restricting access to content that Xi Jinping’s Communist Party
regime deems unfavorable.
I say. So Google is
indulging in straight and explicit totalitarianism
in both senses I
the extremely colored one that seems to go back to Brzezinski
(Carter´s National Security man) and my own, which is in
how nearly all writers have used it ever since the 1940ies.
For China is a
totalitarian country in Brzezinski´s sense ever since it was created in
1948, and is one of the most totalitarian and one of the
countries in the world.
And indeed it also is a
very totalitarian country in my sense:
Totalitarian: Ideology or religion that is
pretended to have final answers to many important human questions and
problems and that is pretended to be thereby justified to persecute
persons who do not agree with the ideology or the religion.
sense is quite different from
that is now being spread as if is the truth by the lying and
It is not, for
Brzezinski denies there is anything other than states
(and specifically: Hitler´s Germany, Stalin´s Soviet Union, and Mao´s
China) that can be totalitarian. In his - quite crazy -
people, plans, policies, political parties cannot be
totalitarian in any sense unless they
are part and parcel of a totalitarian state.
This is utter rot,
it now is The Truth on Wikipedia.
Here is more on China
(which indeed is an enormous market) and Google:
The Chinese government
blocks information on the internet about political opponents, free
speech, sex, news, and academic studies. It bans websites about the
1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, for instance, and references to
“anticommunism” and “dissidents.” Mentions of books that negatively
portray authoritarian governments, like George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal
Farm, have been prohibited
on Weibo, a Chinese social media website. The country also censors
popular Western social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, and
Twitter, as well as American news organizations such as the New York
Times and the Wall Street Journal.
Documents seen by The
Intercept, marked “Google confidential,” say that Google’s Chinese
search app will automatically identify and filter websites blocked by
the Great Firewall. When a person carries out a search, banned websites
will be removed from the first page of results, and a disclaimer will
be displayed stating that “some results may have been removed due to
statutory requirements.” Examples cited in the documents of websites
that will be subject to the censorship include those of British news
broadcaster BBC and the online encyclopedia Wikipedia.
The search app will also
“blacklist sensitive queries” so that “no results will be shown” at all
when people enter certain words or phrases, the documents state. The
censorship will apply across the platform: Google’s image search,
automatic spell check and suggested search features will incorporate
the blacklists, meaning that they will not recommend people information
or photographs the government has banned.
All of which is massively and
but it also very soon is Google, who
apparently for their own profit are willing to help spread
on more than a billion Chinese. (And this includes imprisonment and
often torture for those who disagree with the Chinese authorities, or
indeed with Google, at least in China.)
And incidentally, if you are
a Chinese who lives in China and who wants to see the BBC, not only
will this be forbidden with the totalitarian message “some results may have been removed due to
statutory requirements”, but there certainly also will go a secret
message (with your name, address, location, age, education,
photograph) to the secret services.
In fact, I think the Chinese
abuse of the internet is the future everywhere, for the
simple reason that all governments can by now check all
users of the
internet, and all governments have strong interests in only
their own governmental versions of anything whatsoever:
Yes, I think Mr. Poon is quite
right and this is a strongly recommended article, for it
future everywhere, including Europe and the USA for the simple
that if you can control what people can and cannot know, you can
manipulate, deceive and delude them as much as you please: They
will get any information that contradicts what their government
desires them to believe.
“I’m against large
companies and governments collaborating in the oppression of their
people, and feel like transparency around what’s being done is in the
public interest,” the source said, adding that they feared “what is
done in China will become a template for many other nations.”
Patrick Poon, a Hong
Kong-based researcher with human rights group Amnesty International,
told The Intercept that Google’s decision to comply with the censorship
would be “a big disaster for the information age.”
“This has very serious
implications not just for China, but for all of us, for freedom of
information and internet freedom,” said Poon.
Weak? Egotistical? Attack!
article is by Charles Blow on The New York Times. It starts as follows:
is simply not healthy for the country to have a president stuck
perpetually in attack mode, fighting enemies real and imagined, pushing
a toxic agenda that mixes the exaltation of grievance and the grinding
president’s recent rallies have come to resemble orgies for Donald
Trump’s ego, spaces in which he can receive endless, unmeasured
adulation and in which the crowds can gather for a revival of an anger
that registers as near-religious. They can experience a communal
affirmation that they are not alone in their intolerance, outrage and
As I have been saying many times now, I am a
psychologist and a philosopher (both with excellent academic degrees)
who thinks (with at least 70,000 other psychologists) that Trump is
insane, and also that Trump is a
neofascist (if you check my definition
you can easily verify that he satisfies all ten criterions).
He also is a totalitarian,
but not according to the
present lying Wikipedia. And in any case, I think Blow is correct in
saying that Trump´s recent rallies ¨have come to resemble orgies for Donald
Trump’s ego, spaces in which he can receive endless, unmeasured
Then there is this on fake news:
fact, there is no such thing as fake news. If something isn’t true, it
isn’t news. Opinions, like mine here, are also not news, even if
printed in a newspaper or broadcast by a news station. There may be
news in such opinions, but the vehicle is by definition subjective and
a reflection of the writer’s or speaker’s worldview.
“fake news” nonsense isn’t really about the dissemination of false
information. If it were, the administration could demand a correction
and would receive one from any reputable news outlet.
Trump has made a perversion of the word “fake,” particularly among his
most ardent supporters, so that it has come to mean news stories he
doesn’t like, commentary that is unflattering to him and inadequate
coverage of what he views as positive news about him and his
doesn’t want a free press; he wants free propaganda.
Yes, I think that is fundamentally correct, although I
may disagree with Blow´s thesis that ¨there is no such thing as fake news¨: I think there is, namely in
Trump´s case ¨fake news
is news that Trump doesn´t like and doesn´t want to be seen¨.
Otherwise, Blow is correct. Here is more on what Trump
is attacking the Robert Mueller investigation as a “witch hunt.”
is attacking the FBI as a whole.
is attacking our international allies.
is attacking celebrities and athletes.
is attacking immigrants.
is attacking the press.
is attacking the truth.
does none of this because he is brave and strong, but rather precisely
because he isn’t. His attacks are a compensatory disguise for his own
fear and insecurity.
is weak. Very weak. Unbelievably weak. But he knows now that his
weakness is bolstered by the incredible power of the presidency and the
overwhelming economic and military power of the country.
Well... yes and no.
First, I happen not to like repeated lists that all
start in the same way, sych as ¨He is¨. But that is probably personal.
But second, I do deny that ¨Trump
is weak. Very weak. Unbelievably weak.¨ (i) because this seems to be a personal
(¨subjective¨) opinion of Blow, and (ii) because the man has ¨the incredible power of the presidency and
overwhelming economic and military power of the country¨.
Under these circumstances I don´t think Trump
But this is a recommended article.
Threat to Global Democracy: Facebook & Surveillance Capitalism
article is by Amy Goodman and Juan González on Democracy Now! It starts
with the following introduction:
“Mindful Being.” “Resisters.” “Aztlan Warriors.” Those are the names of
some of the accounts removed from Facebook and Instagram Tuesday after
Facebook uncovered a plot to covertly influence the midterm elections.
The tech giant said 32 fake accounts and Facebook pages were involved
in “coordinated inauthentic behavior.” This announcement comes just
days after the company suffered the biggest loss in stock market
history: about $119 billion in a single day. This is just the latest in
a string of controversies surrounding Facebook’s unprecedented
influence on democracy in the United States and around the world, from
its pivotal role in an explosion of hate speech inciting violence
against Rohingya Muslims in Burma to its use by leaders such as
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte in suppressing dissent. Facebook
has 2.2 billion users worldwide, and that number is growing. We speak
with Siva Vaidhyanathan, author of “Antisocial Media: How Facebook
Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy.” He is a professor of media
studies and director of the Center for Media and Citizenship at the
University of Virginia.
Yes indeed - and unlike
Vaidhyanathan (who does seem to have written a good book) I am
disagree with him on one point, for I insist that all the users
of Facebook (2.2 billion or more) are either ignorant or
else extremely irresponsible, e.g. towards their own
family and friends, who in
many countries may be arrested if the person themselves are arrested
something Facebook + the government dislikes.
Anyway... here is the first bit of Vaidhyanathan:
Facebook was instrumental in the election of Rodrigo Duterte in the
Philippines in 2016. It was instrumental in the Brexit referendum in
2016. In all of these cases, forces, often from other countries,
interfered in the democratic process, distributed propaganda,
distributed misinformation, created chaos, often funneled campaign
support outside of normal channels, and it’s largely because Facebook
is so easy to hijack.
What we see just this week, as Facebook makes these announcements, is
that they’ve managed to identify a handful of sites that, you know, a
few hundred thousand people have interacted with. We don’t know if this
is 5 percent, 10 percent, 50 percent or 100 percent of the disruptive
element going on (..)
I think this is all
correct, including the extra-ordinarily vague ¨information¨
supplies. Incidentally, this will always be the case (unless
Zuckerberg has a radical personality change):
The only way a private corporation can - perhaps - be forced to
little bit of the actual truth of what they are doing is in front of a
judge, if they are prosecuted (for which extremely few will
money or the patience).
Here is more by Vaidhyanathan:
And the fact is, the Trump campaign, the Ted Cruz campaign, and, before
that, the Duterte campaign in the Philippines, the Modi campaign in
India, they all used Facebook itself to target voters, either to
persuade them to vote or dissuade them from voting. Right? This was the
basic campaign, because the Facebook advertising platform allows you to
target people quite precisely, in groups as small as 20. You can base
it on ethnicity and on gender, on interest, on education level, on ZIP code or other location markers. You can base
it on people who are interested in certain hobbies, who read certain
kinds of books, who have certain professional backgrounds. You can
slice and dice an audience so precisely. It’s the reason that Facebook
makes as much money as it does, because if you’re selling shoes, you
would be a fool not to buy an ad on Facebook, right? And that’s drawing
all of this money away from commercially based media and journalism.
Yes indeed. And
incidentally, it seems as if Facebook currently has around 660 MB
each and everyone of its 2.2 billion users, most of which it
never have had, because it is utterly private information e.g. from
emails (which Facebook should never have had the right to read).
Here is more
What they do is they use Facebook and WhatsApp to distribute propaganda
about themselves, flooding out all other discussion about what’s going
on in politics and government. Secondly, they use the same sort of
propaganda machines, very accurately targeted, to undermine their
opponents and critics publicly. And then, thirdly, they use WhatsApp
and Facebook to generate harassment, the sort of harassment that can
put any nongovernment organization, human rights organization,
journalist, scholar or political party off its game, because you’re
constantly being accused of pedophilia, you’re being accused of rape,
or you’re being threatened with rape, threatened with kidnapping,
threatened with murder, which makes it impossible to actually perform
publicly in a democratic space. This is exactly what Modi mastered in
his campaign in 2014, and, in fact, a bit before. And that same
playbook was picked up by Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines, and it’s
being used all over the world by authoritarian and nationalist leaders,
to greater or lesser degrees.
Yes indeed again - and
Modi is the prime minister of India (which has 1.2 billion inhabitants).
Here is more:
By about 2007, Facebook was starting to build ads into its platform, as
well. And because it had so much more rich information on our interests
and our connections and our habits, and even, once we put Facebook on
our mobile phones, our location—it could trace us to whatever store we
went into, whatever church or synagogue or mosque we went into; it
could know everything about us—at that point, targeting ads became
incredibly efficient and effective. That’s what drove the massive
revenues for both Facebook and Google. That’s why Facebook and Google
have all the advertising money these days, right? It’s why the
traditional public sphere is so impoverished, why it’s so hard to pay
reporters a living wage these days, because Facebook and Google is
taking all that money—are taking all that money, because they developed
something better than the display ad of a newspaper or magazine,
In fact, I think Facebook
does know nearly everything about its members (which
in my opinion is
itself a major crime). And the rest is again correct.
Here is the last bit I quote from this fine article:
Yeah. Look, any police department, any state security service anywhere
in the world that doesn’t infiltrate protest groups or, you know,
activist groups that way is foolish, right? It’s so easy. Facebook
makes surveillance so easy. My friends who do activism, especially
human rights activism, in parts of the world that are authoritarian,
the first thing they tell people is get off of Facebook. Use other
services to coordinate your activities. Right? Use analog services and
technologies. Right? Facebook is the worst possible way to stay out of
the gaze of the state.
Precisely. To put it in a
slightly different way: Facebook is a very
important arm of the secret
services. Then again, if you want to escape the secret
you are on internet, I think you are trying to do something that is
impossible for almost everyone, although I agree that Facebook probably
has all the information on anyone collected in one bundle.
And this is a strongly recommended article, in which there also
is considerably more.
How to Tell the Difference Between Persuasion and Manipulation
is by Robert Noggle on AlterNet and originally on Aeon. It starts as
manipulative is a criticism of that
person’s character. Saying that you have been manipulated is a
complaint about having been treated badly. Manipulation is dodgy at
best, and downright immoral at worst. But why is this? What’s wrong
with manipulation? Human beings influence each other all the time, and
in all sorts of ways. But what sets manipulation apart from other
influences, and what makes it immoral?
The answer should be
immediate: Because manipulation is dishonest. It tries to
think, feel or value things by excluding bits or large amounts of
(probably) true information that might have helped you to judge
otherwise than the manipulators desire you to judge.
And manipulation is one of the great forces of the internet,
internet made manipulations of billions possible:
manipulates when it encourages the audience to form untrue
beliefs, as when we are told to believe that fried chicken is a health
food, or faulty associations, as when Marlboro cigarettes are tied to
the rugged vigour of the Marlboro Man. Phishing and other scams
manipulate their victims through a combination of deception (from
outright lies to spoofed phone numbers or URLs) and playing on emotions
such as greed, fear or sympathy.
Yes indeed, and incidentally
this is why I hate advertising
and try - since almost 60 years! - to
see or hear as little as possible of it.
Here is more on manipulation (and yes: manipulation is wrong because
it harms persons
is wrong because it harms the person being
manipulated. Certainly, manipulation often harms. If
successful, manipulative cigarette ads contribute to disease and death;
manipulative phishing and other scams facilitate identity theft and
other forms of fraud; manipulative social tactics can support abusive
or unhealthy relationships; political manipulation can foment division
and weaken democracy.
Precisely. Here is more:
What makes an
influence manipulative and what makes it wrong are the
same thing: the manipulator attempts to get someone to adopt what the
manipulator herself regards as an inappropriate belief,
emotion or other mental state. In this way, manipulation resembles
lying. What makes a statement a lie and what makes it morally wrong are
the same thing – that the speaker tries to get someone to adopt what
the speaker herself regards as a false belief. In both cases,
the intent is to get another person to make some sort of mistake.
Well... one must
distinguish between two kinds of manipulation: Those that try to
persuade their victims based on some kind of propaganda or
try to persuade their victims based on not
giving them probably
true information that goes against the interests of the persuaders.
Both often go together, but not always. Here is the last bit that I
quote from this article:
involves deliberately using such influences to hamper a person’s
ability to make the right decision – that is the essential
immorality of manipulation.
No, I am sorry: there
better definition of manipulation.
So, if we are to recognise
manipulation, we must look not at the form of influence, but at the
intention of the person using it. For it is the intention to degrade
another person’s decision-making situation that is both the essence and
the essential immorality of manipulation.
Manipulation is the use of lies or propaganda to
make people believe
things one wants them to believe or else (and often also) consists in
denying people information that is probably true and
that one knows,
but which one sees as going against one´s own (the manipulator´s)
But otherwise this is mostly correct and this is a recommended article.
to Trump: Intel on Iran Could be CATASTROPHIC
is by the VIPS on Consortiumnews. It starts as follows:
FOR: The President
indeed - and this link gives some more information on VIPS.
Here is more:
Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
Intelligence on Iran Fails the Smell Test
As the George W.
Bush administration revved up to attack Iraq 15 years ago, we could see
no compelling reason for war. We decided, though, to give
President Bush the benefit of the doubt on the chance he had been
sandbagged by Vice President Dick Cheney and others. We chose to
allow for the possibility that he actually believed the “intelligence”
that Colin Powell presented to the UN as providing “irrefutable and
undeniable” proof of WMD in Iraq and a “sinister nexus” between Saddam
Hussein and al Qaeda.
To us in VIPS it
was clear, however, that the “intelligence” Powell adduced was
bogus. Thus, that same afternoon (Feb. 5, 2003) we prepared and
sent to President Bush a Memorandum like this one, urging him to seek
counsel beyond the “circle of those advisers clearly bent on a war for
which we see no compelling reason and from which we believe the
unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic.”
drums beat again for a military attack — this time on Iran, we Veteran
Intelligence Professionals for Sanity and other experienced, objective
analysts are, by all appearances, being disregarded again. And,
this time, we fear the consequences will be all-caps CATASTROPHIC — in
comparison with the catastrophe of Iraq.
agree. Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
President, we do not know whether a fresh National Intelligence
Estimate has been produced on Iran and nuclear weapons — or, if one has
been produced, whether it is as honest as the NIE of Nov. 2007, which
helped prevent the launch of another unnecessary war the following
year. We stand on our record. In sum, if you believe that
there is credible evidence that Iran has an active secret nuclear
weapons program, we believe you have been misled. And if you base
decisions on misleading “intelligence” on Iran, the inevitable result
will be a great deal worse than the Bush/Cheney debacle in Iraq.
so. And incidentally, Iran has more than twice as many inhabitants
(namely 81 million) as Iraq. This is a strongly recommended article.
B. One Extra Bit
This is an
extra bit that belongs more to health or health matters than to the
crisis. It is about ME/CFS, which
my ex and myself have for almost 40
years now and it is by Admindxrw on Dx revision watch:
It starts as follows:
SNOMED CT is a
standardized electronic terminology system for recording and sharing
symptoms, diagnoses, clinical findings, procedures etc. in primary and
secondary care and across other health care settings.
In SNOMED CT terminology
system, disease and disorder terms are not arranged in chapters, as
they are in ICD-10 and ICD-11. Instead, terms are arranged within a
hierarchical relationship of parent and children concepts (or
supertypes and subtypes).
The SNOMED CT Concept term
for Chronic fatigue syndrome is SCTID 52702003 Chronic fatigue
syndrome (disorder). Benign myalgic encephalomyelitis; and Myalgic
encephalomyelitis are included as Synonym terms.
Chronic fatigue syndrome has
historically been located under the Parent Concept: Multisystem
In fact, I am (among other
things) a psychologist, as is my ex. And one of the many things I have
learned about ¨medicine¨ is that what are called ¨disorders¨ (that is: not
diseases) are in fact psychiatric classifications of medical
notably in the case of ME/CFS:
In order to harm patients
with ME/CFS as much as possible, and to prevent almost any
into the cause(s) of ME/CFS, the psychiatrists decided in 1980 that
anything medicine does not know but that people complain
about to their
doctors in fact is a psychiatric disorder, as they call it.
And they call it a ¨disorder¨
precisely because there rarely is good evidence in psychiatry, and
there almost never is any discernible pathology for almost any
so-called ¨psychiatric disorder¨ - of which there are now more
(before 1980: Less than 50).
Once your complaints are
classified as ¨psychiatric disorder¨ you can shove it as a
patient - as
my ex and I have - very painfully - observed for 40 years
each: You are
not helped; you are not declared ill; and
virtually any bureaucrat will
both avoid you while harming you, simply because you are crazy,
Well, this is one thing that Dx revision watch achieved:
That is, it is now not
just any ¨disorder¨ but a ¨Disorder
of nervous system¨. I
suppose it is an improvement, but a real disease is still
a (psychiatric) disorder because the cause
Following a peer review
process, the addition of the parent: Disorder of nervous system for Chronic
fatigue syndrome was provisionally approved for implementation in
the next release, which has been finalized and published.
Chronic fatigue syndrome (disorder) is now classified under
supertype SCTID: 118940003 Disorder of nervous system
(disorder) in the July
2018 release of the SNOMED CT International Edition.
of the disease is not known - which I think is an utter shame,
precisely because you can classify everything you don´t know medically
as a ¨disorder¨ and thus stop almost any and all medical research.
Which is what has happened since 1980.
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.
claimed that my site was wrongly named in html: A lie.
They have claimed that my operating system was out of date: A lie.
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
from now on suppose they are (for truth is dead in Holland).
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 (!!).