May 11, 2011


me: Varia - Nederlog, higher education, html

I didn't sleep much three nights ago, and have not been well since, though it is mostly too little sleep and too much pain, and perhaps also, for various reasons lack of inspiration to write, where the various reasons are mostly related to the level of the discussions I read about ME/CFS.

On the other hand, I did add a few items to my Philosophical Dictionary over the last days, but spend most of the time in bed, so if there is no Nederlog the coming days that's why.


1. Why is there no more Dutch in Nederlog?
2. Higher education in the US
3. A good free html-editor

1. Why is there no more Dutch in Nederlog?

As the name indicates and as the plan was, Nederlog - that suggests something like "Dutch log", but is a neologism - was meant to be in Dutch for the most part, and indeed was, from 2004-2010. In 2010 it got mostly English, and remained so ever since, and that because of my renewed interest in ME/CFS because of the Science paper of 2009 that found a link between XMRV and ME/CFS - and the rest, so far as I am concerned, you can read yourself, if you want, with the help of the indexes for Nederlog of 2010 and 2011.

Then again, late in 2010 I wrote that I would write more in Dutch in Nederlog in 2011, so maybe I should briefly explain why I didn't.

There are quite a few reasons, and it would take more energy than I have to explain them all, so I list just three:

A. The political and cultural situation in Holland is pretty sickening

at least from my points of view, and since I won't make much of a difference to it, and despise all the more or less well-known players, I don't want to sour my mood writing about the sickening stances and sayings of sickening people in a sick culture. (Consult Nederlog or ME in Amsterdam if you want to understand this better.)

B. The Nieuwe Rolex Courant has turned into a sickening mess for pomo-educated posturers

There once was a fairly decent daily paper that addressed itself mostly to the academically and higher educated, called the NRC-Handelsblad, that I read for 40 years. I stopped doing so in December, when it was dumbed down in several major ways, got a new editor who excels in lying and misleading, and a new format that looks cheap and horrible, while the paper still is as expensive as it ever was (1 1/2 times the price of the other Dutch dailies).

I call it the Nieuwe Rolex Courant  because the new editor runs it for the money, with all manner of extremely ugly advertisements for Rolex watches - for pimps, bankmanagers and idiots - and Louis Vuitton snob shit, and runs with a mostly new staff of major dumbos with a pomo education.

So that's one source of information gone for good: I am not willing to pay for this manner of bullshit, directed at the new generation of pomo 'academically' and 'higher educated' who for the most part would never have made English O-levels or a classic Dutch grammar school, but now are doctors in journalism or philosophy, and spout their bullshit, personalized with their picture and their own opinions, in the Nieuwe Rolex Courant.

C. The BBC World Service stopped broadcasting as they did for many decades

This is due to the Cameron government, that somehow must pay the debts made by the bank managers and Gordon Brown, and decided to fleece the weak, the students, the universities, the ill and the poor, and also the BBC, that I listened to for 40 years. Exit. Dead and gone, in Western Europe and Russia, except - I suppose - by internet, but that is not what I want, and isn't radio.

So... what I could say in Dutch about Holland mostly would sicken me anyway, while my two main resources for more or less decent information the last 40 years have been either  poisoned or killed.

It's true I've got fairly fast access to internet, but what I just said is also true, and does mean that two more or less reliable sources of information that I knew quite well and for a long time are no more.

2. Higher education in the US

This is just a link related to my On Searle's "The Storm Over The University" - 1  that discussed Searle's opinions (of one or two decades ago) on the decline of education and the universities.

  • Faulty Towers: The Crisis in Higher Education

This is an article in The Nation by one William Deresiewicz about the situation in American academia and idem universities, that sounds much like I know the situation from Holland, and sketches a similar decline for similar reasons, also during the same periond, namely the last 40 years. It sounds very depressing, is probably mostly true, and is also probably, as in Holland, irreversible for the next generation or so - say 40 years, and who knows what an awful mess there will then be, when I am older than 100 or dead.

Let me put the digest of these last two sections in other terms:

If good education and good papers are half as important for civilization and for the continued existence of a free and open society as those involved in producing higher education and quality papers, and most profiting from them or consuming them have maintained, then dark times are coming, if they haven't arrived already.

3. A good free html-editor

Let me end with a bit of good news, that may interest some: Of all the formats for texts, such as plain txt, Word's doc, Wordpad's rtf, Adobe's pdf etc., I like standard html the best and generally prefer to write in it whatever text I write.

There is what seems to be quite a good and free WYSIWYG html-editor, with an active user community and good help, namely here

  • KompoZer

I have found it about a week ago, and have not much experience with it, but did some with it, and it is pleasant to work with and has many useful features, good help, and looks nice, and is clearly better than any of the free html-editors I've seen the last decade.

I've been using Frontpage for about a decade now, but that gets old, produces clunky html, has various unpleasant quirks, and is no longer supported by Microsoft, and besides was expensive, as is the commercial competition Dreamweaver.

I don't know whether I can run my site with KompoZer, since my site is large, and I need automatic maintenance of links which is one thing Frontpage does well, but then the site seems to be getting too large for Frontpage as well.

Anyway... if you write a lot in html or prefer that over e.g. Word's doc-format (which I think is awful) this may be worth checking out.

P.S. Corrections, if any are necessary, have to be made later.

As to ME/CFS (that I prefer to call ME):

1. Anthony Komaroff

Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS (pdf)

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

Maarten Maartensz (M.A. psy, B.A. phi)

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