Thursday, May 5, 2022



When I picked up the newspaper from the doormat this morning, I was shocked. The headline was closely related to the subject of our project. It also undermined a silent assumption that I cherish.


Did I speak about the threat to our freedom by anti-democratic politicians, who love to scream: Democracy is mob rule",


today I have to address another threat to our freedom and democracy which was expressed in that headline:




-QUOTE- The Netherlands is lower than ever on the international press freedom index. According to Reporters Sans Frontières, journalists here are increasingly unsafe.


The Netherlands has fallen 22 places on the annual press freedom index of Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF), which was published on Tuesday.


The list is headed by Norway. North Korea dangles at the bottom at number 180. The Netherlands has been in second place three times in the past decade but has fallen one place every year since 2018. 


The Netherlands has now plummeted to number 28 because journalists there are increasingly unsafe, according to RSF.


“Take the Groningen journalist who got a firebomb through his window,” says Kronenburg. “Or the photojournalist who was thrown into a ditch with his car. 


Journalists were arrested during demonstrations. But of course the murder of crime reporter, Peter R. de Vries, and crime journalist John van den Heuvel, who has had to be protected for years.”


At the Press Safe hotline, the number of reports by journalists has more than doubled: from 121 in 2020 to 272 in 2021. -END QUOTE-


You already may have guessed that the assumption I cherished was, that The Netherlands was always at least in the top 10. 


Perhaps half consolation is that the decline has not to do with the content and quality of the reporting, but with the fact that journalists in the Netherlands are increasingly threatened.


Fortunately, it is not as bad as in the country where the press has been disqualified for years and is invariably referred to by a former president as "the enemy of the people".


One of the first things a ruling class, a government does, when it feels threatened is to attack the freedom of the press.


Let's put it in a simple way. What is the government? If I were realistic, I should add "theoretically", but let's dream a little.


In fact, a government is a group of persons, who WE, the people, have asked to manage the country in an organized way. 


That group of persons needs money to do so. Therefore they negotiate with the people about taxes and how to spend them. We call it politics.


Of course, they can't please everyone, but that is no problem. Every person in the community is free to vent his opinion about everything and maybe that might influence the course of affairs.


And then this group of persons who are asked by the people to run the state mysteriously begins to distance itself from the people and gets irritated by all those opinions in the free press.


That is the situation we are in today: the people begin to regard government as a kind of independent entity, although it is the people themselves who have asked them to do the job.


This must have been in a way the basic idea of democracy, that those in power are 100% aware of the fact that they have to serve the people and for instance not themselves or for personal profits.


And to remind everyone in the community of their duties, accountability, and responsibilities there is only one medium to guarantee this: a free press.


Thank you for your attention again...


Main Sources:

MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition

Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
Annelien de Dijn: "Freedom. An unruly history".  2020

TABLE OF CONTENT -----------------------------------------------------------------  

  1 - 100 Philosophers                         9 May 2009  Start of

  2 - 25+ Women Philosophers                       10 May 2009  this blog

  3 - 25 Adventures in Thinking                       10 May 2009

  4 - Modern Theories of Ethics                       29 Oct  2009

  5 - The Ideal State                                               24 Febr 2010   /   234

  6 - The Mystery of the Brain                                  3 Sept 2010   /   266

  7 - The Utopia of the Free Market                       16 Febr 2012    /   383

  8. - The Aftermath of Neo-liberalism                      5 Sept 2012   /   413

  9. - The Art Not to Be an Egoist                             6 Nov  2012   /   426                        

10  - Non-Western Philosophy                               29 May 2013    /   477

11  -  Why Science is Right                                      2 Sept 2014   /   534      

12  - A Philosopher looks at Atheism                        1 Jan  2015   /   557

13  - EVIL, a philosophical investigation                 17 Apr  2015   /   580                

14  - Existentialism and Free Will                             2 Sept 2015   /   586         

15 - Spinoza                                                             2 Sept 2016   /   615

16 - The Meaning of Life                                        13 Febr 2017   /   637

17 - In Search of  my Self                                        6 Sept 2017   /   670

18 - The 20th Century Revisited                              3 Apr  2018    /   706

19 - The Pessimist                                                  11 Jan 2020    /   819

20 - The Optimist                                                     9 Febr 2020   /   824

21 - Awakening from a Neoliberal Dream                8 Oct  2020   /   872

22 - A World Full of Patterns                                    1 Apr 2021    /   912

23 - The Concept of Freedom                                  8 Jan 2022    /   965

The Discussion


[13:12] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Thank you Herman

[13:12] herman Bergson: Behind me you see some data from the Report

[13:12] Jane Fossett: What is 'The Press" these days?

[13:13] herman Bergson: That you can read behind me, Jane

[13:13] Jane Fossett: :-)

[13:13] oola Neruda: I'm going to throw up.... or cry... or rage... or.....??????  burst

[13:14] herman Bergson: a group of people to select, produce and disseminate news and information in the public interest, independent from political, economic legal or social interference

[13:14] oola Neruda: my years of studying journalism.... and the dead end it seems to be.... I've been keeping it in the closet.... lkj;alkdf[iout4089y'gank

[13:14] herman Bergson: and free from physical threats etc.

[13:14] Jane Fossett: that's not how most get their 'info' these days

[13:15] herman Bergson: THAT, Jane is the problem....

[13:15] herman Bergson: Social media are a disaster in that sense

[13:15] Jane Fossett: people self segregate into social groups

[13:15] Jane Fossett: yes :-(

[13:15] herman Bergson: Like the entertainment Broadcast company Fox, that acts like it is a News channel

[13:15] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm

[13:16] oola Neruda: right... fox should be arrested for those lies

[13:16] Dien (djdien.bailey) is offline.

[13:16] herman Bergson: Social media are just echo chambers where people read what they want to hear

[13:16] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Well Fox feeds Mr T what he wants to hear

[13:16] Jane Fossett: :-) 'asrrested" -- so much for 'free speech'

[13:16] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): sssss

[13:17] herman Bergson: No...not arrested....

[13:17] herman Bergson: the audience should be educated about what opinions are and what news is....

[13:17] Jane Fossett: Twitter is about to go private to the whim of one multi-billionaire

[13:17] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): maybe they don't want education

[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): twitters "poisoning" did not help

[13:18] herman Bergson: Yes...quite worrisome...

[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): to prevent him buying them

[13:18] herman Bergson: rather unhealthy actually

[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yep

[13:18] Jane Fossett: mmm

[13:18] herman Bergson: But if you look closely...

[13:19] herman Bergson: a lot of the information outlets are controlled by the few rich people on this globe

[13:19] Jane Fossett: true'

[13:19] herman Bergson: The Koch's and Murdochs of the world

[13:19] oola Neruda: who also lobby the senate and house..... "vote this way" we will make it worthwhile for you

[13:19] Jane Fossett: A lot of everything is owned by the few ultra-rich

[13:20] herman Bergson: that 's it oola...they also buy their own politicians....

[13:20] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm

[13:21] herman Bergson: This is because we have not a single law regarding private property in the sense that  can it be limitless or not?

[13:22] Jane Fossett: Davikd Koch died in 2019... his ownership was sort-of revoked

[13:22] herman Bergson: Nobody asks the it in the social interest that an individual can own propery/money unlimited and do with it as he pleases

[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): eee no its just in their own interest. thone with most money own the world and can do as they please. its called bribing

[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): among other things3

[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): we others don't have a say

[13:23] Jane Fossett: Strong family control of wealth has a long history

[13:23] herman Bergson: On the one hand we try to organize a democratic society and on the other hand you see that the wealthy still suprcede this and control the actual course of affairs

[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yep

[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): in the end money is all that matters

[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): who have most

[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): sigh3

[13:24] Jane Fossett: agree with PP Bejiita

[13:24] herman Bergson: What matters is our concept of private property in relation to a sane society

[13:24] Jane Fossett: :-) I'd guess $$ buys the psychiatrist

[13:25] herman Bergson: our concept of private property is completely amoral, a-social and no benefit for the community

[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed

[13:25] herman Bergson: I have no problem with being rich....

[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): in itself its ok but its when they do well what they do

[13:26] herman Bergson: but I have a problem with the fact that people use their wealth to control society in an undemocratic way

[13:26] oola Neruda: RIGHT

[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes when its used for power

[13:26] herman Bergson: and that is what is happening today

[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and also when they take everything and not give anything back

[13:26] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): they think that they above the law

[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): people starve to death and 95 % of all wealth is on 5 heads

[13:27] herman Bergson: Some do indeed Beertje

[13:27] oola Neruda: it has been that way in most of history.... but what we see today......well....

[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats crazy

[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): :(

[13:27] herman Bergson: True oola

[13:27] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): more money doesn't mean, more brain

[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): rather the other way

[13:27] herman Bergson: But that it has been that way through history doesn't mean we can learn from it

[13:27] oola Neruda: we have "classy means" for disseminating propaganda

[13:27] Jane Fossett: With wide information access, we should now have the tools to change this

[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): or depends on but problem is when they get hybris

[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hybris is the really big problem

[13:28] herman Bergson: that was the hope Internet suggested Jane...

[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): MORE MORE MOOOOOOOOOOORE!

[13:28] herman Bergson: and what did we get?

[13:28] herman Bergson: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter

[13:28] Jane Fossett: division

[13:28] Jane Fossett: yes

[13:29] herman Bergson: talthough...the information is there...on the internet.....

[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and we got 3 cement mixers full of BS

[13:29] herman Bergson: but we have the steering algorithms that lead people into their echo chambers

[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): at least there is lot of BS in them

[13:30] herman Bergson: However...I am here and I can say all these things feely ^_^

[13:30] herman Bergson: freely

[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): im not sure the social media thing is the correct way indeed, sure FB is practical for keeping track of friends and events (for ex tomorrow is the monthly TURF beer here)

[13:31] herman Bergson: Social media is not a reliable news source at all

[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but i wonder if it could not have been made in another way and not by these ultra rick conglomerates with hybris

[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): rich

[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): true Herman, its a gossip station

[13:32] Jane Fossett: it's hard to know the right way to proceed collectively

[13:32] herman Bergson: it is even so degenerated today that now we also have Juice channels....

[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): CERN maybee would have known, they created the WWW after all

[13:32] herman Bergson: Yes Jane

[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the optimal way

[13:32] oola Neruda: the very instant that I said T had lied about the vote.... the very instant.... I was kicked off of Facebook

[13:32] oola Neruda: that very instant..... what does that tell you

[13:33] herman Bergson: A right wing xenophove politician here in the Netherlands was kicked off from Twitter....

[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): eeeee ok

[13:33] oola Neruda: free speach ....hah

[13:34] herman Bergson: he had used some words that triggered the kick off algorithm, it seemed

[13:34] Jane Fossett whispers: Hermann what is the next step for true free speech that benefits society

[13:34] herman Bergson: honesty

[13:35] herman Bergson: moral accountability

[13:35] Jane Fossett: these are unfortunately vague concepts

[13:35] herman Bergson: true....

[13:35] Jane Fossett: who has the 'truth'

[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the one with least BS

[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lol

[13:36] herman Bergson: but honesty equals at least fact checking and accepting the facts....not holding on to a Big Lie for instance

[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well idk

[13:36] Jane Fossett: :-0

[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes

[13:36] herman Bergson: Truth is a continuum....not a monolithic thing...

[13:37] herman Bergson: there is false -----  50 shades of grey -----   true

[13:37] oola Neruda: when you hear the same thing 7 times... then you will believe it....... is an old concept for indoctorination

[13:37] Jane Fossett: thats why there are so many monoliths I guess

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): maybee

[13:37] herman Bergson: that a stone falls to the groud...when I say that that is true you can ck it

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its an axiom

[13:38] herman Bergson: that 300 civilians are shot by Russian bulits ....that you can check

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ys :(

[13:38] herman Bergson: that jesus walked on water....

[13:38] Jane Fossett: cough

[13:38] herman Bergson: is in conflict with laws of nature and only knowledge produced by words in a book

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): also i read somewhere that 80 % of Russians now support the massacre, that Putin have managed to brainwash everyone, however it was a paywall so could just read the ingress

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but it sounded horrifying

[13:39] herman Bergson: so...doesn't fit the epiteton true

[13:39] oola Neruda: must have had a surprise freeze...turned to ice... right there in the dessert

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa yes

[13:40] oola Neruda: on the other hand... many sayings are actually symbols for other concepts

[13:40] oola Neruda: inuendo

[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): true

[13:40] herman Bergson: Better to read it that way oola :-))

[13:40] Jane Fossett: some think we would be best governed by Artificial Intelligence machines that could filter out the best 'truth'

[13:40] oola Neruda: according to the needs of the programmer

[13:41] Jane Fossett: that would deny us any control.

[13:41] herman Bergson: we can discuss criteria to determine what we qualify as true facts for instance

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): then the programmer have all control

[13:41] Jane Fossett: :-)

[13:41] oola Neruda: I have an important zoom mtg... must run... be well all

[13:41] herman Bergson: That AI talk is of course BS....

[13:41] Jane Fossett: xxx oola

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): (starts to write shady truth algorithms in Unreal5)

[13:41] herman Bergson: because it is HUMANS that program the machines....

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehehehhehe

[13:42] herman Bergson: and oola zoomed out :-)

[13:42] Jane Fossett: until the machines take control away from the humans

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed the machines can not by themselves say OK TIME TO WIPE OUT ALL HUMANS AND TAKE OVER THE WORLD! a la Terminator

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): or Matrix

[13:42] Jane Fossett: they... can't?

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): even with extremley advanced AI

[13:42] herman Bergson: Jane....we control the batteries...always

[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well how would u program a machine to do that

[13:43] Jane Fossett: :-) keep believing that.

[13:43] herman Bergson: we can pull the plug

[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): built in batteries impossible to get to if the machines start building themselves and have  "thought" of that part

[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): so that no-one can turn them off

[13:44] Jane Fossett: yup yup but this is a bit off-topic

[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): again how can a computer program do that by itself, well lets say the programmer is evil

[13:44] herman Bergson: yeah yeah...I have seen all Terminator movies :-))

[13:44] Jane Fossett: :-)

[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): me to and tired of them

[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): wash rinse repeat

[13:45] herman Bergson: then terminate watching them Bejiita be a real terminator :-)

[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe, well i wish i could terminate all evil things happening now making me and the rest of the world sad

[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but

[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): how

[13:46] herman Bergson: thing that can help in the process is a FREE PRESS

[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): true indeed Herman

[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its a very important thing, a press telling the true facts

[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): without getting murdered

[13:46] herman Bergson: The moment you see the free press being attacked in your country....go on Red Alert!

[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm

[13:46] Jane Fossett: well isnt Twitter the ultimate 'free press?'

[13:47] herman Bergson: No....

[13:47] Jane Fossett: Anything goes-- even fake news

[13:47] herman Bergson: it isn't a News medium in the way it is described on the board behind me....

[13:47] herman Bergson: it is just a chat box

[13:47] Jane Fossett: ok

[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): eeeee NO

[13:48] herman Bergson: the problem is that people believe it is a News Medium

[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed, where loads of gossip floats

[13:48] Jane Fossett: but then, who decides

[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes and then spreads it around

[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): = more gossip

[13:48] herman Bergson: probably mainly because they can selectively read there what confirms their opinions

[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): like a chain reaction in an exploding nuclear bomb

[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): a gossip bomb

[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): fact checking is thus important

[13:49] herman Bergson: who decides what Jane?

[13:49] Jane Fossett: who decides the 'truth' of news

[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): photographs, photographs

[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and film

[13:50] herman Bergson: at least a consensus based on fact checking and intersubjectivity

[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but well that can also be manipulated and photoshopped3

[13:50] Jane Fossett: photos and film will soon be useless (see Photoshop)

[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): true

[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm

[13:51] Jane Fossett: it's sad, but it seems those with $$ will determine what's considered true.

[13:51] herman Bergson: it seems to be Postmodern to assume that everything is  an opinion....

[13:52] herman Bergson: As I said Jane, THAT is a real social and worldwide problem....

[13:52] Jane Fossett: yes, I admit that./

[13:52] herman Bergson: we HAVE  TO reconcider basic concepts like private property

[13:53] herman Bergson: of course we won't....but common sense tells me different :-)

[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and also there is a dark side of say the tools i use, Unreal 5 and similar, for ex Epics Metahuman tool wich can make virtual and real characters indistinguishible (i have tried it myself and can confirm this) can make creating deepfakes much easier

[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): things like this

[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but all tools have 2 edges or most at least

[13:54] Jane Fossett: yes multiple sides

[13:54] herman Bergson: Well...

[13:54] herman Bergson: Let me conclude this 999th lecture.....

[13:54] herman Bergson: Next Thursday a milestone will drop on this wear a helmet :-)

[13:54] Jane Fossett: haha

[13:55] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I better 3D print one then or maybe weld one !

[13:55] herman Bergson: for now...thank you  all again....

[13:55] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:55] herman Bergson: Class dismissed...

[13:55] Jane Fossett: woots 10exp3 !!

[13:55] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman, it was interesting again

[13:55] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes

[13:55] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:55] Jane Fossett: xxx

[13:55] herman Bergson: My pleasure Beertje

[13:55] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): :))

[13:55] bergfrau Apfelbaum: Thank you Herman and class

[[13:56] Lukkie Sands: Thank you Herman :-))

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