[Proj] Completely off-topic
j.l.h.hartmann at uva.nl
Wed Mar 4 18:48:12 EST 2009
Hi Gerald, List,
I hate to disagree for once with the most eminent person on this list
and the one we have all to thank for PROJ, and, even worse, on
something completely off-topic, but as it as about the signature he has
appended to all of his postings, I hope I may forgiven.
The whole religious complexion of the modern world is due
to the absence from Jerusalem of a lunatic asylum.
-- Havelock Ellis (1859-1939) British psychologist
There was no asylum in the *old* Jerusalem, but there certainly are
several ones in the *new* one, the city of Rembrandt, the city were the
persecuted Jews of Europe found their home until 1940, and the city were
I happen to live: Amsterdam. See:
http://www.codart.nl/exhibitions/details/1225/ . The madhouse was more
or less *invented* in Amsterdam. I work in one myself. Here is a
world-famous study about the development of madhouses from the equally
eminent French philosopher Michel Foucault: Madness and Civilization -
History of Insanity. There is a Internet translation available at
but I would advise you to read it from a paper book, if you are really
interested and have lots of time. Foucault is one of the greatest
philososphers/historians of this century, but his style is *not* easy,
especially if you have to read it in French. When you take the trouble
however, he is fascinating (like projections).
Of course, one could debate whether Amsterdam is really the new
Jerusalem. Some people would say it was the successor of another
Old-Testament city, or perhaps even two. Personally, I don't believe
that, although I can't prove it.
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