Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews -- For those who like their news and truths frank and sharp

How is it? I can’t complain!

An old Jewish Joke. Someone asks a Jew who just fled Communist Russia: How was it there? I couldn’t complain. But then, why did you leave? I just told you: I couldn’t complain. This I remembered at the following news.

Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) just released its 2019 Quality of Life Index. As usual, the news clippings from it are terrible. No indication what numbers are significant. No indication of what comes from statistics or from interviews. No indication what is judged by the interviewed or by the CBS. Comparing apples and oranges. Adding up apples and oranges.

They spent a whole year compiling this nonsense with a whole team of dedicated number crazies — I can’t correct all the nonsense in one swoop but I’ll just address some major points. Meanwhile, if you have no time to read this, also don’t read the report because in short: it’s all nonsense.

***

Don’t assume for a moment that this impressive fake report is on an Israeli patent or specialty. Look at the Quality of Life Index by country. How can it be that people in the US score higher than in Canada? In Saudi Arabia higher than in Israel? In Mainland China score higher than in Hong Kong?

That is mainly because the numbers combine fake national pride, snobbism, real freedom, popular naivety, and the luxury to complain.

Another reason is that they ignore differences for special groups. Jews are happier in Israel than in Saudi Arabia. Women too but in Saudi Arabia can only answer with a male in the room so how do you think they answer? The number nuts completely ignore minorities. That a million Muslims in China are persecuted falls away in the statistics. Same for Gays in Russia. Same for the millions of homeless and uninsured in the US. You won’t find their voices represented because all the answers are added up. Same for differences between Gay Jews in Tel Aviv, Orthodox Muslims in Jerusalem, and Orthodox Jews living on the West Bank. In other words: the numbers are meaningless if you don’t believe them and dangerous if you do.

The lunatic pollsters also define and decide what is positive:

The police, courts, and government are corrupt and not to be trusted? That means to them, serious corruption, to the public, a lack of naivety.

So many indignantly run to court all the time. That means to the stat boys, a lack of peace, to the population a peaceful way to settle differences.

No chance to make promotion in the job you have? That is to the snobs, frustration, but to humble people, a chance to be happy with their lot.

No access to the Internet? That means nothing to Ultra-Orthodox Jews.

Feeling discriminated against? The number mads think that that’s terrible, but since almost all people are oppressed, exploited, and discriminated in one or more ways, the higher the percentage, the higher the awareness.

Complaining about health, they take as a bad sign. But women complain much more about health and live much longer. Being numb is unhealthy.

***

Now, you can’t blame the media totally for bad reporting here. The CBS published their ‘findings’ in a totally messy way and without any details.

I can report one statistic that is 100% accurate to detail. They should fire all the people responsible for this chaotic falsehood and pretense.

My earlier ‘praise’ of statistician you may find here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, among other posts.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (https://diethylstilbestrol.co.uk/studies/des-and-psychological-health/), born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, and, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years, he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (statistics), Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second-generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. November 13, 2018, he published his 500th blog post with the ToI. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having a peek outside of your cultural bubble. * To find his earlier blog posts on a certain subject XXX among the over 1200 ones, go to the right-top corner of the Times of Israel page, click on the search icon, and search: "zuiden, XXX". * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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