Donnerstag, 30. September 2004

This week's issue of Der Spiegel contains an article about the NPD, one of the political parties in Germany that are associated with neo-Nazism. The NPD has been very successful at the recent regional elections in the federal state of Saxony; it got 9.2 % and thus not only entered the regional parliament of Saxony for the first time, but got almost as many votes as the SPD of Chancellor Gerhard Schröder (9.4 %). Politologists believe that people voted for the NPD primarily to protest against the current German government's policy of reforming the social welfare system in order to resolve the economic crisis. These reforms are called "Hartz IV" after the mastermind behind them. Most of all they concern unemployed people. The NPD made propaganda against Hartz IV and thus got many people, especially young ones, to vote for it. Certainly it also has to do with the fact that this party is even less respected than the post-communist PDS; not long ago the federal government even tried to declare the NPD as illegal but failed for some legal reasons.

Anyway, Der Spiegel contains a photo showing a demonstration organized by the NPD. In this photo, one can see a big transparent saying: "Marx statt Hartz" ("Marx instead of Hartz"). So the NPD explicitely declared itself as an adherent of Karl Marx, i.e. as a socialist party. This is another confirmation of my hypothesis that national socialism is exactly what its name says, namely a sort of socialism. I believe that socialist propaganda was not only responsible for the recent success of the NPD in Saxony, but it was also socialist propaganda that made so many people vote for the NSDAP in 1932/1933 and ultimately brought Hitler to power.

Nazism is Socialism is "Left-wing" is Collectivism is Evil.

(Note: I've been informed that one of the NPD leaders in the German federal state of Saarland is called Peter Marx, so probably the transparent was about him, and not about Karl Marx.)

Dienstag, 28. September 2004

The curriculum of medical informatics consists of 130 units (Semesterwochenstunden, lessons per week) which can be taken within a Mindeststudienzeit (minimal study time) of 6 semesters (3 years) - 21.67 units per semester. Then you'll get a Bachelor's degree, and if you like, you can continue studying for Master's. Of these 130 units, I'm in theory supposed to be able to get credits for up to 43 units due to my medical studies: 15 for medical subjects (physics, chemistry, biochemistry, anatomy and histology, physiology and basics of pathology), 15 for free elective subjects and 13 for elective "focus" subjects. Let's see how many units I'll actually get credits for.

The first two semesters of medical informatics are 18 and 22 units respectively, i.e. 40 units for the first year in total. These are subjects related to computer science only, so I will have to take all of them as I won't get any credits for them from my medical studies. So 90 units remain for years 2 and 3, and if I'm able to save 43, only 47 units will remain for me - in two years, there will be only slightly more units than in the first year: only 23.5 units per year, only 11.75 units per semester. If I'm very diligent, then maybe it will be possible to complete years 2 and 3 of medical informatics in just one year's time. However, it will depend on the schedule of the lessons. Keeping in mind that the Bachelor's thesis counts for 10 and the related seminar for 3 units (but I have no idea if it will really be that much work), there are even fewer lessons to attend. Without the Bachelor's thesis and the related seminar, there will be only 34 units in two years, i.e. 17 units per year and 8.5 units per semester. I guess the plan of taking 17 units in one semester and thus completing two years in one would not be too far-fetched - in theory. Let's see how it will work out. Hey, if I interrupt medical informatics for one year at the beginning of the third part of my medical curriculum in order to focus on the practical courses and exams for medicine and then resume medical informatics and really manage to do two years in one - then I will perhaps even be able to complete both studies of mine in their respective minimal times!

Once it's October, I'll store the blog entries from July, August and September 2004 in an archive available from this homepage of mine. It will be #84. Why this number and not #1, you may ask? Well, take a look at my birthdate and then think a bit. Had I started writing a blog right after my birth, I would have already written 83 "issues" before.

Montag, 27. September 2004

I seriously doubt that the Nazi leaders actually believed in their propaganda that the Jews were inferior. Almost all of the Nazi leaders had an IQ near to or beyond the 130 margin so they were too intelligent to believe in such nonsense while there was more than enough evidence that the opposite was true. Perhaps the Nazi leaders spread the lie about the Jews' inferiority in order to boost the self-confidence of their followers. But actually I'm not sure if the propaganda emphasized on inferiority at all; I know too little about it to judge, but I remember learning at school that there were propaganda movies showing the Jews as criminals and as conspirators, i.e. portraying them rather as dangerous than as inferior. Still I have no idea what the roots for Hitler's anti-Semite attitude were. This is a question that is seldomly asked these days, although it is a most important one in order to understand what that period of German and European history was all about. Eugene Davidson writes in his book "The Making of Adolf Hitler" that Hitler read a lot of anti-Semite literature already in his teenage years (instead of doing his homeworks for school) and was most likely influenced by it, at least latently. According to Davidson, Hitler himself wrote in "Mein Kampf" that his anti-Semitism was rooted in his experiences with the Jews in Vienna, but Davidson doubts that this is true: in his opinion, Hitler must have already been an anti-Semite before he went to Vienna.

Historians and journalists! As the Third Reich is the most debated topic of German history in the German media - it was already before Der Untergang appeared in the cinemas, and due to this movie the dominance of this topic has even increased -, please write more in-depth about these rarely discussed aspects (about which there seems to be a lack of certainty); it would be very interesting.

A completely differerent thing: Since today, I'm also an official student of computer science. Finally computer science has got its lost son back! However, medicine will remain my "major" study. I feel very excited about studying computer science as it's the logical continuation of my being fond of computers since elementary school age. I've updated "About Me" accordingly.

Freitag, 24. September 2004

Every day, the number of new hits to www.hugi.scene.org is constantly about five times the number of new hits to hugi.scene.org/adok. Usually it's 80+/-20 hits to the Hugi website and 16+/-4 hits to my personal page. I wonder why it is like this! The Hugi website does contain a link to my personal page - maybe it's that every fifth visitor to the Hugi website clicks the link to my personal homepage? It would be a good idea to install a script that keeps track of the referrers in order to be able to test this hypothesis.

My internship is ending. I think I've profited of this month as this has been the first time that I was directly involved in a work-process: We students have been assigned certain routine tasks which we always did every day. So we were not only passive watchers or people who were given the opportunity to do some things now and then: the physicians relied on us. It has been a great view on Vienna from this station, which is located in one of the topmost levels of the General Hospital's red tower. I've realized that a city can be regarded as an organism with the transportation resembling the blood and lymphatic vessels, buildings resembling various types of tissue (e.g. muscosal, lympho-reticular, fatty, ...), human beings resembling the little cells (e.g. blood cells) that do most of the work, newspapers and other media resembling hormones and cytokines... It's a great moment when you realize that you are just a part of this organism. It is the interaction of all these parts of the organism that make it survive and thrive, and although you're a free individual, your life is always dependent on the others. Participating in the work-process I've realized that our socio-economic system is very clever: In order to fulfil your individual needs, you have to do service for others. There is no way to get money without interaction with other people at all. Even if you are born very rich, this is true as you've got (inherited) your money from your parents or other relatives or acquaintances; and you will perhaps need to get more money as you do keep spending some all the time, and maybe you lose some due to taxes, and of course you are dependent on the national economy of your country, so there is the danger of inflation making your wealth worthless; moreover, political revolutions might change the rules.

Obviously every human being who contributes to the gross national product is valuable to the community. So there's no need for becoming unhappy in one's struggle of becoming "a great one" - as long as you do what you need to survive (without being dependent on social welfare), you'll be accepted by the others. Live your life - it's perhaps the only one you have. Perceive yourself as one of thousands, millions of citizens living in your city, and billions of people living on this planet. It's interactions between people that make history. It's a matter of coincidence whether you'll get in a situation that will make your name be remembered by future generations.

Mittwoch, 22. September 2004

I've found an interesting website, prometheism.net. It's about a transhumanist movement that wants to create a civilization with a high average IQ by means of selective breeding. Not a new idea, but a good one. Their page on eugenics contains some sensible pro-eugenics arguments as well as some interesting facts that were new to me. For example, I didn't know that there had been scientific research about the average IQ of Jews, resulting that if the average IQ of non-Jewish Caucasians is 100, the average IQ of Jews is 115. This high average IQ has supposedly been achieved by the fact that Jewish culture encouraged and supported reproduction of the most intelligent individuals. If I've understood it correctly, prometheism wants to create the new high-IQ civilization using the same means.

Another fact I learned on that page is that Hitler (whose IQ Terman estimated to be around 140) banned IQ testing and claimed that it was a Jewish invention. It's obvious why he did that: Had IQ tests remained legal, it would have been easy to prove that, in contrast to what Nazi propaganda said, the Jews were actually superior to the so-called "Aryans" and therefore the anti-Semite ideology of the Nazis made no sense.

Unfortunately, prometheism.net contains some links to pages with doubtful contents, e.g. transtopia, which is supposed to be a transhumanist philosophy just like Extropy but whose principles are far less attractive to me. For example, they are for hedonism and against reproduction. (Do they want mankind to become extinct??) It's more like a sect, while Extropy does not have this character.

I like sites showing that there are also "third (fourth, fifth, ...) ways" between political correctness and political extremism.

I've also updated "My Political Programme". Now it also contains some ideas related to demography.

Sonntag, 19. September 2004

I've designed yet another model for a school. I've called it "Konzeption der für mich idealen Schule - Variante 2" ("Conception of My Ideal School - Variant 2"). It's now available in the "Ideas" section.

In case anyone's interested: I've finally decided my plans for the upcoming study year.

In the study year 2004/2005, I'll have almost no practical courses at all. Thus I'll have a large time budget to invest freely. I'm planning to take the three great exams that remain so I can complete the second part of my medical curriculum ("clinical theory"). It's about 3000 pages, so it's a lot to study. But I'm convinced it will be possible to manage this in a year's time.

However, that's not all: The fact that I'm going to have hardly any obligations of being physically present at university in the whole next study year has made me come to the conclusion that now it would be a great occasion to start studying Computer Science in parallel. My plan is to complete the second part of Medicine and the two first semesters of Computer Science at the end of the upcoming study year. I believe it will be possible to manage this.

Afterwards, once I'm in the third part of Medicine, I'll have a lot of practical courses again. So I will perhaps not be able to spend much time on Computer Science. However, I believe it will be possible to take all the practical courses in one year so that afterwards I'll be able to study both Medicine and Computer Science in parallel again. If my plan works out, I'll be both a Medical Doctor and a Bachelor of Technology when I'll have to start my alternative service in summer 2008.

Regarding Computer Science, the Vienna University of Technology offers several specializations for the Bachelor's and for the Master's degree respectively. I'd like to take Medical Informatics as my Bachelor's specialization because I can get quite a lot of credits from Medicine (I won't have to take exams on anatomy, histology, physiology or biochemistry again).

What I'll do after my alternative service, remains open. Therefore I am currently not able to say whether I'll also obtain a Master's degree or even a Doctorate in Computer Science.

This is what I love about our university system: the freedom to arrange your time yourself, pursue extracurricular activities and study more than just one subject at the same time.

Freitag, 17. September 2004

Yesterday I was at a "Tiny Austrian Scene Meeting (TASM)" in an Irish pub in the 9th district of Vienna. It was eight of us in total, in the order of arrival: Franky and Paralax, me, Peitschi, TMB (ReeBoK), Klesk, Lostcluster and Peci. This first official meeting of Austrian demo sceners after two years was great fun; one of the coolest thing was an Assembler coding round in which each of us wrote one command until it had been everybody's turn and then it started over again. TMB was so drunk that he literally feel asleep on the street and we had to call for a taxi to take him home. Some of my friends seemed to be pretty nervous in that situation, while I remained cool; I wonder whether this is due to my experiences at hospital or simply due to my character.

Today I watched Der Untergang, a new German movie by Bernd Eichinger about the last days of the Third Reich before the surrender of Germany. I think that this movie is valuable for two reasons:

1. The director tried to give an authentic picture of the main characters. Therefore the film is based on historical-scientific documents, namely Joachim Fest's book with the same name and Traudl Junge's autobiography.

2. It shows a situation which does not happen so often: life in the political leader's headquarter before surrender.

What is not a topic of this movie is how it came to World War II and that development; neither does it deal with the question why war happens at all. My opinion on this matter is that war is a sign of a low civilization level and there will be no war any more once mankind has reached a high enough level of human civilization.

The film has also showed to me that it is not the life-story of an individual that makes history, but that it's the interactions of many (millions) of human beings.

Mittwoch, 15. September 2004

During a chat, an Australian friend of mine has pointed me to a very interesting site, importanceofphilosophy.com. There are a lot of clever thoughts there. But the reason why I am mentioning the site here is that it contains a passage that confirms a thought I've had myself only recently. It's almost literally the idea I had had myself:

(Quote)
"Fascism is a form of socialism. The best example of Fascism was Nazi Germany. Fascism is the public ownership of all property except in name. It allows citizens to pretend that they own property, but they must use it in accordance with the wishes of the state. Since ownership means the ability to control a piece of property, the ownership is actually in the hands of the government.
Fascism is often confused with other aspects of the Nazi regime. The Nazis were racists and nationalists. These are not necessary components of Fascism, though. Fascism is simply government ownership of all property in fact, with private ownership of property in name.
In every significant way, Fascism resembles Communism. It also has a record of massive slaughter, scapegoats, starvation, and destruction of wealth. It has the same moral base as Communism. It is founded on Collectivism. They are different faces of the same evil system."
(Unquote)

So I was right in one of the letters-from-a-reader I've recently submitted to a magazine (it even got printed) where I said that Hitler was a left-winger. Nationalism and racism don't have anything to do with being left-wing or right-wing: there are supporters of both political wings that have such ideas.

In my opinion, the difference between left-wing and right-wing is that left-wingers are collectivists while right-wingers are individualists.

My Australian friend comments: "Leftwing generally are collectivist in economic side of things, but pretty free on the social side. Rightwing generally are collectivist on social side of things, but pretty free on the economic side. Both are generally collectivist in some way so it is like a false choice to choose between them. Bit like a package deal that people are told that those are the only 2 alternatives and leaving out the 3rd possibility of pure freedom."

That's also an interesting statement. However, I don't think one can generalize here. Just think about the Soviets, who are usually considered left-wing: they weren't free on the social side at all! "They were authoritarian or collectivism in its naked form", my friend confirms. This is why he suggests the "collectivist vs individualist scale". I wonder whether one ought to use two separate scales for economic and social collectivism / individualism. Perhaps they should not; on the other hand, having two scales would give us more information on the aims of the political parties as otherwise most of the parties in democratic countries (both moderate left-wing and moderate right-wing) would be placed somewhere in the middle. It also seems that economic individualism is more important than social individualism as economic individualism is necessary to make social individualism possible.

Sonntag, 12. September 2004

Added two new German articles: "Ein neues Konzept für Prüfungen" ("A new concept for exams"), which I wrote last year after my final exam in histology when I didn't get the mark I had expected, and "Ein provinzielles Wahlsystem" ("A system for regional and national elections") in the section on Micronations. If you want any of the German articles to be translated to the English language, drop me a mail.

I've found an interesting passage in the book "Hochbegabung und Hochbegabte" by (psychologist and Intertel member) Dr. Ida Fleiß. It's in the short autobiography of a Dutch-born Australian citizen (p. 162, top): "But I did live through my school-years with a strong suspicion that people were generally dishonest because when I got involved in some disputation they often maintained points of view that were clearly wrong. Where some boys couldn't cope with arithmetic and spelling I saw that as being caused by a poor memory. It didn't dawn on me for quite some time that they were not able to think properly."

While I was writing the previous lines, I was listening to the national anthem of Brazil. I noticed the ending resembled the US-American anthem a bit. This has made me remember a fact few people outside Brazil seem to know, namely that the proper name of Brazil used to be "Republic of the United States of Brazil" from 1890 to 1968. And the proper name of Mexico, by the way, is "United Mexican States". Therefore it is actually not sufficient to say "United States" when speaking about the USA. As a matter of fact, "United States of America" is a slightly weird name as Mexico and Brazil are also "United States" located in America. Maybe "United States of North America" or "United States of Anglo-America" would be a more proper name. (By the way, how about renaming Brazil to "United States of Southern America" or "United States of Portuguese America", and how about renaming Mexico to "United States of Central America" or "United States of Spanish America"? - Well, maybe it would not be a good idea to name Mexico the "United States of Central America" as such a country has already existed in history; it comprised Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and a part of Mexico, Chiapas.) See also wordiq.com/definition/United_States_(disambiguation) for more information and facts.

By the way, here's my current top 16 of national anthems:

1. Austria 1920 - 1929 (the best of all, not just because I'm living in Austria; by contrast, the current anthem is one of the worst in the world - what a shame!)
2. Albania
3. Iran before 1979
4. Germany
5. Soviet Union / Russian Federation
6. United States of America
7. Netherlands
8. United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
9. Japan
10. People's Republic of China
11. Pakistan
12. Canada
13. Brazil
14. Chile
15. Ethiopia
16. Israel

I wonder whether I should provide download links. Well, maybe it's sufficient to link to the website nationalanthems.us. All of these anthems are available there. (And I wonder whether anybody else reading this except me is interested in that stuff anyway...)

Now I've also added another song composed by me, which is called "Happy Song".

Samstag, 11. September 2004

I've added my concept of a game I've recently invented: "Wirtschafts-Simulation Zeitungsbetrieb" ("Economy simulation: Magazine Business"). As a matter of fact I had programmed such a game many years ago, but it was quite easy, and I wondered how I could make it more challenging. It's in German. I've added a copyright note so it's not allowed to simply rip this idea for your own game; please contact me if you want to implement a game based on my ideas.

And I'm happy to report I've converted two of the tunes composed by me (on my piano) to MIDI format so that you'll be able to listen to them as well! Look out for "Cheerful Song" and "National anthem of a fictional country" in the "Misc" corner.

Freitag, 10. September 2004

Updated "About Me" again, e.g. the list of books. Yeah, among a few others, I've started reading a (scientific) book on racism and a biography of Hitler's. I hope to learn more about the origin and history of racism, xenophobia and racialist violence this way. The book on racism also has a few chapters on eugenics, and the good thing is that there are both articles from advocates (e.g. William Shockley) and opponents so you hear both pro and counter arguments.

I am getting more and more fond of the Myers-Briggs or rather Keirsey types. For example, they seem to explain my preference for subjects which are about understanding difficult things rather than memorizing facts, and they also give an explanation why, despite having spent a lot of time with the demoscene for more than eight years and having good computer programming skills, I've never even made an serious attempt at coding a demo myself. It seems like temperament defines what people will do on their own when they act free of force. The question is whether it's good (for the individual on the one hand, and for society as a whole and the gross national product on the other) to force people also to do things which, although they have the required intellectual or physical abilities, they wouldn't do if they were free to do just what they wanted, or whether it's better to let them simply do what they like, i.e. pursue activities which suit their temperaments. Our system is a mix of both: On the one hand, school and most of professional training work by means of force. On the other, once you've completed your education and training, you're free to choose a job that suits your own, individual temperament (at least in theory).

In the early morning, my mother told me that today would have been the 100th birthday of my (maternal) grandfather. I guess we have to celebrate it in some way... Yes, my grandfather was not quite a young man any more when his wife gave birth to my mother.

Now I've completed the second week of my Famulatur (the word is derived from Latin famulus = servant) at the university hospital's department of internal medicine. Before I arrived at the department in the early morning, I had already feared that after all the time I'd already spent there, I'd have seen almost everything and it would be a boring day consisting of routine chores only. But fortunately, I was proved wrong and I made some new experiences again. The good thing about clinical medicine is that every human being is different, so even if the department you're working at specializes at the treatment of only a few diseases, every patient will need a slightly different treatment (even if you give two persons the same drugs in the same concentrations, you'll make different experiences). Today the ECG monitor at the nurses' station started to blink while the doctors were away visiting some patients; luckily I had been close to the nurses' station and noticed it. It turned out that the heartbeat frequency of a particular patient at the other end of the department had suddenly increased a lot; appropriate medication was applied, and the gears were programmed to automatically measure the pulse four times per hour. Together with another student I changed "Essigpatscherl" (an Austrian regional expression for towels soaked with vinegar) twice per hour in order to reduce the patient's temperature. Actually that's a typical job of a nurse, but you see, medical students like us are so diligent... Another patient was taken down to the department of interventional radiology for puncture of his pleura; we watched how this was done. So in short, it hasn't got too boring yet, and I hope it will continue about like this also in the two weeks remaining.

More new stuff to this website: I've found some fictional maps and came to the conclusion that two of them are very cool. So the section "Micronations" has been re-activated. I've also re-uploaded the old game "Die Reise zum Mond" ("Journey to Moon") and added a slightly older profile photo of mine. The old homepage also contained a few others things which aren't here yet, and maybe I'll restore more of them in the future.

Mittwoch, 8. September 2004

Chicobo has drawn a banner for me, so I've added it to this site. In exchange, I've included her banner on the "Friends" page. Thank you very much, Sabine.

According to Keirsey.com, which hosts a test based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) just like Typentest.de but has 55 instead of just 4 questions, I'm actually not an INTJ but an ENTJ. However, this has been a very close match: I scored E+2 on the extroversion/introversion scale; had I answered like a typical introverted person just one more time (instead of choosing the extroverted answer), there would have been an exact draw and it would not be possible to decide whether I'm rather an INTJ or an ENTJ. Anyway, if I were an ENTJ, this would mean I'd be a "fieldmarshal" - a natural military leader. Cool stuff. Maybe I'll be the leader of some scientific institution one day and command my employees like a fieldmarshal does!