Montag, 31. Januar 2005

I've found an interesting article at liberalismus.at, the leading Libertarian website in the German speaking countries, which was written on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Its purpose is to show by means of commented quotations from Mein Kampf that Adolf Hitler was a Socialist and hated the Jews because he considered them Capitalists. The author's shocking conclusion: Hitler's way of thinking resembled the anti-globalist and anti-neoliberal movements of our days very much. As long as there are people who support the ideas of national-state and social justice, there is the latent danger of a return of national socialism. Envy and fear are the roots of hatred.

Dienstag, 25. Januar 2005

I've found an article at Spiegel Online which tells us that the German party FDP (Free Democratic Party, classical liberal) would like more university graduates to get children. A member of the party's executive, Daniel Bahr, said that "currently it's the wrong people who get children". He has proposed some measures for increasing the number of gifted children in the population.

Montag, 24. Januar 2005

The results of the EPROG programming exercises have been released! They're at the wall of the Informatik-Labor in Favoritenstraße 9-11. To summarize them: A bit more than 500 students participated in the course. Two students share place 1: Both of them have got 126.4 points each. The third place has got 122.3 points, and the fourth place is me - with 122 points. So 99.4% of the students did not score higher than me. Interestingly, this correlates well with my logical-analytical IQ, which is supposed to be higher than the logical-analytical IQs of 99.75% of the population.

Donnerstag, 20. Januar 2005

Yesterday I also attended the Club Biotech Lecture by Prof. Carl Djerassi, the "mother" of the pill. Afterwards I was part of the dinner party with Djerassi, various professors from the University of Veterinary Sciences Vienna and several other active members of Club Biotech. I got two books from Djerassi for free, and he signed them. I've already started reading "An Immaculate Misconception" and like it very much - it's very entertaining and insightful at the same time.

Free Press Houston has already published my article about video games both in today's print issue and in the on-line issue.

My project management group (2 people) had our presentation today. We were the group that got full 40 out of 40 points. The other student I had worked with has also been very dedicated and perfectionist. He has even rewritten half of the paper in the last few days and made it better than the previous draft although the student assistant would have already given us the maximum score for the previous draft which I had sent him a week ago. The final mark for this course will be determined after next week's written exam.

Mittwoch, 19. Januar 2005

Today the following thought popped up in my mind: Biomedicine isn't the key technology to the future as I thought. It's astrophysics. Even if we manage to genetically engineer ourselves to perfection and become resistant against any disease, we will perish if the Earth dies. So we have to colonize the universe in order to save our species. We're playing a game against time. I will try to educate myself more in that area.

Last week I had my last maths exercises. I got all 55 out of 55 tasks right, so I'll get an A for this course. I also had the second test in basics of computer science. I already know that I won't get an A on that course, but it won't be too bad a mark either.

Today I had my last minor exam in pharmacology. Not only did I pass it, I even got a B! I guess I'll get a C for the total course, as I had a C on the written exam and a D on the first oral exam (the professor asked me to rate myself; hadn't I picked a D, he might have given me a better mark...). Well, this has encouraged me to continue studying medicine.

Samstag, 15. Januar 2005

I've found a cool comment at science.orf.at:

"founder | 14.01, 14:34
Schrecklichste Kriegswaffe aller Zeiten
war eine geistige Waffe. Der Kriegsgegner wurde durch den Einsatz einer Massenverdummungswaffe kampfunfähig gemacht. Die primären Auswirkungen dieser geistigen Waffe wurden erst 73 Jahre später beseitigt, aber die Wirtschaft des angegriffenen Staates und der umliegenden Länder ist heute noch durch die katastrophalen Auswirkungen dieses Waffeneinsatz geschädigt. Allein im Hauptzielgebiet über 20 Millionen Tote. Der Täter: Deutschland, die Zeit: 1917, die Waffe: Lenin-Bombe"

Of course this weapon killed FAR more than 20 million. The number was more like 70 million.

Donnerstag, 13. Januar 2005

Got mail from "Editors of the Free Press". They'd like to reprint my article "Do computer games wreck your brains?" in their twice-monthly newspaper. It seems like they read my article in Hugi as I published the English translation of that article only there; at this homepage, there's only the original German text. I've agreed and am curiously looking forward to the free copy of their mag which they've promised to send me once my article gets reprinted.

Freitag, 7. Januar 2005

After writing a fictional project diary for the course on project management, I seem to understand what performance means. My idea was to plan a fictional project involving three programmers (one of them being a graphician as well) and make its implementation more complicated by imaging that one of these programmers gets sick and is unable to work after two days. So the two remaining programmers have to take over his tasks, too. It turned out that assuming they are good programmers, it's possible to finish it by the deadline nevertheless. But of course they will have to work harder, while if the third programmer had not become sick, they would have been able to relax a bit, work at slower pace and make more breaks. Maybe they would have even become bored. I guess it's not good if somebody is bored at work; in that case, it's better to give him more challenging tasks. On the other hand, if you demand too much from him, it will be bad for his health. However, it's impossible to determine what's the balance; this is both dependent on the individual and on his/her current tasks.

Dienstag, 4. Januar 2005

I've re-read all the blog written so far and noticed one thing: I seem to be mostly a convergent thinker. I usually come up with one hypothesis, then discuss it and finally come to a conclusion. Divergent thinking would focus less on discussion but on the finding of (various) hypotheses. Maybe convergent thinking is typical of NTJ types and divergent thinking may be more often found with NTP types? However, that's a pure ad-hoc hypothesis for which I've found no evidence in documents on MBTI so far. In any case, convergent thinking certainly matches a leader more than somebody dealing with engineering or scientific problems. On the other hand, it's certainly not that I wouldn't be able to come up with more hypotheses than I usually do; but it seems that my secret motivation for writing (still) is to show off my skills at making logical conclusions and presenting particular - sometimes unconventional or radical - hypotheses in a rationally convincing manner rather than really trying to discuss all aspects of a problem from many different points of view. Well, this is when I write for my pleasure. When I was assigned to write an essay for school, I did take more hypotheses into consideration than just the one I liked most. I would also do so if I actually was to write a really scientific treatise.

The results for the first test in "basics of computer science" have been released. I've got 38.5 out of 50 points. So that's a good score. In order to pass the course, I will need to have at least 12.5 out of 50 points on the second test, which will be in less than two weeks. I've already prepared well for it.

Sonntag, 2. Januar 2005

The demo scene impressed me because it showed what gifted teenagers were able to teach themselves and create using their skills. It's like learning by playing. However, if somebody aged 20 or above creates a demo, this does not impress me at all. At that age, it's already possible to have obtained a formal education at computer graphics programming. I would be more impressed if these people used their skills for developing something useful, e.g. a medical visualisation system.

Samstag, 1. Januar 2005

Happy new year 2005! I have to get used to typing '2005' instead of '2004' now. Let's see how often I'll make mistakes, and how long I'll keep doing so. However, now that I've made myself aware of this, it's more probable that I won't make any...