Donnerstag, 26. Mai 2011

ÖH-Wahl 2011

Mit den Ergebnissen der Hochschülerschaftswahlen bin ich sehr zufrieden - an der MedUni Wien, wo ich Spitzenkandidat war, haben wir (Junge Liberale) 5,09% bekommen, und an der TU Wien, wo ich ebenfalls Kandidat war, haben wir mit 5,38% sogar den Einzug in die Universitätsvertretung geschafft! Cool!

Yet Another Personality Test

"The typical INTP is a logical, abstract thinker whose intellect is ideally suited to understanding pure mathematics and other pursuits unsuited to making a real living.

He is really only suited to two careers: college professor and game show contestant. Of these choices only one offers financial rewards allowing him to support himself; for that reason INTPs often take the other path, and become tenured academics."

Take the test at: http://www.nerdtests.com/ft_personality.php

Mittwoch, 25. Mai 2011

A New Idea Concerning Democracy

As Popper says, democracy is all about enabling the people to replace their leaders if they do not match the people's expectations. Now there is a problem to that: Imagine the people want social welfare policies, and the party in power - let's say a social democratic one - does not manage to achieve what it promised. What should people do? Vote for another party in the next elections and hope that that party will do it better.

Okay. The problem with that is that parties have ideological foundations. We usually do not have several social democratic parties to choose among, but one social democratic party, one conservative party, one liberal party etc. Now people might vote for the conservative party as a reaction to the social democratic party's failure to keep up a welfare state. But social welfare does not belong to conservativism. So why do they do that? Simple: because they have no reasonable other choices. And the conservative party may be populist, not clinging strictly to their ideology, but more flexible, ready to mimick social democratic policy. The danger to that is that in the long run, all parties will more or less adapt their programmes to what they perceive to be the will of the people. But how should in such case, for example, liberal policy be implemented when the people have changed their minds and decided to prefer liberalism to social democracy, if all parties including the liberal one have adapted to the social democratic mainstream?

For this reason, I'd propose the following: Ask the voters two questions. The first question: What kind of policy do you want? (Social democratic, liberal, conservative,...) The second: Who should implement this policy? So there should be various social democratic parties, various liberal parties etc. to choose among. Every party would have to declare its political direction beforehand. In this way parties could remain true to their ideologies, and the people would have the possibility to choose between real alternatives.

What do you think about that?

Dienstag, 10. Mai 2011

PhD-Studium der MedUni Wien

In der neuen ÖMZ stellen sich die Kandidaten für die Studienrichtungsvertretung PhD vor; man kann einige Probleme daraus herauslesen, mit denen PhD-Studenten konfrontiert sind. Nicht nur wir N201er haben Probleme, diese Leute haben ebenfalls welche. Das System ist nicht perfekt. Ganz allgemein aber eine persönliche Anmerkung: Ich habe ursprünglich mit dem Medizinstudium angefangen, weil ich in die Forschung wollte; denn ich glaubte, diese würde mir die Glückseligkeit bringen. Damals verfügte ich noch über so gut wie kein Fachwissen. Inzwischen denke ich anders. Die meiste medizinische Forschung, die hier in Wien betrieben wird, befasst sich mit Detailfragen. Mag sein, dass das eine oder andere Ergebnis in der klinisch-praktischen Medizin eines Tages umgesetzt werden wird; spannend ist das aber nicht. Wirklich große Fragestellungen werden höchstens noch am Hirnforschungszentrum untersucht. Wenn man sich nun das "Career model" für junge Wissenschaftler an der MedUni Wien ansieht, dann denke ich mir, dass man eher außerhalb der Forschung glücklich sein wird. Sollen halt andere Leute die Nobelpreise abstauben, wenn überhaupt; denn für Detailfragestellungen wird man ja wohl kaum einen Nobelpreis bekommen.

Books I'm reading in May 2011

  • Karl Marx, Das Kapital: In order to learn more about the political ideology of our opponents, I started reading this book, and already in chapter 1, I have to disagree with Marx. IMO the value of an article is not only determined by the worktime required to produce it. I told my girlfriend that I had no problems understanding Marx's first chapter, but that I did not agree with it, and she said: "For a Marxist, the fact that you don't agree means that you did not understand it." Oh well. Ludwig von Mises' approach to economics seems to be more reasonable to me.
  • Genie & Arschloch: An entertaining book about the dark side of famous historical persons.
  • Duden, Testen Sie Ihr Wissen: A general education quiz. Just to see how much I know and learn new (useless) things.
  • Daniel Goleman, Emotionale Intelligenz: A book on bad behaviour and how to improve it. What many people haven't realized: Emotional intelligence is not about showing your emotions, it's rather about suppressing them.
  • Aljoscha Neubauer & Elsbeth Stern, Lernen macht intelligent: A book on intelligence research. What's interesting: According to this book not a single intelligence gene has been identified yet. I remember reading something different, but maybe it is a dispute among scholars whether a gene that is significantly more common among highly intelligent people may be considered an "intelligence gene".
  • John Rawls, Geschichte der politischen Philosophie: Still reading, read a bit about Locke recently. His opinions greatly diverge from Hobbes', and this shows that philosophy is a subjective thing. There is no absolute right or wrong like in mathematics. Locke seems to be a founding father of liberalism.
  • Lisa Sanders, Detektive in Weiß: A book about medicine, how doctors make investigations to find the right diagnosis.
  • Molekulare Medizin: This pretty much sums up the parts of medicine I consider most interesting.
  • Ernst A. Swietly, Große Finanzkrisen: Still haven't read much of this. But it is probably an interesting book.