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Duesseldorf, Germany
Recent Activity
For a bit of context, the good Dr. Thompson, on his excellent blog, gives a brief summary of the most important things to know about intelligence (emphasis added): Intelligence does not guarantee good decision-making in all circumstances, simply better decision-making... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at German Joys
The blank slate theory of human development holds that human beings are all born with roughly equal capacities, and that variations between humans on an individual and group level exist solely (or almost solely) because of environmental factors. This idea... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at German Joys
I've blogged before about social psychologist Jonathan Haidt, especially his writings about 'sacralization' and political discourse. Crudely oversimplified by me, the theory goes: he proposes that much of what we consider someone's political ideology is choices about who is open... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at German Joys
From the window of a bookstore on the Frankfurter Allee, Berlin. A book on elevator repair, and a book of 'Humoristic Sketches from German Commercial Life'. Not cheap! I wonder if this is the same George Weerth: Georg Weerth (17... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at German Joys
About 1/3 of the Boxhagener Platz flea market is just plain junk. The most unsettling thing I saw there yesterday was this: Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at German Joys
Norm MacDonald channels the stone-cold average American on Germany: Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at German Joys
I popped over to Berlin for the weekend and this time stayed in Friedrichshain. Friedrichshain is part of the former East Berlin which was pretty rundown 10 years ago, last time I visited, but is now gentrifying, as the phrase... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at German Joys
"I would rather have questions that can’t be answered than answers that can’t be questioned." att. to Richard Feynman Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2015 at German Joys
The Economist reports: The Netherlands consistently ranks as one of the best places in the world to live. Dutch kids are among the happiest in the world, according to Unicef. Some attribute their high quality of life and general good... Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2015 at German Joys
Yesterday I rode down the Rhein to Urdenbach. The bike route takes you through an industrial area in which there's basically one house left: No. 73, Reisholzer Werftstrasse. The 4-story building stands there completely alone next to a large, empty... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2015 at German Joys
So, Germany's going to be inundated this year with up to 500,000 unsolicited immigrants, who for some reason are referred to as 'refugees' by most mainstream German media outlets even though most aren't. Meanwhile, Germany already has a backlog of... Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2015 at German Joys
"Disinterested intellectual curiosity is the lifeblood of real civilization." - G.M. Trevelyan Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2015 at German Joys
Over a year ago, I predicted we might well learn that the German intelligence service, the BND, was probably doing all sorts of things that Germans might well disapprove of if they knew about them: German spy agencies have extremely... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2015 at German Joys
Finally, Typepad lets you post multiple photos at once (more easily), so let's give it a whirl. This being the Rheinland, there are a lot of former quarries and gravel pits around, many of which are turned into artificial lakes.... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2015 at German Joys
"Good fortune deceives, but bad fortune enlightens." -- The Consolation of Philosophy (trans. Victor Watts) Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2015 at German Joys
Jamie Bulloch's translation of Er ist Wieder Da into English under the title Look Who's Back gets an uneasy review in the New York Times: The novel’s conceit is easily summarized, less easily parsed. In 2011, Hitler awakes (apparently not... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2015 at German Joys
[Hans von Thann (g) ringin' the bell of the Zytgloggenturm in Bern, Switzerland, if ya know what I mean] I don't mean to give offense, so let me be clear: the word cocks doesn't mean what you're thinking. I only... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2015 at German Joys
I've been getting, and refusing, a few German press inquiries about recent events in Baltimore. I don't do hot-take live interviews. Someone was arrested and suffered a fatal injury; we are still a long way from knowing all there is... Continue reading
Posted Apr 30, 2015 at German Joys
I went to Japan last Christmas and loved it. Everywhere is clean, the people are courteous, street life is lively and safe, free public restrooms everywhere, spectacular shrines temples and gardens, handmade things made of natural materials. The entire country... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2015 at German Joys
Those who advocate open borders, or at least a huge liberalization of EU immigration policy, have an ally in the influential Australian philosopher Peter Singer, who has argued that all people in the West must make painful financial sacrifices of... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2015 at German Joys
One thing that anti-death penalty forces in the US have been doing for years is reaching out to conservatives. Everyone knows all the arguments of lefty death penalty abolitionists and most people disagree with them. Usual suspects, heard it all... Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2015 at German Joys
The Guardian has seen a draft of the new EU plan for combating boat refugees: Only 5,000 resettlement places across Europe are to be offered to refugees under the emergency summit crisis package to be agreed by EU leaders in... Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2015 at German Joys
So, I have cats. Like dogs, cats sometimes like to lick you. This can be pleasant and invigorating. But when Fido jumps up on you when you return from work and plants a big wet kiss on your cheek or... Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2015 at German Joys
Firoozeh Dumas moved from America to Germany and experienced the opinionated world of German customer service at the pharmacy or, as she calls it, the shame shack: Let’s say you have a borderline embarrassing medical condition. Here’s how it goes... Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2015 at German Joys