Samstag, 22. Dezember 2012

Poll on Military Service

The Austrian People's Party has initiated a poll on the military service in Austria. They expect that the majority of the voters will vote for keeping the military service for young men obligatory. In this way they want to show that the majority of the Austrian populace is conservative, and thus they expect to get an advantage in the next race for the national parliament.

Legally, a military service is a form of forced labour. Some even call it a form of slavery. It is the only form of slavery that is legal in Austria. This exception of the rule that forced labour is illegal is inconsistent with liberal views. For this reason, any person who truly believes to be a liberal must be against obligatory military service.

If the poll shows that the majority of Austrians is for forced labour, that will be enough to finally conclude that Austrians are feeble-minded and it would be better if the Republic of Austria ceased to exist as a sovereign state.

Freitag, 14. Dezember 2012

Obsession with IQ tests

Now having been involved in the international high IQ community for a while - that is the superset of WIN, WGD etc. -, I must say it really seems that most of the members share little except fascination for IQ tests. In most of the mailinglists of high IQ societies I am in, people mostly exchange links to new IQ tests. Although I do enjoy taking such tests now and then, as a good IQ test is comparable to a good brain teaser like the ones you can find in puzzle magazines, I do not understand obsession with IQ tests. I made the observation that the number you get at the end may of course point into a certain direction, but it is not exact. So if you already know that your IQ is above average, taking a test will usually not help you discover more about your intellectual abilities. You may get IQ 160 on one test, IQ 140 on the other and on the next just a bit more than 130. All of this has happened to me. I think the number a test gives you at the end tells you very little except what you already know - that you are far above average. For this reason I fail to understand some people's obsession with particular IQ numbers. And many IQ tests serve no purpose than provide you with a number. The only exceptions are those well-made tests that have an entertainment value. These are the ones I like taking. By contrast, from time to time I stumble across a test which does not appeal to me at all (this especially applies to many of the so-called High Range Tests designed by laymen). Since I am not interested in an IQ value such a test might give me, I do not take such tests.

Donnerstag, 6. Dezember 2012

What I learned at uni

I realized today that there was something I did learn at uni that has practical value: When I programmed the Shining Force 2 Remake, I did not know shortest path algorithms (Dijkstra, A* search) yet. So I had to come up with my own solution (as I usually try to reinvent the wheel, instead of searching with Google...). Now with the knowledge I gained at uni, it would have been far easier to implement one routine for the enemy movement in the game. So indeed, there has been something in the courses I took out of theoretical interest that actually has a practical application in leisure time projects.

Montag, 3. Dezember 2012

Postrationalistisches Weltbild

Ich kenne einige Leute, die in tiefreligiösen Familien aufgewachsen sind und dann, als Erwachsene, begonnen haben, sich ein "rationalistisches" bzw. "naturalistisches" Weltbild zusammenzuschustern. Ich bin in dieser Entwicklung schon einige Schritte voraus, weil ich in einem nichtreligiösen Elternhaus aufgewachsen bin und mir immer eine "vernunftgemäße" Sicht der Welt vermittelt wurde. Ich habe mich schon gefragt, ob es überhaupt möglich ist, über alle Dinge objektive Erkenntnis zu gewinnen, und bin eben zu der Sicht gekommen, dass das wahrscheinlich nicht möglich ist. Siehe dazu auch den Blogeintrag Ich denke, Popper wird sich dasselbe gedacht haben, als er sagte: "Wir wissen nicht, wir raten." Er hat ja auch seine eigene Philosophie den "Kritischen Rationalismus" genannt, weil er festgestellt hat, dass die Annahme, die Welt ließe sich rational erklären, selbst irrational ist.

Es mag wohl auch an meiner Persönlichkeit liegen, dass ich ohnehin weniger daran interessiert bin, was tatsächlich ist, als daran, was sein könnte und wie man bestimmte Dinge erklären könnte. So bin ich verschiedenen Erklärungsansätzen für bestimmte Phänomene gegenüber aufgeschlossen. Gleichwohl halte ich wenig von Esoterik, die bewusst auf irrationalen Grundsätzen aufbaut und Lösungen anbietet, die im Widerspruch zu dem stehen, was mir vernünftig erscheint.