Posts by Martin

    "Den Zehnten (des Einkommens) an die Kirche abliefern" or by meaning just "Den Zehnten bezahlen".

    OK, so I withdraw my assumption of a spelling mistake because I just did not know this English word.

    Thanks for sharing your draft. I mostly agree with the content but recommend rework regading the following items:

    "but do not cure others who are healthy" sounds weird because of what should healthy people be cured?

    "the (false) boundary that exists between science and philosophy" is not that false outside EP. Recognition of this boundary allowed the Vatican to withdraw from meddling with science and from excommunicating or killing scientists and allowed science to proceed without refuting religions. Moreover, a number of modern cults deceive people with false claims to have overcome the boundary and to provide a path to understand science from the (of course non-sensical) beliefs of the respective cult. We need to be clear that EP's way to overcome the boundary is to start from science and not from religion but that overcoming the boundary is already beyond science because any suitable definition of truth is different for science and philosophy.

    "Just as we see both symbiosis and competition in organic nature, we also see both cooperation and hostility in social relations." This analogy sounds far-fetched to me because what happens in both realms is conceptually very different.

    Is "tithe" a spelling mistake?

    The "original" was probably that re-assigned Italian site.

    That each translation of a fragment by an Italian reseacher seems to be revised by a member of the Wuerzburg center indicates that the cooperation between the teams is fairly close and that the Wuerzburg page is a good mirror site of whatever original might exist on an intranet in Italy.

    South Germany is not on my itinerary this year, so it is unlikely that I will get some first-hand info soon. If I find some interesting material from Wuerzburg in German, I will certainly elaborate here or on FB. Moreover, I prefer to acquire more formal knowledge on Epicurus' philosophy before making direct contact with the Wuerzburg center.


    Other than taking workload off GPs for trivial stuff like a cold or a broken bone, AI is more suitable to replace specialists than GPs. Things like the GPs personal long-term contact with the patient, his ability to draw on wider knowledge and experience and hopefully to think out of the box, the consideration that a symptom which superficially calls for one specialist may be caused by a problem for which another specialist would be the much better choice to channel the patient to, are likely to be much more difficult to encode than what most of a specialist's knowledge and ability consist of. AI solutions will necessarily suffer from "political correctness" and the need to play by the book to avoid lawsuits. A GPs personal advice to a specific old person to take a glass of sparkling wine a day to boost circulation is unlikely to come from an AI solution.

    Worse in Russia, because alcohol comnsumption in Germany is mostly beer and wine and to a lesser extent spritits, and on average, Russians seem to drink much more spirits and less beer and wine.


    Industrial productivity in the GDR was about 30% of the old BRD, and demand in its traditional markets in Eastern Europe collapsed around 1990. So, the reunification wiped out most of East Germany's industry within a year. There were certainly many cases as you described. But after some initial difficulties, the majority of East Germans managed to cope well with the transition to the moderate form of capitalism then prevalent in Germany. Education in East Germany was mostly not inferior, and the percentage of women working full-time jobs had been way higher under socialism. This certainly helped in the transition. Except for the then middle aged, the percentage of those who got stuck permantly in state welfare was probably not higher than in the West, and the percentage of those for whom alcoholism made things worse also not. On a sarcastic note in comparison, West Germany started off on its own so badly into the reunification that those East Germans who could not cope in the long run did not make the statistics worse.

    Alcoholism is often described as a major problem in Germany but I may be biased because my father was an alcoholic and dragged my mother into it, too. However, the vast majority of Germans (including about everybody in my extended family except for my late parents) knew/knows how to handle the vast choice of moderately priced alcoholic drinks. So, despite my bad personal experience and what medical doctors in official functions and other sissies say, I prefer that we can choose what to drink without being limited by excessively inflated prices. Alcohol is a part of culture in all German regions I kow, and excluding welfare recipients would be discriminative. In Cologne, we even have a popular song expressing the generosity to invite a man without money to a beer in the pub.

    The quote is not included in the free on-line excerpt of what seems to be the political testament of 1768 but a number of books contain that testament. During may time-out in Germany, I can search for it in the library of Cologne, which was an independent city state until Napoleon and became part of Prussia after Napoleon's defeat and therefore should have some books on Prussia and its kings in the library.

    While trying unsuccessfully to source the quote, the search - mostly under…drich-ii-von-preussen-185 -

    showed that the quote adequately describes his strong disagreement with Christian metaphysics.

    He regarded the claim that Jesus was the son of God a misinterpretation of the New Testament and knew about the increasing distortion of the belief in early Christian history and the oppression of other religions and denominations after Christianism's power grab.

    What is relevant in the broader context is that he agreed largely with Christian ethics, which he regarded as instrumental to have loyal citizens, was within Prussia for main stream Protestants the equivalent of the Pope and was in general tolerant to any religious group.

    He would interfere when he got the impression that a group tried to oppress other religious groups, had a negative effect on the economy or sided with Prussia's rival Austria.

    I guess it comes from remnants of the medieval territories controlled by local warlords, from Buddhism itself, which accepts large income disparities, and from a shift in actually practiced philosophy from Buddhism, which is still upheld by rituals and protected by the Constitution and other laws, to Confucianism, which puts emphasis on accumulating wealth and the primary allegiance to the family/clan.

    The welfare system in Thailand is rudimentary. Old people can get enough to buy food but not to pay rent. There is cheap, basic health service for the poor and that is about it. People can supplement with insurance for reasonable fees but would need income for that. Regular employees of regular companies can get better health care and contributions to retirement funds. Only government officers get a pension and free, decent health care after retirement. So anyone below retirement age needs to find work just for survival. Relying on wealthier family members may sometimes work but usually, the family will exert quite some pressure on free-loaders to work. The disabled get support from there families and can beg for sufficient donations from passersby because this is a culture where people like to donate to make merit. The steep income differences and the latent social conflict suppressed by the last 2 military coups indicate that Thailand is not a close-knit society beyond local communities.