Saturday, August 22, 2015

Getting Lectured

Fall semester is starting, so I have a second semester Biblical Greek class to do and separately a Machine Learning series of lectures on the agenda.  The Biblical Greek is on syntax and presumes mastery of basic grammar, which certainly is not where I am at.  To explain syntax, I will use an example from Aristotle: "I saw him being beaten with my eyes".  The challenge here is whether "with my eyes" is a modifier to "saw" or to "beaten".  Grammar doesn't tell us this, and instead we must look to syntax for guidance on the possibilities and probabilities.  The Machine Learning lecture series is from Caltech and follows some of my technical interests.  Eventually grammar and syntax will converge as I still need to follow up on earlier forays into compiler theory and implementation.  It is amazing to me how the scientific, technical and language worlds eventually interrelate.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A new restaurant for Fremont


I am trying to figure out what to do as an altruistic citizen of this city.

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Emergency Beer Delivery Service

Entrepreneurs are always coming up with something new here in Silicon Valley.  I like the telephone number since this gives it a quaint, retro look.


Mein Kampf wrapup

There is a lot more ranting against the RINOs Bourgeois politicians, the Jews, and many other targets, but at the same time it seems to me some clear analysis.  Hitler didn't get into power merely by being a mindless Trump.  Instead, he has some analysis of many topics, such as the various geopolitical actors.  For example, he contrasts the aims of England with those of France in their policies towards Germany just after The Great War.  England needs Germany as a counterbalance to France, whereas France wants a dissolution of Germany into smaller states.  What I was hoping to see in this work was more of the fascist economic program, but this didn't happen.  Instead Hitler takes the line that future policies will need to "evolve" according to the circumstances.

In this "evolve" theme we have another similarity with the communists.  They both consider it premature to map out a plan since whatever the future will bring is unknown.  A contrast is that the Marxists are more focused on destroying the present institutions, whereas Hitler has a more specific vision of where he wants to go in his Aryan agenda.  I have a sense that Hitler's eventually choice of gas to dispose of Jews relates to his experience of a gas attack during WW1 which let him nearly blind and which he blamed on the Jews.  The antipathy towards the slavs is spelled out in detail so that the Russians should never have had any doubt about Hitler's intentions.

Although Marx didn't provide much of a future plan, there are still some similarities in what was accomplished.  When the criminal classes rise up in Marxist revolt and overthrow society, the criminals will not want to leave things in a state of anarchy.  Instead, one will rise up as a leader and initiate a dictatorship.  The idea of common property than readily morphs into common property according to the whims of the despot, and the party organization becomes the new government.  In these general aspects Marxism follows Hitler.  Yet keeping in mind my earlier remarks of generalities vs specifics, Despotism can take on many forms so that individual implementation of communism can vary considerably while staying within the framework of Despotism.

This study will need to remain incomplete for now, since I would need to follow up with a study of the development of NAZI policies after 1924.  Maybe later, but I have other items clamoring for my time now.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Mein Kampf as Leadership Text?

Long ago I had subscribed to Harvard Business Review for a time.  They had case studies at the end in which a business situation was described.  Two experts would then comment on this case study to provide advice.  They would both "read between the lines" and double the number of facts in play, then provide a forceful recommendation on how to fix the business situation with a determined program.  The problem was that the expert's advice were usually completely different directions, and sometimes diametrically opposed to each other.  What I learned in the end was that it doesn't matter what decision you make, just that the decision must be presented and executed with bloody minded assurance of the absolute infallibility of the opinions of the leader.  The experts would also introduce additional "facts" which were contradictory, so I suspect that they came up with their solution first, then contrived the "facts" to pave a path from the solution back to the case study.

In Mein Kampf Hitler explains that political party leadership must be of the same sort, but his starting point for comparison is religious dogmatics.  "Religion" is too vague to inspire anyone, but the true strength of a religion lies in its theological specificity backed by authority that is above being questioned.  A suicide bomber never acts on the basis of "religion", but rather on a very specific set of dogmatic principles.  Thus, Hitler devises 25 points which he declares to be a "statement of faith", just as the Communists have their "statement of faith" in the Communist Manifesto.  The fussing over whether a point is correct or not causes people to have second thoughts about giving their life for that principle, so discussion of the points is prohibited.

The starting point Hitler chooses for his dogmatics is that Germans are the Chosen Race, albeit he uses evolutionary notions rather than attributing this to the work of God.  This is forcing a reevaluation of my prejudices with regard to his group.  I had known race was important to them, but not in this sense.  Hitler asserted that it wasn't Christianity that made Germans great but rather Germans who made Christianity and other cultural phenomena superior.  Cultural assimilation was thus deduced to be bad, since it would confuse Germans and they would be more likely to breed outside of their superior genetic line.

Everything else in Hitler's program seems to derive from his first principle of German racial superiority, backed by a ruthless campaign to help Survival of the Fittest do what it is supposed to do without any help:  Those who aren't genetically German can never be German, while physically or mentally deficient Germans should be prohibited from breeding.  Since he saw the genetic competition in mostly military terms, the emphasis was on promoting a militaristic nation.

A puzzle to me after reading this is how there could ever be a neo-NAZI group that isn't German.  Americans are mongrels.  Of course even Mongrels and Marxists can be racist, but as Hitler noted, it wasn't racism, but rather a particular dogmatic form of racism that was the foundation for his cult.  A diffused racism can never achieve focus.

It is important to note that Hitler was always devising his system to be in competition with Marxism.  By insisting on the unity of the German race, he was going into direct conflict with the Marxist who taught division of the German race based on class.  Hitler deduced that talent would be found throughout the German people, and that educators should seek out the best and promote them from whatever class they came from.   The ordinary would receive an ordinary and pragmatic education, but the extraordinary would receive more training.  This formula might be termed, "no talent left behind".

An additional point of interest were Hitler's Storm Troopers.  The communists of his time were in the practice of sending factory goons to non-communist meetings and beating any talented speaker to a bloody pulp.  Hitler's four and a half years on the Western Front didn't incline him to react timidly, so he organized some young men and made sure that they were sufficiently disciplined to deal with the communists according to the only methods the communists could understand:  Their own.

Saturday, August 01, 2015