Archive of postings for 2008, listed in descending order by creation date. Last Postings shown.

Trying to refute the ancient, nostalgic German articles on science and me, by playing the cool and sober professional.

Profession Or True Calling? Reasonable Questions or Musings Just Uncalled-For?

(elkement. Created: 2008-03-17. Tags: Science, Career, Profession, Calling. German Version.)

I have studied physics and worked in Research & Development for some years before I turned to IT. I cannot call myself a professional scientist any more though I have been involved in science / the scientific community here and then.

Natural sciences, physics and mathematics in particular are what I consider to be the core of all sciences. The way of thinking that I learned to apply to theoretical and real-world problems during my studies still influences the way I tackle any problem.

These are the results of my dedication to science:

So I do still love the following:

  • Clarity and precision, 0 or 1, yes or no.
  • Translating real-world problems to formal, self-consistent, preferred mathematical representations.
  • Really understanding what I am talking about as a result of theoretical investigations, intensive learning and hands-on experience.

As a logical consequence I am not overly tolerant when it comes to

  • So-called politically correct way to convey facts by adding lengthy explanations, most often as a result of too much soft skill centered psychological training (Well, I think we should probably change the warp core threshold value before the spaceship crashes - but only if you don't mind and this does not hurt your feelings too much)
  • Vague, inexact theories of life, the universe and everything, especially if these theories are inherently inconsistent.
  • Having to listen to somebody explaining (for example) quantum physics to me if this person has read one popular science book on the subject.

Observatories near Teide, Spain's highest mountain. XMas and New Year 2004/2005 in Teneriffa: Thinking about the future, science, and everything.

Referring to the German newsletter sent August 2004.

Subversive Newsletter No. 2: On Self-Reference

(elkement. Created: 2008-01-06. Tags: Newsletter, Subversive. German Version.)

The Element could have become a really good blogger. In the second newsletter is it presenting trivial and pseudo-funny facts. 2 is a prime number - go figure.

Then it is referring to its own websites, lacking content as well and links have not been working all the time anyway. But a newsletter or a blog entry is always a good chance or an update (I haven't posted anything for five months - now I *have* to create a  newsletter and distribute the same non-contents also on all of my web sites).

It is also very important to muse about web sites, blogging, newsletter, hyperlinks, the act of using that stuff etc. in a rather self-referential way. If you want to exceed beginner's level you have to start a meta-discussion on these types of meta-discussion.

And above all, you have to link to other websites, because (...to tell you a real secret...) the web is built on hyperlinks! Do not create an island web site - link! Link especially the sites nobody else links to, such as: latest news and "funny" sites. You will be rewarded by Thanks for Sharing replies.

I Have No Clue About Art

(elkement. Last changed: 2012-11-02. Created: 2008-01-06. Tags: Art, Definition, Self-Referential, Writing. German Version.)

(Final Insight, 2012)

That's the whole point of all that self-referential navel-gazing here.

Nevertheless I need to admit that these website, wimpy as they are, are The Element's only creative output. The Element is creative with respect to arranging characters on (virtual) paper. But I am not into drawings, paintings, or music.

What is creativity? Actions without purpose, without goals. Above all:  lacking any commercial or job relevant hidden agenda. Rather the opposite, actually.

This site has been started despite <..>, but not because of <...>.

What do I need to smoke in order to understand your websites? proves that his is not exactly a revenue booster.

What is Art? (2008)

The Subversive Element does not know what art is. And anybody claiming to be able to explain does not know either.

But you can elaborate on what art is not:

  • Tailored to meet the expectations of your target group.
  • Understandable.
  • Pleasing.

Don't Talk

Do it.

We can give it a try and explain that art is everything... (please also visit our Everything page)

  • ... that is not at all created to help the creator make a living (rather the opposite)
  • ... which cannot be understood, analyzed and comprehended not even (and especially not) by the creator.

What is a Netizen?

(elkement. Created: 2008-01-01. Tags: Web, Netizen, Internet, Technology, Geek. German Version.)

A netizen is an inhabitant of the internet. Everybody knows that today. Back in the golden times of the internet a netizen had to be an expert. A navigator through a new world, a world that existed only for the technologically adept. It comprised dark corners and caves.

Dark corners do still exist today. If you want to explain to paranoid technophobes why the internet is cute and harmless despite cybercrime you ought to say: It is just like the real world.

So everybody is a netizen. If the Know Everything oracle (Google) does not find any content related to you - you might be something special.

You might be a Realizen probably.

Personal website of Elke Stangl, Zagersdorf, Austria, c/o punktwissen.
elkement [at] subversiv [dot] at.