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Thread: Currently Reading

  1. #1761
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    Bits from a nice book called Maxims of Washington.
    'Militia est vita hominis super terram [The life of man upon earth is a warfare] (Job 7:1).'

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    Senior Member Heinrich Harrer's Avatar
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    Saw this book for just a few euros and couldn't resist:

    "Vererbungslehre - Rassenhygiene und Bevölkerungspolitik"
    (Foundations of Genetics, Racial Hygiene and Population Policy)
    - Dr. H. W. Siemens, 11th Ed, 1942

    I just have read a few pages so far, but it's interesting to read a book about eugenics from that time with the different outlook people had back then compared to the mainstream of today.

    The first part seems to summarize the historical development of the subject (from Lamarck, Darwin, Mendel, etc onwards) and to introduce the biological foundations as known in the early 20th century. Later chapters then deal with the dangers of heritable diseases, miscegenation, inbreeding or topics like the geopolitical importance of demographics for nations and cultures (on one random page I read he compared the birth rate of Poland to that of Germany pointing out the inherent dangers of such developments).

    About the author:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermann_Werner_Siemens
    Hermann Werner Siemens (20 August 1891, Charlottenburg -21 December 1969, Leiden[1]) was a German dermatologist who first described many skin diseases and was one of the inventors of the twin study.

    Siemens studied at Berlin and Munich universities, receiving his doctorate in 1918. In 1929 he became chair of dermatology at Leiden in the Netherlands.

    In a break-through study, he published "Zwillingspathologie" (Twin Pathology) in 1924 which introduced the widely used "classical twin method." He was the first to not only use twins in a study (to determine the role of genes over environment in skin moles), but to distinguish identical from fraternal twins, and use the correct 100%/50% genetic similarity inferences regarding these groups.

    His influence on the invention of the twin study is not widely acknowledged, possibly due his support of the Nazi's eugenic policies. His book Foundations of Genetics, Racial Hygiene and Population Policy called for voluntary sterilization of "pathological persons" and later editions of the book included statements in praise of Hitler's ideas on racial hygiene.
    The preface of the book for those who know german:
    Als das vorliegende Buch vor zwei Jahrzehnten als die erste kurze Einführung in die Vererbungslehre und Rassenhygiene von wissenschaftlichem Charakter erschien, galten wir Rassenhygieniker noch als bedauernswerte Phantasten. Und in der Tat waren uns die Zeiten nicht günstig: der Individualismus, der Materialismus und der Formalismus des alten Parteienstaates schienen großzügige rassenhygienische Reformen einfach auszuschließen. Die einleuchtende Tatsache aber, daß alles ideale Streben der modernen Völker eitel ist und eitel bleiben muß, wenn man darüber die Quelle alles Lebens und aller Kultur, die befähigte Rasse, zugrunde gehen läßt, gab uns Mut und Hartnäckigkeit genug, auch unter so hoffnungslosen Verhältnissen immer wieder für den Gedanken der Rassenpflege einzutreten.

    Seit der nationalen Erhebung sind nun aber die politischen Ziele, für die wir Rassenhygieniker schon so lange eintraten, ein Teil - und nicht der unwichtigste! - des deutschen Regierungsprogramms geworden. Aus der "Rassenhygiene als Utopie" wurde die "Rassenhygiene als Regierungsgrundsatz".

    Darin liegt eine öffentliche Anerkennung unserer Bestrebungen, die jeden Rassenhygieniker mit Genugtuung erfüllen muß. Bleibt trotzdem auch die Gefahr immer noch riesengroß: der Weg zur Rettung ist jetzt frei! Sehen wir deshalb zu, daß er nicht durch Dilettantismus wieder verschüttet wird. Auch zur Rassenhygiene gehören solide Sachkenntnisse! Möge deshalb auch die neue Auflage dazu beitragen, Verständnis für die Grundzüge der Vererbungs- und Selektionslehre und damit eine nüchterne Auffassung von den Aufgaben und Zielen einer nationalen Rassenhygiene weiteren Kreisen zu vermitteln. Denn unsere Zukunft wird rassenhygienisch geführt sein - oder sie wird nicht sein.

    Siemens.

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    Mein Glaube ist die Liebe zu meinem Volk. Juthunge's Avatar
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    World War I - A European tragedy.
    And the day they sold us out, Our hearts grew cold
    'Cause we were never asked, No brother, we were told!
    What do they know of Europe, Who only Europe know?



    Ancient DNA: List of All Studies analyzing DNA of Ancient Tribes and Ethnicities(post-2010)


  5. #1765
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    I've been on a philosophy kick lately. There is some really interesting/disturbing stuff out there!

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    Senior Member Stygian Cellarius's Avatar
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    Descartes & Currently Reading

    Quote Originally Posted by Elfriede View Post


    I've been on a philosophy kick lately. There is some really interesting/disturbing stuff out there!
    Those two books changed my life.

    When I was about 19 I began to discover that not all of my beliefs were mine. Meaning that there were some beliefs in my head that I did not arrive to through my own reasoning. Afterwards, I set out of a quest to strip away all of my beliefs and assumptions and start rebuilding my mental universe.

    A few years later I discovered Descartes' Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy (they usually come together regardless of the publisher). Descartes had attempted the same thing I was doing so this was the book for me.

    The revelation came when I truly understood what he meant by "cogito ergo sum" and the way I view reality hasn't been the same since. "I think therefore I am" is a very famous saying, but you would be surprised at how many people don't understand it. I have yet to meet one person IRL that does. If you don't understand it yet, be sure that you don't put that book down until you do.

    Currently Reading

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    Holographic universe by Micheal Talbot.



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    Senior Member Dohtig's Avatar
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    George Orwell-Nineteen Eighty Four

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    Senior Member CruxClaire's Avatar
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    Harris has some interesting theories, although whether a practical application for his ideas will ever exist seems unlikely.



    I've read all the Harry Potter books in English so many times that I decided reading the first one in German wouldn't be hard, but would at the same time help my progress with the language.
    Last edited by CruxClaire; Thursday, January 26th, 2012 at 04:42 AM. Reason: pressed "reply" too early first time around
    Leben heißt für mich, mehr Träume in meiner Seele zu haben als die Realität zerstören kann.
    -Hans Kruppa

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