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Something I've noticed as rather absurd. I was giving a presentation to a class of students who are studying to become teachers. I pointed out that the German system is harmful to the economy, in that students get into the workforce way too late. The response I received was one of disbelief: How could I assume that everyone wants to benefit the economy? No wonder our economy is nearly dead.

There are several people I know of (from India, China, Africa, etc.) who came here to simply get the benefits of being a student, and then find employment here. How they intend to convert their student visa to a working Visa, I don't know. I do not mean to be prejudice against anyone , my Computer Science tutor was also an African, so not all foreign students from developing countries are here to simply take advantage of the system) but all I am saying is the low University fees, the fact that no one has to register for exams if they do not want to (letting you retain first year student status forever) must certainly be attractive for people who simply want to use the system, especially those who must have had it very hard back home. There are also some German students who do this, simply to get student bank accounts, student offers for various services, and the free transit pass. I wonder if the social system would be able to function at an almost break-even level if there wasn't a SINGLE case of abuse. (and I don't just mean in higher education, I mean with welfare benefits, unemployment benefits, medical benefits, and the millions of other ways someone can abuse the system)

This is a bit dated but you can understand the effect this has on universities.

In 1999- 2000 more than 23.2 Billion dollars were given to universities. Yale led with 233.7 million.

Princeton was 8th at 89.3 million. More than 80,000 Princeton alumni gave. Of this amount 35.5 million was unrestrictive, meaning the university could use it as it felt was best needed.

As for states closing, it is about the same everywhere - Auburn/Alabama Ga Tech/Georgia, Va Tech/Uva the list is long. LOL>... just like the first day of hunting season. It really does not matter where or even how large or well known a university is they have some very natural rivals. There are a large number of alumni who have great loyalty to their schools.

And yes, it really is a culture thing. I am not sure if one can change it. I know it would be difficult to do. The government has promised a free university education if you qualify. Part of the high tax rate is sold as providing a free education. So the logic is easy to understand why alumni do not feel a sense of commitment in giving.

Again it is a difference between a social welfare state and a state where there is more individual responsibility. These differences in individual attitudes poop up everywhere.

>>Michigan shuts down for the annual Michigan/MSU game and of course for first day of hunting season.

Ohio State. Do not schedule your wedding for a football Saturday, home or away. No one will show up, including the groom. (I actually worked with a woman who made this mistake - she had to reschedule for JUNE - hilarious!)

SS-nostalgic Zyme says:

"Slavery includes buying people and owning them. Those captured ones were not owned though - they were rented by SS for fixed fee.

Also my grandparents acted according to german law.
Thats why you cannot call them criminal at all."

So if the government gives the thumbs-up, then individuals don't have any moral culpability. OK, but for clarification: are the rules different for used slaves? What about Jewish slaves leased by private companies licensed only for Russian slaves? Can a German whip slaves he believes were legally leased but that don't have the proper tattoos, or would the uncertainty about their status create a moral dilemma for a good German?

Suppose Fritz were to borrow some hard-working Russian slaves from Klaus to plant flowers in the garden, but then accidentally killed them by locking them in a hot barn all day. If the only available replacement slaves were emaciated children unable to do as much work as the Russians, would Fritz be liable for some kind of damages to Klaus under German law?

Sorry all. I'm having a hard time deciding whether our friend Zyme is a clever prankster trying to Godwin the lot of us or whether he really is what he appears to be.

Niko wrote: "Well, it took Britain and the States centuries to build up their elite universities. The same has been accomplished in China and India much faster (tho just a handful there count as being elite), but only by attracting emigrant scientists who had spent decades in the West. Germany neither got enough time, nor the financial capacity, nor the scientific sex appeal, nor the political will."

Ahem. The history is actually slightly different, Niko. The era of the great research University in the US dates from the 1880's or later, and in the UK even later than that. And they had a model to copy.

Who that model was might surprise you. Don't confuse the early founding dates of great universities for 'thought leadership'. If that were so the Universities of Bologna, Paris, and Salamanca(Spain) would lead the pack - and they don't.

The University of Chicago (founded in the 1890s I think) is a perfect example. The architecture is modeled after Oxford and Cambridge. The thought model came from the greatest research university system on earth - that of Germany. Germany was among the world leaders until the 30's and you know who.

Given the illustrious history it's a shock that no German University was able to crack the top 50 globally. I hope this is about to change....

>>The era of the great research University in the US dates from the 1880's or later,

It's not clear to me what you mean about 'great research University'. Harvard is the oldest in the U.S. I believe. Many of the State Univs. began as agricultural research land-grant institutions. Penn State is an example, founded in 1850. So, I'm not sure I understand you - no, wait, I'm sure I DON'T understand.


Hold on to that post in the event ZYME shows up on another thread.


Right and wrong. Right Harvard is the oldest college in the US 1639. William & Mary (1693) was the first US college to obtain University status in 1779, before Harvard.

Terms again.

Europeans lack a curiousity that is exposed when they confront something new. It is a profound lack of curiousity that can surprise an American not familiar with it.
I have taken Europeans to baseball games for 25 years. You can count on them asking "Why do they do that?" not out of a desire to learn, but out of opprobrium.
They react to other American customs in similar fashion. They ask "why do you do that?" when, if confronted with another different culture, say, from the Far East or Africa, they would never ask that question.
They have an uncanny sense for finding something European in the US and glomming on that, while rejecting real America. They travel to confirm their preconceptions. I can't tell you how disappointed they are that Harlem isn't hell, and that nice big cars are parked everywhere in black neighborhoods (in which a greater percentage are likely to own their own home than in Europe).
And yes, yes, Americans spot McDonalds in Europe. It is not the same. They check out the menu, see the beer or mayonaisse on fries, laugh and leave. They want to see the effect and get out of there.
To keep out the Eurotrash, one Manhattan restaurant owner posted a sign: No Smoking and No Sunglasses.
It was effective.


It is absolutely true that many of the institutions that grew into today's US universities were founded in the early to mid-19th century and a few are much older than that. And (with a few exceptions, such as West Point, which was modeled on the French Ecole Polytechnique) most of those institutions were founded as colleges on an English model. That was a natural, but maybe not the best, choice for what had been British colonies. (Read Adam Smith for his decidedly negative views on the quality of British universities in the 18th century.)

Anon is quite right that, starting roughly in 1880, more and more American institutions of higher learning were extensively "remodeled" to mimic 19th century German universities, which were widely, and probably correctly, considered the best in the world at that time. Johns Hopkins was, I think, the first to take that route, but numerous others followed.


@ 267


And i always thought americans got no sense of german humor - how wrong was that!

Thank you very much, now I understand the context.

Not good enough. And my suspicion is that you know it. fuck off.

I was an Assistant Professor for seven years in the 1980s. I am no longer in academia because I didn't publish enough, and so I perished. i regret that.

I may be wrong about Germany, but what I understand is that Universities in Continental Europe and Japan are very rigid. A student matriculates in one field, and all his courses pertain to it. His curriculum is very rigid, full of lecture courses with little personal contact with faculty, and often not very demanding once the student is admitted. Students have no opportunity to take elective courses, and they don't change major areas of study. They don't have the chance to determine in their first couple of years in school what field they would be best-suited for. American schools may have some nonsensical classesas edubloggers like Kimberly Swygert's Number 2 Pencil or Joanne Jacobs' Critical Mass describe. But students get the chance to explore, without taking 7 years to get their first degrees.

Meanwhile, adults return to school quite often to improve their qualifications, to change careers, or even just for enjoyment. I don't see much of that from Europe. I may be wrong, however. If so, please let me know nicely.

At least the US does not have situations like the one school in Paris that every politician is expected to come from. I don't know if Germany has the same situation. We don't have just one important school for mathematics, for political science, for chemistry, or for music. Each school covers some fields better than others, but interests and research are wildly distributed.

No fair! You guys are giving away all the great D.C.-area tour secrets!

(By all means, see the Air & Space Museum: German tourists may be especially interested in seeing the V2 on display.)

Andrei Markovits: Amerika, dich hasst sich’s besser.
Antiamerikanismus und Antisemitismus in Europa.

Paul Hollander aus seinem ausgezeichneten und maßgeblichen
Buch zum Thema: „Antiamerikanismus ist eine Anfälligkeit für Feindseligkeit den Vereinigten Staaten
und der amerikanischen Gesellschaft gegenüber, ein unbarmherzig kritischer Impuls gegenüber
amerikanischen sozialen, wirtschaftlichen und politischen Institutionen, Traditionen und Werten; er
geht einher mit einer Aversion gegen amerikanische Kultur und ihren Einfluss im Ausland, verachtet
häufig den amerikanischen Nationalcharakter (oder was dafür gehalten wird) und mag amerikanische
Menschen, Stile, Verhalten, Kleidung usw. nicht, lehnt die amerikanische Außenpolitik ab und
ist fest davon überzeugt, dass amerikanischer Einfluss und amerikanische Präsenz wo auch immer
auf der Welt schlecht sind.“ Es ist ein allgemeines und umfassendes Missfallen, das zumeist keine
konkreten Gründe oder Anlässe hat."


25 Seiten guter Stoff!

Gabi, thank you.
This underappreciated book, written by a survivor of Soviet and Nazi oppression, plumbs the depths of human ignorance with a thorough dissection of the Anti-American fervor of the Left both here and abroad. He methodically lays out the intellectual origins of Leftist thought as it relates to the churches, higher education, the mass media, Nicaragua, the worldview of college students, the third world, western intellectuals, and Mexican and Canadian intellectuals. Including the index and references the book spans over 500 pages. At the end the reader is given pause by the strict adherence of these worshippers of the secular humanist faith to a completely discredited Marxist dogma that has been a total failure, on a worldwide basis, wherever it has been enacted into public policy.

Pamela, thank you for the link. Markovitz hold a speech, which is available online (or online available. I will never learn it. Hubby isn't here, still in the US) and he used the definition from Paul Hollander.

This speech is really good. The book you metnioned, I did not read but I will.

Yesterday there was a suicide bombing in Netanju/Israel. How can Germany be quiet about this disgusting culture of killing. I am deeply worried about my country. We are watching this since 2000 and we are giving them mentally support by calling it a reaction on the "occupation".

We watched young men getting trained in Afghanistan. How many men were there while we were drinking coffee and our governments talked about PEACE? These deadly boygroups are the result of our Peace management. Our failing to stop the terror camps in Afghanistan is obvious now. The Iraqi war did not create these terrorists. Many went to Afghanistan BEFORE it, long before it. Think of the terrorists in Hamburg. For what did they go to Afghanistan when they were students in Hamburg: Poor, humilized? No, bounded together in hatred and arrogance, bounded together by their feeling to be superior.

about the suicide bombing in Israel: We did not read much about it when there were the three dead women and about 70 wounded people. I did not see any pictures. But when Israel reacting, there are plenty of them. That is the way it works. That is the way they make people think that israel is the bad one in this game. They don't show the wounded Israel in our media. A terror attack in netanju and nobody is really shocked here. It is not important, nobody really cares. What happened to our Government and media, that they feel this way??? 60 years later, we are guilty again and I am part of it and I feel terrible about it. I am watching it.

They don't show the wounded Israel in our media

They do, maybe you need some glasses, but of course they dont show such pictures in the "Kinderkanal", watch other channels!

you sound angry, what bothers you? Any problems with the subject? then you are totally right here. Go on with reading.

i am not angry at all, i just told you that indeed I saw the pictures of this terrorist attack in israel in the german news........thats all! Well israel is not the world, why do you expect that german tv reports the whole day from israel?

Don't change my text. I did not say, German media should report all day about Israel. I said, they don't show the wounded Israel, when the terrorists attacked them. Are you able to understand the difference? Or is something blocking you? Why did you lie and changed my text?

East Coast of the US- pish. Spent three years in DC, and every summer living there was like swimming through sweat soup. Yes, the museums were okay and the civil war historical sites were nice, but the weather was heinous and the people were foul- imagine every apple polishing brownnoser from high school student government for the last 50 years descending on the same piece of turf, and you get the general feel of DC's populace.

Where any respectable German tourist should be going is Chicago, capital of the midwest. A good deal of this city was built by German immigrants, along with us Micks. It has an amazing lakeshore, great museums, outstanding bars/pubs/restaurants, and world renowned architecture (thanks to little known people like Mies Van Der Rohe), among other things. Best of all, it's a very metropolitan city with the friendliness of a small town- one friend that visited from the Big Apple commented "Chicago is like New York City- on lithium!" Additionally, our Mayor is a corrupt elitist bastard (it's unknown whether or not he dyes his hair though), so German visitors will feel right at home on the political front.

Might be wise to get here before a) Winter sets in, and b) before the Euro finishes flushing itself down the toilet.

And no, I don't work for the Chicago Tourist Board.

Yo Zyme, you said: "And you got no sense of german humor.." to a previous poster, which reminds me of a joke I heard somewhere in Europe once-

"In heaven, the Italians cook, the English tell jokes, and the Germans run the trains.

In hell, the English Cook, the Germans tell jokes, and the Italians run the trains."

Suppose the French just pout, smell bad and chain smoke in purgatory....

"Anon is quite right that, starting roughly in 1880, more and more American institutions of higher learning were extensively "remodeled" to mimic 19th century German universities, which were widely, and probably correctly, considered the best in the world at that time. Johns Hopkins was, I think, the first to take that route, but numerous others followed."

T'was Don, not 'Anon', Jeff. Thanks for the confirmation. It's difficult after almost a century for us to appreciate what a technical powerhouse pre-WWI Germany was. Much although not all of that prowess came from the German University system.

Not only in the technical fields - also in the social sciences and the humanities. If you include the Austrians and perhaps the Swiss in that community (as I think you can) you have a real all-star lineup from central Europe. Max Weber, Karl Marx, Albert Einstein, Schroedinger, Sigmund Freud, Joseph Schumpeter, Karl Jung, Lise Meitner - god knows how many others. I'm no expert - just enough to be blown away. Perhaps Jeff or someone else can fill in the blanks for us.

I guess my main points are
1) Building a 'world-class' research university system doesn't take 'centuries'. It took maybe 20 or 30 years for the US, possibly less. The University of California - San Diego is probably in the top 30 or 40 worldwide and was founded in the 60's I think.

2) The Germans don't have to 'catch up' to the US or the Brits. They have to catch up to where Germans were circa 1930.....

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