Figuring out why there is a shortage of pediatricians

Just like almost every public service in Berlin the pediatrician situation is absolute squalor. It’s impossible to find one who picks up the phone or takes on new patients.

We’ve had some bad incidents in the past with sketchy doctors because of this and now I’m trying to figure out why this is the way it is.

  1. Call my lead for a pediatrician
    “We’re very sorry but we can’t take any new patients.”
  2. Call the Kassenärztliche Verein
    “It’s not us who do this.”
    I am told to call the Dachverband der Krankenkassen
  3. Call the Spitzenverband
    “We do not determine how many pediatricians can settle in a given area.”
    The telephone person says they are a temp and do not have any channel up to their leadership. I’m told to call my own Krankenkasse.
  4. Call Techniker Kankenkasse
    ‘Wir sind nicht dafür zuständig.’
    The person says they have the same problem on a personal level in Hamburg but can’t really do anything for me professionally. I am told to call the Kassenärztliche Verein
  5. Call KV (again)
    Reception says that I can get a peds appointment sometime in the future from a different number of theirs (not what I want). I called this number before and they will not give me a pediatrician and that is if they bother to pick up the telephone.

Every instance says “Dafür sind wir nicht zuständig.” and sends me on until I’ve closed the loop.

It’s not the first time that this happens. I’ve previously spent half an hour being sent in a loop between Polizei and Ordnungsamt. This is the way that Germany functions: nobody is responsible for anything and everybody in between can get fucked.

Corollary: if it is impossible to figure out why something is the way it is, it is also impossible to fix it.

The Theory of Society

I was arguing against Systems Theory today (a necessary evil when you live in Germany) which prompted the thought of searching for the conjunction of Bruno Latour and Niklas Luhmann. That led me to this gem.

It turns out that they met each other for a debate in 1996 in Bielefeld and Latour DESTROYED his opponent (full article).

Luhmann, as expected, failed to engage with the theme of the conference, Science and Technology Studies and didn’t come out of his bubble. The same bubble that he has managed to trap most of the German humanities in.

[Luhmann] only managed to address the theme of the conference—science and its sociological study—with half a sentence where he curtly asserted that science is an autopoietic subsystem of modern society.

An autopoietic subsystem, my ass. Latour quickly riposted into a frontal assault at the entirety of Luhmann-ism.

No, according to Latour, this theory didn’t have anything to offer to him and neither he concluded any of those gathered there. A quick perusal of the conference program should have sufficed to ascertain that the empirically obsessed STSers could not recover their objects in this theory. This may be bemoaned from the high vantage point of the Theory of Society as poor, theoretically “flat” sociology, nonetheless, Latour replied, this empirical Zoology of STS gives an account of this society as it is and not how it may appear from the distance of the chilling heights of systems theory.
Latour clarified that fundamentally, systems theory represents everything that he and his colleagues in science studies have been battling for 20 years—yes, really battle and not just criticize. The purification of science, the simplification of the social by a demarcation with its environment, Luhmann’s work as the embodiment of the “cognitive turn” in epistemology—for Latour these were the old buzzwords that had to miss what’s special about science: its materiality. And in doing so of course also what’s specific for modern society, the large technological networks.

Latour battling ‘the purification of science [and] the simplification of the social’, a true hero of science and society.

Living without a car in Berlin

From a thread about whether it is possible or not to live in Berlin without a car (gasp!). This is what a normal odd day of mine looks like.

The car isn’t the problem or more like: having a car would be a problem. During those rush hours, doing the same journeys by car would take at least twice as long.

  1. 07:00 aufstehen, Kinder anziehen, KiTa brot machen
  2. 07:45 Lastenrad holen, noch was anziehen usw., Kinder überzeugen einzusteigen
  3. 08:10 Abfahrt zum Kita (andere Seite von Kreuzberg, 2.8km)
  4. 08:25 Kita Ankunft
  5. 08:40 Idealfall Abfahrt Kita zur Arbeit (Schöneberg, 7.7km)
  6. 09:10 Sitze auf dem Arbeitsplatz
  7. 16:30 Abfahrt Arbeit (weil ich sie gebracht habe muss ich sie jetzt nicht abholen, kann auch 16:00 sein oder 17:00)
  8. 16:45 Biomarkt wenn wir noch einkaufen brauchen
  9. 17:10 Abfahrt Biomarkt
  10. 17:25 spätestens wieder zu Hause

Den nächsten Tag tue ich das gleiche andersrum mit dem Zwilingsrad und hole die um 15:30 ab beim Kita. Ich fahre ungefähr 15km Rad pro Tag.

Ich arbeite 30 Stunden aber das ist nicht wegen des Autos oder so sondern weil ich meine Kinder auch ab und zu noch sehen möchte.

Mit Auto wären wir nicht schneller (eher viel langsamer weil Stau + Parkplatzsuche usw.) also das macht für unsere Stunden gar keinen Unterschied.

Set aside all of the obvious outcry, I haven’t seen a single argument yet that explains how encrypted communications are compatible with state power.

https://www.spiegel.de/netzwelt/netzpolitik/horst-seehofer-will-messengerdienste-zum-entschluesseln-zwingen-a-1269121.html

I listened to this and didn’t hear that explanation nor did I find many of the arguments against very convincing.

https://logbuch-netzpolitik.de/lnp302-wir-wollen-euch-nur-ein-bisschen-abkuehlen

YouTube hatchet job on the CDU

A collective of the largest German YouTubers have just before the European elections launched a campaign against the CDU and it’s a joy to see.

The CDU which is usually fully ignorant when it comes to digital issues has taken this broadside seriously. That by itself was a huge mistake. Most serious institutions would and should brush off something coming from new media.

Whether this will have an effect is hugely unclear. The core CDU audience is disconnected and apathetic but they do get a lot of votes from other segments as well and there they could be slightly vulnerable. In any case, the series of fumbles that the CDU has embarked upon while trying to address this has only served to give the boycott movement wings.

What’s interesting about the YouTubers is that they break with the German institutional consensus which is white, male and old. That group of people has a certain set of opinions and interests which has made sure that Germany has become increasingly backward. The YouTubers are young, (judging by their names and handles) diverse and not all male. And most importantly they have reach and fewer entrenched interests.

https://www.tagesspiegel.de/politik/neues-video-von-rezo-mehr-als-70-youtube-stars-rufen-zum-boykott-von-cdu-und-spd-auf/24379566.html?fbclid=IwAR2jbOBkIBldbxKy6HN45qqt9N8CotfCYP-4h1mBosolneeTcknxFxgTjCY

Late arrival to Verrücktes Blut

I was supposed to see this play six years ago. Let’s say better late than never. Seen Wednesday, March 20th at the Maxim Gorki Theater.

It starts off very chaotically with everybody shouting. It is very hard to understand what anybody says. This gets better later on but I still had to peek at the surtitles regularly. I guess I’ve been spoiled by Dutch theaters where they strap microphones to their actors.

The premise is clever and the scene surprisingly light-weight. What follows is a bit too drawn out. The physical acting does not impress and you can only threaten to shoot somebody so many times before you actually have to shoot them. If you don’t, things get a bit dull.

The play itself is badly dated and the various debates have far moved on mostly to become irrelevant. The bits of Schiller that they play have held up much better over the past two centuries than Verrücktes Blut has over the past decade. Schiller also lets the actors in this play show their skills.

There is some Islam-criticism that is supposed to be edgy but misses the point. Additionally, we hit the obligatory ethno-clichés, many of which made me laugh during the wrong moments. Neither manages to be actually cutting. The social engagement on display is there for entertainment only.

The troubles with the kids in the play have only worsened and a new generation is now forced to make their rounds through Germany’s broken school system. Nothing about the systemic reasons behind the problems the kids are facing is even mentioned in the play. The situation is unfixable and there is nothing to be done other than ‘acting dumb’.

The actors can’t help the fact that this theater will have to play their break-out hit until the end of days. Especially if it keeps on filling the house. But at some point, it might be good to call the curtains.