My easily incensed people

A Turkish guy in a van turns the corner tight enough to almost run us over. He then stops and pulls down the window: “Möchtest du mir etwas sagen?”

To which I better don’t reply: “Ja, ‘senin ananı babanı sikeyim.'”

These guys are so easily triggered. Once I did say this and the dude followed me through half of Schöneberg in his car.

Wir üben keinen Druck auf unsere Mieter aus. Kein Mieter wird bei uns verdrängt. Das würde gegen unsere Werte verstoßen.

A quote by Ralf Spann the boss of Akelius, a private housing corporation in Berlin, who are known to intentionally shut down hot water and other amenities to get people to vacate their apartments.

Akelius is one of the corporations that is on the chopping block to be expropriated.

https://taz.de/Mietendeckel-in-Berlin/!5628554/

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.