20 November 2012

On the Greek neo-nazi party

The crisis in Greece has given rise to a gang, called Golden Dawn (Χρυσή Αυγή) who have, at the moment, risen to the third place. There are all kinds of comments about them on the Internet, for example, this one. The members of the gang are unashamedly talking about Hitler as a leader, a person who would have saved Europe from the Jews, would have created a super-state embracing the Greek ideals, and who would have led Europe to prosperity. Concentration camps did not exist--they say--and WWII was started by the Jews. National Socialism, they claim, was identical to the Greek ideology and they are sad that it does not exist now. They look back at the times when Greece was under military dictatorship, and state that these were times of prosperity and security. In brief, anything that would make any rational person sick is part of their "ideology". A few years ago, you would have to search hard to find someone with this kind of distorted mind.

They are in third place not because they are wrong in everything they do, but because they are right at the things they are actually stressing: just as the national socialists, they offer protection to those who need it, and the need is there, now; just as the national socialists, they offer money and food to those who cannot afford it--as long as they are Greek; just as the national socialists, they stress the corruption of the state and point out that those who stole public funds are not in prison.

People, desperate for a quick and dirty solution, turn to the gang and ask for help. As long as they are Greek, white, and Christian orthodox, the gang will, indeed, help them. They will, at the same time, beat everybody else up.

I would *never* have imagined, even 2 years ago, that the time would come when a member of the parliament would openly state that
if you are not white Greek, and if your parents are not white Greeks, then you are not Greek.
This is what the bearded member of parliament tells a Greek woman in the following, recent, video clip, because, as it happens, the woman is black, born of naturalized Nigerian parents:

It is one of the saddest points of Greek history. What is even sadder is that the neo-nazis receive, at the moment, loads of support from many people.

Indeed, the Time magazine article is right: the rise of Greece's Golden Dawn party is bad for Europe too.

If you happen to read this, please do leave a comment.

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What measure theory is about

It's about counting, but when things get too large.
Put otherwise, it's about addition of positive numbers, but when these numbers are far too many.

The principle of dynamic programming

max_{x,y} [f(x) + g(x,y)] = max_x [f(x) + max_y g(x,y)]

The bottom line

Nuestras horas son minutos cuando esperamos saber y siglos cuando sabemos lo que se puede aprender.
(Our hours are minutes when we wait to learn and centuries when we know what is to be learnt.) --António Machado

Αγεωμέτρητος μηδείς εισίτω.
(Those who do not know geometry may not enter.) --Plato

Sapere Aude! Habe Muth, dich deines eigenen Verstandes zu bedienen!
(Dare to know! Have courage to use your own reason!) --Kant