This is your introduction to this WordPress subdomain, and myself.
I would really like to give opinions on various issues, but I believe it is my responsibility to write as seriously as possible, documenting anything I say that may be controversial or little-known. So, excluding my autobiography, and an article made specifically for WordPress, 10 articles of my original articles transferred here from the now-defunct knol.google.com remain: Spanish and English version articles on an American writer and a biography on a Canadian entrepreneur represent my purest historical articles. A touch of history is included in the oft-plagiarized “Moral and Ethical Systems” (4 sites guilty), and in “German Scripts” (plagiarized at least twice), while there are very limited references in the text, albeit more in the images of a re-titled work on suggestions for writing for the web and school. The same holds for a reference work on special dates [most of that work has been deleted as not sufficiently conforming to this site’s standards]. In addition to the article written in Spanish, a flexibility of interests is shown in the grammar article on the Slavic perfective and imperfective verb aspects, and the obsolete Spanish letter “Che”. Both of these, while not being on history, belong to the history of language. In the case of “che”, the link is obvious, while in the case of aspect, the West barely recognizes it, although barely recognized vestiges remain. To these, have been added an article on the historical figure, Marcus Singkhmoser, an attempt at humour, and a description of the area in which I was raised.
The preceding does not reflect articles posted later, reflecting wars. A few of those posts should probably have been put under “Pages”.
The earliest articles may have run-on words and out-of-date links, but the editor no longer works. The only choice is to re-write these as pages, as time permits. Transcription and spelling errors would be my fault. Information obtained at links or other referenced sites is used as is, without warranty as to the accuracy of the same. Students are advised to do their own research, and to compare sources. University students in particular should be able to separate the wheat from the chaff. As indicated elsewhere, spellings may have changed over the years, and one of my articles includes ridiculous citations for the sole purpose of letting the content of those pages be known – without any endorsement of the same.
This autobiography was created for the express purpose of revealing the qualifications of this author to readers. Description of competencies is based on the kind of articles the author has written, or might one day create.
Paul Karl Moeller is a graduate of McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, where he obtained an Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree in Combined History and Political Science, preceded by a five-year Arts and Science Programme at the secondary level, with emphasis on English, French, History, and Mathematics. He is able to converse in, and read, without difficulty, the English, Spanish, and German languages, the latter being his mother tongue. Occasionally, he also exposes himself to other languages, as their peculiarities are a source of endless fascination. While sleeping, it is likely that his dreams star political figures, or deal in geopolitical events.
Concomitant with his formal education, one can find the following either supplementing or reinforcing his studies:
Interests in Religion and Science
Practitioner of one of the main-line religions found in Germany in the Twentieth Century, in addition to the inheritance of his tradition, and the faith that, from the secular point of view, he irrationally holds that God does influence his life, an interest in science forces the God-does-not-exist school of thought to consider the following:
1) The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, very simplified, expresses that if one knows where something is, it cannot be known where it is going, and vice versa, if one knew where God was, it could not be ascertained what He was doing, which may be why some believe that the Supreme Being is indifferent to our fate. Further, it is already a given in the Christian tradition, that God is omnipresent, so the location is, as it were, known. However, animals of prey often notice their quarry only by the latter’s movement, ergo, by not knowing where God is going (what He is doing), we do not see Him.
2) Higher mathematics and physics work with multiple dimensions. A simplified, but useful way of understanding this complex subject is to see the line (one-dimensional object) as the shadow of a two-dimensional object (touching the straight edge of any planar object to another one will result in said line). Likewise, the shadow that a three-dimensional object casts, results in a two-dimensional area.Ergo, the third-dimension is the shadow of a higher plane.
3) Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem in simplified format states that proof of everything is impossible.
4) Traditional belief in biblical texts actually conforms better to true scientific practice, in that it is an application of Ockham’s Razor, suggesting that theories be kept simple (currently expressed by K.I.S.S., “keep it simple, … !” Martin Gardner, writing in Scientific American, once expressed that an extremely complex mathematical model had been created, which proved that the sun goes around the earth. Violating the simplicity principle, it is seen that its usefulness is dubious. Belief in a more literal account of creation frees the mind to focus on more practical sciences and technologies.
5) Einstein´s statement that God does not play at dice. The author acknowledges that the above does not constitute a formal proof of anything. In questions of belief, it is a matter of the weight of the evidence, nature abhors a vacuum, and belief (in something) is the result. On the other hand, if he were a member of a jury where the death sentence was in play, he might anger the judge by applying a very literal interpretation of the words, “… beyond any reasonable doubt … ” to the decision on the guilt of the accused.
Interest in Religion and History
Paul has studied the Renaissance and Reformation, and following that, taken a seminar course in the Reformation and Counter-reformation. A major essay prepared for the seminar class compared the doctrinal similarities of Roman Catholicism and Lutheranism, and emphasized their compatible aspects. In Russian History, as essay was written comparing the religiosity of Solzhenitsyn, Dostoevsky, and Tolstoy.
Reading, Poetry, and History
As a member of a post-war immigrant family, the author suffered some of the privations of most newcomers to the American continent, but a few books found their way into the modest beginnings of what would later become a larger-that-average library. The first six books were 2 westerns, Howard Pyle’s Robin Hood, R. L. Stevenson’s Treasure Island, a used Canadian Webster’s Dictionary, and True Adventure Stories for Boys. The first two books the author remembers from the modest beginning of a library in his primary school, was a book on tropical animals, and the volume, Famous Inventors and Their Inventions, while his personal library rapidly increased in size when an American medical doctor, with a summer house on the Canadian side of the border, gave him a text on General Chemistry, a book on insects, and the complete set of Funk and Wagnalls Encyclopedia, ca. 1930. An article in the latter, entitled “Language of Flowers”, led to the creation of a verse, “The Flowers Speak”. The theme of the War of 1812 led him to write a poem of 92 or 96 lines, which was posted in the school hall. Two lines are remembered: “… I, Henry Clay, of the State of Kentucky, say the Indians slaughter us. The British encourage this slaughter. … ” Henry Clay shall not be forgotten! In the last year of primary school, a work on the Canadian Métis, Louis Riel was written, which, against the author’s wishes, was displayed at the annual local fair. It did win some kind of award, in spite of the bad typing. Riel shall not be forgotten for riling the English speaking peoples on both sides of the 49th parallel.
In secondary school, for English class, he wrote a composition with the ridiculous title, “Love, Treason, and Death”, in which a mad scientist helps the Argentine Government build an atomic bomb and gain hegemony in the region. This was based on the author’s knowledge from reading Hansard, (Canadian equivalent of the Congressional Record), wherein it had stated that Canada had supplied the South American nation with a nuclear reactor. A humorous composition considered the not so funny theme of the then-dominant hi-jacking of airplanes to Cuba. One speech he made dealt with his hobby of the time, mentioned below, and another, a monstrosity of 80 minutes (since the teacher seemed to encourage novelty), dealt with communism. His major work in history class was a 40-page “opus” on the Middle-East crisis (at least a full page of bibliography), with a proposed solution. It did not differ that much from some of the more balanced solutions still on the drawing board, with the exception of suggesting disarmament of the parties most involved. In the last year of secondary school, he represented his history class in presenting a proposal on including educational policy in a new Canadian constitution. This was in Windsor, Ontario, on the occasion of the visit of a Joint Parliamentary Commission on the issue. Text of the presentation is available in the records of that time, of which the local Member of Parliament, Eugene Whelan, who would later be Agricultural Minister in the Federal Government, was so kind as to send a copy.
The author obtained the General Proficiency award at the end of primary school, and, despite many hours of physical labour in most of his school years, graduated as an honours student from high school, where a trophy was also won for Junior Boys’ Public Speaking. After the first year of post-secondary study, in which a couple of 40-hour weeks helped mitigate a year of of dietary privation, he continued working about 24 hours a week; yet managed to be on the Dean’s Honour list in his second year; interrupted study with a two-year leave to build up some capital; and, in his third year, ranked first in his class among those students studying History and Political Science.
The first year history textbook at secondary school was written by the man who would be the author’s Dean of Humanities at McMaster University: Dr. Alexander Gordon McKay . The following professors of History are also remembered: Dr. Edmond Beame (Renaissance and Reformation, reputed by some student to be able to prove anything in the Bible on the basis of Calvin’s Institutions), Dr. James Daly (English History, and claimed by the department head to be one of the most conservative professors in the country), and Dr. Ezio Cappadocia, Head of the History Department, specializing in French History. The professor of Russian history was wryly humorous Dr. Robert Johnston . All of these professors are now believed deceased. For Canadian History, there was probably a Mr. Turner (he lacked a doctorate at the time). The professor of German History was a disappointment, even to those who had recommended him. Of the Political Science professors, two were from Australia, a third was very unsure of himself, and a fourth almost never showed up for his classes, as he knew that the university was letting him go. There was a presumed American draft-dodger teaching assistant in Political Science (he looked like he was not A-1 for service, anyway), and there were some interesting professors of the German language. The French Department was heavily politicized, and this author passed French, not because of his knowledge of that Romance language, but on account of his knowledge of politics.
The author also wishes to acknowledge the role of the Head of the High School History department, who used the McKay text in the first year, and made possible the presentation at the Windsor University venue on the occasion of the visit of the Joint Parliamentary Commission referred to earlier. He will, however, have to remain nameless at this time, for the reason briefly mentioned in the note at the bottom of this text.
The Labour market being rather limited for graduates of the humanities, the author eventually struck out for Latin America. To avoid advertising, he will limit himself to revealing that most of his work has been as a self-employed teacher providing services to partners and managers in one of the Big-Four Consultancy Firms, and has had among his roster of students the Country Managing Partner, and at the time of this writing, the Tax Director of the same firm. The personal qualities of all the individuals at this company is something that will always be appreciated.
Hobbies – On Again, Off Again
In the last year of primary school, this author purchased his first copy of one of the two magazines to which subscriptions were to be obtained:
Popular ElectronicsorElectronics Illustrated. Within his means, some simple projects were constructed, and he was even requested to put together some Schlumberger Heathkits for a Puerto Rican- American Medical doctor, who gave him an old Hallicrafters S-38 radio. (This is not the same doctor as previously mentioned.) That radio, plus a home-brew regenerative set were used to listen to as many countries on short and medium wave as possible, another goal being to confirm their reception. This hobby was left off during the university years, begun again with a nice digital Radio Shack Realistic DX-100 radio in the late 70′s, and again about 11 years later, this time with some portable digital radios, the SONY ICF-SW55 and a Panasonic RF-B40, always seemingly at the time of the peak in the sunspot cycle – which is important for short-wave. The hobby tied in with the author’s academic interests – sometimes there was history in the making, as hearing Radio Americas , which was a CIA anti-Castro operation from a secret location later revealed to be the Honduran possession of Swan Island. Radio Uganda was heard the day that Idi Amin was overthrown, and in spite of the change of government (the radio announcer mentioned hearing shots, and that the station was being surrounded!), the author received confirmation of his report, and in the 90′s, he heard the once-a-year 1 or 2 hour long transmission from Santa Helena, the island of Napoleon’s exile, and is surprised that the post office managed to locate it.
This recreation also served as an added stimulant to the already existing desire to learn foreign languages. Having already passed his time reading the bilingual labels on Canadian-sold products before ever studying the French language, he bought, for example, a text for Spanish, and composed a very simple letter to Radio Nacional de Colombia. The Director of the time gave a very kind reply, “Permíteme felicitarle por el español que Ud. escribe…”, and encouraged the author to keep writing. Likewise, a French-Canadian captain of a Great Lakes freighter was appreciative of a letter in his language. A few words of very basic Arabic of also reaped positive results from Middle Eastern lands.
Samples of replies from radio stations are given below. The educational value of time signal station CHU may be noted, and the relative size of the card from Zimbabwe. The author feels that any uncontaminated mind that would have to listen to a program from a communist country for 30 minutes (if that long), would never think well of that ideology. At the same time, he has noticed that some dictatorships of the right launched programmes with an execrable command of the English or German languages, thus again the ideology undercut its attempts to obtain sympathy for itself. “Where were them … when … ? ” fulminated one reporter, against Human Rights campaigners. Unfortunately, internet has largely made international broadcasting an anachronism, and the switch to digital transmission on AM will deprive thousands of children from a simple, educational past-time.
Some ideas on his way of thinking can be found by reading his articles.
Sample Replies to Reception Reports to Radio Stations for the hobby of SWLing (Short-wave Listening) and DXing (attempts at distant or difficult reception.)
QSLs (Verification of Reception Reports) from Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, Radio France Internationale via France and Gabon (Front and part of back, respectively), fragment of the back of one of the many VOA (Voice of America) relays throughout the world, and the back of a card from New Zealand , which at the time of reception had an interesting programme from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation , on how the Italian Community in Toronto, Ontario, was modifying the way English was spoken in that area.
Note: QSLs shown reflect an arbitrary selection of those on hand at the time, not preferences. The link for Zimbabwe was not working at the time of this edit.
From top to bottom,left to right: QSLs from Vatican Radio, showing antenna; Nazca line type design on Radio Bulgaria QSL; obverse of card full of history, from Canadian National Research Council Time Station CHU (equivalent to U.S.A. National Bureau of Standards stations WWV and WWVH ), decal from Radio Jordan , and extract of letter QSL from the United Arab Emirates (link was not working at the time of this edit.)
Note: To limit the possibility of identity theft, the description of the author has been limited to those details that have the most relevant bearing on his submitted articles. This article has been slightly revised, and, as it did not belong in the “Articles” section, it has been transcribed and amended as necessary.
Links up-dated October 24, 2015.
Update, January 2, 2019: An article to complete this one, especially with a broader range of qsl cards, was written in December, 2018, with the name “How Hobby Radio-Listening Gave Lessons in Diversity”.