We don’t know shit about climate and German engineers are worthless

I just came across a yet another stunning realization: we don’t know shit about our climate and its changes … and German engineers are worthless. These two are connected. Allow me to explain.

I can see the lot of renovation of not-so-old houses across Europe. There seems to be no street in Germany, for example, where a house would not be renovated to insulate it from the cold. That’s what they do everywhere: they put heat insulation around the houses, all of them. The houses will be all smugly wrapped in colorful warm blankets of insulation soon.

What does it tell us, really? Well, it tells us that the houses built in the last century were not properly isolated from the cold. But this is Germany, right? German engineers are supposed to be the brightest in the world, aren’t they? Why did they not think of the cold winters then?

What could have happened? One, the climate may have changed drastically and they did not adapt the construction to the cold winters. That means they are really worthless as engineers as it seems that change of the climate happened a fair bit of time ago. My grandma did not tell me stories of anything resembling tropical or even Mediterranean weather. Still, the houses had thin walls, single glass windows and no heating installations except largely decorative and useless open fireplaces. Those construction workers must have been idiots, as well as must have been idiots the house owners who bought those houses.

On the other hand, they could have noticed the weather but there were no materials like we have now to allow them proper insulation. So they would not be able to do anything then, would they? Well, if you have ever been in Russia, you would have noticed that they built double-walled, double-glazed houses with proper heating all through the last century. Apparently, those engineers had the materials and instruments to build proper warm houses. Were German engineers so stupid that they could not even copy the designs?

Well, there we are. The German engineers kept using the designs for a much warmer climate throughout the last century despite the obvious fact that they are not suitable for the much colder climate than Southern Italy. Russians at the same time were building proper houses suitable for the cold winters and well heated. What else can we conclude but that (1) the climate has seriously changed not so long ago… -->

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The myth of a punctual German

I had to deal a lot with Germans the last three or four years. One thing I could not help noticing is that they are never on time. Well, no, that’s an exaggeration, of course, sometimes they are punctual but that “sometimes” is actually such a rare happenstance that it becomes exceptional on the common background of everyone being late nearly all the time.

Where did the myth of German punctuality come from? Were they actually punctual some time in the past? I do not know. What I know is that I came to expect a person from any other place on Earth to be more punctual than your average German.

People often say to me that “look, but their trains run perfectly on schedule, the buses are on time!” Well, those only run punctually because they have (technically) a lot of leeway. The buses and trains and whatever not runs on time (and sometimes ahead of time) simply because they have a large margin built into the schedule. They go, basically, half the speed most of the time, making the transport sluggish and inefficient. Compared to the Japanese transport system the German trains make one yawn.

And the trains are not people. People do not leave themselves leeway. They simply run late. All of them. All the time. Business partners, colleagues, doctors, teachers, police, homeowners and waiters. All of them make each other wait. Every day. All the time. The whole country.… -->

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