Tolstoy endures but here’s why the liberal arts may not

So I just read an interesting article tweeted by Parent Cortical Mass (@ParentCorticalM) by Valerie Strauss in the Washington Post “Answer Sheet.” The basic premise is that the liberal arts are in danger because, as prices rise with debt burdens, parents and students are seeing less value in studying the humanities. The liberal arts are down to 8% of students while STEM majors proliferate. The prospect is a bleak world of engineers who aren’t able to discuss movies with their spouses because they aren’t properly equipped with philosophy and film studies backgrounds.

I violently agree.

In middle school and high school, I was equally into both computer programming and stamp collecting. Because of an unfortunate standardized testing experience at the end of 10th grade, I was led falsely to believe that “real” computer programming was not for me. I gave it up and focused almost entirely on the humanities, to the point of earning a Ph.D. in modern European history in 2003. During this time I would dabble in computers but not too seriously: I mastered Visual Basic and Microsoft Access enough to get a job in between undergraduate and graduate school; I was probably the first Master’s student to turn in a URL for a final exam in 1995; I leveraged my SQL and pivot table skills in my dissertation; I learned CSS as a diversion and made websites for friends. After two years of adjunct slavery, when the writing was on the wall that I was not going to get a job teaching history in a place that I wanted to live, I decided to return to software development. First I taught myself PHP and JavaScript in 2005, found a job as a junior developer, learned Ruby on Rails in 2007, and have been going on it full-time and passionately ever since.

I am not sure if I would be better off if I had studied computer science instead of international affairs, economics, and history. I think a good part of my value proposition comes from that duality of computer nerd and stamp collector that is part of my essence. I don’t want simply to be told the project requirements – I’d rather help you define them.

I’ve always appreciated that I’m glad to talk about the movie afterwards. I’ve been in a couple of book clubs. I read the New York Review of Books to keep my intellect alive. I can’t imagine the value of my life without the contribution of the humanities to it.

At the same time, the impression I got from Valerie Strauss is that it tends to be a one way street for these humanities people. The engineers’ lives would be so much better if they could deconstruct the plot of a move, and identify the discourses and so on. True so true!


I wonder how much more the humanities person would be if they had more serious exposure to STEM. Just as my technical practice has benefited from my humanities background, my intellectual life has equally benefited from the technical. Control flow, logic, variables and assignment, functions, classes, objects, events – these are equally helpful, valid and viable ways to intellectually organize the world. You also get a big boost in basic problem solving skills.

I challenge any humanities person before their next impassioned defense of the liberal arts: FIRST LEARN TO PROGRAM RUBY. Not enough to get a job. Just enough to do some code katas so that you can exercise the problem solving skills that come from programming. I think anybody who can get through a Tolstoy book is capable of that. (I suggest Ruby for the same reason as it is taught to children in Hackety Hack and KidsRuby – because of its accessibility to non-programmers while being a serious general purpose programming language.)

I dream of a world in which the engineer can intelligently argue Tolstoy, and the philosophers can code. Then we’d have a different talk about the job prospects of those undergraduates.

November 11, 2013 in Uncategorized
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Ribena Chorba – Bulgarian Fish Stew

I have long been a fan of fish stew. I used to make bouillabaisse for my mother on Mother’s Day. A favorite memory from my Eurail trip in the summer of ’91 is the Portuguese fish stew I had near the beach in Ericeira. When I see cioppino on the menu, I usually order it. Strangely perhaps, fish stew is my favorite dish to eat and to make.

Later I had the good fortune to marry a Bulgarian, and be introduced to a new and different fish stew, which Bulgarians call ribena chorba, which simply means “fish stew”. If you are in Byala, Bulgaria, your ribena chorba would be a combination of carp, lovage (devicil in Bulgarian), potatoes, some random vegetables plus salt and pepper. The core of it is the carp + lovage. The taste is unique and cannot be described. Bulgarians grow the herb simply to use in this dish.

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October 5, 2013 in Life
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Two Hot Sauce Recipes – Smoky Red and Orange Habanero

These are the recipes for the hot sauces that I brought to Ruby DCamp 2013. There are two recipes – smoky red and orange habanero hot sauce. The flavors are quite different and complementary. I recommend alternating bites – one red, one orange, and so on.

I would say the main difference with store bought sauce is that you have more control over the freshness of the ingredients. You don’t have to be a sauce expert – I am not – if you have fresh ingredients that were just picked. That makes September and October the best time to make these sauces.

If you try these recipes out, please let me know how it turned out. Also if you have questions, ping me on Twitter @davidfurber.

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October 5, 2013 in Uncategorized
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When they came for… or why I’m late to the Bonhoeffer party

I confess that I’ve been late to the Bonhoeffer party because I know too much. I have a PhD in modern European history, specializing in Nazi Germany. How often have I heard the famous quote by Martin Niemoeller:

First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.

This quote is supposed to make me feel inspired, and yet it makes me cringe because it leads away from rather than toward an understanding of Nazi Germany and “how could that happen”.

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September 16, 2013 in Life
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Does God change his mind? Part II

The reflection of the week was on whether God changes his mind, and if that is good or bad. Today’s sermon was of course a culmination of that topic, in light of the recent election of Elizabeth Eaton as presiding bishop of the ELCA.

Bishop Hanson is associated with the ELCA’s controversial 2009 decision on homosexuality – a worthy goal that lost many members – 2000 parishes plus lots of empty pews in those that remained. Eaton represents “now that we’ve done that, rather than look back, let’s look forward again to what we as Lutherans bring to the common Christian mission.”

Today’s Gospel was the parables of the lost lambs and the lost coin. One sense is that we may tend to identify with the 99 lambs who were not lost, or as an acquaintance of the woman who lost the coin but not as the woman. In reality we are the lamb and the woman, from two perspectives: (1) Try as you might, you will say and do things you regret; your ego with its desires and attachments will always lead you away from the flocks, and (2), as Bonhoeffer wrote in Life Together, “Help must come from the outside, and it has come and comes daily and anew in the Word of Jesus Christ, bringing redemption, righteousness, innocence, and blessedness.”

That brought PB to a feeling of sadness for those who are not in the pews. What is the best way to feel about it? What can be done to bring them back? Should we feel that as 99 sheep we are more pure? Should we be concerned for the lost sheep? Should we even think of them as lost sheep?

Bonhoeffer faced the same issue in Germany in the 1930s. After all, there was the great schism between the “mainline” Deutsche Christen (German Christians) and the dissident Bekennende Kirche (Confessing Church) that Bonhoeffer helped found. Suffice it to say that the German Christians tended to think of Germans as God’s chosen people, and to draw a circle around the “flock” that included only those of “Aryan blood.” They aimed to purge Protestantism of those aspects they considered “Jewish,” such as the concept of sin and the need for confession, repentance, and God’s grace. Think of them as Christians who agreed with Nietzsche’s critique of Christianity and therefore re-imagined Christianity as an Aryan Christ leading the Deutsche Volk to glory and authentic self-expression.

But even if you didn’t go in for all that, there was still the issue of all those “reasonable” Lutherans who liked (or at least didn’t terribly object to) the Nazi regime for various aspects of it. Remember, war and Holocaust did not begin until the sixth year of Nazi rule. When Life Together appeared in 1939, there was the shame of Kristallnacht but as yet no Auschwitz. To that point it was about ending unemployment, the “threat” of Communish, and the shames of Versailles so that Germany could stand proud again. All issues a good country Lutheran would support, as well as a main reason why those good country Lutherans were Hitler’s greatest supporters at the polls. As a bekennende pastor, how do you treat such people in your congregation? Bonhoeffer’s advice:

Spiritual love “will not take pleasure in pious, human fervor and excitement. It will rather meet the other person with the clear Word of God and be ready to leave him alone with this Word for a long time, willing to release him again in order that Christ may deal with him.”

To relate that to the current schism, it boils down to which side is God on. In Bonhoeffer’s day, the German Christians and the Nazi influences were the newfangled, “enlightened” influences. The German Christians thought they were being progressive in their accommodation of Nazi racial ideals to their theology. Are we doing the same with homosexuality vis-a-vis progressive, urban liberal ideology? Who are the lost sheep, the ELCA or those who left?

1. God doesn’t issue fatwas on modern issues. We have to use our own guidance using “what would Jesus do?” Or, if the thing that works you up leads to hatred, it probably isn’t God’s will. Jesus’s ire was directly mainly at the self-righteous, those who put religious form over content, and those who enrich themselves through religion at the common man’s expense. Yet he would heal a gentile woman with the explanation that the dogs under the table get the scraps. (I wish he would’ve put it more kindly, but Jesus was himself a Jew preaching to other Jews – it was an historical irony that he was rejected by Jews in his time and embraced by Gentiles posthumously.)

2. We don’t know what Jesus would have said about homosexuality because the concept as such did not exist in Jesus’ time. From The Lutheran, page 3 of September 2013, Peter Marty on “Talking about Homosexuality”: There is no Greek or Hebrew word that corresponds exactly to our word “homosexual.” You may have participated in a bible study where the term was used. But that’s a modern application of the word. The category or classification that we may refer to as homosexuality did not exist in biblical times. The few scriptural references to lusting or exploitative sexual behaviors between same- or differently gendered people have nothing to do with the abiding personal companionship, enduring love, shared intimacy, and trusting commitment of gay and straight couples who cherish such qualities in our day.”

3. Even so, as progressive humanity has changed its mind, what we think of as God’s opinion eventually catches up. There is a creation story and flood story that fit better in Mesopotamian civilization than in our time. Slavery is normal in the Bible. Woman are chattel. Genocide is committed in God’s name to clear the chosen land for the chosen people. When Moses leads the Jews from Egypt, and later admonishes them not to worship Baal, the stories are quite innocent about magic, and other gods. This God seems to constantly consider destroying humanity and even his own chosen people, and has to be talked out of it based on “what would the Egyptians think?” (See Exodus 32:7-14) It took a little while for that god to become God. So, yes, even in the Bible as with any other religion, you have a thousand year evolution in the conception of who and what God is. There’s no way around that. Part of God’s grace is our continual evolution out of our own unpleasantness.

September 15, 2013 in Life

Does God change his mind?

The thought of the week:

Some people resist it. Others try to bring it about.

We generally think that being consistent and unchanged is a good thing, don’t we? Maybe even a sign of character.

But who among us has not ever changed his/her mind, especially in the face of receiving new information or in response to a changing situation? Perhaps someone intercedes to bring a different perspective. To remain unchanged in such times would be a sign of . . . . what?

The first lesson tells us that God was angry with the people after the Golden Calf incident. God was ready to destroy something, but Moses served as the defense attorney for the people. The text declares that ‘God changed his mind’.

Hmmm. Is that comforting or challenging? Encouraging or disturbing?

What do you think?

Does this effect the way you think about change in the world? In your life? In your faith?

My first response is that “being consistent and unchanged is a good thing” “maybe even a sign of character” makes me shudder and think of George W. Bush.

Then I recall beginning of the Tao Te Ching (in Stephen Mitchell’s translation):

The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.
The name that can be named is not the eternal name.

The unnamable is the eternally real.
Naming is the origin of all particular things.

So yes, in the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, and the Word was God. But our naming of God is not God. The name “God” itself names the unnamable in an abstract, placeholder way. God is not named “Bob” or “James”. “He” or “she” is not “a” god, with a gray beard, hopes and dreams. Our name for God – as well as our theology, rituals, and texts – is to aid our comprehension of something that, at its essence, cannot be understood, only felt and experienced.

Our understanding of God has evolved over time, always as a reflection of our ideal selves. Is that a problem? Was Jesus’ own revelation complete, or was it expanded by his Crucifixion and Resurrection? Was it a problem when Paul took his theology of the cross to the Gentiles? Or later when Luther brought a new variation of it back to Christianity? Or when Bonhoeffer tried to make it meaningful yet authentic in modern times?

I think our understanding of God is always evolving, as possibly is God’s relationship to us. We still need the tradition, the continuity, and the community of the church to keep us from flying off the deep end. For if our understanding of God is an expression of our ideal self, it can easily degenerate into self-worship.

September 9, 2013 in Life

Jesus and the King with the Ten Thousand Man Army

Today’s lesson was from Luke chapter 14. It started with the famous (and for Jesus oddly worded) statement that you have to hate your parents and siblings, even life, in order to be a disciple. You have to carry the cross to be a disciple – which seems anachronistic since the fate on the cross was not yet known at that supposed point in Jesus’ ministry. If you’re going to build a tower, wouldn’t you first estimate and see if you have the money to finish it before you start it? You don’t want your neighbors to laugh at you. Likewise if you were a king with a ten thousand man army and a twenty thousand man army marched against you, wouldn’t you send a delegation to ask the terms of peace. “So therefore none of you can be my disciples if you do not give up all your possessions.”

We were asked to reflect a moment on the king with the army marching against him. My first thought was flippant: the king would only sue for peace if the army he faced was larger. What if he had 20,000 men? Some of Jesus’ examples don’t make sense like that – for instance at the end of the chapter is the proverb about salt losing its saltiness – salt can’t lose its taste because it is always salt.

Then I realized the point isn’t about how large the army is in this particular campaign, and what should you do strategically. The army to which Jesus refers is always larger. It is the army of desire and attachment. You do have an army: maybe a sense of justice, anti-materialism, a spiritual practice. But what is within you is not enough – you also need your community, service, the Holy Spirit. The terms of peace are to serve God not money. Trying to do both is like starting a house but not having the money to finish it, or taking an army of 20,000 with an army of 10,000.

After reflecting on this throughout the day, in the evening I read the rest of Luke 14. There are three main highlights that fit with the above theme, and make it the point of the chapter.

1. Jesus advises when you are invited to a wedding banquet, not to assume the position of honor because somebody more important may show up, and it would be embarrassing to have to get up and move to a less desirable spot. Better to take the lowest spot and then be invited to take a higher spot as the other guests arrive. Do not make assumptions of your own importance. Your self-ranking is an expression of that desire and attachment that is the 20,000 man army.

2. All of this was taking place in the house of a Pharisee on the sabbath. To his host, Jesus advised his host at his next dinner to invite beggars and cripples, because they have no chance of repaying the service. By doing things for those who cannot repay you, “you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” Notice that Jesus did not say “give away all your stuff until you become a beggar and a cripple because God gives the birds enough to eat he will also feed you.” He said to act kindly toward people in need without expectation of any kind of reward. That desire for a reward – even the imaginary reward “in heaven” at some later time – is an expression of that larger army against whom you cannot win on your own.

3. The centerpiece of the chapter is the “parable of the great dinner.” A man planned a great feast and invited many. Clearly those many included those who had much, for they all refused for reasons all relating to worldly matters of wealth and status. One man had just bought a piece of land, another five yoke of oxen, another had just been married. So the man had his slave go out and invite the beggars and the cripples, who turned up in numbers but still not enough people came to eat all the food. So he finally asked the slave to go out and get just anybody to come in, so the food could get eaten. “For I tell you, none of those who were invited will taste my dinner.”

It is easy if you have things to be concerned with your things. Things feed desire and attachment, blind you from the Holy Spirit. This blindness is more subtle than it seems – so much that you may not realize it. It’s not that you’re self-consciously greedy, but that the act of building a “successful” living inherently puts you on terms with the world that are oriented more toward material than spiritual thoughts. You need an external force to put you right – a community of saints, a service (sava), a practice of devotion, all those things which together help you become a “disciple of Christ”. You can’t do it “on your own.”

September 9, 2013 in Life

Jesus and the Healing on the Sabbath

In today’s Gospel lesson (Luke 13:10-17), we find Jesus teaching in a synagogue on the sabbath. This is the day of the week in which Jews must cease from their ordinary work and tend to God. Hearing of Jesus’ healing powers, a woman crippled for 18 years, likely an outcast, entered the synagogue. After Jesus heals her by laying on hands, the woman stands up and begins praising God. The leader of the synagogue gets angry at Jesus, accusing him of working on the Sabbath. Jesus answered in his usual cryptic way, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger, and lead it away to give it water? And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen long years, be set free from this bondage on sabbath day?” At this the leaders of the synagogue were ashamed while the crowd cheered Jesus for his miracles.

The church bulletin (ELCA) suggested that the story represents Jesus’ attitude toward the sabbath, in which “The sabbath was made for humankind and not humankind for the sabbath.” The rules of religious observance should neither completely define nor hinder the doing of God’s true work of healing, feeding the hungry, and helping the poor. You should apply yourself to worship with your whole heart, not holding yourself back but “standing up straight” like the possessed woman did after Jesus healed her.

Pastor Bair took it a step further and added that the bent-over woman was likely an outcast in the congregation. Jesus’ example was to release her from her sins so she could be at peace and a member of the community. A church must be that kind of place – where acceptance and healing occurs rather than judgment and condemnation. For it is through the grace of God through Jesus’ healing touch that we are made right with the world.

As the sermon drew to a close, it suddenly hit me that while these are good and valid lessons to draw from the day’s Gospel, that it might actually be what the passage was about. Rather it is about the nature of Jesus’ authority and the source of his healing power. There are three things you must be aware of to see it:

  1. The medical profession, such as it was, consisted of healers, mystics, witch doctors, and the like. Medical science was a long way off. Instead of germ theory, the people of the time explained disease in terms of being occupied by evil spirits. Jesus was one of many healers, notable mainly because he did not charge for his services.
  2. In Judaism of the time, it was believed that God’s authority was exercised through the Temple. The priests were the bearers of that authority.
  3. Jesus was not widely accepted as the Messiah, only as an itinerant healer and holy man. He was preaching to a devoutly Jewish but rebelliously Galilean audience. His task was to convince them that he was the Messiah.

So what then was the scene all about?

An itinerant healer comes to town and heals people for free, telling them in exchange about the coming Kingdom of God. On the sabbath he goes to the synagogue, where he does some teaching. While he’s there, a sick person appears in the crowd clearly hoping to be healed. After Jesus voluntarily uses his powers to heal her, the “pastor” then accuses Jesus of “working” on the sabbath. Did he actually perform “work”? It depends on what you mean by “work”. Who did the work?

By whose power did he heal the woman?

Remember, this type of healing was not uncommon and not necessarily associated with God or religion. The revolutionary part of it was that Jesus healed freely and claimed it was sign of the gift of the Holy Spirit. So whether he was working or not reduces to whether Jesus’ power was his or God’s. That it was so is evident in Jesus’ own answer: “You the leader of the synagogue do the work of the synagogue every sabbath so that they people may be spiritually fed, so why do you get angry when I do the same? For eighteen years this woman has been set apart from God. Today she is set free, and your criticize me because it is the sabbath?”

It would be difficult for the priests to accept this answer because of credentialing issues. If he healed by God’s authority but was not sanctioned by the Temple, then the Temple’s authority must not be authentic.

Stories in a chapter flock together

In the Gospels, the stories in a chapter tend to adhere to a single theme or make a common point. Chapter 13 of Luke is no different. In this context, the point of the story is the immanence of the coming of the Kingdom of God and the need for repentance as Jesus makes his way toward Jerusalem. Whereas the sabbath was made for humans to be observed by humans, the coming of the Kingdom of God is on a different schedule, an event so immanent and massive that you should stop worrying about small things like the sabbath and Jesus’ legal authority in order to save a soul.

The stories at the start of chapter 13 are about “Repent or Perish.” First Jesus says that Galilean rebels whom Pilate had crucified were less guilty than those who hear Jesus’ words and do not repent. Then he tells of a fig tree planted three years earlier that would be chopped down soon if it did not bear fruit. The caretaker begs the owner to give the fig one last chance to bear fruit. In other words, this is your last chance to repent or you will be chopped down.

Then there is the story of the woman healed on the sabbath, in which a disfigured woman who repents and gets healed is worth breaking the sabbath to save, while those who condemn the breaking of the sabbath are denounced as hypocrites.

These words are followed by the parable of the mustard seed and the yeast. I imagine that as Jesus with his twelve disciples and various other followers marched toward Jerusalem, they were asked, “You guys are bringing the Kingdom of God to Jerusalem? How is such a small group to take on such a big city?” “Well you see the kingdom is like a mustard seed. We are going to plant it, and it will grow into a big tree. Or we will be like the yeast that turns sixty pounds of flour into dough.”

In the parable of the narrow door, Jesus warns that if you hear Jesus’ words but take no heed, then when the Kingdom of God comes, it won’t do any good to knock on the door and say that you knew Jesus once, that he preached in your town. Bandwagoners will be cut down; only true believers will make the cut.

Then Jesus is told by Pharisees that King Herod wants to kill him. He responds that he’s on his way to Jerusalem because it does a prophet no good to die anywhere else. He then “predicts” that he will be killed in Jerusalem and that Jerusalem would be desolated before Jesus comes again.

Remember these words were written after Jesus was crucified, a couple decades after Rome razed Jerusalem in the First Jewish War. Also remember that in history, nobody knows what’s going to happen next until it happens, and then it usually takes some time to sort out what actually happened. (And that all historical narratives are to some extent simply narratives that are constructed in your head and are “true” to the extent that they seem reasonable to you.) You see some of this in the alleged prediction of Jerusalem’s destruction as a way to claim special knowledge. Supposing these stories and sayings were indeed uttered by Jesus on the road to Jerusalem, what did he mean by them?

The stories in Luke 13 suggest that Jesus believed Judgement Day to be near. Repent now while you still can. The tree will be chopped down. We can’t let the Romans catch until we get to Jerusalem because that is where prophets must die. We don’t need an army to take Jerusalem because God’s power is like yeast – it can level temples and destroy cities. For those who truly hear and believe, this will all be a great comfort, but woe to those who don’t.

Ah, but maybe the message was more subtle?

Yes, as written, it surely must have been. In interpreting Jesus’ words, the authors had to contend with Jesus’ crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension, as well as the historical events leading from there to the First Jewish War and the ensuing diaspora. Jesus himself was an illiterate but devout carpenter who became a disciple of John the Baptist before beginning his own eschatological ministry following John’s imprisonment. “Subtle” and “illiterate” are adjectives not often used in conjunction. Jesus was more likely to have said what he meant than not.

Luke was written not by illiterate peasants but by literate, Greek-speaking Hellenistic Jews. While not the equals of Plato and Homer, they were more cosmopolitan than their Hebrew counterparts. Consider that Luke was Paul’s assistant, and also wrote Acts as an apologia for Paul’s ministry to the Gentiles. Here Jesus’ words in Luke 13 suggest more that since Jesus came to the Jews and they didn’t listen, they would be cut down (as in Jerusalem) as the word of the Kingdom of God spreads to the Gentiles. That would be a topic for a different day.

August 25, 2013 in Life
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Nazi Election Data

First a look at the Weimar elections. The numbers are from Wikipedia. Social Democrat means SPD. Communist means USPD + KPD. Bourgeois 3 means DNVP + DVP + DDP. MC Splinters means various middle class splinter parties when they seemed worth counting. The Catholic parties mean the Center Party and the Bavarian People’s Party.

Election Year Social Democrat Communist Catholics Bourgeois 3 NSDAP MC Splinters
1919 37.9 7.6 19.7 33.3
1920 21.7 20.1 17.8 37.3
May 1924 20.5 13.4 16.6 34.4 6.5 6.6
Dec 1924 26 9 17.3 36.9 3
1928 29.8 10.6 15.2 27.7 2.6 12.7
1930 24.5 13.1 14.8 11.5 18.3 13.3
July 1932 21.6 14.3 15.7 7.1 37.3 3
Nov 1932 20.4 16.9 15 10.2 33.1
1933 18.25 12.3 14 9.1 43.2

Now let’s consider the reconfiguration of West German politics after the war. Instead of the SPD/KPD split, let’s put both of them under SPD. Let’s also take the natural constituency of the CDU/CSU from the old Center/BPP Catholic parties plus the DNVP and DVP from the Bourgeois 3 above. The DDP becomes the FDP.

Election Year SPD CDU/CSU FDP
1919 45.5 34.4 18.6
1920 41.8 43.4 8.3
May 1924 33.9 45.3 5.7
Dec 1924 33.1 44.2 6.3
1928 40.4 29.4 4.8
1930 37.6 26.4 NONE
July 1932 38.8 22.8 NONE
Nov 1932 37.3 25.2 GONE
1949 29.2 31 11.9
1953 28.8 45.2 9.5
1957 31.8 50.3 7.7
1961 36.2 45.4 12.8
1965 39.3 47.6 9.5
1969 42.7 46.1 5.8
1972 45.8 35.2 4.8
1976 42.6 38.3 6.4
1980 42.9 44.5 10.7
1983 38.2 48.8 6.8
1987 37 44.9 9.3
1990 33.5 48.2 11.9
1994 37.5 43.7 7
1998 40.9 36.6 6.4
2002 38.5 41.4 7.8
2005 34.2 40.8 9.8
2009 23 33.8 14.6
September 26, 2012 in History

Adobe CS3 on Mac OSX: Licensing for this product has stopped working.

I ran into this problem when I had my MBP hard drive replaced. I openend Fireworks (or any Adobe app) and got a popup that said “Licensing for this product has stopped working.” Contact Adobe Customer Support.

So I did. They freed up the activation, but that didn’t help. That wasn’t the problem.

Soon thereafter I found this page:

The first step was the winner for me: deleting /Library/Preferences/FLEXNet Publishing

Hope this helps!

June 22, 2011 in Uncategorized