Month: August 2017

Debatt: Inkludera SD innan det är för sent

Sverigedemokraterna är farliga högerpopulister. Partiets missvisande retorik bygger på misstro mot den ledande eliten och ett inkorrekt anspråk på den “tysta majoriteten” och det “faktiska folket”. SD är, likt världens alla populister, ett allvarligt hot mot demokratin och att fortsatt utesluta SD kommer bara leda till deras ökade inflytande.

I boken “What is Populism?” förklarar Jan-Werner Müller, Professor i politik på Princeton University, termen populism. En term som många slängt sig med under de senaste åren utan att faktiskt veta vad den faktiskt innebär. För en fullständig beskrivning över konceptet rekommenderar jag boken men här följer en kort sammanfattning:

Populister skapar ett inkorrekt koncept som är folket. De inbillar sig att folket är homogent, har en vilja och är felrepresenterade av alla andra partier. Populisterna anser sig själva vara legitima förespråkare för det inbillade folket. De använder sig ofta av den “tysta majoriteten” i debatt. Fastän populister gärna utlyser folkomröstningar så är det inte för att höja det politiska engagemanget. Snarare handlar det om en vilja att bekräfta vad de redan tror sig veta att folkets vilja är. Populism är den representativa demokratins mörka baksida och är ett allvarligt hot mot demokrati.

Låt mig då applicera definitionen på SD. Partiet representerar det svenska folket, en inbillad homogen samling människor med en vilja: att behålla Sverige svenskt. På deras hemsida hittar man bland annat citatet “Sverigedemokraterna är hela sveriges parti.”

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#2: My last day

Two days ago I implied that you wouldn’t hear from me until about three weeks from now, but as it turns out I already have something I wanted to share. Today I finished my last day at the Department of Clinical Chemistry at Karolinska Institutet Huddinge. I started spending my summers here two years ago and I can’t exaggerate how much I have learnt during my time here.

“That’s it for my goal-setting, you’ll hear from me again sometime in the next three weeks.”
– Me (technically not lying)

My work has been very interesting, although I can’t go into much detail since none of it is published yet. What I can tell you is that working with clinical chemistry is excellent. The job requires constant thinking and second guessing what you’re doing. Although much of it is following protocols, you are never in the exact same situation as the author was in when she wrote it which means there are always subtle differences that you need to take into account. Thanks to this I have developed an attention to detail here that I most definitely didn’t have when I started (just ask one of my supervisors). I have also learnt a lot about the scientific method; for example I know how to think about handling batches of tests in a way that avoids systematic errors and I can almost see contaminants come and go when I put on gloves, wash something or use a pipette. Research, and most things surrounding it, is really more about learning how to learn rather than learning obscure specifics and I really think that insight will help me in college.

Although the things I mentioned above are really interesting the most valuable experience from my time here is being around all of my excellent colleagues. Continue reading

#1: My Goals

Today, there are just seven days left till I leave for The States. I said at the start of the summer that I’d rather go into hibernation and wake up on my flight to Princeton, than impatiently wait the whole summer. As I’m sure you understand, I can barely contain myself now that there’s only a week left. The last few weeks have been moderately uninteresting. I’ve spent my time getting my Visa, receiving around twenty thousand different vaccines and fighting with the National Board of Student Aid (CSN). I figured this first proper blog post of my life should be a bit more interesting than that though, which is why I’ve decided to write about my goals for the coming four years instead.

Warren Buffett is said to have recommended an interesting approach for achieving goals, and I’ve given it a try. The Oracle of Omaha explains that you should write down twenty-five goals for the coming years and then kill twenty of these darlings, leaving only five. His thinking is that the remaining five are the true objectives, and that the others will only distract the goal-setter from their proper ambitions. I will attempt to only give attention to my primary goals.

I’ll be keeping the twenty distractions to myself, but please allow me to present my five goals for the coming four years.

  • Graduate with honors
  • Make life-long friends and contacts
  • Get interesting internships
  • Write for this website
  • Exercise (sail and run)

Internships, good grades and contacts are pretty self-explanatory. I don’t think there are many of my peers in the class of ‘21 that I don’t share these goals with. The other two are a bit less orthodox and I figure they deserve a proper explanation.

The first three goals are all very dependent on the quality of my work during the coming years. The quality will be dependent on my creativity, time management skills and stress handling. This is where the last two priorities come in to play. Writing has always helped me collect my thoughts and force me to really think through my life. For example this post has helped me set very clear goals for the following years, something I never would have done otherwise. I also obviously get better at writing and improve my workflow and creativity.

Running and sailing contribute to my creativity, time management skills and ability to handle stress. While doing something completely different from work and school I’ve always had my best ideas and I always manage to see my heavy workload from a different angle which usually helps me realize it isn’t nearly as heavy as I initially thought. Of course, overall health and happiness is also improved by exercising, and that certainly doesn’t hurt.

That’s it for my goal-setting, you’ll hear from me again sometime in the next three weeks. When I arrive in New York I will spend the night with some very kind relatives in Stamford and the morning after I’ll (hopefully manage to) get to Princeton by train. The first few weeks are filled with activities so I don’t know how much time I will have for writing. I guess we’ll see!

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