Of Summers Past and Present

An onslaught of attempts at gaslighting notwithstanding, I have managed to cross the fifty-percent-line of my path towards a BSc in mathematics, and am, at the point of writing, at sixty-five percent. The bulk of what is left in order to reach Clear will consist of writing my bachelor's thesis, the subject of which has not yet been decided on. Apart from that, the only coursework left is measure theory, and in addition to that, there will be a practical course on algebra―if I get a spot in my top-priority―for which I will be preparing a presentation along with a computer program. So, although there definitely will be work to be done, it feels as though the finishing line is only a few steps ahead.

It has been a great time. My appreciation for mathematics has only grown, and for the first time in my life, I feel like I am truly beginning to understand the language, the mores and the mindset of a domain that, for some time now, has struck me as one of the most venerable and pursuit-worthy. It has not always been like this. I remember the days when, as a high school student, I had a strong aversion to mathematics which kept me from learning even the most simple things. I have not forgot how I would resist solving trigonometry problems or quadratic equations, often protesting that these were not things I would ever need 'in life'. I was much more inclined towards the humanities, which has not been a bad thing, for it made me take Latin (at which I excelled) and some Ancient Greek (at which I excelled less) in high school, and study quite a bit of philosophy on my own time, back when I still thought that philosophy was what I would be pursuing. I probably would not approach them anymore if I saw them on the street today, but it is with the utmost love and gratitude that I think of my teachers of the classical languages, for it is Mr Walter's Latin class most of all that shaped how I reflect on language, and made me appreciate the character of the latinate, in such a way that I wish for my future child or children to be taught Latin so they may enjoy the same privilege.

It was Latin class where I learnt to analyze phrases, and where reading Caesar enabled me to acquire a taste for brevitas and a composition optimized for concision and flow of information. And later on, as I was preparing for Latin Abitur with the Institut für Lernsysteme, being exposed to the rhetoric of Cicero's speeches and savouring the exquisite beauty of the poetry of Catullus was a treat upon which I can still feed today. To anyone who has had the pleasure, of course, the pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo of Catullus 16 remains most memorable as an amuse-bouche that, across all ages, was reserved for the students who strayed from a teaching that is in line with the moral constraints of parents-teachers conferences, while at the same time reminding us that we should not mistake the explicitness of the poem for the poet's own character. Therefore, to anybody who disapproves of the poetry that I have produced and shall continue to produce, let it be known that I shall forever sodomize and face-fuck them.

I could have been right with my protest against the inapplicability of mathematics to the trite realities of a so-called life, had it not been for the fact that life turned out not to be what I thought it would be. For, much to the surprise of my former self, could he be here, I find myself holding on to the study of mathematics as one of the few things that make life worth living―a bastion against the stupor of an everyday life that to much too large a part is consumed by labour that by its nature can only and will continue to feed the alienation so characteristic of wage slavery, regardless of whether someone is working the proverbial production line or granted the questionable privilege of being a modern-day grammaticus, one of the slaves who due to their high standing were not treated equal to cattle. I have come to savour rising at matins to sit down at my desk, and cherish the few hours a day that I get to live and enhance my knowledge of things that matter to me.

It is with fondness in my heart that I think back to those three to four years that I lived in Austria while studying musicology at the University of Graz, one of mainland Europe's oldest and most beautiful universities, and the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz, which dates back to the 19th century, when bourgeois music education was held in much higher esteem than it is today. For it is those years to which I owe experiencing what studying at a university really means, which virtually is the point of university studies, and much more important than what the content of any of your courses may be, or what job opportunities your certificate may open up. I was lucky to study under a direction of the institute that valued said experience and did the best it could to make it possible for students to know the true promise of it, at a time when university studies everywhere were to be moulded into vocational training with the principal purpose of conditioning students into being better grammatici.

I am therefore forever indebted to Univ.-Prof.Dr.phil. Michael Walter and then Ao.Univ.-Prof.Dr.phil. Kordula Knaus (now of Bayreuth) for creating an island for me and my fellow musicology students, where we were allowed to have what no doubt would go into our biographies as one of the rare highlights of our life. The bleaker the interior of the prison that is life in the workforce, the more I cherish the memory of stepping inside the classrom at the Meerscheinschlössl, where hopefully the mighty chandelier has not yet fallen down and killed someone during a seminar―although the seminars are to die for. I am indebted also to professor Richard Parncutt, stalwart leader of Graz's Centre for Systematic Musicology, who, while I was still studying there, experienced an onslaught of protest and personal attacks after publicizing a point-of-view piece that by a utilitarian argument likened a speculative death penalty for then-pope Benedict XVI to a death penalty for mass murderers, on the grounds of the pope's opposition against condoms being a significant factor in the spread of HIV. Likewise I owe a debt of gratitude to Ao.Univ.-Prof.Dr.phil. Werner Jauk, a fierce new media and performance artist, Univ.-Prof.Dr.phil. Gerd Grupe, Univ.-Prof.Dr.phil. Andreas Dorschel, Univ.-Prof.Dr.phil. Klaus Aringer and Univ.-Prof.Dr.phil. Peter Revers, for opening up my eyes to perspectives on music unbeknown to me before. I have no doubt that Graz will continue to define, in the Germania as well as internationally, what musicology is.

As much as I associate my years in Austria with being introduced to Mahler, the Adagietto of whose Fifth Symphony which prominently opens Visconti's Death in Venice shall forever resonate in my mind as one of the letters of my life's musical alphabet, I can feel nostalgic over some more mundane aspects of life in Graz. I shall never forget Alois Nöst in whose house in Waltendorf I was taken on as a boarder while he was living downstairs. A man already in his eighties, he extended a friendliness towards me that he did not have for everyone. His irate utterings of Kruzifix Sakrament while mending things around the house, sometimes repeating Sakrament three times over before ending in a frustration-laden noch amol are, just as much as Mahler's birdsong similes, a staple of my memories of Austria.

All of which memories to which my mind sometimes meanders during dreamier moments of my early morning study sessions, inciting in me a desire to be back there and continue my studies of music. Meanwhile, during those study sessions, I was able to learn some things that had interested me for a long time. 1321 Mathematische Grundlagen der Kryptografie especially, on which I was orally examined again in Hagen, was pleasant to work through, as cryptography/cryptology has always fascinated me, from when I was a kid inventing his own scripts and preparing secret ink after a recipe found in a much loved book on secret messages, until now, when finally I know in mathematical detail about the Diffie-Hellman key exchange that takes place when I point my browser at an https:// address, and the ensuing symmetric encryption.

As mentioned before, I have as of yet, at the time of writing, no idea what the subject of my bachelor's thesis is going to be, or who will be supervising it. That is all t.b.d. soon. But before that, there will be a few written exams to be passed in Zürich. I am pleased to see that my series of blog posts on my mathematics studies has taken shape and is telling a story of faith and devotion, which would not have been possible without my being grounded in the Satanic faith and my adherence to Luciferian principles. Therefore, it is with profound joy that I pledge my allegiance to Satan. Scientia est lux lucis. Praise Lucifer!

Articles on studying mathematics to date: