My experiences with the German and American educational systems

A small preface:

This post feels incomplete to me but it’s been sitting in my drafts pile for months. This post also feels more negative in places than I’d like; it’s maybe a bit ranty. I like including more links and pictures, but this post has very few of these.

I’m putting it out there anyway.

Note that there are several sections. If you get bored with or don’t like a portion, I’d encourage you to skip/skim ahead.

End of preface

Education is much of what makes us civilized. I’ve seen many comparisons between school systems across the world and I’ve been exposed to the systems in Germany and in the USA. Here are some of my experiences and the interesting (to me) differences.

This is part 1 of what was originally an even longer post. Part 1 talks about education of kids. Part 2 is about how I think the educational system effects the broader economy.


  • Measurement of school performance is standardized in Germany.
  • Measurement in Germany is test based, especially in university.
  • Apprenticeship programs are very important in Germany.
  • Germans kids interact with far fewer other kids; they stay within groups mostly in chunks of four years.

Kidnapping. damned if you do… and sometimes if you don't

By far the most common kind of child abduction is parental child abduction (200,000 in 2010 alone)

I’ve mentioned in past posts that, at age 7, I was kidnapped by my dad and brought to the US. I’ve wanted to do a post on this topic for a long time as it’s a complicated issue.
There are a couple angles I’d like to speak to:

  • The damage this inflicted
  • The effects it’s had on my life
  • How this history of mine has affected my personal choices as an adult as well as how my perspective on the topic has changed now that I’m a parent myself.

A lot of the stuff I need/want to cover isn’t directly related to kidnapping, but I feel that context is important.

Some particulars of my case

When I was 6, perhaps early 7, my parents separated. We were living in the same town here in Germany where I live now. My mom continued to live in that same apartment for another 30 years. My dad moved to a place not far away with the woman who became my mom in the US. She is my step-mom, but to the folks around me in Los …

If Amazon's Alexa got a boob-job…

…would you have sex with her?
This post is not safe for work.
Note: I encourage comments. If you’re reading this from a phone, I haven’t found a way to enable commenting from the the mobile format. If you switch to desktop mode in your browser, you should get a form at the bottom of the post.
One of my objectives to living here in Germany is to improve my German. I’m a citizen. I should be able to speak the language. As part of that, I’ve been reading articles in the newspaper as well as magazine articles. There are some things about the tone and coverage of what I’ve read that strike me as different from what you’d read in American publications. I’ve thought about doing some posts on this blog of the theme, “The things I’ve read in Germany”. I guess this is the first of these.

The future of sex

The other day, I was at the drinkshop and an issue of Focus magazine caught my eye. The headline article is about how robots/cyborgs, possibly with artificial intelligence (AI), may affect our future sex lives:

In this post, I’ll need to go on a tangent or two …

Miles's thoughts