Growing up

Current Photo (2017)

Childhood

As a son of a teacher and an engineer I saw the light of the world in October 1983, when I was born in Vienna, Austria, Europe. In my first few years, I got to know my mother's parents while I never had personal contact with my father's parents. My father had been born in Czechoslovakia and had come to Vienna as a student where he decided to stay since he loathed communism. My mother was a true Viennese and a native German speaker.

In the past mixed marriages between different ethnic groups used to be viewed in a negative way. However, at long last Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi noticed that such marriages usually lead to good results. This also applied in my case as my mother discovered soon that I was "very intelligent". Already as a child, I myself had the intuition that I was intellectually superior to other human beings. Primarily because they seemed to have difficulties to grasp concepts while I did not. Whenever I failed to understand something at once I kept pondering over it until the meaning became clear to me. Others tended to give up to sooner. Moreover, I had the impression that I came to logically incorrect conclusions less often than other people (assuming that the premises were correct).

My first memory is about me sitting on the floor of my room in our apartment in Hütteldorfer Straße and thinking: "I am." That was the beginning of my conscious thinking. I must have been around two years old at that time.

As a child I played extensively with Playmobil, Lego, Smurfs, "Masters of the Universe" and Transformers, watched television a lot (but only cartoons) and later also enjoyed reading comic books. As my father was able to freely arrange his work time he had the opportunity to look after me and I was not forced to attend kindergarten. Nevertheless I went to kindergarten for a while and my memory about it is negative as a kindergarten teacher once forced me to eat something which I definitely did not want to eat.

One of my kindergarten teachers thought that I was so intelligent that I ought to enroll at elementary school as soon as possible. Another kindergarten teacher stated that I should at least participate in the pre-school group at kindergarten. That is why I joined this pre-school group and because I was so bored, I behaved so badly that the teacher said in jest that I was not mature enough to enroll at school. In reality I was simply not challenged enough by pre-school. After all, I was already a proficient reader and writer - my father had taught me when I had been four years old. I still remember how he once asked me to read out aloud from a book and I replied: "But only for a minute!" I was able to read, I just did not want to, as I prefered dealing with my own internal fantasy world.

Since, however, the wife of my mother's cousin insisted that I should enroll at school as soon as possible, my mother - after cursing her - went to the school inspector responsible for the 14th district of Vienna and told him about our idea to make me enroll at school one year before I had to. The inspector told her: "Of course there is still a position available for your child", and so I became a part of the first grade class of the elementary school in the Felbigergasse of the 14th Viennese district. I was one of thirty children three of whom, a pair of twins and I, were not required to attend school yet. Since this number of pupils was too high to bear for my teacher, she tried to get rid of the youngest of us as fast as possible. My father remembered for a long time how she once said to him when he was taking me to school: "He is still so young..." My father reacted: "That is an advantage for him!" Then the teacher complained to my mother about me not doing my homework. Moreover, my way of interacting with other children was somehow different! From then on my mother saw to it that I always did my homework. All of a sudden the tide was turning and I was top of the class. Now this teacher was proud of having such a good pupil.

The fact that at first I did not do my homework was the teacher's fault because she did not express herself clearly. She always said "You may do this" instead of "You must". Since I did not want to do my homework, I did not do it. But as soon as my mother informed me about this misunderstanding, I became a very good pupil - and remained it until graduating from high school.

In the old apartment (around 1992)

Computers

I got my first computer, a Commodore 64, short before my first day at school. Soon after that, my father gave me a Game Boy, later a Mega Drive, a NES, a Super NES, a Game Gear and other consoles. Already before my sixth birthday I was so fascinated of these games that I had a vision: I would be dealing intensively with computers for all my life. This has remained true until now - back then it was not so self-evident as computers were far less spread and there was no Internet access for ordinary people yet.

In the school yard it was common to lend each other Game Boy games for the duration of the breaks. It was also possible to play some games, such as Tetris, together or against each other if one of the players owned a connection cable. Every Friday several class mates came to my home in order to play the latest console games together with me. For some period, I also had visitors on Wednesdays. Back then I was mostly in love with platform games such as Sonic the Hedgehog and also Super Mario although the latter game series was a bit less "cool".

I actually spent more time reading computer game magazines and inventing games of my own than playing games. I used to draw sketches of my own games using pen and paper. I also read comic books and drew my own comics although I did not have any artistic talent - to me the ideas always mattered more than aesthetics. I used to draw with a red pen which we had once bought on holidays in Slovakia.

Since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 we spent holidays exclusively with my father's relatives in Slovakia. In earlier days we had also spent holidays at the beach in Italy and Yugoslavia. But from 1989 on we used every opportunity to visit Slovakia. My father's relatives had a rather large estate with a beautiful garden, and as we still lived in an apartment in those days my father was highly pleased to enjoy the atmosphere of a garden. The estate was in a village near Zvolen in Central Slovakia and it was owned by the son of my father's cousin. The family had two children, a son, two years older than me, and a daughter, younger than me. I enjoyed playing with them. We ran around the garden and the attached farm where corn was cultivated. I invented several computer games that were set in this estate. A photo showed me together with some other children, one of them wearing a steel helmet. I imagined this photo to be the cover photo of my game.

When I became eight years old, I had already developed so many computer game ideas that I finally longed for implementing some of my ideas. That was what made me learn to program. My father brought the magazine "64er" home which contained listings of programs written in the programming language Basic. Following my wish, he once entered one of these programs in our computer. When we started this program on the next morning, the C64 crashed. Well, my father had obviously made a typo! But I did not give up and began to type programs from "64er" myself - starting with smaller programs. In this way I got to understand commands such as PRINT, INPUT, FOR, IF, GOTO etc. Soon I was able to implement simple programs of my own.

It was also in my ninth year that my father had the idea that I ought to learn calculus. He gave me a textbook written by a Soviet mathematician named Beermann. It was easy for me to make these calculations and I even enjoyed doing so. I was happy to be challenged this way and a bit sad that my father did not give me more tasks of this kind. I would have loved to further develop my math skills - perhaps I would in this case have become a professional mathematician.

But as my father did not challenge me more than that, I spent most of my time playing games and programming, and in addition I enjoyed writing short stories and reports about my adventures at school. At elementary school I also edited a handwritten school magazine; my mother duplicated this magazine at her school using xerox. Often I included comic drawings in my magazine. This made a class mate of mine jealous and he then produced his own school magazine called "Ratte"; in contrast to my magazine it had a layout crafted with the computer. At some stage I talked to this class mate who was one of the few I was not friends with and we decided to develop a computer game named "Picky Kid" together. The programming was to be done by his father, who was a professional programmer. But this man did not have interest in our project, so the project came to nothing. Another class mate once stated that she wanted to write a book, but this ended in talk as well. Just as later at high school, I was (almost) the only one who effectively did something.

Article in SEGA-Magazin (1994)

High School

At the end of the first year of high school (I attended the school in the Astgasse of the 14th Viennese district, which is quite famous locally and notorious for strict teachers) I started editing a school magazine named "astrein" which had already quite a professional layout. My father spent hours and hours to put the paragraphs in correct order and design the graphics using Microsoft Word. Originally it had been a class mate's idea to create a school magazine but as always, it was me (and my father) who did most of the work. At our staff meetings, my colleagues spent most of the time trying my video games while I was the only one sitting at the computer and working. After three issues, the magazine stopped releasing.

However, when I was ten years old, an article written by me was published in the German computer gaming magazine "SEGA Magazin" - it was a review of the Mega Drive game "The Story of Thor". When I was eleven, I began to regularly contribute to "PC-Heimwerker", which consisted entirely of articles written by its readers - quite an innovation in days in which hardly anybody had Internet access. PC-Heimwerker was the first forum where I used the handle "The Real Adok", which had been conceived by my father.

Thanks to PC-Heimwerker I soon had several penpals, mostly from Germany and Switzerland. We exchanged 3.5" floppy disks via snailmail, including letters, programs written by ourselves and free software. I remember that LeidPen, Activater (Scorpe), Karma Sutra and TOXO were among my favourite penpals. LeidPen was already an old man, older than eighty years, who had plenty of time to spend programming in Basic and x86 Assembler. The others were far younger than him, but still three or four years older than me. All of them knew how to program in Basic, which was still my favourite programming language. But as there were also PC-Heimwerker readers who programmed using more "professional" languages such as Pascal, C or Assembler, I finally started to teach myself C and Assembler when I was eleven years old.

At the age of twelve I wrote the tutorial "The Real Adok's Way to QBASIC", which was published in PC-Heimwerker and in the PC Action magazine. Later, it became somewhat popular on the Internet and even the website Wikiversity mentioned it many years later. Soon after that I also wrote tutorials for C and Assembler which, however, never gained that much popularity.

My first computer game programmed by myself was "The Bad Bat", a text-mode action game (80x25 characters) where the player either controlled a bat having to avoid the hunters' shots or a hunter who had to kill as many bats as possible within a given time limit. I was really proud of this game. However, it never became popular.

When I started writing for PC-Heimwerker, I had already finished the adventure games "Tyrwago in Astrein World" and "Die Reise zum Mond". I offered to sell the latter game and funny enough, one or two raders were interested and ready to send me ten German marks so that I send them a copy of my game.

"Tyrwago in Astrein World" was a game to promote my school magazine. It features graphics with a resolution of 320x200 pixels and musical pieces such as "The Entertainer" and "I like to be in America". While this game already featured a couple of my class mates (and myself), "Die Reise zum Mond" was all about pupils from my class. "Clausi the Genius" had constructed a space shuttle and during the flight to the moon some problems occurred which had to be solved by the player. This game became quite popular among my class mates and I even gained positive reactions from people I did not know in person - in spite of the game having only ASCII style graphics displayed in 80x25 character text-mode. All players said that they enjoyed the humour of "Die Reise zum Mond". Indeed in those days I still had a good sense of humour.

Participation in a Cosplay contest  (2006)

Hugi - The Beginnings

In the year 1997 we got access to the Internet. Before that, I only had accounts at the bulletin boards Black*Box and Black*Board which permitted to send and receive e-mail. Following my father's wish I occasionally joined the chatroom of Black*Box. My father always watched what I was typing and also often told me what I should type. Thanks to Black*Box I got to know two novelists, both of them already far older than me. They sent me a couple of their works for the magazine which I had founded in 1996.

This magazine, originally called "Hugendubelexpress" and later known as "Hugi Magazine", came into existence when a PC-Heimwerker reader from the German city of Halle an der Saale contacted me. He called himself Kaktus and said that he was 16 years old; in reality he was probably just 14. In any case, he wanted to edit an electronical magazine for people new to computers. As it turned out later, he was primarily interested in business. He thought that he might become rich by selling subscriptions to this magazine. By contrast, I was not interested in money yet.

It soon became evident that Kaktus and I had too different goals to be able to work together. Nevertheless we remained editors having equal rights until issue ten - Kaktus had made me editor after I developed a simple graphical user interface for the magazine. Reports in another magazine ("Cream") about him not having orderly forwarded donations finally led to his demission.

This was how I became editor of an electronical magazine (a diskmag as computer nerds would call it) which originally had the aura of a "school magazine on floopy disk" with corresponding contents. Hugi was in German language, was spread via bulletin board systems and snailmail, was mainly read by people from the PC-Heimwerker community and featured about 500 kilobyte of texts per issue. Since I was strictly opposed to including texts that had not been written by us or our readers, Hugi soon featured only original articles. Some readers initially reproached us for our "childish" style, which is why I tried to make Hugi appear more serious. Initially I also got some articles from class mates of mine, but soon Hugi developed to an international magazine in German language for computer nerds from all over the world. Kaktus allegedly even had a swapping partner in South Africa from whom interested persons were able to obtain the latest issue of Hugi. That was before I got access to the Internet.

As soon as had Internet, I became a regular in various channels in Internet Relay Chat (IRC) most of which were used by people related to the so-called demoscene. I knew this scene from the book "PC-Underground" but I only became interested in it when a couple of penpals, most of all Scorpe, pointed my attention to the outstanding programming skills of some of the people active on this scene. Indeed, a couple of demos and intros I saw back then impressed me very much. They showed amazing visual effects - I thought that people able to program something like this had to be highly gifted. And IRC enabled me to get into contact with these people.

Already when I entered IRC the first time, I met "pascal", the creator of the Cubic Player (a program for playing music files), there. I was amazed that it was so easy to meet people like him. (This "pascal" guy later became a professor of physics and was awarded the "New Horizons in Physics" prize.) Initially, however, not all demosceners treated me well. It sometimes happened that I was "kicked" or even "banned" from a demoscene channel. Partly this was my father's fault, as he used to tell me what to write and sometimes did not understand what the other people on the channel were going on about. With more autonomy I would have had fewer problems.

My father had very little influence on the contents of my magazine. From time to time he used to write comments on politics which I had to publish using my name. That was not a real problem because most of the readers were not interested in politics anyway. Only later it happened that a political article in Hugi caused so much repulsion that it harmed the image of the magazine for a while.

One of my penpals was Coctail, the editor of the magazine Cream. He was also quite fond of the demoscene and wanted that the contents of Cream focus on this scene. Another acquaintance of mine called himself Salami - he was a member of a demoscene group and expressed the opinion that Hugi would have a great potential if I started using the English language and focusing on the demoscene. It was due to these two contacts of mine that I decided to make Hugi a demoscene magazine in English. At high school I had a very good English teacher and it is thanks to her that I was already fluent enough in this language at age 14 that I was able to edit an English-language magazine. This was how it came that in June 1998, the eleventh issue of Hugi was released in English, with only a small "German Corner" at the end of the table of contents.

A modified picture of mine (2001)

Hugi - The Successes

While the ninth issue had had a couple of demoscene-related articles in English languages, I now completely set a course for the demoscene - and I was successful. This was mainly because there was no really good diskmag in the PC demoscene in those days. In the years 1992 to 1996 there had been a magazine called "Imphobia", published by a Belgian group. Most of the twelve issues of Imphobia that had been released had been very large magazines (more than a megabyte of texts per issue) and great graphics and music. Imphobia offered a platform for the international demoscene to exchange thoughts and ideas. The fact that Imphobia had stopped issuing had left a large gap, which I now tried to fill with Hugi.

The new issues of Hugi also contained a lot of texts - issue 16 even more than two megabyte - and I made effort to keep contact with good graphic artists and musicians who were able to provide us with material to achieve a high aesthetic level. Until issue eleven, I was reponsible for the programming myself. I was working with the C programming language and used a Super VGA mode with a resolution of 640x480 pixels and 256 colours for the graphical user interface. With issue 12, Street Raider from Russia, and with issue 18, Chris Dragan from Poland took over this job, while I kept correcting articles, creating the layout and writing myself. We had readers and authors from all sorts of countries (mostly from Europe). Most of them were more or less involved with or at least interested in the demoscene.

When Hugi became larger and more successful - soon Hugi was listed at position one at the Hornet Charts - some of the sceners who used to be unfriendly with me became nicer. One of them, kb, even seemed to be proud of the interview with him, which I had made for Hugi 16.

As a matter of fact I invested almost all of my sparetime until graduation from high school in Hugi. I replied to mail, contacted people, communicated via IRC, included articles, proofread and formatted them, took care of the layout, chose pictures, wrote articles and so on.

In addition I organized a programming contest. In April 1998 I had taken part in a similar contest myself and gained first place, with an Assembler program that solved a given task and was smaller than any other solution (except for the program written by an Englishman named Scabby, with whom I shared the first place). All in all 23 persons had participated in this contest. Then I started my own series of contests, the "Hugi Size Coding Competition Series". Until 2009 there were 29 contests. Some of them were hosted by an American named Sniper while I was spending too much time with my studies. These contests also resulted in a lot of contacts to other people from all over the world.

There were two people with whom I exchanged a lot of letters via e-mail. One of them was Dario Phong from Spain. The other was iliks from Russia. Both of them were of similar age as me. I used to talk with them on a personal level while I only talked about Hugi and the scene when communicating with other people.

With some time, however, I became bored of this lifestyle, especially as I also spent most of my holidays at home working on Hugi after my parents had bought a house with a garden and were not motivated any more to spend the holidays in Slovakia. Once a Portuguese demoscener called Psychic Symphony visited me at home. He spent a couple of days at my place before he continued his trip to a demo party in Hungary. In the same summer Coctail visited me. Coctail later became a professor of political sciences. My mother was shocked at Psychic Symphony's habit of sleeping from midnight until the early afternoon, without informing us about this in advance.

In the year 2000 I attended my first demo party, Fiasko in the Czech Republic. The organizers warmly welcomed me and I was even allowed to deliver a short speech at the prize giving ceremony.

Upon graduating from high school, with perfect grades, I joined my class mates for a trip to the Greek island of Kos for two weeks. I carried two books along with me, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" and "Gödel, Escher, Bach - An Eternal Golden Braid". Both of these books are quite popular among computer scientists and as it was my intention to enroll at university to study computer science, I wanted to spend the weeks in Kos reading these books. But in the course of these holidays I got to know more and more how different I was from the other graduates. While I was reading books, they were lying at the beach, drinking alcohol and having fun. In the end I dropped my books and adopted their behaviour.

When I returned home, I was somewhat disillusioned. I realized that my classmates had spent far less time studying and working hard while they had still successfully graduated from high school. Apparently I was the stupid one who had always done more than what would have been necessary to achieve the goals that really mattered. I was very sad and spent a lot of time sleeping.

Working on Hugi (2006)

Studies in Medicine

As I had been programming computers since my ninth year of life and felt that I enjoyed this activity, I wanted to study computer science. However, in Austria there were specialized schools for upcoming programmers, while I had attended a regular high school. So I feared that I would have strong competition. Moreover, I heard that it was usual that programmers had to work for twelve hours a day and on the weekend. That was what made me search for an alternative, especially as I doubted my own skills after my experiences in Greece.

My parents had always wished that I become a medical doctor. However, I never identified myself with the role of a physician, had never shown interest in healthcare or biology and also had almost no professional knowledge about it. I only knew a bit about genetics as my father had asked me to read about it. Maybe I would be able to work in genome research after graduating from medical school? After all, there was also a Nobel Prize in medicine. If medicine was really just about visiting patients at home, examining them and prescribing drugs, there would not be a Nobel Prize for it. In any academic discipline it is possible to make a career in teaching and research. Perhaps university would bear a position in theoretical medicine for me.

All in all, the reasons for studying medicine were rather flimsy, except that my father strongly wished me to become a doctor. If I had not studied medicine, he would have kept reproaching me for it for the rest of his life. After all I had attended a high school focusing on languages only because I was supposed to learn Latin - in order to be able to study medicine later on. So I had been predestined to become a medical student since early childhood.

However, neither of my parents had actual knowledge about medicine, and neither did they have any acquaintances working in it. To my knowledge, they had not read biographies of medical doctors, either. Almost any medical biography I read contained narratives of bullying and lawsuits. How could my parents do this to me? I recalled that a class mate of mine had a father who was a physician, and when my parents told him that they wanted me to become a medical doctor, he asked them the same question. Obviously they did not take it seriously enough.

This was how my time at medical school began after the release of Hugi 23. My mother arranged the visit of a former pupil of hers who was now a medical student. I had the impression that he was hectic and arrogant. When he told me that for the exam on biology which I would have to take there were different examinators and the subject matter of the exam would depend on the examinator (one was a parasitology expert, another an expert in cell biology, etc.), I had a strange feeling. Later I would make the experience that at university and in professional life, not everything would be as fair and objective as it was at school.

The student was accompanied by his father, and he started the conversation with the remark: "One studies what one is interested in. What about medicine is it that interests you?" I am a bit sad that he did not pose the more general question: "What is it that interests you?" Then I would have answered: computer science, mathematics, philosophy,... and it would have been clear that medicine was not the right thing for me. But as he had asked what about medicine I was interested in, I answered: "I am interested in medical science."

When the visitors left us, they marvelled at my computers and stated that now they at least knew whom to consult when they had problems with their computer. As a matter of fact, most of my teachers at high school were aware of my interest in computers. The philosophy teacher was the only one who reacted with surprise when I told her that I wanted to study computer science. The biology teacher, however, wanted that I study medicine, and the physics teacher would have been happy had I chosen physics.

With the beginning of the semester, I started attending the lectures on chemistry, physics and biology for medical students. In addition I attended an elective lecture on artificial intelligence. Already after a few days a female student approached me. At high school, I never had the impression that girls were interested in me, so this was a new experience; however, I was not interested in a relationship - although she was the daughter of a bank manager, as she said. Later I got to know even more daughters of good family who seemed to be impressed with me.

I passed the exams in all three subjects with excellent grades, and while preparing for the exam in physics I even wrote a book of my own, "Physik verstehen - Zusammenhänge erkennen statt auswendig lernen", inspired by what I had to learn for the exam, yet containing mostly original ideas. In the holidays I participated in an elective course on genetic engineering. Afterwards I completed the elective in artifical intelligence and another one in human genetics while continuing my regular studies with histology exercises, the first (minor) dissection course and the biochemistry internship.

When I got only the grade "satisfactory" on the biochemistry exam although I felt that I was interested in the subject, I decided to take the exam again a couple of months later and ultimately good the grade "good". The final exam of the second (major) dissection course was the first exam in my life I failed, but I passed the repeat examination and continued my studies. My father was very unhappy when I failed this exam, especially after hearing that there had been students who had passed it with excellent success, but I was aware of the fact that I had never been too good at rote memorizing.

During the dissection course I took part in a meeting of "Club Biotech" about which I had learned from the media. It was a colourful assocation of students of veterinary medicine, human medicine, biology, biotechnology, pharmacy and other subjects. I kept being a member of this club for many years. In 2010/2011 I was Vice President, in 2011/2012 President. I still remember having dinner with Carl Djerassi, Susumu Tonegawa and Werner Arber. It was very impressive to get to know these people in person.

In my white coat (2006)

Computer Science

I passed most of the exams at medical school on first attempt but did not always earn good grades. That was why after three years I started studying computer science in parallel.

In computer science I obtained good grades again. 2008 I completed my first degree, a Bachelor's degree in Medical Informatics. In 2013 a Master's degree in Computational Intelligence (with distinction) followed, as well as the Medical Doctor's degree.

At least my father was still alive when I graduated from university. However, soon after that he had to go to hospital and died after an unsuccessful cardiac operation.

After working in research for a while without formal employment and without payment, and after trying to work as a physician (which I had never planned or wished, and which, as an effect, did not work out due to my inability to perform manual routine tasks such as blood-taking), I became a software developer in the IT industry.

Until 2014, Hugi issued in irregular terms. In total, 38 regular issues and a couple of special editions were released. It is thanks to my friend Magic from Holland that Hugi was continued after 2006 when he took over the management of the contents and I focused on proofreading and formatting articles.

In the course of the years I also attended a couple of demoparties: 2005 Breakpoint and TUM in Germany, 2008 Realtime Generation in Austria, 2010 again TUM in Germany, 2012 Function in Hungary, 2015 Evoke in Germany and 2017 Demobit in Slovakia. Unfortunately it became apparent that there were only a few demosceners with whom I was really friends.

I hardly ever actively participated in demoscene competitions: In 2008 I submitted my 256 byte intro "Indian Summer" to 0a000h in Germany while not attending the party myself; the intro gained second place. To TUM 2010 and Function 2012 I submitted computer games (TUM 2010: Adok's Magic Cube, Adok's Number Maze; Function 2012: Ballonschlacht, Cirix) but they were not too successful. Moreover, a special edition of Hugi participated in the wild compo of Function 2012 and made sixth place. For Demobit 2017 I developed a little intro that gained place three, which covered the expenses for the trip to the party and back home.

In 2008 I resumed my computer game programming activities. At first I worked with Visual C# and XNA Game Studio, a DirectX wrapper. But soon I noticed that it was not difficult to program games in C++ with OpenGL and switched to that combination. Microsoft discontinued supporting XNA with Windows 8. Fortunately, somebody developed a nearly 100% compatible framework called MonoGame. With XNA I implemented a game engine similar to my favourite Mega Drive game "Shining Force 2". I published this engine at the website "Shining Source" and later released the source code (the result of half a year of work). Five years later I started programming a new game based on this engine, which I called "Mega Force". It still took me three years until I decided to complete the game and release the full version (again for free).

In Hugi 35 (from 2008) I published the first part of my Diskmag Encyclopedia, in Hugi 36 (from 2010) the second part followed suit. In 2012 I made a German translation and had it published by GRIN Verlag under the title "Enzyklopädie der Diskmags".

My workplace at home (2017)

"High Intelligence"

Although I already mentioned that my mother used to consider me highly intelligent, my teachers were reluctant to join her in this judgement until I took part at a math olympiad contest for junior high school students in Vienna, in which I would have made first place if I had not made a stupid calculation mistake in a task which I would otherwise have solved; so I placed second out of 149 participants. This was when my math teacher came to the conclusion that I was "gifted". But as I had always been a very good student, why had no teacher noticed that before?

Probably because I was not like what most teachers imagine a "gifted" child to be. I might have been too introverted and undetermined. Maybe also some teachers believed that intellectually gifted pupils also had to be talented at sports and handicraft.

At university nobody showed interest in gaining me as a staff member, either. The only mentor I found was Uwe Rohr, who was an outsider himself. Uwe had originally studied pharmacy, had made an academic career, had even become a professor before he lost his job, studied medicine and philosophy and worked as a physician. He spent some time at the University of Utah and at the Medical University of Vienna, and it always ended in a quarrel. In the end the only way to earn his living was to start his own business and get money from investors. As soon as Uwe learned about the phenomenon of high intelligence and "gifted" people, he came to the conclusion that his colleagues had discriminated against him because he was "gifted".

After my graduation I wanted to write an article for a magazine for medical doctors and as I was told that I had to interview at least two persons with a Habilitation degree, I immediately thought of Uwe. For reasons unknown to me the article was rejected; perhaps it was too revolutionary, as Uwe suggested. In fact Uwe was conducting research on a nutritional supplement based on fermented soy. He believed that the isoflavones fermented soy contained would be able to convert stress hormones into hormones that would have a positive effect on immunity. In this way he believed that we would be able to effectively treat cancer, infectious diseases and even psychiatric conditions. Uwe and I became close friends, and we made several publications together. Unfortunately Uwe died in 2016 and the publications so far were not enough for me to receive a Habilitation degree myself.

A recent IQ test result (2017)

Another recent IQ test result (2017)

An official result from a test at a psychologist's, for those who do not believe in online IQ tests (2004)

An IQ of 160 SD 15 means that in 100,000 (hundred thousand) randomly selected persons, there are only approximately three persons of comparable intellect. If we stay more modest: An IQ of 140 SD 15 means that in 1000 (one thousand) randomly selected persons, there are only approximately three persons of comparable intellect. My true IQ is probably somewhere between these two extremes, although it was once estimated to be even higher, namely 172, due to my performance on a novel, experimental numerical test (ENNDT). An IQ of 172 SD 15 would mean that in 1.2 million randomly selected persons, there is at most only one, if any, person of comparable intellect.

Outlook

This was how I more or less became a grown-up and now take care of my living myself.

Some might have had a more exciting youth - at least I tried to design it according to my interests within the limits of my resources.

Perhaps I will ultimately use my knowledge and experience to write books - I have read much and whenever I go to the bookstore, I have the feeling that I know more than what I could gain from continuing to read. Despite the rather large amount of non-fiction I have read, there are only a few books which I would really recommend, and these are:

  1. Michael Heller: "Ultimate Explanations of the Universe" (a book on cosmology and metaphysics)
  2. Douglas Hofstadter: "Gödel, Escher, Bach - An Eternal Golden Braid" (a book on theoretical computer science)
  3. Stephen Wolfram: "A New Kind of Science" (a book on cellular automata)
  4. Bertrand Russell: "A History of Western Philosophy" (what the title says)
  5. Hans Fenske et al.: "Geschichte der politischen Ideen" (a book on political philosophy)

Claus D. Volko (Adok/Hugi)