Roland Dürre
Friday January 23rd, 2009

(Deutsch) Zwei tolle Vorträge an einem Tag!

Roland Dürre
Wednesday January 21st, 2009

Texts on the World-wide Financial Crisis

We currently witness a world-wide financial and economical crisis that came about through rather adventurous, yet apparently socially accepted readiness to live on borrowed money. An entire industrial sector took advantage of an (often fulfilled) general greed and found ways to outshine itself again and again when it came to construing grotesque financial products.

A short time ago, I found some really wise words that get a special meaning in this particular context:

The entirety of economic activity shall serve the common wellbeing, in particular a guarantee of dignified existence for all and a gradual enhancement of living standards for all sections of the community.

Within this aim, freedom to contract within the law shall be upheld. me fundamental individual freedom to develop personal enterprise and to engage in independent economic activity shall be recognised. Economic freedom of the individual shall be consistent with consideration for others and the moral demands of the common well-being. Socially damaging and immoral economic activity, in particular any economically exploitative contract, shall be illegal and void.

and

The accumulation of capital is not an end in itself, but rather a means to the development of the national economy.

Finance and credit systems shall serve the interests of wealth creation and the satisfaction of the needs of all residents.

Can you guess which book these words are taken from?

It is the Bavarian Constitution. In it, the independence of the Free State of Bavaria as federal state of the Federal Republic of Germany is regulated. It was brought before and passed by the state assembly on October, 26th, 1946. After the council of ministers officially read it on December, 4th, it became law through publication in the Bavarian Code of Law on December, 8th, 1946.

The aforementioned sections are a translation of two constitutional articles:

Article 151 Economic development

and

Article 157 Finance and credit systems

All we (and the state) have to do is act according to the constitution!

All texts in cursive letters: © Bayerischer Landtag

RMD

🙂 Such a fine constitution should almost be reason enough in itself to favour an independent Free State of Bavaria!

(translated by Evelyn Gemkow)

Roland Dürre
Sunday January 18th, 2009

Evolutionists and Creationists – 2009 as the Darwin

In his article “Adaption through Regression”, Klaus-Jürgen Grün (KJG) reported on the creationist’s battle against the Darwinian evolutionary model, and gave the year 2009 the title “Year of  “Darwin”. And indeed there is a surprising increase of reports on Darwin on the radio, on TV, and in the newspapers.

Reading the article by Klaus made me quite dizzy. The human race has been living on this planet for thousands of years. More than 2,000 years ago, the ancient philosophers came up with great ideas. However, the epoch of enlightenment only started a few centuries ago. And Darwin was born a mere 200 years ago – I am quite glad to be living in the here and now.

I cannot understand the controversy between creationists and evolutionists. Let me explain this with a short story by Werner Heisenberg, (you will notice that I published it earlier in the if-blog under der Teil und das Ganze” – “parts and entities”).

Heisenberg: God does no gambling. For Einstein, that was a principle that could not be shattered, a principle he was not prepared to discuss.  All Bohr could reply was: But it cannot be our task to tell God how to rule the world. (*)

In analogy, one could say:

But it cannot be our task to tell God how he should have created the world (and thereby us).

That is why I cannot see such a huge problem for a deeply religious person trying to tolerate a very reasonable concept like the Darwinian evolutionary theory. Isn’t creating and starting an evolution (as defined by creationists) also a creative and divine act? But we humans seem to have a tendency towards wanting to be the owners of absolute truth – and then make this truth both our personal and a collective certainty. Maybe we even need this in order to not break down under the pressure of being human.

In 2008, archaeologists made a sensational discovery. It (like often before) will change history. Here is the report as published on Sunday, Jan, 18, 2009 scinexx, the scientific magazine by Springer:

The Forgotten Roman Conquest – Roman battlefield discovered in the borderlands of the Harz mountains

I can really highly recommend the article. Here is the last paragraph (from scinexx):

According to archaeologists, this new discovery is spectacular in that it will put question marks before the accepted historical beliefs and provide plenty of material for future archaeological dispute, because through it, archaeology can identify a historical never mentioned at all in any of the allegedly reliable historical sources.

Shortly before Christmas, I listened to an interview with one of the concerned historians on exactly this discovery. He said he was truly glad, because “now the history of ancient Rome must be completely re-written “.

🙂 When I heard this, I (holding a degree in mathematics) thought I would be feeling rather stupid if relevant parts of mathematics would have to be completely re-written. It seems that a mathematician’s way of thinking differs from that of a historian.

Back on a serious note: We humans often forget that, in fact, we do not know anything. History and our great books such as the Bible certainly contain a lot of accumulated wisdom, but they are all full of stories that were first handed on by word of mouth and than written down. In the process, they were certainly often altered and we today interpret them in our context. All we can do is guess what the sources of these stories could have been – or believe.

Neither can we see the future, or know what is really going on. We are just humans, so all we can do is believe. And believing compels you to be tolerant. An intolerant belief will soon become hell.

RMD

P.S.

I would like to find out how the “non-christian” religions see Darwin! Can anybody provide literature?

* Source: Der Teil und das Ganze: Gespräche im Umkreis der Atomphysik (Taschenbuch) von Werner Heisenberg.

Roland Dürre
Saturday January 17th, 2009

(Deutsch) Vortrag von RMD am 9. Februar in Hamburg

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Roland Dürre
Sunday January 11th, 2009

Great Orators and their Stories – #2 Hans-Jörg Bullinger

Today, in my “Hommage to great orators” I bow before Dr. Hans-Jörg Bullinger.

Hans-Jörg Bullinger is from Baden-Württemberg and was born in Stuttgart. I have had the pleasure of listening to his talks several times. A few years ago, InterFace had organised a beautiful day out for all employees to the lake Ammersee, including ferry trip and beer garden. Hans-Jörg Bullinger’s talk before dinner was the highlight of the day.

The last time I heard him was at the OCÉ in Poing, when Ernst Spaett (long-time boss of the sector high-power pressure systems at Siemens AG, later OCÉ) was sent into retirement. Ernst Spaett is now my mentor and dear friend.

Hans-Jörg Bullinger is the embodiment of “middle-class way of thinking” combined with “common sense”. What he says and advises is very simple, logical and always gives confidence. His criticism is constructive and often he also offers a simple solution to a problem.

His story about “the machine that did not look very nice” is one I particularly remember. Even if I am sure that I cannot really do justice to how Hans-Jörg Bullinger himself would have told it (the representation of the pleasant southern German sound of the speech, along with a grain of Swabian is not easy for me), I will now relate it.

In this story, Hans-Jörg Bullinger tells about his visit to a middle-class enterprise for which times are not easy at the moment, even though it offers technically excellent products. The owner of the machine production firm shows him the new machine and proudly presents the improvements of the new model: reduced running energy, simplified control, extended intervals between maintenances, fewer rejects, and much more. The machine itself looks like a hideous monster. Dr. Bullinger asks if it might not be beautified by a few metal sheets or a nice spraying. Upon which the ignorant owner replies that the machine would not be any more efficient if that were done. So much the more is he surprised to hear the answer by Professor Bullinger: “But maybe it would sell better!”.

I like this story because it is an example for sectional blindness. “Honourable engineers”, in particular, want to deliver a job well done, and that is absolutely adorable. But once in a while they forget that the bride should also be hung with ornaments. Because the eye makes the appetite, not only when you dine.

RMD

(tranlated by Evelyn Gemkow)

Roland Dürre
Saturday January 10th, 2009

(Deutsch) In meiner eigenen Schreibe … (2)

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.