Roland Dürre
Wednesday November 30th, 2011

Betting On The Future. Large-Scale Projects .

Again and again, I have to think about whether or not S21 and the third runway at Munich Airport make sense.

The conclusions I come up with contain arguments I sadly miss when looking at the public discussions.

Here is my thesis:

A large-scale project is always a bet on the future.

Mind you, I do not object to bets. On the contrary. As I see it, they are absolutely necessary. Basically, every entrepreneurial decision relevant for the future is some sort of bet. One of the characteristics of being a good entrepreneur is that they invest, because they believe in certain future market developments. They bet on and work for what they believe in.

Looking at the two aforementioned (and several more) large-scale projects, I see two problems:
The high risk and the financing of the bet.

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Roland Dürre
Tuesday November 29th, 2011

A Remarkable Advent Calendar

This weekend, the Sunday edition contained a very wise advent calendar. It was one where you could actually get active yourself and do some handicraft work, with pictures, miniatiure doors and real information.

You can find it at Just click onto archive and then search for the advent calendar. This link might be helpful. It is not for free, but it is certainly worth it. Or else, you try and get yourself an FAZ of last Sunday. I would recommend it.

The remarkable thing about it is the information. You will find 24 milestones of technological development by humans. And on December, 24th, you get the surprise present.

In this article, I will just give you the titles of the 24 windows, including the information on roughly what time we are talking.

  • December, 1st: Handaxe –  2.5 million years ago
  • December, 2nd: Mastering Fire  –  1.5 million years ago
  • December, 3rd: Agriculture –  11,000 years ago
  • December, 4th: Wheel – 5.,000 to  6,000 years ago
  • December, 5th: Textiles – 29,000 to  32,000 years ago
  • December, 6th: Working Metal –  7,400 to  7,400 years ago
  • December, 7th: Skript – a little less than  5.,000 years ago
  • December, 8th: Gunpowder – 2,500 to 3,000 years ago
  • December, 9th: Printing Press – a little less than  1,000 years ago
  • December, 10th: Lens Optics –  700 years ago
  • December, 11th: Clock –  850 years ago
  • December, 12th: Hot Air Balloons – more than 300 years ago
  • December, 13th: Steam Engine –  400 years ago
  • December, 14th: Railway – more than  200 years ago
  • December, 15th: Photography – less than  200 years ago
  • December, 16th: Generating Electric Energy  (dynamo) – less than  150 years ago
  • December, 17th: Radio –  125 years ago
  • December, 18th: Penicillin –  80 years ago
  • December, 19th: Computer –  50 years ago
  • December, 20th: Nuclear Energy –  60 years ago
  • December, 21st: Space Crafts  –  40 years ago
  • December, 22nd: Counterceptive  Pill –  50 years ago
  • December, 23rd: Internet – vor 20 years ago
  • December, 24th: Gene Technologie –  30 years ago

Even if I would probably have decided on different milestones and miss, for example, the moment when language developed, I find this advent calendar quite impressive. It shows us a little of the development of humans and their technology.

(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Sunday November 27th, 2011

My Town

At grammar school, I was allowed to play in the school theatre. To be sure, it was only a (very) minor role: the milk man. But it was a truly beautiful experience.

The piece we played made a huge impression on me. It was a very sentimental story: “Our Town (Unsere kleine Stadt)” by Thornton Wilder.

In a theatre lexicon, I once read there is no second play that mirrors “being human“ as well as this one.

Today, I want to tell you about the “town“ I live in. It is Riemerling, in the “district“ of Hohenbrunn. What makes it special is that the village of Hohenbrunn is about one kilometre away from Riemerling. But Riemerling seems to be part of the larger Ottobrunn.
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Roland Dürre
Saturday November 26th, 2011

Wastefulness! #1 The Last Mile of the Parcel Service

As “predicted”, I now start a new series “Wastefulness“. It is not intended to be constant grumbling. Instead, I consider it more an instigation for getting thoughtful.

A biker is always close to the normal traffic. You have time to study the cars and their drivers at leasure.
What, for instance, strikes me, is that surprisingly many car drivers smoke while driving. Perhaps that is because they are no longer allowed to smoke anywhere else?

But doesn’t that distract you and you cannot concentrate on driving any more? Especially if you use your second hand for holding the cell-phone you are talking into?

This is how it happens in our quiet town of Riemerling. I almost get the impression that individualized motor-traffic is a little on the decline. Now would that not be a nice surprise? However, this is not so, because there are now new participants in the general traffic. And they get more and more.

I am talking all those many cars that supply us with Pizza and other Home&Fast Food (except they never supply me). The Iceman and the beverage supplier. The Caritas and the newspaper delivery service. And in particular all the DHL, Hermes, UPS, GLS, Südpost cars, along with all the other new private postal service cars.

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Roland Dürre
Friday November 25th, 2011

Because It Matters To Me!

Freiheit – Freedom – Libertad – libertà – 自由 – свобoда

You can currently read the following citation of Benjamin Franklin on my private web site

» Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. «

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)
(According to  wikiquote, Benjamin Franklin actually said it.)

I particularly like the sentence.

But: time and again, I hear – even from reasonable persons who I know only have the best interest in mind – that there is no liberty without security. Hearing this not only hurts – I also consider it dangerous to say such a thing. Using this reasoning, you open up all possible opportunities for abuse (by the state).

Consequently, I will now try to clarify my thesis:
Liberty  is a value.

Security is a need.

Value” and “need” have nothing in common as far as their definitions go.

It is always problematic to sacrifice values for needs.

But someone who is prepared to sacrifice a basic value in order to to satisfy a small and temporary need (even if he only demands it in theory or will accept it as a possible consequence), has not deserved this value!

Please keep that in mind! I ask this of everyone, especially of politicians and leaders.


Roland Dürre
Thursday November 24th, 2011

A Golden C64 For A Good Cause

It was a nice party at the Café of the Müller’sches Volksbad in Munich, Rosenheimerstr. 1.

Our friends and partners Dr. Annegret Haffa and Dr. Horst Höfflin celebrated the 25th anniversary of their agency Dr. Haffa & Partner GmbH!

The public swimming pool cafe was a suitable location for the beautiful festivity. We cheered each other without restraints and wished 25 more successful years on us all!

Horst is a passionate entrepreneur. Due to his ancestry, he adds special knowledge in choicy wines to his technological competence in communications.

In addition, he collects beautiful, old objects. His oldtimer motorbikes, in particular, are a feast for the eyes.

He is taking this jubilee as a reason to part with a precious and much-loved piece of his collection. To be sure, it has no combustion motor, but still, it has accompanied him for a long, long time.

It is a Commodore 64. This type of computer was an important means of production in his agency 25 years ago.
Now we are talking a very special specimen of the ‘Golden Edition’. It was released in 1986 to accompany the production of C64 number one million. The ‘Golden Edition’ was limited to 200.

The one owned by Horst has the serial number 1000126.

The action will start on Friday, November, 25, 2011 (tomorrow!) at 17:02:52 hours and will end ten days later, on December, 5th, at 17:02:52 hours. I will publish the link to the auction page as soon as it starts

And here comes the best about it:

The money the auction will bring will be donated to “Reporters sans frontiéres”!

So why don’t you participate?

(Translated by EG)

The bid of the winner was 3.676,77!

On the picture, you see the festive atmosphere of the beautiful party! The room is still empty, but as the night progressed, it really filled up!

Photograph: Ingo Weber

Here are my tweets of last week on
Blogging and Twitter, Wisdoms and Rules:

111208 Even with a limp cord, you can still shoot a few arrows – also when twittering and blogging. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

111209 You will not get wiser from sleep – when twittering and blogging you also need to be hardworking! #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

111210 Sometimes you see people laugh when they should weep – also among twitterers and bloggers. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

111211 You can see easily what sort of person someone is – among twitterers and bloggers! #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

111212 You can tell by the tail what kind of bird it is  – auch beim Twitterer und Blogger. #Twitter #Bloggen #Weisheit

111213 You can tell by its look what father it had – careful, twitterers and bloggers! #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

111214 Not all songs are sung to the end – something you should not forget when twittering and blogging. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

There is a new tweet each day. See Twitter and “follow” RolandDuerre!

(Translated by EG)

I took the proverbs from Alle deutsche Sprichwörter.

Our colleague Bernhard Maischberger wrote a report about  the presentation given by Walter Riess at the last IF Forum in our series  “Humans&Knowledge/Science”:

The last presentation of the 2011 IF Forum series promised to be very interesting and informative. After all, Herr Dr. Riess, a scientist from the forefront at IBM Research was our guest.

And, indeed, only a small part of all the flood of information and connections we were given can be dealt with in one article.

The first definition was:
What is Nano Technology?
Everything in the range between 1 – 100 nm!

This definition gives us the range we move in.

For your orientation:
A human hair with its cross-section dimension of 60,000 nm is already way beyond. At the top, we are talking of “only“ a few (to be precise, around five) C atoms “in a row“.

Nano Technology according to this definition has been around since about 1980 in IT, or rather in chip technology, which basically is what the presention was about.

The main issue of Nano Technology is that, due to the smallness of the considered structures, there are very special physical phenomena.

As a similar example in nature, you can see the much-cited lotus effect, where – due to the microscopically very uneven (= large) plant surface nothing will stick to it.

Today, this “technology” is also used for coating roof tiles or other materials. Or consider the “colouring“ of a butterfly wing. Basically, it has no colour. Only the refraction effect makes it shimmer breathtakingly “colourful“.

Back to technology:

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Roland Dürre
Tuesday November 22nd, 2011

“In Today’s Newspaper” or “No Comment”

I am reading the SZ. This morning.

Here is what catches the eye:

During the first ten months of 2011, the number of fatal traffic accidents, as compared with 2010, has risen by 5 %. They do not know the reason.
The per centage of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane increases each year considerably. They know the reason.

The Federal Debt is climbing. Regardless of the debt limit.

Is it really necessary for me to say anything more?


(Translated by EG)

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.