Roland Dürre
Thursday October 17th, 2013

The American MCA (Maximum Credible Accident) …

… was once again prevented. Apparently, it was a last-minute rescue. And, basically, nobody was impressed by the threat. Neither the stock market, nor the citizens. Let alone the economy. Everybody continued doing “business as usual”. Regardless of the fact that we should have put a stop to all of this a long time ago.

And everybody is happy, because it certainly would have been worse than the crisis of 2008. Now I can still remember 2008. Yet I felt nothing of the crisis at the time. The InterFace numbers were just as good (or as bad – after all, everything is relative) as in the years before and after. I was doing fine and so were most of my German fellow humans. If this is what you call crisis, then I would wish for a permanent crisis.

However, the “maximum credible accident” has only been postponed. Perhaps until February 2014. The red ink will continue to grow and reach a new border. And since I am a cynic leaning towards the morbid, I already look forward to that day. After all, how should anything change until then? How are the US of A supposed to manage the necessary “turnaround” in four months?

But then, perhaps everything is nowhere near as bad as we think? Perhaps because we are talking a very virtual reality. For instance, if the USA had intervened in Syria, it would have become very expensive. Regardless of the fact that the entire military outfit is partly something you “have to pay, anyway”. However, it would not have made a difference for today’s (almost) bankruptcy.

And also because the one reason for the MCA that sounds still most plausible to me still seems rather clinical in my view. I read the following:    
All kinds of funds for all kinds of purposes were spent by investing a lot of money into receivables against the US. A US bankruptcy would have the effect of a downgrading of the credit rating by all rating agencies from AAA. But then, the diverse funds are not permitted to have non-AAA shares in their portfolio – which means they would have to sell them.

Is this really true? Why can’t the funds simply change their rules and keep the shares? After all, the “scientific field” of economic studies assumes that a country cannot be bankrupt.

In any case, I already look forward to next February. And I intend to go skiing when the next day of bankruptcy arrives. I hope to have sunny weather and then I will lie in my deck chair and look upon the financial MCA or the prevention of such while enjoying the glass of beer sitting on the table next to me.

(Translated by EG)

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

131024 Those who want everything end up with nothing – careful, twitterers and bloggers. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

131025 Wanting to know all usually equals knowing nothing – also true for twittering and blogging? #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

131026 If you stack, you will never lack – also true for blogging and twittering? #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

131027 A useless friend can be a harmful enemy – also true for blogging and twittering. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

131028 If you wish to banter others, you have to accept bantering directed against yourself  – also true for twittering and blogging. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

131029 Feeding other people’s fire means neglecting your own fire – also true for twittering and blogging? #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

131030 Harm set, harm get – also true for twittering and blogging. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

There is a new tweet each day. See and “follow” Roland

(Translated by EG)

I took the proverbs from Alle deutsche Sprichwörter.

Roland Dürre
Tuesday October 15th, 2013

It Makes Me Happy To Bring Promote Friendships.

On this picture, you can see Jolly Kunjappu and Stefan Hagen. They are both friends of mine, yet did not know each other. Then I heard that Jolly is going to speak in Dornbirn. Dornbirn, however, is Stefan’s domain. Consequently, I had to get active – and bring these two together.

Regardless of his totally full calendar, Stefan was able to watch the presentation by Jolly. Afterwards, they met.

kunjappu_hagen_3546And they both radiate happiness.

🙂 And it makes me truly happy to see two friends of mine enjoying the fact that they were introduced to each other.

(Translated by EG)

Of course, writing about Dr. Stefan Hagen makes me think of the PM Camp. So do not forget::
Between November 14th and 18th, 2013, we will have our next fabulous barcamp for project management in Dornbirn. There are still some vacancies, also on the list of sponsors.

Roland Dürre
Monday October 14th, 2013

New IF Blog Author: Dr. Cordian Riener

BildJust a short time ago, I heard another presentation by Dr. Cordian Riener that made me very thoughtful.

Cordian is first and foremost a human being and then a friend of simple and clear statements.

He manages to need few words in order to get to the point.

Which is exactly how Cordian describes himself:

Born in Swabia.
Studied mathematics and philosophy in Ulm and Bordeaux, subsequently earned his mathematics Ph.D. in Frankfurt.
Now living up north in Helsinki for some time to come.
I like spending time riding my bike, hiking, reading about world history and good discussions – preferably accompanied by a nice cup of coffee.
During my stay in Finland, I try to find out what the Fins are better with than we, what we could learn from then and why, even here, not everything is always perfect.

🙂 I also know about Cordian that he likes apple cake – not to mention strawberry tart, which he likes even better.

I already look forward to reading Cordian’s articles! Perhaps there will be regular news from Finland for us?

(Translated by EG)

Ideas by Cordian Riener

After our shared experience of the seminar under Klaus-Jürgen Grün on “Business Ethics” between October, 4th and 7th, I received the following letter from Dr. Cordian Riener.

Dear Roland,

many thanks for your diverse ideas during the seminar. During the train trip back, with my mind on the seminar, I came up with a number of comments I would not wish to forget – so I am making notes on my iPad and sharing them with you.

Firstly, here is how I feel about his definition of sustainability as “no waste“: a short while ago, I had heard about “cradle to cradle” as a new concept of production planning. Apparently, it is quite possible to really reduce the waste to a minimum by prudently defined product cycles and to make used articles the raw material for other articles with a minimum of energy. Especially in architecture, this is getting more and more attention – probably mostly in Holland. This kind of thing would, indeed, be sustainable according to your beautiful definition.

Note by me: I took the definition from Dr. Klaus Töpfer.

If and how these kinds of product cycles can actually be realized purely with market mechanisms without outward control, however, will certainly be an exciting question. During the discussion, you also very correctly remarked that we currently have a lack of responsibility: on the one hand, profits are privatized, on the other hand, the risks and losses are socialized. I liked your argument very much and it also made me thoughtful.

In fact, I actually do have the impression that people (whoever exactly we mean with “people”) try to get rid of responsibility. On the one hand, this might be one of the reasons why institutions telling you which is “the right way” were so successful for such a long time when it came to telling people what they should do. On the other hand, it is certainly also one of the reasons why parts of our society have been marketized: where formerly you said “what God wants is good” has become “what the market wants is the right thing to do” and where formerly the will of the Gods was spoken to us through the mouth of the priests, modern prophets now use quantitative expressions and mathematical formula, along with an army of business priests who will then interpret them for us.

Initially, this might sound like a more or less beautiful analogy, but when it comes to responsibility, you unfortunately discover even more things they have in common: in former times, priests had power over the monarchs, because they were also in a position to take over their responsibility: for instance, if a king caused famine through poor planning, he was on the safe side if there was also an easy way to get out of the responsibility; to be sure, there might be some  polemics included here.

I got exactly the same impression while I was doing my practical training at a bank: there was the market; quantitative models discovered the will of this metaphysical entity and the portfolio managers acted according to what the model told them. If things went wrong – and there were quite some times when it did go wrong – the customer (i.e. the bank director) was told that the market had changed its opinion – which was exactly what the models had foretold. I hope this makes some sense at all.

Basically, I suspect that what I experienced quite often (not only as described in the above example) is a very common phenomenon: people are not sure yet have to make decisions. Instead of trusting their “instincts” which – if they have been trained by long years of experience – will come up with the right (best possible) decision, you prefer to rely on things that look more “solid”.

That gives you the advantage that, afterwards, you are not the one who can be held responsible. Instead, you can say there was something like market failure – the market God changed his opinion on short notice. With these considerations, I suspect that your statement was correct when you said that there is a lack of responsibility. And I also suspect that this lack is heightened by our marketized society.  As far as this is concerned, I am sure it would be very exciting to take a closer look at our social development on next year’s seminar, wouldn’t it?

With kind regards, Cordian

Well, that was the text by Cordian. Many thanks!

I have now had several more exchanges of ideas with Cordian and am happy to tell you that, in the future, he will also be an IF blog author. This is great – and I will introduce him shortly in the IF blog as a new comrade-in-arms. I already look forward to reading his articles.

(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Saturday October 12th, 2013

PM Camp DACH in Dornbirn, November, 14th to 16th #pmcamp13


The picture was taken almost two years ago. Stefan Hagen and yours truly as co-founders of PM-Camp are absolutely delighted. During the evening party of the very first PM Camp in 2011, we realize that the event is a great success.

In a little more than four weeks, we will meet again. At the third Dornbirn PM CAMP. And much has happened in the time in between. We now have yearly PM Camps at  Bad Homburg (Rhein-Main), Berlin, Stuttgart and Vienna. And we are positive that there will be even more of them in 2014.

The next Dornbirn PM Camp on November 14th to 16th has been well organized. The seminar rooms at Fachhochschule Vorarlberg are ideal for us. Again, the motto is “Work hard, party hard!”. There is no shortage of work. Fabulous participants with important topics already promised to come.

Just for the party, we could do with another sponsor or two. Because some of the sponsors who used to support Dornbirn do now support one of the many regional Barcamps. Consequently, there is an opening for new sponsors who wish to show by their contribution that they share a modern concept for the 21st century which I would formulate as follows:

6318938831_a991055ca0_zShare experience and knowledge openly and transparently, co-operate at eye-level and in respect with courage and joy and thus take care of a future in shared responsibility.

(Translated by)

Roland Dürre
Friday October 11th, 2013

“The Wise Animals in the Zoo” or “Academia”

GiraffenOnce in a while, I also meet professors of the faculties business and philosophy. On those occasions, we talk, for instance, about business ethics and business morals. And I get the impression that academia is a nice zoo. Many quite fascinating animals live therein.

They are well tended and fed. Their health is exemplary, because the medical attention they receive is excellent. How their smooth coats shine! When they show their teeth, you see a faultless set. You will immediately notice that they have excellent knowledge and a precise understanding of things. Mostly, they have very agreeable personalities.

Elefantenherde1These animals have plenty to think about. Yet, there is but one glitch: more often than not, their knowledge is very abstract and theoretical. Because these animals sit in the zoo. Mostly, that is where they were born, too. Unfortunately, they never lived in the wilderness.

And in the zoo, they try to find out what life in the wilderness might be like. Of course, they can only make a guess. After all, they live in the zoo.

More often than not, their ideas are right on the mark. Once in a while, their wild guesses cause strange outpourings. And that is when many things start just going wrong.

African_BuffaloRegardless, the animals in the zoo do an important job. They teach us animals living in the wilderness many beautiful theories. We can play with these theories and come up with our own opinions: are they useful or not?

However, we, too, do not really live in the wilderness. Perhaps once in a while you could say we live in a biotope. The cultural world prevails. The natural world is something that no longer exists.

Thinking of the animals in the zoo brings something else to mind, totally associatively:

Die süßesten Früchte fressen nur die großen Tiere (The sweetest fruits are for the big animals only).

Somehow or other, it seems to fit, doesn’t it? Or maybe this is the reason why all the big mammals are usually vegetarian? Perhaps that should be a reason for us to start thinking?

(Translated by EG)

The picture of the giraffe was taken by John Walker (Images of Africa), the elephants by Ikiwaner and the African Buffalo by Stefan Ehrbar.

And since it is so beautiful: Here is Peter Alexander in the year 1952:

Roland Dürre
Thursday October 10th, 2013

Rupert Lay, Ethics and Constructivism

After a time out, Rupert now gave another long presentation. It was on September, 7th, 2013 in Frankfurt. He had prepared it for his friends and the “Ronneburger Kreis”. I was truly happy to be part of it.

Eilika Emmerlich organized the recording of the presentation. She also realized the production, along with Studio Pieper.

Consequently, I now proudly present two brand-new videos with this Rupert Lay presentation. Due to the total length of the presentation, we have two videos, because on this day, Rupert squeezed a lot of insights from his life into one presentation.

Here we go:

Part 1


Part 2

Enjoy as you watch!

(Translated by EG)

And on March, 29th, 2014, Rupert Lay again plans to talk to us.

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

131017 If you accept, you have to pay – careful, twitterers and bloggers.#Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

131018 Those who avoid all sorts of trees will seldom get firewood – also true for twittering and blogging? #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

131019 The person who knows all would soon be rich – also true for blogging and twittering? #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

131020 If you want to swallow the entire world, you will have to have a rather big mouth – also true for blogging and twittering. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

131021 Serving all will end in no obligations against anybody – also true for twittering and blogging. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

131022 If you gather all the firewood lying around, you will soon have a handful – also true for twittering and blogging. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

131023 Wanting to fight against all injustice will give you a lot of work – also true for twittering and blogging. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

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


(Translated by EG)

I took the proverbs from Alle deutsche Sprichwörter.

Elwood P. Dowd
Wednesday October 9th, 2013


harvey&friendOnce upon a time…

When money was still worth something.

The times when money was covered by gold. If you had money, you could change it into gold at the bank. The total value of all money in a nation equalled the value of all the gold in said nation. At least, that was the idea.

The total amount of money was limited. Money was rare.

In modern times, we have money glut. Gold fever for governments, gamblers, finance sharks and soldiers of fortune with silvery-grey ties.

Money is not created by producing new things of value, but by opening a credit line. You can pay back later, by taking up new loans.

Debts will create money!?!

We are up to our ears in money. The backing, the thing that guarantees its value, is our trust.

Everybody needs money, but who needs trust? Madoff, Lehmann Brothers and the likes, frauds.

Beware of trust preachers, they only preach for their own advantage.

My friend Harvey says:

My dear Dowd,

In former times, the Deutsche Bank slogan was:

Trust is the beginning of everything.

In particular, trust is the first step of any brainwashing.

As in the people’s wisdom: trust is blind.

If you put blind trust in someone,

You should be more than a little certain.

Or else not trust.

We should be strict about replacing trust by confidence.

What confidence do I have in someone?

What confidence do the Greeks have in their prime minister?

What confidence do the Germans have in their Federal Chancellor?


Dowd, remove trust from your vocabulary,

Replace it by confidence.

Then you will never again fall for Madoff and his type.

Besides, in those golden times,

Which you probably glorify so much because you are so old,

The currencies were always only covered by gold to a small percentage.

The brainwash term camouflaging it was: gold coverage.

It sounded like there was a nugget with the exact value of one hundred cents attached to each dollar bill.

I thank you, Harvey, because you lead us onto the right path.

Trust is the consequence of brainwashing. Confidence is problematic. It is based on information, but we have to trust the information. Otherwise confidence would be impossible. Which gets us right back to brainwashing.

Now all that remains is distrust.

I wonder why I have so many friends???

(Elwood P. Dowd).
(Translated by EG)