Roland Dürre
Sunday March 30th, 2014

brand eins in April

Today is a beautiful spring Sunday. I am on my way back home from Frankfurt. Yesterday, I met my mentor Rupert Lay and many other well-loved friends in Frankfurt. I listened to a wonderful presentation, added many new memories of long-gone times to my stock, made new discoveries, ate a good dinner, slept soundly through a quiet night in a good hotel, enjoyed a small breakfast in the DB lounge at Frankfurt central station – so what more can you want?

Now, I am going back home on the EC 113. My first-class ticket was extremely cheap, around the cost of a long-distance coach. The EC 113 even has a waggon going all the way to Zagreb. This is actually something you still find these days. It reminds me of the “Autoput”. However, the train goes at a leisurely pace, passing Darmstadt Central Station, Bernsheim, Weinheim (Bergstr.), Heidelberg, Stuttgart, Ulm, Augsburg, Günzburg on its way to Munich Central Station.

Of course, you cannot really call it leisurely – the train takes less than four hours. The EC 113 is not very crowded, so I can clearly understand why the Bahn AG still suffers under a deficit. I enjoy the ride in the huge compartment and read my “brand eins” copy. And again, my love of the good old trains is reawakened.

This time around, the “brand eins” looks rather multi-coloured. On the title page, I find a cloud with catch-phrases your normal “oldie” might consider the usual linguistic outpourings of the young generation. But fear thee not: the young and attractive ones are already ahead of this.

The magazine is an appeal: ”Quiet!“ Consequently, the focal point is Concentration. It perfectly fits the train trip. The very idea of now sitting in a car and driving from Frankfurt to Munich – which, unbelievably, I actually did quite frequently in former times  …

brandeins04_2014

About the magazine: even the very first glimpse at it pointed me towards the fact that some of the topics are exactly what I have been looking for:

Bitcoins

Here is where I meet again a good and very cherished acquaintance of mine – Dolf. Dolf Diederichsen – at the time he was still a business consultant – used to be a mentor at the same start-up as me. I had a huge amount of respect for what he did: I guess we probably supplemented each other quite well. The “brand eins” article about bitcoins is the first objective and balanced one I ever found in the press – perhaps thanks to Dolf.

For me, it is obvious that the artificial construction “money” will also undergo radical change. Even if technology were to simply remain on the current level, the traditional understanding of a means of payment is totally outdated. But even if change continues with the same speed as before – which is what I expect – totally new and differently organized ways of accounting will win. As I see it, it is totally irrelevant if the Bitcoins will prevail or disappear – such strange currencies as the EURO, US-Dollar or RMB will not survive the coming transformation.

Bike Trailers

Of course, this is one of the topics where I see everything through my spectacles as a person who no longer drives a car. Personally, I firmly believe that the future belongs to the bike, including the bike trailer, and that it will be the classic innovation of tomorrow.

As always, the World of Numbers shatters collective concepts (number of prisoners in various countries …).

It is cheaper to throw things away than to donate them to charity.

Again, we are reminded of the well-known and basically unbelievable fact that, in Germany, an enterprise will have a considerable economic disadvantage if they donate left-overs to charity, rather than destroying them.

They show a ”utopian enterprise“ in Egypt which, basically, should not exist at all (and as I see the local circumstances, it will soon have disappeared). Mind you, utopian ideas can also work out – as you can best see with the company that makes my favourite bike.  In the 1980ies, they called their newly founded bike manufacturing firm “Utopia“, because they could not believe that you can actually make good money selling good bikes.

There is a nice description in numbers of the FIAT Coup. It is a didactic play showing how you can sell desperation as a dubious success.

The long article on energy is a balm for the soul (“what moves business”). In my opinion, this is the first correct and neutral summary of this unfortunately stupidly emotionalized topic that truly covers all the relevant dimensions.

Without having to look very long, I also found two other very important and competently discussed topics, both of which move me very much indeed: “open-plan office“ and ”meetings“. With these articles, “brand eins” is carrying coals to Newcastle for me. After all, I believe that open-plan offices are detrimental for your psychological well-being. As I see it, they also have a negative effect on your achievement. And the more I listen to what happens in the world and start understanding it, the more I realize that 90 % of all meetings are pointless – and mostly they are even doing damage.

Somehow or other, “brand eins” and I, again, think alike. However, this does not make the magazine less interesting for me. Now I am in Stuttgart, where you actually find a railway station that is worthy of its name. I will finish writing and instead continue reading in solitude.

A good Sunday to you!

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Last Thursday, I went to the Forum UnternehmerTUM at BMW-World. It was a nice gala with a beautiful information and discussion element. Said element was 90 minutes and was presented by Stefan Weigel with plenty of appetizing humour.

The catchphrase for the gala was “Cooperation” – topics were for instance “cooperation with added value”, “cooperation models and initiatives”, “stories of foundations” and “mistakes made by founders”.
The focal point was the cooperation of “start-ups” with established business. It was an exciting event with a great “get together” at the end. Consequently, I met many old friends again and we had many good discussions, along with nice background music. And I also made friends with some new and very likeable persons. All these factors contributed to me staying a lot longer than I had initially planned.

I am lucky enough to receive invitations to these kinds of events fairly often. Also, I am occasionally invited to be a jury member at “business-plan competitions”. It is always quite exciting and an inspiration to see the potential future entrepreneurs present their plans. However, all those wisecracks and “Jet-Set” situations I witness also make me thoughtful.

Incidentally, I get the feeling that the definition of “entrepreneur” as transported on all these events is strongly inflated. I often hear big words and get the impression that start-ups in Germany are supposed to save the entire world. Entrepreneurship as a goal in your life is glorified, you get the impression that it should be the highest goal for as many people as possible to become entrepreneurs. And this is when I start getting my doubts: is all this hype about “entrepreneurs” and start-ups really what will improve the future?

Consequently, I am writing this to give you a very objective view of “entrepreneurship”. As is the habit in philosophy, I will initially try and analyse the higher-ranking term. In my book, that is “work in order to earn money”. Today, this is what everybody must do, except those who inherited a fortune (which is true for more and more people) or if you win the lottery (which is extremely rare). If you do not wish to become a criminal, you have to think about the way you wish to earn your living.
An “unconditional basic income (BGE)”, which is something surprisingly many persons I know seem to be in favour of trying, would not make a difference, either. Because, as I see it, most people would not be willing to accept the then extremely low lifestyle.

Consequently, we in Germany only have three options if we want to make sure our families can live.

  • Wage-related work
    This category covers labourers, clerical workers and civil servants. Today, we hardly have any labourers left, they are probably equal to skilled workers. For those, a highly regulated system has been created in our society. More often than not, the income is determined by negotiation. We have a Law of Working Hours. There is a job protection which is asymmetrically regulated between employees and employers. We have social security systems for cases of unemployment, retirement and sickness. The Works Council Constitution Act regulates a very complicated representative participation, yet some important and reasonable elements are missing…
    Reduced hours, long-range working accounts and much more has been regulated through additional rules. If you are a skilled worker, you are part of a “disciplinary” system. You have one or several “superiors”. If you want to go on a vacation, you have to apply for time out of the office. For extra time out of the office, for instance parental leave, there are complicated regulations. Your income and career opportunities are limited. A career which might give you considerably more income is only possible as an exception to the rule.
    The same is true for those who are civil officers – which, to me, is a somewhat perverse variant. For the employees (the civil officers), it is possible to terminate at any time, regardless of the massive dismissal protection they enjoy – which is something no ordinary skilled worker has. “To make up for it”, the civil officers get a considerably higher pension than those skilled workers who just get their retirement money as accumulated by social insurance.
    This difference will be really significant if the number of years of receiving pension (from the moment they quit the job until their death) is anywhere near the number of years of active service. If you consider a high life span, a late start into the work force and a pension age that is before the officially recommended time, you often get really huge sums. And if you do the arithmetic, you will end up with very much money, indeed.
    However, in the sector of wage-related work, we have more and more persons who earn little. Their income has to be supplemented by the state, for example through support for the rent they pay. These persons have no realistic chance of providing for their old age based on capital. Now politicians want to introduce the legal minimum wages – an experiment I already look forward to with much excitement.
  • Service and labour contracts
    Persons earning their living in this way are commonly referred to as “freelancers”. If someone cannot accept the conditions of being employed as a skilled worker – or if he cannot get such employment – he will have to live on unemployment benefit (which is only available to a limited extent) or apply for social security. If this is something he does not want either, then all that is left to him is become a freelancer (or else an entrepreneur – see next item).
    Basically, he has to find customers who ask him to render services as specified in a service contract. These contracts will always have a time limit. Since a freelancer is not obliged to have social insurance, he has to make his own arrangements for old age security. Due to the ever longer times of low or slow business until his death and the high costs of nursing and rest homes, this will be almost impossible for him, even if he earns good money. Consequently, he will eventually again have to live on social security.
    This is also regulated by the law. There is a clear definition what a freelance system has to look like and, more often than not, reality cannot be made to match these regulations. In order to meet these requirements, some freelancers wrap their activities up and formally establish a limited liability company (and sometimes they do it in order to be able to employ their family as labour). Statistically, these freelancers will be seen as entrepreneurs, and that is what they might, de-facto, well be, but they are definitely not entrepreneurs in the sense of the today so strongly propagated entrepreneurship.
    Also, surprisingly many freelancers (allegedly one third of them) earn less than the planned minimum wages. Introducing the minimum wage law will not change anything about this, will it? For instance, if the zoo pays 10 Euros for 50 kilograms of chestnuts they will feed to their animals, then this is a totally legal business transaction. And the person who pays could and will not care less about how long the person selling them has taken to collect those chestnuts.
    Many freelancers seem to earn far above average during their active time. More often than not, however, this is an illusion, especially if you consider a longer time interval. Times of little or no income put a damper on the entire scenario, extra hours and the lack of vacations seem to improve the situation. For a freelancer, it is difficult to scale his income. After all, it can only be done through higher prices and more billable hours.
  • Entrepreneurial activities
    An entrepreneur is someone who is competent or thinks he is competent in one field and wants to be responsible for himself. More often than not, they plan something they cannot achieve alone. In order to realize their goal, they need more than their own capacity. They will need the help of third parties. Consequently, they will look for support. Such support can be partners, employees of the enterprise to be founded or freelancers as suppliers of a service. As a general rule, the founders believe to have discovered special chances on the market, seen new business ideas or, for instance, found special technologies or products.
    The business idea might be based on a service and a product, as well as a mixture of the two. Usually, this idea cannot be realized alone. You need employees or a team. Especially in the product sector, you will often have to invest heavily, which might also be necessary around a service, for instance in order to make the public aware of the service, to sell the service and to make sure the conditions for delivery are met
    In order to solve this problem, we have, among other things, VC’s (Venture Capital), public subsidies and supportive banks, but also private “business angels”. I am not going to comment on how well these things work.
    Entrepreneurship is probably the best way to improve your income far above average. After all, the enterprise – and consequently the entrepreneur – will benefit to some extent from the achievement of every single employee or of the entire team. In other words: a relevant improvement of income is most likely if you become an entrepreneur.
    Very few enterprises will actually get extremely rich. Those are the huge exceptions many people dream of.  But just like, for instance, in sports, only very few will reach the top. I get the impression that the “young entrepreneurs” always dream of become a Steve Jobs or Larry Elliso, or even a new Albrecht. Well, it might be fine to have very high expectations, but personally, I appeal to being realistic. And a small but good business is also a great thing.
    I am sure there are more entrepreneurs who fail than succeed. The risk of failure is high. Many enterprises I remember being founded in our field during the thirty years InterFace has now existed accompanied us for a bit of the way and then disappeared. Consequently, I would say it is fine to dream, but you should always keep in mind that a deep fall may be looming ahead at any time.
    Naturally, a successful entrepreneur usually will have a good or special competence and he has to be capable of (or be lucky enough to) calculate the market potential correctly. Many virtues, such as courage, circumspection and the willingness to take risks, along with leadership characteristics such as prudence and self-assurance are useful. A certain degree of autonomy and extraversion are probably also necessary. Paired with inner serenity and self-containedness, this might be the ideal combination. And, of course, an entrepreneur will have to be very willing to learn through his entire life.
    Yet, entrepreneurs need not necessarily do something new and particularly innovative in order to be a success. Often, very small things, along with industriousness, are the reason for their success. My personal respect goes to all those craftsmen who build up their own teams in the same way as to a “high-end start up”. This is especially true if the entrepreneur remains an “upright and honest merchant”, his enterprise offers products and services that make sense and he knows that his enterprise is a very important social system for the people, even if clearly with an economic goal. In other words: an entrepreneur should also be the person who guarantees a certain set of attitudes of mind, culture and values.
    And here is another note on the income of entrepreneurs. To be sure, there are some who really made it big time, becoming millionaires or billionaires. I even know a few of them personally. But they are precisely the ones who know how lucky they have been.
    Yet I know a lot more entrepreneurs who do their job well and still have an income that is lower than the minimum wages. According to the statistics, this is probably also true for one third. Regardless of the fact that those persons took excellent responsibility for a number of people.

These are the kinds of messages I sadly miss on the glitzy galas in the world of the entrepreneurs.

Incidentally, I also believe that there is a lot of great “entrepreneurship” in the private and honorary sector. In my opinion, starting a partnership or even a family is a true enterprise – one which takes a lot of courage and considerably more. And if a woman, for instance, decides that she wants to become a mother, I often have more respect for her than for a young entrepreneur.

Actually, I found it a bit of a pity that, during the huge UnternehmerTUM gala, all the 14 (in words: fourteen) persons sitting on the podium were men.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
For more articles on my entrepreneurial diary, click here: Drehscheibe!

And about good & bad/ right & wrong …

To manage means to act. And I learned, both in life and in many expensive seminars and intense discussions with my mentors:

A good manager should distinguish between good and bad a little more often than other people. And he should make more good decisions than bad ones. If he succeeds, then he has achieved quite a bit and you can respect him very much.

Moreover, I learned that the “attitude of mind” has central meaning for everything you do. Attitude of mind is made up of two words: mind and attitude. If you wish to act with responsibility, you should have the “correct” mind-set. Your attitude can be the backbone you need in order to maintain your mind-set even in what you do.

Well, this is not precisely news. Neither is it news that all decisions, along with the subsequent behaviour, by definition have both a constructive and destructive component. I will not go into details, because everyday-life is full of examples.

Also, it is quite trivial that decisions and behaviour will always have both constructive and destructive elements. If a decision is “right” and an action is “good”, then the constructive element should always be stronger than the destructive one.

The same is true for what you say and what messages you send. Basically, the task of a manager is to communicate. Whatever content a manager communicates will always be partly constructive and partly destructive. Therefore a “correct” or “good” statement will always also – apart from the hopefully strong constructive idea – contain a destructive part. You can – often quite easily – find it by “logical negation”.

Some people, however, – and I am afraid we all have a tendency towards this – like pocketing the constructive message and then they get extremely enthusiastic about the destructive part. In doing so, they deprive the sender of the trust that the constructive part is actually the most important part of his message.

I am not the only person who sometimes comes close to despairing when witnessing this. Here I am, wishing to say something positive. The majority of my audience also understands this. But then some people extract the “negative” element. In the worst case, they will hand it on as some kind of “conspiracy theory”. And if I am out of luck, this theory will be taken up by someone or somewhere and a lot of damage will be done.

Consequently, I believe it is also part of a good enterprise culture to not just point out the constructive part of your actions, but also to see the constructive element in everything you receive and evaluate. Rather than minimizing this element through heightening the destructive parts.

Incidentally, what annoys me most about eloquently presented and well-sounding messages is if they contain ZERO information – that is if, after close analysis, you discover that they contain NOTHING. The senders of ZERO messages make use of the advantage that, if you send no content, naturally you cannot send constructive or destructive elements. In this case, nobody can degrade the message through a heightening of the negative. I would not be surprised to see that such people are actually particularly well-loved and successful.

🙂 This is another place where I will refrain from giving examples for persons whose messages have ZERO content.

RMD
(Translated by EG

P.S.
For all articles of my entrepreneurial diary, click here: Drehscheibe!

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

140403 Those who doubt too much will despair – also if a twitterer or blogger? #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

140404 Know where thy bread is buttered – but please not when twittering and blogging! #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

140405 Out of fullness of the heart the mouth speaks – also when twittering and blogging? #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

140406 If there is something you are ashamed of, don’t do it – also when blogging and twittering! #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

140407 Going against the current is going poorly – also when blogging and twittering. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

140408 There is no art against ill luck – also when twittering and blogging. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

140409 The fabric will be like the thread it is spun from – also true for twittering and blogging. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

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

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
I took the proverbs from Alle deutsche Sprichwörter.

Roland Dürre
Sunday March 23rd, 2014

Torturmtheater Sommerhausen & InterFace AG

And again: they are practicing at InterFace – in our kreatIF …

The Torturmtheater Sommerhausen will open the 2014 season with a new, exciting piece from Canada! Again, the rehearsals take place at our Unterhaching building.

For “Fast Perfekt” (An Almost Perfect Thing) by Nicole Moeller, the actors Katharina Friedl, Alexander Diepold and Sven Schöcker have already been our guests for several weeks. Under director Oliver Zimmer, they are now preparing for the premiere on April, 3rd, at 20.00 hours in Sommerhausen.

proben_VI_Internet-sommerhausen

Here is what the play is about:

A girl disappears. Just like this. Without any trace. Years later, she re-appears out of nowhere – by now she is a young, beautiful woman.
The police, but above all the media and press hurl themselves at Chloe. A huge field of speculations is wide open, because she is not prepared to tell anybody who had abducted her.

proben_IV_Internet-sommerhausenShe wants to tell her own story – not the story of her tormentor. For her, this is essential for survival. In order to do so, Chloe asks a young journalist who, even at the time of her disappearance, had reported about it. She trusts him. He is permitted to write her story as an exclusive. But she dictates the conditions.

Three persons are inescapably trapped within a story, and yet each one of them has his or her own perspective, his or her own version of the truth, his or her own story. It is important for each of them to remain in control, but who does actually control whom?

proben_I_Internet-sommerhausenSome parallels between Chloe’s life in the isolation of violence and the so-called freedom in their new world of media give you pause. In both fields, it is all about dependency, power and love. Even the two men seem to be terrifyingly exchangeable within these patterns.

With an unerring feeling for power play, the young Canadian writer Nicole Moeller created the play An Almost Perfect Thing. It is both impressive and disquieting, not just focussing on the sensationalism of the case, but laying open a view of deep abysses.

With this play, Nicole Moeller won the renowned Edmonton Sterling Award for the most outstanding piece of 2011.

I cannot be there for the premiere on April, 3rd – but I will go and see the drama on Saturday at the Sommerhausen Torturmtheater.

An Almost Perfect Thing will be played regularly on Tuesdays and Fridays between April, 3rd and May, 24th at 4.30 p.m. and 7 p.m.  For ticket reservation from 4 p.m., please call 09333-268 or send an email to: E-Mail.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Thursday March 20th, 2014

So Where is the Turnaround ?

I received a facebook comment by Joerg Rothermel on my article “Ach wie sind wir toll …” :

Well, you know – if I compare D with AUS, then it turns out that (almost) all the politicians in D are more competent, the infra-structure in D is better by far and women in D have better chances. If it were not for having the world’s richest resources in raw materials, AUS would be as much indebted as – well, let us say: – Greece :-((

Here is my reply:

Roland Dürre: My dear Jörg, I totally agree with you: in Germany, the situation is probably a lot better than in most other countries. In fact, I am sure that in many countries the situation is fundamentally worse than in Germany. However, if I then remember that we all basically live “in one world”, a world which is globally very connected, then it gives even me pause.

That is exactly the problem: Germany and most of us are almost dangerously well off. And still we lament.

This is really sad. But we also see negative social signals, such as the increasing polarization between “poor” and “rich”. If we follow rational insights, then our prognosis will quickly look bleak even for us. If then the now global world, at least at first sight, shows us still so much more misery and you hardly find anything “better”, then this is a weak consolation, isn’t it? Viewed rationally and critically, the following image fits our situation:

We are driving through a cul-de-sac at extremely high speed. And we continue to accelerate. Yet we do not know when we will end up driving into the wall at the end of the street.

Consequently, it seems to me that what we need is a turnaround. In order to do so, we need social consensus and, above all, individual behavioural change. And, in fact, I actually believe that we here in Germany are better equipped for a turnaround than many other nations or countries. And also that more and more people in our country start understanding it and are prepared to change their behaviour. So my stupid question is only:

Where is the turnaround? Why do only so few people change their behavioural patterns? Especially in our region. And what help are politics?

After all, first and foremost, you have to “get your own house clean”. Rather than being happy if you discover that there are some places where matters are even worse.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

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

140327 Proving too much means proving nothing – also if you are a twitterer and blogger? #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

140328 First come, first serve – also true for twittering and blogging? #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

140329 He who laughs last laughs best – also when twittering and blogging? #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

140330 Remaining mute in the face of violence means losing your own rights – also when blogging and twittering! #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

140331 Wanting too much will mean getting to little – also when blogging and twittering. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

140401 Too many sermons will scare away the audience – also when twittering and blogging. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

140402 If you study too much, you will end up being a dreamer – also true for twittering and blogging. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

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

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
I took the proverbs from Alle deutsche Sprichwörter.

Roland Dürre
Tuesday March 18th, 2014

It was a nice IF Forum with Jörg Schindler!

 Turn of an era – end of fossil energy – transformation.

As of now, the IF Forum video recordings of the presentation (Vortrag) by Jörg Schindler of February, 27th, 2014 are available. The presentation was about the current turn of an era which we witness as a consequence of the “end of fossil energies”.

You can view it in four parts. The first three follow the structure of the presentation: they deal with the last two times we had a turn of an era and with the current one, which is also called the “Great Transformation”. The fourth video contains the “best” parts of the subsequent discussion, which, this time, was particularly exciting.

Here are the four videos:

Part 1: The mental turn of an era with Galileo Galilei.

Part 2: The material turn of an era during the Industrial Revolution.

Part 3: The current turn of an era, aka Great Transformation.

Part 4: Parts of the discussion.

Enjoy!

RMD
(Translated by EG)

A call for humility.

Currently, Germany is again totally in control. Everything is just nice in our country. We give all kinds of good advice all over the place, we threaten others with sanctioning. And we even have a(n almost and/or soon) balance federal budget. The sun smiles upon Germany and everything is rosy.

Except: is that really so?

Well, there is the ESM, which is currently again predominant in the press. “The Federation” (Germany) guarantees  to the tune of 190 billion Euros (link). And so far, nobody could explain to me how this is supposed to work out. Mind you, I can actually well imagine that the amount of money will increase before long. There was a time when 280 billion Euros were discussed.

There are other public guarantees (Öffentliche Bürgschaften – always several billion Euros) for banks and similar enterprises of the “finance service sector”. However, this is not exclusive, since there are also some for weapons exports – as this example (Beispiel) shows.

Unfortunately, I found no listing of all guarantees made by the Federal or State Administrations, for instance for “financial service providers”, or even for the total extent of guarantees. The sum total is probably quite a huge number.

As far as I know, guarantees are not mentioned in the fiscal budget (just like they are not mentioned in an enterprise balance sheet) of the FRG. Regardless of the fact that you need not be a merchant in order to know that giving guarantees is something that seldom works out well. But there is more to get thoughtful about.

I heard from Herrn Ramsauer – when he was still minister of transport – that one in every three bridges in Germany is already or will soon be in an acute state of disrepair. Well, this is nothing special, because, after all, infra-structure has to undergo maintenance and renovation.  Except that we have an awful lot of infra-structure. Just think of all our streets. Then there are the ancient railroads and an ailing energy supply network.  And I never heard of any extra money saved for this kind of emergency. Neither did I ever hear of our technological debt being taken into consideration.

Not to mention that our “external balance” (for instance if costs are shifted to the detriment of our environment) have never been taken into account at all.  But then, this, too, will no longer function in the foreseeable future. Just think of the detrimental effect of nuclear energy, for instance the “nuclear disposal zone” at Schachtanlage Asse. In comparison, the “all-time costs” (Ewigkeitskosten) resulting from coal mining almost seem negligible.

Talking about a “balanced budget” in this situation is something I find rather infamous. And I feel that I, as a citizen, am being made fun of! And I ask myself if the politicians who praise themselves and their policy so self-pleasingly simply do not know better or if they actually want to “play me for a sucker”. Have they really not understood how serious the situation is – or is it just that they do not want to see? Because, after all, the earth is a disc, isn’t it?

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Again, the Arcis-Vocalisten are going to sing!

And our Evelyn, who always translates the IF Blog articles into English for all of you, is part of it! On March, 29th and 31st, the choir she sings in will give you an opportunity to listen to what they have been rehearsing since the beginning of this year:

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) – Ein Deutsches Requiem – Nänie

FL_20131212b nphm Brahms 1b

Saturday, March, 29th, 2014, 5 p.m. in the Klosterkirche Schäftlarn
Monday, March, 31st, 2014, 8 p.m, in the Herkulessaal der Residenz München

Arcis-Vocalisten & 
Neue Philharmonie München    

Thomas Gropper, Conductor    

Hanna Herfurtner, Soprano    

Andreas Burkhardt, Basso

The piece is one of the most moving and powerful of sacred music ever written: Johannes Brahms’ ”Deutsches Requiem” (op. 45). Instead of using the classic Latin requiem texts, including the elements of threat and impeding punishment, the composer selected Bible passages from the Old and New Testaments where solace and hope predominate and made those the basic concept to spin his music around.

Using this material, Brahms created a powerful work full of dignity, seriousness and musical poetry, which will both upset and soothe the audience. Its breath-taking and forcefully designed arc of suspense and hope that constantly reaches beyond the limits of human existence is always at the centre of the music.

Along with the ”Deutsches Requiem”, you will also hear ”Nänie” (op. 82) by Brahms. It is a mourning and lamentation named after the same poem by Friedrich Schiller. Just like the ”Deutsches Requiem”, this work, too, substitutes confidence and consolation for despair and resignation in a musically brilliant way..

The Arcis-Vocalisten will present these two works to the accompaniment of the Neuen Philharmonie München, which is an ensemble that, after its foundation in 2005, grew to be one of the most noticeable young orchestras in the Munich region. It fully deserves its excellent reputation.

For tickets with free choice of seats in the entire church, please contact München-Ticket or the Arcis-Vocalisten (mailto:newsletter@arcis-vocalisten.de, no extra charge for early booking) for Saturday, March, 29th, at 5 p.m. at the Klosterkirche Schäftlarn for 25 Euros.

The same booking arrangements hold true for Monday, March, 31st, at 8 p.m. in the Herkulessaal of the Munich Residence where the following categories are available.

1st category 35 Euros
2nd category 30 Euros
3rd category 25 Euros
4th category 20 Euros

The Arcis-Vocalisten, and in particular Evelyn, would be delighted if some of the IF Blog readers are among the audience.

RMD
(Translated by EG)