Roland Dürre
Saturday August 29th, 2015

“Why Don’t You Have A Euro-Flat-Rate?

A short time ago, a friend of mine who also spends his vacation here asked me this question. After all, he knows how much I travel in Germany and Europe. Well, the question astounded me – and I was wondering why, indeed, do I not have one? As it is, I always have to beg for WLAN passwords. Wouldn’t it be convenient if I could always have access to the internet, no matter where I am and independent from the WLAN drama in Germany and some other countries?

As always, I needed a few days to think about it. And each day, it became clearer to me why, indeed, I do not wish to have this kind of flat-rate. And that, in my opinion, this is the wrong approach. Which is also why I will continue to always look for the nearest hotspot on my travels.

First and foremost, I simply find it too complicated. After all, during my travels, I also use several devices for access to the internet. Besides my Android-Smart-Phone, there are two tablets: a big one if I carry a lot of luggage and a small one, for example for bike tours. Sometimes I travel with the MacBook Air – in order to be able to work efficiently – and sometimes with the Chromebook. Or, as now in our tent, I have both of them with me.

And I definitely do not feel like equipping all my devices to make them become mobile radio compatible. And to me, “tethering” also looks like a less than optimal solution. The rechargeable battery of the mobile telephone will be empty in no time. Some way or other, that is also too complicated. After all, all my devices have the WLAN function as a matter of course.

And when all is said and done, the world-wide transmitter towers erected by the telecom companies, too, are not really sufficient. Which means that I would not really gain very much. But deep down, my refusal of private flat-rates has philosophical reasons. Basically, I do not wish access to the internet at all times and in all places. For me, it is totally sufficient if I get the chance to access the network once in a while on my travels. For instance in the evening at the hotel or on the campground.

And there are certainly more than enough WLAN networks wherever I stay. Unfortunately, however, and for totally irrational reasons, they are often nailed shut with passwords. I find it a fair and uncomplicated procedure to share WLAN hot-spots for high-power networks.

Perhaps a good metaphor for using private flat-rates world-wide is individual and private mobility. That is also an area where they thought they could do without making the transport of materials and humans a common duty as long as everybody has his or her private means of transportation. Then we got the many small and big vehicles with the combustion motors that alone make you independent. Which is what caused the traffic mania of private mobility with all the consequences we see every day.

Consequently, I find fixed networks with open WLAN subsystems “on the last mile” better suited for my vision of a “Common Land World” than private and competing telecom companies.

There is a constantly growing awareness inside me of how many resources belong to all of us, that is: humans as an entity. And that we should not and must not use and destroy those resources as we wish and in private for unimportant things. Because soil, nature and water are too precious for our survival and the survival of the next generations.

One of the commodities I would also count among the Common Land is, for example, the absence of noise. There is no doubt that the thoughtless, accidental or also voluntary generation of noise destroys your quality of life. And that is why I only generate noise when this is absolutely necessary and avoid it wherever I can.

Free communication is a basic need of the modern world. We need it for our future. Would it not be nice if the access to all information of this world and the network connecting us all also were some kind of Common Land? A civil right for all humans. Like the air, which transports WLAN. Without any private special treatment?

(Translated by EG)

On August, 18th, 2015, there was an article by Christian Sebald on street construction in the County Munich Section of the SZ:

B 15 maintenance will cost more than twice as much

It said:

“that continuing with the work on the controversial new B 15 will cost more than twice as much as had been anticipated. This can be concluded from a reply by the Federal Traffic Secretary Dorothee Bär (CSU) following a question from the Representative from Landshut Thomas Gambke (Grüne). According to this reply, the nine kilometres between Ergoldsbach in Lower Bavaria and the motorway A 92, will cost around 182 million Euros. Before now, they had estimated 88 million Euros.“

Well, this is more than a hundred per cent increase.

According to the SZ,

“the new B 15 between Regensburg and Rosenheim is one of the most controversial street construction projects in Bavaria. First plans were made in the 1960ies. In those days, it was planned to have 130 kilometres of motorway connecting Regensburg, Landshut and Rosenheim. Later, they modified the project to make it just a Federal Highway.

But with its four lines and two hard shoulders, it is a Federal Highway that looks a lot like a motorway running through the scenery over the 30 kilometres north of Landshut.”

I do not understand why these kinds of projects are still executed. If we invest into streets at all, one would expect the focus to be on the infra-structure we already have.

Our future will not improve by building more streets. The car as a basic means of transportation is becoming obsolete. The structures of our co-existence change. And nor do we, due to the challenges we face in educational and social politics, have the money to build new racing tracks for the die-hard reactionaries. Another reason is the demographic situation – even if today it is mostly the elderly persons you find on the streets with their status symbols. Because this generation will die – and many things will be done in a totally different way by the new generation (at least that is what I hope). I am not even mentioning the climate catastrophe that will also bring quite a bit of change for us.

Neither is the fact that those living close by the streets suffer from the traffic an argument in favour of building new streets. It is easy to come up with plenty of reasons for building streets around something or other! The first thing the communities should do is reduce the “home-made traffic” – which is always a considerable part of the problem, before laying the groundwork for a reduction of the through-traffic.

But let us continue with what it says in the SZ article.

There are several reasons for the cost explosion. First and foremost, the former
estimation is almost ten years old and therefore obsolete. “You have to calculate two to three per cent increase each year”, a speaker of the Autobahndirection Süd, which is responsible for the planning process, says. “This is due to the general inflation”.

This is also something that constantly annoys me. Allegedly, we have no inflation, but for all cost explosions, you give it as a reason.

On the whole, the article is truly worth reading. Just like I am a true fan of the online Süddeutsche Zeitung. As soon as you have access, your login can happen from all places (Android, iPhone, iPad, Windows 8). You no longer have old paper to dispose of and neither do you have to get rid of all the many advertisement before starting to read the SZ.

Consequently, I have no problem doing a bit of advertising for the SZ:

So – if you feel like it, just try it:
Now 14 days free testing under

(Translated by EG)

“My Post-InterFace life?“

I enjoy telling you about the times when I was active in my job. About what I felt enthusiastic about and about what depressed me. So here I am, sitting in Greece and vacationing, yet writing a small article for my entrepreneur’s diary:

On the negative side, there are, for example, all those many useless meetings I had to/was permitted to attend. Some of them actually lasted the whole day and occasionally the participants did not even want to stop in the evening.

Regardless of the fact, or maybe due to the fact, that the meeting had been going nowhere all day long already. And I – like all the other participants – had no way of influencing the entire round in a useful way.

Whenever I tell these things, I inform my audience that the only consolation with these kinds of meetings was that my “time clock” kept counting the hours. Which means that I was actually reimbursed for my work in those cases with compensation for damage.

Well, this is only partly true and rather a cynical excuse. But then I remember that my own enterprise, too, was full of useless meetings. And there is the question why I allowed this to happen and even attended.

Perhaps it was lack of civil courage? Was I too much of a coward to actually put myself outside the system and break with traditional rules and patterns? Isn’t the obligation to attend meetings part of the enterprise morals and written down in the rules of procedure? And who wants to violate law and order? I never had the courage. Because there was also the desire:

“We need to communicate more with each other!“

And that is something I definitely agree with. Also in retrospect. But it should not happen in lengthy and formal meetings that will then have written minutes – of course because you wish to be on the safe side!

If you need meetings, then they should be short SCRUM-like meetings. If possible, you should not sit down and have them outside the enterprise in a free area.

But talking definitely will no longer make sense if all you do is repeat yourself and if you are not making any headway. In those cases, the only thing that will probably help is a lonely decision and a quick separation.

In a nutshell:
I think the rules and rituals of an enterprise should permanently be questioned. This is especially true for all those meetings, which, more often than not, are also just a consequence of rituals and processes. The questioning should happen all the time and continue all the time, always on an objective level, isolated from individual interests.

And if you find out that you are not making any headway, you need the courage to actually do something about it. Just like, incidentally, KANBAN demands it in its last and – for me – most important rule.

And that is not only true for the enterprise and its projects, but also for politics, for our social systems and for our private lives.

Last not least, I have a very cynical suspicion:
If we did not have all those meetings in our enterprises, all our work-days would end at noon and we would not know what to do with all the remaining time.

(Translated by EG)

For more articles of my entrepreneur’s diary, click here: Drehscheibe!

Werner Lorbeer
Saturday August 22nd, 2015

Myths About Teaching


School as a variable social system.

Current argument in BW! It is – politically tried and tested – about the school system. And it is always also about the teacher/student ratio and inclusion.

What I find rather shocking is that the parties who are arguing do not seem to know anything about the empirical research literature.

It remains to be said that one-on-one teaching or teaching only a few is an art that, as you can read in the research literature of the 18th and 19th centuries, was a total failure.

It is also known that the well-researched autonomous learner will create a strong differentiation in his structural development status. The PISA studies show that the group size is basically determined by the discipline of the learning group but that it does not limit the success.

Jauch’s shows are not a mirror of the current social concepts in our schools. They are characterized by a huge amount of variable social forms, even if this seems to be hardly understood by the educational editing boards. On the picture, you see a routine situation at the Augsburg Holbein Gymnasium: the final stage of a project phase.

However, this does not mean that matters could continue endlessly in this way. Instead, this class, too, is entitled to be taught physics systematically; because knowledge has a structure that has been fought for over many decades. The more gifted a child is, the more successful he or she will be when it comes to transferring said knowledge structure to other problems.

Incidentally, we also know from empirical research that specific teacher talents will also substantially contribute to the learning success. “Success” always has to be understood multi-dimensionally in pedagogical research – social effects, academic effects, impacts on the development of a child’s personality, etc.

Not every teacher has an equal chance when it comes to personality structure. Neither will his effect on students be the same for all pupils. There is numerous “trait-treatment interaction“ research to prove this. In this light, the argument they are having in Baden-Württemberg is superfluous, because the quarrelling parties have no interest whatsoever in promoting the pedagogical practice, let alone pedagogical research.

Here is one last note on the teacher:
If you feel stressed out by children and if you are close to “burnout”, then you should ask yourself if your personality is suitable for “educating”. Children have the daily right to a “friendly, relaxed teacher” (Hefendehl-Hebecker), and they offer the teacher a new start every day.

So tell me where, in the world of grown-ups, you ever get this kind of opportunity!

(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Friday August 21st, 2015

Holiday Ideas

Abendessen in GythioAfter three days in Porto Ageranos south of Gythio, I am now really in the middle of my vacation.

This is a part of our world that really looks like paradise. There is a nice extensive beach with warm water, you always have sun and wind, cold water and the best food.

We are in a region where tomatoes still taste like tomatoes and the meat tastes like it did when I was a child.
During the warm nights, I hear the natural rushing of the ocean and the rustle of the wind through the leaves in the trees. The stars in the sky shine down on us with great intensity. The moon is waxing and telling us that it will soon be master of the mild nights.

Some of our children with their partners and our first grandchild are with us. Our second grandchild is in Peking – which is a pity. It is nice to see how the – from my perspective – third generation grows up. It reminds me of the time when my own children were small. There were really many nice and beautiful things I experienced in my life.

ZeltplatzBlickMeerAfter a few initial problems during the first days, our “active mobility”, too, is now perfect. Early in the morning, I swim through the beach, it happens almost automatically. The bike tours into the mountains of the Peloponnesus are just as much an integral part of our days as the boat trips to the neighbouring beaches. Activity and being on the move is again a normal part of our daily rhythm, just like the daily stroll along the beach after my swim.

I think of home, my start-ups and mentees and the colleagues at InterFace. Of the PM-Camps and AktMobCmp. Of IF Blog. After all, it was exactly on this camp ground where I started my entrepreneur’s diary many years ago. In fact, I am a little proud of it. So far, there are more than a hundred entries – and I still keep writing more.

I would really like to write more IF Blog articles. But time is scarce. In the past, in preparation for an article, I often wrote down a few notes as ideas came, and then – as soon as there was a good time to write them down, for instance when sitting in a train – I completed and published them.

I still have a few articles in reserve and I will finish and publish them soon. But there are other topics I also would wish to write about. Because, over the last few years, I learned so much – both along with friends and in the “philosophical college” with Klaus-Jürgen Grün.

For instance, now I feel I slowly come to understand what role money could have. Or – and this there is certainly a connection between this and money – what meaning personal property has. Or how to live a “good” life. Meaning multi-dimensionally. That, too, has something to do with property and money. Perhaps? Perhaps not?

The problem is that writing these kinds of articles is rather time-consuming for me. There are just too many ideas and concepts in my head. I would need to reconcile too much information and knowledge. It is hard to find the fitting phrases and I also have to do some research. As I estimate it, writing an article like “What Is Personal Property” easily equals about one week of work. If not more. And time is my most precious commodity.
And it looks like, even here on vacation, I will not have time. But still, I will try.

(Translated by EG)

Der Stammbaum des menschlichen Wissens zu Beginn von Band 1 der Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, 28 Bände, vollendet im Jahr 1772

On this picture, you see the genealogical tree of human knowledge at the beginning of volume 1 of the Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers. There are 28 volume, and they were finished in 1772.

A short time ago, at a garden party, I meet an old colleague of mine whom I had not seen in many years. He used to study mathematics and informatics at TUM. I think his focus was on informatics. After he had finished his studies, he worked for a huge electronics concern – just like I did. Except that he stayed there for all his work-life – which is not what I did, because I went my own way after a little more than four years (luckily).

We had not met in many years, which means there was plenty for us to talk about over one or several glasses of good beer. He, in particular, told me a lot about his life. For instance what he is doing today and how exactly life was in those days.

He also told me that, after having retired, he made a mental balance sheet of his life. And in retrospective, he let all the direct bosses he had had during his work-life parade before his inner eyes. And he wrote their names down very diligently, in the correct sequence.

And lo and behold: there was none he could not easily remember. In all the years of his work-life, he had had 26 (twenty-six) bosses, all of whom had personally looked out for and supervised him.

And since he was at it anyway, he drew a matrix. On the left column, he wrote the names of his former bosses and as a header of the columns, he wrote all the personal qualities that he considers requirements for good leadership.

And then he filled the lines for each one of the bosses with grades, from 1 to 6 (very good to non-satisfactory). Just as they do it at school. And then he calculated the average grade per line (of bosses).

And what do you think was the result? Only two (!) of his twenty-six former bosses actually were graded better than inadequate on average. He also told me the names of the only two bosses he had had who were actually fit to be leaders. I knew both of them and totally agreed with him, because, over the years, I really came to truly appreciate them, too.

But the calculated result on the whole really gave me pause. Personally, I had never thought it was all that bad. If only two out of twenty-six bosses over an entire work-life have the necessary qualities, then what sort of enterprise is this? One would wonder if an enterprise where less than 10 % meet the basic requirements for leadership is not perhaps on the downward spiral already?

This might explain a lot. Can such an enterprise be successful at all?

Incidentally, as I see him, my friend is a very objective and fair thinker. He is active in many areas and everything but a grumbler or the like – basically, he is a really cool guy. Which is why I think one should take seriously what he told me.

I am also familiar with the entrepreneurial surroundings he had spent the major part of his life in. And I must admit that, in my personal opinion, it was probably not the best possible surrounding. That, too, could be an explanation for the poor grades.

Then I tried to apply the model created by my friend to my own horizon of experience. And I realized that, where my personal experiences are concerned, at least every third boss had been basically ok. That would at least be nine out of twenty-seven. But then, you cannot call this a really good result either, can you?

A few days later, this story still had not left me alone. And I asked myself: “Why did he stay with this enterprise for such a long time?” After all, my memory had him down for a colleague who was both technologically and otherwise competent.

I think the answer is because these enterprises are some kind of golden cage (see also my article “Golden Wired Fence” / “Goldener Stacheldraht“). During the first ten years, you could not give notice if you were a “responsible person”, because you would lose all the company retirement money. Then you were a little more at liberty, but the job protection gave you the next “golden chain”. It made the move to another enterprise, or even the decision to become self-employed, an adventure the start of which would have meant you have to relinquish a whole lot of security. And then you had to be very courageous if you actually took such a huge step.

(Translated by EG)

The illustration of this article was taken from Wikipedia, see the term “hierarchy” (Hierarchie).

Roland Dürre
Monday August 10th, 2015

Complexity & Cat Food.

Between September, 10th, and September, 12th, I will be in Berlin. Why? Because there is another PM Camp! This is already the third of them. The Berlin PM Camp is about Complexity. To be more precise: this year we ask the question: “Complexity – should we reduce it or increase it?”

Here is my contribution to the Blog Parade of the Berlin 2015 PM Camp – and it is especially for Heiko!

20150810_150437_resizedCats are well off.

They need not work and can do what they want all day long. Consequently, they stroll all over the place or sit at their favourite spot enjoying the sun while looking around. Once in a while, they play “bad cat” with a mouse or a bird. As soon as they start purring, there will always be someone to stroke them. They get their food in the morning and in the evening. Without having to do anything for it.

The “cat mother”, too, has a better life than formerly. Because today, the cat food comes in sacks or cans. Once in a month, you buy a sack or a crate full of cans. That is it. Or if you want to be very modern, you buy baggies, as you see on the left picture. That is the typical contemporary cat food. Even if nobody actually knows what is inside. To make up for it, they are a little more expensive. But then, our cat is worth this extra money, isn’t it?

Let us analyse what “people” did for the cat in order to make it possible for cat-mom to just take the bag and thus make her beloved cat happy.

Let us start with the wrapping.

It is made of extremely thin sheeting, as produced, for instance, with the technology provided by Brückner of Siegsdorf. It is quite impressive to see how these kinds of sheeting are pressed into huge machines to become extremely thin – and then how, during the production phase, both the machine and the product become broader and broader. And how much effort and, above all, brains, the quality control and control mechanisms in general require.

To make this sheeting capable of becoming a container for the food, you need several steps for metallically steaming and further layering and treating it. You need enormous and very special engineering competence in order to do this. Subsequently, the sheeting is printed in many colours. That, too, is a special technology. Incidentally, the image processing for the pictures is done with graphics software. But then, gluing or welding the sheeting together so that you get a water-proof bag is the next sensational thing. Like much of the filling process, it often looks rather unbelievable.

Now let us look at the content.

The world of chemistry makes it possible: it makes both humans and animals believe that something precious is inside. The stuff has a surprising consistency, a very special smell and it even retains its shape for a time. Well, this is all science. It also has a surprising best-before date and a setup of many ingredients will guarantee that the cat, regardless of all this, will not immediately become sick but instead look healthy at least from the outside. It is a miracle – also only possible due to enormous scientific efforts.

This is how they do the mixing, brewing and filling at automated animal food stations. In fact, the entire process is computer-controlled, always with the same quality and with no variations. As an input, the containers with the raw material will be brought to the plant. The output is standardized cartons. And still, mostly our German middle classes are parties in charge, because our “hidden champions” have exactly the right know- how. They build the best machines in the world for exactly these kinds of processes.

Marketing and logistics

The entire affair can only be sold if a world-wide marketing machine is activated. You will see the happy cats enjoying this food on the internet, on TV, in colourful magazines. It is a truly fabulous manipulation, a mixture of emotional images and digital marketing. We understand the message – the right brand will make the cat, and consequently the human, happy.

The logistics are not bad, either. Because, naturally, the modern cat mother will buy the heavy sacks with the dry food and the cartons with the many colourful bags online. With a single click. Because only old-fashioned and mostly elderly persons who still drive their cars will carry the heavy sacks home from the “Fressnapf” in their SUVs, the trunk of which will, however, open and close after just a slight foot gesture, seemingly by itself.

Consequently, Amazon will do its job. They drive the products to their delivery centres with their heavy trucks that dutifully pay their polls in one of the best poll systems of the world. And if the customer orders in the evening, then DHL or the like will deliver on the next day and the cat will have her breakfast on time. How easy to live in the world has become…

And basically, it is all for nothing.

In fact, the cat would very much prefer eating cooked heart or lungs from the butcher. But then, a cat life, too, is not perfect, is it? And we all have to subjugate ourselves under the modern world – humans as well as animals.

(Translated by EG)

Now don’t say the bag with the wet cat food is not a complex product…

Last week, I once again went to see a play at the
Torturmtheater in Sommerhausen.

At long last, my calendar had room for it and so I watched a premiere with the party that belongs to it in the beautiful ambience of the theatre.

Torturmtheater-Sommerhausen_Auquarell_SpielplanThe Torturmtheater belongs to Veit Relin in Sommerhausen. After the great artist died, Angelika Relin took over.

For me, it is a very special gem in the German Theatre Landscape. I would describe it as a theatre with heart and competence. It offers you a very special and extremely diverse program.

Hässlich1About the play:

They played a piece by Marius von Mayenburg

“The Ugly Man.

The Ugly Man is a bitterly evil comedy about an absurd loss of face. It will be played in the Torturmtheater between August, 6th and October, 3rd, 2015.

The hero of the comedy, Herr Lette, is a person with an unbelievably ugly face that actually has a rather detrimental effect on his career.

He undergoes a total all-around renovation under the scalpel, played in a great way and with high speed. After the operation, a totally new life begins for him.

Soon, however, he has to realize that being “handsome, rich and irresistible”, too, is not what makes a happy life. Losing his individuality actually takes away the floor under his feet. Well, what else could you expect? And he discovers that being ugly actually had its positive sides, too.…

It is a strong and very moving piece – glamorous, fascinating and extremely humorous – and yet full of passion and pain! And it constantly reminds you of the mania our own lives have allowed themselves to be dominated by.

internet_VAs always, I watched the play with Barbara. We almost fell off our chairs with laughter. Again, it was theatre exactly as I like it, with a deeply serious and very contemporary background. Yet said background is presented with so much levity and humour that the joy in the entire affair never gets lost and you will really flourish as you see the comedy.

Without a single phase of tranquillity, the entire piece is played at extremely high speed. The roles are handed on like the baton in a relay race. All high-class.

And I really regretted that, this time, the play had not been practiced in the InterFace AG building, as a few others had been. Well, so much more am I now looking forwards to the next visit of a Torturmtheater team to our office building.

Here is a picture where you see the exceptional “Band of Four” in action.

Mit der weißen Maske. das ist Herr Lette mit dem häßlichen Gesicht.

Wearing the white mask, that is Herr Lette with the ugly face.

(Translated by EG)

Performances are Tuesdays through Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 4.30 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the Torturmtheater. The theatre has air-conditioning.

Of course, you can also find the Torturmtheater on Facebook  and in Google+

Roland Dürre
Friday August 7th, 2015

Revenge & Hatred

Here are some ideas of mine on the two IF Blog articles by Klaus Hnilica: ”Only Forgiving Will Set You Free“ and ”Revenge Will Make You Strong“ (Nur Verzeihen befreit“ und „Rache gibt Kraft).

Schwarz Hass RacheHatred is the most hideous brother of revenge. Because hatred and revenge are an obscure pair of siblings who will delight in their negative activities and feed off each other.

They belong together – revenge will cause hatred and hatred will call for revenge.

It will easily turn into: “As long as … , hatred will be my office and revenge will be my virtue!“ – just like Kleist said it in his Hermannsschlacht.

As a pair, this black couple will generate an eternal circle of misery that will often self-reproduce – more often than not in the disguise of grotesque morals.

The wish for revenge might well be something we can easily understand. After all, you hope to find a release for your own pain by causing similar or even worse pain for the person you hate.

Hatred as such, however, is a true paradox. If I hate someone, then I would wish to harm him. Except that the effect of my hatred is totally different. Because the person I hate will feel just as comfortable as if I did not hate him or her. Hatred directed against a third party will damage me. It will turn against myself and make me feel even worse. The person I hate might even delight in my hatred, because I am ruining myself in the process.

Hatred is especially absurd if directed towards the past. That is, if hatred is directed against a person I cannot reach in space and time. A person who might not even know of my existence. For instance if said person is already dead. Then my hatred will be nothing but self-destruction. And in this case, it would be a good idea for us to be beyond the phase of blood-revenge.

There is an easy conclusion to be drawn from this:    
It would be best if I did not let hatred find the way into my heart and life – then I will not need revenge, either. And then I can also safe the energy it takes to practice forgiveness.  After all, I no longer need forgiveness in order to beat my hatred.

The other side of forgiveness, i.e. helping the “enemy” to get rid of his guilt feeling – if such feelings are present – can then be used very deliberately.

And once in a while, not without inwardly smiling, I will refrain from externally forgiving. Why should I forgive someone I do not like – if I am at peace with myself and do not let myself be concerned with the injuries I suffered? Some of them will only have taken place in my head, anyway! Inside, I already forgave, because I no longer hate.

If you look at it with this in mind, not hating is a rather desirable goal. It should be learned and practiced and probably only “the wise ones” and “the best” will ever achieve it. It has a lot to do with sovereignty. Which is not something you come by easily.
Many thanks to Klaus for both his nice articles.

(Translated by EG)

Klaus Hnilica
Thursday August 6th, 2015

Revenge Makes You Strong!

img201 (2)-adjust-contrast-cut-swirlWhen, a short time ago, I wrote my brief essay on ’Only Forgiving Makes you Free’, I related how, if possible, we should always forgive, even if we have been hurt both inside and outside. In fact, I told you that, in our own interest, we should learn and practice said forgiveness. Yet I was quite aware that the opposing end of ’forgiveness’, namely ’revenge’ must exude enormous attraction. How else would it be possible that is has such a strong impact on human society?

However, I did not have a to-the-point formulation for the phenomenon!

Hence, it surprised me so much the more when, a few days ago, I found exactly the term I had been looking for. It was in the latest novel by Siri Hustvedts “The Glittering World“.

Siri Hustvedt lets her protagonist Harry say:

Revenge ideas will always have their origin in agonizing helplessness. “I am suffering” turns into “you must suffer”! And do not let us mince words: revenge will make you strong! It gives you focus and fire, and it suppresses misery, because it transfers the emotions to the outside. In misery, we dissolve. In revenge, we concentrate all our energy and turn it into one single weapon directed at one individual goal. No matter how destructive said weapon will be in the end, it serves a useful purpose for some time!

As I see it, Siri Hustvedt got it exactly right with this statement of hers about what is so attractive about revenge, which pulls at us like a suction. But, naturally, she also knows how destructive revenge will always be in the end. And unfortunately, the current news from the Arabian World tell us on a daily basis that cultures based on revenge and retaliation can never find peace .…

(Translated by EG)