Roland Dürre
Sunday April 28th, 2019

The Holes in Your Trousers

It feels best to be in the nude.

Summer is nice.

Mostly, you do not have to wear too many clothes in summer. In spring, autumn and winter, however, it is important to wear clothes if you live in our regions. Because otherwise you can easily fall ill.
And since we live in luxury, most of the people in this country have far too much hanging in their wardrobes.

I find it hard to throw anything away.

There are several reasons for this… firstly, I am sorry to throw something out that is still intact. You never know if there might not be a chance to wear exactly this one piece, even though I have not worn it in many years. Also, I am economical and do not wish to just destroy things that are ok. Also, some clothes are linked to memories. That is also true for towels, bed-linen and other textiles.

It is evil to run around wearing sloppy clothes.

When I was a child, my mother was quite strict about teaching me that you do not run around wearing sloppy clothes. I often had to throw away a pair of trousers just because one knee had a hole in it. And mended trousers were also sloppy. Besides, they were a symbol of poverty. In those days, you wanted anything, but you did not want to be poor.

The upbringing worked.

Later, I was very careful to never wear clothes with holes. I bought many suits and ties. I always wanted to look chic. Shorts were the exception to the rule and only worn when I was at leisure. Well, in business, they were unimaginable.

That changed. Today, I only wait for warm weather and then I wear shorts. If my short jeans look worn and have a few holes, then this makes me proud. After all, it shows that I no longer throw away clothes. I also like wearing washed-out pullovers and t-shirts.

Someone is still complaining if I run around like this. It reminds me of my childhood, except it is now no longer my mother who gives me the warning. Because she is already dead.

In my case, ranting does not help these days.

I am still happy with it. And even during holidays I take a detour whenever I see at-shirt sales outlet.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Those were the days – we were still paying with Deutsche Mark. Coal is nice.

In former times, people lived frugally in order to save money for their old age. Even as a young child, you had your bank account. Today, it is not so easy to open your bank account.

However, this is not bad news, because in times of zero interest, it makes no sense to save money. You save and save and eventually nothing is left. Because the money you saved lost all its value. Because we have a high inflation rate and zero interest – both thanks to the EZB money politics.

Today, more and more people have to save money.

Not for their old age – but in order to make ends meet. And because, as the end of the month comes, nothing is left on the bank account. Because life has become expensive. Or, to be more precise: the rents have become really expensive, at least in some cities.

Food has become cheap – I think it has never been quite as cheap as now.

I know people who pay 1,200 € each month for their cold flat in Munich – and they often find this quite cheap. Regardless, it is more than half of what they earn after taxes. If you have a flat to live in, all you need is some clothes and food.

Most of us have far too many clothes.

We pile them on top of each other in our wardrobes. But visible signs of having worn them (after all, you want to look presentable) and the fashion (you want to be chic) make us buy more and more all the time. Regardless of the fact that there are many things we really no longer need. That is purest consumerism. And the wardrobes keep getting fuller and fuller.

Let us look at food.

In Germany, it is cheaper than in most other countries. I took a close look at the prices of basic food in discount shops:


Flour, milk and eggs

If you buy milk, you pay 1.05 € if you choose fresh full milk with 3.8 % fat, if you take the H-milk with 3.5% fat, it is even less: 0.70 €. That comes as a surprise to me. Compared to a litre of Diesel fuel (1.30 €) or petrol (1.45 €), it is really cheap, isn’t it? Especially since there is always also a tetra package that comes with it. And if you drive a car, one litre of fuel is quickly gone.

Looking at flour really gives me pause. At Aldi Süd, you get one kilogram of Mühlengold Weizenmehl for 0.39. Now I understand why some people heat their ovens with grain.

If I want to bake a cake, I will also need eggs. There are three different 10-egg-packages: from hens that were kept on the ground, they cost 1.19 €, from hens that were running free, they cost 1.59 €, and from ecological hens, they cost 2.69 €. If I want the eggs boiled or coloured, I get 10 of them for 1.89 €. That sounds really nice, doesn’t it?

I will also need oil.

Here is what I see: the pure vegetable oil made of rapeseed costs 0.99, the same is true for the pure sun flower oil. As you see, oil, too, is less expensive than petrol or Diesel fuel. I wonder if I can pour it into my car. Well, maybe not, because, as we all know, I no longer drive a car, let alone a Diesel engine car.

Coffee must not be missing from my list.

I find “Bio Caffè Crema, ganze Bohne“ for 9.49 € and, even better, “Tizio Caffe, ganze Bohne, sortiert“, an entire kilogram for 7.49 €. Since these prices do not only contain the added value tax, but also the roasting tax, this is really remarkable. According to Wikipedia, in Germany the coffee tax per kilogram for bean coffee is 2.19 Euro. For instant coffee, it is even 4,78 Euro per kilogram.

Those who love alcohol also need not worry.

The least expensive schnapps is the Doppelweizenkorn Kornmeister. You get a 0.7 for 5.29 and for three litres of Gold Beer KARLSKRONE (as a six-pack, 6x 0,5), you pay 1.79 €. A total of 7.08 € should easily settle you for a soccer evening at home in front of your TV set.

If you do not like beer, I recommend red wine.

The discounter offers a bottle of “Mazedonischer Rotwein“ for 1.49 €. So what more do you need?

If you need snacks to go with the liquor, this is also quite cheap. You get Chips SUN SNACKS, 200 g for 0.79 €. Two packages in your trolley and the entire TV evening with six half-litres of beer, one bottle of schnapps and two packages of chips is still only 8,68 €. If you drink some wine after the match, you have a total of not much more than 10.00 €.

As I see it, the absolute hit when it comes to cheap is: apple-sauce.
You get SWEET VALLEY, 710 g for 0.59 € in the Tetra pack. Who can produce this at such a price?

As you see: if you are prepared to eat cheap, you can really live quite well in Germany. To be sure, I have no idea how these prices are possible. I am afraid there must be some exploitation of labourers, producers or suppliers.


So why do I write about this?

Because I think the proportionality got lost.

Something is wrong and something is rotten in this state. In Munich, I pay a sort of rent for one room that would buy me huge mountains of food and t-shirts and leave me enough to drink myself to death.
What will happen if, as a consequence of the climate crisis and the destruction of the soil, we can no longer produce enough grain?

I mean the wheat that currently is so cheap that we only pay 0.39 Euros for an entire kilogram (neatly packed). If I paid the money that is paid for rent (1.200 €), I would actually get three tons of wheat for it. That is more than 700 kilograms each week, i.e. 100 kilograms each day. What will happen when wheat becomes rare?

What will happen if suddenly things turn around totally? Somehow or other, this seems threatening to me and I worry about a future crisis.
And I think of what I consume. What do I need for living except a place to stay and food?

Well – I want to travel.

A short time ago, when I was sitting in the regional train going home to Neubiberg from Winterhausen, two young ladies sat with us at the table. Naturally, they talked about a few other young ladies who had booked a week in Mallorca for 250 Euro. After all, you could get three days on Malle for 146 €: ”How can anybody be such a big spender?“ – was their opinion. Welcome to Ballermann.

Mobility is very important for people, that is also true for me.

It helps if you understand that you can also be quite mobile without a car. If you combine your bike with public transportation, you are doing even better. However, many people believe they absolutely need a car for their mobile freedom. Consequently, they have to spend whatever remains of the income after they have paid their rent on their cars. And then there is not much left except buying food at the discount shop.

But I now understand: if I have a flat, it is quite easy to live with very little money. I am not sure who gets to pay the price for it.
Most of us have more than enough clothes.

You can spend an extremely long time without buying anything new. I practice this – and it works. I am quite happy with it. No more suits, white shirts and ties. And in summer, always the old shorts. Along with all those many free t-shirts. Great.

I try to buy regional products, for instance at the weekly market or the good Supremo coffee. The prices differ fundamentally from those at the discount shop. For coffee, I pay 2.5 times what I would pay there. I am well off and I can afford to do this. I do it because I want to make sure that others, too, can survive and that ruthless exploitation is reduced. But I am probably not succeeding?

Here is a mental experiment:

What happens if I know someone who does not have enough money and I give him, for instance, 10,000 €? I fear he will immediately buy a car or perhaps fly to “paradise”. So his carbon dioxide footprint will immediately increase drastically. That is not what I want.

Perhaps the best solution would be for me to burn my money. I do not mean at the stock market, because that would again mean that someone else gets it. I mean it in the true sense of the word.

Except that this will also not do any good. Because a one-sided DZB will quickly create new money (we used to say “print”). Because they need to trigger the economy and stop the collapse of nations who suffer under the Euro.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
I took the prices from the website Discounter-Preisvergleich of April, 24th. Barbara told me that several products (for instance one litre of fresh milk) are considerably less expensive than I wrote.

 

Let me invite you most warmly to the following event!

 

“My life after digitalization and InterFace“.

On May, 6th, you can hear me as an invited speaker at the monthly event of the regional group Munich of GI and GChACM at the Hotel Eden-Wolff.

Here is the Link. The presentation will start at 7.30 p.m.. Food and drinks will be served earlier.

This will be the third time for me as a speaker at this event. There was one time when we did a wonderful sketch on our adventures with banks as entrepreneurial founders. Along with my entrepreneurial friend Norbert Weinberger and my very much appreciated banker Alois Wolferstetter, I played ”true stories from the life of an entrepreneur“. It was truly hilarious, we all laughed a lot.

My last presentation at the Hotel Eden-Wolff was on April, 6th, 2009 for the Gesellschaft für Informartik and German Chapter of the ACM. That is now more than ten years ago. At the time, the topic was a little more serious.
Life, knowledge, computer science and ethics.
You can find a short synopsis in the IF blog if you click here.

Now I am happy to see that the main topic of the last Informatik-Spektrum (that is the official GI regular magazine) was “computer science and ethics”. It only took them ten years.

If I remember correctly, then my presentation at the time was a pleasure both for the audience and for myself. I want it to be the same this time.

Here is the official pre-view:


Turn of an Era: The End of the Digital World?

On the post-digital society

Synopsis:

The presentation around digitalization will inspire you, give impulses and motivate contemplation:

What exactly is digitalization and transformation? Where exactly do we benefit? Who owns the internet? What influence does digitalization have on our lives? What will happen when the digital era is over? What are the consequences of digitalization in our work-life and our society? What is AI (artificial intelligence)? Where is Bavaria (Germany, Europe) in the process? Who will rule the world in the future?

Speaker:
Roland M. Dürre (ex-programmer, IT entrepreneur, blogger, business angel)
Born: June, 20th, 1950 (married, father and grandfather)


I will try and make the presentation very open and interactive. Perhaps we will manage to answer a question or two together. Besides, my goal, as always, is to inspire people, to give impulses and to motivate contemplation. And, of course, I also want to provoke people a little bit.

It would make me happy to see many of you. There is no admission, you need not register. If the lecture hall is full, the hotel will have enough extra chairs.

I very much look forward to seeing all and any of you.

RMD

Roland Dürre
Sunday April 21st, 2019

Theatre and Mobility

Many years ago, I discovered a wonderful theatre. I remained loyal to them and will continue to do so:

It is the Sommerhausen  Torturmtheater. It was originally founded by Veit Relin, who unfortunately died several years ago. His widow, Angelika Relin, is now in charge and arranges a set of four very special pieces each year. Mostly, the works are by contemporary authors who complement each other excellently. And mostly I see all the four pieces each year, at least once.

Currently, (until May, 25th, 2019) they play:
PICTURES OF A GREAT LOVE
by Wolfgang Herrndorf.

The protagonist is Isa, a fourteen-year-old girl who seems to be a hero from heaven. The role is played in a unique way by Isabel Kott. She makes you laugh and cry.

The following pictures show Isabel Kott in her solo role. The author of this piece is Wolfgang Herrndorf. He is dead and also wrote the best-seller TSCHICK, which not only adolescents like to read.

For me, the Torturmtheater has only one disadvantage. Sommerhausen is close to Würzburg and consequently almost 300 kilometres away from Munich. That is a considerable distance to go – just to see one theatre performance in a nice old tower.

For me, the trip to the theatre is a routine, because I have made it quite often. However, now we want to save the planet and change our behaviour and our society with respect to mobility.

For me, this is a reason relate my current practice using the example of a trip from Neubiberg close to Munich to the Torturmtheater at Sommerhausen. I also want to describe how this could be done in the future.

So: how can Barbara and yours truly get to Sommerhausen and back in the evening? After all, the performance starts at 8 p.m. and always last about an hour. In other words, for us, as pleasure lovers, this means staying overnight in Sommerhausen, including the nice dinner with the good local wine.

CURRENT PROCEDURE:

There are several ways to get from Neubiberg to Sommerhausen. Currently, the most favoured means of transportation are the car, the train and the airplane.

By car:

You can take two alternative routes. The easiest way would be for Barbara and me to take a car. One of us drives. If you calculate a (rather) optimistic average speed of 80 km/h plus break, we would spend four hours on the road, two of them behind a wheel. Both ways. That is almost 600 km. If you say one kilometre costs 40 Cents, then this adds up to 240 €. We would have to start early, leave the car in front of our hotel and drive home on the following day.

That is not what we want. And 240 Euros make the theatre rather expensive (the entrance fee is less than 20 €).

We could hire a driver who takes us there in a comfortable luxury limousine. In other words, we could pretend we are a member of the Bavarian State Government. Except, as opposed to our politicians, we would ask the chauffeur to drive slowly and softly. In order not to go faster than the recommended speed. The chauffeur would probably not like this. And he would also need a room for the night. Well, this is beyond what we call economical. Except if we were to tell him to drive us home as fast as possible in the middle of the night. Because we would like to sleep before midnight. So we decide in favour of the German Rail.

By public transport:

Let us not consider the Flix-bus connection. That is not really enough comfort for us. But it seems like you can get a connection from Munich to Würzburg. You can choose between seven connections every day for 11.99 €. The long-distance bus test winner with enough space for your legs. Easy to book and WLAN included. Guaranteed seating and environment friendly. That sounds quite a bargain.

No, we prefer to go by train. That is a good idea if you know that you do not want to look for connections to Sommerhausen but instead to Winterhausen. Because between Sommerhausen and Winterhausen, you only have the river Main. And not far from the Winterhausen railway station, you can cross the Main bridge to Sommerhausen. It is a walking distance of one kilometre to the Torturm.

After all, the BayernTicket is valid for all of Bavaria. For two people, it costs 32 € (25 basic price + 7 € for every extra person – you can bring up to four travelling companions). Actually, there is quite a good connection between Munich Central Station and Winterhausen by the Bayerischen Regionalbahn (DB). First, you go from Munich via Nuremberg or Augsburg to Treuchtlingen. Then you change trains to Würzburg via Ansbach. The connection does not leave you very much time, but we always managed to catch the connecting train, because the second train will wait in Treuchtlingen if the first train is late.

If we choose this option, we also have to spend the night. Which means we need two BayernTickets (one for the way out and one for the return on the next day). That will be 64 € plus the stay overnight.
If we are in a hurry, we can take the ICE to Würzburg. If you have a BahnCard25, you will pay 56.25 EUR for the one-way ticket per person. Times four (two people, return ticket), you get: 225 €.

That does not include the price for the bus transfer from Würzburg to Sommerhausen. There are special offers, but you have no flexibility if you buy them – and if you take the least expensive “Supersparpreis”, you have no Munich City Ticket …

Which is another almost three Euros per person for the single trip, i.e. 12 Euros total. Depending on the connection, you save between a half and a full hour if you take the ICE, which does not really sound like much.

So we take the DB-Regio and bring our folding bikes – which makes us very flexible as soon as we arrive (and which also is a lot of fun).

Alternatives?

I know people who take the plane from Munich to Nuremberg (or Stuttgart). Especially among politicians, this is quite common. They often use the VIP Federal Flight Service and will then be picked up directly from the airport with a state limousine.

Well, I am not a politician and consequently try to avoid all intra-continental flights. One of the reasons is that the change between the systems flight, train and public transport or taxi is too expensive. So, for me, the irrational alternative ”flight“ is not an option.

We also already went all the way by bike. It was an ideal combination of bike tour and theatre visit. However, it is something you cannot always do, regardless of what a nice bike state Franconia and Bavaria is.

THE FUTURE:

What will the future bring? It is quite exciting, because now we need to decide how to change our behaviour. After all, we want to save the planet by how we act. The first measure might be:

ABSTINENCE?

No matter how nice the Sommerhausen theatre is and what great pieces they play, an ethical balancing of values might show that abstinence is probably a good idea. But that would really hurt.

So let us assume that we do not wish to abstain. Does the change to Flixbus make sense (allegedly, the bus is the most environment friendly of all means of transportation, it even beats the train). If the train services were terminated due to environmental issues, then I would go by bus.

Well, I do not really see a solution for me in the future. I give up. I cannot predict the future.

But then came the solution:
Today, I am one of the few strange persons who take the train to Winterhausen and then cross the Main on the bridge from Winterhausen to Sommerhausen walking or by bike. In the small village of Sommerhausen, I see a lot of car tin with licence plates from all over Germany. That is normal. At the motel we stay, I have difficulties as I try to navigate between the hordes of parking SUVs with my small Brompton. I fear that I might produce the occasional scratch on the expensive tin and consequently I act extremely cautiously.

How to turn it around? 
Following the suggestion: let us have trains that are fuller and let us have fewer SUVs. After all: the SUV drivers and also all the other gentlemen with their big limousines could easily take the train. Because there are still many vacant seats in the trains. And that would also make Sommerhausen look nicer and free it of all that tin.

So you would have to make our method the standard. And travelling with motorized individual transport the well-thought-through exception.
But what should we do if the SUV drivers do not want to do that? After all, it is totally irrational to not use the motorways?

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
In Munich, I also visit the theatre quite frequently. Currently, my favourite places are the Volkstheater and the Metropol. But the Resi and theKammer-Spiele with their sub-branches, too, offer things worthy of attention. 
In Munich, the mobility problem is easy to solve: 
If you have a ticket for the state and city theatres, then the MVV ticket is included – the same is true for the opera. The private theatres – for instance the Metropol – can also be easily reached using the MVV. You have to pay for the MVV, but this is money well invested if you go to the Metropol.
If you want to save the travelling costs, you can take the bike. All theatres of the “big village” can easily be reached by bike.

Roland Dürre
Friday April 19th, 2019

The True Face of Or Politicians.

Another reason why I am so fed up with politics.

The colours of capitalist feudalism …

Everybody knows that going by plane is particularly detrimental to the environment and that it is a huge driver for the climate catastrophe.
(Consequently,) the German Armed Forces have a  service for government  (Flugbereitschaft). The army planes used to transport soldiers and material.
Today the planes bring politicians (and I presume also army command and generals) to places where they think they absolutely need to go.

About most of the technological Armed Forces sectors, you hear that they, too, are in miserable condition. We read of failures and almost-accidents all the time. A short time ago, a Global 5.000 (by Bombardier) had become unstable shortly before  departure and had to turn around for an emergency landing. At least, both wings touched the ground.

Interestingly, it was exactly this plane that was supposed to take our Federal President  (Bundespräsident) from Berlin to Stuttgart, where he was to open the BuGa at Heilbronn on April, 17th.

Now you can ask: how important is the BuGa and does our Federal President really need to talk at its opening. After all, there are quite a few more important tasks where he might use his energy to promote things. Besides, if the BuGa calls him, you can ask if he really needs to have a special jet to get there.

I found five hours and 47 minutes as the shortest train connection between Berlin and Heilbronn. That is not at all bad. It might be interesting to find out how long the state plane takes. Including changes, etc.

However, if you take the train, you will need to expect that the train will most likely not be on time. But then, maybe the DB can manage to be on schedule if an important state representative, such as the Federal President, is on board? It probably does not happen very often.

… which, by now, controls all of Europe.

If you take the direct route, then the distance between Berlin and Heilbronn is 478 kilometres. In China (or even in France), a train will do this distance in 2-3 hours.

We have not yet reached that stage. If you take an ICE from Munich to Hamburg (781 kilometres), you will need five hours and 35 minutes. The TGV from Paris to Marseille (765 kilometres) only takes three hours and eleven minutes ( source: Spiegel).

That is a difference of more than two hours for a little more than 750 km. Looking at this fact, it might be appropriate to send a question to the German Ministry of Transportation and ask them how something like this could happen. Allegedly, the situation is no better on motorways – although they have a general speed limit in France.

Regardless, one might get the idea to travel long distance in Germany by train, rather than by plane. And if the train connection is so bad that it is really not acceptable, then you might get the idea to take a regular plane that flies “anyway”, instead of a special one.

Mind you, Frank-Walter Steinmeier is basically considered a halfway decent politician. Even if, for me, the secret agreements they seem to have come to during his election was irritating. And besides, his party is the SPD. But perhaps he became Federal President because he needed to be pushed aside by the SPD.

Wouldn’t it be nice if a politician who has been voted into an important position were to also think about the future of this planet? And maybe he could give a symbolic statement by not going places where it is unnecessary or by not taking a separate plane where regular planes fly? That would be a good way to prove his integrity.

I would also like to see a change of paradigm at the German Air Force Flugbereitschaft. When confronted with criticism, the responsible people say that all problems are solved because they already ordered three new planes from Airbus.

The plane that almost crashed was less than ten years old. I read that, for a plane, this is extremely young. Because your average plane lives a lot longer than that. This means that the German Air Force Flugbereitschaft invests now because they assume they will have to fly politicians and generals for quite a few more decades. I wonder what the children who protest for the planet on Fridays would have to say about this.

For me (and probably also for future young voters), it gets harder and harder to vote.

I only want to give my vote to people who do not use government planes as a matter of course and look childishly happy if they board a state limousine (even in front of cameras) as soon as they have become important. Because at long last they have reached their goal and are rewarded for their decades of hard work as party soldiers.

I would prefer to give my vote to people who, regardless of their feudalist position, still use public transport and/or their bikes when travelling.

Mind you, in my perception, most politicians consider it beyond their human dignity to use public transportation. Just as it is against all common sense to have a speed limit on motorways. People with this definition of human dignity and common sense will definitely not be elected by me.

In a nutshell:

I would wish for the first representative of the state that he shows how he takes the problems of the people seriously by acting responsible and by setting a positive example. Instead of going on business trips in a separate plane. If he absolutely has to fly because the place where he absolutely needs to go is on a different continent, then he is welcome to travel business class on a regular flight. But why does he need his own plane? That sounds like Führersonderzugs?

And in my personal life, I really want to continue to improve my own flying habits. It has been a long time since I last travelled in Germany by plane. In the past, I had too many long-distance flights. I will reduce them considerably in 2019. And I will try to establish a tendency that points towards zero. And whenever I go by bike, I will limit my routes to Bavaria, Germany and the neighbouring countries. Basically, this means I will go places that I can reach by train. Which means: no such things as Cuba.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Hans Bonfigt
Monday April 15th, 2019

(Deutsch) Postdigital mit Heinz und Karl

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Roland Dürre
Sunday April 14th, 2019

Does Anybody Still Believe in VUCA?

Whenever I attend events on #newwork or #agile, I hear people lamenting:

Our life becomes faster and faster. The high speed of change causes a high complexity that is overrunning us. Consequently, we have to become more agile in order to deal with it.

I reply that I have no intention of doing anything of the sort. Neither do I have to cope with complexity. Actually, I leave complexity well alone.

Protetion against vuca in Bonnaire in the Caribbean(Foto © Luc Bosma, Bonaire)

Then I hear the worried question:
And you, do you not fear VUCA?
Well, vuca really sounds worrying. A little like HORG (Hierarchical ORGanization).
Except that VUCA is also just one of the abbreviations that are so popular today. They have all become buzzwords.

In fact, in my book, a buzzword is an empty phase. Just like digitalization or sustainability.

Interestingly, the use of abbreviations was initiated by the NSDAP bureaucracy in the Third Reich and then used extensively. Subsequently, the abbreviations became export hits, following the motto: “Am Deutschen Wesen soll die Welt genesen“ (Let the world heal following Germany’s example).


VUCA

According to Wikipedia, VUCA is an Acronym for the terms volatility (Volatilität / Unbeständigkeit), uncertainty (Unsicherheit), complexity (Komplexität) und ambiguity (Mehrdeutigkeit).


The VUCA prophets use the harmless four letters as memory rhyme for their horror message.

But then, has the world not always been vuca from the perspective of a single person?

In the stone age and in medieval times, it probably started with food for humans. Will there be anything to eat today?

From the perspective of organizations, the world also has always been vuca. Just remember the medieval towns where people tried to protect themselves against vuca by building expensive walls.

Or take my favourite example: the Weimar Republic lastet no more than nine years – and the thousand-year Reich changed everything in only twelve years (and destroyed a lot in the process). What a speed! True vuca! Even the GDR lasted 41 years (from 1949 until 1990). And the FRD (from 1949 and ongoing) already managed seventy years. Basically, so little vuca is hard to believe, isn’t it?

Consequently, I find the world has always been vuca. More in former times than today. Because the operating systems of our social systems have actually had a stabilizing effect. They are also more stable because of their digital corsets. How would you ever be able to change a huge enterprise that cemented its processes in Office365 and SAP?

As I see it, our world has probably become more stressful. Or at least it brought a new form of stress. Except that stress does not sound as nice as vuca. Let me recommend the Book
Phenomenon Stress:
Wo liegt sein Ursprung, warum ist er lebenswichtig, wodurch ist er entartet?
(Where does it originate, why is it essential, why did it get out of control?)
by Frederic Vester.

It contains more substance that is worth reading than the entire vuca literature. And if you buy it second-hand, you get it for less than one Euro.

And here are my 10 cents worth of advice on stress:

The change from a nature-oriented to a culture-oriented world brought us a new form of stress.

We created a world where we are permanently exposed to noise. The air is polluted because of exhausts. Our bodies, including the vegetative (nerve-) system is exposed to many idiotic burdens (such as having to control a car without ever finding a physical outlet …) and limitations (we spend the entire day sitting around somewhere…).

We can change this. We only have to want it!

Because the things that give us problems are exactly the things we do not need, anyway. We would have to work a lot less and could do a lot more for our own health if we were better organized and ready to do without a lot of nonsense.

Today, we mostly toil for nothing. That is where I think it is a good idea for us to make our world less complex – in the sense of avoiding rubbish. However, we should not lament the vuca-ization of our lives. Because that, too, creates stress. So:

🙂 VUCA –> FGI (forget it)

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Saturday April 13th, 2019

Pitiful Politics!

It is really frustrating.

Will we actually manage???!!!

These days, politics (successfully) only deals with things that aim at preserving the power of the ruling class. The latest example is the danger to – if not the destruction of – the internet by the “copyright reform”. It is focused on preserving the property of the ruling class. As all politics in the FRG.

Would it not be more important to save the planet?

The important topics, like how to cure the planet, are left to the street. And politics ignore the problem, because the actors are trapped in the concepts of the last century. Their values are: growth and prosperity over everything – also over the world, along with: preservation of all property as a German Human Right.

Wise white children are supposed to shut up and leave the destruction of the planet to the experts.

If children are courageously marching for a new world – then the old white men top it all by telling them to shut up and “please leave the topic to the experts”. Meaning those who should have known better for more than fifty years but ignored it because of their egoistic mind-sets. It may be old and yesterday’s news, but it is also extremely sad news.
Lobby control and the attempt to have fewer representatives in parliament have failed.

However, politics also fail when it tries to mend “small” but important issues, especially if they violate traditional concepts and old structures. For instance, they sabotaged the Lobby Register and removed very necessary changes like for instance the reduction of the ever-growing number of representatives in our parliament from the agenda, because these issues are “unsolvable”. The introduction of rules how to reasonably integrate e-rollers into normal traffic is just as difficult. And they will probably extend the fee and crime catalogue by many more regulations. Because you do not want people who went by public transportation without a ticket to feel lonely in their cells, do you?

In our country, dispossession is a legitimate political instrument.

Dispossession is used all the time if it is about the interests of the big ones or perhaps the community. The motto is: jobs are always in the interest of the community. It does not matter if it is about armament, the production of airplanes or coal mining.
However, these jobs are only worthy if they bring profit. If they do not bring profit, they will quickly be transferred to Slovakia (as is now again happening in Augsburg).

Dispossessing G MAFIA? With pleasure.

If you want to dispossess concerns, then you hear consensual murmurs from the CDU representatives, provided it is about the modern enemy G MAFIA . The digital concerns of the G MAFIA are Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, IBM and Amazon.

Well, quite a few consumption representatives will become hesitant when it comes to the last mentioned (Amazon). Because who is going to bring us all the parcels that we, as consumers, absolutely need to have within 24 hours? The famous international logistics enterprise DB (Deutsche Bahn) will definitely not manage it quickly and on time, regardless of its expensive slim logo.

Dispossess estate agent concerns? No way!

Yet even if “dispossessing” of estate agent concerns – whose lobbyists fraudulently took over hundreds of thousands of estates that were previously state-owned – is so much as mentioned, then there is an outcry, especially among the “Christian“ parties. Those are the parties which, even in their titles, violate copyright regulations. After all, Trump – whom the conservatives secretly idolize (Bavaria First) – also became a billionaire with estate gambling and later a hero of the population and US president. So how can you even think of dispossessing these estate gamblers. It is probably also against all rational thinking. If you dispossessed, how would you compensate the interim-owners when it comes to all the value increase the property enjoyed after having been bought cheaply from the state? Not at all? Well, that is quite impossible. And all other options are far more expensive.

“Transgender toilets“ are more important than “lobby control”.

During the last few months, the most important topics in this country have been “forced vaccinations” and “organ donation per default”. And “no advertising for abortionists”. The top of the list is “transgender toilets“. Do we have no other problems?

The MIV (motorised individual traffic) rules the world.

Cars beat people. That is how it has been for decades. To me, this concept became incomprehensible a long time ago. In my life, “individual” mobility means that I actively move (on foot or by bike). I also like going individually by train or bus. But I do not understand why my individual self should “serve” a powerful, dangerous and extremely heavy machine in a complex system “traffic” with all its chaotic side-effects, where I become an omni-potent controller and where I can nourish my seemingly now omni-potent ego.
Let us look at the necessary change in mobility.

An urban society (smart city) and the car do not go together well.

Cars smell and destroy people. They produce noise and make life miserable. Regardless, we still hear everywhere “free car rides for all citizens“ and “more space for cars“. And, as before, the speed limit remains a NOGO. Because it is against all rational thinking (which, frankly, does not feel too progressive at this point).

Two of our convenient and yet atrocious habits are voyages by plane and by ship.

Both ways of travel destroy our planet at an especially high rate. And it does not make any difference whether it happens because we enjoy it or because of the holy globalization.

Without flights and world trade, globalization and world trade are not possible.

We have to reduce both. And perhaps we also need to think less in global terms. “All business is local“ might be a start. This should also be true for politics. It would mean that we would not need armies for the world either, nor would we have to produce and export mines in order to preserve world peace. 
And it is also quite normal that, while the meat consumption decreases in this country, the export of meat explodes.

If many Boeing machines remain sitting on the ground because they are – due to profit – sub-optimal flying objects, then you will not notice this from the offer in flights. Because we have many planes sitting in the desert and awaiting permission to fly.

In terms of realistic mathematics, we should be aware of the fact that our aircraft industry cannot continue to build all these planes in the future. We need to adapt and build fewer.

Since that is not what we want, we subsidize the already tax-free Kerosene at Munich Airport. And we fly more and more, also national.

This is how the stock exchange price of Airbus increases all the time. The same is still true for automobile concerns.

Because here, too, the priority of growth is a given. Even if millions of new cars are sitting on parking spaces. And because our jobs are always a holy killer argument. Even though we learned that, here, too, change will be inevitable. How many sectors have disappeared from Germany? Innovation is and always has been creative destruction.

Our democracy has been destroyed.

It is high time that we start looking for the reasons why our democracy has been destroyed. We really need to reform it. I cannot really think of a solution to the problem. But this, too, will destroy the preservation of property and is very “politically incorrect“. Because it questions the prevailing balance of powers.

However, there is one symptom I see that destroys democracy. It is named Grindel. In my book he represents not only the current generation of CDU representatives. With CDU and ZDF, he became a member of parliament – and then later the head of the DFB. Well, you might ask the question: How could the DFB have been stupid enough to vote for a CDU parliamentarian as their head? It was quite predictable what was going to happen in such an event.
Why do all the parties I particularly dislike have three-letter abbreviations (CDU, CSU, SPD, FDP …)? Perhaps this is why I no longer like three-letter abbreviations? My suspicions about and dislike of system agents from politics and business have been growing for a long time.

I guess that the social environment in the parties corrupts the people. Especially the three-letter parties only attract a special kind of person these days. You will only become a member if you hope it will give you personal advantages. And when it comes to the fight for top positions in the party, you have to be really competent with F… methods.

The Grindelization of politicians.

Consequently, it seems to me that the meta-reason for our dilemma in politics is quite clear: 
The system of “oligarchy of parties“, along with the “dictatorship of the concerns“ is the reason why politics are only actively pursued by people who represent a negative selection of society and who, additionally, have been negatively socialized. The long road that starts with the membership of the party youth organization and ends with a top party position and in parliament will only be travelled successfully if you use strange methods that are really distasteful to me. And that is formative.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.

I wrote this article for my grandchildren. I want them to know that there were also some old white men who opposed the nonsense other old white men propagated.

Klaus Hnilica
Thursday April 11th, 2019

Death of the Cook (Part 2) – Dead Spot Hotel

Oh God – how often have I wished I had never agreed to this unholy affair: all the things that came to light because of my meddling, or rather all the things that remained unsolved, only contributed towards me feeling even more sorry about the loss of my friend Sturmius…

It started with the impossible ”Dead Spot Hotel” in the beech woods of O.R.. No halfway sensible person would ever have set foot into this impenetrable wilderness. But, naturally, Charlotte Burns, this dubious self-appointed guide, had to ‘produce‘ a breakdown near this the world’s absolutely most remote hideout with her minibus, four more persons and a driver. And it had to be exactly on Friday afternoon, on our way to the ‘Musikantenstadl‘ that, allegedly for the first time ever, played in the town W. Of course, the usual suspects were to come: Andreas Gabalier, Andrea Berg, Roland Kaiser and whoever else usually is part of the outfit.

Almost miraculously, there was a sign not far from the place where our breakdown had occurred that said that a ‘Dead Spot Hotel‘ could be found three hundred metres from here. However, as it turned out, said hotel had been out of commission for many years and, with the exception of a retiree who was hard of hearing and occasionally had a watchful eye on it, nobody ever went there.

Well – it is hard to believe, but occasionally, the famous TV cook Sturmius von Suppé, too, was part of the outfit. His purpose – typically for the outcast- was to try special cooking creations about which nobody at all must hear anything in this absolute solitude.

Naturally, only a very small and exclusive circle of persons was in the picture about these sporadic visits of his. Apparently, the mysterious Charlotte Burns was one of them: there is no other explanation for this accidental meeting of this bizarre group of tourists and my friend Sturmius.

I, too, had until then not had any idea that he actually used this place once in a while for diverse adventurous activities.

It seems that a regional TV station also used this ‘ancient place‘ for diverse ghost stories and ‘Tatort‘ recordings.

Still, it stroke me as more than strange that the famous TV cook Sturmius von Suppé, of all people, had been told to go there in order to create a suitable “monster dinner” for a “monster binge at midnight”. Allegedly, the motto had been “the less appetizing, the better“: make it an “abhorriminable TV program“!

As I was told, Sturmius von Suppé was not at all fascinated by the idea of having to execute such a lengthy cooking experiment that might well take several days in such a dilapidated environment. But his arguments were beaten; again and again, strict secrecy policy was given as a reason by the responsible parties!

But perhaps even more important for him was that this break-down tourist group turned up at the ‘dead spot hotel‘ totally unexpectedly late at night.

Was this an accidental? Or was it really this impertinent guide Charlotte Burns who had set a few wheels in motion?

Actually, the members of the tourist group were almost an embarrassment. Besides the alcohol addict Raffaela von Suppé, there was a rather dubious music journalist Dörte Hansemann, along with the two “Hessian Babblers” Ernie and Bert Hesselbach.

And, almost as if a button had been pressed, all of them seemed to suddenly hate the son of a bitch Sturmius. However, they did not take to each other, either: the lesbian couple Charlotte and Raffaela made fun of the lamenting Dörte who, after an alleged violation by Sturmius in the basement of the Dead Spot Hotel, admitted that she had a fifteen-year-old daughter with him. And it seemed that Bert Hesselbach had been cheated by Sturmius when it came to the rights for the phenomenal ‘Noggi Aroma‘. He said that a lot of money had changed hands during that affair.

So it came as no surprise that, under these circumstances, nobody could sleep well at night when Sturmius von Suppé was, on top of everything, accused of cannibalism because he apparently had, in a consciously provocative fashion, processed a bloody female arm – which he had ‘constructed‘ beforehand from pigs’ feet with culinary finesse – as part of his ‘fashion cuisine‘ for the ‘monster dinner‘.

As a consequence, there was an unappetizing argument in the hotel kitchen during which Sturmius, instead of being able to continue with his work, heard for the first time about his illegitimate daughter Katharina whose mother was Dörte Hansemann!

But the situation took a truly dramatic turn when the totally ignorant Ernie Hesselbach just drove the hand blender which Sturmius had demanded and which hung next to her over the kitchen counter into the soup saucepan in which he was busy partitioning the chicken mush for the creep soup with both hands. And since the device was apparently truly very deficient, it triggered an electric short circuit in the soup that was accompanied by a noisily whizzing electric shock in the wake of which Sturmius von Suppé dropped dead! And he was really and truly dead! As they wrote in one of those tabloids.

Well, you can rest assured that nobody had intended this outcome!

With the possible exception of Charlotte Burns who could not escape fast enough, followed by Bert Hesselbach with his totally clueless and confused wife Ernie.

Raffaela, who turned out to be Sturmius’s sister, was probably anything but unhappy about the sudden death of the brother she despised. She definitely did not take long to find consolation in her Schnapps bottle. …

And Dörte Hansemann, who, at long last, got a signal in this dead spot, was able to tell her daughter that she had just turned very, very rich through a substantial inheritance!

Dörte Hansemann was probably also the person who had called the local police. They came surprisingly fast und officially announced Sturmius von Suppé dead. They also sealed the crime scene for the coming securing of evidence. Dörte Hansemann and Raffaela von Suppé gave their statements in the same night, not even demanding to see their rightful lawyers.

Charlotte Burns and the Hesselbach couple were interviewed two days later, but none of these statements brought forth any changes in how the accident was judged!

After an initial ‘light storm‘ in the usual dailies – which was due to the popularity of my friend – it took surprisingly little time for everything to return to normal. I am sure it was partly because none of the concerned parties was interested in pursuing the matter further.

I was the only one who did not really find peace: somehow or other, my journalistic gut feeling told me that there was more to this alleged accident that met the eye. Since, however, I had no tangible proof, my hands were bound and I was left alone with my nightmares and musings for the time being…

K.H.

PS.
Let me express my gratitude to those who helped to shed a little light on the darkness of Sturmius‘ death: in particular, I would like to Christine Bruckmann, Gabi Nelges, Martina Tornow and Detlef Knoll. Irene Weingärtner, however, refused to discuss the matter.

Klaus Hnilica
Thursday April 4th, 2019

The Death of the Cook (Part1) – Flashback

“A first-grade asshole!“, was always the first reaction when they talked about Sturmius. For me, too, this guy was hard to digest – almost impossible to accept. …

But you had to admit that he was an excellent cook!
For many years, his name and his artistry in cooking were everybody’s main topic. Sturmius von Suppé cooked on TV on a Thursday at prime time, his viewing figures had no problem surpassing those of the Sunday ’Tatort’.

No rapist or child molester could compete with his Tafelspitz, let alone his roast saddle of venison. No murderer was ever able to get more interest than his acid Vienna Schmäh while he cut duck breasts and glazed carrots.

But I was never able to find out why this Sturmius showed such a dog-like devotedness towards me of all people. Perhaps it was because I, too, was different. Yet I had never been ostracized like he – who, even when he was at school, had constantly smelled of ’celery’!

”Here comes Stinkersturmi! Sturmistinker, Stinkersturmi“, they called after him or whispered with smiles at each other, because Stinkersturmi was not someone you wanted to find yourself alone with on a dark road at night. He had the strength of a Grizzly Bear and never hesitated to use it: even before he grumbled, his paws found their goal – after which mostly nothing remained to be said or done.

Since I was built more like a hen and had not much to offer except a full mouth, Sturmius – without my ever asking him to – made me part of his ’celery aura’ and removed all evil doers from my path before I could even say ’hens’-droppings’.

To make up for it, I agreed to sit next to him each year. Who else would have been able to endure this repulsive creep who smelled of celery?

Naturally, this earned me the mockery and anger of all the others, but that was the price I paid for being protected by him; the price also included all the help I gave this walking celery in mathematics, physics and chemistry.

Once in a while, I even went home with him and saw his impossible upper-class parents and his lethargic sister Raffaela. To be sure, she did not smell of celery, but she made up for this by smelling of perspiration. And the dark, wood-panelled rooms of the noble castle smelled badly of old cabbage, because, due to the high price of heating, they were hardly ever aired.

But I really had never been quite close to this Sturmius von Suppé! I am sure it was not exclusively his fault – I, too, liked hiding behind my protective ’shield ’ and did not let anybody come close: nobody would have understood my ’tepid sorrows’, anyway…

Well, perhaps Sturmius would have understood! But I totally had lost his trail after graduation. I was the declared asshole and had enough on my plate with all the oppressive salamanders. Camouflage and deceit were the necessities of the time: nobody should hear about my unspeakable tendencies. And then, I somehow had to get through my studies at university.

So much the more did it surprise me when suddenly he, Sturmius, appeared on the TV screen of the nation out of nowhere and not only pampered his guests in a culinary way – for instance with his Beef Olives -, but also brought tears to their eyes with his biting Vienese Schmäh.

Suddenly, nothing was left of his uptight inability to talk a lot, neither could you hear any of the Hessian dialect with which he used to provoke the nobility circles he moved in.

And how strong he looked, this appetizingly dark-tanned Sturmius: the formerly pudgy pig-face had become distinguished and the total baldness, along with the dark horn glasses and the then seldom seen three-day-stubbles gave him a magnetic look.

The lively eyes and his broad grin – disarmingly charming whenever that was what he wanted – cultivated everything like the most delicate of spices. All of this not only delighted me, but also felt like a punch into my guts: I had to admit that he – the eternal asshole – had managed something that I never achieved: burst out of the ’cocoon’ and turn the unappetizing caterpillar into a colourful butterfly! Yes – Sturmius definitely had done it …

I admit that this insight came totally out of the blue for me and that it gave me some sort of chronic stomach ache that did not seem to abate! My only consolation was the tasteless hope that, regardless of all his culinary brilliance, he probably still smelled of celery. If even this was no longer true, then what remained of my former superiority?

Nothing – nothing at all was left – as I immediately realized when we met again for the first time. He whispered with an air of nonchalance that he had never forgotten me! So what would have remained for me to brood over or be sorry about? It was immediately clear that I, the freelance journalist, would have to work where the beautifully sun-tanned Sturmius did all his barbecuing and cooking. Be it Amsterdam, Brussels, Berlin or Vienna – I was always there with him!

This is how it did not take me long to find out how Sturmius had not only learned how to cook and cooked with Plachutta, Lamprecht and diverse other restaurants, but also that he had been an item with a cabaret artist famous throughout the city for ten years. Said artist also had been responsible for bringing to the light of day the ’new Sturmius’ with a lot of sensitivity, thus laying the basis for his exceptional TV career.

Unfortunately, soon after they separated, this benign spirit turned totally towards the French Cuisine and his new lover, absolutely refusing to have anything to do with Sturmius‘ former Viennese cooking art. What a pity! It had actually been a lady who had intervened, but Sturmius refused adamantly to tell anything about her …

Well – and in Berlin, Sturmius had a short time ago, just like in old times, used his fists to get me out of a very inconvenient fight after we had celebrated through the night and met the wrong types of guys in a park. But Sturmius had not forgotten anything. On the contrary. Without a word, he finished the affair. The only help he needed was when he insisted that the three injured boys should be neatly positioned like sugar canes on the still dew-wet grass – arranged according their height. Somehow or other, he had become pedantic and more sensitive – this new Sturmius von Suppé…

So much the more brutal and merciless was the news that he had suddenly died!
For me, it was unbelievable that this frying and baking basic power was never again going to barbecue anything. Who could have managed to do harm to such a tough tree trunk? He was always the one who had wet the others?

Or was everything a lie? Just dog Latin? Had this grandiose camouflage artist again tricked us all? Perhaps because he saw that his mission had ended and he was scared to start a boring life of routine? Or did he intend to surprise the world yet again? With a Sturmius as a side dish that nobody had ever seen before? Well, it was absolutely conceivable… …

But when, after long and sad weeks of alcohol delirium, I awoke and regained consciousness, and after all news about Sturmius’s death in the press and all social media had been digested and several discussions with his former environment had happened, I seemed to feel deep inside that, for an investigative journalist like me, there remained a lot to be investigated and that this is what I owed my friend. As he used to say whenever his braised meat was in the oven: you have to give it its due time. …

But that is another even more unbelievable story!

KH
(Translated by EG)