Roland Dürre
Wednesday April 14th, 2010

Here is Yet Another Definition of Freedom

Yesterday, I accidentally came across a few lines by Friedrich Wilhelm Schelling. As I see it, they are a beautiful addition to my list of eight  “Freedoms“ (Freiheiten).

Happy is he,
who is allowed to be what he is;
he who measures the way and the goal
with his own eye!

It is said that the Bavarian King Maximilian II ordered the following sentence to be engraved into his tombstone:

“To the First German Philosopher (!)”.

I took the picture of Herrn Schelling from wikipedia, where it is part of the central media archive Wikimedia Commons.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Friday November 27th, 2009

“My Liberties” or “Definition and Polemics!”

Here is my small and doubtless “dilettante” contribution on rhetorics, polemics and the precision of language.
On the presentation of  HYPERLINK “http://if-blog.de/rd/unternehmertum-oder-freiheit/” \o “Bericht meines Vortrages Unternehmertum” Unternehmertum, I recently gave you a list of seven possible definitions of liberty:

You are willing and able to live your life on your own authority.

  • You cannot do whatever you wish to do, but you will never be forced to do something you do not want to do.
  • You can balance your conscious and subconscious interests.
  • You promote both your own and other people’s personal lives, rather than minimizing it.
Or also:
  • You fear nothing and nobody (Konstantin Wecker, “Willy”).
  • You live in harmony with the Great Secret (Willy Michel, Isarindianer).
  • Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose! (Janis Joplin, Me and Bobby McGee)

Now I heard yet another definition:

  • Your own liberty ends where your neighbour’s liberty begins.

To me, all these definitions seem like sincere attempts at coming to terms with the meaning of the word liberty. They assume that liberty might actually exist and try to clarify on different linguistic levels what it might mean.

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Roland Dürre
Sunday March 22nd, 2020

(Deutsch) Freiheit in der Korona-Krise.

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Roland Dürre
Friday March 15th, 2019

Freedom, Love, Power.

Three very central but also very abstract terms.

Big welcome – with baby bottle (1984).

When I was young, I mostly thought about freedom. It was very important for me. And since I am a little brain Messie, I collected definitions of freedom. I also wrote an article with eight definitions of freedom.

Be not afraid, it does not contain such a thing as “the freedom of car drivers”. However, a beautiful description of freedom is still missing. I want to add it now. It is by the German philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Schelling (Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling, ab 1812 Ritter von Schelling, * 27. Januar 1775 in Leonberg, Herzogtum Württemberg; † 20. August 1854 in Ragaz, Kanton St. Gallen).
 


Lucky is he,
who can be what he is,
who measures his way
and 
his destination
with his own eye.


 
When I grew older, I was fascinated by the term LOVE. I also wrote many things about it, for instance A day of love.
Only the experiences of the last two years brought me to the realization that POWER is the central term in our social life. It influences our social life fundamentally. So now I look for definitions. Here is what I find:
 


https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/power


 
As I see it, that is not good enough if you think about our lives in social systems.

I find more in Gerhard Wohland
 


Power is the social consensus that makes activity possible regardless of disagreement. Neither organizations nor enterprises are possible without hierarchically structured power. Romanticized ideas of new work find this connection embarrassing. But secret power is also power – it is only less useful.


 
Wow, that really is something I need to think about. With the exception of the usefulness in the last sentence, I actually agree.

Then I ask friends who provide me with the following two definitions:
 


Power is if you can lie without being punished for it.
and
Power is if you have the right to define things.


 
Well, as you can see, it is quite rewarding to think and read about POWER. That is what I will do. And as soon as I know more, I will again write about it.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Friday November 20th, 2009

“Entrepreneurship?” or “Liberty!”

Yesterday, November, 19th, 2009, was the first time I spoke publicly about “entrepreneurship”. It was the seventh presentation of the EAA colloquium “Current Developments in Technology and Business” in the autumn trimester 2009  at the University of the German Armed Forces in Munich.

The audience was very friendly and they followed my presentation with more than average interest. Also, there was, again, an interesting discussion with important comments to learn from for the orator. Many thanks to the audience.

To help you recall, here is my overview and a short description of what I talked about (it is also in place of slides, because I refrain from using slides in my presentations as a matter of principle).

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Roland Dürre
Tuesday October 20th, 2009

“My Liberties!” or “What is Liberty?”

FreiheitI was born in 1950. Until the year 1983, I believed that, for me, liberty meant being able to do or not do whatever I want.

To be sure, you have to consider your neighbour’s liberty to some extent, just as you also have to keep in mind that liberty, just like, for instance, property, also includes some responsibility for the common good.

In 1983, I learned a new definition of liberty:

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Klaus-Jürgen Grün
Saturday July 12th, 2008

overworked freedom

What makes people storm a university out of the blue and shoot dozens of their classmates? Why can a spouse, after thirty years of happy marriage, without apparent provocation, suddenly murder his partner? How come inconspicuous, nice men are identified as brutal sexual offenders by their neighbours? In order to answer these questions, we must be empirically knowledgeable. We need information about how the delinquents have grown up, what kind of education they have had, whether they were mentally fit, and so on. Equipped with this kind of knowledge, we can try to prevent similar future crimes and find out whether or not offenders can learn to honour the laws of our society.

The more we find out about what made an offender strike, the less plausible it is to demand what theologically and philosophically oriented politicians and scientists of certain persuasions require. They say that, apart from the known and unknown empirical facts which can be scientifically proven to cause a certain deed, there has to be an additional non-empirical, non-measurable, but necessary and essential factor: the free determination.

If this is so, then the crime prevention people and jurists will have to find out how to successfully influence offenders’ determination process in order to prevent future crimes and offer the delinquents therapeutic assistance. While trying to do this, they will constantly make the experience of not knowing what to look for in order to influence it. They will be able to see all other factors that determine an action, but this one, most important, most essential, the one which alone makes an action an action – they have no idea where even to start looking for it.

Those few naïve crime prevention people and criminal jurists who ask professors of philosophy for advice will get a strange reply: The reason why nobody can study free determination in order to modify it towards a law-abiding attitude is that free determination cannot be empirically measured. It is, so they say, an error of categories to try and regard free determination as an empirical fact. After all, Kant proved that free determination belongs to the transcendental, not to the physical, empirical subject. The transcendental subject exists in the intelligible (mental) world where freedom is a necessary requirement for any ethically valuable action. Even if this freedom cannot be seen anywhere in the empirical world, that does not mean it is invalid for the transcendental subject.

With this idea of a good joke, crime prevention specialists have allowed themselves to be made fun of for almost a whole century by ethics specialists. A judge is not interested in the transcendental aspect of a person, but in the empirical aspect. If a judge sends a man behind prison bars, then he cannot send his transcendental subject there. He has to send the actual person. While the transcendental subject may well be necessary for mental consideration, the empirical is the one roaming the streets or sitting in prison

It does therefore not come as a surprise that the crime prevention people have ceased to consult professors of transcendental philosophy. Instead, they are now turning to neurologists. For the first time in history, a criminal scientist at Rostock University has written a dissertational thesis on the importance of neurological findings for our definition of freedom and applied it to formulate guilt in its judicial meaning. In his thesis Grenzen der Freiheit/Limits to Freedom, Grischa Detlefsen has shown that our criminal law as practiced is “unconstitutional” if preventing a crime requires that the potential offender does not refrain from committing the crime self-determinedly. This, however, is exactly what our criminal law requires, because it is based on an ancient definition of guilt which has been strongly influenced by theological tradition. During a public debate with Michel Friedman and Gerhard Roth at Frankfurt University on April, 27th, the author of this article tried to arouse a public consciousness for the problem of the “limits of freedom”. Not a single professor of philosophy or criminal law was prepared to contribute in Frankfurt unbiased. In view of how tolerant other universities have treated those scientists who introduce non-conformist aspects, I wonder when the Keepers of the Wholy Grale of free determination in Frankfurt/Main will finally stop putting pressure on their young scientists and journalists in order to smother the tiniest flame that threatens to break the spell of the neurobiological theory of the transcendental subject!

KJG

Translation by Evelyn Gemkow

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Roland Dürre
Wednesday April 9th, 2008

Freedom – Your opinion?

Dear friends,

I always stumble over the notion of freedom. Many people think freedom is something like:

  • wear what you want
  • smoke anywhere
  • drive as fast as you can
  • keep your driver’s licence indefinitely

In other words, do as you please, with no restrictions. This is a very superficial but widespread notion of freedom.

In Wikipedia I find the following definition of freedom

Freedom

with the following

Definition of Freedom

I want to supplement this through the brief definition of my mentor and friend Rupert Lay: “People are free when they are willing and able to take their lives into their own hands”

In a representative survey of students at the Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt, in the 80’s this understanding of freedom was chosen by a large majority. I would be happy to start a “TED” in the network to learn today’s view on this subject. I shall be grateful for feedback!

Incidentally, I remember a Janis Joplin song. There is a line saying:

“Freedom is just another word for nothing left to loose.”
(From “Me and Bobby McGee”)

And maybe freedom is just another word for wisdom.

RMD

P.S.
I have written this post because the concept of “freedom” plays a central role in many current issues within social, political, ethical and moral contexts.

Roland Dürre
Sunday May 26th, 2019

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

On May, 16th, 2019, I was invited to give a presentation on “post-digital” at the Hotel Eden-Wolff near Munich Central Station, which was organized by the regional GChACM group and the GI. It was about the question if and how the end of the digital world might be possible.

I try not to give any sales presentations with which someone tries to convince someone else to buy or do something. Consequently, I no longer use any manipulative transparencies that only restrict both the audience and the speaker.

Let the art of painting serve to illustrate how I speak: it used to be painting as true to nature as possible. Then, new forms of expression came along. They were called impressionism and expressionism and led to abstract art. My presentations are similar. I try to serve individual spots of colour dynamically and they are supposed to inspire and make the audience thoughtful. However, not everybody in the audience always understands this.

The question: “Who owns the internet” is such a spot of colour. Because for me, the internet is and always has been something special. The internet, too, has an infra-structure. It is similar to that of the railway or of streets for the motorised individual traffic and trucks.

Today, we have to accept that the internet as we loved and appreciated it no longer exists. And that we have only just started the phase where the network is controlled and used for influencing people. There is no end to gangsters who want to shanghai the internet.

Florian Sesser and yours truly spontaneously decided to give the presentation together. And we said: Hey, let us do a Chautauqua :-). Here is how you pronounce  the word.

The Chautauqua combines entertaining and educational elements as a form of educational oratory. It also has aesthetic standards and wants to motivate the listener towards active participation.

Opening:

I see myself also as a “digital evangelist”, just like the “technology evangelists of Sun”. This year, I will celebrate my fifty years of digitalization. There is definitely some pride about being able to present myself as a pioneer of the third IT generation.

Here are the presentations I gave at the same place: 
Entrepreneur sketches (roughly twenty years ago with Norbert Weinberger and Alois Wolferstetter) and
Ethics and Computer Science (eleven years ago). 
Today, this was exactly what the focal topic of the current Informatik-Spektrum (membership magazine of Gesellschaft für Informatik) was about. I read it – and I really feel quite motivated to critically discuss what has been written.

Incidentally, I once was a member of the GChACM board of directors – together with Wolf-Rüdiger Gawron. He cannot come today because he is vacationing in Spain. The highlight of my time on the board was the local jubilee event that celebrated the 50-ieth birthday of the huge ACM (1998). Charles “Chuck” House had come to Munich and told us about the huge event in the USA (1998). Many thanks to the then GChACM president Wolf-Rüdiger Gawron who organized the event with the support of BMW AG (Siemens had opted out) and given everything an outstanding setting.

I never managed to visit the ACM jubilee event in the USA in 1997. When Chuck came to BMW Munich, he signed the book with all the presentations of “beyond computing” and gave it to me. So now I was able to read everything I needed to know about it.

How shall we live in 1975 – Hobby title page in November 1955

I was going to show you my “beyond computing“ book during my presentation, but, unfortunately, I could not find it. The important thing about it was that (at least) three famous science fictions authors (on top of many software development experts) were also present at the jubilee event. They also talked about the future of IT and software.

If you translate “Beyond computing” into German, you want to be careful. I just learned from Professor Oliver Kretzschmar (Uni Stuttgart) that the German “künstliche Intelligenz” is not really the same as “artificial intelligence”, simply because intelligence means something in English that it does not mean in German. And this is the reason for quite a few misunderstandings.

I brought the following books/brochures for you to browse:

  • Lexikon der Datenverarbeitung by Siemens, seventh (and last) edition of 1978. Incidentally, the first edition was of 1969. It was sold out so fast that they printed a second improved edition in the same year.
  • 30 Hobby magazines of 1955 – 1967 (randomly selected). 
It is absolutely fascinating how technology, engineering concepts and knowledge are explained in such a way that everybody can understand it. All of them are great magazines, let me pick out two that seem to be particularly fitting today:
  • November 1955. In this edition, they predict exactly how we are going to live in 1975.
  • “Here a car comes flying“ … which sounds extremely modern today (I wonder why I am thinking in terms of flight taxis today??? 😉
  • And a few Science Fiction books (Issac Asimov in the Heyne-Verlag), for example „ich der Robot“ (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ich,_der_Robot – the English version of which was published when I was born!)
    Predictions are difficult to make, especially if they are about the future. (Karl Valentin).

Here comes a car flying … Hobby August 1956

Please note that even the great Hobby magazines are mainly about cars. This also goes to show what a formative effect the focus on mobilized individual traffic has had on us during the last hundred years. There are few digital issues – if at all, it is only Morse codes and similar things. I also seem to remember reading a short article about decoding.

What did I read in those days? After I started grammar school (1960), Karl May was a thing of the past. And Bravo was something I did not find really exciting. Consequently, science-fiction (along with existentialists like Alber Camus) became my favourite literature. At the time, the Heyne pocketbook edition was excellent.

Science fiction probably triggered my interest in IT. Mind you, Asimov had written “Ich der Robot …” twenty years earlier – and he had described laws of robotics that might now slowly become reality.

Florian Sesser – a young entrepreneur who fights for a better world.

And I also brought along Florian Sesser. He gave me the book where I found Chautauqua. Robert Pirsig – Zen and the art of Motorcycle Maintenance (Nachruf NPR). Thanks  to Flo!

Then Florian introduced himself in his modest but very forward way. Let me tell you about him:

Florian Sesser, born in 1983, is a creative person. He loves it if he finds simple and elegant solutions to difficult problems in informatics. He started programming when he was eight years old. In 2014, he was one of the founders of accu:rate. The companie makes huge events and public buildings safer places by using computer simulation.

🙂 We want to jam the Chautauqua together. I am (mostly) the vocalist and Florian will play the instruments. We will divide our teaching speech into two sections with thirty minutes each. And with a biological break. Because otherwise things might get too hard.

BLOCK # 1„Postdigital“
BLOCK # 2 “Digital and Society ”
If the circumstances change – for instance because the audience is more active – then we change our agenda. We might, for example, remove the second block and, if that is what you wish (and Wolfgang finds it is doable), re-schedule it for another presentation.
Here is what the presentation will be about. I will not fill in all the comments. Instead, I will just give you the structure of the presentation in catchwords. This is like a collection of material in two blocks. You can let your imagination run free!
Syllabus BLOCK 1:

•    Post-digital
•    Definition (what comes to mind)
•    Post-factual  🙂
•    Era of irresponsible babble (R. Lay)
•    Digitalization: buzzword, also “post-digital”. Look it up in the internet and you will get the following hits.
•    Definition of “Digitalization ” (as I see it, it all began when the written language was invented). Today, it means something like automatization based on algorithms. A buzzword.
•    In Wikipedia (fairly new article)
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postdigital
•    Accenture (consultant: Bullshit)
https://www.accenture.com/us-en/blogs/blogs-paul-daugherty-digital-transformation
•    Digital is not reversible? Irreversible?

•    What might destroy digitalization? Question – trying to find answers.
•    Wikipedia
•    Wikipedia is great (open source, totally based on honorary work, independent, no adverts,…)
•    Question to the audience: Who of you uses, pays for, administration, …
•    Infra-structure of knowledge (founded in 2001)
•    Age and gender???
•    A world of old white men (women are the exception).
•    What will happen if Wikipedia breaks down?
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedistik/Soziologie
•    Wikipedia is the best example for creative destruction.
•    Wikipedia destroyed thesauri and encyclopedia.
•    What will be the future of the infra-structure of knowledge when those who work it on an honorary basis no longer feel like doing it?
•    Who will then own Wikipedia?
(BRD, UNO or a private agent …)
•    For the editors, it was really bad news
•    Lucrative business models and enterprises were lost.
•    Concerns, as opposed to the internet, will forget.
•    Revenge (copyright legislation)
(free from, because common-good oriented).
•    Politics and lobbies currently practice how to deprive NGO-s of the common good status.

•    Other threatening examples
•    Over-regulation and influencing
•    Facebook/Google example: vaccination enemies are ostracized
•    Upload filters
•    Commercial change (news that you pay for getting priority)
•    Mooresch’s Law (1965)
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mooresches_Gesetz  We are close to the end. But perhaps the future will continue to need exponential growth  (AI, BIG Data, Blockchain …)
•    IT has the power of the potency 
(seed on the chess field)
•    Trinity of computer science has its limits. No more exponential growth.
•    Data storage – we are now in the nano sphere.
•    Communication – we send at the speed of light on glass fibre.
•    Computers – are quantum computers really the solution?
•    Engineers have become priests
•    Asimov (Trantor-Trilogie)
•    Some programmers today actually remind me of it. Once in a while, I get the impression that they “have no idea what they are doing“.
•    Digitalism – a religion. Should we smile at it or take it seriously? Way Of The Future Church ?

•    The infra structure corrodes. Then, there might soon be an end to world-wide communication.
•    Speaking about which, it might be interesting to ask a few questions. Two of them are:
•    Who owns the intenet – in the physical sense?
•    How does it work?
I asked the questions. The result is a good example for the current state of the world – incompetence all over the place. Even the digital top Government cannot answer these basic questions.

It is easier for other (old) kinds of infra structure. Take for instance street infra structure. You always know who a street belongs to. And who usually should feel responsible for it.

  •  BLOCK #2:
    • If you use the culture onion as a model, you can describe society and culture. See also http://if-blog.de/rd/die-kulturzwiebel-oder-auf-heldensuche/). Parts of the onion are also products, proverbs, jokes, appearance, and much more. All these things are part of our culture.
    • What role do humans play in social systems?
    • What do the extreme borders of social systems look like (family, enterprises, countries ,…)? Let me define two poles::
      • HORG (short for @Büronyms in hierarchical systems) versus AUTOnomous
      • Hierarchy (Organigram tree from top to bottom) versus Network (linked teams that co-operate)
      • Group –based (model armed forces – Siemens) versus Team-based (micro organisation with self-organisation)
      • Secrets  versus Transparency
      • Bureaucracy  versus Subsidiarity
      • Taylorism (detailed pre-defined work methods, one best way, exact fixation of the location and time of delivery, extremely detailed and minute tasks, one-way communication with fixed and strict content, detailed goal description for every individual worker without obvious connection to the general goal of the enterprise, also: quality control) versus Involvedness (as the sum of being part of an entity, task integration, corporate identity …).
      • Processes (Henry Ford – the caste of engineers as a predecessor of the management cast) versus Self- organisation
        and as an extension:
      • Feudalism versus Self-determination
      • Serfdom  (slavery) versus Freedom
        perhaps also
      • Ratio versus Emotions
        and
      • Violence versus Non-violence
  • Evaluation
    • It is part of the operating system that organizes social systems.
    • There are no purely BLUE or RED enterprises. Personally, I do not really know which is the better alternative and I assume that it is a matter if the best mixture. But my sympathies lie more on the BLUE side.
      • Mafia and war economy in the Third Reich and WW-2 were BLUE
      • Buurtzorg is an example for RED, perhaps the best example.
        (https://www.buurtzorg.com/)
      • Slavery and fiefdom were only abandoned because they were not economically successful and because they were inefficient.
      • In the end, we will get the more efficient system.
    • Digitalisation can support both the BLUE and the RED system (processes such as knowledge exchange / violence-free and open communication)
      • Examples for BLUE:
        • The straitjacket MS/SAP with enterprises or
        • DB: the implementation of the price system (makes no sense, but is hard to change).
      • Examples for RED:
        • Shared applications based on knowledge.
        • „Open Source“ …
  • Those who are agile give VUCA (acronym for volatility – uncertainty –complexity – ambiguity) as a reason why RED is necessary, because, as they see it, BLUE cannot meet the expectations and complexity of our modern world. Because we need to generate new qualities:
    • Resilience
    • Anti-fragility
    • I think that black-and-white concepts will always be sub-optimal and that the future will be hybrid in this regard, too.
    • Here is what I fear: Perhaps the problems of humanity can only be solved if you apply BLUE ?
  • Now let us assume the following for a mental experiment:
    The social systems have been ruled by digital organization. What will happen if we add Artificial Intelligence?

    • What is Artificial Intelligence?
      • Self-learning system.
      • AI is “the world beyond algorithms“?
      • Let us look at games like chess and Go!?
      • Does AI consist of banal applications such as ALEXA? Perhaps not.
      • Some of the top consultants in politics I mentioned earlier believed that the English-speaking Chinese news speaker robot is an android system!?

Interesting things to notice  about AI!

Just think of TAY, which created so much misfortune for Microsoft (and which the top counsellors often do not even know about!):

    • Tay as an example for AI experiments: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tay_(Bot)
      • What will it mean if AI becomes part of digital social systems?
      • Has Microsoft already given up on AI (at an aside)?
        • Termination of Cortana
        • How do they expect Bavaria or Germany to become strong players in AI if even Microsoft no longer has the courage to play?
        • We talk about Bavaria FIRST.
        • My personal experience from my own presentations is not very encouraging:
          I know people who talked AI (people who actually are counsellors of politicians) and knew neither TAY nor the Chinese news reporter ROBOT.
        • China will become a player. With the day when the self-learning systems beat the Chinese Go master, the Chinese appeared on the horizon in the AI sector. They have enormous power and they invest unbelievable sums in terms of money and research.
    • What is the ethical consequence of AI becoming a part of the dominating digital control systems (TAY showed us how badly this can end)?
      • Note for the audience about literature (Prof Bayer): Leben 3.0 – Menschsein im Zeitalter Künstlicher Intelligenz
      • Asimov (Gesetze der Robotik 1950)
      • German Ethics Conference on Artificial Intelligence (Dobrindt 2018), which was part of the electoral campaign that was supposed to show how future-oriented and responsible the Federal Government works for the citizens.
        But

        • It was only about autonomous driving (cars are in the centre of everybody’s attention).
        • Mental experiments in ethics become game theory. It has been a science that supported ethics since 1945. It is best described here: #filosofix https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhOJp1DcabM by SRF.
          (They, too, have copyright problems: on the original SRF (Schweizer Rundfunk), some videos were blocked for Germany, yet I could see them on Youtube. This is just as annoying as the GEZ problem (many contents in the stream of ARD etc,  cannot be viewed outside Germany, not even in Europe, but you can easily view them if you use a proxy. What nonsense).
        • As I see it, #filosofix is not doing any good. You can talk and talk, but you get no results.
        • That was the standard of Mister Dobrindt’s ethics conference. It was not about AI in general, but only about autonomous cars in conflict situations. Instead  of promoting or thinking about an ethics architecture in AI systems, there were many examples. For instance the two-bikers problem:
          one is riding his bike and wearing a helmet, the other is not wearing a helmet. The situation suggests that one of them will be overrun by the car. Which one will the autonomous car overrun?
          The solution was the one who wears a helmet, because he has a higher chance of survival. What a nice idea – but totally impractical.
        • Let us finish our chautauqua by taking a look at the social credits system in China.
          •  See also Justice Theories  or poetic justice . At least, the Chinese believe that this is how they can generate justice. Good social behaviour will be rewarded, bad social behaviour will be punished. Just as fair justice demands it. It can only be done through total digital monitoring.
          • Mobility
            If you cross a street on a red light, you get minus points, even if you are a pedestrian. If you use public transport without paying or park where you are not allowed to park, you also get minus points.
          • Statements  in Multimedia
          • All sorts of violations of rules and opinions.
          • …?
        • Is it possible? YES!
          • Necessary requirements:
            It can only be done with IT (social media, video screening, big data) that creates a total transparency of the citizens and thus makes it possible to measure and write down the social behaviour of all the citizens.
          • But: who decides what is fair? Who will program or customize the system? Who makes the rules? How to get a consensus about it?
          • What I fear is: China will find its way to us.
            The IT products come from China. They will influence how we think. The tendency to limit freedom and introduce monitoring in Germany and Europe has already started.
          • Consequently, there is only one option left for us if we want to see the post-digital era.
            The people assault and destroy everything that is digital. A digital storm sweeps everything clean from digital influences!
          • Here is an additional idea on AI:
            Currently, sensors are the technological topic.

            • Example from China: baby screening (a small box will notify you if and how full the diapers are).
            • If you are fishing, you get a bite alarm as soon as the fish has bitten into the fly. It will also inform you about the characteristics of the fish you caught.
            • Autonomous driving.
              Under discussion all the time. But don’t we have other problems?
            • “Digital firm“
              Producing more and more, and more diverse and cheaper all the time. …

Florian in a totally different environment.

A new definition of AI might be that AI is no longer about human-machine communication, but about world-machine communication.

My life as a computer scientist was basically about working at the human-machine interface (user interfaces).

Today, they work on the world-machine interface.

Perhaps this, too, might serve as a reasonable definition of AI:

“AI is if the software or the system directly co-operates with the world”.

.. instead of with the people.

Or:

„AI is if the system no longer works determinedly (as you already see today with neural networks)?“

And we no longer know what it will do next.

Two words of warning:

Perfect manipulation per car:
Hobby 1957 – 1965

» Jene, die grundlegende Freiheit aufgeben würden, um eine geringe vorübergehende Sicherheit zu erwerben, verdienen weder Freiheit noch Sicherheit. «

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

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

» Jeder Zuwachs an Technik bedingt, wenn damit ein Zuwachs und nicht eine Schmälerung des menschlichen Glücks verbunden sein soll, einen entsprechenden Zuwachs an Weisheit. «

Bertrand Russell

Well, that was it.

RMD

(Translated by EG)

Freedom? Morality? Principles? Facts? Certainties?

Using beautiful terms and buzzwords, both politicians and the marketing of huge concerns try to impress people (and motivate them to buy things). The former do it because they want our vote, the latter because they want our best – the funny stuff.

Consciously treating language shabbily is part of this “new dishonesty“.

Language is supposed to have a manipulative effect. There is an endless number of terms that are very suitable if you want to seduce people. These terms are used whenever someone says something great. In particular, it is used by people who believe they are in possession of the truth (if you are precise, you will have to call it certainty). They use terms they themselves do not really understand, but still they hope that, by using those terms, they can sell their certainties.

They will not concern themselves with what these words actually mean. Instead, they just parrot them. Consequently, we should put all statements that are put before us under really thorough scrutiny. After all, we live in times of irresponsible blabbering.

In 1983, I was lucky enough to attend a very high-profile management seminar on dialectics in Frankfurt under Rupert Lay. In those days, Rupert Lay had the reputation of being the German Nestor as far as “Ethics in Management“ was concerned. It was a very modern topic, almost “hype”. I learned a lot during that seminar. And I tried to continue learning for the rest of my life.

I was 33 years old when I learned language, i.e. when I learned what exactly it means to use language properly. Well, that is rather late, isn’t it? The six other seminarists were all top managers from industry or presidents of associations or politicians in high office. They were all around thirty years older than I. That means they were all a lot later than yours truly, doesn’t it?

After a short warming-up discourse, they all agreed that freedom was their most important property and that they would immediately die for it. When I distanced myself from these two statements, I was treated like a pariah. To be sure, I was the youngest, had the longest haircut and did not wear a tie. Consequently, these older silvery-haired gentlemen could not really take me seriously, could they?

Unfortunately, the entire affair was symmetrical. Because to me, these six persons looked very much controlled from outside, which means they were the opposite of free. To be perfectly honest, I thought my six co-participants in the seminar were the prototypes of unfree persons. They were typical system agents who were caught in their fascist jails.

This did not bode well for the entire seminar. Regardless, this seminar is where I started to see philosophy and rhetoric as something important in my life and to appreciate their value. Thus, I learned to listen carefully, to analyse language and to treat difficult terms with caution, rather than negligently. And ever since then, that is what I have tried to actively do.

Concerning the image below:
Be not afraid, my blog is not going to turn into advertising CDU. I will never vote for or support a party the members of which, shortly after WW-II, conspiratorially  and in secret meetings prepared for German re-armament, and then realized it against the protests of the people (and to the benefit of the German Armament Industry).

Because I believe that those were the days that a unique chance for us people was lost for good, just because some people were scared.

No, this is about the text on the poster, or rather the text on the tweet.

The picture illustrates a tweet that was shared by the verified account of the CDU (excluding Bavaria) .
Frau Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer forwarded this tweet under the account @akk . That is how it ended up with me.

Here is the text as it was shared by @akk at @CDU– Tweets with this picture:


In an interview with   admonished the readers: “I expect people who come into our country to accept our values – and above all, I expect us to fight for our values”.


To me, it seems like a sentence directly from marketing. In some way or other, it is a stroke of genius in its bi-polarity. After all, it contains a demand that seems to be easy to accept.

Those who “come to us” should “accept our values”. We, “since we are “us” because we are here already”, should fight for our values. Of course, the weak point in this sentence is the term “values”. What exactly are “values”. What exactly are our values?.

Why do we expect those who come to our country to know our values if we ourselves do not know them?
As I see it, it would be a huge social obligation to work out a consensus about what our values are. Even if you probably cannot solve this problem.

Here are a few ideas.
If I want to understand the meaning of “value”, I first look for related terms, such as morality and principles. I am looking for a general term (because it is easier to understand and describe a word if you have a general term you can use in order to distinguish between the less general terms. That is what you learn in the first semester if you study philosophy).

In Wikipedia, you will find an overview  on the individual letters of „VALUE“. The first cube contains an enumeration of how the word VALULE Is generally used. For our purposes, this is not helpful. Incidentally, this cube is not even complete: you will, for instance, not find what the “value” (content) of a variable is in the game with words used by programmers.
In our context, the second cube of the article is relevant. Here is what it says.

(Wikipedia – value – version of February, 3rd, 2019, second column of text)
Value stands fo:
• Ethics, i.e. characteristics and qualities that are considered morally desirable
• social norms , i.e. social regulations for how to behave.
• christian values
• Ethical values, see: ethical law

Well, I do not really know why Christian Values are part of the definition. I would find “religious” values more appropriate. You could exemplify them by using “Christian Values”. And you would then have to include the values of other religions. Perhaps you could also describe these values as mindsets. Consequently, our values would be described as our mind sets. But do we have a common mind set?

If, in our historic tradition, the Christian-Occidental values are propagated, then I always remember that, until the end of the 18th century, the Christians were also among those who supported and used serfdom , which is just another word for slavery  . Well, at least in my eyes that does not make the tradition any better. Bear in mind that mostly serfs were also dependants .The landlord was mostly also the owner of the farmer. And who owned the land?

I like the first entry in the upper cube ethics a lot better. We learn that this is all about our concepts of values. So what exactly are concepts? Visions or hallucinations? The entry also shows us how easily you get into close proximity of morality  that judges if we apply values. After all, morality is something that believes in possessing the truth about what is good and what is evil. Can you tell me what is good and what is evil?

In Wikipedia, you will also find on morality:

Morality is about mostly actual behavioural patterns , conventions and rules or principles of certain  individuals, groups or cultures.  . A violation of morality is called immorality. Amorality is the denial or the purposeful refusal of moral principles and can culminate in the total absence of moral feeling.

So now we are again dealing with patterns, conventions, rules and principles! So let us continue – which means we end up with an article about principles . Now things are really getting complicated. Consequently, we will only take one sentence:
Generally speaking, a principle is a maxim or a basic rule you stick by.

So now we can ask:
Did the author (I am sure it was not AKK herself who wrote it) really mean values with this beautiful advertisement? Or morality? Or principles?
Or does it mean that those who come to our country had better stick by our rules and regulations and that it is our job to see to it that said rules are not violated? 
- Which makes it sound quite differently.

I strongly suspect that the person who wrote this sentence did not even know what he or she actually wanted to say.
Because he or she did not think of such a thing (and perhaps was not even competent enough to think of it). It was simply going to be a nice marketing slogan that sounds nice and makes a good impression. Insofar, it is a good match with the general dishonesty in our communication.

If you are interested in finding out how Frau Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer interprets the sentence on the poster, why don’t you send her an email @akk and ask her?

RMD
(Translated by EG)