Hans Bonfigt
Friday July 21st, 2017

The Power and the Glory

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Roland Dürre
Wednesday July 12th, 2017

Why We Need Christophine! (I)

On June, 21st, I went to the “Schiller-Town” of Marbach. I spent the night in Freiberg/Neckar and on June, 22nd, I continued towards Marbach. A friend from long-ago days – Thomas Kleiner – was nice enough to accompany me during travels. Thanks to him, I met Lorenz Obweser and Ruth Martinelli and almost 20 children aged between six and ten. Because I sat in a classroom of the Free School “Christophine“ in Marbach. However, the term is misleading, because in the Christophine, nobody just sits the entire morning. On this morning, I experienced something so beautiful and great that I was moved to tears.

I experienced how

SCHOOL

can function in such a way that you enjoy going there! Even the children and teachers!

But first the bad news:

I have now spent some time being a little sad. My grandchildren are wonderful and rather wise small persons. But in a few, or a little more than a few years, they will start school. And then the sad part of life begins for them. I, too, do not know how to protect them from the destiny that most German children have to endure after they are six years old.

Because school – both as I remember it myself and how I experienced it when my seven children were there – is atrocious. Not only in Germany and many European countries, school is something really backward-oriented and truly evil. With few exceptions, this diagnosis is true for the entire world, and especially for Asia.

School, as we have it today, will damage our children just like it damaged us. That ruins our society and is detrimental to our future. Many persons only recover step by step when they are adults, some never.

In the following, I will relate to you what I find so evil about the classical school system and give reasons why we need to change this system if we want to gain social progress in the form of peace and more justice.


Everyday life at school in Germany (and perhaps world-wide) is worse than sad!


In our system, education means “trained authoritative learning in a quasi-military format”. Knowledge -bulimia prevails. It starts as early as primary school. Luckily, it is no longer quite as bad as it was in the times of the German pedagogue Dr. Moritz Schreber.

Roland on his first day at school (with the bag of sweets).

But they still drill students. You have to sit and cannot unfold. An hourly scheduled is pressed upon the children. Self-organization and self-determining are prevented. There is no way for the children to learn and practice when and what they want.

Agile, slim and transparent are words schools do not know. There is a clear hierarchy between teachers and children. Incidentally, the mechanism goes from bad to worse. This is why school has more and more problems. If that happens, the children are blamed and their poor socialization is cited as a reason. The parents get the blame.

Because they failed in their duty to bring the children up properly. Well, once in a while, this is probably true, but in the majority of the cases, it is not true. In those cases, parents suffer under school just as much as their children.


At school, achievement is the absolute maxim, often even worse than in real life.


The achievement-oriented society is already practiced. Everybody is evaluated, graded and judged. In primary school, it is all about achieving grammar school level. That will only work if the child adapts to the system “school” and submits to it. The ordering principle of school is clearly hierarchical. The magic word is authority. You learn obedience.

The children learn that you have to more or less accept everything you learn, along with the process.


Whenever school does not function, the teachers and society blame the parents.


Because the parents never taught their children how to respect others. Especially the teachers. As I wrote before: sometimes that is true, but usually it is not.

In order to enable the children to manage the transfer from primary school to grammar school in this miserable situation, there is an army of – mostly black-clad – private tutors who, during the few free hours, give the children an extra hard time. And thus – mostly under many tears – they are pushed more or less successfully over the threshold to the grammar school level.

I was often a “child that had no respect”. And I often doubted what they told me, and I also said what I thought. And time and again, I was punished for it. Because the teacher is always right. At school, there is collective obedience. After all, an order is an order you need to carry out. I, too, made that experience.


More than once, they also gave me accusatory feedback about my “being different”. Mind you, all I wanted is: be me.


Later in life, I reversed the roles. I justified the “bad habits” I had also been punished for in an intellectually tricky way, calling them “civil courage” and “constructive disobedience”. Those were attributes that made me exceptional.

But, basically, the school system is based on suppression. There is an order. There must be an order, because humans need order. However, it is not there for the student but for the system, and therefore against the student.

Because this is the only way for the system and the teachers to make students a homogeneous mass (that is at least what school thinks). Between eight and nine, everybody has to do calculations and between nine and ten, everybody has to read. Between ten and eleven, you have physical exercise and from eleven to twelve, you write. And between twelve and one, you get religious instruction. At school, you have to sit and “behave” most of the time. Otherwise, you get punished.

All this is justified by postulating that there is no other way of doing things. It is the only way you can learn efficiently. But that is a huge lie!


The full-time school makes matters even worse. All those free afternoons in our youth that should be reserved for playing, thinking, experiencing and living are no longer available.


Now we get the full-time school. More and more often, children will also be transported to have lunch and “levelled-out” with convenient food. The schools look like barracks and are not places where you can flourish and meet at eye-level.

Schools are organized and managed following military examples, the small persons are administered, their value is the same as that of recruits during basic training in times of compulsory service. The new buildings at grammar schools (or rather: educational plants or barracks) I know at Neubiberg, Ottobrunn and Höhenkirchen-Siegertsbrunn also reflect this attitude in their architecture.

You have long corridors with many doors that lead to the many classrooms like hoses. You often cannot open the windows and the air conditioning creates bad air that gives the “teaching staff” headaches. Looking at these educational plants, you are reminded more of barracks than of free places where you learn something and practice for life. And since these buildings have been constructed with little money (during the bidding, the price is the most important criterion, which means the cheapest architect will win), it will not be long before you notice the first signs of decay.

To make up for it, the administrative overhead grows and grows. This is how education becomes more and more expensive – but not much of it reaches the “final customer: child”.


All social systems need structure. Both children and grown-ups look for something to lean on. But the structure of schools should support children, instead of working against them.


At school, nobody considers the great diversity potential that small people have. For reasons of efficiency and because of limited budgets, it is neither possible nor desired. They scale and measure, certify and grade. What is taught is achievement.

In short: they indoctrinate you because you need to function. After all, society needs consumers. Autonomy and the ability to criticise are not welcome.

Once in a while, something happens that gives you hope. Because the teacher is really a nice person. But the best teachers are few and far between and sooner or later they will capitulate in front of an educational system that has de-personalized itself. And the best they can hope to do is perhaps minimize the damage that the system produces. And teachers will be selected for their good grades. However, those with the best grades are seldom pedagogically the best. The best will then try to find a job in a private school or drive a taxi or do some private tutoring.


Children, too, should be treated as if they were humans!


I actually once heard this lapse of the tongue (although it was not from a teacher but from an entrepreneur who did not say “children” but “employees”). To be sure, I certainly was only a lapse of the tongue. However, I strongly believe that, deep down, it was what the person who said it believed and felt.


Economy is now learning that motivation will only work intrinsically . At school, they practice 100% extrinsic  patterns. That cannot end well.


Today, everybody, be it Allianz or Siemens, wants to change work-life. #newwork is fashionable, promoting a more innovative and creative approach. One of the protagonists of this movement is Thomas Sattelberger, the “Saul/Paul” of the #newwork-movement. He promotes himself like no other and runs through the country with his message of salvation. After his concern career, the thing that made him most famous was “Augenhöhe, der Film“.

Now he visits everybody and criticizes what he witnesses in local enterprises. Justly so. He would like to crown his life’s work with a seat in the German parliament – for the FDP (is that a fitting combination? FDP and #newwork?). It will make me happy if Mr. Sattelberger, as soon as he sits in parliament, promotes agile and humane schools. But that is another thing I do not really believe in.

For instance, most of the enterprises would like to become more agile, slim and transparent. At least that is what the colleagues of HR (Human Resource – another one of those ugly terms used in the modern working environment) preach. They look for innovative employees who are creative in order to enable their enterprises to manage the transition caused – among other things – by digitalization. At HR, they talk about eye-level, #newwork, intrinsify.me, democratic enterprise, common-good economy, “shared mobility“ & “shared economy“ and many similar issues. They dream of a network of self-organized teams, of a new entrepreneurial culture and communities of shared values. The latter are also quite popular in politics. There are many more catch-words of this type in the new world of old enterprises.
Except how do you expect that to work out if our offspring is trained to do quite the opposite as soon as they start school?


Enterprises want agile, critical and creative people. Yet that is exactly what schools beat out of the young students?


But nobody talks about #newschool, about self-organisation at school, about democratic classrooms, about teaching at eye-level and similar things. At least in Germany, this is not desired. It is taboo!

Terms such as #home-schooling, #un-schooling #no-schooling gain popularity in Europe. They find more and more supporters. More and more people “school” their own children (see also the video of a presentation by Bruno Gantenbein for me).

In Switzerland and some other EU countries, home-schooling is a process that is well established and supported by the administration. Germany is the only EU country where home-schooling is prohibited! Because in this country, they fear alternative schools and alternative thinking as much as the devil fears holy water.


Perhaps there will soon be a disproportionally high number of self-owned and free schools in our country.


But perhaps that is a good thing. Because it creates huge pressure. If there is no chance to escape, then there might possibly be more willingness to change something than in other countries.

Roland without the bag of sweets.

But back to the enterprises. How are we supposed to find these new agile, creative, open, … employees if agility, creativity and openness are the very characteristics that our schools kill most efficiently?

Because in our schools, children are treated as raw material that needs to be formatted. The input is curious and free creatures. The output is small professionals. They function as an obedient and easily controllable society supposedly needs them to function. Consequently, the first thing they will be is: diligent labourers, brave consumers and law-abiding citizens – whose first priority it is to always accept what the upper echelons decree.


We demand elites who solve our massive problems, but at the same time we are content with mediocrity and foul-mouth populism. And we promote mediocrity in schools.


Why is it that children must realize very early that life is no pony-farm and that they are part of the achievement system if they wish to make something out of their lives? That they must follow practical constraints, just like their parents and all the other grown-ups?

They are measured and graded. It is always about being better than the others. Success is everything. It is all about managing to reach the next step in the ladder of an irrational career. No matter what it costs and how it is done.

Emotions, erotic, life, love, the competence to solve conflicts, being able to listen … all those things play no role in the curriculum. You have to become a professional resource for the fight on the business front. And you learn that it is better for your wealth, growth and safety not to say what you think and perhaps not even to think.
And as soon as they understand this, they visit the tattoo factory just to protest, because there they will finally get something permanent. As a last substitute activity before they give up their own lives. …


Good entrepreneurs (leaders, managers, … ) will want to make their employees look bigger on a daily basis, rather than smaller.


I rather love the principle of “acting in a biophile way”. That means (in my own words):
Always behave in such a way that what you do will contribute more towards the lives of other people becoming more, rather than less, in many dimensions.

Perhaps the Golden Rule (Goldene Regel ) is even easier to live than the biophile maxim:
“Treat others the same way you yourself would like to be treated“
Or in the negative form:
“If you do not want it to happen to you, don’t do it to others!“


“Biophile Maxime of Behaviour” and the “Golden Rule”? Why don’t we use it for our children? Why don’t we make them big, instead of small?


From early on, children are made to look smaller, rather than bigger. Not just by the teachers, but also by their parents. I witness all the time how children are massively instructed by their parents about what is right and what is wrong. Ranting mothers scold their children for totally normal behaviour. There is stupid moralizing and indoctrination. What is appropriate and what is not! What you do and what you do not do! What is possible and what is impossible. What you can see/hear and what you cannot see/hear under any circumstances. What is evil and what is good.

For what behaviour you will end up in hell and for what in heaven. And as soon as a child is six and enters school, matters continue in the same way, only more professionally.


Nobody is interested in hearing what small people want and do not want.


At school, you undergo formatting in that they form you according to the current image of a good grown-up. Children have to fit into our world. They learn to survive traffic. They become young consumers who define themselves by what they own and how they look. They have to function, but they are not allowed to be and do what they themselves want to do and be.

At school, ratio and your IQ dominate, they are always in the foreground. It is all about developing an understanding of all the absurdities our life offers. You have to accept the absurd as a matter of course and thus become part of the absurdity.
Social life and the common good only play a minor role. Emotions and eros, love and friendship are not practiced, the same is true for the competence to solve conflicts. Because our systems are based on adaptation. They survive by interchangeability, uniformity, (financial) metrics and the fact that the citizens follow social patterns blindly like lemmings. The ability to criticize things and be autonomous in all you think and do will only be a hindrance.


We will only reduce the latent enmity inside us if we socialize our children differently.


School is one of many places where the old role-plays prevail. Boys still have to be small heroes and cannot cry. Girls are expected to be humble and tolerant. Today, you can show emotions, but it is better not to do so.


If you want to be a success, you have to become Mr. or Mrs. Poker-Face!


Emotions are something you should not allow to get too near, it is seen as a detrimental and annoying weakness. You have to be strong and may never show your weakness. This is how the heart is surrounded by iron rings. If you like someone, it is better not to show it, the universal love for creation is considered a crazy idea. Standing upright as your outer shell is part of the education, but unfortunately not taught as a higher inner value.

This stupid socializing of our offspring will never minimize the wide-spread sickness Alexithymia. A short time ago, a man my own age cried next to me when he told me how his grandchild had died during her birth. I am not sure if that is something I would still be capable of. However, if I watch a sappy film, I start to cry. Isn’t that terrible?

As many others, I fear that I am dependent on “second-hand emotions”. That is doubtless a result of my early and long upbringing. Consequently, I now practice consciously opening myself to real emotions. At the age of 67, that is not easy.


Humans are the crown of creation. But they have to fit into the world.


I am glad that the world changes – at least in the developed and privileged societies I know. It seems to me that more and more persons have a yearning for new “social success patterns”. Well, they are something we badly need, because the old patterns are exactly what brought great misery to this planet.

Schools are the only places where this news has not yet found its way into. And the situation also gets worse and worse at the universities. There are numerous #newwork but no relevant movement #newschool. Many people who work in the educational industry (active teachers and administrators of the educational bureaucracy) told me that the situation has been getting worse for many years.


Schools must serve the children, not vice versa!


Curricula and rules given by the educational ministries make it harder by the year to do justice to the small persons. Additionally, you have an ever increasing administration that eats up the time that should have been spent with the students. This is how the system also becomes more and more expensive and more and more inefficient.


This was the bad news. Here is the good news.


In my next article, I will write how the citizens fight back and create totally new things. Because they actually exist: the Christophine.

But you will read more about this in my article Christophine 2, which I will hopefully  publish here soon. I will describe a school that, as far as its motto and its practical work is concerned, has absolutely convinced me. A school that proves that things can work differently – and work quite well, too.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Eugenie Wirz with Christian Mendoza (young entrepreneurs from Poland) at the UTUM-Hackathon (2016)

During my work – or should I say hobby – as a mentor for UTUM (unternehmerTUM) and TUM, I had the privilege to accompany a number of young persons for a time out of their life. I also met many nice people who are very active, both professionally and socially and who promote young persons (some of whom have fallen upon dire times) and start-ups with a huge amount of idealism.

I particularly enjoyed working with Eugenie Wirz (her friends call her Jenna). I first met Jenna several years ago, when she was still in charge of the UTUM mentoring program and worked particularly hard for “her” mentees.

Now, she has a new task at unternehmerTUM in the European context: the program “Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs“. It brings many ideas and fresh perspectives (Ideen und frische Perspektiven) to the UTUM world. In the magazine TUMcampus 4 | 16, on page 12 , you can find a “special” under the title “Learning from Successful Enterprises“. The Exist-Founders’ Program (Exist-Gründerprogramm) is also among those who promote it.

In the Wirtschaftswoche, you will find an article that describes how “you can learn abroad how to be a founder”. For examples of successful projects, click here.

In my role as the one who accompanied quite a few start-ups, especially with very young founders, I now understand that, more often than not, it is exactly this program that is an important chapter when it comes to writing your own entrepreneurial script. Consequently, it was my pleasure to write this article for Jenna and her program “Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs”. So if you know young founders, why don’t you give them this information?

And if there are questions about the project, do not hesitate to contact Jenna via email.

RMD

Or is that already true for the present?

On January, 3rd, Franziska Köppe interviewed me for her blog FAHRRADkultur.
Here is the result:

Franziska’s message is “bike-riders will live longer lives”. Consequently, I certainly hope that she is right and that our life will not be terminated ahead of time by some motorized vehicle. And that it will not happen that, to make up for it, one more white bicycle will be sitting on a street or crossroad.

I hold Franziska in very high esteem. Consequently, I was a little cautious during the interview. My worst provocation was perhaps (citation from the interview):

“Car drivers are the coachmen of our times. Coachmen were not very well-liked, because whenever any of the common citizens were in their way as they drove through the narrow streets of the cities, they used their whips to beat them out of the way. In those days, coachmen were considered “scum and riff-raff“?!

I abide by all I said in the interview. Let me add that the more I live (and I mean “live” in the truest sense of the word) without a car, the more I am aware of how stupid and irrational it is to drive a car.

And that is true for many dimensions:

  • For the lie behind the image and reputation you subconsciously want to gain through owning a car.
  • For the challenging work you have to do as you sit behind a steering wheel, although you have grown used to it and thus ignore how strenuous it is. More than this: you actually lie to yourself and claim that you “enjoy the experience of driving” or “relax behind the steering wheel”. Your car is perceived as your “best friend” and a place where you “feel at home”.
  • For the horrendous deprivation of exercise and fresh air you subject yourself to as a car driver. That is also true for the physical damage caused by constantly sitting and the negative consequences, including spinal problems.
  • For senselessly wasting time, especially if you drive a car. Using public transportation, you could take far better advantage of that time.
  • For the physical (considerably more than one million fatalities and far more seriously and not so seriously wounded persons) damage world-wide every year, as well as the psychological risk (double stress for instance when using the telephone while driving a car).
  • For how unfree a car makes you – it is the millstone around your neck – because you always have to go back to where it is parked.
  • For how you depend on the car: whenever there is a problem and it does not work, your personal world is under threat of destruction.
  • For how much of a burden a car is: How often do I hear people say – I have no time because my car needs to be picked up from the service/taken to the service. And the weekend is spent polishing it because you love it so much.
  • For how ruthless car drivers treat their environment and society. Neither pollution nor waste of energy are considered, the external additional costs of mobility are considerably higher if you drive a car than if you go by any other means of transportation. And we all pay the price.
  • For the fact that you accept the risk that you might kill or injure people, doing enormous damage to yourself in the process.…
  • … and for a lot more …

For me, driving a car thus gets more and more synonymous for living your life the wrong way. But:

Life is too short to live it the wrong way!

I know from personal experience that people who consider their car part of their own body like a wheelchair that has become essential to their life will under no circumstances agree with many of the points on this list. I can also relate from personal experience that it was very similar with smoking for me … you only really understand how bad it was when you no longer do it. But you know how hard it was to break with the habit.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Saturday October 8th, 2016

Letter for PEACE

Sigi Kunz, Mensch, IT-Manager, Positivist, Aktivist.

Sigi Kunz, human being, IT-Manager, Positivist, Activist.

I have known Sigi Kunz for more than 45 years.
I am happy to be his friend.
I appreciate his qualities (not only) as a manager and entrepreneurial leader. When I invited him to attend our activities for PEACE, he replied as follows, at the same time giving his permission to publish his message.

Here comes:

 
Dear friends,

It is about time that I, as a newcomer to this round, also say something. First and foremost, I want to thank Roland for seeing me as a potential candidate for a) being interested in the topic and b) perhaps being able to contribute, at least to a small degree.

Having been a stubborn “conscientious objector” – that is what they called us in the 1970ies – the word PEACE was almost exclusively the complete opposite of WAR in my definition. PEACE was a hundred per cent different from WAR.

As time goes by, you become more mature, you learn to differentiate more clearly and you also learn that other nuances and values may lurk behind an abstract term. For instance, I totally agree with what Roland wrote in his last blog entry: that PEACE has to begin with yourself, that, first and foremost, you have to (learn how to) live in peace with yourself. At the same time, it is extremely important to also find ways to live in PEACE with nature.

Perhaps I misinterpreted Roland’s post of October, 1st, because it seemed to me like it contained a huge portion of resignation. I was probably wrong – which is what I sincerely hope.

Why is that what I hope?

As a general rule, my personality is characterized by optimism. Regardless, I sometimes fight an internal battle with myself asking the question if the species homo sapiens will, to put it bluntly, manage to get its act together.
Being an admirer of both Darwin and Dawkins, I “believe” in the evidence shown by evolution. And the unhappy truth I read there suggests that non-peace is more the rule than anything else in living nature. To eat and be eaten, the chain of nutrition, population mechanisms controlled by the supply of food – a propos bread for all, etc. Peace always only works for a short time and is limited to clearly defined groups.

Consequently, I fear that a huge part of the human race is trapped in the echo of evolution that says it is more goal-oriented for your own progress to kill all competition and to fight, if necessary with weapons, rather than living together in peaceful harmony.

Perhaps – and here is where my optimism kicks in – we are now in a phase where evolution is just on the threshold of “deciding” whether the strategy “fighting” will be beaten by the strategy “peace”.
You could compare it to the “nasty” entropy. Decades ago, during a physics lecture when I was an electrical engineering student, I came up with the idea that life might be the enemy of entropy, because living creatures alone really create order. In other words:

Ever since the big bang, chaos grew until the first living creatures appeared. Since then, they have been trying to fight chaos.

Well, this is enough of those ideas.

What is it I could or would wish to contribute to the topic peace? Here is an example where I have been actively involved for several years:

The club Hohenlinden 2000

The club was founded in 1996 and aims at

  • Keeping the memory of the terrible military battle alive and
  • Making use of said memory in order to promote PEACE with the erstwhile enemy (France) through shared projects and activities, along with developing and nourishing friendships.

 

Gérard Leser, juillet 2014

Gérard Leser 2014

Here is a poem that was written by the French historian Gérard Leser for memorial day.
At the end of the ceremony, he read the poem. It has been composed in two languages and calls for peace. It can also be read on a central cylinder at the base of the memorial.

 

 

 

Here is the German version:


 

Beide Fotos sind von der Enthüllung eines Denkmals (Erinnerung an 1.Weltkrieg, Schlacht in den Vogesen).

Both pictures show the unveiling of a memorial (1st world war, battle in the Vosges).

Altmattkopf.

Blick in die Weite und das große Atmen der Welt
Ruhe der Berge und der Natur
dunkelgrüner Mantel der Wälder und der Wiesen
unten Dörfer die gedeihen
die Stille die uns bewohnt
und doch
vor hundert Jahren
Staub, Krach, hunderte von Granaten die explodieren
zersplitterte Körper
Wunden die bluten
zerrissene Seelen
Kugeln die zischen
Bajonette die in der Sonne glitzern
und der Hass und der Tod die herrschen
nur noch den anderen Menschen umbringen
alle Teufel sind los
Franzosen gegen Deutsche
Deutschland gegen Frankreich

1914 Bruderkrieg

Menschen gegen Menschen
Europa brennt
und die Bevölkerung die flüchten muss
alles verlassen, alles verlieren
heimatlos
Häuser die verkohlen
Ruinen, Tränen und Elend ohne Ende

1915 Sieg und Zerstörung

Stille der Friedhöfe
das Tal durch die Front entzweit
getrennte Familien
verletzte Menschheit
öde Mauern und verwüstete Dörfer
Stacheldraht der überall blüht
tiefe Schützengraben verwunden die Erde

2015 Europa, endlich

Frieden und Versöhnung
doch
ein Denkmal zum Nachdenken
zwei Panzerschienen, zwei Armeen
ein kleiner Pfahl, die Bevölkerung die leidet
Menschheit mit Schmerz erfüllt
ein Pfeiler mit der Spitze die  am Himmel glitzert
um gemeinsam die Hoffnung zu pflegen
um das Gedächtnis zu wecken
um Brücken zu bauen
um über die Freiheit zu wachen
um die Gewalt in uns zu zähmen
um die Finsternis im Herzen nie zu vergessen
und das Leben zu ehren
Europa ist unsere gemeinsame Heimat

Gérard Leser


I close my letter and wish you all a beautiful weekend.

Sigi Kunz

P.S.
The owner of the photos is Sigi Kunz, you can use them under CC BY-SA 3.0.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

2036_500Through my friend Thomas Michl, the call for a blog parade on #FutureVision2036
 by Yasemin Akdemir came to my attention.

I do not wish to speculate about what the world might be like in twenty years.

Because since Hans Ulrich of St. Gallen wrote his theories about “Change in Management”, we know that “the future cannot be predicted”!

And it is not at all my style to come up with courageous outlooks.

But I will gladly relate to you what I would the world to be like in 2036!

First and foremost, it would be important for me to see most people being wiser and more peace-loving all over the world.

When I say wiser, I mean that humanity should increase both in its mental concepts and behaviour and that it should push the ever-present enmity into the background, both externally and internally.

Peace in my definition means that more and more persons manage to live in harmony with their own existence, also by appreciating their own value. The only way external peace can grow and prevail is if people like and appreciate themselves and thus find their own inner peace. It is the only way to make the many beloved enemy concepts disappear and also the only way towards successfully living in peace with nature, other people and other social systems.

Apart from this, I would wish for more neutrality and less moralism, for example also when it comes to sexual prudery. On the whole, the importance of religion should dwindle. How can anybody claim something to be the absolute truth that has been constructed by humans? For example, I also would not wish that children are still injured and maimed in 2036 for “religious reasons”.

There is a great sentence by Frederick II. Of Prussia: “Let all people become happy in their own chosen fashion” and it would be nice if this sentence were still true in 2036. But not the “violation of religious feelings” should be illegal. Instead, the social discrimination of “infidels” by “believers” and the attempt of those believers to “religiously reform” those infidels should be against the law.

In 2036, we should no longer misinterpret peace as a state of affairs where all that is possible is permitted. The meaning of the word must be replaced by an understanding of peace in the sense of “being able and willing to live your life responsibly”.

It would make me very happy if, over the next twenty years, people learned how to become independent of marketing and external control. And maybe they could understand that their most valuable commodity is time. And that we can enjoy our life at the moment in joy – without having to think about it too much. How about a little more sub-consciousness and, to make up for it, less cerebellum?

In 2036, we would like to live in a “fear-free” space. Fear grows between your ears and has nothing to do with really threatening situations and a healthy respect of dangers. It would be nice if, by then, we no longer think we have to define ourselves by our looks, property, success, money….

There is actually one concern of mine for 2036: can we live our lives in harmony with our environment? I would like to be able to breathe the air in the cities even if I am a pedestrian or ride a bike. In order to achieve this, we would have to understand that “individual mobility” it not a concept of the future if it is based on heavy vehicles. Nor does it matter if said vehicles are powered by a combustion motor or an electric motor.

And, in 2036, I would like to live in a society that accepts that I am a human being of flesh and blood who has the right to enjoy his body with lust, which would mean that I am entitled to enough physical exercise in everyday life. And I mean in a way that does not just make me a means to an end. I want to be able to rollick and romp even when I am grown up.

In 2016, I no longer wish to be manipulated by marketing and ruled by lobbyism. Instead, I would like to be what we were created to be: agreeable mammals equipped with a little bit of ratio who can live their lives autonomously.

Another prevalent principle of our economic activity should be “sustainability”. This means the economic cycles would have to be organized and practiced in such a way that the principle #nowaste has highest priority. This is also true for energy – just like with everything else, this has to be done by using “smart technologies”, but also by every one of us limiting ourselves to the necessities.

We humans are not here to serve the economy – instead, the economy should serve us. Instead of a global “predator capitalism”, we need a functioning regional “common-good economy” in 2036. Even if said common-good economy might be a little less efficient – which, incidentally, I do not believe it would be.

Many of our habits have to – and, as I believe, will – change drastically. This will be true both for mobility and the production of goods. One possible solution might be the increase of „shared economy“, individually promoted by “less vanity and egoism”. The success recipe of the future will be “less is more”. “Growth as the solution to all problems” was yesterday (and even then, it was utter nonsense).
Consideration will also have to prevail whenever we actually do something. And we will permanently have to ask ourselves if we really need all the things we buy.

So what I wish for 2036 is an enlightenment 2.0 that we take seriously and develop diligently. It should also be the formative factor of all our lives. And I am and will remain optimistic that, with courage and joy, we will get there. Among other things because we support the new “digital world” and nice blog parades.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Wednesday August 10th, 2016

Bavarian Constitution, Common-Good Economy…

… Eye-Level, Intrinsify.me, Democratic Enterprise in Management, Holocracy – and Buddhism in Management .. These are all Things I Like. 
- but, please, no CSR!

Vajrasattva (Tibet)

Vajrasattva (Tibet)

Most of us want the same thing: an economy that serves humans. As opposed to humans serving the economy.

That is why I love the Bavarian Constitution (Bayerische Verfassung), where one article explicitly states that it is a huge privilege granted in Bavaria to do business in a community – and how this right is an obligation for the enterprises and entrepreneurs, making it a must for the goods and services they provide to first and foremost be useful for the people.

And in another article of this wonderful constitution, the entire thing is repeated and emphasized again for the finance sector! However, said finance sector could not care less, instead mostly doing things that would be unconstitutional – at least in Bavaria.

I am talking about Articles 151: business is linked to the common good; principle of contract freedom and 157: amassing capital; money and credit. But those are far from the only articles truly worth reading; there are quite a few more of them in the Bavarian Constitution…

I equally appreciate the Common Good Economy around its protagonist Christian Felber. They came up with a common good matrix that makes it possible to check what contribution the enterprise you work in or even perhaps “manage/own” makes for the social life. And it is worth the effort of informing yourself about it.

The project eye-level, along with the film is something I admired because it showed that there are actually enterprises practicing eye.-level successfully.

The brave ideas of the people at intrinsify.me, too, are very close to my heart, as are the clear concepts introduced by Andreas Zeuch who was the inspiration for entrepreneur democrats (Unternehmens-Demokraten). They show that democratic enterprises work better. And they also came up with the wonderful slogan:
ALL POWER TO NOBODY! 

Even the friends of holocracy make a huge impression on me, even though I see the danger of a tiring democracy that might easily lead to “holocrazy”.

A short time ago, however, I met a young entrepreneur. His name is Julian Sametinger and he wrote a Bachelor Thesis  (Bachelor-Arbeit, click here to read it, it is really very much worth reading) on “Buddhism in Management“. It is a wonderful piece of work and more exciting than some criminal stories. And, basically, it covers all you need to know. It is also the reason why I write this post.

I have a huge amount of respect for all these ideas. Their very existence makes me enormously grateful.

But, please, to not offer me CSR (Corporate Social Responsity). It is hypocritical, produced by university ethics-talkers and rehearsed with ethics commissions appointed by the state. I mostly find it pompous gibberish as we know it from politicians and lobbyists. Except that it has been graphically beautified with federally financed high-gloss transparencies and posters of the important associations.

If you want names, I will gladly provide the details about some evil and not quite so evil professors, along with their often absurd concepts and more or less ridiculous activities. Since, however, this blog is supposed to be more about the positive ideas than the negative, I will end this article here.

Thank you for reading it and goodnight to you all!

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Tuesday June 28th, 2016

BREXIT

Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom.svgWell, here is some personal comment of mine on the, as I see it, disgraceful BREXIT discussion.

 

  • The persons who went to give their opinion in GB decided. They probably do not like the EU and, to them, the disadvantages for their country seem more obvious than the advantages. It is something you cannot rationally discuss anyway, because there are too many pro and con arguments on too many different levels. You cannot weigh them or put them into metric systems, either. When all is said and done, this is about emotions, which means the decisions are gut decisions.
  • The outcome of the vote, however, should be accepted by all, both the extra-wise ones in the EU and those who voted in favour of GB staying in the EU. And in particular those who could have voted but did not. If now the entire world starts feeling morally superior to the Brits, then this is, in my opinion, the opposite of appropriate.
  • Also, you should not forget that neither the British Government nor the British Parliament are strictly obliged to act according to this referendum. In other words: so far, nothing happened. And, as so often in politics, nothing will happen. The only thing that will probably happen is that the money flow comes to a standstill – or perhaps it will be camouflaged differently 
Now they do a bit of cheating – and with every single day that goes by, the topic #brexit will become more and more remote. Only a few thousand EU functionaries will try to find a solution that makes it possible for the British Government to not lose face before their voters and at the same time for the EU not to take serious damage. It will all happen as was shown to us when they discussed the TTIP behind closed doors.
  • Personally, I do not believe the EU is an important or even critical factor for Europe’s future. Well, it is simply an extra administrative office. I am far more concerned about the NATO and the numerous national and nationalistic tendencies. They keep extending the NATO, not taking into consideration the worries and fears of our neighbours. I sadly miss a discussion on this issue. And it is quite possible that national interests will be promoted, rather than minimized, due to the current state of affairs.
  • Looking at the EU as an economic unity, I am disappointed.
    • As an economic unity, the EU, and in particular the EURO, perhaps had a positive impact only for Germany (as the leading nation) and a few small countries like Luxembourg (as financial centre of Europe’s concerns and banks) or Estonia (as the gateway to Russia). All others are more or less on the loser’s side.
    • Even in privileged Germany, we have huge problems, such as the pronounced polarisation between the poor and the rich (more and more poverty, making up for more and more extremely rich persons) or when it comes to education. This, too, is probably one of the developments the EU is responsible for. And that, for instance, Spaniards have to go to Germany if they want to survive economically is just bizarre. In other cases, they talk of economic refugees who must under no circumstances be given asylum. We all agree that humans must not be discriminated against because of the colour of their skin, their gender or their religious beliefs. But they may easily be discriminated against because of where their passport has been issued – systematically and in a very differentiated way.
    • I think a region has the right to contest central attacks by concerns or ruthless dumping prices. Whenever in history they tried to balance the powerlessness of those who suffered injustice by subsidies, they usually failed or achieved the opposite of what they had intended. And in the end, it always led to unjustified personal gain.
    • For me, it seems particularly sad that the power of the lobbyists seems to have grown at all levels in Europe. They are now in a position to control all of Europe.
  • Looking upon the EU as a shared living space gives me a sense of failure. I witness no end of regulations. Today, small enterprises, especially in the crafts, are threatened in a way that was hardly ever so drastic, at least as far as West Germany is concerned. 
Many things have become worse, rather than better: for instance the mobility concept in the public transportation sector. To make up for it, they now started an unbelievable charm offense in favour of individualized traffic with the combustion motor, probably on the instigation of Germany. 
The EU was not even able to standardize network mobility over the last few years. Your simple smartphone user will notice this whenever leaving his home region. There is no doubt that politics look at the advantages for the capital, the concerns and the banks. They totally forget that they should be serving the people. And the EU functionaries are basically system agents who are, first and foremost, concerned about their own well-being and money – often even more so than most of those on the national levels.
  • Looking upon the EU as a political unity, I am disappointed. Just look at the example we just witnessed with the impossible behaviour and the completely non-existent solidarity when it came to refugees. Besides, who is responsible for our state policy when it comes to Russia, etc.? All I see is dangerous deficits.
Here is another provocative note: 
As globalization continues, the only confederation that should prevail is the UNO. Because problems will be more and more global, rather than regional.
  • The political structures and the arrogance of the EU functionaries absolutely remind me of such grey systems as the Comecon. We are all well aware of what they brought us. Allegedly, there was a time when there was only one brand of bread produced in the entire USSR and most of its vassals…
  • Is it really such bad news if GB will become a number of smaller systems? Isn’t that the logical consequence of a development they already initiated in soccer a long time ago?
  • History as I personally experienced it teaches me that, basically, after a big system collapsed, all parties concerned were happier than they had been before. I cannot talk about the Roman Empire, because I do not know about it. But I know not a single Slovene, Croatian or other person from the formerly big Yugoslavia who mourns its demise. I went to Yugoslavia in the early 1970ies and can easily sympathise. During my bike trip to the Black Sea, I met a Serbian who said that some persons in Serbia will now have to kiss their dream of a Great-Serbian Empire good-bye. .
The situation is similar in Czech Republic and Slovakia – I never met anyone in Prague or Bratislava who wanted the ČSR back. 
And there are precious few who actually lament the fact that the aforementioned Comecon and the USSR no longer exist. I know quite a few ex-GDR citizens who could not be less enthusiastic about having the old systems back. 
Permit me to be a little polemic. 
If the FRG were to disintegrate in a reasonable way, the Bavarians probably would not be totally unhappy, either. But then, even those counties that are, at least financially, totally ruined – such as Berlin-Brandenburg – would probably stand a chance at getting a little healthier, instead of sitting down and collecting alms from other counties for eternity. Speaking of which: eternity might actually be a short time, because regardless of what most politicians assure us of, the situation in the communities and counties all over Germany keeps deteriorating (basic needs, infra structure, education, incomes,…).
  • On free movement: I hear all the time that free movement for EU citizens is a huge advantage when it comes to choosing your place of work and residence. And that the Brits destroyed the future of the “young generation” because now they cannot work in the other European countries as easily. 
I am not sure if a social system with the dimensions and diversity of Europe can function at all. I am sure some control is necessary. 
Here is an example: 
In China, most of the people would like to live in Peking. Of course, that is not possible. Consequently, people who want to live in Peking have to meet certain requirements. For instance, they have to have graduated from university or document ample riches.
  • Another advantage often stated in favour of the EU is that we have no border controls. I would gladly accept border controls if that meant we do not need the total digital control state. Intelligent border controls (see railroad or airports) will not cause queues, either.
  • Last not least: 
I do not like a Europe of nations all of which are prepared to sacrifice freedom for security and where quite a few look more like dictatorships and corrupt systems with fascist tendencies than functioning democracies.

 

Final remarks:

I am for diversity and against stupidity. I am worried that huge systems might promote stupidity. Consequently, I am in favour of a EUROPE of connected and linked regions who will gladly and voluntarily integrate themselves into the federation. Meaning: a EUROPE that follows the rules of subsidiarity.
I dislike a EUROPE that dances at the puppet stings of concerns and business interests. I dislike a EUROPE that is reigned by party oligarchy and first and foremost follows lobbyist interests. All of whom use fear as the main motivator for business transactions.

I want my EUROPE to be administered in an agile, open and slim way. It should respect human rights and individual/private affairs, decide in an ethically responsible way and, where necessary, be prepared to give up property.

My dream is of a social, humane Europe that fights radically for peace and will not export weapons to any place in the world. Of a Europe that seriously lives like it understood the message that our planet has already been destroyed to a huge extent. And that we cannot continue to destroy our environment and nature, which also goes for our microcosm. I mean a Europe that will not subsidy environmental sins (kerosene), that will do without irrational, gigantic projects (S21) and that will promote quality on a broad range. I mean a Europe that, at long last, forgets its ideologies and dogmata, like that “all problems can be solved by growth”, that “life is basically a fight of all against all” or that “children need to be educated and people need to be punished for their sins”.

Consequently, I am glad that the Brits courageously voted for the BREXIT. Regardless of the fact that I found the prejudices and what was called self-evident – both of the BREXIT supporters and their opponents – often rather stupid and incredibly hypothetical (speculative). Both sides claimed the right to predict the future and justified their assumptions with arguments that I found simply ridiculous and criminal.

We will probably have to get used to the fact that the scale that measures dishonesty in political agenda is open at the top. Still, the vote for BREXIT is a strong signal. It sends the message that we cannot continue as before. Perhaps it will bring movement into politics and make the ladies and gentlemen a little more thoughtful. But then, I am rather sceptical. The citizens will probably have to do it themselves.

But I think the first reaction of the EU partner governments is also quite wrong. They said the exit has to happen quickly and it must be guaranteed for all times (!?) that they can never re-enter. That strongly reminds me of a family where one child wishes to move out and parents who do not like the idea threatening the child with the information that he or she can never return. Fifty years ago, such behaviour was absolutely normal, I experienced it more than once.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Three years ago (2013), one of my sons attended a “bootcamp” in the USA. Even in those days, he and his colleagues (perhaps all of them “techies”) had discovered Snapchat. And they used it to play with. In a strange way. They sent each other questionable “selfies” – sometimes in the nude. Just because they found it great fun. And also because, on this “Instant-Messaging–Service“ (Instant-MessagingDienst), messages can only be sent once (with one repetition) before being removed.
But there was certainly always one in the group who spoiled everything by making a screenshot (à propos IT data security).

 Snapchat, Inc. Gemeinfrei - https://twitter.com/Snapchat

Snapchat, Inc. common usage free https://twitter.com/Snapchat

By now, Snapchat has also reached me. I find it very appealing and use it more and more often. Mostly I use it in a circle of persons I really like.

And I truly enjoy it.

Consequently, my verdict is:

Snapchat is another revolutionary piece in the big and colourful mosaic of evolution when it comes to social media.

Let me give you a few reasons on several dimensions of the product that make me reach that conclusion:

 

The Logo:
The very logo of Snapchat is extraordinary. It is very simple and sparklingly yellow. Pleasantly obtrusive, it suggests anonymity.

User Interface:
Snapchat is so stunningly easy to use that the user who has been educated in complex IT applications (like me) initially does not know what to do at all. Only after some time, you really start enjoying a game of Snapchat. And all of a sudden, you realize what a poor user interface most other apps have.

User Communication:
I have hardly ever experienced such pleasant first contact when starting a dialogue with an internet instance:
The very assurance that I will not receive additional emails from snapchat when they confirmed my identity email went down extremely well. And the assistance (which, due to the simplicity of the tool is only necessary for the oversophisticated user) is as situation-oriented as the introductory video is brilliant. You really want to watch it before you start. Of course, that is not what I did, because guessing complicated user paradigms is my true strength… Only the really easy things were a problem for me.

Orientation:

The message is very clear – the future belongs to video recordings. Consequently, the video recording is the central medium in snapchat. And snapchat is some sort of asynchronous image telephoning. Of course it includes moving images. To me, this seems to be important.

 


Note
Today, young persons (between 13 and 18 years old) who have smartphones and tablets will no longer use the telephone. They are into image telephoning. After all, this is much nicer, because you can see your partner’s face and gestures. That is also why the kids have to be online at all times. The world changes.

Whenever I propose to my older partners (between 20 and 50) to use FaceTime, Hangout, Skype or, if necessary, the Citrix or Cisco tools, instead of the telephone for a meeting with me over a long distance (be it between Haidhausen and Neubiberg or between Tokyo and Munich), they are often surprised. And, more often than not, I get the reply: let us use the telephone, I am not really used to working with the other tools.

The german economic miracle managers never wrote a word. They always had at least one assistant to whom to dictate their correspondence. Thanks to stenography, these assistants were well able to follow the spoken word (managing a three-digit number of syllables per minute when taking down texts) and type away on the typewriter extremely quickly (three-digit number of keys per minute when processing the document on paper).

Above all, however, they knew their boss – and they experienced him “live” while he told them what to write. Consequently, they knew what he wanted and always “corrected” his letters appropriately. Our generation was the one that started the habit of writing everything yourself – which killed a lot of time. And, quite probably, many formulations were rather sub-standard, at least worse than what the typists used to produce. Then came the dictaphones and finally the computers, where the managers had to write their own letters.

I used to feel self-conscious when I had to talk into an image telephone. But as it turns out, this is all just a matter of practice. Using the telephone was something I practice rather well and early in life. But before cell-phones were invented, I also had a problem leaving a message on answering machines. Now I prefer talking into the image telephone to writing. Because there is no doubt that the latter is a lot harder. On top of being more time-consuming. And that is even true for me, who can type blindly and with ten fingers.

Consequently, it seems to me that, on the internet, writing will be more and more often replaced by video recordings. Just like doing calculations in your head was finished when pocket calculators were invented. It is totally irrelevant if that is something we want or not. We simply have to accept these evolutionary processes. Developments come and go – just like humans are born in order to live and then die.


 

The Transientness of Information:
Now that snapchat exists, it is high time for data protectors to fear that they will no longer be needed. To make up for it, the user no longer needs to fear so much that he might violate copyright regulations, for instance if a Beatles-song can be heard in the background. And if you give your own emotions a little leeway or a few foreigners are on a picture, you need not have sleepless nights.

There would also be an end to Facebook & Co earning such huge sums with data and algorithms. If this is true. Because sentences like “data are the raw material of the future” are just nonsense. Maybe you should replace the word “raw material” by “crude oil” or “food”. Data are just as inedible as money, and nor will they be any good when it comes to filling up your Porsche fuel tank.

I also know several cracks (real experts) in the “big data business” who learned and told me that BigData is basically not a machine where you fill in the data on top and then the dollars will come popping out at the bottom. On the contrary – as a general rule, the usable results from BigData were always rather a disappointment in practice.

Change:
In the future, Geo-Filters will beat Hashtags! This, too, is a snapchat principle that might well be trend-setting. After all, the general development is more and more towards regionalization and away from central or even centralistic concepts. We all want a world of regions at eye-level, don’t we? And we want to develop our own spaces. 
In social media, we always primarily thought in terms of Hashtags. Examples are #pmcamp, #AktMobCmp, #tatort and all those many abbreviations for all kinds of events, such as #FCBBVB or #32c3 … Except – I want to know who is currently in my ends of the world. And the #hashtag comes only afterwards.

Business Model:
I do not (yet?) understand the business model of snapchat. After all, adverts are not endless. And as soon as we get a generation that is immune to advertising, it will not look good. They say that snapchat earns its money through geo-filtering. I wonder if this is a solution.

I can also easily imagine that a service, as soon as it really offers high-quality material and has made its customers addicted, will introduce fees. Perhaps it is only a question of time before the “all for free” society comes to an end. And then you will have to pay real money for high quality material. Provided real money will still be around by then.

Social Consequences:
We all want to live here and now, don’t we? We want to experience the moment and, if possible, enjoy it. That is also one of the five things you should know before you die. See also my article on a great book  by John Izzo.

Snapchat is still a little better than real life. I can take a second look at what my partners wrote – then it will be removed. It happened quite often in my life that I would have liked to again hear a sentence someone who was important to me had uttered …

But apart from that, snapchat media is a lot like real life. It is not an archive for eternity that probably soon nobody will be interested in any more.

Potential Use:
Without having though very much about it, a number of potential usages of snapchat come to mind.

* Close dialogue with much-loved friends.
Snapchat is an ideal way to exchange ideas with friends:

  • It cannot get any easier.
  • Empathy, feeling with them and contributing.
  • One video recording will say more than a thousand words.

* For subtle and powerful marketing 
Again, the USA and the modern sports millionaires are a good example:

  • Nasa
    An example for an institution that does excellent marketing for its product and visions through snapchat.
  • After the cup finals, soccer starts will offer their emotions when still staying in the changing rooms through snapchat. 
If someone wants to make many millions of Euros each year, then he has to know a little more than just how to play soccer. He must have other competences, too, and, for instance, be a master of self-marketing. Those on the soccer field probably do a slightly better job than we do.

* As a supporting internet tool for Barcamps 
It is quite possible that snatchap will replace twitter in this area.

  • We used to take advantage of twitter.
  • Snatchap might well add extra incentive.

* In order to send important messages. 
Many good reasons are in favour of snapchat.

  • Snapchat might well become the platform for our project “PEACE”! Because:
  • We want to reach young persons and
  • We must transport both “rational arguments” and emotions!

That is it from my side on snapchat and social media.
But Snapchat will not be the end of the evolution of social media. Something new with new qualities and potential will arise here, too.
I already look forward to watching what comes next.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

On November, 8th, Sina Trinkwalder wrote on Facebook.

sina

You simply have to sit down and realize; what currently happens in Germany is not “like 1933”.

In those days, the people followed a rat-catcher, because there was mass unemployment. They went onto the streets hoping for a better life.

Today, the people follow a rat-catcher, regardless of the fact that, officially, with 2.6 million unemployed, we have full employment. They populate the streets because they fear they might have to share even a slight morsel of their unjustified wealth.

That is the difference. Both are comprehensible. Both are condemnable. And the social community must oppose both

I found it impossible to resist, so I commented:

I rather like the term “unjustified wealth”. And I would find it a good idea for us to, at long last, step by step reduce our “reserves in wealth”. Incidentally, I find going places by car a good metaphor for unjustified affluent behaviour.

Wouldn’t that be a good place to start renouncement? – See also #aktmobcmp.org

The reply was:

Do I understand correctly: if you work in car production, that makes you an “unjustified affluence profiteer”?

Again, I could not resist and replied somewhat polemically:



Well, naturally the conclusion “if you work in car production” is wrong in many logical/dialectical ways. For me, everyone who takes more from the world than his due is an “unjustified affluence profiteer”. And I am afraid we all who write so wisely belong in that category. As to cars: I actually do believe that it is possible today to use your competence, creativity and intelligence for more important things than for building cars. After all, cars kill more than 1.3 million persons world-wide and, for example in Bavaria, the motorised individual traffic (cars) generates more carbon dioxide per capita than would be allowed even if you even wanted to preserve the current situation.

But I truly believe that the term “unjustified wealth“ as entered into the discussion by Sina is a very central term. So far, I never used it. It gave me pause.

I believe you should extend it to read “unjustified collective wealth”. And we should never forget that, basically, whatever we do is oriented towards the goals of “protecting our acquired possession” and “preserving habits that are often nonsense (and sometimes even detrimental)”.

If, however, we continue as before, a world that was once worth living in for me will probably be lost very few generations from now. And that is not an attractive idea in my book, because in some way or other, I see myself as part of an entity – and that also includes the dimension of time. Maybe we already lost our nice world …

RMD
(Translated by EG)