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)

There is a constant flow of new legislation. From the EU, the Federal Government, the State. They have become a flood. Many of them do not seem to make sense at all. More often than not, you cannot see what effect exactly they are supposed to have or why they have been passed. Neither is it clear why you should actually abide by them.

Simultaneously, courts of law come up with sentences. For instance one week ago on safe harbor. This may well be a good idea in some way, yet there is no direct positive effect. Because it simply is not practicable.

And it has almost been forgotten already, regardless of the great ado that has been made about it not too long ago. Consequently, I am sure that, soon, nobody will be interested at all to hear what the “safe harbour judgement” was all about. And why should anybody? You want to bet?

One might start assuming that people in this country will take laws less and less seriously in the future, which would mean there is an end to our constitutional democracy. Which, indeed, might be a huge threat to our democracy.

I do not happen to share this fear. To be sure, as I perceive it, law and order are no longer taken as seriously as they used to be. But it seems to me that this is only true for all those many administrative regulations.

Let me call it the “extrinsic morals“ as given from the outside. And that is something that gets more and more absurd, which means you actually cannot really take it seriously.

To make up for it, it seems to me that the “intrinsic morals” develop more and more into something most people agree upon. It is about what you do and what you do not do, which I find rather appealing.

Said intrinsic morals come from inside a person, regardless of the nonsense the legislative and judicative conveyor belts of the EU, as well as its countries and states pour over us.

I do not wish to sound the warning bells that letting the “extrinsic morals” dwindle might threaten our constitutional democracy. After all, the “intrinsic morals” might actually be more important for survival than the “extrinsic morals”.

We saw quite frequently that countries with rule of justice toppled and became rules of injustice, yet they were all based on “justice”. Just like the Third Reich, too, made laws and installed courts of law that brutally executed the verdicts. Which means that this unholy system actually was based on law and order, except that the assumptions it was based on were truly something to give me pause.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Monday October 5th, 2015

Meeting to Give Our Future Chance.

Isn’t this great?

Only the colleagues at Visual Braindump
Christian Botta and Daniel Reinold
can come up with this kind of idea for saying it in a nutshell in graphic form – our ActMobCmp:

Zum Vergrößern aufs Bild klicken.

Click to scale up.

“Active Mobility in everyday life” is the third column of mobility, besides individual motorized traffic and public transportation. Unfortunately, it is often considered no more than the leftovers, both in society and politics.

We promise:

AktMobCmp will be a great barcamp that takes place at a rather uncontested time! We will experience two special days in the company of people we like to meet between January, 4th and 5th, 2016 at Unterhaching.That hurts, and we have to change it. Because we have to rationalize our mobility in order to preserve our future resources!

Many thanks to Christian and Daniel for their huge support!

RMD
(In the name of the AktMobCmp team/translated by EG)

P.S.
Here are two IF Blog links for articles on AktMob and AktMobCmp. And since it is such an important topic, I would invite you to share and re-tweet!

Roland Dürre
Sunday October 4th, 2015

I am not a hero.

After my Angry article, there is the question:
So what is my contribution?

Die Krypta des Freisinger Doms

Crypt of the Freising Cathedral

For me, philosophy is something like the science of living. I think of Seneca. A long time ago, he said to his students:

Philosophy teaches you to act, not to talk.

Consequently, the angry person, too, should see if his actions speak the same language as his words. And I must admit that I am not satisfied with the outcome of my self-analysis.

To be sure, I try to leave the social norms and patterns I so criticize. And, where possible, I also try to initiate change. But is that enough?

Far too often, I realize how I am trapped in my bourgeoisie. My trainers, among others, were my parents and my teachers. Numbers of system agents tried to form me according to what they thought I should become and tell me where to go and what to do. Morals and an extremely capitalist consumption-oriented society already influence me massively on a daily basis.

Regardless, I hope I am one of those persons who basically to not consider our “trained lives” unavoidable. At least, I always tried to flee the reins of the aforementioned animal tamers. And already I feel better. But what I do is not enough. To be sure, I no longer go places by car. But then, that is something you could almost call egoism. After all, I am now suddenly a lot more mobile and free than I ever was before. And through this change and (allegedly) these restrictions, my life has become a better life. That certainly helps when it comes to thinking new thoughts.

Looking upon my own generation, it truly gives me pause to see how many of my companions never knew anything other than being trapped in their emotional jails. I know people who, in their entire lives, obediently believed all nonsense that was ever dished out to them. They actually relinquished their autonomy in small portions for the sake of being comfortable.

Others never once in their lives, when at a point of bifurcation in their lives, followed the motto “love it, change it or leave it“ . As a consequence, they were made to feel smaller and smaller. Regardless, today they think they are the most important thing in the universe, live their status and drown in their anxiety. The constant fear of losing what they own makes them inhuman. They seem to have forgotten that they, too, are just mortal beings.

I am fed up with following the nonsense of this society. In the coming years, I want to do more. So I was looking for models. I already found one: Carl Amery. I find his life and work impressive. I think he was a true hero.
Unfortunately, I am not a hero. But who knows, perhaps in the future…

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
I took the picture from Wikipedia. It is the illustration of the article on Carl Amery (real name: Christian Anton Mayer), originally by Richard Huber.

Roland Dürre
Sunday May 24th, 2015

The Mumbai MonoRail.

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In the street facing the Dodha complex – which is the skyscraper I am currently living in – a lot of concrete is being used for building the MonoRail tracks. Over the narrow street, a two-lane concrete line is snaking its way through many very different houses. Eventually, it is supposed to prepare the way for the Mumbai monorail train through the city.

The only other project of this kind is the “Fly Over”, probably the most important higher-level street in Mumbai, part of which also detours onto the ocean, thus connecting the city districts and their skyscrapers. As I already wrote, you can categorize the skyscrapers into three classes: “already finished”, “still under construction” and “not finished, but no longer under construction”. In fact, I am sure you could find quite a few other exciting categories, as well.

Somewhere in Mumbai, the MonoRail is already active, connecting it to a not-yet finished future city. It has almost become a tourist attraction. However, one cannot really call it a tourist attraction in the same league as the magnetic levitation train to Shanghai Airport.

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To me, the MonoRail looks like a prestige object of Mombai. In terms of public transportation, I doubt that it will be all that beneficial. But then, a MonoRail is definitely something special and therefore a good means to improve the reputation of Mumbai as a modern city. Besides, the project will also mean that some very rich will become even richer. In India, a few always means a few more. And whenever a huge project will increase private prosperity, then it is definitely justified.

A short time ago, a new government was installed. It is leaning towards right-populist. Instead of dealing with apparent problems, the first thing it did was forbid the consumption of beef, making it punishable most severely. And before the elections, they promised to install air-conditioning in all those many old Metro trains with open doors and windows. Because AC is always something people are in favour of. This intent is probably something totally impossible to put into practice.

In another district, they want to introduce an identity card for every cow. In order to guarantee that the cow has a happy life. Regardless of the fact that India is one of the world’s biggest – if not the biggest – beef exporting nation. However, it seems more like these measures are meant to oppose Muslims, who allegedly are the powers behind the Indian beef industry.

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To me, it also seems the women are still treated rather strangely in India. They do not seem to be met at eye-level, there is always the insinuation that they are second-class persons. Sexuality is rather absent from public life, so it seems that the society is a rather prudish one.

And apparently, this causes friction, at least among the male population. In order to avoid escalation, you get separated compartments for women in the often over-crowded metro. Just like there are compartments that may only be used by disabled persons or cancer patients. These are easy to recognize by the symbol for cancer, which is a big circle with a huge crab in the middle and the handicapped symbol we, too, are familiar with.

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We, however, being Westerners, mostly go places by car (a white Toyota six-seater) and consequently spend (too) much time on the streets of Mumbai. Somehow or other, there is no alternative. Even if we go only short distances, it takes quite long, because of the traffic jams. The ever-present AC makes it bearable.

Our driver works for a company that is a sub-company of a sub-company of a very big company. They also drive for Western companies. Formerly, these enterprises had their own cars and employed drivers. But that was expensive – although objectively it was very cheap. And then they started saving money and outsourcing.

Now, the combination driver/car is supplied as a full service by huge enterprises, using various providers. Some provide the cars, others the drivers and again others the service. The drivers get less money, the customers are less happy, but the enterprises make a mint. Basically, all services seem to be provided by huge service enterprises.

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Foreign companies in India mostly produce things that probably nobody will need any more in the near future, for instance turbines for steam engines. They are for coal-fired power stations. In fact, they mostly do not produce the high-end products. After all, who wants a steam turbine from India for his nuclear power station?

As early as May, the temperature is higher than 40 degrees Celsius, even in the office buildings where the engineers work and where the quality management and similar things take place. You have propellers on the ceilings, but no air conditioning. Because electricity is expensive in India. So it is no surprise that the customers are not always satisfied with how the projects are finished.

The representatives of the state are all friendly and eager to help, which is true for most of the people I met in this country. Allegedly, however, corruption has gigantic dimensions: they say that, without small or larger contributions, nothing goes.

Some families are incredibly rich. The truly rich persons can afford everything; the high import tax on luxury articles does not make the slightest difference. In some underground car parks, you will find a collection of the newest cars with the logos we know quite well, next to some vintage cars that look like they were new. The rich live in fenced communities. In the underground car parks of these areas, you will see entire brigades of people giving their luxury state coaches a new polish after each outing. I have not often seen so much car tin polished to high-gloss and shining chrome as during my few days in India.

More and more people get poorer and poorer. They live on streets that, to my perception, seem even dirtier than they used to be. People live in circumstances that almost defy description. As soon as, two weeks from now, the monsoon will arrive, their homes will regularly be under water.

Live is considerably better in the mostly self-administered slums. But it is not at all easy to get access. Especially if you have absolutely nothing.

At the crossroads and noisy streets, beggars are aplenty. Among them are women and children, elderly persons and handicapped persons. Some women carry a toddler or small child in their wraparound garment while begging. Strangely enough, those children always seem to doze. I never saw any of them cry or sob. Someone told me the babies get medication in order to make them peaceful when the beggaring is under way.

All of Mumbai has a funny odour. You could say it smells. Leaving the plane is not the only moment when you realize that this is so. It seems like the rubbish and dirt increases every year. And Mumbai is a noisy city.

On the 29th floor of the skyscraper, the smell of the city is a little less obvious, but, regardless of the so-called “sound proof window”, this is not true for the noise. On the cars, it often says “horn me” – and that is how it sounds, too.

In between all the common noise, both in the day and at night, you will occasionally get the shrill trumpets of the railway and the loud humming of the helicopters. They drive and fly both by day and night. The noise of the trains comes from below, that of the helicopters from all sides as they fly over or between the skyscrapers. And from above, the noise of regular air traffic will add to the ruckus. All of these contribute to, again and again, robbing me of my sleep in the hot Mumbai.

Some developments I seem to remember from home. Well, not quite as strongly as here. But at home, we also have notices for building contracts concerning public transport where providing the vehicles and the drivers are separate affairs. Especially as a biker, I notice that the plastic waste along our streets constantly gets more. Just like I discover more and more prestigious projects and a tendency towards gigantism by our administration. I also know laws that make no sense and politicians who are incompetent in Germany. And the fact that society drifts apart is not something unknown, either.

It seems like we are learning from the Indian example. But then, as I see it, this sort of “progress” and “growth”, which I am not at all in favour of, seems to happen all over the world: in India and Cuba, China and the USA, Italy and Portugal… And also in Germany.

Luckily, we at home have not yet reached the dimensions I witness in Mumbai. Yet the tendency seems to be the same. The question is: will we manage to turn around? In India, I see no hope that it might still happen.

When I last visited India late in 2013, one Euro still changed into more than 80 Rupies. Currently, I get 70. I ask myself how many Rupies I would still get for my Euro late in 2016? Perhaps only 60? However, since my last visit, life in India has not become any cheaper.

This makes me thoughtful. Perhaps the Indian society is actually the pattern after which the future will form itself –in our country, too?

And yet!

So far, our days in Mumbai were very nice. To be sure, we had a privileged life. I was annoyed to witness the circumstances as I related them. Because noise, smell, sitting in the car during traffic jams and similar things are not at all the world I feel comfortable with.

Yet it was a good time with very happy days. It was nice to share and experience so much with Barbara, my son and his family. And I was lucky enough to see many “Shiny Eyes” in the faces of many simple and certainly in those of poor people on the streets. That is also something to make me happy.

It is probably both the sad and nice thing about being human that we can stand and endure so much. And absurdly enough, we find it easier to be happy when we have less. And when we have to suffer a little. As soon as we are too well off, the shiny eyes disappear in expensive pubs and bars. And near the swimming pool, more often than not, the only shining eyes you sometimes see are among the children.

Consequently, you get happy eyes more often in Mumbai than on the streets of Munich. Basically, this is incredible. But then, I got the same impression during my bike tour through the west of Cuba a few months ago.

RMD

P.S.
I learned the term “Shiny Eyes“ from Nadja. With her work, Nadja wands to contribute towards “more shiny eyes”. As I see it, this is a wonderful idea.

Roland Dürre
Monday April 27th, 2015

Project & Product – #PMCampSTR

pmcampstrThe Stuttgart PM-Camp (Hashtag #PMCampSTR) will take place from May, 7th through May, 9th, 2015 at the Stuttgart “Hochschule der Medien” – and I already look forward to being part of it. I bought both the admission and train ticket and made my reservation for the room at the Commundo.

The team in charge of organising the event chose “Project and Product” as their title. This is how the Stuttgart Organizational Team wants to open its PM-Camp for interested persons outside the classical field of project management, for example for IKT (information and communication technologies), as well. Using the term “product”, for instance, they aim at engineers who build high-end products.

What is a project?

Let me cite Wikipedia:

A project is a goal-oriented, one-time proposition consisting of a number of coordinated and controlled activities. It has both a clearly defined beginning and an end and will be realized taking into consideration all necessary restrictions with respect to time, resources (such as money/cost, production and work conditions, employees) and quality in order to attain a goal .[1]

This definition, which in my opinion is a rather simplified view, of “project” means:

  • Every project has a beginning (project start).
  • Every project has an end (deadline for completion).
  • The desired results have been defined as project goals.
  • All resources to be used are pre-defined.
  • The project goal must be attained on time.
  • The planned resources must not be exceeded.
  • There is a plan: the project plan.
  • The milestones defined in the planning are to be adhered to.

As I see it, projects only deserve the name if they cause a considerable change or if they create something really innovative or new. And that tells you at first glance that something is obviously wrong with the above definition.

Regardless of excellent planning, we witness massive deviations from the goal with the resources often being enormously exceeded, even with simple engineering projects. The reason is probably that even tasks that sound simple have a surprising complexity.

Innovative Change!

The situation gets worse if we are talking projects that are supposed to creatively influence all kinds of social systems and the evolution that happens anyway. If you look at the way a project is described, you will realize that the motto “close your eyes and do is hands-on” is something you are basically forced to apply. In the process, you will not be able to integrate new and better findings into the developing project path at all times.

Even in retrospect, it will be hard to judge the causal connections between measures and their effect (usefulness?). So how is anybody supposed to do so in advance? Basically, innovative change is not something you can just plan linearly. Instead, you have to find a soft and agile way to reconcile change and permanent developments.

Consequently, projects are a contradiction to innovation. Innovation is creative destruction. Which is something that will additionally make the enemies of change interested, especially if they are parties concerned with the intended change. That will make it even harder.

Projects as a part of change?

Hence, I find a definition of project more appealing if it considers a project as one of many integrated parts of a continuing process of change and improvement. Controlled change is supposed to generate useful results. Basically, I consider all well-thought-through activities designed to change or influence developments projects. To me, it does not matter if the project is actually “tangible” or if it renders abstract “virtual” results.

What is a product?

The planning, development, and production of a product, as well as its marketing, sales, support and service are the result of many small and bigger projects. They are all multi-dimensionally linked and thus connected to form a multi-dimensional “mega project”. You will want to remember phrases such as network, dynamics, learning, trial and error, innovation… But then, this is not only true for the tangible product, but also for services.

Box product or service?

So a product might be a tangible object – meaning something you can “touch” – which has been developed by an organisation with engineering competence and in huge quantities. It is also “sold” to either many customers or produced individually and “on demand” in small numbers. As a general rule, such products need to be complemented by a support service if they are supposed to be a market success and generate a “sustainable business”.

However, a product may also be a service rendered at the customer’s place or for the customer by persons who acquired special qualifications and “best practice” with their organisation. Those qualifications are usually the result of decades of personal and collective learning.

Creating a “tangible” product might actually necessitate more projects than creating a “virtual” product.

The difference it makes for an entrepreneur.

Sometimes there is a huge difference for the entrepreneur between designing a “true” product enterprise and an enterprise the product of which is offering a special service.

For instance, whenever selling a “true” product, the entrepreneur should keep in mind that feedback from the customers and from the market usually takes a lot longer than if he offers a service. More often than not, you will invest long-term into a “true” product that still has to prove its value on the market. In that sense, such a product is easier to scale in case of success than a service. But then, it also involves a higher risk.

If you sell a service, you will have your feedback rather quickly, which also means that you can learn from mistakes and perhaps change your strategy.

Well, that is about all I can think of when it comes to product and project. Except that projects, basically, are the small modules of our lives. All conscious decisions for behaviour that makes a relevant difference – for yourself or for the market – are in some way projects.

RMD
(Translated by EG)