Roland Dürre
Wednesday November 20th, 2019

(Deutsch) Die CLOUD braucht keine Gesetze sondern Kultur.

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Roland Dürre
Wednesday October 30th, 2019

(Deutsch) Sei anders, sei Du selbst!

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Und wieder schwappt eine gewaltige Welle des gefühlten Antisemitismus über das Land.

Roland Dürre
Thursday October 3rd, 2019

(Deutsch) RUPERT LAY LESEBUCH

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Klaus Hnilica
Tuesday September 24th, 2019

Trend Research with Carl

Carl and Gerlinde (# 62)

”Carl – there is a lady who wishes to talk to you“, Gerlinde yelled from the kitchen, before finally, deciding to bring him the telephone into his home office, after all.

”Good morning, this is Cornelia Koch from the Trend Research Institute! I was hoping that you might be willing to let us ask you a few questions?“

Carl took a deep breath and said “yes”!

”Many thanks! After all, we are dependent on people like you if we want to do a fair job.“

”Okay“, said Carl.

”I would now like to ask three questions – and as soon as you have answered them, I will leave a thank-you present for you.“

”Hm“, replied Carl.

”The first question is: are you married?“

”Why?“

”Well – my first question is about the marital status: are you married?“

”Do you happen to work for a matchmaking agency?“

”No – of course not. We are the Trend Research Institute and the only thing we want to do is find out certain social trends. So let me ask again: are you married?

”Yes and no!“

”What exactly do you mean by that?“

”Yes“, Carl replied spontaneously. He heard Gerlinde’s snicker – apparently, she had her ear on the door …

”Well, so here is the next question: do you own a house?“

”Ah – you work in realty and you are looking for objects to sell on?“

”No – we are the Trend Research Institute and we would appreciate it if you gave concise answers to my questions. So do you own a house?“

”I own several houses”, said Carl.

”How is this?“

”I own several houses!“

”May I ask how many houses you own?“

”Twenty-six!“

”This is not my idea of a good joke? Are you pulling my leg?“

”That is something I would never do without previously having asked for your shoe size!“

“Good – so I will write down twenty-six! So here is the last question: do you live in one of your own houses, or are you renting?“

”I am renting one of my own houses!“ now Carl was really getting a little impatient.

”And why is that?“

”Because my wife insists that I pay rent!“

”Why does your wife take rent from you?“

”Because I told her to demand rent from me …“

“From you?“

“Naturally, because we live together!“

”What kind of sense does that make?“

”It makes a lot of sense, because that is how she has her own money with which to pay the rent that she owes me“!

“You also charge her?“

“Yes, – because that is how I practically live for free?“

“And your wife?“

“She would also live for free, if she were to marry me at long last …“

“Thank you so much for this conversation!“

“So what about the thank-you present?“

“Well, I guess that has become obsolete“!

“This is outrageous“, said Carl in the direction of Gerlinde who suddenly appeared in the open doorway.

“Carl, I think it was really great how you taught that miserable telephone lady a lesson. I am really proud of you“!

Since she then disappeared noiselessly, Carl had no opportunity to tell her that, after this remark, he was going to cut some of the money he paid to her as his rent!

K.H.
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Friday July 26th, 2019

Sheepshead, School and Digitalization,

 

Card Playing Stories.

 

Laub(?)-Solo on Position 3 with 4 Ober, beaten in the Bock Round with Contra. />

Once in a while, I leave the competitive Sheepshaed rounds and play with elderly gentlemen. This hand of cards is totally fictional. Similarities with real hands are purely accidental.

The “elderly gentlemen“ are no older than I. I gave the circle this secret title because it is a very contemplative sheepshead round. The stakes are low, there is no knocking and there is plenty of gossiping.

The “elderly gentlemen“ are mostly retirees or financially independent persons. In general, they built a family and can look back upon a successful professional career. Their lives were full, they always knew right from wrong and achieved a lot as upright citizens. They live in a world that is free of sorrows and peaceful, but they have many irrational fears. Today, they play the roles of good grandfathers and support their children in a particularly model-like way when it comes to caring for the grandchildren.

The hand of the enemy on position 4, who killed my solo.

They also invest a lot of time for this goal of theirs. As helping angels, they constantly travel for other people. And they always know better how to improve matters.

I think that people need to solve their own problems and prefer to support people in finding their own way to deal with their problems. And I also believe that everybody should live his or her life in self-responsibility.

I tried to kiss moral and other dogmas good-bye for good. I also kissed my bad conscience good-bye. If I had not done this, I would think of myself as a totally bad family father and human being when surrounded by these people.

So here is the story. It is about school. Incidentally, one of my daughters is a teacher. She also often tells me stories that surprise me. It is really quite sad how school and education in Germany deteriorate.

The following story is from the world of state schools. However it is not a story my daughter told me. It is from a sheepshead friend of mine, one of the “elderly gentlemen”.

As the end of the school year comes, all teachers have more work than at other times. That is not only due to the fact that they have to write all the reports. Consequently, the grandfathers must have a watchful eye on their “grandchildren whose parents are teachers” in order to give said teaching parents room and time they need for this important end-of-the-year work.

One of the important and time-consuming tasks it taking back the books. They are all free. So the teachers who have (had) to be responsible for all those books now need to get active. And since this takes a lot of time, grandpa has to babysit.

As with all regulars‘ tables, the sheepshead stories are also always value-oriented. Consequently, the story about how school books are returned also gets morally judged. This is also an example that nicely illustrates what Socrates found out: the young generation gets worse and worse. And the wise heads go left and write as they signal how they cannot understand how society deteriorates, as you can clearly see from the condition of the books. What a nuisance it also is to check what papers are hidden in the books. Sometimes even with secret data. You can also lament about the loss of power and authority in modern times and school.

I, too, move my wise head right and left. Because I cannot understand why we need school books at all. Don’t we live in the 21st century, i.e. in the digital era? But that is not what I say. Because I know that every one of the men assembled around this cards table will consider a school life without normed school books for all the subjects the end of our occidental German culture.

My ruminations stray to a series of emotional pitches at the Business Competition BayStartup, where young start-up teams pleaded for a digital school. And they also showed what little technology you need if you wish to realize it. And what huge advantages on several levels this would have. However, I also remember how these – admittedly very young – teams were given patronizing smiles by the majority of jurors (and given poor grades). This was a few years ago – and I had hoped that something might have changed by now.

But we live in Germany. My colleagues in the jury – mostly old white men like myself – were not really enthusiastic about such revolutionary ideas. Because even the protagonists of change do not yet understand that innovation is creative destruction. And that school books are a means towards a standardized education.

And even technologically simple things are the opposite of politically easy to realize. Especially not if they are about change. And I probably better do not say what I think about this.

After all, in my sheephead circle, I want to play cards and not discuss digitalization. In the past, my experience was too often that digital life, along with the internet as a fair participation system, is not really understood among the powers that be in this country.

And unfortunately, I must agree with Sascha when he writes:
”The greatest German competence is the competence to remain. It is administered by habit.“

(Sascha Lobo in an article about micro mobility)

And all I can do is warn the old white men (and also the evil female wise-guy ladies):

If you continue in this way, then there will soon be an end to prosperity and the life you love so much in this country. That serves you right! And it is well!

RMD

P.S.
But at least there is good news from Bavaria: They now offer sheepshead as a school subject. It is perhaps the only subject that makes any sense.

Roland Dürre
Friday March 15th, 2019

Freedom, Love, Power.

Three very central but also very abstract terms.

Big welcome – with baby bottle (1984).

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

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


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


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


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


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

I find more in Gerhard Wohland
 


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


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

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


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


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

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Tuesday March 5th, 2019

After Mardi Gras, There is Ash Wednesday.

 

Property, violence, justice, safety and abstinence …

 

It does not matter if you run, ride a bike, ski or drive a car. If you hit someone, then this is violence. Speed is violence.

 

Stone mask from the pre-ceramic stone age around 7,000 before Christ. One of the world’s oldest masks (Musée Bible et Terre Sainte, Paris)

Today is Mardi Gras. You can wear masks. You can wear costumes. Fool’s freedom means that you can take another role. And you need not stick by all the rules and keep up all the moral laws.

That feels nice. For several weeks, they have now made laws that look arbitrary to me and that I cannot understand. Because now the Great Coalition have changed from the argument mode to the working mode. Since laws mostly are not very good, I preferred the argument mode.
After they took the German Citizenship away for IS fighters, there is an EU-wide attack on the internet. But they also discuss the great liberty of German car drivers, the speed limit. A Swedish (?) producer restricts the cars to 180 km/h. Somehow or other, this is unimaginable in Germany. Basically, I do not even understand why cars that drive faster than 130 km/h are allowed on any streets at all.

Because I am personally against all speed. Both in life and in a car. For instance, I would feel a lot more comfortable if cars were allowed no more than 30 km/h in towns and no more than 70 km/ on highways, along with a maximum of 120 km/h on motorways.

But on the other hand, I am against all sorts of prohibitions. How can I solve this dilemma and still give a good reason for limiting the speed of vehicles? By introducing the factor violence! After all, in our times, the application of violence is a monopoly of the state. That is also true for weapons (let us ignore for the sake of argument that there are many exceptions, even in this country). This means that humans consciously agreed to not use violence and that only the state can use it in very clearly specified situations.

Well, knocking down a pedestrian or cyclist is just as much an act of violence as driving into another car. And that is exactly what people in civilized countries have agreed to forego. That makes it quite simple when it comes to speed limits and limitations for objects of the MIV (Motorisierter Individual Verkehr), part of which are also electrically powered vehicles, such as e-bikes.

What is left in our times that actually moves people? As I see it, the answer is: property, justice, safety and abstinence.

Property.


Does it make sense that legal persons have the same rights to property as actual persons? That ideas – we know they should be free – can become private property? Or that even data are considered private property? 
What about common land? What exactly belongs to the common land and how to treat it? What about the self-possession of persons? Or will we get a new form of fiefdom?

Justice.


Arithmetically, it is impossible, at least that is how it seems ever since Aristotle. But what is suitable? Should society award social credits in order to regulate it? Or should some be expropriated?

Safety.

What is safety. Perhaps protection from violence? That would mean we come full circle. We do not want violence against us. If I am a pedestrian, I do not want to be hit by a car or bike. And so on.

Abstinence.


Everybody knows that, if we want to save the planet, we will not only have to change many of our habits, but also practice abstinence. And what do we do? We fly more, drive bigger and bigger SUVs and eat bigger and bigger portions of meat.

Besides property, justice, violence, safety, power and abstinence, there are many more inter-related topics. They are so complex that the only chance to contain them is a new social consensus.

Tomorrow is again Ash Wednesday. Then the hilarity is over. I already dread the political meetings with their speakers. They will again bark and beat. Both men (CSU) and women (Grüne, SPD). Because this is all about the sovereignty over the regulars’ table. And not about peace and social consensus.

It is really sad – so take off your mask and atone.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

I enjoy time on the lake and on the ocean, because the air there is good for my throat. Ever since, when I was a child, they removed my tonsils, l have been suffering from chronic throat aches more or less all the time. However, after a few days on the water, they are gone.

The Joy of Seeing the Ocean (Foto © Luc Bosma, Bonaire)

Whenever Barbara and I go places by ship, we try to get a cabin with a patio. Then we dream through the ocean nights with our patio door open, we breathe in the fresh sea air and enjoy the sound of the water. That was also what we did during our latest Caribbean trip.

At night, our ship travels from one island to the next. Since, more often than not, the islands are not far apart, the ship mostly travels at low speed. Regardless, it will dock in the morning before sunrise at the harbour of our destination, because the nights are long in December in the Caribbean.

Then comes the shock every morning. The air starts to smell foul and artificial light will penetrate the cabin. It is the less than pleasant trio of civilization characteristics as it welcomes us.

At home in Neubiberg, the smell is a constant throughout the day and the night. You will not find any place where it gets really dark. Wherever you are, a street lamp or some advertising glamour will illuminate your house. And you can hardly see any stars in the sky any more.

Even though I live in a rather privileged area, this is also true for my home. Keeping the windows open at night is not possible, if only because of the constant round-the-clock noise of the not-too-far city.

I refuse to take sleeping pills, especially if they become part of your normal life. Consequently, we use closed noise-proof windows and darkened bedrooms. By now, I am used to it, but that does not mean I find it nice.

If I leave my house on foot or by bike and turn towards Ottobrunn, I will quickly find myself on such roads as the Putzbrunner Strasse or the Rosenheimer Landstrasse. It is hard to breathe and it is a true adventure to cross the road. And you also find waste on the shoulders of the Bavarian streets – as probably everywhere else on the world.

After returning home, questions about the purpose of life come up again:
Do we really need motorized individual traffic? Does all this consumption really make us happy? Would a life that is less determined by efficiency and profit be more to our liking? How can we free ourselves from the permanent manipulation? Would it not be better to live a simple life and not let life become a hectic hunt for material properties?

Let me forestall possible criticism:
If you fly to the Caribbean and travel around nine islands by ship and enjoy the nice climate and the ocean, then you certainly have no right to criticize the MIV driver who takes his pre-heated SUV in the morning to go and fetch his breakfast. I am well aware of this.

So here is what I think:
Mobility is probably a central need of human nature. Consequently, I find it hard to individually abstain. But if we act collectively – for instance by high taxes on kerosene and a fair distribution of the external costs for those who cause them – we could at least reduce the volume of individual mobility and its terrible consequences on this planet.

If you argue that such measures would, again mainly be detrimental for the poor, then I think this is not totally true. Even the ancient Greeks knew that demanding an Arithmetic Justice is utopian and probably stupid.

I think such a thing has never existed and will never exist. Because life is as it is. And I would actually be quite happy with a geometric justice  (geometrische Gerechtigkeit following the Nikomachische Ethik by Aristoteles).

Attention, cannon (Foto © Luc Bosma, Bonaire)

RMD
(Translated by EG)

? The world is beautiful – that is also true for the Caribbean.

In the Caribbean, our eyes were again fed to the brim with natural and artificial beauty. It made me remember a story of a few years back.

It was in Guinea. With a few friends, I had done an excursion to a place with a particularly nice view. As soon as we arrived, everybody in the group wanted to be the one to best express what a singularly beautiful scenery we saw.

Suddenly, I exploded:

”You know, the Bavarian Lakes are also quite nice“.

I meant the Königsee, the Ammersee and the Starnberger See.

Sunset on Bonaire (Foto © Luc Bosma)

Even today, my friends still teasingly remind me of this sentence.

However, I stick by it. I know no trip of mine where the beauty of this world did not fascinate me. That is true both for my bike-tours in Bavaria and Germany and for my trips through Africa and America.

There were always spectacular views. The same was true in Arctica. Every individual iceberg was a great view. And the Wedell-Lake shimmered spectacularly in the sun.

Even the industrial ruins of the Southern Georgia Whaling Industry presented themselves to me with great beauty.

Between ruins (private picture)

In fact, even the view from our “high-rise ship” in the Dominican Republic onto the sinisterly but intensely steaming chimneys in the La Romana harbour were beautiful in a bizarre way. And the view from the skyscraper down to the slums of Mumbai, too, has its attraction.

There is one impression my soul ate up during my trips that particularly impressed me. It was when we crossed the Alpes by bike on a morning after staying overnight in the Heidelberger Hütte. But even here, I would not say that it was the best landscape ever in my life.

In this context, there is probably only BEAUTIFUL, not more beautiful or even most beautiful.

Sunrise on Bonaire (Foto © Luc Bosma)

RMD
(Translated by EG)