Roland Dürre
Monday December 17th, 2018

Old White Men.

Next year, I will be 69 years old, which means I have been one of the “old white men” for quite some time.

Well, “old white men“ are the opposite of my idol. It is not what I want to be. So what should I abstain from if I do not wish to be an “old white man”?

But then, what exactly is an “old white man”? Historically speaking, we have had these “old white men” for a very long time, indeed. And they have always brought misery over their micro-cosmos and/or the entire world.

I count the Prussian Emperor as much among the “old white men” as the generals of the courageous armies. The same is true for the upper echelons of the Catholic Church.

Nowadays, I count the German “National Hero” Konrad Adenauer among the famous examples, or, to be totally up-to-date, Donald Trump, the “America First” president of our most beloved ally, the USA, also known as “God’s Own Country”.

Among the German and Bavarian politicians, too, you can find a number of them. Most of us suffer under them. I leave it to you to imagine whom I mean.

Even “God” was presented to me during my catholic education as an old wise man. Basically, this is no surprise if you read the (man-made) “Holy Scriptures” of the monotheistic religions (Christendom, Islam, Judaism). What you read will fit extremely well with the “old white man” as a deity.
Let me try to define what exactly an “old white man” is. Here are three special characteristics shared by all “old white men“.

“Old white men” have three characteristics:

  • Old white men are afraid!
    Although they actually have made it in life and could in theory live without sorrows, they are very much driven by fear. Their fears happen between the ears. The reasons for the fear change with time, but they will always return. For example: at one time, the evil Russians are the enemies, then the immigrants, and then again the evil Russians. And so on. 
Due to their fear, they cannot stop and let the power go.
  • Old white men judge and condemn.
    Because they know everything. If they meet someone, they will immediately know if the other person is competent or not (mostly the other person is not competent). They also know why this is so. Whatever someone says or does will be judged and condemned without much contemplation. 
They always know what is right and what is wrong. And that is why they think they need to make sure that the others, too, do the right things. Of course by their definition. 
Thoughtlessness is closer to their lifestyle than consideration. Experience is used selectively to prove their prejudices, counter-arguments are ignored.
  • Old white men are cynics.
    A long time ago, I learned the sentence “cynicism is the emotional manifestation of the intellectuals”. I think this sentence is still true. However, its meaning has turned around. “Old white men“ have often lost their emotions. They believe they can compensate this loss with cynicism. Naturally, this cannot work. Because cynicism is the opposite of emotional empathy.

Now you might say I forgot the characteristic “male“. Well, that is not what I think. In fact, more and more often I see women who think and act like “old white men”. Besides, stating that they are male would be a tautology (Tautologie) when we are talking old white men, it would sound like a Pleonasm (Pleonasmus). Which means it is no good as a criterion for defining anything.

(Translated by EG)

In Otto Scharmer’s Theorie U, I read that the three highest barriers against finding yourself are “permanent judging, cynicism and fear”. Well, doesn’t this sound a lot like the “old white man”.

Roland Dürre
Wednesday April 12th, 2017

Another Logelei!

Since my last Logelei gave many people some joy (and brought others close to desperation), here is another one. However, it is
Basically very simple!

A house owner has a square-shaped patio paved with 64 simple square-shaped tiles (each measuring 30 cm x 30 cm). He wants to put 31 domino stones (he already bought them) over them. They are twice as big as the tiles, that is, their width is twice their length, i.e. 60 cm x 30 cm.

His special desire is that the two opposing corners should be left untouched by the domino stones. He wants cubic tiles with a very special symbol at those corners. He already bought the two of them (just as big as the original ones, i.e. 30 cm x 30 cm). Naturally, for aesthetic reasons, the domino stones cannot be halved.

He assigns the task to a craftsman. The craftsman is happy to do the job and starts his work. He leaves a corner open and starts positioning the domino stones.

Now here are the questions:
Will the craftsman manage to do it?

If yes, how?
If not, why not?0

I will publish the solution two weeks from now – and until then, I look forward to many  emails  suggesting a solution!

Here is some help: I, too, have a square-shaped patio 🙂

In 1968, Werner gave me this question while we were watching a boring soccer match in the Rosenau Stadium. He was five years my senior and already studied mathematics at TUM at the time. I was still a pupil at the Jakob-Fugger-Gymnasium. Unfortunately, I do not know the original source of this logelei, either.

(Translated by Evelyn)

Roland Dürre
Monday April 3rd, 2017

A Very Special Task!

The Solution will be Supplied Later!

A short time ago, a good friend of mine came up with a brainteaser. He did not know the source, otherwise I would gladly have cited it. My friend was not able to solve the problem, neither was I. But it is a truly exciting scenario. And it has a surprisingly simple solution, including a beautiful mathematical reasoning. It also gives us a nice metaphor for our lives.

Among other things, it shows that mathematics can also, once in a while, be quite useful. Here is the story:

Here is a female criminal. On her card, the number 1 is written. But she does not know this. After all, she only knows the nine other images with their numbers.

A – not dislikeable – gang of 10 persons constantly violates the prevailing moral concepts in an outrageous manner. The gang members are creative and wise – this is how, with great finesse, they remain unmolested by the arm of the law for their abominable activities. That is lucky for them, because the legal penalty for their crime is death by strangulation.

In the public perception, the gang soon has a legendary reputation, and is idolized by quite a few simple people. For the authorities, this development is totally unacceptable. Consequently, the increased manhunt of the authorities, along with a growing arrogance and flippancy among the gang members led to the capture of the group.

All 10 gang members are quickly sentenced to death due to their abominable behaviour in a show trial. However, there is a way for the ten comrades in crime to save their lives – through an appeal for clemency. The head of state who decides upon said appeal is a very prudent and well-meaning woman. She is very wise; there are even some rumours insinuating that she may to some extent sympathise with the gang.

Actually, she works hard to come to a fair decision. She hands down a conditional amnesty (a little like a “Judgement of God”):
Before the verdict is executed, the ten members are permitted to see each other once more. There is a farewell meeting, the ten gangsters can spend the afternoon before their execution together and without supervision.

Here is a male criminal. On his card, the number 2 is written. But he does not know that. After all, he only knows the nine other images with their numbers.

As the meeting starts, the gangsters are told how the amnesty will work. A picture of each of the members is taken (two of them can be seen here). On each of those pictures, a number from the set 0 – 9 {0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9} is drawn. Each number can be used several times. Consequently, it is possible that the same number is written on all the pictures. Or that only some numbers are used, for instance {1, 2, 3)}. Or maybe only the even or uneven numbers. Whatever. But perhaps all numbers have been used. Nothing is impossible.

After the meeting, each of them is taken into solitary confinement until the time of execution. Each of the ten gang members is shown the nine pictures of the other nine members – but not his own one. And then they ask him the number on his own photo. And if even one of the gangsters gives a correct answer for the number on his card – all of them will get the amnesty.

Initially, you will think that the gangsters have quite a good chance to avoid their punishment and enjoy clemency over justice. And there is no doubt that their situation will have improved. After all, chances are not too bad that one of the ten will guess correctly and thus free them all.

But it is nowhere near as easy as that. Matters may turn out poorly. And there is one thing the wise regent forgot (or perhaps not): by applying a simple agreement, the ten gangsters can make sure that one of them will inevitably say the right number, as written on his picture. And this is how he can guarantee that he and his comrades will enjoy the amnesty.

It is a small problem: what agreement makes it possible for the gang to use the meeting that was meant as a farewell to make sure that “their heads” are out of the sling with a 100% chance?

I will publish the solution in a few weeks – and until then, I look forward to having many email solutions sent to me!

(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Monday April 25th, 2016

The Masters of Reforms.

Here is what happened before I wrote this article:
Currently, I have much-loved visitors from China. Yesterday, Sunday (April, 24th), our visitor wanted to see the Federal Talk Show “Anne Will“.

Well, there is nothing you will not do for your guests, is there? So we watch “Anne Will” together. The show is about the current EU politics and its relationship with the partner Turkey. Particular attention is given to Erdoğan, the twelfth president of the Turkish Republc (whom I personally see more as a dictator). The guests are mostly the usual candidates … (here is the link to the Show).

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan 2015

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan 015

A Great Reformer?

Initially, it is quite boring. Then Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is praised by one of the guests as a great reformer.

What annoys me about this statement is that all the other guests not only agree, but that this also gives the dictator a better reputation in the assembled circle. As a counter-argument, you get the question why he now “abolishes all his (good) reforms”?

Before talking reforms, maybe you should think about the definition (Begriffserklärung) of “reforming”. So I first look up the term reform in Wikipedia.

The first item given in the listing says that reform is:
“The planned and violence-free change of prevailing circumstances“.

To me, this looks like a halfway valid definition. And alas – it is totally unbiased. It does not say anything about being “positive” or “good”.

Neither does the definition ask about the purpose of change. Consequently, a reform is still a reform, even if, for example, it introduces a (good or bad) dictatorship or a (perhaps just as good or bad) democracy.

The actual Wikipedia article on reform does not look very convincing to me. All it does is give examples for reforms out of history; political reforms in current Germany and church reforms. It also suggests that a reform only deserves the name if it causes a modification that brings considerable change.

It seems that the only way of realizing reforms in a democracy is legislation. Reform means introducing a new law. So where does the constant cry for new reforms come from? Since we do not have the strength to remove old legislation, it means we demand new legislation all the time. And that is exactly what happens both in the counties, on state level and in the EU at an inflationary rate.

For me, the history of the German Railway is a good example for studying reforms and the consequences thereof. Initially, they merged all the county railways to become the Deutsche Reichsbahn (DR). This generated one of the world’s biggest enterprises and the biggest job provider world-wide. The advantages were easy to see: now they could build “standardized parts” in huge amounts. This “reform” probably also made the organization rather capable. Allegedly, the German Reichsbahn actually was more punctual during the first years of WW-II than the DB AG and its competition are today.

After WW-II, the Deutsche Bundesbahn (DB) in West Germany succeeded the DR. In addition to the GDR taking over the Deutsche Reichsbahn, the Deutsche Bundesbahn was privatized and converted into the DB AG, along with it being divided into many small railway societies and an extension by “private” competition.
One could easily have a long discussion about the purpose of these reforms.

But back to the Anne Will Talk Show.
Initially, when the Erdoğan reforms were mentioned, I had to think of Adolf Hitler. After all, he was not only the greatest warrior of all times (GröFaZ), but also the greatest reformer of all times (GröRaZ)? After all, many reforms and the resulting legislation that is still valid today have been initiated during the Third Reich (labour, maternity protection, relationship between church and state – including the church tax, protection of cultural goods and much more).

Here is Turkish history as I learned it:
When I was a child, I learned at school and during my socialization as a citizen of the FRG that Turkey and the Turks are very friendly-minded towards us Germans. In military terms, Turkey has always been a good partner. The fear of the Turks as we had it in medieval times is no longer appropriate. To be sure, Turkish internal policies are a sensitive issue, because the separation of church and state is never an easy thing with Islamic countries. Luckily, however, the secular heritage of Atatürk (Mustafa Kemal Atatürk), who was the father of all Turks, was protected by the generals of the strong armed forces, which in doing so also guaranteed the Turkish democracy. And, of course, they also taught us that Turkish labour was also an important factor for the German economy. This was about it when it came to information about the NATO country and then still soon-to-be member of the European Community.

Well, perhaps Erdoğan and his reforms did bring some change.

(Translated by EG)
I took the picture from Wikipedia
Встреча Президента России Владимира Путина с Президентом Турции Реджепом Тайипом Эрдоганом в Баку

Tuesday October 6th, 2015

My Friend, the Software Cheat …

Yesterday, I received mail from Hans Bonfigt. Hans is much appreciated by me for being an excellent software and IT man. He is quite famous for his stubbornness and drastic language. This morning, he wrote to me:

Dear Roland, I hope you are fine!

A short time ago, I wanted to reply to your recent forum comment on the VW affair and your assumption that it is probably a novelty for software being used to manipulate. During a longish train trip, I took down a few – unstructured, brainstorm-like – observances on my blackberry. The final result gave even me pause.

Even if I probably do some damage to myself and although it is still a little early for a life confession at 55: here is a guest article for your IF blog.


Hans Bonfigt

I, the Software Cheat.

betrugThe relevant part of my life can easily be summarized in one sentence: quite often, I successfully combined basic insights from scientists like Newton, Gauß, Boltzmann, Steiner, Euler and Shannon with the technological knowledge of my customers in order to generate programs that were supposed to help the experts towards working more efficiently.

This is how, with exactly said paradigm as a mental concept, I started developing software in 1980 – for calculating electronic motors, parable springs or lifting ranks, or for controlling temperature, passage, pressure and location.

As far as I was concerned, things might have continued endlessly in that way…

As early as in the 1970ies, my old man had made fun of the “academic proletariat” by pointing towards an FAZ cartoon: loser type wearing doctoral cap is holding the door open for decadent opera goers and the title is, “Dr. rer. pol. Rolf Wüllweber, dissertational thesis supervised by professor Steiner, ‘The socio-cultural meaning of the Loden coat with special focus on the late Weimar Republic seen in the light of modern insights on socio anistrophy and abstraction analysis‘. Maybe he should have listened to his professor Steiner when he said: “Wüllweber, all you can do with this dissertational thesis is become a doorman.“.

All of a sudden, everybody studied something and nobody had any use for those affected pseudo theorists. Those empty nuts could not be used for doing a good day’s work, consequently they made their clandestine ways through the companies in the departments documentation, “communication”, internal regulations (note by the lector: product planning) …

At Siemens, this species allegedly even invented a “greeting order”, telling people who had to greet whom first where, when and following which protocol determined by rank (next note by lector: I definitely knew the regulation about which rank was entitled to having curtains in their office …).

But then, something happened that was called “QM”: Quality Management.

Nobody wanted it and all enterprises I know willingly conclude that the quality of their products definitely got worse after they introduced quality management. Well. There are at least two ways for dealing with this kind of news:

For instance the Russians and Italians simply took their DIN/ISO badges and glued them onto their products – and that was it. The same happened to the UL and CE badges. In Germany, this is something you cannot do. Hundreds of thousands of morons who had never worked in their lives, were “trained” to become ‘quality managers‘. During the time that followed, they came up with the most abstruse of regulations, none of which had anything at all to do with what the final product was actually supposed to do. Yet all these regulations made the production more and more expensive, thus driving another nail into the coffin of the already existing location disadvantage Germany was suffering from.

No enterprise can suffer a technocrat without fantasy for more than five years (let us leave VW and Carl H. Hahn out of the equation for the time being). Consequently, the hot air merchants, following the principle ‘promoveatur ut amoveatur‘, moved on to become managing directors and – even worse – to sit in all sorts of norming committees as lobby-affine lackeys. This is how works like the “DIN EN 1570″ were generated. I personally had to spend quite some time professionally with this regulation. It is a lot too specific when it comes to details and far too wishy-washy when it comes to important criteria.

And this is where my personal sin originated:

Since the norm annoyed me enormously, I started to misinterpret it intentionally and make use of all the many gaps therein. Because both the European and world-wide competition could not have cared less about this great new Euro norm – yet the products of my customer were controlled following it. Before that time, I had been proud to have produced algorithms that actually were a model of reality – now I manipulated the model by using definition gaps.

And as I am writing this, it suddenly dawns on me that, in fact, creating a wishful image, rather than modelling reality, was something I started a lot earlier than I thought.

For instance, there was the carrier who was notoriously victimized by the police and the authorities: they kept sending control brigades who took a really close look at the trip recorder discs that had to follow strict archiving regulations. Any violation was detrimental both for the carrier firm and the driver – and the grapevine said: “if you want to keep your driver’s licence, you do not want to work for W.”.

Well, what can I say? My connections to KIENZLE were quite good, so I got myself a tachograph, modified it in such a way that it got a V.24 interface and designed a computer program that expected the time, driven kilometres, starting and destination points and then “faked” a disc that was in accordance with the StVO regulations.

We also developed other devices that significantly increased transport safety for the same industry: I am sure you, too, know someone who, at least once, almost or actually hit the car in front when the driver of said car abruptly hit the brakes on seeing a radar trap? Using our active RadarJammer, you could continue driving at the same speed as before, because it interfered with the then used “Multanova 6F“ and “Traffipax“ through phase interference.

When all those impossible “intrastate” messages became compulsory for many enterprises, we were the ones who wrote a module for the then used analysis software “CBS/IRIS“. It provided the statistics experts with pure random numbers. We were especially proud to have managed printing with laser printers on forms that had to be ordered – if I remember correctly – from Saarlouis. It had been desired to concentrate on following product groups, but that was not a must. Consequently, many of our customers sent us entire boxes full of forms addressed to the statistics authorities. However, no OCR system in the world would have been able to read all these different fonts and – naturally – the dark-grid background.

We also offer solutions for the “Elektronischer Gelangensnachweis“ and for the “reverse charging“ – turnover tax procedure, but since these are currently still used, I cannot write about them. So now, having reached the last third of my professional career, I have to accept to my own horror that one third of my “work” was directed at evading bureaucracy – to say it politely.

Of course, I have a motivation for all this cheating: for instance, if the UE finance ministers go on about those “criminal turnover tax carousels”, then why don’t you abolish the entire turnover tax? You could considerably reduce the burden of the enterprises and put taxation on those who in actual fact are exclusively the ones paying it: the famous “men on the street”. So what happens instead? The already complicated and complex turnover tax regulations, incidentally without legal foundation, are added to by more harassment, which again has a detrimental effect on the competitiveness of German enterprises.

This is where civil disobedience becomes our first duty as citizens!

But there is also an opposite side of the coin. I want to illustrate it with a real-life example: it is next to impossible to build a certain type of spring with a tolerance of less than 15% – the inner friction is too high and even as you assemble it, the radius and thereby the springing rate will change. I cannot give you the type of spring I mean, because knowing it you would be able to conclude who it has been built for. Everybody knows that the norm is idiotic, the required precision is unnecessary and the assumed weight is totally unrealistic. Consequently, the quality control person of the customer will visit regularly for acceptance tests, criticise the part of the springs that are beyond the tolerance scope, take the bribe and disappear.

As I see it, the worst about it is that the bribe is ridiculously low, since it typically consists of one crate of the least expensive spirits available. I saw the crate myself but refrained from trying. Because: this acceptance lackey will also betray himself and his job for truly safety-relevant car components the characteristics of which really should be within the tolerance range in order to avoid serious accidents.

Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur — there is really no other way to explain the VW “scandal”. Well, VW always cheated, and I mean in a very blunt way. I never dirtied my hands by doing anything for their products, because VW actually is an insult to the intelligence of all mature persons.

Let us remember the mid 1980ies. While BMW and Mercedes used reasonable exhaust gas treatment systems for their vehicles, for instance an air-mass controlled BOSCH Motronik with lambda regulation that produced a stoichiometric mixture in all active states, VW kept using the mechanic primitive injection with pressure plate and flow divider. The concern proudly announced: “We drive without a catalytic converter because that is what we believe in”. And for those customers who were obstinate enough to still want one, they had a full load enrichment switch everybody could see clearly on the control slot guide of the throttle valve.

As soon as the driver really asked his “Power-Through-Joy-Car” to show what it can do, the gas/air mixture was overly lubricated through full-load enrichment in order to prevent the primitive proletarian vehicles cost-optimized at the lowest possible embarrassment borderline from collapse due to overheating. Now, unburned fuel would end up in the catalytic converter, which has the effective surface of a soccer field. Now, as soon as the VW driver goes back to part-load, the oxygen can flow back to the catalytic converter which is now full of fuel. Due to its small specific heat, the ceramic substrate was not capable of discharging the energy of the strongly exothermic reaction, which means that the platinum layer evaporated.

After a few thousand kilometres, the VW catalytic converter was totally damaged – and everybody knew it! But that is only half of the story. Through targeted lobbying, not just by VW, they managed to abolish exhaust examinations for cars with catalytic converters – un unimaginable farce, but nobody noticed.

I could not believe my eyes when, in 1988, I saw a Volkswagen with a decent fuel-injection system in California. When I asked one of the VW employees, he told me: “Yes, of course, we know that our fuel injection is crap. Consequently, we reduce the power of our US models and take an injection system that actually works. Because in California, the cars have to undergo regular checks and if a catalytic converter is defunct, we have to replace it at our own cost “.

And now do not tell me you could not have known any of this, because almost everything I have been writing here was published in the daily newspapers. At the time, Lutz “Luigi“ Colani got carried away and was heard with the bonmot: “VW is a dungheap on top of which [Carl H.] Hahn is sitting“. Any intelligent person who wanted to know it knew: VW is the automobile pendant of Microsoft. For people without culture, brains, taste and the capacity to judge.

Basically, compared to the cheating I just wrote about, the current affair is ridiculous, isn’t it? They come up with a regulation that is far from practical and VW complies by doing something that is far from practical in their tests. That means they passed the tests, didn’t they? So what?

You can see the sad state of affairs when remembering that, nowadays, Audi is building “sound design” into their cars near the exhaust pipe. Besides taking up space and weighing something, they have no use whatsoever except to create a “full sound”. Because the typical AUD-iot will be satisfied with dummies.

Cheating on such idiots – well, I would have no scruples — mundus vult decipi. Secretly, I am still hoping that my manipulation would not have been discovered.

This article has been published verbatim for and in the name of Hans Bonfigt. And many thanks to Hans! – RMD

(Translated by EG)

Elwood P. Dowd
Monday November 18th, 2013


harvey&friendWe first grow in a bag of water.

Our only connection with the world is the umbilical cord.

Today, everybody is running around holding a smartphone in front of their eyes.

Again, a balloon by itself.

The radio signal is the new umbilical cord.

The new bag of water is the search engine by mother google.

Mother google will nourish us with what she thinks is good for us and keep us away from what she thinks is not good for us.

If someone outside the balloon comes into our bag of water and asks for a street two blocks away, we will forward the question to mother google, because – unlike us today – she will know the answer.

Incidentally, there is no need for us to know anything anymore. Don’t think, link.

google is not an enterprise, google is a big mother.

We are the small children.

My friend Harvey says:

Objection, Dowd, life inside the balloon is not something the internet invented,
google only copied real life.

If, for example, someone turns an indebted shack club into a world-club, a butcher’s shop into a meat plant, even worries about integration of immigrants, then there is the distinct danger that he considers himself strong enough to become a one-man-nation who writes his own rules.

But L’etat c’est moi will only function of you systematically have the right false friends: the spit-lickers who always say yes and never say no.

Hoeneß has these kinds of friends.They hermetically lock him into a balloon and there is no world with other rules outside this balloon.

Unfortunately, there are far too many who, living in the ghetto of their own rules – keep violating all our rules without ever being aware that they act unlawfully.

Harvey, balloons are interesting.

However, they do not come with drums and trumpets, as you might imagine.

Initially, they are solid units, with thick and flexible walls. As soon as they fill up, they grow unexpectedly large and their walls get thinner and thinner. Finally, they will explode and their content is gone.

At the end of the last century, we had the internet balloon, then the real-estate balloon. “Sic transit gloria mundi” and whatever small and medium-sized savers and gamblers invested is lost along with it.

The “Hoeneß-Balloon” belongs in the family of solidarity balloons. After all, solidarity is nothing other than stepping in for other people’s sloppiness, ignorance, failures and incompetence. Solidarity balloons will mostly be built up in enterprises and governments. Normally, their growth is misery without end and their bursting endless misery. Because they fill up with solidarity, at the cost of competence.

Here is what you will find: a top manager or head of government will only choose those for his closest associates who declare their solidarity with his project, concept or vision. This makes competence a minor criterion – on all levels of the organization. Sooner or later, there will be the Troy effect, which means the words spoken by Kassandra will just not be heard. Well, not much is left of Troy, is there?

I wish we had more Kassandra-s in our governments and enterprises. They need character, because they are probably mostly frowned upon and called brakemen and slow doubt-carriers.
Even solidarity is a question of the dose
(Elwood P. Dowd)
(Translated by EG)

Elwood P. Dowd
Tuesday November 12th, 2013


harvey&friendWinston Churchill said something like: “Democracy is a poor system, but it is the best system we know.”

In a democracy, the people (demos) are who have the sovereignty (kratie). In theory!

The key to the sovereignty are the elections. The people vote in favour of ideas, concepts, a philosophy. The majority will win. So far, so good.

But the people also elect persons. They are subcontractors who are supposed to implement the ideas, concepts, philosophies they have been elected for. The people delegate the sovereignty. Now, the subcontractors reign.

Those who have the power will do what they want to do. The people do not count. Herds of cattle, driven to the polling stations? Having to accept anything?
What is the difference between industry and democracy?

In industry, subcontractors are bloodied. In democracy, the subcontractors are those who do the bloodying.

Where did we go wrong?

My friend Harvey says:

Your method of demanding truth is an interesting one – the adjustment of metaphors.

Normally, the masterminds of a democracy, for instance the French revolutionaries, worked with a family metaphor: Fraternité, brothers, brothers to the light.

This is supposed to signal blood relationship, close proximity, maximum trust.

In doing so, they had found a reply to the animal metaphor as declared by Hobbes:

One person is his neighbour’s wolf – which is the opposite of brother.

You use an entrepreneurial metaphor, which is supposed to prove that you are not a leftist sentimentalist, but a rational rightist.

The subcontractor is absolutely consistent after having started with the entrepreneurial metaphor.

Whatever serves to guarantee success is right.

Be it the free sale for an entrepreneur, or the execution of the people’s wishes in a democracy

From the animal metaphor via the family metaphor to the entrepreneurial metaphor.

Nietzsche says that truth is a mobile army of metaphors.

There comes a time when we can no longer prove anything with ratio.

That is when we will believe in images which are supposed to verify our ideas.

Some believe in the animal inside us, others in the family person,

You believe in the entrepreneur.

Now who has the best truth?

Oh, my dear Harvey, what paths are you taking? There is only one truth, but it lies hidden in a haystack of lies. Humans are notoriously lazy, so they take the surrogate for truth: belief. It has the same effect as a drug.

Those who do not like belief will take doubt. It is an even more potent drug, because you will not get rid of it. Least of all by ratio!

All you can do is strengthen or weaken it, using images.

There is a method behind it and, according to Adorno, it works “like a tank on the open wound of doubt.” (Elwood P. Dowd).
(Translated by EG)

Elwood P. Dowd
Wednesday October 9th, 2013


harvey&friendOnce upon a time…

When money was still worth something.

The times when money was covered by gold. If you had money, you could change it into gold at the bank. The total value of all money in a nation equalled the value of all the gold in said nation. At least, that was the idea.

The total amount of money was limited. Money was rare.

In modern times, we have money glut. Gold fever for governments, gamblers, finance sharks and soldiers of fortune with silvery-grey ties.

Money is not created by producing new things of value, but by opening a credit line. You can pay back later, by taking up new loans.

Debts will create money!?!

We are up to our ears in money. The backing, the thing that guarantees its value, is our trust.

Everybody needs money, but who needs trust? Madoff, Lehmann Brothers and the likes, frauds.

Beware of trust preachers, they only preach for their own advantage.

My friend Harvey says:

My dear Dowd,

In former times, the Deutsche Bank slogan was:

Trust is the beginning of everything.

In particular, trust is the first step of any brainwashing.

As in the people’s wisdom: trust is blind.

If you put blind trust in someone,

You should be more than a little certain.

Or else not trust.

We should be strict about replacing trust by confidence.

What confidence do I have in someone?

What confidence do the Greeks have in their prime minister?

What confidence do the Germans have in their Federal Chancellor?


Dowd, remove trust from your vocabulary,

Replace it by confidence.

Then you will never again fall for Madoff and his type.

Besides, in those golden times,

Which you probably glorify so much because you are so old,

The currencies were always only covered by gold to a small percentage.

The brainwash term camouflaging it was: gold coverage.

It sounded like there was a nugget with the exact value of one hundred cents attached to each dollar bill.

I thank you, Harvey, because you lead us onto the right path.

Trust is the consequence of brainwashing. Confidence is problematic. It is based on information, but we have to trust the information. Otherwise confidence would be impossible. Which gets us right back to brainwashing.

Now all that remains is distrust.

I wonder why I have so many friends???

(Elwood P. Dowd).
(Translated by EG)

Elwood P. Dowd
Monday August 19th, 2013


harvey&friendThe poor not only deserve our sympathy; we should also be prepared to help them. If you refuse to do that, you are an anti-social philistine.

One might be tempted to conclude that anti-social philistinism only happens in the middle and upper classes. Well, here is news for you: this social mildew is also common among the lower classes. In their case, poverty becomes a privilege, because it produces no obligations, only rights.

Hartz IV dynasties flourish on the fertile soil of moneys paid by a public hand that is both a caricature and charitable. Food and accommodations are provided for. The only requirement is that you have to use every trick in the book in order to “qualify” as poor – and tax money will flow your way. You are never expected to do anything in return.

Children as “the capital of the poor man” are not a workforce in the classical sense; instead, they trigger additional subsidies. Their education is delegated to the provider of public education – at zero cost.

As soon as there is the slightest pain when you relieve yourself, you go and see the doctor. After all, it is free!

This is how you can flee the embarrassing rat race of daily similarities in this ruthless achievement-oriented society of give and take. Welcome to the paradise of demands.

Relief organizations and hard-working volunteers add to the display of goodies.

Clever marketing brains discovered the potential of those “poor ones” a long time ago. See: the “Mäc Geiz” chain.

Well, it had to be said by one who is socially very active.

My Friend Harvey Says:

Dowd, you are a fool

You lost control of your perspective management.

You accuse the poor of desires they do not have at all.

These are your own concepts, which you project to the poor.

You are offended, because the banner carried by the middle classes: Achievement=Income is not carried by the poor, as well.

Incidentally, the rich do not carry it either, their riches come from capital.

The truly dissocial are the poor and the rich.

Both are provided for by the state.

By you, true middle-class hard-working man, who, each year, works exclusively for them until the end of July.

Your taxes protect the money of the rich after their best assistants, the banks, have blown it.

Your tax money enables caritas and other charities to care for the poor with one million employees.

Do you really believe your words will make a difference?

You fool.

Who other than you yourself would be interested?

The poor enjoy remaining poor, because then they need not do anything for others, instead of having done something to them.

Which is exactly how the rich see it.

And the same is true for the assisting economy and the financial business.

My dear Harvey, I might have known that you know what the snag is.
The dissocial are provided for by the state. The same is true for the retired persons and civil servants. Consequently, the dissocial are catapulted from the margin existence into the majority and to normalcy.
Society is anti-social.
Who would have thought so (Elwood P. Dowd).

Elwood P. Dowd
Wednesday June 26th, 2013


harvey&friendIs there anyone who ever took something out of a sailor in the nude’s pocket?

On the other hand, many preach to the choir,
few, however, bang their heads against locked glass doors.

That is exactly when the masses yell: transparency!

Do you want total transparency?

Transparency is an optical characteristic – the opposite of reflectivity.

Transparency equals diaphanousness – we see through it, consequently we see nothing.

Soccer reporters understood that a long time ago.

“…on the left off-side, Meyer was totally transparent.”
In other words: Meyer was not seen on the field.

Transparency is a magic hood, there is no better hiding place!

Where everything is transparent, we will no longer see anything.

So, welcome, transparency fans, in the country of the blind,
where even the one-eyed is no longer king, because there is nothing left to see.

My Friend Harvey Says:

Which sentence on transparency is valid?
If you have nothing to hide, there is nothing you have to fear.
Those who have nothing to hide already lost everything.

A homosexual soccer player is ostracized.
He has to suffer mobbing.
He commits suicide.
Later, it is totally normal for a soccer player to be homosexual.
Now is that good or bad transparency?

In times of RAF, you were considered suspicious
if you used a false name for paying your electricity bills.
Thousands were spied on, one was caught.
Good or bad transparency?

The sensor-supported emergency call system e-call 
will automatically notify the nearest ambulance station if something happens.
Simultaneously, it notifies the insurance company if the driver was speeding.
Good or bad transparency?

Google gets better and better with what I am interested in.
I only get results to fit my need.
All that is new, different, hindering, remains unlisted.
Good or bad transparency?

Politicians will tell everybody openly on the web 
why they decided as they did.
Decisions will be made or not.
Good or bad transparency?

Refined algorithms can predict our behaviour in road traffic with surprising precision. It runs rather smoothly, because the system knows our ways. Both those of today and tomorrow.
Good or bad transparency?

Entertainment movies can react to the taste of the audience in tailor-made fashion and in real-time.

Everyone gets the best possible entertainment individually.
There are no surprises left.
Good or bad transparency?

With the methods of personalized medicine, we know exactly when and why we are going to die. To be sure, we can postpone death by a few years through an individually adapted therapy.

Good or bad transparency?

Let me add that spectacles equipped with full-body scanners would make an effective speed dating possible.
(Elwood P. Dowd).