Roland Dürre
Friday July 12th, 2019

(Deutsch) Glück durch Freiheit!

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Klaus Hnilica
Saturday March 16th, 2019

Tenerife and its Thieving Magpies

Carl and Gerlinde (instalment # 61)

Honestly – for all normal humans, it is truly an extraordinary delight if they, at long last, can be gleeful without all restraint. At least, this is certainly true for Carl!

And he feels he can enjoy that glee particularly when it is about Tenerife. That island where Gerlinde, a few years ago, had sought refuge for a few weeks when, in a spell of mental incapacitation, she had thought she needed to separate from Carl. But then, what clear-minded woman would ever separate from Carl?

None – at least that is what Carl believes.

And in the end, Gerlinde did not really do it! Because as soon as she had seen what grandiose advantages this miraculous creature of a man had, she had commenced snuggling up to him again after surprisingly little time.

Naturally, he had been quite happy to have her back: after all, they had really gotten along brilliantly over all these years. And, to this day, he did not understand why she had needed this time-out at the time – and on this stupid island Tenerife to boot! He had never really liked it. And he also had never ever wanted to fly there.

And where he now – for the sake of peace – had flown again with Gerlinde. Just like all those other seven million tourists who spent time here every year. And they were old, fat, from England and Germany and France and even – who would have thought it possible – from Russia…

And Carl had to admit that this “Barceló“ in Puerto Santiago with its four stars was actually not a bad hotel. Even if he felt reluctant about admitting it: this hotel really sat near the black lava coast in such a picturesque way that it reminded you of a crusader. You could imagine starting your voyage at any moment. Directly into the Atlantic Ocean, passing San Sebastian, the Capitol City of Gomera, just like long ago Christopher Columbus who also, just like Carl and Gerlinde, had only the endless blue ocean in front of his nose every day and every night – and the stiff westerly breeze.

Admittedly, the splendid promenade along the small fisher harbour in this small town of Puerto Santiago, too, was not bad. Regardless of the many bad construction sins along the promenade that stretched far into the hinterland, even up the black volcanic slopes.

The lone diver, who was chained to a steel balustrade, looked funny. The contraption was probably meant against thieves and against the strong Kalima that blew from Africa all the time. He had advertisements from a diving school in his breast pocket and both his arms looked surprisingly unhappy as they hung down. And although his left hand had been bitten off – probably by a frustrated terrier –a long time ago, his right hand, wearing a red glove, courageously pointed into the thirty-metre abyss of a black Barancos that flowed into the near ocean directly behind him. Its powerful waves had been rising up and eating into the black lava coast for millions of years day in day out.

To the left behind the diver, you could see the newly built spectacular town fairground that jutted out far into the ocean and at the front end of which stood the statue of a deserving Spaniard. It was surrounded by Guanches that had visibly been treated poorly by the Spaniards, who had not left their work unfinished in the name of Christendom: with the exception of hints in the genes of the current population, nothing was left of them today.

Almost every other day, Carl and Gerlinde strolled along the fairground towards the Arena, enjoying the marvellous view onto the ocean and regularly making their way towards one of the typical pubs, where they would regard the lively atmosphere on the small beaches while sipping their Cortado and Aqua con Gas.

The same was true for this Thursday. Except that, today, the Kalima was blowing even stronger than before, which meant that at noon, when they were again commencing with their stroll, they were quasi surrounded by a permanent coat of sound. Countless tourists made their way through the broad pedestrians’ paths and practically every single pub along the street was firmly in the hands of semi-nude old men who mostly quietly sat behind huge beer glasses with their white-haired wives. However, when they spoke, what they said mostly sounded English, very seldom German and never Spanish.

When, almost in a fearfully good mood, Carl returned with Gerlinde in order to eat their usual portion of grilled sardines with ample rose wine at the Paraiso del Sol, he suddenly got the impression from the sound of the Kalima that something inside his body there was a short vibration. It was not the cell-phone he was carrying in his breast pocket. After the second vibration, he knew that it came from the backpack behind. He quickly turned around and even touched one of the two darkly attired, black-haired women who were far too close behind him but showed not the slightest degree of surprise.

Instead, they passed him without any reaction. All of a sudden, he found himself annoyed at being by himself, took the backpack from his back and unbelievingly stared at the two wide-open compartments of his backpack with the scarves, hats, water-bottle, spectacle container and hairbrush in it. In shock, he called for Gerlinde who had walked a few steps ahead and not noticed anything about the two ladies before her – probably Roma – having intended to steel from him. They probably had not found anything interesting in his backpack.

Still in the process of calling, Carl, besides a paralyzing helplessness, felt an intense anger rise inside and would really have liked to overwhelm those two pick-pockets immediately. However, these two were not even reacting to his calling out to Gerlinde. Instead, they pretended that all this racket had nothing to do with them. In fact, they even positioned themselves next to the chained diver, took a leaflet out of his breast pocket and studied it with interest.

Carl felt that he, too, with his open backpack, had to be there and was there in a few strides. However his study of the leaflets consisted of constantly gazing at the two dark magpies, which they did not even seem to notice.

Suddenly, Gerlinde stood next to him and said: “Carl, I will now go and buy those shoes we saw together yesterday in the shop over there”.

”Okay“, Carl said apathically, without actually knowing what Gerlinde was talking about. He continued staring at the two black ghosts before him…

”But I will need some money from you, I do not carry any money on me. I am sure you have it in the front backpack pocket as usual, don’t you?“

Before Carl could react, she lifted the backpack that Carl had hanging over his arm and miraculously produced four 50-Euro-bills out of the third small backpack compartment that the beasts had not opened and that only contained Aspirin and a few drugs. She then disappeared without another word to the opposite side of the street.

Suddenly, Carl got the impression that the two black misery messengers no longer kept their painfully preserved facade of good temper: they replaced the leaflet back in the diver’s breast pocket with such a jerk that he almost toppled over regardless of his chains. Then they hurried away. As their distance from him grew, the venom they showered each other with increased. At least to Carl it looked like they were accusing each other of having spoiled a huge chance in a truly amateurish way.

And Carl not only realized suddenly why he was so deeply in love with his boisterous Gerlinde, but also and above all felt the heart-warming power of justified glee rising from inside…

(Translated by EG)

In Instalment (XXI)
Hinter Sonnenbrillen vor Gomera
loves Gerlinde her time on Teneriffa!

Klaus Hnilica
Tuesday January 8th, 2019

A Translation Mistake with Consequences ?

Since, after the ‘quiet time‘, we are back to ‘peaceful routine‘, it might be quite interesting to stop and think about all the evolutionary changes that even written texts can undergo. This is especially true for the book of books – the bible /1/:

For instance, in early Hebrew versions of the book Isaiah, there is a prophecy that uses the word alma when it describes the mother of a boy whose name is Immanuel (translation: God is with us).

In some languages, among them the ancient Greek, there is no translation for alma. However, a rough equivalent might be “young lady“ or “young lady who has not yet borne a child“.

When Jesus lived, however, the Jews no longer talked Hebrew. They talked Greek or Aramaeic. Consequently, the word alma became the Greek parthenos, which has a specific meaning, namely “virgin“. The biological term Parthenogenesis (“virginal conception“) is based on it: it describes a reproduction process without male contribution as we find it with some insects and reptiles.

That means that a modified translation of one single word turned a “young lady” into a “virgin” and a child into the Messiah! And the story of how Jesus was conceived suddenly changed completely. …

Matthew and Luke even turn this into a truth in their gospels. And for a billion Christians, it turns into a dogma. Which is exactly what we sing about in our Christmas Carols.

Isn’t it strange?

/ 1 / Adam Rutherford: Eine kurze Geschichte von jedem, der jemals gelebt hat
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Sunday January 6th, 2019

Slavery – Did Anything Change?

During my last Caribbean trip, I was made aware of a “black chapter” of human history: slavery. I wrote an article about my visit to the museum in Curaçao and how it motivated me to also inform myself about fiefdom in our so value-glorified occident. After all, we in the occident have so very Christian roots…

Dark Future!?

The more I read and think about slavery and fiefdom, the more I am convinced that both have not been abolished for “honourable” – humanitarian, humane and enlightened – reasons.
Instead, it was mostly business motives that caused the abolition of the more than thousand years-old slavery. This change would not have been possible without the consent of capitalism (i.e. of the ruling classes, both feudally and monetary).

Basically, slavery simply was no longer profitable!

Whenever something is no longer profitable in capitalism, it will be removed. That is true both for the overseas plantations and farming in Europe. It is true both for technology and for humans. The slave was replaced by the worker. The serf was made redundant by the steam engine, which later lost against the Diesel. And perhaps the Diesel will be replaced by the electro motor.

A currently enthusiastically discussed question is:

Will humans lose against artificial intelligence?

It would be the next step. I have no answer to this question.
Still, in retrospective, it seems obvious that fiefdom was abolished in favour of the steam engine. The Feudal upper classes had understood that machines functioned better and more efficiently than serfs. It is no coincidence that roboti is the underlying morpheme for robot.

In the USA, the die-hard Southern States had absolutely no chance against the profit-oriented Northern States when it came to defending the slave system. Naturally, they had to lose the war.

Henry Ford would never have been able to produce his T-Model at the conveyor belt with slaves.

His “engineers” had enough on their hands when they were asked to teach the stupid farmers how you build a car. After all, the stupid farmers came from farming and consequently had no sense of industrial timing.

And consequently, it was a good idea if these farmers who had been converted into industrial workers had to be responsible for how they lived after the hours spent at the conveyor belt. You could say that Taylorism replaced slavery. The ruling classes had found out that self-responsibility will be less expensive for them than accepting all the responsibility for their entire workforce.

Basically, workers were just less expensive than slaves.

They simply outsourced the responsibility for their lives (which, in the case of slaves, they definitely had, even if only because they wanted to preserve the value) to the workers. For the black slaves, they also had to introduce a formal act and a document that officially gave them freedom. Workers, however, already were free (as often as not, they were rejected serfs) – and had to fend for themselves. For those who failed and had to be replaced, the successors were already standing in the queue in front of the plants.

This is how the slaves were freed and how cheap labour was acquired. This was made possible by progress in medicine and farming that had caused a huge population increase. Said population explosion is only now slowly beginning to decline. Consequently, there was always a supply of cheap labour available.

Later, the workers united, they became more powerful and sometimes even were able to increase the price. Many exciting legends have been told.

But now let us look at the today and now.

Has slavery really been abolished?

My answer is: NO!

Mind you, I am not talking the still existing form of classic slavery that we still have in certain sectors where the physical ownership of persons is still profitable. Those are called modern slavery.

If you believe the source (Quelle), then between 12 and 27 million people (there is a high estimated number of unreported cases) are still slaves. Considering that we have 7.63 billion people, this sounds harmless enough (October 2018, Wikipedia).

But do we not have a new form of slavery instead?

I do not mean all the people who have been snatched up by consumptionism (Komsumismus).  Yes, the word exists, I have not invented it. Especially the developed societies have many consumption slaves. That is definitely also a form of lack of freedom. Since, however, most of them are free, I will not call them slaves.

For me, the majority of people in this world who are existentially dependent on their jobs live in a sort of slavery. Even in many rich countries, the loss of your job will mean the END for more and more people. You have to pay high rents, many people have no assets (except negative assets).

If these people lose their jobs, the only thing that remains for them is unemployment insurance and/or the social systems – for instance our detested Hartz system.

However, there are many countries that do not even have such a social system. In the extreme case, losing your job means you will live on the streets.

India is one of the countries that particularly strain under this situation. Here, the slum system developed. The climb on the ladder will, in the truest sense of the word, begin “in the gutter” with a (much coveted) place in one of the surprisingly well-organized slums. These kinds of social automatisms are – still? – absent in our country.

What will the future bring?

Consequently, all those among us who have no work-unrelated income and, for instance, their own residential property, are slaves of a brutal system. As soon as we no longer function in our work environment, we are quickly gone.

There is a new kind of feudalism. Today, the leading class consists of people (and legal persons) who have a lot of capital. Some of them were simply lucky, others have inherited from a rich family (which is also luck). Basically, I actually believe that luck has a tendency to follow the industrious.

But that is not necessarily so. In any case, we can say:

If you have the funny stuff, you need not work any longer and can really live.

This means you can use your time for what you enjoy. Many of the persons who are thus independent of gainful employment work on an honorary basis.

I also know a number of young rich people who consciously enjoy their prosperity. And they do what they enjoy and what brings them happiness. Some of them are busy increasing their capital. That makes them even richer and increases the polarisation between poor and rich.

I am glad that I am not directly threatened by old-age poverty (except if our system breaks down). I am quite happy that I was so lucky in life.

However, I can easily imagine how it feels to be dependent on your job and waiting for your money at the end of each month. And having to struggle to make ends meet.

I understand quite well that, in such an environment, the loss of your job is an absolute terror that can destroy EVERYTHING. And, to me, this life style is absolutely a modern form of slavery.

(Translated by EG)

I borrowed the two images from Hans Bonfigt. He used them for his IF-Blog The power and the glory .

Hans Bonfigt
Wednesday December 19th, 2018

Ich bin gern ein weißer alter Mann

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Roland Dürre
Wednesday October 17th, 2018

Arcis Vocalisten Will Sing the Mozart Requiem

I always enjoy advertising the Arcis-Vocalisten Concerts!

This time, it is the famous Reqiuem by Mozart!

Mozart’s music is so pure and beautiful that I consider it the inner beauty of the universe itself (Albert Einstein)
In Mozart’s mysterious legacy, his last composition, the masterpiece “Requiem”, his steadfast faith is just as ever-present as his constant preoccupation with death. The Requiem is probably Mozart’s most humane work – a kaleidoscope filled with emotions: hopeless and hopeful at the same time.

(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Wednesday October 3rd, 2018


Selfie: “I cannot understand it.“

For many days, the main topic in the media and news has been nothing but “The Diesel”. I find this rather frustrating, because there are so many much more important social issues that need to be tackled. It is all Greek to me  (Ich verstehe nur noch Bahnhof).

Basically, it is very simple:

If I buy a low quality product, then I have a claim. If the transaction was a fraud, then I can try to bring the claim forward against the fraudulent salesperson.
That is something the rule of justice in a country should guarantee. If this no longer works because the concerns have become too powerful, then that is just too bad.
This is probably true for all goods, no matter if we are talking food or other products and also for services – and it should also apply to cars.

There are many things I no longer understand!

Why has nobody come up with the idea, especially when we are talking the current Diesel discussion, to simply abolish the subsidies on the Diesel tax? I mean, if the Diesel is such a bad product? After all, it is 22 Euro-Cent per litre in subsidies (in Germany, you have to pay 22 Euro-Cent less for Diesel than for petrol) that lets our “greed is great“ society crave for Diesel vehicles. Regardless of the fact that, in general, the “Diesel car” is more expensive than the competition, but in a state of greed, you do not tend to be very good with calculations.
Isn’t it normal, rather than a national emergency, if the greedy people will, once in a while, be the losers? Mind you, this is not meant to be gloating.

Neither do I understand that there seems to be nobody left who introduces a speed limit. Both on motorways and highways, this would considerably economize on fuel (and on human lives). And it has been obvious for a long time that, in cities, the rule of “driving 30” should be a matter of course. And that the “50” and “60” should be the exception to the rule.

I also do not understand why the Diesel is now such a huge topic. After all, we have a situation where, de facto, all combustion motors in individualized traffic (and, so I hope, not only where cars and motorbikes are concerned, but also where lawnmowers and leaf-blowers are concerned) will (hopefully soon) face their exodus.

Don’t we agree that, today, the discussion is not about whether my SUV has a Diesel or a petrol motor. Instead, it is all about whether you still drive a car at all. Because a) perhaps the climate catastrophe is real after all and b) I do not wish to have all those exhaust fumes in my lungs. It is not even necessary for me to ride my bike on the Rosenheimer Strasse in Munich during rush hour if I want to suffer. Even riding to the bakery on a Sunday morning on the Putzbrunner Strasse in Ottobrunn will do the job!

Neither do I understand that kerosene for airplanes and heavy oil for ships is taxed in the same way as petrol, although we know full well that we need to fly less. And why do they want to build still more runways? And why do we still burn brown coal (Hambacher Forst), thereby making life unnecessarily hard for alternative energies.

And I also do not understand why we celebrate the German Unity Day today. Wouldn’t it be better to use the day for working towards a decent Europe of Regions where people can live in confidence and courage?

These days, there is a lot I do not understand. Not only with respect to mobility, we are surrounded by mania. Is it already too late for our planet (Permafrost). I almost tend towards resignation?

(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Tuesday September 25th, 2018

The Arcis-Vocalisten Will Sing CARL LOEWE (on October, 22nd, 2018)

Once again, there will be a concert by the Arcis-Vocalisten. And as always, it is my pleasure to do some advertising for the choir. After all, I personally know at least two of the singers.

Ropes of Death – the passion oratory by Carl Loewe.

Most of the musically interested people will know Carl Loewe (1796-1869) as a prolific composer of songs and master of ballads who was quite adept at mirroring character. Only few people know that his major profession was that of cantor at Stettin’s main church, St. Jacobi, where he also worked as the town’s musical director. We have 17 clerical and secular oratories that document his work. The passion oratory “Das Sühneopfer des Neuen Bundes”, which he probably wrote in 1847, is one of the central pieces.

The Arcis Vocalisten will present this concise and penetrative music that is well worth re-discovery with an excellent set of soloists and the renown orchestra in original pitch “L’arpa Festante”. They will also make a recording with the Bayerischer Rundfunk and the label OehmsClassics in a time-consuming studio production.

Loewe’s language of sound expertly combines the power and suggestiveness of Händel’s choirs with the sound of Bach’s passions, especially in the words of Jesus, and with his own melodious and sensual song artistry in the arias and ensembles. The composer made a conscious effort at creating something meaningful that lies between opera and oratory.





(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Wednesday September 12th, 2018

Culture Engineering. Terminology. Methods, Tools

Wearing my new Hanseatic hat after my return from #PMCampBER in the Grosshesselohe forest restaurant.

Let me give you a short report on the PM Camp Berlin session on Culture Engineering before I will write about the “contradictions” in social systems. It was one of many exciting sessions I participated in at the anti-conference #PMCampBER.

The topic was “Culture Engineering” – as a method and tool that helps to influence, change and control the culture in a social system that has an economic goal, i.e., in an enterprise.

The person who had initiated the session himself had felt suspicious about the term “Culture Engineering”. His “feeling uncomfortable” was due to his scepticism about question if a culture can actually be actively influenced with an “engineering-approach“. He feared that such a concept could or would easily end in manipulation with negative or at least unpredictable results.

One session participant said that there is a successful “Culture Engineering“ stream of studies in Leipzig and that the graduates of this school are actually quite sought after by the human resources departments of companies, especially huge companies. I find this rather exciting, which means that we are in the middle of the world of culture engineering and human resource (HR).

As far as titles are concerned, I constantly get visiting cards with job titles such as engineer, officer, manager or president on them. And I must admit that, of all these titles, the one I like best is the engineer who, for instance, is in charge of a project. But “German-English“ is modern, so I am getting into it. Now we have the CEO, CTO and CIO  and, more and more often, also the CHRO (HR as an abbreviation for human resources). That is where you will find the innovation manager and the culture engineer. In general, I am quite suspicious of officers and managers, and the same is true for presidents and vice presidents.

In our session, the first thing we approached was terminology. Someone proposed that maybe we could say “culture gardening”, instead of “culture engineering”. I found this rather appealing. But then I thought that, in analogy to “garden cultivation”, the task could be called “cultural cultivation”.

Then we discussed the definition of entrepreneurial culture. We found the answer (from entrepreneurial theory):

Entrepreneurial culture is the memory of an enterprise.

? Honi soit qui mal y pense, but, for me, this is immediately associated with “memory manipulation”.

When I looked up the term in Wikipedia, I discovered a Wikipedia call on copyright.

I support this call with all my heart and consequently I publish it here.
However, I am not sure that it will suffice if you contact your representative in the European Parliament. You will probably have to do more than that.

Yet this is a good example for controlled change in values and rules. And the motives are very capitalist.

Back to Culture Engineering. As with many buzzwords, I find the term a little ridiculous. The same is true for a culture engineer or innovation manager at HR.

I certainly believe that you should be aware of and actively live the culture of an enterprise, just like that of all other social systems. And it is also quite legitimate to use modern technology and methods. But it is a something that must happen between the leaders and all the others. Leadership as defined in Google (see the article article by Dr. Marcus Raitner).

However, culture cultivation will only be a success if as many people as possible participate in the cultivation process – and I mean with a lot of attention and actively.

(Translated by EG)

Hans Bonfigt
Wednesday June 6th, 2018

Digital, bekloppt, banal

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.