Roland Dürre
Saturday May 26th, 2018

#DSGVO: Extended IF Blog Data Security Declaration

Since the #DSGVO is now active, I extended the IF Blog Data Security Declaration (Datenschutzerklärung) as follows:


Extended Data Security Declaration of May, 26th, 2018:
The aforementioned data security declaration is about as old as the If blog itself. As a matter of principle, I am not in favour of collecting anything, let alone collecting data. Consequently, I never collected data or tried to use them for any purpose in IF Blog.

I use the tool “webmaster” exclusively in order to know in what parts of the world my readers live.

Formerly, I sometimes sent emails with information on IF Blog (articles and authors) to known subscribers. I terminated this service a long time ago, because, to me, sending emails no longer seems up-to-date and besides I find them a nuisance. Now I deleted all the e-mail data.


This means:

  • You will never again receive IF Blog news. I think nobody will mind. For me personally, the news mania is nonsense, anyway. Nobody really benefits
  • On top of this, just as before, you can rest assured that no “private data“ are collected or used for any purpose at IF Blog.

Incidentally, I believe that the #DSGVO will have absolutely no positive effect and just bring us even more over-regulation. Thus, it will increase the frustration with the state and push even more voters towards the “populist” parties. It might also promote the tendency towards righteousness – which, in our culture, already gets on my nerves.

Besides, it will probably make even more people ready to “ignore the law“ – which too many are already willing to do as it is – and erode the trust in the state as a wise, competent and responsible legislator. I think that is a pity, but then it seems that this is what the gentlemen in Brussels and Berlin want.

However, even I will not get any wiser by lamenting. As far as possible, I try to adhere to the law both as a human being and as an entrepreneur. Even as a biker and car driver. And that has always been true for the IF Blog and this is how I want it to continue. So I will abide by the rules.

I will probably write a few more articles about the #DSVGO. In one of my next articles, I will write about the stupid rule that children need to be sixteen years old before they can decide how they want to use the internet. But they can change their religion a lot earlier than that.

Allegedly, children are too stupid for the internet and need legal protection. Well, that is not how I feel about it. I think that the grown-ups who wrote and designed the #DSGVO really do not have the slightest idea about the internet.

But I will write more about this in the future on this blog.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
I recommend the following link: Link zur #DSGVO. Under #RAStadler, Thomas Stadler has been twittering for a long time and I have been following him for many years. I learned many important things in his blog. Many thanks!

THOMAS STADLER
STANDORT: FREISING, BAYERN, GERMANY
Fachanwalt für IT- Recht und Fachanwalt für Gewerblichen Rechtsschutz in der Kanzlei AFS

Roland Dürre
Thursday May 10th, 2018

What Tools do Leaders Need?

Roland explains SCRUM. Not SCRUM tools! It has been some years.

A short time ago, I read the article that was supposed to answer the question:

”What tools does a product owner need?“

It was a long article. Quite a few reasonable things can be found in said article and it is not bad. Much of it sounded thought through.

However, the more of it I read, the less comfortable I felt. Because somehow or other, it did not seem to be correct. To be sure, tools can certainly be useful once in a while. But today, we use so many tools that, more often than not, we do not see the wood for all the trees.

Consequently, I asked the “tool question” for other white collar jobs from my professional world:

“What tools does a scum manager need, a project manager, a quality manager, a requirement engineer or a leader in general, who today is also called manager and who even needs to be know “digital leadership“?
(You all know my reservations about all these buzzwords you can formulate as you wish by using the words digital, smart, manager, leadership, project and others of the kind.)
And I feel confirmed that we believe too much in tools. They are not really all that useful and they mostly distract us from what is really important – which is hard enough to find.

As a next step, I tried to remember what role tools have had in my life. I can no longer remember the tools I worked with when I built sand castles. At school and at university, however, I used (my) handwriting and books. In some few cases, there was a pair of compasses, a ruler, a slide rule, a logarithmic table and, once, the typewriter (when I wrote my diploma thesis).

The bicycle was extremely important – without it, I would not have been able to reach the school. Yes – I almost forgot – in mathematics, my common sense was also necessary.

Immediately after my intermediate exams, in the early 1970ies, I started programming for Siemens as a working student (at TUM, it had been more like playing games). I became a software engineer.

My tools were programming forms and paper. I also had one of the famous Siemens pressure pens the secretaries were always so reluctant to hand over. The form had 80 columns that were printed following the assembler syntax.

Incidentally, the assemblers for the Siemens Series 300 process computers were called “prosa”.


🙂 Warning: the following part is for experts, for instance programmers.

If I remember correctly, then the first 8 columns on the form were for the “jump marks”, also called “labels“. Then there were special columns where, among other things, you marked if the left or the right accumulator was to be used. The last 8 columns (numbers 73 to 80) were for numbering. When starting a new program, you were well advised to execute it in a hundred steps, which left room for extra additions. Column number 72 was for the start of the next card. This, or something like it, was how you did it.

With the pressure pen, I drew some sorts of “process images” onto the white paper, and then I transferred these into orders on the form. Then, some assistants transferred the form into punch cards. There was one punch card for each line. The line was typed twice. First the holes were punched and then, during the second phase, the punched card was controlled. This is how the program was created as a series of punch cards.

A box or at least a rubber band for the punch cards were also important tools. Later, I was also given a portable punching machine, because I was allowed to patch corrections when seeing a customer. This was a huge distinction and I was truly proud of it.

Additionally, I had another tool of a totally different category. It was the thin and very well-structured Siemens calendar (for the OFK, the upper leadership, it was leather bound).

That was all and it was totally sufficient as far as tools are concerned. I still remember how, at the time, I bought a luxury tool from my private funds. A Texas Instruments wonder calculator. But that was more of a hobby and not really necessary – which is why I had to pay the approximately 600 DM from my own pocket. But my enthusiasm, and apparently also my income, were huge enough to cover it.

This calculator offered the octal (numbers 0 – 9) the se-decimal, and also the hexa decimal system (with numbers 0 – F – where numbers 0 – 9 were extended with A, B, C, D, E and F) and also made all the transformations. It was occasionally a useful tool, but above all it was something you could really show off with.

Please note what goes without saying: 
Of course, all calculators were based on the binary system and could only compute zeros and ones. They used the binary system (0 and 1). The first “dumps” were only zeros and ones and we needed to be able to read them.

Since in the binary system the notation tends to become rather lengthy, they quickly established bigger units that consist of two half-words, the bytes. For the process calculators, the “word” had 2 times 3 bits (so the byte still had three digits), whereas most other systems had the basic unit 4 Bit (= 1 Byte). The languages with the three bits were octal, those with the four bits se-decimal.

Consequently, the dumps became smaller and, depending on the assembler, consisted of the numbers 0 to 7 or 0 to 9, extended by the letters A – F.
To this day, I remember that one of the assemblers I programmed had the se-decimal word 07FF (binary expression: 0000 1110 1111 1111) for the machine command “release control”. I forgot everything else.


🙂 Here comes more for managers.

Later, I replaced the Siemens calendar with an “Löhn Kalender” It was a small ring binder (also rather expensive) with many compartments that more or less had the functions of today’s outlook. You could buy it in plastic or real leather. It did not take long before I had the leather version. This tool supported my lengthy metamorphosis from being a programmer to being a manager/entrepreneur.

There was a huge disadvantage to the “Löhn” calendar: it could not talk. Consequently, I missed appointments in my life as a manager because I was so fascinated with my work as a programmer that I never realized how quickly time had flown.

This is why I did not remain faithful to the “Löhn” calendar and substituted it with an electronic assistant. It was a Texas Instruments device that used to be part of the Electronic Organizer family (Personal Organizer).

Its functions were fewer than those of the “Löhn”, but it could make a wake-up noise. Thus, I always heard it when, shortly before my appointments, it gave a bleep, which meant that my arrival on time for my appointments was drastically improved. And if you compare the price with that of my TI calculator for octal, decimal and se-decimal calculations, the small miracle system was almost cheap.

Incidentally, these devices were later combined to become the, also new, mobile telephone. For me, the mobile phone and the organizer are something like the father and mother of our modern “Smart Phone“.

So much on my own tool history, which later continued with the use of my laptop, airbook and tablet.

What tools does a leader need?

This question is about as silly as asking: “what tools does a cook need?”, without mentioning what the cook is supposed to cook. The only answer I can think of is: “his common sense and probably a kitchen knife”.

The correct question would be what tools will a person need in order to prepare a certain meal. If I want to feed my guests cheese fondue, then this is totally different from potato dumplings or fried chicken or raspberry ice cream or goulash out of the tin! If I want cheese fondue, then the most important ingredient is high-quality cheese with the right taste (which is also true for Swabian Käs-Spatzen). And the right wine. And the right white bread. As you see, it is not the tools that make the difference, but the ingredients!

Now you might counter that you cannot really compare a leader personality with a cook. Because, after all, the latter is a craftsman who, in the end, will serve something tangible and hopefully reasonable.

So we are looking for a job that comes closer to that of a leading personality? The pastor comes to mind. It is probably a better fit, because you do not get a result you can eat. The same is true for the manager.

SO: What tools does a pastor need?

I would say:
The bible and his spectacles if he cannot see too well any more. But perhaps, today, he has a bible download on his tablet. And if he needs an excel, then he made a mistake. Just like the leader.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

hy are you here? What is your goal?

That is the question you will almost always hear if you attend a personality-promoting seminar.

And, once, I heard the following reply.

“Power, Money, Women“.

To me, that sounded honest. At least as far as men are concerned, it seems to be the normal motivator. So it does not come as a surprise that, in such seminars, I almost exclusively meet men. In fact, it is also a match for our #metoo world. When all is said and done, everything will be as it will be.

I also heard many other answers to the question. They sounded nice. Mostly, however, they sounded like lies to me. Let me relate the following story.


You need to know that, like many other managers and consultants, I attended quite a few seminars and training camps on “promotion/building of personality for leaders and managers” during my active career. Initially, when I started my professional career with Siemens, I was more the engineering type person and was totally opposed to such seminars. I never volunteered to attend.

Roland on his way from the Jena Akademie-Hotel to the stadium (Carl-Zeiss).

When I moved on to the Softlab GmbH, my attitude changed. When I was around thirty, I attended a TPM (Training Psychologische Management) seminar. It was mandatory if you wanted to “move on”.

I was very sceptical when I went there – and returned enthusiastic. From then on, I was always the first to volunteer when a seminar “beyond the technological boundaries” was advertised. This is also how I first met Rupert Lay, who was going to become very important in my life. The same is true for other mentors.

The times when I was a newbie were not the only times when I witnessed that the coaches first asked the participants about their expectations. “Why have you come?“, or something like it is typically the first question asked at a seminar.

Today, I use this question whenever I open a seminar session, because I believe it makes a lot of sense. You get to know the seminarists and you can hear what their interests and needs are. If you are the coach, you can modify your own expectations to fit reality if they were too lofty. The question will definitely motivate people to think and it can also be used well towards introducing the really important issues that move us and that the participants are supposed to discuss.

During one of my first seminars under a famous coach, I heard the following answers to this central question:

… I am full of imperfections and want to improve on some of them. …

… I have a number of talents that I would like to give myself a chance to develop …

… at long last, I want to make that decisive step in my career I have been waiting for for such a long time. …

… I want clarity in my life and bring structure to same. …

… I strive towards an independent and responsible occupation because in my current job I am dependent on a systemic concern, which makes me unhappy. …

When questioned more persistently by the coach, some of the participants described in great detail what a great person they are and what a super position they hold. And that they want to climb up the ladder a bit more. And that, now, they want to learn how one can become even better and more important.

Well, that annoyed me a little. Everything was rather surreal, artificial and synthetic. Before I started, a gentleman (of course) spoke. Even his outward appearance seemed to radiate success. He also seemed absolutely charismatic.

His introduction was quite short:

I want more success!

When the coach asked back what exactly his definition of success was, his reply came immediately:

Success? For him, that was more power, more money and more women – in no particular order.

Wow! That was it. To me, this statement sounded somehow a lot more honest than what the men before him had said. Now they all looked like hypocrites to me. Perhaps this hypocrisy had annoyed him just as much as it had annoyed me?

I was the last to introduce myself. Prudently, I decided to say that

… I had not really given the question any thought and wanted to see what the seminar was going to do for me …

This statement was not really honest either. Instead, it was a carefully made statement that caused quite a few condescending looks from other participants. I read some incomprehension in those looks. How can anybody attend such an expensive seminar without having a goal at all?

These looks came especially from the hypocrites. Well, it was no surprise, because at the time I was by far the youngest participant and the only one who wore jeans and a polo neck sweater. None of the exclusive twine that the nobility wore. But I had learned: it is all about power, money, sex. It became clear to me at the time. And this insight is certainly something worth thinking about. Not just because of #MeToo.

After all, what is power? As I see it, power develops if you have special personal characteristics or if you have a special position or wealth. In our society, it is probably best if you have all three of them:

  • Personal characteristics
    On the plus side, this might include your good looks, your well-modulated voice, your height, elegant and suitable clothes, grace and authenticity, a good education, a pleasing personality, good manners and natural authority. People with these characteristics will certainly find it easier to get a good position than others.
  • Position

    Important positions in the state or in important institutions will “give you power”. The power of the office will transfer itself to the person. System agents pretend that the power of the system they represent is their own power.
  • Wealth
    Wealth gives you power. Others want a share of your wealth and consequently subordinate themselves. Incidentally, it was on purpose that I wrote wealth, instead of property. Because nobody is interested in whether or not the imperium has stability. The only thing that matters is its splendour. So what our protagonist wanted was more power (i.e., personality, position and wealth). But he also wanted that funny stuff.  Which is synonymous for money. Which brings us back to power.

In our society, only one basic right is important: the preservation of your achievements. We also have a mantra of faith: “If you have money, then there is nothing you cannot buy”. That includes power. You only need enough of it. This is how money and power become synonyms.

But our protagonist also wanted sex. Because in his (or in our general) concept, you can assume that there is nothing you cannot get if you have enough power and money.  Including all women.

Perhaps our successful protagonist just saw it as a good joke. Just like they do when they sell realty. They have three central criteria:
Location, location, location.
And perhaps all he wanted to say was that power, money and sex, in our #MeToo world, are synonymous anyway?

I fear that this is what characterizes our society. It polarizes. Money makes power – and – power makes money. And if you have both, you have everything. This is how our society and our planet will collapse.

And what is our reaction? We get upset about sexism. Perhaps even rightly so. But it would be better if, just because of a little sexism, we would not totally forget the other catastrophe that ruins our world (money and power…).

Incidentally, if you work as a mentor, the question is also a good warming-up strategy. For instance, I often ask new mentées what they would wish to achieve as a result of our mentoring in the future. I often hear quite appealing replies.

At one time, a young man answered that it is his goal in life to fight extravagance. Because he detested “waste“. And that this was actually the reason why they selected me as his mentor! Because everybody knows that I, too, detest “waste“!

That is true. And it made my day. We started our work. And it turned out well!

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Saturday May 5th, 2018

People and Their Characteristics

WARNING:
The following text might be a little hard to digest for many of you.

A few years ago in the South Sea – guaranteed to be far removed from seminars and all kinds of mentoring.

It is not the people who are good or evil but what they do.

For me, this is a very central idea from the age of enlightenment.

Similarly, you can say
It is not the managers who are correct or incorrect but their decisions.

“Incorrect” in this context means “wrong“.

Mind you, it is even more problematic when it comes to decisions than when it comes to behaviour. What you do often has consequences. More often than not, you cannot really know, even à posterior, what consequences your decisions really had for the enterprise or for the world. Because the question is always ”how real is reality?“, which you can read about in Watzlawick. And decisions that seemed to be the right decisions at the time often turn out to have been totally wrong in retrospect.

You cannot give people and managers characteristics like good or evil. They are not gear-wheels that function as part of a clockwork in your family or enterprise.

With humans, even trivial measurements such as weight and height are not too easy. You see a tall lady with unbelievably long legs – then she takes off her shoes and becomes a dwarf. An overweight person might easily turn into a slim one because he lost 20 kilograms.

Nor can you decide about beauty. One day, the hero shines in all his splendour wearing his gala uniform; but what about when he wakes up hungover and has not shaved (for reasons of gender fairness, I chose a male example and abstained from using the example of the one-night stand and the terrible morning after).

With intelligence, there is also no objective measure. You determine the I.Q. – but what about emotional intelligence , see Emotionalen Intelligenz in his book ”EQ … “.

Consequently, we should not give people characteristics such as fat, tall, beautiful or intelligent. They are frivolous and inadequate. But you can do a lot worse.
Some people told me that I am a “brain-controlled person”. Others testified that I am a “person who decides following his gut-feeling“.

They all were persons who are close to me and presumably even meant well by me. They believed they had learned enough about me to judge my personality. And they pitied me because they believed that I, being a brain-oriented or gut-oriented person, cannot do a fair job as a manager.

These – incidentally they were all male – people all saw themselves as great leaders. I saw them as idiots, or rather: I perceived them as such.
But that is exactly what it is all about:

It is all just our perception.

We all wear masks and act in the way we think we need to inter-act, which does not make communication and understanding easier. This is how we are (too) quickly prepared to make others look “smaller”, rather than “taller”.

There is no such thing as a person who is “brain-oriented or “gut-oriented“, “cold“ or “emphatic“, “sensitive“ or “insensitive“, “weak“ or “strong“, “emotional“ or “unemotional“, etc. These are all values you cannot measure. Regardless of the fact that some charlatans claim that they can do exactly that and make a lot of money selling the idea.

It is something we should permanently remember.

Especially, we should be careful when it comes to our self-perception. It is mostly wrong!

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
I can easily prove this last statement by relating discussions with many people who come to see me as my mentées. More often than not, it is truly shocking for me to see how they make themselves look small.

Roland Dürre
Friday March 16th, 2018

March, 15th, in the Morning:-)

Sitting in the IC 196 to Zürich.

Today, I visit Wolf in Switzerland. At 6.31 a.m., the S-Bahn train was to leave Neubiberg. To get to Neubiberg station, I have to cover a little more than one kilometre. Consequently, I leave home shortly after six.

Morning is already breaking, it smells of spring. Behind the houses, I can hear the earlier S-Bahn train. It is on time. That is good news.
The road turns towards the railway track. I walk along the way towards the station and enjoy the day. I remember that, before Christmas and before my trips to the South Sea and to the Antarctica, the two clocks on the Neubiberg platform showed times that differed by two minutes. To be more precise: the one at the southern end was correct, the one at the northern end was two minutes late.

On my way, I meet a gentleman who is walking his dog. He, too, is in no hurry. I approach the railway station. In the distance, a very new looking Fiat Cenquecento is in the process of parking on the park&ride lot and does some rearranging. A young lady – a little on the well-rounded side but dressed very stylishly – gets out of the car. She wears black and looks very chic. I can see it all from the distance.

Then I arrive at the S-Bahn station. I walk first down and then up the steps. I am too early. The platform is still rather empty. I recognize the lady in black on the platform. She smokes a cigarette. It all fits perfectly: new Cinquecento, very well-groomed and well dressed, with a cigarette. A modern lady.

I have time and thus walk along the platform. Another lady – slim and blond and not quite as well dressed – is standing there and smoking a cigarette. I compare the time on the two clocks: this is hard to believe, but everything is as it was. The southern clock shows two minutes later than the northern clock. I stand where the rear of the train will be. Because the S-Bahn train will change directions at Ostbahnhof and I want to be at the front of the train when arriving at Munich Central Station and take the escalator up to the platforms. This is what I call route optimization.

In Neubiberg, the S-Bahn trains meet. This time, the outgoing train comes first. I take a close look at the train. The first part is rather empty. Only women sit there. Is that a coincidence? Or is there a reason that more women than men use the outgoing S-Bahn trains this early in the morning?

My S-Bahn train is a little late. I can already see the three headlights as it arrives from Ottobrunn. It is (almost) on time. I board the train. Here, too, more women than men are on board. Perhaps there is also some “gender“ issue about women having to use the S-Bahn trains earlier than men?

The DB sends me a (stupid) delay alarm. And they tell me that, at my destination in St. Margareten, we will arrive on another platform than expected.

I am back home!

RMD
🙂 Written in the EC 196 on my way to Zürich – finished when we were passing Buchloe.
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Tuesday March 6th, 2018

Dry Spell in IF Blog!?

 

In January, I was on the South Sea

and it was great.

 

In February, I was in the Antarctica,

and it was great.

The two trips could not have been more different, but, especially since they were in such close succession, they were some kind of special craziness.
On both trips, I spent only very little time on the internet. Simply because time was too precious to waste it on the internet. It was also too precious to waste it on watching films or on similar activities.

Consequently, I only wrote two articles in the first two months of the year 2018. Which is definitely unheard of from me. However, this does not mean that I no longer think a lot about important issues. Or that I am no longer keen on writing. On the contrary.

However, I do not want to write trivialities. Both the South Sea and the Antarctica made me quite thoughtful. During my trips, I wrote down many exciting ideas. I found them quite great. But with each day I spent travelling, these topics seemed more and more banal.

But I assume that this time of collecting and reflecting will soon be over. After all, I am now back in the “real” world. And I truly believe that, soon, I will manage at least one article each week. About things that are important to me.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
For the friends of Antarctica:
I have a wonderful report of my trip in February. I hope to publish it soon in the IF Blog. Here is an Ocean Map that should make your mouth water.

Roland Dürre
Sunday December 31st, 2017

2018 is around the corner! Best Wishes!

Dear Friends!

Hail to the New Year!

Here is what I wish for you and what I would like to ask of you!


Das Bild ist von Rolo Zollner (http://www.rolozollner.de/). Es steht unter Common Licence, Ihr dürft es mit Quellen-/Autorenangabe frei nutzen.

May this little pig bring you lots of luck!

A good start!

Enjoy the day!

Let your hair hang down!

Relish everything you otherwise never give yourself up to!

Annoy others to your heart’s content!

At the same time, love and respect them all!

Enjoy the world and honour creation!

Do not throw common sense over board!

Be free!

Live in joy and delight!

Do not let anything distract you!

Be autonomous and follow your star!

Do the things you always wanted to do!

Think first of yourself but then also of others!

And do not become a martyr for a good cause under any circumstances!

Do not do everything right, but instead do the right things!

In six words and two sentences:

Enjoy life!
and
Be totally happy!

And I mean every day and every night of the year 2018 – 100 %!
I am writing this with love and great thankfulness for all the good and beautiful things I was allowed to experience so far. I assure you that, regardless of many depressing news and insights, I will continue to live with great joy and full of courage! And that is exactly what I wish you, too!


Here is a small advice for your lives. Please always remember:
“There is no MUST!“

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
The image is a true click-winner. It is at the top of the list in Google. Zillions of people already saw it. The design is by my friend Rolo Zollner. He created it for the IF Blog. It is available under Common Licence, which means you can use it if you quote the source and author.

Arrangement and picture by Rolo Zollner.

P.S.1
Basically, the greetings are the same as 2016. I liked them so much that I made only minor changes. Did you notice?

October, 22nd was a rather challenging yet nice day for us (Christian, Knud and yours truly). We met in Nuremburg in the morning because we wanted to try something in the evening. The idea was to “communicate in a really creative manner”. We simply wanted to say a few things that would remain with us and be sustainable.

We, that is Christian Botta, Knud Johanssen and me. We met in a small apartment at the Nuremburg congress centre. Because on this Wednesday, we wanted to star in a small show in the evening. Consequently, we had to practice a little bit.

Before that day, we had met exactly three times. We had worked on the idea and then developed the content and the dramaturgy in a “shared document”, because that seemed the best way to overcome the space-time-distribution.

Starting at 11:00 hours, we practiced “jamming”. It took until 16:00 hours, then we relaxed. At 17:00 hours, the time had come: as the finishing number of the DOAG Yearly Conference #DOAG17 “soft tracks”, we went onstage. With “creative communication”.

On this photograph, you can see us after hard work:
Christian,  our “host” Dietmar Neugebauer, Knud and yours truly
(from left to right).

But before that, the motto was:

“Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” and above all 
“Do not lament, instead jam!“



Here is the premiere of November, 22nd, 2017.

With and by us: (man with the pen), (with ALTO, the alto saxophone, or rapper and ventriloquist). And I ( – at the “speech“) was also part of the team!

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
Here is the link to the video:
https://youtu.be/JZPp_OCiZPU
And for those who prefer reading about it I will publish my texts in my next post.

Roland Dürre
Sunday November 19th, 2017

The Road as a Metaphor für our Life.

So far, I already had the pleasure of giving the wedding speech for four of my children. When preparing these speeches, I am always (particularly) diligent and I try to formulate important ideas.

More often than not, they include ideas that helped me in the past. Which makes them probably worth handing on to others. That is especially true for the bridal pair, but also for as many other persons as possible
Consequently, I will now publish a few central ideas from my last marriage speech. Also because today is Sunday.


The road as a metaphor for our life.

The road through life starts with our birth and ends with our death. The most precious commodity on this road is the time we spend as we travel it. The reason why time is so precious is because it will never come back. If you lose friendship or money, they might come back, but time never will.

The beginning of our road is our birth.

We make our appearance in the world and are part of a social unit. We meet people who accompany us on our road, and we do not know them in advance. We have not selected them. As a general rule, they are our family.

Roads will converge and diverge.

As we grow, we will meet more people who will travel part of the road with us. The kindergarden mistress, the teacher, our first friends, …
This is how we walk on our road: some part of it with more and some fewer persons. New faces will be added, many roads diverge for longer intervals or even forever.

We are “gatherers and hunters”.

On this path of life, we collect all kinds of “toys”. Some of them are our joy and some of them might actually hurt. Many of these toys come from the past. They might be memories, disappointments, losses, injuries, etc….

Others point towards the future and are just as hard to accept in life. Among them are dreams for life, hopes, fears, expectations, projections, etc….

We do not own things, things own us.

Thus, the backpack we carry through life becomes bigger and heavier all the time. Both the backpack and its content will become ballast for us that might occasionally be quite hard to carry.

There comes a day when we marry.

“Marriage Ceremony” is a conscious decision for me – a commitment – with which we state that we will now share our road through life with another person in a very special way. It is a mutual declaration: “come with me”.

Something new starts. Consequently, a marriage is certainly not a bad time to empty your backpacks, or, better still, to leave them sitting off the road.

Get rid of your backpacks!

Because: life happens in the here and now. If and as long as the past and the future determine what we think and how we act, we do not really live.

So me plea to the bridal pair is: think also about if and how you wish to (and can) make use of today. Why don’t you shed all the ballast from the past. Here is what I would like to wish you:

Spend every day of your lives in continuously growing joy and with more and more courage!


Some of these ideas have also been inspired by the book Ein Tag mit der Liebe (Ein Tag mit der Liebe) by Moshen Charifi; it is a book I highly recommend. In this book, Charifi presents a dialogue during a hike on LOVE and INFATUATION in a wonderfully considerate and violence-free language.


Designed for Katherina and Martin on October, 27th, 2017. And for all the people of this world. In love!

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Saturday November 11th, 2017

Electricity on the Bike.

Time flies. Only one year ago, I was sceptical about electro-mobility for the bike. At least in Munich. Because here, everything (with the exception of the Isar banks) is rather flat land.

My e-Bike London from Utopia during its first train trip in the 
IC 2304 from Munich to Naumburg with the final destination Magdeburg.

Now, our household has 4 (four) electro bikes. And the electric support given to my bike absolutely fascinates me.

Basically, the bike itself was already a stroke of genius by combining humans and mechanics. But the e-bike combines this exciting combination with a motor. In doing so, it realizes a unique symbiosis between humans and machines. It is such a great thing that it was the last and determining factor that blew away any lingering fascination of mine for driving a car.

What a pitiful way of moving from one place to another is the car if compared with the bike!

For me, the physical activity has always been an important reason why I rode a bike. So there was the fear that said physical activity might suffer a little under the e-bike influence. But that is not so. After a long e-bike tour, I am just as exhausted – if in a different way – as I used to be with the conventional bike. After fifty kilometres on the e-bike, I would actually like to continue. And only after a few minutes of rest, I notice how exhausting it actually was.

Well, it is easy to find out the secret. On the e-bike, my pedalling frequency is much higher. It is easy going and does not harm the joints. On average, I ride about one third more than “without electricity”. In other words: I have the battery support, but I am going much faster. And I often get the impression that, physically, I actually achieve as much as before, if not more. And that the power from the battery mainly gives the higher speed – and yet I do not work less than without the electrical power.

If I go distances of 10 kilometres and less, I only take my conventional bikes. I keep the considerably higher pedal frequency I got used to on the e-bike. And, surprise, surprise, I am now faster than I used to be with my good old bikes. Which I find quite fascinating.

All my electric bikes are true e-bikes, i.e., the electricity only supports me when I pedal myself. It turns off at 25 km/h. Which is totally ok by me. Using my e-bikes in the economy mode, I do an average of 18 kilometres. Which means I need half an hour for 9 kilometres. And in Munich, this means quite a distance. For instance from my home in Neubiberg to the Isartor. Or from the Marienplatz to Riem. Munich becomes a small town. And all the advantages of the bike, for instance parking without a problem, remain the same for the e-bike.

If I am in a hurry, I can also do an average of more than 20 kilometres. It only requires a higher program. That means I ride ten kilometres in half an hour. And with the e-bike, just like with the bike, distances are mostly considerably shorter than with the car.

Consequently, the so-called S-pedelecs are not an issue in my book. I rather like speeds of around 25 km/h and they are absolutely sufficient for my purposes. I feel absolutely well and safe – and I definitely need no more speed.

Among my initial concerns were the range and the handling. Both are not at all something I need to worry about. It is quite remarkable how many kilometres and how much altitude modern batteries can go. And the handling is also quite easy. But I will tell you more and in more detail about this when I introduce the three bike types of our household.

It all started with an e-cargo bike. Then I purchased two “electronic mountain bikes”. And eventually a wonderful touring bike. I will introduce all three of them next week in the IF blog. They all have their individual technology and specialties. And I love them all.

RMD
(Translated by EG)