Roland Dürre
Friday March 15th, 2019

Freedom, Love, Power.

Three very central but also very abstract terms.

Big welcome – with baby bottle (1984).

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

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


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


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


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


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

I find more in Gerhard Wohland
 


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


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

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


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


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

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Thursday January 17th, 2019

(Deutsch) (Null), Eins, Zwei, Drei, Vier, Fünf. (…)

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

A short time ago, I found the following tweet:

Aebby (Dr. Eberhard Huber)

Zusammenfassung meiner Führungs- und Leitungs-Philosophie:

 

My leadership philosophy in a nutshell:

  • Have AND show empathy and respect!
  • Do not spread fear!

Both this statement and the tweet were from my friend Aebby (@Team_im_Projekt), also known as Dr. Eberhard Huber. I admire him very much.

? Consequently, I do not wish to weaken his message. And I would like to add three comments:

  • For me, appreciation is also part of respect. Consequently, it is all about empathy AND respect & appreciation.
  • It is difficult not to spread fear if you fear something yourself. And since I am often afraid, I often notice that I also spread fear. I find that a pity, but on the other hand, I forgive myself because it looks absolutely human to me.
  • My third comment is only that the described leadership philosophy should not be limited to leadership but also be a common life philosophy.

All this does not make it easier. Perhaps the only thing for us to do is become more mature and wiser. Which is also easier said than done.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
For more articles in my entrepreneur’s diary, click here: Drehscheibe!

Roland Dürre
Sunday January 13th, 2019

EROS

For me – and I believe for many other people as well – the secret of Eros is a huge riddle. And as always, you are well advised to look into the ancient Greek theories. On Eros, I found a little book by the poet and philosopher Platon: Symposion – or the Banquet of Love.

Roman copy of a Greek Platon portrait, probably by Silanion and put up in the Academy after Platon’s death, Glyptothek München.

In the Symposion, Platon, Socrates, Aritsophanes and their friends met for a spree. These symposions were regular events.

Each time, the symposion deals with a certain topic. Today, says Platon at the beginning of his book, the symposion is about Eros.

Who or what exactly is it?

Platon introduces us to six men who all want to win the prize for the best oratory on the great God Eros:

Phaidros, Pausanias, Eryximachos, Aristophanes, Agathon and Socrates.

Aristophanes tells the story of Eros as the power of longing between people. It is the story of the ball person, which Platon invented.

 


 

Canova: Amor and Psyche, 1793, Louvre

The ball person was a creature that was both male and female. This person was so powerful that the Gods feared it could surpass them in power and wisdom.

Consequently, they sought a way to get rid of this unwanted God-Competition. A God-like human being cannot be allowed. So they separated the two parts of the ball person by force.

Ever since then, the two separated halves of the ball person that actually used to be one creature are looking for each other.

 


 

The article contains parts of Eros. If you want to read more, just click here.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
I took both pictures from Wikipedia.

InterFace Christmas Card 2014.

This year, I again received a lot of mail on Christmas. Some of them were general Christmas Greetings and some were very personal. I tried to reply to all the greetings. If there are persons who did not get a reply from me, I ask their forgiveness.

A highly appreciated friend of mine wrote something special. His greetings started as follows:

The “Online Roland” differs considerably from the underlying human being I know and hold in high esteem.

In this letter, I read many nice and appreciative things. That made me quite happy. Between the lines, however, I quite clearly found a certain helplessness because of my “digital schizophrenia“. Because I seem to betray values in the digital world that are important in my personal world.

Well, reading about my “digital schizophrenia” made me thoughtful. After all, for me, my biggest riddle is my own personality.

The “digital thoughtfulness” started with the IF Blog. You all know that I sometimes strip quite naked . Why am I doing this?

Christmas in 2009

My answer is simple. Basically, I write the IF Blog only for myself. It is a kind of diary. And since I believe that transparency is not just a virtue but a necessary requirement for a better social co-existence, I publish my ideas. I do not want to press my ideas on anybody and I also do not want to be a missionary – even if sometimes you might get that impression on reading my articles. Also, I do not really care about a high number of clicks.

(Even though it makes me quite happy that my short Christmas Greetings (Weihnachtsbotschaft) – according to a rudimentary measuring – has already been read by several hundred persons, even if wordpress, due to technological specialties, counts less and less readings (since it only counts the direct number of downloads on an IP address)).

Seite downloads
/rd/einen-guten-rutsch-und-ein-gutes-neues-jahr/ 214

This was yesterday

I consider this happiness a very normal human trait.

What is important to me is that, at least in my own perception, I mutated from idealist to egoist. Because I believe very strongly that I can move a lot more if I feel well myself. Consequently, my first duty is perhaps to do well by myself. After all, only those who treat themselves well can treat others well (incidentally, you can exchange “treat well” with many other terms, for instance: only if you appreciate your own value can you appreciate another person’s value).

And since the coming year is the last year before I turn seventy, I believe my time is too precious to waste it on being against something or getting annoyed with someone. Or even worse: getting angry with someone or something.

So the ideal of my life lies in the serenity I will need during the next few years in order to be able to die in peace. In the IF blog, I created my own categories What I dislike! (Was ich nicht mag!) and What annoys me (Ärger), where I wrote articles about what I find frustrating.

I learned that frustration is not something that agrees with me. Just as it helps neither others nor myself if I am against something. Both concepts will make me smaller. Mind you, this is not resignation. It simply means that there are more important things than getting annoyed or hating something. I am always mindful of the paradox of hatred:
”If you hate someone, you do not harm him/her, but you ruin your own life”.
Naturally, I really like all the things in this world. This is especially true for the consequences of “technological advance“. And digitalization, which some people love much and others condemn with a passion, is only a current manifestation of said “technological advance“.

In 2019, I will celebrate my fifty-years-of-digitalization. It will then have been fifty years that I played an active part in digital development. That is something I feel very comfortable with. To be sure, I, too, detest such results as “military drones” that come down from the heavens and kill people and destroy their homes. The nuclear bomb, too, is basically a digital product, and I do not like it at all.

On the other hand, I feel quite comfortable with social media, etc. One of the reasons for this is that, by now, I think I am autonomous enough not to buy things I do not want. I believe I have now become resistant against marketing. This is true for the Fang-Gang (FANG is short for Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google – I am sure you need include a few others, too). And the discussion of yesterday and today during the 35th Congress of the Chaos Computer Club – Hashtag #35c3 – which, incidentally, I think is among the best German social discussion platforms – is also something I like. Even if, as far as I know, politicians shun the 35c3. I wonder why.

Talking of how technological advance is a danger, the first thing that comes to mind which I really find threatening is the MIV (motorized individual traffic). On top of my life, I feel that my lungs, too, are in danger. I only need to leave my house and approach the Putzbrunner or Rosenheimer Land Straße, and will immediately get gas poisoning. Ask any lung doctor for the facts! For me, those who drive a car are like smokers who blow their poison into my lungs.

But then, what good will it do to become upset? I live my life without using individualized vehicles and thus I demonstrate that you do not really need them. It is quasi the inherent “thank-you” when I experience how good this is for my health.

I have exercise in fresh air. I get extra time that I know how to use well. Basically, I try to find routes that are as far away from poisoned air as possible. Even if this occasionally means a detour. But at least I do not have to get annoyed with the fat old men and women driving their SUVs.

And that is exactly what I also do with other things in life. I detest fascism and nationalism, but I am not categorically against the AFD or other forms of latent fascism. I believe that God and religions were invented by people. And I cannot understand how anybody can consider something “the highest” if they themselves invented it. But I know that this belief of mine, too, is just a belief and nothing else.

So how can I oppose people who firmly believe that God created the world a few thousand years ago exactly as it now is and that he made the strict rules which turn around the world and which he clearly communicated through his ministers and diverse messages (the stories of humanity)?

If then a fanatic who is particularly receptive to this kind of indoctrination kills a few people, then I find this no worse than the daily killing that happens on our motorways, highways and other streets. And even these killings on the streets are not a reason for me to categorically oppose all SUVs and their drivers. And for all those who kill (some even say: murder) carelessly, I do not feel hatred but compassion.

It is clear that I am in favour of both a reduction of speed in the MIV sector and a reduction of religious indoctrination of children and other people. And that is also how I live as a model. Just as I am in favour of peace and love. And I find it good to always question what is allegedly the truth or what goes without saying. And that is what I try to do myself, as well.

Except: I no longer want to be “against something“. Just like I also never again want to be angry with anyone. Because both sentiments just make me feel miserable. And that is not at all what I need in life.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Saturday December 22nd, 2018

TOLERANCE and CONFORMISM.

Hans Bonfigt wrote a comment about my article on “Old White Men“ (Alte weiße Männer). To be sure, you can disagree about what he writes. However, for me, his article was an important impulse.

This picture was taken on October, 3rd, 2012 in the forest restaurant. I am wearing the cap I just imported from China (this is also my Twitter calling card picture).

When he said that “we tolerate everything except intolerance”, he really hit home. As I understood Hans, the important question in his article was: who exactly is allowed to define tolerance (or fascism, racism, colonialism)?

I believe there is an answer to this question. Let us first take a closer look at the terms:

Intolerance is the opposite of tolerance (Toleranz). Tolerance (forbearance) is a virtue, consequently, intolerance (the opposite of tolerance) is an anti-virtue, the opposite of a virtue.

”Fascism“, “Racism“, “Colonialism“ (Faschismus, Rassismus, Kolonialismus) are not virtues. They are systemic concepts of the world that describe ideologies and governments.

Ethically, “tolerance” is easy to define. If you want to judge if a statement or an attitude is tolerant or intolerant, you have to do a personal and independent weighing, following “ethically responsible values”. “Ethically responsible” means that the values you autonomously found must be in accord with the global community, for instance with the UNO Convention or the “Golden Rule” (Goldenen Regel).

Social systems depend on CLARITY. That is true both for enterprises (social systems with an economic goal) and parties (social systems with a political task). The problem is: what happens if the clarity becomes the collectively shared concept?

That is exactly what we want. We find it nice if the enterprise where we work or the party we give our vote emanates a “collective clarity“. “Collective clarity” is conformity. It is the small (subversive) sister of clarity. And conformity is a nice basis for “fascism”, “racism”, “colonialism” – just as it is also a good basis for “slavery” and “fiefdom”. That makes everything a little complicated.

I think we want to be careful. We need to see to it that the VALUES of our CLARITY are in accord with the world-wide consensus of values. That is also true for tolerance. And if and when the time comes that the world’s conformity will bring forth a world-wide fascism (no matter what kind of fascism), then the only thing that will probably help is resignation or resistance. Which will then trigger the interesting (ethical) question if such a resistance must be non-violent or if violence is the only way to make such a resistance a success.

Once in a while, I get the impression that this world-wide conformity is what we already have in the economic dimension.

Consumptionism and capitalism have spread throughout the world like a religion. Some also call it a predator capitalism that, by using its weapons marketing, lobbyism and corruption, has already conquered the world. And here, too, we again have the tricky situation that we must decide if non-violent resistance is enough.

I am convinced that the only way to counteract the upcoming world-wide conformity is diversity and variety.

Many thanks to Hans Bonfigt, who inspired me by sending his ideas.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Wednesday October 3rd, 2018

BUSINESS Visualisation

THE BOOK by
Botta/Reinold/Schloss

Behind this really harmless title, you will find a truly exciting non-fiction book. I would call it a book for people between six and ninety who want to have more joy and success in life.

The sub-title

A tour guide for curious and visionary persons
already gives an idea about the book being something really special.

Special? Well, I read it and I would call it revolutionary. It is about a trip into a new world I very much love and cherish. It is a world full of creative and appreciative communication and of “living together”. And it leads into a world that will continue to change and grow.

Basically, it is not a book you will read, but more a book you will feel your way through. In an exciting and humorous way, the trip of a young lady whose name is Barbara (Babs) into an agile adventure is described. This trip brings her through the world of modern communication, beginning from listening and understanding and ending in a very rounded way via the creative when the results are documented.

For me, it is quite clear: communication is the basis for all kinds of “social systems”. And communication will work better if we make use of innovative formats (some of them are actually very old). Part of this concept is the use of images and haptic – as part of a new and very sympathetic mental frame.

During my activities, I am often surprised to see how many people simply ignore the “agile change” that takes place around them, or else they are almost overrun by it. The book, which was written as a co-operation project between Botta, Reinold and Schloß, could be a solid introduction to this “new world“ for non-experts. But also the “experienced agilest” will find quite a few innovative ideas.

I can guarantee that this book will remain exciting from the first to the last page. It is not one of those works where the message is clear after the first fifty pages and where said message is then artificially lengthened and repeatedly proven in a boring way. No – you will find something new on every page. It remains full of humour at all times and the joy of reading will never end.

I would wish that the authors were to write more books about more trips, because the wonderful world of modern communication is endless. The book really contains a lot of it – but naturally not all of it. Barbara (the hero an inspiration of the authors in real life) could easily take us with her on many more great trips.

That would be nice. But I already very much recommend the first trip. For entrepreneurs and (project) managers, the book is a must.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Sunday July 22nd, 2018

Love & Hatred.

I used to quite like a few proverbs. For example:

(i) No pain no gain!
(ii) No risk no fun!
(iii )No hate no love!

You can use them in all kinds of situations. There are people who actually gain eternal notoriety by cultivating these proverbs. All these proverbs have one thing in common – they signal that you cannot get one thing without accepting another thing.

In some way or other, these ideas were also part of my kitchen philosophy. They were part of my cynical approach towards life.

Today, these – perhaps wise – sentences no longer mean much to me. I want to win without having to suffer. I want to be happy without having to risk something. And, above all, I want to love without having to hate.

I think it is a basic decision of every individual human being if he/she wants to live by the principles (i – iii). Or if they prefer living without those principles and instead focus on what is positive?

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.

I looked upon the world with a child’s eyes. And all I could do was admire it.

On June, 7th, I asked a lot of questions, see here.

But perhaps it is better if you first read this article and then deal with my questions.

They were questions about how irrational we humans are.

Questions that hurt me.

Because we ruin the world and destroy ourselves.

Because we are a society where this is all common knowledge, and yet we DO NOTHING.

Because these questions as such are already hard to understand and you cannot find an answer.

However, it gets worse when I start thinking about what it means to LIVE.

And all the things we CAN DO, EXPERIENCE and CREATE.

Things we CAN DO

  • We can THINK.
  • We can TALK.
  • We can FEEL.
  • We can LOVE.
  • We can DANCE.
  • We can DRAW.
  • We can SING.
  • We can DREAM.
  • We can TELL STORIES.

Our EXPERIENCES

  • We are man and woman.
  • We have children.
  • We live.
  • We are at a loss.
  • We are helpless.
  • We must die.
  • We are torn between helplessness and omnipotence.

What we CREATED

  • Language.
  • Script.
  • Mathematics.
  • Music.
  • The wheel, the lever, the wheelbarrow, the bike
  • Tools, machines and the internet.

We have become so prudent that we actually feel and know:

We cannot continue in this way!

Yet we do nothing.

RMD
(Translated by EG)