Roland Dürre
Monday March 30th, 2020

(Deutsch) Korona-Splitter

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Roland Dürre
Saturday March 14th, 2020

(Deutsch) Korona, die Letzte.

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Roland Dürre
Tuesday March 3rd, 2020

(Deutsch) Für Oeconomia auf der Berlinale!

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Roland Dürre
Wednesday October 23rd, 2019

Preach Water, Drink Wine.

There is an interesting article in Bayern24. The title is:
E-Scooter in Bavaria:

Far From Mobility Change Concept

In a nutshell, the article says that every kilometre you drove with an e-scooter creates roughly as much carbon dioxide and environmental damage as a kilometre you went by car.

Two K2-scooters. We bought them soon after the turn of the millennia and they have now been used by all members of the family for almost twenty years. Now the grandchildren start enjoying them.

Here are some sentences from the article that summarize the e-scooter situation four months after they were first introduced:


… The e-scooter will definitely not become a part of the mobility change. Its climate balance is far too poor 
… according to a study by the mobility counsellor “civity“, the scooter is mostly used for distances under two kilometres. When they asked the users, it turned out that most of them would have walked the distance or taken the bike if this new option had not presented itself. 
… The scooters are mostly used in the evening and on weekends – which indicates that they are mostly used for tourist trips and fun rides 
… An option that could replace cars? Perhaps not … 
… climate sinner e-scooter? Perhaps yes … 
”On the one hand, you can ask: what energy does the use of an e-scooter consume? It is less than a car. However, if you consider that the e-scooters need to be collected during the night, then you get the result that 100 kilometres by e-scooter consume about as much as if you had used a petrol-powered car.“ (Quelle Green City) … 
… According to the manufacturer, the rent-a-scooter has a life expectancy of around one year. That includes the battery which, unlike that of the e-bike, cannot be replaced. After this time, the battery needs to be re-cycled and the aluminium parts of the scooter become replacements for maintenance …

In my eyes, the comment of the Capital of Bavaria sounds almost cynical:

Regardless, the City of Munich is quite happy with the results after four months. We receive user data from the e-scooter distributors: active kilometres, average trip duration, extremely frequented areas. These are the data that might eventually make the cyclist’s paths broader and the streets narrower. Which would mean that the e-scooter will have contributed quite significantly towards the mobility change.


So now I, again, get my doubts about our politics. After all, these current e-scooters are something like a new product in Germany. And that means we could easily (see text marked in red ) have made sure that the product is repair-friendly before allowing it access to the German market.

Just like Ralf Klagges (the founder of my favourite bike manufacturing company Utopia) made sure that all batteries of his e-bikes have segments, control panels and GMS/GPS parts that can be replaced and repaired relatively easily. Incidentally, we are talking batteries built by the Dutch enterprise Van Raam after they were developed in cooperation with Utopia.

But these simple mental concepts are probably too complex for the ministers and their assistants in the Federal and County Ministries.

To make up for it, they reassure us that they, of course, want to protect the planet. But whenever new mobility is made legal, this is irrelevant.

Just like they say going by train will soon be less expensive and more diverse, but in reality the prices go up and the connections get fewer and worse.

And growth will continue to have TOP PRIORITY. This is totally stupid and luckily many people are no longer prepared to accept it.

RMD

Roland Dürre
Tuesday October 22nd, 2019

(Deutsch) Ein Hauptfehler unserer Gesellschaft!?

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Roland Dürre
Thursday October 3rd, 2019

(Deutsch) RUPERT LAY LESEBUCH

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Roland Dürre
Sunday May 26th, 2019

Turn of an Era: The End of the Digital World?

On May, 16th, 2019, I was invited to give a presentation on “post-digital” at the Hotel Eden-Wolff near Munich Central Station, which was organized by the regional GChACM group and the GI. It was about the question if and how the end of the digital world might be possible.

I try not to give any sales presentations with which someone tries to convince someone else to buy or do something. Consequently, I no longer use any manipulative transparencies that only restrict both the audience and the speaker.

Let the art of painting serve to illustrate how I speak: it used to be painting as true to nature as possible. Then, new forms of expression came along. They were called impressionism and expressionism and led to abstract art. My presentations are similar. I try to serve individual spots of colour dynamically and they are supposed to inspire and make the audience thoughtful. However, not everybody in the audience always understands this.

The question: “Who owns the internet” is such a spot of colour. Because for me, the internet is and always has been something special. The internet, too, has an infra-structure. It is similar to that of the railway or of streets for the motorised individual traffic and trucks.

Today, we have to accept that the internet as we loved and appreciated it no longer exists. And that we have only just started the phase where the network is controlled and used for influencing people. There is no end to gangsters who want to shanghai the internet.

Florian Sesser and yours truly spontaneously decided to give the presentation together. And we said: Hey, let us do a Chautauqua :-). Here is how you pronounce  the word.

The Chautauqua combines entertaining and educational elements as a form of educational oratory. It also has aesthetic standards and wants to motivate the listener towards active participation.

Opening:

I see myself also as a “digital evangelist”, just like the “technology evangelists of Sun”. This year, I will celebrate my fifty years of digitalization. There is definitely some pride about being able to present myself as a pioneer of the third IT generation.

Here are the presentations I gave at the same place: 
Entrepreneur sketches (roughly twenty years ago with Norbert Weinberger and Alois Wolferstetter) and
Ethics and Computer Science (eleven years ago). 
Today, this was exactly what the focal topic of the current Informatik-Spektrum (membership magazine of Gesellschaft für Informatik) was about. I read it – and I really feel quite motivated to critically discuss what has been written.

Incidentally, I once was a member of the GChACM board of directors – together with Wolf-Rüdiger Gawron. He cannot come today because he is vacationing in Spain. The highlight of my time on the board was the local jubilee event that celebrated the 50-ieth birthday of the huge ACM (1998). Charles “Chuck” House had come to Munich and told us about the huge event in the USA (1998). Many thanks to the then GChACM president Wolf-Rüdiger Gawron who organized the event with the support of BMW AG (Siemens had opted out) and given everything an outstanding setting.

I never managed to visit the ACM jubilee event in the USA in 1997. When Chuck came to BMW Munich, he signed the book with all the presentations of “beyond computing” and gave it to me. So now I was able to read everything I needed to know about it.

How shall we live in 1975 – Hobby title page in November 1955

I was going to show you my “beyond computing“ book during my presentation, but, unfortunately, I could not find it. The important thing about it was that (at least) three famous science fictions authors (on top of many software development experts) were also present at the jubilee event. They also talked about the future of IT and software.

If you translate “Beyond computing” into German, you want to be careful. I just learned from Professor Oliver Kretzschmar (Uni Stuttgart) that the German “künstliche Intelligenz” is not really the same as “artificial intelligence”, simply because intelligence means something in English that it does not mean in German. And this is the reason for quite a few misunderstandings.

I brought the following books/brochures for you to browse:

  • Lexikon der Datenverarbeitung by Siemens, seventh (and last) edition of 1978. Incidentally, the first edition was of 1969. It was sold out so fast that they printed a second improved edition in the same year.
  • 30 Hobby magazines of 1955 – 1967 (randomly selected). 
It is absolutely fascinating how technology, engineering concepts and knowledge are explained in such a way that everybody can understand it. All of them are great magazines, let me pick out two that seem to be particularly fitting today:
  • November 1955. In this edition, they predict exactly how we are going to live in 1975.
  • “Here a car comes flying“ … which sounds extremely modern today (I wonder why I am thinking in terms of flight taxis today??? 😉
  • And a few Science Fiction books (Issac Asimov in the Heyne-Verlag), for example „ich der Robot“ (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ich,_der_Robot – the English version of which was published when I was born!)
    Predictions are difficult to make, especially if they are about the future. (Karl Valentin).

Here comes a car flying … Hobby August 1956

Please note that even the great Hobby magazines are mainly about cars. This also goes to show what a formative effect the focus on mobilized individual traffic has had on us during the last hundred years. There are few digital issues – if at all, it is only Morse codes and similar things. I also seem to remember reading a short article about decoding.

What did I read in those days? After I started grammar school (1960), Karl May was a thing of the past. And Bravo was something I did not find really exciting. Consequently, science-fiction (along with existentialists like Alber Camus) became my favourite literature. At the time, the Heyne pocketbook edition was excellent.

Science fiction probably triggered my interest in IT. Mind you, Asimov had written “Ich der Robot …” twenty years earlier – and he had described laws of robotics that might now slowly become reality.

Florian Sesser – a young entrepreneur who fights for a better world.

And I also brought along Florian Sesser. He gave me the book where I found Chautauqua. Robert Pirsig – Zen and the art of Motorcycle Maintenance (Nachruf NPR). Thanks  to Flo!

Then Florian introduced himself in his modest but very forward way. Let me tell you about him:

Florian Sesser, born in 1983, is a creative person. He loves it if he finds simple and elegant solutions to difficult problems in informatics. He started programming when he was eight years old. In 2014, he was one of the founders of accu:rate. The companie makes huge events and public buildings safer places by using computer simulation.

🙂 We want to jam the Chautauqua together. I am (mostly) the vocalist and Florian will play the instruments. We will divide our teaching speech into two sections with thirty minutes each. And with a biological break. Because otherwise things might get too hard.

BLOCK # 1„Postdigital“
BLOCK # 2 “Digital and Society ”
If the circumstances change – for instance because the audience is more active – then we change our agenda. We might, for example, remove the second block and, if that is what you wish (and Wolfgang finds it is doable), re-schedule it for another presentation.
Here is what the presentation will be about. I will not fill in all the comments. Instead, I will just give you the structure of the presentation in catchwords. This is like a collection of material in two blocks. You can let your imagination run free!
Syllabus BLOCK 1:

•    Post-digital
•    Definition (what comes to mind)
•    Post-factual  🙂
•    Era of irresponsible babble (R. Lay)
•    Digitalization: buzzword, also “post-digital”. Look it up in the internet and you will get the following hits.
•    Definition of “Digitalization ” (as I see it, it all began when the written language was invented). Today, it means something like automatization based on algorithms. A buzzword.
•    In Wikipedia (fairly new article)
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postdigital
•    Accenture (consultant: Bullshit)
https://www.accenture.com/us-en/blogs/blogs-paul-daugherty-digital-transformation
•    Digital is not reversible? Irreversible?

•    What might destroy digitalization? Question – trying to find answers.
•    Wikipedia
•    Wikipedia is great (open source, totally based on honorary work, independent, no adverts,…)
•    Question to the audience: Who of you uses, pays for, administration, …
•    Infra-structure of knowledge (founded in 2001)
•    Age and gender???
•    A world of old white men (women are the exception).
•    What will happen if Wikipedia breaks down?
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedistik/Soziologie
•    Wikipedia is the best example for creative destruction.
•    Wikipedia destroyed thesauri and encyclopedia.
•    What will be the future of the infra-structure of knowledge when those who work it on an honorary basis no longer feel like doing it?
•    Who will then own Wikipedia?
(BRD, UNO or a private agent …)
•    For the editors, it was really bad news
•    Lucrative business models and enterprises were lost.
•    Concerns, as opposed to the internet, will forget.
•    Revenge (copyright legislation)
(free from, because common-good oriented).
•    Politics and lobbies currently practice how to deprive NGO-s of the common good status.

•    Other threatening examples
•    Over-regulation and influencing
•    Facebook/Google example: vaccination enemies are ostracized
•    Upload filters
•    Commercial change (news that you pay for getting priority)
•    Mooresch’s Law (1965)
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mooresches_Gesetz  We are close to the end. But perhaps the future will continue to need exponential growth  (AI, BIG Data, Blockchain …)
•    IT has the power of the potency 
(seed on the chess field)
•    Trinity of computer science has its limits. No more exponential growth.
•    Data storage – we are now in the nano sphere.
•    Communication – we send at the speed of light on glass fibre.
•    Computers – are quantum computers really the solution?
•    Engineers have become priests
•    Asimov (Trantor-Trilogie)
•    Some programmers today actually remind me of it. Once in a while, I get the impression that they “have no idea what they are doing“.
•    Digitalism – a religion. Should we smile at it or take it seriously? Way Of The Future Church ?

•    The infra structure corrodes. Then, there might soon be an end to world-wide communication.
•    Speaking about which, it might be interesting to ask a few questions. Two of them are:
•    Who owns the intenet – in the physical sense?
•    How does it work?
I asked the questions. The result is a good example for the current state of the world – incompetence all over the place. Even the digital top Government cannot answer these basic questions.

It is easier for other (old) kinds of infra structure. Take for instance street infra structure. You always know who a street belongs to. And who usually should feel responsible for it.

  •  BLOCK #2:
    • If you use the culture onion as a model, you can describe society and culture. See also http://if-blog.de/rd/die-kulturzwiebel-oder-auf-heldensuche/). Parts of the onion are also products, proverbs, jokes, appearance, and much more. All these things are part of our culture.
    • What role do humans play in social systems?
    • What do the extreme borders of social systems look like (family, enterprises, countries ,…)? Let me define two poles::
      • HORG (short for @Büronyms in hierarchical systems) versus AUTOnomous
      • Hierarchy (Organigram tree from top to bottom) versus Network (linked teams that co-operate)
      • Group –based (model armed forces – Siemens) versus Team-based (micro organisation with self-organisation)
      • Secrets  versus Transparency
      • Bureaucracy  versus Subsidiarity
      • Taylorism (detailed pre-defined work methods, one best way, exact fixation of the location and time of delivery, extremely detailed and minute tasks, one-way communication with fixed and strict content, detailed goal description for every individual worker without obvious connection to the general goal of the enterprise, also: quality control) versus Involvedness (as the sum of being part of an entity, task integration, corporate identity …).
      • Processes (Henry Ford – the caste of engineers as a predecessor of the management cast) versus Self- organisation
        and as an extension:
      • Feudalism versus Self-determination
      • Serfdom  (slavery) versus Freedom
        perhaps also
      • Ratio versus Emotions
        and
      • Violence versus Non-violence
  • Evaluation
    • It is part of the operating system that organizes social systems.
    • There are no purely BLUE or RED enterprises. Personally, I do not really know which is the better alternative and I assume that it is a matter if the best mixture. But my sympathies lie more on the BLUE side.
      • Mafia and war economy in the Third Reich and WW-2 were BLUE
      • Buurtzorg is an example for RED, perhaps the best example.
        (https://www.buurtzorg.com/)
      • Slavery and fiefdom were only abandoned because they were not economically successful and because they were inefficient.
      • In the end, we will get the more efficient system.
    • Digitalisation can support both the BLUE and the RED system (processes such as knowledge exchange / violence-free and open communication)
      • Examples for BLUE:
        • The straitjacket MS/SAP with enterprises or
        • DB: the implementation of the price system (makes no sense, but is hard to change).
      • Examples for RED:
        • Shared applications based on knowledge.
        • „Open Source“ …
  • Those who are agile give VUCA (acronym for volatility – uncertainty –complexity – ambiguity) as a reason why RED is necessary, because, as they see it, BLUE cannot meet the expectations and complexity of our modern world. Because we need to generate new qualities:
    • Resilience
    • Anti-fragility
    • I think that black-and-white concepts will always be sub-optimal and that the future will be hybrid in this regard, too.
    • Here is what I fear: Perhaps the problems of humanity can only be solved if you apply BLUE ?
  • Now let us assume the following for a mental experiment:
    The social systems have been ruled by digital organization. What will happen if we add Artificial Intelligence?

    • What is Artificial Intelligence?
      • Self-learning system.
      • AI is “the world beyond algorithms“?
      • Let us look at games like chess and Go!?
      • Does AI consist of banal applications such as ALEXA? Perhaps not.
      • Some of the top consultants in politics I mentioned earlier believed that the English-speaking Chinese news speaker robot is an android system!?

Interesting things to notice  about AI!

Just think of TAY, which created so much misfortune for Microsoft (and which the top counsellors often do not even know about!):

    • Tay as an example for AI experiments: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tay_(Bot)
      • What will it mean if AI becomes part of digital social systems?
      • Has Microsoft already given up on AI (at an aside)?
        • Termination of Cortana
        • How do they expect Bavaria or Germany to become strong players in AI if even Microsoft no longer has the courage to play?
        • We talk about Bavaria FIRST.
        • My personal experience from my own presentations is not very encouraging:
          I know people who talked AI (people who actually are counsellors of politicians) and knew neither TAY nor the Chinese news reporter ROBOT.
        • China will become a player. With the day when the self-learning systems beat the Chinese Go master, the Chinese appeared on the horizon in the AI sector. They have enormous power and they invest unbelievable sums in terms of money and research.
    • What is the ethical consequence of AI becoming a part of the dominating digital control systems (TAY showed us how badly this can end)?
      • Note for the audience about literature (Prof Bayer): Leben 3.0 – Menschsein im Zeitalter Künstlicher Intelligenz
      • Asimov (Gesetze der Robotik 1950)
      • German Ethics Conference on Artificial Intelligence (Dobrindt 2018), which was part of the electoral campaign that was supposed to show how future-oriented and responsible the Federal Government works for the citizens.
        But

        • It was only about autonomous driving (cars are in the centre of everybody’s attention).
        • Mental experiments in ethics become game theory. It has been a science that supported ethics since 1945. It is best described here: #filosofix https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhOJp1DcabM by SRF.
          (They, too, have copyright problems: on the original SRF (Schweizer Rundfunk), some videos were blocked for Germany, yet I could see them on Youtube. This is just as annoying as the GEZ problem (many contents in the stream of ARD etc,  cannot be viewed outside Germany, not even in Europe, but you can easily view them if you use a proxy. What nonsense).
        • As I see it, #filosofix is not doing any good. You can talk and talk, but you get no results.
        • That was the standard of Mister Dobrindt’s ethics conference. It was not about AI in general, but only about autonomous cars in conflict situations. Instead  of promoting or thinking about an ethics architecture in AI systems, there were many examples. For instance the two-bikers problem:
          one is riding his bike and wearing a helmet, the other is not wearing a helmet. The situation suggests that one of them will be overrun by the car. Which one will the autonomous car overrun?
          The solution was the one who wears a helmet, because he has a higher chance of survival. What a nice idea – but totally impractical.
        • Let us finish our chautauqua by taking a look at the social credits system in China.
          •  See also Justice Theories  or poetic justice . At least, the Chinese believe that this is how they can generate justice. Good social behaviour will be rewarded, bad social behaviour will be punished. Just as fair justice demands it. It can only be done through total digital monitoring.
          • Mobility
            If you cross a street on a red light, you get minus points, even if you are a pedestrian. If you use public transport without paying or park where you are not allowed to park, you also get minus points.
          • Statements  in Multimedia
          • All sorts of violations of rules and opinions.
          • …?
        • Is it possible? YES!
          • Necessary requirements:
            It can only be done with IT (social media, video screening, big data) that creates a total transparency of the citizens and thus makes it possible to measure and write down the social behaviour of all the citizens.
          • But: who decides what is fair? Who will program or customize the system? Who makes the rules? How to get a consensus about it?
          • What I fear is: China will find its way to us.
            The IT products come from China. They will influence how we think. The tendency to limit freedom and introduce monitoring in Germany and Europe has already started.
          • Consequently, there is only one option left for us if we want to see the post-digital era.
            The people assault and destroy everything that is digital. A digital storm sweeps everything clean from digital influences!
          • Here is an additional idea on AI:
            Currently, sensors are the technological topic.

            • Example from China: baby screening (a small box will notify you if and how full the diapers are).
            • If you are fishing, you get a bite alarm as soon as the fish has bitten into the fly. It will also inform you about the characteristics of the fish you caught.
            • Autonomous driving.
              Under discussion all the time. But don’t we have other problems?
            • “Digital firm“
              Producing more and more, and more diverse and cheaper all the time. …

Florian in a totally different environment.

A new definition of AI might be that AI is no longer about human-machine communication, but about world-machine communication.

My life as a computer scientist was basically about working at the human-machine interface (user interfaces).

Today, they work on the world-machine interface.

Perhaps this, too, might serve as a reasonable definition of AI:

“AI is if the software or the system directly co-operates with the world”.

.. instead of with the people.

Or:

„AI is if the system no longer works determinedly (as you already see today with neural networks)?“

And we no longer know what it will do next.

Two words of warning:

Perfect manipulation per car:
Hobby 1957 – 1965

» Jene, die grundlegende Freiheit aufgeben würden, um eine geringe vorübergehende Sicherheit zu erwerben, verdienen weder Freiheit noch Sicherheit. «

» Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. «

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

» Jeder Zuwachs an Technik bedingt, wenn damit ein Zuwachs und nicht eine Schmälerung des menschlichen Glücks verbunden sein soll, einen entsprechenden Zuwachs an Weisheit. «

Bertrand Russell

Well, that was it.

RMD

(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Wednesday May 15th, 2019

The Real Problems of this World?!

Between ruins. In South Georgia.

I often read that we need to become agile and digital, because everything is so “vuca“. But is that not a luxury problem?

Don’t we have real worries? As a consequence of developments that might even threaten our lives?

Currently, the climate catastrophe is the centre of our “media-driven” worries. It is about the fact that the warming of our planet is caused and exacerbated by the excessive and still growing emission of carbon dioxide caused by humans and their machines.

In a dialogue with a knowledgeable person, it dawned on me that there are many more critical points than just the change of the world climate caused by the burning of fossil raw materials.

As I see it, the origin for the foreseeable problems are on an intellectual and on a material level. Let me give you a list of factors that tell you which mental concept lies behind it and what consequences they have on our planet. And I will also write down how my own personal behaviour relates to it.

I found two (main) reasons as “systemic” causes of the problem.

  • Consumerism and capitalism
    Human greed, our preference of convenience and our hunt for special adventures seem to be the main reason for the sad development of our planet.
    If I look at my own life, I see a problem. I practiced consumerism for many decades and still continue to do so. I bought far too many things for far too many years. I benefited from the capitalist system, my life was good. I cannot complain, except about how the world now is rather damaged.
  • Fixation on growth
    Even when I was at school, I did not understand why everyone preached growth. I was always the sceptical outsider. As I see it, the concept of continued growth is absolutely short-sighted and stupid, especially on a global scale. The idea that growth might solve problems is the reason why humanity destroys itself.

So here are the actual consequences and the physical state of affairs:

  • Armament industry and war
    The combination of these two seems to be the greatest of all evils when it comes to damaging our world. What I mean is that we make a maximum effort to destroy ourselves, and the tendency is still growing. Here in Germany, the  armed forces (Bundeswehr) even destroy our environment in times of peace. 
Why do humans not understand that armament and wars are not only cruel and irrational, but also just stupid 
I am convinced that a civilization only deserves the name if the individual and collective abstinence from violence has become a behaviourist value as a matter of course and I also believe that this utopia can be realized. And that the majority of humans also want this and that it is possible. In order to avoid wars, the armament industry must be abolished. Because an analysis of all wars shows that they were always artificially constructed and that the armament industry always played an important role in the process.
    It really annoys me that Bavaria is the state of Germany that has by far the highest weapons exports. 
This is an aspect where I personally failed. As early as when we founded the InterFace Connection and later, along with our employees, we decided that we do not want to do business with the armament industry. Later, when, forced by the market situation, we had to change from being a product manufacturer to becoming a service provider, the transition became much easier by doing business with weapon producing enterprises. The good intensions failed and we supported the building of tanks. 
So I believe that the planet cannot be saved unless we abolish the weapons industry and stop waging wars. In other words: the introduction of global peace must be top priority.
  • Waste pollution of the planet
    I am not sure what is more detrimental for the planet. Is it the radio-active waste we produce, the plastic material we distribute all over the world or the general distribution of the periodic table of elements  into the environment?
My personal contribution to this problem has been made. I started many years ago with mostly buying and eating only food – for instance yoghurt and other dairy products – that does not come in plastic containers or a Tetrapak . Drinks (beer, water, coffee cream) or food that comes in pet bottles or tins are shunned by me as much as the devil shuns holy water. Some of the people around me actually find this quite extravagant in me. 
In my personal experience, it is quite possible to do without most of the plastic wrappings and tins. I still see enough wastefulness as it is. I have always enjoyed eating pickled cucumbers, and whenever I empty a glass with its lid, I find this destruction totally irrational. Even if the glass will be recycled. When I was a child, the preserving jar was a precious resource. And my mother preserved cucumbers every year.
  • So here is the carbon dioxide topic
    By now, everybody agrees that there is a correlation between the warming of the atmosphere and the level of carbon dioxide. There are still some who doubt that we humans have caused the free carbon dioxide. 
My personal contribution is still sub-optimal. The most positive aspect is that I avoid cars at least insofar as I have not driven in a car for many years where I was the only occupant of the car or taxi. This showed me that you can at least avoid cars if you are a single voyager. It means that, as an individual, I only go by bike or use public transportation. And I do not at all feel that this is a disadvantage. On the contrary: I feel well. You can also go shopping quite well with the bike. And my general condition has improved considerably with the removal of a car as my mobility tool, both psychologically and physically. 
I still have other worries. For instance when it comes to flying. In the last few years, I had quite a few long-distance flights. The destinations were always unique and gave me a lot. This is an area where I feel it extremely hard to abstain – as opposed to the car.
  • An end to the richness of species
    For me, the end of the richness of species means something like the beginning of the end of life. Why should humans alone survive if the biology in its diversity can no longer function? That sounds rather illogical.
    My personal contribution is limited by what someone who lives in his small house and has his small garden can do. No poison for the perfect lawn and the right plants for life.
  • Food
    Today, many people cannot imagine any meal without meat. Germany has become one of the biggest meat exporting countries of the world. As I see it, that makes no sense. We produce animal plants in an unappetizing and cruel way as industrial mass ware. With calories from the entire world 
When I was young, in the 1950s, we ate the Sunday Roast on Sundays. On weekdays, we usually had meat-free meals. Then prosperity came along in small steps. On Tuesdays, the Wiener sausages became part of the menu and on Fridays we had herring. Those were still special occasions. Then the mania started. …
  • Soil consumption
    If you look at traffic, housing, firms and energy, you can find that we destroy soil all the time. Some of us have two flats, most of them with an extra office. The flats become bigger all the time. A single person needs at least a two-room flat, a couple needs a four-room flat. Elderly people remain in the big house. The per capita need of living room becomes more each year. 
I am glad that we managed to sell our big huge house and move to a smaller one after most of our children had moved out.
  • Regulation of rivers
    I just read about how the regulation of rivers has a devastating influence on our world. That alone was already a story that gave me pause. 
I used to drive along the river Main many times. Including the part where you have ships. And I have been asking myself why, as I am sitting on the patio of the “Gaststätte Anker” in Sommerhausen, why I see so few ships. Whenever I see one, it is most often a cruise ship. Mind you, we are talking about the Rhein-Main-Donau-Channel that was built as the main ship freight route for all the traffic. Even the Danube was enlarged for the purpose. Similar ideas come when I think of the  Niederfinow ship hoist for the traffic on the rivers Neiße and Oder.
In this respect, my own potential for a personal contribution is probably limited to trying and voicing my opposition against the continued extension of the river Danube.
  • Water
    Water is the basis of all life. Regardless, we destroy and damage our drinking water in huge dimensions. 
I try to save water. Even my grandfather taught me to be careful in this respect. So I try to counteract waste. Whenever I go swimming, I do not take an extra shower at home. I also believe that it is quite enough to clean your body once a day. We have three huge water containers that are filled from collectors on our roof and we use the water from there for watering our garden. Unfortunately, I have not yet managed to change the toilet water system from drinking water to rainwater.

There are many actual threats.

In my personal book, the carbon dioxide is only number three on my list of priorities. But basically, it does not really matter, because unless we change our mind sets in the sense of leaving consumerism, capitalism and the belief in growth behind, there will never be a change. The mental change alone is probable a Herculean task that is next to impossible.

All actual threats (armament, waste pollution, carbon dioxide, richness of species, food, soil consumption,…) are inter-related. I probably even forgot some areas. We have to work on all of them, instead of focussing only on one topic – such as carbon dioxide. Part of the transformation will be that we change our living styles. It is all about a holistic change of attitude in our lives. The question might be: is it still worth fighting – or is it better to just continue dancing on the volcano?

My brain tells me that it is already too late to save the planet.

In the  Anthropocene, we started developments that have now gained their own momentum and that will have consequences which will cause the real catastrophe. They will probably speed up the process of destruction.

My heart tell me that resignation is the wrong way.

That is why there cannot be a “LET US CONTINUE AS BEFORE” and we should at least try the great transformation. If we want this transformation to be a success, then we will have to change EVERYTHING. It can only work globally and will have to start locally.

And I believe we should try it together. And I wonder why politics, business and many socially relevant institutions do not get active at all.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Saturday March 16th, 2019

POWER in Social Systems

In my last article , I gave you my ideas about the three terms FREEDOM, LOVE and POWER..

When I was still powerful 😉

Quasi as a continuation of these ideas, I will now deal with the question:

What is it about enterprises and generally society and POWER?

POWER also plays a huge role in the context of movements such as  #newwork, “democratic enterprise”, and intrinsify.me. POWER is not only a determining factor in enterprises, but also in the political system, where our social coexistence as countries is organized.

Traditionally, POWER always belonged to men without further thought. In our country, it is still the old white men. Women were and still are ignored, except if they act like men. And children are kept small whenever they try to get in a word – because they are worried about their future.

POWER is relevant in churches, clubs, families, relationships, i.e. in all sorts of social systems. It is always the same. Everything is about who is in a position of power and who is not. And if you are in a position of power, you are better off than the others.

Yesterday

Since classical times, there has always been a ruling class that had the power in our cultural spheres. In Medieval Times, we had feudalism and precariat (Prekariat). Even in old Greece, there were citizens and slaves. In our regions, there were masters (land owners, knights, church dignitaries), a few free citizens and serfs in Medieval Times (fiefdom is just a category of slavery). Until the end of the 19th century, fiefdom was quite normal in many countries of Europe if you lived in rural areas – that is where the important food was produced. City air frees you – that is how people started to gain freedom in cities. And then came the revolution and enlightenment with its national wars.

So how did it continue?

Today

Today, we have a middle class. So far? It lies between the very rich and the very poor. The rich become richer and richer and the poor become poorer and poorer. The middle class seems to disappear.

Tomorrow

I imagine that we will have few very rich people. The huge majority will be part of the Precariat. Let us do some research:
 


precariat
[pertaining to the distinctive vocabulary of the educated class] {noun}
Part of the population who, especially due to long phases of joblessness and deficient social security, live in poverty or are directly threatened by poverty and only have limited chances to climb up.


 

You can easily remember the word precariat if you remember what precarious means. Those who belong to the precariat will live in precarious circumstances. Let us take another look at the dictionary: what is the meaning of precarious?
 


precarious
[pertaining to the distinctive vocabulary of the educated class] {adj}
Made up in such a way that you find it hard to come up with the right measures and decisions, not knowing how to get out of a difficult situation.
”a precarious [economic, financial] situation“


 

Those who live precariously will have few rights. They will be suppressed by an oligarchy of parties and associations. As a consequence of the climate catastrophe, along with the collapse of the infra structure and several similar factors, the people living in the precariat will be the absolute majority. They will be ruled by the religion of consumption. This is how a new kind of slavery could arise. It will no longer be based on ownership of people but on supervision and manipulation. A huge majority of persons will probably be governed by a small number of pseudo-democratic feudalists.

For a short century, we actually believed that democracy gave the citizen as the “sovereign” power and made him superior. Now we are surprised to find out that this was just an illusion.

All we can hope now is that it might still be enough for bread and games in the future.

RMD
(Translated by eg)

Roland Dürre
Monday March 11th, 2019

Who Owns the Internet … ?

Ob er die Antwort wüsste?
Roman copy of a Greek Plato portrait, probably by Silanion and now displayed in the Academy after Platon’s death. Glyptothek München.

I generally claim that, before you can look for solutions, you need to ask the right questions. Currently, I am wondering – not only in my presentations – about the future of digitalization.

I fear that the internet is threatened on several levels. So I come up with central questions.

Here is a very central question:

Who owns the internet?

I mean this exactly as I write it. My smart phone and my computer, which are both also part of the internet, belong to me. But who owns all the connections and computing centres you need for the network? And who is master over the definitions? Who will decide upon a change in protocols if this becomes necessary due to a change of users? Who is in charge of security? Who is responsible if the infra structure becomes deficient?

Well, I already asked the question several times. Because I do not know the answer. I asked some very knowledgeable people who usually know all about digitalization and related topics. But they, too, could not give me an answer.

But perhaps my readers know the answer?

In that case, maybe you can also answer some of the following questions:

Who owns Wikipedia?

Our huge thesaurus infra structure. It is unique in its independence and freedom. It is also free of advertising. It belongs to no concern and no party. It is designed on an honorary basis and financed by donations. A wonderful example of open source. It is actually something the community could be proud of.

What are we going to do when there are no longer enough Wikipedians left to maintain its growing infra structure? When the technology becomes antiquated and the system breaks down? Who will get or take possession of the Wikipedia empire when it collapses?

Maybe you have more exciting questions? For instance: what will we do when Youtube or other services are terminated?

I look forward to reading your answers.

RMD
(Translated by EG)