Roland Dürre
Sunday April 22nd, 2018

Cultural Skills – How they Come and Go!

Here is another Sunday sermon. Mind you, I certainly do not wish to play priest or teacher.
But:
From the geo-chronological (geochronologisch) point of view,  we are now in the era of  Anthropocene (Anthropozän) and the world is facing an abyss. The reason for this is the species homo sapiens. And we pretend that there is no problem!


Even yesterday, what we did at the time was not ”right“ and not „good“. Today, it might be “extremely evil“ and tomorrow it will probably take us into the abyss. Consequently, we have to change matters drastically.

There is no “right” or “wrong”, no “good” or “evil”. There is only one fact: we currently destroy life on this planet at a speed that has been unimaginable in the history of the EARTH. We also have the option of trying to improve or at least preserve life in all its dimensions. 
Basically, the only question is what we want.


Roland – at an age at which stress started.

This is an appeal in favour of self-determined learning and the realization that “yesterday’s concepts” will not really help.

This article is a supplement to my last one, where I postulated that our school system denies children exactly those things that adults demand for themselves. Or to put it the other way: that we expect of our children exactly what we grown-ups do not want at all.

In this article, I state that children are forced by the “system” to learn things that, basically, they are not interested in learning about. Things that grown-ups, too, can no longer really do, or can do only rudimentarily. My idea is that we should give children the freedom to find out by themselves what they are interested in and what motivates them. What they are eager to learn.

Instead of forcing them into concepts defined by old prejudices, like that everyone has to be able to read, write and do arithmetic. That these allegedly undisputed truths, too, need (and have) to be questioned like many other self-evident certainties.


Digitalization and Cultural Skills?

Digitalization – as any technological progress – changes our way of life. Cultural skills are needed less and less – just like in former times survival techniques became redundant. In part, they already disappeared from the daily life of a “normal person”.

Everything changes and can be critically questioned!

I believe this also has to be true for the so-called “cultural skills” (like reading, writing, arithmetic and foreign languages,…). As I see it, the value of these skills is highly overrated.

After all, technology and social change also replaced “survival techniques”. We no longer force our children to learn “survival techniques”. Yet we believe that cultural skills are irreplaceable.

Let us look at former times?

In former times, people had survival techniques. They were important if you wanted to survive. Some of the skills were the knowledge how to hunt and how to skin an animal, how to make a fire and how to collect plants. Later, there were skills such as growing plants, slaughtering animals and preparing meals, as well as craftsmanship in the fields of woodwork, stone and clay. None of these things – perhaps with the exception of clay work in art lessons – are taught to children today.

Today, the cultural skills are trained. Perhaps the survival techniques were the cultural skills of earlier times? Today, institutions with their experts, along with machines, make sure that everybody survives!

Specialization, “machinization’” and digitalization were only possible due to cultural skills.

Without the written word, the skill to write and arithmetic, it would hardly have been possible. And since we had no machines for it, we had to do it ourselves.

This means that many “subjects” are no longer taught because you no longer need them. Regardless, most of the knowledge does not get lost. Quite apart from the circle of experts, there are many people who work towards qualifications as gardeners, do-it-yourselfers, cooks, etc. However, they were not taught these skills at school. Instead, they are self-taught. Perhaps some of them attended the occasional course. Simply because they enjoyed doing it or because they were motivated by financial or other reasons.

Where are crafts and household economies today?

When I was young, we still had some of the “old” survival techniques as official curriculum subjects. Of course, they were gender specific: boys learned what you need as a do-it-yourselfer and girls learned household economies.

Because a man should have some competence when it comes to woodwork and other materials. After all, he was going to be the one in the household who would do all the repair work. A woman was first and foremost responsible for housework – according to the prevailing values of the time, it was more important to be a good cook, cleaning lady, knitting expert and mender of socks than to have a scientific degree.

No specialization without cultural skills!

Society became more specialized, which meant they taught reading and writing at school because that was essentially necessary if you wanted progress. After all, the sources of knowledge were now no longer stories told by word of mouth but printed media such as books and later, thanks to movable letters, newspapers. Consequently, reading and arithmetic were absolutely necessary.

Can anybody still do calculations?

Doing calculations mentally or on paper, too, was taught in the new compulsory schools. It was huge progress – after all, as late as one century earlier, the only places in Germany where you could, for instance, learn to do multiplications, were very few selected universities. And even there, they taught it in a very strange way (with logarithmic tables).

And a few decades ago, we got another great change. Nobody needs to do any calculations any more, because now we have calculators. You can even do your calculations with your telephone – which is no longer a telephone. Who of you can still do precise sums on paper if you have long and multi-digit columns of numbers – as we spent hours doing them at school in “bookkeeping”? Who of you can still do multiplications on paper, or divide on paper or even approximate a root?

There are only very few people left who can actually do mental arithmetic. Who of you can still, in no time, calculate how much you will have to pay if you buy six bottles of wine for 2.69 € each along with 4 bars of chocolate for the special bargain price of 69 Cent each and three buns for 37 Cent each?

I remember that, in former times, this was quite normal procedure for me. Today, it is a real effort for me to do the above calculation correctly without any tool. Only people who are fascinated by this magic and, intrinsically motivated, taught themselves to do it and practice it regularly can still do it.

Does this still exist: Learning something by heart?

For me, lyrics were a drama, both in primary school and in grammar school. I found it extremely hard to learn these lines by heart. It was a cruel, almost impossible homework for me. And as soon as I had memorized the fifth stanza, I had forgotten the first four. If I started at the beginning, the end lines were gone… And if I was able to cite the entire poem in the evening, then it was all gone by the next morning. Consequently, I am glad that today, “Learning something by heart”, used to be an important cultural skill. Especially before the written word came around. The entire history of men was transported through “learning by heart”. Today, only actors need this skill. And among them, I know some who immensely enjoy memorizing verses.

How bad is illiteracy?

And we have another huge change. Digitalization makes reading and writing obsolete. The mass of humans no longer need to be able to read. Only the “elite” (some very few per cent of the population) need to have the skill.

Martin Luther is a good example: he nailed his written pamphlets  onto wooden doors and that was how he revolutionized the entire world – even though only very few people were able to read.

Something similar will probably happen with reading and writing skills. Who wants to read long texts if he can just as well have audio output in whatsapp? And if he can transport his emotions through his own voice (and through his mimicry and gestures in case of video) without using these terrible Emojis?

Who will want books or e-readers if there are talking books? Why would anybody read texts if you can just as easily have them read out to you at any time and in high quality?

IF-Blog as Podcast?

”Voice“ is something modern people do not feel disturbed by. After all, they run around wearing headphones all the time anyway. Because they need their hands and eyes for driving their cars and playing their computer games. Consequently, it is no surprise for me when, more and more often, people ask me if I would like to offer my IF Blog as Podcast blog.

Reading and writing are also skills that, so I assume, only some people will master in the future. Some will have rudimentary knowledge. Others will learn it intrinsically because they actually like doing it or because they still need it for special tasks, perhaps for programming

🙂 But then, programming is probably not a good example, because more and more often it is done in the clicky-clicky mode with graphic elements. And perhaps it will soon be done by artificial intelligence.

When I was a child, I had to learn stenography and typing (with ten fingers). My father considered it a necessary requirement if I wanted professional success as a white-collar worker. After all, we children of this generation were to have better lives than our parents.
In life, these skills were not really very useful. But when I was young, stenography (not typing) gave me lots of joy – it was a lot more convenient than writing in long style. Even today, I very much enjoy writing stenography. For me, it is some kind of calligraphy that I always draw just for my own pleasure. But then, what else did I learn at school? English and French!

Why would I still want to learn a foreign languages?

Why would I want to learn to speak French? I would like to understand the reports written by my Chinese, Dutch, Polish and Russian friends in facebook. I do not have many French friends these days.

After all, there are excellent translation programs and, in my experience, they work quite well. Yet they can be improved considerably through the progress we make with self-learning systems.

Incidentally, they are called “artificial intelligence” (AI), which is incorrect because the current implementation of AI is more like “experience generated with technology“. As I see it, it would be better if only those persons who actually enjoy it would be allowed to (have to) learn a foreign language. And I think that is what we will see in the future.

Because if I am in a foreign country and want to buy something at the local baker, I will just say it in the local language through my mobile phone.

And then there is the humanistic education?

Ancient Greek and Latin are “dead” languages. Currently, students are still forced to learn them at the “humanistic grammar schools” – provided you are unlucky enough as a child to be sent to such a grammar school by your humanistic parents.

Incidentally, I am sure that these languages will not die out if we abolish them from the curricula, because there will always be a few connoisseurs who will continue to speak them. And if someone wants to study medicine, then he can do his qualification in Latin in no time. Apropos ”humanistic” – as you all know, my favourite subject is religious education.

What business does religious education have at school?

It is still part of the curriculum and you also get grades! You can get a special exemption, but then you get leisure time in the morning and have to stay for ethics lessons in the afternoon as a punishment. That is how I experienced it with my sons and daughters, at least before the all-day school system came. How I enjoyed and made good use of the free afternoons when I was young! But back to religious education.

Many people will not dare to apply for an exemption as a matter of principle. If I force a child to attend certain lessons due to imagined or real social pressure, then this is forced learning. And this is how children are taught ideas (i.e. indoctrinated) that can actually leave psychological traumata.

For example because there are still some teachers of religious instruction who use the fear of the all-controlling and punishing God as a pedagogical means. I will not go on about paradise beyond or the virgins in heaven.

Perverse cultural skills!

Especially religious instructions are something that should only be taught if the person concerned really very actively wishes for it with all his heart. And if he attends the lessons voluntarily.

Incidentally, the same is true for circumcision, both male and female. Circumcision is probably the worst of all cultural techniques I can think of. At least in our country, we have to protect children from such damage. It cannot be counted as an argument in favour of legalization that circumcision has been and still is handed on as sacred religious tradition. That is another cruel form of misinterpreted humanism.

Circumcision is really something that needs to be abolished. Both for men and women. As I see it, it is a disgrace that it is still possible to do such an evil thing to new-born babies in Germany for religious reasons.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Here is a famous joke:


On his way through the universe, planet EARTH meets another planet. The other planet asks the EARTH: “How are you?“ EARTH replies: ”I am not well, I suffer from Homo Sapiens“. The other planet has words of consolation: “Do not worry, this will soon be over”.


In duerre.de, my intentions for this year have been written down as follows:


Presentations & Activities in 2018:

Wake up! The bell rings!

For me personally, the main topic in 2018 is how ruthlessly we destroy our environment and what are the consequences thereof. Besides, I am also concerned about the massive change due to the extremely fast technological progress, also known as “digitalization”.

In particular, I notice the social change in the world of adults. However, it seems that this change does not affect children and adolescents in their situations during day-care, kindergarden and school. We force our children to live a life that is the opposite of what we demand for ourselves.

As I see it, the destruction of our environment is an existential threat. Consequently, I feel rather convinced that humanity will only survive for a few more generations. I do not know if I should consider this a good thing or a bad thing, but I believe that, as long as we still exist, we should at least try to live in peace and happiness. And there is a little hope left in me that, in a digital world, we can limit the massive destruction of our environment a little bit.

So now I try to share my experience and knowledge during my presentations and interactions and to help especially young persons towards a happier and more successful life. Because this might be a small contribution towards a “slightly improved” world.


Let me give a short explanation and justification:


 

  • Grown-ups want self-determination and respnosibility. Children must obey.
  • The time spent at work decreases for adults, it increases for students.
  • Grown-ups want to move around, children have to sit still.
  • Leadership wants to make grown-ups look bigger, school makes children look small.
  • Grown-ups get flexible work hours. Children must be on time and get all-day schools.
  • Grown-ups want to be motivated intrinsically , children are motivated extrinsically.
  • Grown-ups want to share their experiences and learn together, children are trained and must learn by heart.
  • Grown-ups want to find self-fulfillment at work and joy. Children have to learn things that nobody ever needs and that the grown-ups themselves, too, can no longer master. 
(I will write a separate article on this).
  • Grown-ups live active lives, they strive towards work-life balance. This is unknown in day-care centres, kindergardens and schools.

#andsoon!


Perhaps we would create a more peaceful and less evil world if we treated our children like human beings. Maybe then they would turn into happy adults who can do without consumption and wars. And perhaps they would stop damaging our planet in the self-destructive way in which our generation is currently doing it.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
Here is a presentation by Bruno Gantenberg on „unSchooling“. It makes many things clear.

Eight years ago, a small team around Wolf Groß established the Münchner Webwoche – at the time it was also called Isarnetz. Since then, it took place every year and will now be held for the 7th time!

And in those seven years, it changed and improved quite a bit. I helped a little when it was initiated and accompanied it over the years as advisory board member. Sometimes I invested more time and energy, sometimes less. It grew to be a great event.

Professor Wolf Groß is the initiator and driving force of the Second Munich Digital Dialogue. Consequently, for him, the purpose of the Webwoche is:

“The data scandal around facebook and Cambridge Analytica, along with the onslaught of hate posts and conspiracy theories in social networks, shows that it cannot just be about promoting digital transformation. We also have to develop rules for controlling the digital future.“

Incidentally, Professor Wolf Groß is not related to my partner “Wolf“ Wolfgang Gross. We are talking two different persons who also write their names differently.

The Webwoche:
For the program, click here. The Facebook usercode is @muenchnerwebwoche, on twitter, the most important hashtags are @isarnetz, nd #mww18 and #digitaldabei.

Here is a citation from the Münchner Webwoche website:
The Münchner Webwoche is the one inspiring digital event in Munich and was initiated by the association Isarnetz. During the event, Munich enterprises and organizations meet because they want to actively shape the digital change. They organize events around the topics technology and digitalization, promote  networking events, sponsor hackathons, Barcamps, podium discussions, workshops and seminars. They also show what digital and creative potential lies in the metropolitan region of Munich.

The 7th Münchner Webwoche is from 19th to 28th of April.

Perhaps we will see each other there during one of the events? It would be a true pleasure for me to see you!

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
There is no deadline for also participating with your own event. After all, everything is digital. 🙂

On May, 6th, you can again hear them: the ARCIS VOCALISTEN will sing in the Munich-Sendling Himmelsfahrtskirche.

Together with famous soloists, they will sing the PAULUS by FELIX MENDELSON BARTHOLDY, which is a theological oratorio in two parts.

 

“Rise Up, Arise and Shine!“

In 1836, the then 26-year-old musical genius Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy presented his first monumental biblical oratorio, the history of the apostle Paul. Beginning with his origins as Saul, the hunter of Christians, the story is about his Damascus experience, his crisis of faith and his new religious conviction, until he is finally described during his missionary travels.
Great representative choir movements, sensitive chorales, memorable arias are form a unit that finally becomes a huge, two-hour theological opera in Mendelssohn’s sensually romantic expression.

The Arcis-Vocalisten will present PAULUS in maximum choir strength and will be joined by young and exquisite soloists such as Judith Spiesser, who was last successful as Lucia di Lammermoor at the Landestheater Niederbayern. The other soloists are the mezzo soprano Florence Losseau, the tenor Christian Zenker who spent many years performing in the Innsbruck and Graz theatres, and the basso-baritone Alban Lenzen in the title role.

The accompanying orchestra is the Konstanz Südwestdeutsche Philharmonie. The director is Thomas Gropper.

The concert on Sunday, May, 6th, 2018, at 7 p.m. is in one of the churches most suited for the performance of this kind of music, the Himmelfahrtskirche in München-Sendling, Kidlerstr.15.

The musical director will give an introduction to the work at 6 p.m. Tickets are available at MünchenTicket and directly before the concert. For IF-Blog.de readers who want to enjoy the concert, we can arrange a small bonus. If you are interested, just send an email to me under the title “Arcis-Vocalisten.
🙂 I will reply!

RMD

Roland Dürre
Monday April 9th, 2018

Double Agents

 

Double agent Dnalor in Warnemünde

Irony and Reality

Since I am an avid reader of John le Carré (Verräter wie wir) and Herbert Rosendorfer (Das Messingherz), I am, of course, very familiar with secret services and their methods.
Currently, there is another fantastic “use case” that I want to discuss with competence and analyse technologically. It is called Lapirks or something close.

Incidentally, the two books I mentioned are absolutely brilliant and worth reading. If I had to choose, I would probably put the „Messingherz“ silghtly before the other one. But here is my topic of today: the “double agent murder“!


Let us assume you are part of the secret service of an EU country and you want to do away with a double agent who is an extreme pain.

A double agent will have played two “employers” against each other for several years. He was paid well by both. Neither of the two employers can ever be quite sure if and when they were the employee’s priority. Perhaps both? This is also true for the employer who, at long last, will have him sitting as a(n) (inconvenient) louse in the pelt and has to pay his old age pension.

Consequently, being a double agent makes you some kind of champion in the secret service league, probably only topped by the very scarce three- or fourfold agent. On the other hand, it must be assumed that, first and foremost, a double agent is always an agent in his own interest. …

The employers of a double agent are in an uncomfortable situation. Because there is always the suspicion that, in reality, they were the ones that were cheated. But then, among secret services, “reality“  is not really important. What matters is “non-reality“!

Of course, if you kill someone, you will not like admitting to the deed. Not even if he was a double agent. In such a case, nothing is more natural than pointing towards the second employer.

For the double agent murder, you have two options: the single or the double indirection. The more intelligent but also the more costly way is doubtless the double indirection. In a nutshell, this is how it works:

Initially, you first let the – feign – suspicion point slightly towards yourself.  And then you are totally relaxed while proving that you actually cannot have been the murderer. Obviously, the other employer of the murdered (or rather: executed?) person must have done it.

Naturally, in neither of the two cases you use one of your own agents to kill the double agent. Usually, a friendly secret service will do it. Together with said friendly secret service, you will leave traces of evidence (that must be easy to prove wrong) that point towards your organization. And you also leave traces of evidence (that must be rock-solid) that show that the other employer was the murderer.

Using well prepared evidence, you show that you definitely cannot have done it! However, the other employer wants to make you look guilty! How outrageous! And here you are: you have the simple conclusion that only the other employer can have been the one. After all, he is evil incarnated, which is easy to prove, because, as everybody knows, you are a saint.

This scenario (initially feigning that you yourself are under suspicion and then finding out that the other one must have been it) can actually be quite successful. Especially if you perform with virtuosity and patience. And it can easily happen that the other employer will eventually look quite stupid.

However, this scenario is more for intelligent people. And in the Lapirks case, the only party that might perhaps have used this method are the Russians.

If the English were the culprits, then they used the simple indirection – which is common among secret service agents. To be sure, mostly it will not succeed because it is so clumsy. But this is irrelevant, because in the secret service world, nothing ever succeeds. Only the consequences of their activities are often quite atrocious.

The often used method of the simple indirection (which, of course, le Carré does not use in his demanding novels) works as follows:

You (as a secret service) ask a really good friend from the former Warshaw Pact for his support (this is really just an example!). He could, for instance, belong to the secret service from the former East Block countries you are now allied with. That would be someone who switched sides and has know-how and material about the environment of the second employer of the double agent who needs to be out of the way. Using “quasi Russian” methods, he puts the double agent out of action for a small favour. He likes doing this, because he (no longer) likes the Russians and enjoys giving them a hard time.

It is absolutely normal and not a problem if the double agent survives because he has not done a good job. More likely than not, the entire affair is about something totally different. That is the advanced secret service alphabet.

You will then immediately inform your political “superiors” that the Russians have, again, as is typical for them, done something very evil. Naturally, the term “superior” is nonsense, because if you are secret service, you do what you like. Forget about parliamentary control mechanisms…

In the case of a double agent, it is always easy to find a motive. In this case, the murder is meant as a warning to other double agents. Well, it sounds a little artificial, but then what is not artificial when we are talking secret services?

Your government will gladly believe you, because, after many embarrassing activities, they want to demonstrate strength. In fact, they do not want to know who was the culprit. After all, even they themselves (their secret service) might have been the ones. As I said: what government trusts its own secret service? And you really do not want to know something as unappetizing as this, do you?

Consequently, the best thing a government can do is be offensive and accuse the other side. The more massive and resolute you are about accusing the other party, the less anybody will doubt your word.

Of course, you will have to remove all witnesses. In our case a consternated cat. Since the secret service has a weak spot for cats, said cat will be killed for “humane reasons“. And, of course, you will have to follow the usual procedure, like burn all documents and delete all data.

Nor can you provide any tickets. After all, you cannot jeopardize your sources (other double agents). They, too, might get killed. Incidentally, this is an extremely stupid argument. It opens all the options.


So much for my satirical comment.

It could have been totally different. Especially if we are talking double agents. Perhaps a third party cheated on both the Brits and the Russians. It might have been some Mafia or the Americans. Or an individual criminal? Just because he needed revenge for something. Or whatever. Many scenarios are imaginable and the ”truth“ will probably never surface. Only one thing seems obvious: the “official” version as published by the British secret service is the least likely one.

And, again, I ask myself why we have secret services at all. And if these per-se uncontrollable police-like military units that are permitted to work beyond the constitutional state are perhaps a rather dangerous instrument in a constitutional democracy where the government is democratically legitimated.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Sunday April 8th, 2018

A (my) Democratic Manifesto.

“New Old Insights“

Here are a few theories that should make you thoughtful. They are the result of discussions I had with people who – among other things – know about data security.

Even in normal life, data security is not possible
(let alone in IT).

Antivirus- and other security software is the “wolf in sheep’s clothing”
(works like snake oil and really opens all the doors).

The business model “angst” is bad for everyone involved
and it dominates the absurdity and ignorance in the
public political and societal discussion
(I wrote all this because I am glad to learn something new each day and because I wish to share what I learned).

WHAT WE NEED:

  • Huge amounts of courage instead of small minds;
  • Dissidents and deserters, rather than system agents who just follow commands from above;
  • People who live in self-responsibility, instead of expecting commands and just doing what they have been told;
  • Disclosure instead of secrets;
  • No data security persons, but people who reveal secrets 
(we Germans call them “whistle blowers”);
  • No secret service providers, but transparency guarantee providers;
  • No DSGVO, but the obligation to be transparent;
  • No data security officers, but people who lay everything open;
  • The list could be continued.

Notes:

QUESTION: What proud nation killed most deserters and dissidents? I do not know, but I am sure Germany is among the top.

REMEMBER: Not betrayal is the problem, but keeping secrets is. Because without secrets, there is no betrayal – secrets make it possible.

THINK ABOUT: Those who are prepared to forego basic freedom for a minor temporary degree of safety deserve neither freedom nor safety (and they will lose both).

NOGO: Statements without the readiness to give proof because you need to “protect the sources”. Nothing could be more absurd, because, among other things, it requires a limitless trust advancement that nobody deserves.

DISTRUST: Beware of abbreviations. In Germany, the Nazis were the ones who introduced all the great abbreviations (NSDAP). This alone is a reason against terms such as DSGVO. Because in almost all cases, something pitiful is hidden behind the capital letters.

ONE MORE QUESTION: 
Why do we accept mediocrity? (Rupert Lay)?

and, above all:

How real is reality? (Watzlawick).

The last sentence is because today so many people believe they own the absolute truth and perhaps that is why they talk in such an irresponsible way.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Thursday April 5th, 2018

Can We Be Saved?

In 1999, it was played on the IF-Treff: our drama “Can We Be Saved?“. That is why we called it the IT-Treff Satire (1734) – you can read and play it here. The work was created and written down by Norbert Weinberger and yours truly – on our way to India in the overnight plane. And later, we polished in during many hours of fine tuning, before we finally played it in the Munich Schlachthof before an audience of more than 700.

In those days, we, as amateurs, were part of a good tradition from previous years during which the IT-Treff had celebrated through long nights with such famous protagonists as Gerhard Polt and Django Asül. The arena was always full, it was a hot summer. And in 1999, there was a wonderful finish to the legendary IT-Treff at the same location. We decided to stop because it was so beautiful. In my personal experience of many years, it is actually a wise rule to terminate something when it is best.

In those days, I – and I think the great Gerhard Polt thought the same – I still believed that something might be salvageable. Today, I am no longer so sure. Because too many things that I cannot at all understand happen.

A useless war in Syria that nobody can and wishes to stop.

A Germany that, as an heir to the Third Reich, again gets really into the leading role when it comes to producing weapons and the always predictably failure-doomed attempt at solving problems with armies. For me personally, this is extremely bitter, because if there ever was a country that had a good reason to never again have an army, then it is exactly this said Germany. Yet that is not what we did – and thus we missed a historically unique chance.

A language that suggests wars are harmless, because it continuously uses words like information war and economic war.

  • A world-economy that is more and more centred around betting and has long ago liberated itself from the real economy.
  • And as a by-product, we ruin the planet to such a huge extent that it probably no longer makes any difference if more and more people get poorer and poorer while very few get obscenely rich. Because all will be over very soon, anyway.
  • A world where, in the wealthy countries such as the FRG, one ton of car probably is no longer balanced by 100 kilograms of humanity. Regardless of the fact that the people – especially those who drive cars – are far from light-weight.
  • With people in this world for whom it is more important that their cars have space than that they themselves have space.
  • With a principle that systematically puts growth that is impossible over “less is more”.
  • And much more that nobody can understand, yet in some way or other everybody does. …

Mind you, I am basically not a sad or pessimistic person. On the contrary: I enjoy life and have lots of fun. In fact, sometimes I almost have a bad conscience because I am doing so well. Said conscience is then pacified by me writing these stupid articles. Or by me doing things like in the video below. How sad that I get the impression it might all be in vain. And regardless of the fact that, basically, everybody I meet agrees with what I say, the opposite of it is done collectively.

So – thank you for reading it! And perhaps even for watching the video recording. And if you enjoyed the video, here is another, even better one! It is even more worth watching!

Sorry, I just cannot quit!

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
The theatre play (IT-Treff Satire) was so great that I would like to see it again? Does any of you feel like performing? I would willingly support a re-run. Maybe in a potpourri with several short and quick pieces, as part of a nice party?

Roland Dürre
Sunday April 1st, 2018

April, April, April.

This is another way to perceive April, 1st.

Even as a child, I rather liked April-Fool’s. It was such pleasure to play it upon my small sister on April, 1st.

Later, as I grew older, I found April Fool’s more and more interesting. When reading the “Augsburger Allgemeine” on April, 1st, the first thing I did in the morning was look for them. And more often than not, I found something that did not really qualify.

Naturally, later in life, the April-Fool’s were also prominent in my IF Blog. I even remember one year when there were three of them.

In 2018, I started thinking about a good April-Fool’s early in the year. Perhaps because, these days, there are so many daily news that I would prefer to have been (poor) April-Fool’s.

This morning, my old eagerness to read them was re-kindled. And I found one that I really liked.


Bike Town Münster
Press Release (Pressemitteilung:):
After what happened recently in our city, we, the interest group Bike Town Münster, concluded that the effort it would take for us to really become a bike town, is extremely huge. Consequently, we will decide by an internal majority vote to no longer work towards this goal.

Instead, we will focus on making the already quite noteworthy car-friendliness in Münster even more of a success. The promising developments of the past show us that it is far easier to have far more success in this area with far less effort.

We hereby offer our full support to the ADAC and the ACV Automobil-Club Verkehr for all their projects that promote car-friendly cities. The highly promising NO on driving bans we hear from such model cities as Stuttgart motivates us to now fight for our highest goal “all citizens are free to drive“.

This is what our name stands for!

Best wishes

Die IG Autostadt.ms
(Of course, our Social Media Domains will shortly be changed, but Facebook and Twitter need a little time for name alterations. We hope to finish the process as soon as possible.)
Westfälische Nachrichten
Münstersche Zeitung
WDR Lokalzeit Münsterland
ANTENNE MÜNSTER
Radio Q
Münstersche Volkszeitung
Die Wiedertäufe


I really, really like it. Perhaps because, deep down, I am a little worried that it might not be an April-Fool’s but a true statement. But also because what is an April-Fool’s in Münster is actually the generally accepted strategy in Munich.

And this is not only true for Munich, but also for my hometown Neubiberg. They still spend a considerable amount of money on public car parks in the town centre. Through the entire region, they build parking spaces on, under and above ground. Sports centres eventually cannot be built because there are not enough car parks, and all over Bavarian, they cover natural ground the size of soccer fields for parking lots near schools, cemeteries, railway stations,… in no time with concrete.

And wherever there is a place of resistance against the car-mania, as there seemed to be in Oberhaching, the reader will notice on perusing his newspaper that this bastion, too, has now been cut down.

But this year, we all get our Easter Eggs for free on April 1st! And today, Haching will win against Rostock.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Klaus Hnilica
Tuesday March 27th, 2018

Saving Money with WHISKY

Carl and Gerlinde (# 58)

No, Carl did not wish to explain yet another time why he and Gerlinde had originally planned going to Tenerife but had then yet again ended up in Lanzarote, from where they had returned home yesterday night!

Gerlinde did not want to say anything on the matter, either: why had Hannelore and Kurt chosen this early Sunday morning during breakfast to invade their privacy, just because Hannelore, again, found it impossible to wait for the fantastic vacation report from Gerlinde? After all, she was eager to convince her Kurt that the Canaries were where they needed to go.

Carl was a little irritated when he asked them if they would like a cup of coffee or if they would prefer the champagne and the salmon appetizers he and Gerlinde had eaten at the “Iberostar Lanzarote Park Hotel“ each morning around this time as their brunch.

Oh – you stayed in the same hotel as last year? Hannelore piped. Gerlinde confirmed it with a tired nod while looking for the champagne glasses, because Carl was actually already on his way to fetch the champagne in the basement. Yes, when Hannelore wanted something he was always eager to please!

Come, Gerlinde, tell us how you liked Lanzarote? What was the weather like? Were the people nice and what about the general atmosphere? We want to know everything in detail, don’t we, Kurt?

Kurt gave a short nod and Gerlinde said: Well – yes – on the whole, it was quite nice!

Well – that does not sound too enthusiastic, does it, grumbled Kurt.

But it was – Carl interrupted while he let the champagne corks pop.

Unfortunately, as soon as the first week was over, I started coming down with this terrible cold. I am still not over it, Gerlinde moaned and, to prove her point, she filled two tissues with what had accumulated in her nose.

And I was cold all the time, Carl grinned while pouring the champagne for everyone.
Are you telling me that it was not as warm and spring-like as you had hoped?, asked Hannelore with her raised champagne glass in her hand.

For the many overweight people, it was certainly warm enough, Carl replied. But for the few normal weight humans, like us, it was not! But now cheers. Here is a toast to you and the fact that we are back home safe.

The constantly blowing cold north wind was really a nuisance this time. Gerlinde moaned with a grand suffering expression that Hannelore obstinately chose to ignore.

Great! – This is why you fly 4,000 kilometres in the direction of Africa, was Kurt’s smug comment. He finished his glass in one go and immediately and provocatively placed it again next to the champagne bottle that still contained a few sips.

There was not a single day when it was possible for her to lie in the sun for more than half an hour, because this stupid wind was always blowing. And she only swam in the pool three times in all these two weeks. Her cold, too, was probably because of this, Gerlinde continued lamenting. After all, now she was in lamenting mode and she noticed how this negative report made Hannelore more and more uncomfortable. But, naturally, she had not been the only one suffering from a cold: even early in the morning when everybody came to eat their breakfast, almost the entire room was filled with coughing and sneezing in all musical pitches when they arrived. And the flight back to Frankfurt, too, had been a single load of running and coughing noses.…

Since Carl, to the pleasure of Hannelore, had refilled the glasses with champagne and was now invitingly lifting his glass, Gerlinde had to interrupt her sneezing report for a short time. This gave Hannelore, after she had swallowed a few hasty sips, the chance to quickly ask the question if they had at least enjoyed nice day trips.

Yes, definitely, said Gerlinde after a long pause during which she, who was still wearing her bathrobe, had been swaying her upper body in both directions and taking small sips from her glass!

Immediately after arrival, they had booked this much-recommended and grandiose trip to the fantastic small fisher island ’La Graziosa’ in the north of Lanzarote for Wednesday: it was only 60€ per person and included lunch, the bus transfer from the hotel, the ride to the romantic harbour of Órzola and from there, with a catamaran, through the so-called Rio to the island of La Graziosa!

Unfortunately, however, it rained on this wonderful Wednesday, which scarcely ever happened, moaned Gerlinde. She asked Carl for a refill and also pointed out that the otherwise normal wind had grown into a veritable storm on this day, which meant that they could not stay on deck and that an extra glass bottom boat had to be commissioned to accommodate all the tourists who wanted to stay dry. After the meal on La Graziosa, they decided against another sightseeing tour of the island in the rain and instead cruised around the island with both ships through this deathly swell – after all, there are 6,000 kilometres of Atlantic Ocean directly behind Graziosa. As a result, she had to throw up all the time and even Carl was only just able to walk upright by the end of the tour.

After this short report, Gerlinde needed another glass of champagne and then sank down on her chair in a state of exhaustion. Carl finally took advantage of this opportunity to say something and added that, after this adventure, each of them had stood under the showers for half an hour in order to get a little warm again. Later, thank God, the unexpected happened – which saved the vacation …

And what unexpected event are you talking about? Hannelore eagerly asked with new hope in her eyes.

Well – I am not sure if I should tell? What do you think Gerlinde?
She did not care, muttered Gerlinde, all she wanted was another glass of champagne.

This is the fourth already, Carl noticed with some worry.

So – what?

Well, I was only mentioning it, he said while refilling the glass.

Incidentally, after the successful trip, their general state had been rather similar to the state Gerlinde was now in, Carl said to Hannelore and Kurt. And without further thought, they had then drunk all the four small bottles of Whisky from the mini-bar in order to sink into their beds with a minimum degree of content.…

However, the rude awakening came on the next morning when they discovered that the price for every one of those minuscule 5cl bottles of Whisky was 9.90€. This means that those four ridiculous bottles of Whisky – none contained more than what you could swallow with four mouthfuls – cost – 39.60 €! Well, this was certainly something you needed to give time to sink in, he moaned.

This is certainly not a bad profit for the hotel, Kurt – suddenly wide awake – commented!
And Gerlinde also moaned in her chair. However, her renewed call for champagne was no longer satisfied.

Instead, Carl told Hannelore that, naturally, nobody was going to treat him to such fraudulent rip-off. A short visit to the supermarket clarified the Whisky situation: the 75cl bottle of exactly the same brand was 15.85 €.

Even Kurt knew immediately what needed to be done. Consequently, he nodded when Carl, not without a certain degree of pathos, declared that he and Gerlinde spent the remaining 10 days of their vacation consuming 10 bottles of Whisky. Which meant that, after deduction of the acquisition costs, they had actually generated a plus of no less than 1,325.- € – as you could easily calculate yourself!

Ahhhh – Hannelore suddenly giggled, now it dawned on her: so that is what Gerlinde meant when she said that, all in all, you had been quite satisfied with your vacation!
Yes, that was probably what she meant, Carl confirmed since Gerlinde by then had gone to sleep in her chair. Apparently, the champagne had done its job!

And maybe the champagne had also helped Kurt who, without sounding any louder at all and with an air of self-evidence, suddenly said that, if such a potential for economizing was apparent, he could easily imagine spending a vacation on the Canary Islands.…

KH
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Sunday March 18th, 2018

Creative Communication – Texts

I remember something I really enjoyed. On October, 22nd, 2017. That was the day we met in Nuremburg to try something new in the evening. On that Wednesday, we planned a little show. We were going to jam with images, music and text and “be really creative”. It was the closing of the DOAG yearly conference “Soft Track“ sessions. We, that was Christian Botta, Knud Johanssen and yours truly .

The motto was “Jamming instead of Complaining” (Nicht Jammern sondern Jammen).

You can also see a Video recording. As promised, here are the texts accompanying the video.

To begin with, I introduce the solo by ALTO – the alto saxophone, a little towards the middle of the presentation (recited by Knud Johannsen)

Here is what ALTO the saxophone said.

And here are my texts. As a warm-up, I punched in a few catch-words (words that make sense). I only took words that started with the letter “K” in German. After all, it was all about “creative communication”.


Kaizen (in Japan as early as in the 1940ies), capital, commercialization, communication, accounts, costs, caste, consumption, concern, commerce, control & cooperation, tie, constructivism, context, cybernetik, communism (evil), capitalism (good), art (you cannot earn a living with it), coal (everything is based on it), carbon dioxide, Knud (the one with the saxophone), children (you no longer hit them these days), the (punch) card as the beginning of the computer, cats and kindergarden will come, crucifix will soon be a thing of the past (?), church, the motorbike, the crane, the power plant, nuclear energy, cars, (K70 but not as a combined thing), the cosmos, struggle (against sickness), war (is ostracized, but instead happens on the streets), committees, criminal stories & Kinsey(-report) – it was all crass, collective and complicated …


Then the time trip began with text and music, from yesterday over today into tomorrow – the stars  ****** in my texts always mean that Knud or Christian are the authors. And for those who do not know the songs, I always added a link to a video recording of the song. Naturally, the music played by Knud on his ALTO are always recognizable on the video recording.


Yesterday


***** Yesterday (ALTO & Knud)
Yes, that was yesterday.
Yesterday was the beginning of Anthropocenum, – which is how we propose to name a new  geo-chronological epoch: the era in which homo sapiens  has become one of the most formative factors for the biological, geological and atmospheric processes on the earth. (Wikipedia).
It all started quite well! Electricity replaced coal, what progress! Electric motors instead of steam engines. Wonderful!
But: Electricity is still made from coal.
It is all still about coal – time is money.
***** Money – That`s what I want (ALTO & Knud)
Yesterday was also:
The conveyor belt (Taylorism – after Henry Ford or as practiced in the Chicago slaughterhouses) becomes part of the administration (process and organisation). The caste of engineers becomes the manager caste. Humans are resources. Punch cards for the white collars, too.
Power is in the hands of men. They are the makers. Positive: we have more wealth and are less hungry. We dance on the iceberg.
***** Dirty Dancing (ALTO & Knud)
A life of wastefulness. Waste and nonsense – like the life boats on the unsinkable ship Titanic.
***** Titanic (Alto & Knud)
On the streets, you can hear: damage what damages you!
***** Brick in the wall (ALTO & Knud)


Our trip continues in the Present:


Today


***** Löwenzahn (ALTO & Knud)
Today, success means “survival”.
With joy in life.
And the courage to preserve.
Since life becomes more and more complex: here is how it works. Basically, it is already complex enough. Then we find mistakes that are complex. Correcting the mistakes is complex and makes the system even more complex. We find new, even more complex mistakes. This is how you get a vicious circle of complexity.
***** Solo: Christian climbing a mountain to get at simple, complicated, complex and even “research“ projects (spoken presentation) supported by Heidi.
Enterprises become “excel managed companies“. They are considered machines. The managers turn the levers of this machine and thus control the turnover, profit and stock market value. Everybody competes against each other when planning and everybody bets no end. The golden lamb is growth. In politics, they talk a lot and do not do much. We know everything and do nothing. Inherent necessities rule and we have a contingent of women.
Regardless: wherever you look and in many dimensions, you will find upheaval and new ideas. We now understand: it is not that we lack the courage to do it because it is a hard job, but it becomes a hard job because we lack the courage to do it.


Tomorrow


Let us continue our trip and look at tomorrow. What will be important tomorrow?

  • Less is more!
  • KISS (keep it simple, stupid).
  • Leadership – make people look great, instead of small!
  • The future cannot work for individuals. Let us network and cooperate. Co-creativity will be the concept of the future.
  • Communicating at eye-level!
  • Give others your time, inspire and give impulses.
  • Freedom: willing and being capable of living your own life in a self-determined way
  • Wisdom as human prudence.
  • Sustainability: production cycles with no Waste
  • Biophilie: act in such a way that both your own and other lives will tend more towards increasing than decreasing in many dimensions.
  • The future is female!

We cannot make things right.
We can do the right things.
What will happen if we do the wrong things right?


Then there were some nice solo pieces by Christian (for instance about complexity), Knud never seemed to stop rapping and playing; and then everybody hummed imagine and sang hey jude.

For me (and I believe the same is true for our audience), those were 30 beautiful minutes of our lives. And if you now have become curious: here is the direct LINK to the video recording. We wish you lots of fun when you look at the material

RMD
(Translated by EG)