Roland Dürre
Sunday January 27th, 2013

Another Sunday …

On Sundays, I usually try to think about the last week, what the next week might bring and what I plan and intend to do. Both in my private and professional life. As I look back, I remember what news I heard last week.

And again, I find it rather terrible. I was particularly annoyed on reading the anti-word (Unwort) where they said something about “mothers with foreign roots”.

The next thing that comes to mind is the Federal Minister of Defense. He absolutely insists on getting a few drones for the armed forces. Or rather: “He defended the fighter-drone plan” (see Zeit), again using dialectically rather questionable vocabulary, such as
“Un-crewed aircrafts carrying weapons have the same effect as crewed ones. It is always a human who decides whether or not a missile will be shot”.

Allegedly, he told this to the “Bild-Zeitung“. And, to show us how diligent he is, he added that he would like to develop this drone technology in Germany. Welcome home, lobbyist. After all, we do not want to jeopardize our world-wide standing in the weapons dealing sector.

To me personally, it would be quite nice to see drones with “foreign roots“ fighting  those with “domestic roots“ “abroad”. And I would certainly enjoy it if those with the “domestic roots” won. After all, I am proud of German engineering. Even if those with “domestic roots” were to fight others with the same roots (provided far away from home), it would be commendable. Eventually, the victory would be with the one who has more of them. And that means they would buy more from us, thereby strengthening our economy and creating jobs.

The bad news is that the drones, no matter what roots they have, are usually used against rather defenceless persons. Persons who probably only follow what is (from our viewpoint) a totally blinded conscience. And what if, perhaps, we will eventually have to use them at home? That would not be my idea of a good joke.

Then I remember our Federal Minister of Science. She says she wrote her doctorial thesis all by herself (see  Zeit). But, how evil is the world, now she has to defend her title. And totally without drones, too. Regardless of the fact that most of what is written in her work actually did not originate with her.

But she says: “My dissertational thesis is not plagiarism”. Being commander-in-chief of the doctorial-title industry, that is probably the only thing she can say.

Here is a possible solution to the problem: why not restrict the issuing of doctorial titles to projects such as those where drone are developed? Cheating is a little harder there. It is called business espionage or even worse. However, this proposal will not be easily applicable to the arts.

Mind you, in an enlightened world, a doctorial title is nothing more than perhaps a particularly precious certificate. Like the black belt in project management or in judo. But it is certainly not an extension of your personality you have to make part of your name as a “title”. Something that probably only the Germans of all the nations in the world do.

And the question whether or not such a certificate, after some time has gone by, is owned justly or not is probably not something you should blow up out of proportion. When all is said and done, both the domestic and foreign citizens find it more important to have a driver’s license – which, strangely, you also get for life. Fear thee not: I am not going to demand life-long for aggressive behavior behind the steering wheel.

Which brings me right to the next topic. The Federal Minister of Transportation caused me most amusement last week. He wants to reduce the aggression on our streets. It is something he really wants to do and even spend money on. Totally ignoring psychological and neurological findings. Even the humor displayed in the Spiegel (I do not mean my mirror) will not help me there.

Even a politician should know that, until a short time ago, we humans were nothing but “ape-like monkeys” – except if he is a creationist. After all, humans, too, are mammals. Sometimes this is cute, sometimes it is not all that cute.

To be sure, we also strive for social interaction. And we enjoy developing positive social relationships. Given certain circumstances, however, we naturally tend to go over the top. Not just on the streets. But as long as cars maintain their social and emotional importance (in fact, it is even promoted with billions of euros), drivers will remain socially isolated and sit behind the wheels of their maniac machines like omnipotent deity, including a tendency towards aggressiveness. No penalty catalogue reforms and campaigns will help there. If you go over the top when in charge of such an over-potent machine, there will sometimes be dire consequences. But then, the weapons lobbyists in the US also accept this risk – which is why they continue demanding that automatic rifles can be sold over the counter.

Well, I was not going to write about the news from the USA, AFRICA or ASIA. Instead, I would like to wish you a nice Sunday.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

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