Roland Dürre
Tuesday January 31st, 2012

Video of the IF Forum EXTRA

The Art of Negative Thinking!

Our guests were fascinated by Dr. Klaus-Jürgen Grün’s presentation at the IF Forum on January, 25th, 2012. Now it is available on youtube.

The recording and processing was done by Friedrich Lehn. Shortly, we will also publish a report and, as always, excellent pictures taken by Rolo Zollner.

(Translated by EG)

1 Kommentar zu “Video of the IF Forum EXTRA”

  1. Chris Wood (Tuesday January 31st, 2012)

    I really enjoyed this talk. As the only real negative thinker in the IF-blog landscape, I feel myself honoured. Thanks for making it available, as I could not attend on that evening. Unfortunately, I could not distinguish the audience contributions.
    The “KIKI” picture reminded me of the “star fruit” or Carambola, whose name starts with a “K” sound, but continues with rounded sounds. But the “BOOBA” shape was an obvious fit: “boobs” is English slang for “breasts”.
    I was happy to hear humour so highly valued. For my 18th birthday, my father gave me a book “The Compleat Practical Joker”. He guessed rightly that I would not notice the archaic spelling. Humour was important in my family; sadly in Germany my linguistic handicap limits me (I mean being surrounded by foreigners).
    Of course, with my colossal mathematical talent, the waiter problem was at once obvious to me. Mostly I want to discuss the doctor problem a bit.

    So why not kill the healthy man? Did nobody mention that it would be murder, and the doctor could get into trouble?
    The idea of waiting for the first sick man to die did not occur to me, but with good reason. A week after the birth of my elder daughter, Stephie, my then wife, Jana, lay in a coma, and a doctor asked me about the possibility of organ donation. This prospect had occurred to me already, so I had a considered reply. Her parents had come over from Czechoslovakia, and I told the doctor that I would not agree unless they did. I said he could ask them, but that I was sure they would say no, (which they did). (To complete the picture, I was a blood donor, and have carried an organ donor card for decades, but Jana did not do so). A day or two later, the doctor was kind enough to tell me that Jana’s temperature had gone so high that her organs were no longer any use. One sees that waiting for the fairly slow death of a potential donor is not likely to provide useful organs.
    Why did I react like that? It would have ruined my relationship to my in-laws, if I had said yes. (And they had had hard lives under German and then Russian occupation). The three of us cooperated in bringing up Stephie for the next three years, (my contribution being mainly financial). My second marriage would hardly have happened if I had said yes. Particularly as German medics were probably partly to blame for Jana’s death, perhaps there was a slight feeling of “why should we help Germany if the people here can organise so few donations themselves”? We had not been long in Germany.

    I am sure that I am more utilitarian than most. One would need to consider the potential for long happy lives for the four people whose lives could be saved. The doctor should not murder a man from his waiting room, but rather an unconnected stranger.
    The horror of killing people is not very universal. Not long ago, skin colour or nose shape was considered enough excuse. Religious fanatics still regard life in this world as relatively unimportant. Governments in rich countries show limited concern for starving foreigners. An American soldier was recently convicted of involvement in the murder of 24 Iraqi civilians, including women and children. His sentence was the loss of his officer rank. A life is regarded as being worth unlimited money, unless it is a foreign life.
    Is it bad for a father to sell his kidney, to buy food for his eight children? No, it is only bad that he has so many children, and that they are desperate for food.

    I am sorry to get so serious about this pleasantly light hearted talk. But maybe I cause less damage than does Klaus-Jürgen, with his serious analysis of what makes humour. One should take humour seriously, but avoid thinking about it.

Kommentar verfassen