Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Offener Brief an Gregor Gysi zum Thema Geld, Zinsen und Kredit

Lieber Herr Gysi. Ich habe soeben hier: http://www.linksfraktion.de/reden/weil-ihnen-banken-lobby-regiert-nicht-selbst/ eine Rede von Ihnen gelesen und möchte auf einen massiven Fehler in Ihrer Argumentation hinweisen. Sie bringen das Beispiel, daß Geschäftsbanken sich bei Zentralbanken Geld für 1% leihen, und es dann für z.B. 10 Prozent an einen notleidenden Staat weiter verleihen. Nun sollte man meinen 900% Gewinnmarge wären schlimm genug - wo gibt es so etwas sonst, ohne etwas zu produzieren oder irgend einen Mehrwert zu schaffen. Nur ist die Wirklichkeit viel schlimmer, und selbst in diversen Standardwerken der VWL (etwa Samuelson/Nordhaus: ECONOMICS) ist dies falsch dargestellt.
Tatsächlich sind Geschäftsbanken nur sehr begrenzt auf Zentralbankgeld angewiesen und müssen gemäß Basel Akkord nur eine risikoabhängige Mindestdeckung hinterlegen. Diese liegt im Schnitt um die 2%, je nach Risikoeinstufung auch bei Null oder 10%. Diese minimale - und letztlich aus einer Selbstverpflichtung erwachsene - Mindestdeckung durch Zentralbankgeld bzw. Eigenkapital hat zwei ganz wesentliche Effekte: Zum einen ist es ein gigantischer Profithebel für die Banken. Das geliehene Zentralbankgeld - oder auch das vorhandene Eigenkapital - kann vielfach verliehen werden. Da haben wir dann keine 900% Gewinn auf die "Einkaufskosten" des Geldes, sondern auch schnell mal 50.000 % (in Worten: Fünfzigtausend Prozent). Das ist der eine Effekt. Der andere Effekt ist der einer selbsterfüllenden Prophezeiung: die Zinsen, die eine Bank von einem Kreditnehmer verlangt, werden nach dem Risikoprofil des Kreditnehmers bemessen, und das gilt für Privatpersonen bekanntlich ebenso wie für Unternehmen und Staaten. Bei der Triple A Bewertung eines Staates gehen die Zinsen gegen Null, macht aber nichts, denn die zu hinterlegende Sicherheit für einen Kreditbetrag ist = 0. Einem reichen Staat kann also eine Bank praktisch ohne Limit Kredite (echtes Geld ist das nicht) zur Verfügung stellen, ohne daß sich das Ausfallrisiko dieses Staates nennenswert erhöht. Schließlich sind die Zinsen entsprechend niedrig. Da Die Bank Zinsen bekommt, ohne selbst ein Risiko einzugehen oder irgendwelche Kapitalkosten zu haben ist das dennoch ein gutes Geschäft. Der zweite Effekt, die selbsterfüllende Prophezeiung - und meines Achtens ein Verstoß gegen das grundgesetzliche Gleichbehandlungsprinzip - kommt durch die Ungleichbehandlung ins Spiel: Während das ohnehin leistungsfähigere Deutschland beispielsweise fast keine Zinsen zahlt muß Griechenland tief in die leeren Taschen greifen. Man muß kein mathematisches Genie sein, um zu verstehen, daß die aufgrund des hohen Ausfallrisikos höheren Zinsen das Eintreten des Ausfallrisikos letztendlich überhaupt erst bewirken. Das Risikomanagement verstärkt – oder erzeugt gar selbst erst – das Risiko. Bei Unternehmen ist es dasselbe: Wenn zwei Unternehmen im selben Markt konkurrieren kann das finanzstärkere immer gegenüber dem finanzschwächeren auftrumpfen, da das finanzschwächere mit sehr viel höheren Kapitalkosten bei der Beschaffung von Zwischenfinanzierungen kämpfen muß - oft übersteigen dann die Kapitalkosten die Gewinnmargen und besiegeln das Ende eines Unternehmens. Dadurch wird systematisch weltweit der Wettbewerb auf allen Ebenen massiv zugunsten finanzstärkerer Akteure verzerrt. Profiteure sind meiner Erfahrung nach lediglich Banken und sogenannte "Unternehmensberater" und „Sanierer“, deren Aufsicht notleidende Unternehmen zwangsweise von den Banken unterstellt werden. Aber der wichtigste Punkt bleibt die Schaffung von Kreditgeld aus dem Nichts mit ihrer unvorstellbaren Hebelwirkung. Meiner Ansicht nach ist unser Finanz- und Bankensystem (unser = das weltweite) die zugrundeliegende Wurzel eines Großteils der Menschheitsprobleme - von sozialer Ungerechtigkeit über kriegerische Auseinandersetzungen bis hin zu Umweltzerstörung und globalem Klimawandel. Es letzt sich alles in ganz wesentlichem Ausmaß zurückverfolgen zu der Art und Weise wie Geschäftsbanken „Geld“ erzeugen. In Wahrheit handelt es sich bei den Zahlen auf unseren Konten nicht einmal um Geld im Sinne eines gesetzlichen Zahlungsmittels, sondern lediglich um virtuelle private Schuldscheine. Wir bezahlen mithin nicht Zinsen für geliehenes Geld, sondern dafür, daß uns die Privatbanken Schuldscheine aushändigen.
 
Auf einen derartig ausgefuchsten Betrug muß man erstmal kommen. Wer die Darstellung nicht glaubt kann gerne bei einer weit detaillierteren Ausführung der Bank of England nachhaken. Es lohnt sich, das komplette Paper zu lesen. Werden nach Strich und Faden betrogen.
 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Self Consuming Society



No matter what we do: at the heart of it all is one culprit: an out of control self serving "economic" system that has largely become a self serving end in itself. I am a physical scientist and die hard atheist, but this is akin to the manifestation of all-consuming pure evil that was warned against, over and again throughout the ages in all religions and legends around the world. Something that has to grow, continuously, to survive. Something that never seizes to be hungry and that presses all humans - in fact all living beings of the planet - into its service to meet its demands. Something that utilizes the lowest human characters - sociopaths, psychopaths, narcissists, machiavellists - as its agents to control the majority that even considers them the elite. And it is not a something that came from outer space, not a something that nature inflicted upon us, not an accident or a natural disaster: it is a something that WE created. We have become tiny daisy wheels and microchips in the very machine that consumes us, that will kills us. We call economic what is quite the opposite of what the word means, unless "the economy" itself is that which is to be served in the most efficient way. Then again: We also call our own species "Homo Sapiens Sapiens". The (even doubly) wise human. WHAT A FREAKING JOKE! Ever wondered why it is so quiet in outer space? Where are all those mighty space faring star-trekking civilizations? Just guess, folks, just guess.... Carl Amery aptly used the metaphor of Beer Yeast for the working principles of our neoclassical economy. We are the yeast, and the alcohol is the money.

An excellent thriller on the wicked global workings of money:
One Trillion Dollar, by Andreas Eschbach (in English) (in German)

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Bundestagspräsident Lammert droht mit TTIP Ablehnung

Soso. Wenn es so indiskutabel ist, wie er sagt, soll er nicht drohen, sondern MACHEN. Punkt. Meinen Respekt hat er dafür.

Das Argument der TTIP Befürworter "(...) dass Europa sonst Einfluss bei der Regulierung des Welthandels einbüßen könnte." Ist bestenfalls drollig. Regulierung durch weitgehende freiwilige Aufgabe der Kontrollfunktion? Aha. Regulierung durch Deregulierung. Hört sich an wie Schwimmen durch Untergehen oder Sättigung durch Verhungern. Die Leute denken sich Sachen aus...

http://taz.de/Bundestagspraesident-ueber-Verhandlungen/!5245410/

Plädoyer für ein starkes Europa...

Die politische Situation ist verworren und verlogen. Tony Blair gab jüngst zu, daß der Irakkrieg letztendlich die Ursache für den Aufstieg von ISIS und die Destabilisierung der ganzen Region sei. Nicht, daß dies nicht offensichtlich wäre. Von einem Fehler mag er nicht reden - schließlich könnte Großbritannien zusammen mit den USA zumindest moralisch in die Haftung genommen werden.

In der EU wird der Ruf nach dem "Schutz der Außengrenzen" lauter, und das nicht gegen einen militärischen Angriff, sondern gegen verzweifelte, frierende Menschen, die hunderte, teils tausende von Kilometern zu Fuß zurücklegen, um ihr nacktes Leben zu retten. "Außengrenzen schützen" ist nichts anderes als die Forderung danach, hunderttausende von Menschen in Lager zu internieren, oder im Sinne des Wortes im kalten Regen stehen und am langen Arm verhungern zu lassen. Wir haben es mit einer humanitären Katastrophe größten Ausmaßes zu tun, wie sie allerdings andernorts auf der Welt immer wieder zum Normalzustand gehört hat und auch jetzt gehört - man denke an den Sudan, und an die Tsunami, Erdbeben- und Sturmkatastrophen der letzten Jahre in Asien. Diesmal lässt sich das Gewissen nicht mit einer 20 Euro  Spende an "Deutschland Hilft" beruhigen.

Die Reaktion der Bevölkerung der EU ist ein Rechtsruck, das gesamtgesellschaftliche Äquivalent zum Cocooning. Das ist die Antwort eines kleinen Kindes, das glaubt, es sei unsichtbar wenn es die Augen verschließt. Die Monster der Erwachsenenwelt aber sind real. Wenn die EU versagt, ist auch Europas Rolle in der Weltgeschichte zu ende. Im Vergleich zu den "Big Players" unserer Zeit ist selbst das ökonomisch aufgeplusterte Deutschland nur mehr ein politischer Zwerg. Die tatsächlichen Angriffe auf Europa kommt von Innen - durch die eigene zaghafte Bevölkerung und eine EU Kommission, die demokratische Grundprinzipien für politisch motivierte Handelsabkommen (CETA, TTIP, TISA) zugunsten der Macht transnationaler Konzerne in den Wind schlägt. Hinzu kommt die seit mehr als einem Jahr immer wieder ausufernde Aggressionsrhetorik der US-geführten NATO und auch der US Regierung die wirkt, als gäbe es ein Interesse an einer ausufernden militärischen Eskalation. Gerade jetzt braucht die Welt ein starkes, moderates und humanistisches Europa das hinter seinen Grundprinzipien steht und gewillt ist diese auch gegen innere und äußere Widerstände aufrecht zu erhalten. Die Wähler und nationalistischen Politiker einzelner EU Staaten begehen einen fatalen Fehler wenn sie meinen ihre Souveränität würde durch einen neuen Nationalismus gestärkt. Das Gegenteil ist der Fall, denn nur im Rahmen der EU lassen sich die Interessen der Mitgliedsstaaten weltweit auch nur bemerkbar machen.
http://www.taz.de/Europa-in-der-Krise/!5242110/

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

EX US Geheimdienstmitarbeiter warnen Kanzlerin Merkel vor Falschaussagen der US Regierung

Die US Aktivistengruppe "Intelligence Veterans for Sanity" hat am Vorabend des NATO Gipfels in Wales einen außergewöhnlichen Schritt unternommen. In einem eindringlichen Memorandum, verfasst als offener Brief an Kanzler Merkel, warnen sie vor Falschaussagen der NATO und auch der US Regierung zur tatsächlichen Situation in der Ukraine. Die Gruppe, zu der hochrangige ehemalige Beamte aus NSA, CIA, FBI und dem US Militär gehören, veröffentlichte den Brief zunächst im US Nachrichteportal OpEd News und inzwischen auch in Deutschland.

Coleen Rowley, pensionierte FBI Spezialagentin und Anwältin sowie Hauptautorin des Artikels, warnt unter anderem vor gefälschten und falsch interpretierten Fernerkundungsdaten. Sie verweist mit Nachdruck auf die Präsentation gefälschter Nachrichtendienstlicher Informationen durch den damaligen Außenminister Collin Powell vor dem Sicherheitsrat der Vereinten Nationen. Auch NATO Generalsekretär Anders Fogh Rasmussen hat eine zweifelhafte Vergangenheit in Punkto politische Wahrheit. Nicht nur, daß er sich seit Monaten völlig unangemessen in politische Belange einmischt - er verstieg sich auch schon als dänischer Ministerpräsident am Vorabend des Irak-Krieges in einer Rede vor dem dänischen Parlament zu Aussagen wie "Irak hat Massenvernichtungswaffen. Das ist nicht etwas, das wir lediglich vermuten. Wir wissen es." Heute wissen wir, daß diese Waffen nie existiert haben und lediglich einen fingierten Grund für die längst beschlossene Invasion lieferten. Eine Lüge, die zehntausende Menschenleben kostete.

Es ist vollkommen unklar, was aktuell in der Ukraine geschieht. Klar ist jedoch, daß der Westen seit Jahren provokative Signale in Richtung Moskau schickt. So sendete am 01. Februar 2008 der damalige US Botschafter in Russland, William Burns, nach einem Treffen mit Russlands Außenminister Lavrov zum Thema NATO Osterweiterung und Ukraine ein Kabel an seine Chefin Condoleeza Rice. Dort hieß es: ""NYET heißt NYET: RUSSLANDS ROTE LINIEN ZUM THEMA NATO-ERWEITERUNG." Burns gab der Mitteilung die höchste Priorität. Es dauerte anschließend keine zwei Monate, bis die NATO Führung auf einem Treffen in Bukarest formal erklärte, die Ukraine und Georgien würden eines Tages Mitglieder sein. Eindeutig ist hier der Westen der Provokateur.

Die Europäische Union kann nicht das geringste Interesse an einer Eskalation dieses Krieges haben, der im schlimmsten Fall ganz Europa betreffen könnte. Die EU und Russland sind geopolitisch natürliche Partner und in vielen Bereichen funktionierte die Zusammenarbeit seit Jahren tadellos. Die USA haben ein machtpolitisches Interesse daran, eine zu enge Partnerschaft zwischen EU und Russland zu unterbinden, da sie durch eine solche Partnerschaft in die zweite Reihe gerückt würden. Für die Europäische Union - und für Kanzlerin Merkel - kann deshalb es nur eine Strategie geben: keine Militäreinsätze gegen Russland.

Quellen:
http://www.heise.de/tp/artikel/42/42680/1.html
http://tinyurl.com/Merkel-memorandum

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Taifun Haiyan - Katastrophenhilfe für die Philippinen - Benefiz Auktion

BENEFIZ VERSTEIGERUNG @ebay

"Wirklichkeit ist das, was nicht verschwindet, wenn man aufhört, daran zu glauben" meinte Philip K. Dick. Wirklichkeit ist in diesen Tagen, wenn man den Fernseher einschaltet und Menschen sieht, die 16 tausend Kilometer entfernt auf tropischen Inseln neben den Leichen ihrer angehörigen auf Hilfe warten. Ich beschäftige mich seit fast 30 Jahren mit globalen Umweltveränderungen und insbesondere dem Klimawandel, und Ereignisse wie dieses - auch wenn im Einzelfall der Zusammenhang nicht erbracht werden kann - entsprechen den Voraussagen. Die Extreme werden extremer. Wir müssen uns auf eine Welt einstellen, in der Nothilfe für die Ärmsten der Armen unter immer weiter verschärften Bedingungen zum Normalfall wird.

Der Taifun Haiyan ist eine Kategorie von Sturm, die es eigentlich nicht gibt. Kinetische Windenergie steigt mit der 3ten Potenz der Geschwindigkeit, und somit war Haiyan mit seinen bis zu 380 km/h schnellen Böen fast 5x so stark wie der Rekord Wintersturm Kyrill, der im Januar 2007 weite Teile Westeuropas verwüstet hatte. Ich kann mich an diesen Sturm gut erinnern, den wir damals in Marburg miterlebt hatten - die ganze Nacht hörten wir das explosionsartige Knallen und Krachen der Der berstenden Bäume in den Wäldern der Lahnberge. Unser Ortsteil Marburg-Ginseldorf war von der Außenwelt abgeschnitten, selbst das Notfallzentrum an der Uniklinik auf den Lahnbergen war wegen ganzer umgestürzter Wälder nicht zu erreichen. Ein Sturm der fünffachen Stärke sprengt die Vorstellungskraft, und das wahre Ausmaß der Katastrophe in den Philippinen ist noch längst nicht abzusehen.
Für den Augenblick ist Nothilfe gefragt, und die wird am besten von gut ausgebildeten und organisierten Profis geleistet, wie beispielsweise von ISAR - International Search and Rescue Germany, aus Duisburg. Gut organisierte profis die ehrenamtlich mit geringen Kosten sinnvolle Hilfe leisten die wirklich ankommt. Wer helfen möchte kann dort etwas spenden: ISAR

Benefiz Versteigerung zugunsten der Sturmopfer auf den Philippinen

Wer mehr tun möchte: wir versteigern den limitierten Druck "Sanctuary" des Hawaiianischen Künstlers Christian Riese Lassen . Das Bild wurde 1992 von der UNO für den Welt-Umweltgipfel in Rio in Auftrag gegeben. Die Versteigerung läuft bis zum 22.11.2013. Die Verwendung des Geldes wird nachgewiesen und veröffentlicht!
 ZUR ebay BENEFIZ VERSTEIGERUNG

Friday, January 11, 2013

Are we forever dreaming of Utopia?

To be honest, all things considered, I would say that the last three or four decades in western and northern European countries, in Japan, Australia, New Zealand and a few other territories were as close to old dreams of "Utopia" as any place could possibly be. Same was true for most folks in the US between the 60s and nineties. Unfortunately the improvement does not continue forever, certainly not when it requires perpetual economic growth. Complex systems feature overshoot and downfall. Resonance catastrophe and collapse. That's, quite simply, a fact. And ignoring "Late lessons form Early warnings (the title of an enlightening EU Report) is, well, silly. Warnings come before visions. And as Michio Kaku informed me (not that it was new to me) when I once interviewed him: "Humans only move under the impression of great shock. That's our nature." In other words: we are stupid. We just love to hold on to the cozy status quo. Lack of visions? There seem to be plenty of them. But how realistic are they? How realistic can a single vision be for a complex world of 7+ billion that has entered the anthropocene? Marx attempted one such vision and it already collapses because it seemingly applies to another planet with another dominating species - certainly NOT for really existing humans of our time. Freeman Dyson warned that any system that is to work has to assume that all humans are crooks. I'd say potential crooks. Only 5 or 10% really are crooks (5% fully fledged psychopaths). The remainder are merely lazy, a bit greedy, mainly concerned about feeling good and having things and impressing their neighbors and a hell of a lot of people devoutly believe in things and ideas that, quite simply don't exist (and some of them get so infuriated about those non-existing things that they even go about and KILL each other!). Any uniting vision for this bunch please? Many attempts were made. Some of them resulted in wide spread belief in things that don't exist...and the aforementioned related fighting and killing.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Ending the Age of Embedded Journalism...

Julian Assange, in my view, is an activist and first of all an investigative Journalist heading an investigative Journalism network. Investigative Journalism is a noble and dangerous profession and always was. Beyond that any musings about Julian Asssange's character or private preferences are none of my business. He is, after all, not an elected official or a state officer...
I keep thinking that if Wikileaks had appeared in the atmosphere of the 70s or even the 80s (here in Germany at least) it would have made the news, but it would not have lead to any hysterical reactions. In these old days the "mainstream media" themselves still were thoroughly engaged in investigative Journalism. But we now have lived in the age of embedded journalism for such a long time that we hardly remember what investigative journalism in nation-wide major newspapers looks like. An entire generation grew up without ever encountering it! And the face of embedded journalism is diverse: long before Journalists were embedded in selected military units encountering selected operations, they had been embedded (and thus effectively neutralized) in commercial units leading to selective whitewash reporting. At one point Journalistic output had become more defined by corporate advertiser interests than by the earnest urge to inform the public. What Wikileaks might be able to achieve, if anything, is to shake up Journalists, writers and citizens and remind them that a truly free press is an absolutely mandatory pillar of a truly free society. The best example to the contrary may well be Italy with a head of state who simply owns all major media outlets and thus controls much of the public opinion - enough to win elections. And albeit current day Italy may be an extreme case, the other western countries differ only by degree, not in principle. We need a free press. We need investigative journalists. I really dislike the worn out word "hero", but perhaps they can be called the "heroes of democracy". And I wonder if the likes of Sarah Palin ever bothered to familiarize themselves with the works of George Orwell or Aldous Huxley - on my side of the Atlantic they still are mandatory reading in high school.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Picture Moment

Since Sophie is in the header with me, here be an Image of Liv and me. It became somewhat famous and was used in numerous publications around the globe. If interested do a google image search on “Pipitdapo”.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Top Three Most Sustainable Brands: Wagner & Co Nominated for German Sustainability Award

(Cölbe July 21, 2010) The corporate philosophy of the solar energy pioneer Wagner & Co Solar Technology can be summarized in a single phrase: sustainability is our business. Now Wagner & Co was selected by a high profile Jury as one of three nominees in the category "most sustainable brand". The company is finalist for the German Sustainability Award. It will be awarded by the German Sustainability Council during a Gala in Düsseldorf on November 26, 2010. The event is held and organized under the auspices of the German federal government and Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel.

 
 
For more than thirty years Wagner & Co developed, constructed and manufactured award winning top flight solar energy systems, motivated by the idealistic goal to make clean and independent energy available and affordable for everyone. Wagner & Co is known for continuous innovation, including the planning and installation of many large scale solar plants, among them many technological "firsts". But the company does not only excel in the field of sustainable technology - the organization is also built upon sustainable foundations: from the outset, the 9 founders from the anti nuclear student activist scene devised the company as employee owned and with democratic decision structures. Despite more than thirty years of perpetual growth and economic success, these structures as well as the flat hierarchies, are still firmly in place and form the heart and soul of the company - a company now globally active, serving customers all over Europe and beyond, with branches in four European countries and the United States.
 
Following the motto "solar technology for everyone", the company also engages in corporate responsibility and supports sustainable development projects in diverse settings: solar hot water for a school cantina in the Chernobyl affected region of Belarus, solar light for a boarding school in Tanzania, solar water supply for a Nigerian village, to name a few.
 
The nomination for the German Sustainability Award confirms the path and strategy of Wagner & Co, focusing on sustainable high-quality products and a sustainable corporate governance with healthy work/life balance and a participatory climate for the company's employees. Past awards and nominations went to companies like the organic food brand Alnatura and the global logistics giant Deutsche Post/DHL. The high profile of these corporations as well as the status of individual prize winners underscore the nomination's value. The illustrious list of prize recipients includes for example the British heir to the crown and environmental activist Prince Charles or the retired UNEP director Klaus Töpfer, who also serves on this year's jury board.
 
Having been identified as one of Germany's three most sustainable brands and thus been nominated for the Sustainability Award is yet another encouragement for the company to further promote and live a cooperative and environmentally friendly business style. For a common solar future.
 




Wagner & Co is one of the leading collector manufacturers in Europe. The company offers solutions for solar heating applications and solar electricity. In 1979 Wagner & Co was spearheaded by nine college students rooted in the ecology and anti nuclear movements of the 70s. Nowadays the company headquarter and main production facilities are situated in Cölbe and Kirchhain, right in the geographic heart of the EU (near Frankfurt, Germany). The company is employee-owned, independent from the stock market and has more than 350 employees. The total turnover amounts to approx. 250 million Euro. Thanks to its subsidiaries in France, Spain, Italy and the United States the company passes on its more than 30 years of solar energy know how and experience throughout Europe. Many times Wagner & Co products came out first in rigorous tests by Stiftung Warentest (German consumer testing agency), and currently the solar package COMBI line SH 1440 AR is certified as “best in test” for the third time in a row in spring 2009. In the field of solar electricity the company offers highly efficient photovoltaic systems with precisely dimensioned installation components produced by globally renown manufacturers. Wagner & Co is a pioneer on the European solar market and received numerous awards, including the "Ethics in Business" award and the OTTI Innovation award.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Mind Virus Internet

The internet was invented by the military. The World wide web was invented by researchers, and in the beginning it all was good - I recall that at first, back in 1994, the intention was to keep the web free and clean of the stain of commercial activities. It was to be a realm of research and experimental communication. But that did not take into account that the world is in the grip of only one remaining religion or ideology, depending on the point of view: the "Profitum". Money. We have long entered an era where money has not only become an end in itself - which already is a ridiculous notion, no, the sad and ultimately all consuming fact is that money is the only all dominating end in itself remaining. The focus of all human activity is to serve a religion that is indebting us all, a religion that creates guilt (debt) and guilt only. A religion without ethics, moral, sense or sensibility. A religion that is unintelligible in its entirety. The Internet is only the latest tool to serve the total exploitation of the human mind, soul and bank accounts. And indeed: much of the websites are parasitical. If not the entire web is a parasite of the mind, a gargantuan mind virus stealing our time, our thoughts - our life. Did life get better in any true and tangible way thanks to the internet? I think the development of the web shows clearly what United States Culture is mainly about: advertising. Trying to brainwash people into believing that they cannot live without possessing certain - in fact entirely useless or unnecessary - things. It is a culture focused on having instead of being. A culture that has and has ever more and more and constantly feels deprived of something without ever quite knowing what that is.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Why I am not a good Blogger

Actually I think nobody is a good blogger – nobody can be. The principle of the blog is to perpetually babble on about something. About anything. Ideally daily. Unfortunately nobody has something relevant to say every day. In fact most of us never have anything relevant to say in the first place. So – why would I bother spending my time writing something irrelevant day in, day out?

Think about what kind of Blogger Albert Einstein would have been. The great Albert, the Icon of intellectual superiority and moral integrity in the 20th century. He would have written E equals m c squared. Grand. He would have written on a bit the Lorenz transformation. Interesting. And a few rather incomprehensible treatments on tensor calculations and 4 D space time. A no – actually he would not have written that in a blog as he would have published these things – as he did then – in peer reviewed academic journals. So what would Einstein have written in a Blog? Maybe a few witty statements about fashion, God (also a fashion) and a few things about people and their follies in general. There are a few dozen bonmots about Einstein. But not much more. Actually I believe he would not have become a blogger. Because there is no reason for it. Maybe some students would have sat down and collect his quotes and put them up on a blog or on Twitter or a similar one of all those hollow internet entities.

Einstein simply did not have enough to say to create an interesting blog. So who the hell would I be...

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Climate Change: Does it make sense to argue with rightist believers?

I have been reading the notorious Newsmax Newsletter for a while (it really is a painful thing for me to do), and it often leaves me speechless. For one, it clearly caters to the scientifically disenfranchised (which is a mild way of expressing it). At first it was difficult for me to understand that any even remotely educated person would fall for the style and content of these right-wingers’ arguments, but apparently there are enough relatively intelligent people with a cemented – and very limited - world view. Often it strikes me as if these people live in a parallel reality, and the method is to transfer bits and pieces of the actual reality into their limited realm where those morsels of facts and knowledge are cut off their roots and interpreted in the context of a world with which they have nothing to do. And although it is not politically correct to say that: it is impossible to convince a true believer of anything that contradicts his or her belief. It means to pull the mental ground away from under their feet – so understandably there is resistance to this onslaught of science. At the same time scientific ignorance is still the norm, not the exception. Even here in Germany – nowadays a very liberal, progressive and rather well educated society. If I go out onto the street of a big city, 80% of the 2009 populace I encounter there will not be able to tell me the difference between solar thermal applications and photovoltaic. Ten years ago I actually did a survey which included question aimed at finding out whether people could distinguish between “ozone hole”, “ozone smog” and “greenhouse effect”. The result was very sobering. So how much insight can be expected from the layman, when it comes to the tremendous complexity of the global climate system meeting the tremendous complexity of the globalized economy? It is near nil. And – although I am a trained physicist, climatologist and have over 20 years experience in the field: even much of my own perceived insight might amount to not much more than an illusion of understanding. When asked about the details I too often have to say “I don’t know”. The contrarians don’t do that. They blurp out their invented facts without doubt and hesitation. They are – or act like – believers. I have likened the situation to a medieval inquisition court. Imagine a scientist attorney in court addressing the Grand Inquisitor in favor of a defendant: “Your argument does not hold, because your fundamental proposition is unproven or wrong: the presumed existence of god and the devil.” I assume the argument would not have been very successful. But this points towards a fundamental problem: as long as we are arguing with people who live in an invented reality, there is no way of countering their arguments, because every scientific argument is a signal sent into and filtered by their closed set of quasi scholastic logics. They are, by their own definition, RIGHT. This means before their argument begins, they, in their own view, already have won the argument. There is no loosing. The scientific culture on the other hand is one of arguments, debate and discourse – a culture constantly in flux. The political right wing is by definition “conservative” - their values are solid, inflexible, well defined and ideally even eternal. Every change is perceived as a threat, and nothing is more disturbing to this mindset than the ever changing world of scientists. What a scientist like me considers a fascinating adventure of the mind that will keep me motivated up and running until the end of my days, many others perceive as an existential danger. So again: I am afraid there is no way to argue with anyone who religiously believes in any given ideology or religion and who is determined to defend their views – in fact their mental makeup – with every force they can muster. In such an argument everything you do or say – no matter what – will be turned against you. Because everything you do or say, no matter what, is, by definition, wrong from the onset. The only hope is to reach some of those who are not entirely inflexible yet, who’s mind is not yet completely close. That already would be a big success.

Such is that.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Freely quoting Laotse...

Taking others for a ride is an art.
Taking yourself for a ride is a higher art... 8-)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

What a former vice presidential candidate knows - and what not, and what she and I have in common. Or not.

Yesterday I read in the notorious Newsmax newsletter, which I receive for unknown uncanny reasons: “Sarah Palin unaware that Bristol had sex”.  Umpf. Okay, I thought, not surprised. She did not know that Africa was a continent, so it struck me as consequent that she was not aware that people in the city of Bristol also are busy with common human activities. A moment later I realized that Ms Palin, who – like my good old self – once attended Hawaii Pacific University, has a daughter named Bristol. But the wondering went on: was Ms Palin aware that Bristol is the 11th largest city in the UK and former center of the British slave industry? Did she name her daughter after the city? And if so: why would she do that? If she didn’t, she would not only not be aware that her daughter was busy with general human activities – she also would have been unaware of the origins and meaning of her own daughters name.

P.S.: Ms Palin and I are no alumni – we both have in common that we did not graduate from HPU. I graduated, for example, from the University of London. London is the largest city in the UK and of the European Union. If it were situated in the US, it would be the 2nd largest city there. Not that it is important... I assume Ms Palin and I have a lot of things in common that we both did not do... I did not, among other things, become Vice President of the United States. Or any other vice president of any other state. Nor president. And I never will. Again something she and I have in common. I hope. For the well being of the world.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

We can save the World - but NOT the economy!

I recently participated in the "Climate 2009" event - an online conference hosted by a Hamburg/Germany based university and the World Meteorological Organization - one of the pre-curser events to the Copenhagen conference next month. Having been involved in climate change science and policy in the one or the other way over the last two decades I have gotten somewhat tired. The discussion strikes me as if a ship is sinking from overload, and the passengers and crews are discussing whether one form of weight pulls the ship down more than another. They stay within the system, that is. I raised a question: Is it possible to ever achieve a net reduction of energy related emissions within a framework of forced continuous exponential economic growth? Is it principally possible to find a way of de-coupling economic growth and energy/resource consumption with related emissions? As far as I can tell fundamental physical laws stand in the way of constant exponential economic growth. Unfortunately raising this question means to question one of the leading global dogmas: that growth is the savior. Economic - or rather fiscal - growth is practically divine. That question is not asked. One quickly is viewed as a nutty doomsday prophet or conspiracy theorist. On the other hand - when talking to economists, businessmen and scientists individually on a one by one base they usually quickly admit: it is impossible. Simply impossible. This means our entire beautiful globalized economic system is based upon either a big lie or a big mistake. And - everyone who thinks about it quickly realizes it. And: the proportion of the issue is so enormous that nobody has even the remotest clue what to do about it. "Recycle Aluminum" is not really an answer. As a result everyone just closes their eyes and moves on as before.

When younger I argued against children, against population growth, and now I, myself, have three daughters and cannot even plausibly argue along these lines. I also drive a relatively big car because my job (in solar energy R&D) requires me to travel, our family of 5 plus dog won't fit in a GEO Metro AND we live in the country. So it goes. And we try to recommend not using excess resources on an individual level, yet the economy as it is is entirely based upon just that: ever more consumption of everything!

Be that as it may: arguing against forced economic growth as the fundamental cause of our future demise nowadays is like standing as an attorney in front of the grand inquisitor of medieval times saying "Sir - I herewith plead not guilty for these women accused of witchery, because God as well as the Devil and their ilk are cultural inventions and do not really exist, hence, they cannot serve as arguments in court."

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Brainless American Right Wingers Scare me Shitless

The right extremist NEOnazi Newsletter NEWSMAX had a headline today: Radical Obama won’t be re-elected. I wonder what that means? Here is an example for something that I consider so radical and extremist that it does not fit into any mainstream description of political wings: The Government of a Superpower deliberately lies about evidence and reasons for a war and then, without any such reasons, goes about and bombs an entire a country to rubbles. The American right wing self proclaimed pro-lifers/pro gunners do not seem to have much difficulties carrying out mass-abortions by blowing the expectant mothers to pieces, if those mothers speak another language or carry another passport or killing pregnant women is in the “Pro Lifers” financial interest. This is what the American Military does. Among other things – like mass murdering wedding guests in Afghanistan. This is what EVERY military machinery does that embarks in a war. Which is one of the reasons why we should avoid war altogether. There are no heroes – only desperate young men and women who are forced to do and experience things nobody should ever be forced to do and experience.

I keep reading along the NEWSMAX newsletter, and I believe these people are in need of some serious mental treatment (of course the liberals do not force mental treatment upon others – only the right wing has such ideas like the “Freedom Commission on Mental Health”). I read things like “Obama care can be stopped”.  The majority of that sentence consists of the phrase “care can be stopped”. Care is an awful thing, isn’t it? It strikes me as if the believers of the market religion (who often falsely claim – or believe themselves – that they are Christians) find nothing more terrifying than the notion that people actually might CARE about each other. People apparently are not supposed to care about EACH OTHER. They are supposed to care about the market, their job, about consuming, about making money. About the economy. About paying their credit card debts. They are supposed to care about HAVING and not about BEING. All these people believe in is money. All they want is money. More of it, and ever more of it. That is their true and only faith. And there are millions of such believers – tens of millions in the US. That such people exist in the first place  scares me shitless.

Seeking Climate Change Solutions from within a Diseased Dystem?

I have been involved with global environmental and climate change related issues since my high school days in the 80s - that is well over 20 years. Having a geo and physical science background, I try to look at the entire problem from a whole systems perspective, and at the root of the entire global change syndrome seems to be the coupling of energy/resource use and economic growth. There is no evidence that economic growth (defined as fiscal/monetary growth) is going to be de-coupled from physical resource depletion anywhere soon (how could it?) - energy consumption and resource consumption pretty much follow the growth curve of the global GGP (gross global product). And yet aside from some fringe groups the topic of economic growth itself as the main cause of environmental degradation and, indeed, the main threat to the very planet itself is not taken up by anyone (Why do we need continuous economic growth? What drives it?), aside from a few fringe groups without influence in the political arena. Instead, enormous attempts are made to accommodate the climate change issue within the existing institutions and to find fixes that turn climate change into even further economic growth. In my view the wrong incentives are in place everywhere - e.g. Carbon trading focuses on trading profits, not on carbon reduction. In my view topics like our financial crisis and climate change also are deeply intertwined. And nobody could yet plausibly explain to me how a monetary and economic system requiring perpetual exponential growth in order to function could ever be sustainable - if I am not mistaken a physical and mathematical impossibility. I am not in any way ideological, but my prediction is that it will be impossible to adequately address the climate change issue within the existing economic and financial paradigm. Kyoto has been a band aid, and here in Germany - a world leader in renewable energy - the power hungry Internet alone easily outperforms all contributions of the renewable energy sector and the so called emission reduction successes in this country were nothing but a statistical trick made possible by the historical coincidence of the re-unification.

If anyone thinks that the issue will be solved by efficiency or a service oriented society: there is no 100% efficiency and there is no service that does not require any energy or resources at all, therefore a perpetual exponential growth is impossible in any case. And even if we consider that economic growth will more and more rest with non-material goods (e.g. software) there is another limited resource: consumer time. It does not matter how we look at it: perpetual exponential economic growth is not possible. And there also really is no need for it from an individual's point of view - it merely is a built in requirement of our financial system. Every single unit of money forming out of thin air results in a corresponding quantity of resource consumption and pollution.

If anyone can explain to me where I am wrong and how perpetual exponential economic growth in a limited world is possible without violating the most fundamental physical and mathematical laws, I would be very thankful. I also need to understand why even the richest country requires continuous economic growth in order to function properly. I hold a Ph.D. in Astrophysics, and studied Economics, Climatology Oceanography and more, so you are most welcome to throw some serious theory and math at me. Before you do that, however, you might want to read Prof. Binswanger's rather mathematical book "Die Wachstumsspirale", though.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Tweepy out of Touch Crown of Creation

I made an interesting discovery recently – I was vaguely aware of that before, but now it is clear: the vast majority of people cannot be at ease by simply being alone and sitting somewhere in quietude and thinking or dreaming a bit or – doing just nothing. The vast majority of people go nuts when they suddenly hear their own inner voices. That’s why they always must do something – or always must immerse in a sea of noise and continuous distractions called entertainment. I find that deeply disturbing. Conversation with others mostly amounts to one shallow, entertained and distracted mind’s surface out of touch with its own roots exchanging superficialities with a similar kin. Chippy, chippy chirp chirp. Tweepy, tweep, tweep. Crown of creation, heh?

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Oppositeness of It All

Mails coming in claiming “Importance” to themselves are always spam – almost without exception. Statements that are shouted in most cases should not be listened to. And so it continues: no justice among the righteous, total control in self proclaimed free states (even if it is only the rope called money tightening around your neck), and reasons for war (another word for mass murder) usually are non-existent – or quite different from the public claims, and so-called truth in general is mainly nothing but unfounded belief.  Practically everything the human world is based upon is a lie.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Masters of the Universe

When I chanced upon this video, I thought: the mites are the banksters and speculators aka the self proclaimed "Masters of the Universe". And the lady with her vacuum cleaner - she is Mama Natura. Mother Nature, aka "Reality". So no matter who you think you are: you are only a dustmite in the big scheme of things.

Masters of the Universe

When I saw this video, I thought: Ah - these mites are the banksters and speculants - aka the "Masters of the Universe". And the lady with the vacuum cleaner - she is mama Natura. Mother Nature, aka "Reality". No matter who you think you are - you are just a dust mite in the big schemes of things.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Internet indifference

Some time ago I wrote that the internet is pointless. That may or may not be true, but the internet is not an ideology or a religion and it also is not an end in itself. And yet people believe in it. I think the price we pay for its existence may by far outweigh the benefits (what are the benefits?). The energy consumption of the net alone is mind blowing. Be that as it may, I today discovered that I lost my interest in the net. I use it on a daily base as part of my work, for reference, for communication, but that is it - the evolution - or devolution - from the thrill of having "the world at my fingertips" to a thing, a collection of systems and services, that are not more than telephone, fax machine, library, bookstore, postbox and so on, only with different means. What I mean is that my feelings towards the internet by now are about the same as my emotional attachment to a postoffice. I feel a vast indifferene towards this technology - after a decade and a half with periods where I was in danger of getting addicted. So here is the good news: if you are in risk of internet addiction - that, too, will pass! ;-).

Saturday, July 25, 2009

White Noise Conspiracies

Sometimes I think about the myriad of conspiracy theories out there, that many conspiracies are real, but there are so many of them, working in opposite directions, that they basically nullify each other on the macro scale. Entertaining in detail, but merely fluctuations of white noise in the big scheme of things.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Stain, the Mirror and the Log

After years – if not decades – of complaining about mirrors and people who waste their life in front of them, I today, suddenly, empirically, understood what mirrors are for. They are not only there to serve vanity and pamper some women’s bloated and narcistic egos. No. They have a rather practical purpose: to help avoiding embarrassment...

When tooth-brushing with little Sophie (5), I noticed a stain on her blouse. A brown stain. Choc-milk stain. I suggested to change the blouse. What impression does it make when she goes to Kindergarten with a stained blouse? My child, the dirty, unwashed one, the one in stained clothes... no! It is not so bad, she said, and marked a size by putting the tips of  her thumb and index finger together. “This is the size that is bad. Or bigger.”. A size a bit larger than a quarter or a 50 Eurocent coin. Okay, I thought. She is a girl. She knows better.

I brought her to Kindergarten, long good bye ceremony. I said hello to other parents, who looked at me in a somewhat indefinable way. Well. I went to my office. I passed by that silvery light reflecting pane on the wall and... I saw it. IT. THE STAIN! Not a little stain. Not a bit of choc on a little girl’s blouse. It was a huge stain, stretching almost from shoulder to shoulder. White stuff covering much of the chest area of my expensive dark shirt. Now I recalled what I forgot on that stressful morning after a long, sleepless, humid, tropical night. I had forgotten that baby Stella had emptied the content of her stomach onto me last night. I had forgotten that my favourite shirt was covered with half digested milk all over. All that would not have happened, if I simply had dressed up in front of the mirror in our sleeping room – the huge mirror ranging from floor to ceiling. The mirror I always hated, because it always reminds me of – me. It always shows me mercilessly who I am – at least on the outside. So they do serve a purpose, those mirrors! And the whole thing reminds me of the biblical proverb about the log in the eye. While being concerned about Sophie’s little stain, I was one huge walking stain myself...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Nurtering the "Human Capital"

Although I do not like the term "human capital" or "human resources"  (it sounds derogative to me) human capabilities are the number one resource of our civilization. It also is a known fact that complex minds tend to be more sensitive. From my experience I believe that wrong educational approaches combined with peer pressure can destroy the most gifted among us. It also is possible to literally bore clever child into oblivion - and certainly what we do not want is an army of highly intelligent people with unstable personalities. But that is something we do have around the world! Children - including the gifted ones - also need some form of moral and ethical guidance, but it must be open and honest. Rigid scholastic systems do not work - they only serve to let the child perceive his or her parents and teachers as hypocrites since they never manage to consequently live up to their own moral and intellectual standards. There also is a sad saying I once heard after just such a case had happened: "The most gifted among us commit suicide before they reach puberty". We must take care that we do not destroy what keeps us alive. There is no progress - in fact there is no hope - if we do not manage to employ the best minds of the world to solve the problems of the future. And they also need to be encouraged instead of being regarded and treated as outcasts and nerds and barely accepted weirdoes. Schools, Universities and other establishments of research and higher learning must provide sheltered, positive environments. Clever companies will do the same. We must get away from seeing intelligence a disease when the real disease of mankind is stupidity. As I have often mentioned I for myself re-named our species to "Homo Sapiens Potentialis". We should nurture those few who actually realize their potential - at least partially. We must feed the fishes that swim against the stream, for only they will spawn the ideas that make the future a place we want it to be for our children!

Human - and other Animal - Emotions

It may be unscientific to speculate, but it is duly scientific to express a hypothesis based upon observation, anecdotal evidence and logical deduction. The hypothesis could start from an elevated point of view - alien, so to say. Looking at animals and humans it is obvious that they have more in common than parts them. The same basic substances, the same fundamental functions, nearly the same genome in some cases, much of the same environments and challenges throughout natural history and evolution. It then is not so far fetched to speculate or - indeed - hypothesize, that similar life forms have similar inner responses. There is no way to know for sure. But let's face it: a human psychopath is well able to mimic emotional responses and display emotions he does not have. In reality we cannot know for sure if the animal we observe feels what we feel, but in that same reality we also cannot know if any given human feels the same as we do - in fact in many cases they don't. I also do not see, what emotional responses have to do with reasoning. The two inner phenomena or processes seem quite separate, and every dog owner knows the grieving dog that doesn't eat when his or her best human friend is absent. Maybe what scientists call anthropomorphism occasionally is an intuitive understanding of what really is going on in our fellow animal inhabitants of earth? Emotions also are fundamental guiding tools in situations where reason only sends us into endless loops of unsolvable thought webs. There is much evidence suggesting that we ourselves - good old self proclaimed Homo Sapiens (or Homo Sapiens Potentials, as I like to call our species) bases many of his most important decisions on momentary emotions. Buying a house, choosing a partner for life - occasionally even starting a war: all that is mainly based upon animal emotions upwelling from the dark, (or illuminated - who knows?) uncharted depths of our souls.

Proclaiming human emotion to fundamentally differ from the emotions of other animals is laughable in the face of all the evidence to the contrary. That merely is an aspect of the outdated attempt to establish our species as the crown of creation, as something outside - or above - the rest of nature, rather than an integral part of it. Only the twisted human mind can speak of the environment as something surrounding him, something separate from himself, while in that very moment his heart pumps water that used to be part of the ocean, while at that very moment his lungs inhale gases produced by the metabolisms of myriads of photosynthesizing organisms. We are animals and as such an integrative part of the nature we live in and from. Our difficulties acknowledging that result from the very animal emotions we deny to have. We are jealous, we want to be special. We want to be something better than that perfect Tiger, Shark of Orca out there, because we feel small, weak and ugly in comparison to those magnificent and indeed near perfect creatures with who we share a planet - and a common ancestry. And if we look more closely at the word animal that we gave them, I must say yes, I am an animal, and I want to be one! For the word "animal" comes from the Latin word animale, neuter of animalis, and is derived from anima, meaning vital breath or soul. Considering this, if we say we are not animals, doesn’t that mean we have no soul? Is that a possible deeper truth about what become of humans?

Friday, July 10, 2009

fifty/fifty

Currently I work on an article about the international year of astronomy. While at it, I stumbled over a quote by Prof. Sir Martin Reese, the British Astronomer Royal:

“I think the odds are no better than 50/50 that our present civilisation will survive to the end of the present century.”

I have to let that sink in. A statement along the lines of the “Scientists Warning to the World” of the early 90s. A statement not coming from a nobody, but one of the most eminent scholars of our time. And he is not the only one. Something to think about.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

The illusion of free will

Free will ultimately does not exist. In any case our decisions are limited by natural laws. To define free by "being able to make two different decisions in two identical situations" does not satisfy logical criteria for a number of reasons. One is: what determines my decisions? Can I really decide freely, or am I a prisoner of my own internal programming leading to thoughts and decisions that are at best a guided random walk? Among external influences I cannot control are natural laws. Can I decide to fly? Can I decide to read someone else’s thoughts? Can I decide to spontaneously understand the math behind string theory? I can't. Of course we are also bound by society, economy - money. Even committing suicide might not be what in German is called "Freitod" (voluntary death), but in fact may be a result of what Kurt Vonnegut referred to as a "chemical imbalance of the brain." We are controlled by so many deterministic factors that talking about "free will" is complete nonsense. And when we have to define free will as only applying within certain limits, situations, frameworks, we already have defined free will into oblivion. Therefore: free will does not exist.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Life is a book - das Leben ist ein Buch

The Internet is Pointless!"

Why are people blogging day after day, after day, writing down tidbits of their empty lives or mostly shallow analysis of problems they are far from understanding from within their isolated little spheres? Loneliness. Marketing. An attempt to transcend the own perceived meaninglessness - the overwhelming pointlessness amidst the endless ocean of life. Unfortunately when millions upon millions are blogging, one is just another anonymous part of a huge anonymous mass of faceless individuals -  with a few (totally random) outstanding stars. Things like Twitter are even worse than blogging. Institutionalized shallowness. Often it seems to me that everyone is connected, which results in a witches brew of opinion and information leading to a dilution of quality and facts so deep and profound that ultimately the entire web becomes questionable. What is it for? Does it enhance our life or does it merely keep us from living? And does it have a value to realize that for anything you do, no matter how clever and talented you are, there is someone who already did it - and better so? I am seriously asking: would I perhaps be better off without the Internet? Maybe not professionally, but privately... There practically is nothing anymore I want to do privately on the Internet. Over the years it has become boring. And too hectic and commercial and it becomes increasingly difficult to filter valuable content from junk. Like Earth itself, the Web is drowning in garbage and gibberish, and we destroy real world resources causing real world emissions to keep this cycle of commercialized mental shit up and running at ever higher speed. The Web goes the same path as cable TV in the 80s. As Pink Floy then sang: “13 channels of shit to choose from...” but there is nobody home. Connected to billions, and yet totally alone. Nobody is out there. Brave new world. And someone out there already saw this coming 20 years ago, and wrote about it, much better than I could ever do...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Penguins in 2005 (an older scrap book entry)

Some time in 2005 I made this journal entry:

I am thinking... freedom is a complete illusion altogether.
Unless one finds it in the Buddhist sense.
Or the other extreme would be to be a psychopath.
Or a Christian or Muslim extremist.
Which is, in my view, the same.
No doubt.
Defying reality.
But in general...
Life seems to largely consist of demands from the outside and of actions
that we think we decide ourselves, but in fact they are a result of our
being manipulated or of peer pressure.
Like ironing.
Like mowing the lawn.
Like cleaning the windows, shaving the legs, etc.

I am looking out of the window, and five airplanes are trailing across
the blue, blue sky...
Not even airplanes are free.
Freedom was lost on this planet.
Except for a few Penguins in Antarctica...

Nothing of this is overly new, is it?
Nothing of this is overly creative.

I suddenly feel the big burden of potential failure on my shoulders again.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Mafia Angels

There is no good reason why good cannot triumph over evil - if only
Angels get organized along the lines of the Mafia!

(Kurt Vonnegut)

Friday, August 24, 2007

Not knowing

I do not know
Who I am...
Neither do I know what.
How could I
Since I do not even know
Whether I exist AT ALL
Or not...

Monday, April 30, 2007

Time Magazin's Global Warming Survival Guide

This is my response to Times naive Global Warming Survival Guide (Time Magazin, April 9, 2007): Everything mentioned in the "Global Warming Survival Guide" represents steps in the right direction, however, even in combination all those actions are little more than holding a paper-sheet in front of ones face as a protection against a nuclear bomb. In this context I like to quote Philip K. Dick: "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." In addition, reality at large is utterly indifferent to democracy: even solid majority decisions don't make it budge. I am working in the R&D department of a leading solar energy company, because I know that in the not so far future renewable energy will be an absolute necessity for development and to keep our living standards. But at the same time, I am fully aware that they will not be enough, and that they will have a relatively small impact on slowing global warming. One should be aware, though, that in a complex dynamic system even a small difference can have a big impact. It may be the little difference, that keeps the system from reaching a tipping point - a tipping point that surely exists, only we do not precisely know where. At the same time playing with ideas of planetary engineering is ridiculous. We have been doing planetary engineering for the last 5000 Years e.g. by means of massive land use change (deforestation and turning prairie into crop fields - and deserts), alteration of river flows, changing the atmospheric composition, even the entire makeup of the biosphere. All this did was bring us into a dangerous situation, and further doctoring around on a system we only have a very remote understanding would hardly do any good. Well. and today Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany is meeting with Mr. George Bush, diskussing "Climate Change". In between two other topics: Making car exports from and to the US easier and making air traffic from and too the US easier. HARRRR!!! You cannot stare down reality, because it has no eyes.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Challenging Reality

We live in a time, my friend, where genius in art and science is measured in money. We live in a time, where beauty is only acknowledged, if it can be sold. We live in a time where Goethe and Schiller would never be published, A time where Shakespeare would end as a curbside beggar, a starving fool writing poetry for food in vain. We live in a time where people never see the sky, because they stare at screens from dusk till dawn. If you are not the master over at least two thirds of your daytime, you are a slave, Said Nietzsche. We live in a time where freedom is consumption – for which we lack the time. Using things is replaced by obtaining them. We live in a time where greed is challenging reality itself. We live in a time, my friend, A time, that will come to an end.

I know not

How can I possibly know, who I am – or what, if I cannot even be sure, whether I exist – or NOT!

December Spring

I see the rain in the hills that falls onto fertile ground.

The Grass is green on well watered soil, soaked with life granting liquid,

While the trees are waiting for snow that does not come.

The warm Spring air this Winter carries a hint of shivering frost biting deeper into the flesh of our soul than mere cold.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Intellectually challenged fan users

Does an electric fan decrease the room temperature? It is one of the physics question tricks that you can ask someone to check if he has any idea about physics at all. I find it absolutely fantastic that at the beginning of the 3rd millennium practically everyone thinks a fan cools the air. Some people even let the fan run when they are not in the room. Causes me physical pain. In my view someone who lets the fan running when nobody is in the room should not be allowed to vote or to drive a car or to do anything else that requires even the most minimal intellectual capacity.... I wonder if George Bush leaves the fan on when he is not in the room... He probably does. Until the shit hits the fan.

Brrrrrrr.. What a world.

I am overdoing it of course.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Unexpected

"...AND SUDDENLY THE AIR SOLIDIFIED UPON ME" said the finch that flew against a glass-window.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Liquid Astronaut Insanity

I still did not quite return to Earth. I had chicken for Dinner. With: Dave's Temporary Insanity sauce. (It arrived today) Wow. WOW! My GOODNESS. I think if I ever would want to, say, kill my father (hello FBI or BKA: no such intentions), I only have to call him a coward... And make him try... Booff! That would be it. My eyes turned into overflowing lakes. My heart felt like it had to pump the Pacific Ocean. My good old SELF became the Pacific Ocean. Liquidified. Flowing over. Wavy. And the face turned into one big grin, while every pore, every gland, started to frantically produce liquid in defense. And neurotransmitters running wild, endorphines on the rise. Haha! Amie insisted to try a bit of chicken, with a tiny, tiny drop, and she disappeared behind the couch, whining, with the tail between her legs... "Du Nase!!" baby Sophie Maris shouted. Haha! "Du NASE!" And it sounds like NASA, when she says that.

PS: Nase is nose in German. Sophie Maris, of course, grows up bilingually.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Do Not Believe in Anything - Think Yourself Instead!

I find the following an immensely compelling invitation for a Homo Sapiens:

Quote From the Buddha – Kalama Sutta.

Do not believe in anything (simply)
Because you have heard it.
Do not believe in traditions
Because they have been handed down for many generations.
Do not believe in anything
Because it is spoken and rumored by many.
Do not believe in anything (simply)
Because it is found written in your religious books
Do not believe in anything merely
On the authority of your teachers and elders.
But after observation and analysis when you find that
Anything agrees with reason and is conducive
To the good and benefit of one and all then accept it and live up to it.

Source: World Buddhist University

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Cybermonk and Buddhadog

Cybermonk sits on the mountain top in a world that ceases to exist. In a golden moment his Buddhadog hopes that the trajectory of compassion will finally cross the path of REALITY. But Cybermonk knows that the crossing point ist just an instance in time, a speck of knowhere in the nothingness. He cites the mantra of merging, and the universe waits...

Simulated Clouds

A consumer advocate dances with simulated clouds, while the creators of science long for the truth about it all. Cybermonk is not so easily fooled: Someone behind the mirror, suddenly, is very hungry. These men of the cloth denie to legalize the hidden truth, but Cybermonk finally demands the knowledge about how things are.

Cbyermonk in Gold

A Gypsy cleverly comes alive after midnight, whirling across the collective unconscious. The Masters of addiction want to legalize uploading of the brain. Someone's idea of a simulated joke. Jezebel smiles. Cybermonk is bathed in golden sunlight, Trying to control anything resembling maturity, he comes to life with the new moon.

Golden Veil

The spies of mercy do not include life on this planet. Cybermonk keeps applying for time at heaven's gate. His constant companion, unexpectedly keeps asking for love, and finally turns out to be his former self.

His memory of the flash is fading, mountains of illusion sinking into dust. Trembling with delight, the soldiers of mercy will never forgive the city of greed. Cybermonk finally lifts the veil from the golden cage....

Reality of the unreal

Reality. Shouldn't everything we do, every decision we arrive at, be grounded in reality? But is there any way to arrive at a conclusion as to what this reality thing actually is? A hell of a task! Let's see if you can agree with my list of unreal things, which may be illusionary or human inventions and yet basically run the world:
  • Money is not real.
  • God is not real.
  • Ideologies are not real.
And yet almost every action of mankind is based upon these illusions.

A few things that are real, at least as far as I can tell, include:
  • The stink of the shit in my daughter's diaper.
  • The suffering of a family who lives through Winter in an unheated tent in Pakistan after their home was destroyed by an Earthquake.
  • The pain of the feet of their little boy who walks barefoot through the snow.
  • The rain falling from the sky, drumming onto my window this very moment.
  • The angular momentum of our spinning planet.
  • Photons.
  • Electromagnetic fields.
  • Atoms.
  • Gravity.
  • The sun.
  • The stars in general.
  • Black holes in the centres of Galaxies.
  • Human brains.
  • Emotions:
  • Anxiety
  • Love,
  • Fear,
  • Compassion,
  • Joy,
  • Greed,
  • Sadness,
  • Envy,
  • Hatred.
  • Amie the dog snoring on her own armchair in our living room.
They are real.
They can be observed, felt AND they can be measured with physical instruments. They are not invented.

The list of real things that are not invented is truly endless. And still the actions of our leaders have little to do with the endless items on the reality list. They are mostly concerned with the three items on the list of unrealities.

I assume most of you out there won't agree...




Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Not so little anymore...

This is what Sophie Maris looks like these days. Always in deep thought...

Oh this complicated world!

My last post was a bit premature. That much I have to admit. Through the Alumni Network of the University of Münster, where I used to study, I yesterday received a long, detailed and very sober assessment of the idiotic cartoon conflict and its background that was written by Professor Dr. Muhammad Kalisch, chair of Islam Religion studies in Münster. He reluctantly had written an 11 page statement that I must say so far is the only reasonable assessment of the entire mess that I so far have read or heard. I myself am not an expert on the Islam religion, but I am also not entirely ignorant. Yet I had to reconsider some of my - admittedly emotionally colored - views. Yes, that happens. it made me wonder whether perhaps as a 14 year old I was wiser than I am now, for I was not so easily fooled. When in school back then we learned about the cold war, the evil empire, the nuclear bombs and the looming threat of global destruction, I had thought: they behave like little children fighting over the possession of toys in the sandbox . "I am right, you are wrong, no I am wrong, you are right..." It is mine, no it is mine.. NO IT IS MINE..!!" What a nonsense. From Prof. Kalisch's article I learned about the Danish Newspaper (the name of which my fuzzy mind already discarded). it seems to be a populist right wing newspaper with a history of racist, reactionary publications. It is well possible that the effect the cartoons had was indeed intended! This then is not freedom of press anymore - it is propaganda for lower purposes. At the same time: still nobody has the right to get violent over a drawing - let alone abduct people, burn buildings, threaten countries with destruction etc.

In any case: the deeper one digs, the more messy the entire subject becomes. The problem with thinking and getting informed is that complicated topics generally cannot be assessed with simple methods, cannot be described with easily understood one sentence descriptions. To my utter amazement I myself had to learn from Prof. Kalisch, that here in my own country, in Germany, home of Immanuel Kant, Blasphemy is a crime. But which blasphemy? And how is that defined? In any case: if this law applies to the established majority Christian churches only and not to every religion, our state is deeply hypocritical.

There are other points that Prof. Kalisch made and that I agree with. It is not a secret that the West - mainly the US - is mainly interested in the resources of the middle east. They are not interested in political stability, democracy, humanitarian issues etc. it is all about oil. In addition, the US seems to be interested in having a permanent enemy. This is not new - an external threat unites the nation. External threats are the only reason why Mr. Bush still is president of the United States. The US government is almost happy about every lunatic dictator. If they wouldn't appear by themselves now and then, they would have to be invented!

Islam is no more violent than any other religion. There are extremists hiding behind almost every faith. Although I must say it is extremely difficult to imagine an extremist Buddhist (like..uh.. becoming EXTREMELY compassionate? Practicing EXTREME meditation?). Well. But I, as the utter layman with an admittedly shallow understanding of the Quran, I do not agree with Prof. Kalisch when he says there is nothing violent in the Islam. My impression is that the word war appears quite often, that killing is justified under a variety of circumstances, that historically the Prophet himself duly carried a sword and at the very root of this religion we find military expansion.

The Islam described by Prof. Kalisch is of one of deep beauty - it is the Islam of dialogue, the friendly and tolerant Islam of mystics and scholars. It is similar to the Catholicism of for example the German Zen Master and Catholic Mystic Benedictian Monk father Willigis Jäger. But not only that Willigis Jäger's view of science, religion and mysticism can hardly be considered the view of the majority of Catholics (or even a significant portion - as desirable as that may be) - the Vatican also prohibited him to teach. This is what happens to the voices of tolerance and dialogue, the voices of the true seekers of answers. And I am afraid that is so in all Western religions - to varying degrees - the religion of Mammon being the worst of all.

In any case: think! Our own absolute view of things is just as likely to be wrong as someone elses is!