Not the Grand Finale … – … Yet

Not even in terms of work – remember Engels’ remark on labour and work, qualifying work as the activity that is paid for by wages, labour a (specific) physical activity.

Still, it is time to say another time good-bye as done earlier (and here)

 – this time from a sideline activity, I could without much exaggeration say: a kind of voluntary work, i.e. the casual teaching at a German third level institution.

It is difficult to present in a note of reasonable length – difficult as reality, this part of reality is full of contradictions. I try to be reasonably correct by putting some poles in the ground, some stumbling blocks – each of them on its own more or less ‘harmless’, ‘right’, ‘correct’, good by way of harmony of its tiny part of the world. Each of these poles is linked to another pole, or some other poles, striking a balance for some time, and collapsing like a house of cards when a butterfly passes, the palace crumbling as result of the stroke of the butterfly.

What are these activities about, how can they be characterised in general terms, leaving aside that each case is different: 

* they are securing income – as such privilege and often gratefully accepted; • one may be beneficiary of a colleague’s engagement by which one (= a person like me) gets the job, • just a matter of being at the right time in then right place, e.g. an institution is recruiting people with some specific expertise, • people who like teaching, supplementing their PhD-work … 

* it is about securing teaching – one may debate how many students are really “deserving students” = curious, mostly young people – sponging knowledge from A (as in ante portas, the state when the world as we know it only existed as Big Bang) to Z (as in zombie, ultimate part of the current culture which is itself somewhat zombie-like) it is the keen interest of those who are claiming on the many shoulders of great WoMen and the too often forgotten great work of their assistants). Sure, many of the students are more or even only interested in passing exams, answering the guiding question: “What do you want to do with your life” with the succinct wish: “making money, more than I actually need” … – but what can we expect if the main self-advertisement of such institutions is about careers and higher education for the sake of developing critical thinking emerges too often as unwanted side-effect

* — this (kind of) securing third level education by casual teaching (in several cases of third level institutions of the Western educational system a matter of app[roximately] 40 to 50 % – a matter of disencumber the public budget; a budget that for instance had been temporarily ramped by measures of privatisation: selling public goods means in the long run a deprivation of sources of public income

* furthermore, this kind of new division of labour has to be seen as twofold disqualification:

  • qualified admin work is disqualified – it is suggested that no qualification is needed and everybody, including academics can do it (yes, academics, this species that is for good reason often a welcome object for cartoons presenting the absent-minded, quixotic academic
  • qualified academic thinking is disqualified as it is overburdened by activities outside of their expertise – leaving aside that it is usually additional and non-remunerated activity, it is also depending on and supporting a specific understanding of the field and we can well speak of “taskification” of the work, defining the substance of teaching in tendency as solely task-oriented – evidenced by the knowledge society being shifted to a skills society [1]

* not least, being busy – with admin work; many colleagues also busy as they are in need of chasing for another job, or we may even say task

Yes, it is said that it is easy to find a job; but probably it is more correct to say: it is easy to find work, but still difficult to find work that allows to make a living. Little payment …, or actually highly qualified, if remunerated jobs that many citizens cannot afford. The societal consequences are often disastrous as the following quote from the Berlin Tagesspiegel (Tagesspiegel Checkpoint vom Dienstag, 11.10.2022; own translation P.H.) shows

Equally disturbing are the reports from the health offices, which, according to the president of the medical association, are short of 60 doctors. The erosion is extreme in Neukölln, where the quarrel between the city councillor and the current medical officer has escalated and the social psychiatric service has practically collapsed. In addition, the public health officers are outraged by the city councillor’s idea of having the health offices run by administrative professionals instead of doctors. In Treptow-Köpenick, a lawyer (specialised in medical law) has just started as head of the office. 

* Yes, then the polis is a romping place for ruled behaviour … – everything is given, no progress, not even movement its possible anymore: legitimation is a matter of entering rule-abiding processes, an ideal field for “how-to-research”, a cemetery for “why- and-what and what- and why-research” – the place where the past is only known as nightmare.

App – the abbreviation of approximately, used earlier – is today more known as abbreviation of application: application of rules, individual orders or complex systems of standards, regulations and their implementation in single acts or “behavioural standards” – be they meaningful or not, in any case a matter of boxing humans


von Jhering, in bis little book on the Trinkgeld, written end of the 19th century, states

It is blamed on us Germans that we leave a stone lying quietly in the path that we bump into – everyone curses it, but no one takes the trouble to move it out of the way or, if it is too heavy for him alone, to call in others to help. … ; everyone complains about it, but everyone leaves it there (to be added: continues doing so, P.H.). The reproach which we raise against the stone is directed against ourselves; he who merely curses a bad habit, instead of helping to eliminate it for his part, accuses himself – everyone who does not have the courage to oppose it is himself jointly responsible for the existence of a bad habit. No one has the right to complain about it but he who can give himself the testimony of having done everything in his power to put an end to it.

It is time then to say good-bye, not now and immediately; not without the famous “crying eye”, looking at those students who are really keen to study: for life and – where necessary – changing its conditions, not for a dull life of excessive self-presentation.[2]

[1] can teaching actually be booked via task rabbit – if so, the next step may be ordering it online, YouTube emerging as liferando of the educational system

[2] “… the twenty-first century is full of people who are full of themselves … a half-hour’s trawl through the online ocean of blogs, tweets … brings up thousands of individuals, fascinated by their own personalities and shouting for attention.” (Sarah Bakewell, 2010: How to live: A Life of Montaigne; London: Chatto and Windus: 1)

Deutsche Bahn, progressing and progressive?

fake news or pipe dream?

Fake News or Pipe Dream – October 4th, 2022

Dear Professor …,

I am sure that you have also been aware of the current discussions about climate change, for example due to exorbitant ‘private transport’/’use of private cars’.

Deutsche Bahn is also not unaffected by this development – and we are well aware of the role we can play to counter this development by making public transport available, easy accessible for everybody.

That is why we are adjusting the prices of the BahnCards as of 11 December 2022 to needs of environmentally friendly policy needs: and introduce the BahnCard 100, free for everybody. There will be no difference between 1st and 2nd class as we upgrade all trains to 1st class standards. The network will also be extended, joining it closely with the needs of people travelling for leisure or business purposes …

from the mail, sent by

Well, the original mail is a bit different …

Dear Professor …,

I am sure that you have also been aware of the current discussions about rising prices, for example in the energy sector. Deutsche Bahn is also not unaffected by this development.

That is why we are adjusting the prices of the BahnCards as of 11 December 2022.


I receive a mail, a friend sending me the latest news: a deal, hammered out to counter the energy problems, failed in the last minute. A problematic deal then?

The basic problem might be that it is not about deals, but about strategies, as global as possible. This also includes considering how to prevent a wildfire in Berlin’s Grunewald, which is caused by a local ammunition depot in addition to the long-lasting heat/drought. A ‘deal’ with regard to the ammunition depot may show what I mean: For years it has been controversial, the danger known and always ‘hushed up’ because a ‘good solution’ was sought. — No consolation: there are probably several such depots in Berlin’s forests, which were ‘set up’ there not so long ago (long after the end of WWII).

Did I use here at some time the term ‘Neroism’? I’ll have to work on that …. The perverted joy of watching the fall …

Nieder mit dem Koenig ….

Die Verehrung des Adels hält sich hartnäckig und ebenso seine Macht. Selbst in der EU muss man mit Verwunderung – oder doch nicht mit Verwunderung? – feststellen, dass die Könige und Königinnen noch fest im Sattel sitzen. Brexit hat verhindert, dass wir nun alle gemeinsam feiern ein tolles Jubiläum können …

Aber es gibt Widerstand – natürlich ist es das Bürgertum, das die Gefahr des Adels fuer die Geschäftswelt sieht. Und endlich beginnt der Sturz der Altvorderen – und er beginnt mit dem Sturz des König Kunden – sogar die grossen der Geschäftswelt sind in der Front der antifeudalen Kräfte vertreten, während störrische konservative Kretauren die royalistischen Rechte verteidigen wollen. Hier eine kleine Kostprobe:

Re: MediaMarkt Club Newsletter <>

Hallo, leider hat MediaMarkt hier keine, oder eher negative Punkte gesammelt.

1) Kauf eines Kuehlschrankes und dessen Lieferung: soweit alles OK, die beiden Kollegen, die das Geraet geliefert haben, waren ausserordentlich freundlich … doch irgendwo hat jemand ein wenig informatives Label auf die Tuer geklebt und ich bemuehe mich immer noch, die Reste stueckweise abzukratzen …

2) Kauf eines Mobiltelefon und die Datenuebertragung von dem alten Geraet auf das neue: Soweit alles in Ordnung bis zu dem Punkt, wo ich die SIM-Karten in das neue Geraet einlegte – zunaechst gab es (und gibt es noch) Erkennungsprobleme; wohl mein Fehler, denn ich habe, so wie ich es sehe, die Nummern/Slots falsch attribuiert; den Versuch einer Korrektur habe ich nach kurzem Bemühen aufgegebe, denn ich musste feststellen, das bestimmte, fuer mich essentielle, Apps nicht einmal vorhanden sind, geschweige denn, dass die Daten allgemein übertragen wurden: andere APPS sind installiert, aber die log-Dateien fehlen; nebenbei wurden noch bestehende Accounts (z.B. google) mit einem neuen Sicherheitswort versehen … – dafuer habe ich dann 39 Euro bezahlt und am naechsten Tag, als ich nochmals in der Filiale zwecks Beschwerde auftauchte, wurde mir – nunmehr von einem anderen Mitarbeiter – mitgeteilt, dass bestimmte Daten/APPS nicht übertragbar seien, und (aha …!!!) der Kollege mir das hätte mitteilen müssen. Nun mag und wird es so sein, dass das irgendwo auf dem von mir unterzeichneten Auftragsdocument ein entsprechender Hinweis steht. Aber falls mir solche Spitzfindigkeiten entgegnet werden sollten, kann ich Sie nur bitten, sich einmal DIN 5008 anzuschauen – u.a. dort ist die Leistung von Unterschriften geregelt und soweit ich mich erinnere …

Ich weiss, es tut Ihnen schrecklich leid, dass MediaMarkt die Leistung nicht zu meiner Zufriedenheit erbracht hat; ebenso und vor allem bin ich mir darueber im Klaren, dass Sie weder fuer das eine noch das andere verantwortlich sind – da sitzen wir fast gemeinsam im Boot, sie paddeln, ich fülle die Kassen Ihrer Chefs und erledige einen Teil der Arbeit selbst und … naja, die Moral von der Geschichte ….

Ich erspare mir dies und werde ‘mal sehen, ob auf dieses Schreiben, welches morgen als offener Brief online geht, anderen etwas einfällt.

Gruesse von Peter Herrmann

Il giorno 22 giu 2022, alle ore 15:40, MediaMarkt Club Newsletter <> ha scritto:

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War …

… it is an ongoing issue, though some people like to make us think in a reduced way about it … – and see it only as matter international law.

Here another take:

Something from The Economist’s e-newsletter, received on the 26th of May, a headline saying

Why America should make it harder to buy guns
In many states, it is easier to own a gun than a dog. That is absurd

Then the charts:

Guns are the things most likely to kill young people in America.

And the former US-president Trump boldly demanding a further escalation, making it easier (still possible?) to buy a weapon, allowing (not to say encouraging) teachers to use weapons ….

… and undermining public debates in a weird way: accepting and promoting and even celebrating what fits into the scheme, rejecting and even criminalising what does not:

… and paradoxically resulting in a kind of binary code: if you are not in support of me, you are against me. Let’s afce the truth: as much as MZ may well be a criminal, there is something about Facebook that we may consider as being valuable; and as much as JA acted in the name of freedom, there is something about “unspecified freedom” (not to say unqualified freedom) that is more than problematic. – Perhaps we may have to talk more about responsibility and look for a serious way to accept the series and unending string of challenges.

crocodiles tears

Of course, it is easy to get it wrong – especially as we all tend to look for the confirmation of what we know and think … – so, this blog post surely is in danger of being born out of …, well, let me say hesitation to accept the US role as world gendarme, securing peace and democracy.

Be it as it is, and surely not accepting war as means of conflict resolution (which does nit say anything about the conflict as such):

Up to recently, there had been only very limited security at and around the Russian embassy in Berlin – just 2 cops walking up and down and having a good or not so good day. Since the outbreak of the war against Ukraine this changed, and in the meantime several police guards are standing there and the area is secured by security fences.

It is worthwhile to compare this with the US-embassy, since years the areas has something of a fortress, an entire road blocked by heave iron bulwarks, only cyclists and pedestrians being allowed to pass, permanently observed by quite a number of guards, not only on that street but also in the surrounding and elsewhere.

This marks the situation today, and even historically it says a lot — doesn’t it make the talk of the Traenenpalast (palace of tears) a matter of showing crocodiles tears? (btw. also forgetting those who indeed travelled freely … – “forgotten” parts of history).

who is to blame

China – you can blame it for everything … at least it is done this way. And I will shortly engage in this by posting a video, talking a bit about 10 years “Peter’s China”
Anyway, I finally I read the article in the NZZ, initially hesitating to jump across the paywall. Be it as it is, surveillance – the big topic and of course in some way employing my thoughts. Indeed, even if compared with what I say a year or so ago, there are more cameras, there are these “distant temp-measures” and ……, well, finally reading the article, there is one obvious point: the author ended apparently up in one of the extreme techno hubs, where simply the technicians are keen to do everything that is possible and put every effort into making possible what is not yet possible – and for this all data have to be collected …, oh mind, next time being possibly too generous with your toilet tissue. Yes, it is often as ridicules as that. – so. what he says is not really about China – or it is much about China as the Silicon Valley is about the US.

Anyway, the article … first complaining and at some stage comfortably settling in – no key necessary .. just walk if you are who you seem or pretend to be. But there is something else that comes to my mind, when looking at the kist in front of me and when thinking about “blame the Chinese, they have broad shoulders and are many, they will carry it”.

The List, I mean the “to-do-list”, seeing the many things I wanted to do, have to so, I could not do because I am waiting for something that I need so that I can do …, something else comes to my mind: It is often said the that in China the n-word is barely used: Even if you mean NO, you do not say it. I cannot say that this is definitely not true – and one can speculate if it is because one does not want to hurt somebody else, is it a continued effect  of a clandestine resistance during the various dynasties, or simply ignorance or even part of the genetic code?

Looking at the said list, seeing all things promised, I am wondering if not is possibly not the Chinese but a “nowadays-code”: ignorance due to self-centredness of the “last man”, taking it from the subtitle of Fukuyama’s book on the End of History. Seeing it this way makes sense, as the last man does not need to think about the future – end of history finally means end of time, including end of past, so that there is no future which makes the process of life rather dull and shallow: we add and define our status on Facebook etc, it is a bit like going back to the good old medieval times. And then we blame China — while we forget to ask ourselves: DO WE LIKE TO LOOSE FACE? If we do not ask this question, we lost it already and should SAY NO to continuing this way … never forget: some entered where Dante entered … and that they had to mark as status!


The boys threw shore pebbles into the splintering glass parquet, the various impact sounds at the end of the arches abundantly clear in the silence. Armin watched the wave circles: their flight from the centre to distance, their obstinacy in crossing other circles running in opposite directions, passing through each other unharmed! Imagine: we could wander through each other like that. Perhaps angels could do it. With glances we can do it ourselves, after all, thought Madeleine: Glances cross each other undisturbed, undistracted, a hundred people look at one speaker, but no confusion, everyone gets their own personal view, no mixing, no displacement, our nature is quite practically set up.

Erasmus Schoefer: Winterdämmerung


We gladly and unconcernedly accept that photographs from our childhood imperceptibly enlarge, shift, colour, add to the images that our memory has directly stored, so that we can no longer distinguish what we ourselves experienced and imprinted on our minds as experienced reality from what has been handed down as a photographic crutch of memory. In any case, any form of literature that describes the past and admits that an objective view is not possible for a human writer, accepts that it will also change the past. By influencing what of the past is still present reality: its reflection in our minds.

unfortunately I had to translate myself

Communication Society

The following is quasi the introduction, not launching the blog, but launching the … well, it is called relaunch. A New Outlook, and a new name – what had been, is now – the name stands for the content – living between Inferno, Purgatorio e Paradiso; but it is also a homage to a friend.

This relaunch is a somewhat joined event, taking up the Berlin-videos again, though not living there, nevertheless starting with it. What does time and what does space matter? Quantum theory would probably say something like “it is what we make out of it”.


Francis Bacon, in the publication of The Essays or Counsels Civil and Moral from 1597, proposed

Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested : that is, some are to be read only in parts, others to be read but curiously, and some few to be read wholly with diligence and attention. Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready, and writing an exact man ;

But today the era of books seems to be past, each of us

‘s his or her own fake news, in the big

, or, while


with one of the friends we

‘ed (people like you and me, yes it is those

people (who) talk in society of a man being a great Actor? They do not mean by that that he feels, but that he excels in simulating, though he feels nothing a part much more difficult than that of the actor; for the man of the world has to find dialogue besides, and to fulfil two functions, the poet’s and the actor’s. The poet on the stage may be more clever than the actor of private life, but is it to be believed that an actor on the stage can be deeper, cleverer in feigning joy, sadness, sensibility, admiration, hate, tenderness, than an olD courtier ?

This is from Diderot at the end of his piece on the paradox of acting  — yes, and I am sure you meet real actors there too, perhaps you know them  from TV or the stage of a concert hall, or from behind the canvas of a painting in a gallery or museum …

… so with all those friends or the colleagues we are

we are sitting there, perhaps over a cup of

or we are sending via

(no time for long letters, it is all about

… fast, fast) the news to the

, perhaps adding some nicety from

, pressed out of the

… an endless story … if we are not caught … the famous 11th minute, falling in love

still, a nice thing to

… and sure .. , if all has to be paid for …, oh, not with money … – there is

, here the controlled financial market is better organised, not suffering from the deadly competition between, …

– well, every little bank, so many shops, petrol stations  and of course banks, airlines etc … and we also pay with out time … in fact time is replaced by the heart beat as our

will tell us, and the smart

will be recording … helping those GAFAs (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon) to

well, not this way … advancement here too

They learned well from intense husbandry farming …

In one way or another they are fighting  for their share …- Yes, all this is also about the

… and what do THEY want to share? 

Well, each of them would like to have at least one fibre of the rope on which we hang ourselves. But perhaps it not as bad as it seems to be … – sure, nothing we can do on our own, as individuals. But still, there is something

It is late, indeed:

but not too late.


Something to be added, on the 6th of October: I stumbled upon an article in The Guardian, making me another time aware of the importance of communication, real communication I mean. – It had been an Opinion piece, written by Fiona Vera-Gray, titled Domestic violence If we’re serious about ending violence against women, we need to talk about culture. The article shows so clearly the possibly fatal consequences of faked communication – I do not means faked news, I do mean communication that remains completely shallow. I am not entirely against all those media, but thay remain difficult to use, especially as it is so simple in instrumental terms.

Flight MU7158 – looking back

Finally the return flight – from home, back to home – making notes for another key note, preparing a key change

while humming a song, remembering a passage from Kazuo’s Klara and the Sun

‘It can’t be, can it, Klara? That you believe you’ve made an arrangement?’

I thought Manager was about to reprimand me, the way she’d reprimanded two boy AFs once for laughing at Beggar Man from the window. But Manager placed a hand on my shoulder and said, in a quieter voice than before:

‘Let me tell you something, Klara. Children make promises all the time. They come to the window, they promise all kinds of things. They promise to come back, they ask you not to let anyone else take you away. It happens all the time. But more often than not, the child never comes back. Or worse, the child comes back and ignores the poor AF who’s waited, and instead chooses another. It’s just the way children are. You’ve been watching and learning so much, Klara. Well, here’s another lesson for you. Do you understand?’

‘Yes, Manager.’

‘Good. So let’s have no more of this.’ She touched my arm, then turned away.