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 williamthomsponucc.wordpress.com, is now danteskaleidoscope.blog – 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.

Making a Difference

Peter Herrmann, currently research fellow at the Human Rights Centre at the Law School, Central South University, Changsha, PRC, has been interviewed by an Irish radio station – the interview will be broadcasted February 14th, 12:00 hrs. Irish time and can be listened to by following link www.phoenixfm.ie:. The interview is part of a series, titled Making a Difference. It is an interesting format, accommodating reflections on general issues of societal development and political issues and at the same time linking this to questions of personal development and life of the interviewee. Importantly, such format supports or even urges to think about human rights as matter of daily life, in many cases the importance of this dimension not being really perceived. There are, of course, the big questions like racism – a forthcoming book, going back to an event at the human rights centre in 2020 and is looking at different aspects thereof. It is now in print under the title Between Ignorance and Murder – Racism in Times of Pandemics. But equally and mainly we are talking about those issues where rights are embedded in a complex moral and ethical context without which they cannot be understood. In the interview, Herrmann emphasised that for him – working as university teacher and researcher – Making a Difference had been very much a matter of respect, engaging in a communicative act, aiming on understanding the other. Something that requires not least leaving the lecture theatres and seminar rooms. Having been able to live and work in different countries had been a topic frequently coming up in the interview. The answer in a nutshell: “Living as ‘eternal tourist’ is nothing that I would recommend as ultimately “best and only way of life.’ But it surely made a difference, helping me to make hopefully also some difference in the life of people.”

Now also available HERE

Fondazione della biblioteca per l’apprendimento profondo – Foundation of a library for deep learning

When I left Rome a couple of years ago I decided to leave my books there, making a donation so that the books and material can be accessed by the public. EURISPES kindly accepted this and took it as opportunity to establish this small collection (so many books I lost over the time due to moving from one place to another and also due to political attacks from the extreme right; not least, university libraries did not accept earlier offers of material which means many EU-(project-) documents from pre-internet times are lost as I could not store them privately) as a foundation for which I propose the name

Fondazione della biblioteca per l’apprendimento profondo – Foundation of a library for deep learning.

Admittedly there is only a small number of those books, I owned during my lifetime, left. Still, I hope that those books left can serve as a foundation stone for an increasing number of books donated by others, offering what educational institutions unfortunately offer less and less: access to books including such books that are not mainstream and not topical in the sense of offering little space for independent thinking behind catchy titles, in other words books that allow studying beyond the usual textbooks. The small and hopefully growing collection contains study material that allows developing independent and critical thinking. Saving space in my own accommodation, socialising the means of production of knowledge and avoiding further damage while moving on had been  important reasons. Furthermore, it had been the experience I made in Rome: the joy of reading in public libraries, being together or at least feeling together with others, experiencing the production of knowledge as a social, collective process. It may sound pathetic, but indeed it would be a great satisfaction for me if I could contribute a wee bit in the creation of such orientation from young scholars (and old peers too, of course).

The library including reading space is located adjunct to the office of EURISPES

  • Istituto di Studi Politici Economici e Sociali, Via Cagliari, 14 – 00198 Roma
  • +39.06.6821.0205 (ra) +39.06.4411.7029

It can be assessed during office hours and I sincerely hope that many people make use of it and also get support and an open space for debate when visiting the library. I haven’t seen the place and do not know if I will ever see it. In any case the satisfaction of knowing about it is great.

I am grateful for support and also for interest.

Peter Herrmann. Prof. Dr. habil.; Research Fellow at the Human Rights Center. Law School at the Central South University, Changsha, PRC

IASQ (The Netherlands); CU (Hungary); IPE (Germany); LU-MSU (Russia); MPISoc.Law (Germany); NUI-M (Ireland); UEF (Finland)

Lushan South Road, 410083 Changsha, Hunan, PRC/

preparing the end of humankind ?

Ratio turns into nonsense, benefit into menace  
Woe unto you, that you are grandchild!  
The right, that is born with us,

Translated from Goethe’s original:

Vernunft wird Unſinn, Wohlthat Plage;  
Weh dir, daß du ein Enkel biſt!  
Vom Rechte, das mit uns geboren iſt  
(Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von, 1790: Faust. Ein Fragment; Leipzig: Goeschen: 32)

Well, this could be written today without changing any substantial issue. Online teaching will remain if not dominant so at least as co-player on the agenda. To discuss respective issues, I attended recently a meeting for lecturers and casual lecturers. One of the issues had been the problematic that students are reluctant to switch on the video. Of course, there are many sides that can be discussed in this context. One point that came up, and been about obliging students to leave the video switched on – confirming the decision would not be recorded for the purpose of publication. However, such a proposal was harshly rejected, the reason being concerns with data protection. 

You may kindly ask them, but not oblige them … doing so, would be a serious issue of breaching the right to privacy.

Indeed, ratio turns into nonsense, benefit into menace. , If we continue thinking this way, we have to be afraid that one day attendance in the class is equally problematic in the light of data protection. Going even further anything, that forces us to show up in the public, can be seen as problematic in the light of data protection, in the light of breaching privacy rights: going shopping, taking a means of public transport, going to coffee or pub, and of course even going to the public administration as for any service becomes seriously problematic. And the service workers ???? — sure, seeing this as a matter of privacy rights and data protection; equally true is, however, another interpretation: we have been fighting to be heard, to have a say in public matters, however, the result of a conservative turn is complete individualism, the loss of any rights that could be considered as social rights. Finally, MargaretThatcher succeeded — there will be no such thing as society. Taking Aristoteles, Marx, Durkheim and the many others who said that humans are social beings, seriously, we are thus preparing the end of human existence.

Artificial Intelligence

It is in the meantime a widely used term, possibly also a widely misunderstood one?

Wikipedia suggests on the disambiguation site the following:

Artificial intelligence is at this stage a widely used term, and of course we even agree by small-signing the dotted line of the big thing:

Occasionally I access websites, using the phone. In a blink of an eye the search history is available on the other machines. Sure, I do not have anything to hide …, and as said: I signed. But what exactly did I sign when? Recently I had been looking for a shop – I needed the address and knew that there are some branches in town, however, I did not know that this is actually a national chain. The web suggested the maps with the branches in Berlin, then the general website, and then … the question if I would allow google to use my position. hum …and at the very bottom

Consoling: the postcode is wrong. Or in more popular terms: Artificial intelligence has something humane: it is at times equally stupid.