I admit …

Yes, I admit that I do not know about the technical issue behind this new

I dare to wonder more philosophically, however [admittedly possibly because of this lacking knowledge]
Does this mean we duplicate reality? Or are we now going to hide real reality  behind faked reality?
Ops ….
the evening before the day I came across this sentence I went to a presentation that was part of the Ringvorlesung at the LMU, dealing with
Opportunities and Dangers [Möglichkeiten and Gefahren]
Topic that evening:
[here for the audio]
I can’t claim not being guilty myself, following this secular trend towards the homo qui faciunt multa simul, man as multitasking being – in short we may also say homo digitalis. Still, I m not sure if I really want to all with the lemmings, being perhaps at times the avant-garde of this crowed, loosing consciousness by too many consciously fed news and requirements and opportunities and connections ….
It is not the good old days, but it is about questioning, as I did in a short contribution to the debate that evening, the need to have TV news, with a ‘central news block’ – spoken words and film and photo, a ’ticker’ at the bottom, informing about an entirely different topic, a separated block on the one side with different news again and a ‘banner’ informing about the broadcast station, the time …. Do we need newspapers that spread little clippings on various topics, telling us at the beginning how long it takes to read the article …
Don’t we need more slow reading, beginning to read a text, putting the book or paper down to reflect? Don’t we need more talks after class with 仪, 考, 卫 and 予 delving into topics, teachers and students being partners? Don’t we need more time on the veranda, sitting after las reuniones en el edificio del gobierno, with very frank discussions, in the rocking chair in La Habana, near to Paseo e Linea y, chatting with Teresita, el doctor, Orietta or Geober about Che, Fidel and the book fair? …
Around that time when I read the article about augmented reality, after going to to presentation on faked news, I was also listening to some lectures by Hans-Georg Gadamer [yes, all downloadble from that augmented reality]. In one of them he mentions a remarkable development in philosophy: the dialogues in ancient Greece, later the Kantian and Hegelian monologues …. – and today …?
No, I do not suggest to turn the clocks back, but still I dare to confess: whenever I travelled, and some people say I did a lot, it was about teaching and leaning – and the most important learning took place in those disputes and dialogues …
Gadamer, in one of the lectures, makes other interesting point, talking about academic tests. He sys the really interesting question we can ask students – interesting in terms of ‘testing’ a student – is about something we do not know ourself …
 … homo qui faciunt multa simul, the homo digitalis – man as multitasking being …
Is there any reason for being surprised that there is no Latin term for multitasking?
Well, that is one of the points that we will have socialism before AI-ism: we still can ask questions, which computers only know answers, even if the answer is always 42.

Magic small numbers

Friday I returned from Berlin to Munich – apparently I was going the new route [though still not the new speed] which is today opened with new trains and new time schedules this had been celebrated on the eighth in Berlin.

From the tenth of December it takes less than four hours to go that route. Going on the sixth to Berlin, the ‘back route’, was a bit more ‘the old style’: slower, especially through some mountainous areas, nice especially where there had been some snow veiling the trees …

From yesterday then: Berlin – Munich in less than four hours. New trains I assume, tightened rails I suppose, new schedules for sure, new staff may be …? Of course that shortening of the journey is a great disadvantage. On the other hand, there is no opportunity, no reason to look out of the window. The magic four: every four years elections; every four month amending laws; every four weeks a new diploma; every four days we may get a new job …, if we get one; every four hours we read entire libraries, summarised in some wiki.

– May be think about some new expression: to wiki a book = put it into a easily digestible format that does not need long intellectual chewing. Al this is about even on earth even? Trains with heavenly speed as their is no reason to fly? Thoughts flying into the brain like roasted pigeons flying into the mouth in the land behind the gingerbread-wall of paradise … – Mind, the synonym is to veil a book. As mutes the synonym for the paradisal pigeon may just be fast-food.

– No, I am afar from praising any good old times, times that never really existed anyway … I am leaning back, quite comfortably … – the …, well, once these people had been called rain conductor … walks along the corridor.

‘Coffee …? Anybody want a coffee ….?

I do not ask for one, thinking about one often quoted passage from Keynes, that surely will also be present in the wiki-libreria:

But this long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead. Economists set themselves too easy, too useless a task, if in tempestuous seasons they can only tell us, that when the storm is long past, the ocean is flat again. [A Tract on Monetary Reform (1923)]

Looking at Keynes unwikied, didn’t he mean implicitly: of we only look at wikied policy measures – short and short-lived, we are not able to solve the underlying problems. And there are good reasons to look out of the window – or read entire books – before writing and boxing. Well, all this is surely also about skills and knowledge.

Well, there is a difference between expresso and espresso. And ever trust anybody who promises to make a nice expresso, very quick.

skills and – or versus – knowledge?

A short passage from Hannah Arendt’s Human Condition, right at the beginning, shows the Poodel’s core …

If it should turn out to be true that knowledge (in the modern sense of know-how) and thought have parted company for good, then we would indeed become the helpless slaves, not so much of our machines but of our know-how, thoughtless creatures at the mercy of every gadget which is technically possible, no matter how murderous it is.


This was the poodle’s real core

Usually we read about the gadgets, being easily ready to blame them for everything but in actual fact it is not about machines, algorithm’s and the mathematisation of science as such. Indeed we are dealing with the alteration of substance by subordinating matters under alien standards, those of technology or of administrations

The death of the theorist and the emergence of data and algorithms in digital social research

What Hannah Arendt presents as us having

been forced to adopt a “language” of mathematical symbols which, though it was originally meant only as an abbreviation for spoken statements, now contains statements that in no way can be translated back into speech.

is exactly the inability to express ourselves, even more: the inability to be selves.

Indeed, there is no reason for Luddism. It is not about blaming instruments for what they are instrumentalised.

All this has a bit of the body snatchers – if you did not watch the film yet, try to get hold of it and watch it in the presented perspective.

The poodle’s real core – the translation of the phrase in different languages is exciting, allowing to play a bit:

the crux of the matter – fin mot de l’histoire – nocciolo della questione – madre del cordero

The cross we are bearing after committing the sin, confronting us with the end of everything, just reducing things on a nucleus that barely has space for much, and still, brought to explosion it reduces even this little, showing itself as mother of the lamb – and we know too well that the lamb had to be sacrificed.

Though we should not feel tempted to sacrifice the gadgets, we surely should get the brush ready to sweep away the ‘new thinkers’: those new priests that torture us by putting people into boxes and those new priests that ruin institutions by reducing them on administrative machines. It is one of the challenges to see that machines – be it in forms of boxes or administrators desks, are simply not able to engage in what would be needed: intellectual confrontation.

We may move from Arendt to Goethe’s Faust:

‘Tis written: “In the Beginning was the Word.”
Here am I balked: who, now can help afford?
The Word?—impossible so high to rate it;
And otherwise must I translate it.
If by the Spirit I am truly taught.
Then thus: “In the Beginning was the Thought
This first line let me weigh completely,
Lest my impatient pen proceed too fleetly.
Is it the Thought which works, creates, indeed?
“In the Beginning was the Power,” I read.
Yet, as I write, a warning is suggested,
That I the sense may not have fairly tested.
The Spirit aids me: now I see the light!
“In the Beginning was the Act,” I write.

If I must share my chamber with thee,
Poodle, stop that howling, prithee!
Cease to bark and bellow!
Such a noisy, disturbing fellow
I’ll no longer suffer near me.
One of us, dost hear me!
Must leave, I fear me.
No longer guest-right I bestow;
The door is open, art free to go.
But what do I see in the creature?
Is that in the course of nature?
Is’t actual fact? or Fancy’s shows?
How long and broad my poodle grows!
He rises mightily:
A canine form that cannot be!
What a spectre I’ve harbored thus!


Alternative Economic Policy Today


In the presence of the two award winners:

the award ceremony is scheduled for the 6th of December at 18:00. The event will take place at the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung [Salon], Franz-Mehring-Platz 1, 10243 Berlin.

The Scientific Advisory Board of Attac Deutschland, Attac, the Working Group on Alternative Economic Policy, the EuroMemo Group and the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation award the Jörg Huffschmid Prize 2017 in memory of Jörg Huffschmid’s scientific work and socio-political commitment.

This prize is awarded every two years since 2011.

Schedule of the event:

Welcoming address by Prof. Dr. Rainer Rilling, Member of the Executive Board of the Rosa-Luxemburg-Foundation

Introduction by Prof. Dr. Peter Herrmann, Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy, Munich

‘A different and better way of running the European economy! Alternative Economic Policy Today’ lecture by Dr. Axel Troost, Working Group Alternative Economic Policy e. V.

Speech by Dr. Silke Ötsch, Innsbruck; Member of the Scientific Advisory Board Attac Germany

Laudatory speech by Prof. Dr. Thomas Sauer, Ernst-Abbe-Hochschule Jena; Member of the Scientific Advisory Board Attac Germany

Replies by the winners

Verleihung des Jörg-Huffschmid-Preises 2017

In Anwesenheit der beiden Preisträger: Dr. rer. pol. Ulaş Şener für seine Arbeit «Die relative Autonomie der Zentralbank – Eine politökonomische Analyse der türkischen Geldpolitik nach 2001» und Etienne Schneider für seine Arbeit «Raus aus dem Euro – rein in die Abhängigkeit? Monetäre Dependenz und außenwirtschaftliche Restriktionen alternativer Wirtschaftspolitik unter den Bedingungen der Eurozone und des Weltmarktes»

Der Wissenschaftliche Beirat von Attac Deutschland, Attac, die Arbeitsgruppe Alternative Wirtschaftspolitik, die EuroMemo Gruppe und die Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung vergeben im Gedenken an das wissenschaftliche Werk und das gesellschaftspolitische Engagement von Jörg Huffschmid den Jörg-Huffschmid-Preis 2017.

Zur Bewerbung um die mit 2.000 Euro dotierte Auszeichnung, die seit 2011 alle zwei Jahre verliehen wird, konnten für 2017 Studienabschlussarbeiten (Magister-, Master- und Diplomarbeiten) sowie Dissertationen eingereicht werden, die thematisch im Bereich der politischen Ökonomie der Finanzmärkte angesiedelt sind.


Begrüßung durch Prof. Dr. Rainer Rilling, Vorstandsmitglied der Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung

Einführung durch Prof. Dr. Peter Herrmann, Max-Planck-Institut für Sozialrecht und Sozialpolitik, München

«Anders und besser wirtschaften in Europa! Alternative Wirtschaftspolitik heute.» Fachvortrag von Dr. Axel Troost, Arbeitsgruppe Alternative Wirtschaftspolitik e. V.

Laudatio von PD Dr. Silke Ötsch, Innsbruck; Mitglied des Wissenschaftlichen Beirates Attac Deutschland

Laudatio von Prof. Dr. Thomas Sauer, Ernst-Abbe-Hochschule Jena; Mitglied des Wissenschaftlichen Beirates Attac Deutschland

Antwort der Preisträger

Moderation: Peter Herrmann

one of the root causes of bad academics today

One of the root causes of the problems of academic work today is surely the lack of open, possibly confrontative communication. Instead of sitting alone in the offices, and ‘communicating’ by way of gathering information, we may learn from a kind of small print we find in the preface to Keynes’ General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money.

The writer of a book such as this, treading along unfamiliar paths, is extremely dependent on criticism and conversation if he is to avoid an undue proportion of mistakes. It is astonishing what foolish things one can temporarily believe if one thinks too long alone, particularly in economics (along with the other moral sciences), where it is often impossible to bring one’s ideas to a conclusive test either formal or experimental.

Well, there is so much in economics – even in unexpected veins – one could sometimes think economists are just ordinary human beings.

For Paul Boccara, although he will not be able to read it anymore

When we met the last time in person – if I remember correctly, it had been at the place du Colonel Fabien in Paris, Paul, arriving with Catherine, welcomed me by saying something like:

I am so glad that we can meet, I only just recovered …, can you imagine; I could not speak for about three days … – he his fatherly and still young laugh marked his face as it did so often. Can you imagine, me, not being able to speak a single word.
We all laughed …, nobody could really imagine … and after a short while we took up our work. And despite the ease of the discussion, it had been real work, requiring full attention.
And as much as he was talking he was also so well able to listen – to the large lines and the details of arguments. It may there was one exception to all this, or I should say: one condition: newness, commitment going hand in hand with ambition, the desperate endeavour to move things forward. It was about working for improvement – the work of understanding and interpreting and all that for the political change.
My first encounter with his work is many years back, reading about his ideas of state-monopolist capitalism – it was a long time before we met. And it was surely one of the works that inspired a new thinking for me: bringing economic and political thinking not only together, but doing so in the best tradition of developing a new integrated approach, understanding ‘building on tradition’ not least as the need to move on, developing things further in order to understand today’s reality and to elaborate concepts for the reality of the future – reform and revolution, it included for him also the revolution within the existing capitalist system.
At least three off his later works have to be mentioned, not least for the reason that we discussed often the related topics:
The book

And our cooperation – in detail and the presentations and debates in the large conference venue at the place du Colonel Fabien – was something that tightened a deep felt friendship.

Two volumes followed, exploring the
Théories sur les crises, la suraccumulation et la dévalorisation du capital
In this context we talked also about the various economic theories, the shift around the large waves and the different interpretation of the work of Kondratieff, also taking about the new technological challenges – danger and opportunities – and also the need to work towards an integrated approach that employed his thinking over the last years, feeding into the recent book, ambitiously analysing
Indeed, he ended this publication
with the words
Ce que je fais est follement prétentieux, et pourtant, même si on le fait mal, il faut le faire. C’est en le faisant mal qu’on le fera mieux un jour
What I do is insanely pretentious, and yet, even if you do it wrong, you have to do it. It’s by hurting him that we’ll ever do it better.
I remember the one day, already a few years ago – we walked somewhere in Paris, he passed and looked at me:
There are so many notes I made, there are so many ideas … . It is your turn soon to gather it, and to move things on.
Sunday the 26th of November his voice ceased for ever to speak, that day his ears stopped to listen – and I hope and I know there are enough who listened over the years and who will now take up what he cannot say anymore.
A tiny beginning can be already found in a small and very modest volume I edited in 2011, titled