Cats and Enlightenment
The other day I sent a mail to a colleague and friend: after he let me know about the “very latest” Apple’s laptop; and after I came across the very latest software (OS) …. and after I sent him a devastating negative critique on that software I saw by accident – he replied, saying that he could not share the critique after installing the OS … Fair enough – maybe that I install it soon myself …, but …: there is a more complicate answer to it, one that is not really about computers …. – so here it is:
Take your point, Kenneth; and not knowing the Lion, the cat itself had not been really my point. Nor Mac/apple or any special brand … . However, I am already since some time and receptively concerned about all these “the latest” and “the best”, quickly moving on to “very latest and the very best” and moving on to … – take food, take washing powder, take computers …, well, and take education and financial markets (of course, subsequently the crisis from 2007, though predictable since 2??? – not sure when exactly in the early 2000s I published something predicting its emergence), getting obvious in 2008, being bemoaned in 2009 (after overcoming the first shock) and now a matter of usage or something like it [perhaps even habit]. Due to the complete crash of my database which until today is not sorted, I installed office I don’t know what (the latest version) – it is so complicated that I cannot handle it, things are so easy, so much “supported” with macros etc. that many things are awkward … – I am now back to the previous version, and for mail I am using mail … – this apparently doesn’t allow me to use BE, at least the spellcheck highlights everything as wrong that doesn’t follow “big brothers” AE-rule.
Talking about rule – brings me to my current position, working on law. Though most of my own work is around philosophy of law, a look at more current issues has to be part of it. As usual, I forgot the figures. Roughly then just one example: the German Social Code – BSHG – had been established in 1962, serving as foundation for the area until 2004. Be assured, there had been many serious problems around the law, and with the BSHG itself and also with the implementation. I remember my own engagement on relevant issues – criticising relevant issues …, long stories, I could tell many and long stories (though I cannot tell you out of hand the dates). At stake had been very fundamental, systemic questions, matters of implementation – and all in between. – Still, for the good or bad this law had been in place until 2004 – changes had been made but only relatively few and not changing fundamentals. In 2005 Hartz-IV changed fundamentally the entire situation. I would be the last who would say: Oh, good old times – why should we change anything? But there is something which really is of concern for me: The same minute when the institutions of the parliamentary democratic system approved Hartz-IV, the very same law had been already discussed in the special committees – and the important point is: they discussed the need for fundamental changes.
As said, I would be the last who would say: Oh, good old times – why should we change anything.
And I surely would be the last who would say: Oh good god. There is no divine power to trust:
No Saviour from on high delivers
No faith have we in prince or peer
[You’ll find it somewhere here ;-)]
But the reason had been – so far I am indeed not too far from the humanist thinking as it finds its roots in the citoyenitée, revolutionary at its time, though at the end conservative in its idealism – the force to be guiding: guiding by circumspection, at least striving for providence.
Further a brief note on the law: legal provisions in the US (laws, acts …) are enacted and remain in place for a very short term only – the European had been different and increasingly changes, developing an ever shorter time of turn over. in in some way o the same point: Yesterday I have had a lengthy talk with Lorena, a colleague from Brazil who works here at the institute (really enjoyed it, really brought me forward in my own thinking. We discussed a text which I wrote as part of the book mentioned the other day.
As said, I would be the last who would say: Oh, good old times – why should we change anything. But something is surely remarkable. At one stage she said: most of the literature you refer to, are the classics. There is not much you use from what had been published more recently [though I actually made reference to Hart, Luhmann and other youngsters ;-)]. She mentioned – as missing – for instance Habermas. Sure, I could have included part of his work – but what did and does he really say what had not been said much better already by Kant, Weber … ?
There is good reason for change – but it should be reasoned, not rushed ….
But I have to rush now …, going to the bookshop, getting something to read when I don’t have the privilege of the use of the library here anymore.
And have to read, red, read and write, write, write … – but all with the one point in mind: it is not anout another interpretation, it is about change – that is then the focus next week ….