“There is no right life in the wrong one”

a friend of mine recently mentioned “stupidity” while talking about the situation that emerged after somebody passing away and the bereavement and non-bereavement  … – unfortunately I see stupidity increasingly in life itself, not in death and surrounding it; it is about permanent hypocrisy, death being somewhat part of the solution. There we are teaching, excellence (the new general trend: we all are “excellent” and we are easily forgetting that, if everybody is standing on the tiptoes, nobody can see better), and we are accepting  non-excellence, swimming in and with the  stream because swimming against it, ends most likely in drowning, and this way we are drowning in the stream with which we swim …., dead already while still breathing, not allowing for alternatives, paradoxically by claiming that only we – as individuals, as Asians, as Europeans, as Latinos, as men or women are the alternative. Establishing false identities as individuals or groups that define us not by saying who we are but by saying that there is “the other”.

*****

… “one of the girls”, one of my students was in the office last week, handing in an admin document. I never really talked to her throughout the entire year (no surprise – excellence is a mass product) and invited her to sit down for a chat. … “actually I know, I have to study harder [though she is one of the “good students”] and I will do what I have to do in order to finish my education. But then …, I do not know … My dream is to open a bakery, be happy and pass my happiness on to the customers”. It sounds familiar? I heard similar stories from a couple of students … – and in some I really saw the deep sorrows and I also saw the real excitement – in some way I felt the joy and happiness they were talking about …
…, knowing that there are illusions and romanticisms, knowing that the argument I put forward, stating that there cannot be excellence for and by all”, is in danger of being close to elitism, I still think there is some cause for consideration (re-consideration I should say as we ventilated this issue so often). Why are we pushing towards “higher education” in this way if the result is that

[a]ccording to one analysis, fully 43 percent of Chinese workers already consider themselves to be overeducated for their current positions.

Mind, I am not talking about China and robots. But .., how to say …? Is it correct saying that I am talking about this world in which education is dominated by administration, encapsulated in the iron cage Max Weber was talking about and offering little space for the development of personalities, replicating itself by forcing everybody to follow the supposed wisdom  of “if you can’t beat them, join them”, a fatal motto as we all know that

*****

And how then can we settle …?
Chatting with Yi, Xiao, Tricia, Tomi, Liu and Lv and Steph of course  … to name a few from the many years; working with the few who are really ready to co-work; and thinking about just meeting friends for a good and “innocent” laugh. Traveling recently with Jiaying to 岳陽 (Yueyang)  was nice, and so are meetings with 邹, talking about “uncombed ideas” (to use her words), flowing in the stream to change its direction …

And nice was the trip to the Forum in Shanghai. Actually the meeting itself was “just OK” – some really exciting discussions, but then too many screenplays of presentation of the “we” against the other, but it had been nice to come back to 上海 (Shanghai), to do the boat trip and chat with interesting people – and to make the 5(ish) hour trip from Changsha to Shanghai and back by train – I really like it, being able to work a bit, but also to look out of the window: the beautiful landscape and its variety, letting the thoughts flow …, thinking about the people living there along the route, making their living but also making their life …

Well, and then it is so strange when we are teaching and studying, we are supposed to forget all this, we are dealing with forms and matrices and equations … and we are forgetting what studying is about: helping us making their life and, of course, then making a living …

… a strange world, indeed,, while sitting other time in an “excellence centre”: strange is a world that is turning things around, and  excellence is actually flat …, and reality claims to exist in perfected algorithms

I remain skeptical, and still think with Bohr that

[w]e must be clear that when it comes to atoms, language can be used only as in poetry. The poet, too, is not nearly so concerned with describing facts as with creating images and establishing mental connections.

But still, and I admittedly did not fully theory of relativity or quantum mechanisms , we have to acknowledge that

E = hf
is superior over
E = mc²
In this way we have to make sure that the sentence that saying
Isolated material particles are abstractions, their properties being definable and observable only through their interaction with other systems. (Bohr)
also means changes we aim for have to go beyond changes of particles. A theory of revolution – in science and society – wi be inspired by quantum mechanics and we may consider the need to establish a theory of quantum mechanical economics and quantum mechanical social quality.
Annunci

One thought on ““There is no right life in the wrong one”

  1. Hi Peter, many thanks for another insightful post – though this is setting the bar even higher (quantum mechanical economics and social quality)!!!
    Joe

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