Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.
that is what Confucius supposedly said. And who would I have to be if I dared to contradict. Actually something like it had been stated in slightly different ways by many others. Still, I dare to ask for something to be added:
Wisdom is to admit such ignorance and to live up to it.
Is that an appropriate formulation? I surely do not mean live being ignorant, ignoring … – but on the contrary: being ready to permanently ask, question … and question oneself. Being ready to look for and go new ways.
And this may finally allow coming back to the point that stood at the beginning, again and again escaping:
The no-problem-society – Beautification of teaching, administrative nonsense, now approaching the issue from another angle, without denying in any way the ‘dangers’.
I met the last days frequently a friend, for short walks here on the campus, for some relaxed time in the ‘coffee shop impressions’ (not really a coffee shop though, but a bit of everything between coffee bar, restaurant, disco and other expressions … – after disappearing for some time for unknown reasons. Well, the unknown reasons have at least a name: we both had been ‘busy’, or better to say: occupied, subjugated by the daily struggles, by the challenges of which each of us thought they are not avoidable, thinking nothing can be done about it, there is no help, no escape from the absurdities of life, of living alone, and thus there would be nothing to talk about. And surely, there would have been little ‘to help’. It had been all about different facets of the fact that no real life is possible in the wrong one, alluding to Adorno’s Minima Moralia, where we read:
There is no right life in the wrong one.
As true as that is, we still may turn and push it: ‘right’, genuinely true experience can emerge from the wrongfulness of life and the direct, open way of looking at the opportunities. It is what I was writing and working about recently, e.g. asking
And wondering if
Metaphorically, may be the country boy from Emerald Islands is awakening a bit, the smell of rotten ground, of soil having been dug over, enriched by decomposing plants, rain-saturated …, in some way repellent … . Imagine really, try to imagine, even on the smaller level, and on the very small one things can change its perspective: the smell of the soil gaining another constituent when one strives along. Decomposing does not equal staling … – on the contrary, it contains all the fertile germs of something new, its ugliness only an expression of the effort to strive excrescent things off. This allows us not least to see – in socio-economic terms – the tendency of the individual profit rate to fall while as consequence, however, the social profit rate can be moved to increase. Marx outlined The Law of the Tendency of the Rate of Profit to Fall in Part III of Capital, III, presenting in Chapter 13 about The Law As Such, that the rate of profit, independent of its absolute height, depends on the composition of capital: it decreases with the increase of the relative ratio of fixed capital, or we can say
(falling) p’ = Δ c/v
where p’ stands for profit rate, c for constant capital and v for variable capital.
Seen in this light, it is obvious that much of the complaints are not about a lack of productivity and not even about profitability as such. Instead, it is about distribution. Most importantly, it is about distribution within the process of production, not about redistribution of privately appropriated wealth. It is a very simple and well known connotation, and still we always approach the question from the wrong end, from what we know and what we easily see, escaping the need of slow reading of reality: of performing reading as act of appropriating reality by interpretation with the help of a new language given by the texts we read.
Of course, the marginality rate and the law of diminishing utility, the focus of many of the ‘new mainstream’ (Riffkin, Friedman, Mason), surely plays a role. However, it seems to be one-sided.
What, in any case, remains is a vast potential we have – and it is exactly this potential of productive forces that needs to be genuinely unfolded by two processes – to some extent quite compatible with the arguments of the marginalists. The first process is concerned with centrally redefining the distribution within the productive process itself (i). The second process is about the ‘what’ and ‘for what’ of production and with this about using the productive forces to the full potential (ii).
Isn’t it indeed amazing to recognise how algorithms … fail? They provide such a prodigious potential. But they do so only if we fully acknowledge the limits, instead of trying to push them further. The latter suggests that we reduce ourselves, our own thinking and speaking on the level of what we imagine as potentiality of the machine. It is a matter of adapting to anticipated limitations. In other words, it is about humans recreating themselves as puddle. I know it sounds strange, but let us look at a lengthy passage from the transcript of a talk given in May 2001 by Douglas Adams under the title
… we’ve kind of taken control of our environment, and that’s all very well, but we need to be able to sort of rise above that process. We have to rise above that vision and see a higher vision—and understand the effect we’re actually having.
Now imagine—if you will—an early man, and let’s just sort of see how this mindset comes about. He’s standing, surveying his world at the end of the day. And he looks at it and thinks, “This is a very wonderful world that I find myself in. This is pretty good. I mean, look, here I am, behind me is the mountains, and the mountains are great because there are caves in the mountains where I can shelter, either from the weather or from bears that occasionally come and try to attack me. And I can shelter there, so that’s great. And in front of me there is the forest, and the forest is full of nuts and berries and trees, and they feed me, and they’re delicious and they sort of keep me going. And here’s a stream going through which has got fish running through it, and the water is delicious, and I drink the water, and everything’s fantastic.
“And there’s my cousin Ug. And Ug has caught a mammoth! Yay!! (claps). Ug has caught a mammoth! Mammoths are terrific! There’s nothing greater than a mammoth, because a mammoth, basically you can wrap yourself in the fur from the mammoth, you can eat the meat of the mammoth, and you can use the bones of the mammoth, to catch other mammoths! (Laughter.)
“Now this world is a fantastically good world for me.” And, part of how we come to take command of our world, to take command of our environment, to make these tools that are actually able to do this, is we ask ourselves questions about it the whole time. So this man starts to ask himself questions. “This world,” he says, “well, who … so, so who made it?” Now, of course he thinks that, because he makes things himself, so he’s looking for someone who will have made this world. He says, “So, who would have made this world? Well, it must be something a little bit like me. Obviously much much bigger, (laughing) and necessarily invisible, (laughter) but he would have made it. Now, why did he make it?”
Now, we always ask ourselves “why” because we look for intention around us, because we always do something with intention. You know, we boil an egg in order to eat it. So, we look at the rocks and we look at the trees, and we wonder what intention is here, even though it doesn’t have intention. So we think, what did this person who made this world intend it for. And this is the point where you think, “Well, it fits me very well. (Laughter.) You know, the caves and the forests, and the stream, and the mammoths. He must have made it for me! I mean, there’s no other conclusion you can come to.”
And it’s rather like a puddle waking up one morning—I know they don’t normally do this, but allow me, I’m a science fiction writer. (Laughter.) A puddle wakes up one morning and thinks, “This is a very interesting world I find myself in. It fits me very neatly. In fact, it fits me so neatly, I mean, really precise, isn’t it? (Laughter.) It must have been made to have me in it!” And the sun rises, and he’s continuing to narrate the story about this hole being made to have him in it. And the sun rises, and gradually the puddle is shrinking and shrinking and shrinking, and by the time the puddle ceases to exist, it’s still thinking, it’s still trapped in this idea, that the hole was there for it. And if we think that the world is here for us, we will continue to destroy it in the way that we’ve been destroying it, because we think we can do no harm.
Coming then back to the beginning of this post, the problem with algorithms is indeed about their
Lack of real knowledge, i.e. their inability to know the extent of their ignorance.
and their readiness to strive for
Wisdom as admitting such ignorance and striving for living up to it.
And it is about the fact that we, as humans, are not happy with the role we obtained after chasing god to some extent away; instead we are now building new gods. Cum grano salis we arrive at a new version of the Book of Genesis.
There are the 2 ‘originals’ – The Christian one; the ‘later Latin one’ under the title of the Metamorphoses by Ovid, then the ‘Adams-Version’, just presented before and now the one to come, being made up in Silicon Valley, by google-and-the-like-offices and the labs where researchers strive for creating artificially-intelligent images and machines, created according to the image they have from themselves. Being honest – and though admitting that my confidence in the magnificence of the human race may well lack some positivity – I feel sorry for such lowly approach to human kind as exposed by these people. I am convinced that these people don’t mean to be as mean as the meaning of their doings suggest. And I assume that what emerges as new religion, evolving, man-made though not necessarily strategically, is consequence of and strive for individuality, small-packed, parcelled into units by self-mortification, cutting one-self off the roots in sociability by hiding it in the drawers of bits and byte, the new gods as invisible as the old ones; the trinity replaced by the double helix of a quadrinity:
markets, individuals, independence and complacency
The challenge is to understand these as four genuinely socio-economic categories, reflecting in a genuinely integrated way the unity accumulation regime, mode of regulation, living regime and mode of life as for instance presented in my 2016-view on Opening Views against the Closure of the World, published at NOVA. Citing from there may clarify things a bit:
This is not a purely academic question but as well important as it allows us to approach an issue which is frequently left out of considerations, as it seems to be too difficult for approaches that are strictly socio- and political-economic (instead, we leave ‘decisions’ to moralists and ethicists …, and their appeals). Too often economics, reduces by and large, its own realm – and society at large – on dealing with commodities and their exchange within a rationalist, contractualist framework: on the one hand this is exclusive as nothing else is considered within this model; and it is on the other hand inclusive as the entire eco-social system is following these rules. And indeed, we can use the regulationist theory to develop this further: the core concepts of accumulation regime and mode of regulation are reflected in specific living regimes and modes of life. It is not simply about basis-superstructure relations though this is of course also a relevant question. However, we have to develop further that certain modes of production with their accumulation regimes ‘produce’ certain ways of consumption – the latter understood in a broad way and as such also including time- consumption, certain life styles etc.. Fordism is surely an excellent example as mass consumption had been inherent part, and the same applies for the changed patterns of income distribution. We have to emphasis that Fordism had not been just about mass-production and mass-consumption; instead, it established an entire ‘way of life‘ and meant furthermore an entirely different way of shaping society. In other words it is about the entirety of producing society and producing society‘s understanding of space and time. Fordism is – somewhat – past; however, talking today about post-Fordism seems to be a way of avoiding today‘s real questions about the new understanding of the social fabric, which is now surely a global one. Although we find some notions of an ‘imperial mode of life‘ becoming popular (see e.g., Brand/Wissen, 2012), this fails to address the fact that we are actually dealing with a fundamentally ‘economic‘ question of production, and not with a simple ‘imperialist move‘ forcing Coke® into every hut on the globe while people are looking through the standardised Windows® on the computer screen. We have to redefine economy and economics in order to understand the far-reaching changes that are linked to the question of understanding non- capitalist pathways as alternatives.
And of course, posing this as alternative to the holy trinity, the question is if there is something that can be compared with the antichrist.
So, yes, overcoming the genesis, we can also return to the frequent chats here – and there – it is this feeling of being the water, the puddle and standing above it, transcending its borders. Learning something new by discontinuing
I never thought about it this way
says my vis-à-vis and I have to laugh:
You know? Just while saying it I, am getting aware of it, never having thought about it myself, never in this way at least.
We both are smiling.
It is at the end about searching actively, co-producing instead of teaching or learning about the interaction of reason, knowledge and virtue Mary Wolstonecraft talks about in her Vindication of the rights of women in the first chapter – something that is, even if done by individuals, social by its very nature.
Men, in general, seem to employ their reason to justify prejudices, which they have imbibed, they cannot trace how, rather than to root them out. The mind must be strong that resolutely forms its own principles; for a kind of intellectual cowardice prevails which makes many men shrink from the task, or only do it by halves. Yet the imperfect conclusions thus drawn, are frequently very plausible, because they are built on partial experience, on just, though narrow, views.
Going back to first principles, vice skulks, with all its native deformity, from close investigation; but a set of shallow reasoners are always exclaiming that these arguments prove too much, and that a measure rotten at the core may be expedient. Thus expediency is continually contrasted with simple principles, till truth is lost in a mist of words, virtue, in forms, and knowledge rendered a sounding nothing, by the specious prejudices that assume its name.
The most exciting experience of real participation, of real honesty in the middle of a morass of hypocrisy of which she also talks about – and what we experience so strongly: as result of which the world, in the middle of which we live, we individually, facing the apparent, perceived need to hide, to small tricks and lies …., immediate survival seems more important than genuinely lived soundness of mind. Why? … The reason seems to be so obvious: as we lost contact to each other, and even to the environment, don’t even mention or dare to talk about the feelings of living in the middle of the Lonely Crowd, loneliness of denial of problems, laughing them away, confronting them with sarcastic humour. of the Steppenwolf who had been alluded to recently. And this way we sell our soul, constructing and maintaining district worlds of new princes and princesses, posing them against country-girls and country-boys, not seeing the self-degradation this means – at a university, in the institutions and in ‘daily life’. And we are even proposing that we do it for the good and nobel, we do it for all and everybody, while not allowing anybody else to do something, denying the Vindication of Rights:
The desire of dazzling by riches, the most certain pre-eminence that man can obtain, the pleasure of commanding flattering sycophants, and many other complicated low calculations of doting self-love, have all contributed to overwhelm the mass of mankind, and make liberty a convenient handle for mock patriotism. For whilst rank and titles are held of the utmost importance, before which Genius “must hide its diminished head,” it is, with a few exceptions, very unfortunate for a nation when a man of abilities, without rank or property, pushes himself forward to notice.—Alas! what unheard of misery have thousands suffered to purchase a cardinal’s hat for an intriguing obscure adventurer, who longed to be ranked with princes, or lord it over them by seizing the triple crown!
It is the somewhat strange experience of exposing oneself to the smell of the soil which gains another constituent when one strides along, takes a different way, also allowing to get distracted, then delving into new grounds. Fear …, yes, sometimes …, but not as anxiety but as facing the challenge of growing beyond limits set for the puddle and set by itself, not accepting the limits and this being caught by the shrinking, even moreover forcing oneself to shrink.
I remember the beauty of a walk, many years ago: taking a wrong turn in the countryside, guessing the direction …, and the guess was actually correct. But there was something that I did not consider: The brook, to be more precise: the brook’s turn … A long way back, a way forward that most likely would be too long or even ending in a completely different spot. – It had been warm enough to dare it …, accepting that the only forward would be taking the turn to the left. Another problem was coming up: the bank on the other side, a bit eroding and relatively steep. Of course I saw this when stepping into the water, the real challenge was actually about my two companions: an Alsatian and a Border Collie, then my two rescue dogs. Well, linguistically the term search dog is frequently used as synonym, and this is what they were: search dogs, searching for help – and of course it was granted.
A little story, surely not a major adventure, and a surely quite common undertaking. But do we allow ourselves sufficiently even such little escapades?
Sure, it is still a privilege – and there are the dangers: precarity, loosing the standard ‘references’ as home, nation, age-identity, language proficiency – but is not exactly this the opening for the water, escaping the puddle. – We are still sitting there the one day. Learning something new by discontinuing
I never thought about it this way
says my vis-à-vis … I look into he smiling face … and I have to laugh:
You know? Just while saying it I am getting aware of it, never having thought about it myself, never in this way at least.
Now we are both are smiling.
Admittedly the phone is a permanent companion this day – not always when we meet, but sometimes. Did I say phone? Can’t I fully accept that it is more a micro-computer?
Treasa comes to my mind – student then, before taking up my course, many years ago now, traveller across different countries, teaching English language. Using the dictionaries of the phone, I remember her special praise, when we left one day after class the classroom together and she said something like
You know what I like especially during your lectures? You frequently come up with new terms. It really is something special.
May be on this basis I can claim one day having substantially contributed to the development of language. But do I want to? Isn’t it enough to contribute in everyday’s life just a bit …, and daring to loose my own ground, encouraging others to loose there ground too.
Much more could be said and explored – but lets ventilate a bit the other point. Of course, production is always not least about establishing context, and who would doubt, that needs support – if I am not mistaken once upon a time this had been called back-up service, auxiliary service, support service and similar. In many cases this had been about administrative services. Now, coming back to the question, the
‘what’ and ‘for what’ of production and with this about using the productive forces to the full potential
we are surely dealing with this, and we can be equally sure that all this is about decreasing marginality cost. This includes the matter of time allocation, the cost of time as part of the entire process of production – and rearranges the social, the interactive dimension: it is faster to execute certain tasks individually, and it is often also more convenient (lowering transaction cost certain things on the webs are really just a mouse click away, nearer than any office clerk who needs an explanation before the clicking the mouse button, then explaining the result to foster coordination before trotting off again for the next click); though it is not necessarily nicer (as it is reducing the time for possibly nice chats, which may in consequence mean a diminishing trade-off/rate of productive side-effects due to lack of scooping the entire range of opportunities of diversification [yes, it can be put into a formula/equation if wanted – but economics can also be expressed in prose, and it is indeed about opportunity cost which are nothing else then lost opportunity gains …]). Although it is simple to establish – and understand – the link between marginality and opportunity, it is a bit more difficult to capture the link to the tendency of the profit rate to fall. Part of the difficulty may be the different quality of interconnectedness of individual and social and societal dimension. Central is, however, that looking at the (average) profit rate means the need to clearly define profit(ability). Of course, this seems to be, and in some ways is, simple – as long as we walk along the predefined line of the foundation of the post-revolutionary system
- Individuals – as natural person or legal personality
- Defining the social and also the common wheal by individual interaction between individuals
- Including the definition of the carrier of the common wheal as individual, namely as nation state
- Defining thus decisively as central issue of utilitarianism not the usually suspected ‘drive for possession of goods’ but the genuine individualism
– all this is like the puddle-walk, never turning to any side, thus making sure that one remains (within) the puddle.
It is worthwhile to add that we have in jurisprudence the insurmountable difficulty to establish social rights that are truly more than the sum of the social rights of individuals – just another puddle.
On the other hand we actually have open spaces that allow us to re-define, to re-approach a definition of what all this about …
… back then to short walks here on campus and some relaxed time in the ‘coffee shop impressions’ ….
falling p’ = Δ c/v
Where are the really new developments then … – those of developing friendships by daring conflicts and disputes instead of closing roads by dichotomies and building walls.
I cannot understand the stubbornness – Well, I know the reasons for it but still we have to dare the danger of being wrong. But these are just ostensible.
No, it is not that I expect you to do anything else than to do what you said you would do, or to be more precise: what you said we would do. Sorry, but I cannot stand this permanently changing your mind.
My voice may sound a bit harsh:
It is not about ‘respecting me’ – though it surely is about this too. But it is first and foremost of respecting yourself. … I know that you have enough things, bothering you, entertaining and threatening. But you know what I think it is? Not anything else than excuse and distraction! Distraction from yourself, running away and looking for the convenience of it.
I am wondering at times if all this needs to be said, longing to such convenience – not entirely ‘real’, the attempt of having a right life in the wrong one. But then I have this gut feeling: feeling good, but not feeling content, is in the long term wearing down, creates anxiety as a more or less permanent gnome, hiding somewhere in the created double helix, a gate keeper against the hegemonic double helix of the quadrinity of markets, individuals, independence and complacency. It is establishing and maintaining the dichotomist dualism of structure versus individual, not ready to accept the dialectics which forces us to pay the price where it occurs – instead it is externalising, asking others to pay, postponing the payment, denying the need to pay until we are struck by stroke, heart attack, paranoia or nervous breakdown, not being able to maintain the speed which is needed for permanently re-establishing the walls, applying the same law on all the levels and in all arrays of life as Lewis Mumford mentions it somewhere, talking about The Myth of the Machine:
the only speed: faster, the only tempting destination: further away, the only desirable measure: larger and only one worthwhile quantity: more
No, the temptation of living the right life in the wrong one does not work out as long as it allows to say that it is actually the leading the wrong life in the wrong one. It is about the impossibility of individuals’ self-respect – and the impossibility of the private-non public divide, claiming respect in the one, playing it out agaist the other.
Do you remember,
It is the one passage from Zusak’s book on The Book Thief we were reading together.
People observe the colors of a day only at its beginnings and ends, but to me it’s quite clear that a day merges through a multitude of shades and intonations with each passing moment. A single hour can consist of thousands of different colors. Waxy yellows, cloud-spot blues. Murky darkness. In my line of work, I make it a point to notice them.
Yes, there is the escape to the net-world which for some, or sometimes seems to have replaced the Mac-World, the one with the big golden M. There are these concerts, bringing us to The Underground – and still ending up in very much the same that we reject …
… all these smaller and larger quarrels are about so many different things: changing the mind when it comes arranging to meet, what we are going to do, how open one should be when talking to peers, how to approach matters in studying and discussing, political questions as well as the election results in the US and the development in Greece.
And with it is about the need to see how in all this any dichotomy is deceiving, not allowing us to see, to really accept that
merges through a multitude of shades and intonations with each passing moment.
Is it really too difficult ??
And it is also about becoming aware of the traps in which – in the own way – we are caught: the fact that we criticise too often others for the shortcomings which we cannot or do not escape.
So, are we at the end no better? Always looking for our own solution, answer, escape? Something that any computer can do better, and it can even claim doing it cooperatively, using network-algorithms. Are we any iota better than anybody else?
Do we submit under a tendency of admiring the no-problem-society and its inclination to beautification of teaching, administrative nonsense, answering difficult questions with
I won’t discuss this with you !!
retreating to movements of princes, Divas and the firm standing of the un-dismissible law of the iron cage of bureaucracy and hierarchy?
But I want to discuss it with you … now!
I nearly shout, and I feel that it is also a matter of defending myself …, not self-opinionated but on the contrary: afraid to loose, friendship to myself or to the other, and wondering how much it is about the lack of trusting the other (seeing ourselves in them?): friends, close colleagues, relatives in individual encounters; and the opportunism, when we are talking about the tragedy on the stage of US- and world politics, not easily allowing to think about our own mistakes, as
overlooking and playing over the lack of a positive and broad enough perspective:
In the past 30 years, we have allowed progressive values to become fragmented — there’s the LGBT struggle, the feminist struggle, the civil rights struggle. The moment a feminist accepts that having a women president or more women in the boardroom, means that a women migrant will end doing menial jobs in the home for below the minimum wage, the connection between feminism and humanism is lost. When the gay movement adopted consumerism as its mantra with slogans like “shop till you drop”, which took the place of confrontations with bigotry and the police, it too became part of the liberal elite. The solution has to be a progressive movement that is international and humanist. It’s a tall order but it’s what is needed to oppose both the liberal establishment and Trump. They pretend to be enemies but in reality they are accomplies, feeding off each the other.
Indeed, much of this is not about what you think it may be: the meeting of two people in the coffeeshop, going for a walk … – though it is. It is much more about the near-to-inability of nearly all of us to open ourselves up to genuinely defining us and the other, trying to overcome our own life-precarities by pretending that there is no problem anywhere: wiped away, also those days when Wolfgang Schaeuble said to Yanis
I won’t discuss this with you !!
Colleagues are standing in front of us as friends; the political scene is presenting itself with its blurring borders of friendship and camaraderie in favour of the own secure heaven on the one hand versus hostility; etc. pp. And this supposed nearness would be great if it would only be genuinely true. If it would not be condition for ultimately resulting in the paradoxical situation of absolute exclusion: if you are not in favour you are against … – tertium non datur, dialectics passé …, resulting in overlooking the unbearable lightness of being as what it is: unbearable. And it is also about all the people with such conditionalities …..: Be my friend and I will talk to you and work with you and … and if you are not my friend I won’t ….; and vice versa of course. And it is the story of still holding on to it when it is about power, positions and, yes, friendships: no principles, just “positions”, “titles” … count. – So, can’t we all find ourselves here, a bit of us? Alexis, not admitting the failure of the grand plan …. to Zaid? – Actually the latter, my friend Zaid, not, at least not that part I know: unconditionality, and in some way “self-centred”, i.e. doing what he things is right, arguing at times with me, but never arguing by “using others, mocking about others and shifting this way the questions aside.
Yes, we can in some way see again what Brecht said To Those Who Follow in Our Wake:
What times are these, in which
A conversation about trees is almost a crime
For in doing so we maintain our silence about so much wrongdoing!
And he who walks quietly across the street,
Passes out of the reach of his friends
Who are in danger?
It is true: I work for a living
But, believe me, that is a coincidence. Nothing
That I do gives me the right to eat my fill.
By chance I have been spared. (If my luck does not hold,
I am lost.)
They tell me: eat and drink. Be glad to be among the haves!
But how can I eat and drink
When I take what I eat from the starving
And those who thirst do not have my glass of water?
And yet I eat and drink.
But what makes it really unbearable is the fact of too often not allowing – privately, collectively; personally, socially; politically, professionally or in which ever way to communicate openly – and thus seeing the beauty of the trees amongst which we are walking … – accepting that there are
And it is not only the Trumps, it is what we all do to often by seemingly enjoying in the no-problem-society where the principle of noli me tangere reigns, though with changing the context, digressing from the biblical meaning where it seems to be said in the opposite way of exclusion and rejection, aiming on togetherness and the building of commonality.
Be it as it is, it is at times worrying, straining – a warm hug, the feeling of the other as being even in the contest genuinely connected and connecting when leaving the coffee bar, a firm statement of commonality and importantly als of dissent at the end of the debate in the meeting room … are so much more worth than the forgetfulness of opportunist hypocrisy and the aggressiveness of the ignorance of pure confrontation. – None of these will ever be taken over by AI. And none of these will be ever maintained by
– beautifying by the trivialising Rocco, building stone shells (Rococo, derived from rocaille [stone] and coquilles [shell]) against dispute and contest, glossing over challenges by power-pointed lectures and by streamlined administrative nonsense and closing offices by allowing only closest friends to enter.
And so often, aiming on discussing, questioning, or proposing to question the answer is and remains
I won’t discuss this with you !!
real stubbornness, claimed on the basis of rank which so often translates into disrespect. So the question
is surely also about who really claims it, and claims it together. At the end, there the space for exit is surely extremely limited and there is only voice – in moving together with difference, instead of passing out by loyalty.
The world is not a capitalist enterprise and market where we have all those options.
The Book Thief knows – and we have to learn:
Usually we walk around constantly believing ourselves. “I’m okay” we say. “I’m alright”. But sometimes the truth arrives on you and you can’t get it off. That’s when you realize that sometimes it isn’t even an answer–it’s a question. Even now, I wonder how much of my life is convinced.
 Adorno, Theodor W., 1944: Minima Moralia. Reflections from the damaged life; page 18
This original translation was created by Dennis Redmond in 2005. Note that the original German text is available from Suhrkamp Verlag: Theodor W. Adorno. Collected Works. Suhrkamp Verlag, Volume 4.
 From 5 giant evils to 5 giant tensions – the current crisis of capitalism as seedbed for its overturn – or: How Many Gigabyte has a Horse?; Seminar ‘Continuidad y Cambios en las Relaciones Internacionales’ at ISRI (Instituto Superior de Relaciones Internacionales Raúl Roas García), Havana; 2016
 Growth and Development – Complement or Contradiction? Challenges for a Global Agenda; Shanghai Forum, China and Latin America. The Development Partnership of Trans-Pacific-Section; 2016
 of higher order – especially seen in Hegel’s concept of the bourgeois state