Who is Nobody?

Being now in the capital of Greece, a recent communication with a student comes to my mind again – it had been about her not having time to follow up on a mail I sent in connection with a reference letter I wrote for her because she was busy with urgent preparations of some exams. I frankly replied that I hate exams and reviews, receiving the reply

Nobody likes assessments …
Isn’t it amazing what nobody manages to do, how nobody develops power, being able to control us and the way we relate to each other.
There is surely a serious problem with personalising issues but at times it helps to give nobody a face – and that helps going beyond, instead of simply following rules.
It is well known from ancient times, that leaving decisions and power to nobody, just following rules defined by nobody, is fatal – as we read in Homer’s Odyssey in book nine:
So he declared. I poured him another fiery bowl –
three bowls I brimmed and three he drank to the last drop,
the fool, and then, when tile wine was swirling round his brain, I approached my host with a cordial. winning word:
‘So, you ask me the name I’m known by, Cyclops? I will tell you. But you must give me a guest-gift

as you’ve promised. Nobody-that’s my name. Nobody – so my mother and father call me, all my friends.’

But he boomed back at me from his ruthless heart, ‘Nobody? I’ll eat Nobody last of all his friends-
I’ll eat the others first! That’s my gift to you!’ …

Later then, after Polyphemus talked later about his failure to his peers, they replied
‘If you’re alone: his friends boomed back at once,
‘and nobody’s trying to overpower you now-look,
it must be a plague sent here by mighty Zeus
and there’s no escape from that.
You’d better pray to your father. Lord Poseidon
Never leave anything to blinding rules, nobody always has a name – everybody who followed the recent politics against, about and  in this beautiful country in which I am now, knows the names of the relevant people and the deciding institutions.
And we may add a bit political philosophy, going some steps with Rawls, looking at the proceduralisation of the categorial imperative. Shouldn’t then all the nobodies be coerced to think of themselves as everybody? The danger that everybody is becoming nobody would surely be reversed then.

Marginal Utility

Sure, any attempt of such calculation is limited by establishing a straightforwardness that does not exist. – Still, there is something in it I guess, trying to think about ‘models’

La Capitale, Le Gare de Paris-Est, four desks, one is open for selling ticket, including helping those who are lost. Three security police guards are roaming, being approached by a stranger, asking for directions, brusquely spurning him …  – what would be the effect of “full service”, i.e. four open desks, friendly helping people … is anybody afraid of lowered aggressiveness, less pressure on travellers and possibly train stations as real meeting points, not thoroughfare with an increasing number of shops and security staff and decreasing service and communication hubs…?

The other day, Roma termini, I said

Se una persona mentalmente sana potesse vedere questo trambusto, avrebbe suggerito che questo mondo è …, si, mentalmente folle.

Well, finally one always gets there, can relax in the train ….    


L’Isle-Jourdain (Vienne) inspiring development of language

Passing the Viaduct near to L’Isle-Jourdain, I asked …

– indeed it is not a viaduct, as far as the term itself is not only about leading [ducere] a way across some kind of valley but it is also specifying the character of the lead: it refers to the via, i.e. road.

In this case, it is – I had been told – in actual fact not a viaduct but a pediaduct and a bit of a velo- or bikeduct.

Shouldn’t language try to advance things instead of maintaining old concepts, ant thus also ways of life. Shouldn’t it be – perhaps provocatively – in the present case be used as instrument that fosters walking and cycling?

Language-reformers of all countries unite, be brave … – use your power as means to change consciousness – towards a conscious way of living – towards innovation, instead of clinging to past and outdated models.

REAL Branding

It may be worthwhile to consider:

You only get the ’trade marks’ of the car – be it star, rings, or … , well you name it – after a test period of driving in a responsible and circumspect way – not assessed by the police record [or the lack of it] but by showing respect for others, environmental responsibility in the way you drive and actually already the decision when you drive …

Of course, as much as terms and conditions apply, the same principle of branding can be applied – cum grano salis – in other areas, and even speech: sometimes it is better to say nothing, indeed, though of course, it will not help pushing anybody or any institution upwards on the ranking ladders …

Brainifactorer – … Supplement

There are so many checks … , and though it is often talked about ‘checks and balances’, there is not much done about the latter. Perhaps, as incentives matter, it should be made easier to think more about balances by pitching them to business, talking about cheques and balances?
Anyway, looking at mails I get, things people say or expect, things that are done, promises that are made … it may be a good idea to think more thoroughly about inventing a
— I consider it as a ‘smart’ [without seeing it as smart it would already be lost] merger of spell-check, brain-scan, lie-detector and something more … I guess, at the end of the day it could be called common sense. But if we would just use exactly that, life would be easier and …, well, actually, we would not need such a ‘think-check’ and could instead think about ways to chase those people away that cause so much hassle and actually frequently hinder us by inflicting parts of their hedonism and all such gadgets as the mentioned ‘checks’ on others.

Reduktion oder Steigerung von Komplexität?

Oh ja, auch die deutsche Sprache kann Innovationen vertragen, es geht nicht nur um Braini-facturer und Gainification in der Englischen Sprache, sondern es bietet sich auch der Begriff der Ver-Indirektlichung als Wortschöpfung im Deutschen an. Der Grund ist eine zunehmende Diskussion von Prozessen der ‚Externalisierung’ vor allem auch in der deutschen Sozialwissenschaft: die Auslagerung von Kosten und Lasten und Belastungen, die erneute Umschichtung zwischen und Schaffung neuer Zentren und Peripherien etc. [siehe etwa Lessenich, Brand/Wissen und ebenso verschiedene meiner eigenen Arbeiten, allerdings letztere in Englischer Sprache] und zugleich eine meinerseits wachsende Unzufriedenheit mit einem solchen allgemeinen Begriff, dessen Verwendung hier nicht verworfen werden soll, wohl aber für eine Differenzierung Platz haben sollte. Kandidat ist eben die Ver-Indirektlichung. In mancher Hinsicht mag dies an Mechanismen erinnern, die von den Finanzmaerkten bekannt sind – vor allem die Derivate, aber selbst schon einfache Versicherungs- und Fonds-Verfahren sind ja im Grund nichts anderes als die Etablierung von funktionalen Ketten, die allerdings nicht ‚physisch’ oder in irgendeiner anderen Form real sind, sondern auf vagen, vermuteten, indirekten Zusammenhängen bestehen. Offensichtlich wächst einerseits mit der Anzahl der ‚Zwischenschritte’ das Risiko des Scheiterns; andererseits verringert sich die Wahrscheinlichkeit zugleich durch die mit einem solchen Prozess verbundene Streuung des Risikos. Mit Verindirektlichung ist folglich im Unterschied zu Externalisierung ein Prozess gemeint, bei dem die Abhängigkeitsverhältnisse weitgehend ungeklärt bleiben und die Verbindung auch nicht durch klar zu benennende ‚intermediäre Instanzen erfolgt. In diesem Sinne haben wir es auch mit einer Art von Intermediarität zu tun, die aber doch zugleich auch dadurch modifiziert ist, dass die Beziehung eben nicht als direkter und intendierter Kauslitätsmechanismus indiziert ist.

gym for the specials …

Gyms …. perhaps I am …, well not naive, but simply lacking knowledge, and so it may well be that such thing does exist already – it is so simple, so obvious a source of ‘wealth’ that it really has to exist – aren’t we living in a society characterised by gainification [yes, it moves on]);-)

The gym for the ‘special ones’ ….

I guess only – as I lack experience of such torture chambers: everything can basically remain unchanged. The small but decisive innovation is coming from some forms of add-ons and apps.

1) The gym — traditional ‘mass event’ in the collective torture hall
2) Three-D-Glasses – the means to illusionise [yes, I know: a new word, not spell-check approved] the view
3) Integrated or not: ear- or headphones
4) jet nebuliser
5) programme/software with different features: beach, forrest, …
6) control stick/button, allowing to choose and personalise the days exercise … – you may want to start your run in the estate, move along the busy street and turn …. . finally you arrive at the beach …, the smell of fresh air, seagulls …
7) the timer … sixty minutes are over, or also personalisable:  you can choose the ambulant of time you want to purchase ..
to continue, insert a new chip ….
As free sample, I suggest the following feature: jogging through Brooklyn, Soho, Calcutta, Beijing, Johannesburg  … rush hour …., , the first first glimpses of a park, the river side  … just when there is a dense cloud, released from an old bus, truck or a dirty smell from the gutters ….
… to continue, insert a new chip ….