wishes at the end and beginning of the semester II

http://www.mrichatham.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/knowledge-vs-experience. jpg

May we learn how to deconstruct the industrial norms, so that experience, appropriation and appropriateness guide us through the days and life.



wishes at the end of the one and beginning of another semester I

May we gain the strength, to acknowledge the limits of our wisdom and judgement without accepting the consequences arising from there – this, instead of being tempted to think we know everything, and even worse, knowing everything better than those who are directly concerned. 

senza via d’uscita

la speranza è l’ultima a morire

hope is the last to die 

l’espoir est le dernier à mourir. 

die Hoffnung stirbt zuletzt

a rather simple formula, logics for beginners




But seen in this light …, does it mean those who lost hope are already dead? Guess it really does make life much easier then …

The Price to be paid

Much has been said about the price to be paid for success … and often the German’s are praised: zeal, diligence …, though Protestantism was and is not necessarily dominant amongst the Germans, this tribe is often presented as incarnation of the protestant work ethics (as Max Weber analysed it). Topics for many discussions; many topics for discussion.

One aspect, often forgotten, had been mentioned by Immanuel Kant, though emerging from a possibly unexpected, even unrecognised context (English below):   

Die vorzügliche Achtungsbezeigung in Worten und Manieren selbst gegen einen nicht Gebietenden in der bürgerlichen Verfassung – die Reverenzen, Verbeugungen (Complimente), höfische – den Unterschied der Stände mit sorgfältiger Pünktlichkeit bezeichnende Phrasen, – welche von der Höflichkeit (die auch sich gleich Achtenden nothwendig ist) ganz unterschieden sind – das Du, Er, Ihr und Sie, oder Ew. Wohledlen, Hochedeln, Hochedelgebornen, Wohlgebornen ( ohe, iam satis est !) in der Anrede als in der Pedanterei die Deutschen unter allen Völkern der Erde (die indische Kasten vielleicht ausgenommen) es am weitesten gebracht haben, sind das nicht Beweise eines ausgebreiteten Hanges zur Kriecherei unter Menschen? ( Hae nugae in seria ducunt. ) Wer sich aber zum Wurm macht, kann nachher nicht klagen, daß er mit Füßen getreten wird.[1]

Preferential tributes of respect in words and manners even to those who have no civil authority – reverences, obeisance’s (compliments) and courtly phrases marking with the utmost precision every distinction in rank, is something altogether different from courtesy (which is necessary even for those who respect each other equally) – the Du, Er, Ihr and Sie, or Ew. Wohledeln, Hochedeln, Hochedelgeborenen, Wohlgeborenen (ohe, iam satis est!) as forms of address, a pedantry in which the Germans seem to outdo any other people in the world (except possibly the Indian castes): Does not all this prove that there is a widespread propensity to servility in men? (Hae nugae in seria ducunt) But one who makes himself a worm cannot complain afterwards if people step on him.[2]

Worthwhile to think about it, not least as it reminds a bit of Mills, thinking about the dissatisfied human and the satisfied pig.

It may be worth to mention that, looking for the text on the internet, usually quotations omit the last sentence, thus, I would say, omitting the price to be paid for such success.

[1]    (Kant, Immanuel, 1793: Die Religion innerhalb der Grenzen der bloßen Vernunft. Die Metaphysik der Sitten; 437)

[2]    (Kant, Immanuel, 1793: The Metaphysics of Morals; Introduction, translation, and notes by Mary Gregor; New York et altera: Cambridge Univesity Press, 1991: 232)

never … – theless …

(English below – a message I sent to my bank, my health insurance, my … – wherever I have an “account”)

Danke fuer die Nachricht, eine Frage an die administration der Kommunikation: Ist es wirklich erforderlich, dass ich eine mail bekomme, die mir mitteilt, dass ich eine Nachricht im Portal habe, fuer deren Zugang ich mich einloggen muss, die ich dann öffnen muss, um zu erfahren, was letztlich ausreichend im Betreff der e-mail Nachricht haette mitgeteilt werden können. Abgesehen von meiner Zeit, die da verschwendet wird (ihre auch, aber Sie werden fuer solchen Unfug bezahlt, leiten Sie dies ich bitte einmal an die unverantwortlichen Verantwortlichen weiter:


Thank you for the message, a question to the communication administration: Is it really necessary that I receive an e-mail telling me that I have a message in the portal, for whose access I have to log in, which I then have to open to find out what could have been sufficiently communicated in the subject of the e-mail message? Apart from my time, which is wasted (yours too, but you are paid for such nonsense, please pass this on to the irresponsible responsible person:


Nevertheless, best regards, Peter

Well there is surely some reason to speak of bullshit jobs and question an economic system that is made up of bullshit tasks … – and to doubt that it is the way forward …

alternative reading

Recently I had been proofreading an article I wrote, looking at

The Particular and the Universal – Indigenous Sports for the Integrity of the Global Village

Though too often this work is the annoying part – but in this case I actually enjoyed it, thinking that there could be other criteria for peer reviewing etc.

  • How often does one interrupt reading to thing, reflect deeply on what had been written
  • How often does one detect connections that are unusual, though showing uo as being interesting
  • How often does one find new knowledge instead of new information confirming what one knows
  • How often is something written with which one does not agree, while one feels nevertheless stimulated by it and is provoked to think about the own ideas and the own standard arguments
  • Is there anything in the text that really provokes looking something up in order to gain some deeper insight, especially is there any “strange cat” – equally alive and dead – mentioned: something that one may have vaguely come across but one is now keen to recap, or study more in detail though it has nothing to do with one’s usual focus (e.g. Schroedinger’s cat – if it is alive of dead is not centrally a matter of [animal] welfare but still may of interest for everybody)

Recently, after having given a presentation, I received a mail by the Dean who was actually hosting the event, He said

…. I thought about a few explanations you shared with us. Nice job. Inspiring …

Leaving aside that there had been some interesting discussion at the end, a line as the one quoted may be the “highest praise” one can get after giving a presentation or writing something. A kind of “slow listening”.

For journal reviews (and reading, of course), it may be good to revisit the usual “comments to the editor”/”comments to the author”.

I remember once about an author, let’s call her A. A’s submission to a journal had been rejected by the review (anonymised process on all sides). The reason, brought forward:

The author did not make any reference to the work that had been undertaken by A.

Again, mind, the reviewer did not know that A had been actually the author of the reviewed article.

And the moral of an amoral academia: Never say anything new, always repeat what you said … – with a wee bit of change, possible just put in the new data: instead of 2xyz, the new article has the data of 2xyz+5. Interesting …