Turbulenzen und Zäsuren

Liebe …, über Turbulenzen und Zäsuren muss ich noch nachdenken – nicht weil ich sie infrage stellen möchte, eher weil die Turbulenzen bei mit tendenziell schleichender Dauerzustand, auch als Denkherausforderung, sind; und zweitens die Zäsuren sich dann doch wie ein geballter Block, Keil, Flügel in den ganz normalen Wahnsinn einmischen – dazwischen-schlagend oder leicht sich hineinsenkend.
Wie schrieb ich nach dem Besuch der Alice-Vorstellung in der Opera?
C’ è più realtà nel paese delle meraviglie di tutte le meraviglie che pretendiamo di affrontare nella nostra ricerca.
Und mein zugegebenermassen chaotisch [erscheinender] [Denk-]Ansatz macht beides Spannend und verbindet teils die Welten, immer hoffend, dass ich dennoch auf dem Boden der Tatsachen bleibe. – Naja, was sind Tatsachen? Kürzlich hörte ich vom Stundenlohn des Herrn Gates. Dollar? Euro? ich habe es vergessen – allemal sollen es einhundertfünfzig sein, pro Sekunde …. Und so ist es doch oft: die wahren Dimensionen von Ungleichheit, Regelungen und Änderungen, auch jene im besten Sinne, erfassen wir oftmals kaum – bezeichnend der, wenngleich nach meiner Auffassung, zweifelhafte, Schritt Peter’s, nun Sachbücher durch Novellen ergänzen zu wollen [“The Baby Auction”, “Ardent Justice”], da ihm die Aussagemöglichkeiten durch Sachbücher begrenzt scheinen – Hat er Recht oder zeigt es nicht ein anderes Mal, dass es nicht nur – vor langer Zeit wurde darüber geschrieben – ein Elend der Philosophie gibt, sondern auch ständig die Verarmung der Sozialwissenschaft weiter voranschreitet – nichts Neues und doch erschreckend, wenn man in dem Verarmungsprozess teils gefangen ist, sich zu widersetzen sucht, und dann in diese Verarmungsfalle gerät: die Verarmung des Denkens durch über-systematisierung oder die Verarmung durch das Verlangen, den Menschen zu respektieren und nicht den technischen, administrativen oder unter allem den ökonomischen Interessen unterzuordnen.
Sicher sind all dies Geschichten hoher Komplexität – aber Komplexität wirklich reduzieren zu müssen, wie es nach Luhmann Aufgabe der Wissenschaft ist, ist Anderes, als Komplexität zu leugnen – etwas, was wir vor Luhmann bereits lernen konnten, etwa von Hegel oder Marx. Und sicher ist es ein Prozess, der lange schon zu finden ist – erwähnte ich nicht vor Kurzem erst die Kritik Alfred Marshall’s an der Segmentierung des Wissens[prozesses] ?  – und der doch immer neue Formen findet, nicht zuletzt durch die systematische Verarmung menschlicher Intelligence durch AI. Die Befluegelung will ich nicht bestreiten, aber doch die Gefahr der Vorgaben durch AI kann ich nicht übersehen: Die Weiterung des Schrittes, vor dem ich auch Studierende immer wieder gewarnt habe:
Eine Antwort zu geben, ohne genau über die Frage nachzudenken
erfolgt nun Rechen-Maschinen-geschneidert, durch die Forderung:
Eine Frage zu stellen, und sie so zu stellen, dass es der Algorithmus
immer auch berechnen kann.
Auch dies nichts Neues, denn in den Aufzeichnungen aus dem Kellerloch schreibt Dostojevski ja:
… der Mensch besitzt eine solche Leidenschaft für Systematik und abstrakte Folgerungen, daß er es fertigbringt, bewußt die Wahrheit zu verdrehen und mit sehenden Augen nicht zu sehen und mit hörenden Ohren nicht zu hören, um nur seiner Logik recht geben zu können.
In diesem Sinne danke fuer die Wünsche fuer uns alle
für 2018 und für ein erfolgreiches Fortschreiten auf den Pfaden der Erkenntnis!
und danke auch fuer das Angebot zur weiteren Zusammenarbeit trotz des teils störrischen Insistierens auf der Leidenschaft, sich auf im Rechtsdenken der Systematik und den abstrakten Folgerungen teils zu widersetzen.
In diesem Sinne mit dem Dank sendet Peter die guten Wünsche auch an Dich

laborious joy

It is a while back already … a small …, well, lets say dispute with Laurent:
A propos, I am very happy with your article. Of course you have problems  to explain your thoughts (you know this) but according to me what you said is very interesting.
I know that you are to some extent right with what you say about my difficulties to explain certain things; however the other half is that we – probably all of us – unlearned accepting that reading and understanding is WORK, the stuff just flying at us is usually unruly rubbish, lacking depth and appearing nicely, deceiving. People jump into the water and … did you ever jump into a pool at the shallow end …, only sometimes you get away with it,
Yes, yes, and in Dutch we should say  tja, tja
Right, reading and understanding is ‘work’. Right. But……it can not be an argument  to write something what can be better articulated.
took a while, Ja Ja …, oder: na eh [that could be Bavarian I guess …]
I think again 50/50, it is too often wrong that things are expressed in simple ways, leaving out the needed provocation, and that was part of that article too. Iin general, from my current experience: we have a major ’translation problem’, actually two problems – and this is important, without joke:
myself, being a hybrid, face again and again the problem that it is nearly impossible to understand things as soon as we ‘leave the box’. There are things in economics we cannot even think, articulate  in law and vice versa. Add political science and sociology and …
Second, I talked the other day with a colleague from Bolivia – she is also working here and asked me for some advise: she has to review an article for a book, the author being from Peru. There we have entirely different understanding of certain legal facts, paradigms etc. The author uses a more or less narrative style. However, somebody else in her project does not understand that and will not accept it, as he is academic in the area of law, strictly. So, while highly qualified, he has at times a narrow approach as well when it comes to putting things into forms. Now, you can do this, it is easy to ’understand’ ,…, and mostly wrong. I guess this is also part of …’s [or who ever wrote it] article on CSR. There had been in the first version [the one I know] at least certain things that cannot be written this way in an international journal: they had been simply wrong – so to be skipped or to be ’translated’ – and such translation would mean: the reader has to work it out. – Sure, in that case, the reader had to be informed about the Chinese context ….
This … had been a more or less great though rare pleasure in China: being together with a Chinese friend, and getting ‘permanently into trouble’, knowing that we need[ed] to work out what we mean. Dictionaries only tell shadows of truth — thus, coming back to the work, somewhat ruthless debate would be good, daring to dispute things, to disagree and speak about it and come to a conclusion …. . It may even end in lasting love if this is the correct term …
—— —— ——
The afternoon of the very day, after sending the last mail I was standing in the Lenbach Haus, the issue returning to me while looking in the one room at some paintings

Carl Friedrich Lessing: Eichenwald mit rastendem Jaeger, 1839

Joseph Wopfner: Haensel und Gretel, 1875

Adolph Henrich Lier: Buchenwald im Herbst, ca 1874

I would say ‘nothing special, though lovely capturing for the moment’. And of course it is hopeless to convey the clandestine, inner beauty by reproducing these works. Also as such beauty is one of the moment, the mood: permanent because immortal and nevertheless quickly elapsing as any shadow does with the change of the light by which it is aroused. It is the mood of the spectator that is part of the spectre.
The question of the said moment, linking paintings and the conversation is somewhat straightforward, presuming that the reader accepts that reading is more than the deciphering of sequences of letters – extensively discussed in semiotics anyway.
Paintings do what academics are expected to do – isolating certain matters, cutting the environment off in order to be able to cut the matter itself into pieces. That is what we see in the paintings: it does not give us any idea of the forest – where it is, its seize, its location in the universe … this way a lot of information is cut-off: not accessible.
  • It is like the surgeon – during some heart surgery the heart is somewhat disjoint from the body, its functions taken over by an artificial machine …, it is no problem, for some time …
  • It is like the economist who calculates opportunity cost when looking at the feasibility of the investment in a new technology – calculations may be for instance conjoined with what is called demographic scenarios, or with an estimated behavior of a competing investor or with any other variable. Even a Richard Thaler or Eleanor Estrom are depending by and large on such contractions – stimulating and still it remains cut off realities.
  • It is like a lawyer, looking at what exactly was happening, but taking it as action, at most as behaviour without being able to understand the entire ’scene’ as part of complex societal practice.
—— —— ——
Have a look at the paintings then – though isolating a small scene, delving enormously into details [especially the one by Lessing applying an extremely fine brushstroke; but also Bear’s, seemingly presenting a broad lash] maintain somewhat magically the universe within the painting
Fritz Baer: Abend im Walde, ca 1914
— the light, the movement … , magically, and requiring to work, with this arriving at the real joy of being spectator and magically e-merging as part of the spectre, playing in the best of its meanings   …
… yes, it may well be that this made life so laborious before the disenchantment, so-called at is still left us with its own bifurcation. And this work makes some prone to populism, and others obsessed to pretended clarity, in particular clarity dressed up in digits.

Easily ending in the death of the theorist and the emergence of data and algorithms in digital social researc.and then in boxing humans.

Academia Today — and also the rest of the world

Sometimes I get the impression that there all the outperforming which we are facing and which we are asked to join is best captured by Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker‘s Guide to the Galaxy. I recently found a nice version of the little story concerning the magic 42, translated here:

A well advanced extraterritorial culture strives to answer the ultimate question, namely the question concerned with the foundation of and reason behind ‘life, the universe and everything’. The supercomputer Deep Thought is built. After calculating for 7.5 million years Deep Thought comes up with the answer „42“.

Deep Thought replies to the baffled constructors that the question had not been sufficiently clear, and proposes to build an even large computer, able to find an appropriate question to which „42“ is the answer. it turns out that this larger computer is actually the planet earth.

Here the original:

Eine weit fortgeschrittene außerirdische Kultur sucht die Antwort auf die Frage aller Fragen, nämlich jene nach „life, the universe and everything“. Dazu baut sie den Supercomputer Deep Thought. Nach einer Rechenzeit von 7,5 Millionen Jahren erbringt Deep Thought die Antwort „42“.

Auf die Ratlosigkeit der Erbauer hin entgegnet Deep Thought, dass die Frage nicht präzise gestellt worden sei und schlägt vor, einen noch größeren Computer zu bauen, der fähig ist, die zur Antwort passende Frage zu finden. Dieser Computer wird gebaut und das Programm zur Suche der Frage auf die Antwort wird gestartet. Es stellt sich heraus, dass dieser noch größere Computer der Planet Erde ist.

In other words – more in the formulation of systems theory: we re producing an increasing number of empty spaces, in order to fill them with the same emptiness. And instead of really arriving at public spaces, we establish in two ways pseudo-and quasi-public places

  • by charismatisation of individuals and institutions, leading to the ‘obligation’ that being part of it is the main thing – one has to publish in THEIR vicinity, one has to GO TO the events WITH THEM, one has to know HERHIM … – name dropping as the other, i.e. personal droppings are considered to be and are made meaningless.
  • and then there is the perpetuation of this charismatic fields of hegemony: who did not read THAT, who had not been THERE, who did not know ALREADY … – All this is, of course not about the factual but the somewhat virtual. If WE write and say something, it becomes only meaningful if THEY stated it already , and if WE say something meaningful it remains an empty phrase as long as it is not quoted. – I am not talking about the gained meaning by spreading the word – that is a purely quantitative aspect and as true as it is that things we think without letting others know are equally meaningless as the most stupid things even of they are published ‘properly’. It is better to be a footnote that everybody can see than being a sapience crawling serpently in the stash. And who does not belong to this and that who-is-who-social-network, can prove a certain number of friends, fans, supporters, follower is nearly non-existent – the social-network-death, which can only be beaten by brain death.

But how much is really new and how much is really limited to the academic world?