Category Archives: Observations

How Can Men Help Women Against Cyberbullying?

As a fairly active user from social media, yes every now and then a troll or comment comes across that raises doubts about the evolution of man. As a white man, this seems rather annoying to me, but I do not shy away from fighting back. I have had to assert myself rhetorically in the past, namely when the second half of my research project for the dissertation underwent a change of personnel at the sponsoring company and suddenly politics took center stage, as well as several times during my military service. There, too, several people tried to get their way through mobbing and bullying. It’s just stupid when you’re sitting in the middle.

Case 1: Women from Culture, Research and Politics

However, this is no comparison to what I observe when women become the victims. For some time now, I have been following – after a call from the German cartoonist Ralph Ruthe, who asked on Twitter which interesting Twitter accounts of women he should follow – a few of those accounts. QuattroMILF, Natascha Strobl or U.S. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are some of these women. The first, Jasmina Kuhnke, is a mother of four with German-African roots and a comedy writer and comedienne who speaks out with a sharp tongue against racism – which she herself experiences firsthand – against racists and Nazis. Natascha Strobl is an Austrian political scientist, author, analyst, publicist and, above all, an expert on right-wing extremism and politics who razor-sharp dissects the logic and rhetorical tricks of right-wing old-boys, politicians, thundering women and other right-wing hacks. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, also known by her initials AOC, on the other hand, is the Democratic Party’s youngest congresswoman with Puerto Rican roots, who worked her way up from poverty into politics by working waitress jobs and being valedictorian.

What all three women have in common is that they are very self-confident, experts in their field, eloquent and incredibly smart. I can mostly agree with their positions, arguments and statements, and if not, I find them very interesting in any case. Three very interesting women whose contributions I find very inspiring and enriching.

AlphaSophia and me

FUTURE MINDSET:
Wie man die Zukunft vorhersagt und designt

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How Lego Sets Kill Creativity

As a child, I always wished for a Lego train that could be driven electrically. The dream remained unfulfilled, but in return I got a model railway (Arnold N for the nerds among you), which I still have today and which now stands in a showcase and decorates the living room.

I had Lego like probably every child but very much so. An old Omo detergent can – at that time, detergent was still available in large cardboard cylinders – was used to store the bricks, of which, in my opinion, we had far too few. What my siblings and I had here were standard bricks, which today are more or less the same as those sold under the title Classic Lego.

Standard Lego
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Can One Go Through Life Without Ever Hurting The Feelings Of Others?

The film classic Ronin from 1998 had this great moment when Robert de Niro answered the question “Ever killed anyone?” without missing a beat with “I hurt somebody’s feelings once.”

Even though we are not killers – at least most of us are – I wondered if we can go through life without ever hurting the feelings of others? And what are feelings anyway?

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From Dunning-Kruger To The Much More Harmful Trump-Pence Effect

In a film that was intended as a homage to old science fiction films and B-movies, aliens attack the Earth and cause a massacre among humans. The American president and his advisors are not quite at one with each other as to what the right course of action should be, and above all, the president’s poll ratings should not suffer as a result. The reactions to the invasion are therefore hesitant, uncoordinated, and ultimately deadly for the president and his staff.

The 1996 film Mars Attacks! by Tim Burton, starring Jack Nicholson in the role of the American president, was not a box-office success, but it skilfully parodied everyday US politics. It depicts a world that cannot exist in reality in this way. Or can it?

Replace the word alien with the word coronavirus, and we’ve got ourselves a situation. And not only that, the situation is actually even worse than the movie wanted to portray in its parodistic exaggeration.

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Sitting Dry in the Sand

An impressive number of friends that I had gone out for dinner in the past months told me that they had stopped drinking. They did so two weeks ago, or have been off alcohol for several months. Their reasons for staying away from alcohol vary, like not feeling like it, feeling more health-conscious, or maybe having had one of their friends get a DUI and make them realize that this is not worth it.

Whatever their reasons are, I can relate to them. I stopped drinking two-and-a-half years ago. I just made it my New-Year’s-resolution. Not that I drank much before, but the occasional glass of wine every other day, or a beer with friends every other week. Going cold-turkey wasn’t really a problem. But still, for weeks you could feel a craving, and when you had made it a habit passing by the wine shelves in the supermarket, I had to stop it and look for an alternative route.

While some of my friends really went full non-alcohol, others may allow the occasional glass of champagne for celebrating a birthday. It’s more a spectrum of sobriety, in the sense of meat-eater <-> vegetarian <-> vegan.

Drinks Missing In Action

Drinking non-alcoholic beverages is easy, you think? Well,  here is the funny thing. While waiters hand you full booklets with dozens of pages of wines, cocktails, beers, and spirits, that restaurants give you at the dinner table, the non-alcoholic section is often not more than two or three lines. Sodas, juices, and water. And empathic waiters will give you the option to have a cocktail prepared without the alcohol.

It’s stunning. Almost no restaurant or bar has a selection of non-alcoholic drinks that you would call “a selection.” It’s like they are missing-in-action and nobody cares. While there are bar tenders specialized in cocktails of all sorts, and fancy restaurants having their own sommelier making wine recommendations, non-alcoholic drinks seem to be the step-children in the hospitality industry.

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