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Civil Society

The leaders of the rich countries discussed at G20 summit new rules for the world. This time there was a focus on development of poor countries – or less developed counties. On the one hand they want to increase investments in these countries, which might be an advantage, but in times of a global financial system this is not a clear strategy. On the other hand, they want to strengthen the civil society. Sounds good, but with a look at the members of G20 this seems to be quite obvious. In less developed countries with a weak civil society a…

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Universal Me

This is the time for school reports. My son got his first one – an A4 page full of text. 40 years ago, my fist school report contained four sentences. But in fact these two are quite identically. In the first class you still get a universal evaluation, but in further forms you get grades. But today these grades are individualized. This sounds funny to me. An individualized grade is just like a championship without comparing performance. And what is the meaning of an individualized grade other than a number, individually ordered? If the framing is individual, the content of…

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Culture or Nature

Culture

Nature After a week of skiing I still enjoy the impressions of being in nature. The huge alpine mountains contrary to tiny streets and houses down in the sunny valleys. This contrast combined with a change in position let me focus on fundamental experiences of being alive. Reinhold Messner described this motivation for climbing as the two elementary feelings of humans: While climbing up, nature seems to be infinite, huge and untamable. You feel like a speck of dust compared with these dimensions and power, with the risk of being smashed and erased immediately. But on the top, it is…

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not Australia

Not Australia

Where do you come from? I’m from Austria. Oh yeah -last summer we went to Sydney and later in the outback… Sorry – not Australia! I had several situation like this – mostly funny. But sometimes uncomfortable, especially for me. Because I’m a guy with some kind of migration background. Saying ‘I’m from Austria’ is not the whole truth. I was born in Germany and grew up there. From that perspective I’m a socialized German, but holding another nationality. This is especially obvious when I come ‘home’ in vacations. For the ‘Alpine Aborigines’ I’m definitely ‘Piefke’ – very German. On…

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