1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

A basic income guarantee – a dream or a future reality? August 18, 2010

The idea of a basic income guarantee is getting popular. In case you have not heard about it yet, a basic income guarantee (or basic income) is a proposed system of social security, that periodically provides each citizen with a sum of money that allows the receiver to participate in society with human dignity. In contrast to income redistribution between nations themselves, the phrase basic income defines payments to individuals rather than households, groups, or nations, in order to provide for individual basic human needs. Except for citizenship, a basic income is entirely unconditional.

In Germany they speak about 500 or even 1000 € monthly unconditional income for everyone.

 What are the arguments?

One of the arguments for a basic income was articulated by the French Economist and Philosopher André Gorz:

The connection between more and better has been broken; our needs for many products and services are already more than adequately met, and many of our as-yet-unsatisfied needs will be met not by producing more, but by producing differently, producing other things, or even producing less. This is especially true as regards our needs for air, water, space, silence, beauty, time and human contact…
From the point where it takes only 1,000 hours per year or 20,000 to 30,000 hours per lifetime to create an amount of wealth equal to or greater than the amount we create at the present time in 1,600 hours per year or 40,000 to 50,000 hours in a working life, we must all be able to obtain a real income equal to or higher than our current salaries in exchange for a greatly reduced quantity of work…
Neither is it true any longer that the more each individual works, the better off everyone will be. The present crisis has stimulated technological change of an unprecedented scale and speed: ‘the micro-chip revolution’. The object and indeed the effect of this revolution has been to make rapidly increasing savings in labour, in the industrial, administrative and service sectors. Increasing production is secured in these sectors by decreasing amounts of labour. As a result, the social process of production no longer needs everyone to work in it on a full-time basis. (more…)
 

Why I love Germany September 10, 2009

Germany is not the country that is…eh…commonly loved. Apart from the sadly known historical background it can’t boast with great nature, climate, awesome sightseeing or else. Germany is just not a place one normally visits as a tourist. In Europe the masses head to Italy or France, may be UK… But Germany?

To me personally Germany has always been an attraction. There are many facts in my biography connected to Germany, I posted some of it here.I believe it is not only for my love to German language, but actually it is my love to German people that takes me there again and again…

I went ot Berlin few days back and was again pleasantly surprised by the amazing friendliness and readiness to help of Germans.

What I really like about Germans is how they are clearcut in their expressions, direct in communication and well structured. It goes well with some parts of my own character I think. And these are also the things that I miss in any other country I visited!

One more thing that fascinates me is the sense of Friendship. Germans are great friends, once they have enclosed you in their hearts – it is forever. It reminds me a lot of Russian friendship.

As usual I traveled with my camera and took some pictures for you. These are probably not the typical sights of Berlin, but that is what I found cute or interesting.

(more…)

 

Visiting Germany September 5, 2009

Filed under: blogging,personal,thoughts,Travel — axinia @ 11:16 am
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For a reason unknown I have to come to Germany every September/October. It’s really strange, because it is always a different reason, but I am again there!

What is even stranger, that although it is getting cold, I really like going to Germany at this time of a year. Actually I don’t mind any kind of weather 🙂 But Autumn is something very special for me. And it feels good to be in good old western Europe at this moment…

I am off to Berlin for some days and will post again on Tuesday.

As usual, will be back with fresh impressions and pictures for you!

LOVE, axinia

 

What do you know about Goethe’s Theory of Colours? March 12, 2009

We all know Johann Wolfgang von Goethe  (1749-1832) as the greatest of Germany’s poets (comparable to Shakespeare and Dante). But he was not only that! Goethe was also an avid amateur scientist and displayed through his careful observations and his keen, what might now be called phenomenological, mind an ability to discern the depth of the phenomenon in question. As we all learned Newton’s theory of colour formation. at school, it was very interesting for me  to discover that there was a contradiction to it, a contradiction made by a poet!

Goethe, being fascinated by the colours generated from the prism conducted his own investigations and found to his great surprise that Newton’s colour theory was, if not incorrect, but rather mechanical in nature and based on an “interpretation” of the phenomenon rather than the truth as it stands.

 Goethe’s Colour Wheel

 His 1,400-page treatise on color  Theory of Colours ( Zur Farbenlehre) was published in 1810. The work comprises three sections: i) a didactic section in which Goethe presents his own observations, ii) a polemic section in which he makes his case against Newton, and iii) a historical section. It contains some of the earliest and most accurate descriptions of phenomena such as coloured shadows, refraction, and chromatic aberration.

Goethe reformulates the topic of color in an entirely new way. Newton had viewed color as a physical problem, involving light striking objects and entering our eyes. Goethe realizes that the sensations of color reaching our brain are also shaped by our perception — by the mechanics of human vision and by the way our brains process information. Therefore, according to Goethe, what we see of an object depends upon the object, the lighting and our perception.

 In fact, Goethe’s theory is being widely used today but only few of us are aware of his discovery (reminds me of a story with Nicola Tesla).

What I personally liked about this theory is the Goethes’s explanation of the pastel colours: (more…)

 

My winter holidays in Frankfurt January 8, 2009

Filed under: thoughts — axinia @ 10:36 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Frankfurt is a bit wired place to make winter holidays, but for personal reasons I spend some very good time there last week. At the end of the day – one can enjoy everything, even such a right-sided place like Frankfurt 🙂

Have I mentioned already Frankfurt  is a City of Men? (more…)

 

Where did all the crisis money go? January 6, 2009

Last week I visited Frankfurt/Germany and saw THAT (see images)… And I suddenly realised where all the money disappeared – namely into this marvelous hole on the new building in the city of Frankfurt 🙂

I have no idea what was the inspiration of the architect, but that monster  seems to be the perfect symbol of what Russians call ” flew out into the hole/pipe” вылететь в трубу meaning “have lost loads of money”. That was my first thought when I saw it! (more…)

 

What is true professionalism? September 16, 2008

 image by axinia

The American College Dictionary explains professionalism as following: Professionalism is exhibited by one of the “professional character, spirit or methods” or the “standing, practice, or methods of a professional as distinguished from an amateur.” However it does not say anything precisely.

Intrestingly there is no explanation of professionalism on Wikipedia, there is one on “professional”, but I believe it is not the same.

I have a feeling that “professionalism” , like one of these mysterious things such as love, is difficult to explain. If you hear “that is done professionally” – what does it actually mean?

Professionalism is both popular and desirable – people are driven to look and to perform professionaly. Recently, during my visit to Germany – this motherland of professionalism 🙂 – I suddenly realised what this phenomenon is about. (more…)

 

Frankfurt – the City of Men (photo-report) September 6, 2008

When I saw the streets of Istanbul or New Delhi being male-dominated, I could  explaine it with religious or cultural reasons. At my first look at the City of Frankfurt I was astonished to notice more men than women on the streets – I would say in correlation of 60/40 or even 70/30! Where all the ladies of Frankfurt  are- sitting at home? Sitting in the office? Or may be they simply avoid this male domain of business (Frankfurt is famous for being the finance centre of Germany)? Unfortunately I could not find any statistics, but my small photo-report may depict it much better.

What I saw in Frankfurt is that 1) it is the city of men, 2) it is designed by and for men. Now the photo-facts:

THE MARKETING TARGET GROUP IS MALE:

The only one huge poster on one side on the shopping street is for men – in Vienna the same shop (Douglas) uses only sexy posters of Heidi Klum selling perfume or make up for women.

Surprisingly there are not many ad-boards in Frankfurt (in comparison to the ads-overloaded Vienna), and another huge one I saw was a Rolex ad – of course, by a male model! (more…)

 

Germany and Austria – same language, different cultures September 4, 2008

I am in Germany this week and although I know the country quite well, it is every time striking to me how Germany so much differs from Austria  – despite seemingly same language and culture.

Even if you have never been to both of them, you can imagine the difference might be in a way same like between USA and Canada, India and Pakistan, Russia and Ukraine, France and Belgium, etc… Many countries with “same” roots have sometimes less similarities with each other, than with any other country.

 

image of Frankfurt /Germany by EIPLanB

In the case of Germany and Austria, the important reason for their cultural difference and philosophy I see in the religious background. Most of the Germany is protestant with its belief in hard work and minimalism, Austria is still under that strong influence of the Catholic church with its take to showing off the riches, hierarchy and “connections”. The impact of that attitude is so obvious for an outsider like me, especially in terms of money: Germans are in generally richer than Austrians, at the same time they are much less generous and too “economical”, if not say greedy (sorry to say so but that is my personal impression). Germans keep talking about saving money all the time!! – Austrians like to moan about hard life in general 🙂

One more interesting thing is (more…)

 

The spirit of play is older than culture itself – HOMO LUDENS June 22, 2008

image by axinia 

The most fascinating and profound studies on play I found by the Dutch lingusit and historian Johan Huizinga (1872-1945). He was one of the founders of modern cultural history, started out as a student of Comparative linguistics, gaining a good command of Sanskrit. He wrote his doctoral thesis on the role of the jester in Indian drama. Huizinga had an aesthetic approach to history, where art and spectacle played an important part. His most famous work is The Autumn of the Middle Ages (a.k.a. The Waning of the Middle Ages). interestingly, he reinterprets the later Middle Ages as a period of pessimism and decadence rather than rebirth.

In his book Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element in Culture Huizinga argues that play is one of fundamental drivers of human life, and is at the root of poetry, music, philosophy – even jurisprudence and war. (more…)

 

 
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