De horrore memoriae: Facing our fear of being reminded

A plane crashed in the French Alps, and 150 people died[1]. This is horrible[2]. Of course – as with all catastrophes and tragedies these days – media (especially in Germany) are full of news, reports, and comments. Social media buzz with meta-comments on those news, reports, and comments. Reactions cover the full range of human emotions and attitudes, reflecting people’s own “Betroffenheit” or “Empörung” (symptomatic in their untranslatability), as well as people’s “Betroffenheit” or “Empörung” with regard to other people’s reactions[3].

Why do we – including myself writing this blog post right now – feel not only the urge to talk  about what happened[4], but also the urge to think about (and comment on) what other people might think, feel, and say about it?

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Why we are scared of mothers (in our business lives)

Every human being is born from a mother[1]. By consequence, one could assume that relating to mothers is the most natural thing on earth. The dire fact it: It isn’t. Of course, there’s Freud and the Oedipus complex, there are the Beatles and Mother Nature’s Son[2], and there are mothers’ days, mothers’ little helpers, and mothers’ curses. A universe of stories and reasons why relationships with mothers can be – and often are – difficult. This is not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about why so many of us are scared of working with mothers in a professional (business) environment[3].

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Elephants Crying on Trees in the Desert: Notes for an Ode to the Web (Part I)

In the beginning was the web. Today, there are some who claim that it is a relatively recent phenomenon[1]. This is wrong. It was always there: The space where everything is everything, everything is nothing, nothing is everything, and nothing is nothing[2]. Then, there was some curiosity, then some tinkering, and eventually some infrastructure emerged: Ἀκαδημία here, γυμνάσιον there, forum here, þing there, monastery here, market place there, all the way to the legacies of Haussmann, Schumacher, or Speer[3]. And then email, websites, social media, mobile apps.

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The Value of Embarrassment and the Myth of Meditation

Embarrassment is not usually talked about as a personal or institutional feature – let alone valued as a virtue. However, it is a fact that time and again, we are – openly or secretly – embarrassed by things going on in our personal or professional lives, from a runner in our pantyhose to a gaudy valentine’s surprise from our lover, from (our) kids misbehaving in public places to (male) managers getting it all wrong about gender diversity, from an associate presenting a badly designed power point chart to an esteemed colleague making a faulty argument in a newspaper article[1].

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