From learning to knowing and back

It would be nice if I could tell you my core message right at the beginning and thus enable you to decide right here whether it is worth reading on. But things are different. For the moment I am glad to have overcome this inhibition in front of a blank page. Just as Heinrich von Kleist expressed himself about the gradual development of thoughts while speaking, so I am writing here about a gradual development of my own thoughts while writing. The title promises something like a journey, a thought journey. I invite you to accompany me. I love travelling and moreover it is a beautiful metaphor.

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Lifelong learning

On the topicality of “old hat”

At one time or another, everyone is faced with the question
whether to drive themselves or to be driven.” 
(Nicolas Born: Selbstverantwortung (Self-Responsibility))

Once again, a contribution of mine revolves around the topic of learning. This time: lifelong learning. “Old hat” that could not be more topical. As early as 1792, Marquis de Condorcet pleaded for an “éducation permanente” in his project for the reformation of the education system. UNESCO resurrected this idea of lifelong learning in 1962 and since the 1990s it has been increasingly and emphatically imposed on our consciousness by the OECD, the European Commission, also our government and national institutions. And fittingly, Ursula von der Leyen recently proclaimed the coming year the “Year of Skills”.

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 Security in uncertain situations

With ROLAND Protection Cover, you can sit back and relax even in the event of an accident. We ensure you enjoy extra security and convenience. * – Years ago I took out ROLAND Protection Cover in conjunction with comprehensive insurance for our new car. This month our car broke down 2000 kms from home. The message “gearbox malfunction” appeared on the display and we were advised to visit the nearest garage. With jerking, rev fluctuations and  a speed of about 40 kph we made it to the nearest town.

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Learning, Naturally

So much well-founded criticism of our education system has been levelled in various places and by various well- and lesser-known persons that we can confidently take this societal self-diagnosis seriously, despite all caution about fake news. And yet it seems to me that only a minority does, although nothing less than our future is at stake. Nothing new, you may say. Learning is something that simply goes without saying after all.  Of course learning is part of life. Of course we learn throughout our lives. Of course the education system should make our children fit for life. Learning is in our nature after all, isn’t it?

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My favourite photographer

… is Robert Adams, an internationally renowned and environmentally-aware landscape photographer. Together with other American photographers, he shaped a new direction in landscape photography in the 1970s: “New Topographics”. I studied his writings and illustrated books carefully and found in them the foundation on which I built my own photographic work and from which I developed my own visual language. Through him I learned that a successful photograph combines three aspects: geographical, metaphorical and autobiographical.

Plato had it, Einstein had it, I still have it…

What might we be talking about here? Perhaps you have already guessed. Yes, it’s the brain. That wrinkly grey mass of just about 3 lbs. Just imagine: if mine were lying next to those of Plato and Einstein, no one would be able to correctly identify them. In terms of our basic biological make-up, we don’t differ at all. From a different point of view, we do, and quite considerably. I can neither conceive of the world of thought of Mr Plato nor reproduce the genius of Mr Einstein. Although I have one too, I honestly never felt the need to be able to do so. But with this part of the body, in which reason and understanding and other things are supposed to reside, really incredible feats can be performed. It is one thing that we all have one. It’s another thing how we manage it. Let’s see…

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Did I get this error wrong?

I am currently engaged in lifelong learning. And while learning to learn, I came across the terms “mistake“ and “error”. Very familiar vocabulary in everyday life. But as a learner, I asked myself the typical systemic question: What exactly is the difference here? Although the terms denote something different, there are also similarities. Do we always consciously deal with the different meanings of these terms in everyday life? According to my observations, not really, and I include myself in that. So, since different terms also mean different things, I set out to find the difference. What, at best, could I learn from this difference, I asked myself curiously. Well, let’s see…

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Leadership? – How can I help you?

A young man walks purposefully towards a shop. The shop is hardly recognisable as such because there is no shop window. A simple sign hangs above the entrance door. It says “Pharmacy” and in slightly smaller letters underneath it “for Leadership”. The man enters and opening the door triggers a shrill ringing. He barely has time to look around the small salesroom before an older gentleman with white hair and a dishevelled full beard appears from behind the counter.

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Do we really live in a knowledge society?

There are countless terms for our present: the digital age, the Information Society, the Post-industrial Era, the Anthropocene. That’s not even all of them. One of them is the Knowledge Society. And according to various sources, that’s exactly what we’re living in now. Do you feel you live in a knowledge society? I once asked myself this question and these thoughts ran through my head.

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