Fly to my love, oh my pretty flamingo

Birds in music (part 2)

When my harlequin colleague HFI told me about the post she was writing about birds in music, I said, “I know lots of songs with birds in them too” – and started right over with “La Paloma, ohe” and “Wenn die Kraniche ziehen (When cranes migrate)”. My Harlekin colleagues struggled to hide their horror, but at the risk of lowering the intellectual level of the somewhat, I thought the topic “birds in music” would not be complete without Schlager1.

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Bye Bye, Blackbird

Birds in music

It’s spring again and time for a bird-lover to have her say. When I am woken (very) early in the morning, by the blackbird, the robin and other vocal birds, this cacophony of sounds, notes, voices and resonances that buzz, chirp, trill, beat, scream, whistle makes me smile involuntarily. Listen to the song “Grantchester Meadows” from the Pink Floyd album “Ummagumma” , which begins with the song of a lark. Then you will have an idea of what I mean. (By the way, I recommend listening to the song all the way to the end).

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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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Guided by love…?

“Love is the only Revolution”

Translator’s note: the book mentioned in this article is not available in English. Other works by the authors have been published in several other languages, including The Compassionate Brain: How Empathy Creates Intelligence. We felt the central idea discussed here merited its publication.

The book has been on the market for a few years, but just recently in a seminar for executives on agile principles, I quoted from it a pessimistic message: “For centuries, many books have been published about love. But still we fail to give love more space in ourselves and in people.” Basis for an enriching group discussion.

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Product placement with influencers – how does it work?

Due to the current debate about TikTok and its potential misuse for spying purposes, countless TikTok fans are expressing their concern on TV. And my generation should not make fun of young people’s despair at the thought of a possible TikTok ban. Many of my peers would have felt similarly in the past if they had been deprived of Bravo magazine.

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Is that intelligence already or can it go away?

What, not another piece about AI?! ChatGPT is making waves, most people have heard about it, but is it really “intelligence”? What is artificial about it and why are so many so enthusiastic about it? Some people are already see in it it the end of the world, but…

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Home Alone

… until retirement

In recent years, we at Harlequin have dedicated a few articles to the topic of “home office in Covid times”. At the time, this was “the new normal” and admittedly – it didn’t just have downsides. However, most of the working population for whom home office was an option had the prospect in the background of being allowed / able / obliged to return to the office at some point.

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Herr Czaja,

Translator’s note to readers less acquainted with German politics:
Harlequin RGE’s open letter is addressed to the current Secretary General of the Christian Democratic Party (CDU), in opposition since last year for the first time in 17 years. The CSU is the Bavarian sister party of the CDU. (Why Bavaria, one of some 16 federal states, should need its own separate “Christian” party is an issue that while fascinating could fill volumes and probably stretch your reading patience.) Our Harlequin’s observations may nevertheless seem familiar to some of you abroad…

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The forgotten blockchain of the Middle Ages

The Tally

For all those who do not yet have Bitcoins and do not program themselves on a laptop: the blockchain is a form of digital documentation of the ownership and transfer of assets, but in addition to monetary values, these can also authenticate rights to pictures, land ownership or even cows. And that’s exactly what our forefathers had the tally for – only as analog documentation.

For thousands of years the central tool of “accounting”, the term tally is today only known through the phrases “keeping tally”, meaning noting the score or amount and “tallying up”, meaning totalling up a number of items, or to “tally”, meaning to agree with another statement.

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Outsourcing or Hollowing Out?

Thanks to the likes of General Motors, Maggie Thatcher and Ronald Reagan in the 80’s transferring internal or public services to external contractors has been regarded as progressive and above all cost-saving. Anything that does not belong to the core business is regarded as ballast that would be better in the hands of “specialists” who are reputedly cheaper and deliver better quality. It sounds temptingly logical, especially when senior management has a focus on short-term profits.

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