Der Mensch ist gut

Der Mensch ist gut! Da gibt es nichts zu lachen!
In Lesebüchern schmeckt das wie Kompott.
Der Mensch ist gut! Da kann man gar nichts machen.
Er hat das, wie man hört, vom lieben Gott.

Einschränkungshalber spricht man zwar von Kriegen.
Wohl weil der letzte Krieg erst neulich war…
Doch: Ließ man denn die Krüppel draußen liegen?
Die Witwen kriegten sogar Honorar!

Der Mensch ist gut! Wenn er noch besser wäre,
wär er zu gut für die bescheidne Welt.
Auch die Moral hat ihr Gesetz der Schwere:
Der schlechte Kerl kommt hoch – der Gute fällt.

Das ist so, wie es ist, geschickt gemacht.
Gott will es so. Not lehrt bekanntlich beten.
Er hat sich das nicht übel ausgedacht
und läßt uns um des Himmels willen treten.

Der Mensch ist gut. Und darum geht´s ihm schlecht.
Denn wenn´s ihm besser ginge, wär er böse.
Drum betet: Herr Direktor, quäl uns recht!
Gott will es so. Und sein System hat Größe.

Drum seid so gut: und seid so schlecht, wie´s geht!
Drückt Löhne! Zelebriert die Leipziger Messe!
Der Himmel hat für sowas immer Interesse. –
Der Mensch bleibt gut, weil er den Kram versteht.

— Erich Kästner


The Intimacies of Four Continents

Social relations in the colonized Americas, Asia, and Africa were the condition of possibility for Western liberalism to think the universality of human freedom, however much freedoms for slaves, colonized, and indigenous peoples were precisely exempted by that philosophy. Modern history and social science pronounce the universality of liberal categories of development yet omit the global relations on which they depended. Indeed, it is the pronounced asymmetry of the colonial divisions of humanity that is the signature feature of liberal modes of distinction that privilege particular subjects and societies as rational, civilized, and human, and treat others as the laboring, replaceable, or disposable contexts that constitute that humanity. What some have represented as a linear temporal progression from colonial abjection to liberal freedom actually elides what might be more properly conceived as a spatial dynamic, in which forms of both liberal subject and society in the imperial center are possible only in relation to laboring lives in the colonized geographies or “zones of exception” with which they coexist, however disavowed.

 — Lisa Lowe

KM 21


Ein Rabe saß auf einem Meilenstein
und rief Ka-em-zwei-ein, Ka-em-zwei-ein…

Der Werhund lief vorbei, im Maul ein Bein,
Der Rabe rief Ka-em-zwei-ein, zwei-ein.

Vorüber zottelte das Zapfenschwein,
der Rabe rief und rief Ka-em-zwei-ein.

»Er ist besessen!« – kam man überein.
»Man führe ihn hinweg von diesem Stein!«

Zwei Hasen brachten ihn zum Kräuterdachs.
Sein Hirn war ganz verstört und weich wie Wachs.

Noch sterbend rief er (denn er starb dort) sein
Ka-em-zwei-ein, Ka-em-Ka-em-zwei-ein …

Christian Morgenstern (1871 – 1914)


No, that’s not the acronym you are (likely) thinking of. That’s the Object Management Group, which just held its quarterly Technical Meeting, in Burlingame (near San Francisco).

As a rather turbulent week draws to an end, I’m walking through a slightly rainy San Francisco to take in some more local air.

From San Francisco 2012

At the meeting I broke a couple of records. One, notably, for having brought a (preexisting) set of specifications through the OMG standardization process to full adoption within only 9 months. (We started the initial RFC process at the March meeting in Reston.)

The second, for being the first to submit specifications using DocBook. While this has been a “supported” format (together with FrameMaker), I’m apparently the first one to actually using it in this context.

Most people still submit MS Word documents (yuck !), resulting in a lot of post-processing by OMG’s own editor to massage the text into  OMG / ISO – compliant formats. As a result, the submitters are no longer able to maintain their own specifications, instead requiring OMG’s technical writer(s) / editor(s) to apply their patches for them. What a wasteful process.

By using DocBook, our community is now enabled / empowered to maintain the standard ourselves, which makes everyone involved, as well as (and in particular) those who no longer have to be involved, very happy.

On Wednesday I met with a couple of my colleagues, who happen to live in the area, to celebrate the completion of the above work, as well as to talk about the future.

I also took the opportunity to sneak in a few hours to visit the Muir Woods National Monument, which, by exposing me to an entirely different scale of space and time, relativates many of the other things running through my head.

From San Francisco 2012

Now I’m sitting in a *$ (read: Starbucks) as I have a few hours before my plane takes me back home.