Limitations by Language

Once I felt comfortable expressing myself in German.

I felt convenient by having a decent ability to use words to connect to my surrounding fellow human beings.
Then there were my kids at a stage where they could not speak, yet.

And there were some experiences, where German was not that precise, I once believed it is.


In German, and especially in Germany we face some “problems” others just do not have.

Take “Fehlerkultur” as an example.The word “Fehler” can express a deviating from specification which will be called something between “glitch” and “defect” in English.

The word “Fehler” can also be a shortage for “Fehlschlag”, where “failure” is the corresponding word in English.

Or take “Sicherheit” as another example.We do not have the differenciation between “safety” and “security” in common German.

So, recently I decided not to join a (German) speech from a guy who runs a Cybersecurity Business and titles his speech “safety first”.


Maybe he wants to place a hook and speak about operational safety which is mostly about reliability of service assured by health monitoring, doing backups and having emergency procedures in case of failure.

Or he wants to tell something to understand that availability, integrity and confidentiality which are protection targets also in IT-Security. This all will be useless, unless You are generating more harm and damage by mistakes in use of something, rather than damage is created from some different motivated person conflicting with Your operational targets.

Need a clue to understand?
Steering devices and brakes are safety devices of a vehicle, while door locks are security equipment.When damage is generated by a heedless driver, it would be better to replace her or him by a headless algorithm than excluding persons from use e.g. by installation of locks and stating the need to have a driving licenses.

It depends where to head to.

Enabling individual joy of ride or prevention of a society from damage and harm?

/zero tolerance

In Germany there is this culture of fighting defects. 
It is the dark side of engineer’s excellence.

By ensuring the absence of defect, You make Your device reliable and incredibly boring.
In the end there are only three stages

While I work mostly within an IT-context and mainly in the Automotive sector, I own cars that are intentionally equipped with at least electronics as possible.

Several reasons.

In a digital world there are 10 persons who understand binary.

It is on or off, and never 
“within acceptable parameters” — like Data would call it.

I often faced failures in my machines that were “growing” beyond acceptable limits. They result from wear and tear and mistaken attempts of assembling by myself.
I outsourced the assembling and maintenance tasks to some guys older than me and with decent experience in all that stuff.

I pay them from the money I earn in fields were I am more experienced and hopefully as much as good as they are in their field.

But, I collected enough mechanic’s experience in my youth to feel about defects. I am able to tell a Taxi driver about worn out bearings on his axles.

I get notice of power reduction originating from one or two of my 12 cylinders operating below excellence while cruising in city traffic.

I got notice of a defect, Volkswagen Service and other garages needed more than five attempts spread over two years to find the causing defect, while I was feeling it from unround revolutions while my spouse was driving our T5 from cold underground garage — and by the smell of the Bulli after particular rides. I noticed two years before “they” were able to diagnose by their equipment.

And by the way, the root cause was driving beaviour of my spouse, which I tell here since we have this Diesel.

She rides it like the gasoline cars she owned before. Short distance of below one mile is nothing a Diesel was originally designed for.

But, what is the real topic of all this?

As the Ferengi rules of Acquisition tell us

  • Reliability is good for Business
  • Reliability is bad for Business

It depends, on what You are aiming to.

Profit is interfering with Benefit.
While we as “consumers” benefit from stability and usability over a long term, Business needs constant change that results in additional Business.

Or as we say in German

“Was lange hält, bring kein Geld”

It is rhyming and in translation it means more or less: 
“what is lasting long, results in short making money”.

And there You are.
Translations are always imprecise in transporting an issue. 
But, they are great in transforming a thought into something different.

Did You noticed how I transformed Your thoughts towards my point?
Or even failed in attempt. I do not know, until You tell me.


Language can never be equal to the thing itself. It is always the transformation from sensorical data, processed through already installed interpretors into something different — Your imagination of the thing itself.

And the wonderful thing about this imagination is its ability to transport an essence detached from space and time into a new situation where it is creating something different while reacting on its environment.

Some call this “complexity of life”.

/whatif — change item (mostly action pattern)

You need Your recent and future customers understanding You. What can You do about?

  • What, if Facebook lays out a broad accessibility to what FB calls “the internet” over so called underdeveloped countries?
  • What, if Google makes all children get tought the ability to read and write?
  • What, if the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation will extinct all crucial deseases on the planet so that future generations can concentrate on what to strive for instead fearing of what can kill You?

/Language is about differences

Language is not the thing itself.

But, language is a great container to ship something over the seven seas to let it getting part of something different we usally call “the new”.

Culture was always build from Business — from trade to be precise.
So many things You perceive as “good” today are colleteral consequences of something different which was considered as good, once in the past.

So, where all this “good” is, does it need a “bad” to complete the picture?

Did You took a glance in Goethe’s Faust, recently?
Everything was already there, before — but in a different garment.


Imagination is the beginning of something new. 
Most people are not such good in imaging something complete different, me included.

But they are able to inspect & adapt something what they experience, into the imagination of their future self.

The complete Commercial Business is build upon this basic human ability. And some other Businesses.
So, we need to show by even skitching out what we mean, to give others the chance to imagine whether they want it, also.

You can do this by means of pictures, sounds and even written words — from a certain point in eductional stage of people.

So, let me add another pair to Ferengi’s rules of Acquisition:

  • If You like to do new Business, do not mess around with language
  • Mess around with language, if You like to do new Business


You get access to whatever I estimate being worth to share on my twitter-channel.


  • Platon (this “idea”-thing)
  • History
  • National Geographic
  • Goethe
  • early Nitzsche
  • Stanley Kubrik
  • Star Trek, esp. TNG and Voyager
  • SPIEGEL online (in seven steps from … to …, GER)


Head out to the world surrounding You. 
It is all there, You just need to grab it — once You got an idea.


May all Your needs vanish into reality.
Live long and prosper.


Life runs in circles. Some are smaller, some are bigger. 
In the end, there is no end — only another beginning.

Enjoy, and share what You like. Feel free to make life great by doing so!

/invitation to resonante

I would like to ask You for three quick actions, with small effort on Your side and great benefit for all 
– You, future readers and me for understanding and improving what matters most.

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