Airport of Mind

Traveller in a world of thoughts

Is this real life or just fantasy?

After being done with this semester’s exams and seemingly endless sessions in the library (which thanks to a friend were still somewhat and surprisingly bearable!), I can’t help myself asking: Is this the real life or just fantasy?

Ahhhh … Queen. Wonderful music.

Football’s Coming Home — To Germany

Great mashup I’ve been listening to throughout the last weeks and very fitting after the thrilling match on Sunday.

Recapturing the World Cup of 2014

“The Management Myth” — Don’t Get an M.B.A., Study Philosophy Instead

Matthew Stewart, former founder of a consulting firm, wrote a fabulous article for The Atlantic in 2006 about his experiences of the value of management education and theory for business practice and success. It is probably one of the articles in the recent months I enjoyed reading most. Having a doctoral degree in philosophy and having been a management consultant for years Steward has a unique insight in the matter and his account on the usefulness of management theory seems to be well founded. And beyond it’s full of wonderful lines, some I like to quote in the following.

On the state of modern management theory and its ever new concepts he writes:

Each new fad calls attention to one virtue or another—first it’s efficiency, then quality, next it’s customer satisfaction, then supplier satisfaction, then self-satisfaction, and finally, at some point, it’s efficiency all over again. If it’s reminiscent of the kind of toothless wisdom offered in self-help literature, that’s because management theory is mostly a subgenre of self-help. Which isn’t to say it’s completely useless. But just as most people are able to lead fulfilling lives without consulting Deepak Chopra, most managers can probably spare themselves an education in management theory.

Having been through a large and diverse pile of management theory tomes Steward summarizes:

[...] Taylor and Mayo carved up the world of management theory. According to my scientific sampling, you can save yourself from reading about 99 percent of all the management literature once you master this dialectic between rationalists and humanists. The Taylorite rationalist says: Be efficient! The Mayo-ist humanist replies: Hey, these are people we’re talking about! [...] Ultimately, it’s just another installment in the ongoing saga of reason and passion [...]. The tragedy, for those who value their reading time, is that Rousseau and Shakespeare said it all much, much better.

To conclude, this has been my favourite paragraph:

The recognition that management theory is a sadly neglected subdiscipline of philosophy began with an experience of déjà vu. As I plowed through my shelfload of bad management books, I beheld a discipline that consists mainly of unverifiable propositions and cryptic anecdotes, is rarely if ever held accountable, and produces an inordinate number of catastrophically bad writers. It was all too familiar. There are, however, at least two crucial differences between philosophers and their wayward cousins. The first and most important is that philosophers are much better at knowing what they don’t know. The second is money. In a sense, management theory is what happens to philosophers when you pay them too much.

And if you’re by now not hooked up for this reading, I really can’t help you.

Fabulous Vancouver

Great video portraying the “city of glass”. I’m stoked to be back soon.

Nostalgia Calling — Graduation from School

grad 2014

Yesterday has been the last day at school for my girlfriend and her year. After eight years they’ve finally reached this day of joy, celebrating the last time being together as school students as well as the end of a chapter in their lives — and the beginning of a new one. Being invited as guest I took pleasure in watching so many beautifully dressed young people with shining eyes full of joy and happiness over the recent climb of the summit in the German school system: the Abitur. It is indeed a great achievement and worth to be proud of!

Seeing them marching in and onto the stage to be celebrated with the sounds of “Auf Uns” by Andreas Bourani was terrific and emotional. It felt like air was vibrating of joy and pride of both parents and students. I Must admit, it indulged me in nostalgia, thinking of my graduation prom two years ago and what an amazing evening it had been. I clearly remember the sense of freedom I strongly felt that night, the confidence to have achieved something noteworthy and the joyful uncertainty what the future would have in stock for me. Yet the knowledge things would never be like before, that the end of a chapter in one’s life had been reached made me melancholic. And I was sure to see such a glance in the eyes of many at that night.

In a way it was welcoming chance for me to go back two years in time. Four semesters in university have considerably altered my mindset and broadened my horizon, but also made me forgot a little how good and exciting school could be. Knowing and having watched quite a few of them within the last years to become what they are today, I’m very curious what they will turn to be within the coming months and years. Judging from my limited experience the biggest changes are yet to come and I wish them all the best, whatever their aims and ways will be. Beyond, one thing this evening revealed to me once again very clearly: it is worth to work hard and strive for your goals. The joy of reward prevails.

Auf Uns by Andreas Bourani

An amazing hymn on friendship and love of life.

New About

Just updated the About page to accommodate some changes.

Hello, I’m Matt and this is my personal blog Airport of Mind. This name is indeed a bit special but basically just says that this blog is about more or less everything which crosses my mind. Thus I don’t write about specific, recurring topics or at least I don’t really intend. It just happens — which proves that the picture of the airport can be good metaphor for a place where different thoughts gather and take off eventually.

Though not apparent, this blog does have a little story. Actually I came from travel blogging several years ago, back when I was in Canada for an exchange during my school time. Half a year after I returned to Germany I started this blog in the summer of 2010. It was born out of a few reasons but I guess the most lasting one has been that I came to like to have a place to develop train of thoughts in less fugitive way. And even after almost four years I still enjoy coming back here from time to time (I wish it was more often).

More on me: I come from close to Frankfurt/Main, Germany, attended school there but today I’m bachelor student of “Philosophy & Economics” at the University of Bayreuth. It’s a great bachelor degree and I really like it.


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