Luz, Corps Onoldia, Erlangen
will deliver this speech in English, and we had a long discussion
I believe we owe it not only to our American friends here but also
to the fact that we are part of this society which allows us to
pursue our goals here in this country.
Although I am certainly honored, to pick me as a speaker tonight,
was a big mistake , as you will realize very quickly.
How can you pick an elderly traditionalist , certainly not a product
of the Silicon Valley , to talk about "Siliconia . org",
a name that certainly links quickly to its birth place, but
at the same time a name that is hard to link to the traditions that
we all try to uphold.
The fact that I was originally relegated with my speech into the
"inofficium" and later "promoted" to the later
part of the "officium", was a smart move by Walter, since
this makes it a little bit easier for me to let my thoughts wheel
free, not necessarily looking for everybodys approval .Now,
every good speech has to have a title; I have picked an easy one
"Why are we here"
Frankly, I believe it is almost a miracle, to find us all together
here in this room.What you dont know is, that for quite a
while and completely in line with the Silicon Valley tradition,
we were considering a "Virtual Stiftungsfest" :
see, how much cost and work could have been avoided, no babysitters
had to be paid and best of all : if you felt a "burb" coming
up, you just had put yourself on "mute".
would have met on the Web,
gone to a "chat room" for the "inofficium"
speeches could have been "streamed" to you in "Power
a little video camera we could have "prosted" each other
- ( Virtual "Bierjungen" had been a bit more difficult because
of the minimal transmission time delays)
could have sung together in sync with a downloaded "beer
Finally, we just have to push a button and the party is over,
no clean up, no risk of driving under the influence
Who says, the Internet is not exiting and the way of
Usually here, I had expected a bigger laugh; not hearing
it, makes me believe, that we might be much closer to that future
than we think.
If I look around , in a broader perspective , then I
do not feel comfortable in this Silicon Valley environment and what
the future might hold; I do not know, whether this is just the age
or the fruitless resistance to change, that is supposed to "make
everything better" .Any how, it is time for me now to "confess"
finally I come to the conclusion that I am a looser, because I miserably
failed the test of 24/7 connectivity ( that is 24 hours a day/7 days
a week ) and the 99.9% up time measurement.
have only one Cellphone (with no free minutes)
do not have a pager
do not have a Palm Pilot
trying to climb the "digital divide"
have back problems from carrying around my fancy laptop
still get upset, when I jumped on different phonemail trees for
more than an hour
do not have a DSL line directly into my bathroom
cannot open Zip files
get exited when the "server is down", because then I
have time to do meaningful things
can not memorize E-mail addresses, including my own.
do not check phonemail driving to work
But there are a couple of things, that I do have :
also still have friends, losers like me, but their number is dwindling;
they are afraid of missing the boat or being charged of "resisting
change" , which nowadays is a serious accusation. Hey, just "
go with the flow" !! Now, to bring all this back to my starting
question " why are we here" is not an easy undertaking ,
but I will try , when I say :I find it refreshing to see that we are
still able to "take time out" to value a good personal conversation,
an art form, threatened of extinction.
to read ,
to try making sense of things,
to go the extra mile.
I find it encouraging to find us rallying around traditions
and values, which are timeless and do not need to be "upgraded"
all the time.
I find it inspiring that we are committed to know the
people behind the E-mail address.
I want to believe, there must be a special "glue"
, that brings us together now for two years in growing numbers, every
month and every year.What the "glue" is, is hard to say
it the human need to socialize ?
it friendship ?
it a set of values that we all share?
it the "German" in us ?
Well, it is probably a little bit of everything and frankly, I dont
care, as long as we all are dedicated to carry the spirit of this
evening and the commitment to the underlying ideas into many years
to comeLet me close:All these somewhat grumpy remarks might create
the impression, as I would be committed only to the past; this is
true insofar as I regret, as our fathers and grand fathers did,
not to be able to pass on my experiences and insights, because they
neither are appreciated nor are they believable.What remains is
the hope that the younger folks in this room (also referred to as
generation " X" or "D" ) will value the past
and honor traditions and not press all the buttons, that todays
technology makes available to them, when we move forward.May be
you will be then the first generation who defines and recognizes
progress by not doing everything that is doable. This hope
alone, if not already the 2nd "Stiftungsfest
of our " Siliconia" is reason enough to celebrate.May
the tradition survive, grow and help to keep the future in perspective
!With this in mind I drink to the health and future of "Siliconia"
(and her Web-site) and ask everybody to join with a real (not a
S. Luz, Corps Onoldia, Erlangen