A Privileged Source of Information


Who can still claim to be in tune with this world?


The search for harmony is a comprehensible need but not an easy task. We are constantly confronted – either indirectly, or for those less fortunate, directly - with wars, ecological disasters, poverty, injustice, illness ...

Singing Out of Tune: Public Policies, Social Rights, and the Judiciary

Read the constitution of any country and it will describe a State which bears little resemblance to reality. Have a look at the constitutions of Latin American countries and you will get the impression that nowhere in the world is the welfare state so highly developed. Pick up the constitutions of Germany, the United States or Norway and you get the opposite impression.

Rapprochement and Interdependence between Former Enemies – The Case of Japan and the United States

Japan and the United States, the product of very different cultures, clashed bitterly in the past, but their eventual rapprochement and interdependence – which could be described as a process of ‘tuning in’ with each other – may be relevant to the current clash between Muslim and Christian cultures.

Indigenous Self-Determination and Crime: Out of Tune and Out of Time

Processes of Australian colonisation deeply entrenched imperial power. They proceeded from the British landing in now-called New South Wales in 1788, through to the 1920s when northern Australia was conquered. The absolute supremacy of imperial culture was projected through a prevailing ideology of terra nullius, which maintained that Australia was uninhabited prior to British occupation. This provided a rationale for dispossessing Indigenous people of their land and sovereignty. However, that was just the beginning.

Transparency in central banking – the benefits of attuned economic agents

Since I have become a central banker I have learned to mumble with great incoherence. If I seem unduly clear to you, you must have misunderstood what I said.” Alan Greenspan, 1987


Some years later ...

Cooee Music

When Europeans arrived in Australia with the intention of staying, they embarked on a journey of adaptation. What they saw was difference, interpreted by many as the contrarieties of a weird and unnatural place. What they heard could equally be interpreted as tuneless. The process of becoming attuned to the new environment had to be a conscious act.

An Interview with Ralf Dahrendorf

If computers decline in performance, tuner software programs are used. If electrical impulses need to be amplified, radio specialists use “tuners”, so, for example, radio receivers, as amplifiers. How can performance improvements can be achieved in politics and societies, societal development effects be amplified, this was the topic discussed by Frankfurt journalist Norbert Schreiber with the renowned sociologist Ralf Dahrendorf, who has published a new book from CHBeck-Verlag about the role of intellectuals in today’s society.

Our Cloistered Flights

I took a long-haul flight yesterday, and god knows, long-haul is long. I can’t think of anything more boring than flying, except maybe bad theatre. Billy Wilder, the director of Some Like it Hot, once said something I always remember when I’m on a plane. He said, “I went to see The Mastersingers of Nuremberg last night. It started at eight. Three hours later I look at my watch. It was eight fifteen.”

A phrase!

Madness, a protruding terrace overlooking the sunset.

Of all that I have written, this is the only phrase I remember. Were I to count all the sentences that I have written, there would be many, tens, certainly, no, even hundreds. And not one to remember. I do remember sentences of other people’s, few as they are, but they are relatively numerous. But of mine, I memorize none, except this phrase in my first novel. A single six-word-phrase, and nothing else.

Irony, contemplation and judgement: tuning in to the minds of fictional characters

The attempt to recount the past presents the cinema with very specific choices. Narrative choices, because the plot of a film can follow events chronologically in a historically accurate manner, or instead abandon a strict interpretation of the facts in order to give a better idea of the overall sense of an event, a period, or person.

The Perfect Harmony

From the day of our birth, we believe, as if it were something that could be determined by wish or will, that we are the authors of our own history and that our abilities and actions influence our future, and most importantly, that of our children. As soon as a child is born we imagine that he or she will grow up to be handsome and healthy, a strong athlete, a good scholar.

Getting the Right Feedback: The Alpha Hi-Fi

We all know the electrifying thrill of listening to a favourite band in a crowded, sweaty stadium, or the sublime sensation of a violinist playing Vivaldi's Primavera. But rarely do we feel those same emotions when we put a CD on. Part of that missing link is undoubtedly ambience, but is there something else lacking? My father, a hi-fi designer who has won awards for design ingenuity, certainly seems to think so. I track him down in his hi-fi ‘listening room’ to get some answers.

Total solar eclipses – being in tune with the universe

In today’s "so exciting" and "so important" daily life only a few occasions remind us of the source of this very life on planet Earth. Some of those rare incidents include the mood-changing effect of a sunny day after a week of rain, or a red sky-tinted sunset. In fact, it is very rarely acknowledged that not only our emotional life, our rhythm and our very existence on this planet depend on the sun.