Book Recommendations

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Paul Watzlawick's most famous axiom is - "One Cannot Not Communicate: Every communication has a content and a relationship aspect such that the latter classifies the former and is therefore a metacommunication." »

Two of his publications I enjoyed most are How real is real, Paul Watzlawick, 1976 and The situation is hopeless, but not serious, Paul Watzlawick, 1983.

How many realities exist - only one? How complex is reality, and how is brain function, perception and consciousness involved on the molecular level? What was originally a mainly philosophic question becomes more and more scientific. It is not any longer only about "Being and Nothingness" (1943) of Jean-Paul Sartre or G. Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel's "Phenomenology of Mind" (1807).

Tags: communication, perception, consciousness, books

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Daily we classify things as being normal or not and judge about the morality of human behavior in a more or less conscious manner. Both Manfred Lütz and Oliver Sacks question normality and provide anecdotal insights into the complexity of human behavior. Only recently IRRE! Wir behandeln die Falschen - Unser Problem sind die Normalen, Manfred Lütz, 2009 was published. Whereas Manfred Lütz has chosen a more broadbrush approach to psychiatry, in "The man who mistook his wife for a hat, Oliver Sacks, 1985" Oliver Sacks rather describes individual fates.

Tags: books, neuroscience, morale

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The next two books appeared as German editions only - unfortunately. Das Ende der Privatsphäre - Der Weg in die Überwachungsgesellschaft, Peter Schaar, 2007. Considering the expeditious development of the internet and information technologies, data privacy protection becomes a central issue. Yet, there is a thin line between data protection and the development of surveillance societies. The conflicts between individual data privacy interests and a societie's interest for safety and control become obvious. My second recommendation Die grosse Gier - Korruption, Kartelle, Lustreisen: Warum unsere Wirtschaft eine neue Moral braucht, Hans Leyendecker, 2007. deals with the greed of business companies for economic power and profit. Usually satisfaction of such a greed relies on moral obliquity, and is rather destructive in the long term.

Tags: privacy, books, economics, morale

A beautiful & philosophic description of Antoine's career as a pilot: Wind, Sand and Stars,Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, 1939. A true adventurous life! I was largely impressed by the fight between man, elements and machine. The longing for freedom and independence is a vivid element of this oeuvre. The book appeals to open one's eyes for the beauty of our planet, for everything that makes a difference. Life is volatile - such that anyone should be aware of it and not wait for things to come but rather to be inquisitive and become its own pilot.

Tags: books, behavior, freedom

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Long Walk to Freedom, Nelson Mandela, 1994. The memories of the outstanding political leader of our time. A compelling story of Nelson Mandela's life and political struggle. Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar, Simon Sebag Montefiore, 2003. The biography of a murderous tyrant that shaped yesterdays and today's world. Sebag Montefiore manages to recreate the lethal and intimate atmosphere during Stalin's rein.

Tags: books, politics