Feature photo: Newport Beach

My first beach walk of the year took a little longer, although the route hasn't changed in decades. There is no question that the years leave no one untouched. The purpose of this walk was not a necessary reboot, because that is still reserved for machines and computers, but a reconnection of my current train of thought.

Interestingly enough, there have been a few interesting topics that have been on my mind lately and so I was able to do project work with my lectures on the one hand and Maslow's hierarchy of needs on the other with the book by Walden Henry David Thoreau connect with each other, whereby one can also be brought into good agreement with the other.

Nowadays, everything has to become a project, probably because project management is now recognized as something worth striving for, even by the last hillbilly. “Management” has been all the rage for a while now and is now only surpassed by “project management”; Entire markets have emerged around these two terms and even advertising can no longer avoid glorifying everything as a project. The crux of the matter is that project management can only work if the existing or even supposed challenge is actually a project.

Only charlatans manage projects that aren't. But like I said, this is a very lucrative market now and I know a friend [you know I mean you] who collects whole bookcases of related literature.

Having clarified this for myself personally while walking, I came up Henry David Thoreau, who formulated his basic needs very aptly as early as the 19th century, and could not help but compare them with the needs pyramid of Abraham Maslow to compare, but only because I recently had Maslow on one of my lectures. Even if Maslow's model was questioned by us students back in the 1980s, it has a certain charm due to its simplicity and is still part of the canon of literature today, at least that of universities.

But what surprised me was the current definition of basic needs, which in their interpretation of Maslow's hierarchy of needs deviates a little from the classic basic and existential needs. It wouldn't really surprise me if, in a few years, our educational institutions sell the assertion of LGBT rights as a basic human need.

In any case, I'm pretty sure that Abraham Maslow knew the book before Walden was said to have been inspired by the Blackfoot Indians for his theory. i.a. That's why I still find the book Walden so exciting today and will delve into it a bit in the coming days.

I can't really say whether Maslow, Thoreau or even my age are to blame for the fact that on my walk today I decided to further slow down the world around me, but in any case the dolphins contributed to that I could observe while walking for some time.

But then my attention was drawn by a couple of surfers trying to catch some waves despite the very chilly weather. One surfer in particular caught my eye, who was out and about with a surfing device that was completely new to me and clearly had fun with “his” invention. In the noughties, the stand-up paddlers on the beach first caught my eye, but now such athletes can already be found on the Neckar with their equipment. And so I'm now very excited to see this "new" piece of sports equipment on the Neckar.

“There are nowadays professors of philosophy, but not philosophers. ... It is to solve some of the problems of life, not only theoretically, but practically."

Henry David Toreau, Walden (2020 [1854]: 12)
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