So-called Friends

So-called Friends – or “Join Facebook, learn about exotic, distant lands; befriend exciting, unusual people and SPAM them with Malware. *

When M. was in pre-school everybody in Blue Room was a “friend”. She went to the park with her little friends and played with them. Some of them actually became friends. In public middle school she has a few friends from elementary school – other students tell her she has no place in this school because of her skin color – she’s white (well actually pink).

When I was 12, the hairdresser in my school in Vienna – yes the Theresianum had an in-house hairdresser – told me that you have one real friend in life – maybe two. This seems to have made a big impression on me as I vividly remember the setting. That was long before online friends were invented and before everybody was openly more or less gay – and in addition due to the fact that German actually is a language with a grammar – it was relatively easy to distinguish if you like someone or “really like” someone as my now 12-year-old would put it – referring to romantic entanglements (which just like “graphic” or “adult” is just another helpless circumscription to find out do you have sex with each other?)

Revenons à nos moutons: Today I received two friend requests on Facebook from two very different people – a young good-looking lady and a dapper gentleman connected me with a friend request. They had two things in common: I had never heard of them, they each had 32 “friends” none of which were mutual and their profile was completely empty. Why would they ask “do you want to be my friend?” – something that is awkward after the age of seven anyway. LinkedIn is somewhat cleaner as it asks to
“connect”, yet also has its fair share of undesirable connections from aggressive marketers to outright scam artists. In a society where more and bigger is better does it get you bragging rights to have 15,000+ LinkedIn connections?

Trojan horse after the Vergilius Vaticanus.

Or is this a rampant misuse of a social network turned MLM platform? There are discussions about Superconnectors and LIONs – “open networkers” ready to connect to anyone. It’s a business decision, if you want a lifestyle, definitely of interest to those who sell their services via social networks – yet ultimately doomed to burn out, thus creating a social network entropy. To add to this, you can buy yourself friends on Facebook. One Website offers to buy “real Facebook friends” for under $130 for 3000 friends and you get 1500 likes for free [sorry no link, the site seems somewhat flaky – yet it mentions that “Facebook friends sale made a business worth 200 dollars million [sic!] a year.” This seems a much better deal than online dating where you don’t get 3000 friends guaranteed. The question remains – do these
friends come with any benefits and if yes with which ones? As Vigil wrote in the Aeneid (II, 49) “…et dona ferentes”.


Posted in branding, Digital Media, lifestyle

Is blogging outdated?

Admittedly, I seldom blog. Maybe twice a year – whenever I feel like – as a result I don’t have a lot of followers. It’s not really a publication outlet for me. Recently I found that more and more of the links to other materials I use online go dead. Material disappears, goes dead… <– This blog entry started as a test to fix the crashed database behind the WP blog. Page cashing prolonged the outing – looks like it’s fixed –>  Now that the blog seems fixed on a technical level, the root question remains: “Does anybody still read blogs?” and “Are blogs obsolete?” Despite the shortness of the blog entry it already receives a comment. [to be continued]



Posted in Uncategorized

Nothingness: Energy from Within (revisited)

In 2013 I gave a TEDx talk in Austria with the title “Nothingness: Energy from Within”. powerplugs
The topic for the conference was “Powering Up” with many great talks covering every aspect of energy production, management, ecological alternatives, solarpower plants, and the future city. As very child knows, energy comes out of the plug in the wall which is why parents discourage toddler stop put random metal pieces into those interesting little holes. Alternatively energy comes from power bars.

My talk closed the event with a different perspective about the energy potential of form and emptiness. Ways we create power from within in charging and balancing body and mind.

When I became interested and then certified in Integral Coaching®  these potentials to support clients in their personal development are of special interest to me as they allow clients to develop long-term benefits and life-changing results.

The idea continues to develop and gain power.

Nothingness:Energy from Within

.                    Form does not differ from emptiness,
.                    Emptiness does does not differ from form.
.                    Form itself is emptiness, emptiness itself form.
.                    — Heart of the Perfect Wisdom Sutra

Power and Energy are always directly related to motion, force and ultimately speed. To move in space and time we need energy in a wide range of forms – internal emotional as well as external energy to sustain our lives.

For the longest time we just used the energy sources we could get our hands on: wood, coal, wale blubber, all sorts of fossil and nuclear energy, wind, sun, cow dung, to name a few. While responsible use of resources, and awareness of the impact on our environment and us is always very important and has become a critical argument in selecting and using different energy sources.

When discussing the use of energy, efficiency, reduction, new energy forms, we consistently look at the issues in an isolated environment; yet the energy from outside and the energy we have inside us are directly connected. And furthermore, energy and energy usage is always also about communication, be it smart grids, powering a telephone line, socially, sitting around a fire or internally the way we feel at a very moment – spiritual, mental, emotional as well as physical energy. Discussing “alternative energy forms” usually gets stuck because it does not take into account the whole picture.

Understanding the energetic potential between form and emptiness, between what we need and don’t need we will get to surprising insights that go beyond the question of sun versus wind.





A personal side note – At the age of four, my personal preference was a telephone plug clearly designed to be used as a toy. Official denomination “Telefon-Walzenstecker Anschlussdosenstöpsel ZB 27“, clearly an empowering highlight of my early years with an added benefit that it was not life threatening in its use.

Posted in Coaching, Conference, Uncategorized

How Green is the Valley?

My paper How Green is the Valley; ICT Markets Are Going Green: The Other Story from Silicon Valley finally got published:

Brody How green is my valleyABSTRACT. Sustainability is no longer an added feature but a core element of a major part of industrial developments. While the Silicon Valley is at the forefront of technology development and is trying hard to provide an ecologically responsible and healthy work environment it is challenged by the fact that a major part of its output both in hardware and software is consumption-driven and relies on a neo-colonialist approach to produce its wares while creating a green image. Green tech, briefly one of the fastest growing segments in institutional investment has fallen out of favor in 2013. “Green” is not an add-on that can be introduced as method or legally required, it redefines the way we conceive, produce and consume products overall.




Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
— Clarke’s 3rd Law

The Magic

Silicon Valley has a reputation of almost mystical dimensions on all aspects of innovation, creativity, start-ups and moneyto fund all these ventures. The unique quality of the Valley lies in it geographical, informational, and conceptual density of its resources and thus offers a catalytic effect on projects and enterprises. With Green Tech becoming a major segment worldwide, Silicon Valley companies add their own twist, providing everything from energy efficient devices to alternative energy production. Yet after initial interest, the engagement by investors dropped sharply and investment in all segments of green technology is down up to 80 percent in 2013 compared to 2012. [more]


The paper was published in2015_Cover_vorn-EcoCom-Book

Michael A. Herzog (ed)
Economics of Communication.
ICT Driven Fairness and Sustainability for Local and Global Marketplaces. GITO Berlin 11/2015

ISBN 9783955451431

Amazon US    Amazon DE

Posted in Conference, Digital Media, Uncategorized

Feels kind of weird

Today I got a message from a friend who starts a new job. Upon congratulating her, she texted “Thanks!!!  Feels kind of weird.” – how wonderful – weird is good. Weird is outside the ordinary. It makes you alive, raises your sensitivity for your own feelings, perceptions, formations, your body and mind. Weird requires you to think with you body and your heart. And this allows you to make a difference. Jessica Hagy wrote a piece for Forbes in 2011 “Why Weird is Wonderful” noting that people who act memorably are often “weird” – astronauts, saints, writers. Weird is not only out there – it also requires you to be authentic to yourself and to your path.

Ask yourself, have you done, seen, encountered anything weird today? If not, why not. Maybe you should look closer. Sometimes the most obvious right in front of your eyes becomes really weird, once you look closer. Go with that feeling, explore, sense it.

I just wrote “weird” so often over he last five minutes, that the spelling of the very word starts to look weird. Is it right? Is it wrong?

Make it a practice for a week or two to consciously look for something weird every day and observe what this practice does to you. Take care of yourself while doing so. Know your boundaries – avoid food that tastes weird-funny. (Funny is never good when related to food). But do have fun.

And for you S. – all the best on your path into a new adventure.

two hours later.png

Reading a story to M.: “… I don’t know how to reach him — just look in the phone book…”

M: What’s a phone book?
Me: It used to be a thick book with the phone numbers of everyone in town
M: That’s weird. Why didnn’t you have all the numbers you need in your contact list on your phone?
Me – trying to explain the notion of a life before smart phones … and the concept of a phone book…
Me – Do you remember the book in the plastic bag at the gate last week that we thre into recycling without opening? – that’s a phone book.
M – can we go and look up some of our friends in a phone book? That would be fun.
Me (thinkin) – That’s weird.


Posted in Coaching
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