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Warmest heartfelt, like a crackling fireplace in winter. Loudest and stormiest, like a hairdryer in autumn. Cheerfulst like the azure blue sky on a summer morning, and also like a dark thundercloud that discharges with lightning.
All of these are characteristics I attribute to him. Many things remain undescribed. For example, his quirk of starting many new things and delving into the most remote corners of different areas that appear unclear and disconnected at first and even second glance. Setting limits is a term that least describes him. He only saw continuity in constant change. "The same, but different" was written on a sign above the door to his study. He was mostly reclusive. He never spoke about himself or his work. If you ever caught a glimpse of him, he would ask questions or communicate through silent looks. He lived outside of everything that can be defined as structure. Everything about his existence seemed to have dissolved in favor of his inner undertakings. When he occasionally invited me for tea, I would find him deeply immersed in a large armchair in his salon. After he spotted me, he would often pause for a long period and then quote a sentence from the book he was currently immersed in, adding a hesitant question to what he had said. It seemed to me as if he wanted to build a comprehensive picture of the knowledge of our time. Naturally, an undertaking that maybe only Goethe could accomplish in his time. Gödel was the last person to achieve this in a significant field. In short: an impossible task. Yet my friend's pursuit was always connected to the mundane. Something that took too long for him, an anomaly in his garden that he couldn't understand, or an optical phenomenon he discovered during one of his walks. After he posed questions from his books to me, hours-long conversations would ensue. These conversations left me confused. One characteristic of these conversations was that he never took a stance. Instead, we illuminated all possibilities from all perspectives. I felt like a rain barrel constantly filling up but always with limits.
There would be plenty more idiosyncrasies to report on. But I want to focus on the essential. Therefore, I will only describe one more idiosyncrasy that is crucial for what I recently discovered and has been troubling me day and night since then. To do so, it is necessary to observe my friend from a greater distance and at the same time in time-lapse. Based on everything I have described, one would assume that his interest and especially his questions became increasingly focused on details. But the opposite was true. While he would start with a tiny and barely visible excerpt, he would then swing back to the visible and rise higher and higher. As a result, he increasingly gained in abstraction overall and over the years, so to speak, ascended from the concrete to the abstract. In my eyes, this is an important clue to explain what had happened.
The usual tea invitations were taking longer and longer to arrive. During my last invitation, he said goodbye to me as usual and mentioned that he was going for a walk. That was the last we heard from him. He never contacted us again and was also unreachable. But that's not all. A few weeks after this incident, the mailman came and handed me a small package. Inside were a little book and a letter. He wrote that he was doing well. Something had happened that led to him being away for some time.
Since this incident is already over a year ago, I now want to pass on this little book to you. As to what is described in it, I naturally cannot judge for myself.
So please read for yourself what he had to tell us.
The following lines will hopefully enlighten all of you about that memorable and special day in the height of summer of the previous year. The day when everything began and the day when everything ended. The day when everything fell into place and the day when one thing finally led to another.
So this little booklet is a gift for you. Simply accept this gift. Just let go. Provided you accept this gift, I already ask you to note that it becomes an obligation.
I see you hesitate? This book can become the greatest adventure you have ever experienced. This book is the highest thought and speech that has ever been conceived. This book had to be written. Be aware of that. After you turn this page now, the world will be different. Let's go!
Not long ago, a clear night sky full of twinkling stars watched over everything. But now waves are crashing against the ship's hull. A roaring storm rocked the ship. Rain pelted the deck. Loud cries. Pillows. Sensations. Legs.
The dark images of the dream, the excitement and tension slowly gave way to a cozy and heavy feeling. The more the fluffy pillow and the warm, snug blanket became palpable, the more the clouds of the previous experience drifted by. Thoughts began to form slowly and hesitantly.
I like living in this city. But for some time now, I have become increasingly skeptical. Something is not right.
Why can't we achieve what is possible?
Essentially, that was the question around which my attention was increasingly circling like a lonely eagle. The days passed more and more laboriously. At the same time, through numerous observations, it became increasingly obvious to me that out of fear, we did not consider the infinite possibilities. This realization became my base camp. After a few days, I was adequately acclimatized for my first summit ascent. The summit of the problem was an answer to the question:
How can culture change in a way that we achieve what is possible?
People create culture. The goal must therefore be to equip engineers, programmers, designers, in short, all creators, with better tools. The goal must be to give them a tool to break away from the familiar, the trusted, and the cozy but always the same, and to dive into the new, the unfamiliar, the magnificently different. The goal must be to build a tool that ignites their creativity. A tool with which they produce many more and much bigger ideas. That was the summit. Days and weeks passed again.
Ideas are descendants of ideas. So, in the first step, it was important to catalog and make conscious the repertoire of every creator, and then to celebrate a big party with all the ideas, in the hope that as many as possible would come together. A software is therefore the summit. A machine that takes in information and helps generate offspring from the absorbed ideas.
After this idea was born, I didn't hesitate for a second and did everything to connect this idea with action and realize it.
Together with a few experts, we worked day and night on algorithms. The further we progressed, the faster it went. We already used this software for our own small problems and found new solutions with it. This was an instructive path, and it was a steep mountain. But it was not the highest mountain.
Therefore, I decided to keep going.
Read it for yourself.