One has just been sent out as a biblical dove, has found nothing green, and slips back
into the darkness of the ark -- Kafka

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Which Reminds Me of Max Frisch's Questionnaires

Among other things.

Here are a few excerpts from "Questionnaire 1987" (published in the German Library's Max Frisch: Novels, Plays, Essays):


Question 1: Are you sure you are really interested in the preservation of the human race, once you and all the people you know are no longer living?

Question 2: And, if yes: Why don't you act differently than you have so far?

Question 3: What has changed human society more: the French Revolution, or a technical invention such as electronics, for instance?

Question 4: Considering everything we owe today to technological super-mobilization--take for example the sector of kitchen hardware, etc.--do you think one really has to be grateful to the technologists and therefore also to the defense ministers who put our tax money at their disposal?

Question 5: As a layman, what would you like to see invented in the near future? Briefly state why.

Question 6: Could you still imagine a human existence (that is: in the First World) without the computer?

Question 7: If so: does the mere thought of it seize you as cold terror, or rather as nostalgia, or as nothing, since nothing cannot be seized by the computer.


Question 9: The dinosaurs survived for 250 million years; how do you picture economic growth extending over 250 million years? (State briefly)


Question 16: Can you picture a society in which scientists are made responsible for crimes that have become possible only through their inventions, a theocracy, for example?


Question 18: Now that the Apocalypse can be technically realized, how do you relate to the biblical metaphor of the forbidden apple from the tree of knowledge?

a) do you believe in the freedom of research?
b) do you agree with the pope who forbade Galilei to have the earth turn around the sun?


Question 22: Can  you imagine that the human spirit we have trained is programmed for self-destruction of the species?

Question 23: What, except for wishful thinking, speaks against it?

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