Blog posts of Marius Schober on random topics including opinions, thoughts, ideas, or personal day-to-day experiences.

  • Life is the distinctive quality of living entities, marked by growth, reproduction, adaptation, and the ability to respond to stimuli.

    Dead are those who have ceased to exist as living beings, having experienced the irreversible termination of their vital processes, leaving behind only memories and remnants.

    By definition, life is not dead. But being alive does still not mean one is truly living.

    True embracers of life have the courage to take risks. They know that the environment may change. They know that their decision may turn out wrong. This is why true embracers of life possess adaptability. If necessity demands it or their spirit commands it – they change course.

    This mix of adaptability and courage fosters growth. It ultimately transcends the fear of being wrong. Leading to a more vibrant and fulfilling existence.

    Life is not fixed. Life is not rigid. Take the risk. Then adapt.

  • Today, it seems that too many people still believe that you can drink the water from the tap without hesitation. Often you also hear statements like: “All water tastes the same”, with the assumption that all water is the same. I, on the other hand, drink water from the tap only when there is no other way, and in a blind tasting I immediately notice the difference between alkaline and low and high mineral water.

    Let’s talk less about taste and more about how important water is to our health.

    The most important food

    DIN 2000 is a German standard designed to ensure that drinking water in Germany is safe, clean, and free of harmful contaminants. A guiding principle of DIN 200 is:

    “Drinking water is the most important food; it cannot be replaced.”

    The human body consists of about 60% water, newborns even about 80%. Water is an elixir of life. Without water there is no life, which is why we should think all the more about the important aspect water plays for our health and longevity, and thus of course also about the quality of the water we consume every day.

    Water plays a fundamental role in maintaining homeostasis and normal functioning of the body. Adequate hydration is important to support our metabolism, cellular function, digestion, detoxification, and thermoregulation. These processes are all critical to our health and well-being throughout life.

    In the depths of our body, water is by no means a passive element that merely provides structure. On the contrary, it is a dynamic medium in which a complex interplay of salts and minerals takes place. This balance is crucial for electrolyte balance and the generation of electrical signals, which are essential for the communication and function of every single cell.

    Water is also the main player in the absorption and transport of nutrients that are essential for our health. As the main solvent for minerals and vitamins, water enables their absorption and distribution throughout the body. It is the driving fluid that transports all substances, including oxygen, to their respective destinations, thus forming the basis of our physical existence.

    However, the importance of water goes beyond the purely physical aspects and extends deep into the functioning of our brain. Water forms the environment in which neuronal activity and electrical signals are generated and maintained, which is crucial for our cognitive abilities and consciousness.

    Another fascinating property of water is its role as an information carrier. In some ways, water is similar to the silicon dioxide that serves as a storage medium in modern computers. Water’s ability to store and transmit information is a crucial aspect of our biological communication systems and helps maintain harmonious and efficient body function.

    Considering all these amazing properties, it becomes clear that water is not just a passive element in our body, but rather a source of strength, energy, and vitality. This becomes especially clear when one considers the psychological consequences of a lack of water.

    A lack of water

    Water deficiency, also known as dehydration, can lead to decreased cognitive performance, including difficulties with concentration, memory, and decision-making. As indicated earlier, water, and therefore adequate hydration, is critical to maintaining brain function. Even minor dehydration can cause the brain to work less efficiently and impair its functions.

    Our mood is also negatively affected by a lack of water. Studies have shown that dehydration can lead to irritability, anxiety, and even depression.

    Similarly, lack of water can lead to an increase in the stress hormone cortisol, which contributes to an increased stress response and exhaustion. So, to be more resistant to stress and cope with our daily challenges, we should make sure we drink enough.

    Sleep can also be disrupted by dehydration, as the production of the sleep hormone melatonin is affected or disrupted.

    To prevent these psychological and cognitive associated with water deficiency, adults are recommended to drink 2 to 3 liters daily. Two to three liters of water sounds like a lot to some, but it’s not at all. 8 small glasses (330 milliliters) of water already add up to 2.6 liters throughout the day. If we assume that we sleep eight hours a day and drink a glass of water directly before going to bed and directly after getting up, we will reach our goal with six more glasses a day. If we drink a small glass of water every two and a half hours, we will consume enough liquid at normal outside temperatures. As a rule of thumb, if the urine is light yellow, you have drunk enough water.

    3 liters per day

    If we are careful to drink enough water to keep our bodies and minds healthy, with three liters of water a day, it is also important to pay attention to the quality of the water we consume. But is tap water really as pristine as it is sold to us? Unfortunately, it is not.

    Hormones and drugs

    Residues of hormones and medications can be found in many municipal tap waters, which enter the water supply after being consumed by humans and excreted through the wastewater system. These residues can include substances that are difficult to break down, such as antibiotics, antidepressants, and hormones from birth control pills. If we are exposed to these residues over the long term, this will undoubtedly have an impact on our health, including hormonal imbalances and increased resistance to antibiotics.


    Not only in the oceans of our planet, but also in our tap water, there is evidence of microplastic particles smaller than 5 millimeters. These come, for example, from cosmetic products, textile fibers, or decaying plastic waste that enters our water supply. The long-term consequences of exposure to microplastics have not been fully researched, but there are concerns that they can cause inflammation in the body and increase the risk of chronic disease.

    Heavy metals

    Some tap water systems, especially those with older plumbing, may contain traces of heavy metals such as lead, copper, and arsenic. These heavy metals can corrode in the water pipes over time and leach into the water. Long-term exposure to heavy metals can lead to serious health problems such as nerve damage, kidney damage, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

    Pesticides and herbicides

    In agricultural areas, pesticides and herbicides used on fields can leach into groundwater and eventually enter the water supply. These chemicals can have a negative impact on our health by disrupting the hormonal system, weakening the immune system or even increasing the risk of cancer.

    Nitrates and nitrites

    These chemical compounds are often found in fertilizers and can also enter groundwater. High nitrate and nitrite levels in drinking water can be particularly dangerous for infants because they increase the risk of methemoglobinemia (cyanosis), a condition that affects oxygen transport in the blood.

    Per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS)

    PFAS are a group of chemicals used in a variety of industrial and commercial products, such as non-stick coatings, water-repellent textiles and firefighting foams. PFAS are extremely persistent and can accumulate in the environment and human body. Exposure to PFAS can increase the risk of health problems such as hormone disruption, elevated cholesterol levels and increased cancer risk.

    While we can hardly protect ourselves against the invisible toxins in our food and direct environment, we can certainly control the purity of the water we drink by using high quality and even inexpensive water filters and water treatment devices!

    Water for health

    So what is healthy water? We have already mentioned the most important thing: healthy water is free from any chemical and biological pollutants. Moreover, science defines healthy water as one with low acidity, that is, water with a basic pH, and rich in electrons, that is, water with lower redox potential and thus antioxidant properties. Thus:

    1. Free from pollutants
    2. Alkaline pH value
    3. Rich in electrons

    While pollutants are obviously not healthy but harmful, not everyone is aware of the health-promoting properties of alkaline water as well as electron-rich water.

    Neutralization of acidity in the body

    Alkaline water helps to balance the acid-base balance in the body. An unbalanced diet, stress and environmental factors can cause the body to become over-acidic. By consuming alkaline water, the body’s pH can be regulated and brought to an optimal level, contributing to better health and a strengthened immune system.

    Hydration improvement

    Alkaline water has smaller water molecule clusters than conventional water, making it easier for the body to absorb and better hydrate. Improved hydration helps increase physical performance, regulate body temperature and support detoxification processes.

    Antioxidant properties

    Electron-rich water has a lower redox potential, which gives it antioxidant properties. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, which can cause cellular damage and contribute to premature aging and chronic disease. Consuming electron-rich water can protect the body from oxidative stress and promote overall health.

    Support detoxification

    Alkaline and electron-rich water can support the detoxification of the body by promoting kidney function and helping to eliminate harmful toxins. Effective detoxification is important for well-being and disease prevention.

    Improvement of digestion

    Alkaline water can also improve digestion by helping to maintain an optimal pH level in the stomach. This can lead to better nutrient absorption, a reduction in heartburn and other digestive problems.

    Water treatment

    Healthy water can be produced by any normal household with water filters and water treatment processes, so we drink 3-liters of healthy water – free of pollutants, with alkaline pH and rich in electrons – every day.

    Activated carbon filter

    Activated carbon filters are one of the most common methods of water treatment in households. They remove unwanted contaminants such as chlorine, pesticides and organic compounds from water. They can also reduce odors and taste impairments. However, they do not significantly affect the pH of the water and have no effect on the redox potential.

    Ion exchange resins

    Ion exchange resins are small beads used in water softeners. They exchange hard minerals such as calcium and magnesium for sodium ions, helping to raise the pH of the water. This can produce more alkaline water. However, ion exchange resins do not affect the redox potential or antioxidant properties of the water.

    Reverse osmosis

    Reverse osmosis is a process in which water is forced through a semi-permeable membrane that retains impurities such as pollutants, bacteria, and viruses. This method effectively removes a variety of impurities and can raise the pH of water. However, reverse osmosis can also remove beneficial minerals and does not affect the redox potential.

    Water ionizer

    Water ionizers use electrolysis to increase the pH of the water and produce alkaline water. They separate the water into two streams: basic water (alkaline) and acidic water (acidic). The alkaline water contains a higher percentage of negative hydroxide ions, resulting in a lower redox potential and antioxidant properties. However, water ionizers can be expensive and are not as efficient at removing contaminants as other methods.


    Distillation is another water treatment process in which water is heated until it evaporates. The steam is then cooled and condensed to produce pure water. This process effectively removes contaminants and minerals from water. However, distilled water can have a neutral to slightly acidic pH and has no effect on redox potential.

    Combined water treatment method

    To obtain healthy water with basic pH and rich in electrons, a combination of different water treatment processes such as activated carbon filtration and ion exchange or reverse osmosis and water ionization is used in practice.

    First, an activated carbon filter is used to remove chlorine, pesticides and organic compounds from the water and to reduce unwanted odors and taste impairments.

    After pre-filtration, a process such as reverse osmosis or ion exchange is used to remove further impurities and increase the pH of the water. While reverse osmosis can remove a wider range of impurities, ion exchange resins are mainly used for water softening.

    In conclusion, a water ionizer is used to further raise the pH and produce alkaline water with antioxidant properties. When selecting an ionizer, care should be taken to ensure that it has the ability to remineralize minerals in the water that were removed during reverse osmosis or distillation.

    By combining water treatment processes, we can obtain healthy water that is free of pollutants, has an alkaline pH and is rich in electrons.

    Professional filtration systems usually already combine several treatment methods to achieve our desired goal.

    Conclusion: Water quality for a healthier life

    In summary, water quality plays a greater role in our health than many people assume. Although tap water is considered safe and drinkable in many regions, there are still good reasons to think about the quality of the water we consume every day.

    The myth of “worry-free healthy tap water” can be misleading, as even clean tap water can still contain contaminants that can harm our bodies over time. These include heavy metals such as lead or copper, chemical compounds such as pesticides and chlorine, or bacteria and viruses. In addition, the pH of tap water can vary and may not be optimal for our health.

    Fortunately, there are simple and effective ways to improve water quality for healthier water drinking. These include filters, treatment systems and choosing high-quality mineral water. Filters such as activated carbon filters can remove unwanted contaminants, while treatment equipment such as reverse osmosis systems and water ionizers can help optimize water pH and provide alkaline, antioxidant-rich water.

    By paying attention to water quality and investing in appropriate solutions, we can not only help reduce our body’s exposure to potential contaminants, but also reap the benefits of better hydrated, alkaline and antioxidant water. This can lead to better digestion, more energy, a strengthened immune system and improved overall health.

    Ultimately, water quality should not be underestimated as it has a direct impact on our health and well-being. It is our responsibility to make informed choices about the water we drink and take active steps to provide healthier water for ourselves and our families. After all, healthier living starts with the quality of the water we consume every day.

    Source References

    This article was written with the help and inspiration of the following books:

    1. “Gesundheit ist mehr als Medizin” – Prof. em. Prof. Dr. med. habil. Karl Hecht
    2. “Warum nur die Natur uns heilen kann” – Dr. med. habil. Dr. Karl J. Probst

    In addition, this article has been touched up in parts with the help of GPT-4.

  • Our purpose?

    We are living on a beautiful planet among billions of stars.

    This makes us often philosophize about the purpose of life.

    Are we here solely to be?

    Or are we here with a greater purpose?

    Maybe, there is no grand purpose.

    Our purpose is to be a human.

    Being a human on planet earth.

    Experiencing love, sadness, joy, and despair.

    Tasting tropical fruits, and Greek food and wine.

    Living life is fulfilling in itself.

    Still, we are questioning whether there is a greater purpose.

    We ask ourselves: Why are we here on this planet?

    Human curiosity itself is proof that our purpose is greater.

    Coincidentally, we have an intelligence great enough to go after our curiosities.

    We possess intellect and creativity to solve seemingly impossible problems.

    Curiosity, creativity, and intelligence brought us god-like powers.

    We learned to fuse nuclei.

    We discovered the double helix.

    We can re-create a process that happens inside the sun.

    We can rewrite cells.

    Someone gave us the curiosity, creativity, and intelligence for these discoveries.

    To solely exist? To be? To live?

    Yes, be! Yes, truly live!

    But our curiosity, creativity and intelligence are too high to limit our potential to it.

    Why do we need an IQ of 120? Sometimes of 140? Sometimes 180?

    Why do we have this extreme curiosity about nature and the universe?

    Were our purpose to only live – our creator would’ve given us an IQ of 80 and no curiosity.

    Because our curiosity, creativity, and intelligence are so great – so is our purpose.

    Our purpose is to use our curiosity, creativity, and intelligence to its fullest.

    Our purpose is to be all we can be.

    We don’t know the limits.

    Let’s go and find out.

    Our purpose.

  • One thing which is serving me every day in my life is my internal “bullshit-detector”. It’s a fifth sense with which I immediately sense whether a person is full of shit or whether a person is authentic and honorable.

    I can detect bullshit from a wide distance: By the way a person dresses, by the way a person is moving through the room. Before a person is close enough to talk to me, I have already evaluated his level of bullshit.

    When they are close enough, their smell, the way they shake hands, how they introduce themselves, their tone of voice, and the way they speak and what they say give me the last hint I need to assess whether this person is full of shit or not.

    It has served me well in the past. It protected me from people with ill intentions, from crypto scammers, from vaccinations with unknown side effects, toxic relationships, bad restaurants, soul-less jobs, bad investments, from narcissists, and bad sex.

    My bullshit detector is detecting the energy a person is radiating. It is impossible for me to decipher how it works exactly – I just learned to trust it.

    However, one prominent factor of my bullshit detector is authenticity. Most people can detect whether a person is authentic or not. When you sense that a person is not authentic, you have to be careful and pay attention. Inauthenticity always means that a person is faking something. An inauthentic person is an actor. For example, a introverted person acting extroverted. A poor person driving an expensive car. Billionaires in private jets fighting climate change. Per exemple.

    One big factor within authenticity is self-confidence. There are people with high self-confidence, low self-confidence, and even people without any self-confidence. There are people without self-confidence who are absolutely great and wholeheartedly person. Just as there are high self-confidence people who are genuinely good individuals. But as soon there is a mismatch, there’s a red flag. For example, a person can act confident, but deep inside they are unconfident. I can sense it in the way they talk, move, smell, smile.

    Another obvious factor within my bullshit score is their level of virtue signaling. You can detect virtue signaling quite easily. Virtue signaling means someone is supporting a cause not because of the cause of it but solely to be perceived by other people in a certain way. These are the people who use syringes and Ukraine flags in their social media accounts. Virtue signalers talk publicly and prominently about their cause. People who do real good, rarely talk about it. Virtue signalers are the opposite, they always talk about it, but they rarely do any good. A general rule of thumb: the more a person talks publicly about the good things he is doing, the more full of shit he is.

    Correctly assessing authenticity is the key for detecting actors, fakers, deceivers, and liars. Honesty can help you when assessing authenticity. Individuals who are brutally honest – with themselves and others – are always authentic. If a person is brutally honest about what he believes to be the truth, then he is authentic. On a bullshit scale from 0 to 10 (with 0 = no bullshit and 10 = full of shit), a brutally honest person is always very close to 0.

    If you are not sure, whether a person is full of shit, you ask him challenging and uncomfortable questions and assess whether he is brutally honest in his answer. Developing an internal detector for authenticity and bullshit is the ultimate way to live a good life.

  • There are dozens – if not hundreds – of sleep schedules online. Ranging from monophasic, biphasic to polyphasic sleep.

    In simple term, monophasic sleep describes the regular sleep you might be accustomed to: 8 hours of sleep per night without any naps during the day.

    A biphasic sleep describes a sleep pattern, where the sleep is divided into two sleep blocks or chunks. One popular type of biphasic sleep is the Siesta sleep. You sleep – for example – 6 hours at night and then have a 20-90 minute Siesta nap around noon.

    Polyphasic sleep is where it gets more sophisticated. You divide your sleep into multiple chunks: for example three 90-minute blocks of sleep divided over the day, or six naps equally divided over the day.

    My Experience

    Over the last few years, I often experimented with sleep regarding health, well-being, and productivity. I found differences between summer and winter as well as sleep schedules for well-being and productivity, which I want to share with you.

    Sleep Schedule for Well-Being

    The best sleep schedule for human well-being is biphasic in the summer (±5h at night, 90 min during the day) and monophasic during the winter (8-10h sleep at night; no nap during the day).

    It’s best to wake up with the onset of the morning dawn (slightly before sunrise). It is natural for most humans to wake up with the sunrise. When you sleep without an alarm clock for several weeks, you’ll see that you’ll naturally wake up shortly before the sun rises – no matter whether you went to bed a 9PM or 12PM.

    In the summer, the sun is rising earlier and setting later. This is why I believe during the summer, it’s better to go to bed later and wake up earlier with overall less sleep (5h or even less) and have a siesta nap (20 or 90 minutes) during the hot summer noon.

    In the winter, this is not the case. Naturally, you sleep much more during the winter time. There is less natural light and it is colder. You naturally have more sleep need which is why you often get tired quite early in the winter. With artificial light, it is easy to prolong the bedtime, but it’s probably best to sleep earlier and longer in the winter.

    Sleep Schedule for Productivity

    When your goal is productivity instead of well-being, I find that waking up and working early is preferable to staying up and working late.

    While I can be insanely productive at night, I found it much harder to fall asleep after closing down the laptop well after midnight. While this may also have something to do with our circadian rhythm, blue light and so on, I explain it with my brain is being in work and problem-solving mode. This means when I decide to go to bed, I’ll still lay there thinking about all kinds of problems, issues, ideas. Not good.

    When I stop working several hours before I go to bed, I never have the slightest difficulty falling asleep. My brain, by that time, got out of work mode and is ready to peacefully leave all issues and ideas behind to quickly fall asleep. Tomorrow is another day.

    Another plus: when I finished my most important tasks before 8AM, the day will be a success, regardless of what might happen.

    But waking up early – which fore me means around 4AM – comes with a cost. Either you’d have to go to bed very early (at 8PM) or you’d accrue an unhealthy amount of sleep debt.

    For me, neither sounded interesting, which is why I naturally started to have multiple 20-minute naps during the day.

    When I started to research sleep schedules online, I stumbled upon a website called There I got the idea of a longer 90-minute nap in the noon. This is interesting out of two reasons: first in a 90-minute siesta sleep, you’ll get REM sleep. Sleep which is necessary for your regeneration. Second, you can view this long Siesta sleep as a second real sleep block. You didn’t sleep for only 5h at night. But you slept 5h at night and 1.5h during the day – ergo you slept 6.5 hours in total.

    This made sense to me, as I experienced a real energy low around noon in the summer. The heat was daunting which made it impossible to work productively – especially without an air condition.

    Instead of torturing myself through these noon hours, I recharged my energy with a 90-minute Siesta nap.

    The Siesta nap took quite a while to adapt. First, I wasn’t able to sleep at all for 90 minutes. After a while, I naturally woke up after 60 minutes or so. After one or two weeks, I adapted. I felt very energized in the morning, afternoon, and evening with only 6 to 6.5 hours of sleep in total.

    Would I slept 6.5 hours on a monophasic sleep schedule, I would need a couple of cups of coffee, and I’d sleepwalk through the day.

    So to sum it up: With a Siesta sleep schedule of 4.5 hours to 5 hours of sleep during the night and 1.5 hours of sleep around noon you:

    • Feel equally energized as on 8 hours of sleep with only 6 to 6.5 hours of sleep.
    • You can wake up very early (4AM or even earlier) but can still participate in social events in the evening
    • You get rid of the noon low (or food coma) by sleeping
    • You can accomplish your most important task before 7AM

    If you have the luxury of having your own schedule, this is a superb sleep schedule – especially during summer.

    Other Observations

    Other than experimenting with sleep schedules, I also found that the more I meditate, the less sleep I require. This is why I believe that our body uses deep rest periods – as you achieve them in meditation – to regenerate, without sleeping.

    Secondly, the less I eat and the more raw plant-based food I eat, the less sleep I require – naturally.

    Overall, I don’t believe in the notion of you must have 8-hours of perfect sleep every night. When your body works efficiently, you need much less sleep.

    The more bad things you do to and put into your body (little movement, bad food, caffeine, alcohol, drugs, excessive workouts) – the more time will your body need to recover.

    On the other hand, when you care about your body with spiritual practices, healthy food, periods of fasting, a lot of movement such as Yoga, Tai Chi and Kung Fu, you’ll naturally sleep less.

  • Finding really good books is a multi-billion dollar market. Think about it for a moment: How do you find new books to read?

    I assume it will either be through:

    • a recommendation of a real person you know (the best way),
    • a recommendation you read online (including Goodreads),
    • an algorithm,
    • an advertisement,
    • or a bestseller list.

    The best way to find a new good book is through a recommendation. You are conversing with a real person, he understands your situation, your needs, or your preferences and based on this, he is recommending you a book.

    Another a good way to find a new good book is through a recommendation you stumble upon online. You search for your preference or a specific topic or problem, and you will find online communities or blog posts pointing you to a specific book.

    Algorithms, advertising, and bestseller lists all have one thing in common: they want to sell you something. Despite that, algorithms can still dig out good books for you, based on your preferences and past reading history. But don’t expect to ever find real exotic books outside your current interest bubble.

    Books on bestseller lists can be good, but generally, they are simply the best marketed books or have the best known authors.

    Again: bestseller lists are listing the best-selling books, not the best books.

    The question is therefore, where do we find, and how do we identify the best books? And why is it an important problem we should solve?

    4 Million Books

    Let’s say on a bestseller list you can discover the 20 best-selling books on a specific market. On the New York Times bestseller list, you’ll find the 20 best-selling books in the U.S. On the SPIEGEL bestseller list, you’ll find the 20 best-selling books in Germany.

    Let’s say we add multiple markets together. With many overlaps and translations, we’ll optimistically end up with 100 best-selling books in all Western markets.

    That’s only 100 out of roughly 4 Million books published each year worldwide – including self-published books. That’s roughly 0.0025% of all books published.

    As we’ve said, the bestsellers are listing the best-selling books – not the best books.

    With a very high certainty, there are several thousands of books which are better than those on the bestseller list, but whose author simply does not know or does not want to market the book heavily and professionally.

    A lack of marketing and selling, however, does not make a great book a bad book. It only makes it an economic failure. But it is still a great book.

    Recommending the Known

    When you think about the last time someone recommended you a book, the probability is quite high, that he found this book on a bestseller list, through advertising, or an algorithm. This means, we are ending up in the same recommendation and feedback loop: the best marketed and best-selling books get recommended over and over again – while some of the best books ever written in human history might remain undiscovered.

    The Billion Dollar Market

    Finding a really great book is therefore a billion dollar market. Why? Because among 4 million partly self-published books, the majority will be bad (really, really bad). People will naturally stick to books directly recommended to them through friends, other individuals online, an algorithm, advertising, or a bestseller list. Because it is today the best shit-filter we have.

    We need a new technology to discover the diamonds among several millions of published books. And this – ladies and gentlemen – is a multi-billion dollar market.

    What may be a solution? I don’t know the solution, but here’s what comes to my mind.

    People get served pieces (abstracts, chapters, etc.) of an anonymous book. After reading it, they rate it. When they read the piece of the book, they don’t know the popularity, they don’t know the price, the book cover, the author, or the ratings of other readers. They rate the book totally unbiased. Based on these ratings, one could create non-commercial book recommendation algorithms or deep learning models.

    Only by making everything anonymous can we judge a good by its quality – not by its cover (or bestseller rank, advertising budget, etcetera).

    Whether this is the best way to do it? I don’t know. But finding really good books is a problem worth to be solved.

  • For the last two years, I thought about setting up a global network of citizen journalists. One journalist per country. Every journalist is reporting on what is happening in his country on a monthly basis – covering everything from problems and corruption to progress and opportunities.

    Today, it’s easy to recognize the problems of one’s own country. But when it comes to other countries, it’s really tough to get an accurate picture of the real situation in that country. You don’t speak their language, you don’t talk to local people who actually live there, you cannot follow independent insider news, and you are not aware of critical journalism in that country. Which means you have to rely on Wikipedia or corrupt and biased (state) media.

    A global network of citizen journalists could publish a monthly update on the current state of affairs and living of every country in this world – based on real citizen journalists.

    Does that sound interesting and would you use such a citizen journalist platform?

    I’d love to hear from you!

  • When you do something, there are always two ways of doing it.

    Either you have to force yourself, or it feels natural to you.

    If you force yourself to do something, then what you do is not authentic to you.

    People sense this inauthenticity, which makes everything you do even harder.

    When you really, from the core of your soul, want to do something, then there is no force.

    Because there is no force, there is flow.

    It feels like play to you, even if it is incredibly hard.

    For those looking from the outside, what you do will look easy.

    When there is no force, then there is authenticity.

    When there is authenticity, everything will fall into place.

  • As I am writing this, I am sitting in my hotel room in Tashkent – the vibrant and growing capital of Uzbekistan.

    For several years – since I worked on Chinahub, where we connected Chinese businesses and businesses along the “New Silk Road” to businesses in Germany – I am not only fascinated by Central Asia but also in firm belief that Central Asia will very soon (again) play a crucial role in our world stage – not only in geopolitics but also in global economics.

    No wonder I immediately jumped on the opportunity to visit Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan as soon I was offered the opportunity.

    Now, after 1 month and thousands of kilometers visiting Astana, Almaty, and Shymkent (Kazakhstan) and Tashkent and Samarkand (Uzbekistan), I’m even more certain that both countries not only want to become a dominant player in geopolitical Central Asia but also an economic powerhouse along the “New Silk Road”.

    In all 5 cities, you can feel “growth” in the air. The population is noticeably younger (!) than in Europe or the United States – but not only is the population younger, the people are also a magnitude more ambitious than what I experience in Germany and Spain.

    The mix of growth and ambition make Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan so interesting for me.

    But which city in Kazakhstan or Uzbekistan will become the most dominant Central Asian city within the next 30 to 50 years?

    From what I can observe, the most investments flow to Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, and Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan. The question of which country and which city will dominate is – if you asked me – not about investments only, but about which country is more successful and quicker in tackling corruption.

    I’ll keep an eye on both countries and visit them more frequently.

    If you’d ask me where I’d want to live, the answer is Almaty. It is a vibrant and multicultural city with great restaurants of any sort, beautiful mountains close by and a working infrastructure.

    If you’d ask me where I’d invest or do business, the answer is Tashkent. In Tashkent, there are still countless investment and business opportunities, there are countless things still waiting to get developed, including a more livable city.

    Overall, Uzbekistan easily wins for the friendliest people in Central Asia, and also for the friendliest Russian-speaking people.

    If you’d ask me to create a Top 3 list of cities in Central Asia,

    For living and visiting:

    1. Almaty,
    2. Samarkand
    3. Tashkent

    For business:

    1. Tashkent
    2. Astana
    3. Almaty

    If you want to travel here, to get an impression, you can do it like me: Fly to Astana, take the train to Almaty, then a train to Tashkent. From here you can visit Samarkand and Bukhara.

    Now I have 12 more days to explore Tashkent and to get to know the local business landscape.

  • The question: ‘what is reality at all?’ — is a really tricky one. If I’d have to reply in three words, my short answer would be:

    Perception is reality.

    But as soon you challenge your perception, your understanding of reality becomes much more loose.