Usually I know, or at lest have a vague idea, where the book I find here, comes from. Did I buy it, when, was something connected with it, like a certain idea I was following back then or something else ? But the book I read right now does not ring a bell, it may have been a gift, but I would not know from whom ?
The book in question is by Frederic VESTER (1925-2003 ) (Ger., Eng.), titled Neuland des Denkens. Vom technokratischen zum kybernetischen Zeitalter. A paperback, first edition published in January 1984. The third edition from July 1985 was “durchgesehen und ergänzt”, revised & supplemented. What lies before me is the 12th edition of July 2002, but it is on the stand of 1984. I checked his footnotes and found no literature cited newer than 1982, and this in only marginal doses. I emphasise this, that the status of information is early 1980s, because I found some things that surprised me.
He mentions in the chapter about “Traffic” that the development of hybrid propulsion (“Hybridantriebe”) or electric fuel cell cars (“Elektroautos mit Brennstoffzellen”) was not pushed, or better hindered, because decisions that lead to the domination of the fuel burning engine – and what all hangs on this – were made earlier, and seem to be irreversible.
He mentions “wie überdimensionale Litfaßsäulen aussehende Pariser “Staubsaugertürme” (… ), welche die Straßenluft unten ansaugen und oben wieder gefiltert abgeben”. This would be vacuum cleaners in the form of advertising pillars in Paris – that escaped me ! I never have heard about such installations in Paris, or elsewhere.
So I asked Mr Gargle & friends, and all I could find was a project by a Dutch artist who wanted to install such towers in smog plagued cities like Mumbay in circa 2017 (?). Some years ago a French environmental company published their project of air cleaners in the form of advertising pillars that would use algæ, but I have no idea what came out of this.
I have no idea when the first hybrid cars were offered in Europe or elsewhere (around 2010 ?), or if VESTERs cleaning towers were ever built, but obviously things he mentions as given, are mentioned & sold forty years later as brand new, happened just five or six years ago.
He mentions and cites writers & thinkers, among them Nobel laureates, a tradition dating back to the 19th century, I simply do not know about. I need to look up a few persons.
And when I put this book down, and looked into another one (about Stalin’s foreign forces) just out of curiosity, I saw the following photograph :
Time(s) is strange.