We will not desert you. Although this ­issue of  »echtzeit«  has taken a few months longer than planned, here we are with issue 05. In these­ difficult times we address the topic of »Help«. We take off our blinkers, have a good long look and even cast a glance over to the other side of the street. After having asked a bunch of people a bunch of questions in »echtzeit 04«, we are ready to start giving some answers. We have looked for help and in true scouting spirit, we have put together our very own guidebook. This issue contains some serious help.

Help is contribution, addition, completion,­ replacement. Help is support, improvement of some­thing that is defective, incomplete, needy­ or broken. Help catches, strengthens, intgrates. And the best thing: when help succeeds, it feels good. Help is something elementary. It forms the foundation of our social codex and the rules are passed on from generation to generation. Understandably, then, help is a recurring theme in a culture’s proverbs and sayings. It is not simply a case of »you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours« but also »he who doesn’t help others has never needed help himself«. Indeed, help is often not at hand; it should not be taken for granted. Lack of help can leave a person alone, feeling helpless or feeling guilty. In many hectic and fleeting everyday situ­ations, one might think that helping others has some­how gone out of style. Fortunately, we have found a lot to counteract this premise.

We bravely stare down the everyday trials and tribulations. Like MacGyver, we are safe in the knowledge that the mufu tool in our bag will be in the right place at the right time. We yearn for copy paste functions in the real world and beam ourselves into the digital world to live out our secret desires in the guise of an avatar or simply to be an active participant in an online community. Beyond the three-bar signal we take a look back at the beginnings of development aid. We find out how it actually helped wipe out the pox and also what teething troubles it had to deal with itself. How far would you go to help others? We examine the routines and the secret lives of voluntary organizations, those who go »all the way« to help others in other countries. And on the way there, be wary of the maps left behind by the old socialists. Although quite adventurous, in certain parts of the world you may have trouble getting to where you want to go. Today, gps has the territory under control. Begging the question as to whether future generations will ever be able to read maps without their tomtom maps. For now, however, traditionally marked footpaths are still the way to go – with all their risks and surprises. The tin can gets respect for its ability to withstand the efforts of time and decay. And think of all of the different grocery goods that we practically take for granted. In front of the fruit stand we wonder who actually benefits when we buy apples from Chile. We silence the accusing voices and are rewarded with memories. Does that help?

We leave the swirling waters of »from A to B as the crow flies« and listen to some helpful and unusual sailor’s stories from a genuine captain. We do not turn away at the door of the local pub, we proceed in search of pearls of wisdom. The pub as a supportive arm – help can be so simple sometimes. We join someone who decided to leave the right-wing scene and turned his hand to getting out instead of raising it in the air. And we get tech geeky about the timer function on our palm that helps us to remember our favorite TV series. Not only do we know MacGyver’s first name, we also step into the shoes of others and we do not leave anyone by the wayside. We present reports and stories from people who help and others who did or did not receive help. We help each other to understand situations better and to reconsider accepted positions. Somewhere between ignorance, FAQs and civil courage we present this collection of successful and failed help. Imagine you could actually help someone, then go out and do it. We strap on the brandy barrel and get moving.

Come with us.
The »echtzeit« team 

MacGyver’s first name remained a mystery until the final season; whenever he’s asked about it, he says he dislikes his first name and changes the subject. Consequently, most of his friends and colleagues call him by his last name or simply »Mac«. The script for the series pilot gave MacGyver’s first name as »Stace«, but this information, while mentioned in promotional material, did not appear in the finished episode. His first name is finally officially revealed in »Good Knight, MacGyver«, in which he learns of a 7 th century Scottish ancestor, Angus M’Iver, and admits that they share their first name; and repeated in the series finale, which introduces MacGyver’s son, whose middle name is Angus. It is also revealed on the boxes of the MacGyver seasons.