Category Archives: Science

Carole Cadwalladr (Guardian): How the Big Internet Five Broke Our Democracy

 My TED talk: how I took on the tech titans in their lair | UK news | The Guardian … :

We can see the iceberg. We know it’s coming. That’s the lesson of TED 2019. We all know it. There are only five people in the room who apparently don’t: Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg, Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Jack Dorsey.

Here’s the direct link to her TED video. Awesome. Spread the word. “We in Britain are the canary.” 

Diapers at Work: Let’s not import American Autocracy (German)

Walmart, Apple and others… another reality update: Betriebskultur: In Windeln zur Arbeit (neues-deutschland.de) … (and don’t ask about tampon changeing rules):

So verbietet die Supermarktkette Walmart ihren Beschäftigten, sich während der Arbeit zu unterhalten, selbst flüchtige Bemerkungen seien »Zeitdiebstahl«. Der Computerhersteller Apple durchsucht in seinen »Stores« vor Dienstbeginn die persönlichen Gegenstände der Angestellten, was diese bis zu einer halben Stunde unbezahltes Schlangestehen kostet. Der Schlachtkonzern Tyson erlaubte seinen Mitarbeitern in den Geflügelfabriken zeitweise nicht einmal, während ihrer Schicht auf die Toilette zu gehen: Drei Beispiele für den autokratischen Umgang mit lohnabhängig Beschäftigten in der US-Wirtschaft.

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Wie die Beispiele zeigen, ist das in Amerika noch viel stärker der Fall als in Europa. »Die Entmachtung der Arbeitnehmer ist eine Gefahr für die Demokratie«, warnt Anderson. Die Verhältnisse in vielen US-Unternehmen seien »Tyrannei«, eine »Diktatur«, so lautet ihre plakativ formulierte Kernthese. Die Mitarbeiter hätten kaum Chancen zur Mitsprache und Partizipation. Anders als Politiker, die ihr Handeln immer wieder in Wahlen legitimieren müssen, könnten mächtige ökonomische Akteure von oben herab autoritär ihren Willen durchsetzen und quasi »privat regieren«.”

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“Im Vergleich dazu erscheinen die Verhältnisse in Europa geradezu paradiesisch.”

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“Leider importierten die Europäer seit geraumer Zeit gerne »schlechte, neoliberale Ideen aus den USA – dabei sollte der Ideenaustausch eher andersherum laufen«.”

Generation Gier

 Reality update: Manager – Die Generation Gier schwächt die Demokratie – Meinung – Süddeutsche.de … :

Gerade in der Globalisierung wäre es nötig gewesen, die soziale Marktwirtschaft zu stärken, statt die Macht des ungezügelten Marktes anzubeten. Aber es kam anders. Wo Shareholder Value regiert und weniger das Interesse der Arbeitnehmer, ist der Gemeinsinn oft zerstoben. Die Generation Gier trägt ihren Anteil daran, dass die Kräfte, welche die demokratische Gesellschaft zusammenhalten, schwächer werden.

Using AI (Google’s Tensorflow) for Nextcloud Image Tagging

Automated Tagging of Images on Nextcloud with Tensorflow (for Poets 2) |

“Another case would be each time I go to supermarket, I take a picture of the receipt provided so that I’ll be able to keep track of my expenses. Going Hiking with friends are also great opportunities to take more pictures. How to  sort out everything? Fortunately we have lots of machine learning tools out there. I chose Tensorflow not because I found it to be the best but simply because it has more buzz around it.”

Earth Magnetic Field and Earthquakes Related

Chilean physicists found a direct relation between earthquakes and the earth magnetic field. The study used more than 50 years of hard data and could be used in a near future to predict earthquakes with up to 48 hours in advance. – science

Chilean physicists found a direct relation between earthquakes and the earth magnetic field. The study used more than 50 years of hard data and could be used in a near future to predict earthquakes with up to 48 hours in advance. from science

TBL on 30 years of Web: A contract for the Web

Tim Berners-Lee speaking at the launch of the World Wide Web Foundation

In his blogpost “30 years on, what’s next #ForTheWeb?” Tim Berners-Lee shows clear thoughts on the problems of the Web today and points to the “Contract for the Web”. He writes:

“To tackle any problem, we must clearly outline and understand it. I broadly see three sources of dysfunction affecting today’s web:

  • Deliberate, malicious intent, such as state-sponsored hacking and attacks, criminal behaviour, and online harassment.
  • System design that creates perverse incentives where user value is sacrificed, such as ad-based revenue models that commercially reward clickbait and the viral spread of misinformation.
  • Unintended negative consequences of benevolent design, such as the outraged and polarised tone and quality of online discourse.

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At pivotal moments, generations before us have stepped up to work together for a better future. With the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, diverse groups of people have been able to agree on essential principles. With the Law of Sea and the Outer Space Treaty, we have preserved new frontiers for the common good. Now too, as the web reshapes our world, we have a responsibility to make sure it is recognised as a human right and built for the public good. This is why the Web Foundation is working with governments, companies and citizens to build a new Contract for the Web.”

How our Attention industry corporations kill our creativity and inspiration

I’m just digging in Tristan Harris’ Videos. There are some interesting ones that I’d like to spread to make people more aware about how much life quality they loose by the hours they spend online every day. “I don’t know a more urgent problem these days.”, he says. I may do, but this is really scary. “Sometimes the most important problems are right underneath our noses.”

Tristan used to work for Google and later founded the Center for Humane Technology and Truth about Tech.

1) Tristan Harris – How Social Media and AI Hijack Your Brain – YouTube

“Tristan Harris, founder of the Center for Humane Technology and pioneer of the Time Well Spent movement, is here to address the controversial topic of how our minds are being swindled into rampant screen and social media addiction, and to expose the intelligent forces behind the scenes that have intentionally served up the internet’s most addictive drug in an effort to get rich.”

2) Tristan Harris: How a handful of tech companies control billions of minds every day | TED Talk

“A handful of people working at a handful of tech companies steer the thoughts of billions of people every day, says design thinker Tristan Harris. From Facebook notifications to Snapstreaks to YouTube autoplays, they’re all competing for one thing: your attention. Harris shares how these companies prey on our psychology for their own profit and calls for a design renaissance in which our tech instead encourages us to live out the timeline we want.”

3) Tristan Harris Says Tech Companies Have Opened Pandora’s Box – YouTube

“Tristan Harris, former Google design ethicist, discusses changing Silicon Valley’s culture and the fight against online extremism with Bloomberg’s Emily Chang on “Bloomberg Technology.””

Disclaimer: I’m still watching, I only came across his stuff this morning, but so far I really like it.