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iFrank’s world

by fberzau

In case you were still in doubt:

The USA has dropped below the “democracy threshold” (+6) on the POLITY scale in 2020 and and is now considered an anocracy (+5). It has also lost its designation as the world’s oldest, continuous democracy; that designation now belongs to Switzerland (171 years), followed by New Zealand (142) and the United Kingdom (139). Further degradation of democratic authority in the USA will trigger an Adverse Regime Change event.

More details on kottke.org.

Und zwar so stark, dass die verbleibenden Fälle unterhalb des Limits liegen, das Seehofer gefordert hatte.

Fefe’s Blog

Dann ist ja alles gut. Vielleicht war sogar schon immer alles gut. Also von der Panik mal abgesehen.

I am so proud I helped crowdfund the movie, and volunteered to translate the sub-titles to German! We are showing the movie in Neuhausen/Enzkreis on Jan., 26th in the Schwalbennest. You are very welcome to join.

Event details see https://infopress24.de/veranstaltungen/kino-im-schwalbennest-neuhausen/

Es gibt zweifelsohne einen Rechtsdruck in diesem Land, und vielen anderen. Aber es gibt auch Stimmen wie diese. Es scheint mir, als sei dies Ausdruck einer größtenteils schweigenden, Mehrheit.

Wir Autofahrer sind nicht nur betrogen, sondern auch nach Strich und Faden belogen worden. Allein mit der bereits vorhandenen Technik hätte man – konsequent eingesetzt – auch vor ein paar Jahren schon die Grenzwerte sicher einhalten können

Der ganze Artikel ist sehr lesenswert.

Was mich immer wieder fasziniert, ist das Meckern über die bösen Konzerne auf der einen, und das weiter bei ihnen einkaufen auf der andern Seite. Das gilt auch für Lebensmittel und zig andere Bereiche. Es scheint nicht klar, dass der Konsument tatsächlich die Macht hat – mit dem Geldbeutel an der Kasse!

Ich gucke das ja schon lange nicht mehr. Meine Tochter ist – soweit ich das sehe – längst aus dem Alter raus, in dem diese Sendung relevant war für sie. Trotzdem hat mich der Titel aufhorchen lassen, und ich war froh, solche klaren Worte zu lesen zu diesem Thema. Sehr gut!

Warum eine Kandidatin mit Größe 38 “Germany’s Next Topmodel” kein bisschen besser macht

http://www.unhcr.org/dream-diaries.html

If you don’t have time to read the story, at least watch the embedded movie:

Besides being racist, it’s also bullshit. Take just five minutes to read this really well written summary:

https://kottke.org/18/01/how-haiti-became-poor

Geht doch.

I have been watching a little bit of TV lately and noticed two commercials that both dealt with teenage supervision. One was a Volkswagen commercial, showing a dad in his Passat. I didn’t pay attention to the beginning of it, but I think he was picking up his daughter’s boyfriend at an airport. The two teenagers were sitting in the back seats. The dad was watching them through the rear mirror. All the time. So they couldn’t kiss each other. The point here was the traffic jam detection of the car, and that it would automatically slow down and accelerate as the traffic moves. But the interesting thing was that the dad in the driver seat could watch his daughter all the time, without taking his eyes off the rear mirror.

Another commercial I saw had a very similar message. I didn’t even catch the brand that was advertised. But the message was identical. In that spot, the dad used a home automation system to play with the blinds in his daughter’s room and other tricks. Again to prevent her from kissing her boyfriend.

So I am like, what the fuck. Is this behavior becoming the new norm in this country or what? Holy fuck. Whoever did those commercials, or approved them, or has them attached to the brand now, doesn’t realize how sick this is? I mean, come on. The teenagers in those spots were like real people. Young folks who are awakening to the changes in their body. They are alive. They want to experiment. They want to experience pleasure. And ultimately they want to love, and to be loved.

So who are we to show a behavior that is intercepting that. What right do we have to treat teenage kids like that. This is inappropriate and it is stupid. First of all, every person on the planet has the right to free will. If parents don’t get it when their little children move to a new phase in their lives, and that dads are no longer the center of their daughters’ focus – get real, wake up. When my daughter turned into a teenage girl, quite a while before she even had her first boyfriend, I talked to her about the changes I am seeing, and what I predict for the future. I told her that it is ok if she will one day turn her attention to a boyfriend, and that it will of course hurt me. But this is just because our relationship will change in nature. And so something I will have to let go. But our relationship won’t end, it will just change. And I told her that that is perfectly fine, and something I have to deal with it. Something I did not mention but is clear to me today – it is much easier for the daughter who then has something new and exciting to replace the former most important man on the planet (her dad), and so she doesn’t notice as much. Still, both are going through change. And that’s life.

Of course I want to educate my child to pay attention to her well being. Make sure she is always comfortable in how she is being treated etc. But this is then her own responsibility and I’d better done a good job in helping her to learn how to stand up for her needs. And if I have done that, there is nothing I need to fear. Except my emotional reaction to realizing I am no longer the center of the universe in my daughter’s world. But – like I said – that is my problem. Not that of my kid.

In that sense, I hope the subtle message of those commercials remains unnoticed and unheard. No, it is not ok to supervise a teenage girl like it was a little child. No, it is not ok to dictate a daughters’ live like in a prison environment. Those commercials aren’t just stupid. They are dangerous. And they are not even a little bit funny. At least if you dare to get a sense for the emotional pain of the teenagers. It seems to me, the teenagers are behaving a lot more adult (by respecting the expected emotional pain of their dad if they were just kissing their boyfriend in front of his eyes), or maybe they are just protecting themselves from the outrage it might cause. The dads though, are smiling at the success of their technological approach to a very strict supervision. Emotionally inappropriate, because really the motivation behind their action is simply fear of being left behind. And not facing it, and instead forcing separation between those teenage kids upon them, is immature.

And it won’t always work. So it is not even responsible. Instead of an open discussion with their kids, early enough, and making sure they learn how to act responsibly when they fall in love the first time, they are forced to live that in the dark. Stupid. Fucked up commercials.

Can you please stop announcing plans to bring electric cars to market, and just FUCKING DO IT.

FILE PHOTO: The electronic delivery car “Street Scooter” of German postal and logistics group Deutsche Post DHL is seen during a press confernce in Aachen, Germany, August 23, 2016. REUTERS/Thilo Schmuelgen/File Photo GLOBAL BUSINESS WEEK AHEAD SEARCH GLOBAL BUSINESS 7 AUG FOR ALL IMAGES

German car industry doesn’t deliver what Deutsche Post needed, so they built is themselves. And now increase capacity to sell it externally as well. I’ve said before that we are going to see an entire industry turned upside down. And it is already happening. Not mainstream yet, but I’d be surprised if any of the traditional car makers survive the next 10 years. To quote Tesla’s Elon Musk: “The future is now”.

Full article, in German, on Spiegel Online at http://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/unternehmen/post-street-scooter-diesel-skandal-heizt-interesse-an-elektro-transporter-an-a-1161865.html.

Really nice picture taken near my home. Shot on my iPhone 7, unaltered.

Neuhausen at dawn

Earlier today I was walking through a forrest, for about an hour. For the last couple hundred meters, before reaching the restaurant where I was having dinner, I had to pass a wide street with the typical commute traffic. Loud, stinking… what a contrast to the quiet green and singing birds. Let there be no mistake, I am so tired of these kind of headlines. Ok, so Ford is the latest in announcing an all electric car. Oh wait – shipping in 2020.

We live in 2017. We know for decades that fossil fuel is limited. We know for decades that we ruin the environment. And what, dear car industry, have you done to solve this problem. Nothing. If not for Tesla, you’d not get your ass up even now. That alone is reason enough for me to look at cars with different eyes than in the past. There is just no excuse for not shipping all electric cars today. Actually, there’s no excuse for not doing it for a long time already.

If I had both the money to afford a Tesla Model X, and if Tesla cars did not have such poorly designed interior with such an oversized and non-integrated iPad kind of thing I’d sure buy one. For now I just keep my fingers crossed my current Volvo Diesel keeps going for another 2-3 years until I can buy an affordable all electric SUV. Yes, I know it’s not ideal keeping the Diesel powered Volvo running for another 2-3 years. But paying one of the traditional car makers, including Volvo, for another fossil fuel powered car would be the wrong message to these guys.

Full article about Ford’s plans, if you care to read.

Ich verlinke selten zum Spiegel, aber dieser Kommentar spricht mir aus der Seele. Habe ich doch schon von Anfang gegen alle wohlmeinenden Einwände klar gesagt, dass dieser Mensch einfach nur dumm ist.

Richtig gefährlich sind eigentlich nur die intelligenten – oder zumindest einigermaßen intelligenten – Bösen. Die Dummen sind meist harmlos. Meist sogar lustig. Außer sie machen aus Versehen mal was kaputt. Deswegen lässt man solche Leute normalerweise eigentlich nicht an Atomknöpfe. Normalerweise. Ich hoffe die Amerikaner, und ein paar mehr gleich mit, lernen was davon.

Over the weekend I read about another airline flight attendant vs. passenger incident. Why would any sane person react that way. I mean, seems the flight attendant was right, but just like in the recent case of a man being violently pulled out of an over-booked United flight, how come flight attendants apply violence to enforce their case? I was thinking about this a bit this morning. What is obvious, when looking around, is that we have very obviously educated a whole generation with the believe that violence is a viable option, to enforce ones rights. In a kind of subtle way, this is happening all over the place. For example I was watching StarWars Rogue One over the weekend. Old story of good vs. bad. Like in the original StarWars movies. Right? Well, watch closely, and you’ll see that both apply violence whenever and however, and no matter how many casuals, if it seems an option to accomplish what they – in the name of a greater good – need to accomplish. Shooting a storm trooper, blowing up a ship… no big deal. This has become such a common trend, are we actually realizing what we are doing here. And let there be no mistake, this is not just about StarWars. I was just picking that movie because I very recently watched it. Pick any of the mainstream entertainment, movies, computer games. I am not saying that watching this makes one violent. But in a much more subtle way, it lead to the now common understanding that violence is ok, if you are right. Well, no. Applying violence, in any situation, no matter what way, how much, inherently makes you equally evil than the person you are dealing with. You lose the moral high ground, if there ever was any. And if you are perceived stronger, there’s an outcry, like in the airline incidents recently. And make no mistake, this isn’t about movies or computer games. This is deeply wired into our societies. Movies and alike are just a mirror of our thinking altogether. A playground, where we can freely live in the illusion of a simple world. A world where physical strength, a weapon, can actually solve any problem.

What is more worrying though, is that the same pattern of good vs. bad, of violence is ok if I need to enforce a greater good, also applies to how Nations handle their conflicts. Take the recent US attack on Syria. Same mechanism, works both ways actually. President Trump sees pictures of hurt or killed children, in turn orders an attack on Syria as a revenge. Someone less powerful, children in Syria, were hurt, big dada jumps in to end it. From another point of view, big evil US attacks Syria. Guess what, lays the foundation for subsequent revenge by IS or other group not big or powerful enough to openly attack the US, so they chose so called terrorist attacks. Well, things get really confusing when you read this article (in German) in the Rubikon „Giftgasmassaker war False-Flag Operation”. Whether it’s been Assad, or the IS, or anybody else, whether it really happened or not, not a topic right now. What is the question is, how come the US can bomb an air base in Syria, and nearly the whole world applauds? Are we fucking insane? Someone, allegedly, kills a few dozen people, and we react to it by killing more people, and the politicians and mainstream media in the world are telling me this is ok? Who is the crazy one. The guy who orders the mass murder of innocent soldiers in Syria over a chocolate cake, or me? Oh, make no mistake, I guess I am not saying Syrian soldiers are per se innocent. But I am saying that the soldiers killed during that attack are definitely not the ones who ordered the gas massacre a couple days prior. Yet they got murdered for it.

We are so fucked. When I was young I was so lucky to live in peaceful times. I thought we had taken the lesson learned in two painful world wars, and there could be peace. Now I am 52 years old, not even a Granddaddy yet, and with every day passing I am feeling less secure about this things that, in my view, is just the illusion of peace by now.

A friend of mine once said, that if you follow your heart, everything you do is the right thing. If that doesn’t work, you need moral to guide you. And if that fails too, there are laws. Simple as that.

This is a very comprehensive article, digging into the very details of moral vs. peace treaty. And it beautifully explains why a morally motivated tolerance against everybody (incl. say Nazis, extremists of any kind, or just those annoying people who give a fuck about others) is fundamentally wrong. And dangerous.

Full article over at ExtraNewsfeed.

why has the American public, and leaders of organizations and companies not already been crying out when the administration issued orders to restrict information about climate change, or changed course of organizations like EPA and so on. This is all important, too. And each one of the decisions made, and orders issues during the past few days deserves the public’s full attention. It deserves protest to the fullest extent possible without violence.

Ich sage das ja schon länger, deshalb tut’s extra gut, das in so deutlichen Worten in einem so prominenten Medium zu lesen:

The Internet of Shitty Things

Update: Wie wenn’s noch ne Bestätigung gebraucht hätte… Frustrierter PlayStation-Spieler legte Teile des Internets lahm

Fake news aren’t a new phenomenon. But with the US presidential election, and the – to many people surprising – result, it has received more attention lately. A question often asked was, how could that happen. Here are two really great articles that dig into the issue:

Ben Thompson insightful article about fake news
Bob Hoffman’s brilliant article about Trump and Twitter

Enjoy the reading.

Doubling down on a strategy that has proven to fail is not a sign of strengths, but of significant dumbness, explainable only with your anger and fear to look weak. Peace cannot be fought for. It can only be achieved by being peaceful. And if your strategy failed, try something else, not run into the next disaster twice as fast. And, even though you clearly can’t take the pain associated with terrorist attacks like the one last night in Nice, a little more trust in the people in your country please. You should not kill people in Syria or whatever other country, and be the same murderer that you pretend you want to stop. People like Jesus Christ, Mahatma Gandhi and many others have shown how violence can be overcome, and countries could be freed. Act like a leader. Not like a hurt child.

It’s actually pretty simple – where fear is, the brain can’t operate properly. If we allow a fearful majority to fuck it all up, then clearly we have a false understanding of leadership. Leadership is meant to inspire, to protect values, to organize moving a country forward. Not leave decisions to the average, un-informed – and then quitting job.

I just, for the first time, saw  first case of Apple Maps having a business address accurate, but Google Maps doesn’t.

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