Klaus Hnilica
Tuesday June 19th, 2018

Advantages of Integration and Progressive Digitalization

Ever since a new British study has found out that the progressive digitalization also offers massive advantages and totally new perspectives in this field, there is a new urgency to the question: To what extent vampires can actually be integrated?

Mind you, it was not the old and ancient protagonists who initiated this revolution. It is yet again the often so scolded youth who make the decisive steps towards this ’young future that cuts the edges’: they are the ones who not only talk about digitalization, which is what any second-class provincial politician does these days, but who also actually live digitalization!

Yes, it is the ’generation smart-phone’ who, in the 21st century and totally surprisingly and unplanned, restore a tiny bit of freedom to the vampires by letting them return to free biting!

After all – and you want to be honest about this – there is nothing more suitable for the direct and unhindered bite of a vampire than the naked and exposed little neck of a fifteen-year-old female smart-phone user who is fascinated by what she sees on her screen. And I mean all the time: on the street, in the train, on her bike, on the toilet and while doing her homework.

There is definitely nothing, absolutely nothing more suitable!

And this suitability for quick access is, naturally, not only true for the aforementioned fifteen-year-old girl, but also for all smart-phone users, regardless of their age and the colour of their skin: when they act as mentioned above, all these persons remain in the exact same position, with exactly identical ’bite invitations to their jugular’ in front of their device. In fact, the author of the British study I mentioned before even assumes that the inventor of the smart-phone must have had or have a ’vampire background’. This assumption becomes even more of a probability since all the smart-phone users are so fixated on their devices that they not only fail to notice the quick bite into their jugular, but also never even realize how they have been sucked out afterwards!

They are actually so immersed in their smart-phone world that they are not available for any other observation: the first time they actually often start yelling and getting aggressive is when – due to some unfortunate mistake – blood drips on their screens, because that is when they start soiling their own screens as they wipe around with their own blood on their fingers!

This is one of the reasons why leading vampires in business and politics started several years ago to vehemently demand from companies such as Apply, Samsung and Nokia to come up with the ’blood-absorbing screen’ at long last! After all, such a modification is absolutely necessary unless you want to carelessly miss this unique opportunity of integrating vampires into society: and I mean all vampires! This includes the less dexterous ones – those who, when they bite, sometimes cause a drop or two to fall where it should not!

It goes without saying that the sector data security, too, needs massive modifications: it happens quite frequently that smart-phone users take pictures of vampires while they feed on blood and then immediately send the pictures to the smart-phones of those who have been bitten!

This is often the moment when those who have been bitten actually realize that they are currently donating blood – and since they see it on their smart-phones, they also believe it. Their reaction is that they often start hectic defence movements – which might then again cause unnecessary extra blood loss.

Consequently, what we need immediately is legislative initiatives with a ’filming ban on blood feeds’. And these initiatives cannot be national solos but have to be coordinated on EU and UNO level. Basically, this should not be too much of a problem if all parties concerned mean the same blood and refrain from overeager bloody comments.
Another problem is probably far harder to solve.

What I mean is the bite into the ’wrinkled neck of an older person’ – which, as the aforementioned British study shows, is something some of the vampires also favour.

Luckily, these few ’connoisseurs’ will also find enough older smart-phone users today – even if their enthusiasm and stamina are nowhere near what we have with the young generation. That is something that does not really make quick bites easier!

But when all is said and done, this is not the central problem! The real problem is that, even if the bite on the ’far-from-fresh wrinkled neck’ is a success, the blood you get there tastes like a wine-soda mixture that contains one eighth of Riesling and one litre of soda water!
Which is nothing. Well, it is less than nothing!

That is because today practically all older people get huge amounts of expensive blood thinners from all their doctors and health insurances: this is certainly a good thing for the pharmaceutical industry and for the blood-thinned elderly people – but for vampires, it is a pure nightmare!

And I am not just talking the taste, but also the amount you need: due to this practice, vampires are not only forced to swallow immense amounts of blood, but also to visit the toilet all the time in order to get rid of all the water. This will quite often cause individual blockage situations at public toilets! Humans who suffer from weak bladders are those who will suffer most in the end!

Taking all these aspects into consideration, it can be said that much remains to be done before vampires enjoy the same paradise-like state of affairs in Germany that, according to our Federal Chancellor, the rest of the citizens can boast of!

But if the problems that still need to be solved are at long last tackled by politics without prejudices and without further loss of precious time, and if the entire society refuses to have a rising blood pressure because of all these concepts, then the integration advantages offering themselves through more digitalization – as shown by the British study – will soon be realized. Especially if measures are taken to make sure that blood will always remain thicker than any wine-soda mixture, because otherwise the elderly people will cause unacceptably long blood trails in their wake after each vampire bite. And said blood trails will then again cause massive data security problems, which certainly nobody can want; after all, we all know that there is nothing vampires want more than a chance to, at long last, have their blood feed undisturbed and in peace.

That is really all they want!

K.H.
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Thursday June 14th, 2018

RPA. ROBOTIC. PROCESS. AUTOMATION.

Walk & Think in the springtime sun.
Englischer Garten, Munich, 2018, 11th of Avril

In my conversations with young friends, RPA (Robotic Process Automation) has soften been introduced to me as the new “business hype topic“.

Officially, my first contact with RPA was at the “Symposium Digitale Verwaltung“ – which was organized by ITSMF – on April, 24th, 2018 in Nuremberg.

As you can see from the agenda, the “crème de la crème” of German digitalization was there. And, besides the topics “block-chain” and “artificial intelligence, which are probably unavoidable these days, many presentations were about RPA .

Then I found an article  in the facebook forum  Agile Administration | Exchange and Peer Counselling, which unfortunately is a closed community (due to the high quality of its discussions in this forum) with a comment that contained a note about Johann Herzberg, who is a group leader at the “county-wide IKT strategy” in the Berlin Senate of Interior Affairs.


”… the smart, i.e. automatically and real-time self-controlled, organization of situations and processes. (…) it is imaginable and probably, for reasons of efficiency, even desirable that an application system that is embedded in an AI environment can promote and finalize processes independently in the future. In the smart world, control will no longer happen through written notes but through decisions that will most likely have been reached through algorithms and only corrected by humans where necessary.“

This statement is an excellent description of the current development. Also, it will not only happen in public offices, but also in many areas of the “free economy” where white-collar jobs dominate, for instance everywhere in the financial sector. This future development is also called Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Many protagonist assume that RPA will cost many well-paid jobs. I am not yet quite sure how to judge this development. I will write an IF blog article about it. Various aspects…


Well, the statement is really loaded, isn’t it? Official orders will no longer be written by humans but by machines (robots). I am sure there are quite a few people who will not like the idea. But then, the assumption is that humans are expensive and IT is cheap. And that humans make mistakes and machines do not. There is certainly some truth in this.

As I see it, Herzberg describes the current development quite well. I find the definition of “smart” in the context of organization quite appealing.

However, I have two reservations:

My opinion about the first sentence is that such a system that processes these applications will not need artificial intelligence. In my book, “artificial intelligence” is a “self-learning system”. And a fully automated organization that controls itself in real-time is probably necessary even for “traditional programming” (the implementation of what today is often called algorithms) and will not need artificial intelligence.

About the second sentence: of course, there will still be decisions that come as a written “order”. The data with the results will continue to be saved in digital form. It does not really matter if these (hopefully public) entries in a database will then be embedded in traditional text and perhaps even printed on paper. Because also an “order document” on paper has its inner semantics and therein structured data that symbolize the result of the “order”.

The development Herzberg describes will not only take place in probably all sectors of public administration but also in many (all?) areas of “free economy“.  I am sure this development will be particularly obvious in the white-collar jobs. The financial sector is a good example. Many employees who now earn good money in banks and insurance companies will probably become redundant. It might happen quite soon.

This future development is also called Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Many protagonists assume that RPA will kill well-paid jobs on a huge scale.

Personally, I am not really worried. We had the same situation frequently in the past. In Germany, most of the jobs used to be in agriculture. Today, the number of people working in agriculture is by far the minority. Then we had industries such as the coal and textile industries. They also disappeared, just like the big post-war heroes Grundig, Telefunken and others. Just like the German automobile industry will some day disappear.

But we will certainly come up with new nonsense that absolutely needs to be produced in order to give us something to occupy our time with. And if there really comes a time when we want to restrict ourselves to the necessities – and perhaps that is what we will have to do in order to save the world – then there will be two options. Either we will finally be allowed to work less. Which is what I would like best.

However, I assume that the idea that less is more and growth is nonsense will only dawn on us when it is too late. And then we will have to really work hard in order to survive.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Wednesday June 13th, 2018

KNOWLEDGE. SMART. SMART CONTRACT. RPA.

Yours truly deep in contemplation and hiking on the Cyclades.

In the context of digitalization, “everyone” or “many“ talk about ”smart“. If we are talking smart applications, the smart contract plays an important role.

Such talk gives me pause and, again, I would like to say “no more buzzwords”! Because if technological progress is per se smart, then this sounds too easy to me. For me, digitalization is simply technological progress. I want to know the real meaning of the word “smart“ and what a “smart contract“ is supposed to be.

For me, the first step towards knowledge is that I ask people who (would have to) know about it. If that is not good enough, I will start hunting for knowledge online.

The first person I ask is a very highly esteemed (German) employee of a Chinese concern that sells exclusively “smart” products. Her reply to my question “What is the meaning of smart?” is simple and sounds reasonable.
She says:
”If a product has a WLAN interface and can access the internet, then it is smart in the eyes of the Chinese.“

So: everything that does IoT (Internet of Things) is smart. Very easy. Basically, IoT is smart. She also has a good example for me:

”A set of scales is a set of scales. But as soon as it is part of the wonderful IoT world, it is a smart set of scales “.

I can understand that. Now I know the meaning of the word “smart”. At least mostly.

A computer science professor provides me with the explanation of the term “smart contract“ and with information about what a central role the so-called “oracle“ plays. He is good at explaining and I understand it. At the end of this article, I will relate it to you.

Yet, I am not totally satisfied. After all, I would also like to explain to other people what “smart” and a “smart contract” means. And I certainly would not wish to tell lies. How would I know if the Chinese are correct? And how did the professor gain his knowledge?

He may simply have used one source that looked plausible to him, but said source might not really be a relevant one. How thoroughly did he examine said source? Or maybe he invented the explanation himself and nobody else knows it?

And the many Chinese on this world define “smart contract“ totally different from how my processor defines it.

So I now start travelling through the internet and hunting knowledge. Certainly, Wikipedia will have an entry. If there is no German Wikipedia entry, then there will certainly be an English Wikipedia entry.

It must be said about wikipedia that it happens quite often that the entries are nowhere near perfect. That is no surprise. I know no encyclopaedia that is totally free of nonsense. When I was young, I had two dictionaries – one from the FRG and one from the GDR. There was a lot of nonsense to be found in both of them – as I, as an citizen of the FRG, saw it, even more so in the GDR dictionary than in the FRG dictionary. But then, people living in the GDR may have seen this differently.

Incidentally, I really enjoy looking for “nonsense“ in a heavy encyclopaedia. I often find great entries. Perhaps the task that remains for the old encyclopaedia is to show people how much nonsense they used to believe and still believe today.

Now I really want to know the meaning of “smart“ and the definition of a “smart contract“. So I look online. On typing Smart, I find a link to wiktionary  and the definition of “smart“ as: adept, cuning, cute, resourceful, elegant, good-looking  and spirited along with synonyms such as keen, diplomatic, experienced, adept, agile, polished, experienced, cultivated, clever, experienced, sure, tactical, extensive, open-minded, urbane, agile, distinctive, chic, elegant, fine, posh, classy, attractive, dashing, spirited, stylish and courtly. Isn’t that nice? Except – I ask myself the probably stupid question what all this has to do with digitalization.

So I continue with my search, this time I type smart contract. And in the German Wikipedia, I find an article that I would not necessarily call total nonsense, but perhaps a little incomprehensible.

The second entry on google gives me a much-read Bitcoin page  with an actual explanation of what a smart contract is. The heading is:

“Smart Contracts are the central part of block-chain technologies. They are responsible for a decentralized execution of contracts and are supposed to make the network consistent.“

And the article is in the same vein. Ouch! Perhaps this is actually more nonsense than just incomprehensible. This is not what I have been looking for.

I remember the example of my friend the computer science professor. He explained it like this:


Let us assume that the partners who signed a contract are “one” car insurance and a “car owner”. A normal contract about the insurance of a car becomes a “smart” contract if the contract contains a special condition that depends on a third element – the so-called “oracle”. The oracle is an important part of the contract. It informs both partners about changes, its publication automatically causes a change in the content of the contract.

The Flensburg Federal Office for Motor Traffic can be the oracle. If there is something in the contract about the regular fees being dependent on how many bad points the owner of the car has in Flensburg and if the insurance can automatically change the account of the insured party by using a fixed “algorithm” after something in his Flensburg account has changed, then we have a “smart contract”.


This is how all companies that insure cars in Germany could automatically do business with a provider and diverse oracles. They would no longer need clerical assistants. That is certainly a “smart idea“.

But we already have this. It is called RPA (robotic process automation) and it could help reduce costs. And it could help to make employees redundant, because they are what costs most. And it does not have anywhere near as much to do with algorithms – as many think – as with programming.

Well, I like abbreviations even less than buzz-words (after all, they were spread by the Nazis). And I do not feel like further elaborating about RPS and similar things. I will soon do so. Let me put an end to this article at this point!

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Hans Bonfigt
Wednesday June 6th, 2018

Digital, bekloppt, banal

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Hans Bonfigt
Sunday June 3rd, 2018

“Digitalisierung” konzis und umfassend erklärt

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.