Roland Dürre
Thursday August 22nd, 2019

Money.

Virtual and digital.

Im Smoking – es geht zur Gala. 

Wearing my Smoking – on the way to the Gala.

Money has always fascinated me. Not only because you can buy everything with it, but also because it is something virtual with important functions and with immense strength and power.

Money is a virtual commodity. It needs belief and symbols If you want it to fulfil its purpose, you actually need an almost absurd belief in the value of money. Because nobody wants to spend anything he values without getting something real and secure in return.

Money will work as a currency if a huge collective unit accepts it as “valuable”. If you have no majority of people in a society who believe in it, then you can forget about it.

In terms of architecture and functionality, money has two functions.

First and foremost, money is a

I. means of payment

that simplifies the exchange of goods, perhaps even enables it. But it also has a second function that you want to strictly separate from the first. It is about money to be paid back in the future, generally also called “debts“, along with “providing“.

II. Financing the present and providing for the future

In this context, we now get the additional dimension of time. You can accumulate money in order to provide for your future. It is called saving.

You can also try to improve the present at the cost of a future. In other words, I can buy and get and use something today but pay for it (a lot) later or in instalments. For instance because I have no money today but assume to have money tomorrow. For whatever reasons.

This is how I can build a house with borrowed money. This is how you also generate income from capital or rights. All I have to do is find someone who believes me when I say that I will pay my debt back tomorrow, i.e. at a defined time in the future.

Both – saving and borrowing – precludes that the currency will remain stable as time goes by. But that is seldom happening. However, before we deal with the phenomenon inflation, let us talk about interest.

After all, this covering of time only became possible through interest. Now, if you owned more money than you needed (in other words, if you were rich), you could give the money you did not need to someone who needed it. This person (also called debtor) could buy what he needed and had to pay interest for being given money. And he could calculate how much more he had to pay for something he needs immediately.

If you talk interest, you immediately also need to talk inflation. If, for instance, the inflation is higher than the interest rate, then you can become rich by indebting yourself – totally without any work. And this is how “the devil will always shit on a huge pile of shit”. In other words: poor and rich automatically build opposing poles.

As I said earlier, money has always been a virtual commodity. It has often been represented by actual things (coins, paper notes). If you had these objects, you were able to take part in the property game.

Typically, the objects were special things, like coins or paper.

As civilization progressed, you could generate your own money. All you needed was the trust of your business partners. Laws and the debt tower improved your security. For instance, you could formulate debt contracts as bills of exchange and received goods against an unconditional pledge of payment for a certain time in the future.

Today, we have less and less objects that represent money. This is how money becomes an entry in a global book that describes who the money belongs to. The global book is realized and kept by a complex banking system. It is called technological advance that this book is now no longer written on paper but digitally administered.

With Blockchain technology, they now try to do this accounting in a digital, decentralized and global manner. In particular, they want to be independent from central service providers, mostly with camouflaged identities, which means the owners can register through their sw system and need not lay open their authenticity.

Mostly, however, these currencies are still linked to state systems. And the money is administered by private enterprises, the banks. That makes sense, because historically, it has been assumed that countries cannot become bankrupt. After all, everything belongs to them and they can always take the money from their citizens.

But in reality, it is the trust of the citizens in their country and its currency that carries the system. If this trust is no longer there, the currency can easily be dead. It happened several times in the past, and the consequences were always catastrophic.

So modern currencies like the dollar, the Euro or the Renminbi can easily die. Even if it sounds unimaginable to us, it can easily happen. Without the function of money, business life is not imaginable.

Mental experiment:
What would happen in such an event?

The answer seems simple.
New currencies would have to come. The necessary requirement is that the people trust in them. Such a trust can best be generated in groups that share mental concepts.

Nobody ever said these groups have to be state regulated. These communities should be huge. The biggest communities we find are those in the internet. Consequently, the idea that huge internet enterprises should carry these communities sounds logical.

This is why I see a facebook currency (for example) in a different light. And I believe it would be a good idea if we prepared for such a currency. Simply to have something on standby if the dollar, the Euro, or the Renminbi (or all of them) will collaps.

Let me be clear about this:
It might happen that, in our country, currencies that we have discriminated against and fought, like the LIBRA, will suddenly become saviours of the world-wide business life. If, for instance, the three currencies collaps, where are we supposed to take our money?

It might happen faster than we would like it to happen.

Here is another difference between Libra and similar currencies and Bitcoin:

When all is said and done, what facebook wants to do is organize a faith group currency. LIBRA will probably become a classical, purely digital antiquated currency. It has nothing to do with a crypto currency. Bitcoin is totally different – the distinctive criterion is that the owners are camouflaged behind their software and their registration and remain anonymous. However, it seems to me that anonymous property is not something we want in our society. And even with Bitcoin, you only get it in theory. If nobody else, then at least the miners prevent it.

nd here is a cynical question: I could easily imagine the catholic church as provider of an internet currency. There are still many people who trust in it – and there is a great argument in favour of such a provider – the enterprise has 2,000 years of success behind it.

RMD

Roland Dürre
Sunday August 11th, 2019

(Deutsch) Die CLOUD im Theater.

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Roland Dürre
Friday July 26th, 2019

Sheepshead, School and Digitalization,

 

Card Playing Stories.

 

Laub(?)-Solo on Position 3 with 4 Ober, beaten in the Bock Round with Contra. />

Once in a while, I leave the competitive Sheepshaed rounds and play with elderly gentlemen. This hand of cards is totally fictional. Similarities with real hands are purely accidental.

The “elderly gentlemen“ are no older than I. I gave the circle this secret title because it is a very contemplative sheepshead round. The stakes are low, there is no knocking and there is plenty of gossiping.

The “elderly gentlemen“ are mostly retirees or financially independent persons. In general, they built a family and can look back upon a successful professional career. Their lives were full, they always knew right from wrong and achieved a lot as upright citizens. They live in a world that is free of sorrows and peaceful, but they have many irrational fears. Today, they play the roles of good grandfathers and support their children in a particularly model-like way when it comes to caring for the grandchildren.

The hand of the enemy on position 4, who killed my solo.

They also invest a lot of time for this goal of theirs. As helping angels, they constantly travel for other people. And they always know better how to improve matters.

I think that people need to solve their own problems and prefer to support people in finding their own way to deal with their problems. And I also believe that everybody should live his or her life in self-responsibility.

I tried to kiss moral and other dogmas good-bye for good. I also kissed my bad conscience good-bye. If I had not done this, I would think of myself as a totally bad family father and human being when surrounded by these people.

So here is the story. It is about school. Incidentally, one of my daughters is a teacher. She also often tells me stories that surprise me. It is really quite sad how school and education in Germany deteriorate.

The following story is from the world of state schools. However it is not a story my daughter told me. It is from a sheepshead friend of mine, one of the “elderly gentlemen”.

As the end of the school year comes, all teachers have more work than at other times. That is not only due to the fact that they have to write all the reports. Consequently, the grandfathers must have a watchful eye on their “grandchildren whose parents are teachers” in order to give said teaching parents room and time they need for this important end-of-the-year work.

One of the important and time-consuming tasks it taking back the books. They are all free. So the teachers who have (had) to be responsible for all those books now need to get active. And since this takes a lot of time, grandpa has to babysit.

As with all regulars‘ tables, the sheepshead stories are also always value-oriented. Consequently, the story about how school books are returned also gets morally judged. This is also an example that nicely illustrates what Socrates found out: the young generation gets worse and worse. And the wise heads go left and write as they signal how they cannot understand how society deteriorates, as you can clearly see from the condition of the books. What a nuisance it also is to check what papers are hidden in the books. Sometimes even with secret data. You can also lament about the loss of power and authority in modern times and school.

I, too, move my wise head right and left. Because I cannot understand why we need school books at all. Don’t we live in the 21st century, i.e. in the digital era? But that is not what I say. Because I know that every one of the men assembled around this cards table will consider a school life without normed school books for all the subjects the end of our occidental German culture.

My ruminations stray to a series of emotional pitches at the Business Competition BayStartup, where young start-up teams pleaded for a digital school. And they also showed what little technology you need if you wish to realize it. And what huge advantages on several levels this would have. However, I also remember how these – admittedly very young – teams were given patronizing smiles by the majority of jurors (and given poor grades). This was a few years ago – and I had hoped that something might have changed by now.

But we live in Germany. My colleagues in the jury – mostly old white men like myself – were not really enthusiastic about such revolutionary ideas. Because even the protagonists of change do not yet understand that innovation is creative destruction. And that school books are a means towards a standardized education.

And even technologically simple things are the opposite of politically easy to realize. Especially not if they are about change. And I probably better do not say what I think about this.

After all, in my sheephead circle, I want to play cards and not discuss digitalization. In the past, my experience was too often that digital life, along with the internet as a fair participation system, is not really understood among the powers that be in this country.

And unfortunately, I must agree with Sascha when he writes:
”The greatest German competence is the competence to remain. It is administered by habit.“

(Sascha Lobo in an article about micro mobility)

And all I can do is warn the old white men (and also the evil female wise-guy ladies):

If you continue in this way, then there will soon be an end to prosperity and the life you love so much in this country. That serves you right! And it is well!

RMD

P.S.
But at least there is good news from Bavaria: They now offer sheepshead as a school subject. It is perhaps the only subject that makes any sense.

Hans Bonfigt
Saturday June 8th, 2019

(Deutsch) Once again, with feeling ?

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Roland Dürre
Sunday May 26th, 2019

Turn of an Era: The End of the Digital World?

On May, 16th, 2019, I was invited to give a presentation on “post-digital” at the Hotel Eden-Wolff near Munich Central Station, which was organized by the regional GChACM group and the GI. It was about the question if and how the end of the digital world might be possible.

I try not to give any sales presentations with which someone tries to convince someone else to buy or do something. Consequently, I no longer use any manipulative transparencies that only restrict both the audience and the speaker.

Let the art of painting serve to illustrate how I speak: it used to be painting as true to nature as possible. Then, new forms of expression came along. They were called impressionism and expressionism and led to abstract art. My presentations are similar. I try to serve individual spots of colour dynamically and they are supposed to inspire and make the audience thoughtful. However, not everybody in the audience always understands this.

The question: “Who owns the internet” is such a spot of colour. Because for me, the internet is and always has been something special. The internet, too, has an infra-structure. It is similar to that of the railway or of streets for the motorised individual traffic and trucks.

Today, we have to accept that the internet as we loved and appreciated it no longer exists. And that we have only just started the phase where the network is controlled and used for influencing people. There is no end to gangsters who want to shanghai the internet.

Florian Sesser and yours truly spontaneously decided to give the presentation together. And we said: Hey, let us do a Chautauqua :-). Here is how you pronounce  the word.

The Chautauqua combines entertaining and educational elements as a form of educational oratory. It also has aesthetic standards and wants to motivate the listener towards active participation.

Opening:

I see myself also as a “digital evangelist”, just like the “technology evangelists of Sun”. This year, I will celebrate my fifty years of digitalization. There is definitely some pride about being able to present myself as a pioneer of the third IT generation.

Here are the presentations I gave at the same place: 
Entrepreneur sketches (roughly twenty years ago with Norbert Weinberger and Alois Wolferstetter) and
Ethics and Computer Science (eleven years ago). 
Today, this was exactly what the focal topic of the current Informatik-Spektrum (membership magazine of Gesellschaft für Informatik) was about. I read it – and I really feel quite motivated to critically discuss what has been written.

Incidentally, I once was a member of the GChACM board of directors – together with Wolf-Rüdiger Gawron. He cannot come today because he is vacationing in Spain. The highlight of my time on the board was the local jubilee event that celebrated the 50-ieth birthday of the huge ACM (1998). Charles “Chuck” House had come to Munich and told us about the huge event in the USA (1998). Many thanks to the then GChACM president Wolf-Rüdiger Gawron who organized the event with the support of BMW AG (Siemens had opted out) and given everything an outstanding setting.

I never managed to visit the ACM jubilee event in the USA in 1997. When Chuck came to BMW Munich, he signed the book with all the presentations of “beyond computing” and gave it to me. So now I was able to read everything I needed to know about it.

How shall we live in 1975 – Hobby title page in November 1955

I was going to show you my “beyond computing“ book during my presentation, but, unfortunately, I could not find it. The important thing about it was that (at least) three famous science fictions authors (on top of many software development experts) were also present at the jubilee event. They also talked about the future of IT and software.

If you translate “Beyond computing” into German, you want to be careful. I just learned from Professor Oliver Kretzschmar (Uni Stuttgart) that the German “künstliche Intelligenz” is not really the same as “artificial intelligence”, simply because intelligence means something in English that it does not mean in German. And this is the reason for quite a few misunderstandings.

I brought the following books/brochures for you to browse:

  • Lexikon der Datenverarbeitung by Siemens, seventh (and last) edition of 1978. Incidentally, the first edition was of 1969. It was sold out so fast that they printed a second improved edition in the same year.
  • 30 Hobby magazines of 1955 – 1967 (randomly selected). 
It is absolutely fascinating how technology, engineering concepts and knowledge are explained in such a way that everybody can understand it. All of them are great magazines, let me pick out two that seem to be particularly fitting today:
  • November 1955. In this edition, they predict exactly how we are going to live in 1975.
  • “Here a car comes flying“ … which sounds extremely modern today (I wonder why I am thinking in terms of flight taxis today??? 😉
  • And a few Science Fiction books (Issac Asimov in the Heyne-Verlag), for example „ich der Robot“ (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ich,_der_Robot – the English version of which was published when I was born!)
    Predictions are difficult to make, especially if they are about the future. (Karl Valentin).

Here comes a car flying … Hobby August 1956

Please note that even the great Hobby magazines are mainly about cars. This also goes to show what a formative effect the focus on mobilized individual traffic has had on us during the last hundred years. There are few digital issues – if at all, it is only Morse codes and similar things. I also seem to remember reading a short article about decoding.

What did I read in those days? After I started grammar school (1960), Karl May was a thing of the past. And Bravo was something I did not find really exciting. Consequently, science-fiction (along with existentialists like Alber Camus) became my favourite literature. At the time, the Heyne pocketbook edition was excellent.

Science fiction probably triggered my interest in IT. Mind you, Asimov had written “Ich der Robot …” twenty years earlier – and he had described laws of robotics that might now slowly become reality.

Florian Sesser – a young entrepreneur who fights for a better world.

And I also brought along Florian Sesser. He gave me the book where I found Chautauqua. Robert Pirsig – Zen and the art of Motorcycle Maintenance (Nachruf NPR). Thanks  to Flo!

Then Florian introduced himself in his modest but very forward way. Let me tell you about him:

Florian Sesser, born in 1983, is a creative person. He loves it if he finds simple and elegant solutions to difficult problems in informatics. He started programming when he was eight years old. In 2014, he was one of the founders of accu:rate. The companie makes huge events and public buildings safer places by using computer simulation.

🙂 We want to jam the Chautauqua together. I am (mostly) the vocalist and Florian will play the instruments. We will divide our teaching speech into two sections with thirty minutes each. And with a biological break. Because otherwise things might get too hard.

BLOCK # 1„Postdigital“
BLOCK # 2 “Digital and Society ”
If the circumstances change – for instance because the audience is more active – then we change our agenda. We might, for example, remove the second block and, if that is what you wish (and Wolfgang finds it is doable), re-schedule it for another presentation.
Here is what the presentation will be about. I will not fill in all the comments. Instead, I will just give you the structure of the presentation in catchwords. This is like a collection of material in two blocks. You can let your imagination run free!
Syllabus BLOCK 1:

•    Post-digital
•    Definition (what comes to mind)
•    Post-factual  🙂
•    Era of irresponsible babble (R. Lay)
•    Digitalization: buzzword, also “post-digital”. Look it up in the internet and you will get the following hits.
•    Definition of “Digitalization ” (as I see it, it all began when the written language was invented). Today, it means something like automatization based on algorithms. A buzzword.
•    In Wikipedia (fairly new article)
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postdigital
•    Accenture (consultant: Bullshit)
https://www.accenture.com/us-en/blogs/blogs-paul-daugherty-digital-transformation
•    Digital is not reversible? Irreversible?

•    What might destroy digitalization? Question – trying to find answers.
•    Wikipedia
•    Wikipedia is great (open source, totally based on honorary work, independent, no adverts,…)
•    Question to the audience: Who of you uses, pays for, administration, …
•    Infra-structure of knowledge (founded in 2001)
•    Age and gender???
•    A world of old white men (women are the exception).
•    What will happen if Wikipedia breaks down?
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedistik/Soziologie
•    Wikipedia is the best example for creative destruction.
•    Wikipedia destroyed thesauri and encyclopedia.
•    What will be the future of the infra-structure of knowledge when those who work it on an honorary basis no longer feel like doing it?
•    Who will then own Wikipedia?
(BRD, UNO or a private agent …)
•    For the editors, it was really bad news
•    Lucrative business models and enterprises were lost.
•    Concerns, as opposed to the internet, will forget.
•    Revenge (copyright legislation)
(free from, because common-good oriented).
•    Politics and lobbies currently practice how to deprive NGO-s of the common good status.

•    Other threatening examples
•    Over-regulation and influencing
•    Facebook/Google example: vaccination enemies are ostracized
•    Upload filters
•    Commercial change (news that you pay for getting priority)
•    Mooresch’s Law (1965)
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mooresches_Gesetz  We are close to the end. But perhaps the future will continue to need exponential growth  (AI, BIG Data, Blockchain …)
•    IT has the power of the potency 
(seed on the chess field)
•    Trinity of computer science has its limits. No more exponential growth.
•    Data storage – we are now in the nano sphere.
•    Communication – we send at the speed of light on glass fibre.
•    Computers – are quantum computers really the solution?
•    Engineers have become priests
•    Asimov (Trantor-Trilogie)
•    Some programmers today actually remind me of it. Once in a while, I get the impression that they “have no idea what they are doing“.
•    Digitalism – a religion. Should we smile at it or take it seriously? Way Of The Future Church ?

•    The infra structure corrodes. Then, there might soon be an end to world-wide communication.
•    Speaking about which, it might be interesting to ask a few questions. Two of them are:
•    Who owns the intenet – in the physical sense?
•    How does it work?
I asked the questions. The result is a good example for the current state of the world – incompetence all over the place. Even the digital top Government cannot answer these basic questions.

It is easier for other (old) kinds of infra structure. Take for instance street infra structure. You always know who a street belongs to. And who usually should feel responsible for it.

  •  BLOCK #2:
    • If you use the culture onion as a model, you can describe society and culture. See also http://if-blog.de/rd/die-kulturzwiebel-oder-auf-heldensuche/). Parts of the onion are also products, proverbs, jokes, appearance, and much more. All these things are part of our culture.
    • What role do humans play in social systems?
    • What do the extreme borders of social systems look like (family, enterprises, countries ,…)? Let me define two poles::
      • HORG (short for @Büronyms in hierarchical systems) versus AUTOnomous
      • Hierarchy (Organigram tree from top to bottom) versus Network (linked teams that co-operate)
      • Group –based (model armed forces – Siemens) versus Team-based (micro organisation with self-organisation)
      • Secrets  versus Transparency
      • Bureaucracy  versus Subsidiarity
      • Taylorism (detailed pre-defined work methods, one best way, exact fixation of the location and time of delivery, extremely detailed and minute tasks, one-way communication with fixed and strict content, detailed goal description for every individual worker without obvious connection to the general goal of the enterprise, also: quality control) versus Involvedness (as the sum of being part of an entity, task integration, corporate identity …).
      • Processes (Henry Ford – the caste of engineers as a predecessor of the management cast) versus Self- organisation
        and as an extension:
      • Feudalism versus Self-determination
      • Serfdom  (slavery) versus Freedom
        perhaps also
      • Ratio versus Emotions
        and
      • Violence versus Non-violence
  • Evaluation
    • It is part of the operating system that organizes social systems.
    • There are no purely BLUE or RED enterprises. Personally, I do not really know which is the better alternative and I assume that it is a matter if the best mixture. But my sympathies lie more on the BLUE side.
      • Mafia and war economy in the Third Reich and WW-2 were BLUE
      • Buurtzorg is an example for RED, perhaps the best example.
        (https://www.buurtzorg.com/)
      • Slavery and fiefdom were only abandoned because they were not economically successful and because they were inefficient.
      • In the end, we will get the more efficient system.
    • Digitalisation can support both the BLUE and the RED system (processes such as knowledge exchange / violence-free and open communication)
      • Examples for BLUE:
        • The straitjacket MS/SAP with enterprises or
        • DB: the implementation of the price system (makes no sense, but is hard to change).
      • Examples for RED:
        • Shared applications based on knowledge.
        • „Open Source“ …
  • Those who are agile give VUCA (acronym for volatility – uncertainty –complexity – ambiguity) as a reason why RED is necessary, because, as they see it, BLUE cannot meet the expectations and complexity of our modern world. Because we need to generate new qualities:
    • Resilience
    • Anti-fragility
    • I think that black-and-white concepts will always be sub-optimal and that the future will be hybrid in this regard, too.
    • Here is what I fear: Perhaps the problems of humanity can only be solved if you apply BLUE ?
  • Now let us assume the following for a mental experiment:
    The social systems have been ruled by digital organization. What will happen if we add Artificial Intelligence?

    • What is Artificial Intelligence?
      • Self-learning system.
      • AI is “the world beyond algorithms“?
      • Let us look at games like chess and Go!?
      • Does AI consist of banal applications such as ALEXA? Perhaps not.
      • Some of the top consultants in politics I mentioned earlier believed that the English-speaking Chinese news speaker robot is an android system!?

Interesting things to notice  about AI!

Just think of TAY, which created so much misfortune for Microsoft (and which the top counsellors often do not even know about!):

    • Tay as an example for AI experiments: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tay_(Bot)
      • What will it mean if AI becomes part of digital social systems?
      • Has Microsoft already given up on AI (at an aside)?
        • Termination of Cortana
        • How do they expect Bavaria or Germany to become strong players in AI if even Microsoft no longer has the courage to play?
        • We talk about Bavaria FIRST.
        • My personal experience from my own presentations is not very encouraging:
          I know people who talked AI (people who actually are counsellors of politicians) and knew neither TAY nor the Chinese news reporter ROBOT.
        • China will become a player. With the day when the self-learning systems beat the Chinese Go master, the Chinese appeared on the horizon in the AI sector. They have enormous power and they invest unbelievable sums in terms of money and research.
    • What is the ethical consequence of AI becoming a part of the dominating digital control systems (TAY showed us how badly this can end)?
      • Note for the audience about literature (Prof Bayer): Leben 3.0 – Menschsein im Zeitalter Künstlicher Intelligenz
      • Asimov (Gesetze der Robotik 1950)
      • German Ethics Conference on Artificial Intelligence (Dobrindt 2018), which was part of the electoral campaign that was supposed to show how future-oriented and responsible the Federal Government works for the citizens.
        But

        • It was only about autonomous driving (cars are in the centre of everybody’s attention).
        • Mental experiments in ethics become game theory. It has been a science that supported ethics since 1945. It is best described here: #filosofix https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhOJp1DcabM by SRF.
          (They, too, have copyright problems: on the original SRF (Schweizer Rundfunk), some videos were blocked for Germany, yet I could see them on Youtube. This is just as annoying as the GEZ problem (many contents in the stream of ARD etc,  cannot be viewed outside Germany, not even in Europe, but you can easily view them if you use a proxy. What nonsense).
        • As I see it, #filosofix is not doing any good. You can talk and talk, but you get no results.
        • That was the standard of Mister Dobrindt’s ethics conference. It was not about AI in general, but only about autonomous cars in conflict situations. Instead  of promoting or thinking about an ethics architecture in AI systems, there were many examples. For instance the two-bikers problem:
          one is riding his bike and wearing a helmet, the other is not wearing a helmet. The situation suggests that one of them will be overrun by the car. Which one will the autonomous car overrun?
          The solution was the one who wears a helmet, because he has a higher chance of survival. What a nice idea – but totally impractical.
        • Let us finish our chautauqua by taking a look at the social credits system in China.
          •  See also Justice Theories  or poetic justice . At least, the Chinese believe that this is how they can generate justice. Good social behaviour will be rewarded, bad social behaviour will be punished. Just as fair justice demands it. It can only be done through total digital monitoring.
          • Mobility
            If you cross a street on a red light, you get minus points, even if you are a pedestrian. If you use public transport without paying or park where you are not allowed to park, you also get minus points.
          • Statements  in Multimedia
          • All sorts of violations of rules and opinions.
          • …?
        • Is it possible? YES!
          • Necessary requirements:
            It can only be done with IT (social media, video screening, big data) that creates a total transparency of the citizens and thus makes it possible to measure and write down the social behaviour of all the citizens.
          • But: who decides what is fair? Who will program or customize the system? Who makes the rules? How to get a consensus about it?
          • What I fear is: China will find its way to us.
            The IT products come from China. They will influence how we think. The tendency to limit freedom and introduce monitoring in Germany and Europe has already started.
          • Consequently, there is only one option left for us if we want to see the post-digital era.
            The people assault and destroy everything that is digital. A digital storm sweeps everything clean from digital influences!
          • Here is an additional idea on AI:
            Currently, sensors are the technological topic.

            • Example from China: baby screening (a small box will notify you if and how full the diapers are).
            • If you are fishing, you get a bite alarm as soon as the fish has bitten into the fly. It will also inform you about the characteristics of the fish you caught.
            • Autonomous driving.
              Under discussion all the time. But don’t we have other problems?
            • “Digital firm“
              Producing more and more, and more diverse and cheaper all the time. …

Florian in a totally different environment.

A new definition of AI might be that AI is no longer about human-machine communication, but about world-machine communication.

My life as a computer scientist was basically about working at the human-machine interface (user interfaces).

Today, they work on the world-machine interface.

Perhaps this, too, might serve as a reasonable definition of AI:

“AI is if the software or the system directly co-operates with the world”.

.. instead of with the people.

Or:

„AI is if the system no longer works determinedly (as you already see today with neural networks)?“

And we no longer know what it will do next.

Two words of warning:

Perfect manipulation per car:
Hobby 1957 – 1965

» Jene, die grundlegende Freiheit aufgeben würden, um eine geringe vorübergehende Sicherheit zu erwerben, verdienen weder Freiheit noch Sicherheit. «

» Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. «

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

» Jeder Zuwachs an Technik bedingt, wenn damit ein Zuwachs und nicht eine Schmälerung des menschlichen Glücks verbunden sein soll, einen entsprechenden Zuwachs an Weisheit. «

Bertrand Russell

Well, that was it.

RMD

(Translated by EG)

 

Let me invite you most warmly to the following event!

 

“My life after digitalization and InterFace“.

On May, 6th, you can hear me as an invited speaker at the monthly event of the regional group Munich of GI and GChACM at the Hotel Eden-Wolff.

Here is the Link. The presentation will start at 7.30 p.m.. Food and drinks will be served earlier.

This will be the third time for me as a speaker at this event. There was one time when we did a wonderful sketch on our adventures with banks as entrepreneurial founders. Along with my entrepreneurial friend Norbert Weinberger and my very much appreciated banker Alois Wolferstetter, I played ”true stories from the life of an entrepreneur“. It was truly hilarious, we all laughed a lot.

My last presentation at the Hotel Eden-Wolff was on April, 6th, 2009 for the Gesellschaft für Informartik and German Chapter of the ACM. That is now more than ten years ago. At the time, the topic was a little more serious.
Life, knowledge, computer science and ethics.
You can find a short synopsis in the IF blog if you click here.

Now I am happy to see that the main topic of the last Informatik-Spektrum (that is the official GI regular magazine) was “computer science and ethics”. It only took them ten years.

If I remember correctly, then my presentation at the time was a pleasure both for the audience and for myself. I want it to be the same this time.

Here is the official pre-view:


Turn of an Era: The End of the Digital World?

On the post-digital society

Synopsis:

The presentation around digitalization will inspire you, give impulses and motivate contemplation:

What exactly is digitalization and transformation? Where exactly do we benefit? Who owns the internet? What influence does digitalization have on our lives? What will happen when the digital era is over? What are the consequences of digitalization in our work-life and our society? What is AI (artificial intelligence)? Where is Bavaria (Germany, Europe) in the process? Who will rule the world in the future?

Speaker:
Roland M. Dürre (ex-programmer, IT entrepreneur, blogger, business angel)
Born: June, 20th, 1950 (married, father and grandfather)


I will try and make the presentation very open and interactive. Perhaps we will manage to answer a question or two together. Besides, my goal, as always, is to inspire people, to give impulses and to motivate contemplation. And, of course, I also want to provoke people a little bit.

It would make me happy to see many of you. There is no admission, you need not register. If the lecture hall is full, the hotel will have enough extra chairs.

I very much look forward to seeing all and any of you.

RMD

Roland Dürre
Monday March 11th, 2019

Who Owns the Internet … ?

Ob er die Antwort wüsste?
Roman copy of a Greek Plato portrait, probably by Silanion and now displayed in the Academy after Platon’s death. Glyptothek München.

I generally claim that, before you can look for solutions, you need to ask the right questions. Currently, I am wondering – not only in my presentations – about the future of digitalization.

I fear that the internet is threatened on several levels. So I come up with central questions.

Here is a very central question:

Who owns the internet?

I mean this exactly as I write it. My smart phone and my computer, which are both also part of the internet, belong to me. But who owns all the connections and computing centres you need for the network? And who is master over the definitions? Who will decide upon a change in protocols if this becomes necessary due to a change of users? Who is in charge of security? Who is responsible if the infra structure becomes deficient?

Well, I already asked the question several times. Because I do not know the answer. I asked some very knowledgeable people who usually know all about digitalization and related topics. But they, too, could not give me an answer.

But perhaps my readers know the answer?

In that case, maybe you can also answer some of the following questions:

Who owns Wikipedia?

Our huge thesaurus infra structure. It is unique in its independence and freedom. It is also free of advertising. It belongs to no concern and no party. It is designed on an honorary basis and financed by donations. A wonderful example of open source. It is actually something the community could be proud of.

What are we going to do when there are no longer enough Wikipedians left to maintain its growing infra structure? When the technology becomes antiquated and the system breaks down? Who will get or take possession of the Wikipedia empire when it collapses?

Maybe you have more exciting questions? For instance: what will we do when Youtube or other services are terminated?

I look forward to reading your answers.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Sunday March 10th, 2019

Facebook: Enemies of Vaccination Get Less Room .

Under this caption, I read what Heise.de says:


Now, facebook, too, joins in the battle against the growing number of enemies of vaccination. The US portal announced first measures.


And then:


More and more resistance

With this step, facebook follows Pinterest and Google, who have similarly started to cut down the space for vaccination enemies on their platforms. Pinterest no longer shows any hits if you type “vaccination“ or “vaccine“, a short tima ago, Youtube announced that it will cut off the money flow for video channels of vaccination enemies. Based on information of the world health organisation and the US centres for epidemic plague control and prevention, facebook will now start measures against vaccine hoaxes.


This news is an excellent example for modern times. We also want to introduce upload filters in Europe. Facebook, Google and Pinterest profess to know what is better for the world. And they decide who can say what they think and who cannot.

It was not the candle that made me immune against polio but the oral vaccination.

When I think vaccination, I immediately think polio. In my childhood, I saw this cruel illness in many children. And, of course, for me, the oral vaccination against polio was a huge blessing. After all, I knew that this was how many people were protected against the fatal results of the illness.

Consequently, the vaccination against polio was a huge success for me – also for the pharmaceutical concerns.

The thing that was almost as bad when I was young were children suffering from the consequences of Contergan. Initially, this was also a terrible illness. At the time, we did not know that the deformations were caused by a very questionable pharmaceutical product.

This is how I developed a very early mistrust against pharmaceutical concerns and their products. After all, they had shown with Contergan that they did not look too closely when it came to business. I fear that this industry will gladly make money with vaccinations, even if said vaccinations are not exclusively beneficial. This means that, regardless of the fact that I am not a vaccination enemy, I sometimes have my doubts if all vaccinations make sense. Thinking of the flu, the first thing that comes to mind is Tamiflu, of which we know that the most important healing it caused was for the balance sheets of the Swiss pharmaceutical concern Roche.

Every autumn, I ask myself if I should register for the flu vaccination. After all, being now almost seventy, I belong to those who are particularly at risk. However, I always decide against it because I read that the immune systems of older people have a very well working immune memory.

There are vaccinations that I consider extremely necessary and reasonable (hepatitis, polio, yellow fever, …) and there are others that I consider detrimental. And since, also due to the DVSGO (data protection), we have no medical practice that is based on big data, it is rather hard for me to decide.
But I am happy to see that such topics are discussed critically – and I find it a catastrophe if the powerful think they need to act. In fact, looking at the prospect of upload filters makes me want to yell:

Nib Things in the Bud!

Something is wrong with the internet if powerful concerns want to and actually can influence the process of opinion building. And if this becomes the initiative for legislative procedures.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Hans Bonfigt
Monday January 7th, 2019

(Deutsch) Crisis ? What Crisis ?

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Roland Dürre
Sunday December 23rd, 2018

TWITTER.

The article Hans Bonfigt wrote as a reaction to my ideas about Old White Men (alte weiße Männer) is a kind of ”torrent of hatred” against the Green Party and against Twitter.

? Basically, I am not sure that I understand the connection between Twitter and old white men. Perhaps it is because the current President of the US is very active and a certain CSU Minister of the Interior also announced that he will become active? Both of them are more the exception than the rule when it comes to “old white men”.

Let me name a few positive aspects of Twitter. In a later article, I might well voice my personal opinion on the danger of a fascist eco-dictatorship triggered by the Green Movement and Parties.

For Hans, Twitter is a No-Go. Well, I am fine with that, because I think I know Hans quite well. Although this in itself is an absurd statement, because nobody should profess to “know someone else quite well”. Mostly, we do not even know ourselves well.

I believe Hans is never on Twitter and consequently does not know much about the service. At least I never found his name in twitter.

Back to the “short-message-service”, which, according to Hans Binfigt, is the “toilet wall of the internet”.

Let me try to describe it rationally: 
In Twitter, you only see your own timeline, i.e. what people whom you follow have published on the internet. In other words: you decide what you see in Twitter by what you select.

Occasionally, I also follow people who publish nonsense or hatred. Simply because I am curious. But mostly, I do not stay there long, because it is really unnerving.

Consequently, one might say that I live in a Twitter bubble of like-minded persons – which means I restrict my choice of persons to those that have the same set and system of values as I. They are quite compatible with me. But then, is that not what we always do in life? We all know the proverb: Birds of a feather flock together . We like to look out for like-minded people. That is also true for the regulars‘ table.

To me, the people I like following on Twitter seem to be very constructive and critical persons. And I receive a huge number of clues and great articles and blog contributions from them. If I wanted assistants or personal reporters to deliver it in the same quality, I would need quite a bit of qualified manpower.

Screenshot of my twitter account in the morning of December, 23, 2018.

Screenshot of my twitter account in the morning of December, 23, 2018.

In my timeline, you will find media, the international press, publishers, the police, enterprises – among them the Deutsche Bahn – and many people who, like me, use the internet as a network where they can participate. I seem to remember the definition of WEB 2.0, where participants become people who contribute. This is definitely a change that also happens in real life – as is demonstrated quite nicely as classical conferences become Barcamps.

Above all, I follow people who do what I do: as soon as there is something they believe in or something they like, the share it in their timeline. This is how I get a huge number of clues and pieces of advice: they point me towards well-written articles or blog contributions, interesting statistics and facts. And it makes me feel that I am a Prime Minister or politician for whom the assistants select what they think he will find interesting in the world.

Many Twitter partners of mine attend congresses and share (twitter) the most important content of the presentations on a hashtag. That is when I leave my timeline and go into a topic mode. For instance, during my Caribbean Trip in November/December, I found it quite easy to follow the Munich IT summits. The same was true for the CDU party convention.

And many people were there live (either physically or watching TV) and they wrote very diligently. That was very exciting and a lot more efficient than having to spend the time in front of a TV set (which is not easy on the Caribbean, anyway).

On reading the articles, I notice that the quality is extremely high and that many good people are taking part. I would say that, especially on Twitter, you will find the elite, rather than the lowest of the low.

RMD
(Translated by EG)