August 2011 Archives

Note to restaurants and cafés

  • Posted on August 25, 2011 at 1:40 pm

If you run a restaurant, a café, a pub, a bar, or any similar business, then I have an idea for you: Please do provide a free Internet access, power sockets (for laptops) and coffee at reasonable prices. I’ve been doing quite some travelling, and getting online, getting decent coffee and getting work done can be very difficult. Don’t be afraid. People will pay for food and drinks while working, really.

For all of you who already have this infrastructure, lucky you! Finding a decent place to work isn’t that easy outside of big cities. Besides you probably get stoned for sitting somewhere in a laptop in rural areas. You might be up to something, and anything new is seen as dangerous by natives.

Western Road to Fascism

  • Posted on August 24, 2011 at 4:40 pm

Let’s see, according to this photograph there are 11 steps to fascism (as seen from an US point of view). Judging from the European point of view, I’d say some goals have already been achieved by some European governments.

  1. Invoke a threat.
  2. Establish secret prisons.
  3. Develop a paramilitary force.
  4. Surveil ordinary citizens.
  5. Infiltrate citizen’s groups.
  6. Arbitrarily detain citizens.
  7. Target key individuals.
  8. Restrict the press.
  9. Cast dissent as treason.
  10. Subvert the rule of law.
  11. Disarm the citizen.

So, what’s next?

Nymwars

  • Posted on August 7, 2011 at 6:15 pm

Facebook and Google+ have rekindled the Nymwars, the fight for or against the use of pseudonyms. The policy of requiring „real names“ is questionable at best. There is a web site called My Name Is Me which can illustrate this point better than I can in my blog posting. The use of pseudonyms pre-dates the Internet by hundreds of years. Authors use false names. Journalists hide their identity. Most people usually don’t wear name tags or badges when shopping or going for a walk. Even children learn to use pseudonyms in kindergarten or in school.

Danah Boyd explains in her article that “Real names” policies aren’t empowering; they’re an authoritarian assertion of power over vulnerable people, which expresses what the policy is about. It makes perfectly sense. Facebook, Google+ and all other real name zealots use the policy as a filter. Their social networks should only be used by persons who gladly give away their privacy. If you are reluctant to reveal your true name, then you are not part of the target audience. Remember, Facebook get mined for information, Google+ is driven by a very big advertising company. Both business models require participants to be open and exploitable.

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