Dancing on the remains of the 20th century

I am on my way back from the still ongoing conference ‘Kreative Arbeit und Urheberecht‘ (Arbeit2.0) organized by irights.info and the HKMV in Dortmund. The conference is taking place in the phoenix-halle on the terrain of the former phönix-west iron works in Dortmund. The whole terrain is currently being developed into a nanotechnology/creative-industries/science park and this development takes place around the industrial ruin of the blast furnaces 5 & 6 of the former Phönix-west iron works,…

Sushi in Suhl

So i am at my parents place (somewhere in the middle of eastern Germany some 2 hours south of Berlin) for the holidays and naturally we are talking about food most of the time. My brother just informed us of his (outrageous) plan to make Sushi for lunch. how insane is this? Making sushi somewhere in the middle of nowhere where all the shops are closed and even if they were open they would still not be selling fresh fish (my brother informs me that he has frozen fish that he intends to use, yuk!)…

Re-erecting the border fences to combat piracy?

Yesterday a number of eastern european countries (Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia & Slovenia) implemented the schengen agreement, by removing border control posts on the internal Schengen border crossings. Of course this does not mean that there will be no more border controls between these countries as there will be ‘random’ border police checks up to 30km away from the actual border. As we have argued before the Schengen agreement is not so much…

Email == artillery

Spend two days at my parents place in east Germany this weekend and yesterday my dad suddenly came up and insisted on reading us a short excerpt from the complete works of Heinrich von Kleist. It is a short note that he wrote in october 1810 as editor of the ‘Berliner Abendblättern’, where it was published under the title ‘Useful Inventions: Concept for a bomb mail system’: It’s a bit of a far-fetched concept that suggests to address one of the main shortcomings of the then-just-launched telegra…

National anthem...

Yesterday night (while standing on my balcony listening to the radio) I realized that my neighbours must have a rather strange idea about my identity: Dutschlandfunk (the german national news/culture radio station) has the annoying habit of playing the german national anthem at the end of every single day (and now during the german EU presidency they also feel compelled to play the European anthem, right after it). Now i tend to listen to Deutschlandfunk a lot (particularly the 23h to midnight w…

Observing elections

If I was an election observer i would definitely sign up for the early shift. the one were the city is still half asleep and disgruntled volunteers head to the polling stations they have been assigned to to open them hours before the first 10% the electorate show up to exercise their democratic rights. If there is a mood that expresses the status of those tired, self-defeating and worn-out parliamentary democracies societies it is probably the mood which prevailed in the streets of Berlin this m…

Teach yourself german

Usually i do not really like being recognized as a german when i am in a far-away-country, but todays encounter somewhere on a road just west of Delhi’s old city was kind of hilarious. the auto rikshaw we were traveling in was overtaken by a small white car and when the guy sitting next to the driver saw that the passengers were Westerners he immediately asked me ‘are you german?’ while showing his ‘how to teach yourself german’ course-book. my reply that i was indeed german seemed to make him p…

Police != intelligence

Looks like the football world cup has begun today. Unfortunately i am traveling to berlin on this very same day (by train via Arnhem/Duesseldorf), which means that you have to share the slightly overcrowded train with about 300 english football supporters and lots of bottles of more or less warm beer (i never loved my sound-canceling headphones more). However it also means that the authorities are freaking out in the name of security and decide to stop the train at the border station (where it u…

Scum (?)

It seems that the Dutch are not the only ones to prepare themselves for the Soccer World Cup. In Berlin advertisements of the German red cross have started to appear on billboards in various s-bahn stations. The advertisements show a young red-cross paramedic (with a 70es haircut, a reference to ’74?) that bandages the knee of a fully dressed out Dutch football supporter: The caption on the picture reads, ‘in action for everybody’, which at least to me sounds like ‘ we really help everybody, eve…

Posters with multiple politicians on them

There are federal elections on the 18th in Germany. One of the parties contesting (and having a good chance of actually entering parliament) is the newly founded ‘Die Linke.PDS‘. This party is a merger of the PDS (which is the sucessor party to the former east German ruling party SED and the WASG which is a left wing split-off from the SPD. being a merger they have to leaders (Oskar Lafontaine & Gregor Gisi) and arguably the worst election poster so far: That's Lafontaine on the left and Gis…