Destroying e-bikes for profit

early last year i wrote about the joy of using JUMP e-bikes during a short stay in San Francisco[1]. Turns out that less than one and half years after being introduced, these bikes, while still being perfectly good and much needed, are getting retired and destroyed by the truckload. This seems to be the outcome of an unfortunate but probably inevitable collisions of the logics of startup consolidation and the dysfunctional way how the US legal system structures liability. As many others have poi…

Capital or the erosion of the social farbric of the city

This is the second book i have read this year that has the words ‘capital’ and ’21st century’ in its title. While this smells a lot like free-riding on the popularity of the other book, it is not [1]. Capital by Rana Dasgupta chronicles the last one-and-a-half decades of the Indian capital Delhi. It is a mix between encounters (not in the indian sense of the word) with (moneyed) inhabitants of Delhi, snippets of history and more abstract reflections on the city in an globalized world. It is a f…

Flying dutchman

On a recent trip to Mexico city (to attend a Creative Commons LatAm meeting) while we were waiting to be cleared for take-off, i overheard my neighbour in seat 21C (one of the best economy class seats on this type of plane, that is usually occupied by frequent flyers) talking on the phone to his family at home. Somewhat surprisingly he expressed astonishment about the size of the plane (‘there is a staircase next to me’) and curiosity about how he would handle a flight this long (12.5 hrs). Whil…

Migrant Media Metropole

This saturday my friend Valery (together with Eric & Merijn) are hosting a mini conference called ‘Migrant Media Metropole – New labour struggles in the global city‘ at the Balie in Amsterdam. Migration and media-activists gather with theorists and labour organizers to discuss and share best practices in the fight against precarity and insecure labour conditions. Sharing inspiring examples of social justice unionism and creative campaigning like “Justice for Janitors” in the U.S. and “Cleane…

Abi --> putzen

In eastern Germany you get your abitur (the secondary school exam that entitels you to study at a university) after 12 years (where i grew up you have to do 13 years of school for the same exam), but apparently it also gets you less: There are areas in east germany where more than a quater of the population is unemployed. And that is after the young and educated have left to find their luck elsewhere. This picture taken in greifswald (a port city in the north of meckelemburg vorpommern where une…