multiplication tables – or: it’s enough to be able to count to three

1

The German (and increasingly international) discounter Aldi runs a campaign, announcing that they will in the future sell only milk from farmers that guarantee “living standard” 3 (e.g. freedom to move, fresh air, more space as standard 2, food without gene tech) or 4 (e.g., ref to bio: open space to roam, more space as standard 3, food without gene tech) of the life stock. Good news one could say …

+ 1

A short message in DER SPIEGEL, issue 3, page 61, explores the difficulties of farmers: being left without subsidies, the higher requirements will make it near to impossible to stay in business as the cost for necessary changes are too high for the individual farmer. “Ilchmann [head of the Working Group of Rural Agriculture in Lower Saxony/Bremen, arguing against the quasi-dictate by Aldi and subsequently others – Edeka, already announced similar steps] is placing more hope in the planned state animal welfare label … . For this purpose, the calculation of the surcharges for individual husbandry levels could be made binding.”

+ 1

The inflation rate make it for many households increasingly difficult to cope with the cost of living.

= 3

Being part of the entire green growth strategy, the policy by Aldi (and subsequently others) shows that the mainstream of this thinking is not feasible. A “correct 3” requires an integrated strategy, involving a strong intervention by the state and an overall approach, bringing producers, distributors and consumers strategically together. There is not much sense in taking ‘corporate social responsibility’ (Bowen) and/or a ‘sensible mode of life’ (Brand/Wissen) in isolation.

coming together

Take it together

There is no such thing as society

– the infamous sentence used by Margret Thatcher, now understanding them analytically and the notion of the human being as social being.

Does it suggest the end of humankind?

credentials: https://www.il-faro.com/wp/evoluzione-degli-uffici-arredati/

At least it is problematique to blame Digitisation and Artificial Intelligence for developments of capitalist societies for which they are welcome tools but not origins. This is an argument I presented in a reflection paper titled

DAIS (Digitisation – Artificial Intelligence – Society) – Economy of Every day’s life

New year … why so sad?

The German broadcaster ARD – the 1st of January 2022; it is seven o’clock my time, 24 hrs/midnight GEZ + 1 . Some sentences like these are taken out of the New Years Address of the new German Chancler ( YouTube-transscript in German language followed bueieiòlAQW own translation )

liebe mitbürgerinnen und mitbürger heute geht ein jahr zu ende dass einige veränderungen mit sich gebracht hat. Eine kleine veränderung heute abend richte ich als ihr bundeskanzler die neujahrsansprache an sie. Der reibungslose mitunter fast freundschaftliche übergang von der alten bundesregierung zur neuen hat überall in der welt viel anklang gefunden.  … manche beklagen in diesen tagen unsere gesellschaft sei gespalten. ich möchte hier mit aller deutlichkeit sagen: das gegenteil ist richtig. unser land steht zusammen. was ich überall wahrnehme, dass ist eine riesige solidarität das ist überwältigende hilfsbereitschaft das ist ein neues zusammenrücken und unterhaken ausdrücklich möchte ich heute allen danken, die sich tagtäglich für unser wohl einsetzen, für unsere gesundheit und für unsere sicherheit  …

…   es macht einen unterschied, dass wir unser schicksal entschlossen selbst in die hand nehmen. für das neue jahr wünsche ich ihnen alles gute, vor allem gesundheit. ein großer wunsch für 2022: bleiben wir zusammen

Here the translation:

Dear citizens, today marks the end of a year that has brought some changes. One small change tonight, as your chancellor, I address you in my new year’s address. the smooth and sometimes almost friendly transition from the old federal government to the new one has been well received all over the world. some people complain that our society is divided these days. i would like to make it quite clear that the opposite is true. our country is standing together. what i perceive everywhere is a huge solidarity that is overwhelming willingness to help that is a new moving together and underhooks today i would like to expressly thank all those who work every day for our well-being, for our health and for our safety.

it makes a difference that we resolutely take our fate into our own hands. i wish you all the best for the new year, especially good health. a big wish for 2022: let’s stay together.

Scholz, throughout the presentation looks somewhat sad, definitely not engaging, not really committed. Perhaps the new chancellor knows what the problem is, actually expressed it in the first sentence: the new person as leader does not mean a new leadership, does not mean a new political move. Perhaps he even knows that what he sees – solidarity, working together does exist, but it is under severe threat.

7.04, the same broadcast channel – Traffic radio:

Caution, a wrong-way driver is coming towards you on the B …

中心研究员Peter Herrmann受邀参加“全球经济政策反思:政治经济学的考量—世界政治经济学学会第15届论坛”

From https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/yS7gTuJnBpwjVJPUuF5BwQ

2021年12月18至19日,由世界政治经济学学会与上海外国语大学联合举办的“全球经济政策反思:政治经济学的考量—世界政治经济学学会第15届论坛”在上海召开,来自40多个国家近300名学者通过线上或线下方式对诸多议题进行了充分研讨。

欧洲科学与艺术学院院士、中南大学人权研究中心研究员Peter Herrmann受邀参加会议。

在本届论坛第一次全体会议上,Peter Herrmann询问政治经济学如何失去其重点,而将其能力赋予到作为肯定性学科的微观经济学和宏观经济学之中。他强调为了人类发展全球视野所必须解决的五个领域:

政府的复杂性和有限的治理范围;

问题的个性化及其作为社会威胁的出现;

丰富的知识及其对技能的误导;

社会富裕与获取不平等;

商品生产过剩和商品变成“坏品”

更重要的是,Peter Herrmann强调 “经济 “只是对规范的反映和实施,也就是说,它只是一套规则。这也意味着,争取人权的斗争必须被看作是为经济活动制定框架的问题。

moving Globalisation further …

making globalisation more userfriendly for those who work with others ‘across the time line’: establishing a “global time”.

It is like coming from here

and moving towards “unity”

Now, think about

  • unity and entity — and the difference between them
  • the increasing independence of work, as consequence of electric light, climate independent energy (agency climate independent does not mean that climate is not influenced, on the contrary)
  • the indifference towards time shown by a virus travelling around the globe
  • the hurdles the vaccines have to overcome because of borders and differences

power confusion

A somewhat remarkable constellation; indeed telling, if we think about power relations, and the role of political parties as it is defined in the Basic Law (so-called constitution):

Article 21
[Political parties]

(1) Political parties shall participate in the formation of the political will of the people. They may be freely established. Their internal organisation must conform to democratic principles. They must publicly account for their assets and for the sources and use of their funds.

The German Social Democrats reached apparently the end of the ‘governance period’, preparing the election of a new board – this happened on December 11th.

Auf dem Ordentlichen Bundesparteitag in Berlin wurden am 11. Dezember 2021 die Mitglieder des SPD-Parteivorstands neu bestimmt. 

Interestingly, on the 4th of December the same party voted in favour of the Koalitionsvertrag, the agreement between social democrats, greens and liberals.

There are two extrem interpretations:

  • The outgoing elite of the party uses the remaining power to determine the future course.
  • A party, being somewhat in a limbo, not having a board anymore and not having a board yet, is deciding about a major issue, one that will be substantial for the future of the party.

Article 21.2. ff. of the German constitution speaks in general terms of the unconstitutional character of parties and the way and means not to allow such parties. Unconstitutionality is broadly defined as not being conform with the basic law. I am wondering now, if – at least when reading formal structures in a substantioal light – the procedure applied here can be really seen as democratic.

Traffic lights

It had been once upon a time, a day in April. Admittedly the news  sounded strange. But thinking so, it had been also clear that Ireland, the small resisting Republic, apparently did have some magic drink, that made it to the model student of Europe – something one could not imagine when the country joined, being ill-reputed as part of the EUropean poor house. So, there had been good reasons to think “Europe is good for us”, and then subsequently good reasons to think about “more Europe must even better for us”. So, the April news:

Ireland will join the European project even more and change the traffic rules fundamentally, introducing the right-hand traffic.

Wow, seems to be impossible … ; but they did it in the nordic countries (Sunday Sonntag, 3rd of September 1967, 5 o’clock in Sweden). The new announcement continued:

From next week, the trucks will begin, using the right side of the road – the experiment will last for month, and if it works out the next month will add to busses driving on the right side. As we expect that things will work out, after another month all other vehicle will follow.

— Amaying, isn’t it?

A BBC-comment on the occasion of the announcement of the new German government reminded me of this story, though we are now facing a kind of reversed version: looking at the “real” traffic light, we see typically one light at a time. The political traffic light will see red, yellow and green at exactly the same time. 

Yes, the first of April is also in Ireland April-fools day …

He did not even have Blue

Is it fair to say that Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (yes, I mean THAT Rembrandt) had been a great artist? Ever thought to buy one of the paintings ? Most likely not, not easy to get the money you would have to pay.

It is said that he did not have enough money to buy blue pigments – and indeed he did not often use it.

Still, he managed to paint these amazing pieces of art. – What would he do today?

easily overlooked

There are the BIG questions, going hand in hand with the one: climate (change). And threre are the big players, governments, non-governmental players, artists finding a new stage (not mocking, I trust he is serious about it) and people like you, Greta and myself.

We all know about the small print – even if contracts and agreements a big, the small print is not getting larger (though probably longer).

And then there is something else – the story with the apple …, well, not Isaac’s apple

,the other.

Keeping up with the news from the fruitshop, I checked the website: what is the new standard in the computer world?

Nothing, really:

  • first we are driven through and by design — sure, makes a difference but computers are for most of us utilities: things we have to or want to use: work, info, communication, games – only all the fuzz on design makes makes reputation and showing off an additional utility
  • second, the website – yes, amazing the design, yes akward the ease of accessing relevant info – is so overburdended with nicesities (is there a term like uselessities) that all the potential speed is absorbed — the other side of Moore’s law: though the chips are getting cheaper and faster the ammount of waste they have to carry and process is multiplying ….

Perhaps it would be a valuable contribution by ex-computer manufacturers to think about such issues, instead of retiring, becoming professional philantropists and writing books on how to save the planet. It would save them from flying in their bio-fueld aircrafts to summits, preaching for a better world …