Realities

The boys threw shore pebbles into the splintering glass parquet, the various impact sounds at the end of the arches abundantly clear in the silence. Armin watched the wave circles: their flight from the centre to distance, their obstinacy in crossing other circles running in opposite directions, passing through each other unharmed! Imagine: we could wander through each other like that. Perhaps angels could do it. With glances we can do it ourselves, after all, thought Madeleine: Glances cross each other undisturbed, undistracted, a hundred people look at one speaker, but no confusion, everyone gets their own personal view, no mixing, no displacement, our nature is quite practically set up.

Erasmus Schoefer: Winterdämmerung

*****+++++*****

We gladly and unconcernedly accept that photographs from our childhood imperceptibly enlarge, shift, colour, add to the images that our memory has directly stored, so that we can no longer distinguish what we ourselves experienced and imprinted on our minds as experienced reality from what has been handed down as a photographic crutch of memory. In any case, any form of literature that describes the past and admits that an objective view is not possible for a human writer, accepts that it will also change the past. By influencing what of the past is still present reality: its reflection in our minds.

unfortunately I had to translate myself

an accident?

Well, it may be that it is really one, but even if this is the case it can make us thinking. Only recently Iearned that the London Stock Exchange, reasonabky well know to me from analysing economic developments, is also well known as LSE. For me this always had another connotation, standing for the London School of Economics. Seeing the same acronym being used, I am wondering if there is some special meaning in the fact that the latter is rarely mentioned by its full name: London School of Economics and Political Science. It may well be that the accident turns out to be part of a system: a reality, where the exonomy is gaining dominance, being lead by the spirit of economics, a discipline, that is geared to a well-functioning, i.e. profit-msaximising stock exchange, not people oriented.

Communication Society

The following is quasi the introduction, not launching the blog, but launching the … well, it is called relaunch. A New Outlook, and a new name – what had been williamthomsponucc.wordpress.com, is now danteskaleidoscope.blog – the name stands for the content – living between Inferno, Purgatorio e Paradiso; but it is also a homage to a friend.

This relaunch is a somewhat joined event, taking up the Berlin-videos again, though not living there, nevertheless starting with it. What does time and what does space matter? Quantum theory would probably say something like “it is what we make out of it”.

*****

Francis Bacon, in the publication of The Essays or Counsels Civil and Moral from 1597, proposed

Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested : that is, some are to be read only in parts, others to be read but curiously, and some few to be read wholly with diligence and attention. Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready, and writing an exact man ;

But today the era of books seems to be past, each of us

‘s his or her own fake news, in the big

, or, while

about

with one of the friends we

‘ed (people like you and me, yes it is those

people (who) talk in society of a man being a great Actor? They do not mean by that that he feels, but that he excels in simulating, though he feels nothing a part much more difficult than that of the actor; for the man of the world has to find dialogue besides, and to fulfil two functions, the poet’s and the actor’s. The poet on the stage may be more clever than the actor of private life, but is it to be believed that an actor on the stage can be deeper, cleverer in feigning joy, sadness, sensibility, admiration, hate, tenderness, than an olD courtier ?

This is from Diderot at the end of his piece on the paradox of acting  — yes, and I am sure you meet real actors there too, perhaps you know them  from TV or the stage of a concert hall, or from behind the canvas of a painting in a gallery or museum …

… so with all those friends or the colleagues we are

we are sitting there, perhaps over a cup of

or we are sending via

(no time for long letters, it is all about

… fast, fast) the news to the

, perhaps adding some nicety from

, pressed out of the

… an endless story … if we are not caught … the famous 11th minute, falling in love

still, a nice thing to

… and sure .. , if all has to be paid for …, oh, not with money … – there is

, here the controlled financial market is better organised, not suffering from the deadly competition between, …

– well, every little bank, so many shops, petrol stations  and of course banks, airlines etc … and we also pay with out time … in fact time is replaced by the heart beat as our

will tell us, and the smart

will be recording … helping those GAFAs (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon) to

well, not this way … advancement here too

https://www.milchpur.de/melken/melken-und-digitalisierung/

They learned well from intense husbandry farming …

In one way or another they are fighting  for their share …- Yes, all this is also about the

… and what do THEY want to share? 

Well, each of them would like to have at least one fibre of the rope on which we hang ourselves. But perhaps it not as bad as it seems to be … – sure, nothing we can do on our own, as individuals. But still, there is something

It is late, indeed:

but not too late.

****

Something to be added, on the 6th of October: I stumbled upon an article in The Guardian, making me another time awar of the importance of communicatin, real communication I mean. – It had been an Opinion piece, written by Fiona Vera-Gray, titled Domestic violence If we’re serious about ending violence against women, we need to talk about culture. The article shows so clearly the possibly fatal consequences of faked communication – I do not means faked news, I do mean communication that remains completely shallow. I am not entirely against all those media, but thay remain difficult to use, especially as it is so simple in instrumental terms.

Only Data?

Datafication, Digitisation, Artificial Intelligence, (New) Singularity … – there are different terms used, as much as there are different terms used to to grasp the character of our societies: burocratisation, red tape, administered society, alienated structures. And we find different metaphors and phenomona: the age-old gaming machine

from 1958

and the android, nearly impossible to make out as different from the human.

But …, well, there may be a but. Recently a small group of members of the European Academy of Science and Arts met with the aim of establishing a working group on Digitisation, Artificial Intelligence and Ethics, bringing colleagues from different disciplins together. I put some initial ideas together which may also be of general interst and can be found here. There is a good reason to think what it means to exist as human being.

In the shadow of the German elections

It had been a major day in terms of elections in Germany, going far beyond the elections to the German parliament, which marked the stepping down of Angela Merkel after 16 years as Chancellor. In Berlin there had been four votes, three for the different levels of the federate system, and one that is especially outside of Berlin perhaps not even known: the referendum concerning the expropriation of the Deutsche Wohnen& Co, i.e. major real estate groups. Looking at the figures, it had been a referendum about more than 200.000 flats. As the rbb-website knows:

Everyone who was also allowed to vote in the elections to the House of Representatives was allowed to vote in the referendum. That was around 2.47 million Berliners. The referendum is successful if the majority of those voting ticked “yes”.

And this is what happened: though the final results are not yet available, there had been a clear majority.The vote had not been about the expropriation as such, but about forcing the senate (the Parliament of Berlin) to elaborate a plan for the expropriation. In legal terms a more or less tricky thing, as the referendum referred to article 15, not 14 of the German Basic law – and the term expropriation is far from being clear (— at the end of this blog-post I paste a passage from a text I wrote in a completely different context, to be published soonish).

Here and now I only want to make the vote, or even the fact of the referendum known, and congratulate the initiators.What is going to happen? It is far from being clear; and that means that major work, including campaigning for accommodation as Human Right — this is standing at the bottom line as affordable housing does not exist, not least due to speculation – will be necessary. Not least, if we look at the results of the election. – Again, the rbb-website

Since the referendum “Expropriate Deutsche Wohnen & Co.” will also elect a new House of Representatives, the result of the vote is more or less a basis for consultation for the parties that will negotiate a coalition after the election – probably led by Franziska Giffey (SPD), who recently clearly opposed the referendum.

**********

Interesting aspects had been discussed in the early 1950s by German public and constitutional law. Helmut K.J. Ridder, in a prominent presentation during the annual conference of the public policy and international law academics, engaged in the topic expropriation and socialisation, aiming on specifying the terms.[1] Although his contribution had been very much of the employed by discussing specific issues of the German basic law and it it’s articles 14 and 15, it is of general interest. Summarising the highly differentiated analysis, we have to point on two fundamentally different forms: the one aims on specifying the use of property, without actually changing the legal title whereas the other changes the property title. However, this is only part of the difference. Another, and more important, aspect becomes clear when we follow Ridder’s reflection on the motives. The following quote marks the fundamental difference:

In the case of expropriation, the de-privatisation of property is also seen on the part of the expropriating state or the state granting the right of expropriation, as it were, with an expression of regret for the affected party, necessary for the sake of the administrative project, because a free contractual settlement was or would be rejected by the affected party or would be practically impossible to implement for other reasons.

In the case of social devaluation, the de-privatisation of the assets of the person effected is decisive, because the private character of the assets is thought to be currently or potentially harmful to society. Compared to this negative purpose of social devaluation, the positive aspects of a general nature (new impulses for the national economy, raising the standard of living of broad strata, etc.) are at most of secondary importance and those of a special nature (increasing the profitability in a certain branch of the economy, etc.) are almost insignificant … .[2]

In short, we see in the one case a measure, that intervenes in an individual case, thus making a specific ‘project’ possible; in the other case we are witnessing a kind of system change that is independent of an individual case, aiming on a change of a structural issue. It may be in one case, the intervention allowing to build a road, in the other case it would an intervention that allows to structurally influence the availability of accommodation. Another aspect is occasionally added, also in some way proposed by Ridder: the latter case is distinct from nationalisation, transferring ownership – responsibility for care and use – directly to citizens.

Finally, he suggests that subsequently the social devaluation – unlike expropriation is not a legal institution but a legal form, as such part of a fundamental change:

Cases, regulated by expropriation, can recur randomly. The state uses expropriation ad hoc. That is why its focus is also … on the individual act.

The social devaluation has a unique aim; it fulfils the mission of socialisation. The Basic Law expressly permits, as is appropriate to the matter, only the legislative path for social devaluation according to Article 15. And it is a condition that these laws are not only applied do not only cover a part of the enterprises of a certain branch of industry.[3]

As much as all this is crucially a matter of the economy, it is important to note, that with this the establishment of a mindset is going hand in hand. We can easily see that for instance health related behaviour, health services, and related issues are influenced by this mindset: the question would then be, if health is considered as something that is secured by society or that must be secured by individuals themselves; the question is also, if the individual has in case of transmittable diseases main responsibility towards others.

To conclude, we may say that appropriation should in its definition be linked to an elaborated understanding of appropriateness. Politically this can only be realised by developing a multilateral and global approach towards democracy, on the one hand referring to the fact that we are dealing with the global economy, on the other hand equally accepting the diversity when it comes to the mode of production.


[1] Ridder, Helmut, 1951: Enteignung und Sozialisierung; in: Ungeschriebenes Verfassungsrecht. Enteignung und Sozialisierung. Verhandlungen der Tagung der Deutschen Staatsrechtslehrer zu Göttingen am 18. und 19. Oktober 1951. Mit einem Auszug aus der Aussprache. With contributions by: Ernst von Hippel, Alfred Voigt, Hans P. Ipsen and Helmut K. Ridder Volume 10 in the series Veröffentlichungen der Vereinigung der Deutschen Staatsrechtslehrer; 124-147; https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110900750; 22.09.21

[2] Supra 14: 140

[3] Supra 14: 142

no end …

There is no end to progress I suppose …

Recently, after booking a hotel, I received a mail from the inn in the park, telling me that I would find the bed linen in the room, just next to the safe. I should activate the hoover so that the robot-thing would start with doing some of the cleaning. also it said:

In case you enjoy one of our excellent snacks, please, clean the dishes afterwards — you are not supposed to dry them as we do not change kitchen towels anymore.

Finally, if there is anything you need, please contact the helpline … after pressing several numbers for the different options you will most likely be disconnected, or in the worst case connected to a bot. Unfortunately, training them to be friendly, did not leave much capacities for training them to be usefull.

Well, that still may be the future – at the moment only offering online ceck-in. Still, it may be just one of the many steps towards the ultimate future of customers’ participation.

Flight MU7158 – looking back

Finally the return flight – from home, back to home – making notes for another key note, preparing a key change

while humming a song, remembering a passage from Kazuo’s Klara and the Sun

‘It can’t be, can it, Klara? That you believe you’ve made an arrangement?’

I thought Manager was about to reprimand me, the way she’d reprimanded two boy AFs once for laughing at Beggar Man from the window. But Manager placed a hand on my shoulder and said, in a quieter voice than before:

‘Let me tell you something, Klara. Children make promises all the time. They come to the window, they promise all kinds of things. They promise to come back, they ask you not to let anyone else take you away. It happens all the time. But more often than not, the child never comes back. Or worse, the child comes back and ignores the poor AF who’s waited, and instead chooses another. It’s just the way children are. You’ve been watching and learning so much, Klara. Well, here’s another lesson for you. Do you understand?’

‘Yes, Manager.’

‘Good. So let’s have no more of this.’ She touched my arm, then turned away.

made to measure – setting the standards

Data tracking, as referred to recently, is one point; the apparent impossibility to avoid, due to the lack of knowledge; another point …

Well, let me tell a little story here:The other day I called a company, regarding the delivery of a parcel. Though I said who I am … as one does, making a phomem call (here is …/… speaking), I did not provide any other details, not even saying what I ordered. “I will check it with the warehouse and will send you an email … “- and that is what he did. – Do I have to state the reason for being surprised about receiving a mail without having provided proper informatio that makes identification possible? Is it likely that somebody picks up the my name even if I mentioned it only en passant, not emphasising it, clearly stating it? ???
Anyway, without denying the severity of the tracking issue, there is another point that makes me think:

Didn’t we standardise our own lives already for a long time, making it easy to be cloned? Aren’t we too often behaving like sheep – you may remember Dolly, the sheep. Or put it differently: didn’t we double or even multiply ourselves, following trends, fashions, mainstream thinking … resisting resistance? Aren’t we all little tyrants against ourselves? Sure, there are the inescapabilities – having no money isn’t funny; but that isn’t an excuse for everything.

The State of Law – The Code of Answers, ignoring what the question is about

Nil sapientiæ odiosius acumine nimio. (Seneca)

Taking the floor during the BEN MASS Global Conference on Religious Diplomacy, organised by the Academy of Arts and Science on the 17th of July 2021, I raised my old concern again, elaborating on the tension between a purely formal understanding of the rule of law, based in an individualist understanding as it stands in the tradition of the Roman Law doctrine on the one hand and the need to emphasise that humans have to be understood as social animals, shaping there life through production as social process on the other hand. This leads us to an understanding of law that includes what is commonly called an ethical dimension; at the same time it has to be emphasised, however, that such dimension is not based in voluntary perspectives, but in clear guidelines emerging from the social character of production. Even if the importance of individual genius (and individual failure) should not be underestimated, it is at the end of the day the social, the social conditions, the historical context that determine our action – be it success or failure. This provides strong point of reference for the definition of the rule of law, defining responsibility and in particular social responsibility not as matter of distribution of what had been privately appropriated, but of securing societal conditions – material and ideational – that allow people to live comfortably together, meaning leading an appropriate life. And obviously this entails the two spects, one being about approriation, the other being about appropriateness as coherence.

Derek Chauvin trial verdict – and a missing word

It had been a much celebrated judgment on three accounts – the wording as follows

Judge Peter Cahill: (01:01)
Verdict Count One. Court file number 27 CR 2012646. We, the Jury, in the above entitled matter as to count one, Unintentional Second Degree Murder While Committing a Felony, find the defendant Guilty. This verdict agreed to this 20th day of April, 2021, at 1:44 PM. Signed Juror Foreperson, Juror Number 19.Judge Peter Cahill: (01:27)
Same caption, Verdict Count Two. We, the Jury, in the above entitled matter as to Count Two, Third Degree Murder Perpetrating an Eminently Dangerous Act, find the defendant Guilty. This verdict agreed to this 20th day of April, 2021, at 1:45 PM. Signed by Jury Foreperson, Juror Number 19.Judge Peter Cahill: (01:46)
Same caption, Verdict Count Three. We, the Jury, in the above entitled matter as to Count Three, Second Degree Manslaughter, Culpable Negligence Creating an Unreasonable Risk, find the defendant Guilty. This verdict greed to this 20th day of April, 2021, at 1:45 PM. Jury Foreperson, 019.

(The full transcript can be find here) – but the entire text does not use the word racism, it does not say anything about the political motives of the crime, i.e. racism let alone that it gos beyond the individual, highlighting the inbstitutional racism (not only) in the United States of Northern America. The same holds true for the complaint

So we are made to belive that an individual failed, acted in an irresponsible way. Sure, a new Act suggests at first sight that there is a fundamental change:

H. R. 1280 – AN ACT

To hold law enforcement accountable for misconduct in court, improve transparency through data collection, and reform police training and policies.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1.SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

(a) Short Title.—This Act may be cited as the “George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021”.

But when we look at it, it is somewhat frightening:

This bill addresses a wide range of policies and issues regarding policing practices and law enforcement accountability. It increases accountability for law enforcement misconduct, restricts the use of certain policing practices, enhances transparency and data collection, and establishes best practices and training requirements.

The bill enhances existing enforcement mechanisms to remedy violations by law enforcement. Among other things, it does the following:

lowers the criminal intent standard—from willful to knowing or reckless—to convict a law enforcement officer for misconduct in a federal prosecution,

limits qualified immunity as a defense to liability in a private civil action against a law enforcement officer, and

grants administrative subpoena power to the Department of Justice (DOJ) in pattern-or-practice investigations.

It establishes a framework to prevent and remedy racial profiling by law enforcement at the federal, state, and local levels. It also limits the unnecessary use of force and restricts the use of no-knock warrants, chokeholds, and carotid holds.

The bill creates a national registry—the National Police Misconduct Registry—to compile data on complaints and records of police misconduct. It also establishes new reporting requirements, including on the use of force, officer misconduct, and routine policing practices (e.g., stops and searches).

Finally, it directs DOJ to create uniform accreditation standards for law enforcement agencies and requires law enforcement officers to complete training on racial profiling, implicit bias, and the duty to intervene when another officer uses excessive force.

– ll this is surely important, but again it is without pointing out the political perspective, this act states something that should be acceptd alredy for a long time, considering that the USA is one of the “civilised” countries – May be that we have to revisit our understanding of civilisation, juxtapose its reality with the self-set claims. Indeed, as Steven Demarest stated:

Supporters of racial justice must not make the mistake of thinking that Derek Chauvin’s guilty verdict in the murder of George Floyd signals a fundamental change in the criminal legal system. True justice requires the wholesale transformation of the institution of policing and investments in communities to truly advance public safety. That is more than what can be provided by the criminal legal system, let alone a single trial — especially one as atypical as that of Chauvin.

And Augustine Hungwe, contributor to the book Between Ignorance and Murder (see below) rightly highlights:

United States was founded on slavery, dispossession and genocide of the indigenous populations. It is a country founded of institutionalized racism and violence against people of color. It is a country that has normalized white privilege and whiteness as the organizing principle of society. The role of police in this instance is to ‘keep the native in his place’. Policing black and brown bodies becomes a priority of a white-centred and white dominated police force. Elements of this sordid history of America’s toxic history of guns and racism have been laid bear in the Chauvin trial.

(private conversation by email; 2021/04/25)

Indeed, at the end there had been some words: guilty on all three accouts

and one decisive word had been missing: racism, a criminal offence, commited by a society not being able to live up to the standards of Human Rights.

****

PS April 27th:

Reading on, looking at other statements etc., of course the statment president Biden made, is worthwhile a comment, especially as he begins with an astonishingly clear statement, saying

It was a murder in the full light of day, and it ripped the blinders off for the whole world to see the systemic racism the vice president just referred to. The systemic racism is a stain on our nation’s soul. The knee on the neck of justice for Black Americans. Profound fear and trauma. The pain, the exhaustion that Black and brown Americans experience every single day.

But then a bit later he continues by saying:

****

Again, as we saw in this trial from the fellow police officers who testified, most men and women who wear the badge serve their communities honorably. But those few who fail to meet that standard must be held accountable, and they were today. One was. No one should be above the law, and today’s verdict sends that message.

No doubt that there are hontest and honarable police officers; hower, this formulation is missing the point: it is not about honorable individuals; it is about a dishonest society.

******

I may take the opportunity to mention four pieces of work:

I.

Published is the book

Between Ignorance and Murder – Racism in Times of Pandemic, edited by Junxiang Mao, Peter Herrmann, Tom Zwart, Qinxuan Peng, and publishewd by Vienna Academiuc Press, Bad Voeslau (ISBN/EAN: 9783990610237)

II

Just the final strokes on the keyboard are being made on a contribution titled

The Limits of Social Law in the Face of Social Justice, to be published in a Festschrift ffor Otto Kaufmann, edited by Alpay Hekimler

III

In the final preparatory phase is a book with a critical review of the concept of Human Rights, the working title

Human Rights in a Changing World – Reflections on Fundamental Challenges, edited together with Mehmet Okyayuz.

IV

And not least a key note speech, looking at Solidarity as regime of governing – it is addressing the S.U.P.I- online conferfence “Shifts and Reorientation within the social crisis and catastrophy: Towards the Realisation of pendemic epistemological processes”, scheduled for the 29th and 30th of April 2021