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June 12 2013

Il y a un entré chez - avec quelques chiffres et des arguments malheureusement assez connus comme stratégie de l'austérité guidant au chemin d'un état autoritatif qui sont bien caractéristiques pour des sociétés ex-socialistes depuis des années 1990, comme ainsi pour des états postdémocratiques autoritatifs.

April 30 2013


April 18 2013


Keine technologische Neuro-Revolution | Telepolis - Stephan Schleim 2013-04-14

Für die Wissenschaft noch ein langer Weg, für uns heute schon eine Aufgabe - Neurotechnologie - Teil 4

Jahrzehnt des Gehirns, Humangenomprojekt, Human Brain Project - auf eine große Forschungsinitiative folgt die nächste. Auch wenn diese zu beeindruckenden Ergebnissen führen, erweist sich der Mensch doch immer wieder als schwieriger zu verstehen, als man zunächst gedacht hat. Deshalb scheinen auch die transhumanistischen Erwartungen als zu optimistisch. Selbst das Beispiel Hirnforschung zeigt, dass das Menschenbild relativ robust ist. Bei aller Technikeuphorie sollten wir uns daher gemeinsam den Gegenwartsproblemen stellen, anstatt in die Verheißungen der Zukunftstechnologien zu flüchten.
Reposted byscyphi scyphi

March 01 2013

The trouble with austerity: Cutting is more about ideology than economics

Austerity fetishism is simply the latest expression of free market orthodoxy.

Reposted from02mysoup-aa 02mysoup-aa

February 13 2013

Reorganizing a vast Archive: ITS - SPIEGEL ONLINE

By David Crossland in Bad Arolsen, Germany


Global Web of Memory

Reorganizing the database is one of the tasks of Susanne Urban, the ITS head of research, who joined the archive in 2009 after working in Yad Vashem, Israel's official memorial to the Holocaust. She says she expects the archive to reveal a plethora of "mosaic stones" to complete the picture of the genocide rather than alter it.

"Here you keep getting confronted with the global aspect of the Holocaust and survival, you see how it started in Germany, spread across Europe and with the documents about the survivors we see how a web of memory has spread across the whole world. Here you get an overview over everything. What makes it so harrowing is that you don't just get one aspect, you get them all. You sense this monolith that was built of pain and sorrow."

The work may be fascinating, but it can also be exhausting and saddening. Urban has only two research assistants on temporary contracts, which she says isn't enough.

Reposted from02mysoup-aa 02mysoup-aa

February 02 2013

Animierte Grenzen

30-second animation of the changes in U.S. historical county boundaries,
1629 – 2000:

American Newspapers and Historical County Boundaries (1689-2000):

This visualization correlates the following data: 1) A database of newspapers published in the United States from the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America database, prepared and generously shared by the Rural West Initiative, Bill Lane Center for the American West, Stanford University. — 2) The Atlas of Historical County Boundaries provided by The Newberry Library’ Dr. William M. Scholl Center for American History and Culture.

German Language Newspapers in the US:

This animation is taken from the interactive data visualization of the Library of Congress’ “Chronicling America” directory of US newspapers. It shows all German-language newspapers in the US from 1690 to 2011:

(Gefunden bei

Reposted from02mysoup-aa 02mysoup-aa

January 29 2013


January 24 2013


David Cameron's EU speech - full text | Politics | 2013-01-23


This morning I want to talk about the future of Europe.

But first, let us remember the past.

Seventy years ago, Europe was being torn apart by its second catastrophic conflict in a generation. A war which saw the streets of European cities strewn with rubble. The skies of London lit by flames night after night. And millions dead across the world in the battle for peace and liberty.

As we remember their sacrifice, so we should also remember how the shift in Europe from war to sustained peace came about. It did not happen like a change in the weather. It happened because of determined work over generations. A commitment to friendship and a resolve never to revisit that dark past – a commitment epitomised by the Elysee treaty signed 50 years ago this week.

After the Berlin Wall came down I visited that city and I will never forget it.

The abandoned checkpoints. The sense of excitement about the future. The knowledge that a great continent was coming together. Healing those wounds of our history is the central story of the European Union.

What Churchill described as the twin marauders of war and tyranny have been almost entirely banished from our continent. Today, hundreds of millions dwell in freedom, from the Baltic to the Adriatic, from the Western Approaches to the Aegean.

And while we must never take this for granted, the first purpose of the European Union – to secure peace – has been achieved and we should pay tribute to all those in the EU, alongside Nato, who made that happen.

But today the main, overriding purpose of the European Union is different: not to win peace, but to secure prosperity.

The challenges come not from within this continent but outside it. From the surging economies in the east and south. Of course a growing world economy benefits us all, but we should be in no doubt that a new global race of nations is under way today.

A race for the wealth and jobs of the future.

The map of global influence is changing before our eyes. And these changes are already being felt by the entrepreneur in the Netherlands, the worker in Germany, the family in Britain.

So I want to speak to you today with urgency and frankness about the European Union and how it must change – both to deliver prosperity and to retain the support of its peoples.

But first, I want to set out the spirit in which I approach these issues.

I know that the United Kingdom is sometimes seen as an argumentative and rather strong-minded member of the family of European nations.

And it's true that our geography has shaped our psychology.

We have the character of an island nation: independent, forthright, passionate in defence of our sovereignty.

We can no more change this British sensibility than we can drain the English Channel.

And because of this sensibility, we come to the European Union with a frame of mind that is more practical than emotional.

For us, the European Union is a means to an end – prosperity, stability, the anchor of freedom and democracy both within Europe and beyond her shores – not an end in itself.

We insistently ask: how, why, to what end?

But all this doesn't make us somehow un-European.

The fact is that ours is not just an island story – it is also a continental story.

For all our connections to the rest of the world – of which we are rightly proud – we have always been a European power, and we always will be.

From Caesar's legions to the Napoleonic wars. From the Reformation, the Enlightenment and the industrial revolution to the defeat of nazism. We have helped to write European history, and Europe has helped write ours.

Over the years, Britain has made her own, unique contribution to Europe. We have provided a haven to those fleeing tyranny and persecution. And in Europe's darkest hour, we helped keep the flame of liberty alight. Across the continent, in silent cemeteries, lie the hundreds of thousands of British servicemen who gave their lives for Europe's freedom.

In more recent decades, we have played our part in tearing down the iron curtain and championing the entry into the EU of those countries that lost so many years to Communism. And contained in this history is the crucial point about Britain, our national character, our attitude to Europe.

Britain is characterised not just by its independence but, above all, by its openness.

We have always been a country that reaches out. That turns its face to the world. That leads the charge in the fight for global trade and against protectionism.

This is Britain today, as it's always been: independent, yes – but open, too.

I never want us to pull up the drawbridge and retreat from the world.

I am not a British isolationist.

I don't just want a better deal for Britain. I want a better deal for Europe too.

So I speak as British prime minister with a positive vision for the future of the European Union. A future in which Britain wants, and should want, to play a committed and active part.

Some might then ask: why raise fundamental questions about the future of Europe when Europe is already in the midst of a deep crisis?

Why raise questions about Britain's role when support in Britain is already so thin.

There are always voices saying: "Don't ask the difficult questions."

But it's essential for Europe – and for Britain – that we do because there are three major challenges confronting us today.

First, the problems in the eurozone are driving fundamental change in Europe.

Second, there is a crisis of European competitiveness, as other nations across the world soar ahead. And third, there is a gap between the EU and its citizens which has grown dramatically in recent years. And which represents a lack of democratic accountability and consent that is – yes – felt particularly acutely in Britain.

If we don't address these challenges, the danger is that Europe will fail and the British people will drift towards the exit.

I do not want that to happen. I want the European Union to be a success. And I want a relationship between Britain and the EU that keeps us in it.

That is why I am here today: to acknowledge the nature of the challenges we face. To set out how I believe the European Union should respond to them. And to explain what I want to achieve for Britain and its place within the European Union.

Let me start with the nature of the challenges we face.

First, the eurozone.

The future shape of Europe is being forged. There are some serious questions that will define the future of the European Union – and the future of every country within it.

The union is changing to help fix the currency – and that has profound implications for all of us, whether we are in the single currency or not.

Britain is not in the single currency, and we're not going to be. But we all need the eurozone to have the right governance and structures to secure a successful currency for the long term.

And those of us outside the eurozone also need certain safeguards to ensure, for example, that our access to the single market is not in any way compromised.

And it's right we begin to address these issues now.

Second, while there are some countries within the EU which are doing pretty well. Taken as a whole, Europe's share of world output is projected to fall by almost a third in the next two decades. This is the competitiveness challenge – and much of our weakness in meeting it is self-inflicted.

Complex rules restricting our labour markets are not some naturally occurring phenomenon. Just as excessive regulation is not some external plague that's been visited on our businesses.

These problems have been around too long. And the progress in dealing with them, far too slow.

As Chancellor Merkel has said, if Europe today accounts for just over 7% of the world's population, produces around 25% of global GDP and has to finance 50% of global social spending, then it's obvious that it will have to work very hard to maintain its prosperity and way of life.

Third, there is a growing frustration that the EU is seen as something that is done to people rather than acting on their behalf. And this is being intensified by the very solutions required to resolve the economic problems.

People are increasingly frustrated that decisions taken further and further away from them mean their living standards are slashed through enforced austerity or their taxes are used to bail out governments on the other side of the continent.

We are starting to see this in the demonstrations on the streets of Athens, Madrid and Rome. We are seeing it in the parliaments of Berlin, Helsinki and the Hague.

And yes, of course, we are seeing this frustration with the EU very dramatically in Britain.

Europe's leaders have a duty to hear these concerns. Indeed, we have a duty to act on them. And not just to fix the problems in the eurozone.

For just as in any emergency you should plan for the aftermath as well as dealing with the present crisis, so too in the midst of the present challenges we should plan for the future, and what the world will look like when the difficulties in the eurozone have been overcome.

The biggest danger to the European Union comes not from those who advocate change, but from those who denounce new thinking as heresy. In its long history Europe has experience of heretics who turned out to have a point.

And my point is this. More of the same will not secure a long-term future for the eurozone. More of the same will not see the European Union keeping pace with the new powerhouse economies. More of the same will not bring the European Union any closer to its citizens. More of the same will just produce more of the same: less competitiveness, less growth, fewer jobs.

And that will make our countries weaker not stronger.

That is why we need fundamental, far-reaching change.

So let me set out my vision for a new European Union, fit for the 21st century.

It is built on five principles.

The first: competitiveness. At the core of the European Union must be, as it is now, the single market. Britain is at the heart of that single market, and must remain so.

But when the single market remains incomplete in services, energy and digital – the very sectors that are the engines of a modern economy – it is only half the success it could be.

It is nonsense that people shopping online in some parts of Europe are unable to access the best deals because of where they live. I want completing the single market to be our driving mission.

I want us to be at the forefront of transformative trade deals with the US, Japan and India as part of the drive towards global free trade. And I want us to be pushing to exempt Europe's smallest entrepreneurial companies from more EU directives.

These should be the tasks that get European officials up in the morning – and keep them working late into the night. And so we urgently need to address the sclerotic, ineffective decision-making that is holding us back.

That means creating a leaner, less bureaucratic union, relentlessly focused on helping its member countries to compete.

In a global race, can we really justify the huge number of expensive peripheral European institutions?

Can we justify a commission that gets ever larger?

Can we carry on with an organisation that has a multibillion pound budget but not enough focus on controlling spending and shutting down programmes that haven't worked?

And I would ask: when the competitiveness of the single market is so important, why is there an environment council, a transport council, an education council but not a single market council?

The second principle should be flexibility.

We need a structure that can accommodate the diversity of its members – north, south, east, west, large, small, old and new. Some of whom are contemplating much closer economic and political integration. And many others, including Britain, who would never embrace that goal.

I accept, of course, that for the single market to function we need a common set of rules and a way of enforcing them. But we also need to be able to respond quickly to the latest developments and trends.

Competitiveness demands flexibility, choice and openness – or Europe will fetch up in a no-man's land between the rising economies of Asia and market-driven North America.

The EU must be able to act with the speed and flexibility of a network, not the cumbersome rigidity of a bloc.

We must not be weighed down by an insistence on a one size fits all approach which implies that all countries want the same level of integration. The fact is that they don't and we shouldn't assert that they do.

Some will claim that this offends a central tenet of the EU's founding philosophy. I say it merely reflects the reality of the European Union today. 17 members are part of the eurozone. 10 are not.

26 European countries are members of Schengen – including four outside the European Union – Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland. Two EU countries – Britain and Ireland – have retained their border controls.

Some members, like Britain and France, are ready, willing and able to take action in Libya or Mali. Others are uncomfortable with the use of military force.

Let's welcome that diversity, instead of trying to snuff it out.

Let's stop all this talk of two-speed Europe, of fast lanes and slow lanes, of countries missing trains and buses, and consign the whole weary caravan of metaphors to a permanent siding.

Instead, let's start from this proposition: we are a family of democratic nations, all members of one European Union, whose essential foundation is the single market rather than the single currency. Those of us outside the euro recognise that those in it are likely to need to make some big institutional changes.

By the same token, the members of the eurozone should accept that we, and indeed all member states, will have changes that we need to safeguard our interests and strengthen democratic legitimacy. And we should be able to make these changes too.

Some say this will unravel the principle of the EU – and that you can't pick and choose on the basis of what your nation needs.

But far from unravelling the EU, this will in fact bind its members more closely because such flexible, willing co-operation is a much stronger glue than compulsion from the centre.

Let me make a further heretical proposition.

The European treaty commits the member states to "lay the foundations of an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe".

This has been consistently interpreted as applying not to the peoples but rather to the states and institutions compounded by a European court of justice that has consistently supported greater centralisation.

We understand and respect the right of others to maintain their commitment to this goal. But for Britain – and perhaps for others – it is not the objective.

And we would be much more comfortable if the treaty specifically said so, freeing those who want to go further, faster, to do so, without being held back by the others.

So to those who say we have no vision for Europe, I say we have.

We believe in a flexible union of free member states who share treaties and institutions and pursue together the ideal of co-operation. To represent and promote the values of European civilisation in the world. To advance our shared interests by using our collective power to open markets. And to build a strong economic base across the whole of Europe.

And we believe in our nations working together to protect the security and diversity of our energy supplies. To tackle climate change and global poverty. To work together against terrorism and organised crime. And to continue to welcome new countries into the EU.

This vision of flexibility and co-operation is not the same as those who want to build an ever closer political union – but it is just as valid.

My third principle is that power must be able to flow back to member states, not just away from them. This was promised by European leaders at Laeken a decade ago.

It was put in the treaty. But the promise has never really been fulfilled. We need to implement this principle properly.

So let us use this moment, as the Dutch prime minister has recently suggested, to examine thoroughly what the EU as a whole should do and should stop doing.

In Britain we have already launched our balance of competences review – to give us an informed and objective analysis of where the EU helps and where it hampers.

Let us not be misled by the fallacy that a deep and workable single market requires everything to be harmonised, to hanker after some unattainable and infinitely level playing field.

Countries are different. They make different choices. We cannot harmonise everything. For example, it is neither right nor necessary to claim that the integrity of the single market, or full membership of the European Union requires the working hours of British hospital doctors to be set in Brussels irrespective of the views of British parliamentarians and practitioners.

In the same way we need to examine whether the balance is right in so many areas where the European Union has legislated including on the environment, social affairs and crime.

Nothing should be off the table.

My fourth principle is democratic accountability: we need to have a bigger and more significant role for national parliaments.

There is not, in my view, a single European demos.

It is national parliaments, which are, and will remain, the true source of real democratic legitimacy and accountability in the EU.

It is to the Bundestag that Angela Merkel has to answer. It is through the Greek parliament that Antonis Samaras has to pass his government's austerity measures.

It is to the British parliament that I must account on the EU budget negotiations, or on the safeguarding of our place in the single market.

Those are the parliaments which instil proper respect – even fear – into national leaders.

We need to recognise that in the way the EU does business.

My fifth principle is fairness: whatever new arrangements are enacted for the eurozone, they must work fairly for those inside it and out.

That will be of particular importance to Britain. As I have said, we will not join the single currency. But there is no overwhelming economic reason why the single currency and the single market should share the same boundary, any more than the single market and Schengen.

Our participation in the single market, and our ability to help set its rules is the principal reason for our membership of the EU.

So it is a vital interest for us to protect the integrity and fairness of the single market for all its members.

And that is why Britain has been so concerned to promote and defend the single market as the eurozone crisis rewrites the rules on fiscal co-ordination and banking union.

These five principles provide what, I believe, is the right approach for the European Union.

So now let me turn to what this means for Britain.

Today, public disillusionment with the EU is at an all-time high. There are several reasons for this.

People feel that the EU is heading in a direction that they never signed up to. They resent the interference in our national life by what they see as unnecessary rules and regulation. And they wonder what the point of it all is.

Put simply, many ask "why can't we just have what we voted to join – a common market?"

They are angered by some legal judgements made in Europe that impact on life in Britain. Some of this antipathy about Europe in general really relates of course to the European court of human rights, rather than the EU. And Britain is leading European efforts to address this.

There is, indeed, much more that needs to be done on this front. But people also feel that the EU is now heading for a level of political integration that is far outside Britain's comfort zone.

They see treaty after treaty changing the balance between member states and the EU. And note they were never given a say.

They've had referendums promised – but not delivered. They see what has happened to the euro. And they note that many of our political and business leaders urged Britain to join at the time.

And they haven't noticed many expressions of contrition.

And they look at the steps the eurozone is taking and wonder what deeper integration for the eurozone will mean for a country which is not going to join the euro.

The result is that democratic consent for the EU in Britain is now wafer-thin.

Some people say that to point this out is irresponsible, creates uncertainty for business and puts a question mark over Britain's place in the European Union.

But the question mark is already there and ignoring it won't make it go away.

In fact, quite the reverse. Those who refuse to contemplate consulting the British people, would in my view make more likely our eventual exit.

Simply asking the British people to carry on accepting a European settlement over which they have had little choice is a path to ensuring that when the question is finally put – and at some stage it will have to be – it is much more likely that the British people will reject the EU.

That is why I am in favour of a referendum. I believe in confronting this issue – shaping it, leading the debate. Not simply hoping a difficult situation will go away.

Some argue that the solution is therefore to hold a straight in-out referendum now.

I understand the impatience of wanting to make that choice immediately.

But I don't believe that to make a decision at this moment is the right way forward, either for Britain or for Europe as a whole.

A vote today between the status quo and leaving would be an entirely false choice.

Now – while the EU is in flux, and when we don't know what the future holds and what sort of EU will emerge from this crisis – is not the right time to make such a momentous decision about the future of our country.

It is wrong to ask people whether to stay or go before we have had a chance to put the relationship right.

How can we sensibly answer the question "in or out" without being able to answer the most basic question: "What is it exactly that we are choosing to be in or out of?"

The European Union that emerges from the eurozone crisis is going to be a very different body. It will be transformed perhaps beyond recognition by the measures needed to save the eurozone.

We need to allow some time for that to happen – and help to shape the future of the European Union, so that when the choice comes it will be a real one.

A real choice between leaving or being part of a new settlement in which Britain shapes and respects the rules of the single market but is protected by fair safeguards, and free of the spurious regulation which damages Europe's competitiveness.

A choice between leaving or being part of a new settlement in which Britain is at the forefront of collective action on issues like foreign policy and trade and where we leave the door firmly open to new members.

A new settlement subject to the democratic legitimacy and accountability of national parliaments where member states combine in flexible co-operation, respecting national differences not always trying to eliminate them and in which we have proved that some powers can in fact be returned to member states.

In other words, a settlement which would be entirely in keeping with the mission for an updated European Union I have described today. More flexible, more adaptable, more open – fit for the challenges of the modern age.

And to those who say a new settlement can't be negotiated, I would say listen to the views of other parties in other European countries arguing for powers to flow back to European states.

And look too at what we have achieved already. Ending Britain's obligation to bail out eurozone members. Keeping Britain out of the fiscal compact. Launching a process to return some existing justice and home affairs powers. Securing protections on banking union. And reforming fisheries policy.

So we are starting to shape the reforms we need now. Some will not require treaty change.

But I agree too with what President Barroso and others have said. At some stage in the next few years the EU will need to agree on treaty change to make the changes needed for the long-term future of the euro and to entrench the diverse, competitive, democratically accountable Europe that we seek.

I believe the best way to do this will be in a new treaty so I add my voice to those who are already calling for this.

My strong preference is to enact these changes for the entire EU, not just for Britain.

But if there is no appetite for a new treaty for us all then of course Britain should be ready to address the changes we need in a negotiation with our European partners.

The next Conservative manifesto in 2015 will ask for a mandate from the British people for a Conservative government to negotiate a new settlement with our European partners in the next parliament.

It will be a relationship with the single market at its heart.

And when we have negotiated that new settlement, we will give the British people a referendum with a very simple in or out choice. To stay in the EU on these new terms, or come out altogether.

It will be an in-out referendum.

Legislation will be drafted before the next election. And if a Conservative government is elected we will introduce the enabling legislation immediately and pass it by the end of that year. And we will complete this negotiation and hold this referendum within the first half of the next parliament.

It is time for the British people to have their say. It is time to settle this European question in British politics.

I say to the British people: this will be your decision.

And when that choice comes, you will have an important choice to make about our country's destiny.

I understand the appeal of going it alone, of charting our own course. But it will be a decision we will have to take with cool heads. Proponents of both sides of the argument will need to avoid exaggerating their claims.

Of course Britain could make her own way in the world, outside the EU, if we chose to do so. So could any other member state.

But the question we will have to ask ourselves is this: is that the very best future for our country?

We will have to weigh carefully where our true national interest lies.

Alone, we would be free to take our own decisions, just as we would be freed of our solemn obligation to defend our allies if we left Nato. But we don't leave Nato because it is in our national interest to stay and benefit from its collective defence guarantee.

We have more power and influence – whether implementing sanctions against Iran or Syria, or promoting democracy in Burma – if we can act together.

If we leave the EU, we cannot of course leave Europe. It will remain for many years our biggest market, and forever our geographical neighbourhood. We are tied by a complex web of legal commitments.

Hundreds of thousands of British people now take for granted their right to work, live or retire in any other EU country.

Even if we pulled out completely, decisions made in the EU would continue to have a profound effect on our country. But we would have lost all our remaining vetoes and our voice in those decisions.

We would need to weigh up very carefully the consequences of no longer being inside the EU and its single market, as a full member.

Continued access to the single market is vital for British businesses and British jobs.

Since 2004, Britain has been the destination for one in five of all inward investments into Europe.

And being part of the single market has been key to that success.

There will be plenty of time to test all the arguments thoroughly, in favour and against the arrangement we negotiate. But let me just deal with one point we hear a lot about.

There are some who suggest we could turn ourselves into Norway or Switzerland – with access to the single market but outside the EU. But would that really be in our best interests?

I admire those countries and they are friends of ours – but they are very different from us. Norway sits on the biggest energy reserves in Europe, and has a sovereign wealth fund of over €500bn. And while Norway is part of the single market – and pays for the principle – it has no say at all in setting its rules. It just has to implement its directives.

The Swiss have to negotiate access to the single market sector by sector, accepting EU rules – over which they have no say – or else not getting full access to the single market, including in key sectors like financial services.

The fact is that if you join an organisation like the European Union, there are rules.

You will not always get what you want. But that does not mean we should leave – not if the benefits of staying and working together are greater.

We would have to think carefully too about the impact on our influence at the top table of international affairs.

There is no doubt that we are more powerful in Washington, in Beijing, in Delhi because we are a powerful player in the European Union.

That matters for British jobs and British security.

It matters to our ability to get things done in the world. It matters to the United States and other friends around the world, which is why many tell us very clearly that they want Britain to remain in the EU.

We should think very carefully before giving that position up.

If we left the European Union, it would be a one-way ticket, not a return.

So we will have time for a proper, reasoned debate.

At the end of that debate you, the British people, will decide.

And I say to our European partners, frustrated as some of them no doubt are by Britain's attitude: work with us on this.

Consider the extraordinary steps which the eurozone members are taking to keep the euro together, steps which a year ago would have seemed impossible.

It does not seem to me that the steps which would be needed to make Britain – and others – more comfortable in their relationship in the European Union are inherently so outlandish or unreasonable.

And just as I believe that Britain should want to remain in the EU so the EU should want us to stay.

For an EU without Britain, without one of Europe's strongest powers, a country which in many ways invented the single market, and which brings real heft to Europe's influence on the world stage, which plays by the rules and which is a force for liberal economic reform would be a very different kind of European Union.

And it is hard to argue that the EU would not be greatly diminished by Britain's departure.

Let me finish today by saying this.

I have no illusions about the scale of the task ahead.

I know there will be those who say the vision I have outlined will be impossible to achieve. That there is no way our partners will co-operate. That the British people have set themselves on a path to inevitable exit. And that if we aren't comfortable being in the EU after 40 years, we never will be.

But I refuse to take such a defeatist attitude – either for Britain or for Europe.

Because with courage and conviction I believe we can deliver a more flexible, adaptable and open European Union in which the interests and ambitions of all its members can be met.

With courage and conviction I believe we can achieve a new settlement in which Britain can be comfortable and all our countries can thrive.

And when the referendum comes let me say now that if we can negotiate such an arrangement, I will campaign for it with all my heart and soul.

Because I believe something very deeply. That Britain's national interest is best served in a flexible, adaptable and open European Union and that such a European Union is best with Britain in it.

Over the coming weeks, months and years, I will not rest until this debate is won. For the future of my country. For the success of the European Union. And for the prosperity of our peoples for generations to come.

December 14 2012


December 02 2012



Der Innsbrucker Wissenschaftler, der den Skandal um die Tiroler Kinderheime aufdeckte, spricht gegenüber dem KURIER nicht nur von einer „ökonomisch völlig unvernünftigen Privatisierung, die die Republik Österreich, das Unternehmen und die Mitarbeiter schädigte“. Sondern auch über Missachtung des Aktienrechts, politische Interessen, Ideologie, Budgetnöte und „extrem viele Ungereimtheiten“. Nachzulesen im dieser Tage erschienenen Buch „Ohne Filter“ (StudienVerlag).

Der Anfang vom Ende begann in den 90er-Jahren, als die Austria Tabak (AT) den Sportartikelkonzern HTM, einen Sanierungsfall, übernahm. Dem Vorstand unter Beppo Mauhart war klar, dass das Tabakmonopol auf Dauer nicht zu halten war, man suchte wie die Big Player der Branche nach Diversifizierungen. Als die AT aufgrund hoher Wertberichtigungen für HTM erstmals vorübergehend in die roten Zahlen rutschte, überschlugen sich die Ereignisse. Innerhalb von nur sechs Wochen, nachdem der AT-Aufsichtsrat das Sanierungskonzept beschloss, wurden Mauhart und der gesamte Vorstand zum Rückzug gezwungen und HTM an den schwedischen Investor Johan Eliasch verschenkt. Der zahlte einen symbolischen Kaufpreis von 727.000 Euro und erhielt als Draufgabe das Sanierungskonzept sowie 87 Mio. Euro, die von der AT für die HTM vorgesehen waren. Rechnungshof und EU-Kommission attestierten, dass dieser Deal „nicht die kostengünstigste Alternative“ war.

„Stark auffällig, da darf man sich was denken“, kommentiert Schreiber dabei die Rolle des Investmentbankers Michael Treichl. Der Bruder von Erste-Group-Chef Andreas Treichl war für Warburg als Berater beim Kauf der HTM tätig. Dann arbeitete er am Sanierungskonzept mit, fädelte den Verkauf an seinen Freund Eliasch ein und zog schlussendlich in den Aufsichtsrat von HTM ein.


Austria Tabak – in Rauch aufgelöst | KURIER.AT 2012-12-01

November 24 2012



The issue here is not whether Anonymous activists can be rightfully prosecuted: acts of civil disobedience, by definition, are violations of the law designed to protest or create a cost for injustices. The issue is how selectively these cyber-attack laws are enforced: massive cyber-attacks aimed at a group critical of US policy (WikiLeaks) were either perpetrated by the US government or retroactively sanctioned by it, while relatively trivial, largely symbolic attacks in defense of the group were punished with the harshest possible application of law enforcement resources and threats of criminal punishment.

That the US government largely succeeded in using extra-legal and extra-judicial means to cripple an adverse journalistic outlet is a truly consequential episode: nobody, regardless of one's views on WikiLeaks, should want any government to have that power. But the manifestly overzealous prosecutions of Anonymous activists, in stark contrast to the (at best) indifference to the attacks on WikiLeaks, makes all of that even worse.


Prosecution of Anonymous activists highlights war for Internet control | Glenn Greenwald 2012-11-23
Reposted bywikileaksdatenwolfcheg00

September 02 2012


Short commentary: The gift shift - what’s social about social media?

If a picture’s worth a thousand words, the cover art of the July 23rd issue of the New Yorker is a critical disquisition. A middle class family poses for a photo on a sunny tropical beach.

read more:


// oAnth's commentary:

What a nice Sunday reading (after church), could be even a sermon (they speak about love and friendship, etc. etc.), alas, for heaven's sake, inconveniently too close on the mainstream understanding of the subject: they mix in Fb and some social media buzz words to their argumentation as examples of "gift culture" (to their solemnly benediction); just tons too much PR and in no way an independent manner to speak about social media and its major historical and timeless motivation as basic propelling force: altruism. Ok, I admit, you may also read some well intended lines about hacker culture, but, how to put it? - I had continuously the impression that this article is thought for some sceptic evangelical GOP members, which are hardly to convince that water boarding wouldn't be an adequate treatment for 'potential terrorists' like occupiers, Assange and Manning. Plus, I should not fail to add maliciously that for me as a German reader, there is quite an unmasking homonymy in the basic noun of this reading:

'Gift', feminine - engl.: gift, vs. 'Gift', neuter - engl.: poison.

Please, don't get it wrong. I am using social networks as an indispensabel part of my daily life, and I even go to church.

August 29 2012


Kommentar zu: "Diaspora hat seine Ziele nicht erreicht"

Macher der Facebook-Alternative ziehen sich zurück

mit Fiete Stegers, Fachredakteur des NDR für Netzthemen

// oAnth:

Mit der skeptischen Ausrichtung des Berichtes, D* sei +/- gescheitert, aus der Fachredaktion für Netzfragen in der ARD bin ich so nicht ganz einverstanden; der Referent hält sich zwar argumentative Hintertüren offen, hält aber keinerlei Hinweise dahingehend für angebracht, dass Nischenanwendungen - als eine solche möchte ich nach wie vor D* einordnen - zumindest auf dem Gebiet der sozialen Netzwerke anderen Gesetztgemäßigkeiten unterliegen, als man dies beim Online-Mainstream und dessen Hauptvertreter Fb zu unterstellen geneigt ist.

Das zeigt sich m.E. auch sehr schön im Prozess, den die dezentral operierende Plattform ~F (Friendica) augenblicklich durchläuft, bei der just der Chefprogrammierer bereits vor 2 Monaten, die Hauptverantwortlichkeit für die Code-Entwicklung aus der Hand gegeben hat, ungeachtet dessen sich aber zunehmend mehr Interessenten mit und ohne eigenständige Serverinstallationen der Plattform zuwenden.

Dass D* ursprünglich mit dem Ziel antrat, Fb Paroli zu bieten, dient vordergründig als Hauptargumentation, welcher der Artikel folgt, aber dieses Ziel hatte sich ohnehin bereits spätestens Mitte 2011, wesentlich mitbedingt durch die Einführung von G+, als nicht haltbar erwiesen.

So blieb eine in ihren Erwartungen enttäuschte und missgelaunte Nutzergemeinschaft zurück, die sich bzgl. ihrer Konzepte eines dezentralen Netzwerkes mit föderativer Auslegung ernüchtert und ihr gedachtes Online-Refugium mehr denn je  bedroht sah; der jetzige Schritt der D*-Entwickler kommt daher für den D*-spezifischen Nutzerkreis gerade noch zum richtigen Zeitpunkt und wirkt auf die vorwiegend IT-geschulte Online-Gemeinschaft meiner Einschätzung nach animierend - er wird, dessen bin ich mir gewiss, neue Initiativschübe für D* unter den Anwendern mit sich bringen.

Ungeachtet dessen erachte ich es längerfristig als erörternswürdig,  dass sich mittlerweile 3 dezentrale soziale Netzwerke (die den Namen wirklich verdienen) D*, ~F und Libertree, zunehmend Konkurrenz machen, was unter den in diesem Anwenderbereich zu erwartenden Nutzerzahlen zu denken geben sollte.

Muc, 2012-08-29

August 27 2012


How we made: Peter Sellars and William Christie on Theodora

The team behind Glyndebourne's landmark production of Handel's oratorio recall an emotional high

Peter Sellars, director

I had heard Lorraine Hunt singing Theodora in a concert performance, and was overwhelmed by the drama and sheer beauty of Handel's music. The story is basic tabloid fare, and Handel treats it almost entirely as interior drama. [An oratorio in three acts, it concerns the Christian martyrdom of Theodora and her Roman lover Didymus.] When Glyndebourne asked me where they should begin with staging Handel, it was easy. At that time, people didn't quite know what Theodora was: we were in a secret cathedral, discovering a masterpiece the world did not know.

The staging flowed in an extremely organic way. Visionary works such as this wait for another era in which they are allowed to speak in their own language and not have to ventriloquise the conventional wisdom of the day. A lot of it was done as in medieval or byzantine art – as simply as possible: the emotional and spiritual aura of each character was what we were concerned with.

The work is a soundtrack for two people leaving this world that is as chilling as anything Handel ever wrote. A lot of opera focuses on execution. It's a huge question: when we take people's lives as a society; when and how we justify killing. In the US, execution had been illegal for a period and then [in 1976] the Supreme Court decision turned it around. It was decided that lethal injection was "humane", but it was hidden away. I thought it was important to see what the process was. We investigated and were incredibly literal, down to the timing.

The effect was profound. During most performances, people had to be carried from the auditorium; there were emergency medical services standing by. I am not proud of putting people into an emergency medical van, of course, but I do think that's why the Greeks invented theatre: to put these things in front of citizens and say, how do we feel about them?

There was an incredible rehearsal where we ran the first act for the first time in the darkened theatre, and the piece just rose up, like some majestic host and said, "I'm here." We were weeping, holding each other, truly overwhelmed. The production remains a high point of all our lives.

William Christie, conductor

Glyndebourne's general manager had asked if there was a Handel piece I would like to do. They had never staged anything of his there before. I wanted an oratorio, something that would use Glyndebourne's chorus, rather than an opera – and Theodora had stuck in my mind as incredibly moving. He said: "That's curious, the fellow we've asked to direct said the exact same thing!"

I had not met Peter before although of course I knew of him: he's a fellow of great notoriety, in the best sense of the word. You knew that he wasn't going to give you anything other than a controversial, or at least a very personal, sense of the drama. The fact that this Christian woman and her converted lover find themselves on a gurney in a Texas military hospital awaiting execution was incredibly shocking, but I found it horribly moving. We were talking about martyrdom, a word that's existed as long as humans have. Peter was hellbent on making a political statement, registering his dismay and revulsion about aspects of America, but also making music that was written several hundreds of years ago more relevant.

The starting point of any successful lyric piece is giving the singers a long leash. I gave space to them as well as to the music. We had so many happy moments in the casting. I wanted desperately to have Lorraine Hunt: the role of [Theodora's friend] Irene is strong and forthright, as Lorraine was as a singer and a human being. Richard Croft [as Didymus's friend Septimus] was also someone I particularly wanted; there is great honesty in the way he sings.

It's an incredibly emotional piece. We were all caught up in it. I remember Lorraine not being able to mark in rehearsals [sing in a way that rested her voice]. She'd be singing full voice at 11am.

• A DVD of the production is available from © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds


// oAnth - a yt-playlist with a chronological  sequence of excerpts taken from  Peter Sellars' production of Händel's Theodora (demanding!) is available on here.

August 24 2012

Great art needs a few restoration disasters | Jonathan Jones

Thanks to an inadvertent iconoclast, a second-rate fresco is now a 'masterpiece'. Turn her loose on artists that deserve attention

It's all over the internet, it's trending, tweeting, the funniest art joke of all time. You must know it by now. "Masterpiece of Jesus is destroyed after old lady's attempt to restore damage is a less-than-divine intervention", Worst painting restoration work in history", "Elderly woman destroys 19th century fresco with DIY restoration".

A woman said to be in her 80s in Borjanos in Spain took it upon herself to "restore" a fresco in the Sanctuary of Mercy church there. The original painting is an Ecce Homo by Elias Garcia Martinez and dates from the 19th century. But this triptych of photographs shows how totally it has been ruined. It's hilarious to see how the would-be restorer's efforts resulted in a complete reinvention of the painting as a crude image with a face like a neanderthal man's self-portrait. Oh dear. This pious art lover could have a career in slapstick if she wants, for her comic destruction of a work of art bears comparison with Rowan Atkinson giving Whistler's Mother a badly drawn cartoon face in the film Bean.

How did it happen? What was the well-meaning vandal thinking? Reports differ on the meaning of the middle picture in the before-and-after triptych: was this the result of water damage or the self-appointed artist's early effort to prepare the picture for restoration? Picturing how it happened is even funnier than seeing the contrasting versions themselves. Did she, like the Marx Brothers trimming a moustache in Monkey Business, try to fix one bit and then had to do another bit and then another until the whole thing was gone? Was it like Father Ted in the episode of the much-loved clerical comedy where he attempts to mend a car's bodywork with a hammer?

There is only one problem with this story. It doesn't really matter. Martinez is not a great artist and his painting Ecce Homo is not a "masterpiece". It is a minor painting in the dregs of an academic tradition. When it was painted, a boy called Pablo in another Spanish town was learning to paint in this same exhausted 19th-century style. Soon he would shake off the influence of his father the provincial artist Don Jose Ruiz y Picasso and start to reinvent art.

Google Martinez and you will find many, many references that have appeared in the last 24 hours to the botched restoration – and not much else. A previously obscure artist has become famous overnight because of the amateur restorer's exploit. A forgotten painting is now known around the world as a "masterpiece", because it was wrecked.

Perhaps this offers a new strategy for those who seek to popularise the Old Masters. What if even older, but far greater, paintings were to get the Mr Bean treatment?

After Rowan Atkinson gave a show-stopping Mr Bean performance as a keyboard player upstaging a Simon Rattle-conducted performance of Chariots of Fire in the Olympic opening ceremony, the composer Michael Nyman took exception to orchestral music being mocked in this way. Where did his sense of humour go? Surely he can see that classical music should use this strategy to popularise itself. We need Mr Bean disrupting performances of Monteverdi and Mahler. That will get the kids into the concert halls.

Similarly, the well-meaning restorer of this obscure Spanish painting should be turned loose on a couple of works that actually matter. Many true masterpieces are starved of the global attention this second-rate Ecce Homo has now got. She could be sent to Italy to see what she can do with the frescoes in the Palazzo Schifanoia in Ferrara. Revered by art historians, these paintings of the months of the year have never quite made it into popular culture. There are 12 paintings, one for every month, so one could be sacrificed for the good of the whole. A hideously repainted face on one of the lesser months might make their creator the 15th-century genius Francesco del Cossa as famous as the 19th century mediocrity Elias Garcia Martinez has now become. © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

Reposted from02mysoup-aa 02mysoup-aa

August 19 2012


Published on 18 Aug 2012 by RussiaToday

Julian Assange's case has raised numerous concerns among journalists and activists who fear being prosecuted for doing their job. RT interviews author and journalist Naomi Wolf, who says the US government is especially tough on those exposing official wrongdoing.

Reposted bywikileaks wikileaks

July 20 2012


Der Bamberger Student Daniel Stahl initiierte eine Unterschriftenaktion, bei der er innerhalb einer Woche über 1.700 Unterstützerinnen und Unterstützer fand. In seinem offenen Brief an die Verleger schrieb er: "Wir haben schlecht bezahlte Praktika in Ihren Verlagen gemacht und jahrelang für Zeilengeld gearbeitet. (…) Wir können schreiben, Videos drehen, kennen uns mit den Techniken des Web 2.0 aus. Wir sollen in den Verlagen Wochenenddienste schieben, Abendtermine wahrnehmen, uns tief in gesellschaftliche Probleme einarbeiten und Überstunden machen, die wir natürlich niemals bezahlt bekommen. Und jetzt soll auch noch das Einstiegsgehalt für junge Journalisten um 30 Prozent gekürzt werden?“ Zu den Unterzeichnern gehörten keineswegs nur Nachwuchsjournalisten.


Es schien, als habe man erkannt, dass es sich bei dem Streit um ein generationenübergreifendes Problem mit Folgen für den Journalismus insgesamt handelte.[29] Doch bei dieser Initiative zeigte sich auch, wie weit die Verunsicherung unter Journalisten schon reicht: Zahlreiche Unterstützer trauten sich nicht, mit ihrem Namen öffentlich für die Forderungen einzustehen. Unter dem Brief steht hundertfach das gleiche Wort: "Anonym“.
Gezwungen, sich zu verkaufen? Zur sozialen Lage von Journalistinnen und Journalisten | bpb 2012-07-10
Reposted bysantaprecariaurfinekeliasrandomuserkrekkyouamrenana

July 19 2012


Die Prekarisierung des Journalistenberufs hat mehrere Ursachen. Eine davon ist die Erosion des klassischen Geschäftsmodells der Presse: Anzeigen wandern zu digitalen Werbeträgern ab (von denen längst nicht alle Online-Medien sind), und auch die Vertriebsumsätze sinken infolge von Abonnenten- und Leserverlusten. Diese Faktoren werden von Verlagen gern zur Begründung ihrer Sparmaßnahmen angeführt. Daran ist so viel wahr, als dass die Prekarisierung auch Folge eines mangelnden Wertbewussteins in unserer Gesellschaft für journalistische Arbeit ist. Journalismus wird immer weniger als die anspruchsvolle geistige Arbeit anerkannt, die er ist. Die Qualitätszeitung für 2,20 Euro empfinden viel [...]e als zu teuer, den Latte Macchiato nicht. Obwohl er oft mehr kostet und rascher verbraucht ist als eine reichhaltige Zeitung.

Eine weitere wichtige Ursache benennt die WDR-Journalistin Sonia Seymour Mikich, wenn sie den Einzug eines neuen Denkens und einer neuen Sprache in den Verlagen und Sendern beschreibt: "Wir machten es uns gemütlich, als 'benchmarking‘, 'audience-flow‘, 'controlling‘, 'usabilty‘, 'look and feel‘, 'performance‘ in unserem Handwerkskasten auftauchten und die 'tools‘ eines angesagten Superprofessionalismus wurden. Als hätten wir ’nen kleinen McKinsey im Ohr, lernten wir Neusprech.“[19] Und der damalige "Handelsblatt“-Chef Bernd Ziesemer warnte in einer Rede, bevor er in die Corporate-Publishing-Branche wechselte, seine Kollegen in den Redaktionen: "In den Verlagen haben oft kulturelle Analphabeten das Sagen, die schon lange keine Zeitung mehr lesen, aber sich berufen fühlen, uns Journalisten zu erklären, wie man eine Zeitung macht. Sie behandeln uns wie die Bandarbeiter der Lückenfüllproduktion zwischen den Anzeigen. In solche Hände dürfen wir uns nicht begeben!“

Gezwungen, sich zu verkaufen? Zur sozialen Lage von Journalistinnen und Journalisten | bpb 2012-07-10

July 16 2012



Stevan Harnad, professor of electronics and computer science at Southampton University, said the government was facing an expensive bill in supporting gold open access over the green open access model.

He said UK universities and research funders had been leading the world in the movement towards "green" open access that requires researchers to self-archive their journal articles on the web, and make them free for all.

"The Finch committee's recommendations look superficially as if they are supporting open access, but in reality they are strongly biased in favour of the interests of the publishing industry over the interests of UK research," he said.

"Instead of recommending that the UK build on its historic lead in providing cost-free green open access, the committee has recommended spending a great deal of extra money — scarce research money — to pay publishers for "gold open access publishing. If the Finch committee recommendations are heeded, as David Willetts now proposes, the UK will lose both its global lead in open access and a great deal of public money — and worldwide open access will be set back at least a decade," he said.

Free access to British scientific research within two years | Science | The Guardian 2012-07-15
Reposted bypaket paket

July 06 2012


Adressauskunft: Widerspruchsrecht abgeschafft | 2012-07-04


Widerspruch ist zwecklos

  Im Paragraph 44, der die Herausgabe der persönlichen Daten beispielsweise an anfragende Unternehmen regelt, hieß es noch im Entwurf vom November 2011: "[...] die Auskunft verlangende Person oder Stelle erklärt, die Daten nicht zu verwenden für Zwecke a) der Werbung oder b) des Adresshandels, es sei denn die betroffene Person hat in die Übermittlung für jeweils diesen Zweck eingewilligt."

In der finalen Gesetzesfassung vom 27. Juni 2012 hingegen steht etwas völlig anderes: "Es ist verboten, Daten aus einer Melderegisterauskunft zu Zwecken der Werbung oder des Adresshandels zu verwenden, [...] wenn die betroffene Person gegen die Übermittlung für jeweils diesen Zweck Widerspruch eingelegt hat. Dies gilt nicht, wenn die Daten ausschließlich zur Bestätigung oder Berichtigung bereits vorhandener Daten verwendet werden."

Der letzte Satz hat eine gewaltige Tragweite: Jede Firma, die jemals irgendwelche Daten von Ihnen erfasst hat, kann diese Daten künftig vom Einwohnermeldeamt berichtigen oder bestätigen lassen. Sie haben bei einer Befragung, einem Gewinnspiel oder sonst wo nur Name und Ort angegeben? Das Einwohnermeldeamt liefert dem Unternehmen dazu bereitwillig frühere Namen (beispielsweise bei Heirat), gegebenenfalls Doktorgrad, Ordensname oder Künstlername, Geburtsdatum und Geburtsort sowie bei Geburt im Ausland auch den Staat, dann das Geschlecht, die Konfession, selbstverständlich alle aktuellen Anschriften, gekennzeichnet nach Haupt- und Nebenwohnung, bei Zuzug aus dem Ausland auch die letzte Anschrift im Inland, bei Wegzug in das Ausland auch die Anschrift im Ausland und den Staat, Einzugsdatum und Auszugsdatum, Familienstand, zusätzlich bei Verheirateten Datum, Ort und Staat der Eheschließung sowie die Zahl der minderjährigen Kinder. Und als Sahnehäubchen oben drauf auch noch alle bisherigen Anschriften.

Triumpf der Werbe-Industrie kaum noch zu verhindern

All dem können Sie nicht entkommen: Ziehen Sie um, so fragt der Adresshändler einfach nach ihrer neuen Anschrift. Und legen Sie Widerspruch ein, dann greift der eben erwähnte Paragraph 44 Absatz 4: Der Widerspruch gilt einfach nicht.

Diese schöne neue Welt des Datenschutzes wird am 1. November 2014 beginnen, denn dann tritt das geänderte Melderechtsrahmengesetz nämlich in Kraft. Lediglich ein Nein im Bundesrat könnte die Neuregelung jetzt noch aufhalten.

CHIP Online meint:

Man mag sich gar nicht vorstellen, wie viel Lobbyarbeit Adresshändler und Werbe-Industrie wohl zwischen November 2011 und Juni 2012 betrieben haben müssen, damit aus einem soliden Gesetz ein Datenschutz-GAU wird. Und dann fragen sich Politiker immer wieder, warum sich die Bürger von ihnen verraten und verkauft fühlen.   (cel)
Reposted bykrekknobodylikesyouArkelanfall
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