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Category: Politik

America First – Schulz doesn’t care

I am generally quite fond of /r/the_schulz, and how they are taking all the toxic memes and strategies of the American Nazi Movement and are turning them around to Make Europe Great Again, that is, putting some Emotions into the idea of the European Union.

And this here is seriously awesome.

Alternative Facts, or better, Relative Truths

I know about danah boyd from her former blog, and from her book, “It’s complicated“. She’s on Twitter.

On Backchannel she’s writing about the internal mechanisms of Gamergate-type personalities, and how their own insecurities make them aggressive, a very interesting read.

My first breakthrough came when I started studying bullying—when I started reading studies about why punitive approaches to meanness and cruelty backfire. It’s so easy to hate those who are hateful, and so hard to be empathetic to where they’re coming from. This made me double down on an ethnographic mindset that requires that you step away from your assumptions and try to understand the perspective of people who think and act differently than you do. I’m realizing more and more how desperately this perspective is needed as I watch researchers and advocates, politicians and everyday people judge others from their vantage point without taking a moment to understand why a particular logic might unfold.

European Parliament ends visa-free travel for Americans

The Independent reports:

The European Parliament has voted to end visa-free travel for Americans within the EU.

It comes after the US failed to agree visa-free travel for citizens of five EU countries – Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania – as part of a reciprocity agreement. US citizens can normally travel to all countries in the bloc without a visa.

The ban, if it comes, affects all Americas, not just Redneckistanis. Will it come? It depends:

Following the committee’s vote, the Commission must act to suspend the visa waiver for Americans, but the European Parliament or the Council of the European Union may object.

Uber, Culture and Susan J. Fowler

A few weeks ago, Susan J. Fowler wrote about her very strange year at Uber. Basically, she experienced sexual harassment, HR covering up and a poisonous corporate culture. Apart from her personal experience, she characterises the culture like this:

In the background, there was a game-of-thrones political war raging within the ranks of upper management in the infrastructure engineering organization. It seemed like every manager was fighting their peers and attempting to undermine their direct supervisor so that they could have their direct supervisor’s job. No attempts were made by these managers to hide what they were doing: they boasted about it in meetings, told their direct reports about it, and the like.

Sustainable development?

And while we are at it, here is what the olympic village, the stadiums and the rest of the Rio Olympics look like today.

EDIT: Someone pointed me at this article and podcast.

In 2013, all four regions associated with a Munich bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics voted against it; six months later, almost 70 percent of voters in Krakow voted against a bid for the same event; the Swiss canton of Graubünden voted down a 2022 bid in 2013 and two weeks ago voted even more vigorously against a 2026 bid; Hamburg narrowly voted down a bid for the 2024 Olympics in 2015; after Boston was awarded the opportunity to bid for the 2024 games by the USOC, residents of the city and state were so vehemently against the bid that the planned referendum never happened. Vienna has already very strongly voted against the possibility of hosting the 2028 games.

Being German, with a Hyphen

The BBC reports:

The Brexit debate in the UK is focusing on the rights of EU migrants in the country, among them about 300,000 Germans. Many people are worried about what will happen to them after Brexit. But how are the 100,000 Brits in Germany feeling?

and tells the story of Esme, a young british Expat living in Berlin (of course), applying for German Citizenship and getting it just now.

For Esme, and I suspect for a lot of the Brits who are now becoming German, what started out as a practical decision about visas and passports, is unexpectedly raising deeper questions about identity. Can you really be both German and British? And what does it mean to be German anyway?

Not so very long ago, saying to other Brits that you’re becoming German would almost inevitably lead to some tired gag about Nazis or towels on sun loungers. And although some British headlines might still use those cliches – and you can expect a few more if Brexit talks get nasty – today, modern Germany is seen more often as a bastion of tolerant values: international, democratic and open to immigrants.

Let’s keep it that way. In fact, let’s make or keep this a European thing.