16. Oktober 2018
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12. Oktober 2018
10. Oktober 2018

Links: Delete your Account, Mythbusting Banksy, How Do we hallucinate?

👻 Mythbusting Banksy

We will start by looking at the key engineering questions:
- Could a device that had been in the frame for up to 10 years have the battery life to listen for a remote trigger? [yes]
- Was there a functional shredder in the frame or was a pre-shredded work spooled out? [both]
- Was the shredder shown in Banksy’s video the device used to shred the painting? [blades embedded in canvas]

We will then follow up with questions around the potential for collusion between Sotheby’s and Banksy and what each scenario implies.
- Was Sotheby’s aware of the prank, and perhaps complicit? [probably]
- What does it say about Banksy if he colluded with Sotheby’s? [they say bad, i don't care tbh]
- What does it say about Sotheby’s if they did not know ahead of time? [bad]

☝️ Delete Your Account Now: A Conversation with Jaron Lanier

A lot of people have felt that using social media is a way to organize for mutual betterment, whether it’s a social justice movement or other things. You’re absolutely correct: in the immediate sense their experience of that is authentic. I think they’re reporting on real events. The problem, however, is that behind the scenes there are these manipulation, behavior modification, and addiction algorithms that are running. And these addiction algorithms are blind. They’re just dumb algorithms. What they want to do is take whatever input people put into the system and find a way to turn it into the most engagement possible. And the most engagement comes from the startle emotions, like fear and anger and jealousy, because they tend to rise the fastest and then subside the slowest in people, and the algorithms are measuring people very rapidly, so they tend to pick up and amplify startle emotions over slower emotions like the building of trust or affection.

And so you tend to have the algorithms trying to take whatever has been put into the system and find some way to get a startle emotion out of it in order to maximize its use for addiction. What we call engagement should be called addiction and then behavior modification. And so you tend to have this phenomenon where there will be, let’s say, a social justice movement of some kind; it’s initially successful, but then the same data is instead optimized to find whoever is irritated by that social justice movement. Those irritated people are introduced to each other and put into this amplifying cycle where they’re more and more agitated until they become horrible. So, you start with the Arab Spring, but then you get ISIS getting even more mileage from the same tools. Or you start with Black Lives Matter and you come up with this resurgent bizarre racist movement that had been dormant for years. And this just keeps on happening.

🎮 Google announces “Project Stream”—a “test” of game streaming in Chrome

👁 How Do we hallucinate? Im vorderen visuellen Kortex sind Neuronen in Mustern angelegt, die anscheinend durch die Einnahme von halluzinogenen Substanzen wieder in Mustern gestört werden und in unterschiedlichem Ausmaß aktiv sind. Ergebnis: Hallus.

💧 Dire New UN Climate Change Report Says Earth Has 12 Years to Take Action

To limit warming to 2 degrees C, the panel determined CO2 emissions would have to drop a whopping 20 percent below 2010 levels by 2030 and hit zero by 2075. Capping warming at 1.5C means net anthropogenic CO2 emissions must decline by 45 percent in the next 12 years and fall to zero by 2050. Both marks would require deep emissions cuts in every sector on an unprecedented scale, according to the panel.

💧 Das halbe Grad macht einen wesentlichen Unterschied

Auf einem 1,5-Grad-Pfad müsste die Menschheit bis 2050 komplett aus der Kohleverbrennung aussteigen, Gas dürfte maximal für 8 Prozent der Energieerzeugung genutzt werden, heißt es deutlich in der Zusammenfassung für Entscheidungsträger des IPCC.

Sieht man sich eine kürzlich von Urgewald veröffentlichte Liste von geplanten neuen Kohlekraftwerken an, dann erscheint nicht einmal ein Kohleausstieg bis 2050 realistisch. Demnach befinden sich in 59 Ländern insgesamt 1380 Kohlekraftwerke in Planung oder Bau. Ihre Gesamtkapazität entspräche einem Drittel der heute auf der Welt betriebenen Kohlekraftwerke. Wenn man mit einer durchschnittlichen Laufzeit von 40 Jahren rechnet, wären diese Kraftwerke also noch nach 2050 am Netz.

9. Oktober 2018
7. Oktober 2018

Links: Dark Core of Personality, Interview mit Didier Eribon, Kritik an Böhmermanns „Hass-Report“

🐍 Psychologists define the 'dark core of personality' - I know people who should read this carefully.

the common denominator of all dark traits, the D-factor, can be defined as the general tendency to maximize one's individual utility -- disregarding, accepting, or malevolently provoking disutility for others -- , accompanied by beliefs that serve as justifications.

In other words, all dark traits can be traced back to the general tendency of placing one's own goals and interests over those of others even to the extent of taking pleasure in hurting other's -- along with a host of beliefs that serve as justifications and thus prevent feelings of guilt, shame, or the like.

😞 “Das ist gefährlich für uns alle”: Massive Kritik am Hassreport von Jan Böhmermanns Netzbewegung “Reconquista Internet” - I've read this "report" and it's bad. But the most funny part about the critique to that bad work is this: „Keine Reaktion der Verantwortlichen“. And I have a really hard time remembering the left doing anything right. Sadface.

Direkt nach der Veröffentlichung versuchte HoGeSatzbau die Kritik zunächst direkt an das Team von “Reconquista Internet” zu bringen. Dazu haben sie auf dem Discord-Server, auf dem sich die Bewegung organisiert, einen Kommentar mit der Kritik veröffentlicht. Unmittelbar danach seien sie jedoch gesperrt wurden. Auch private Nachrichten blieben unbeantwortet. Verantwortliche von “Reconquista Internet” begründen das damit, dass die Nachrichten zum Teil beleidigend gewesen seien und man deshalb auf diese Art nicht miteinander kommunizieren wolle. MEEDIA hat Einblick in den gelöschten Kommentar und die privaten Nachrichten erhalten und kann diese Aussage bestätigen. Der zunächst abgesendete und kurz danach gelöschte Kommentar auf der Plattform enthielt jedoch nur sachliche Kritik. Warum “Reconquista Internet” diesen gelöscht hat, bleibt unklar. Gelungene Krisenkommunikation sieht anders aus.

😈 «Was ist eigentlich die Aufgabe der Medien im aktuellen Klima?» - This woman sounds a lot less crazier in an interview than on the tweeties or in her toxic "poetry". She still promotes a fundamentalist branch of feminism that failed spectacularly in the past few years.

☝️ INTERVIEW MIT DIDIER ERIBON: Wir erleben eine Art Aufstand der unteren Schichten - „Eines der wichtigsten Dinge, die man sich wünschen muss, ist die Entstehung von Gewerkschaften auf europäischer Ebene. […] Wir brauchen Gewerkschaften, Vereinigungen, Organisationen. Wie geht das, wenn die Unternehmen international sind? Auch die Gewerkschaften müssen international, wenigstens europäisch sein. Das ist der einzige Weg, um sich gegen die Prekarisierung zu wehren.“ - spot on.

wenn Sie mein Buch richtig lesen, stellen Sie fest, dass ich keinen Gegensatz zwischen den Interessen der Arbeiterklasse und denen des Feminismus, Antirassismus, der LGBT-Bewegung und der Ökologie aufmache. Eine wirklich linke Partei kann nur all diese Themen gemeinsam angehen. Alles ist miteinander verknüpft. Menschen kommen aus fernen Ländern zu uns, weil der Klimawandel ihre Lebensgrundlagen zerstört.

🌞 The Fifteen-Year-Old Climate Activist Who Is Demanding a New Kind of Politics

Thunberg calls bullshit on the consensus. In our conversation, she pointed out that, despite Sweden’s progressive legislation and the scientific consensus that rich countries must cut their emissions by fifteen per cent a year, in Sweden actual emissions had gone up 3.6 per cent in the first quarter of this year. She has written a piece called “Sweden is not a role model,” in which she points out that even the best-laid plans to address climate change make no attempt to look beyond the year 2050. “By then I will, in the best case, not even have lived half my life,” she wrote. “What happens next?”

5. Oktober 2018
4. Oktober 2018
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2. Oktober 2018

Links 2.10.18: Horror-Oscars, Black Mirror Choose Your Own Adventure-Episode, Jeremy Saulnier, the Goblin and Intergalactic Sun Confetti

👻 The Horror Oscars: The Best Scary Movies of Every Year Since 1978’s ‘Halloween’

🙄 Netflix Is Planning a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure ‘Black Mirror’ - I hate this gimmicky CYOA-crap in moving images. Works in Novels where you interact with story anyways, but not for broadcast imho.

🔫 Jeremy Saulnier & Macon Blair Discuss The Savagery Of HOLD THE DARK - I've yet to watch Saulniers latest and this interview about cinematic violence and tribes amps up my expectations.

😜 Stars flying between Galaxies are sort of Intergalactic Sun Confetti: „Most of the high velocity stars we spotted seem to be racing towards it […] these could be stars from another galaxy, zooming right through the Milky Way.“

✖️ ‘The Goblin’: New Distant Dwarf Planet Bolsters Evidence for Planet X

1. Oktober 2018
30. September 2018

Why Identity Politics is illiberal and no basis for civil rights

Schöner Artikel von Helen Pluckrose und James A. Lindsay, in dem sie anhand von grundlegenden Texten des Intersektionalismus herausarbeiten, warum Identitätspolitik nicht mit universellen Freiheitsrechten vereinbar ist und Identitätspolitiker daher keinesfalls als Aktivisten für Bürgerrechte angesehen werden sollten (was ich fälschlicherweise in der Vergangenheit getan habe, mea culpa). Viel eher kann man die aggressiveren Vertreter_Innen wohl vor allem als eine Art Reparations-Aktivisten betrachten, die eine Art „Rache“ auf medialem und politischem Boden vollziehen. Kein Wunder, dass viele Linke (wie ich) dieser Form des angeblichen Linksseins den Rücken kehren.

Areo: Identity Politics Does Not Continue the Work of the Civil Rights Movements

The Civil Rights Movement, second-wave liberal feminism, and Gay Pride functioned explicitly on these values of universal human rights and did so to forward the worth of the individual regardless of status of race, gender, sex, sexuality, or other markers of identity. They proceeded by appealing directly to universal human rights applying universally. […]

In the late ‘80s and ‘90s a second wave of “theorists” significantly adapted […] postmodern ideas and made them politically actionable—and they kept trading on the good names of the civil rights movements to do it. Postcolonial theorists, intersectional feminist theorists, critical race theorists, and queer theorists largely took on the concept of social constructivism but rejected its radical anti-realism. They argued that nothing could be addressed unless it was accepted that identity groups existed, constructed as they were, and that power clustered around some of them while being denied to others. That is, for these applied postmodernists, objectivity may remain impossible, but identity and oppression based upon it are objectively real.

They identified that these power dynamics arose largely on the level of discourse. Consequently, for true equality to exist, the knowledge of women and racial and sexual minorities, which are understood to be different and products of lived experience, should be foregrounded. Identity politics were born, and they claimed to be the true inheritors of the liberal civil rights project even as they abandoned both the epistemology and ethics that define liberalism both in theory and practice.

Bad Books for Bad People

Grade in meinen Podcast-Feeds gelandet: Bad Books for Bad People, in dem Tenebrous Kate und Jack Guignol die „weirdest, kinkiest, and most outrageous fiction“ besprechen, die sie finden können. Hier eine Folge über William Burroughs The Wild Boys - Psychedelic Gay Armageddon und hier eine über Richard Mathesons Hell House - Two-Fisted Gross-Gothic Ghost Hunting. Und hier eine Mini-Episode über die Ass Goblins of Auschwitz. „Adventures in Bizarro“ indeed.

Radical Reads

Weil ich noch nicht genug Bücher im Regal habe: Radical Reads sammelt Leselisten. Hier exemplarisch John Waters, David Bowie und Tom Waits. (via Piqd)

29. September 2018
26. September 2018
16. August 2018
6. August 2018
31. Juli 2018

Newmodels.io

Neu im Feedreader*, die fantastischen NewModels.io. Wie Drudge Report mit weniger Rightwing-Outrage dafür mehr Zukunft, Kunst und Komplexität. Das schönste dabei: Keinerlei überflüssiger Schnickschnack, maximale Reduktion auf Links Links Links, so wie es sein sollte. Tolle Logo-Seite auch mit Wolken in Berlin und jährlichen Delphin-Sichtungen.RSS-Feeds* gibt's hier: http://feeds.feedburner.com/newmodels/rss und https://newmodels.io/aggregates/feed.FEEDREADER/RSS-FEED:… Gib mir den Rest, Baby!

Evolutionary Computation Bestiary

Ein Bestiarium für Metaphern aus dem Tierreich für Code, also Fledermaus-inspirierte, kooperative Algorithmen zum Beispiel oder eine „clustering method based on blind, naked mole-rats“.

The goal of the Evolutionary Computation Bestiary is to catalog the, ermm… exuberance of the meta-heuristic “eco-system”. We try to keep a list of the many different animals, plants, microbes, natural phenomena and supernatural activities that can be spotted in the wild lands of the metaphor-based computation literature.

While we personally believe that the literature could do with more mathematics and less marsupials, and that we, as a community, should grow past this metaphor-rich phase in our field’s history (a bit like chemistry outgrew alchemy), please note that this list makes no claims about the scientific quality of the papers listed

Warming Arctic could be behind Heatwave

Slate schrieb vor ein paar Tagen völlig zurecht, dass sich die derzeitige Hitzewelle multiple Faktoren zur Ursache hat, was viele Klimawandel-Skeptiker zum Anlass nahmen, noch weiter herumzuzweifeln. Eine der Ursachen für die Hitzewelle ist ein langsam gewordener Jetstream in der Atmosphäre der nördlichen Welthalbkugel und dieses Phänomen lässt sich mittlerweile sehr wohl auf die erwärmende Arktis und damit auf den Klimawandel zurückführen, was Hitzewellen wie diese sehr viel wahrscheinlicher macht. Auch die europäische Hitzewelle aus dem Jahr 2003 lässt sich wohl auf dieses Phänomen zurückführen.

New Scientist: Warming Arctic could be behind heatwave sweeping northern hemisphere

One reason is that the jet stream—a fast-flowing river of air snaking continually round the northern hemisphere at altitudes of around 6 kilometres—has stalled over Europe since May, and could continue to do so, trapping regions of high pressure that are cloudless, windless and extremely hot. “It’s been a key player in the astounding heatwaves across the UK and Scandinavia this summer,” says Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University in New Jersey.

She says evidence is mounting that accelerated warming of the Arctic is a major reason why the jet stream keeps getting stalled. The stream is driven by collisions between cold air descending southward from the Arctic and warm air pushing northward from the equator.

The greater the temperature difference between the colliding air streams, the more powerful the jet stream. But the temperature gap—and therefore the power of the jet stream—is being weakened because the Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet, supplying the stream with increasingly warmer air. “Heatwaves over northern hemisphere continents in recent years fit the hypothesis that rapid Arctic warming is playing a role,” says Francis.

New Scientist: Climate change made Europe’s heatwave twice as likely to happen

He says this summer’s extreme weather in the Northern Hemisphere is related to a near-stationary perturbation in the jet stream. Such patterns have been implicated in “many of the most extreme, persistent summer weather events in recent years, including the 2003 European heat wave, 2010 Moscow wildfires, 2011 Texas and Oklahoma drought [and the] 2016 Alberta wildfires.”

In a study published last year, Mann and his colleagues showed that such patterns are becoming more common as a result of human-caused climate change (Scientific Reports, doi.org/f9vwxh). Mann says the “amplified warming in the Arctic” seems to be a major contributor.

Octopusses on XTC

Jordan Peterson hat vielleicht depressive Hummer am Start, aber die sind ein Scheiß gegen soziale Octopusse auf XTC: MDMA Makes Octopuses Want to Mingle, Too.

Like most octopuses, this color-changing cephalopod is asocial, meaning it likes to be alone most of the time, unless it’s trying to mate.

But when given MDMA, a drug well known for boosting emotional empathy and prosocial behavior in humans (i.e. making you really, really want to fraternize), these octopuses also seemed to want to hang out with each other, even if they weren’t trying to find a mate.

This is interesting not only because these octopuses don’t normally behave this way, but also because the last common ancestor we shared was probably some wormlike thing between 500 and 750 million years ago. We’re pretty different from octopuses — in fact, by some estimates, these eight-legged freaks are the closest thing on Earth to an alien species. So it’s fairly intriguing to see that a drug works on them the same way it does on us.

According to the authors, these findings might tell us a lot about how “ancient neurotransmitter systems are shared across vertebrate and invertebrate species.”

30. Juli 2018

Digitale Medienkompetenz als neuer Pfeiler klassischer Bildung

Der britischen Parlamentsausschusses fordert in einem neuen Bericht (PDF) zu Fake News und den gesellschaftlichen Auswirkungen von Social Media neben mehr Verantwortung der Plattformen und juristischen Frameworks auch die Einführung von digitaler Medienkompetenz als vierten Pfeiler der Schulbildung in den klassischen Kulturtechniken (neben Lesen, Schreiben und Mathematik). Letzteres sehe ich ähnlich, bei neuen juristischen Frameworks für „Fakes auf Plattformen“ bleibe ich skeptisch und sehe eine große Gefahr der Einschränkung von Freiheitsrechten aller Art. (via Ingrid Brodnig)

Hier die Stelle im Bericht über Digitale Medienkompetenz, deren letzter Absatz ziemlich genau wiedergibt, was durch das Netz auf dem Spiel steht: Wahrheit, die öffentliche Wahrnehmung der Realität, Macht und praktisch jeder einzelne Aspekt der Gesellschaft. Infrage gestellt wird das alles durch banale psychologische Mechanismen wie Confirmation Bias in Filterblasen und die mittlerweile verfestigte Netz-Konstante „Shitstorm“ ist lediglich das Symptom dieser immer weiter voranschreitenden Tribalisierung durch diese Mechanismen, verstärkt durch Vernetzung und Social Media.

234. The point of social media is to interact with other people, and to share ideas. Dr Caroline Tagg, from the Open University, carried out research that showed that people use Facebook to maintain social relationships, and to many people Facebook was not seen as a news media site, but “a place where they carry out quite complex maintenance and management of their social relationships”.

235. Within those social relationships, people tend to connect and want to spend time with others who share their same views and interests, which is when the spread of misinformation can happen so quickly. Professor Lewandowsky, from the University of Bristol, told us about an Australian study on climate change:

Only 8% of people were found to completely negate the idea that the climate is changing but those 8% thought that their opinion was shared by half the population and that was because they were all in this echo chamber and talked to each other and felt their opinions confirmed. I think that is a novel problem that is inherent to the technology. That people think, whatever they think, everybody else thinks the same way.

236. This dependency and reliance on social media comes with worrying consequences, as Tristan Harris told us:

There are many different issues emerging out of the attention economy. The externalities range from public health, addiction, culture, children’s well-being, mental well-being, loneliness, sovereignty of identity and things like that to election democracy, truth, discernment of truth and a shared reality, anti-trust and power. There are multiple issues. There are even more, because when you control the minds of people, you control society. How people make sense of the world and how they make choices are what ID is, and that can affect every aspect of society.

19. Juli 2018
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30. Juni 2018
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31. Mai 2018
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26. Mai 2018

Sibylle Berg: Politik von rechts – Hallo Mehrheit!

Sibylle Berg über die nicht vorhandene Wehrhaftigkeit gegen Rechts. Ich stimme ihr in jedem Wort zu und ich vermute, dass sich der liberale Teil der Linken demnächst unter einem neuen Dach konsolidieren wird. Abwarten.

Link: http://www.spiegel.de/kultur/gesellschaft/kampf-gegen-rechts-wir-brauchen-eine-revolution-kolumne-a-1209368.html

Gib mir den Rest, Baby…

25. Mai 2018

Elon Musk vs Journalism

Ich teile Elon Musks prinzipielle Medienkritik: „Problem is journos are under constant pressure to get max clicks & earn advertising dollars“.

Aber es ist mehr als beunruhigend, wenn der Boss einer der erfolgreichsten, global agierenden Unternehmen auf Kritik an seinem Unternehmen mit einer Bewertungsseite der Kritiker reagiert. Uncool, Musk. Er sollte sein Geld bei einem solchen Interesse an Medien vielleicht einfach in ein Investment in Independent Media stecken, zum Beispiel in The Intercept von seinem alten Ebay/Paypal-Bekannten Pierre Omidyar. Nur so 'ne Idee.

Link: JETZT AUCH GEGEN JOURNALISTEN: Elon Musks neue Dünnhäutigkeit

24. Mai 2018

Jordan Peterson AMA

I'm thinking about asking the guy some questions in his upcoming AMA on Reddit. (I don't think my shit will be answered because I suspect this to blow up like whoa.)

[update] It's live and gathered 1900+ 2300 Comments within one Hour, 400 of these within the last 5 Minutes. Holy shit.

I just posted my question (which is more remarks than question, repeated below), but honestly, I don't think the guy will be able to answer 10% of this tsunami. We'll see.

Gib mir den Rest, Baby…

23. Mai 2018

Trumps Tweet Machine

Der Bosten Globe über die Trump Tweet Machine: Staff-written posts, bad grammar (on purpose), and delight in the chaos. Vor allem die Stelle mit den vorverfassten Tweets in seinem Style, die er dann nur noch auswählt finde ich – nun, nicht erstaunlich. Goldenboy is a brand, das ist Marketing für seine irregeleitete Wählerschaft und reine Kalkulation und seine dumme Grammatik ist nur ein weiterer Fake. Hail to the Dumbfuck-King™ of Twitter.

West Wing employees who draft proposed tweets intentionally employ suspect grammar and staccato syntax in order to mimic the president’s style, according to two people familiar with the process. […] His staff has become so adept at replicating Trump’s tone that people who follow his feed closely say it is getting harder to discern which tweets were actually crafted by Trump sitting in his bathrobe and watching “Fox & Friends” and which were concocted by his communications team.

22. Mai 2018

Gentrifizierungsgegner besetzen mehrere Häuser in Berlin

Ich habe eine relativ differenzierte Meinung zu Gentrifizierung. Es ist völlig normal, dass sich urbane Zentren wandeln und die Mieten bei gegebener Relevanz (wie etwa 'Hauptstadt' oder 'Finanzzentrum') ansteigen. Das aber ist eine natürliche Entwicklung und hat wenig mit Immobilien-Blasen und -Spekulation zu tun, gegen die jeder Protest angebracht ist, denn Wohnraum ist indeed wichtiger als der Schotter der Bankster.

Deshalb: Schöne Aktion --> Gentrifizierungsgegner besetzen mehrere Häuser in Berlin, TAZ: Aktivistinnen besetzen leeres Haus
40 Wohnungen übernommen

Gib mir den Rest, Baby…

21. Mai 2018

AI-Computing-Growth beats Moores Law by Factor 5

Moores Law besagt bekanntlich, dass sich die die Rechenleistung ungefähr jedes Jahr verdoppelt. Diese Studie geht von 18 Monaten aus und kommt zum Ergebnis, das die für Künstliche Intelligenz verwendete Rechenleistung bereits eine Verdoppelung innerhalb von 3,5 Monaten erreicht hat, also circa Faktor 5. Whoa!

Link: https://blog.openai.com/ai-and-compute/ (via O'Reilly)

„since 2012, the amount of compute used in the largest AI training runs has been increasing exponentially with a 3.5 month-doubling time (by comparison, Moore’s Law had an 18-month doubling period). Since 2012, this metric has grown by more than 300,000x (an 18-month doubling period would yield only a 12x increase).“

20. Mai 2018
19. Mai 2018

Reconquista Internet

Die Website zu Böhmermanns Aktion. Prinzipiell okay, im Detail aber wohl zumindest stellenweise eher so mitteldurchdacht und über das gesamte Dings muss ich mir noch eine abschließende Meinung bilden. Bis dahin: „Wir sind #ReconquistaInternet, eine digitale Bürgerrechtsbewegung für Liebe und Vernunft im Internet und eine Zivilisierung des gesellschaftlichen Diskurses in den sozialen Netzwerken.“

18. Mai 2018
17. Mai 2018

GDPR will pop the adtech bubble

The Universe of Bullshit is about to collapse. Gib mir den Rest, Baby…

David Graeber on Bullshit Jobs

David Graeber (Schulden – Die ersten 5000 Jahre) hat sein 2013er Essay über Bullshit Jobs (PR-Ottos, „Human Resources“-Berater, Strategen) mittlerweile in sowas wie eine Theorie gebacken und ein Buch (Amazon-Partnerlink) darüber geschrieben. Bei der Royal Society of Arts hat er grade eine Stunde darüber geredet. Schöner Vortrag über Jobs, die ich seit Jahren mit „Business-Kasper“ beschreibe. (Geht auch sehr gut mit der sensationellen Doku Work Hard Play Hard, hier der Trailer, hier kompletto auf Vimeo.)

In 2013 David Graeber, professor of anthropology at LSE, wrote an excoriating essay on modern work for Strike! magazine. “On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs” was read over a million times and the essay translated in seventeen different languages within weeks. Graeber visits the RSA to expand on this phenomenon, and will explore how the proliferation of meaningless jobs - more associated with the 20th-century Soviet Union than latter-day capitalism - has impacted modern society. In doing so, he looks at how we value work, and how, rather than being productive, work has become an end in itself; the way such work maintains the current broken system of finance capital; and, finally, how we can get out of it.

Auszug aus Graebers Buch beim Guardian: ‘I had to guard an empty room’: the rise of the pointless job

Everyone is familiar with the sort of jobs that don’t seem, to the outsider, really to do much of anything: HR consultants, communications coordinators, PR researchers, financial strategists, corporate lawyers or the sort of people who spend their time staffing committees that discuss the problem of unnecessary committees. What if these jobs really are useless, and those who hold them are actually aware of it? Could there be anything more demoralising than having to wake up in the morning five out of seven days of one’s adult life to perform a task that one believes does not need to be performed, is simply a waste of time or resources, or even makes the world worse?

There are plenty of surveys about whether people are happy at work, but what about whether people feel their jobs have any good reason to exist? I decided to investigate this phenomenon by drawing on more than 250 testimonies from people around the world who felt they once had, or now have, what I call a bullshit job.

Gib mir den Rest, Baby…