Leseliste: IS und der Terror

Why ISIS might regret the decision to go global

Paris war der erste internationale Anschlag, der auf obere Ränge des IS zurückzuführen war. Brookings befasst sich mit den Vorteilen (PR, Rekruten werben, die z.T. ohnehin im Ausland sind) dieser Expansion und seinen Kosten.

Brookings-Autor Daniel L. Byman glaubt, dass es keine gute Idee ist, wenn IS-Terroristen verstärkt auch außerhalb Syriens und Iraks Anschläge verüben. Die Gründe:

  1. „An immediate problem is command and control. Having a global network requires global communications, and that exposes militants to counterterrorism.“: Weiterhin top-down-Entscheidungen oder mehr Freiheit für lokale IS-Typen?
  2. Wohin fließt das Geld? In die Kernregion, ins Ausland?
  3. Wer mehr Leute angreift, macht sich mehr Feinde.

Lokal aktiv sein, sei deshalb für Terrorgruppen keine schlechte Idee:

With so many factors counseling against going global, it is perhaps not surprising that two of the most successful terrorist groups in recent years, Hamas and Hezbollah, both focused first and foremost on their immediate regions, with Hezbollah over time becoming much less global in its operations.

Tatsächlich ist nur ein sehr kleiner Teil von Terrorgruppen international aufgestellt.

Inside the surreal world of the Islamic State’s propaganda machine

Die Washginton Post zeigt, wie die Propaganda des IS funktioniert und spricht dafür zum Beispiel mit Ex-Kameramännern, die Videos drehen:

What they described resembles a medieval reality show. Camera crews fan out across the caliphate every day, their ubiquitous presence distorting the events they purportedly document. Battle scenes and public beheadings are so scripted and staged that fighters and executioners often perform multiple takes and read their lines from cue cards.

Die PR-Leute bekommen auch militärische Ränge. Wie wichtig sie sind zeigen: das Gehalt (Sie verdienen mehr als Soldaten), wie Exekutionen von statten gehen (Sie bestimmen, wann jemand enthaupter wird – nämlich dann, wenn es genug Aufnahmen aus verschiedenen Winkeln gibt).

Saudi Arabia, an ISIS That Has Made It
These: IS = black Daesh, Iran = grey Daesh, Saudi-Arabien = white Daesh

Daesh has a mother: the invasion of Iraq. But it also has a father: Saudi Arabia and its religious-industrial complex.

Why People Keep Saying, “That’s What the Terrorists Want”

Das will er ja nur, der IS! Aber, was nun eigentlich genau? Das versuchen wir uns über das Ergebnis – jetzt zum Beispiel tote Menschen in Paris – zu erklären, um so eine logischen Zusammenhang zu kreiieren. So einfach ist das aber nicht, zugrunde liegt eine kognitive Dissonanz. Das kann sich aber schnell ändern, zum Beispiel:

This also helps explain why the presumed motives of terrorists seem to shift so rapidly and contradictorily. Consider that until the Paris attacks this past week, the conventional wisdom held that the group wields violence to achieve a Caliphate unadulterated by Western interference. Since the attacks, however, we’ve been told that actually the Islamic State wants to provoke the West into more military interference in order to showcase the West’s brutal behavior. Before the attacks, we were told that France is a juicy target for the Islamic State because of its failure to integrate its Muslim population. After the attacks, we are being told that the Islamic State actually wants France and the rest of the world to become even more xenophobic against Muslims on the theory that alienated moderates may be more receptive to extremism.

The Attacks in Paris Reveal the Strategic Limits of ISIS

IS, Kurden, Rebellen, Iran, Saudi Arabien, Türkei etc.: Was sind ihre Positionen? Was wollen sie? (sic: Link darüber)

Phillip, Dodd-Frank und das Patent

The 57-Year-Old Chart That Is Dividing the Fed

Good ol’ Phillipskurve – Yay or Nay?

Die Phillipskurve ist ein Modell, das den Zusammenhang zwischen Inflation und Arbeitslosigkeit darstellt. Die Realität hält sich aber nicht an die einfachste Version der Überlegung. Es gibt aber auch komplexere, an denen Fed-Chefin Yellen, die Entscheidung über eine Leitzins-Erhöhung in den USA aufhängen wird.

Fazit des Upshot-Textes: Schlechtes Tool, aber das beste, das wir haben.

What Is Glass-Steagall? The 82-Year-Old Banking Law That Stirred the Debate

Wer sich mit der Finanzkrise in den USA beschäftigt, kommt um ein paar zentrale Gesetze zur Finanzregulierung nicht herum: Glass-Steagall, Dodd-Franck, Volker. Die New York Times erklärt sie, auffrischen kann ja nicht schaden.

The stronger arguments for Glass-Steagall repeal as a cause of the crisis are also subtler ones. The investment manager Barry Ritholtz, for example, has argued that “the repeal of Glass-Steagall may not have caused the crisis — but its repeal was a factor that made it much worse” by allowing the mid-2000s credit bubble to inflate larger than it otherwise would have and making banks more complex and thus prone to failure.

The Myth of Basic Science

Braucht es Forschung für innovative Erfindungen? Forschung ist für technische Innovationen keine notwendige Bedingung – das ist die These in einem Essay im Wall Street Journal. Wenn der Autor Matt Ridley das weiter denkt, kommt er zur Schlussfolgerung: Öffentliche Finanzierung von Wissenschaft ist vielleicht nicht so richtig sinnvoll.

Ein Absatz zu Patenten, die ihren ursprünglichen Sinn oft nicht mehr haben:

Patents and copyright laws grant too much credit and reward to individuals and imply that technology evolves by jerks. Recall that the original rationale for granting patents was not to reward inventors with monopoly profits but to encourage them to share their inventions. A certain amount of intellectual property law is plainly necessary to achieve this. But it has gone too far. Most patents are now as much about defending monopoly and deterring rivals as about sharing ideas. And that discourages innovation.

Reading

Mein halbes digitales Leben
Wäre ich analog ein anderer Mensch geworden?

Dazu passend bei Aeon: Would you be the same individual if you were a different gender?

2015 is the year the old internet finally died
Eine weitere Analyse der Medien im Netz, bei der – seufz! – der guten, alten Zeiten gedacht wird.

Mitte der 2000er Jahre, die Zeit der Blogs:

In that economy, the readers only had power in aggregate. Get enough of them, and you’d have a site that stuck around. Get too few, and you would fade.

And the rise of social has flipped the old writer/reader balance, restoring power to the reader.

Und nun, 2015:

Now, two years after that rift, it’s become obvious that sites like the Dissolve — quirky, specialist sites that thrived in 2005 — are an endangered species in 2015.
(…)
The future belongs to the fleet, to the fast, to the instantly assembled hot take. Thoughtfulness is almost beside the point, in many cases, if you can produce something enough people will want to associate with the curation of their core beings.

Why Your Rent Is So High and Your Pay Is So Low

  • Wir befinden uns in New York
  • Gehälter und Preise für Wohnungen und Häuser entwickeln sich auseinander
  • Ältere Mittelklasse sind Immobilienbesitzer
  • Politiker haben kein Interesse, dass die Preise sinken, weil sie es sich nicht mit den vielen älteren Wählern verscherzen wollen
  • Früher gingen die meisten Kredite an Firmen, heute an Privatpersonen für Hypotheken

The fear of another financial crisis combined with the fear of angry middle-class, middle-aged voters gives politicians every reason to keep house prices from falling.

The ethics of modern web ad-blocking

Modern web ads and trackers are far over the line for many people today, and they’ve finally crossed the line for me, too. Just as when pop-ups crossed the line fifteen years ago, technical countermeasures are warranted.

Quelle: The ethics of modern web ad-blocking – Marco.org

Lesenswertes: Medium, Holocaust und künstliche Intelligenz

Medium, Centralized Publishing and the Future of the Blog

Medium ist das neue Medium (hust). Zumindest ist es die Blogging-Plattform, die im Moment en vogue ist: Einfache Bedienung, großartiges Design und viele namhafte Autoren, die dort publizieren. Doch es ist nicht alles rosig. Martin Weigert beschreibt die Nachteile, die sich aus einer zentralen Plattform ergeben, sei sie auch noch so verführerisch, und plädiert für dezentrale Blogs. Hooray!

„While Medium thrives, the yearly “is blogging dead?” meme goes into another round. And while even this time the answer has to be a clear “no”, which anyone who actually reads blogs will realize, there is a risk that blogging in the sense of a democratic, decentralized publishing system, might die out for real. Not because of a lack of interest in the creation of digital content, but because everybody will have moved to a few centralized platforms. Even this has been a discussion almost as old as blogging itself. But with Medium, this free, high-quality, elegant, usable publishing platform that comes with an effective built-in distribution mechanism, there is now a centralized publishing system with an allure never seen before.“

20 Pictures That Change The Holocaust Narrative

holocaust narrative

„Seriously, how is this image not beyond famous by now? Depicting a woman at the shortly after her liberation, so skinny you can hardly see her, her face is aglow and alive. As if she was never imprisoned.“

via Raphael Raue

The AI Revolution: The Road to Superintelligence

Ich übernehme mal David Bauers Empfehlung:

„Ein atemberaubend guter Text und eigentlich Pflichtlektüre für alle, die planen, noch zwei, drei Dekaden auf diesem Planeten zu verbringen.

Man liest ja viel von künstlicher Intelligenz und denkt dann an den reichlich beschränkten Siri oder hört von Fantasten, die von Singularität und Unsterblichkeit reden. Dieser Text ist der erste, der mir verständlich gemacht hat, wie der Weg vom einen zum anderen verläuft.“

Ein Zitat aus dem Text, der aber nur ein ganz kleiner Ausschnitt der Aspekte ist, die besprochen werden:

„Build a computer that can multiply two ten-digit numbers in a split second—incredibly easy. Build one that can look at a dog and answer whether it’s a dog or a cat—spectacularly difficult. Make AI that can beat any human in chess? Done. Make one that can read a paragraph from a six-year-old’s picture book and not just recognize the words but understand the meaning of them? Google is currently spending billions of dollars trying to do it. Hard things—like calculus, financial market strategy, and language translation—are mind-numbingly easy for a computer, while easy things—like vision, motion, movement, and perception—are insanely hard for it. Or, as computer scientist Donald Knuth puts it, “AI has by now succeeded in doing essentially everything that requires ‘thinking’ but has failed to do most of what people and animals do ‘without thinking.’”

Lesenswertes: Profi-Gamer, Sklaven-MGMT und deutsche US-Kultur

Profi-Gamer statt Profi-Fussballer

Vor Jahren handelte eine meiner ersten Reportagen von chinesischen Jugendlichen, die Games spielen. Bei Aeon gibt es nun einen aktuellen (und wesentlich besseren) Text über die Folgen davon, wenn Tausende Jugendliche von einer Karriere es als Profi-Spieler träumen.

„Game boys: From a vast subculture of gaming addicts in China, only a few go professional and get rich. Is the social cost worth it?“

Die alten Römer als die ersten Manager

Ein anderer Aeon-Text vergleicht den Umgang der Römer mit Sklaven und modernem Management:

„The successful Roman master understood that slaves were not stupid and would take advantage of opportunities to undermine their master’s authority. Oppression, however, meant that outright rebellion was as rare as labour strikes today. The three big slave rebellions, the last of which was led by Spartacus, all took place between 135-71 BC when slaves were cheap and expendable, thanks to rapid Roman conquests, and so were treated appallingly.

(…)

Owning slaves and employing staff are in a simple sense a million miles apart. A comparison of the two is going to provoke, but similarities do exist. It is an uncomfortable truth that both slave owners and corporations want to extract the maximum possible value from their human assets, without exhausting them or provoking rebellion or escape.“

Die deutschen Einwanderer und ihre Spuren in der amerikanischen Kultur

The silent minority – The Economist

„German immigrants have flavoured American culture like cinnamon in an Apfelkuchen. They imported Christmas trees and Easter bunnies and gave America a taste for pretzels, hot dogs, bratwursts and sauerkraut. They built big Lutheran churches wherever they went. Germans in Wisconsin launched America’s first kindergarten and set up Turnvereine, or gymnastics clubs, in Milwaukee, Cincinnati and other cities.“

Die 90er-Jahre-Technologie-Party

Welcome to the Revenge of ’90s Internet

The Verge vergleicht die großen der Technologie-Industrie – Google, Facebook und den Chip-Hersteller Qualcomm – mit den dominanten Firmen der 90er Jahre:

You can keep going: Facebook is now pitching itself to media companies as their savior, just as AOL once did. Most websites get a tremendous amount of traffic from Facebook; it’s only a matter of time before Facebook starts aggressively charging for that traffic.

Google = Microsoft
Facebook = AOL
Apple = Sony
Buzzfeed = Yahoo

Die Begründungen dazu nach dem Link

Lesenswertes: Journalismus und Kapitalismus

The Unmanageables
Man nehme einen philantrophischen Milliardär, ein paar namhafte Investigativjournalisten und ein paar Wochen Zeit. Dass die Gründung einer journalistischen Publikation nicht immer ohne Probleme ablaufen muss, zeigt First Media mit The Intercept und Racket. Hauptproblem scheint laut Vanity Fair das Aufeinandertreffen zweier Kulturen zu sein: Projektmanager und Freigeister.

The Twin Insurgency

When Communism collapsed in 1989, what died was thus not just the collectivist economic system and authoritarian politics of the Soviet Union and its satellites. Cremated along with the corpse of Communism was the civic-minded conception of development as the central responsibility of the state and allied elites—a conception shared by communists and liberals alike during the Cold War.

Stattdessen profitieren zwei Gruppen, die, so Gilman, den Aufstand proben: Plutokraten und Kriminelle, die von oben und unten den Staat zwar nicht abschaffen, jedoch so weit es geht eindämmen wollen, um ihre eigenen Interessen durchzusetzen. „Deviant Globalization“ nennt der Historiker an der UC Berkeley diese beiden Strömungen.

The ultimate losers in all of this, of course, are the middle classes—the people who “play by the rules” by going to school and getting traditional middle-class jobs whose chief virtue is stability. These sorts of people, who lack the ruthlessness to act as criminal insurgents or the resources to act as plutocratic insurgents, can only watch as institutions built over the course of the 20th century to ensure a high quality of life for a broad majority of citizens are progressively eroded. As the social bases of collective action crumble, individuals within the middle classes may increasingly face a choice: accept a progressive loss of social security and de facto social degradation, or join one of the two insurgencies.

Lesenswertes: China vs. USA

China ist nun nach dem Bruttoinlandsprodukt die größte Wirtschaftsnation der Erde und hat damit die Vereinigten Staaten überholt. Was bedeutet das für das Verhältnis zwischen den beiden Ländern und die globale wirtschaftliche Ordnung? Eine Text dazu in der Vanity Fair. Zwei der interessanten Stellen:

„The United States then made two critical mistakes. First, it inferred that its triumph meant a triumph for everything it stood for. But in much of the Third World, concerns about poverty—and the economic rights that had long been advocated by the left—remained paramount. The second mistake was to use the short period of its unilateral dominance, between the fall of the Berlin Wall and the fall of Lehman Brothers, to pursue its own narrow economic interests—or, more accurately, the economic interests of its multi-nationals, including its big banks—rather than to create a new, stable world order. The trade regime the U.S. pushed through in 1994, creating the World Trade Organization, was so unbalanced that, five years later, when another trade agreement was in the offing, the prospect led to riots in Seattle. Talking about free and fair trade, while insisting (for instance) on subsidies for its rich farmers, has cast the U.S. as hypocritical and self-serving.

(…)

Now China is the world’s No. 1 economic power. Why should we care? On one level, we actually shouldn’t. The world economy is not a zero-sum game, where China’s growth must necessarily come at the expense of ours. In fact, its growth is complementary to ours. If it grows faster, it will buy more of our goods, and we will prosper. There has always, to be sure, been a little hype in such claims—just ask workers who have lost their manufacturing jobs to China. But that reality has as much to do with our own economic policies at home as it does with the rise of some other country.“