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.“

Lesenswertes: Code und Drohnen beim Bund

How Fusion does agile

Once your communication is like oxygen, agile goes best with a heavy dose of open source software.

Daniel Bachhuber, einer der prominentesten WordPress-Entwickler und ehemaliger Automattic-Angesteller, ist seit Kurzem bei Fusion. Dort leitet er die Entwicklungsabteilung. Fusion ist einer der neuen Player auf dem Medienmarkt, der sich mir vor allem bemerkbar gemacht hast, weil er prominente Köpfe abgeworben hat. Unter anderem Alexis Madigal vom Atlantic, Felix Salmon von Reuters und eben Daniel Bachhuber von Automattic.

Coding History

Genauer gesagt ist Coding History hörenswert. Die Selbstbeschreibung:

Ein Podcast zur Frage, wie die digitale Welt geworden ist, wie sie ist: Warum sieht Software so aus, wie sie aussieht? Wie hat sich das Programmieren von Software verändert und was für Auswirkungen hat das eigentlich darauf, wie wir Software benutzen?

„Ich bin kein Computerspieler“

Wie sieht die Arbeit von Drohnenpiloten bei der Bundeswehr aus? Wirklich interessantes Interview bei Zeit Online.

Automechaniker sind nicht automatisch gute Verkehrsplaner

Technische Begriffe wie “Daten” und “Algorithmen” verschleiern dabei nur allzu oft, dass die drängenden Fragen sich um Zugang, Teilhabe, Machtverteilung und Diskriminierung drehen. Sie implizieren die Angemessenheit des technischen Zugangs, schieben die Deutungshoheit auf die Technologen, die sich dann nur all zu oft in einem undurchdringlichen Wirrwarr aus Fachbegriffen verlieren.

aus: Automechanik und Verkehrsplanung

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.“

Lesenswertes: Yunnan und seine Grenze

Auch zwischen China und Burma liegt die Schmugglerware im globalen Trend: Drogen, Waffen, Frauen.

Drogen, Waffen, Frauen: Mit dem steigenden Handel zwischen China und seinen Nachbarn im Südwesten steigt auch die Schmugglerware an. Besonders aus Burma kommen viele illegale Waren, berichtet der Economist:

„A hundred metres from the tiered, gold-tipped roof of the official border crossing between China and Myanmar in Ruili, an unofficial international trade zone thrives—across a 7-metre (23-foot) high metal fence that divides the two countries. Small groups of Chinese gather to buy cigarettes, coffee and Chinese medicines through the bars from Burmese stall-sellers. Farther along the road, a man in a red T-shirt crosses from Myanmar to China in bright daylight through a rectangular hole in the railings.“

Lesenswertes zwischen 15. 7. 14 und 29. 7. 14

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You May Be Losing Users If Responsive Web Design Is Your Only Mobile Strategy | Smashing Magazine

"You resize the browser and a smile creeps over your face. You’re happy: You think you are now mobile-friendly, that you have achieved your goals for the website. Let me be a bit forward before getting into the discussion: You are losing users and probably money if responsive web design is your entire goal and your only solution for mobile. The good news is that you can do it right."

Börse plus Sozialismus: Alternatives Wirtschaftssystem – brand eins online

"Corneos Vorstoß aber ist etwas Besonderes. Weil er von innen kommt, aus dem Kreis der etablierten Wirtschaftswissenschaftler, denen seit einiger Zeit vorgeworfen wird, sich dogmatisch verkapselt zu haben."

Kara Swisher: Tech’s Most Powerful Snoop — NYMag

All journalism about power runs on trade-offs. Don’t use my name, and I’ll tell you what you want to know. Wait to run the story, and I’ll speak only to you. If you’re fair, I’ll keep taking your calls. Silicon Valley is no different from Washington or Hollywood in this regard, but it’s still much more of a clusterfuck: In the land of the 23-year-old multibillionaire, unlike in D.C., some of the most powerful, newsworthy people are peers of the young reporters covering them, and thus more likely to form social relationships; and unlike in Hollywood, journalists aren’t automatically assigned lower social status than their subjects. Here, too, the investors backing tech media are often from the same industry they’re supposed to be covering, a uniquely sunny industry that encourages puffery. Most tech-media outlets, being start-ups themselves, are sympathetic to entrepreneurs, and upstart tech media don’t necessarily have the ethical proscriptions—such as gift policies—that traditional print institutions do.

Lesenswertes: Daten, VWL und der erste Satz

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  • Warum versagt die Volkswirtschaftslehre? – SWR2 :: Kultur Info | SWR.de – Das alte Thema: Ist die Volkswirtschaftslehre zu monothematisch, zu ideologisch, zu neoklassisch? Die Professoren Michel Burda und Helge Peukert und der Wirtschaftsjournalist Thomas Fricke streiten sich herrlich über die VWL.
  • Alberto Cairo: Data journalism needs to up its own standards » Nieman Journalism Lab – Kritik am Datenjournalismus vom Visualierungsexperten Alberto Cairo: „It is tempting for a news startup to try to be both BuzzFeed and The Economist at the same time, no matter how chimerical that goal is. Lighthearted blahblah can be done quickly and nonchalantly. Proper analytical journalism can’t. If you have a small organization, you may have to choose between producing a lot of bad stuff or publishing just a small amount of excellent stories.“
  • The Rhetoric of Data | Tow Center for Digital Journalism – Immer drandenken: „Who produced the data and what was their intent? Did it come from a reputable source, like a government or inter-governmental agency such as the UN, or was it produced by a third party corporation with an uncertain source of funding? Consider the possible political or advocacy motives of a data provider as you make inferences from that data, and do some reporting if those motives are unclear. When was the data collected? Sometimes there can be temporal drift in what data means, how it’s measured, or how it should be interpreted. Is the age of your data relevant to your interpretation? For example, in 2010 the Bureau of Labor Statistics changed the definition of long-term unemployment, which can make it important to recognize that shift when comparing data from before and after the change. Most importantly it’s necessary to ask what is measured in the data, how was it sampled, and what is ultimately depicted? Are data measurements defined accurately and in a way that they can be consistently measured? How was the data sampled from the world? Is the dataset comprehensive or is it missing pieces? If the data wasn’t randomly sampled how might that reflect a bias in your interpretation? Or have other errors been introduced into the data, for instance through typos or mistaken OCR technology? Is there uncertainty in the data that should be communicated to the reader? Has the data been cropped or filtered in a way that you have lost a potentially important piece of context that would change its interpretation? And what about aggregation or transformation? If a dataset is offered to you with only averages or medians (i.e. aggregations) you’re necessarily missing information about how the data might be distributed, or about outliers that might make interesting stories. For data that’s been transformed through some algorithmic process, such as classification, it can be helpful to know the error rates of that transformation as this can lead to additional uncertainty in the data.“
  • Der verfluchte erste Satz, Teil 1: Was ist Dein Problem? | Deadline – „In dem Drama Mensch gegen Wirklichkeit gibt es roh kartografiert vier Grossgebiete für Treibsand: Die Wirklichkeit entspricht nicht den Erwartungen des Lesers. Das Material ist absurd, abstossend, unerwartet, also gegen die Intuition oder den Geschmack des Publikums. Das heisst: Es muss mit List und Zucker präsentiert werden. Die Wirklichkeit ist sich selbst nicht klar. Das Material ist verwickelt, undeutlich, ausfasernd, unvollständig, uferlos, kurz: objektiv komplex. Das heisst: Man muss ein Ordnungssystem erfinden. Die Wirklichkeit entspricht nicht den Plänen des Autors. Die zentrale These bewahrheitet sich nur halb; die vorgesehene Hauptfigur bleibt blass; der Interviewpartner spricht wie ein Aktenordner; die Nebensache ist interessanter als die Hauptsache. Das heisst: Man muss seine Pläne ändern. Der Autor ist nicht einig mit sich selbst. Alles ist deprimierend eindeutig. Oder von einem selbst schon mehrmals beschrieben. Jeder Satz laaaaaangweilt. Das heisst: Man muss sich selbst eine Schwierigkeit einbauen. Etwa, indem man das Genre ändert. Klar ist nur eins: Das Problem, das man hat, muss am Anfang des Artikels angepackt werden, nicht in der Mitte, nicht am Schluss.“

Lesenswertes: Tech und Vergewaltigung

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  • „Why we should be celebrating the rise of robot journalism instead of criticizing it — Tech News and Analysis – "The harsh reality is that much of what appears in newspapers and on websites is not the kind of ground-breaking, investigative or analytical content most people think of when they hear the term “journalism.” Some of it is pedestrian content about sporting events, earnings reports, news releases, calendar events, city council meetings and so on. Wouldn’t it be better if we could automate some of that and free up reporters to do other things?“
  • My own rape shows how much we get wrong about these attacks – The Washington Post – „Gin!“ I thought he said, more excitedly than he should have. Gin makes me sick.

    „That’s not really my thing“ I said. Then he pouted, comically and even adorably: „But I made it just for us.“

    So I drank it and it was a bit sharp but really delicious, like tart watermelon.“You can hardly taste the gin“ I said.

    „What gin?“ „You said there was gin.“

    He laughed. „I said G.“ He meant GHB, gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, commonly known as the date-rape drug. Later came several more druggings, as he held Gatorade up to my limp lips with who-knows-what mixed in. I spent the weekend — about 60 hours — semi-conscious and didn’t leave his apartment until Monday morning. Sometimes I think I never left his apartment, that someone who merely looks and sounds like me walked out.“

  • How to build a successful newsletter: advice from Quartz – Quartz will Leser mit einem morgendlichen Newsletter an sich binden. Und wie auch die Webseite, zeigt sich der Informationsdienst per E-Mail als recht erfolgreich. Einer der Gründe:

    "Daily Briefs are distinct and friendly, “like a smart, knowledgeable friend telling you what’s going on in the world,” says Davies. That means not taking yourself too seriously. The subject line, for example, always contains a preview of what’s to come in the body of the newsletter and mentions various topics with different degrees of seriousness."

  • U.S. Tech Companies Have a Lot at Stake in Ukraine | Re/code – "Ukraine’s IT sector is impressive. As one of the country’s largest industries, IT in Ukraine is a key component of its future economic success. Today, the volume of exports of software service and development from Ukraine is about $2 billion annually. By 2012, there were more than 4,000 IT outsourcing companies in Ukraine, and the sector was growing 25 percent year over year; economists project that the $2 billion industry will grow 85 percent over the next six years."
  • Inside Shenzhen: China’s Silicon Valley – Shenzhen war meine erste Begegnung mit China: Alles modern, am Horizont ein Eifelturm und weitere westliche Sehenswürdigkeiten, das Essen schmeckt krasser als in meiner Fantasie. Die Stadt ist in 30 Jahren vom Fischerdorf zur Millionenstadt geworden. Schwerpunkt: Hardware. Der Guardian war dort.

Lesenswertes: Publizieren und Kryptografie

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  • Publishers chase the evolutionary approach to redesigns | Digiday – „Redesigns are big, difficult undertakings that come with many moving parts and a high risk of glitches. Iterative redesigns, in contrast, can be rolled out more slowly and with comparatively less risk.“ Nachrichtenseiten kommen langsam auf den Trichter, dass ein Design kein abgeschlossenes Unterfangen ist, sondern eine ständige Aufgabe ist.
  • Mehr Punk, weniger Hölle! – Der Schweizer Journalist Constantin Seibt über die Amtszeit von Jon Gnarr, der mit seiner Satirepartei Bürgermeister von Reykjavik wurde. „Was war in die konservativen Wähler von Reykjavik gefahren? Jedenfalls zeigten sie Mut. Sie taten am 27. Mai 2010 etwas, wovon sonst alle immer nur redeten: Sie entzogen den Politikern die Macht. Und übertrugen sie den Amateuren.“
  • Publishers‘ Deal with the Devil – Stratechery – „The problem, though, as newspapers and magazines have long since discovered to their peril, is that no one was ever paying for the words. Rather, it was the difficulty in distributing words that demanded a premium, whether that be the paper, the printing, the shipping, or the distributing. With the Internet, each of these proved unnecessary, leaving only the writing, editing, and publishing, and the market has dictated exactly what those are worth, all things being equal: $0.“
  • Meet the Man Hired to Make Sure the Snowden Docs Aren’t Hacked – First Media hat den Hacker und Aktivisten Micah Lee engagiert, der die Kommunikation und die Computer von Glen Greenwald und Co. sichern soll. Ein Portrait und die Notwendigkeit von Hackern im Newsroom.