Migration, German openness and … – the other side

Germany is frequently praised for the policies in connection with migration. And there is surely no reason for any kind of black and white paintings, nor for applying a too broad brush – we are currently elaborating in a small group from the scientific council of attac (Association pour la Taxation des Transactions financières et pour l’Action Citoyenne (Association for the Taxation of financial Transactions and Citizen’s Action) a positioning paper.

There is surely one thing that is frequently overlooked, and it is sufficiently shocking to have a look. It is the

Institutional racism and a lack of government action

Annunci

Times changed – will times change

It is today that Barack Obama visits Cuba – and

Che Guevara’s Son says Obama will visit an Independent Cuba.

It is the second time a U.S. President pays a visit. While calculating GDP-rates, their global development across different sectors and ventilating the perspectives for the development of the Cuban economy for a new era, with this preparing my own visit (it will give me the opportunity to join the discussion on the future economic development in a way that maintains the foundations of an alternative to being absorbed in global capitalism), it is time to look again a bit more into the question of the small island nation that plays such a great role in the global context. The previous president’s “visit” by an U.S. president was in 1928. As an interesting comment from the Granma says it

was Calvin Coolidge, who landed in Havana in January of 1928.

Here is the original

here a translation into English.

Some more background info on Cuba can be found here in the info-service telesurvtv, especially no the Latinamericas and from their perspective. And also in Charles McKelvey’s blog here.

 

 

Digitalisation

Yes, writing “quick comments” is admittedly always dangerous, hastily arriving at wrong conclusions. Still, there is occasionally a huge temptation, and it may be justified as such writing possibly provokes …, well, some really important and not so hasty thoughts, easily overlooked when it comes to detailed analysis of …, well detailed analysis.

Reference at presence is a European Commission’s press release, titled

How digital is your country? New figures show action needed to unlock Europe’s potential

It presents results of the recent study of the DESI.

What is the DESI?

The Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) is an online tool to measure the progress of EU Member States towards a digital economy and society. As such, it brings together a set of relevant indicators on Europe’s current digital policy mix.

If I am not mistaken, it fundamentally solves one fear of the past. People were afraid of the development, as they did not want to be “just a number”. We do not have to fear anymore that this may be coming up in the future. It is already the case.

And it also allows us to understand the attitude of those people in the glass palaces towards migration and migrants: Numbers cannot simply decide independently to enter an equation. Only the magician with numbers is The Lord, able and allowed to present the formula …, the white hair and long beard now appearing as netting of bits speeding through fiber glass.

  • Action needed to reach the global top: …

Yes, summits have to be reached – erected like the towers of fortresses. Would it not be an alternative to start with action to reach true global cooperation?

  • Better connectivity, but insufficient in the long-term: … . The EU needs to be ready to meet future demand and to provide the next generation of communication networks (5G).

Sure, but I am still wondering if our brain is fast enough to cope with the improvement of obtaining information, barely allowing for the time needed to think about it. – Since some years now I am introducing in my lectures a unit under the heading “slow reading”, the aim of which is UNDERSTANDING.

  • Digital skills to be improved:

It may not be much more than a side note, it may be that it actually is more: Apparently there is a paradoxical constellation in China where the language is strongly characterised by characters (instead of letters) and sound/pronouncation. The computer keyboard requires to write first by using letters, and moving from there to “choosing characters”. The consequence seems to be the emergence of a new form of analphabetism.

  • e-Commerce, a missed opportunity for smaller businesses:

Two of the issues, if you want: major reference points, in mainstream economics are scarcity and comparative advantage. Well, there is no reason to question the empirical data:

65% of European internet users shop online, but only 16% of SMEs sell online – and less than half of those sell online across borders (7.5%).

However, instead of aiming on change there could be another suggestion: SMEs may claim to move towards comparative advantage: offering something special instead of mass web-products, offer excellent individual advise, offering products that are even individually produced, or produced by individuals working together in cooperatives, and seeing the consumer as co-producer …

  • More public services online, but they are under-used:

Underused? If so, the conclusio may be that there is still hope and people still have more sense than those who govern them.

As said in the beginning, there are problems with such ad-hoc readings – there is much ore to it, including coproducing in particular due to the internet-use etc. – part of it I will deal with next month, when working briefly in Havana. But the problem of blasphemy is not necessarily the heretic; it may well be the self-acclamation of gods who forget that their suggested prayers are mere phantoms as long as their only purpose is … the bubble of their own believe system, the believe system of an old society of which we may say with Shakespeare:

Sans teeth, sans eyes

Sans taste, sans everything

Sure, talking about the believe system of an old society may end in a paradox: it easily lacks the opportunity to get a really good caffellatte.

PS: I hope my students anywhere do not read this blog-entry – as I am required to push them towards the global top, so to say: migrants with global access rights.

Economics – beyond calculations

Nothing special though possibly a small contribution on matters of understanding economics as social science in its true sense. It is very basic – recordings from teaching students in China who are in their first year (second semester) learning about economics. The first lectures can be found here.

Dreams … I sogni ci aiutano a cambiare la realtà.

I sogni ci aiutano a cambiare la realtà.

Well, as much as this trip was about some work, it waS also about these things we usually call ‘pleasure’. So, in the meantime I went to the theatre, a play based on Luchino Visconti’s Rocco e i suoi fratelli. In my opinion the performance was not really great – btw, a problem I have more and more, be it in the theatre, the opera or in galleries: some ‘forced innovation’, some spasmodic efforts to be innovative, too often ending in just being ‘artificially loud’. Still, the play itself ended by rejecting this in some way …, being a kind of dramatic as well, basically suggesting:

Don’t have dreams, life is about ‘just getting along’, things being ‘OK’, not anything more, not anything special … having dreams is about moving towards failure. So, just accept, without dreams – Then things are ‘OK’.

Never heard the ‘OK-option’ in such a pejorative, negative, rejecting way. – Why I said it had been a confirmation of rejecting the spasmodic efforts to be innovative? Simply because any change, any innovation has to be sound, radical – as such it is in need of being genuine. In arts as much as in ‘real life’.

Mustang confirmed this – in such a frightening way confronting us with the difficulty we overlook too often. A simple plot:

When five orphan girls are seen innocently playing with boys on a beach, their scandalized conservative guardians confine them while forced marriages are arranged.

And still, what we overlook is our own limitation, maintaining traditions, claiming the rights of self-determination, while forgetting that this can easily (surely not necessarily) result in oppression, localism and clientelism etc. Can we find a way that is really about moving forward and respecting the traditions? Or is it about two distinct, incompatible array, standing side by side?

You should sleep nine hours without dreams. Then you have the day for dreams. (Herbert Marcuse)

it seems like the wide spaces as we find them in so many paintings of Gauguin and the subdivision, the we know from the later paintings of van Gogh: two impressionists, two friends, and one misunderstanding ….

Apparently two sides, poles without connection. Standing against the alternative of a permanent struggle. The dreams we have – and should have beyond the brothers’ OK-option have to look for a sound foundation in the fact that

It is never possible to return to the point of departure – it does not exist anymore (Shumona Sinha).

And with this we have to acknowledge the most difficult point: we do not exist anymore, we also changed, and even if we think, we did not change: ultimately we did.