It seems to be relatively easy to deal with Schroedinger’s cat – the question is well known:
Schrödinger wanted people to imagine that a cat, poison, a geiger counter, radioactive material, and a hammer were inside of a sealed container. The amount of radioactive material was minuscule enough that it only had a 50/50 shot of being detected over the course of an hour. If the geiger counter detected radiation, the hammer would smash the poison, killing the cat. Until someone opened the container and observed the system, it was impossible to predict if the cat’s outcome. Thus, until the system collapsed into one configuration, the cat would exist in some superposition zombie state of being both alive and dead.
The one way of dealing with it is to open the box in order to see if the cat is alive or not. However, it is a way of dealing with the problem by actually denying it as checking, giving ‘empirical evidence’ in actual fact changes the conditions to such an extent that, what had been the question at the outset is actually redefined: the conditions from which the question emerged are not anymore given.
The other way is to admit that there is no answer and that there cannot be any answer for ever. One could see this as a purely academic issue – though this is probably seen differently by the cat – being eternally in a situation of not knowing if her is dead or alive which must admittedly a hugely unpleasant state of existence. And both ‘easy answers’ prevail when we are looking at academia, in particular universities: researching, studying and teaching. One question may be asked though: what is if we simply look at the tale, not the entire cat but also not something that exists only as chimera?
Some reflections on the development of third level education today can be found here, impressions and reports, resulting from having worked in China for two years at a ‘joint venture’ between a EUropean and a Chinese university, and reflecting more general trends than really anything like ‘this is China’. And also reflecting on a general trend of supposed academic education where one learns not to agree with but to follow rules, where you have to like numbers but yu do nit have to like maths … – at the end where you should end with a major that makes sure that the cat is dead while the mice are dancing a bubble dance, appealingly majoring in accounting without understanding the economy of which it takes account.
 IFLScience – The lighter sight of science: Schrödinger’s Cat: Explained; http://www.iflscience.com/physics/schrödinger’s-cat-explained/; 27/07/17
A presentation under the title
is now published. The presentation does not go into much details but aims on ventilating some general issues of a specific strand of digitisation, namely sharing economy, gig and cooperative economy and the like.
The presentation [i] explores a little bit the context of globalisaiton, [ii] considers the wider framework of reshaping capitalism and the composition of capital and [iii] looks at different classificatory aspects of the ‘new economies’.
It is part of my work at the moment, and further information may be found for instance via the following links:
- the general project ‘Is it really about Industry 4.0.?‘
- the upcoming work Wandel des Wirtschaftens – Wandel des Rechts at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law im Munich
- the recent presentation ‘Platformökonomie’ – Vergesellschaften statt Teilen
you may also see it as real G20-meeting – real as it is reality that we need alternative approaches to the worlds pressing problems and great opportunities.
Attac’s Academic Council contributes with various workshops, one of them looking the Digital Platforms.
In German language my contribution during a workshop – and below some more detailed description. In a few days, a more extensive, and more academic presentation will be posted in English language.
follow also the two projects
BEITRAG zum WIRKLICHEN G20-Treffen, dem
[Aus der Programmankuendigung]
„Digitale Plattformen“, „sharing economy“, „crowd working“ sind neue Begriffe, an die sich Hoffnungen, aber auch Sorgen knüpfen. Laptops, Tablets und Smartphones revolutionieren die Arbeitswelt – tun sie das, und wenn ja, wie? Im Workshop soll unter Beteiligung von Prof. Peter Herrmann diskutiert werden, ob und wie sich unser (nicht nur Arbeits-) Alltag durch diese Digitalisierung verändern könnte und wie wir darauf reagieren.
Dieser Beitrag speziell versucht, die Änderungen der Kapitalstruktur herauszuarbeiten – die Schlussfolgerung ist einfach: Vergesellschaften anstatt Teilen.
… or what is all this about?
Just stumbling upon the two more or less recent publications:
Peter Herrmann, Fan Hong, and Remi Rzepka: Education in an International Setting. In Leonid E. Grinin, Ilya V. Ilyin, Peter Herrmann, and Andrey V. Korotayev (eds.), Globalistics and Globalization Studies: Global Transformations and Global Future: 76-92. Volgograd: ‘Uchitel’ Publishing House, 2016
In this volume there is also a co-authored introduction:
Leonid Grinin, Ilya Ilyin, Peter Herrmann, and Andrey Korotayev: Introduction. How Global Can Be Global Future? In Leonid E. Grinin, Ilya V. Ilyin, Peter Herrmann, and Andrey V. Korotayev (eds.), Globalistics and Globalization Studies: Global Transformations and Global Future. Volgograd: ‘Uchitel’ Publishing House, 2016: 5–9
Working now a bit more on this topic, also for the conference
Education and Globalization – Opportunities and Challenges
教育与全球化 – 机遇与挑战
- Central South University of Forestry and Technology中南林业科技大学
- Bangor University班戈大学
- British Consulate-General in Guangzhou英国驻广州总领事馆
and scheduled for the 5th of July, 2017.
“Capital is said … to fly turbulence and strife, and to be timid, which is very true; but this is very incompletely stating the question. Capital es- chews no profit, or very small profit, just as Nature was formerly said to abhor a vac- uum. With adequate profit, capital is very bold. A certain 10 per cent, will ensure its employment anywhere; 20 per cent, certain will produce eagerness; 50 per cent., posi- tive audacity; 100 per cent., will make it ready to trample on all human laws; 300 per cent., and there is not a crime at which it will scruple, nor a risk it will not run, even to the chance of its owner being hanged. If turbulence and strife will bring a profit, it will freely encourage both. Smuggling and the slave trade have amply proved all that is here stated” (T.J. Dunning, 1. c, [Trades’ Union and Strikes,] pp. 35-36; from: Marx, Karl, 1867: Capital; Volume I; in: Karl Marx/Frederick Engels. Collected Works; Volume 35; London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1996: 748, footnote 2)
Early capitalism was characterised by the fundamental ambition to follow the principle of exchange of equivalents – inequality existed at the point of departure but after ‘free individuals entered the economic sphere of exchange – they had been equals. The ten new capitalism stood against the feudal system that was based on violence. However, looking at the situation today, we see that the foundation is not simply and solely about the different points of departure. The economic process of the data economy is itself a violent relationship that has little to do with equivalence: it is the violence of withholding information, utilising the directional power of information, the enforcement of conditions, perfectioning of control etc.
Even if every business transaction was protected by derivatives, the real economy-based proportion would still be less than 5%. Therefore, by far the largest portion is used for speculative trading. Buyers and sellers no longer have anything to do with each other. Dealers with not the slightest interest in wheat purchase large quantities of grain forwards in order to sell them profitably when the contract matures. Only a very small proportion of this business actually refers to material objects such as grain, gold or oil – the BIS assumes this proportion to be approximately 1%. The predominant proportion concerns financial products. There is practically no end to fantasy in developing derivatives: meanwhile, the system has achieved such a complexity that there are derivatives dealing with derivatives of derivatives.
VIIIAll social life is essentially practical. All mysteries which lead theory to mysticism find their rational solution in human practice and in the comprehension of this practice.IXThe highest point reached by contemplative materialism, that is, materialism which does not comprehend sensuousness as practical activity, is contemplation of single individuals and of civil society.XThe standpoint of the old materialism is civil society; the standpoint of the new is human society, or social humanity.XIThe philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it.