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Archive for 18. Juni 2018

Euroreform: Deutsch-französische Hörfehler

Posted by hkarner - 18. Juni 2018

Grundlegende weltanschauliche Unterschiede erschweren Berlin und Paris das Ringen um Einigkeit in der Frage, wie die Wirtschafts- und Währungsunion umgebaut werden soll.

Brüssel. Seit der Euro aus dem Ei schlüpfte und die nun 19 Mitglieder der Wirtschafts- und Währungsunion in Wohl und Wehe geldpolitisch aneinanderschmiedete, scheinen französische und deutsche Politiker ungeachtet ihrer Parteizugehörigkeit an zwei komplementären Hörfehlern zu laborieren: Die Deutschen vernehmen nur das Wort „Währungsunion“, wenn es um den Euro geht. Sprich: Budgetdisziplin, Haushaltsregeln, strikte Trennung nationaler Haftungen. Die Franzosen wiederum reden beharrlich von der „Wirtschaftsunion“, welche der Euro begründet habe. Das ziehe die Notwendigkeit von Konvergenz, Ausgleich der ökonomischen Imbalancen und gemeinsamer Umverteilungsmechanismen nach sich. So herzlich Angela Merkel und Emmanuel Macron auch miteinander umgehen: Diese Kluft trennt auch ihre Sichtweisen auf das gemeinsame Geld.

Somit ist die eintägige gemeinsame Klausur der Regierungskabinette Deutschlands und Frankreichs auf dem brandenburgischen Barockschloss Meseberg am Dienstag ein erneuter Versuch, endlich wirklich über dieselbe Sache zu reden, wenn es um die Reform der Eurozone geht. Eine gemeinsame Position für den Europäischen Rat am 28. und 29. Juni in Brüssel soll diesem Treffen entspringen. Monatelang war Berlin angesichts der verfahrenen Koalitionsverhandlungen europapolitisch gelähmt. Nun müsse es umso schneller vorangehen, hörte „Die Presse“ vorige Woche in Paris während mehrerer Gespräche mit Beratern aus den Schaltstellen des französischen Regierungsapparates fast wortgleich. „Ich hoffe, dass niemand mit einem reinen Scheinabkommen zufrieden wäre“, hieß es stellvertretend für diese französischen Erwartungen aus der Präsidentschaftskanzlei. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »


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Rise of the machines: has technology evolved beyond our control?

Posted by hkarner - 18. Juni 2018

Date: 17-06-2018
Source: The Guardian by James Bridle

Technology is starting to behave in intelligent and unpredictable ways that even its creators don’t understand. As machines increasingly shape global events, how can we regain control?

Something strange has happened to our way of thinking – and as a result, even stranger things are happening to the world. We have come to believe that everything is computable and can be resolved by the application of new technologies. But these technologies are not neutral facilitators: they embody our politics and biases, they extend beyond the boundaries of nations and legal jurisdictions and increasingly exceed the understanding of even their creators. As a result, we understand less and less about the world as these powerful technologies assume more control over our everyday lives.

Across the sciences and society, in politics and education, in warfare and commerce, new technologies are not merely augmenting our abilities, they are actively shaping and directing them, for better and for worse. If we do not understand how complex technologies function then their potential is more easily captured by selfish elites and corporations. The results of this can be seen all around us. There is a causal relationship between the complex opacity of the systems we encounter every day and global issues of inequality, violence, populism and fundamentalism. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Our Infant Information Revolution

Posted by hkarner - 18. Juni 2018

Joseph S. Nye, Jr., a former US assistant secretary of defense and chairman of the US National Intelligence Council, is University Professor at Harvard University. He is the author of Is the American Century Over?

In the middle of the twentieth century, people feared that advances in computers and communications would lead to the type of centralized control depicted in George Orwell’s 1984. Today, billions of people have eagerly put Big Brother in their pockets.

CAMBRIDGE – It is frequently said that we are experiencing an information revolution. But what does that mean, and where is the revolution taking us?

Information revolutions are not new. In 1439, Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press launched the era of mass communication. Our current revolution, which began in Silicon Valley in the 1960s, is bound up with Moore’s Law: the number of transistors on a computer chip doubles every couple of years.

By the beginning of the twenty-first century, computing power cost one-thousandth of what it did in the early 1970s. Now the Internet connects almost everything. In mid-1993, there were about 130 websites in the world; by 2000, that number had surpassed 15 million. Today, more than 3.5 billion people are online; experts project that, by 2020, the “Internet of Things” will connect 20 billion devices. Our information revolution is still in its infancy.

The key characteristic of the current revolution is not the speed of communications; instantaneous communication by telegraph dates back to the mid-nineteenth century. The crucial change is the enormous reduction in the cost of transmitting and storing information. If the price of an automobile had declined as rapidly as the price of computing power, one could buy a car today for the same price as a cheap lunch. When a technology’s price declines so rapidly, it becomes widely accessible, and barriers to entry fall. For all practical purposes, the amount of information that can be transmitted worldwide is virtually infinite.

The cost of information storage has also declined dramatically, enabling our current era of big data. Information that once would fill a warehouse now fits in your shirt pocket. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The insecurity of freelance work

Posted by hkarner - 18. Juni 2018

Date: 17-06-2018
Source: The Economist: Bartleby

Measuring changes in employment is proving difficult

THE decline of the conventional job has been much heralded in recent years. It is now nearly axiomatic that people will work for a range of employers in a variety of roles over their lifetimes, with a much more flexible schedule than in the past. Opinion is still divided over whether this change is a cause for concern or a chance for workers to be liberated from the rut of office life.

Is the shift really happening? Some figures from the Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS), released on June 7th, showed that only 10.1% of American workers were in “alternative employment” last year, a lower proportion than the 10.7% recorded in 2005. In contrast, a study of the British economy by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) shows that the self-employed sector has been growing, with the number of self-employed sole traders rising by 25% between 2007-08 and 2015-16.

These two measures are different. But getting a good statistical fix is not easy when the jobs are hard to define. The ecology of the alternative-employment market has many species. At the top end are independent consultants with six-figure salaries and tax advantages from their self-employed status; at the bottom are cleaners on the minimum wage working for an agency. Some people will be on “zero hours” contracts where they are unsure of their income from week to week. Then there are jobs in the “gig economy”—people connected to work via websites, such as freelancers labelling photos to help artificial-intelligence programs. Plenty of people use the gig economy to top up income, rather than relying on it. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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