Learning from the crisis: Frontline Inside the Meltdown

We sit here and stare at the bad news, see big corporations in trouble, banks going bankrupt, bankers going home with insane bonuses although they cost their companies and thus US money, billions of money. We sit here and try to understand what is going on here. Try to understand the gambling with credit default swaps and toxic assets, subprime mortgages and other risky financial constructs.

Although some call this phenomenon a “black swan“, something totally surprising this is no explanation to me. For everybody involved in this game, all of these investment wizzards, who came up with these supercomplex derivates, at some point at least, they MUST have seen a small glimpse of the risk they are putting us all in. The vicious cirlce which was going on here. Insurance companies betting on their great ratings should have been NOT aware of what would happen if they lose this reputation, that they put their whole business and thus the business they are constantly insuring to a fatal risk?! No way. In this case they must have been smart AND stupid at the same time.

So what’s the learning from all this? We must know more. We must learn. All of us must try to understand what was going on here and be able to talk eye to eye to politicians, to journalists, to bankers. There is a program on American Public Broadcasting System (PBS) which seems to bring a great deal of learning: Frontline – Inside the Meltdown. A very well done site and a very insightful documentary about the crisis. Interviews and original clips put together to understand the dramaturgy of the crisis: Bear Stearns, Fanny Mae, Freddie Mac..

Here is one of the clips:

Notic Nastic’s blogmesite

It’s all in a little, tiny, universe! Yes, Berlin based art-music-club-community Notic Nastic put it all in a widget: their outer space of secrets, fans, music, videos and other crazy hidden stuff. And every month, there will be something else, people can become part of the collective and submit stuff which will then be featured on the little widgetothingy. So this time there is actually a reason to embed this piece of code to your whatever blog or profile. Do and love or don’t and recieve nothing back either, bitches.

Soulwax 360 intros and RevoLucian’s Bale Remix

Soulwax actually managed to put 460(!) intros in one mix and while it is a little blood pressure rising, not boring at all. It’s like a big tease, check it out at Nialler9. Krass, was für eine Arbeit.

Another not really great but funny mix is DJ RevoLucian’s remix of the Christian Bale incident which was uploaded feb 2nd and heard 1,3 mio times since then (wow, again)

Haven’t heard about it? Christian Bale freaks out.

German public railway company “Deutsche Bahn” threats most known political blogger

Netzpolitik.org is the widest read German political weblog. The authors, foremost Markus Beckedahl, always take a clear position for privacy, freedom and transparency and against public surveillance, strict copyright laws and security-instead-of-freedom politics. In the German internet sphere they are the strongest voice for open source, creative commons, knowledge sharing, free culture and freedom of expression.

The authors try to raise public interest and awareness for the dangers of surveillance and data collection and the importance of privacy, not only by the police and other executive institutions but foremost by private companies. In Germany, many examples of private data and surveillance abuse have been published in German media recently: customer data by Deutsche Telekom (or T-Com) was sold, Telekom, Lufthansa and Post top managers have been surveilling employees and customers, German retailer Lidl hired private investigators to spy on their employees. These are only a few examples to stress the importance of the said issues.

On saturday, January 31st, Beckedahl published the summary of a conversation between the Berlin data protection officer and Deutsche Bahn top executives reporting about the methods of Network Deutschland, the company hired to spy on employees and customers. This memo was written by the data protection office and anonymously sent to Netzpolitik. The memo is actually pretty boring, Spiegel has way more exciting facts and talks about more than 170 000 people who have been spied on by Deutsche Bahn.

What makes this case exciting is that Deutsche Bahn tries to legally threaten Netzpolitik for making this memo public. A memo which has been cited many times by other media already. Funny enough, the reactions in the blogosphere and by other media in only one day make this memo famous.

And not only bloggers, but basically all citizens, politicians, architects, police men, journalists hope that Bahn CEO Hartmut Mehdorn now will have to go for good. If not for the blogger threat than at least for the spying scandal.

Fashionweek Berlin 09 Rückblick

fashionweekberlin09_iekelinestangeAls normaler Hauptstadtbewohner merkt man es kaum, höchstens wenn einmal ein schön gebrandeter Shuttle-Mercedes vorbei fährt oder der Mitbewohner mit prall gefüllten Taschen von der Bernhard Willem Show im Postbahnhof zurück kommt: Die Fashionweek war die letzten Tage in vollem Gang und neigt sich heute ihrem Ende zu. Zeit für einen kleinen Rückblick. (Bild von m.ariii)
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My DLD09 summary

First, you can get an overview of all articles published on the DLD live blog here.

After three days of intense blogging, live blogging(!), there should be a little resumée. Must be a personal one, naturally, although I aim to grasp some of that spirit hopefully many people sensed in these days of Digital, Life, Design 09.
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