A challenge forces the brain figuratively to leave the comfort zone and enter a terrain of uncertainty. As a result it creates a gap of information to support one’s view on an issue and leaves gaps in the brain’s structure of knowledge. This “uncertainty effect” has been scientifically evaluated in 2006 by the Boston MIT and led to disturbing conclusions: The brain replaces missing information with an inexplicable fright, an “irrational by-product of not knowing — that keeps us from focusing on the possibility of future rewards”. Frankly: People want to know what they are already inclined to believe.

There has been a paradigm shift in the way we inform ourselves. Eight of ten people in the developed world using the internet. That´s more than most elections have at the ballot. About every fourth internet user is predominantly visiting social networks to use them as an information source. And people still use search engines. While Microsoft’s Bing has an estimated user base of 200 Million searches in 24 hours, Google gets hit with about 3.5 billion search the same day. There are one billion websites available today, with another 5 new ones published each second.

What effect has that abundance of information available to us? With the rise of the internet information sits right at our fingertips — regardless of its quality. Search algorithms, the categorisation of data by program, are ultimately affecting what information we consume. For example, search engines use your location to present results close to you. Or do you think this little bakery around the corner is world-renowned? In the original documents of the Stanford University of California, two students described how to create a search engine that delivers results as “an objective measure of its citation importance that corresponds well with people’s subjective idea of importance”. Again: “people’s subjective idea of importance.” Pagerank. That is Google’s initial white-paper from 1997. The search-rank of a webpage is determined fundamentally by the back-links from other webpages; frankly by the attention a site is already getting on the internet. What seems like a catch-twenty-two for newborn website, is yet a fundamental algorithm (amongst others) that influence our perception of the world. more

Imagine when you have to work 30-odd years to afford a two-bedroom house (or just the rent), trying to keep your head above water, moving to places that your job demands and not your lifestyle. This is anything but Kiwi. A devastated social structure is what current economics leave behind and while the rest of the developed world is moving to the right because of this.

A couple of years ago, at the New Zealand writer’s festival in Christchurch, famous author Keri Hulme resigned from her remote home in Okarito. A very, very small place down south at the west coast used to be a tight-knit community of locals that shared the same values. These values are shattered now. That’s why Keri Hulme said, she will move to the East Coast, looking for another retreat. What happened in Okarito?

New Zealanders are living on a remote island which is prone to nature’s disasters. Life can be rough, especially down south-west. Communal life is a cornerstone of society where your neighbours are no strangers and, at best, friends. One needs each other as natural events are humbling reminders of human’s place in the world.

The small islands in the southern hemisphere seemed quite isolated from the world’s issues. However, it just seems this way. Over the recent years, whilst trying to keep up with the OECD standards and a neoliberal agenda of “the markets”, New Zealand has become an export country for clean natural products. At the same time, it became a safe haven for a certain kind of refugees: The rich ones. more

This is not just a matter anymore for EU politicians but for every European citizen to remember that there is actually something which has been abstract and in Brussels for the past years. As a European people may now start to ask more concretely what the EU actually stands for. The UK may be hit the hardest; by exiting they will definitely teach the world, themselves included, what the union means.

– or: why I’ve despised the idea of Britain leaving and now I think it’s good.

The UK is leaving the European Union based on a referendum which was decided rather on irrational grounds. It will most probably not bear the fruits that the pro-brexit voters hope for and most of them – and all others too – don’t know what they’re in for. In fact, it is speculation until now and it will be for quite some time. However, speculation is one of the corner stones of our current economy. The whole stock market is based on irrational decisions and expectations, not to say on vague feelings on top of facts.
The same is valid for everyone voting in the British referendum: The ones who feared the exit and the ones who apparently loathed the European Union enough to say YES to the exit and maybe even ponder after. In this case it is the downside of direct democracy – and Aristoteles warned already to be wary of the reign of the mob. However, the “mob” are all the people who may not have political insight (an issue one has to blame politics for) but live with their fears and everyday issues. What people address all around the globe is the issue that nobody seems to take care of their needs and demands.

It is pretty much comparable to someone who urges a doctor for treatment, without knowing what the treatment is but being able to vaguely express the symptoms. There is a story about asian doctors that get paid as long as their patients are happy, not when they’re sick. Projected upon politicians, it is their duty to prevent people from getting into dire situations at all.

In defence of politicians though it has to be said that Westerners are living on a non-sustainable standard and every inch of degradation of that creates outrage. And Westerners seem to have taken over a demanding mentality and therefore expect a service of politicians. They expect someone who can fix this. As people expect doctors to patch them up. The issue that a lot of illnesses start due to a wrong lifestyle and hence is caused by one self, does not come to mind.

Enough comparing doctors and politicians.  We know how the world ticks nowadays and that politicians do not seem to be able to cope with an ongoing lobbyism. Especially European processes are slow and distant from EU citizens while the turnaround on the markets as such is very high — as are the downsides of it. People are exposed more to economic decisions than to political ones. Who can feel the power of a government anymore?

The UK was a nagger to the European members – no doubt about that. The Britains always had a distinctive approach to things which was not just to keep the British pound but demanding more power for the house of commons to block EU legislation at their liking, limiting the
It was good for the EU when the UK was there. And the UK should have stayed. That’s what I believed until today, after the decision was made. But reflecting upon the past when the UK was all-in, one has to ask what they actually achieved in changing the EU as the lobby-ridden, slow moving apparatus. The exit is a tough result for all of the European countries – and probably the world. But it is definitely a chance for Europe because it has to redefine what the European Union actually is.

This is not just a matter anymore for EU politicians but for every European citizen to remember that there is actually something which has been abstract and in Brussels for the past years. As a European people may now start to ask more concretely what the EU actually stands for. The UK may be hit the hardest; by exiting they will definitely teach the world, themselves included, what the union means.

The Brexit may be doomed as a silly act of a direct democracy. The situation the world is in, tightened in the grip of economic greed and debt, demands more than discussions. It demands actions, how silly the reasoning might be. But the sorrows of the people which cannot address a certain threat (neo-liberalism as such) at least release their anger and shape a reality afar from lobby-influenced politics. Simply put: If the UK would have stayed in the EU, the outcome would not have been better either. Sadly it has to be said that no change seems worse than any nowadays.

Ironic though that the UK was the birthplace of the neoliberal idea that I see as the underlaying foundation of the European problems which has made them turn their back on liberalism in a certain way.

He most probably won’t, but everyone who ever heard of Donald Trump may have had thought about what happens if Trump gets elected president. Maybe even a few of his supporters. This article asks the “what if” question and scratches along some issues that made the rise of Trump-superstar even possible.
Concluding from Trumps behaviour and his claims, which seem to follow no reasoning but his own mood, it seems unpredictable what Trump will do next. However, a picture can be drawn of a future where Trump is American president from this very unpredictability if we apply the paradigms of modern capitalism. These may be arguable but for an outlook on things they shall serve as basic premises of political mechanics on a global scale.
There are some commonly known paradigms about the modern world. For once, if you cannot put a price tag on something, it´s of no value. That includes humans, art as such and education to some degree. Another fact is that democracy is a facade, if not a show. For the latter, America is a role model not just in putting up electoral shows but abusing “democracy” for imperialistic causes.
Values are attached to interests, hence they diverge from any socio-economic view. There is corporate interest in a economic manner; there is corporate interest in a social manner; there is individual interest – the hardest one to determine, especially with Donald Trump. All of them exist and interfere, creating an entwined pattern that constantly changes its shape. However, it seems that economic corporate interest is currently dictating life, enabling billionaires to even get considered by voters for a political role in a democracy. This fact points to the core of the (democratic) issue: that people support candidates but do not make candidates. The USA are  a pioneering nation in putting up the right show for the election of presidential candidates where the voter’s support is just that: support, not election.
Why would that be?
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Doch weder hier sind substanzielle Ansätze zu hören, noch schafft Petry es, sich von Hassrednern zu distanzieren. Man bekommt Petry nicht wenigstens zum Eingeständnis fehlendem Anstands. Subtrahiert man ihre (zum Teil berechtigte) Wut auf das System, bleibt doch nur eine durchschnittliche Politikerin, formatlos wie jene, gegen welche sie wettert – gefährlich wie jene, die dogmatisch-ultranational ihren Haß ausgießen.

Es ist nicht allein das Interview in Englisch, was Frauke Petry zu schaffen macht. Es ist journalistische Leistung des Londoner Journalisten Tim Sebastian, welche Petry fast zum Stottern bringt. Soviel zum Phänomen.

Der Inhalt Fraukes Äußerungen läßt machmal zweifeln, ob sie Dinge programmatisch abruft und aufsagt oder ob sie die großen Zusammenhänge versteht. Auf die Frage, ob wie sie sich fühle, mit der PEGIDA, insbesondere Lutz Bachmann, in Verbindung gebracht zu werden, kommt sie nicht auf den Punkt. Obwohl der nahe liegt. Bachmann ist ein Hetzer, die PEGIDA als solche ist mehr und auch weniger als Bachmann einfach nur eine fremdenfeindliche Sekte. Obwohl Petry die Überschneidungen zwischen AfD und PEGIDA erwähnt, ist es ihr nicht möglich, diese zu beschreiben oder abzugrenzen. Mit viel gutem Willen kaufe ich ihr ab, daß sie mit vielen Menschen bei den PEGIDA Demonstrationen im Grunde die Systemfrage stellt und die Deutschen vom “Konsumenten” zum “Bürger” machen will. Was in weiter Auslegung dem sozialen Gedanken zugute kommt. more

The movie 8 Mile, which chronicles the rise of aspiring rapper Jimmy ‘B-Rabbit’ Smith (played by Eminem), has been translated into over 15 languages including Russian, Dutch and Japa- nese. Noticeably absent from this list is Elizabethan- Era English (EEE), the language used by William Shakespeare. From a commercial perspective, this omission is perfectly understandable, as there seems to be few native EEE speakers alive today. How- ever, from an historical and academic perspective, this omission is unfortunate, as Shakespeare’s works have often been compared to rap lyrics (Brock 2009, Bradley and duBois 2011, Lars 2012, Akala 2012), and a recent analysis lists Shakespeare as having the 15th most unique vocabulary among rappers (Daniels 2014). Thus it would be interesting to see just how easily 8 Mile translates into EEE.

Shakespearean translation of the last rap battle in 8 Mile, with a subsequent analysis of its quality

Ein wenig zu analytisch, zu wenig philosophisch — aber fett auf der letzten Seite: http://pnis.co/hard3.pdf

e.g.:

Behold! This knave afore me doth not signal his duty, a spite of his vain attempts to appear so shrewdly. Methinks his rabble hath impressed upon him
a false reckoning of the odor of his bottom.

With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino.
Thou a low, He a low, but a Marlowe? No!
This rascal here, he resembleth not a poet.
So stale be his act, e’en the groundlings know’t. I am but a peasant swain, I do hath pale skin.

I liveth with my mother in but a small cabin. My coz Future doth act as a vassal.
My boorish friend, Cheddar Bob, hath a pistol, and with great fortune hath missed his missile. ‘Gainst thine company, I alone dost battle.

And my once dear Wink didst cuckold me true.
Yet, ‘fore you I stand, I still bite my thumb at your crew! Judgeth me not, thou whoreson mountebank.
Thou knowest not my torments and cruel pains. Howbeit of some knowledge, I am privy.
Thou attendeth Cranbrook University.
Lo, how his face changed to a rotten medlar!
His true title is Clarence, not ne’er the Bard.
Thine parents of Clarence his apparent landlords.
But, soft, it that thine tool or thy mother’s cord?
Thine eyes betray fear, for near is thine defeat,
‘cause there existeth nothing like in-’twixt thieves! Afeard is he, afeard to peep at his life so sweet.
Fie on Cranbrook.

So is true after all, that New Zealanders are lazy bums? Maybe as bad as the greek? Ouch, that hurt… Well, let me explain this by investigating the housing market. Some may remember the big headline in the herald around 2006, when the cover story was a private Auckland property selling for over NZ$1 m. Back then it seemed like a whimsical one-time-thing. But who would have thought?

Source: Wiki.dickinson.edu | http://wiki.dickinson.edu/index.php/Group_5:_The_Development_of_Exploitation:_Capitalism

Less and less Kiwis are home owners

Nearly ten years later, chances of finding a home below the one million mark in Auckland are below 50 percent. Since there was no mentionable increase of millionaires in Auckland, it seems the exception is finding an affordable home. Actually, all of the main centres in New Zealand had their housing prices bumped up a notch. The Christchurch earthquake added some insanity to rental prices by offering short-term for up to NZ$ 1,500 a week. Apparently building companies could afford this, so the law of the market (we’re all familiar with) is the only argument to reason. The number of New Zealanders owning their own home has dropped below the 50 percent mark and all signs show that it is spiralling further down.

By 2020 only 23% of Kiwis are estimated to own their own home. One of the main reasons seems to be the crackdown on mortgage lending in 2013: When banks realised they were giving out loans to easily to people. Well, good on them to secure their business, but was this really necessary? How many loans ended up unpaid in NZ?

Is New Zealand the USA or any European country? No, it’s not Greece, it’s by all means, not comparable. However, the New Zealand government wants a piece of the international cake of wealth by opening it up for competition. Hence foreign currency flows in to dry out the social landscape of NZ.

While housing-bubble burst a few years ago overseas (and they will pop again in Europe as it seems) things are just starting to get bloated in New Zealand. Yes, New Zealand will have more rental properties, more demand for it and therefore higher rental prices. Easy to see that this is part of a spiral going up – including, of course, house buying prices as there’s more money to be earned with a rental home nowadays.

Some solutions on how to get your own home

Here’s some solutions banks and property investors deem viable: save more, move to cheaper areas, move to the countryside, DYI. Essentially: get out of the way and cut down on your lifestyle.

The most concise and apposite remark was made by a Chinese investor: Kiwis, stop grumbling and work harder. Well, this guy is right because he speaks in terms of a “free market”. He speaks for an overseas reality that is hitting New Zealand hard: economic competition. In this type of competition elbows are being used; it’s about money, it’s about “getting your ass to the wall” as my granddad used to say. It’s about spinning that wheel faster, faster, faster…

Just have a look for yourself how healthy this type of competition is for society: China and its property bubble of 85m houses staying empty while Foxconn-workers taking their lives. Germany, getting back to its own dark ages because the country is rich but its people underpaid: pegida. The USA, getting hit by global competition in Detroit or its incarceration rate, driven by an inhuman attitude where everything is business.

It’s not a Chinese problem, it’s exploitation and accepting it

After all, it is not Chinese people to blame: It’s not a Chinese thing, it’s homemade by the government. It’s the belief in an already failed system of greed instead of a healthy capitalism. The fact that overseas investors can buy – even if they are not residents is disturbing. Because it allows the immigration of social attitude into the country that is destructive. We’re not talking about immigrants here: they are required to be of good character – to be at least fitting into society. We’re talking about capital and its spirit. Capital is not money, it’s the things you have to produce goods and a lifestyle.

If we allow people to commercialise private homes, we take the essentials out of our (the parliaments) hands: the most private of assets, a roof over one’s head. Subsequently a landlord is calling the shots whether you can stay or not. Well, I think you can stay – as long as you’re prepared to work harder.

 

 

Democracy it seems is a military export and is not for domestic consumption.

Well said, Russel Norman.

I come from a country half around the world from New Zealand. And I became a resident because I work in information technology. It is a branch I do not like too much as it shows its bad sides nowadays, where people create portals that make them rich while others do work for them on low wages (Amazon, Uber … just to name a few).The IT industry is currently the best example for neo liberalism or “turbo capitalism” that overlays its values on social life – you know, the sort of values that put money into the center of all things.

What does this have to do with immigration? more