Hope in a Crisis

I felt certain that this virus would spread around the globe when I first heard of its rather long incubation period and the fact that it could feel just like a cold. That must have been in late December or early to mid January. I remember thinking: Why don’t they halt air travel from Asia, especially from China?

Of course, I can’t prove any of the above, but does it matter? The overwhelming majority of western nations are in total crisis mode. People are dying, left and right. German scientists boast that Germany is doing so great with testing, but still you coudn’t really get a test two weeks ago, if you just had symptoms but weren’t a likely case because you weren’t in a dangerous area or have been in close contact with someone infected. There must be quite the Dunkelziffer.1

Continue reading “Hope in a Crisis”
  1. Number of unreported cases. []

Resource Exhaustion

It was the end of the year, and my resources were pretty much depleted. After what seems to me like it was the most demanding year in my life, on early December 27th I headed of to Leipzig to attend the 36th Chaos Communication Congress. My father had brought me there, thankfully, especially as his resources are likely more depleted than mine.

Beforehand I hadn’t been sure whether I would attend «Congress» for a fifth consecutive year, as I really felt kind of burned out. But I went, mainly to record an episode of a podcast that ironically then never aired due to a noisy recording environment negatively affective audio quality.

Having learned from all these years, I had carefully checked the official program for interesting talks, focusing on the topic of climate crisis and related environmentalist themes, being fully aware that I would not attend most of them. The use of Congress is to meet people in sessions, that are not being recorded and generally enjoy the atmosphere and survive all the input while sourcing great food is surprisingly difficult (or not so surprisingly if you are familiar with the food at german trade fairs).

After last year, I had had high hopes for a couple of sessions like the «Hackers Against Climate Change» of yesteryear. That did not really pan out.

I attended the one session on day 2 that had the same title this year, and while it was nicely moderated, it did not spring following sessions as far as I am aware of – and it was way less crowded. Then, there was a session called «Planet A», which was even less populated and had a way different target than I would have thought and at least let to me learning about two more platforms that are out there (just links, not endorsements):

With regards to talks, I linked some before. I did not manage to watch all of them at congress, and I haven’t managed to catch up since by watching the recordings.

I wrote the upper part until January 6th, 2020 (today is January 30th). As I still did not manage to finish it (i moved and there has been other stuff), let me just finish this post with what I remember as my objective when I started out to write it: 36C3 felt less like a point to start acting on climate change than 35c3 did, which was disappointing to me (I am thinking of sessions, not talks). Also, I felt less of the “be excellent to each other” vibe than on previous congresses.

That said, I look forward to 37c3. Let’s have a great 2020 till then!

What I’ve done lately and some thoughts on what matters

I have been awfully silent the past months. While I drafted more than one post, none got published. Partly that was due to me finally finishing my long (loooooong) lasting studies of Business Adminstration, which required me to write a thesis while also remaining employed and was quite exhausting. Even though I handed the thesis in in late October, I don’t know whether I managed to finish my studies successfully – the feeling of relief has thus not kicked in yet (and won’t come this year).

In other matters I have been a little bit engaged with “Hackers Against Climate Change”, a group effort that formed on the last (35th) Chaos Communication Congress. I hope that this effort will grow on the 36C3, because there is a lot more to consider than just dealing with „how can we help other groups with digital infrastructure“.

To explain what I mean, let me point to a selection 36C3 talks:

… and there are even more talks related to the subject of climate change and sustainability.

Reviewing this past year of 2019, I did not blog much and mainly about mobile phones. That was not just due to a lack in time, but also because it’s still easy for me to do so, and because it is not controversial. Let’s face it: Writing on the topic of climate change and climate policy just requires a lot more effort (including research) and is more controversial than to write about some stupid linux phones or other minor technology topics that essentially can be called consumerism.

While it matters to have alternatives to the smartphone duopoly in general, compared to the life extinguishing danger of climate change, it’s unimportant chicken shit. In fact, I would argue, everything is. Social issues, as they are, can in theory be changed at any time, because they just require forming a new consensus amongst humans (as hard as that is). But you can’t argue with the laws of physics and climate change. This is an issue that cannot be postponed.

For 2020, I hope to be able to be more engaged in this pressing issue. While I actually doubt that humankind will manage to choose survival instead of greed, I will try hard to proove myself wrong on that count.