Category Archives: Technology

ICTs and urban life

In a couple of days, I’ll be attending the Cognitive Cities Conference in Berlin. I’m looking forward to this event since it gives an opportunity to pick up a topic again that I had to neglect for a while: urban communication. I’ve just added a question on Quora that sums up my interest in this subject – In what ways do ICTs influence our experience of urban life? Continue reading

Metropolis – 83 years later and we’re still afraid of machines

Yesterday, I watched Metropolis, one of the most influential German silent films of all times. To be honest, I had hardly ever heard about it until recently, when an almost original version of the 1927 film was discovered in Argentina. Having seen it now, I can now understand why there’s been so much fuzz about it. With its special effects and high production cost, it must have been the equivalent of today’s Hollywood blockbusters. But more importantly, it’s a historical artifact that reflects an aspect of the modern Zeitgeist that is still with us today – the paradox of technology as progress and technology as enslavement. Continue reading

Privacy and innovation – two parts of the same story

The information society has given birth to a popular new German word – “gläserner Mensch”, meaning a human being made of glass or simply “transparent individual”. It encapsulates Germans’ widespread fears that Google, Facebook, the state and others record every bit of information about them. Unfortunately, this disproportionate emphasis on privacy and data protection threatens to suppress innovation. A call for a more balanced discourse. Continue reading

Extremely Green and Incredibly Remote

I’m back – have been for a while, but settling into a new life with a new job is taking up a lot of time. As promised, I will try to continue this blog. And after one month in Peru and Bolivia there are some stories to tell. One is about our stay with an indigenous community in the Bolivian jungle, where a solar-powered radio was the only link to the outside world. Continue reading

Can Google Wave revitalize online debates?

googlewave

Some days ago, I managed to get access to Google Wave; this highly anticipated, widely praised service that will revolutionize online collaboration and interaction. Well, I’m not that impressed, to be honest. It comes across like an advanced, non-linear chat programme of some sorts, which allows you to post different forms of media content and to write responses to earlier posts. Leaving aside the myth of a collaboration revolution for now, this sort of functionality may be perfect for online debates… Continue reading