Only five million service computers (neue-deutschland.de)

The corona pandemic has also made education digital. However, home schooling in Germany is still in its infancy, as the National Education Report shows. Schools are poorly prepared for this. The technical equipment is outdated and there is a lack of experienced teachers to acquire digital education.

To change that, the federal government has invested 500 million euros in service computers for teachers. If you consider that more than 800,000 teachers are employed in general and vocational schools, this reduces to around 600 euros per person. There is also a lack of how teachers and students can recognize security risks and protect themselves against them.

According to a study by the Deutsche Telekom Foundation, most of the students at home are well equipped, but there is a lack of high-quality digital lessons. Knowledge was largely conveyed in the traditional way, with worksheets being emailed and students reading texts. According to the foundation, there was hardly any creative transfer of knowledge through real distance learning, explanatory videos or digital group work.

The aim is not to hold face-to-face teaching 1: 1 online, but to combine analog and digital methods. The digital pact school has existed for over a year and a half. With this, educational institutions should advance digitization with 5 billion euros. PSW Group/nd

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Spy king Amazon (newspaper Junge Welt)

Hannibal Hanschke/REUTERS

The Amazon business model: over-exploitation combined with control mania

Business is going very well for the crisis profiteer Amazon. Employees have been throwing sand into the gears of the online giant for several days. The strike in several shipping centers in this country, fight for a collective agreement, lower the profit rate, at least minimally (see jW from 1.12.). In addition to unruly workers, data protectionists are now also pressing the company.

With good reason: Amazon has been criticized for years for the use of surveillance technology in its goods handling points. According to reports from Tagesschau.de On Tuesday, the Lower Saxony State Commissioner for Data Protection, Barbara Thiel, raised the alarm. The accusation: With special software, the work performance of the employees can apparently be monitored continuously.

First reported that HIGH-“Panorama” magazine about it in October. Specifically, it looks like this: An Amazon worker scans goods that he stores, picks out or prepares for dispatch. It’s all about one thing: speed. This scanning process is recorded down to the last minute and displayed to the foreman. If an employee who is under constant stress is in poor condition, i.e. work performance, the foreman immediately registers this on his display – and intervenes if necessary.

An Amazon worker from Leipzig, who wants to remain anonymous, confirmed on Tuesday jW: “Internal monitoring should discipline us, of course.” If certain efficiency criteria set by the management were not met by individual employees, managers who constantly walk up and down the hall corridors would quickly seek a conversation with them. “Everyone should feel like they are being watched,” says the logistics worker.

The state data protection officer Thiel confirmed loudly Tagesschau.de Compared to “Panorama”, the Amazon site in Winsen, Lower Saxony, was forbidden to “continuously collect and use current and up-to-the-minute quantity and quality performance data of its employees.” Amazon seems relaxed. “In the decision we have received, the authority states that we are not prevented from continuing to use the existing software systems,” shared a company spokesman jW-Inquiry on Tuesday with. Open questions about data collection would now be clarified in court.

It was only recently announced that Amazon had hired the notorious US security company Pinkerton to monitor environmentalists and trade unionists (see jW from November 26th). Niklas Hoves, managing director of Ethecon – Foundation Ethics and Economics, told on Tuesday jW: “Jeff Bezos’ business model is based not only on the exploitation of employees, but also on unrestrained spying.” This is not the only reason why the Amazon boss recently received the “Dead Planet Award”, a negative prize for “outstanding services” in ruining Environment and the world of work.

Verdi also intervenes. Orhan Akman, who is responsible for retail and mail order at the union, said on Tuesday jW-Conversation: “Amazon acts like a control-driven surveillance state.” The group should not become a democracy-free zone in which managers can act as they want with employees. Therefore, the data protection authorities in all states and in the federal government would have to take action against the constant spy. The goal: to put Amazon down.

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Occupational safety on online platforms: Against exploitation of crowdworkers

Lieferando & Co have long been criticized. Federal Minister of Labor Heil now wants to take action against low wages on digital platforms.

Platform economy sounds good, people pay badly for it Photo: Michael Kappeler / dpa

BERLIN taz | What is hidden behind the somewhat bulky term platform economy has long affected the everyday life of many people in Germany. Behind it can be a young man who delivers pizza for food delivery services such as Lieferando, or a domestic help who is booked via an online platform to clean windows in an office. But it can also be the translator who receives her orders online.

The fact that work is conveyed via digital platforms has often proven to be helpful and advantageous – not only in the Corona period. But: for the workers, the conditions are sometimes pretty miserable. Low wages, bogus self-employment and no social security are side effects of this digital flexibility.

Lieferando, for example, only pays just above the minimum wage and tried to torpedo the election of a works council in Cologne. Food delivery services such as Foodora and Deliveroo are also repeatedly criticized for undermining minimum labor standards.

Federal Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) now wants to improve the work situation of the platform workers. On Friday he presented a key issues paper entitled “Fair work in the platform economy”. “I will not allow digitization to be confused with exploitation in the platform economy,” said Heil. Simply relying on the self-regulation of companies will not be enough.

Low wages and a lack of social security

For better social protection, the Federal Ministry of Labor wants, for example, that self-employed platform workers are included in the statutory pension insurance and that the platforms participate in the payment of contributions.

Or: In order to be able to take better action against bogus self-employment, the platform should be obliged to prove the opposite in the event of doubts in court. In addition, minimum notice periods should be stipulated depending on the duration – because in practice workers can often be terminated at very short notice.

Anja Piel, board member of the German Trade Union Federation, welcomed the initiative of the Federal Minister of Labor. “It is a right and overdue step to counter the uncontrolled growth in the digital shadow job market,” said Piel of the taz. It is particularly good that self-employed persons are now “to be included in the protection of statutory pension insurance and accident insurance” and that the platform operators have to contribute to the costs.

Nevertheless, Piel sees a need to catch up in order to strengthen the collective rights of platform employees. “Trade unions absolutely need access rights to the platform workers in order to be able to organize better working conditions there,” said the trade unionist.

“Digital shadow job market”

According to an EU survey, 2.7 million people in Germany either receive at least half of their income from platform work or work in this way for at least ten hours a week, as the ministry writes. Other studies would come to lower numbers.

In any case, the field of work seems to be very heterogeneous. In a 2019 study by the Bertelsmann Stiftung, for which around 700 platform workers were surveyed, 59 percent of those surveyed said they were “very” or “somewhat” satisfied with this type of work. 31 percent had a monthly net income of over 3,000 euros.

But every fourth respondent had to get by on less than 1,500 euros. Almost all of them stated that they only did platform work part-time in order to financially supplement their main activity.

Hubertus Heil also emphasized: “There are platforms on which I by no means have the impression that precarious work predominates,” and mentioned, for example, craft platforms. But fair conditions are generally necessary: ​​“Platforms must not compete with one another with the lowest wages and the worst protection.” The topic is now also to be discussed at the government’s digital summit on Monday and Tuesday.

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Gaia-X: Europas Cloud – Made in USA? (neues-deutschland.de)

Gaia-X: Europas Cloud - Made in USA?

Photo: Felix Kästle / dpa

Consumers in Germany have the best possible chance that their personal data will end up on a computer in the USA. That may be less surprising when shopping on the Internet than when taking out life insurance, for example. In a typical data protection declaration, a leading German insurer assures its customers that it can also forward all information to “external service providers” outside of its own group. This service provider may also be located “outside the European Economic Area”. Usually this is the United States. The storage of huge amounts of data is – outside of China – dominated by a few US companies. For the search service Google, the software developer Microsoft or the mail order company Amazon, such “cloud” services are now more lucrative than the traditional business.

In the EU Commission and European capitals, this dependence on non-European data octopuses is viewed more and more critically. Data protection officers in Germany speak of a “transfer problem”, as the US economy is far more lax with data than the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) provides, and US authorities have easy access to data.

The EU is working on a concept for “digital sovereignty”. The Gaia-X project is set to become a major component. After months of preparation, 22 companies and institutions – eleven each from Germany and France – founded a Gaia-X company in Brussels. Members include Bosch, SAP and Telekom as well as researchers from the Fraunhofer Society. The EU is working on a concept for “digital sovereignty”. The cloud initiative aims to enable European companies to securely share data with one another, based on EU law and without Amazon, Google or Microsoft having access.

For Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) it is a question of »power«, for Europe’s independence. For Federal Economics Minister Peter Altmaier (CDU), the development of a European data infrastructure is »a central project« in order to secure competitiveness, digital innovation and future-proof jobs in Germany and Europe. He is confident that it will quickly be possible to gain enough active members so that Gaia-X does not fizzle out like many other large-scale European, private-state projects.

Germany’s industry association BDI is also hoping for a powerful digitalization boost from a Euro cloud. “The task now is to develop Gaia-X into a pan-European project as quickly as possible.” Almost all companies in Europe are “dependent on trustworthy data ecosystems”. Medium-sized companies in particular need easy access to data networks that meet the high European security standards.

The announcements of the Gaia-X initiators still remain nebulous even for experts. The digital summit of the Federal Ministry of Economics, which will take place as a virtual event from Monday, promises more details. Chancellor Angela Merkel has announced her »coming«.

Some approaches for the euro cloud are likely to meet with criticism. The BDI is proposing to provide health data via Gaia-X for medical research. Chinese and US Americans, of all people, are expressing interest in participating or, according to the information service “Heise”, are already partners or members of technical working groups. At a two-day digital “Gaia-X Summit” in mid-November, representatives from Amazon, Microsoft & Co. had assured that they would comply with principles such as data protection, interoperability and openness. “We believe in open source and an open cloud,” said Wieland Holfelder, head of Google’s development center in Munich.

In specialist forums, the participation of US multinationals was met with fierce criticism: once they got involved, they wouldn’t stick to anything. And even if there is, there is no getting around US authorities. The “Cloud Act” has been forcing US Internet companies since 2018 to release any data worldwide. This also applies to data that is stored and managed in the EU.

US law is the problem for the Americans, says Boris Otto, interim head of technology at Gaia-X and director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Software and System Technology in Dortmund. Above all, Gaia-X should lay down the rules of the game. Those who stick to it are allowed to participate. For example, it must be easy to switch from one provider to another – which US clouds deny their customers in practice. A high EU cloud standard, just like the European General Data Protection Regulation, could become an export hit. Allegedly even China should be interested in it.

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People are moving back to the countryside

Düsseldorf Actually quite nice here. Trees in sight and people greeting you on the street. Less hectic, less stress, less “craziness”.

In any case, Carsten and Nina Meier-Hahasvili noticed this immediately when they spent a few weeks in the country at the beginning of the Corona lockdown in spring. Together with their two-year-old son, they swapped their lives in the 100 square meter apartment in Berlin-Friedrichshain for a house belonging to Carsten’s family in the Main-Taunus district.

“You have a clearer head when you don’t have to constantly watch out that the little one runs in front of the car or someone complains about the stroller in the subway,” says Carsten Meier.

Half a year later, the family is walking across the cobblestones of Altena, a small town with 17,000 inhabitants in South Westphalia, a good 180 kilometers away from Carsten’s parents’ house. Together with around 30 other interested parties, they came to get a taste of the country air – in the truest sense of the word: if you want, you can live and work in Altena for six months in the coming year.

It is a kind of country life on trial for all those who want to get out of the big city but don’t really know where to go and are not sure whether this is just a short-term wish or a long-term goal.

Keeping your distance, working from home and staying calm may all be easier in the country than in the city. The longing for the province has grown not only among the Meiers.

At least three factors are currently driving people out of the metropolises. On the one hand, there is the development on the real estate market, which is making an apartment or even a house unaffordable for many. On the other hand, there is the increasing narrowness and the restrictions during the corona pandemic, which tarnish the comforts of city life. And last but not least, there is the forced digitization push and cultural change in many companies, which has raised the home office to the new normal within a very short time.

Getting to know each other in the corona pandemic

A good 30 people want to find out whether small-town life in Altena is an option for them.

(Photo: Arne Piepke)

Even before the pandemic, more people were moving from major German cities to the surrounding area than the other way around. A new phase of “suburbanization” has begun, as the Federal Institute for Population Research puts it. The metropolises continue to grow, but only because of the influx of young people and migrants.

The remaining groups are increasingly drawn to the countryside. This effect can also be observed in international metropolises. New York, for example, has been losing residents for years. With the outbreak of the pandemic, numerous real estate companies reported that more and more people were moving to the suburbs.

So far, the decision whether to live in the city or in the country has been an uncompromising either / or question. Either short distances, hip trendy cafés and collaboration in the co-working space – or lots of space and closeness to nature, but no access to pulsating life. What the city has to offer cannot be taken into the country and vice versa. Or does it?

The Friedrichshain of the province

Frederik Fischer does not want to accept this dualism. The 39-year-old serial founder from Berlin has thought of a new form that will combine the advantages of urban and rural life. He’s just building his own village. More precisely two: one is being built in Wiesenburg, located in Fläming between Leipzig and Berlin; the other in the Westphalian town of Erndtebrück. In the so-called KoDörfern, the alternative to cow villages, settlements with residential and guest houses, community gardens, farm shops, co-working spaces, studios, cafes and playgrounds are to be created. A co-operative neighborhood in the middle of the country.

The Meier-Hahasvili family is also interested in this new form of living. The KoDörfer will be ready for occupancy in two years at the earliest. In order to bridge the gap – and also develop a business model in urban development – Fischer has come up with something new: the “Summer of Pioneers”. Small towns struggling with vacancies should become experimental fields for digital workers who are tired of big cities for six months. And that’s what brings the Meier-Hahasvili family to Altena on this Saturday afternoon at the beginning of October.

Admittedly, it doesn’t seem really inviting here at first glance. Dark clouds hang over the place that once housed 32,000 residents and has now shrunk by half. An empty kebab shop awaits those arriving at the train station, while empty shops and closed shops and cafes are lined up in the pedestrian zone.

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One can find that dreary. Or you see it pragmatically as an opportunity, like Frederik Fischer. “A lot can be made of it.” He came by train from Berlin, and it’s his third visit to the small town. And yet he guides the curious crowd, who accepted his invitation, like a long-time city guide through the town.

He stops in front of an empty shop and points to the shop window. One of the co-working spaces is to be created here. “We can put a long table in here or set up several small rooms. We can design everything as we want. “

A colorful mix of interested parties has gathered around him: from the agency founder to the communication trainer to high school graduates. Some, like the Meiers, came from Berlin, others grew up in the region and are considering taking a step back, and still others come from other large cities in North Rhine-Westphalia, such as Dortmund, 40 kilometers away.

On this introductory tour you will hear the full load of location advertising. The mayor praises cheap real estate and neighborly togetherness. The city treasurer raves about an old industrial ruin, for whose redesign new ideas are being sought.

And representatives of regional marketing have come to present the most beautiful corners of the small town: including, of course, the medieval castle that towers on the hillside above the town. And actually the sky tears open in the course of the afternoon and the rays of the sun, which make their way through the cloud cover, make the town appear much friendlier.

Hygge dream in Wendland

And yet: Most people have something else in mind when they dream of country life à la “Landlust” and “Hygge”. A half-timbered house made of red brick in the middle of the green. Fruit trees are in bloom in the garden, and the fire crackles in the fireplace in the living room.

Anne and Jan Bathel have fulfilled this dream of an old farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. The digital entrepreneurs have renovated a 150-year-old farmhouse in southern Wendland over the past two years. If you scroll through the world of images of the two on Instagram, you will already see yourself sitting at the campfire with freshly baked cinnamon rolls in your hand and a feeling of comfort in your stomach.

There is only one problem: the poor internet and cell phone connection in the village with 185 people. To make calls, Anne Kjær Bathel occasionally had to position herself outside under a large oak tree, as the reception was only good there.

Born in Denmark, she founded the ReDi School of Digital Integration in 2015, where she offers programming courses for refugees and brings them together with companies. “In the start-up world we always talk about getting faster and thinking bigger,” she says.

“But there is also a need for slowing down and depth.” In order to strike the right balance, the couple commutes back and forth between Berlin and the Wendland: Tuesday to Thursday appointments in the capital and then back to the farmhouse. Since the corona pandemic, however, they have spent most of their time in Wendland.

For a study, Susanne Dähner from the Berlin Institute for Population and Development conducted interviews with urban refugees trying out new forms of living and working in the countryside. Accordingly, creative, digitally savvy people, for whom sustainability and freedom to design are important, are drawn to the countryside.

Since the dream of owning their own farmhouse is not affordable for most of them, they join forces in cooperatives and renovate old manors, monasteries or former factory buildings. “These are people who are looking for like-minded people who come to the country with similar ideas and experiences,” says Dähner.

So far, however, regions that are connected to the fast internet and are relatively well connected have benefited from the influx of the digitally-savvy metropolitan area. That is why a large part of these innovative residential projects can be found in Brandenburg. For most, commuting distance to the capital is still important. Will the trend towards urban evacuation continue due to the increasing acceptance of home work? Unclear, says Dähner: “To permanently relocate is a long-term decision. You don’t meet them overnight. “

That is how Carsten and Nina Meier-Hahasvili see it. The ten-strong team of the founding couple is based in Berlin, the city is their center of life. Even if you decide to do a test summer in Altena: You want to keep the apartment in Friedrichshain for now.

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Bares becomes Rares (daily newspaper Junge Welt)

With its plans, the ECB is breaking the current currency system

At the beginning of October, the European Central Bank (ECB) announced that it would intensify its work on the introduction of a digital currency for the euro area. Apparently the central bankers do not want to lag behind the US group Facebook, which has been working on the electronic private currency “Libra” since mid-2019. On Friday the topic was discussed at an online conference of the Deutsche Bundesbank. Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) and ECB board member Fabio Panetta were among the participants.

Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann is one of the skeptics when it comes to digital money. The advantages and disadvantages of introducing an “e-euro” would have to be carefully weighed, he emphasized at the conference. His main concerns are the stability of the banking system. In times of e-money, for example, a kind of “digital bank run” could occur in the event of a crisis. Electronic means of payment can be withdrawn even faster than paper money, since nobody has to stand in line at the ATM. Weidmann would rather face the Facebook money in a market economy: The private banks should make their payment transactions cheaper and faster.

Other central bankers have fewer concerns. Including the head of the ECB, Christine Lagarde, who had already called at the end of last year that the euro area must be “ahead of its time” on the subject. Since then, the central bank has been driving the project forward. The October announcement emphasizes that no decision will be taken on the introduction of the e-euro, but that the decision will be prepared. Internal test runs are already taking place for this purpose. According to Lagarde, the project is intended to secure “trust in money”.

Panetta, who chairs the task force that works on e-money within the ECB, argued on Friday that a digital euro would “contribute to financial sovereignty and strengthen the euro ‘s international role.” In global politics, among other things, it is a question of not allowing oneself to be further dependent on China. A field test has been running there since October in a district of the metropolis of Shenzhen. In addition, the ECB initiative is likely to aim to counter the US government, which has in fact already brought Facebook money under control and is striving to control digital payment flows worldwide in order to be able to sanction anything that goes against its own interests even more effectively.

Scholz also called for more progress in “European efforts” on Friday. The course must now be set, according to the SPD candidate for chancellor. After all, there is a strong trend towards cashless, digital payment systems. With regard to the Facebook currency, he emphasized that “unregulated digital currencies are by no means an option,” and welcomed the ECB’s initiative for a digital euro. To do this, you need “balanced but quick decisions”.

The ECB task force apparently places little value in its mind games on maintaining “financial anonymity”. Those who pay in cash can buy what they want without government agencies or digital corporations knowing about it. In an ECB document from October on the e-euro, it now says: “Anonymity may have to be ruled out, not only because of the legal obligations in connection with money laundering and terrorist financing, but also in order to limit the number of users of the digital euro if necessary.”

The fight against money laundering is regularly brought up in the debate about digital currencies – but not by police officers, but by financial politicians, banks and digital corporations. The anonymity offered by cash is a thorn in their side. For example, they have an eye on the possibilities for restructuring social security systems that arise when the state always knows how much money the beneficiaries are spending on alcohol or tobacco, for example. In the digital economy, meanwhile, whopping extra profits can be expected if the user can be traded with complete consumption profiles.

Sweden provides a negative example. Electronic means of payment have largely replaced cash there. In many rural regions there is simply no more ATM to be found. In the context of technological innovations, however, at best very small amounts can be paid anonymously.

While the ECB is working on the digital euro, the Commission wants to make so-called instant payments the standard by the end of next year: electronic payment transactions should be processed in real time. Several banks are also working on a uniform processing system that also covers payments by card and mobile phone.

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“It was about the megalomania of the conquistadors” (daily newspaper Junge Welt)

He has always distanced himself from Hollywood antics: Werner Herzog at the premiere of “Fitzcarraldo” in Cannes in 1982

The jW from 21./22. November contained a weekend conversation in which the Peruvian anthropologist Cesar Vivanco (83) looked back on the collaboration with Werner Herzog. Vivanco was Herzog’s advisor on the Kinski films “Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes” (1972) and “Fitzcarraldo” (1982), which were shot in the Amazon jungle. Hundreds of indigenous people who were obliged to act as extras were “used” by Herzog in the manner of a colonial ruler and then equipped with guns, Vivanco said in an interview with Unai Aranzadi. The consequences of these interventions for the Amazon region were devastating. René Lechleiter, Zurich, witnessed the shooting of »Fitzcarraldo« as a sound engineer and was prompted to make a replica. (jW)

It was with great astonishment that I read the two-page interview by Unai Aranzadi with Mr. Cesar Vivanco about the shooting of the film »Fitzcarraldo« in the weekend edition of 21./22. November noted. It is more than cheap, almost 40 years after the realization of this film – or almost 50 years after “Aguirre, the Wrath of God” – to accuse director Werner Herzog of “arrogance towards indigenous peoples”. Such blanket accusations may hit the nerve of the time, but they do not contribute anything to a serious discussion of European colonialism. On the contrary, only prejudices are confirmed, especially with regard to Werner Herzog’s author films.

Cesar Vivanco is presented completely uncritically as a key witness, although a number of his statements are demonstrably incorrect. There is now some literature on all the adversities that stood in the way of this film production, two documentaries and numerous essays that make the complexity of filming in an area like the Amazon jungle in the 1970s understandable. To call Werner Herzog and Walter Saxer “assholes” under these conditions does not correspond to the level of the jW.

Vivanco’s main accusation that “these people came to Peru thinking they could do what they wanted with the indigenous peoples” is perfidious. Primarily it was the case that Herzog did not want to make ethnological studies or a documentary film about the Campas people, but rather a fictional film with a story that had actually happened at the beginning of the 20th century. There were a lot of indigenous people involved, and they weren’t handled with kid gloves. But is it more ethical that Vivanco, according to his statements, wanted to convey mestizos to Herzog as extras who would have been disguised “originally”, while Herzog hired authentic Indians as actors and extras? It is precisely from such antics à la Hollywood that Herzog has always distanced himself.

Nor did he just do “what he wanted” with the indigenous people. Rather, he dealt very intensively with their way of life, the richness of their culture, especially their language and mythology. This is, for example, impressively understandable in the 1982 making-of film “The Last of Dreams”, directed by Les Blank. For their participation in “Fitzcarraldo” the indigenous people were paid as extras, with twice the normal daily income, just as Vivanco was paid well. The agreements were made with the respective tribal chiefs and kept. Their involvement caused displeasure among rival groups and the camp was attacked. Only because of this incident did the issue of weapons arise, not as a means of payment, as Vivanco assumes.

The claim that Herzog had promised the Indians land in order to keep them going is demonstrably false. Knowing about the situation of the primeval forest peoples, the filmmaker made it clear in a conversation that one could perhaps help them in their – quote: – “Struggle for the legal land-title” (fight for legal land title). That has remained a central problem to this day, and we would have liked to hear from Vivanco what he has contributed to this fight since then.

Vivanco also accuses Herzog of stealing ideas; while working on »Aguirre« he wanted to convey the Fitzcarraldo idea to the director with all the details. The “Aguirre” story and that of Fitzcarraldo are based on historical facts. Even then, they were essentially publicly known and accessible. As an auteur filmmaker, Herzog has made his own version of this in an ever-changing script. It was not about retelling, but about making understandable what a capitalist, i.e. profit-oriented lone fighter is capable of in order to achieve his goal. Or, similarly in the “Aguirre” film, to make the megalomania of the conquistadors visible, who declared the infinitely wide (and already populated) stretches of land “left and right of the Amazon” to be subject to the Spanish king.

Vivanco, in his own way, still draws on the fact that during the undoubtedly unusual shooting of both films, there was already a strong mood against Herzog. So an appeal was made to the spiritualistic feelings of the indigenous people, according to which the film and photo recordings lead to the robbery of faces or even souls. Photos of mass graves from concentration camps were also passed around to suggest how this could all end under a German director.

There was such a hype against the white filmmakers ten years earlier when shooting »Aguirre«. Then the daily press in Lima published big horror stories in which Herzog burned down the huts of the horrified Indians. This location was set up in the deepest jungle especially for the film and with the help of indigenous people. But in all the weeks there was never a journalist as an eyewitness, it was all fake news made up in Lima.

Many indigenous people from the region around Cusco were also involved as extras in »Aguirre«. Cesar Vivanco helped prepare the film. Now he claims in the interview, without giving any further details, that “a lot got mixed up”. That’s a cheap assumption, especially when you consider that he only stayed until “half the shoot” himself. In contrast to Vivanco, I was involved in this extraordinary work from the first to the last day of shooting (responsible for the direct sound with the fishing rod). I noticed all of Klaus Kinski’s choleric abuses, but at no point did Werner Herzog have a discriminatory or even colonialist attitude.

Incidentally, Walter Saxer was not the producer of the films, but the production manager on site – an absolute backbreaking job. And this in an environment that had already lost much of its indigenous innocence back then. Coca-Cola and soldiers of fortune of all stripes were just as present as the big oil companies and all the unspeakable missionaries. Against the background of a filmmaker who makes precisely this invasion of “civilization” the subject of accusing him of being a white colonialist is absurd.

The final question in the interview, whether the Europeans are still colonialists, is avoided by Cesar Vivanco and says: “The worst are the Yankees”, which may be true, “with their foundations like Rockefeller, Ford and Soros” – what does that have to do with it Werner Herzog and his films to do?

It would have been better to talk to Vivanco in more detail about his anthropological work than about his undigested encounters with Herzog. He calls himself the “discoverer” of the Kugapakori people who previously lived naked in the Amazon jungle – Vivanco himself comes from Cusco, the Andean highlands, and speaks Quechua and Spanish. One could have asked him what has become of the Kugapakori, their language and culture.

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Discussion about the introduction of the digital euro is picking up speed

Jens Weidmann

The Bundesbank President underlined that central banks with a digital euro did not want to abolish cash.

(Photo: Reuters)

Frankfurt The debate about the possible introduction of a digital euro in Europe is gaining momentum. Such an e-euro would be an electronic form of central bank money and could be used by the general public. “It would complement cash, not replace it,” said ECB Director Fabio Panetta on Friday at a Bundesbank conference on payments.

“Together, these two types of money would be accessible to everyone, which offers greater options and access to simple, free payment methods.” Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz called on the European Central Bank (ECB) to make a swift decision. According to Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann, this has not yet fallen.

The discussion about the introduction of digital central bank money has also picked up speed because the world’s largest Internet network Facebook is pushing its own digital currency Libra onto the market. The plans have alarmed governments, regulators and central banks around the world.

According to the “Financial Times”, Facebook wants to launch Libra as early as January. The Libra Association, which was founded in Switzerland to build up crypto money, initially wants to offer a digital coin that is tied to the dollar, the newspaper reported on Friday.

The ECB recently published a comprehensive report on the possible issue of a digital euro, which was drawn up by a task force led by ECB Director Panetta.

More on the subject:

According to ECB President Christine Lagarde, the euro must be “fit for the digital age”, as she said in October. The ECB should be prepared to provide a digital euro if there is a need for it. The ECB wants to make a decision by around mid-2021. A public consultation on a digital euro is ongoing. It should be completed in January.

Scholz supports the ECB’s work on the digital euro

Federal Finance Minister Scholz noted a strong trend towards cashless, digitized payment options in Europe: “There is a demand for digital money among consumers and companies alike.” This demand must be met.

“I fully support the work of the ECB on a digital euro,” he said. Considered but swift action is necessary.

According to ECB director Panetta, a digital euro payment instrument should be “not a form of investment that competes with other financial instruments.”

Ulrich Bindseil, ECB Director General for Market Infrastructures, presented a much-noticed model months ago: Every citizen in the currency area would be able to get an account for digital central bank money at the central banks.

Up to a certain amount – around 3000 euros, the average monthly household income in the euro area – attractive interest would be paid there, but not beyond that.

Commerzbank chief economist Jörg Krämer sees several risks associated with a digital euro. Bank customers could withdraw money from their account and transfer it to their e-euro account at the central bank. “Then banks lose an important source of funding and have to switch to the ECB,” said Krämer.

Financial houses would then be withdrawn even more from market influence and would be even more dependent on the ECB for financing. “There is also the fundamental problem of a digital bank run that, in the event of supposed problems, billions can be moved in a jiffy, as it were.” Precautions should be taken against this.

From the point of view of Bundesbank President Weidmann, the advantages and disadvantages of digital central bank money (CBDC) must be carefully examined. “Clearly, central banks need to ensure that the good associated with CDBC outweighs any harm it could cause,” he said.

On the one hand, a digital euro must be designed in such a way that it is attractive to consumers. “On the other hand – if CBDC is too attractive it could disrupt the existing financial system,” he warned.

More: Why digital central bank money could make the state more powerful.

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Lost before starting (neue-deutschland.de)

Photo: dpa / Julian Stratenschulte

It was the beginning of November, the corona numbers rose rapidly and the risk that individual classes would have to study at home overnight was getting closer, as parent representatives at a Berlin primary school were discussing how well their school is prepared for digital learning. At the beginning of the school year, parents’ meetings gave a brief presentation of the Berlin learning space, the digital learning platform that the Senate makes available to schools free of charge. Since then, requests to register there have been running every week, parents say. Obviously, getting all the children on board is a challenge. And those who want to register also run into problems, for example if a mother cannot use the same e-mail address for two accounts of her two primary school children. Little things, of course, only parents and schools feel left alone with many of these little things.

All over the republic, teachers, parents and students are attending a crash course in digital learning these weeks. The differences between schools and individual teachers are great. According to the education report just published by the EU, the digital equipment of German schools in 2017/2018 was far below the EU average, and the situation in primary schools was particularly dramatic. To make up for this in a few months, in the middle of a pandemic – a show of strength.

Even if the move to more distance learning is still controversial, homeschooling has long been a reality again. In mid-November, almost 200,000 schoolchildren were in quarantine, the education ministers announced. After the first lockdown, parents and students complained that some teachers only sent them assignments and from then on they were on their own. Half a year later things should be different. But the conditions have improved only a little. At least where the equipment was previously poor. Just like in elementary schools.

A lot has been initiated in all federal states, needs assessments and award procedures are ongoing. The number of registrations in the Berlin learning space has increased significantly since the beginning of the corona crisis. But in some cases schools are still waiting for laptops and tablets to be delivered to children in need, which they ordered from the federal emergency program in the spring. There are also no work computers for teachers or service e-mails. In some places, school principals have not even gotten around to evaluating the question of what technical equipment is available in families.

Every school in Berlin should have an IT supervisor. The aim is to develop educational concepts on how digital tools can be used sensibly. And currently answer the question of what the learning room should actually be used for – just to distribute work documents and weekly plans or is it about more? At its core, the platform offers a variety of options. They just don’t reveal themselves at first glance, especially not people for whom computers are primarily entertainment devices. In practice, however, IT supervisors in schools are struggling to get the system up and running and try to familiarize themselves with it. In secondary schools there are computer science teachers who are professionally qualified. At elementary schools, one can only hope that someone in the teaching staff is tech-savvy enough to take on the job of IT supervisor – additionally. One hour of teaching is waived for this. The rest is a hobby. The introduction of digital modules therefore depends heavily on individual commitment in leisure time. Someone who works with Moodle at a university – the software on which the learning room is based – is surprised in a parents’ forum that he has received introductions to the use of the program for weeks in the university, whereas in the schools he assumed it that school administrators, teachers, pupils and parents quasi sneak into it on the side. And with all this there are also problems with data security: the Berlin data protection officer has not yet given the green light for the learning room.

Elsewhere in the capital, the experiences are more positive. After an update, the system is more stable, reports a high school student from Pankow, the whole school is now uniform in terms of learning space. This means that the material for all courses is now in one place, instead of being distributed in dozens of emails. She particularly appreciates that. Teachers who worked with the platform before Corona are using the potential: The semester topics are clearly subdivided. For others, however, the learning rooms are completely unsorted. “You won’t find anything there.” And video conferences, of all things, which they want to hold regularly in distance learning in the future – a lesson from the first lockdown to stay in touch better and not to lose anyone – that of all things got stuck in the classroom all the time.

The Berliners are not alone with these experiences. Ilka Hoffmann from the Education and Science Union (GEW) knows similar stories from all over Germany. “Schools that used digital tools before Corona or that practice open lessons get along better with this than schools that have only dealt with them since the corona pandemic or that pursue more teacher-centered lessons,” says Hoffmann. In addition, it is always easier where children can be supported by their parents, where they have their own room and computer. Where you have to take care of participating in face-to-face classes, “there are of course greater challenges”.

The development of new skills ties up strength and resources. However, they may be missing in order to get students through the crisis well. Hoffmann, who herself worked as a teacher for many years, sums it up in a simple formula: “Digital learning only makes sense in a coherent overall concept.” She is in favor of increasing the use of digital media. “That expands our options.” But that is no substitute for direct contact, especially with small children. Distance learning, emphasizes the GEW woman, does not have to be digital either. We shouldn’t pretend that lessons that cannot take place in school can only be managed with a tablet. “There is still pen and paper. And exceeding tens can also be learned with pebbles. “

You could also say: Instead of wearing yourself out in moodles and doodles, families in Corona times would be helped a lot if the teacher in quarantine could be reached by phone. And a data protection-compliant video platform can also be found.

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