I haven't written for long, due to a personal reset in the context of the rise of the Corona-Virus, creating chaos, insecurity, and a vast return to methods of restrictions (e.g. closed borders) and surveillance (e.g. the attempt to track infections by the analysis of telecommunication data). I am not an expert in immunology, but a couple of questions and ideas started to move me, daily now, and I will start collecting them here:
1. Why do we close borders when the virus obviously crossed all, by now?
2. The virus does pose an uncommon threat to people, with its exponential growth, its tricky detection, and its dissemination: when groceries start to prefer contact-less payment over cash or card payment with contact, it seems to be unclear if it is only transferred via air or contact between people, or via objects, as well. What would that mean for an economy characterized by global production and distribution chains? Could the virus be stopped by stopping people to meet if the delivery of goods and services becomes even more personal, these days (starting with home shopping and not ending with foods), and if air conditioning keeps on going?
I think, it would make sense to concentrate on the inter-discliplinary understanding of the virus, first, and ways to heal people (instead of only identifying concerned ones), second. From my perspective, one could e.g. consider the wealth of scientific data and literature to find potential links to economic, social, or political features, maybe test the hypothesis of transmission via objects, or look for unknown sources of human resistance. Condition for that was the open access to scientific research protected by copyrights, right now. Therefore, I recommend: instead of claiming people's telecommunication data to understand the virus, governments should ask their press and publishers to open-up their archives for researcher, data-analysts, and anybody else that wishes to make sense of reality.
3. Yesterday, the pope held an outstanding talk considering long-standing links of human threats to nature (pollution, exploitation of resources and people, and our missing capacity to learn and adapt to climate change) to the threat nature is posting to humanity, now. With the ECO-score, I outlined an approach to tackle the economic challenge with modern technology, already, but I wonder how to prevent the further, and advanced pollution of air and water by soap and chemicals recommended and used now, the heating of ecological risks: I personally dropped to methods of ecological cleaning, starting with soda and disinfection, including sanitary products that can be washed, but not ending with water filters and a mobile solar panel (good German sources: Smarticular and Utopia, any other languages or info on metals: welcome!). But I wonder about the global scale: Did anybody ever calculate the amount of resources (water, oil, rare metals etc.) potentially available to people? Did anybody ever calculate, how many extra soap and washing machines mother earth might be able to handle? Who would be in charge?
4. The attempts to contain the virus, specially the limitations on people's contacts (#stayhome), resulted into a re-coordination of social life, starting with schooling, the organization of events, up to daily business and politics characterized by e-mail, telephony, and video conferencing. Having experienced the same situation in the Bundestag, not long ago (research and assistance for Saskia Esken, MdB Social Democrats back then, in internal and digital politics), I deeply feel the immense burden of teachers, pupils, and all kinds employees to process all relevant information in time, to make sense of all ideas, recommendations, or critique explicit, to organize the value of information, in short: to develop a well-functioning work-flow. And I seriously don't get the missing use of data analysis and platform technologies in the modern public life. I sketched out some ideas for politics (e.g.: first draft EN, talk GER), they include:
- the use of data analytic to identify political and social problems and solutions (thing e.g. what Facebook might tell as about the differences of hate speech in relation to social, economic, geographic, cultural, or other features when it considered all hate speech?),
- the use of platform technologies to a) decide about which problems to solve by what kind of strategies (voting + discussion), b) distribute relevant information among stakeholder/ solution manager (information management), c) the coordination of global communities (information exchange etc.), d) re-coordination of economy, and d) the assessment of politics, aiming on fast reactions in terms of problems (scoring, mixed-method).
If I had one dream, it was to develop and realize these ideas for politics, now. It might be useful for other areas of social life, as well. But I lack exchange, resources (tech, legal, business), and the right setting to set-up the thing I'd call *fair politics* now - fair in considering people, technology, and nature; oriented on transforming democratic principles, including open and transparent tech infrastructures; and focused on the survival of all. Any ideas welcome.
with best wishes for you and your friends + families