The Netherlands is facing similar problems where depressed salaries, lack of housing and rampant overt racism are making it difficult to attract digital talent from all over the world.

You know, countries could have promoted STEM education as a pursuit decades ago but given the state of things, nothing is getting done in technology without people from outside of Europe. Let’s see whether we make the smart choice this time round, or whether we’ll see countries ‘cutting their nose to spite their face’ as the saying goes.

https://www.golem.de/news/tech-standort-ostdeutschland-als-waere-das-image-nicht-schon-schlecht-genug-2403-182921.html

The news that an OSINT researcher spent 30 minutes to find a fugitive that the German police couldn’t find in the past 30 years says a lot about how government works here.

Most likely the police would say that they couldn’t use any modern tools or data sources here because of Datenschutz (data protection) reasons. Datenschutz is 1. a great excuse for people who don’t want to do their jobs and 2. a way to protect every kind of crook and criminal.

Schools wasting money is not as big of a deal as it is made out to be here. Not every investment can be a good one and you have to deal with that and just keep investing. My business partner used to say that innovation in the education field is like driving a van full of money to a school building and setting it on fire. Soit.

The main issue here is that a purchase like this (hardware firewalls!) fits in the rampant fear based culture around digital technology here where schools have their own IT (which they can’t deploy or manage) and everything needs to be absolutely secure. The net result of that way of thinking is of course that nothing is even slightly secure.

https://www.golem.de/news/elektroschrott-hunderte-deutscher-schulen-sitzen-auf-ungenutzten-firewalls-2402-182195.html

Come to Berlin, they said. There’s lots of space here, they said.

In the mean time in Berlin everything is full and anything related to children is wildly under-provisioned (because Germany out of principle does not invest in anything). That creates waiting lists and insane competition for everything.

https://www.rbb24.de/panorama/beitrag/2024/02/berlin-infrastruktur-kinder-kein-platz-wartelisten-teuer.html

I found a new German podcast crush in Hart Unfair which is my favorite format: three people (Anna Dushime, Yelda Türkmen and Ari Christmann) rambling through one another but in a way that’s funny, intelligent and diverse. It’s a shame that they publish so irregularly that I can’t tell if the podcast is dead or not.

One of the hosts dropped a casual Hasan Piker reference (in a conversation about pop culture and leftist politics) and… I didn’t even know there were Germans who know who that is.

https://www.instagram.com/hartunfair/

I had previously posted about a deep dive of the connections of the anthroposophical movement with fascism.

What’s also quite poignant are the fascist foundations of the ecological movement in Germany. It’s not just fascist but in the weird post-war political space here every type of idiocy is pretty much represented.

Petra Kelly is essential to understand why the Greens are so so opposed to nuclear energy. She got together with an officer of the German army who was used by the Stasi (as part of the Generals for Peace) to argue for disarmament. He eventually shot her and himself to death.

https://www.environmentandsociety.org/arcadia/petra-kelly-and-transnational-roots-green-politics

It’s a good example of how anything peace movement related here was a ploy by the Russians not to get their ass kicked (and still is).

And here’s a historical treatment of all the ecofascist tendencies that tried to be part of the ecological movement in post-nazi Germany. Some of them got disillusioned and rebuked by the party’s tendency towards eco-socialism, but others managed to latch on.

The absurd cast of characters in both of these stories are a clear testament for how pretty much everybody in German society after the war was damaged goods.

Listened to the latest episode of the German eGovernment podcast with the Minister for Digital for Bavaria. That is the state here that’s seemingly the farthest along when it comes to digitalisation and it now has the following ambitious plans:

  • to have internet reception everywhere
  • to remove fax traffic inside the state government by 2026

And then I switched it off because I don’t think anything good could come after that.

https://egovernment-podcast.com/egov165-100-tage-digitalminister/

Learned in this podcast episode about class justice in Germany something rather remarkable.

Germany has a system of income dependent fines called Tagessätze. These are meant to make punishments more equitable by making people who make more money pay more.

It turns out (and I’m sure very few people are aware of this) that courts do not get access to tax records to determine the fine base. They take a guess at the income and most of the time, they guess too low.