Love to see these updates from the German Digital Service. Not sure everybody knows that that organization exists now and what they’re busy with.

The work they’re doing is really good but what’s really staggering is how much of a gap they have to bridge here. These are basic buildings blocks of digital transformation that advanced societies tackled 10-20 years ago.

https://digitalservice.bund.de/blog/mit-kommunikationsdesign-nutzerzentrierte-verwaltungsmodernisierung-unterstuetzen

Something we’re also noticing here is that people with dogs gather in courtyards and on fields in groups and let their dogs roam free, illegally.

They do this in groups together so that if somebody tells them not to, they can use their numbers to intimidate and as described here they use that and many other strategies with officers of the law.

Owning a dog in a dense urban environment is a questionable choice already, but the people around us here take the cake. There are quite a number of socially at-risk individuals who have dogs where both the animal and the human are deeply and certifiably deranged. Both of them accost any human who walks by and it’s often a question of who’s louder the dog’s barking or its owner’s ranting.

I think a forced dog register and quotas/waiting lists for some areas would be a good first step to control the situation here.

Gibi: Comedy under Pressure

I just watched and finished season 1 of Gibi which seems to have been enough of a success for them to quickly put out a second season. It’s a Turkish dark comedy show that you can watch online on Exxen. I already wrote it’s a bit like Seinfeld but with a very dark undercurrent.

How dark? Let’s look at the next bit from an episode (S01E10 @ 16:30) where Yılmaz and İlkkan are accused of having caused the death of an old man. They are getting ready to host the deceased’s relatives at a restaurant and participate in the wake.

Yilmaz and Ilkkan having a conversation

Did you hear anything from Ethem?

Ethem?

Lately never…

Man, look, they wrote something in fact. Hold on. Somehow we weren’t able to call the guy. (Sigh. Wails.)

Don’t.

His aunt has killed herself. Ethem’s. It was written this morning. I just saw it.

Which aunt?

His older aunt.

I don’t know many other situational comedy shows that do something like this. It has no relation to the story and serves only to set the mood. Interspersing another death that’s just brushed off in an episode that’s already about death demonstrates how little a human life is worth. People die randomly and it’s received with a wail and a shrug.

They will most likely go to the funeral just like they did in a previous episode (S01E04) where Ersoy’s grandmother was eaten by an Erasmus cannibal.

Overarching Theme

Zooming out a bit, the real theme of this first season of Gibi has been pressure, pressure of all kinds: peer pressure, family obligations, social and societal pressure.

  • Kokariç: Press ganging into opening a kebab shop and invest in all kinds of goods
  • Wadding: Pressure from friends and the environment to conform to current fashion norms
  • Nu Model: Pressure from the extended family not to pose nude at the art academy enforced by force of violence
  • The Cannibal Coming with Erasmus: Pressure from friends to mourn and be visibly sad
  • Wrong Mentor: Pressure by a spiritual guide to follow a very strict regimen
  • Dark Force: Collective hysteria around bad things happening
  • Second Way: Pressure of belonging
  • Whitewash: Pressure by the house painter to go all the way
  • Renewal of Break Up: Pressure generated by magician
  • Blood Money: Pressure to make amends for somebody unrelated dying
  • Bathroom: Pressure to bathe and spend time with a couple of seniors
  • Discovery of the Horse: Proto-societal pressure between members of an outcast paleolithic group

Anybody who’s ever been to Turkey knows that the entire country is built on this kind of pressure, also known as genuine interest, shame, concern or emotional blackmail. It’s omnipresent and the only way to escape it is to exit.

Not verified but an interesting data point in how German civil servants don’t have that attractive a position and can get better deals working indirectly for the people ‘at the engines of the global economy’.

That makes you wonder why the engines of the global economy are not here or if they are why it’s not possible to pay civil servants competitive both in compensation and in job satisfaction. To be able to get the best talent and create the kind of state capacity that justifies having a state, the best people working in the civil service should be paid competitively with the top of society.