Selfie Museum

We have learned that games are not only played for fun. So-called serious games have found their way into health applications where we might learn while playing a game of how to integrate more walking into our life in the city. While walking after work I happened to pass the Selfie Museum in Zagreb. In fact despite carrying the name of museum it is more an assembly of scenarios in which you can realize many selfies in different settings that have been prepared for that purpose. Hence your production of photo shooting with yourself as the major character is facilitated and you no longer have to spend a lot of time on the setups. Call it a museum and you’ll have more visibility and visitors.

Styles of selfies have changed and shooting very short videos to post on tiktok is of course easy there. A real threat to huge and expensive cinema studios considering the enormous reach some of these selfies can reach. It is a bit like a theatre with multiple stages for everybody to use at moderate costs. Before long we shall come to realize the potential for many more interested in theatre to become actors and directors themselves. Democratize the world of theatre is the new social dimension here. Test yourself in another profession through playful interaction. Test and learn about other competencies. We are in the middle of the next wave of “gameification” previously reserved to people ready to accept higher risks of likely failure. The young can now take their parents to the museum and show off their culture and skills. Intergenerational learning has a new aspect as well. The sociology of the virtual has another phenomenon to evaluate.

Zahgreb 2023-12 Selfie museum

Twitter Retreat

There are many migrating species in nature. Birds form a large part of the them. This follows a kind of annual or seasonal pattern. Depending on the migration experience and dangers some, sometimes many don’t come back. This seems to describe the migration experience of the tweeting bird called twitter. Changing the name from Twitter to X, whereby X for maths-oriented people stands for a variable name that can be filled with any value. For the cinema industry X stands for x-rated adult only content and has rather obnoxious content. This might hold for web content as well.
Online through “ the disastrous consequences of harsh human resource policies and lack of political sensitivity can be followed. Multiplying biased opinions of right-wing extremists, the platform has been highjacked and many tweeting birds leave or have left already.
Leaving is not easy though. People and enterprises have invested substantial amounts of money into tweeting and software developers have created specialised features to make it easy to spread press releases or info via these add-on services. I myself benefitted from services to show my tweets on my webpage or to easily publish info or links to the webpage. As of now, with migrating away most of these investments will be lost. It was smooth and easy, but now we start this all over again with other comparable platforms and assistance from developers. Mastodon and Bluesky are on the rise as alternative platforms and most likely we shall use both for some time just like Netzpolitik and many others. If already 1/3 of users intend to leave Twitter/X the impact of big advertisers leaving the platform has even more impact. After all they pay for reaching potentially millions of platform users, but now they reach only a steeply biased subset of previous users. Deleting the Twitter/X app saves you from other potential unwanted monitoring or tracking. Only the addresses on Mastodon for example are a bit longer like Decentral monitoring of illicit undesirable content has advantages and disadvantages. We shall have to monitor this a bit ourselves and contribute more actively to save such platforms from bad weather or seasonal migration.


Over a generation the association with the word mail or AI has changed. Younger generations will automatically think of email as the obvious association with “you have got mail”. Asking people for their mail address, most people will respond immediately with their email account. That has certainly changed over the last 20 years. Email has become extraordinarily important for contacts, content and “crime”. The original set-up of mail servers were supposed to exchange data and information between trusted and trusting individuals. Nowadays we have become “anyone” on an email-list or part of a cascading email-chain. Pishing emails that try to lure us to potentially fake webpages to enter personal information is widespread. A whole new industry of cybersecurity has evolved in parallel with ever faster pingpong of new threats and costly remedies. Most critical remains the human factor to protect email and vital information from abuse. All training to better manage email should therefore begin with awareness building on the need to take cybersecurity seriously right from the beginning. It is not an issue to deal with towards the end of learning about it. Some general points have become common practice. Think carefully if you need to open the mail. Check whether there are external links in it. Do you really need this extra information? Be careful about the number of persons you forward or put in the copy field of your mail.

Unfortunately the simple mail transfer protocol (SMTP) makes it technically fairly easy to abuse email addresses and send an email from a domain name which you do not own. Same holds true for the content of emails. Originally only basic letters and numbers were allowed, no Umlaut etc. But then the “multipurpose internet mail extensions” (MIME) enabled more formats of attachments and illicit links and files within the email content.

In consequence it became necessary to scan emails en masse for malware and obnoxious content. Hence the quality of your email programs reveals itself with the amount of spam you still receive. Next come the email filters that sort your inbox for spam and other modern plagues like unwanted newsletters or notifications.

In consequence we sometimes wonder that we never received certain emails albeit the person sending it reiterated that the email was sent. Even checking your spam folder in the email program might not solve the issue because your receiving email server has been instructed not to accept emails from previously unknown mail servers. Not much you can do about this as an individual person, you mail server is just not on the so-called white list from which to accept incoming emails.

With a mail address from the big national or international companies you have little to worry about in this respect. Smaller companies or organizations might suddenly face a thorny issue if their i@xy.z address appears on a dubious list. You will end up sending but nobody receives your emails. It might take you quite some time to find out about it and even more to fix the issue. Hence the take home message is, have more than one email address registered on different mail servers to check that sending out and receiving emails works properly for you. Managing an own webpage with email service for members or employees is a nice service, but beware of the implications for cyber security as well.

Once upon a time we drafted letters to 1-2 friends 🫠

Civil Protection

A lot of important activities do not receive the attention they deserve. During a humanitarian crisis, Europe frequently acts with varying involvement of Member States. This holds true in droughts, inundations, earth quakes, civil wars or imperialist state conflicts. The extent and time of commitment are an additional and differentiating element. Coordination of such activities is important for those wanting to help and those asking or receiving assistance. Efforts, equipment and political support vary enormously as well. There is a need to approach this topic more strategically. The Union Civil Protection Knowledge Network (UCPKN) goes a long way to attempt to find a common language, data infrastructure and responses in this respect. It surely is important to go beyond the piecemeal approach of the past to be able to address emergencies in multiple kinds more effectively. It is, however, also in some instances a highly controversial issue as well. For each term in this old (Tschernobyl nuclear disaster) and still novel field (Fukushima) for joint activities, we have to come up with compromises of definitions.
For example, what constitutes an emergency? Does the climate crisis and disasters related to it already constitute an emergency now? Some say yes, we have to act now to avoid bigger floods and wild fires as of next year. Others, do not want to tackle the root causes, but rather focus on curing actual devastating effects of disasters.
We are back to a well-known topic of preventive rather than curative approaches. In the meantime, we are convinced that we have to commit more resources to both approaches: immediate relief and structural change to prevent an otherwise never-ending sequence of disasters in varying places.
Most important probably is the keeping of address books and fast digital networking facilities to react and communicate with the competent institutions and civil organisations. Beyond the involvement and linking of experts in the field, the larger public and volunteers make up for additional invaluable resources to act.
It is crucial to make it possible for decentral links between cities like in city partnerships to be involved. Building on existing human to human links motivates and mobilises huge additional resources. Of course, continuous training is a very important element in all those efforts. We should embrace it in the private and public sector, at school and in retirement even. (Image: Extrait de Peter Paul Rubens La chute des géants MRBAB, Brussels)


In vielen Fällen stimmt die eigene Sichtweise nicht mit der Sichtweise von anderen überein. Das kann sich bei Personen bis hin zu Persönlichkeitsstörungen auswachsen. Bei ganzen Gesellschaften, Kantonen oder Regionen führt die verzerrte Selbstwahrnehmung zu gewissen Befremdlichkeiten oder Entfremdung. Die Lokalpresse der Südostschweiz zeigt zwei fröhliche BauarbeiterInnen, die gemütlich auf ihre Baustelle zuwandern. Weit gefehlt. Der Helikopter hat längst die Hauptarbeit übernommen und diese BauarbeiterInnen (à la Heidi) gehören einer Vergangenheit an, die längst untergegangen ist.
Aber Zeitungen verkaufen sich lokal wohl besser, wenn sie an dem idyllischen Bild der Vergangenheit als Selbsteinschätzung und Selbstvergewisserung festhalten. Die Fremdsicht kommt eben auch nur von Fremden. Die Personen zahlen letztlich gerne für den Lift, um das Naturspektakel der Alpen auf 2000m noch eindrucksvoller erleben zu können. Dabei wäre mit Bussen und einer kleinen Bergwanderung dasselbe Panorama bei höherer Endorphinausschüttung zu erleben. Ob es für das Transportieren der Mountainbikes im Sommer nach oben und mehr Skifahrenden bei weniger Schneegebieten im Winter eine solche Investition benötigt, die noch mehr Grünflächen verschwinden lässt, bleibt äußerst fraglich. Der Kampf zwischen Mountainbikern und zu Fuß gehenden Personen wurde bereits durch getrennte Strecken entschärft. Zwischen den Menschen, nicht aber die weitere raumgreifende Nutzung der Natur.

Black White

Working at the Bibliothèque nationale de France (, just like visiting, allows you to benefit from the many temporary exhibitions based primarily on their own collections and donations to the BnF. For those who like “dessins, estampes, photographies”, there is a small exhibition as of June 2023 which features on these three techniques in the work of a single artist Edgar Degas from the impressionist movement. Walking through the exhibition or slowly scrolling the press documentation allows you to follow the artistic life course of Edgar Degas. He started with the pencil dessin and evolved to the printing of a single or sequences of “estampes” (up to 20) to impress us beyond black and white with multiples of 50 shades of grey. Degas seems like continuously searching for the uniqueness of the moment to present strong emotions or to summarise interpersonal relationships immersed in a specific spatial setting. Having demonstrated the richness of dessins and estampes as artistic, but a bit laborious technique, he devotes his last few years to a more intensive work taking photographs and proceeding to their development or tirage as printed versions. No matter which technique he applies, he has a special artistic view that allows to capture emotions and immortalise them. The painter’s eye, as well as later on in his artistic career the photographer’s eye, keep scrutinising himself in various forms of “auto-portraits”. Beyond youth, the pervasive obsession with selfies nowadays had its artistic precursor Edgar Degas for example. Whereas most photographers would classify a double exposure as a “raté”, Degas experimented with this almost like a cubist, Picasso-like techniques in photography. Actually, the last few images in the exhibition show the artistic reference Picasso made in his work to images, impressions and techniques that inspired him throughout his artistic work. There are amazing links in and across the history of art or arts. (BnF expo Edgar Degas 2023).


Allem Neuen wohnt ein Zauber inne. Das passende Zitat “Und jedem Anfang wohnt ein Zauber inne” von Hermann Hesse ist knapp kommentiert auf Wikipedia zu finden. Diese literarische Einleitung beschreibt recht gut, welche Verzückung bei start-ups zuweilen präsent ist. Nicht nur im Prozess des Gründens, sondern auch in den Kontakten mit Investoren und der ganzen Szene herrscht eine gewisse Extase vor. (Illustration W. Kandinsky 1923 Fröhlicher Aufstieg) Gut so, wenn das Start-up zu Beginn bereits eine Qual ist, Hände weg davon. Es wird oft nur schlimmer im weiteren Verlauf und Lebensverlauf. Selbst für enthusiatisch gestartete Unternehmende kommt allzu oft eine Ernüchterung, vielleicht sogar Sackgassen. Einen knappen Überblick bietet die Webseite “Deutsche Startups” oder “startbase“. Die großen Pleiten à la WIRECARD etc. lassen wir mal beiseite. Das kommentieren die Skandalmedien ausreichend, weil Quotenbringer. Mir geht es um die vielen kleinen zauberhaften Anfänge und persönlichen Lernkurven der Beteiligten. Julian Leitloff & Caspar Schlenk (Keinhorn) haben in ihrem Büchlein ein recht schonungsloses Bild gezeichnet, was es wirklich heisst, ein Start-up zu gründen. Vor allem braucht es ein dickes Fell und einen fast unbeugsamen Willen ständig “offen sein für Neues” und Lernbereitschaft.
Neben den biografischen Details der Gründenden bietet das eckige Büchlein aber auch einen Ausblick auf das Kompetenzspektrum für “Start-ups” und dann später hoffentlich “Grown-ups”. Verstreut über das Buch lassen sich Kompetenzen identifizieren: Buisiness Plan, Erstellen und Überarbeiten, Design Thinking, 3-D Druck, Buchhaltung, Marketing, Personal/Talent Management, Webpage Design und Interaktion über Social Media, Responsibility sowie Finanzen und Investmentkalkulus. Natürlich findet das alles im Team und dann im HomeOffice oder der Garage/Keller statt. Ist ne ganz schöne Packung und bitte nicht die “Deadlines” verpassen.

Das alles liest sich in dem Büchlein unterhaltsam und ohne Pathos der einen oder anderen Art. Aufgrund meiner soziologischen Forschungtradition war mir der Einstieg über das “Phänomen … Survivorship-Bias” (S.9) bedeutsam. Der Überlebendenbias besagt, dass wir meistens nur die Geschichten der Überlebenden (der Titanic) kennen, aber nicht die Geschichten der vielen hundert Ertrunkenen. Eine solche wird in dem Büchlein von den Gründenden erzählt, aber mit einem anderen Happy-End. Einmal Schiffbruch, hoffentlich kein Problem, Aufstehen und ein traumhaftes neues Schiff bauen ist das, was später einmal zählt.

Auszug aus dem Buch von Julian Leitloff & Caspar Schlenk (Keinhorn) S.12.