…in dem wir gut und gerne leben. #aussteigen #iaademo

Überall nur Räder, ein Traum!

Den unten stehenden Text schrieb ich letzte Nacht spontan bei Facebook rein, was für mich eher untypisch ist und ich meine Texte lieber in meinen Blogs sammel. Auslöser für den Text war die Teilnahme an der Fahrraddemo in Frankfurt am 14.9.2019, bei der aus allen Himmelsrichtungen Radfahrer aus Frankfurt und anderen Städten sternförmig zusammenkamen und in der Frankfurter Innenstadt vor der IAA-Messe demonstriert haben. Während diese große Menge an Radfahrern in dieser Stadt für mich ein ganz neues und sehr positives Erlebnis war, gab es nicht nur positive Rückmeldungen zur Demo, sondern auch viel Häme. Mir scheint als sind die Radfahrer die natürlichen Feinde der Autofahrer, es ist ein ständiger Kampf, dabei könnte es ein viel empathischeres Miteinander geben. Und es scheint mir vor allem ein Kommunikationsproblem zu sein, weil wir in Deutschland zwar viele Dinge diskutieren, aber so grundlegende Dinge für ein fröhliches Miteinander eher einer Erwartungshaltung überlassen, als sie in der Gesellschaft zu trainieren. Selbst die sogenannte “Flüchtlingskrise” oder die absurde “Überfremdungsangst” sind aus meiner Sicht auch ein Ergebnis dieser ungenügenden Kommunikation, in der wir verlernt haben, uns gegenseitig zu wertschätzen und zu verstehen.

Zurück zur Demo: Ich empfand die so genial und werde auf jeden Fall bei den nächsten Critical Mass Veranstaltungen in Frankfurt wieder mitmachen. Mein Fahrrad ist unbequem, mir sind die Reifen zu schmal, 7 von 21 Gängen sind seit Jahren defekt und ich favorisiere eine andere Sitzhaltung. Trotzdem empfand ich das alles als genau richtig, und ich erwähne es, weil es genau darum auch geht: Das Rad ist nicht DIE (perfekte) Lösung für uns alle, aber ein Teil der Lösung. Wer auf dem Land wohnt, ist oftmals zwingend auf ein Fahrzeug angewiesen. Ich liebe unseren 2007er VW Touran mit 2.0 Diesel EA188-DPF-Motor (Euro 4), seinen kostengünstigen Tiefgaragenstellplatz in der Wohnungsbaugenossenschaft und nutze den Wagen in der Stadt vor allem zum Einkaufen. In der kompletten Diskussion geht es seit Jahren allerdings nur um schwarz-weiß-Denke. Dafür oder dagegen. Aus meiner Sicht geht es vor allem um eine Industrie, die an den realen Bedürfnissen vorbei an teilweise überflüssigen Produkten arbeitet und das alles so selten in Frage gestellt wird. Was hat sich jetzt eigentlich in Folge des Dieselskandals getan und was ist mit den anderen Luftverpestern, die nicht verfolgt werden? Das ist alles nicht so einfach zu beantworten, wenn man selber gerne mit dem Auto fährt und sich über rücksichtslose Radfahrer ärgert, andererseits aber als gelegentlicher Radfahrer ums nackte Überleben kämpft und defensiver unterwegs ist als mit dem Auto. Und das ist in Frankfurt schon derbe brutal, weil es hier überaus viele Verstöße gegen die StVO gibt. Fahrt im Stadtverkehr mal konstant 50 km/h und beobachtet die Reaktionen.


Continue reading “…in dem wir gut und gerne leben. #aussteigen #iaademo”

#wasmachteigentlichpeterfeldmann bei Twitter? #obwahlffm & Co

Gestern Abend hat mein Bloggerkollege Alexander Schnapper beim Webmontag Frankfurt einen Vortrag unter dem Titel “How not to do Social Media Wahlkampf” gehalten, bei dem es darum ging, dass die meisten Kandidaten anlässlich der Frankfurter Oberbürgermeisterwahl viel zu wenig Präsenz online zeigten oder nicht in den Dialog traten – was ja eigentlich der Sinn hinter diesem Social Media Dings ist.

Bild von Alex Schnapper hinter dem Pult beim Webmontag
Alexander Schnapper während seines Vortrags “How not to do Social Media Wahlkampf” beim 91. Webmontag Frankfurt.

Bei seinem Vortrag ging es nur um die Präsenz bei Twitter, und den Grund dafür hatten wir schon während des ffm365-Podcasts erklärt: Für uns ist Social Media (in diesem Fall!) vor allem immer Twitter, dicht gefolgt von Facebook. Wieso Twitter? Weil es offener ist als Facebook, chronologischer sortiert daherkommt und wahrscheinlich auch deswegen, weil es bei Twitter weniger Dummschwätzer gibt, die aus ihrer Höhle heraus zu jedem Medienartikel eine Meinung ins diesem Internet verewigen müssen. Sooo toll ist das mit der Dialogkultur nämlich auch nicht immer.

“Die Wahl wird nicht auf Twitter entschieden”, antwortete mir der Untergrund Navigator letztens auf meinen Tweet zum Thema und er hat damit vollkommen recht, denn ginge es danach, dürfte unser wiedergewählter Oberbürgermeister Peter Feldmann nicht so viele Stimmen bekommen haben. Die Idee zu Alex Vortrag entstand während unseres Podcasts zum Thema #obwahlffm, weil mir Alex gezeigt hatte, dass es nicht nur mehrere Konten für Peter Feldmann bei Twitter gab, sondern auch unterschiedliche Linkziele bei den Facebook-Seiten. In der Twitter-Bio bei dem Twitterkonto, das sich nach einigen Fake-Konten während des Wahlkampf als das einzig wahre Konto herauskristallisiert hatte, stand eine andere Facebook-Seite als diejenige, die in den Tweets dieses Kontos beworben wurde. Da fragt man sich als potentieller Wähler dann schon, ob das alles so schlau und durchdacht ist. Gerade wenn ein rechter Gegenkandidat via Facebook vor allem Ängste schürt und Sauberkeit und Sicherheit als seine Themenfelder anbietet, auf die er dann den besorgten Bürgern vor allem immer sehr zeitnah öffentlich antwortet. Continue reading “#wasmachteigentlichpeterfeldmann bei Twitter? #obwahlffm & Co”

You eat when you are hungry #kedebate13 #debate254

Having followed the first-ever presidential debate on Kenyan tv online like almost every other Kenyan out there, I have to admit that I am still surprised at how well this was organized. I couldn’t follow the live stream up to the end as I had to attend the local web monday event here in Frankfurt (irritating my Twitter followers with the #wmfra hashtag like every other 2nd first monday in a month – pole sana!), but I would still like to point out two technical details that I like:

1.  the use of sign language

Presidential candidates face off in live debate   YouTube

The simultaneous translation into sign language is a really great step forward. Many mentioned on Twitter how much they appreciate this special service. In Germany, we are not that advanced yet. Only some selected news are being translated this way. In fact, it should be included on every important tv programme, all over the world. Sub titles are also ok.

I have indicated the translater window with an arrow – because some of you may mistake Mohammed Abduba “Mwalimu” Diba Dida’s preaching teaching style for – what? – yes, for the mentioned sign language.

Btw, I am sure there is a whole book to be written on rhetorics by African preachers, headmasters and politicians. Especially this “what?” (e.g. “..and we need this…the what? yessss, the thermometer to measure temperature.”) requires special mention in the literature universe. What’s the name of this style?

Dida, my man. Srsly. Even though Peter Kenneth mentioned water and sanitation in his introductory speech which is a big plus in my books.

2. social media sentiment tracker

Kenya Elections  Elections 2013   Elections Coverage

The social media sentiment tracker on the website of The Daily Nation. A friend at Webmontag Frankfurt approached me while I was checking my timeline for #KEdebate13 and #debate254 hashtags and asked about the news from Kenya. Told him that there are more tweeps in Kenya than in Germany. Many people in Germany don’t know that Twitter has a totally different value in other societies around the world. Ah well, the ignorants.

As a result of that and obviously under the influence of the US media, it still (!) surprises me how much social media feedback is used as an indicator for the performance of the candidates. To my mind, this is just another development where old Europe has to take a closer look at Kenya.

Kahenya, we seriously need to rethink this Pirate Party Kenya idea. Kenyans love to be entertained!

Pirates, revisited

TEDxRM apacheAn unrelated, but still epic snapshot I took at a recent local TEDx event.

Coming back to my satirical he-said-she-said piece on Pirate Party Kenya, I think there’s 80% truth in it and that Kenya could also use such a modern political party. And this although I also believe that democracy as such still isn’t the best option for today’s Kenya, at least not when it comes to the way it has been implemented in the past and when we look at the historical structure of societies in East Africa.

I am not a member of the Pirate Party Germany because I am trying to be independent and have in the past also contributed to Germany’s first hyperlocal project frankfurt-gestalten.de (which is similar to Mzalendo.com, but for (the City of) Frankfurt am Main only and is more about republishing open data (e.g. hansards from the local parliament) and capturing citizen voices) and have as such tried to keep a neutral position.

I have, however, voted for Pirate Party during the last two local (German) elections because of the following reason(s).

I also voted for them because I am convinced of their concept. You’ll have to understand that about 95% of the German media are currently trying to brand us floating voters as “protest voters“, who voted for the Pirate Party out of protest. This is SO wrong and I am strongly opposed to this limited point of view! The problem is: most of the media didn’t get it. As much as they never understood the need to update their views on the law which regulates the use of (online) content. What’s a free and open media when they are too stupid to understand a completely different approach to politics? A new approach that also requires a different benchmarking system if we are to compare the new option with the traditional alternatives. And please remember: Germany already saw the introduction of the Greens Party (“Die Grünen”) in the early 1980s, so our society here is already familiar with new approaches.

I am calling the Pirate movement a modern party because I strongly believe that their structure is the logical consequence of what the internet has brought us so far. Such as an international and timely response on open issues that have in the past only been dealt with by a relatively small group. I see it as a response to the success of the internet – this world wide network that is as revolutionary as letterpress, radio and television combined. The understanding of the impact the internet has on all of us probably is something that many of the critics do not really want to acknowledge. As such, with new structures that introduced a completely new concept in communication, it’s also about time for a new and different system. Either way, it just happens, whether you like it or not. I also don’t like everything they put on Wikipedia, yet I often use it like many others.

What makes Pirates Party special to me is the integration of modern tools and a completely different understanding of grassroots democracy – something we already know from the internet. “Liquid feedback” is such a system and piece of software that collects voices and forwards votes to a person in the system that has more competence on a particular subject. Everyone can cast his vote on all issues or delegate his vote to someone else. It’s still a relatively new approach, but the one that makes the difference to me.  This alone – the different understanding of TRUE democracy – is reason enough for me to give them my vote.

It is also this understanding why I just laugh at critics who are asking me on “how can you vote for the Pirates – they don’t even have a political agenda next to their internet stuff??! 1!11”. Most critics just repeat what they read somewhere.

And the Pirate name? Well, both in Kenya and Germany, many if not all political parties seem to have names that don’t hold true to 95% of their daily business. Maybe the Anarchist Pogo Party of Germany (founded in 1981 by two punks) is one of the few that is as consequent in their approaches as the name dictates.  So either way you may want to interpret the name and how it qualifies for a better marketing strategy (given that it sounds a bit anarchic to most conservative voters), it probably only matters for marketing reasons and as such, it isn’t the worst.

In a recent election in two different states within Germany, the German Piratenpartei scored between 7 and almost 9%, thereby securing a few seats in local parliaments. They currently have over 23.000 (!) members in Germany, which is quite a lot for such a young party. Something tells me that a) they are doing it right, b) the interest to engage in local politics isn’t dead and as important as it has always been and c) not all of their members are the stereotypical IT folks with long hair who are into Terry Pratchett and/or have a paranoid fear of everything Google Inc. does. All these members, rich and poor, old and young certainly aren’t engaging for the protest only.

It is for these reasons alone, but also for many unmentioned more that I would to see politics adopting more structures that correspond to the technological framework we currently experience on our planet. New structures that enable crowdsourced project approaches, something that will hopefully also change the way we perceive to live in urban communities (e.g. a modernized infrastructure that plays along with our needs, not the other way round as it has been in the past). Pirate Party as such may not be the best option with all its typical start-up problems, but it’s the one that works and that’s all that matters to me at the moment. If we could have the same in Kenya, I’d be very happy!

Famous former Kenyan blogger to open Pirate Party branch

(Pirate Party Kenya logo courtesy of H.E. Kahenya Kamunyu, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

Famous former Kenyan blogger, techpreneur and writer Kahenya Kamunyu today announced the formation of Pirate Party Kenya.

In a festive event at Tribe Hotel, Mr. Kahenya said that Pirate Party Kenya has now been officially registered according to Chapter 7 (a) of the Political Parties Act as a Political Party in Kenya.

Pirate Party International

Pirate Party must not be mistaken for the Eastleigh-based Pirates Ransoms Association (PRA) or the Give Enough Money Association (GEMA), but is instead a Political Party which has of late been successful in different countries such as Scandinavia or German.

Mr. Kahenya today said that the motivation for the formation of the Kenyan branch of Pirate Party came from reading the late Wahome Mutahi’s “How to be Kenyan” which reminded him of the core values within the Kenyan society: good leadership, quick wins and a rich nation.

According to an Internet database, the Pirate Parties support civil rights, direct democracy and participation, reform of copyright and patent law, free sharing of knowledge (Open Content), data privacy, transparency, freedom of information, free education and universal healthcare.

Pirate Party Kenya will be the first Pirate Party branch in Sub Sahara Africa, with Morocco and Tunisia being the other two Up Sahara African countries where Pirate Parties exist, albeit unregistered. This will make Pirate Party Kenya unique on the continent and will underline the important role it will play for the region, Mr. Kamunyu said.

Interested members of the public and all members of Kenya’s famous tech incubator iHub are asked to join and register with Pirate Party Kenya as of today, Mr. Kahenya said.

Upcoming elections

Mr. Kahenya also said that he is going to run for the presidential seat in 2012.

After a quick enquiry via the Nation’s Social Media back channel Twitter, many Kenyan Twitter celebrities welcomed this announcement and said they will support Mr. Kahenya and even vote for him in the upcoming elections.

Twitter is an instant message service similar to SMS and has recently been announced as the official successor to SMS by Safaricom’s pleasant CEO Bob Collymore. In a press announcement via Twitter earlier this week, Mr. Collymore said that his company will offer special Twitter packages and is already in talks with Twitter Inc. in California for a zero costs access service.

Bandwidth, bandwidth, bandwidth

Pirate Party Kenya, Mr. Kamunyu said, will also focus on bandwidth problems which have of late been an issue in the upcoming ICT industry in Kenya’s striving capital Nairobi. “We will actually work for bandwidth“, Mr. Kamunyu said. “Interested IT companies will receive a reduced membership fee for their employees and are also encouraged to pay via stable bandwidth, airtime credits or local content“, he said.

“Pirate Party Kenya will also advocate for Free and Open Software in Kenya and ask the Government of Kenya to introduce a secure web-based email service for all public servants. This will also ensure productivity at various parastatal offices which are often affected by malware and other security issues.”, Mr. Kahenya said.

Mr Kahenya also said that “in a country where you can already pay your rent, your electricity, internet and water bills via mobile payment systems, it is about time to have a modern political party which addresses the needs of all stakeholders. Pirate Party Kenya will stand for these rights and will ensure that Kenyans are prepared for the global competition.
Furthermore, we encourage everyone who is fed up with the current political spectrum to give us his vote as we also provide democracy at a very basic level. All our members can directly vote for a candidate and it is this democratic basis that ensures stability in the long run”.

In a direct response via Facebook, famous Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainaina said that he will name one of the characters in his upcoming novel “Kahenya”. Mr Wainaina is currently crowdsourcing fictional characters for a novel on a Kenyan who becomes a Swahili star in popular Nollywood movies. It is said to be the first true piece of pan-African fiction after the remains of Muammar al-Gaddafi’s diaries (“United States of Africa”) where found in a sewage pipe in Sirte, Libya in October 2011. Binya, as he is commonly known among his fans, said that “I support Kahenya Kamunyu’s introduction of the Pirate Party system in Kenya because Pirate Party Kenya will play an important role for the acknowledgement of Intellectual Property Rights which have always been an issue in most African societies due to historical reasons.”.

Meanwhile, the website of Pirate Party Kenya could not be reached at the time we went to press. “We are currently experiencing technical problems with the load balancer”, Mr Kahenya said in a telephone interview. “This, however, also is a good sign as it clearly shows the demand for a Pirate Party in Kenya”, he said.