Wieso verfällt schwarz-gelb dem Kommunismus?

naja – nicht ganz, aber ungefähr das ist mein Gefühl bei dem Vorschlag von Frau Aigner um den Dioxinskandal zu (hust) lösen. Schließlich fordert sie ja, dass die Futtermittelhersteller besser kontrolliert werden müssen (ist das nicht eigentlich doof für die Futtermittelindustrie und wiederspricht das nicht einem freien Markt? ).

Eine einfache marktwirtschaftliche Lösung des Problems

Denn, es gibt meiner Meinung nach eigentlich eine recht einfache Lösung, die das Dioxin-Problem auch für sämtliche ähnlich gelagerte Probleme löst: Man kontrolliert dort, wo Menschen zu schaden kommen können, also beim Einzelhandel und über all dort, wo man sonst noch Nahrung kaufen kann (z.B. in der Gastronomie). Der Konsument selbst ist nämlich das einzige Glied in der Kette, das fast keine Chance hat die Qualität des Produktes zu überprüfen.

Wenn ein Supermarkt etc. Dioxin belastete Nahrungsmittel verkauft (und das bei einer Kontrolle auffällt), so könnte man ja einfach eine sehr hohe Strafe verhängen (z.B. 1 Mrd €). Das würde automatisch dazu führen, dass es sich für einen Supermarkt nicht lohnt das Risiko einzugehen solche Nahrungsmittel zu verkaufen. Somit hätte der Supermarkt selbst ein Interesse daran nur Produkte einzukaufen, die auch entsprechend sicher sind. Es würde sich also automatisch eine privatwirtschaftliche Kontrollinfrastruktur etablieren, die auch tatsächlich gewissenhaft prüft.

Einziges Problem ist vielleicht, dass wenn man die Strafe zu hoch setzt, der Supermarkt im Straffall insolvent wäre. Das würde also die maximale Strafe, die man ansetzen kann deckeln, das würde aber auch die Qualität deckeln (was wir ja nicht wollen). Dieses Problem könnte man aber lösen, indem man eine entsprechende Versicherungspflicht einführt. Die Höhe der Versicherungsprämie wäre (nach einfachen mathematischen Regeln) direkt an das Risko geknüpft, dass belastete Nahrung gefunden wird und die Strafe gezahlt werden muss. Nimmt man an, dass die Versicherung nicht pleite gehen kann, so kann man den Strafbetrag beliebig hoch festsetzen.

Ein weiterer Vorteil ist, dass man von staatlicher Seite einfach nur das prüfen muss, was man im Ende auch wirklich will (und nicht irgendwelche Zwischenschritte, die man im Laufe von Technologieänderungen anpassen muss).

Wieso macht man das nicht?

Vermutlich ist es zu teuer (Nahrungsmittelpreise würden steigen, da man dann keinen Schund vorgeworfen kriegen würde). Auch gibt es ein allgemeines Misstrauen gegenüber Versicherungen und Vorschlag wirkt sehr indirekt. Außerdem würde es vermutlich das Problem lösen.

Naja, Populismus gewinnt halt immer.

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Wieso gibt es keine Flattr-Buttons bei Jamendo?

In der letzter Zeit bin ich auf den Geschmack von Jazz gekommen und höre das ab und zu nebenbei, wenn ich über irgendwelche mathematischen Probleme grübele.

Besonders schön ist dabei, dass es bei Jamendo auf der Startseite direkt quasi ein “Jazz-radio” gibt. Und da kommt es nicht selten vor, dass ich mir sage “das lied hätt jetzt nen Flattr verdient”. Aber es gibt keinen Flattr Button :(

Momentan benutze ich Flattr eigentlich fast nur um Blogbeiträge bei netzpolitik.org zu flattrn. (Andere Blogs sind manchmal auch dabei, aber netzpolitik.org les ich am meisten). Wenn man aber auch direkt Musikern Geld darüber zukommen lassen könnte, wär das aber mega-geil (und ich würd mein Flattr-Budget aufstocken).

Hat jemand da infos, ob schon sowas entsprechendes geplant ist?

Btw. ich bin so einer der Flattr-Nutzer, die das nur benutzen um andere zu flattrn. Ich schreib selbst eigentlich nix. Deswegen gibts hier auch keinen Flattr-Button. (nur damit das mal gesagt ist).

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Update on SimpleDebate

I think it is time for an update on SimpleDebate. It is now running on a pirate-party server in NRW: http://debate.piratenpartei-nrw.de/.

After some feedback of people having problems with logging in etc. I tried to improve the user interface. I hope it is more intuitive now:

A screenshot of SimpleDebate

I also added a bit on the navigation bar (not included in the screenshot). Now you can also list all existing debates and arguments.

SimpleDebate did not yet get real heavy use yet (The most posts are by me… ), so if nobody else starts to use it, I’ll will not do anything further about it.

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SimpleDebate: Debating controversial issues

When I have an idea for improving something, it will nag at my mind all the time until I implement it. This was also the case with SimpleDebate. Since I became a member of the german pirate party, it was clear to me, that there is an discussion problem in the pirate party.

It is not like there are no discussions, actually there is a lot of discussion going on. There are mailinglists, wiki, forum and pirate pads (I do not count LiquidFeedback as a discussion tool, because thats one of the things it really isnt IMO). But most of the discussiondo not seem to make any progress. They either get inactive very soon, or they just end up in a lot of trolling. In most cases you have to spend a lot of time to find the good arguments. Hence there is often no discussion at all.

This can seen very clearly at LiquidFeedback. The developers of LiquidFeedback said to themselves when they designed the system, that their objective is not to build a discussion plattform. They only wanted to build a voting tool with a small constructive feedback cycle. So you can set discussion links etc. to the discussion platform you like. But often there is no discussion.

So I started developing SimpleDebate. The idea is to have non-constructive system, which simply aggregates the pro- and contra-arguments. Exactly the part not covered by LiquidFeedback. So anybody can post something and others can answer (like on a mailinglist). But they have to categorize their answer as being supportive or opposing. Each answer itself is again a post to which you can post answers.

This wouldn’t make a useful system, because people could just spam it with unuseful arguments. Some supporting a thesis could just enter a lot of opposing-answers as spam to hide the good opposing arguments. Hence I added a ranking system. Everybody can vote if she thinks some post is good or not. Posts many people like, get shown at the top. Ok, but this doesn’t help either with a spam attack, because a majority could still drown minorities. Hence your votes are only counted if they are on your side. So if you agree with some thesis, your votes on the opposing arguments will just not be counted and vice versa.

I first implemented a test version and hosted it on Google AppEngine: http://simpledebate.appspot.com/

Then I created a initiative in LiquidFeedback to see how many people think this is useful. Because the Feedback was mostly positive, I started writing a version with OpenID support and wich does not need AppEngine to be run. That version is now finished and you can download the war-Archive at sourceforge. You just need to edit some config-files in the war-Archive and you will be ready to run it on your server.

You can find further ideas about discussion software in the pirate-wiki of AG Demokratie.

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Issue-Flood in Liquid Feedback

Since Friday, Invite-Tokens for the online participation system Liquid Feedback of the German pirate party are being send to its members. From that time on the amount of new initiatives in the system has exploded. I believe, this will settle with time.

But today I have already spend over an hour of reading proposals and I’m just about halfway through! In the Liquid Feedback instance of LV Berlin this took lately only about ten minutes per day. So I thought, I had quite a good strategy in presorting proposals.

None the less I will explain to you, how I try to cope with these masses. The main tool I use, is the “Timeline”. There all events (new topics, initatives, suggestions, etc.) are listed. Per default this timeline shows everything. But you won’t be able to read everything (unless you don’t sleep). So filtering is essential. These are my settings:

Filter configuraion for LF (screenshot)

My filter configuration for the LF-Timeline.

The philosophy behind this is simple: In topic-areas, where I’m interested in, I want to see everything (I don’t want to see new topics, because I already see new issues). In all other areas, I only want to see those topics, that are quite good (they have to have entered discussion phase). If I’m interested in a topic itself (I support it, etc.), I also want to see changes on it.

I bet I’m having problems, now, because at the beginning only few people hat already registered, so I hadn’t enough candidates to set delegations. So I participated in many of the topics and that’s why I’m still stuck with a long timeline.

What do you do, to reduce this LF-flood?

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Cameron Neylon: Start a Blog

A few days ago I read this post by Michael Nielsen, where he interviewed Cameron Neylon on steps towards open science. He suggests that any young scientist today should do three things:

Any young researcher I speak to today I would say to do three things:

1) Write as much as possible, online and off, in as many different ways as possible. Writing is the transferable skill and people who do it well will always find good employment.

2) Become as good a programmer/software engineer/web developer as possible. A great way to contribute to any project is to be able to take existing tools and adapt them quickly to local needs.

3) Be as open as you can (or as your supervisor will allow you to) about communicating all of the things you are doing. The next stage of your career will depend on who has a favourable impression of what you’ve done. The papers will be important, but not as important as personal connections you can make through your work.

In concrete terms:

1) Start a blog (ask for explicit guidelines from supervisors and institutions about limitations on what you should write about). Contribute to wikipedia. Put your presentations on slideshare, and screencasts and videos of talks online.

2) To the extent that it is possible maintain your data, outputs, and research records in a way that when a decision is taken to publish (whether in a paper, informally on the web or anything in between) that it is easy to do so in a useful way. Go to online forums to find out what tools others find useful and see how they work for you. Include links to real data and records in your research talks

3) Get informed about data licensing and copyright. Find the state of the art in arguments around scooping, data management, and publication, and arm yourself with evidence. Be prepared to raise issues of Open Access publication, data publication, licensing and copyright in group discussions. Expect that you will rarely win these arguments but that you are planting ideas in people’s heads.

So that’s what I did: I started a blog (else you wouldn’t be reading this). Actually this step wasn’t really hard for me, since I’ve played already a long time with the thought of starting a blog.

I hope you enjoy the stuff I will post here.

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