Archive for June, 2003

Blogging on the way to Buchholz.

Saturday, June 7th, 2003

Yeah! Rock’n’Roll! Right now I’m sitting in the ICE from Frankfurt to Hamburg. The train has already left Hannover behind. I’m driving through the heartland of good old Lower Saxony. Temperatures here seem to be much more in the pleasant range; I would guess something like 21°C (it’s now 20:40h). I’m looking forward very much to arrive back home, drink a fine and cool Malzbier and hang loose. Tomorrow, Kerstin will arrive from Kopenhagen – hooray! This will be a day of Partying! First: welcome girlfriend. Second: Go take a swim in the beautiful river Seeve (probably together with Timo and Berit). Third: Dress up. Fourth: Go to the wedding of Meik and Katja. Fifth: Get drunk. You can probably guess the rest :D
Be jealous, yours truly will soon haunt the world famous Nordheidemetropole!>

First: Funky. Then: (some word beginning with a ‘th’ and meaning something like dissappointing or boring).

Thursday, June 5th, 2003

This week’s reading for the Kolleg consists of a chapter taken from the book Die Herrschaft der Regel – Zur Grundlagengeschichte des Computers, written by Bettina Heintz. In this chapter (It’s #7, we got no information about how many chapters the book has etc. Either we do have a badly paid student assistant problem here, or some serious photocopying coordination problem…)

oops – right now I’ve got a serious time problem; I’ll finish this entry either later today or tomorrow.

Here I am, back again on the next day. To pick up the thread: Heintz does a nice job of presenting three different perspectives on technology. One perspective, based on Hans Linde, focuses on technology as things, that are similar to Durkheimian ‘fait social’. As ‘fait sociales’ things have definite normative implications that influence and regulate human behavior. The second perspective, related to the work of Karl H. Hörning, focuses on the contingent character of technology: it’s use is more ambiguous than commonly thought. Technology can have many non-inteded applications, and side-effects. The third perspective offered by Heintz draws upon Werner Rammert’s non-material, process-oriented understanding of technology. At this point, Heintze brings Turing back into play: His functionalistic concept of algorithmic processes is presented as being closely related to Rammert’s conceptualization of technology. At this point, I became confused; Heintze presents the non-material, and functionalistic understanding of technology as an inspriring and new concept. It remains totally unclear, why this functionalistic should be better than any of the other reconstructions. Why should technology as an alogrithm be a more useful concept than technology as a material, contingently used object? Probably the following chapter will answer this question, but alas, we didn’t get it.

One of my all time favorites: Delicatessen.

Wednesday, June 4th, 2003

After a long day in the Kraftwerk Christian and I rode back to Griesheim just in time to not get soaked by one of the gazillions of rain and thunder storms that these days frequently empty themselves over this area. After a quick, student style pasta dish, we wanted to watch Bulletproof Monk. We decided not to. After a few minutes of Chinese only dialogues we (kind of) agreed that we have to look for an alternative. Which was found in the form of Delicatessen, by Jeunet et Caro. Marvellous! Great! Inspiring!
It has been several years since I’ve seen Delicatessen for the last time. Now I know for sure again why I did attach that Delicatessen poster to the kitchen wall. Christian fell asleep, but that does not keep a real Jeunet et Caro aficionado from watching the movie to the end and be highly amused and inspired (as I said ;-) ).
If you haven’t seen Delicatessen yet, do it as soon as possible. The world will be different…

A View from David’s office.

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2003

Right now I am parked at David’s office in the sociology department of the University of Mannheim. You can look at a portait of the staff here (including David – the Photoshop’ed guy :-) )He’s got business, I’ve got time to blog.
The electronic equipment here seems to be quite up to date, the offices however are depressing examples of 60ies university/office architecture: small tubes with greyishly painted metal walls, and bad air circulation. Only exception to the blandness of the office is the view on the city. Not to grand in itself, but at least it opens a perspective to something other than enclosed and regulated production of knowledge…

To Mannem!

Monday, June 2nd, 2003

I’ll see if I can take some pictures there and perhaps post them here. Some new media added to the blog…

Gruseliger Style.

Monday, June 2nd, 2003

Gestern nach abgeschlossenem Spaziergang auf der wirklich wunderbaren Mathildenhöhe (viel schöner Jugendstil, viele Boule Spieler, es gab gerade ein Open Air Klassik Konzert) und nach anschließendem Aufenthalt im Biergarten zurück nach Griesheim geradelt. Da “zum Einschlafen” noch gemeinsam mit Christian The Others mit Nicole Kidman geschaut. Eigentlich bin ich ja nicht son Gruselfan, aber das war schon ein echter Knüller. Mit coolen Wendungen in der Handlung, düsteren Kameraschwenks und der richtigen Portion Wahnsinn.

Sci-fi? Truth? New Taser weapon introduced.

Monday, June 2nd, 2003

I just read news about a new electric shock weapon, the TaserX26. This scares me. I read about this weapon at the Heise Newsticker. You can read the article (in German) here.
You can read a good article about non-lethal weapons written by Steve Wright for the Le Monde diplomatique: in German, in English.

Another sunny day, the Mathildenhöhe is waiting

Sunday, June 1st, 2003

Back in our working room in the Kraftwerk, a strong iced coffee in my veins. The plan for today is to pretend to work a bit, write another entry for the blog, and then take a walk to the Mathildenhöhe, a nice hill with a park, some museums, and a Russian chapel on it. There Eleni, Christian and I will loiter around a bit and probably consume some more coffee containing beverages.

Other than that, I’ll check out the trains going to Mannheim or ‘Mannem’, because I’ll visit Master Reimer tomorrow. My first visit to the City of God. We’ll see what kind of entertainment David will come up with …

Beginning to blog – a question of time (and space ;-) )

Sunday, June 1st, 2003

I would be quite surprised if I write as frequently as I do now. There seems to be quite a lot of news in my life these days, many things happing that could find their way into the blog. Events which I enjoy reflecting upon and which I enjoy putting into words.
One of the major reasons for this is: ich habe die Muße dafür (I do have the leisure to do this). The apartment in Griesheim is still quite empty and not in “easy living condition”, there are not too many things that could distract me here (my PowerBook is not that much of a gaming machine, there is no TV available, I am broke, our workroom in the Kraftwerk is not at all crowded), and I am not yet under too much pressure regarding the work on my dissertation. Also, writing this blog is something new and inspiring; I am excited about the possibilities of this medium – at the same time I am somewhat unclear about the ways in which I want to use it:
Who is going to read this blog? Will it be friends that I already know, will it be strangers, will it be other bloggers? How many people will be interested in the posts on sociological issues and on my dissertation project? I’ll probably start the PR process next week. Sending out an e-mail to people I know so that they know about this blog and, if they like it, visit it more or less regularly and perhaps even post comments here.
Another big question: should I really write this blog in English? I am quite sure that I want to write the sociological stuff in English, because I am probably going to write my dissertation in English anyway. It will at the very least be a good exercise to write in English. But then again, German speaking folks might not be comfortable enough with the Enlish language and perhaps refrain from reading this blog if I only write in English. Of course, most of the people I know are German. Perhaps I’ll do a poll from time to time. I think that I will write some entries in German from time to time; depending on mood and subject.

Steinbruch – a disco experience

Sunday, June 1st, 2003

Ah, the internet, a marvel… you can check out where I spent Thursday night here. Seems as if this joint has quite a history.

It was a real old school experience. The thing was already full of people dancing and drinking when we arrived at around 23:30h. No to-cool-to-start-dancing-before-who-knows-when-style like in Berlin. Instead, it was quite similar to the Romaris back home. Rock’n’Roll. Yeah. Nice distribution of ages, no aggressive people, and a dancefloor that is just big enough.

I’ve been there together with Alex and Andreas, both of them co-kollegiates, both of them jumping and dancing until we were all sweat and exhaustion. If this is what life in Darmstadt will be like, well, then there is some fun in store for us…>