Do you realize that the pendulum switched? The future is here. There were only a few gaps to close, why even the digital generation has not been aware of losing their possibility to pull. It is definitely history that with free choice we can selectively draw from the endless streams of tunneled information to which we are bound. In the past you could find out where things were coming from without having to reveal your own origin / location. Today this is exactly the opposite. Today, in every area of life, things are pushed to us by the invisible, de facto uncontrollable global and artificial intelligence-enabled online content and service providers. These pushes are non-locatable and ubiquitous at the same time. There is no “where” anymore, except for ourselves, where we are assigned IP addresses, IDs, and usernames.
Our lifestyles and businesses now definitely got dominated by the rules of a (dystopian?) virtual world. This connectivity-enforced new disconnectedness will leave us for some time with mere memories of having lived in an in-person-world, where citizens had the choice between onsite and online services, where customers used to be king, where people were asked about the ‘why’ behind their data, and where they exchanged goods for tangible values. Internet platforms are inherently gravitating towards dominant market positions. Gone are the times where monopolistic situations and the related risk of abuse of power could be regulated, gone are the times where the “where” could be located and where the truth could be verified. Welcome to the no “where” generation.
By the way:
In the course of the upcoming ongoing mutations of viruses and the expected communication of the continuation of the contact restrictions, will we then receive a QUOTE FOR GOING OUT? Will citizens receive x tickets for cultural events such as concerts and museums, y vouchers for parties and z tokens for dining out? In this way, seditious uprisings by the people can be prevented (we’ve already come to terms with the privileged opportunities of richer citizens), and the online industry does not have to forego the continuation of the profits it has made since the beginning of the Corona crisis …
There may not be all bad:-). However, for alternative, possibly more humanistic approaches, there are a lot of ideas you can find on my website www.mathias-sager.com.
• Late Roman decadence = late capitalist decadence
• Gladiators = social media «influencers»
• Visitors/Spectators = On the screens
• Plague = corona virus
• Decline of business and culture = “Corona” measures
• Further elimination of democratic elements, “royal” campaigns in the deserted areas (e.g. under Charlemagne) = “Corona” consequences (weakening of the middle class and sell-off of SMEs, expansion of global online monopolies)
Chapter 16 – Technology and the distributed intelligence of the mind
There are lucrative business cases behind the emerging possibilities in new technology such as smart devices, the internet of everything, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality.
The intentions of the humans who are creating and utilizing technology are determining how technological progress will look like. What is clear is that technology follows the mindset of developers and users.
How virtuously technology will serve humanity depends on how people grow in their awareness.
Never will technology lead or replace Awareness Intelligence that is the direct expression of the life force itself. The appreciative study of the human mind, therefore, should be the absolute priority of all undertakings.
Due to the disappearance of unions in Europe and other markets, the unity of workplaces in the knowledge-based economy crumbles and gives place to lose short-term contracting. Also, employees today increasingly fear their replacement by machines and are worried about losing control against further automation. Having realized that the understanding of human connections, life- and humantimes are the most relevant human factors, it should be clear that in a humanistic society machines cannot be serious competitors. If machines replace humans, it is because humans do the work of machines, not because the machines came to do human work. Rather than reducing people to carrying boxes, the love and creativity-deprived modern societies should use people’s soul-inspired intuition and imagination to give them, by being wholly human,
What humans really need: to be as different from machines as much as they want to be.
Technology as a vehicle can increase a journey’s efficiency dramatically. The masses got used to focus the vehicle instead of the destination. The fun factor is understandable, but where does it lead? The deployment of technologies advanced to dictate how we communicate, work, buy, sell, and entertain. User policies and technological process designs became the remote control, while we think we are still in control. Through freemiums, addictive interaction design, and market monopolies whole industries came to depend on systems that today dictate many of the processes in our everyday businesses and lives. It’s important to realize that technology often is misused to take the remote control for the device of our personal earthly existence. Digital platforms decide how they pool their user stock and what they feed them. It’s difficult for the user to see the big picture transparently. And the politics in the virtual world are the politics of the physical world. The virtual realm too introduces division, incompatibilities, and builds walls. It’s not technology itself though. It is our and everybody’s level and the constellation of awareness that determines the results of its use.
There is no digital divide if there is no human divide. Only human minds share universally distributed intelligence. We cannot count on technology alone to reconnect and save us.
The advantage of Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL)
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and the interpretation of language
Overcoming barriers beyond the language barrier
Language barrier in health care
A lot of literature seems to focus the challenges of language barriers in the health sector, as, for example, studies that identify language barrier as a significant threat to care quality in hospitals . The adverse effects are related to the various health service processes, such as understanding, quality, and patient and provider satisfaction . In multinational corporations (MNC), non-native speakers were found to tend to communicative withdrawal that is negatively influencing content and relationships . Social isolation subsequently can lead to reinforcing the language and culture boundaries .
The advantage of Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL)
The advantages from bilingualism are manifold; being an asset for (academic) career is one of them . Mobility and employability are further evidenced examples that can be achieved, e.g., by content and language integrated learning (CLIL) to foster not only language, but also communication and interaction skills combined with intercultural awareness . Indeed, it seems that hands-on activities and collaborative communication role-playing , or patient-centeredness, to use a health example again , even if supported by the native foreign language, are effective in overcoming language barriers . Allowing silence to support communication processing should not be forgotten too . Importantly, all begins with the proper identification of the existence of a language barrier at all . An innovative medical dictionary and tracking application is facilitating the imperative language-related data collection of foreign clients .
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and the interpretation of language
For the future it is predicted that so-called SATS (Synchronous Automated Translation Systems) or even reality augmenting wearables will take out the hassle of today’s still cumbersome translation applications such as Google . Regarding the use of information and communication technology (ICT) to facilitate translation, women displayed a lower rate of technology use compared to their male colleagues . For technology to be adopted by foreign-speaking users, aids and guides should be developed  and diverse learning backgrounds supported. Barriers can also arise due to cultural differences in learning and conceptualization styles. Also, especially in rural context, it should be evaluated whether ICT even contributes to increased awareness of separation with the rest of the world . The presence of organizational codes and trade zones are examples of sub-cultures that can additionally make the interpretation of communication difficult .
Overcoming barriers beyond the language barrier
The progress in removing language barriers is for sure a great vision. However, in communication-intensive fields like social sciences (as compared to, e.g., technical engineering) , success will require more innovation. From the money-making industries relying on translation and interpretation services, some hesitance in adopting new business models might be expected. Finally, the maintenance of national borders may also use language to protect delimitations .
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Self-improvement can be intimidating, and personal interactions with other, like in a mentoring relationship might be extraordinarily valuable . In today’s fast-changing world the potential for mentoring, especially if creatively employed, might be an increasingly useful type of relationship . Yet relatively few employees got into a company mentoring program . Traditional mentoring generally takes place between a senior and a junior person in a similar career field , a relationship that is hierarchical and one-directional in the sense that the mentor in its expert position carries the power while the newcomer mentee is deemed to receive learning .
Reverse mentoring for diversity and organizational success
Reverse mentoring, on the other side, can be defined as “pair[ing] younger, junior employees as mentors with older, senior colleagues as mentees to share knowledge” (, p. 569). Jack Welch in 1999 made this approach popular when using it in GE . It is the first time that four or five generation with distinct values work in the same workplaces and have to manage related generational tensions (; ). Reverse (respectively reciprocal) mentoring may be promising transfer processes to support global expatriate female managers as they were found to receive less monitoring than male and domestic colleagues . Cross-racial reverse mentoring is another example of engaging diversity to increase organizational success .
Benefits for the employees
Reverse mentoring was found to benefit older adults with reduced social isolation, improved self-efficacy, and increased technological understanding, and younger colleagues can progress their teaching and communication skills . Intriguingly, by collaboratively fostering the understanding of each generations qualities, inter-generational intelligence can be built . Vitality, enthusiasm, and creativity are predominantly represented by the younger, lower levels of organizations; not surprising when remembering the evidence that toddlers, in general, are creative, compared to the only 2% of 44-year-olds . Reverse mentoring is promising in generating new ideas , which is vital in valuing the human capital and use it for innovation and competitiveness as required for learning organizations . Lane (2018) speculates that this effect might be the more pronounced, the bigger and the more global a firm is .
HR supported implementation for improved employee retention
In a study in the field of academic medicine, it was found that half of the recipients of unsatisfactory mentoring did genuinely consider quit the firm, while positive mentoring experiences reduced this number to 14% . In another study reverse mentoring predicted increased affective commitment potentially decreasing turnover rates among millennial employees . While informal settings may take pressure away from younger persons mentoring their superiors , more formal mentoring provides for clear objectives and plans how to achieve them . It is essential that older leaders get the courage  to open up, demonstrate humility, and enter into egalitarian relationships . Ideally, such openness and the diversification of the workforce  through reverse mentoring is systematically supported by HR too .
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When presenting Platform Cooperativism as a fairer user-/worker-owned model of running online platforms, I often hear answers like “that’s a great idea, but it’s too difficult to realize.” However, technology to implement the co-operative digital economy is emerging. Solutions become available to sustainably crowd-source, share value, and govern democratically. Hexalina.io is one such example.
It is now generally admitted that income inequality is one of the biggest problems of our world and a peril to the fabric of our society. A few years ago, the rise of the “sharing economy” gave great hopes to change this: soon everybody would be self-employed, and benefit from the new opportunities unlocked by the internet, technology and platforms.
Today, unfortunately, the reality is bleaker: millions of people have indeed become self-employed and provide the services that increase –sometimes dramatically- the value of these platforms thanks to the network effect they create and the customer adoption they generate.
However, neither the contributors, nor the customers of the platforms have the opportunity to own a share of the value they create.
A lot of people realize this is counterproductive and eventually unsustainable. However, there seems to be no easy solution that can address the problem and scale to match its rate of expansion.
What we propose is a technology that can be integrated into platforms, allowing them to adopt a more collaborative approach where interests of owners, customers and contributors are aligned, because a fraction of the created value is shared fairly between them.
Think of it as the “Fairtrade” label for a platform. We call it the “sustainable network effect”.
Industry adaption of Platform Cooperativism is the goal of the Platform Cooperativism Japan (PCJ) Consortium. Although awareness and motivation for the co-operative way is crucial, if there is no easy way to act upon, good intentions don’t get realized. That’s where technology solutions come into play.
The PCJ Consortium supports the cooperative digital economy through research, experimentation, education, advocacy, documentation of best practices, technical support, the coordination of funding, and events.
The king has, in the struggle of defending his crown, given the virtual land to the landlords. Now the peasants pay the tolls to the privileged class who rules the online territory for the maximization of its own financial profits and influence. How will the insurgency look like? Time for (re-) new(-ed) alliances for effective and hopefully non-violent rebellion.
Platform Cooperativism Japan (PCJ) connects key stakeholders of the emerging platform economy ecosystem to create synergies in the pursuit of increased shared value, ownership, and governance. The PCJ Consortium supports the cooperative digital economy through research, experimentation, education, advocacy, documentation of best practices, technical support, the coordination of funding, and events.
Inspiration from the History of Switzerland:
The Old Swiss Confederacy began as a late medieval alliance between the communities of the valleys in the Central Alps, at the time part of the Holy Roman Empire, to facilitate the management of common interests such as free trade and to ensure the peace along the important trade routes through the mountains. With the rise of the Habsburg dynasty, the kings and dukes of Habsburg sought to extend their influence over this region and to bring it under their rule. The foreign landlords collected tolls from bridges. Anti-Habsburg insurgences sprung up, but were quashed quickly. This time of turmoil prompted the Waldstätten to cooperate more closely, trying to preserve or regain their Reichsfreiheit. On August 1, 1291, an Everlasting League was made between the Forest Communities for mutual defense against a common enemy. The three founding cantons of the Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft, as the confederacy was called, managed to defeat Habsburg armies on several occasion, and ensured a de facto independence from the empire. The Freibrief, or freedom charter, to “the people of the valleys,” recognized and formalized in law the independence from the Habsburg that they had gradually won in fact.
Mastodon isn’t one place and one set of rules: it’s thousands of unique, interconnected communities to choose from, filled with different people, interests, languages, and needs. Don’t like the rules? You’re free to join any community you like, or better yet: you can host your own, on your own terms!
Take control of your content
With powerful tools to control who sees your posts and a 500-character limit, Mastodon empowers you to share your ideas, unabridged. The best part? All posts are in chronological order, not “optimized” to push ads into your timeline. With apps for iOS, Android, and every other platform imaginable, Mastodon is always at your fingertips.
Putting the user first
You’re a person, not a product. Mastodon is a free, open-source development that has been crowdfunded, not financed. All instances are independently owned, operated, and moderated. There is no monopoly by a single commercial company, no ads, and no tracking. Mastodon works for you, and not the other way around.
Feel safe in your community
Mastodon comes with effective anti-abuse tools to help protect yourself from online abuse. With small, interconnected communities, it means that there are more moderatorsyou can approach to help with a situation. This also means you can choose who sees your posts: friends, your community, or the entire fediverse.
Your internet connection might slow down after December 14th.
On that day, the FCC will vote on Ajit Pai’s proposal to reverse Title II in the Communication Act. Title II ensures that the government monitors all ISPs, so they cannot throttle your connection or charge you more money. If Ajit Pai’s plan passes, then internet providers will be able to block or slow down whatever websites they choose.
This could potentially cause a lot of websites to lose traffic and revenue, and it changes the freedom of the internet.
Since only five people on the FCC can vote (and there’s a good chance that the three Republicans will vote for Pai’s plan), it’s up to the public to stop it.
Content. (1) Individual embodiment of increasingly global social contexts, (2) Globally influenced mediation of learning, (3) Extension of the proximate to a collaborative zone of development, (4) Integrating differences for rich and demanding learning opportunities
Human interactions don’t lack technical but rather cooperative communication skills. The good news is that pro-social behavior can be learned. Collective argumentation is one means to scaffold learners’ engagement in group work. Also, the negotiation of values is vital for achieving a shared sense of agency and accountability between teachers and students. In computer-enabled learning, consequential engagement in the form of enabling equitability and showing the benefits beyond single contributions, as well as using game formats are promising pathways to progress cooperation in learning environments.
The People’s Disruption: Platform Co-ops for Global Challenges
November 10-11, 2017 / The New School, New York City
The first platform cooperativism event in 2015 popularized the #platformcoop concept, and the conference a year later brought together co-op and union leaders to push the model forward. This third event will zero in on ways that platform cooperatives can help to address some of the future’s most urgent challenges. The fairer digital economy we need is already emerging, but it won’t happen on its own. That’s where you come in.
Learn about new platform co-op projects that are shaping this emerging ecosystem, from blockchain-based financing to user-owned clouds
Reflect on research about platform co-op experiments in recent years
Confront growing challenges from artificial intelligence to global governance
Join leaders from co-ops, industry, labor, and social movements—from Associated Press to Black Lives Matter—to raise the scale of our ambition
Platform cooperatives are poised to be a dynamic, transformative force in building a more equitable economy for people across various income, race and class strata, starting with the most vulnerable populations. This is a political and economic movement that can disrupt Silicon Valley’s disruptors by shifting the focus toward fundamentally fairer forms of ownership and governance. Over the past few years, the burgeoning of platform co-ops, community currencies, worker’s tech, the solidarity economy, and B Corps have shown us that alternative economies are not only necessary but possible. Come help us make platform cooperativism part of the new normal.
Trebor Scholz, Camille Kerr, Nathan Schneider, Palak Shah Featuring
Alicia Garza / Felicia Wong / Brad Burnham / danah boyd / Joseph Blasi / Pia Mancini / Yochai Benkler / Juliet Schor