Posts tagged ‘Globalization’

Lesen mit Kindle?

Seitdem ich das Luxuproblem habe, meine Bücher an einigen Orten zu haben, und gerne auf sie Zugriff hätte, wenn ich mich unglücklicherweise an Buch-Nichtstandort befinde, frage ich mich, ob ein E-Reader sinnvoll wäre.

Die Antwort ist nein. Und das ist nicht nur so, weil ich ein Buchregal und sein organisches Wachsen, gelegentliches durchwälzen und durchschauen gut finde, sondern auch weil Notizen an Buchrändern bei E-Readern nicht möglich sind? Ich bin mir da unsicher, denn eine Tastatur hat der Kindle E-Reader ja — aber kann man dort auf einzelne Seiten Kommentare hinterlassen? Oder Passagen digital unterstreichen? Und diese einzelne Seite mit den Notizen schnell ausdrucken?

Das wäre ein großer Vorteil, denn die eigene Bibliothek sollte eine persönliche Note enthalten, und nicht jungfräulich aussehen. Einige Bücher aus dem Antiquariat haben neben den fast lebendigen (Schmutz-) Flecken auch sinnvolle oder weniger sinnvolle Randbemerkungen.

Bücher aus den Tiefen des Antiquariats, die 50 oder mehr Jahre alt sind, vor Unterstreichungen und Fragezeichen sowie unleserlichen Wörtern am Rand strotzen — und wenn dann noch die Geschichte bewegt, dann glaube ich, selber ein Stück Geschichte in der Hand zu haben. Das Buch an sich als Teil der Geschichte…

Pardon, ich glaube bin da von den evtl. digitalen Randbemerkungs- oder Unterstreichungsmöglichkeiten abgeschweift. Selbst wenn das möglich ist, ist es schwer, digital 500 Seiten durchzublättern um einen Kommentare schnell mit der passenden Textstelle ausfindig zu machen. Und darum geht es doch häufig: Schnell den passenden Gedanken oder das interessante Zitat parat zu haben.

Ich würde gerne einige Blogs und Mails intensiver lesen, was mir auf dem Computerbildschirm schwerfällt. Dafür allein ist der Kindle aber noch zu teuer. Für den täglichen digitalen Einwegmüll (wie diesen Blogeintrag z.B.) ist ein E-Reader also nützlich.

Es gibt also immer noch keine Alternative für das Buchregal oder den Bücherhaufen, wahlweise. Und das ist auch gut so, denn vielleicht ist das Buchregal die letzte Bastion gegen den “flexiblen Kapitalismus” (s. mein Buchregal), mit flexiblen Büchern. Der Mensch möchte halt manchmal an den Ort seines Ursprung…ähhh Buchsprungs zurückkehren.

Nachtrag 6. Dezember

Google Scholar ist schon eine kleine Lösung des Problems. Für wissenschaftlich Arbeiten kann man da etliche Bücher durchsuchen. Die Norton Anthology bietet einen Webzugang an, wenn man das Werk kauft. Das sollte Standard werden, um gerade dicke Werke schnell auf Schlagwörter zu durchsuchen, um dann den Text aber in Druckform intensiv lesen zu können.

Das Problem an Google Scholar (wenn man das Werk nicht in Druckform hat) ist, dass man seinen Essay aus kleinen Fragmenten zusammenbasteln kann. Aber da sollte jeder Dozent zwischenhauen und fragmentarisches Denken anmäkeln.

Digital und Druck, keine Gegensätze sondern Symbiose!

November 5, 2009 at 11:58 pm 2 comments

CouchsurfingStories#2: A tourist in the own city

On Monday, there were lots of guests in Hannover for the Coldplay concert. After a while of not-hosting (nobody asked me, indeed), I was happy to be the couchsurfing-host for two guests from Russia, St. Petersburg. My idea here is not to tell boring travelling stories like “have-you-been-here-and-there and I-have been-here-and-there and so on and so on and I have been to more countries to you and it is all soooo great and exotic.” No, this is boring, as I already wrote in my first couchsurfing story.

I think it is more interesting to tell you how couchsurfing changes the way you think.

So, on Monday, my guests from Russia, me and others were sitting in the Hannover-Künstlerhaus with some fruit juice. Two hours before Coldplay started to play, I and another person from the couchsurfing-Hannover-Community said goodbye to the guests, as we were not joining (Tickets 60-80 Euros!).

We helped to carry the sleeping bags of them, and as I was walking with a sleeping bag, an ice in the hand, lost in thoughts, it suddenly came to my mind: I feel like a tourist in my own city!

And this is cool, being a tourist in your own city.

It always happens to me, that I feel more conscious about the seemingly well-known-environment. People notice the facades of the houses, that are sometimes extremely beautiful in the area where I live. I first noticed them after a year living there.

Often, I become aware, that I should appreciate more the area I live: Guests notice how great it is to have a lake to swim and a big forest. Tourist go into a museum, inhabitants of a city only rarely. A year ago I went with a Canadian guest into the modern art Sprengel-Museum, and she told me about her modern art idea:

“I and a friend once wanted to make an art installation consisting of a transparent plastic-block were we vomited into.”

Disgusting idea, but could be modern art. If you have such stories, connected to all the modern art,  it really helps you to understand, how people might draft modern art ideas.

Couchsurfing also helps you to understand what Germany is, if you walk through these allotments (Kleingartenkolonien, Hannover has many!), where you think Snow White will soon show up between all the kitschy Gartenzwerge.

As I visited Oldenburg again, where I was born, I showed a Brazilian the Schlossgarten. Autumn, leaves were falling, ducks were swimming in a little lake. She spontaneously said: “It’s so Disney!” It seems that Disney had a huge impact on the global Europe-image, and there was also an exhibition in Munich about this («Walt Disneys wunderbare Welt und ihre Wurzeln in der europäischen Kunst»). The danger, off course, is that you affirm klischees. But, I think, the danger is the very much higher, if you travel with friends using a hostel and then visit all the mainstream attractions such as Maschsee or Rathaus.

If you want to change yout perspective in a more luxourious way, you can do what Svennov wrote on his Limmerstraßenblog:

Nach dem Einchecken bin ich zum Gast in meiner eigenen Stadt geworden, denn normalerweise wäre mir das Viertel um den Maschsee viel zu langweilig und das Maschseefest zu sehr verseucht mit unkultivierten und gleichzeitig langweiligen Menschen. Aber an diesem Tag war es genau das richtige, ein Kurzurlaub in einem anderen Stadtteil; ich beobachtete die Menschen wie ein Aussenstehender, sog alles in mich auf und fühlte mich ein bisschen wie auf einer Safari, die ohne Kamera auskommt.”

Join Couchsurfing.com if you also want to be a tourist in your own city. Or go into a hotel as Svennov did, but this is probably the more expensive option.

August 29, 2009 at 6:15 pm 1 comment

Coffeeshophilosophy!

The Blog-entry: “How Starbucks might kill freelancing – or the other way around” inspired me to set coffeeshops in a larger frame and constitute a coffeeshopcentric-worldimage, just as some other guys did in a different way (whose names I forgot).

Anyway: Let’ start with that well-known Globalization-everywhere thesis: Just as people are travelling more, national and cultural borders erode, goods are shipped from any place to your house, so is a working place not a local place anymore. And it doesn’t need to be: communication is possible via phone, blackberry, skype, mail, (corporate-) wikis, video-conferences. Information isn’t even anymore local on your notebook’s harddrive: Data is stored and edited on servers around the world — cloud computing, driven by Google-Documents, for example.

Skimming several centuries: Agriculture, Industry, Service, and now the Information age. And information is not bound to any place, they are in, with and between people, not in shabby offices.

And now you have the decision to work where?

Yes, in a coffeeshop.

Coffeeshops are cosy, nicely decorated, and if not so, they draw at least interesting people. The TAZ-Café in Berlin with the proximity of the editorial office is a good example for that: Cool, self-considered-“somehow”-left-wing people are just sitting around. With or without notebook. People, definitely with notebook, are what you meet in St. Oberholz, also in Berlin (picture says everything). The most important thing is, that there is a current influx of people. And W-Lan.

Starbucks is out! It is extremely expensive. But they probably were the first with reliable W-Lan-connection, years ago. I think that Starbucks today draws rather established businessmen- and women. And tourists.

But working in a café is nothing new, although the hippy trendy terms “coffeeshop” and “freelancing” suggest so. Also, this is not a new phenomenon of the information age.

Philosopher Jürgen Habermas wrote in” The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere” that coffee-houses are a sign of a new openess, bringing forth enlightnment. This characterizes the 18th century — No W-LAN and Starbucks around, can you imagine that?

Around the same time (18th cent.) the Tatler-Magazine (still existing today in a modern form) even had categories such as White’s chocolate-house (for gallantry, pleasure, entertainment) and Will’s coffee-house (poetry). Of course, the 18th century allowed only elitist groups to be in the coffee-houses that often.

Coffehouses, not yet coffeeshops were basically places for an exchange of ideas. A social place, that constantly remind us of the world outside, and isn’t this important for a constant flow of ideas? On the other hand, you are observed and need to look at least a bit busy. Seeing and to be seen! I guess this was extremely important for intellectuals and writers: Influence — giving and taking — and self-positioning among elitist circles. Networking and Self-marketing, as we call it today.

Let’s jump to newer times: Harry Potter was written in The Elephant House I once visited in Edinburgh. As I remember from a JK Rowling documentation, she just flet from her massive problems at home. This is the escapist-notion of coffee-houses: fleeing from problems, being among coffee-drinking, chatting people with the illusion that live goes on in a coffee-drinking-way.

So, would we have great literature such as Harry Potter or older books, whithout Coffee-houses? Or the other way around, are there coffee-houses because of creatives like JK Rowling? The HerrHorn.com Blog asks, what was first, the person or the institution:

“I’m wondering how it actually happened that freelancing is now so closely associated with coffee shops? Was it coffee shops first and suddenly everyone thought, “Oh, brilliant… let me freelance, now that I can hang out at this coffee shop all day and night”. Or was it freelancers first until one morning over a cup of coffee some business school graduate thought “Oh, brilliant… all those freelancers want to hang out at a coffee shop all day and night”. Hen and egg thingy, I guess.”

My answer: If we translate freelancers with free-thinkers and coffeeshops with coffee-houses there is a clear answer: Free-thinking within the enlightnment period allowed for coffee-houses. People just wanted to have an exchange with other people and not to read alone in their bedroom. Thoughts kindle things, not reverse. Coffee-houses then promoted free-thinking further and further. A transformation of the public sphere, speaking in the terms of Habermas ,was taking place.

In the W-LAN-coffeeshop-era there is no barrier anymore to communicate worldwide. Interestingly people seem to feel isolated in their rooms, even though facebook, skype and twitter allow for a communication overdose. No, people still want to got to coffeehouses or special Webmeetings (I blogged about Webmonday Hannover or SocialBar for example.) Being physically at a communicative place and being simultaneously virtual around the world; this needs training, otherwise it is extremely exhausting, as I myself figured out when doing everything but fulfilling nothing.

“Wir nennen es Arbeit” (We are calling it work) describes how the digital Bohème challenges a new formulation of what work actually is. The French term “Bohème” also stresses the fact, that this “class” of people was and is still a minority that live excentrically and financially insecure.

Working with the absolute need of W-LAN in coffeeshops is just the consequence of the extremely flexible We-are-calling-it-work in connection with the instant possibility of real-life as well as virtual communication. This new Bohème also hopes to find new projects to work on and to connect worldwide. Or to rephrase an old slogan “Bohèmians unite!”

To come to a point: Freelancing and coffeshops with W-LAN are a great supplementation. Coffeeshops will search for the audience of the creative class, this is just a free-market mechanism. Otherwise competitors will attract the creative class.

Dear HerrHorn.com, there is no reason to think that freelancing will die without coffee-shops with W-LAN (As this WallStreetJournal story suggests). And yes, I think the consequences of a — however improbable — dying of coffeehouses with W-LAN would be extremely severe in a creative and cultural sense.

August 14, 2009 at 1:53 am 1 comment


About jannesr.wordpress.com Blog

This Blog has no real mission, but it is just a place for me to publish stories.
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