Die Rübe

June 6th, 2009

In ner Ecke, vom Garten, hat der Paule sein Beet
und da hat er sich dieses Jahr Rüben gesät.
Und da, wo sonst Bohnen die Stangen hochklettern,
wächst jetzt eine Rübe mit riesigen Blättern.

Paul staunt, und er sagt sich: Ei, wenn ich nur wüßt,
wie groß und wie schwer diese Rübe wohl ist.
Schon krempelt er eilig die Ärmel hoch,
packt die Rübe beim Schopf und zog und zog.

Doch die Rübe, die rührt sich kein bißchen vom Fleck,
Paul zieht, und Paul schwitzt, doch er kriegt sie nicht weg.
Da ruft der Paul seinen Freund, den Fritz,
und der kommt auch gleich um die Ecke geflitzt.

Hauruck zieht der Paul, und hauruck zieht der Fritz.
Alle Mann, nichts wie ran, ganz egal, ob man schwitzt.
Die Rübe ist dick, und die Rübe ist schwer,
wenn die dicke, schwere Rübe doch schon rausgezogen wär!

Jetzt ziehn sie zu zweit mit Hallo und Hauruck,
doch die Rübe bleibt drin, sie bewegt sich kein Stück.
Und Fritz, der läuft los, holt vom Nachbarn den Klaus,
zu dritt kommt die Rübe ganz sicher heraus.

Herrjeh, was ne Rübe, ja da staunt auch der Klaus.
Jetzt ziehn wir ganz fest, und dann kommt sie schon raus.
Doch die Rübe, die saß drin, und da sagte der Klaus:
Ich hol meine Schwester, die ist grad zu Haus.

Hauruck zieht der Paul ….

Jetzt ziehn sie zu viert, doch die Rübe bleibt drin.
Der Fritz meint schon traurig: ’s hat doch keinen Sinn.
Ganz plötzlich ruft Paul: hier, ich hab ne Idee,
wie wär’s, wenn wir mal zum Antonio gehn?

Doch da meint der Klaus: sowas hilft uns nicht weiter.
Das sind ja alles Kinder von so Gastarbeitern.
Mein Vater sagt immer, die verschwänden viel besser.
Und außerdem sind das Spaghettifresser!

Das ärgert den Paul, was der Klaus da so spricht.
Der Antonio ist kräftig, und dumm ist er nicht.
Und ausserdem, Klaus, hast Du eins wohl vergessen,
Du hast Dich an Spaghetti neulich fast überfressen.

Wir brauchen Antonio und auch seine Brüder.
Klaus’ Schwester versteht’s, und sie läuft schnell hinüber,
hat alle geholt, und gemeinsam gings ran,
alle Kinder zusammen, die packen jetzt an.

Hauruck zieht der Paul, …

Den Antonio zieht der Carlo mit Hallo und Hauruck,
und sieh da die dicke Rübe, die bewegt sich ein Stück.
Und jetzt nochmal Hauruck, und die Erde bricht auf,
die Rübe kommt raus und liegt groß oben drauf.

Die Kinder, die purzeln jetzt all durcheinander,
doch freut sich ein jeder nun über den andern.
Sie sehn, wenn man sowas gemeinsam anpackt,
wird die allerdickste Rübe aus der Erde geschafft.

Fredrik Vahle / Christiane Knauf (Schallplattenproduktionen „Die Rübe“, 1973)


April 24th, 2009

I’ll be going on a trip to Germany next week to visit the family (been a while).

Remote chance I make it to PolitCamp ‘09 in Berlin first weekend in May. Otherwise staying near Cologne for the most part.

Holla if you wanna meet up.

eDemocracyCamp ‘09

April 19th, 2009

As someone who is not entirely without blame for coming up with the idea in the first place, I was particularly bummed to not be able to attend the second iteration of eDemocracyCamp in person this year. Oh well, next time…

Watching the event from a distance, though, it looks as if things went well and people enjoyed themselves, thanks to a truly great team effort of sponsors and organizers.

Here’s a random (and yet mostly un-vetted) list of projects and resources I picked up via Twitter over the course of the day. Some cool stuff there for sure:

  • Selectricity — Selectricity is voting machinery for the masses. We help groups make better decisions, more easily. We allow voting, usually in form of ranking a list of choices in order of preference, and have the computer help groups make better decisions.
  • OpenRegs.com — OpenRegs.com is an easy-to-navigate regulatory portal. Every day, federal agencies issue dozens of rules that affect you, your business, and your family. We make it easy to keep track of proposed and final regulations and to submit comments to the agencies.
  • OpenDialogCoalition — The OpenDialogCoalition is a loose collaborative of people and organizations proposing and exploring web 2.0 technologies with best practices in user-centered identity, online community and cross-boundary integration for open government and the digital economy.
  • Knowledge As Power — Our mission is to help invididuals become effective citizens within the legislative process.
  • The OrangeBand Initiative — People who take an OrangeBand and display it someplace visible demonstrate their commitment to practice listening at work and in life. When asked about the OrangeBand, they say something like, “It means I’m interested in listening to what’s important to the people around me. What’s important to you?” And the conversation begins.
  • http://www.listening101.com
  • Democracy 2 — Democracy 2 is the ultimate political strategy / simulation game. Based on a sophisticated neural network, the game simulates the motivations, loyalties and desires of everyone in the country.
  • Why, Kai? — Kai Degner Is Mayor Of Harrisonburg, VA
  • Government Innovators Network — This portal is produced by the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School, and is a marketplace of ideas and examples of government innovation.
  • Metagovernment — The goal of the Metagovernment project is to make the governance of any community as accessible as a free software project. No one is required to participate, but everyone is allowed to participate, just as software developers can contribute to open source projects and editors can contribute to Wikipedia.
  • http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/water
  • http://wiki.github.com/djwonk/voting/api
  • http://hellocongress.org/ — We’re your constituents, and we’re here to serve you. Type a legislator’s name into the box, or put your address in and we’ll figure it out. Complete list of legislators.
  • http://citability.org — Making government accessible, reliable, and transparent with advanced permalinks.
  • readthebill.org — “Congress should change its rules to require that non-emergency legislation and conference reports be posted on the Internet for 72 hours before debate begins.”
  • Ready.gov
  • DeepDebate.org — The mission of DeepDebate.Org is to create the best open and transparent forum for ideas to compete.
  • Sustained Dialogue — ustained Dialogue (SD) is a systematic, open-ended political process to transform relationships over time.
  • TheExpiredMeter.com — Educating & Informing Chicagoans About Fighting Parking Tickets & Parking Issues
  • MixedInk — MixedInk takes a fresh approach to collaborative writing. It’s a fun, democratic and elegant way for people to weave their best ideas together. (Plus, it’s free!)
  • White House 2 — White House 2 is a multi-partisan network of 8325 citizens imagining how the White House might work if it was run completely democratically by thousands of people over the internet. It’s free and all U.S. citizens can join.

Thanks again to everyone on the ground who made it happen.

Camp Méditerrané 2010

March 24th, 2009

Summer 2010.

A series of conversations, meetups, barcamps all around the Mediterranean.

A collaborative journey in between places, worlds, cultures.

A North-South, East-West, Orient-Occident cross-pollination.

Some travel required. No shortage of topics.

Anyone game?

PS: Thanks for the inspiration, Cem!

Wordie: My list of German words

March 15th, 2009

So it turns out I really like Wordie. Don’t use it every day, just occasionally when I come across a word that’s worth capturing.

For what it’s worth, here’s the list of currently 60 German words that I have collected over the past year or so:

  • Abendbrot
  • Alltag
  • Angesicht
  • Antlitz
  • Apfelkitsche
  • Blödsinn
  • Brötchen
  • Butterbrot
  • Currywurst
  • doch
  • Ebenbild
  • edel
  • Edelnutte
  • Eselsbrücke
  • Fimmel
  • frohgemut
  • futschikato
  • Gartenzwerg
  • Glanz
  • Goldjunge
  • Griesgram
  • Halunke
  • Heidschnucke
  • Heimat
  • Huckepack
  • Huld
  • Hupkonzert
  • inniglich
  • Kandiszucker
  • knatschig
  • Knilch
  • knorke
  • Knäppchen
  • Lebkuchen
  • Lückenbüßer
  • Mumpitz
  • Rabauke
  • Schelm
  • Schlawiner
  • Schlingel
  • schmunzeln
  • Schnitte
  • Schrottplatz
  • Schweinehund
  • Spekulatius
  • Stulle
  • Totalverlust
  • Tuppes
  • üppig
  • verboten
  • verwunschen
  • Verzierung
  • wacker
  • Wiegenlied
  • woll
  • Wonneproppen
  • wonnich
  • Wunderkind
  • Zugzwang
  • Zwieback

I’m not going into patterns here (I see quite a few), but one thing they all seem to have in common is that they are hard — for me, at least — to translate into English without losing that certain something that makes them special to me as a native.

While this list of words is closed (you can view it but only I can add to it), here’s a fun one I recently started: Political pet names (feel free to add your favorite insults).

Not in Austin? How about DIYxSW!

March 14th, 2009

Man, I’m so bummed I can’t be in Austin at South by this year for all the amazing partinsightful sessions and enlightening panel discussions, not to mention the great beernice people.

If you’re similarly stricken, come drown your sorrows and join the alternative backchannel: irc.freenode.net, channel #diyxsw

It’s BYO beer.

About that Twitter thing…

February 1st, 2009

I signed up for Twitter way early in 2006 (check my RSS feed, it shows a relatively small number) but only started really using it at SXSW 2007 in Austin, TX.

It was initially meant as an experiment to just give it a try, see how it works and then decide if I really needed it. Well, that experiment has lasted for almost two years now (we know it’s addictive).

Twitter has grown tremendously over the past two years and so has my usage. There are at least seven accounts I use on a regular basis (one personal, a few various business and product ones, a couple of community events etc.).

There’s definitely been a lot of cool stuff to see and I still enjoy being amidst this new thing (micro-blogging, whatever) — except for one big problem: it’s too distracting and it costs too much time.

It’s not so bad with the smaller accounts that have up to a couple hundred followers/following, lower posting frequency (less than daily) and are focused around one specific niche topic.

But my personal Twitter stream has become a real drag. Too much noise. Too little signal. And as much as I appreciate that Twitter is stable after the problems we saw last year, the fact that there’s been feature standstill doesn’t help much either: no groups, no ability to fine tune tweet volume, no easy way to manage your followers and followed — pretty much all the basics needed to help me manage are still missing. I’m sure there’s an application out there somewhere that does some of that but seriously, who has the time to go on that quest?

Anyway, time to clear out some of the brush (sorry to un-follow you). And probably step away from it entirely for a while and see if the world still turns.

DLD Internet Politics Study

January 26th, 2009

For those interested in internet politics and online campaigning in Germany, the recently released “DLD Internet Politics Study” (article, PDF download) may be of interest.

I left the following comment to point out a slight error (re-posting it here while it’s awaiting approval):

DLD_Internet_Politics_20_01_09.pdf (page 18)

The study may contain a slight oversight.

On page 18 (PDF), the title suggests that the site “Can We Ask” somehow encouraged video dialogue with candidate Obama as part of the Obama campaign’s official toolkit (along with Flickr, Eventful and the other tools listed on the previous pages).

However, “Can We Ask” was a negative campaigning micro-site paid for by the Republican National Committee (RNC). According to Republican internet strategist David All, it was “an extremely clever deployment of YouTube to effectively hammer Barrack Obama by blending the RNC’s opposition research team with real questions submitted by real citizens.” (Source: http://bit.ly/3dcl)

The site is still live: http://net.gop.com/canweask/

The screenshot used in the study (see image above) does not show the disclaimer or footer information. But if you look closely the main link below the video include says “A Questionable Candidate” (in German: “ein zweifelhafter Kandidat”) which pretty much gives it away that this is not in support of Obama.

Nice to see that the presentation contains a few screenshots from the Flickr pool I created a few weeks ago.

My most favorite use of Twitter this past year

January 21st, 2009

Jay Rosen, professor of journalism at NYU and avid Twitterer (btw, must-follow for anyone interested in the future of media and journalism), was preparing an essay recently on “why I use Twitter”: Help Me Explain Twitter to Eggheads

He asked his readers for contributions on one particular item:

9. And then, the thing I need your help with: what do I actually use Twitter for?.

I have a number of answers to that, which I will lay out in the piece, but I would like to feature some others. The intent of my question is to put the accent on “useful.” What do you use Twitter for? I’m especially interested if you’re an academic—student, teacher, PhD—but my interest is not limited to those groups.

Here’s my answer (sent via Twitter, natch):

@jayrosen_nyu To follow people outside my liberal, Bay Area echo chamber. Hard to bear at times, but can be great sanity check. ;-)

Following last year’s trip to DC (Politics Online conference, eDemocracyCamp) and Austin (SXSW), I made a deliberate attempt to follow more people who are not like me (in terms of where we fall on the political spectrum — we all have in common that we are hooked on Twitter, apparently): Republicans, conservatives, evangelicals etc.

This has proven to be my most valuable use of Twitter by far. It has provided me with a glimpse into the other half of this nation’s soul, which has been so deeply divided over the last eight years (and still is, though I’m hopeful that now is a good time for new beginnings, and maybe we will see some of this division disappear).

It’s been fascinating to read up on some of the articles, stories and other resources that are being passed on by conservatives, to listen to their instant feedback to news of the day, and to follow the discussions around the need for change in their own party.

It is easier today than ever to blend out any news source we don’t agree with and only engage with people who will confirm our views. It is important, in my view, that we resist this temptation, and Twitter seems to be a good antenna into anywhere outside the bubbles of our own limited world views.

New Flickr group: Online Campaigning in Germany (Internet-Wahlkampf in Deutschland)

December 19th, 2008

Following my efforts to collect a few snapshots and impressions from the recent US presidential (online) campaigns, I thought I’d start the same for Germany, where 2009 looks like it might be a big election year (federal parliament, president, various state parliaments, European parliament etc.).

Since I probably won’t have the time to cover everything, I started a new group on Flickr:

Online Campaigning in Germany (Internet-Wahlkampf in Deutschland)

This group tracks innovations and interest finds around online campaigning in Germany.

Diese Gruppe sammelt Innovationen und interessante Fundstücke rund um Internet-Wahlkampf in Deutschland.

It’s open for anyone to join and contribute.

While many doubt that Germany is ready for significant advances in fully embracing the internet as the tool for political campaigns in 2009 (if ever), I am pretty confident that a few candidates will figure it out.

Either way, let’s see what evidence we can find together.