I didn’t mind the confinement too much, actually. Lots of time at home: the opportunity to get my bookshelf done, after over a year with books piling up everywhere on the floor. One of the most intriguing issues I had to find a solution for: How to categorize and to…


There is a battle of narratives going on, a “Schlacht der Narrative“, as the German FAZ called it. China vs. the west, one party leadership vs. democracy, strict political (and epidemiological) control vs. individual freedom. One of the main contestants is Lu Shaye, Chinese ambassador in France. …


A follow up to “How (not) to combat Corona with Chinese style surveillance”

It’s more and more becoming the dominating side story of corona: Could we/should we track and control the movements of whole populations via mobile phone data? …


A story about viral velocity, tech and trust

I have a suggestion that will probably not go down well with most tech users in the west: We need some serious surveillance to keep up with Corona. The virus spreads too quickly, whereas our solutions are dreadfully slow. They are 20th century. But we live in the 21st, and…


Beginning of this week in Lausanne, Applied Machine Learning Days. One of the most fascinating talks was by Danny Lange from Unity Technologies: “Simulations — The New Reality for AI”. Or, saying it with a Bond title: For AIs, “The World Is Not Enough.” So let’s build another one. Or…


There’s this beautiful word in German: Urheber. It is mainly used in relation to works of art, but there is a more fundamental meaning to it — the origin of the word is related to the cause, a beginning of something, so the Urheber is responsible for an action. …


Mark Zuckerberg just got another beating from the critical online community, after a speech he held at Georgetown University. It was all about free speech and why he thinks it is endangered.

But this view is increasingly being challenged. Some people believe giving more people a voice is driving division…


It’s interesting how perception of social media and its influence on society has changed over the past years. Long seen as a shallow waste of time, a harmless collection of unimportant personal stuff, of mainly cats and memes and babies, all of a sudden, social media has become one of…


A little wrap-up of some strange days in Leipzig

Question imaginaries around utopian technologies! The little workshop poster puts it in a nutshell: Where are the utopias, 500 years after Thomas Morus?

We are in need of positive narratives for the future, but we do not seem to believe in any no more. It is a recurring theme in…

roland fischer

science writer, science and arts catalyst, festival director

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