Insight No. 74: China Social Credit Blacklist 2018

Insights, Oddities, Reisen, Technology, Travel
George Orwells Nightmare – the China Social Credit System

Due to a low so called individual “Trustworthiness Score” in 2018 (1st stage of implementation of the Social Credit Rating System)…..

17, 46 mio Chinese were banned from air travel

5,4 mio Chinese were banned from using highspeed trains

3,6 mio Chinese companies were banned from various corporates activities (e.g. bidding on projects land auctions etc.)

The accordant TRUSTWORTHINESS BLACKLIST 2018 was available online but just in Mandarin / Hanzi language.

The China Social Credit System in Brief

The Social Credit System is a national reputation system being developed by the Chinese government. By 2020, it is intended to standardise the assessment of citizens’ and businesses’ economic and social reputation and cit: trustworthiness resulting in assignments of individual ‘Social Credit’ Scores.

As of mid-2018, it is unclear whether there will be a single system-wide social credit score for each citizen and business. By 2018, some restrictions had been placed on citizens, which state-owned media described as the first step toward creating a national social credit system; in the EU and US.

The system is considered as a form of mass surveillance which uses big data analysis technology.
Some of the technology is provided by the Alibaba Group’s Ant Financial which operates the Sesame Credit loyalty program. Alibaba is China’s largest conglomerate of online services, including the largest online shopping and the leading payment provider that actually dominates the Chinese domestic market.

The Chinese government aims at assessing the trustworthiness and compliance of each person. Data stems both from peoples’ own accounts, as well as their network’s activities. Website operators can mine the traces of data that users exchange with websites and derive a full social profile, including location, friends, health records, insurance, private messages, financial position, gaming duration, smart home statistics, preferred newspapers, shopping history, amount of time spent online, visits of parents (often visits will be punished by decreasing your score) and even dating behaviour.

From the Chinese government’s Plan for Implementation, the SCS is due to be fully implemented by 2020.
Once implemented the system will manage the rewards, or punishments, of citizens on the basis of their economic and personal behavior.
Some types of punishments include: flight ban, exclusion from private schools, slow internet connection, exclusion from high prestige work, exclusion from hotels, and registration on a public blacklist.

Postcard No. 27: LISBON – The Stunning Cult Bar “Pavillon Chinoise”

arts, Insights, Kunst, Oddities, Reisen, Tipps, Travel

When I entered the Pavillon Chinoise in Lisbon together with a few colleagues, I laughed out loud… I was simply not prepared – nobody gave me the slightest hint what to expect.

Crossing the door sill you enter another world – No… another universe with a milkstreet of planets filling 5 rooms of the former grocery store.

The Pavillon Chinoise is namely a true treasure bazaar. It gives home to numerous planet-like collections of thousands (or millions?) of art pieces of all kinds, aircraft, miniatures, military artifacts, trains, cars, ships, dolls, masks, mugs – and much more treasures dated in the period: 18th – 20th century.

You are overwhelmed and do not know where to look first. Not surprisingly, I am not able to share any information about food & beverage quality that is offered in this charming cult-bar with its cosy living room atmosphere. Who cares if you are busy with marveling at all the inspiring eye-candy that invites you to have a chat not only with your friends but also with strangers? This overabundance needs to be jointly digested.

Yes, I can definetely confirm the statement of the bar manager that guests usually return to the crazy Pavillon Chinoise that secretly seems to wink at you… Actually, I immediately had the same idea that I have to spend more time over there in order to rummage a little bit and to explore this hidden universe in more details.

The amazing PAVILLON CHINOISE is definetely a MUST-SEE in Lisbon!

The Bar Counter
The Aviation Room
The Front Room

Pavilhão Chinês

Rua Dom Pedro V
1250-093 Lissabon

Highlights info row image

+351 21 342 4729

Poem No. 92: “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost (1874-1963)

Gedichte, poems, Reisen, Travel
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Tipp No. 108: “Iranian Meatballs with Saffron Rice” (Easy, Delicious Recipe)

Food, Tipps

Ingredients (2 pers.):

 1  medium onion
 250 g  ground beef
 1 tsp ground saffron dissolved into 1/4 cup hot water
 1 tsp butter
 2 tsp oil
 2 tsp tomato sauce
 1 tsp turmeric
 1 tsp pepper

Place the ground beef in a large bowl. Grate the onion using a blender or grate and add to the bowl with salt pepper and turmeric.
Add half of the saffron to the bowl and mix them well with your hand until it starts to look like a paste and stick to your fingers.
Now start to make cherry sized meatballs and place them in a non-stick pan.
Add vegetable oil and the butter to the pan and saute the meatballs over medium-low heat until lightly brown.
Then add the rest of the saffron, lower the heat to minimum, cover the lid and let it cook for 10 minutes.
Add the tomato sauce and gently stir for 4-5 minutes. Set aside

Serve it with saffron rice and enjoy!

“shahiat jayida !” (Enjoy! Guten Appetit!)

Insight No. 73: Breaking-through Technologies: 3-D Metal Printing – End of Mass Production – Storage – Logistics

Insights, Technology
3-D Metal Printing

3-D Metal Printing is becoming cheap and easy enough to be a potentially practical way of manufacturing parts. If widely adopted, it could change the way we mass-produce many products.

In the short term, manufacturers wouldn’t need to maintain large inventoriesthey could simply print an object, such as a replacement part for an aging car, whenever someone needs it.

In the longer term, large factories that mass-produce a limited range of parts might be replaced by smaller ones that make a wider variety, adapting to customers’ changing needs.

The technology can create lighter, stronger parts, and complex shapes that aren’t possible with conventional metal fabrication methods. It can also provide more precise control of the microstructure of metals.

Creatures Nr. 1: Die Kiwi – wehrhafte, aber romantisch-bodenständige Superfrauen mit Kuschelfaktor, Nasengespür & Verstand (in German language only)

Creatures, humor, Insights, Nature, Oddities, Travel

….nicht nur zuckersüß, fusselig, sondern auch wirklich erstaunlich:

1. Kiwi Mamas sind Superhelden.
Sie legen nämlich im Verhältnis zu ihrer Körpergröße eines der größten Eier im Vergleich zu anderen Lebewesen. Ein Kiwi Ei entspricht ca. 20% der Körpergröße eines Weibchens und wiegt ca. 16 oz (ungefähr 460 g). Zum Vergleich: Ein menschliches Baby entspricht nur ca. 4-5% des Frauenkörpers. Ein Kiwi Ei zu gebären, muss sich anfühlen wie eine türkische (die großen also!) Wassermelone zu scheißen… Respekt, Sisters down-under!

2. Sie sind sehr romantisch & treu.
Kiwi Vögel gehören zu den wenigen Spezies, die den Anspruch haben, ihr Leben als monogame Paare zu verbringen. Sie scheinen an die große Liebe zu glauben und suchen sich also einen Partner fürs Leben. Es heißt, dass ihre Partnerschaften >20 Jahre halten…und das ganz ohne Partnertherapien oder wirtschaftliche Zwänge. Wenn sie daten, besuchen sie sich übrigens alle 3 Tage gegenseitig in ihren Nestern. Vernünftig….Prüfe sich, wer sich ewig bindet. Nur keine falschen Moralvorstellungen!

3. Kiwis, die Schnüffler Down-under
Die kleinen Puschel sind so etwas wie die Fährtensucher in der Hundewelt. Am Ende ihres langen Schnabels besitzen sie nämlich Nasenlöcher und sehr empfindliche Sensoren, um ihre Beute unterirdisch aufzuspüren. Ihr Geruchssinn ist sehr hochentwickelt. Vielleicht könnte man sie ja auch zum Drogensuchen, Diabetes-Warnen etc. ausbilden?

4. Die Puschel sind sehr bodenständig & tolerant – buchstäblich
Mangels Feinde vor 1000 Jahren, d.h. bevor Menschen und ihre Haus-/Nutztiere einwanderten, konnten sie eben gut aufs Fliegen verzichten. Heutzutage sind sie leichte Beute für Migranten und daher vom Aussterben bedroht. Dennoch haben die Kiwis sich nicht dazu hinreißen lassen, eine Alternative für Neuseeland zu gründen.

5. Sie haben wunderschönes Haar!
Wozu Federn, wenn man eigentlich nicht fliegen mag? Ihr Federkleid hat sich also über die Zeit zu einer Art buschiges, softes Feder-Fell zur Camouflage in den neuseeländischen Wäldern weiterentwickelt. Nur allzu gern würde ich gerne einmal einen Kiwi streicheln…fraglich ist jedoch, ob er sich streicheln und kraulen lassen will. Höfliche Zurückhaltung erscheint mir angemessen….schade! Aber man will nach der #metoo Kampagne ja nicht zum Täter mutieren.

6. Kiwis sind niedlich, aber keine Schwächlinge!
Sie sind nachtaktiv, aber durchaus nicht scheu & wehrlos. Mit rasierklingenscharfen Krallen kombiniert mit hinterhältigen “hit & run” ISIS-Guerilla-Taktiken verteidigen sie ihr Territorium und ihre XXXL Eier….auch gegenüber Humanoide.

7. Sie sind nicht leicht zu täuschen,…
…so berichten Wissenschaftler, die Aufzeichnungen von Kiwi-Lockrufen verwendeten und bei der Kiwi Population schnell aufgeflogen sind. Die Zoologen bescheinigen den flugunfähigen Eingeborenen zudem ein ausgezeichnetes Gedächtnis. Noch nach mehr als 5 Jahren erinnerten sich die Kiwi an die Tonbandaufnahmen und ließen sich nicht mehr über den Tisch ziehen. Bleibt zu hoffen, dass sie ihren Lebenspartnern gegenüber nicht so nachtragend sind…

Poem No. 90: “Uphill” by Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)

poems, Gedichte
Christina Rosetti

Does the road wind up-hill all the way?
   Yes, to the very end.
Will the day’s journey take the whole long day?
   From morn to night, my friend.
But is there for the night a resting-place?
   A roof for when the slow dark hours begin.
May not the darkness hide it from my face?
   You cannot miss that inn.
Shall I meet other wayfarers at night?
   Those who have gone before.
Then must I knock, or call when just in sight?
   They will not keep you standing at that door.
Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak?
   Of labour you shall find the sum.
Will there be beds for me and all who seek?
   Yea, beds for all who come.