Archive for the 'UK' Category

Have an exclusive look!

Monday, July 29th, 2013

Here you get an exclusive look behind the randform (iron ;) ) curtain:

Tim’s latest free time projects were heavily located in music electronics. His last weekend project was to use a socalled x-OSC chip (which he is currently beta testing) by the british company x-io technologies (see blue blinking board in the video) as a wireless remote control for a socalled ladder filter (unfortunately a bit hard to see in the wirings on a kitchen table…).

CC-by at Holtzbrinck’s figshare

Friday, December 14th, 2012

Leonard Dobusch and John Weitzmann at the CC-10-birthday party

randform hasn’t yet reported on a rather new online tool in scientific publishing which is called figshare. The german reader may have already read about it in an article by Aleks Scholz at the blog Riesenmaschine, the scientific minded reader may have used it already.

comment to gema-vs-youtube on Spreeblick

Saturday, December 10th, 2011

Tonträgerindustrie auf dem Ladentisch

I left a long comment at the Berlin city blog Spreeblick which discusses the role of commercial social media, their democracy and the Gema (the german perfomance rights organization). The comment is in german and you can read it also after the click.

Addition on 20.08.2012: A part of this comment which deals with social media and democracy can be found translated in the randform post “translation.”



Monday, September 12th, 2011

Recently I was -here on randform- recalling some of my pictures of a trip to Oxford. Here some more pictures from a previous trip.


Oxford 2010

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

Some recycled pictures from Oxford, England where I was on a conference last year. Since I had not much time and only my little camera with me, they are a bit random and fuzzy. However they still give some impressions so I decided to post them here.

The image of the women’s room in the youth hostel (see below) may look more uncomfortable than it actually was. That is luckily all the six women in the room were attending the conference and all of them were very considerate people that is the partying teenager stayed out of the room and thus we all had more or less rather quiet nights.


midori vs aoui

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009


Traffic lite in Brietain

Our friend Sophie Molholm coorganized recently a conference in multisensory research. Looking at the conference announcement I felt inspired to ask myself again to what extend rational cognitive instances do influence perception. An example: A traffic light in the western world is usually considered to have the colors red-yellow-green (or at least red and green (although the new LED lights look kind of bluish)). However I think it is important to note that in japaneese the green color for a traffic light – is not “MIDORI” (green), but “AOUI”, which is BLU! Did this make japanese people more prone to call something green-bluish “blue” instead of green? Doing experiments for this example might be difficult due to the ethnic pecularities, but I am sure there exist other examples and probably even studies on that subject.

here a little collection of randform posts related to the subject:

naming-gaming: evolution of languages
wirepullers: artwork challenging salience
manicone: artwork challenging 4 dimensional space perception
focus and context, part I: evolution and knowledge formation
focus and context, part IV: A Physicist Experiments With Cultural Studies: knowledge formation in humanities vs natural sciences
Le manoir du diable: conscientious coloring of astronomical data
common sense: designing computer minds at media lab
canny skinny skin scans perception and quantum computing (see also focus and context, part IIa: A quantum computation game)
error incognito:perception and space
Dreammachine: psychadelic effects in neuroscience
uncanny paintings: link to an experiment using facial expressions as a feedback interface for a painterly rendering algorithm
visualizing meaning: link to a survey concerning the usefulness of diagrams and charts in knowledge building (and a funny comment to that)


Sunday, February 15th, 2009

Recently I had the chance to take part at three workshops. One in London at Imperial College, then a workshop in Goettingen and then a workshop on the island of Langeoog. I don’t know wether I find the time to report about the workshops. At least on my last day in London I made a visit to icy horniman park and some pictures which you may find behind the link.


Küchenschrein & Hundekomfort

Saturday, November 1st, 2008

My sister Anuschka Kutz (who lives in London) and her friend Andrea Benze (who lives in Berlin) will have an exhibition/workshop about their project “Küchenschrein & Hundekomfort” (see also here) in Neufert Box, Rudolstädter Str. 7, 99428 Weimar/Gelmeroda

opening: Do 6.11.08 18.00
Fr 07.11.- So. 30.11.08
Do/Fr 13.00-17.00
Sa/So 10.00-17.00
workshop: 8.11.08

Wie sieht Raum aus, wenn er direkt aus erlebten Situationen, Handlungen und Ritualen der Nutzer abgeleitet wird?

How does space look like, if it is directly derived from experienced situations, actions and rituals of its users?


cry this

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

Due to the given financial crisis governments worldwide are busy to bundle up “care packages”. Oversimplifying a bit one can describe the current scenario as follows:

Banks lost trust among themselves, therefore they tend to cease lending out money, therefore capital flow is in danger, therefore economy is in danger. Hence governments put guarantees, buy up problematic assets etc., which in the turn buffer the risk for the banks, so that the banks will again have more confidence into themselves.

This would be funny if it wouldn’t be funny at all.

In particular the german government will issue a “stabilization law”, which is intended to be pushed through by the end of the week and which I find hard to accept. Why?

Lets first put together the main points of this law:
(english handout):

-the german government provides a fund with a volume of 500 billion Euros (operated by the ministry of finance and administered by Deutsche Bank) , with which “measurements” such as recapitalization (which means more or less bying parts of banks/sharevalues/etc.)(80 billion Euro) and putting guarantees (400 billion Euro + 20 billion security reserve) can be taken.

In exchange for this public donation one can read today on the webpage of the ministry of finance that:

Der Bundesregierung ist wichtig, dass Manager harte Auflagen in Kauf nehmen müssen, wenn sie unter diesen Absicherungsschirm wollen. Neben der angemessen Vergütung für die Hilfen wird es für jedes Unternehmen, das Unterstützung braucht:

* eine Höchstgrenze für Vorstandsbezüge von 500.000 Euro geben müssen
* einen Verzicht auf Bonuszahlungen geben müssen
* einen Verzicht auf Dividendenausschüttungen geben müssen.

(translation without guarantee)
It is important for the german government that managers have to accept firm obligations, if they want to be eligible for safeguarding measurements. Besides an adequate compensation for the help it will be necessary to demand for each corporation, which is in need that

*there exists an upper limit of 500000 Euro for remuneration of members of the management
*a disclaimer for bonuses
*a disclaimer for dividends

In their draft for the new law these obligations are not mentioned explicitly, but it is written (§ 10) that the obligations which have to be complied with (zu erfüllenden Anforderungen) can be later on specified in socalled Rechtsverordnungen.

The above described help package of the german government is valid until Dec. 31. 2009.

What are my main problems with this package?

Among others (i have not really time for going into detail) it is the term “zu erfüllende Anforderungen” (demands which have to be complied with). Given that I understood correctly -

this means that only corporations, which are already in big troubles have to comply to remuneration regulating means.

Given this is true, I find that quite unacceptable.

Or in other words:

Why does the german government not take the chance to impose more regulatory influence ?
This could be e.g. done by demanding that companies, which want to be eligible to this kind of generous risk buffering package have to comply to restructure their remuneration system from today on and not only from the date on, when they are in trouble!

It is fairly obvious that a big part of the current disaster is due to –yes one should call what it is — “profitable and riskless gambling with the ressources of others”. In other words most of the current remuneration systems reward those who are successfully pushing the limits without (almost) any personal consequences. In particular it does not reward those, who may step back e.g. for moral and other reasons.

In this statement by Hector Sants from FSA (UK Financial Services Authority) Criteria for good and bad renumeration policies are outlined.

They are a bit too weak for my taste, but well they give at least some indication on what is darned necessary.

see also article by Bettina Schulz (in german)

book recommendation, vegetarian cooking

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008


Climate change will directly affect future food availability and compound the difficulties of feeding the world’s rapidly growing population, this could be more dramatic then previously assumed. It is also sort of wellknown that the livestock sector emerges as one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global and especially regarding global warming see e.g. this FAO report. So in principle for the environment it would be best to be vegan. (see also this cornell study)