“Crotchety, Over-Critical Culture” Part II

As reported earlier, Germans themselves will be the first to admit that, when it comes to entrepreneurship, they have a “crotchety, over-critical culture, with its fear and condemnation of failure,” but it is what it is and they are what they are.

Cars

There’s even a saying/joke here that goes “anything in Germany that is not expressly permitted is forbidden.” Take electric cars, for example. Their production may not be expressly forbidden but the German automobile industry is doing its damnedest to pretend like they don’t exist. One could say this has more to do with “never touch a running system” (this industry still makes piles of money) but it really gets down to being crotchety again. They’re missing the boat and they know it.

Concern is rising in Europe’s automobile heartland about the economic impact of the industry’s move to electric vehicles from gasoline-powered cars.

Officials and executives in Germany fear the country’s big car companies and rich ecosystem of suppliers and service providers are insufficiently prepared for the transition, and that their leadership may not be assured in an electric-car world, threatening jobs, tax revenue and even growth.

Assembling electric cars isn’t as complex or labor intensive as making traditional vehicles and relies partly on imported technology. At the same time, China has made rapid forays in electrification and is shaping up as a potentially formidable competitor in the field.

The trepidation is particularly acute in the city of Stuttgart, hub to one of the country’s biggest automotive clusters at the heart of the nation’s dynamic south. It comes as Europe’s largest economy is showing signs of weakness amid a chill in global trade.

“The greatest catastrophe would be if the industry fell asleep at the wheel. It is crucial for jobs that companies like Daimler make a massive push into this technology and build locally.”

German Of The Day: Flaschenhals

That means bottleneck.

Flashenhals

Germany is looking for new ways to power its economy as the traditional growth engines of manufacturing and exports falter. But the country’s outdated internet is acting as a bottleneck.

The sorry state of the online network has become a national joke and an economic liability. Germany ranks 33rd in the world in average monthly fixed broadband connection speeds, and 47th for mobile, according to Speedtest Global Index.

“It’s too slow. If you’re really world class in production, having a ranking of, say, [33rd] in working internet does not fit together with that image.”

But This Isn’t Supposed To Happen

Germans don’t like electric cars. So nobody else is supposed to like them, either.

Tesla

The customers are supposed to buy, you know, German diesel automobiles, for instance.

And now this. Tesla was dead. Everybody read about it. At least over here in Germany, they did. Again and again. And they liked what they read, too. But now, Tesla’s Model 3 appears to be a big hit in US-Amerika. And Tesla’s moving on to China. And this wasn’t supposed to happen. This is very upsetting for the German automobile industry. Very upsetting indeed. Now German automobile industrialists are on the defensive and will have to play catch-up and start pushing electric car production even harder even though they’re already printing mountains of money with their old technology now and why the hell would anybody want to buy a freakin’ stupid electric car like that anyway?

TESLA-BOSS SCHOCKIERT DIE KONKURRENZ MIT REKORD – Krisenkarre Model 3 plötzlich Bestseller.

If You Want Fast Internet Speed Go To Poland

This is Germany. Things are more complicated here. Einfach kompliziert (simply complicated). If things weren’t simply complicated this would be another country.

Germany

That’s what makes things like the German government’s recent announcement to invest a few peanuts in artificial intelligence so humorous. They can’t even create the conditions for fast Internet speeds here and they think they will be able to compete with the likes of US-Amerika and China? And just in case you haven’t noticed, their data security defenses aren’t exactly world class, either. It’s complicated here, like I said. Simply complicated.

Germany is Europe’s largest economy, but business leaders warn it is in danger of losing its edge because of sluggish Internet connections. While other countries are thinking about whether to upgrade their cellphone systems to 5G, Germany is still grappling with 3G.

A report by Germany’s Federal Network Agency last year showed that 29 percent of German Internet users reported Internet speeds of less than half of what was promised by service providers.

“In Germany, you will find almost everywhere copper cable that’s not capable to go faster than 250 megabits per second. “The average reality is about 50 megabits per second. That’s quite poor.”

Artificially Intelligent, Maybe

But is it smart?

Technical progress by decree?

AI

Germany is often criticized for sluggish levels of digital investment, particularly in AI. The government wants to invest €3 billion before 2025 to try and close the knowledge gap with world leaders in the field.

Germans are smart, of course, but they can’t even spell AI properly. They call it KI. Ridiculous. And when you look at the amount being invested, well, maybe they’re not all that good at math anymore, either.

“This amount is much less than companies, such as Microsoft or Google, invest in AI in a single year. So people should not think that Germany will suddenly become a world leader in the field, able to compete with the US and China.”

AI Don’t Trust You

But what’s new? Germans don’t trust any new technical development that comes along. Grundsätzlich (out of principle). New is scary because it always comes from somewhere else.

AI

So here’s another piece of news that made the news even though it’s not news at all: A YouGov survey has revealed that Germans are distrustful of anything that has to do with artificial intelligence. Not only is AI new (and from somehwere else), it’s, well, artificial. It’s not natural, you know? Non-organic or something.

Die Mehrheit der Deutschen steht einer Umfrage des Instituts YouGov zufolge dem Einsatz Künstlicher Intelligenz (KI) misstrauisch gegenüber. Nur rund jeder Siebte – 15 Prozent – denkt demnach, dass der Nutzen der Technologie gegenüber den Risiken überwiegt, wie die repräsentative Umfrage ergab.

Europeans Submerge Emerging Technology

Yet again. Just in case. You never know. Better safe than sorry. This wasn’t developed here in Europe, after all…

Genfood

The European Court of Justice has ruled that altering living things using the relatively new technique of genome editing counts as genetic engineering.

And genetic engineering, as we all know, is a very, very, very bad thing. We don’t know WHY that is but we do know THAT it is because that is what we have been fed. No, not the genetically modified foods, the media-modified information. Or disinformation, if you prefer. Turn on your local state TV channel if you don’t believe me. They’ll show you. Sort of.

Scientists hope this emerging technology could be used, for example, to develop crop varieties that are resistant to pests, or that produce large yields under challenging climatic conditions. They are also hoping to use it to correct genetic diseases in humans.

“The classification of genome-edited organisms as falling under the GMO Directive could slam the door shut on this revolutionary technology. This is a backward step, not progress.”

The Case Of The Missing Navy

OK, practically non-existent navy.

The German military commissioner is always the last to know, I guess.

Ship

He, too, has now determined that the German navy does not have enough ships (and we don’t even want to start thinking about their submarines). Not that the warships they do have will ever actually be used as warships or anything, just sayin’.

New ships are apparently too technologically complex to operate, it seems. And the older ships can’t seem to get the parts they need due to excessive bureaucracy and end up stranded indefinitely in dry dock.

He did have some good news, however. The German navy is really good at mothballing their older ships. Six of the 15 older frigates were taken out of service in exemplary fashion. Without being replaced by new ones, of course. Aber immerhin (but still).

“Es sollte keine neue maritime Mission für Nato, EU oder Uno mehr dazukommen. Der Marine gehen die einsatzfähigen Schiffe aus.”

“Sanctions Against North Korea Apparently Ineffective”

Like, duh. How could they be effective if countries like Germany, and a number of other “cooperative States,” keep letting the North Koreans get around them?

Korea

North Korea procured equipment and technology for its ballistics missiles program using its embassy in Berlin, the head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency has said.

“We determined that procurement activities were taking place there, from our perspective with an eye on the missile program, as well as the nuclear program to some extent,” BfV head Hans-Georg Maassen told public broadcaster NDR in an interview.

Falsche Ladepapiere, ungewöhnliche Schifffahrtsrouten, das Verladen von Öl auf hoher See: Nordkorea umgeht offenbar systematisch alle bestehenden internationalen Sanktionen. Ein brisanter UN-Bericht bringt nun eine Reihe kooperierender Staaten in Bedrängnis.

Germany

Beautiful German weapon sale of the week.

Fregate

Because somebody has to admire them.

Only… The German navy doesn’t want this F125 super-frigate they just bought. They want their money back. Or at least have it fixed or something. She doesn’t work right. Like, not at all. Damn. This must be the same boatyard that makes Germany’s submarines.

Zu schwer und zu schief – Fregatte F125 Unsere neue Super-Fregatte – noch nicht im Dienst und schon veraltet.

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