Blockchains Fahrt ins Tal der Tränen

Gartner Hypecycle 2016.

​Es wird ja sehr viel gepostet zum Thema #Blockchain.

Offenbar mehr als umgesetzt. 

Ich hatte ja versprochen, zu dem Thema etwas Licht ins Dunkel zu bringen.

Gartner hat unter einen Hinweis auf „practical Blockchain“ positioniert. So wie ich Gartner kenne exzellent und umsetzungsbezogen recherchiert.

Was ich bisher selbst recherchiert und erfragt habe zeigt mir, dass sich #Blockchain  im #hypecycle am „peak“ der aufgeblasenen Erwartungen befindet und offenbar bald ins Tal der Tränen rutschen wird ( 

Ich konnte keine erfolgskritische Umsetzung ausfindig machen. Alles was bekannt ist, sind Testcases, die bewußt nicht produktiv gesetzt werden oder Initiativen von Konsortien bspw. dem zerbröckelnden Bankenkonsortium R3 (

Das soll nicht entmutigen, es wird viele Tests brauchen bis #Blockchain abhebt. Dann wird’s aber klingeln. Ich denke, das wird in 7-10 Jahren sein. Vorher werden die meisten Pioniere wohl scheitern.

Ein Schicksal, dass sie mit vielen Pionieren (und altgedienten) der autonomen Automobile teilen könnten.


Life Cycle Costs and their limits of meaning

Life Cycle Costs are trendy again. At least in the railway sector. They were trendy in the late 90ies too. Unfortunately data quality was not ready then. What is important this time to take the chance and set up a really good grasp of our infrastructure costs. Don’t forget there are vehicles running on it.

First, LCC in rails has almost nothing to do with controlling real costs. In my opinion LCC is more a strategic benchmark in a way you compare defined scenarios an whether they pay off or not over a longer period. This makes sense, as infrastructure has to be provided infinitely as far as we know now. Money on the other side is limited in annual budget constraints. So we have to know if we can afford maintenance and renewal as far as we can know something about the future. LCC can then support decisions on a strategic level. For example, it is not always clear what the best moment for Re-Investment or upgrading is. A lot of questions about lost effort, new reference state, future working load and not to realise alternatives have to be answered. LCC can help not to lose orientation here.
Second, LCC supports a wider view, as boundary conditions in Form of RAMS (Reliability, availability, Maintainability, Safety) make scenarios kind of objective and comparable and show personal and material needs properly.
Third, no illusions about decission and control mechanisms. If LCC shows that a realised alternative of e.g. superstrucure is performing suboptimal, it is too late. Changing superstructure will take some decades.So, you’ll never eat lunch in this town again.

Performance of new systems is – in reality – not clear.

Last, knowing LCC needs a lot of Data, an idea of strategic planning and maintaining systems. So, first step is always have people who know their systems and the reasons why they degrade and fail. Second their knowledge should be reflected by monitoring data and prediction models. LCC can then support men’s thought by illustrating consequences of long running decisions.

Can Smart Cities fail ? Why the Lyon Estates should warn us

@Mohamed Mezghani from @UITP sent out an article posing the question „… why all the new cities worldwide look the same?“.
For me it is a reminiscence of what has happened to the Lyon Estates, a perfectly designed residential area in the block buster „Back to Future“ with Michael J. Fox in his role of a lifetime – Marty McFly.
In this movie, the Lyon Estates, ought to fulfill all the dreams of the typical american underdogs in the early 50ies. The dreams failed twice. In the movie itself and in reality, where Hildale, which is the real name of Lyon Estates, built in 1985, was demolished in 2015.
Officer Reese of the Hill valley police brought it to the point:
„They ought to tear this whole place down. Nothing more than a breeding ground for tranks, lobos, and zipheads.
And now, we are facing the next wave of urban planning and city management, even more precise, more efficient and optimised for revenue, industrial production and total safety in an alarming way.

Industry 4.0 is here, finally

Well, in my opinion, the answer why all the new cities look the same is quite easy. This is an Industry 4.0 process, it’s more about economies of scale and minimising production costs.

Heard about a big order, China recieved from Egypt? 20.000 3-D printed houses, not less.
What should draw our attention here is the fact that our whole lifes are going to be small parts of industrial processes and revenue calculations. Not more.

Beginning by international trade and the upcoming sharing economy, a big monopoly project, the brave new taxi-world, is transforming customers and workers into meaningless digits without any choice in the future.
To be continued with smart cities, the same on technology and a giant landgrab on public data (urban cockpits) and shared mobility concepts (uber, lyft and Co) are reintroducing the carriage driver of the 18th century, with unbelievable monetarian force and again with minimal wages, without a minimum of social security.
Even Ebenezer Scroogeman in the world famous story of the „Christmas Carol“ who only cares about himself and his wealth learned, that that in order for others to care about someone, that person must first care about others.
We will see how the planners and  investors behind this new urban dream will take care for us. It is to hope, that the Lyon estates will make a better life in the third trial.

It takes a village to raise a child

And it takes settlements, houses (smart homes), where families, the hearts of society are living.
These industrialised Lyon eztate concept failed in the past, when technology was not ready for the final step. Making mankind a meaningless part of profit optimisation.

Time to stand up

We should stand up against these aims. Not to misunderstand me. I am not against the chance that we can give affordable housing to the poor all over the world, as Egypt’s military rulers have promised to build a million affordable homes by 2020, a wonderful prospective. Nor do I not see the necessity of having good data in the status of the earth.
It’s just not necessarily to mix this with shareholder value and effective production alone.

I have a dream

I am missing politicians who simply annotate that we should have visions and targets that include a human and social dimension.
This show called economy is set up for us. It is a part of our lives, not a mean by itself.
This was consensus after French Revolution.
We should not forget the price Europe and the world played for this progress. Millions of dead father’s, sons, mother’s and daughters in countless wars over decades.
Therefore, urban management should be seen with respect to general aims and we should not underly the error, that cities and communities are manageable or controlable.

Really, really smart cities

Cities have been smart for 8.000 years. They grew from the size of some families to the size of 20 million.
Generation after generation we solved rock-sized problems, introduced sewers, fresh drinking water and waste management to fight successfully against diseases and child-death.
We abandoned air-emissions and noise, brought green fields back to town and finally; people started farming and harvesting even in mega cities.
Let’s trust in the idea that life is the best thing invented ever and that any one of us should take the best out of it.

And now?

Let us use technology and data to improve and ease our lifes continuously. Like people do it already all over the world.
Let business earn money, but let us keep in mind that especially the latter should be in limits, so everyone can live in go if conditions.

Who alredy does it?

Look at Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. It’s beneficial that they are unbelievable rich and give back the money they can not spend in 1000 years.
As said, industrialised settlements failed once in the USA.
Do you remember how Marty McFly in „Back to future“came back to the Lion Estates where  he grew up in the 50ies?
A depressing picture of a failed and lots idea.
What was winning in Back to Future was „the power of love“, a power stronger than any neoliberal idea.

Uber, Lyft and the nitpickers of Mobility

This week ends with a headline of the Austin Busines Journal (Michael Theis)


„Lyft says bags already packed to leave town if Prop. 1 fails“

So what. To be honest, I like the idea of the Free Market. I even like disruption, automatisation (in certain limits). But I am fucked up by this deadly serious nitpickers who are mortally offended, when society tells them that all the beans are not exclusively for them and their sportscars, flats and French winery.

For me this is something like morning dawn. Can anybody remember we had a 20 year lasting discussion what suatainibility is and can be for everydays life?

Do you remember how proud we mobility guys have been on the light rail renaissance in the US, in Asia and on the BRT revolution in South America?

What I want to say is, there was more on the table than all this stupid sharing economy, consuming everything society has designed, built and maintained for decades.

Time to talk about politics and people

There is more than the idea, that proven structures and responsibility for more than quick big money.

Towns should stand up against blackmailing and fraud, like Berlin did it with AirBnB

We don’t want to make business with enterprises refusing tests, that their employees are drug free, non criminal and refuse to financially treat them as employees. Understood Lyft and Uber?

We’ll see how things to. Uber, Lyft and Co will be successful wherever economy of scale is possible, the rest we pay with our taxes. And then?

Automated for the people?

Another thing is automated driving or autonomous cars (AC). Singapore will start with autonomous taxis in 2017
, Lyft and GM also
but with electric cars. Sounds good. Not to forget autonomous bikes (Zeitgeist)

What makes me nervous is the fact, that communities and politicians are still sleeping in the cuckoo-clock.

Yes, AC. can improve transport safety. That’s why the new lobby, dubbed The Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets, will be led by David Strickland, long-time safety watchdog who was formerly the head of the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Yes, we can even do more mails in an AC than today in a car. So what. Burnout is just around the corner if we don’t think about a post work, post capitalism society.
Any doubts? Real wages for most Americans haven’t increased in 40 years. just one example.

But what about liveable cities? How many cars can people bear? How much green space will we need in the future of almost 10 bion people? No questions on the floor. Just silence and technology for even more profits. So sad and without any comparison in history. Total bean counting (TBC) as the only vision before it gets really cold in society.

The same damage wherever we have a look.

Internet of things and smart homes? Have a look at googles pains with nest and tados success collecting money.
It’s clear that we can live without this gadgets. It’s unclear if Industry can force us (e.g. via standardisation) to buy these things. Are they beneficial? We’ll see. I doubt.

Let the market device, not monopolists

Just remember Windows 3.1. and the ashaming little progress Microsoft made in the last 20 years. No one really needs Windows 10. It’s brute force to stop supply for clients just to sell more of the (really bad) same and fight against Linux and open source in the public sector of Bavaria and Vienna, Austria (

Wienux open source).
But even here the old models do not work anymore, as Microsoft is taking open source serious to sustain earnings.

Revolution will eat it’s kids once more

In my opinion, all this revolutions starting with Industry 4.0, ending with Augmented reality and Artificial Intelligence will come but not the way we think now.
People in the future won’t have much money. They will say up sharing economy using clever open source tools to share food and time, cars and books.
They will definitively not raise their consume to pay the Lamborghini of a 25 year old Harvard Bastard.

The will make a pause and leave Facebook and join regional platforms to know more about life around them.

They will have autonomous cars, but only 10% of today’s cars and of today’s parking space.
States will have a look on tax contribution of „enterprises“ like lyft and uber.

Innovation welcome but with an improvement of our lifes

Let’s see if they can compete then. If they can, I will be glad as I really like progress.
I like my smart phone, I like my car, the Viennese public transit system and the fact that my kid has a 99.99% Chance to become 100 years old.
We live in amazing times that have never been and maybe – After oil runs out – will never be.
Whatever will come, let’s have our eyes on technology as a means of living quality. Be aware, be progressive, be a citizen of tomorrow.

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