Mittwoch, 10. Dezember 2014

How did the Web change Education?

My first semester in the masters is close to the finishing line, and naturally that means I have loads of coursework deadlines. Two of these are blog posts I have to write about the effect the Web has on academic disciplines. Since they are supposed to be blog posts, I thought I'd share them here as well. Any feedback until Friday will be most welcome, because I can still amend the hand ins until then!

An aphorism ascribed to Albert Einstein says, that it is not necessary to know things, as long as one knows where to look them up. The web confirms this statement. With the spread of smartphones and mobile internet access, Google is never more than a click away, and with it, we can look up anything we might possibly want. So we do no longer need to ‘know’ things; we simply ‘google’ them. On the other hand, we learn a lot through the web that we would not learn without it. How often do we find ourselves reading random articles on Wikipedia, shaking our head and wondering how we got there, as the article is totally unrelated to what we set out to do?

The web changes our relationship to knowledge. So it is no surprise that the web also changes education. The latest big trend in online learning that emerged in the last couple of years are Massive Open Online Courses, shortened to ‘MOOCs’. Wikipedia describes a MOOC as “an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web.” MOOCs have tens of thousands of subscribers, are free of charge, utilise the web for delivery of content, and are delivered to one cohort of subscribers in a set period of time. Typical content are texts, videos, and group interactions. Important characteristics are the learning in a (large) community in a set time period and scalable assessments, usually through peer feedback or quizzes.

Education institutions, especially universities, are at the forefront of providing MOOCs, and there are several reasons for them to do this. A good overview can be found in a recent publication by a research group around Su White, which describes that MOOCS are seen as drivers for growth and collaboration. Many are ‘tasters’ for on campus, tuition-fee courses; in this function, MOOCs are a marketing tool, attracting new students to the university. Moreover, MOOCs also form a field of research in their own right: tens of thousands of subscribes to a course, their learning and behavioural patterns, and assessment results, provide extensive data as a side-product. This can in turn be used for educational research as well as to inform future improvements of the platform itself. In some cases, MOOCs also generate income, either through the issue of certifications, formal exams, or – for example with the Online Master of Science in Computer Science, offered by the Georgia Institute of Technology – tuition fees.

There are at least as many motivations for students to participate in MOOCs. White et al. have identified interest in the topic, convenience, and learning in a community as common factors. Some students participate to improve their CV or achieve formal credentials. A deeper analysis of students’ intentions and the resulting patterns finds that students who are paying for online courses, or participate with the goal of achieving an accreditation, are – as one might suspect – more likely to complete a course. The most costly aspects of higher education are individual contact, support, and assessments. With increasing tuition fees, students expect this service on campus far more than they would in a free online course. However if online courses should provide this level of support, the costs would need to be covered: The MOOCs are no longer free.

Especially interesting is the effect that the web and free online courses have on students’ attitudes and expectations towards on campus courses. A recent report of the Committee of Inquiry into the Changing Learner Experience about the effect of Web 2.0 on learning found, that the instant availability of information causes a “’casual’ approach to the evaluation and attribution of information”, which should be addressed by universities by teaching students how to critically appraise information from the web. Due to the availability of pure information, students value face-to-face contact higher in their paid courses, and perceive fees as their payment for individual, personal support.

One example of a university providing MOOCs is the University of Southampton, which offers several courses on the UK-based platform ‘futurelearn.com’, initially showcasing its two specialities: Oceanography and Web Science. Here, the MOOC is not only used as a marketing tool to attract new students, but also to enrich the learning experience in the classroom. A part of the pure fact-learning can be done online through the MOOC, which frees up time for discussion and interaction instead of lectures in the classroom – this is explained in some more detail in this presentation by Hugh Davies.

In practice, some of this is very successful, some is not, as I had plenty of opportunity to experience myself. Having completed my first degree at a distance university, the concept of MOOCs seems natural to me. Sitting at my desk at home and learning things is what I have done for my entire Bachelors’ degree. This university had some online services, mainly for administration and communication amongst the students. So the use of the Web for courses is not entirely new to me. There is certainly potential to improve learning experiences with MOOC-style activities, although that might be at the cost of the possibility for students to learn at their own pace.

I have attempted the Web Science MOOC twice: As an employee and part-time student, wanting to broaden my horizon, and as a full time iPhD of in Web Science in Southampton. In my first attempt, I managed to work through three weeks of content. I was intrigued by the form of delivery as well as the content, and I tried to do everything. I worked through all the additional materials, read and wrote comments, interacted with the MOOC cohort. And I failed, because doing it all beside all other commitments was too much. There was just not enough time to keep up. By the time week four started I was still in the middle of the week two content, and I fell so far behind the rest of the cohort that the interaction aspect disappeared. Without that interaction, the value of the MOOC decreased, and I lost motivation. I did not achieve what I wanted in my first participation, as I had planned to complete it. But the university certainly achieved their marketing goal, as the MOOC sparked enough interest in me to apply for the course that I am now enrolled in.

In this course, I got to do the MOOC again, together with my cohort, and discussions in the classroom every week. This time, I already knew I wouldn’t have the time to do all the extras, so I focussed on the required content and went on side routes only as my time allowed. I found the integration of the MOOC into classroom discussions interesting, but think it was not as efficient as the university would like to see it. First of all, the lectures that were supposed to support the learning in the classroom, hardly happened. If they did, the discussions were meta-lectures, mostly related to the process of participation, not the content of the MOOC. So I learned about education and MOOCs, and the effects of the Web. While that was interesting, it was not what I had expected. I would have loved the opportunity to dive deeper into the content of the actual MOOC. A possibility for future improvements could be to have guest lectures of the persons delivering the MOOC content of the week, to go into some more depths and discuss the actual content, rather than to discuss the participation in the MOOC itself. 

How did the Web change Media Studies?

My first semester in the masters is close to the finishing line, and naturally that means I have loads of coursework deadlines. Two of these are blog posts I have to write about the effect the Web has on academic disciplines. Since they are supposed to be blog posts, I thought I'd share them here as well. Any feedback until Friday will be most welcome, because I can still amend the hand ins until then!

In comparison with disciplines like maths or philosophy, media studies is a very young field in academics.  It started in the United States in the 1930s, with the analysis of television and radio broadcasts, and really found its place in the 1960s through the work of Marshall McLuhan, who coined the famous aphorism “the medium is the message”. Initially, media studies was concerned with ‘big stuff’: TV and radio broadcasts, or newspapers. In short: everything that reached masses. Some of this was related to technology, as a means of distribution, but it was not central.

The world, for media studies, was easy. There was a specific device for each of the possible media types: a TV set or cinema for audio-visual content, a radio for pure audio content, paper (as in newspapers, books or magazines) for printed content. These were all nicely separated, and could be analysed in the same manner. There was no need to differentiate the media types very clearly, because when multiple devices are needed to consume the different media types, the devices do the definition for you.

Media studies would then analyse the different aspects of the media, looking at the content of each category, analysing and comparing it, investigating who owned the corporations that produced it, how these are controlled and regulated, and how they influence the masses they reach. It would analyse why media affects people in a certain way, how a defined effect could be achieved by a specific media type, and generally how media content was created.

Most of all, media studies knew exactly what their field was, how it was defined and where its borders were. That is past tense, because this changed with the increased use of technology. First of all, the differentiation between media types became more complicated: desktop computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and most recently wrist watches, allow us to play the morning show off our favourite radio station, read the guardian over lunch, and watch the BBC evening news – all on the same device. We no longer need one device for each of the different media types.

So media content is now differentiated by content type, not by device. But the simplicity still isn’t coming back. Because after all that our devices can do for us, there is still that one thing that binds them all together, and combines all these things that used to be distributed across the different groups in the good old days. There used to be producers and receivers. There used to be broadcasters and the audience. And while there was some formal or informal communication from the audience to the mass media, it was really quite clear who belonged to which group and did what as a result. The producers created content, the broadcasters distributed it, and the audience received and consumed the content. This is no longer the case.

The web, especially the web 2.0, is dominated by user generated content. There are blogs allowing every individual with a web connection (local regulations allowed) to generate and distribute their own written content. There are podcasts that everyone can nowadays record and publish from their smartphones, which might be seen equivalent to radio shows. There is YouTube, where users can upload their own videos. Some of these YouTube channels reach an audience that some TV stations would envy.  And of course there are all the platforms for social interactions. There is Twitter and Facebook, allowing us to share links to interesting content at a click, enabling a completely new form of distribution of any content to masses only limited by internet access. This has sparked new phenomena, like viral memes, or (online) mobs that form extremely fast and can have massive influence; in positive, for example in the Arab spring, but also negative, for example in #gamergate.

And with all this, with the web spread across the globe and everyone able to become a producer, media studies still isn’t quite sure what the web actually is. There is a couple of ideas circulating, about how the web either fits into the categories media studies is used to, or how it is changing the entire discipline.

On one side, the web is seen as ‘yet another type of media’, and added to the pile described earlier. In this case, the web is understood in the same framework as television, radio and newspapers, and analysed and critiqued in the same way. If the web is indeed ‘just another form of media’, then it needs to fit and be analysed within the criteria used by ‘media studies 1.0’. The content can be deconstructed to investigate its function and wider context. The owners can be seen in power-networks and their influence mapped. The influence of the media text can be analysed in regards to its impact on culture, ideology and identity. Or: nothing changes, really.

One of the actors arguing for this view is David Buckingham. He suggested that the existence of the web alone does not mean a revolution, and that theories of ownership and access still apply. For example, influential websites are still owned by large corporations, so ownership cannot simply be disregarded. Potentially, the old power-relationships that apply to the offline world are simply continued online. Or, if they change, this in itself needs to be analysed. In regards to media education, Buckingham argues that although children nowadays grow up with media and might know the formats better than their teachers, they still need to learn about the underlying concepts and wider context, in order to become critical participants of the new media world.

On the other side, the web is seen as a revolution that does not only change society – with its distribution, 40% of the global population connected to it and the implied effect on societies – but also the field of media studies itself. If the rise of the web indeed is a revolution of the media landscape, then that revolution has to be reflected in the academic study of media itself. Media studies has to become media studies. 2.0, to be able to analyse it accordingly. This means that media studies has to analyse not only ownership, but the entire audience, including the changed relationship between producers and audience. This has been argued for example by William Merrin and David Gauntlett.

Merrin opened his blog about Media Studies 2.0 in 2006, to collect articles for his own teaching. In his first post, he presented his idea about Media Studies falling behind their students in the use of new media, and no longer being able to teach it so long as the students knew more about the topic than he himself did. He developed this thought further and proposed that the field of media studies has to ‘upgrade’ due to the changes in media reception that the web has brought about.

Gauntlett sees the rise of the web as a fundamental change in how we interact with media. As a result, we cannot analyse the web in the same way we used to analyse media content previously. The categories themselves have changed because of the web and our interaction with it. Consumers turn into prosumers, who are not only consuming media but interacting with it and producing new content at the same time.

The debate about the future of media studies is extremely interesting, and it is still ongoing. And somehow I wonder whether the indicated definition of Media Studies 2.0 makes the field a synonym of Web Science. 

Dienstag, 14. Oktober 2014

What happened to my time?

It's strange how much time you suddenly have at your hands when you scrap two of the three parts to your life. And then, it's surprising how little of that is noticeable.

I quit my job just over a month ago. I used to spend about 40 hours on that every week. Time I won, somehow. I left politics behind - I resigned from all the duties I had and closed that chapter of my life, pretty much. Again, I used to spend about the same amount of time on that every week.

Instead of work and politics, I - finally! - started on the iPhD course in Web Science in Southampton. For the first time in my life, I feel like I'm a genuine student. And I love every bit of it, so far! Even statistics - who would have thought?!

But then, all around me students were always the people who somehow had so much ... time. And I was sort of looking forward to having that too. But I don't have it! I really don't know what I'm doing wrong.

I basically spend all of my time finishing up the lectures I had and preparing for the next, understanding the concepts and reading literature. Am I just being a perfectionist again and doing far more than would be needed? And why does my brain feel like I worked my usual 100 hours although in pure numbers I am actually working less than I even did in my job alone?

All in all: This is not what I expected. But: It is great!

Sonntag, 13. Juli 2014

Changes

Life changes, and so do we. Well, certainly I do. And right now, life changes quite massively for me as well.

As announced, I have now removed myself entirely from the Pirate Party Germany. The new board has been elected, I gave them a complete handover, and thus fulfilled my promise to do my job until the last day. I also attended my last meeting with the Flaschenpost-team last week, after building it for more than four years. It broke my heart a little, but you got to do what you got to do, and I still feel it was the right decision. The way "my" board was treated at the general assembly in Halle left me deeply disturbed. I expected it to be bad, but not that bad. The new board surfed into their positions on a wave of hatred, and right after their successful election, there's talk of unity, reaching out to the "other side", and working together again. I wonder where this attitude was hidden in the months proceeding the assembly, and thus can only doubt that it is honest. Like many things in life, time will tell.

For me personally, I went through hell for this party, and what I got for it is boos at the sound of my name, and hatred from a full assembly. There were bright spots still, individual pirates that appreciated work and commitment, and were able to see differences without hating the opposite opinion. Nevertheless, I can no longer justify for myself why I would waste any work on this party.

But then there's the UK party, and I do look forward to getting involved here in my adopted home. I would welcome more contact to pirates in the UK, as I try to broaden my network here! As for German pirates who want to stay in touch, I left the party behind, but that doesn't mean I want to abandon all the wonderful people I met there. Do feel very much invited to use my contact details, if you need support, advise, or just want to chat :-)

With the change to my party involvement, I'm not yet done with the changes in my life. I'm actually changing most of it in a matter of months: I also resigned from my job after more than three years, as I will start something new in September: I'll be studying Web Science at the University of Southampton, a four year course that'll allow me to study the effects of the internet on society. And, in my particular case, the effect of the internet on the democratic process. I have never been a "proper" student in my life, having completed my first degree in part time at distance uni. So this is a fantastic prospect I am very much looking forward to. With the change from working to studying as my full time occupation, I will change yet another thing in my life, and move from Oxford to Southampton.

With all of these changes, four years in, the UK now fully becomes the centre of my life. Consequently, I feel it is appropriate to change the language on my blog to English. I trust that my German friends will still be able to follow! And I hope, that I'll soon have opportunity to blog about more interesting stuff than Pirate Party Germany internal matters. Actually, the German party is far more interesting from the outside ;-)

Sonntag, 13. April 2014

Genug ist genug

Read this post in English

Ich habe immer versucht, als Vorstand so professionell wie möglich zu arbeiten. Das bedeutet für mich zum Beispiel, getroffene Entscheidungen zu akzeptieren und meine Handlungen daran auszurichten. Oder ohne Ansehen der Person mit allen Piraten, die Dinge tun wollen, zusammen zu arbeiten - unabhängig davon, was ich persönlich oder politisch von ihnen halte. Das bedeutet auch, in meinen Bereichen auf das bestmögliche Ergebnis hin zu arbeiten, das mit den mir zur Verfügung stehenden Mitteln erreichbar ist. Das habe ich insbesondere im Bereich Europawahlkampf getan. 

Leider wird professionelle Arbeit in dieser Partei nicht als solche anerkannt. Damit kann ich leben. Das war schon immer so, und ich habe nicht erwartet, dass sich das ändert. Ich bin Shitstorms gewöhnt, und inzwischen kann ich mit ihnen umgehen. Wenn man als Vorstand ohnehin für alles was man tut breit kritisiert wird, weil man es eben niemals allen Recht machen kann, wird es ziemlich einfach, in der Mitte all dieser Kritik das zu tun, was man selbst für richtig hält. Genau das habe ich als in meinem Amt zu jedem Zeitpunkt getan.

Sicherlich waren nicht alle meine Entscheidungen richtig. Sicherlich ist Kritk manchmal angebracht. Wo sie angemessen kommuniziert wurde, habe ich versucht meine Handlungen entsprechend anzupassen.

Fehler machen ist menschlich - und auch Vorstandsämter werden mit Menschen besetzt. Diese Tatsache ist aber inzwischen in dieser Partei nicht mehr ausreichend anerkannt. Die Dimension, die nicht nur die Kritik, sondern auch die persönlichen Angriffe, insbesondere außerhalb des Bereiches der Partei, angenommen haben, ist einfach nicht mehr tragbar

Ich bin bereit, für meine Arbeit kritisiert zu werden. Ich bin bereit anzuerkennen (nicht: gut zu heißen), dass der Ton bei uns rauh ist, und die negativen Ausschläge davon als Ausnahmen abzutun - um weiter das große Ganze voranzubringen. Aber: Ich bin nicht bereit, mich für meine Arbeit anzeigen zu lassen. Ich bin nicht bereit, der Partei die Rolle einzuräumen die sie zu haben verlangt.

Wenn Kassenprüfer auf Vorstandssitzungen ankündigen von einer finanziellen Entlastung abzuraten weil Entscheidungen ihnen nicht passen, und öffentlich darüber geredet wird, wie man am besten mein Privatvermögen pfänden kann, um für einen Parteitag zu zahlen, dessen Ausrichtung von der Partei erzwungen wurde, ist das einfach nicht akzeptabel. Die Anspruchshaltung, unter dem Strich mit meinem kompletten Leben für Entscheidungen zu haften, die auf politischer Ebene einzelnen Personen nicht gefallen, kann ich nicht mittragen. Und zwar weder als Vorstand, noch als Pirat, noch als Mensch.

Bruno Kramm hat es auf der letzten Vorstandssitzung sehr treffend zusammengefasst. Diese Partei schafft es intern nicht, das Menschenbild zu leben, das sie extern propagiert. Ihre politischen Ziele und ihre Handlungen stehen in keinem Verhältnis mehr zueinander.

Die Piratenpartei hat - seit über vier Jahren - einen großen Raum in meinem Leben. Aber es gibt Gebiete, in die vorzudringen ihr nicht zusteht. Diese Linie zwischen meinem Amt und meinem Leben wurde nun überschritten. An diesem Punkt muss ich Konseqenzen ziehen. Die einzige Konseqenz, die ich an dieser Stelle ziehen kann, ist, meine Arbeit für diese Partei einzustellen.

Ich werde noch bis zum Parteitag mein Amt ausfüllen - weil ich Verantwortung übernommen habe, der ich gerecht werden will. Ich werde auf dem Parteitag in Halle nicht mehr kandidieren. Nach der Neuwahl des Vorstandes werde ich alle meine Tätigkeitsbereiche, innerhalb und außerhalb des Vorstandsamtes, übergeben, und mich aus der deutschen Piratenpartei zurück ziehen.

Der Piratenbewegung selbst bleibe ich erhalten; ich werde mich in Zukunft in der britischen Piratenpartei engagieren, in der ich bereits seit 2011 Mitglied bin.


Update: Ich werde auf meinem eigenen Blog keine Beleidigungen oder hanebüchene Verschwörungstheorien posten lassen. Darum sind Kommentare nun abgeschaltet.

Enough is enough

Auf deutsch lesen

As a member of the national board of Pirate Party Germany, I have tried to work as professionally as possible. That included accepting decisions and aligning my actions to fulful them. Or working with pirates that wanted to do things, regardless of who they are or where they stood politically. It also meant trying to achieve the best possible results with the tools at hand for the task. This has been especially true with the preparations of our EU election campaign.

Unfortunately, professional work is not recognised in Pirate Party Germany. I can bear that - it has never been any different and I didn't expect it to change. I am used to shitstorms, and I can handle them. As a board member, as soon as you realise that you will always be criticised for everything you do, simply because it is impossible to make everyone happy, it becomes easy to just do what you think is right in the midst of all the criticism. That's what I've done at all times in my role.

I'm sure that I have made mistakes. Criticism was certainly appropriate from time to time, and where it was communicated in a reasonable manner, I tried to amend my actions accordingly.

Making mistakes is only human - and board members are recruited from humanity too! This simple fact is often no longer recognised in the party. The level, that not only criticism, but also personal attacks, even outside of the realm of the party, have reached, is no longer bearable. I am willing to be criticised for my work.

I am willing to recognise (not: approve), that the tone in the party is rough, and to accept the negative peaks in this regard as exceptions - to bring the party as a whole forward. But: I am not willing to be confronted with criminal charges for my work. I am not willing to grant the party the role in my life that it seems to be demanding from me.

When financial auditors announce in board meetings that they will advise the general assembly not to discharge the board because they do not like the decisions we make; when there is a public debate on how best to seize my personal property to pay for a General Assembly that the Party requires us to organise, it is simply unacceptable. I simply cannot support the attitude of the Party when it expects me to be liable for political decisions with my entire life. I cannot do this as a board member, as a pirate, or simply as a human being.

Bruno Kramm summarised this perfectly in our last board meeting: Internally, this Party doesn't live up to the expectations , that it demands externally. The political goals and the actions taken in the Party now, are completely at odds.

The German Pirate Party has played a significant role in my life for more than four years. But there are areas of my life that it is not entitled to. The line between my work for the Party and my private life has been crossed. At this point, I have to act. The only conclusion I can come to is that I can no longer work for the German Pirate Party.

I will continue to do my duty as a board member until our next general assembly - because I accepted that responsibility and I will fulfil it. I will not stand as a candidate for another role on that General Assembly. After the new board has been elected, I will hand over all of my responsibilities, within and outside of board duties, and withdraw from the German Pirate Party.

I will stay with the Pirate movement though; In the future, I will support the pirate party UK, which I joined in 2011.

Mittwoch, 19. März 2014

Ich will eure Labels nicht

TL;DR: Ich bin weder ein Nazi noch ein Linksextremist, keine Feministin und auch kein Fan der Antifa. Ich verabscheue Gewalt - körperliche wie verbale. Ich gehöre nicht zur Peer-Group von irgendwem, und ich will solche Labels nicht. Wenn ich etwas bin, dann pragmatisch. Alles was ich will ist einen guten Job machen und der Verantwortung, die mir in Bremen übertragen wurde, gerecht werden. 


Meine Rolle im BuVo

Ich bin bei der BuVo-Wahl in Bremen angetreten mit dem Plan, Verwaltung bzw. Orga zu machen. Weil ich Orga kann. Weil ich Orga gerne mache. Und weil ich mit der Arbeit, die ich in der Orga leisten kann, den Leuten, die politisch arbeiten, den Rücken freihalten kann.

Das habe ich von Anfang an in der Partei so gehalten: Ich habe nie einen Programmantrag geschrieben, nie in einer politischen AG mitgearbeitet. Stattdessen habe ich Stände auf Stadtteilfesten organisiert. Die Flaschenpost aufgebaut, und später die Pirate Times. Mit den Servicegruppen eine neue Struktur für den organisatorischen Backbone in der Partei aufgebaut, der sich bis heute bewährt.

Und jetzt gerade - ja, jetzt gerade organisiere ich einen Europawahlkampf. Und versuche eine Struktur für innerparteiliche Bildung hoch zu ziehen. Und neuerdings kümmer ich mich auch um PShop und Fundraising. Das alles hört nicht auf, nur weil der Bundesvorstand als Gremium laut Satzung handlungsunfähig ist. Ich kann nicht einfach den Stift fallen lassen und nach Hause gehen. Die Arbeit muss gemacht werden. Ihr habt mich dafür gewählt. Nun habt doch auch bitte das Vertrauen, dass ich liefern werde was ich versprochen habe. Das ist nach wie vor alles was ich will: Einen guten Job machen, und den Leuten, die Politik machen, und denen, die in der ersten Reihe stehen, den Rücken frei halten.

Dass ich noch Teil dieses (kommissarischen) BuVos bin liegt nicht an Seilschaften oder politischen Meinungen, die ich vertrete oder nicht. Ich bin nicht hier um Probleme auszusitzen, sondern um die Probleme die ich lösen kann zu lösen - und somit meinem Verständnis von Verantwortung gerecht zu werden. Die aktuelle Diskussion, (den "Richtungsstreit") in konstruktive Bahnen zu lenken sehe ich als essenzielle Aufgabe des Vorstandes. Ich halte dafür große Stücke auf das Konzept von Caro, die daran bereits seit Wochen arbeitet. Dieses Problem schließlich zu lösen hingegen ist nicht Aufgabe des Vorstandes - das muss die Partei insgesamt tun. 

Die Situation der Partei

Aktuell scheint es leider unmöglich zu sein, einfach nur meinen Aufgaben nachzukommen. Nicht, weil ich meinen Job nicht oder schlecht machen würde. Sondern weil die Leute, von denen ich erwarte, dass sie Politik machen, stattdessen lieber übereinander herfallen. Weil sie sich intern zerfleischen statt Gemeinsamkeiten zu suchen. Weil die internen Differenzen wichtiger zu sein scheinen als die Differenzen mit unseren politischen Gegnern. Das enttäuscht mich.

Ich bin 2009 in eine "Netzpartei" eingetreten; "die mit dem Internet". Ich habe schon 2010 gesagt, dass "die Piratenpartei die einzige ist, die sich nicht an Vergangenheit oder Gegenwart orientiert, sondern auf die Zukunft konzentriert ist." Und damals habe ich das geglaubt. Und eigentlich glaube ich das auch heute noch. Inhaltlich ist diese Partei immer noch meine Heimat. Ich bin eingetreten weil mir Bürgerrechte wichtig sind. Aber ich sehe die roten Fäden zwischen all unseren Themen, und kann hinter unserem Programm insgesamt noch stehen. Auch wenn ich meine Zweifel an der Umsetzbarkeit eines BGE habe. Auch wenn ich nicht im Detail beurteilen kann, wie lange Schutzfristen im Urheberrecht nun sein sollen.

Ich finde mich inhaltlich in dieser Partei auch heute noch wieder. Trotz "Richtungsstreit". Ich muss meine "Netzpartei" nicht "reclaimen", denn sie ist zu keinem Zeitpunkt nicht mehr meine gewesen. Und wenn es so wäre - ja, dann wäre das doch meine eigene Schuld. Ich kann doch jederzeit in dieser Partei politisch arbeiten. Ich kann in eine AG gehen und dort meine Standpunkte in Programmanträge einfließen lassen. Ich kann Infostände machen und dort das was diese Partei für mich ist den Bürgern näher bringen. Ich kann Aktionen planen, die uns mit der Message, die ich verbreiten will, in die Medien bringen. Ich persönlich tue das alles nicht, weil ich Orga mache - welche Entschuldigung habt ihr?

Was mich stört ist nicht die politische Richtung in unserer Partei, sondern die Methoden, mit denen versucht wird sie durchzusetzen. Wir beweisen gerade, dass das was wir politisch wollen - mehr Mitbestimmung - nicht funktionieren kann. Und das finde ich schade, denn es müsste nicht so sein. Wir haben das Potential, es besser zu machen, und dann versemmeln wir es. Es muss nicht so sein, dass nur "die Lauten" gewinnen. Es ist nicht notwendig die Partei zu spalten - weil jeder einzelne hier seine Gründe hat, genau jetzt, genau hier zu sein. Und eben nicht bei der FDP, der Linken oder den Grünen.

Wir müssen endlich lernen mit diesen Differenzen zwischen unseren Flügeln konstruktiv umzugehen, statt darüber zu streiten was nun die einzig wahre Piratenmeinung sein darf. Die Wahrheit ist, dass es die nicht gibt, auch gar nicht geben kann, und damit diese ganze Diskussion nur in Selbstzerfleischung enden kann. Aber: Es gibt in allen Gruppen bei uns Gemeinsamkeiten. Diesen gemeinsamen Kern müssen wir wieder freilegen. Das müssen wir alle gemeinsam tun.

Statement-Wahn oder die Position des BuVo im Richtungsstreit

Es bringt in diesem Kontext nichts den BuVo ständig nach Statements zu fragen. Insbesondere nicht Statements zu Selbstverständlichkeiten. Natürlich habe ich ein Problem mit Gewalt. Natürlich halte ich Gewalt nicht für ein legitimes Mittel der politischen Willensbildung. Das ist genau so natürlich wie dass der Himmel blau ist (okay, und manchmal grau). Darum distanziere ich mich aber auch nicht ständig davon, dass irgendwelche Parteimitglieder andere Farben proklamieren. Wenn ich das einmal anfange, muss ich befürchten damit nie wieder aufzuhören. Darum fange ich mit sowas gar nicht erst an. Das ist keine inhaltliche Frage, sondern eine des Prinzips, nach dem ich arbeite.

Welche Position der BuVo "privat" vertritt muss für das Gremium sowieso unerheblich sein. Der Bundesvorstand vertritt die GESAMTE Partei, nicht sich selbst. So wie Angela Merkel - entschuldigt das Beispiel - die "Kanzlerin aller Deutschen" ist. Als Mitglied des Gremiums muss man beides trennen können. Das tue ich, konsequent, und halte es für den einzig gangbaren Weg.

Was ich eigentlich sagen will

Für mich funktioniert es trotz Richtungsstreit und Shitstorms einen Job zu machen, der für die Partei erledigt werden muss. Ich glaube nach wie vor an das gemeinsame Ziel dieser Partei, und ich bin bereit dafür zu arbeiten, dass wir dieses Ziel (wieder)finden und dann gemeinsam erfolgreich sind. Das macht mich nicht zu einem Mitglied irgendeiner Peer-Group, die sich eine andere zum Feind gemacht hat. Es sollte mich überhaupt nicht zum Feind von irgendwem machen. Sondern einfach nur zu einem Piraten, der seinen Job macht. Also bitte, spart euch die Labels und lasst ihn mich machen.