Monday, May 11, 2015

Digital Revolution: How Technology is totalitarian? – THE WORLD

“Especially we are experiencing in real time as a company changes the foundations of their world view.” This is one of those phrases, in their simplicity shimmers the Bombastic. Another: “Google and Apple are just start-ups as compared to the new social software that is being implemented in the case of our societies.”

Both sets has Frank Schirrmacher wrote, has beginning and towards the end of that debate, which, orchestrated by all that he as an intellectual, restless co-editor of the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” and playful power tactician sensed and dropped again sometime, will prove the most sustainable :. the on the digitization of our world and how it changed our thinking

Today, almost a year after the death Schirrmacher, is not only abstractly conceivable, no : It is felt, felt, experienced, as technological developments that are grouped under the heading of “digital revolution” that characterize the private life to the finest ramifications of time and space. Go us probably just closer than that dissolve in legal or political issues, such as copyright protection, data retention, the NSA.

We know in any case the critical moments in private, by purchasing decisions on driving behavior to the mate choice. Five, ten years ago, thinking things a Smart Technology and calculated by Apps encounters seemed more science fiction and utopian way. Meanwhile, they are woven into our lives, with the promising smoldering promise to improve automatically and without our intervention.

Houses may, in the absence for our habits foresight heated and cars are slowed caring in dangerous situations. The data collected here – an imprint of our behavior, digital silhouette of our actual condition – are not usually us, the customers, but the company itself, and what happens to them, how it is used, is not openly recognized. ” / p>

What is the philosophy behind the data?

The philosophy, which is even behind the data and it creates , remains hidden, unfathomed: What is calculated, which should be considered as forward-looking or caring, and what are the criteria for this moral probability calculations; why it seems impossible to escape the holistic human picture of the machine; and ever – Where is the free will to which it indeed just heard being excessively risking that a decision turns out to be not good, as error

? We are aware of the increasing algorithmization our everyday life, which can be less self-determined and probably less private pure privacy. Also on this momentum we have already accustomed, they can not avail principle on – if so, then in the form of occasional surprise that the smartphone has recorded again how much one has moved in the day, without anyone asking. Or in the form of spherical unease that has hardly self-defense in the digital jungle, unless one is Edward Snowden.

literature, art and popular culture process the phenomenon: In the last year appeared Dave Eggers’ dystopia “The Circle”, there is the NSA photographs of Trevor Paglen and the “Secret Power” recordings of Simon Denny. Digital criticism today is Common Sense

Photo.: picture alliance / Event Press conductor of much debate – which remains to our digital future probably his most important legacy: Frank Schirrmacher

something changes at the semi-lethargic, half-anxious state, because now a book appears that gathers the contributions to the debate from corporate executives, scientists and writers who published last year under the curating hand of Frank Schirrmacher in his feuilleton were

However -?. Amazingly,

“Technological totalitarianism” is neither imprint of a debate that, their natural habitat, the fast verfliegenden Newspaper moment, taken as a brittle Fossil lies there from the text, nor a disguised reminiscence elegy to the powerful debate conductors of the country.

The book is – pathos here is actually fitted – a very important book because it shows between the lines, to which era threshold we stand, whether in Mountain View, London, Brussels, Frankfurt or Berlin, and how inadequate is to meet her with political, economic, legal means alone: ​​In order for the technologies that are shot up in the last five years in California, evolve and digital markets, the really free have grown out of them, it does not need code hoodietragender computer scientist, but a tradition of thought that is European in character -. and anything but supposedly obsolete technology critical or cultural pessimism

How totalitarian is technology

The feuilleton debate itself began in February last year with a contribution by Martin Schulz, President of Parliament, titled” Why do we have to fight now. ” Schulz outlines the shower image of a “pervasive technology” whose data greed an “anti-liberal, anti-social and anti-democratic society” allow; a “dangerous link between neoliberal and authoritarian ideology”.

He argues quite touching anthropological and social-democratic. Technological development is neither collectively reside, nor can you escape it individually. Schulz warns against the quantified people: “We need a movement that does not allow that man degenerated into a mere object.” The reification and the collective, which in its natural humanity against rebels, the “glass consumer citizen” as “new archetype” – does not that sound after thinning that have become social criticism that longs above all for a strong state

Political demands

Schulz called later a Charter of digital Fundamental Rights, which sets out what is allowed and what is prohibited is being hidden, what structures – legal, moral, social contract like? – Ye underlying subject. Still these are indeed inspired, but politically inconsequential formulas. Between them but found a significant in their inconspicuous permeability Note: technology is never good or bad; keeps neutral options ready as they will be used is up to us.

In a debate that by their skeptics as anti-progressive-escapist or cranky-anticapitalist was dismissed, one has to remember that their origin was not.

Sure was a tendency social democratic tinted basic Anxiety, such as those of the Belarusian-American theorist Evgeny Morozov for his core argument traces: Man hanging by naive-agnostic wishful thinking, if you believe that “all alike of any technology” benefited – the world live from unequal distribution of their resources, why should the exception of the digital industry, be an autonomous place?

Photo: Suhrkamp Frank Schirrmacher (ed.): Technological totalitarianism. Edition Suhrkamp, ​​Berlin. 283 pages, 15 euros.

This question is the core package of “technological totalitarianism” included: the essential different perceptions of collective and individual in Germany and America, especially at the westernmost fringe, in California. It is not so much the long tradition of interpretation of the different state understanding between Old and New World from Alexis de Tocqueville to Alistair Cook important, but the simple observation of how and sound a certain urgency is talked about the changes in everyday life – so what actually

is processed by the debate organism. In the book itself strikingly often find phrases like “We have to act,” prompts the act so assiduously-alarmist as ressentimentgeladen, especially they are often driven by a vague “we” or atmospherically conjure a Faustian collective nightmare. This, however, an essential feature of the debate will be adjusted as the place of origin precisely that development, the Silicon Valley, shows itself.

It is in local debates not to metaphysical questions, but about the very different, more prosaic: as progress is being developed. Metaphysical Meta-interest is the driving force behind most in the debates of the East Coast. That means now, but not that the Californian scene would be decoupled from European thinking – every successful digital entrepreneurs, who studied at Stanford University, has a hard humanities Grundkurs behind

Different are not the conditions, but the attitude towards the means of the Spirit – can steer developments terms? In the German feuilleton yes, in the digital economy of Silicon Valley no. Manages the debate “Technological totalitarianism”, both poles, the Californian-pragmatic and the Euro-skeptic, closer together, yes: Can you ever be connected

It is latent unfair to evaluate the contents of a debate as a whole – ie, change that motion and change of positions choreography to go with each other, from which they daily lives in their natural habitat. There she indeed developed last year a surprisingly concrete action, particularly as with Eric Schmidt and Mathias Döpfner, the American private company Google argued with the largest German publishing house on the issue of performance rights, or liberals Gerhart Baum criticized the “world monitoring market.”

Schirrmacher’s performance

The value of the debate, she leaves behind her epistemological legacy, but is measured or otherwise. Frank Schirrmacher is in the texts invisibly present, he is her never tangible Vanishing Point

Of course, the debate was their orientation to one side -. It was not their makers to freedom promise of new technologies, it was about their dangers. The intellectual history shows: There is the moment tilts to the idealism in ideology. Schirrmacher, who always sympathized the Catastrophic changing, announced this epochal vibration a board.


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