Blödsinn

Die Alten verstehen nicht, was die Jungen machen. Und weil die Alten in ihrem langen Leben schon so viel gelernt haben und so viel wissen und all das Wissen trotzdem nicht recht erklären kann, was die Jungen machen, sind die Alten einen Augenblick ratlos. Und dann erklären die Alten das, was die Jungen da machen zu Blödsinn.

Die Jungen können auch nicht nicht so recht erklären, was sie da tun. Die Jungen haben noch nicht die richtigen Worte gefunden. Denn die richtigen Worte zu finden, um etwas neues, also etwas, was es vor kurzem noch gar nicht gab, zu beschreiben, dauert lange. Es dauert Jahre und Jahrzehnte. Die Jungen können also noch gar keine Worte haben, um das Neue zu beschreiben. Doch die Jungen spüren, dass das, was sie da machen, kein Blödsinn ist.

Sie haben nur die Worte nicht, um den Affen zu erklären, die Worte brauchen um zu verstehen.

Wie das Digitale die Welt verändert

What are digital Cultures? The DCRL-interview-series “Questions”
The term “digital cultures” is all-encompassing and at the same time vague. The purpose of the interview-series QUESTIONS of the DCRL (Digital Cultures Research Lab) is to start specifying the broadness of the term by asking researchers as well as practitioners in various fields to further define the notion and its implications. In a five-minute time slot, the interviewees answer four standard questions:

What are digital cultures?
What are the potentials of digital cultures?
What are the dangers of digital cultures?
What lies beyond digital cultures?

Team DCRL: Martina Leeker with: Dominik Baumgarten, Irina Kaldrack, Jonas Keller, Sophie Köster, Tobias Schulze, Daniel Sonntag
Video DCRL: Jonas Keller, Daniel Sonntag
Date of interview: 21-August-2018

The kids are wiser than their parents

The generation of the children is wiser than that of the parents. The children are able to understand more complex interrelations and their urgency. And not only that, the children also have the ability to organize themselves so that they can draw worldwide attention to the problems they have identified to create the pressure to act.

The elders never really understood what MySpace, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Snapchat were all about. Suddenly it becomes clear what motivates the children to become so intensely involved with the Internet and all the new forms of media. Why screaming teenagers worship YouTube influencers who became famous for makeup tips and other nonsense. It isn’t about what these Influencers were talking about, it is fascinating how they do it. Some kids are able to get across the new communication channels better than others. And those who do is best are taken as role models. The stars have something up their sleeve that the others want to learn. And within a few years, children were able to develop the ability to communicate through electronic media at an intensity never before seen in human history.

Communication is the exchanging of information. And that works in both directions. This is immediately clear to the kids, where as we, the older generation, had to go to universities to learn it as theoretical knowledge. Kids use the net, which didn’t even exist in our time, not only as a broadcasting facility that can reach millions of people, but also as a source from which they draw their information. And also in this respect they are vastly superior to the old. While the majority of the elders still get caught up in echo-chambers, which leads to the loudest screaming idiots being chosen as political leaders, the kids (who themselves are still too young to vote) use the same net to acquire a more comprehensive understanding of the true concerns of the world.

I’m not talking about the one kid in your head who only sits in front of a computer all day playing computer games. I’m talking about the entirety of the kids who have also learned to play networked computer games and are now able to use the net in a way that is still incomprehensible to us older people. Instead of playing with networked computers, we played with Lego bricks as kids and became great engineers.

With the technology that the engineers of the parents’ generation have built, the kids today develop the consciousness to recognize the big pending problems, to differentiate them from the less important issues and to act purposefully and in the required haste. And from the point of view of a representative of the parents’ generation, I can only be amazed at how quickly the kids managed to select representatives from their ranks and to charge them with so much weight in such a short period of time that they are in a position to represent their common interests in the world’s highest bodies. And not only at eye level (which would be remarkable enough in itself) – these representatives with their 16 years of age are brighter, more thoughtful and in every respect wiser than the representatives of the generation that is currently running the world out of control.

Die Kinder sind weiser als ihre Eltern

Die Generation der Kinder ist weiser als die der Eltern. Die Kinder sind in der Lage komplexere Zusammenhänge wahrzunehmen und deren Dringlichkeit zu verstehen. Und nicht nur das, die Kinder besitzen auch die Fähigkeiten, sich so zu organisieren, dass sie weltweite Aufmerksamkeit auf die von Ihnen erkannten Probleme lenken können um Handlungsdruck zu erzeugen.

Die Alten haben nie recht verstanden, was es mit MySpace, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube oder Snapchat auf sich hat. Auf einmal wird klar, was die Kinder bewegt, sich derart intensiv mit dem Internet und all den neuen Medienformen zu befassen. Warum Teenager kreischend YouTube-Influencer verehren, die über Schminktips und anderen Nonsens zu Ruhm gelangten. Es geht gar nicht darum worüber die Influencer sprechen, das faszinierende ist, wie sie es tun. Einigen Kids gelingt es besonders gut über die neuen Kommunikationsmedien rüberzukommen als anderen. Und diejenigen, denen es am besten gelingt, werden zu Vorbildern. Die Stars haben etwas voraus, von dem die anderen lernen können. Und so haben die Kinder innerhalb weniger Jahre die Fähigkeiten entwickelt, über elektronische Medien in einer Intensität zu kommunizieren, wie noch nie zuvor in der Menschheitsgeschichte.

Kommunikation ist Informationsaustausch. Und der funktioniert in beide Richtungen. Das ist den Kids auf Anhieb klar, wir Alten mussten auf Universitäten gehen, um das als theoretisches Wissen zu lernen. Die Kids benutzen das Netz, das es zu unserer Zeit noch gar nicht gab, nicht nur als Sendeeinrichtung, über das sich millionenfaches Publikum erreichen lässt, sondern auch als Quelle, aus der sie ihre Informationen ziehen. Und auch darin sind sie den Alten haushoch überlegen. Während sich das gros der Alten noch in Echo-Chambers verfängt, was dazu führt, dass die am lautesten schreienden Idioten zu politischen Führern erkoren werden, nutzen die Kids (die selbst noch zu jung zum Wählen sind) das selbe Netz, um sich ein umfassenderes Verständnis für die Belange der Welt anzueignen.

Ich spreche hier nicht von dem einen Kid, das Sie im Kopf haben, das den ganzen Tag vor dem Rechner sitzt und nur Computerspiele spielt. Ich spreche hier von der Gesamtheit der Kids, die auch vernetzte Computerspiele zu spielen gelernt haben und nun in der Lage sind, das Netz auf eine Art zu nutzen, die uns Alten nach wie vor unbegreiflich ist. Statt mit vernetzten Computern spielten wir als Kinder mit Legosteinen und wurden prima Ingeniere.

Mit der Technik, die die Ingenieure der Elterngeneration gebaut hat, entwickeln die Kids heute das Bewusstsein, die grossen anstehenden Probleme zu erkennen, von den unwichtigeren Themen zu unterscheiden und in gebotener Eile zielgerichtet zu agieren. Und aus Sicht eines Vertreters der Elterngeneration kann ich nur staunen, wie rasend schnell die Kids es geschafft haben, Vertreter aus ihren Reihen zu küren und in kürzester Zeit mit derart viel Bedeutung aufzuladen, dass sie befähigt sind, in den höchsten Gremien der Welt die gemeinsamen Belange zu vertreten. Und das nicht nur auf Augenhöhe (was an sich schon bemerkenswert genug wäre) – diese Vertreter mit sind mit ihren 16 Jahren klüger, bedachter und in jeder Hinsicht weiser als die Vertreter der Generation, der die Welt offenbar gerade aus dem Ruder läuft.

How to change your mind

Television alters thinking. Religion alters thinking. Books alter thinking. Music alters thinking. Images change thinking. Conversations alter thinking. Meditation alters thinking. Observations alter thinking. Closing one’s eyes alters thinking. Taking in food alters thinking. Fasting alters thinking. Feeling alters thinking.

Everything alters thinking. Thinking is based on the exchange of electrical signals between nerve cells. Nerve cells that are connected via synapses. Nerve cells, which arise and disappear, connected by synapses, which also arise and disappear.

The nerve cells connected by synapses are like the molecules on the water surface of a lake, stable enough that a water strider can walk on them. But there are never ‘the very same’ molecules on the water surface. The molecules are in constant exchange with the surrounding water molecules in the lake. It is a constant dance of the molecules, in which always others come to the surface to be immediately replaced by others. As if one were standing on a gravel path and the stones under one’s feet are permanently exchanged.

The synapse connections between the nerve cells in the brain are the paths of thinking. The paths on which the thoughts walk. But the paths are in constant change. Paths are being trodden or are drifting. They never remain exactly the same.

(( More spectacular, although much rarer, is the idea or realization – the discovery of a completely new path, a completely new connection. The younger one is, the more frequently it occurs, logically, because there is not yet such a pronounced road network of thoughts. This occurs with everyone over time. ))

People tend to ask, “Is that good or bad?”
Is it good or bad when the ways of thinking change?
The answer is the same as to most ‘good or bad’ questions: It is not good or bad: it is.

Being aware that everything changes your thinking, that everything you absorb consciously or unconsciously changes you, enables you to influence what you absorb, what changes you. Becoming more conscious at the same time gives others less possibility to manipulate you as they would like you to.

Of course one cannot choose everything that comes into one’s head – into thinking. But you can influence it. The first steps are to remember again and again that everything you take in influences your thinking and thus your perception of the world.

A very smart friend once said to me: “I have always read an incredible amount, probably thousands of books in my life. That was everything, literature, non-fiction, but also crime thrillers, trivial and any kind of junk. But it’s strange, I used everything, even the greatest nonsense, at some point to get my insights.”

“Sure,” I said, “because all you put in your head is the material you think with. What other material should you think with?”

But not all material is equally good.

And unlike earlier times, when people couldn’t get enough information, today we live in a time when we are confronted with an overwhelming mass of information.

There is better information and worse information.

We can improve our thinking by learning to be more aware of what we let into ourselves.