“Ich, Wir und die Anderen”

The last 2 days I spent in Karlsruhe at the ZKM, attending a very interesting conference: “Ich, Wir und die Anderen”, (myself, we and a the others, subtitel: new media between the potentials of democracy and economy).

Thanks to the ZKM for bringing this crowd together!


At technocrati you already find a pretty good selection of the content …

I want to point out a few things which captured me the most.

  • Two Austrians: Peter Glaser, who gave the keynote, and Peter Praschl. Both of them were reading out their speeches. You really could feel the importance of each word and their effort to find the right words to express their thoughts. Glaser”s and Praschl’s performance allowed us to snuffle a little bit of the atmosphere of old Vienna’s “Kaffeehaeuser” during the last turn of the century! Very catching! Thanks for this!
  • Geert Lovink’s call to disappropriate Google and put them under the control of the UN. Of course his call was provocative, but he immediately won the hearts of many of the participants. I myself, I like Google and I admire them for what they have done in a short time period. And no doubt, Google is very innovative and I like their new services like Google Earth and and and … But I also think that it is time, to take a deeper look. Was “don’t be evil” great marketing or a great vision? What do they really think about transparency? Where can I see my own profile with all the profile data Google has collected about me over years now? Where can I delete all the entries about myself I dislike? Do they own my profile data? Do they provide my profile data to government authorities on request? Who is Google in person? I found all these questions in Soeren Stamers blog – and I agree with his scepticism. And it is necessary and time to find a way to compete and win against Google!
  • Uwe Hochmuth, Hochschule fuer Gestaltung raised the questions: Is public space on the internet, freed from political and economical impacts only possible, when politics and the economy build the infrastructure? Or asking the other way round: First politics and economy build an infrastructure like the net and then – almost like parasists – people have to fight to achieve “their” public space, freed from political and economical impacts. As a consequence this would lead to the assumption, in order to achieve public space, political and economical forces are necessary! To me this seems to be an ongoing discussion for many years/deades (Hbermas, Luhmann ….) – but it is worth while to think it over and over again!
  • And the, of course the closing words from Peter Weibel, director of the ZKM. He was talking about the “phantom of the audience (=users)” and their feelings of being dismissed. He made a proposal that “professional” and the so called “unprofessionals” (= layman, audience) share their incompetence in order to achieve progress.

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