Internet Making Germans Dumber

It’s called “Digitale Demenz” (Digital Dementia) or something.

“Avoid digital media,” one smart German is warning his countrymen. “As shown here many times over, they truly do make us fat, dumb, aggressive, lonely, sick and unhappy.”

Nice try, buddy. But what you’ve failed to consider here (being a German yourelf), is that Germans don’t need any help from anybody or anything at any time when it comes to being aggressive, lonely, sick and unhappy. They’re naturals at it. As for the Internet making them fat and dumb, well, OK. If you say so.

The strange thing though is that everywhere else on Planet Earth it appears as if the Internet is actually making us smarter. Whatever. I guess maybe that’s how it is with Deutsche Sonderwege (German separate paths), it’s the exception that always proves the rule.

Such findings refute the claims of those who warn that humanity is getting dumber. We’re “amusing ourselves to death,” American media theorist and critic Neil Postman argued in a 1985 book of the same name. Postman blamed television for a decline in cognitive skills. Since then, however, the average IQ in the US has risen by nearly 10 points.

Hallo, ist da jemand?

Is there anybody out there?

I like old Helmut Schmidt, and we’re talking old (93). I like that he goes out of his way to smoke in front of everybody, especially there where you’re not supposed to. I also think it’s cool that he doesn’t have a cell phone and prefers writing something called “letters” with something called “paper and ink.”  And I don’t even mind that he thinks the Internet is “menacing.” I mean, why should he be the only one in Germany who doesn’t think that way?

I do wish, however, that he would take that big leap and finally leave the SPD while he still has the time to do so. I don’t think he ever belonged there in the first place. But maybe that’s just me.

„Ich telefoniere überhaupt nur noch selten. Wahrscheinlich habe ich das auch früher nie wirklich gern getan. Ich habe immer die Schriftform bevorzugt, und zwar die briefliche Schriftform.“

Just Say No

As usual, I mean. Berliners in Kreuzberg (or at least that active, left-wing kind) aren’t interested in finding new solutions for urban living, thank you. And they’ll even threaten you with violence if you try to establish “temporary cultural space” to attempt to do so (go ask BMW Guggenheim Lab). Kreuzbergers don’t do culture. Temporary or otherwise.

And speaking of resistence… The rest of the country is pretty much Kreuzberg all over again (only on a much larger scale) when it comes to saying no to the Internet (some call it the Internetz).

This isn’t really a news item or anything, but now certain German businessmen types are actually starting to get worried about their country “sleeping through the Internet” age like it does.

They have come to discover that their fellow Germans provide “too few qualified professionals, suffer way too much from risk aversion and are caught up in a tightly structured regulation frenzy.” Like I said, this isn’t anything new. But the real question is: What are you going to be able to do about that? Not a damned thing, of course.

Das Internet ist ein globaler Treiber für die Wirtschaft. Doch in Deutschland bremsen Fachkräftemangel und hohe Anforderungen an den Datenschutz die Firmen aus.

Germans Still Scared Of The Internetz

Actually, it’s only the older, digital immigrant kind of Germans who are still scared of the Veb. You know, around 85 to 90 percent of the population?

And these are the folks who want politicians to introduce ever more stringent anti-Internet legislation (more is more here) and get all hysterical about data privacy for data that nobody’s interested in and ran Google Street View out of town and would never think of ever putting their faces (or anything else) on Facebook, provided they could even find the dad dern thing, and think that flash mobs are real mobsters with machine guns and stuff like that and on and on and on. And, oh yeah, these are also the folks who vote here. So there we have it. Old dogs, nix tricks. Tricks are for kids.

Sogenannte Digital Outsiders hält die Angst, die Kontrolle über ihre persönliche Daten zu verlieren, davon ab, überhaupt online zu gehen. Sie fürchten zudem, mit einem versehentlichen falschen Tastendruck das Internet zu löschen.

When the Bundestag isn’t being shut down due to power failure

Unintentional spam attacks from Bundestag employees can take their toll, too.

You’ve all seen this happen, I’m sure. Somebody on a huge distribution list receives an internal email and accidently responds to everyone (instead of just to the person who sent it). Dozens if not hundreds of the recipients who then get that person’s response feel the desperate need to respond to that in some smart ass way (to everyone here, too) and on and one it goes, for hours on end, until a systems administrator finally loses his/her patience and pulls out the plug.

Well, that happened today in the halls of German government. Just your normal everyday dumb office behavior kind of thing again. Or was it maybe a diabolical terrorist attack doch?

“Liebe Britta, wenn Ihr Euch eindeckt, bringt Ihr mir eins mit? Danke und herzliche Grüße.”

“I’m smarter than Bill Gates”

And I’m bigger, too (maybe bigger than two or three of them). But I’m in jail now, which isn’t all that smart, although it smarts my pride, which is at least as big as I am.

Hey, what’s a little copyright infringement, money laundering and racketeering on a massive scale these days? Ain’t no big deal, says German hacker millionaire/thief and self-proclaimed god Kim Dotcom (don’t ask, it’s an old German name or something). “You’ll never get me alive, coppers!” he also said, locking himself in his panic room. But then they got him after all. And now, if found guilty in the US of A, he could get up to 20 years in jail.

But that’s not the worst of it. After they arrested him they did the most worstest and awfulest thing you could ever do to a German ever: They impounded his cars.

Many of the cars had vanity licence plates, including a Rolls-Royce Phantom bearing “GOD”, an AMG Mercedes carrying “HACKER”, and another labelled “MAFIA”.