Susanne Gaschke‘s bookKlick – Strategies Against Digital Stultification describes how the increasing prevalence of the internet and new media influences the culture of knowledge and education. She criticizes an infinite optimism of media, politics and science towards this phenomenon and decries an uncritical handling of the internet. Gaschke characterizes people following the paradigm of new media blindly as ideologists; she calls them ‘digitalists.’ Furthermore, a criticism of modern neoliberal capitalism accompanies her fundamental demand for more pessimism towards the new media.
Susanne Gaschke, a journalist writing for the German weeklyDIE ZEIT, admits that she might be biased due to her profession in an old medium like a newspaper. To Gaschke, the ability to read is the most necessary competence in a modern society: who reads, learns thinking“. But the digitalists have chosen a new ability to be crucial for a working society: media competence. Gaschke does not assert that media literacy is unimportant but she insists that being able to read still is the core competence, which enables other abilities. Thus she criticizes the unconsidered support of new media in all parts of life, especially in the educational system. Schools and kindergartens are supplied with computers, networks and software by the IT-industry. Politics accept it, knowing that corporations like Microsoft do not equip schools because of limitless altruism, but to tie customers to their brand, at a very young age.
Referring toNicholas Carr‘s articleIs Google Making Us Stupid?, Susanne Gaschke claims that internet use has changed the way we perceive and consume texts and media. Similar to Carr she points out that pace and restlessness have altered our patterns of cognition. The internet conditions the user to search for short texts he can browse briefly and superficially. For both Carr and Gaschke this results in a severe threat to the ability of concentrating. Susanne Gaschke holds the view that the digitalists are not open for any forms of critique of the new technology. She insists that fighting against new technological trends is always difficult, and quotes Adorno who already pointed out that criticizing new technologies is like fighting against the world spirit.
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