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Dienstag, März 07, 2006

David Weinberger

In der vergangenen Woche hatte ich das große Vergnügen, einen Vortrag von David Weinberger zu hören. Er ist einer der Autoren des Cluetrain Manifesto, aber vor allem hat er Small Pieces Loosely Joined verfasst, mit dem schönen Untertitel "A unified Theory of the Web". Dieses Buch (das ich immer noch nicht ganz gelesen habe) birgt zahlreiche Einsichten, vor allem aber Überraschungen. Ein Beispiel:
Imperfection is what differentiates us from God. We are made in His image, the Western tradition says, but we are an imperfect copy, limited in our knowledge, our goodness, and our days. Because God is perfect, every difference between us and God is an imperfection; if something is truly perfect, any change to it must degrade it. [...]

It's no accident than in the ages when imperfection was understood as the defining characteristic of humanity, phenomena such as sin, evil, and death were also more vivid, for those are how human imperfection manifests itself. Our current culture is uncomfortable with those terms because we are uncomfortable about acknowledging our imperfection. [...]
Gegen Ende geht Weinberger hart mit dem ins Gericht, was er als default philosophy bezeichnet. Man könnte auch Mainstream dazu sagen.
The Web is a return to the values that have been with us from the beginning. It is even a return to our basic self-understanding--a return from the distraction of modernism and the antihuman untruths embodied in the default philosophy we all carry with us like a hundred-pound backpack. When you set it down, you feel like you can fly. [...]

In the backpack is relativism, the idea that all concepts and values depend on accidents of history and culture. This is true, but we've taken it to mean that concepts and values have no "real" value because "real" means "independent of humans": We've set the hurdle impossibly high. Therefore, with relativism comes alienation from one's own values. But the Web is a revel of values and viewpoints. The differences that supposedly disprove the worth of all values turn out on the Web to be a source of joy.
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