David Byrne: “Do we want to be more like the ants?” #Medienqualität

If one accepts that a democracy without an informed citizenry isn’t a democracy and shouldn’t refer to itself as one, then do we need to rethink how a democracy can work in our culture the near future? Some think the hive mind and self-regulating social networks are a model — that when everyone can speak and everyone is connected then the intelligence and the checks and balances will emerge all by themselves — but I’m not sure I’m ready to believe that millions of people with very little insight and almost no information can somehow magically turn into one smart collective entity.

That said, our cells don’t know what we (think we) know — individual cells don’t all “know” how to make a whole person, for example — but in a structural sense, actually, they do. The DNA for a whole person is contained in every cell, but it’s maybe less a complete blueprint than a small (relatively, for what it accomplishes) set of rules. Like swooping, flocking birds, fish or thousands of other creatures, the behavior of some groups appears to be intelligent, but it’s not. Not in the sense of being self-aware. Is that the model for a future society of “idiots” — a kind of emergent evolutionary structure? Everyone would be given a few basic rules to follow — as if instinctively — and then a whole society eventually emerges from that? It’s more like an ant colony than what we have now. It works for them. Do we want to be more like the ants?

Im Zusammenhang der aktuellen Diskussion um Qualität in den Medien und Demokratie scheint mir dieser Text von Talking Head David Byrne sehr bedenkenswert. Statt sich zu beschweren und gegen den technologischen Wandel zu lamentieren, macht er sich relativ nüchtern Gedanken darüber, was dieser für Konsequenzen für die Menschheit haben könnte. Und kommt dabei auf eine recht unheimliche, aber durchaus berechtigte Frage.

Und genau das ist der Punkt: Ich plädiere dafür, sich Gedanken über die Zukunft zu machen, statt einer Zeit nachzuweinen, die aufgrund des technologischen Wandels endgültig Vergangenheit ist.

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