The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: the new central organ of the Nerds?

[ Wed. Dec. 1. 2010 ]

Now comes the "binary-turn"? A Nerdisierung clues to the FAZ.

Some time ago I had - more in jest - the venerable Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in a couple of tweets as "nerd-central organ" means . The cause was Frank Schirrmacher's full-page defense of nerds just prior to the election, the publication of offensive around the iPad unveiling or opening of the FAZ as a platform for self-confessed nerds, such as in the article by Frank Rieger (Chaos Computer Club). Once the word was the "central organ" picked up every now and again, I've been thinking about it again a bit and listed a few thoughts on the "binary turn" the FAZ.

What is clear is one thing: Frank Schirrmacher is the driving force behind this process, as a glance in its editorial of 23 January in which he for more digital intelligence and vehemently calls for Deuschland (a rogue is someone who even at that date, the nerd alarm bells ringing stops ). It could be that reorientation of the FAZ-Feuilleton debates and articles on digital culture, first of all an accompanying report on his recent book project Paybacksuspect behind, but that would be very superficial and would not Mr Schirrmacher's sense of justice issues.

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FAZ: Binary turn? (Photo: otzfeld, cc-by-nc-sa)

of at least a few leads away from the genetic, bio-and nano-technology debates of recent years - - the content of this pivot is absolutely to be welcomed, because in fact, the public discourse in Germany to serious issues of digitization and its social consequences backlog. Gets a special twist this Nerdisierung but by every now and then breaking through arrogance and rejection of online culture - which are at very different points of the paper shows, for example, currently at the minimum of impact-side position in the case Hegemann.

If you look a little closer, then there are some indications that the FAZ for much longer is a place for nerds - a small clues.

Exhibit 1: The feature of 27 June 2000

Across different FAZ had the extract from the code of the human genome expressed one that to some as "not read the article in the latest media story" is . Opening up, a publishing initiative under the banner of John Brockman led "Third Culture" debate, which aimed at the entanglement of intellectual discourse between the natural sciences and humanities.The "digital revolution" was this time "only" opens with some Schirrmacher texts. But who knows, maybe coming soon still a spread in binary code.

Exhibit 2: The daily blog entry on page one 

As a big journalistic break in the part of the relaunch of 5 October 2007, a color photo on page one of the traditional mounted. Since then, this teaser photo developed more and more of a daily journal. Of course comment on the picture and the accompanying text is a central theme of world affairs - but stylistically there are often elements of this reduction, reference and commentary, which are characteristic of the interior of the leaf often criticized blogosphere.

And maybe it's just a personal perception, but the captions have lately not always once again fallen below the magic 140-character limit? But even if not - many image Comments work exactly like a typical Twitpic-mail: The image illustrates a theme, an idea and the text uses references to the authorities for further reading in the Gazette. Formulated the other way around: the same way could the "Play" the FAZ twitter too.

Exhibit 3: The nerds are not just the features section

Not so much a concrete piece of evidence, rather a collection of evidence to the thesis - one looks only superficially different departments, then there are a surprising number of examples of "nerdy" reporting: the surprisingly flowery flaunted attention to detail of the "technology and motor" editorial or the often highly encrypted reports from the gourmet world. The Ins-sheet smuggling material from Duckburg by professing Donaldisten Patrick Bahners and Andreas Platt House is one of them as well as the knowledgeable "network economy" every Tuesday in the business section - all these are small indications of the anchoring of the FAZ in the proverbial nerd culture. Taking FAZ.net added yet, you should at this point to the incorporation of Don Alphonso and Michael Seemann be mentioned.

But what is certainly the result of this partial and expandable "evidence" is? Is there one?Starting point for considerations was indeed the rather humorous name of the FAZ as "nerd-central organ", a volatile leaf criticism has provided at least some evidence of elements of the much-quoted last "nerd culture". So what?

To say it once again clear: the demand for more "digital intelligence" or better: the increased talk of "digital subject" in the German public support is essential to - Schirrmacher Paybackand the theories of information overload of the defiance. However, the term should be the "Nerds" or "nerd culture" spelled out a little clearer than it is now - otherwise converts the FAZ a fine line and does attack. Where can this lead, has recently Thomas Knüwer shown before that an article by Frank Schirrmacher split has.

Such examples are also illustrates the fragility of the construction of a "nerd-FAZ", which does recognize the opportunity to strike the tone for a new social discourse, is here but would have to make a more accurate picture of the situation in the digital cultural front.

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