Essays

Here you can find a selection of essays from the blog and other sites:

Vom Überglaube an das Wissen und der Wiederkehr des Mythos

Wir befinden uns in einer Zeit, in der wir jeglicher Form von Wissen einen hohen Stellenwert beimessen — ob es sich dabei um sogenanntes “Grundwissen”, “Allgemeinwissen” oder “Fachwissen” handelt. Wir alle wi…

When Physical Objects Become Virtual Reality

I still remember the time I first laid eyes on the paperback edition of one of my books which had previously only existed as a digital edition. It was as if this book had finally become “real”, transplanted from the evanescent stream…

On The Life of Things

As human beings, we live in a world of things. There are small ones, big ones, raggedy, round and shiny things all around us. Some of these things are made in factories, others are made by hand. Some are complex, others seemingly simple. Some are exp…

Work and Play: The Gamification of Everything

Regardless of its specific form, work is an essential part of our lives. We work for good grades, we work to get a good job, then we work overtime, we work day and night, we work all week long, we work till we drop. For something so mundane and seemi…

Als das Internet noch Unsozial war

Weißt du noch, wie es damals war? Als die meisten Webseiten noch öden Orten glichen, auf die man oft nur durch Zufall stieß — arglos zusammengezimmerte Codegeflechte, die irgendwo in der digitalen Wildnis darauf warteten, sich…

10 Arten, wie das Internet uns krank macht – und immer noch keine Lösung…

Gestern stolperte ich über einen Artikel, der unverhohlen die Leiden des modernen, digital vernetzten Wesen schilderte. Der Text trug die Überschrift: “10 Arten, wie das Internet uns krank macht und eine Lösung” und beinhal…

The Emptiness Of Branded Experience

We’re living in a hyper-branded world. Our food, our clothes, our electronics, our software: everything is branded. Americans mention brands more than 3 billion times a day. Whether we are aware of it or not, brands are affecting our experience…

Hätte Goethe getwittert?

Heute Morgen bin ich über ein interessantes Interview mit dem Verleger Reinhard Matern gestolpert, das schon allein in sprachlicher Hinsicht lesenswert ist. Abgesehen von den Beschreibungen, wie Matern erste Bücher im Selbstdruck in Um…

Associative Doing: a Theoretical Model for Work in a Hyper-linked World

For many people, the Internet has become an irreplacable part of both work and entertainment. Whether we’re sending an email to our boss, marathon watching series on Netflix, doing research, shopping on Amazon, managing our online bank accounts…

Hidden Capitalism In Life Hacking & The Quantified Self

Life hacking and the “quantified self” movement are all the rage recently. People time their life and work patterns and wirelessly populate spreadsheets with their performance. Shiny little gadgets and apps record our sleeping habits and…

After The Hype: The Web Is Growing Up

Yesterday I read a post by Kirsten Winkler in which she noted that “there is no innovation, just some iteration and lots of hype” in the (education) technology world at the moment. Is this just a temporary phase before the...About the aut…

The Reliability Of The Unexpected

We tend to think about storytelling as something which happens around a campfire, in front of pulsing plasma screens, the dim glow of the night stand lamp. But no matter how public or intimate the setting, we still experience these stories as somethi…

The Beast of Untamed Time

There used to be a time when we had to wait 7 days for the next episode of our favorite TV-series; when we needed to hang on until the next morning for our latest fix of news; when a written...About the author: André Klein was born in Germany,…

Are Typos The “Bugs” Of Written Language?

In the age of instant publishing we have cut out the middleman. Publishing houses are routinely avoided and replaced with the process of self-publishing. Agents and editors are left standing aside, and while quick earnings of self published authors c…

The Digital Revolution Kills Jobs Faster Than It Creates New Ones

There are two kinds of people: those who complain about disruption and those who celebrate it. The former are the dying indie bookstores, music labels, film industry, little publishing houses unhappy with Amazon’s ToS — the latter ar…

On The Net, Everybody’s an Astronaut

Isn’t the internet awesome? We use it for work, entertainment, socializing and as a scapegoat for all our problems. Not only does the web prevent us from getting any serious work done, it also kills our social lives and replaces...About the aut…

Why You Can’t Escape From The Internet

When toddlers are getting addicted to iPads, parents spy on their kids on Facebook and teenagers can’t survive 24 hours offline without experiencing withdrawal symptoms it’s hard not to blame technology. After all, we wouldn&rsq…

The Practice Of Not Knowing: A Third Method Of Foreign Language Learning

When learning a new language there are those things we need to know, those things we need to practice and a million other things we don’t know. 1. Knowledge Is (Passive) Power Knowing something usually doesn’t take a lot of...About the au…

English As World Language: Of Burdens and Bridges

Today I stumbled over an interesting article about vanishing language variety in India. In a country abundant with a whole spectrum of different languages and dialects English is more and more becoming the only language for modern connected individua…

Small Controlled Bursts Of Boredom: A Cure For Contemporary Click-Frenzies?

“The things people do out of sheer boredom! They study out of boredom; they pray out of boredom; they fall in love, get married and reproduce out of boredom; in the end they die out of boredom.” It was the Ge…

The Role Of Reading In The Age Of Constant Digital Distraction

While some people still entertain themselves with the predictable mudfight of “ebook vs paper book”, I find another question far more interesting, namely the role of reading in the age of continuous partial attention. How do we read in th…