In Search of the Spirit of Digitalization
Within a period of just fifteen years, an elite made up of tech entrepreneurs has managed to dominate society. Since the introduction of the iPhone in 2007, our lives have changed rigorously as services like WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat and the cloud have become part and parcel of our daily existence. A collective digital conversion has taken place.
In We Nihilists, philosopher Hans Schnitzler poses a question rarely asked: how did this virtual class achieve its dominance? Inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche’s writings on nihilism, he searches for the cultural roots of this drive towards frictionless exchange. His search immerses the reader in the wonderful world of that archetype of the internet age: the nerd. At the same time he holds up a mirror to us. The truth is, we are all nerds.
The data revolution threatens to eat up our children, and Schnitzler urges us to face our own responsibility. This pithy application of philosophy to technology addresses core issues like the self, identity, decadence and the fake, while referencing the work of thinkers such as Simone de Beauvoir, Hannah Arendt and Johan Goudsblom.