Afterthought: Paradise Without Birds – The Power of Opinion | NDR.de – Culture – Broadcasts

Status: 06/05/2022 09:53 AM

Freedom of expression is a priority this week. The current state of war in Ukraine in particular defies real word or commitment. But what is really true? Column by Claudia Kristofferson.

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4 minutes

by Claudia Kristofferson

What is really true is a great philosophical question. How do crazy claims suddenly become facts? “Birds are not real” – an idea that comes from the United States and causes a stir there.

What is this that flies over our heads with wings flapping? From early in the morning when it becomes light until evening when the day gets dark again. A stupid question you say. In fact, everyone will immediately answer: these flying creatures, of course, are birds. In the US, you’re not so sure about that. The myth circulated there a few years ago that there were no birds, it was all brought down decades ago. Still, something like birds flying around. But there are none. What’s flying there are drones, CIA spy drones. They fly across the country, from Maine to California, from Minnesota to Texas, back and forth, top to bottom, controlling the entire wide canopy. No pigeons, no blackbirds – no birds – it’s camouflaged drones watching Jim, John, Ellie and Sue, not just them, just everyone, always and everywhere.

“Birds are not real” – the plot novel in the United States

What a chilling idea, one thrown into an endless round of plot myths by a young man. Let’s take an example: X- Any claims spread very quickly with just a few words, even with the little bird chirping and tweeting. News that remains stable with little focus, that is celebrated as fact and turns into a real one. “There are no birds” – this is all a conspiracy tale made up entirely of a man named Peter McIndoe. Why this circus? He had just gotten tired of letting countless so-called facts pour out on him, so he himself came up with this ridiculous idea. His call to “wake up” has succeeded. Hundreds of thousands follow the bird teacher on social networks and participate in the sarcastic movement against misinformation, wearing posters, T-shirts and hats with the slogan: “Birds are not real” and thus at least make people think quickly written and loudly stated opinions that ultimately have nothing to do with anything Like the truth.

Study shows false reports are exciting

On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day on May 3, the newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung broke this story again and followed it up with a study: False reporting is sensational. According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston, they spread six times faster than real news and reached 1,000 times more than boring real news. These numbers are not good, especially now in times of war, when viewpoints are quickly abandoned without pause for a moment and shifted to new ones. What is right, what is action, what is reasoning, what is moral, what is morally acceptable? The war in Ukraine challenges us all.

Careful calm and careful thought in the spirit of Habermas

As the great German thinker Jürgen Habermas commented recently. He is disturbed, not only by the danger, but also by how to deal with it. Habermas had already diagnosed the “new confusion” in the early 1980s. In the vast sea of ​​views, he saw features lost because utopias were weary and ideals weary. This attracted neoconservatives, who sat in a narrow corset of opinion and knew exactly how and where to put the common denominator. Today the philosopher hears the sharp tone and sees the hasty judgment. Habermas has no recipe for ending this war, only the knowledge that good causes must be weighed carefully, with careful calm and sharp wit.

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Ulrich Kohn, Claudia Kristofferson and Alexander Soluk.  © NDR Photo: Christian Spellmann

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Culture NDR | afterthought | 06.05.2021 | 10:20 am

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