A Monument of The German Angst

Some weeks ago, everything seemed to be ok so far - only very few house owners, announced Google, had taken the opportunity to have their houses pixelated. Less than 3%. Sounded ok so far, given the fact that not only the government but big mainstream media as well have been running a campaign to encourage Germans to just do this for some months.

Today Streetview finally started with 20 "big" cities over here. And the result of pixelation is much worse than - I guess - even a lot of the pixelators would have thought. Some interesting collateral discussion will come, too - like why it was possible for anybody who rents (!) a flat or apartment to have the complete house pixelated (although he has no equity on it and should not have any right to do anything at all).

No, it's not exactly important. And this is not the end of civilization or something really bad or dangerous - but it's ridiculous. Especially as there are a lot of services on the web that do the same.

But in one way the pixelation is great: It's near art. A very special and national way of building a new digital monument for the way, we here in Germany deal with innovation and digital lifestyle.
Google Streetview is the digital monument of the "German Angst" for the world to see.
Please, my friends from abroad, come in and take a look. This is what we digital pioneers face in this country when we try to build something new. This is a symbol that might explain why we are (in the digital space) great in building copies of successful services from the US, but not in inventing new toys or tools or even companies.

There is some creative way of dealing with it already, a bit Schwejk-esk (although Schwejk is a Czech) - like implementing other panoramic photos into Streetview (see an example here for Berlin). And my street and my house e.g. is not covered by Streetview anyway.

But it's still sad to have this monument. And embarrassing as well. Be patient with us, not all of us are suffering from German Angst. But enough of us to make the German Angst now very visible online and to paint a picture of a former innovative country that has lost its speed some 30 or so years ago.

The good news is: tomorrow will be a new day.

3 Kommentare:

  1. Anonym18.11.10

    Nicht nur Mieter konnten "ihre" Häuser verpixeln lassen, jede_r beliebige Bürger mit einer Adresse konnte ein Haus verpixeln lassen. Einfach an Google melden und fertig. Man bekam dann noch einen Bestätigungscode per Post zugeschickt (die Adresse musste nicht identisch mit der des zu verpixelnden Hauses sein), online eingeben und fertig.
    Überprüft (und wenn nötig verhindert) wurde das ganze nur an großen öffentlichen Gebäuden und bei ganzen Straßenzügen...

  2. Da Sie englisch schreiben, scheinen Sie sich an Leser aus dem angelsächsischen Kulturraum zu richten - aber die werden uns Deutsche in diesem Fall sicher verstehen. Sie machen es nämlich ganz ähnlich: Sie dämpfen die verständliche Begeisterung für neue Phänomene gerne mit bodenständigem Pragmatismus. Wir Deutschen tun dasselbe mit der guten, alten irrationalen Angst. Also, wo ist das Problem? Das aktuelle Aufbegehren entzündet sich vielleicht (eben irrational) an einem eher nebensächlichen Gegenstand (Streeview), aber ganz sicher (denn Irrationalität ist meist treffsicher)am richtigen Objekt (Google).

  3. Anonym2.6.13

    Lieber Wolfgang, interessanter Artikel! Vielleicht interssiert Sie zu diesem Thema unser Filmprojekt www.german-angst.com
    Liebe Gruesse aus Nizza, Andrea