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Julia Peglow on the notebook as a thinking space in the digital age

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Our friend Julia Peglow has written a book called "Wir Internetkinder". We are fans – and not just because nuuna is in it!

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The Internet – is it the utopia of all-embracing democratization, networking and communication come true? Julia Peglow's diagnosis is not quite so euphoric: Does the Internet serve us or do we serve the Internet is one of the disturbing and at the same time justified questions of her latest book. Have we lost control? And if so, how do we get it back?

Julia Peglow is an author and university lecturer who has worked for two decades in the creative and digital industries as a strategic consultant and managing director for international branding and UX agencies. She sees herself as a chronicler of the digital age and reflects on the status of our digital world on her philosophical blog „diary of the digital age“.

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The starting point for her book "Wir Internetkinder" (We Internet Children) is not the digital natives, but the generation of those who grew up in analog before they themselves helped shape the digital revolution – the Internet pioneers, so to speak. Based on this, Julia Peglow asks about the beginnings and the discovery of virtual space, about the influence of digitization on the world of work, and about the current potential for changing our models of thought and action. In doing so, Peglow diagnoses a rift between two levels of reality, the real world and the digital world, which runs like a break through our society and our experience. In this context, also very recent observations on the shift of social space into the digital sphere during the Corona lockdowns come up.

Theoretical passages alternate with diary entries, the complex is juxtaposed with the anecdotal – a varied read. You can literally watch the author think.

We particularly enjoyed the passages where Peglow writes about her own thinking and working routine: This oscillates between stepping out in her public blog, participating in the world, and withdrawing from the digital storm, a place just for herself: her notebooks. It is precisely these analog tools that have a special role to play in the overload and appropriation of the digital world: that of a private space for thinking. It is exactly here that we take back control of our own thoughts.

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Of course, we are particularly pleased that Peglow also writes about our notebooks in this context:

"Then my gaze lingers on a shelf where there are notebooks. On them is a small name: nuuna. (...) I take one from the shelf. It's a large, black hardcover with a thick spine. It feels heavy in my hand. I open the notebook – it's like opening a door. In front of me: white pages. A path that opens up for me. (...) An empty book. In a world full of ready-made answers, an empty notebook is the opposite of a book for someone who wants to find his way. It is not the answer. It is the question. It is the empty space that can be filled with one's own thoughts and identity, with the self-determined narrative of one's life. I have found it. The space to think."

The book, by the way, is an absolute eye-catcher. Designed by Katrin Schacke with purple book edges, silver front and back matter and metallic embossing on the cover. Published by our friends at Verlag Hermann Schmidt. Bravo!