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The night of culture and humanism

19 Oct

Edgar Morin considers contemporary culture something broader than what is considered and was theorized as mass culture, for him it goes beyond media culture, which is in full decline, despite reactions from the art world in some segments, in general it deals with death, the dark and contempt for symbols, values, myths and images related to everyday life and the collective imagination, but regional, religious and humanist cultures persist in an act of resistance.

The industrial process and the success of performance and productivist values ​​hide what is processed in the spirit, something Morin calls “industrialization of the spirit”, this second colonization is not processed horizontally conquering territories, but vertically penetrating the human soul and obscuring it.

The cultural industry has set in motion a third culture (in addition to classical and natural, I would call original), but there is a human resistance that comes from the original culture of each people and each specific culture, but the idea of ​​colonizing is alive.

The multicultural realities present in mass culture are not autonomous, so the idea is to demolish (or erase) the institutions that can resist this new “colonization”, and resistance can only arise from the cultures of peoples, from their original development of culture and its religions and beliefs.

Although one can criticize the current media culture, social networks are a ties between actors that can be made through them, it does not find a society devoid of culture to be omnipresent, it contains social values ​​and symbols, beliefs and ideologies , and in them the transcendental factors are still impregnated, it is not a separate culture.

In Morin’s view, mass culture integrates and disintegrates at the same time in a polycultural reality, it makes contain, control, censor (also in many cases by the state and by the churches) tending to corrode and disintegrate other cultures.

It is now a cosmopolitan and planetary culture, and it will constitute the first truly universal culture in the history of mankind, while conservative thought considers it plebeian barbarism, left-wing critics consider it an opiate of the people and deliberate mystification , and so the only perspective seems to be the authoritarian one.

In the authoritarian case, the state must control the production and distribution of “cultural goods”, while in the democratic case the large cultural groups must dictate the media controlling the production and distribution of content, here digital media is present.

Both currents agree in the criticism of mass culture, classifying it as a poor cultural product, of low aesthetic quality and without originality (kitsch).

The great solution pointed out by Morin is in the structure of the imaginary: the use of archetypes that order dreams, without the standardization of mythical and romance themes, art is a great reaction in this field, the cultural industry was reduced to archetypes and stereotypes, who outside of these there is no cultural “insertion”, and her prisons are individualized products.

It’s not about accepting diversity, but increasing consumption, just as it did with the pop culture of the 60s, movies, radio or TV shows (now lives and stories) are solely aimed at maximizing profit and audience (likes and fanpages).

In religious terms, syncretism is the most suitable word to translate the tendency to homogenize culture and dictate values ​​and the comicity used to these themes plays the role of destroying its essence and originality, everything is similar or equal.

Children’s cultural content is invaded by themes of adult consumption: they are presented in a simplification that takes them (to adult viewers too) as children.

Even leisure is not just a way of allowing a balance of life, but it is invaded by mass culture, the so-called “resorts”, the beaches and leisure places are invaded by the “cultural industry”, everything within reach, just by an app.

This crisis is neither temporary nor fleeting, a great civilizing crisis may emerge from it, but it is necessary to have hope despite the public blindness.

MORIN, Edgar. (1997) Cultura de massas do século XX. (20th century mass culture). trad. Maura Ribeiro Sardinha. 9ª. edição. Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, Ed. Forense. 

 

 

 

Symmetry and diversity

13 Oct

Every relationship of power is asymmetrical, discussing the power of the [media] of social networks, in his essay book “No Swarm” said the Korean-German Byung Chul Han: “power is an asymmetrical relationship. It fundamentals a hierarchical relationship. The power of communication is not dialogic. Unlike power, respect is not necessarily an asymmetrical relationship” (p. 18), so the question remains how power could be symmetrical and how dialogic communication.

Collective, communal and original societies always have some form of hierarchy and most of them have developed forms of dialogical communication, modernity is perhaps the historical moment of greatest hierarchy and where communication becomes more problematic, it is necessary to return to basic concepts about who is the other and what form of power is lawful”?

The worst of the scenarios come true, this is the point that Byung Chul Han is right: the swarm, but it is necessary to understand the process of development that comes from the Cartesian-Kantian rationalism-idealism, where the center is the objective truth, without space for subjectivity, it is not by chance that ethical and moral concepts have lost value, said the Kantian categorical imperative: age in such a way that its conduct is a universal model, but who is this “ideal”, “rational” being?

We know that in nature there is always some asymmetry, for example, the sides of the human body.

The answer is not so difficult if we understand diversity, there is no “individual” model that is a standard for everyone, nor is there an objective way to express power, but one that induces an entire collectivity to loving solidarity, protecting the weakest and negotiation in disputes.

It took us two thousand years, if we consider the Christian model of brotherhood, to understand that the only possible model of dialogue is respect for the Other (in Chul Han’s concept, respect is symmetrical, but it cannot cancel out diversity, a perfect symmetry is not Natural).

We are so trained and conditioned to a standard model that we call it “straight”, in analogy to an ideal line, since any object in nature that is straight will have some imperfection, and so Kant’s categorical imperative is only possible in the idealistic imagination.

Society, in its various forms of “bubbles”, did not institute and develop trust, but control, a form of power for everyone to conform to the ideal model of a certain ideal group.

 

 

 

Falling, but care must be taken

04 Oct

After a legendary pandemic fall in Brazil, Saturday the curve was below 500 deaths in the last 24 hours, the deaths reaching almost 600 thousand since the beginning of the pandemic, indicate that there is still danger and the flexibility that is already happening for massive public events is worrisome.

It’s important to remember that on September 13th the moving average was 465.’ and then it went up.

We already explained last week that a “aftermath” is needed and that the proximity of the holidays and the end of the year can worry us, I remember the case of Portugal last year, which relaxed on these dates and had an increase in January, the countries that are in the beginning of flexibilization have really low rates of infection and mortality and the regions of contagion are observed.

The vaccination of the first dose already 40% (93,271,450 immunized and 147 million first doses), the vaccine delay rate in Brazil is 11%, according to the bulletin VigiVac of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Brazil.

The Bulletin points out the states with the greatest delay, Ceará with 33% and the smallest Rio Grande do Norte with 5.4%, also note the absence for the second dose, in absolute numbers, São Paulo 1.25 million, in Rio de Janeiro 956.9 thousand people did not show up for the second dose and in Bahia 907.5 thousand people, the State with the highest vaccination is São Paulo with 79.20% in the first dose when it is not the only one and the lowest is Pará with 50, 91% took a dose.

Vaccines also had delays in delivery, Coronavac 33%, AstraZeneca 15% and Pfizer with a lower rate of 1%, which is why it has been the most applied in many cases in the third dose.

Pfizer entered more than 1 million doses this Saturday at Viracopos airport and promises to deliver up to 10 million on four charter flights that will arrive in the next few days.

Flexibility should advance in reliable numbers, taking serious control measures, for example, isolation in sporting events, in shopping malls and in means of transport.

 

 

The wisdom of pure thoughts

01 Oct

Simplicist is naive thinking, while simplicity is pure thinking, pure noesis.

It is not in the capacity for theoretical elaboration, in the bookish culture that resists wisdom, it unites simplicity (which is not simplistic) and complexity in the sense of putting everything under the cloak of nature and the universe and understanding that there is original knowledge that is not simplistic, but they were elaborated in real contact with nature, so I reject the idea of naturalization.

Culturalization is what has taken over the natural and perverted it, said philosopher, writer and indigenous leader Ailton Krenak of the current pandemic crisis: “Earth is speaking to humanity: ‘silence.’ This is also the meaning of withdrawal.”

Much of Western culture is in crisis, because it has brutally seized nature and does not want to understand it and has difficulty understanding visible and clear signs, this crisis comes from before the current technological revolution, many philosophers at the beginning of the century XX pointed to her, and the silence asked by Krenak can also be what Theodor Adorno identifies as true contemplation: “The bliss of contemplation consists in disenchanted enchantment.” Theodor Adorno, I remember that this philosopher is neither mystic nor religious.

Ailton Krenak wrote “Ideas to postpone the end of the world” (Cia. da Letras, s/a), within an indigenous cosmovision, but aware that this is a planetary problem, he said in an interview with Daily Estado de Minas (03 /04/2020): “I don’t understand where there is something other than nature. Everything is nature. The cosmos is nature. All I can think of is nature”, denouncing that the way we live is artificial and not in keeping with human nature.

Interpreting the book by Davi Kapenawa, another indigenous leader, Viveiro de Castro and Danowski also see that our “cultured” and Western thinking is concentrated in the world of merchandise, and Kapenawa says: “white people dream a lot, but they only dream of themselves”, that is, with its own culture without being able to contemplate a wider world, where everyone is present.

These worldviews may seem naive, but they mean that we must always think beyond our culture, also the Christian worldview calls for this effort, and after teaching his apostles what the master himself should go through, and they still don’t understand, Jesus will make use of of a new metaphor for them to think in a purer and less culturalized way.

In chapter 10 of the Gospel of Mark, seeing that they wanted to keep the children away from him, He says (Mk 10:14-15): “Let the children come to me. Do not forbid them, because the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like them. Truly I say to you: whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God as a child will not enter it”.

The world to come, in different worldviews, even if they seem childish, shows the crisis and exhaustion of cultural thought in our time, and the exhaustion of natural means.

 

Volcanoes, between science and superstitions

28 Sep

The volcano in the Canary Islands, which has been burning for more than a week, and for the time being just increasing the volume and quantity of glowing lavas have raised questions and fears, not everything is really right, volcanologists and geologists have no forecast for the volcano to cool down and not all superstitions came only from prophecies and apocalyptics.

The possibility of a megatsunami, starting from the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean has more volcanoes and earthquakes in the so-called circle of fire (photo) than the Atlantic was studied after the Indonesia tsunami that gained notoriety, but it was Japan, which affected the Fukushima Plant the most amazing.

The warning came not from superstitious, but from British researchers in a 2001 article (Ward & Day, 2002), the article gained notoriety for directly citing the Canary Islands (see photo above), and was published in the scientific journal Yearbook of Science and Technology , carried out other studies in cases that have already happened, such as the 1st. April 1946 in the Aleutian Islands where there was a landslide similar to the one off the coast of Papua New Guinea.

Cited that the largest land displacement, which caused megatsunami, was the landslide in 1929 due to an earthquake in Newfoundland National Park, Canada, on the Burin peninsula, which reached the coast of Scotland and Holland, but only was noticed because of fragments that were deposited on the coasts of these countries.

The article carried out experiments by computer simulation, which shows that the efficiency of tsunami generation increases with the speed and volume of the landslide, and made a simulation precisely with the Cumbre Vieja volcano (fig. 3 above), on the island of La Palma (one of the Gran Canary Islands), and wrote verbatim: “continuous and recent movements of the flanks of a number of oceanic island volcanoes including Kilauea in Hawaii and Cumbre Vieja in La Palma in the Canary Islands are possibilities that these can break [the flanks] during an eruption in the not-too-distant future” (Ward & Day, 2001).

T he volume has increased since last Sunday (19/09) and one of the flanks opened, but it did not collapse and the lavas had not reached the sea until the present day yesterday.

We had other volcanoes during the year, in Italy Etna, in Russia the Ebeko volcano in the Kuril Islands and in Iceland the Fagradalsfjall, but these do not pose any danger, in the case of Iceland there was a period of interruption of air traffic in the region.

Other volcanoes in the world have manifested this year, in Africa the Nyiragongo in early June, in Indonesia the Sinabung in early March, in Guatemala the Fire Volcano, but the eruption has already ceased, there are others around the world, active volcanoes ( but not in eruption) there are more than a thousand altogether, Brazil is far from the tectonic plates that, in addition to volcanoes, cause earthquakes.

For a few hours the Cumbre Vieja Volcano stopped spouting lava, but it returned, whether the duration and volume of material will be sufficient for a tsunami depends on the intensity and duration, neither volcanologists nor geologists who follow the volcano can say with certainty.

Ward, N. and Day, Simon. Suboceanic Landslides. Steven Yearbook of Science and Technology,

Ward, N. and Day, Simon. (2001). Suboceanic Landslides. Steven Yearbook of Science and Technology, McGraw-Hill, Available in: ward&day.pdf (ucsc.edu)

 

The finality of beings and machines

23 Sep

Edgar Morin says that “we are therefore in the prehistory of finality”, using the Hegelian discourse he will say “the whole ‘itself’ becomes almost a for-itself” (Morin, 1977, p. 242), and so the machine living (to differentiate from artificial ones) from soft cells to the most complex living organisms “are almost specialized in function of quasi-programmed tasks that aim to achieve ends, and all these ends are united in the global end: to live” (idem).

It can be said then, in the author’s expression, that “this living being that self-finalizes is the product is the finished product of the reproductive act that originated it” (ibid.), and “retracing” this to the origin of life, the question remains “how is the purpose born of the non-purpose?” (MORIN, 1977, P. 243).

You will then ask what kind of “information” is capable of reproducing and controlling proteins with which they were not yet associated? The idea of ​​information, and therefore of program, and therefore of purpose, cannot be prior to the constitution of a first protocellular ring” (idem), it will conclude from there that “the idea of ​​a final process before the appearance of the life”, perhaps here we separate artificial machines from living beings, its beginning.

He will say in a categorical and essential way that “the biological, and evidently anthropo-sociological, purpose is immersed in a recurrent process of self-generation of which it is a part. It is the immersed and informational face of this generation-of-itself” (ibidem), for those who believe, I say that this is what I think is “God’s image and likeness”, being in an original vital process.

Living and artificial machines will have in common, according to the author, “purposes of the origins of life have repercussions and are reflected in the global purposes of living machines, and even of artificial machines” (MORIN, 1977, p. 243).

It will further differentiate the artificial machine from the live, quoting Paul Valéry: “Artificial means that it tends towards a defined end and, therefore, it opposes live”, for example, the purpose “of a manufacturing is to manufacture cars, whose purpose it is displacement, which serves for constructive activities of the individual’s life in society and of society in the individual” (Morin, 1977, p. 244).

So while the machine has an extrinsic purpose of life, and this purpose should have the intrinsic purpose of biological life, these “complementary purposes can become concurrent and antagonistic, as happens with the purposes of individual existence and reproduction…” (Morin , 1977, p. 245), if they become antagonistic, they can lead to the exclusion of one purpose for the other.

And so, concludes this topic Edgar Morin> “in Homo sapiens, gastronomic pleasures and erotic enjoyments become ends to the detriment of feeding and reproductive purposes; knowledge, a means of surviving in an environment, becomes, in the thinker turned thinker, to which his own existence subordinates” (MORIN, 1977, pp. 245-246).

Thus ends shift, degenerate and become uncertain, like the future of civilization.

MORIN, E. (1977). A natureza da NATUREZA. Lisboa PUBLICAÇÕES EUROPA-AMÉRICA, LDA.

 

 

 

Reification, objects and subjects

22 Sep

If on the one hand it is true that there is in the dominant idealist/enlightenment mentality a complete reification of life (the life that projects itself on the thing, res-thing), on the other hand the separation of subject and objects creates a dualism in which nature and objects that are part of life are ignored.

The so-called subject-object dualism is explained by Edgar Morin as follows: “the concept of system can only be constructed in the object/subject transaction and not in the elimination of one by the other.” (MORIN, 1977, p. 136).

Morin will explain that both “naive realism” and “naive nominalism” (antagonistic currents since the medieval period) eliminate the subject, in nominalism the ideal system is one that does not have the subject, and in realism the ideal object is the system .

But the object “whether ‘real’ or ideal, is also an object that depends on a subject” (Morin, idem), and through the systemic way “the observer, excluded from classical science, the subject, stripped and thrown into the cans of garbage of metaphysics, they return to the fulcrum of the physis” (MORIN, ibidem).

Morin observes that the observer and the physis (Nature, with N) are confined in terms of a system, and proposes a new systemic totality “is constituted by associating the observer-system and the observer-system can, from there, become a metasystem in relation to one and the other, if it is possible to find the metapoint of view, which allows the observation of the whole constituted by the observer and his observation” (MORIN, 1977, p. 137).

He explains that one can, in a maximal simplifying view, reduce both the importance of the observer and the physis, “creating a supersystem, whose theory reveals the autonomous phenomenal systems”, it is good to clarify here that it is not a question of phenomenology but of a ” suprasystem” which has the characteristic of an autonomous phenomenon, is not the eidetic reduction.

The second meaning of the metapoint of view, “the ideological, cultural and social character of the theoretical system (the theory of systems) in which the conception of a physical system is inscribed” is emphasized (idem).

We cannot escape from this elaboration of the key epistemological problem: “the systemic articulation established between the anthroposocial universe and the physical universe, via the concept of system, suggests to us that an organizational character is fundamentally common to all systems” (MORIN, 1977 , p. 137).

Although there is talk of life linked to objects, in philosophy of the reification (or reification) of life, the dualistic mentality of separation between subjects and objects crystallizes and enlivens this in everyday life.

MORIN, E. (1977) The nature of NATURE. Lisbon PUBLICATIONS EUROPA-AMERICA, LDA.

 

Order, disorder and dialogue

17 Sep

Understanding the process of complexification of nature also means understanding that it is man and that it actually means humanism forgotten in traditional idealist and positivist schemes.

Thus for Edgar Morin (2001), the paradigmatic issue goes beyond the simple understanding of the theory of science (epistemology or methodology), as it involves the questioning of the frameworks of knowledge we have (gnoseology and what we think is reality) and more Deep ontology (what is the nature of reality), these principles govern the phenomenon of what we know and cannot be separated from physical, biological and anthropo-sociological systems.

It is an open reason, not irrationalism or relativism, but based on the idea that an evolutionary, complex and dialogical knowledge can be built, in which disorder is a part.

Systems develop in a process of entropy, but it is negentropy (the denial of entropy at each stage of evolution) that makes self-organization a living and evolving system.

It defines it as a body that develops and expands, entropy, dispersion and crisis appear in the original organization, but negentropy means new self-organization and if we look at man within it, within nature and in its evolutionary aspect, it returns question of a supernatural order, because it was precisely the opposite path that denied this transcendence.

When the repudiation of naturalism won and took hold, the humanist myth of the supernatural man became the very center of anthropology (and of all other sciences) and the oppositions nature-culture, man-animal, culture-nature took shape. of paradigm.

Of course, the role of man in nature depends on the worldview, animists for example, all non-human realities also have supernatural power, others stand out a God also human as in Christianity (created in the image and likeness of God) and others an ascesis that we are at one end of the scale of evolution (complexity), the Hindu and Eastern religions.

In Christianity, last week we reflected Jesus’ question to the disciples, “Who do they say I am?” and he prepared them for death, for the “disorder” of his death, even though the disciples still understood they wanted to dispute the power, position and positions they would occupy in the ascesis, and Jesus, seeing what they said, will give them a harsh sentence (Mk 9,35): “If anyone wants to be the first, let him be the last of all and the one who serves all!”, do you understand today?.

 

What is natural and the possibility of knowing

15 Sep

The problem of knowing the world (natural and not cultural, this is what we have) must start from a premise of clearing our minds of cultural convictions, most of them idealistic, that blind us to the possibility of understanding that we do not dominate nature as proposed the Enlightenment, and worse, we run the risk of destroying it and putting civilization in check.

Quoting Edgar Morin in the epigraph of his general introduction of the book “The Nature of NATURE”, he write the second in capital letters even to deify it in the sense that it is still unknown to us, and contains mystery that affects us, as proved by the current Pandemic that still challenges us.

Edgar Morin, opening the first chapter: “The Spirit of the Valley”, quotes Karl Popper: “Personally I think there is at least one problem… that interests all thinking men: the problem of understanding the world, ourselves and our knowledge as part of the world”, so this knowledge is neither definitive nor eternal, as everything evolves and is perishable.

To introduce these convictions, he makes a second quote by Jacob Bronowski: “The concept of science is neither absolute nor eternal”, and he will make a third, which is for the next post.

He begins with 5 convictions that made him start this book and where is his “cogito” his suspension of judgment of everything he thought before, his first conviction of these problems states that he: “holds us to the present, they demand that we let go of it to consider them in depth” (Morin, 1977, pg. 13), and professes his second conviction: “the principles of knowledge hide what, henceforth, it is vital to know” (idem) thus detaches himself from his previous ideas.

His third conviction is the strongest, increasingly convinced that the relationship science Ʌ politics Ʌ ideology [Ʌ in text it´s triangle] when it is not invisible, continues to be treated in an indigent way, through the reabsorption of two of its terms in one of them that has become dominant” (idem) , gives you food for thought.

His fourth conviction is that “that the concepts we use to conceive our society — the whole society — are mutilated and lead to inevitably mutilating actions” (idem).

Finally, his fifth conviction is: “that anthroposocial science must be articulated in the science of nature, and that this articulation requires a reorganization of the structure of knowledge itself” (Idem), so the knowledge we have needs to be modified to from its bases.

He knew that his task was really encyclopedic and vast, that’s why he even isolated himself in a castle (I don’t have the precise data) because his task: “I myself needed exceptional circumstances and conditions’ to move from conviction to action, that is, to work” (idem).

And it is from there that he wrote his complex method with three initial questions: “What does the radical self of self-organization mean? • What is the organization? • What is the complexity?” (page 14).

MORIN, E. The nature of NATURE. Lisbon PUBLICATIONS EUROPA-AMERICA, LDA., 1977.

 

 

Was the old normal normal?

14 Sep

In his book “A Change Path: Coronavirus Lessons Needed”, Edgar Morin elaborates 15 lessons of the pandemic and the challenges that will come when we overcome it, and it must be said that we are still close to halfway through immunization.

He points out in his book: “Isolation was a reclusion, but also an inner liberation from timed time, the workers’ driving-work-bed rhythm, the workload of the liberal professions (…) Ending the isolation, let’s go resume the infernal race?” asks the centenary thinker.

A more sustainable world, with greater global cooperation (and fewer centralizations), harsh social isolation has shown that some of these changes are possible.

The regeneration of nature, the small respite we gave showed that nature can still recover, but with less transport, with more sustainable industries, with more solidary actions and emergency relief for the poor in vulnerable situations, with little circulation of planes and ships through the world gave some positive signs of nature.

The unpredictability of the Pandemic, the proximity of death and the halt to the force of humanity put in check old “truths” and laws that seemed solid were not, in this moment of crisis it is possible to think of a new direction, the time to “change lanes” as the sociologist wants.

In addition to a great social reform, a personal reform that takes into account all human complexity (not the man focused only on the conquest and domination of nature), the change in ethical values, and a new regenerated humanism, can be a utopia , but perhaps it is a last chance for a civilization in crisis.

Morin wrote: “Solidarity and responsibility are not only political and social, but personal imperatives. We should already understand that social reform and personal reform are inseparable. Ghandi wrote: Let’s be the change we want to see in the world”, without changing course we will arrive at the same dilemmas of modernity: injustices and tiredness.

MORIN, E. It’s time to change course – Coronavirus lessons. Bertrand of Brazil, 2020.

 

 
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