Arquivo para a ‘Calm Technology’ Categoria

Power in Foucault and Chul-Han

16 Apr

Michel Foucault broke with the classical conceptions of the term power and defined it as a network of relationships where all individuals are involved, and we understand the network here with the modern sense of network, although it was vague in his time, individuals are both generators and recipients of power. movement of these relationships, however he identifies them as biopower, while Chul-Han identifies them as psychopower, and in a way adds the media to this.

State ideology, born from Hegel, is the basis of every history of contemporary power, authoritarianism and modern wars were born from a new idea of ​​imperialism and colonialism, in which stronger states control power not only through weapons, but rather through biopower and now psychopower.

Foucault’s biopower, the state is the first level of power (he calls it a sector), the market is the second level, and the third is civil society, the idea of ​​4th. The power of the press comes from there.

He studied power not to develop a theory about it, but to identify aspects of subjectivity (in ontology it would be the question of Being), that is, subject over other subjects.

This is important to differentiate him from Chul-Han, who starts from the ontological relationships between beings and identifies the action of media and media structures that act on the psychology of power, so his idea of ​​power (What is power) is like a domination technique that stabilizes and reproduces the dominated system through programming and psychological control.

Foucault sees biopower, as in the body as a training machine, since biopolitics, in the middle of the 18th century, was focused on regulatory controls on the population, the idea being that it was the population increase that caused misery and hunger.

Peter Sloterdijk, who supervised Chul-Han’s doctoral thesis on Heidegger, argues that this “training” process failed and thus, the control process develops towards the fourth power, which Chul-Han focuses excessively on the media, forgetting the 4th. power of the press, TV and cinema that had an enormous influence.

He develops pathologies of self-centeredness (narcissism), emotional instability (borderline) as responses to the demands of a society intoxicated with demands for efficiency, appearance and disciplinary coercion, wrote the author):

“The violence of decapitation is inherent to the pre-modern society of sovereignty; its medium is blood. Modern disciplinary society is, to a large extent, a society of negativity, being governed and dominated by disciplinary coercion, that is, by ‘social orthopedics’. Its form of violence is deformation. But neither decapitation nor deformation are capable of describing the postmodern performance society. It is dominated by a violence of positivity, which confuses freedom and coercion. Its pathological manifestation is depression” (Han 2018, pp. 183-184).

HAN, Byung-Chul. (2018) Psicopolítica: o neoliberalismo e as novas técnicas de poder. Brazil, Belo Horizonte: Âyiné.


Fear, society and hope

09 Apr

Fear is not something of these days and perhaps of contemporary society, it is not, however, something transitory or even impossible to be overcome.

In different societies and thoughts they were elaborated, in ancient classical thought

It is a mistake to think that tiredness, pressure and fear are current problems, they have been present in our society for some time: competition and the demand for perfection are present in the history of humanity.

Heidegger (1889-1976) stated this way (not literal here): fear invites us

living in impropriety, we don’t attribute meaning, we let others and circumstances attribute it, we alienate ourselves from ourselves, we always live on the run, with our schedules full of distractions that occupy us.

For some, it is a more phenomenological and practical way of seeing fear, as Pascal and Kierkegaard would have a more theological fear, but there is a theological mistake “fear of God” is not necessarily a fear, but rather respect, after all the first Christian commandment is to love God above all things.

So seeing fear as a “thing”, the phenomenological sense of Heidegger and others does not suppress the theological vision, a thought limited to man will also limit his existence to this world being a limited intellect.

Kierkegaard’s work “The Concept of Anguish”, remembering that we made a post about this, has a demand for questions, many are asked in relation to the “fear of death”, which in a certain sense is a fragile theological issue, whereas Pascal’s work There is also a tendency to “take a chance on God”, when thinking about the soul.

The philosopher says: “The immortality of the soul is something that worries us so much, that touches us so deeply, that we must have lost all feeling to remain indifferent before it.”, he does not, therefore, affirm its immortality, but rather in the face of doubt.

For Heidegger, it is more than a psychological and ontic phenomenon; it has an ontological dimension, as it refers us to the totality of existence as being-in-the-world, but anguish man only exists if he can have an understanding of Being, although he does not say so, it is a reality beyond “thing”, Hannah Arendt, his disciple, will say beyond the vitta activa.

The contemplative vitta (see also Byung-Chul Han) leads us to awareness of the Being, it is a path to overcoming fear and anguish.


Polycrisis and hope

05 Apr

Rumors of confrontation between Russia and NATO have worsened in the last few hours, however, the hope for peace and the resistance of the Spirit, as portrayed by Edgar Morin, remain alive.

In addition to Morin’s polycrisis (just as poly is multiple and is also city polis, Krisis also has the meaning of decision-making power) professor Adam Tooze (Financial Times article), of history at Yale University (USA) expanded and updated: pandemics, droughts, floods, mega storms, forest fires, war in Ukraine (and now in the Gaza strip0, energy and food prices, etc.

In his reasoning, without directly pointing out the professor “discovers” the complexity and a new transdisciplinary vision of the “whole”: “A problem becomes a crisis when it challenges our ability to deal with it and, thus, threatens our identity. In a multiplicity of crises, the shocks are differentiated, but they interact in such a way that the whole is more ambiguous than the sum of its parts”, he states in the article. (in the image the painting by Tsherin Sherpa (Nepal), Lost Spirits, 2014.)

Morin said: “Linked to the domain of calculation in an increasingly technocratic world, the progress of knowledge is incapable of conceiving the complexity of reality and in particular human realities. The result is a return to dogmatism and fanaticism, and a crisis of morality while hatred and idolatries spread” (Newspaper La Repubblica, interview), however, beyond the polycrisis there are signs of hope.

While the Resistance of the Spirit invokes an understanding of the gravity and issues surrounding the current crisis, Hope (capitalized here) means this Spirit put into action and thus the achievement of a countercurrent spirituality that invokes values ​​of change.

Those who immerse themselves in this Hope in different ways, are always willing to embrace the problems that everyone runs away from, to embrace the fragments of a polarized world, and to remember what unites as opposed to what disunites and polarizes, fortunately there are these spirits and I would call them Spirits of Resistance through Hope.

Go to the World and Bring the Good News, it cannot just be a biblical key, it is Living Hope.


Non-things and subjectivity, the distorted eidos

12 Jan

Subjectivity comes from idealism that judges Being separate from things, thus only being if projected onto objects, but the Greek “eidos”, from which nascent idealism came, there was no such separation, both in Aristotle’s 4 causes: material, formal, efficient and final, as well as in the theory of Platonic ideas, which is the essence and which we have already related to the thing.

Those who think the world is immersed in eroticization are mistaken, be it the world of fantasy, that which comes from works of fiction, from children’s imagination and from looking with hope at a better future, today in an increasingly worrying present, Chul- Han writes like this:

“Without fantasy, there is only pornography. Today, the perception itself has pornographic features. It occurs as an immediate contact, even as a copulation of image and eye. The erotic occurs in the blink of an eye” (Han, 2022), that is, it is precisely its opposite, we are in the existential void, in the denial of Being and in it only pornography remains, as a degradation of Being.

Quoting Barthes, Hul-Han clarifies the part of the piece that is: “Absolute subjectivity can only be achieved in a state of silence, the effort to achieve silence (closing the eyes means making the image speak in the silence). Photography touches me when I remove it from its usual blahblablah […] not say anything, close my eyes […]” (Han, 2022) and he is quoting Roland Barthes in his work (photo): The camera lucida (or Lucid, depending on the translation).

Photography is therefore a way of perpetuating silence, the desire of many to take photos as an individual act is to remove it from everyday life and insert something that is eternal, while the public exposure that the digital universe has allowed is to return it to the “ usual blahblabla”, says the author: “The disaster of digital communication arises from the fact that we don’t have time to close our eyes” and maybe he doesn’t know but this is even physical, by not blinking our eyes we should use eye lubricants if We expose it for a lot of time on screens.

“Noise is both acoustic pollution and visual pollution. It pollutes attention” (Han, 2022) and citing Michel Serres says that this instinct is of animal origin, as dogs, tigers and other animals that urinate to demarcate land, pollute with their stench to inhibit other animals from approaching.

Allowing others to approach is not demarcating territory. Jesus’ biblical response to the initial contact of two new disciples is wise (John 1:38): “Jesus asked: “What are you looking for?” They said, “Rabbi (which means: Master), where do you live?” and he replied: “Come and see” and they went and stayed with Him, because he did not demarcate ground and did not close himself.

The logic of silence is contrary to noise, which does not just mean the pollution of an audible sound, but a complete void capable of containing and receiving the Other.

Han, Byung-Chul  (2022) Não-coisas : reviravoltas do mundo da vida , transl. of the Rafael Rodrigues Garcia. Brazil, Petrópolis, RJ: ed. Vozes.




The non-thing and the amoral world

11 Jan

For Byung Chul-Han, what is changing is the world of merchandise with the digital, he will analyze the power of the book and the ebook, the latter as a non-thing, the smartphone and other digital objects, but the world of morals as well is changing, he quotes in passing:

“A person uninterested in things, in possessions, does not submit to the “morality of things” based on work and property. She wants to play more than work; experience and enjoy more than possess. In its cultural phase, the economy also shows playful traits. Theatrics and performance are becoming increasingly meaningful. Cultural production, that is, the production of information, increasingly adapts artistic processes. Creativity becomes its motto”, using Vilém Flusser’s reasoning about the moral of the thing.

What Chul-Han calls the cultural phase should be an in-depth analysis of the period of the cultural industry, radio, cinema and television, which was nothing more than a transition from merchandise to the imagination through advertising, where the brand and not the content, so not only are the work and the product alienated, but its very essence is alienated, using a term from the medieval period, as we have already analyzed in a previous post, it loses its quiddity, its identity and singularity, as it was the cultural industry that gave everything the appearance of sameness.

Also in the final section he will analyze things of the heart, and it is good to remember that these also had their singularity in the past, today transformed into an amoral and timeless character, in the wrong sense of the word, what is eternal is essence and singular and then returns to quiddity.

The final section says, things of the heart, recalling the fox’s dialogue with The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: “The little prince asks the fox what “apprivoiser” means. To which the fox responds: “It’s something almost forgotten […]. It means becoming familiar, establishing relationships. […] For me, you are just a little boy like a hundred thousand others” and this is the loss of singularity, there it will introduce listening and the relationship with the Furthermore, these relationships cannot be developed without a moral conception.

The exposure of personal relationships, the end of private life through legal and illegal filming, the increasing exposure of even children, is increasing and amoral, there is no room for growth and respect for the morals of each age, not even old age, Rejected as moral and as an age of wisdom, it is increasingly common to expose this “good age” in a pejorative and amoral sense, without limits of respect (Chul-Han calls it symmetry in The Swarm) and a balanced morality.

Everything seen as “freedom”, but which plunges into “upheavals in the world of life”, the author’s subtitle, we are heading towards a civilizational crisis and the return depends not on things, but on a new morality of the state, of human relations and of public life.

Han, Byung-Chul  (2022) Não-coisas : reviravoltas do mundo da vida / Byung-Chul Han ; tradução de Rafael Rodrigues Garcia. Brazil, Petrópolis, RJ: ed. Vozes.



Being, the clearing and non-things

09 Jan

Studying the etymology of Glade, taking it from Heidegger’s philosophy, it comes from the German word Lichtung, where in addition to the meaning of clearing in the forest (he himself lived for a few years in the black forest of Germany), while Licht is the word for light, it will mean hidden things, or entities whose truth must come to light, thus some translators use unveiling.

The light reminds us of what the magi followed, who were followed by a star that they carried until the birth of Jesus, they were probably Persian followers of Zoroaster, a painting from Ravenna (Picture in wall of Ravenna church, 526 DC) that is very old reveals the hats they wore and the pants that were from that region.

The clearing is, in the context of modern philosophy, what is hidden within a whole, where Being must emerge, and this seems more appropriate to modernity, since the fragmentation where only the part emerges, is most often opposed to the whole. to which the entity belongs, thus the question of Being.

The being that discovers itself, Heidegger himself stated: “lets itself be seen in its being and be discovered. The true-being (truth) of the statement must be understood in the sense of being-discoverer” (Heidegger, 1986, 219).

First we see this ontological truth as Being, and no longer as logic, second we see this relationship between knowing the object and the relationship with Being itself, which in modern philosophy could be called subjectivity, but it is not because they are not separate instances, However, separated from their object materiality they can become something beyond what was conceived until recently, the philosopher Byung Chul-Han wrote an essay about non-things, the world of digital objects where the “inflation of things deceives us into believing in opposite”.

The author will refer to the contemporary world as “As information hunters, we become blind to silent, discreet things, even ordinary things, trivialities or conventionalities that lack stimulation, but that we perceive in our daily lives”, and thus we plunge into a darkness of Being as opposed to clearing.

The digital order is making the world unearthly, unsubstantial, says the author in the preface: “Today, the earthly order is being replaced by the digital order. The digital order dethings the world by computerizing it” capturing a category from Vilém Flusser states: “Non-things are currently invading our environment from all sides, and are supplanting things. These non-things are called information”, citing Flusser’s work: Dinge und Undinge – Phenomenological Sketches. Munich, 1993, it is worth remembering that Flusser lived in Brazil from 1940 to 1972.

In this logic, silence, the vita (life) contemplative (another book by the author) escapes, and Being collapses.

Han, Byung-Chul  (2022) Não-coisas : reviravoltas do mundo da vida / Byung-Chul Han ; tradução de Rafael Rodrigues Garcia. – Petrópolis, RJ : Vozes, 202

HEIDEGGER, M. Sein und Zeit. 17 ed. Tübingen, Niemeyer, 1986.


Globalism or Universalism, a new period

05 Jan

The current crisis clearly points to a civilizational crisis, Eurocentric and Enlightenment visions already showed their exhaustion in previous periods, by thinkers such as Nietzsche and Shopenhauer who sought elements in Western philosophy, but quantum physics and studies on an era called “anthropocene ” such as the transdisciplinary studies of Anna Tsing, founder of AURA (Arhus University Research on the Anthropocene) and one of the editors of the Feral Atlas ( published by Stanford University Press.

Thus, the theories of globalism and NWO (New World Order) are nothing more than conspiracy theories, although the political forces at play may also have influences from various political organizations that desire new forms of imperialism and population control.

Simply looking at an increasingly complex universe in which old Copernican and Newtonian paradigms, of great influence on Western thought, die, show a much more complex reality, such as string theory pointed out by Michio Kaku as one of the few alternatives to explain the universe as we now see it through megatelescopes.

Even Einstein’s idea of ​​understanding the mind of God is very far from what a theory of Everything and the Whole really means, where it is almost impossible not to think of a Being with an unimaginable intelligence who created everything, a simple energy or chance is simplistic Too many and even theoretical physicists such as Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking and Michio Kaku have admitted this hypothesis.

However, it is difficult to imagine a mega-intelligent consciousness in the face of such primary reasoning that involves the majority of Christian thinkers, figures such as Augustine of Hippo, Thomas Aquinas, Duns Scottus and Boethius, these last two are considered saints by Catholics, seem to be overshadowed by a fundamentalist primarism that ignores the complex universe we live in and which still reveals itself to be incomprehensible within human limits.

For serious religious people, it would be enough to examine the visit of the wise (see youtube) men (people from other beliefs and cultures) who came to worship the newborn in Bethlehem to become aware that God is universal and is not limited to human dictates and customs, but there is a lot of false prophecy.

The limit of a true Christianity should be as Augustine of Hippo said: “the limit of Love is to love without limits”, this should be essential to a true God of Love.

The 3 Wise kings – Documentary Discovery Civilization l Dublado l – YouTube



From information to narration

02 Jan

The title is purposefully the opposite of the first chapter of Byung Chul Han’s book on the crisis of narration, although he quotes Walter Benjamin who cites the experience of narration in a period before the internet, but the Korean-German philosopher does not clearly see this previous crisis the internet, and thus he himself falls into what he condemns, the absence of analysis in time.

If it is true that the Internet and its tool for making information available to laypeople, which is the Web (born in the 90s, more than 20 years after the internet) not only created a profusion of means of disseminating information and its narratives, but also created the possibility of its profusion in audio and video, which gives rise to a new possibility of recorded narration for podcasts and videos.

Of course, this does not mean that that primitive narrative prior to writing and the press, typical of primary orality, has returned, it exists in original cultures and also in some Western cultures and beliefs, for example, among the Kurds there are the “çîrokbê” who, if it were Literally translated, it would be what we understand in Western culture as “history”.

Byung Chul Han’s sentence about the digital universe is clear: “Digitalization deobjectifies and disembodies the world. It also eliminates memories” (Han, 2022) this is partly true, but digital media itself, once recorded, becomes a thing, and once a narration is made, just for example, by Kurdish narrators, the information (in the sense of Chul Han) returns to narration, that is, the reverse process is possible.

Its error, from a philosophical point of view, is an old question about what things are (or what they are), the relationship between subject and object is the result of Western dualism since Parmenides, and only a non-dual vision can understand that the A thing is also not a thing in itself, once narrated.

Thus, information will always be paradoxical, it is narrated when it is and not narrated after it has become narrated-information and is subject to historical distance, but if seen from the point of view of quantum physics it is even more complex, because there are both things, from which the question arises from some physicists that time does not exist, difficult for today’s culture.

This question of time arose in 2012 in a TedTalk by the Italian Carlo Roveli: “Time Doesn’t Exist and I’ll Tell You That in 15 Minutes”, but has gained popularity now because the James Webb mega-telescope proposes several new paradigms when looking deeper into the universe, We are at the end of the Copernican era, the center of our galaxy is a black hole and they have already started to say what they are, dark matter and dark energy are also beginning to be revealed.

The theoretical physicist Michio Kaku gives the history of this idea, “In The God Equation” (ed. Record, 224 pp, trans.: Alexandre Cherman), and there he gives a written account of today’s physics.

Han, Byung-Chul (2022). Não-coisas : reviravoltas do mundo da vida / Byung-Chul Han ; tradução de Rafael Rodrigues Garcia. – Petrópolis, RJ : Vozes, Brazil.


Inform, symbol and connect

15 Nov

What was missing in the text of Crisis of Narration, there is also something wrong in “Infocracy: digitalization and the crisis of democracy in philosophy” (2022) of Byung-Chul, the idea that information is in itself incomplete, is present in another book entitled Vita Contemplativa (ed. Vozes, 2023) because there, returning to being, one can find how form becomes narration within being, and becomes in-form.

An excerpt from this book says: “The loss of shared feeling accentuates the lack of being. The community is a symbolically mediated totality. The symbolic narrative void leads to the fragmentation and erosion of society.” (HAN, 2023, p. 91-92). (emphasis added)

Thus recognizing this aspect of the need for being as a symbolic void, which the contemporary narrative in general does not contemplate due to its informational vices, at the same time the author states: “The human being, as a symbolon, longs for a sacred and restorative totality” (page 92).

The term symbolon appears prominently because the author uses it based on a reading of Plato’s Banquet, where Aristophanes remembers that this broken piece of being, which for him was initially spherical and was broken, has this broken piece with a “symbol”.

Now if symbol is a part, united to another part we form a totality, not just in a community, but in every “sacred and restorative totality”, where there are men united for a good and just cause.

Narrative and information in this context, where the part is united, as an important principle defended by Edgar Morin said: “It is necessary to replace a thought that isolates and separates with a thought that unites and distinguishes”, thus the union of distinct “symbols” and that are part of contemporary cultures and peoples.

Thus, the ontological information (proper to being) linked to the context of the narration in its time and the object of thoughts within a diversity, are not a reason for fragmentation but rather for a universe that unites us and makes us more “whole” within our lives. communities.

Contemporary hyperactivity, which not only but also the digital world can lead us to, is itself a world that rejects internalization, meditation and thus, narration itself.

The author writes about this interiority: “Active life, with its pathos of action, blocks access to religion” (page 154), action is part of religious life as much as lay life, what differentiates is that in addition to prudence, our reflections from last week, can lead to a different, fair action that leads to happiness and fulfillment different from pure “action”.

Pathos, to clarify, is part of the Greek triad “ethos, pathos and logos”, while ethos persuades us through character, or by whoever narrates, if this is worthy of faith, logos persuades us through logical (broad) reason and pathos by feelings caused by sadness or joy, love or hate, and so often without going through reason and ethics.

HAN, Byung-Chul. (2023) Vita Contemplativa or about inactivity. Trans. Lucas Machado. Brazil, Petrópolis: Vozes.



The return of evil

19 Sep

Even if due to naivety or social context, from time to time demons, existing or not, come back to haunt us, there is a truth between reality and fiction: it exists, if not in the imaginary (as some think) also as a real entity.

Horror films, almost all mere fiction, exist, and their audience is not small, as in the case of “The Exorcist” (1973) and “A Nightmare on Elm Street” (1980), two classics of the genre, but there are films that can stand out as works of art: “Nosferatu” (1922 and remake 2018) and “Get Out!” by director and screenwriter Jordan Peele, who competed for the Oscar for best film in 2018.

In the work directed by F. W. Murnau (1922) there is something of German expressionism, with techniques of using shadows, treated more as a madness around the unknown, also remember that we are in between the wars when Germany and Russia sign the Treaty of Ropallo, trying to form a counterweight in the global geopolitics of the time, an agreement that would last until Hitler.

There are certainly other films, however, they are now reappearing with a more strongly religious tone and color: “The Pope’s Exorcist” (Julius Avery, released this year) which talks about events that happened to Father Gabriele Amorth, who was officially an exorcist from Rome recognized by the Church Catholic, in the film directed by Russell Crowe (Guys – Nice Guys, War Promises – The Water Diviner), the other demon film is Nefarious (Chuck Konzelman and Cary Solomon, based on the 2016 novel by Steve Deace: A Nefarious plot) .

While Nefarious is another fiction about the existence and tricks of the Devil, with some Christian contours, The Pope’s Exorcist is based on real events narrated by Father Gabriele himself, who performed more than 60 thousand exorcisms and certainly some notable ones were selected, among From the conversations that are narrated there, I quote the most important one, in which during a possession he says that the devil can only do what God has allowed, his power is limited.

I don’t like the genre, but I had more patience with “The Pope’s Exorcist” out of curiosity and an attempt to understand the problem, but situated in a context of confusing social issues and the danger of an even bloodier war than those currently underway, but Without Manichaeism, the power of evil is not greater than that of good, and its effects are not comparable.

Evil has a real existence due to the absence of good, so thought Augustine of Hippo, who was a Manichaean in his youth.