Arquivo para a ‘Calm Technology’ Categoria

Two utopias in conflict

27 Apr

There is no room for poetry, for enchantment, for contemplation, the society of efficiency and performance transforms thought in the sensual, commercial and lucrative sense, pure living within the inefficient and empty egocentrism, the Being empties itself and desperately seeks the aroma and taste where there is not only a deified nothingness.

There is no room even for deified thought, loose phrases draw sighs, “the cow does not give milk” says a good Brazilian philosopher, but what is work and does it make sense to laborans (see the previous post) to produce modified milk that arrives modified on the shelves and now very expensive.

Another asks for teachers and says that “being crazy is the only possibility of being healthy in this sick world”, but what disease is he talking about, if there weren’t healthy and serene people in whom simple people can be inspired, it is necessary to be sane in order to be able to talk about the wholesome and the praiseworthy.

There is no ethics without ethical beings, it is true that the great metanarratives have failed, but the polarization forces the new sophists to justify themselves in historically outdated and outdated narratives, none of them was able to avoid war, and which science is capable of avoiding it ?

I read a sentence by Morin, and I already posted here that the idea of peace requires a certain utopia, in an interview in 2000 with Rede Cultura (in Brazil, below), he speaks of two utopias: a negative one that promises a perfect world, in which everyone is reconciled and there is a perfect harmony, this one is impossible (and I would say a liar) and the other positive thing is to realize the most perfect world, it is not “The brave new world” by Aldous Huxley (not by chance, chatGTP chose it as one of the 10 greatest films) , she says something is impossible but it can be achieved: a world of peace and a world without hunger, are achievable.

Without freedom and fraternity, human utopia does not come true, authoritarianism is a negative utopia.

Trying to reduce inequalities, increase tolerance between different cultures, respect the rights of peoples, races and genders, what is missing, says Edgar Morin, is to increase “the state of consciousness and thought that allows realization”

He knows that there are extremely negative forces that, when helping a country that suffers from starvation, aid is diverted by bureaucracy and corruption, he explains that fraternity must come from citizens and would say that surveillance too, if we justify corruption and bureaucracy we do not help to solve problems essential to human life.

There are possible utopian solutions, as stated by Morin, who calls them positive.


What is acting in the face of contemplation

26 Apr

It was Hanna Arendt, in her analysis of the “Human Condition” (1958) who reacted to the idea of ​​“levelling the vita activa” (HAN, 2016, p. 121), the “error in believing that the primacy of contemplation is responsible for the vita activa in work” (idem) is what destroyed and hierarchized the being according to the substance.

Arendt defines her “vita activa” in three human activities that are not equal: hard work (labor), work (work) and actioness (action) that she understands as fundamental.

The first, the one consecrated by industrial society and which made man what the author calls “homo laborans” is pure activity without reflection or meditation, it is not the same as work because it is preceded by thought, not only intellectual work in which thinking is immanent, but also daily tasks like taking care of nature or cooking, for example.

Without the determination to act, man is reduced to homo laborans and Arendt is right about this, but Byung-Chul corrects her: “but Arendt, erroneously, understands contemplation as a detention (Stillegegung) of all movements and activities, as a passive tranquility, which makes any form of vita activa appear as restlessness” (HAN, 2016, p. 122).

Byung-Chul claims that Aristotle “clearly describes the vita contemplativa (bios theoretikos) as an active life”, where thinking as Theoria is, in effect, an energy – which literally means “activity at work” or “being at work” (en egô einai)” (idem) and thus Arendt’s classification makes sense, despite the error.

Thus, we leave for the final part the important connection to action (action) as part of the vita activa, which is not opposed to, but complements, the vita contemplativa, and puts Thomas Aquinas in line with Aristotle: “the external bodily movements are opposed to the repose of contemplation, which consists of being alien to external occupations. But the movement that the operations of intelligence imply makes art out of rest itself” (T. Aquinas in Han, 2016, . 122).

Thus, says Arendt, although she realizes that modern life is moving further and further away from the contemplative vita, it is not a question of abandoning Work or Action, but of pausing time, breathing and allowing space for contemplation, the taste, aroma and taste of life.

ARENDT, Hannah (2010). A condição humana (The human condition). Translation by Roberto Raposo. 11a. ed., Brazil, Rio de Janeiro: Editora Forense.

HAN, Byung-Chul (2016). O aroma do tempo. (The scent of time). Trans. Miguel Serras Pereira. Lisbon: Relógio d´Água.


From lucidity to serenity

15 Mar

If clearing (or clarity) is a property of lucidity, lucidity precedes serenity, that is, one can have lucidity without achieving serenity, something very current as a search in modernity.

Heidegger’s “Serenity”, published in 1955, but as a meditation, was made in 1949, on the occasion of the centenary of the death of Conradin Kreutzer, Heidegger’s fellow composer, both born in the city of Messkirch, but at different times.

In this booklet, Heidegger will differentiate reflective (or meditative) thinking from calculating (or machinic) thinking typical of our time, thus comparing the thinking of our time with music, “we limit ourselves to being entertained by a speech. It is not necessary to think while listening to the narration, that is, to meditate (besinnen) on something that, in its essence, on something that, in its essence, concerns each of us directly and continuously” (p. 11)

Thus “The growing absence-of-thoughts is based, therefore, on a process that corrodes the deepest core of contemporary man: “Current Man is ‘on the run’ from thought” (p. 12)

On the other hand, machinic thinking is based on technique (see that the text is from 1955), where “the thought that calculates is not a thought that meditates, it is not a thought that reflects on the meaning that reigns in everything that exists”. ” (p. 13)

Heidegger knows that one of the arguments about reflection is that “pure reflection, persistent meditation, is too ‘elevated’ for common understanding” (p. 14), he says in honoring his fellow musician, that it would be enough to think about what it meant in that time. At the moment his homeland, where Kreutzer’s extraordinary music emerged, I remember a short story by Leon Tostoi who spoke of this dynamic of feelings precisely in a short story called “Sonata a Kreutzer”.

He thus proposes to those present “what does this celebration suggest to us, if we are willing to meditate? in this case, we note that, from the soil of the homeland, a work of art grew (gedieben). (p. 15)

So no high thinking is needed, just a little break, a silence in the soul.

HEIDEGGER, M. Serenidade (Serenity). trans. Translation by Maria Madalena Andrade and Olga Santos. Lisbon: Instituto Piaget, s/d.



What’s beyond human

03 Mar

Certainly existing nature, the planets and the entire universe, when seen more by human devices: interplanetary travel and the James Webb megatelescope, more complex and challenging human intelligence.

But there is something in man in the human beyond that is in his conscience and in his feelings and affections, there is a complex divine spark, says the poet that makes him look outside for what is inside.

Imagining that this could be in a machine is just one of the aspects of control and the will to human power, whose theme we developed last week, the transhuman creates a fiction and a human fantasy that man himself would create something to overcome it, the great fantasy of the development of the resources of the current Artificial Intelligence, everything that is there the man who put it.

It is the human desire to be your own creator and who knows how to reach an earthly divinity, but contrary to what you seek, technology does not only have the purpose of destroying and also of helping, it can, by daydream, impel extra-human forces of destruction.

We were created because man has not always existed on earth, and even the hypothesis that we come from other celestial bodies, the fantasy of aliens, which may even exist, will be created by something that has an infinite consciousness and greater than ours, had to there is a celestial and ontological creative principle, with logic of being (onto).

This mystical fantasy makes sense, because any self-respecting science, philosophy, or theology will speculate about human creation, and any eschatology will wonder about our destiny.

There is a moment in Jesus’ earthly life, the historical figure is indisputable, in which he reveals himself as divine to his disciples, who are so amazed that they want to build three tents and stay there, the event called “Mount Tabor” (Photo), where they were with Jesus only three disciples.

(Mt 17,1-3): “Jesus took with him Peter, James and John, his brother, and led them to a place apart, on a high mountain. And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light. Then Moses and Elijah appeared to him, talking with Jesus.”



Artificial intelligence and planning

26 Jan

We all want ideal and perfect situations, as Margaret Boden says, obviously this is not restricted to AI, our daily lives, our travels and the future depend on this planning, simple voluntarism, or simple desire (it is fashionable to mentalize desires) do not solve any problem and most of the time cause anxiety and frustration.

In the case of computing, “planning enables the program – and/or the human user – to find out what actions have already been taken and why. The ‘why’ refers to the goal hierarchy: this action was performed to satisfy that prerequisite, to achieve such and such secondary goals” (Boden, 2020, p. 44), this in some computer program designs is called “requirements engineering”.

In the case of AI, there is both a “forward thread” and a “backward thread”, which explain and help the program to find solutions, for this there is also a hierarchy, there is also a hierarchy of tasks and the author adds that both planning as hierarchy was rejected by “roboticists” in the 1980s, and today it has been incorporated into the field.

There are several AI constraints that are not clearly exposed and that better explain what AI is, for example, “there are a lot of simplifying non-mathematical assumptions in AI that are generally not mentioned. One of them is the (tacit) hypothesis that problems can be defined without taking emotions into account” (Boden, 2020, p. 46) which is addressed in the next topic and whose subject is just initialized.

The artificial neural networks that greatly helped the development of AI are very different from semantic networks, since the latter are already developed from experience and human interaction and only after these topics is that Chapter 6 does the author ask the question about what is real Artificial Intelligence, like the key questions “Do they have egos, moral stance and free will? Would they be aware?” (Boden, 2020, p. 165), and this question we cannot escape without presenting some philosophical, theological or anthropological insight, perhaps an in-depth synthesis of the three would be more interesting.

The question in times of serious civilizing crisis is necessary a previous question: the human conscience what would it be? How do we treat it? The dictatorship of the same, the insensitive and the standardization of even thought leads us to a false impression that the machine can overtake us (the point of singularity).

BODEN, Margaret A. (2020) Inteligência Artificial: uma brevíssima introdução (Artificial Intelligence: a very brief introduction). Brazil, SP: Ed. UNESP.



Being and action

15 Jun

Being is not inactivity, because it is being that determines its action, but the pure project on action empties being, it is activism or “vita activa”, the one that Husserl, Heidegger, Hannah Arendt, and more recently Byung Chul Han question about the absence of vita contemplativa, the interior.

It is not about subjectivity, because it is precisely the separation between objective and subjective being that is the first great impulse for the emptying of being, it is not also about the social being, it is what is projected in man’s consciousness, in the intention that it directs to the object, to the external life.

The “vita activa” (life in action) was thus expressed by Hanna Arendt: “The expression vita activa, comprising all human activities and defined from the point of view of the absolute stillness of contemplation, therefore corresponds more to the Greek askholia (occupation, restlessness) with which Aristotle [defines] all activity, which the bio politikos of the Greeks. The expression vita activa is permeated and overloaded with tradition. It is as old as our tradition of political thought, but no older than it. The expression itself, which in medieval philosophy is the consecrated translation of Aristotle’s bios politikos, already occurs in Augustine where, as vita negotiosa or actuosa, it still reflects its original meaning: a life dedicated to public and political affairs” (Arendt, 2007, p.23), in this explanation by Arendt there is also a complete translation of the political animal.

What action is for Arendt, is not that of activism or voluntarism, but that which takes place “between” men, depends on intersubjectivity (the relationship of interiorities), which she says thus: “the end, the last of the elements of vita activa addressed by Arendt is action. Action is the element of interpersonality and the environment of intersubjectivity, that is, it occurs between men. Therefore, because it is developed between people, the action is observed in a prominent way from labor and work, such elements do not influence it.

So what considers the human condition of action is plurality, he says textually: “Considering that action is an activity of free men in the public sphere, it is an expression of human plurality. Its realization depends on the coexistence between different individuals. However, since action requires an interactive diversity, it particularizes men. It promotes the appearance of individualities and enables the construction of identities. Now, man will never be able to manifest his uniqueness in isolation. Nobody shows what it is in the personal sphere of intimacy. Only when he is with others can man reveal what he is” (ARENDT, 2007, p.189).

But Hannah Arendt considers modernity in crisis only from the beginning of totalitarianism and the events of the two world wars, and in our view the problem already arises in rationalist/idealist thinking.

ARENDT, Hannah. (2007) A condição Humana. (The Human Condition). 10th ed. Rio de Janeiro:  ed. Forense Universitária. .




Glade, abode and Being

09 Jun

For Heidegger, Being has abode and presence, and this is what enhances the clearing as a destination, this void of modernity is precisely the emptying of Being as Dwelling and Presence, necessary for Being to fill this void, in which Being of re-veiling or unveiling, the concept is confusing in Portuguese because to re-veal would be to veil again and to unveil would be presence.

Says the Heideggerian text: “Destiny appropriates itself as the clearing of being, which is as clearing. It is the clearing that grants the proximity of being. In this proximity, in the clearing of “Giving space”, man lives as a former assistant, without him being able to experience and assume this dwelling today” (HEIDEGGER,

The abode can be said that the house of being as language, in it the manifestation of being is consummated, ancient philosophy would say this is a return to nominalism, but the linguistic turn has overcome this, as it radiates from it and transforms itself into action, as something from thinking, because only from the act of thinking can we remove the process of doing and operating, so that is why language is “dwelling”.

In this dwelling, the ex-tactical is preserved, and in it the clearing is determined, it removes us from the abyss of our ex-sistent essence, the clearing is the “world”, and language is the advent that clears and reveals the very being. , this was contested by Peter Sloterdijk, in his answer in the book Rules for the Human Park, where he reveals the failure of the humanism project, yes, but the Humanism that Heidegger reveals in “Letters to Humanism”, which is nothing more than the of modernity.

This is easy to demonstrate since Sloterdijk considers the humanism he criticizes (of Heidegger) as a shepherd of being, that its essence and its task originate in knowing how to guard the being and corresponds to it, thus keeping its flock in the clearing, which is the open world, but which

All of Sloterdijk’s work is thus surrounded by this dilemma of modernity, occasionally evoking terms that come from theology, in his later works Spheres I, II and III: “Matrix in grêmio” that recalls the religious figure of Mary, or the In-sein In-Sein has, according to Sloterdijk, an anthropological origin, which is the experience of the fetus in the mother’s womb, without the Christian perspective, of course.

It will be a disciple of yours, Byung Chul Han, who will address more broadly the question of Being as a questioning in modernity, certainly due to its oriental origin, the reading of the clearing goes deeper into modernity: The society of fatigue, The aroma of time and The agony of Eros, unveil the drama of modernity, I look forward to something from Chul Han on the war landscape.

However, a picture of the Chul Han pandemic has already been outlined in his Palliative Society and Pain Today, we have already made a post, how much the Being moves away from pain or from what can approach it, so we created a series of palliatives, which is the distance from the clearing (my conclusion).

HAN, Byung-Chul. (2021) The palliative society: pain today. trans. Lucas Machado. Brazil, Petrópolis: Vozes.

Heidegger, M. LETTER ON HUMANISM. Transl. by Miles Groth, s/d. (PDF)

Sloterdijk, P. Regeln für den Menschenpark: Ein Antwortschreiben zu Heideggers Brief über den Humanismus. Frankfurt/M.: Suhrkamp, 1999.


The pains, the soul and the Being

14 Apr

In one of the most striking passages, at least for those who imagine a world beyond the corporeal, Byung Chul Han introduces narrative as part of the cure: “Senseless pain is possible only in a bare life emptied of meaning that no longer narrates” (Han , 2021, p. 46).

He claims and even includes [Walter] Benjamin in “Images of Thought” that speaks of unusual hands that convey the impression that it would be like “telling a story” (idem).

He also cites mothers who, with the “healing force”, sit next to the child and tell him a story, and after explaining the narrative flow with a dam for pain, he concludes: “it is the pain that first puts in [their] path”. (HAN, 20221, p. 47).

We live today in a post-narrative time, says the author, it is not the narrative but the counting that determines life, “the narrative is the capacity of the spirit to overcome the contingency of the body” (Han, 2021, p. 48), a body without a spirit is a body that ignores its own soul.

In her, “the disciplined body that has to repel many pains that come from outside, is poor in sensitivity” (page 49), a totally different intentionality characterizes it, it is not concerned with itself, but with something that comes from outside, and it is this “algophobia” that dominates us.

“This narcissistic, hypochondriacal introspection is certainly co-responsible for our hypersensitivity (to pain), he calls it the “pea-princess-syndrome” recalling an Andersen tale where the presence of a pea on the mattress of the future princess it causes so much pain that she can’t sleep at night, and it’s this kind of illness that happens to many people.

This kind of paradox of postmodernity is to feel more and more pain, with less and less, to the point that pain is not understandable, has no place in life and seems not to be part of existence and this is a form of positivity of Being. , where there is no negativity, and makes Being incomprehensible, or less meaningless.

As the author says, “if the painful pea disappears, then people begin to suffer from soft mattresses” and concludes: “It is precisely the very and persistent absence of meaning in life that hurts” (HAN, 2021, p. 51). ).

What to think, then, of the atrocious pains of war, of innocent victims, of growing political and ideological hatred, everything seems to collapse in a meaningless universe, when pain understood would return to the balance of Being, and the fullness of our existence, distant today, but possible in the near future..


HAN, Byung-Chul. (2021) A sociedade paliativa: a dor hoje (The palliative society: pain today). trans. Lucas Machado. Brazil, Petrópolis: Vozes.


Slap in the Oscar

31 Mar

I had decided not to comment on the best Oscars this year, first because I don’t consider “Attack of the Dogs” as good a movie, as, for example, Dune and Don’t Look Up, not only for the plots, but mainly for the whole work, Dune ended up taking several well-deserved awards, but none of the major ones.

Will Smith’s slap on Chris Rock stole the show, but director Jane Campion’s best-director comment, in another event about Serene and Venus Williams: “you are wonderful, however, you don’t have to compete with men like me” , also went down badly and his prize lost some of its shine.

Shortly after the slap from Will Smith he would receive the award for best actor, he is a great actor, but it would be more grandiose if he waited for this moment to say about the role he played as the father of the Williams in defense of the family and would give a much greater blow. hard on Rock for making an unfortunate comment about Will’s wife Jada Pinkett’s hair loss.

A lot of people came out in defense of Rock, the newspapers say that his show now breaks box office records, and Will exposed Jada because they now seek to know about her life and her relationships, and just like her alopecia disease, in my opinion, the moment response to Chris Rock could be the statuette moment, and in this case I won’t comment on the merits, but the role of Denzel Washington in MacBeth’s Tragedy deserves to be highlighted.

Another comment is the best actress award, I went to see excerpts after the nomination (I didn’t see the whole movie) Tammy Faye’s eyes (picture), neither the movie nor the winning actress (Jessica Chastain) impress me, I know the Academy follows some cliches: irony, a certain humor and other tics.

I went to see the popularity, just over 60% of people liked the movie, I’m not out then.

I saw Meryl Streep’s performance in Don’t Look Up, and she at least deserved the nomination, of course she’s already won others, she’s a consecrated actress (Margaret Thatcher’s spectacular role in Iron Lady, for example), but merit is indisputable and not the height of the winner matters.

Will Smith’s slap and the fail an action from the Best Director winner (with Williams sisters) drew attention to a lackluster Oscar to the academy’s taste and the slap its a error only. 


Beyond geopolitics, a world view

24 Feb

The lack of global vision, the idea of ​​a cosmovision that overcomes blindness has been addressed in several fields of philosophy, comes from the myth of the cave philosophy of Socrates and Plato, where here what men see without being in the light are just shadows of what is really the world, more modernly Heidegger expanded it to the “Weltanschauung” (a kind of worldview or worldview, but every translation is poor), a fundamental view because it stops seeing the world in a bipolar or unipolar way to see it as a everything that includes being, everything that exists beyond a particular way of seeing the world, including nature and the cosmos.

In terms of everyday life, this is fundamental both in the so-called “natural philosophy” (although it is vitiated by contemporary idealism), which includes so many fundamental values, those that already exist in international law (right to life, religious and cultural , etc.) expanding the world of mere ethics and morals to existential values, those where beyond the human condition are the rights of peoples and nations that have a certain way of being and living.

For this, a vision of the world is needed that goes beyond the limits of nationalism and the selfish desire for domination of peoples, decolonization, the limitation of the power of the superpowers and a truly effective role for the UN, which must go beyond the mere Union of Nations, in order to true unity and peace among peoples.

We quote the book The plague of Camus, when he worked clandestinely in the newspaper Combat in the fight against Nazism he wrote> “Letters to a German friend” (1945), which reads: “Letters to a German friend” (1945): there were feelings common issues such as separation or fear, but continued to put personal concerns at the forefront. Nobody had yet truly accepted the disease”, in this case not a plague, but the war, we have already posted here the relationship between them, and now we relate it to the fear that is existential.

No one else but the Ukrainian people feels this today, but Germany and the UK are already involved, the president of Ukraine has already met with Lithuania and Poland, also the Russians, USA and China and all of Europe feel it in a way, but they will say It’s not me, it’s the neighbors, that’s what Camus’ Letter warns, it’s not the neighbor, in addition to the economic sanctions that will already have an impact on the world economy, the expansion of the bipolarization of tension is already spreading little by little: the plague.

The relationship with the virus is similar, it gradually enters, one, two, dozens and then hundreds of contaminated people, until it becomes a war-cide, a general war if not in terms of war, it would be a disaster due to nuclear weapons, in existential and worldview terms, there are no limits to hate speech, a hate is a hate, a not peace.

That it is possible to see beyond conflicts, the existence and the right to life of peoples and nations, and that conflicts remain within the limit of diplomacy (in pictured UN Security Council meeting).