Arquivo para a ‘Information Science’ Categoria

Painless society and the midnight library

19 Jul

Byung-Chul Han wrote the Palliative Society, not only about the Pandemic, but also and above all about the search for a world without pain, we are even capable of suffering and great efforts due to narcissism and personal aesthetics, what Peter Sloterdijk called of “the exercise society”, but a despiritualized asceticism.

The novel by English writer Matt Haig: The Midnight Library, tells of a 35-year-old woman full of talents and few achievements, regretting her bad choices in life, she wonders if she could have lived differently, after losing her job and his cat is run over, he decides to take his own life, in the stage between life and death he finds the Midnight Library (picture illustration brazilian cover), with the possibilities of lives he could have lived.

With the help of an old friend, she decides to move to Australia and renew old relationships, discovering that it is possible to review life and undo something that we regret, to have hope.

Among Nora’s initial dramas, I highlight the part where she says: “I get a headache looking at… cell phones”, it’s not just her, it’s a lot of people, this takes away the capacity for reflection and silence that Byung-Chul Han claims, the one that can make us reflect on life and our actions.

Palliative society, according to Byung-Chul Han, has nothing to do with palliative medicine, explains the Korean-German philosopher: “Thus, every critique of society has to carry out a hermeneutics of pain. If pain is left solely to the burden of medicine, we miss its character as a sign” (Han, 2011).

It reminds me of a saying by Ernest Jünger: “Tell me your relationship with pain, and I will tell you who you are!”, so every social or social suffering must precede and precede moments of reflection, or as Byung-Chul likes it, a “Contemplative Life ” another essay by the author.

“The survival society completely loses the meaning of the good life. Enjoyment is also sacrificed to health elevated to an end in itself” (Han, 2021, p. 34), that is, the very absence of a “hermeneutic” of pain can lead to the end of the meaning of life.

It also clarifies Agamben’s meaning of homo sacer and via nude: “Without resistance we subject ourselves to the state of exception that reduces life to bare life” (Han, 2021, p. 34).

Anguish, loneliness and depression do not only have social causes, but what we feed our souls on, in the biblical passage that the prophet Isaiah goes to visit Ezekiel who is stricken with a deadly disease (Is 1,1-6) after the supplications of Hezekah through the word of Isaiah God frees him not only from the disease, giving him another 15 years of life, but also “I will free you from the hands of King Assyria, together with this city, which I place under my protection” ( Is 1:6).

Of course, the social solution is not magical, but we face it better if our pain is understood.


Haig, M. (2020) A Biblioteca da meia-noite (The midnight library). Translation: Adriana Fidalgo, Brazil, RJ: Editora Record, 2020.

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


Fatigue and true rest

18 Jul

Giving a psychological and sociological picture of contemporary society Byung-Chul Han describes her as having “Neural diseases such as depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), borderline personality disorder (BPD) or Burnout Syndrome (SB) determine the pathological landscape of the beginning of the 21st century (HAN, 2017, p. 7).

Using a concept from his PhD advisor (he did his thesis on Heidegger) Peter Sloterdijk, his analysis extends to what he calls “the object of immunological defense is strangeness as such” (p. 8), the book was written before the pandemic ( also wrote about it in the Palliative Society, the one that rejects pain) and the concept of immunology here is one that states that the last century was a time in which a “clear division was established between inside and outside… the Cold War I followed the immunological regimen.”

Thus the book will explore the mystical concepts of Saint Gregory of Nazianzen, master of the contemplative life (of which Han also wrote a book), explores fundamental aspects of the inner life that combats the serious problems of the Active Life, which pushes us towards efficiency and tiredness under the pressure of demands and the cultural war that has taken place.

The immunological paradigm says “it is not in line with the process of globalization… also hybridization, which dominates not only the theoretical-cultural discourse, but also the feeling we have in today’s life, is diametrically contrary precisely to immunization” (p. 11).

His concept of resistance goes in the direction of Edgar Morin’s “resistance of the spirit”, but in our view it reaches the heart of the matter: “the dialectic of negativity is the fundamental feature of immunity” (p. 11), where the discourse of “engagement” is actually the void, as it is absent of true alternatives, as current immunology is one that accuses the Other, we remember here the distance from the pandemic (after the book as we said), a good “metaphor”.

Baudrillard quotes, speaking of the “obesity of all current systems”, in a time of overabundance, “the problem turns more to the rejection and expulsion” (pg. 15) of the Other.

His accurate elaboration on page 27 is that current “disciplinary systems” (or pseudo-ethical) seek the logic of production “what causes depression and exhaustion is not just the imperative to obey only oneself, but the pressure of performance” (p. 27).

Thus, meditating and completing is not distancing oneself from reality, but the possibility of looking at it with different eyes, seeking a true human and spiritual asceticism, where we can truly find rest and peace (despite and against daily wars and wars) because in truth is only possible through it.

I remember the biblical passage that says “come to me, all you who are tired” (Mt 11,28) and in a reinterpretation for today, in addition to seeking the divine, it is also about finding true interiority, which should not be disconnected from the vita activa, under penalty of tiredness.

Han, Byung-Chul. (2017) A Sociedade do Cansaço (Burnout Society), trans. Enio Paulo Giachini, 2nd. ed. Ampliada, Brazil, RJ: Petrópolis, Vozes.


Wisdom and simplicity

17 Jul

Among the various contemporary narratives, one of the most absurd is the praise of ignorance as if it were an ally of simplicity and humility, from the “cultural” to the religious world this is transformed into narratives: he did not attend college, he did not read a book, did not walk among wise men, etc. Do not confuse this with the ability to live simply and among simple people.

It’s not a sign of the times, it’s not “generational”, it’s just a lack of interest in true asceticism, in an inner and outer growth that gives your human nature that something more that is the only thing capable of removing depression, anguish, anxieties and other illnesses. current.

The wise man is an observer, and observes not only the everyday scenes, those that different types of people live in, especially the simplest ones, but also the one who searches in the history of humanity for those peaks of civilizational moments that made us more people, more human. and more supportively, there are many examples, authors and people who gave us this.

We posted yesterday about fresh water and hot food, but in several regions this has interesting contours and cultural aspects, for example, in many countries there is no breakfast, an African told me, in Portugal there is breakfast which is a breakfast. simple morning, and in Brazil what is called breakfast is actually a small lunch.

What to read beyond is of course your personal belief, read the Bible, the Quran, the Vedas or what is sacred or culturally read in a certain culture, the red book in China for example, the second most read book in Brazil is The little prince, although Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist is 5th. in the world, but Iliad and Odyssey are still little read, King Lear and Othello by William Shakespeare are increasingly less known.

Of course, wisdom does not mean literary culture, but far from it it also becomes narrative in the sense that it ignores cultural history, the modern model of the novel is present throughout Western culture, and Honoré de Balzac and Gustave Flaubert are representatives for different tastes, but even for social criticism they should be read.

Someone can launch the philosophical argument, it is an entire Eurocentric culture, true, but it has been incorporated into everyday thoughts, nationalism through national colors is all over the world, freedom of expression, as the romantic Victor Hugo (Les Misarables (photo), in my opinion, the best of romantics said: “Not even a rule, nor models” is also an expression of individualism and personal heroism, but historical.

We made several posts about being, interiority and the complement of Contemplative Life with Active Life (Hannah Arendt and Byung-Chul Han in particular), about the methodology of the hermeneutic circle where we must listen to the text (and also the dialogues) for fusion of horizons and also the disaster of our Western culture and the need for resistance of the spirit.


Insecurity in Europe and attack in the USA

15 Jul

NATO decided to place American missiles in Germany, the Tomahawk ballistic missiles, which can hit targets up to 2,500 km away and carry nuclear ammunition, there are also hypersonic weapons in development, which increase European firepower, Russia already has weapons of this type and which are already spread out in strategic locations.

The Russian reaction came through Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov “Europe is in the crosshairs of our missiles, our country is in the crosshairs of American missiles in Europe. We have already experienced this. We have enough capacity to contain these missiles, but the potential victims are the capitals of these European countries”, which would be the trigger for a 3G.

The fighting continues hard, a secret document reveals that the death toll is already immense in the war and Russia would have 750,000 soldiers killed or injured, the number in Ukraine, although unknown, must be close to this figure, and neighboring countries Poland, Latvia and Lithuania and the Scandinavians threaten to send troops if Ukraine becomes more fragile.

Former president and presidential candidate Donald Trump was attacked when he was holding a campaign rally in Pennsylvania, several shots were fired, killing one person and injuring another, Trump was hit in the ear and removed from the scene by his security guards, the shooter was killed and the FBI investigates the motivations, the first is clearly political.

Although the scenario is frightening and there is no shortage of warmongering spirits, at this moment there is a civilizing crisis installed because from the center of power to ordinary citizens there is an animosity that does not perceive the danger of intolerance, violence like this not only awakens more authoritarian spirits but also strengthens them, and should not receive applause from anyone.

The good news comes from Iran where the moderate Masoud Pezeshkian, President-elect of Iran claims to be willing to hold ‘constructive dialogue’ with the European Union, the announcement was made in an English-language newspaper bringing great hope.


Time of conflict and clearing

12 Jul

If we are in inappropriate times for thought and intelligence, which is why artificial intelligence scares so much, it is inappropriate times for human and moral values, this will be a time of clearing too, as it will require that many consciences and men will be able to awaken and see and launch to open the clearing.

For this, a metanoia is necessary in philosophical, political, everyday and even religious thinking, remember that the true oracles and prophets were killed and ignored precisely even by intelligent and “religious” people.

The threshold of an unlimited civilizing and humanitarian crisis is close, but if we look at everyday culture, we talked about this from the very Brazilian Ariano Suassuna to the Englishman Anthony Daniels (using the pseudonym Theodore Dalrymple – Our Culture, What’s Left of It – 2005) in previous posts, also politics and thought it seems polarized between two extremes that in many values ​​are confused, and one of them is war and the desire for power.

Even those who invoke peace hide interests of power, of greed for greater wealth and oppression of those they believe to protect, it is a sad scenario of little light and where men of good will who future they desire, they must have a spirit of resistance.

Looking at the etymology of the word clearing in Heidegger’s philosophy, it comes from the German word Lichtung, whose meaning, in addition to clearing in the forest (he himself lived for some years in the black forest of Germany), its root Licht is the word for light, which will mean hidden things, or entities whose truth must come to light, as some translators use as unveiling.

What a propitious time this is, and why we are approaching it, because whenever the prophetic words of thinkers and mystics who ask for a change of course in humanity have not been heard, this time of darkness approaches followed by a great clearing.

In the biblical metaphor, the clearing is the light of the good news (gospel), but the master warns “behold, I send you (Mt 10:16) “Behold, I send you as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore, be wise as serpents and simple as doves.”

This was the case at the time of the Punic wars, of little Greece fighting against the strong Persian empire and also at the time when the apostles of Jesus were sent two by two on a mission to open the clearings and minds of humanity to a more fraternal civilization and not It was a war against his empire, but his mentality.


Evil and compassion

11 Jul

Hannah Arendt, in her work The Origin of Totalitarianism (original 1951) criticized Kant’s theory that defended evil as the search for satisfaction through self-love, and argued that evil exists for different reasons, such as greed, greed, resentment, desire for power and cowardice.

Byung-Chul Han’s genius analyzes Heidegger’s work from the heart and affective modality, but it is not something totally original, Kant confesses in his book “Conflict of the Faculties” that “because of his flat and narrow chest, which leaves little space for the movement of the heart and lungs, I have a natural predisposition to hypochondria, which in previous years bordered on the boredom of life (Han, 2023, p. 8) and hence in Kant a “yearning expands the heart, it defines him and exhausts his strength” (Han, 2023, p. 9).

Han uses the metaphor of Heidegger’s seamstress (Näherin) who “works in proximity” and is also a circumciser of the heart” (pg 10) and there “the heart of being-there” beats in the transcendental horizon, just as Han explains, in the late Heidegger that “contrition penetrates more deeply” and being-there separates itself from the being of there: dasein (p. 11).

Analyzing the affective tones of the heart and its close connection with being-there is more than discovering the interiority and transcendence of philosophical discourse, it is “Heidegger’s heart, on the other hand [confronted with Derridá], listens to a single voice , follows the tonality and gravity of the “one, the only one that unifies”, for him it is an “ear of his heart” but there is something strong spiritual in this, more than feeling or emotion.

The resistance of the spirit, in our times, Han says that Heidegger’s speech is quite temporal in the sense of the context of the second world war, it is the speech of peace, of announcing fraternity, of overcoming hatred and differences (it will recover the “Il y a” by Lévinas, and also Derrida’s concept of différance), to go beyond conflict and Hegelian dialectics.

It is necessary to circumcise the heart, this is the origin of the Jewish term, in the reading of Deuteronomy (10:16) cited in the epigraph by Han: “Circumcise therefore your spiritual heart; removing all carnal obstructions, and stop being insubmissive and stubborn!”.

Han, B.C. (2023) Coração de Heidegger: sobre o conceito de tonalidade afetiva em Martin Heidegger (Heart of Heidegger). Trans. Rafael Rodrigues Garcia, Milton Camargo Mota. Brazil: Petrópolis: Vozes.


Resistance of the spirit and pacifism

09 Jul

What Edgar Morin defines as resistance of the spirit, he is 103 years old yesterday, is beyond thought and political force, what is spirit for European philosophy is mediated by the idea we formulate about the world, and spirit here has to be beyond current everyday thinking.

Human beings are capable of thinking about peace in their relationships, cultivating their interiority, an exhaustive theme in Byung-Chul Han’s ontology, and delving deeper into values ​​such as: humility, fragility and the need we have for each other, we do not live isolated.

Finally, having a true otherness, the fear of otherness is when there is difference and we “put ourselves on the defensive”, for example what is called preventive wars, guarantees of sovereignty over other peoples or other cultures, this generally starts wars and does not prevent them as intended.

The main reason, say many authors, one that is not questionable for denouncing “the open veins of Latin America” is Eduardo Galeano, who said that the big reason is the theft and the jokes of the people to be dominated, today in addition to this they are also clashing empires.

The spirit of resistance and pacifism is historically not an easy or “neutral” position, it is to avoid the humanitarian catastrophe that characterizes all wars, on a global scale this means an unprecedented civilizational crisis, since the military power today is immense .

It takes a very high, truly altruistic and missionary spirit, since current wars easily find allies, even among the simple population, both polarization and the use of the media to promote almost all biased narratives, are what give substance to the warlike thinking and spread throughout the social fabric.

Congratulations to the long-lived Edgar Morin, his resistance is visible due to his age, the lucidity he still maintains and may his words echo and civilization finds a path of resistance.



Unveil and future

05 Jul

A large part of the future perspectives that are not within the scope of civilizational advancement, in addition to including wars and hostilities, rely on revelations, whose etymology of the word comes from re-veiling, which means taking off the veil and replacing another, thus as a rule are obscure.

It is not only on the religious level, but also in philosophy, where the last great oracle and prophet was John the Baptist, after all he was the one who announced the greatest of all prophecies: the birth of Jesus, it does not mean, of course, that in this field there is no no matter what is new, God is always new and creative.

The word unveil in philosophy comes from the search for truth, Heidegger and other philosophers take it from a-letheia (a is not and lethe – forget), to modify the concept of what is true in Being and Time (written in 1927), states in paragraph 44 which understands unveiling as an event that removes entities from the veil.

A prior understanding that frees man’s orientation towards objects (the question of subjectivity x objectivity) favors interpretation (Auslegung), that is, the articulation with what was previously understood, and thus remakes it from the perspective of new horizons.

Discourse, in the correct sense of the narration, is later and consists of a basic activity of what is human, connecting and living with others, it gives man a common understanding and in addition to speech and shared opinions, it creates a fusion of horizons , a narration.

We have already posted here the issue of the Narration Crisis, especially the book by Byung-Chul Han, so the man projected onto objects and actions creates narratives and is unable to clearly reveal reality, it is necessary, using a metaphor, to change the glasses.

So if there are true revelations, they are hidden from today’s futurologists, they reveal much more an anguish about the future than an unveiling of the future.

In the biblical passage that Jesus has difficulty revealing himself to his contemporaries (Mk 6,4), he encounters difficulties even among those closest to him and family members, so to speak, the religious people closest to him in his time and something similar occurs today.

Heidegger, M. (2021) Being and Time. Transl. John MacQuarrie, Edward S. Robingon, UK: Must Have Books.


The liquid visionaries

03 Jul

Analyzing Dilthey’s “romantic” vision of history, Hans-Georg Gadamer first emphasizes his rightness that “what we call the meaning of life is constituted, many times before any scientific objectification, within a natural vision of life about itself ” (GADAMER, 2006, p. 31).

However, he will criticize Dilthey, that “every expression of life implies a knowledge that forms it from within”, and returning to the analysis from Hegel, he questions his vision of an objective spirit, if the “ethical environment in which he lives and the which he shares with others constitutes something “solid” that allows him to orient himself despite the somewhat vague contingencies of his subjective élans” (Gadamer, 2006, p. 32), the emphasis on the solid was made by the author.

The author remembers Dilthey’s “Investigating solid forms” (one of the themes of the Collection of Writings), which implies that both contemplation and reflection “always imply practical experience”, then contests Gadamer: “in Dilthey’s eyes, the objectivity of scientific knowledge, no less than the meditative reflection of philosophy, is an unfolding of the natural tendencies of life” (GADAMER, 2006, pp. 32).

In the same collection, recalls Gadamer, Dilthey said that “our task… will be to explain how the relative values ​​of an era can acquire a somehow absolute dimension” and despite being a concern with the absolute, the path between relativism and totality is quite another, since Dilthey’s “being consciously a conditioned being” is not an explicit critique of idealism.

All this philosophy, says Gadamer, starts from a certain intellectualism, I would say, from a “liquid” visionary and points to an “intellectualist motivation of the objection to relativism, an intellectualism incompatible not only with the ultimate implication of his philosophy of life, but also with the starting point chosen by him, that is, the immanence of knowledge in life itself” (GADAMER, 2006, p. 36).

It clarifies Dilthey’s point of view “which demands that his philosophy extends to all domains in which “consciousness, through a reflective and doubtful attitude, finds itself freed from the dominance of authoritarian dogmas and aspires to true knowledge” ‘ (Gadamer, 2006, p. 34) quoting Dilthey himself in quotation marks, from his Collection of Writings.

The questions of the spirit in Hegelian philosophy always remained in the vague concept of the absolute, and never understood the question of contemplation, of a knowledge beyond, its transcendence is that which goes from the subject to the object without any divine or superior plan.

This was Thomas’ dilemma in carrying out the experience, although he lived with Jesus after his death, he was unable to maintain his conviction and needed to touch the master’s wounds.

GADAMER, H-G. The problem of historical consciousness. Trans. Paulo Cesar Duque Estrada. RJ: Rio de Janeiro: FGV, 2006.


Courage and Being

02 Jul

The imprudent is not courageous, in ancient times Plato and Aristotle defined it in a similar way, for Plato courage “knows what not to fear” while for Aristotle it is the moral virtue that lies in the middle ground between cowardice and recklessness.

However, when courage becomes cowardice, it is certainly not when one is prudent and knows the dangers that surround a certain attitude, but if it is a virtue it cannot be far from the truth, so it means that it cannot renounce the truth, under penalty of renouncing the your Being.

But truth is not a vision of data, facts or a position in the face of reality, philosophy and modern physics include a third hypothesis between Being and non-Being, and thus the Aristotelian “middle term” is possible without it being the capitulation of truth.

The theme of anguish and fear, which occurs when there is a threat to one’s existence, often leading people to remain in the dispersion of concern, in Heidegger, this dispersion, which is the way of existing for most people, can only be overcome through an “anticipatory decision” that leads Dasein to accept within it only what is finite, moral or immediate.

Other authors, such as Kierkegaard, who criticized those who had thought of a solution to this concern in a God “imagined” by reason, and in this sense he is correct since it is not deposited in faith, criticize those who had thought of a transcendence of the “God above of God”, which would be a kind of courage of the Being, and this would be the power of being with roots in transcendence, they are right because, not being something divine, “trust in God” transforms into a power located beyond, and thus becomes the confidence in yourself.

There is something in human existence that is a kind of ultimate fear: death, there are those who seek the source of eternal youth, the prolongation of life, but human finitude is something that causes a fatal fear, and in the face of death, very few are those that do not invoke the divine presence, the presence of the mother or some other divine resource.

The Korean-German philosopher Byung-Chul Han clarifies this well: “The modern loss of faith, which concerns not only God and the hereafter, but reality itself, makes human life radically transitory” because living well in each present moment is be in eternity.

Not everyone believes because they need to see the eternal, but Thomas, who lived with Jesus, needed to touch him when he was resurrected to believe that there is the eternal, there is the infinite beyond the human, the Being-there that we are.