Arquivo para a ‘Information Science’ Categoria

Modern empires and work

01 May

The beginning of modernity marked a rupture between the practical world, objective of reason, called objective by idealism, and a sensitive world, of love, hope and balanced life, where human nature can express itself and develop, called in an incorrect way of subjectivity (which would be typical of the subject).

There were many authors who from the beginning of the 20th century began to question this division of man into vita activa and vita contemplativa, Hannah Arendt and currently Byung Chul Han are the most remembered, however the idea of ​​contemplation comes from antiquity, from Stoics and of some mystics studied in Patristics, such as Gregory of Nazianzus, (329-390) one of the masters of contemplation being cited by Chul Han.

The word work comes from tripalhium, it arises from medieval tortures that allude to removing the “guts” from the continuous effort without rest that will mark the beginning of the industrial revolution until the achievement of the limit of working hours and some minimum laws of respect for life human.

In the Middle Ages, it was in monasteries that the first crafts, cooking techniques (such as sausages made to preserve meat) were born, and also libraries and copyists who began contemplative human work (it is not subjective), such as motto among Benedictine monks: ora et labora (meditate and work).

It is good to remember that the heavy work until the emergence of monasteries was done by “free” men and that many monks had noble origins and went to the monastery to learn how to work and also to read and write because a large part of humanity at that time was illiterate, and the prevention of myopia and hyperopia must also be remembered, as glasses and lenses date back to the end of the middle ages.

After the conception of modern industry and the state, which is also the boss of state-owned companies, monopolies in socialist countries, which are no different in demanding efficiency and maximum effort, imprisoning man in the “vita activa” with no space to be and develop their full life, with space for meditation and leisure.

Already in the English industrial revolution, Gin (which is the pinga in Brazil) moved the maximum capacity of modern industrial slaves deprived of domestic life, leisure and culture.

What the post-industrial, post-modernist society will be is still unknown. For now, the empires want a monopoly on the productive forces to guarantee power over the workforce and not give freedom for full human development, full life is postponed.

The great divine gift that is life and living it in abundance will depend on great changes, empires fight to ensure that this does not happen, although they say it is for freedom.


The great empires in antiquity

30 Apr

There is always a historical and a biblical narrative, the dates coincide, but the battles do not.

One of the great empires of antiquity was Assyria, from the 7th century BC (approximately 721 BC until the 630th century BC. the beginning of its fall, they dominated a large part of Arabia, conquering the Babylonian lands, which dominated the Hebrew people and the Chaldeans, Egypt, the Medes and Elamites.

The biblical narrative focuses mainly on the period of Sargon and Sennacherib (745-661 BC) and it is from this time that the prophet Isaiah narrates the words of Sennacherib to Hezekiah: “this is what you will say to Hezekiah: Thus speaks the great king, the king from Assyria where so much Confidence comes from, the king mocks him for the alliance he had with Egypt and will also conquer that people.

In Isaiah 37, there is the following narrative about the years of suffering, followed by victory, “this year they eat stubble; next year, what is born alone; But in the third year I will plant and you will reap; you will plant vineyards and eat their fruit” and then further on he narrates a battle in which “the angel of the Lord appeared in the Assyrian camp and struck down eighty-five thousand men”, even today a very high number.

What is certain is that in the year 630 BC the Assyrians retreat from Egypt and then from Babylon, which will also dominate the Hebrew lands in Isaiah 39, initially the king of Babylon, Merodach-Baladan, sends messages and gifts to King Hezekiah, who was ill. , but then the prophet Isaiah warns King Hezekiah: “Listen to the word of the Lord of hosts! The time is approaching when everything that is in your palace, everything that your fathers have accumulated until this day, will be taken to Babylon”, and so it happened during the 50 years of the Babylonian exile.]

Who freed the Jews. It was King Darius, who ruled the Persian Empire and who was an enemy of Babylon, through the prophet Daniel, whom he venerated for his prophecies, granted the Jewish people to rebuild their temple and return to their land.

The Persian empire lasted until 330 BC and is well known in official historiography because of the “medical” wars between the Greeks and the Persians, but see that historically the Medes were a people to the east of Assyria, while the Greeks to the west and already on the European continent, it turns out that they were simultaneous in the period from 500 to 448 BC for more than 50 years.

Between wars and challenges, oracles and prophets helped the people to walk through these periods.

The possible historical lesson is that great empires fell due to their pride and oppression, the spiritual lesson is do not let your heart be intimidated, evil dies by its own evil.







Pre-occupation and pre-concepts

25 Apr

It’s not about playing with words, they have a clear meaning without the hyphen, issues that occupy our mind and become challenging, and prejudices when socially and structurally stimulated put people, individuals, ethnicities and peoples into discredit.

However, there is another meaning for those who care about mental health and social health, where it is possible to live with difference, with the Other and with the contradictory, this is spiritual health, in the sense of making the spirit resist a hostile environment.

The objective of leaving a person in discredit through prejudice cannot be confused with the intolerance and lack of love of the pre-concept present in the structure of dualistic thought: subject x object, natural x cultural, body x mind, in which resides a good part of the resistance to dialogue and openness to the different Other.

Some authors consider that prejudice as discrimination (Erving Goffman for example) is more relevant than the stereotype made about certain individuals, but these authors also understand that there are anti-dogmatic characteristics that can articulate the relationship between prejudice, stigma and discrimination (Goffman himself does this).

From the perspective that the pre-concept is interesting to man and his perception of truth (Gadamer, 1997), the way of conceiving and understanding reality regarding a given phenomenon must first go through a pre-understanding or pre- concept of this same phenomenon, that is, we hardly go to reality without any concept about it, for this we need a phenomenological epoché, says good phenomenology.

I say this before pre-occupation, because in general a large part of natural and existential phenomena pass through a prejudiced filter, in the sense of pre-understanding, and thus the knot and veil over reality is established, an attitude is needed to go forward, letting the occupation (and not its pre-establishment) acquire the right place in due time.

Hope (and for those who believe it is faith) enters this vacuum between the two stages, the pre-occupation that may be surrounded by preconceptions of reality, and the truth established by the phenomenon itself, some will think the fact, but the phenomenon or the thing in itself, is its own and the fact always depends on a narrative subject to preconception.

In short, don’t worry too soon, let the phenomenon and reality speak for itself at the exact time of your “occupation” or in ontological terms of your “presence”, your da-sein.

GADAMER, H.G. (1997) Verdade e método. Tradução Flávio Paulo Meurer. 3ª. ed. Petrópolis, Brazil (RJ): Vozes.


The return to the nations and the absence of the Whole

24 Apr

In a time of hypercommunication, social media makes one feel the absence of the Whole, which Peter Sloterdijk calls the Big: “the form of the big in the industrial world insists on the well-known megalopathic stress in expanded dimensions – but then the people on the street must worry, who previously would have supported a Minister of Foreign Affairs” (Sloterdijk, 1999, p. 61), what he did not imagine was that this would have the opposite reaction: the return of patriotism.

However, only unexpected forces realized this effect, while today’s society: “suffering bouts of nausea in the face of its political class, at the moment cannot do more than grant a pause for reflection on fundamental questions” (p. 62).

The author notices the lack of “something”, the emphasis is his, but prefers to “interpret it as the spirit of the agrarian age” and the great empires (pg. 60), and in his agnostic vision, “for her came the critical moment with the “death of God” “ (idem), again the emphasis is on the author.

Thus in the absence of an eschatological figure, in a world that rejects the idea of ​​the sacred, the divine and a human-divine God of Christians, “the form of the Great is changed, filiation pathologies of all kinds become epidemic” (pg . 66), not only in politics, but also in religion, everyone believes they have found a “great one” and heretically places him in the place of God, even in religions an imaginary god of wealth, leisure and even lust, however contradictory it may be. as it may seem.

The book from the end of the last millennium, understands the problem right but in the wrong place, under the theme of “conservative revolution” (a new highlight from the author) it is experienced “two or three generations ago in the Catholic resistance movements in central Europe and the south, probably a great intercultural career ahead – under a religious, culturalist, regionalist banner” (pg. 67).

Returns to a correct analysis: “in the Great modern – the quasi-religious state-national identities that since the 19th century have marked political forms of life in Europe and later throughout the world” (idem), remember Nazism and now in several forms of “national” wars.

The modern phenomenon of this Great One, of the great homeland whether in Israel or Russia, in China or the USA, is nothing other than the absence of a Great Greater, the divine one that leads men to break borders, to live with what is different and to understand the need for a new civilization that sees the planet as a Homeland.

For the great religious man, one may ask where God is, but the divine-historical figure of Jesus and his beyond-Abrahamic vision that surpasses that of these conflicting peoples, proclaimed a universal motto: “Whoever has seen Me has seen Him who sent Me ” (John 12:45).


Arbitrary power and socialization

17 Apr

In his book “In the swarm: a digital perspective” Byung Chul-Han clarifies that only a relationship is symmetrical (both sides have the same power or the same power) respect, if respect is lacking there is always an arbitrary exercise of power , but let’s look at other definitions.

A widely used one is that of Norberto Bobbio: “… every probability of imposing one’s will in a social relationship, even against resistance, whatever the basis of this probability (Weber, 1994, p.33), there is always the possibility of “manipulation”, use of reward, threat of punishment and other forms of asymmetry that favors force.

Generalizing the different forms of power, and contrary to Foucault (see the previous post), Lebrun says that power and domination go hand in hand, a person has power when the other is deprived of it, he puts them in the same boat: m Marx, Nietzsche, Weber , Raymond Aron, Wright Mills and others.

This conception comes from North American sociology known as “Zero Sum Theory”, a theory that dates back to Hobbes, which defined the power of the “sovereign” or the State, as being “one against all” and “in favor of all at the same time”. time”, but from top to bottom.

Thus, this power is simply applied as an obligation or prohibition to the dominated, passing through them and through them, in the same way, the dominated also use it and rely on it, but the dominated have subjectivity (in the ontological relationship it is dasein), and they produce new knowledge about power relations and also empower themselves. In this sense, it is important to relate power to potency, or capacity for action.

The concept of act and power in Thomas Aquinas is, however, more complete, because it is also related to truth, not temporal, but ontological, present in Being:

“[…]some things may be, although they are not, while others actually are. What can be (illud quod potest esse) is called potential being; what already is (illud quod iam est) is called being in act. However, being is double: the essential or substantial being of the thing, like being a man, is simply being; the other is being accidental, like the man being white; and that is being other.” (AQUINO, T, 1976, p. 39.)

Thus power is seen in another way, which is also matter and being complete, for Aquinas all are basic components of the substance, the notion of being complete is attributed both to the form that signifies the first act, the actuality, that the form possesses by itself and not by a mediator, when this first act is attributed to matter there will be an actuality, that which today is confused with virtuality (the potency or possibility of being), because in this way every being is in potency, in this way everyone can have power in order to realize its full potential.

This means that it is necessary to empower man, society and recover the disempowered, so re-education, resocialization and even those who are socialized are always possible.

Power, if exercised without arbitrariness and with the dimension of everyone, can and should serve the common good, justice and freedom.

AQUINO, T. (1976) De principiis naturae ad fratrem Sylvestrum, [ed. H.F. Dondaine]. Ed. Leon., t.XLIII, Opuscula, vol.IV. Roma [Santa Sabina]: Editori di san Tommaso.

LEBRUN, G.(1999)  O que é poder. Brazil, São Paulo: Brasiliense.

WEBER, M. (1994) Economia e Sociedade. Brazil, Brasília – DF: Editora da Universidade de Brasília, 1994.


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.


A piece in the chess of war

15 Apr

Since the fall of the monarchy in Iran, at the time Shah Reza Pahlavi, who was a traditional ally of the USA, the Islamic republic of Iran began to have hostility with the USA, which imposed sanctions because of the processing of uranium essential for nuclear bombs, making causing Iran to seek support and form alliances with Russia.

In 1st. April this year, Israel launched an attack on Syria (not assumed), killing Iranian generals, who have since promised retaliation and recently attacked Israel’s territory with drones and missiles, according to Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, Israeli military spokesman: “it will launched more than 300 threats, and 99% were intercepted”, and concluded: “this is a success”.

Shortly before the news of the launch this Saturday (13/04), Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that “the defensive systems” are working, and that the IDF (Israel Defense Force), in a reprisal that was already As expected, the bombers continued yesterday (04/14).

As there are strong connections with Hezbollah and the Houthis to the south in Yemen and Hezbollah to the north in Lebanon there is also news of attacks on Israel, both the Israeli military command, the G7 and the UN security council have already called a meeting yesterday.

Italy and Germany have already spoken out against Iran, condemning the attacks, the USA and France helped intercept the missiles (it is reported that Jordan also helped the defense), so Iran is isolated in the West.

The objective at the moment is to prevent a larger scale attack on Iran, which would trigger an escalation of war in the region, Netanyahu must attack some targeted targets in Iran.

Russia has not commented so far, but it is a traditional ally of Iran, and the drones used in the attack on Israel are the same type as those used in the war in Ukraine.

Russian attacks continue to escalate in Ukraine with the main objective of depleting the country’s energy sources, the progressive fragility of the defense of Ukraine’s military forces makes the situation in the country, and to a certain extent in the NATO countries, quite dramatic.

Peace is always possible, what ethical forces call responsibility could play a decisive role in decision-making, as the leaders involved in the conflict increasingly seem not to understand the gravity of a conflict in the midst of a civilizational crisis.

After World War II, the forces in conflict understood the need for peace, now the worsening of the crisis, paradoxical as it may be, can make leaders call for peace.


Happiness, fear and serenity

10 Apr

Among the main guests of “Fronteiras do Pensamento” is Luc Ferry, still little known in Brazil, and already with a certain exponent in Europe he also spoke about fear, one of our themes this week.

He defends a secular spirituality, which for me and other Christians is fragile, but some of his reasoning and comments are important, for example about happiness: “… it does not exist, we have moments of joy, but there is no permanent state of satisfaction… What we can hope for is serenity, something completely different. Serenity can only be achieved by overcoming fear” (interview with Fronteiras do Pensamento).

It classifies fear into three types: shyness (arises depending on the environment and society), phobia (fear of the dark, insects, being trapped in an elevator), in our view it is the only one that really encompasses itself within what the author works mainly: psychology, and the third is the fear of death (of the people we love and of our own death), in our view this necessarily refers to the finitude of life and man, it is only possible to transcend with a spirituality not secular.

He cites an important author, Hans Jonas, and his book The Principle of Responsibility, where there is a chapter called Heuristics of Fear, described as a positive and useful passion.

Through reading this author gives a positive reading: “Ecology inverts this philosophical tradition by maintaining that fear is the beginning of a new wisdom and that, thanks to fear, human beings will become aware of the dangers that exist on the planet. Fear is no longer seen as something childish, but as the first step on the path to wisdom.”

If we are not afraid of war, of an atomic catastrophe, of a desertified planet, of the hunger already present in poor people and countries, we will not have social responsibility, most of us (who do not experience these fears) imagine that they will never be affected, however it’s not like this.

He recognizes that religion also addresses this issue, but his secular spirituality states that: “except that the great philosophies are doctrines of salvation without God and without faith”, so the question remains how to overcome finitude and death, and whether the resurrection of Jesus is true?

Of course it is a question based on faith, but the men of that time saw, witnessed and gave testimony, so why not bet on faith as Pascal proposed, what would you lose with this “bet”, of course it is important to go further, but it could be a first step.

What do I gain today with this bet, is a simple answer, more peace and more conviction of the possibility of peace, of not needing to destroy to discover that we chose death and fear?

Luc Ferry – A boa vida – YouTube  


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.


Eminent danger of war and hope for peace

08 Apr

A drone attack on the Zaporizhzhia plant last week triggered an alert from Russia that promptly denounced the danger and consequences of a nuclear disaster would be dire.

It was not clear exactly what weapon was used against the nuclear plant (photo), only that they were drones and that one had been detonated on site. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which has experts on site, said only that the information was “consistent” with the entity’s observations, that is, a drone had exploded near the Plant.

International analysts still see the conflict as unlikely due to the catastrophic risk due to the possibility of using nuclear weapons, in addition to conventional combat, the use of cyber and hybrid attacks would be put into motion, initially in Eastern Europe, but with the risk of expanding to Europe and other continents.

Even though NATO holds a significant advantage in both geopolitics, Finland and Sweden joined NATO and Hungary, which sought a position of neutrality, is now strengthened with a military technology agreement made with Sweden, which facilitated its entry into NATO.

Russia, however, has military capabilities combined with economic resources and the modernization of its military apparatus, in addition to a support agreement with China and North Korea, so maintaining peace and preventing conflicts must be done through constant dialogue, but Russian diplomacy continues to play hard and says that dialogue with NATO is “zero”.

Both Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Kremlin spokesman Dimitry Peskov make statements that imply that the conflict with NATO is already underway, diplomatic strategy or pure rhetoric, the fact that tension levels are rising .

NATO responds with military exercises and troop movements on the borders, in January an exercise involved 90 thousand soldiers, new training was announced by NATO commanding general, Christopher Cavoli, the operation called Defensor Firme 24 (Steadfast Defender 24) had already been carried out in other years, but now it takes place amid an intensification of bombings against Kiev.

The hope is that the balance is fragile and both sides know this, and the risk of war would be catastrophic, even though analysts avoid saying that there would be limits on actions.