Arquivo para August, 2018

Between purity and brotherhood

31 Aug
Most everyday religious thinking is that we are immersed in a culture of impurity, of things that are not healthy, this led to what Peter Sloterdijk calls immunology, the idea that we should separate ourselves from everything that is “impure.”
But this concept can be extended to ethnicities, xenophobic cultures, endogeny, worship to a specific form of gender, among many others, also religious.
Perhaps the greatest impurity of our time, is precisely to consider the Other impure, or unworthy, or inferior or any form of exclusion, which is nothing more than refusing to leave our “sphere”, our security, a fundamental part of this reasoning is the distrust.
The fact that someone thinks differently should not be a reason, to consider the Other’s thought and way of life as something dangerous or even harmful to our “culture”, is something new, curious that we should be interested in and try to understand its way of to live, which is their “sphere.”
In biblical terms, this was what Evangelist Mark wrote in Chapter 7, 14-23, in showing the Master’s vision of what makes men impure indeed: “Listen, all of you, and understand: what makes a man unclean it is what comes into it from without, but what comes out from within. For it is from within the human heart that evil intentions, immorality, robberies, murders, adulteries, outbursts of ambition, malice, fraud, debauchery, envy, slander, pride, lack of judgment come out. All these evil things come out from within, and it is they that make man unclean. ”
It is easy to understand how much of the “spherical” reasoning is present in various protection rings, it is the virtual walls that we erect around us and seem to provide security.

The human zoo and antropotécnica

30 Aug

At a conference held on July 17, 1999, dedicated to Heidegger and Lévinas, at the castle of Elmau in Bavaria, the philosopher Peter Sloterdijk addressed controversial issues such as genetic manipulation and launched the idea of ​​an “anthropotech”, provoking strong reactions in Germany and also in Brazil in the space Mais+ of the Folha de São Paulo daily “The new zoo of the man” was cover featured on October 10, 1999.

The philosopher’s ideas had already been presented in a Swiss city of Basel, but now the reaction was the relationship of humanism with the media, a more mediatic interpretation of humanism, which provoked the reaction of the philosopher Habermas and a columnist of the prestigious magazine German Der Spiegel, where a controversy began with the writer Thomas Assheuer who indicated that Sloterdijk “propagates prenatal selection and optional birth: genetic technique as an applied social critic .. traces of fascist rhetoric” was published in the prestigious journal.

On 9 September of the same year Sloterdijk published in Die Zeit, two open letters one addressed to Assheuer and another to Mohr, who attacked him as well, but stating that the mentor of these attacks was Jürgen Habermas, and even more provocatively entitled his article of “Die Kritische Theorie ist tot”, translating The critical theory is dead. The controversy grew and the articles by Manfred Frank and Ernst Tungendhat published on September 27 in Spiegel, made a dossier of Sloterdijk’s book of Sloterdijk. 

The Rules for the Human Park was already a book, with a cover in the style of Arno Breker, sculptor of the III Reich, grouping icons of Hitler, Nietzsche and the Superman of the comics, the sheep Dolly and Lara Croft, a heroine of virtual games of computer, the controversy was formed. Sloterdijk’s point of departure was not this, I confess it was my reaction at first reading too.

But his starting point this book was, and his presence at the colloquium dedicated to Heidegger and Lévinas prove this, a phrase of the poet Jean-Paul at the beginning of the book: “books are letters addressed to friends, only longer”, a humanism linked to writing.

Also the reference to Cicero’s humanitas, an opposition to the savagery and brutalities that were the spectacles in the human amphitheater, shows, unlike his detractors, the preoccupation with a current pre-fascism (read yesterday’s post), which was drawing and is now a reality in many parts of the world, and we remember that the “national humanism” of the nineteenth century was precisely where the two world wars of the twentieth century were designed.

What led Heidegger to ask in his Letter on Humanism, and Sloterdijk’s book is a response, if a blind manifestation of anthropocentrism led to three conceptions of tragic confrontations of the twentieth century: “Bolshevism, Fascism and Americanism,” in his reply Sloterdijk affirms that Christianity, Marxism and existentialism were the three humanist alternatives that “avoid the ultimate radicality of the question about the human being” (Sloterdijk 1999: 23).

The separation of man from nature, and the animal which in Heidegger’s view is not + and rationality, in Sloterdijk’s image, Heidegger walks among them like an angry angel in his sword of fire (idem, 25), marking the ontological cleavage between the being of biology and man as the clearing of Being, for whom the Self presents itself as a Being that chooses for its guard, in its search for the “pacification” that two world wars have buried, and now they seem to be on the near horizon now.


Why it is important to read Sloterdijk

29 Aug

I informed in the last post that besides the spheres of Sloterdijk, I have my own sphere, borrowed from Teilhard Chardin: the Noosphere. I read Sloterdijk´s Spheres only I that was published in Portuguese, of the others I have comments of the own author and of his readers and interpreters, 
An answer I read recently from an interview with him gave me an important synthesis of my closeness to his thinking, when asked about what he expected from the academic world, he said ceremonially, “From the 19th century onwards (let’s think of Kierkegaard, Schopenhauer or Nietzsche), the world of philosophers is divided between those who, like me, seek an alliance with the media of their time (at that time, literature, today the press, radio and television), and those who do not do it, betting on the classic link between university and book publishers as their only cognitive biotope, “among many things I read, this is the coolest.
I do not bet on the media of social networks, blogs like the one I write to ten years, by fad or affirmation of my thinking, but because I think it is important to dialogue with what is now media, I refused some time, for example, to Twitter who is impulsive and angry.
Another point of contact is his view of the comfort zone, in the same interview published in the Folha São Paulo 2003 space Mais+, but which I randomly found on a website to re-read what influenced me at the time, which made me soon buy the book : Rules for the Human Park, published by brazilian Estação Liberdade, at the turn of the millennium, but soon stopped reading.
I only came back years later alerted by a student to the importance of his thinking.
This point of security, therefore, is not a zone of comfort, explains: “We are thinking how the human being architect the security of its existence. How does he live? How do you prevent future eventualities and catastrophes? How do you defend yourself? How do you integrate into your cultures, understood as communities of struggle? It is a paradigm shift: from philosophy to a general immunology, “that is, we seek a” place “to be sure, there is an analytic of the place, I would say in my analysis, in direct opposition to nihilistic and Kantian pragmatism.
A preview of Sloterdijk can not fail to be noticed in this interview, when predicting fascism in the USA: “From the point of view of media theory, fascism is monothematism in power. If a public opinion is structured in such a way that uniformity increases too much, we have a pre-fascist symptom, “there are several points on the planet with this symptom, and of course we can plunge into a new pre-war fascist era.
We can not fail to see this in positions in Latin America, and in Brazil in particular.


Sloterdijk’s immunology

28 Aug

Sloterdijk’s immunological concept, well before the process of returning to nationalism that we have plunged in several countries, and even in Latin America, is not only an individualized explanation of living, but now also of society as a whole.
But Sloterdijk started from the individualized life (or biós, from Greek) that was characterized as a success stage of immune systems, ie, the phase in which the relationship with man with nature was learning, the definition of systemic biology, to explain that there can be no way of life that does not worry about the conservation of their immune structures.
“If we quote the metabiological statement that immune systems would be embodiments of injury expectations or expectations of some harm, it is clear that human cultures, insofar as they represent the totality of preventive procedures – or, we can say, traditions – are elaborated with greater sensitivity against immunity than animal and plant species. And not everyone knows that the concept of immunity was originally not a biological concept, but a jurist, which was used as a metaphor in biology.” (Critique of Cynic Reason, 1983).
Plato had a similar system, but made use of images and analogies in the “pastoral” sphere to talk about the formation of the individual, for Sloterdijk this slosh association between teacher and pastor, students and herd, only dissolved with reformed pedagogies of the twentieth century: “At the time, this happened after World War II, in institutions like Summer Hill, where the student came to be thought of as a self-educated herd” (SLOTERDIJK, 1983)
Sloterdijk adds that the pedagogical question of how to educate the human being is superimposed by an evolutionary biological drama: “The second discovery of the need to form the human being as a human being proper – that is, to immunize him with domestication against his own associability – occurred in the nineteenth century when Charles Darwin placed man at the end of the evolutionary series in his theory on species “(Sloterdijk, 1983), stated in his work.
Our point of view is that there is also a spiritual sphere in which man evolves, his spirit evolves, the Noosphere, as described by this Teilhard Chardin.


Hologram make success

26 Aug

Of unexpected firmness, a singer who is a three-dimensional hologram, Hatsune Miku conquered crowds for her shows in various cities of Japan.


Hatsune fans, which is a holographic production simulating a 16-year-old girl, shake their luminous apathetic and shake during the show as if the artist were real.According to the Daily Mail report, Hatsune’s voice was created with voice samples from Japanese actress Saki Fujita. All these samples contain sounds that, when placed in series, become words and phrases.

Now the creators of the hologram can compose any song that the “avatar” will sing even without much elaboration.

How’s civilization going?

24 Aug

The civilization crisis, deep in the West at least, is evident, the retreats with problems of wars, economies in crisis and cultural and religious intolerance, are increasingly evident, but where are we going?
One must first recognize that in several historical processes there were retreats, one of the clearest cases was the restoration of the monarchy in France, a period that was the fall of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1814 until the Revolution of July, 1830.
Peter Sloterdijk wrote “If Europe awakens” at the turn of the millennium, also criticizing Europe as “the center’s empire,” while Edgar Morin speaks of breaking “with all forms of domination, imperialism, colonialism, living, in relationships with nature, and in the inter-human relationships themselves … “(MORIN, VIVERET, 2013, 45).
However profound cultural changes are in the process, every change arouses a dose of inertia and conservatism, this is our analysis of the rebirth of exaggerated nationalisms (we must differentiate from cultural and ethnic issues that are fair), new forms of concentration of income and of exclusion.
Morin analyzes the process of transformation of modernity as “the process of pacification, of civilization used the danger posed by barbarians, aliens and infidels” (Morin, Viveret, 2013, 57), warning that the pacification process failed , which is also described in Peter Sloterdijk’s main work “Rules for the Human Park,” which was a response to Heidegger’s Letters on Humanism.
As the anthropologist and economist Karl Polanyi warned in “The Great Transformation,” Morin warns of the danger of market societies as opposed to market economies, where he hears a passage of what had value was priceless, “for what has not price has no value “(Morin, Viveret, 2013, 61), where the perverse logic of financial speculation and political corruption destroys economies and nations, not to mention situations of humanitarian crisis across the globe.
It requires deep structural changes: the model of state and democracy, control in the market and services of the new social, restructuring of the educational model that includes transdisciplinarity between diverse areas, and awareness of cultural and religious diversity, among many other necessary .
As the Bible says in John 6:60, “When they heard this, many of his disciples said,” Tough is the word, who can bear it? “This seems well applicable to the present historical moment.

MORIN, E., VIVERET, P. Como viver em tempo de crise ? (How to live in times of crisis?) Rio de Janeiro: Bertrand Russel do Brasil, 2013


Civilization crisis and technology

23 Aug

Discourses of appeal to the strong state, messianic leaders and political techniques already outdated are not uncommon, because there are social media in which a discourse can be dissected quickly, although these media themselves may be the cause of truths other than those that central powers want, coming to fake and political hatred.

The old manuals of political management are being reopened by the owners of power, from Lockes, Hobbes to Machiavelli, there is no shortage of speeches appealing to the prudent and skillful “sovereign”, but the important question is: where are they, or rather who are they?

These recipes are having efficacy, right or left, precisely because of the use or misuse of social media mechanisms, again as a “mass control” model, which has been done with Trump and attempts in France, but what attention is the hate speech.

Also in this field there is no shortage of speeches saying that it was the networks that potentiated this, but they did not exist in the time of Hitler, Mussolini and in the versions of Americana Latina: Perón, Getúlio Vargas and others, one could say the radio potentiated this, perhaps, but the essential was the appeal to nationalism and racism that ignited the masses, and he is there again.

By neglecting or misusing new media by making the same discourse as these groups of chains of hatred and emotional appeals do, we are doing nothing but give credence to a vision of hatred, intolerance and xenophobia present also in conventional media : radio, TV and cinema are boosting verbal and material violence.

The reversal of this depends on discourses that undress the truth, we enter the field we explore that it is a time of concealment of the truth, as Sloterdijk says, and to put light, to go to the clearing means to dismantle this culture of cover-ups.

There is corruption, sexism and psychologism in abundance. To disagree with this is not “politically correct,” I am not speaking of intolerance, of course, which we also unveiled when speaking this week of Locke, Voltaire and now also Machiavelli, whose speech affirms that it can not being: “fickle, superficial, effeminate, pusillanimous, indecisive” (MAQUIAVEL, 1996, p.109, brazilian edition).

There is counsel in the Principle how to flee from hatred, to stand firm in adversity, and so on. which makes it good for reading, but communication and media have evolved, you need to at least update it.



Why did artificial intelligence emerge?

22 Aug

The long road covered by Artificial Intelligence includes the construction of languages such as Lisp, Prolog, Haskel, but environments like DialogFlow, Watson, and
At the end of the 20th century there was a major crisis in AI, but the emergence of researchers in the Semantic Web resumed study and gradually, subjects like IoT (Internet of Things), Natural Language and Machine Learning (there is no translation, but we could say learning by Machine) emerged.
The fact that scares some is linked to the concept of “intelligence” and “mind.”
This emergency has awakened the five largest technology companies in the world: Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and Facebook, which have started investing in smart people who can talk to humans.
Now 28% of consumers in the United States currently use some virtual assistant, these devices that integrate the AI technology of a voice assistant with a common home product has had great success, such as Alexa, Echo and Google Home, but the increase of sales to 39% annually were celebrated by companies.
In companies the concern for privacy, the operation is done using cloud storage, companies with sound assistants use different measures to protect the personal information of their consumers, but know that there are flaws in these defenses.
The audio sent to Google and Amazon is encrypted before being transmitted, leaving the data exchange supposedly safe, but the people database needs to be accessed in order for the machine to “develop” its learning ability.
Recently a researcher in the field of information security has demonstrated that it is possible to transform an Echo manufactured before 2017 into a perpetual recording instrument whose audio can be transmitted to a remote location without the user knowing.
To protect yourself from hackers, a good practice is to access your account and erase history of interactions with the services from time to time, but it remains to be seen if it has not been hacked in this period.
Apple’s Siri, instead of associating the recording with the user account, associates the collection of the interaction with you with a series of random numbers.
With or without security, this market has grown and companies are watching, it is irreversible.


Cynicism and naked truth

21 Aug

Sloterdijk said about the contemporary violence that uses the body, referring to Theodor Adorno’s attempt to mute; “It was not the naked violence that muffled the philosopher, but the violence of nakedness,” and this prompted him to write the Critique of Cynic Reason.

Subsequent remarks to the book, Sloterdijk talked about social transformation and why she stimulated the book, in interviews to the Frontiers of Thought (in portuguese Fronteiras do Pensamento), the truth, in a society whose culture is largely part of many forms of cover-up, there is an aggressive denudation and involuntary.

There is in it a trail of exaggerated considerations that lead to the attempt (he says it is affirmative) in the foundation that it may be totally true, the expression used as an attempt to save the “enlightenment” and arguments of Critical Theory, paradoxes of the saving method take care that it does not remain with a first impression.

The idea that seemed to me to go from Clarification to Cynic, the author himself states that the very investigation of cynicism turns into the foundation of an absence of illusions, his comment clarifies the countless stops and retakes of a dense and thought-provoking book.

Clarification says the author has always meant disappointment in the positive sense and, as it progresses, both becomes closer to an instant in which reason is a statement.

According to the author, European neurosis conceives happiness as a goal and rational commitment as a path to it, it is necessary to break its compulsion, it is necessary to dissolve the critical vice of improvement, and this in favor of good, from which we so easily deviate in long gears.

The author’s synthesis of the cultural atmosphere of our time is a mixture of cynicism, sexism, “objectivity” and psychologism formed in the superstructure of the West: an atmosphere of twilight, good for owls and for philosophy.


Dialogue in intolerance´s times

20 Aug

There is no discussion of proposals and projects, but one tries to silence the voice by disagreeing with the dramatic appeal to particular facts or situations, and is easy to find precisely because of the anger that has taken over the whole society, but without a calm and reasonable conversation on central themes : education, health and safety, among many undeliverable.

Voltaire and Locke’s Treatises on Tolerance can greatly help, even though they themselves had their own intolerances, the book Cândido de Voltaire, for example, is an irony to the thought of Christian Wolff (1679-1754) a disciple of Leibniz and a reader of Kant.  

Voltaire who saw religious fundamentalism take people, groups and even countries to radicalism, proclaimed that it was necessary to “reduce the number of maniacs,” according to Voltaire (2015, p.4) and one way to overcome it was “to subdue this disease from the spirit to the regime of reason, which slowly, but infallibly enlightens men. This reason is gentle, humane, inspires indulgence, smothers discord, strengthens virtue, makes obedience to laws even more pleasing than strength is capable “(ibid.).

His cynicism, Peter Sloterdijk does not directly address it, but refers to all of his time rationalism in “Critique of Cynic Reason”, he said that Voltaire states about the Egyptians that “always turbulent, seditious and cowardly, people who had lynched a Roman for having killed a cat, despicable people under any circumstances, regardless of what the admirers of the pyramids call it “(Voltaire, 2015, 59).

Voltaire shows no trace of generosity, of magnanimity, of beneficence “(Voltaire, 2015, 73); in English Letters or Philosophical Letters, a dehumanized and stereotyped vision of blacks predominates that would be worthy of a racist process today.

Tolerance, which does not signify agreement, is based on the idea that human relations between peoples of different cultures, political and religious conceptions can coexist in such a way that relations between individuals and communities are respectful of the values ​​of the Other. Therefore an ethics of otherness combined with an ontological and anthropological view that we are complex beings and that the relationship with others and with cultures must and can have differences must be based on the idea of ​​diversity rather than uniformity.

What we think about tolerance in the past must be expanded and enriched by diversity.

VOLTAIRE. Treaty on tolerance. Brazilian edition. São Paulo, Folha de São Paulo, 2015.