Arquivo para a ‘Calm Technology’ Categoria

The return of evil

19 Sep

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Exemption from violence and anger

12 Sep

It was not the Abrahamic religions (Islam, Judaism and Christianity) that exempted violence, as Peter Sloterdijk thought in Wrath and Time (Sloterdijk, 2010), in fact it was the idea of ​​the Enlightenment that made violence and domination, from the beginning of expansion of mercantilism and which later became colonial-imperialism, which was anti-clerical and little religious, and was later sacralized in Hegel’s “absolute”, whose image of power and the State is juxtaposed with power and domination and has nothing linked to God.

Thus this power is the relief from violence and its capture and guardianship by the state, this way the colonial and imperialist plan can be developed, the basis of today’s civilizational crisis, it is a military and autocratic arrogant state, liberal only in name, it cannot result in something else: anger.

Sloterdijk’s observation about lightness and relief is particularly clear. Supposing that progress would go on a progressive journey, we would think of a more trivial answer that he would be leading people in better conditions than before, and this is not true.

The author also talks about pain, he remembers that until 1940 the idea of ​​pain was normal in surgical center treatments, he doesn’t mention it but I remember that scars on men’s faces indicated virility and some were done on purpose, predecessors of current tattoos, the author remembers that painkillers appeared in the 40s and then little by little antidepressants and stimulants and finally plastic surgeries that corrected what needs to be corrected in us.

The author says that thinking on the right is discipline and on the left is the salvation of the poor, discipline falls into dreams and leads to the world of the moon, while poverty in its fallen condition, persecuted by an unjust system is always seen victimized, which is not always real, so both narratives escape a concept of justice, peace and balance and we find ourselves in narratives that justify anger and contempt for the Other, moving towards anger.

If the being must be light it is to be someone who is not serious, so the lightness of the being is unsustainable, it must be in both narratives “heavy”, transforming into gas balloons that are flying aimlessly, the flight itself is not is reasonable, although the ultimate desire is everything can, but nothing is.

If the being must be light it is to be someone who is not serious, so the lightness of the being is unsustainable, it must be in both narratives “heavy”, transforming into gas balloons that are flying aimlessly, the flight itself is not is reasonable, although the ultimate desire is everything can, but nothing is.

The popular Brazilian songbook says: “there is no sin on the side below the equator”, but that was already the case in post-Renaissance Europe, in Dante’s “divine comedy” which became Balzac’s human comedy, it was there that did the circumnavigation (in picture the Art for Jacob Hashimoro), yes the earth is round, so the people should be dominated and colonized, again Slotertijk’s spherology makes sense.

The fundamental event of our time is to get out of this heavy burden of dogmatism, from the perfectionist stress of the tired society, to get out of the physical, discursive, political, design and spatial battles, technology for man and not for man, robots are machines.

It’s the agony of what was heavy and no longer has a coherent narrative. spherology is based on the principle that a kind of “hermeneutics of existence” must form art of figures, meanings and vocabularies of a light existence, let’s say, discharged from hatred for the Other who is not our mirror, of course the reverse path is there, he leads to anger and violence.

Sloterdijk, P. (2010) Rage and Time, translation by Mario Wenning, New York, Columbia University Press.


New holodomor and the war

07 Aug

While there are expectations of new meetings for peace with Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, the perspectives of a greater involvement of other countries in the war grow with the danger of a war on a global scale.

In the harsh period of the former Soviet Union, there had already been a conflict between the Russian Soviet Republic and the Ukrainian Soviet Republic, the holodomor in 1931-32, in which the dictator Joseph Stalin confiscated Ukrainian production, killing a large number of Ukrainians from starvation, there is a book on the subject (pdf), the ukrainians managed many years after declaring this episode of their national life as a genocide.

Russia had already undermined Ukraine’s supply sources, now it systematically bombs ports and grain storage sites and spreads mines across the borders of the conquered territory, the Ukrainian economy already in ruins, now suffers a hard blow and with that there are a threat to world grain supplies.

The internal battlefront remains tough, with small advances in the counteroffensive, but the pole is now moving towards the Black Sea, where grain export ships can be hit and already a provocation with Poland, by the Wagner group that is in Belarus .

Some discourses and narratives hide the horrors of war, death of civilians, distribution and disasters in rivers and energy sources, and violation of war treaties, with mutilation and torture of prisoners, and use of weapons of war prohibited by international agreements such as, land mines, white phosphorus bombs and cluster bombs.

An involvement of Poland and Belarus, would be the first scale of a world war, reminiscent of the invasion of Germany in 1st. of September 1939, which was the trigger for the involvement of several countries, the first to declare war were England and France.

The political and financial involvement of other countries is already practically declared, with forces alongside Ukraine and Russia, but common sense still makes some countries and more cautious diplomats think about the disaster for the economy in addition to the serious danger of using nuclear force.

The forces for peace have started a conference of senior officials from around 40 countries, including the US, China, South Africa and India and are taking part in the discussions in the coastal city of Jeddah, on the Red Sea, being European newscasters, including the German DW (Deutsch Welle), without the participation of Russia.




Dialogue and diversity

09 Jun

The clash between two Hegelian conceptions of the state and the absence of dialogue and new horizons are among the causes of the civilizational crisis.

Both the modernist old Hegelians and the new revolutionaries point to a vision of the state with a single discourse, absence of dialogue and tolerance, this is the root of the crisis.

What we notice is the superficiality of this fundamental problem, each one creating truths that they think are universal and sometimes are even bizarre, as they are only at the level of ideas and do not correspond to reality, they do not contribute to a real way out of the crisis of civilization.

Every day, “wise men” of some kind emerge who already have the solution to major problems involving leaders, nations and cultures that have developed, in general taken root and have great difficulty in dialoguing with other worldviews.

Coexistence in diversity is fundamental for a democratic society, when only a vision of the world and a way of administering the state is imposed a part of the population is outside this dialogue and will not see any way out other than rebellion, at the level of the state it means war.

We have lived through two world wars, the result of a colonialist conception of the state, however the current one is more serious because it is a vision of imperialist hegemony of opposing forces.

It is true that there are social forces striving to open a path of dialogue, but in the diplomatic field it has failed, not for lack of proposals, but for discreetly aligning themselves with one of the conflicting sides.

In the religious field this also occurs, the Pharisaic view that it is not possible to dialogue and see how important it is to live with “sinners” and “tax collectors” (those who mismanage the state or are corrupt today) is described in Matthew 9,11 -13:

“Some Pharisees saw this and asked the disciples: “Why does your master eat with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus heard the question and replied: “Those who are healthy do not need a doctor, but the sick do. So learn what it means: ‘I want mercy and not sacrifice.’ Indeed, I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners “.

The sacrifice of millions of innocents takes place in a war because there is no force that dialogues with the sin of conflict, hatred and war without human and moral limits (in photo, the explosion of the dam in Nova Kakhovka, Kherson region).

Without tolerance and dialogue, no peace is possible, and civilization is currently experiencing a crisis.



Dualism and unity

08 Jun

Dualism comes from Parmenides’ idealism and reaches Hegel, we have already posted in its categories in-itself, of-itself and for-itself, being for-itself a certain return to in-itself.

There are two types of dualism: substance dualism and property dualism. While substance dualism (or Cartesian dualism) argues that the mind is an independently existing substance, property dualism describes a category of positions in philosophy of mind that advocate that, although the world is constituted by only one type of substance, of the physical kind, there are two distinct types of properties: physical properties and mental properties.

This quarrel within dualism continues on the separation of substance and mind, whether as substance or property.

Unity is possible if we think beyond the logical ontology of Parmenides where Being is and non-being is not, there is a Being that is not, that is present in the soul, and that in the trinitarian sense is a Being-for-itself, that is is a for in the sense of beyond, in this case beyond the substance, and if we think of Absolute God (using the Hegelian category) the for-itself is substance and materializes in the “son” of the Trinity who is Jesus, being-in – himself man and being-for-himself God.

Thus God enters history and substance as mind and property, what the French theologian and paleontologist Teilhard de Chardin calls the noosphere, which is the subtitle of this blog.

God mind and property enters history and eternalizes himself as a substance in body and blood, with the substances bread and wine, which are human artifacts, the wheat made bread by man and the grape made wine by man, thus human substance, deified and eternalized at the supper of Jesus, this is the feast of the Body of Christ held today by most Christians.

In Chardanian reasoning, God removed the universe from its sub-instance, which is also God, from the body of Christ, so the whole universe is Christocentric and penetrated by His divinity.

The human attempt to create an intelligent and beyond-human “being” is an ex-machina incapable of being for-itself.

This is how Trinitarian and human unity is achieved, it is necessary to pass through the non-Being that is Being, it is necessary to overcome contradictions and go beyond oneself, to enter a divine and eternal for-itself.



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.