IULM December 2, 2011 - INFORMATION, THE UNIVERSE AND LIFE
The Information and the 'dynamic equilibrium of' Ecosystem
While in Durban, South Africa, is held the UN-Climate Conference the towns of the Greater Milan and the Province fail to produce a strategy for limiting emissions and traffic. The board convened with all the municipalities of the province to decide what to do against the smog has not produced anything concrete after nearly 20 days of exceedances. The block of traffic in Milan, the only measure that could protect the health of citizens it was announced since several weeks, is been cancelled a few hours before its entry into force. Our country will host the Expo on the theme "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life" but every day we consume land, without maintenance , don’t respecting the natural constraints. Every day tons of supermarket food surpluses become waste while the poor people rummage in the waste basket. We need a culture and capacity for initiative "glocal" to coherently activate local autonomy to enable policies of environmental and social sustainability and to give concrete commitments to the UN conference at the same time.
It 's clear that we shall not be saved after an environmental disaster bigger than the previous but only by thanks a value choice.
We need a different way of seeing things and another point of view is possible. There is an intelligent co-evolution of biological living sphere, as in the environment of the Earth as in the environment of our body, it's a balance result still, whatever are the factors that stimulate and disturb it. The man is not assumed to be present in that equilibrium witch he determines with the actions that it sets up following a quantitative model of development, energy-intensive and wasteful. We can find a balance with our body and our mind as a result of our decisions, our choose, our actions, the costumes, the consumptions and the culture.
Feel our body, read his signals, understand our relational behavior, appreciate the beauty of the experience of living without compensatory shortcuts, helps us to develop a dynamic balance between us, our seasons of life and whatelse we are in relation. Living on Earth as part of a community that is able to dispose of their own destiny through informed participation in public affairs, thus we will certainly appreciate the beauty of nature and the beauty of the production of human action in harmony with it.
The common sense of collective action it’s the problem coming out early in the third millennium. The world has become smaller, the Net allows us a disintermediate communication network, but: we want to continue to make money from money? We think that the climate and its evolution may be subject to the times and the needs of competitiveness economic models? We think that the clanic and tribal reaction to globalization, with the fundamentalist religious and ethnic gangs in the world and / herds of bullying in the city of serial urbanization , constitute an inevitable mode of coexistence? On one hand, the ecological challenge it is inevitable, on the other is a metaphor for reading together many important problems of the planet. Ecology should not be so much a whole point of view, rather it could be an attempt to reconnect with many points of view. An informational ecology help us to reconnecting.
In the environmental challenge of our times, there are two risks: one is the sheer catastrophe, which certainly has its good reasons, it finds the idea that something is brewing in the biosphere beyond repair possibilities, something that raises the alarm that the ecological challenge must respond. The second is the thought that says the human condition is always in a state of crisis, so we need not worry that much, because our state has been experienced by every generation, so it is unuseful to retrace our steps to innovate models of thought. Sometime these two attitudes are prevalent. We have to start from another point of view to understand the specifics of today's ecological challenges.
We need a new point of view, epistemological, spiritual and existential, suitable to see and recognize the commons. We need to access to information about living and else, but we need an effective interpretation, a reading of the information we seek, both those information that surround us and those that crossing us. We live in a absorbed media society , where organized information is a resource more valuable than oil. Here the transformation of life and its emotions in multimedia product follows precise rules for interest, then engage, entertain and even then disconcert the viewer. Captivate the audience, its "loyalty", are the imperatives of the producers / distributors / advertisers and professionals look forward to the result of the viewers share. If the ingredients, the colors, the shape of a product, are successful because it does not melt them again? Perhaps through the sequels, Rocky 1,2,3,4 ... or a Saga like Star Trek, right up to the serials like Dallas and Dynasty. But why not going over build screenplays that take into account the sociological and psychological findings, why not transform daily life into a serial? Why not create the conditions for which they meet the rules that make a compelling story with its characters? Here we are at the TVReality, then, but how much difference there is with the morbidity with which the TV host and guests discussing around the house's model, theatre of family tragedies? What a difference there is with the talk shows where politicians are not invited on the basis of competence of the evening' theme, but on the basis of a personality, which is simulated or real, capable charmed, with the clash, the insults and maybe a hint of fight? The problem then is not to determine how much truth there is in the relations of the inhabitants of the “Island of the Famous” or in “Big Brother” or, as in the rest of the schedules of multimedia programs. The problem is to have a look and the cultural tools to make useful considerations on what goes on stage. Useful for us, for the truth of our hopes and our fears, our ability to have a good harmony between mind and body, between diet and daily activities, between desire and effort of implementation. An authenticity out from chemical shortcuts and violent shortcuts or in a transfert through the characters of the screen. That authenticity that led to the movie protagonist Truman Show having an irrepressible desire to know the world outside of its artificial habitat. A desire to be incompatible with the television project, but Truman escapes to the routine of the cameras and find the way out from the dome of the real fictional world where the show took place. A movie which helps us to be capable of recognizing the truth and tells us to practice it. The difference today, is the relational context that affects the human race and the relationship between humankind and the living whole. We need a responsible use of a strong informational society in reference to life, which is complex and irreducible and can not be regulated through a breakdown of data of reality: there is an irreducible difference between computation and comprehension. Access to information, in a society where knowledge is the central element, can not be only an act and an individual production, this is a precondition for use of a conscious and informed participation. The availability of information to access the complexity of the issues that concern us involves the task of producing a national public awareness in science and its possible relation to life. This awareness required is a democratic issue. It should be an awareness that allows us a declaration of global emergency, care that lies in the cooperative mode to find informational coherence between men and biosphere. An awareness that passes through the restoration of unity between consciousness and matter, between mind and body through a complex vision "built together" for a new common sense. We can disassemble and reassemble a motor as well as a watch but not a living organism, which lives in its relational environment. An element of an organism, taken individually, is not that element. Each element receives information from all the others and communicates with them within a domain of coherence,
As proposed by Bateson: "information is the difference that makes a difference."
In the digital age, technological innovation regards as the product as the process, the cognitive dimension of the work becomes so central to the production of value in the innovation processes that affect mature sectors also. The cognitive work puts into question the quantitative parameters such as those related to physical effort and / or time: the subjective dimension comes into play and so the centrality of people, here the consumer is directly involved in product definition. From the changes in design solutions to the audiovisual content, from Solidarity Groups Purchase of food to the neighbors who decide to install solar panels. Along with competition is enhanced the creative collective production of knowledge work, with reticular processes of relationship absolutely different than linear ones.
The knowledge and its sharing are constitutive conditions for the production of cognitive and relational value, require the opening mode, facing an unpredictable evolution of expressive codes : they are therefore necessary technological and regulatory choices such as not to preclude future, we must learn to have a culture of the unexpected. We must recognize the Knowledge as well as access and participation in networks, informational and deliberative processes, as a commons. The critical issues came on the agenda at the beginning of the third millennium are largely children of separation between knowledge and wisdom, that is between the size of the calculated and codified knowledge work and the one linked to practices and experiences of human whose effectiveness was verified in the daily life of the community.
The Network allows you to share information and practices and products associated with them. The viral Network and its alleged virtuality, brings the story to the reflections and practices, to which they refer, to cancel almost detachment, thus resulting the sharing of practices and a recomposition of the fruitful relationship between knowledge and wisdom. It's the knowledge society, digital, interactive, disintermediate, convergent and pervasive that enables this extension of the system of social relations, an ecosystem in which viral cognitive character and paradigms, modes of production and exchange content are part of the same informational nature.
The recognition of the commons can happen if we are able of grasping the coherent structure of the processes within the human community that is living on this small piece of land in this millennium. Here the "map" became "the territory" of our point of view. Here the "medium" it's not the "message" but the message is the nature of the relationship on the net.
It doesn't mean to share a definition, then, but a point of view with the head and heart.
Only this recognition may be a common denominator for a relationship between the different political, economic, cultural, ethnic and religious, that is not a zero sum for the human species.
Because the future is today, are the actions and the choices that you decide to do due to the knowledge we have, its quality and its consistency with the life. The earth is given to us on loan from our children. Thus instead of any fundamentalist reduction, we must develop an ethic of responsibility.