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The two Technologies

The two Technologies

The crisis of the 21st century has opened a front for discussion and sociopolitical debate that can only be more carefully evaluated by posterity.
Social, ecological and environmental emergencies seem to have all concentrated at the same time so much so as to bother, perhaps for the first time in the history of humanity, philosophers, scientists, politicians and ordinary people in the attempt to find viable solutions.
Obviously, as happens in the theory of relativity, where a hypothetical traveler who progressively approaches it would begin to perceive its effects more and more (incremental increase in the necessary energy and mass, distortion effect, called Lampa-Terrell-Penrose, different perception of colors due to the Doppler effect, slowing down of time, etc.) so today’s civilization is perceiving the effects of its interference on planet Earth as it has moved away from its primordial conditions of naturalness.
Let us remember that the first humans who appeared on the planet were hunters and gatherers, very tied to the ecological rhythms of the planet and numerically irrelevant compared to the interference produced.
As humanity began to domesticate species, through agriculture, to prepare the first tools, in a form of the first artisanal and, subsequently, pre-industrial civilization, it began a long but gradual evolutionary path in which, the pride in discoveries, and a certain delirium of omnipotence (understandable in her youthful phase) led her towards a gradual detachment from the codes and principles of Nature.
Let us remind ourselves that the Enlightenment based its belief in the goddess of reason, a “cult” born especially in France from the end of 1792 to 1794 and from which most modern and postmodern ideologies arose.
This progressive detachment has generated cultures, civilizations and policies that gradually diverge from the rules of Nature, creating growing interference both for “technological” issues and for numerical factors (population growth).
The object of this reflection is precisely the “technological” question.
We can affirm, without fear of contradiction, that the true divergence between the human ecosystem and the natural ecosystem lies precisely in what, in an ultra-modern way, we can define as “technology”, that is, those methods and systems put in place to process energy, information and the material available.
Today quantum mechanics tells us that all the reality of which we are made and which surrounds us is an energy-information and matter continuum which, incessantly elaborated and exchanged, allows Life to exist and subsist. A. Einstein’s well-known equation E=mc2 is not the most sublime synthesis.
Y. Prigogine (Moscow, 25 January 1917 – Brussels, 28 May 2003), Nobel Prize winner for chemistry in 1977, tells us that Life exists due to a preordained condition of instability and that this precondition has been addressed by natural systems through a particular “technology”.
Nature’s technology makes the most of the fragmentation of energy, information and matter processing systems (also through biodiversity and ecodiversity) and the sharing of roles and skills, as well as maximum mathematical-spatial miniaturization (typical of fractals – structures replicated in the leaves, in the pulmonary alveoli, in information databases, such as DNA, etc.) to give greater efficiency to the system in compatible and permitted spaces.
We could define Nature’s technology as the greatest democratic representation existing in the Universe. No country, no human community, no social aggregation system can boast such a distribution and co-responsibility of skills and interactions.
On the other end of this hypothetical thread that unites (or divides) the social ecosystem with the natural one we find human technology. A technology that has seen, especially after the first and second industrialization, the application of criteria often, and frequently, in antithesis to those followed and “applied” by nature.
Let us remember the large industrial complexes, the use of fossil fuels to feed them, the monospecificity of the working class, agricultural industrialization, large distribution chains, etc., to understand how our civilization has created a remarkably contrasting and divergent with the natural one.
As in the speed of light, where the effects become increasingly evident as the maximum limit is approached, so the effects of human technology have become increasingly evident as they have interfered with natural ones in terms of quality and quantity.
It is not for nothing that many scientists have proposed the term anthropocene to justify the interference and impact of human affairs on the planet.
This is how the UN states that “The Climate Crisis is a Social Crisis”; crisis in which climate change forces around 20 million people to flee every year. Their right to be protected and helped, however, is very limited. It is therefore a social crisis that especially affects those who contribute least to the causes of climate change. And this is how the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) speaks of an ecological crisis and loss of biodiversity unprecedented in planetary history.
What is called the energy transition or, more generally, the ecological transition, therefore becomes the object of a serious and profound reflection, that is, that the center of this transition is not linked to the change of energy systems (from fossil to renewable) or to a sustainability often imbued with greenwashing but with a social conversion towards the same principles on which Nature’s “technology” is founded. What Pope Francis defines as “Integral Ecology”.
Towards that high and unattainable participatory democracy which involves participation, sharing, fragmentation of skills and roles, equal dignity of rights and duties, etc. the most perfect democratic system a country can aspire to.
We have certainly arrived, to paraphrase the well-known Star Trek film, … where no man has ever reached before or, to translate it into social and political jargon: we have reached the threshold of a new frontier of history where politics must be nourished and, above all , apply a new ideological basis that sees, at least in the emulation of the democratic principles of nature, a new frontier of real justice and well-being.
The time has come to move decisively towards the “technology” of nature.

Guido Bissanti

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