quarta-feira, 28 de dezembro de 2011

sustainability - old or new efficiency?

"Sustainability" is one of the words of the moment. Many times it is used in the same way that many others words were used for the reinforcement of the efficiency of the postmodern economy. So, it was just another kind of "trademark" or a "marketing word". We are not saying that "trademark" or "marketing word" means "bad thing". The key question is how to use it. If it is used just to make a kind of "ecological glamour" and the practice does not really follow the concept of "sustainability", than it will be the ruin of another good word and good concept together with the end of the postmodern efficiency. But, if "sustainability" compounds a sincere part of projets, programs, institutions, etc., it can be part of "a new efficiency", an efficiency that can be "sustained" and "sustain" anyone. 

segunda-feira, 19 de dezembro de 2011

efficiency in the after-postmodern

The historical processes have not absolute cuts, but some events change slowly and others walk faster. Even revolutionary processes are not so rapid as we think it could be.
The digital technology and the consequent digital comunication started in the Postmodern Era and continue improving even after the end of the postmodern efficiencies. Maybe it happens because in the field of digital technology "less is more" or "little is better". This paradoxical logic is not quite the same as the logic of the globalization and open market of the 1990's, even with the digital market that is still growing. 
The digital technology made a new kind of democracy or an expansion of democracy, because never in History so many people had easy and cheap comunication with almost anyone and almost any group or institution.
Digital technology and internet can be compatible with environmental sustainability and democracy.   

domingo, 18 de dezembro de 2011

pop art and the after-postmodern

Pop Art was one of the ways that artists saw Postmodernity in the second half of the 20th century.
Maybe Theodor Adorno with his rigorous concept could disagree that we call that kind of art as "Art".
By one side Pop Art was a kind of "denounce" against the so called "System" and by other side it was also another way "to consume". It was an art to consume and that is one of the points criticized by Adorno about the "Cultural Industry". This ambiguous characteristic of Pop Art was also one of its atractions that made people look for that kind of art.
In the beginning of the 21th century does Pop Art keep its "charm"?
After the internet, does the consuming art continuing to be the same ?

sábado, 17 de dezembro de 2011

Reductionism and the end of postmodern efficiency

One of the caractheristics of the postmodern thinking is Reductionism. Reductionism started before 1950's, but had its importance increased at this times. By the Reductionism we try to put the every condition observed in a phenomena in one just plane or level, with a supposed aim of better understand and manipulate the effects of that phenomena. In several situations that reduction was effecient, because in the apex of the paradigma of postmodernity the reduction solved several problems and answered questions. But, as Thomas Kuhn explained, it comes a time when the paradigma do not answer all questions more and more, and the paradigma starts to be contested. So it happened in the first decade of the 21th century.
The reductionist philosophy started a long time ago, when philosophy and science stablished the surch for "one cause and one effect". Even with the growing in complexity of the Science of the 20th century, the conclusive reasoning was a surch for some kind of reduction. But, step by step diversity imposed itself and several causes with several effects had more space in conclusions. 
Its important to say that sometimes synthesis is important  and usefull and it is different of reduction. 
With reduction we lose, with synthesis we walk a step ahead. 

segunda-feira, 12 de dezembro de 2011

The End of Postmodern Efficiency

Postmodern period started in the 1950’s decade and one of the main pillars of postmodernity was “bipolarity”, even at the same time there was created something like the United Nations and other similar organizations. There was a First World and a Second World. Well, in a field with two poles, something like a “Third World” could be strange in a kind of Aristotelian logic. So, in the Cold War, the Third World was in the shadows, receiving influences of both sides. With the supposed victory of the Free Market World in the 1990’s, it seemed that the world was one with that and its efficiency, and a supposed minimum State to control the citizens.  
As ever, the Art World sometimes follow the system, but many times reveals what is in the shadows. So, the Counterculture Movement that was embryonic in the 1950’s showed itself in 1960’s and ahead, not only in Art but also in other areas. In society appeared “hippies” and similar groups. But, as everything was dominated by the market these all became only commercial marks and in the 1980’s came the “yuppies” very much tuned with the efficiency of Postmodernity, with pragmatism and competitive spirit. So, the triumph came in the 1990’s for that maybe “dehumanized” efficiency. In 1999, the beginning of the Anti-globalization Movement seemed a little crazy, perhaps old fashioned in front of a triumphant “globalized market world” that promised products and peace for everyone. Maybe that movement was feeling what was coming in the 21th century and that what was in the “shadows world” was something more complex.
We are not talking about wright wing or left wing because it would be fall in the same bipolarity. We are talking of Complexity. Now the world is in a transition time where Complexity can help to go beyond polarity. Maybe “cooperation” can be more important than “competition” as we can see from the Durban decisions about Environment decisions for the future, even with the disbelieving of many people.      

terça-feira, 6 de dezembro de 2011

What "Modern"?

Science, Art, Politics, Economy, all are interconnected. We can look to the different lines of that issues with a “polarized” eye, or we can use “complex thinking” and have “open windows” to new data and new paradigms, trying to use some “reasonable” criteria. When we talk like this maybe we can remember Paul Feyerabend and his “Against Method” and the point of view that the scientists are “not too much scientific”, or that the rigour of scientific method is questionable. Anyway, we can use the criticism of Feyerabend to don’t forget the scientific knowledge is transitory. At this point we can use the notion of paradigm of Thomas Kuhn and stay conscious that at each moment we have to be under some paradigm with its language and limitations.
So, let’s go beack to the “XIXth’s century modern”. Some say that the “modern pre-postmodern” started with that century. The Modern of XIXth century partially walked side by side with Romantism and a certain kind of Nationalism.
Romantism actually started “before Romantism”; as a matter of fact, maybe almost anything in History starts before the “official” beginning.
Romantism was a kind of artistic reaction to the racionalism of Enlightenment.
“Modern” Science walked together with Racionalism.
The reaction of Romantism started with a kind of return to the origins of differente european communities. As said Norbert Elias, the “Sturm und Drang” movement of Goethe and Schiller was a revival and valorization of the German language in the scholar environment that was then influenced by the French Culture. That comeback had a kind of “nationalistic” spirit still before the rise of the nations in XIXth century after Napoleon and at the same step of American Revolution.
Romantism in France in XIXth century was also a rediscovering of Middle Age’s Art. The beauty of that art was forgotten since XV-XVIth centuries. The rediscovering of that Art was also a comeback to the origins of France walking together with the nationalism of XIXth century.
In the middle of that, Baudelaire created the word “modernité” as the state of “the momentary”...
So, what was the “modern” of that days?
The “modern” of Baudelaire, the “modern” of Mary Shelley that we already talked about, the “modern” of the “new Nations”, the “modern” of Industrial Revolution, the “modern” of Science... or maybe was the “modern” of all that...

sexta-feira, 2 de dezembro de 2011

Prometheus or The Postmodern Frankenstein

I wrote a title that is "a game" with the title of the Mary Shelley's book: Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus. The "Postmodern Frankenstein" that I am talking about maybe is a symbol of "postmodern" scientist and at the same time is a symbol of the human being submitted to that scientist.
I am not trying to say that Science is bad. Scientists, physicians, patients, citizens, they are all submitted to several political, social, cultural, etc, conditions. And we are talking about postmodern conditions.
The Postmodern Science thought that could do anything to human beings supposedly for their benefit. 
In the years 1950s and 1960s the development of technology to keep life after a cardiac arrest produced a kind of "living dead" people that stood between life and death in artificial conditions. Several movies and books were made about this issue and similars. That people were considered more "dead" than "alive" and the "vegetative state" was a medical condition diagnosed more and more often.
In the "after-postmodern" times something different started to happen. The Science is discovering ways to know better if someone in supposedly deep coma or in a vegetative state has some level of conscience preserved. Maybe at this point the "living dead" people turned to   be more "dead alive" or in other words, they are now more "alive" than "dead".
The trajetory of postmodern science was more interested in a kind of efficiency that went directly to results, with few attention to the means to arrive to that results. It was a kind of Machiavelism where "the ends justify the means". Well, Machiavel is considered one of the first thinkers o "Modern" Age.
Thomas Aquinas stablished that "the ends doesn't justify the means", or in other words, ethically we cannot make anything just to achieve a desired result. 
With the end of the postmodern efficiency medical scientists started to use a new look to the "living dead" patients in coma or vegetative state or in minimal state of conscience. 
With the end of postmodern efficiency, Science is discovering that maybe it is more prudent to be not so triumphalist with apparent successfull results. After ten years of an announced glory of Genoma Project, that proclamed that "the secret of life was discovered", companies that were working hard with that or other similar projects gave up to continue that kind of research, and they found that it is not so easy to work with stem cells.
The new efficiency of the Science of after-postmodern period is still arising...