All posts filed under: Theory

Digital technology and human abilities: complemetarity or disfunctions?

When the abilities of the digital brain increase, its humanity man decreases: this is the thesis of Miguel Benasayag, a Franco-Argentine psychoanalyst and philosopher, host of the seventh edition of the Internet Festival in Pisa held between 5 and 8 October 2017. His speech at the meeting “Philosophy and Technology: the two faces of knowledge” underlined the conflicting relationship between the spread of ever-evolving technology. with a slower emancipation of the body. He suggested the necessity of developing an ethical interdependence between technology and man, taking into account both the physical pace and the impossibility of independance from digital devices. In his book (Erikson, 2016), Benasayag had already highlighted the dangerous relationship between man and the digital. Smartphones, computers, and other digital devices have given rise to a delegation of some brain functions, completely disabling the user to run them autonomously. The rapidity of diffusion and the exponential increase in the efficiency of digital instruments did not, however, allow a natural biological recycling of the functions delegated to the machine, in other words man has not …

The Greek asylum crisis: moving beyond the blame game to a real solution

– Anna Triandafyllidou, European University Institute An unusual wave of cold weather in the first week of January 2017 exposed the stark deficiencies of Greece’s asylum seeker policy. Camps housing tens of thousands people seeking refuge from war were hit by snow and freezing rain, with residents exposed to sub-zero temperatures and arctic winds. The winter crisis made headlines worldwide. It left no doubt of the fact that ten months after the EU-Turkey agreement led to a stark decrease in migrant flows to the country, Greece is still struggling to cope with the asylum challenge. Substantial funding has been made available to deal with the migration emergency, both directly to relevant ministries and to international NGOs. According to a recent European Commission report, Greece has received €295 million out of a total of €861 million earmarked for the Europe-wide refugee crisis. Of this €295 million, at least half has been given directly to international organisations. But it’s not working. Greece’s impossible task Greece is currently facing a Sisyphean task. It must first provide appropriate first reception …

Authentic Liaisons: Creating Bridges across Cultures

Flying in to Nouakchott, the capital of Mauritania, Renan Bourdeau looked down at the endless stretches of desert below and wondered how people survived. As a communications company executive who specialised in writing country reports to promote national economies and attract foreign investors, Bourdeau was no stranger to exotic lands. Experienced as he was in working with different cultural approaches to business, he knew nothing of Mauritania, one of Africa’s poorest countries. According to his company’s guide book – a “bible” which contained details of its previous assignments in the region and the insights gained – the country was controlled by the Moors who held office in Nouakchott while their extended families lived a more nomadic way of life in the desert. Social customs to bridge cultural chasms The pace and style of business in the capital was based on Bedouin social courtesies and traditions which Bourdeau was keen to respect. Hospitality was a requirement of a decent Mauritanian and Bourdeau was prepared to indulge in a great deal of tea-drinking during the course of …

Why the Intellectual Elite Can’t Learn Its Lesson?

History may show that the single biggest casualty of 2016 was the credibility of elites. The one-two punch of Brexit and Trump has left establishment media and politicians reeling, their prestige cast into doubt. Their obliviousness to the right-wing populist surge exposed the bubble that most elites live in. It’s clear that they’ve been speaking and listening to one another within that bubble for far too long. So what now? Since Donald J. Trump’s victory, we’ve seen a bevy of ostensibly soul-searching think pieces from elites attempting to pinpoint how they got it wrong. But even amid this seeming display of humility, a streak of superiority shows through. In The Washington Post, for example: “We wanted to believe… America was better than that. I can fault journalists for a lot of things, but I can’t fault us for that.” A British professor of politics was quoted in The New York Times, “It’s no longer ‘the economy, stupid’, it’s ‘identity, stupid’… Identity and cultural politics are even bigger determinants of people’s politics than we thought possible.” …