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Critica della Repubblica : L'uomo-mondo
di orlandolentini , Sat 13 February 2010 5:00
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L’inchiesta di Federico Rampini su L’uomo globale, [ La Repubblica, 12 febbraio 2010] merita un commento critico nella rubrica. Rampini scrive: ‘Multiculturale, poliglotta, senza più radici, con genitori di diverse etnie: così sta crescendo sul pianeta un nuovo cittadino’. Poi ancora : ‘E’ nato un nuovo cittadino: nomade di professione. Senza più radici, multiculturale, figlio della globalizzazione, con valori che vanno oltre la nazionalità e il colore della pelle’.

Poi Rampini passa ad occuparsi di un caso che considera paradigmatico: una famiglia di Soho, a Manhattan, che indubbiamente, a leggere l’articolo, è insieme meticciato biologico e meticciato culturale. Unione di una tedesca con un giapponese, influenze asiatiche, vivere a New York etc. un classico caso di : non si sa di che etnia, razza, cultura siamo. Rampini e credo con lui anche La Repubblica, sembra ritenere che questo fenomeno sia il frutto della ‘globalizzazione’.

In realtà, l’inizio del processo di ibridazione dell’umanità può farsi risalire all’avvio della formazione della divisione europea del lavoro, che molti fanno decorrere dalla ‘scoperta dell’America’, ma che di fatto è il frutto dell’espansione dell’iniziativa commerciale in senso più lato dei capitali europei. Da questa espansione derivano le forme più impensabili di meticciato biologico e culturale, che hanno segnato negli ultimi cinquecento anni le diverse parti del mondo.

Il tema del metissage, fino alla definizione di una pensée métisse (Paris, Fayard 1999) è stato a lungo studiato fra gli altri da un mio amico, Serge Gruzinski, che ha dapprima ricostruito la varie forme di meticciato create dall’espansione spagnola, e poi ha approfondito i casi del cinquecento messicano e dell’Asia. Studi simili sugli ultimi cinquecento anni sono in corso un po’ dovunque e non fanno che confermare il fatto che l’ibridazione e il meticciato sono da tempo la vera cifra dello sviluppo umano, e non soltanto delle casuali famiglie venute all’attenzione del giornalista di Cindia.

Più che di un ‘cittadino globale’ si dovrebbe parlare di un ‘uomo-mondo’, che è un prodotto della divisione mondiale del lavoro, in corso da secoli. A questo uomo-mondo prodotto dell’espansione occidentale, sta per sovrapporsi, non ancora sostituirsi, un uomo-mondo che è in corso di produzione a causa delle crescite di Cina e India, e forse di altre crescite oggi non ancora visibili. Da Shibuia, a Soho, a Hong Kong, a Brasilia, all’ultimo dei villaggi sardi, l’uomo-mondo è nato già da tempo, ma l’Europa non se n’è accorta.

Questo uomo-mondo sarà sempre più imbarazzato nel vedere il comportamento localistico che sembra essere alla base della politica culturale del nostro attuale governo. Che dire dei buzzurri leghisti, ibridati chissà come, e a quanto pare in maniera malata, già secoli fa?

Orlando Lentini


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Commenti
Inviato: 13/2/2010 8:59  Aggiornato: 13/2/2010 9:14
Autore: fulmini

@ Orlando Lentini

Condivido l'allargamento che proponi (nei tuoi libri e) nel post del quadro storico del "processo di ibridazione dell'umanità".

Riporto qui, per i lettori avidi di nuove conoscenze, la pagina di Wikipedia su Serge Gruzinski:

Serge Gruzinski, né le 5 novembre 1949 à Tourcoing, est un historien français, archiviste paléographe, spécialiste de l'Amérique latine.

Ancien élève de l'École nationale des chartes, puis membre de l'École française de Rome (1973-1975) et de la Casa de Velázquez à Madrid. Directeur d'études à l'École des hautes études en sciences sociales depuis 1993, il s'intéresse aux colonisations de l'Amérique et de l'Asie, notamment aux expériences coloniales comme lieu de métissages et de naissance d'espaces hybrides et comme premières manifestations de la mondialisation. Il est membre du Comité de rédaction de la revue Gradhiva.

Il a récemment été le commissaire de l'exposition Planète Métisse au Musée du quai Branly.

* La colonisation de l'imaginaire, Paris, Gallimard, 1988.
* Avec Carmen Bernand : Histoire du Nouveau Monde, Paris, Fayard.
o Tome 1, « De la découverte à la conquête », 1991 (ISBN 2213027641))
o Tome 2, « Les métissages », 1993 (ISBN 2213029652))
* L’Aigle et la Sibylle, Paris, Imprimerie nationale, 1994.
* La Pensée métisse, Paris, Fayard, 1999.
* Les Quatre parties du monde, Paris, La Martinière, 2004, prix Auguste Gérard.
* Quelle heure est-il là-bas ? Amérique et islam à l’orée des temps modernes, Paris, Seuil, L'Univers historique, 2008.
Inviato: 13/2/2010 18:40  Aggiornato: 13/2/2010 19:13
Credo che Federico Rampini e Orlando Lentini parlano di cose diverse, ed entrambi probabilmente hanno ragione sul proprio argomento. Io mi faccio un'altra domanda: Quale tipo di uomo sta nascendo nel mondo attuale? O meglio, quali tipi di uomini, di cittadini?
Vedo formarsi e crescere ed espandersi, specialmente fra i giovani (ma non solo), il 'cittadino di un mondo virtuale'. Non sembra essere un solo tipo di cittadino. Fra questi cittadini del mondo virtuale, vi è l'uomo intontito, l'uomo autonomo e solidale, ecc. Sarebbe interessante farne uno studio psico-socio-culturale. Penso sia questo uno studio di grande importanza politica.
Luis Razeto
Inviato: 14/2/2010 11:26  Aggiornato: 14/2/2010 11:42
Il suggerimento di Razeto a porre attenzione al nuovo tipo di uomo emergente dalla rete merita un approfondimento, anche se non ha a che vedere con La Repubblica. In effetti sta sorgendo una nuova identità, che chiamerei 'identità di rete', che molti attribuiscono ad un 'uomo virtuale'. La 'realtà virtuale' viene attribuita in cibernetica a mondi creati ad arte attraverso la strumentazione informatica. Secondo il cyberfilosofo tunisino-francese-canadese Pierre Lévy, in realtà fin dall'origine dei tempi l'essere umano, per poter vivere, ha dovuto 'virtualizzare' tutto ciò che sente o con cui viene a contatto, e così, secondo lui, la virtualizzazione è intrinseca all'essere umano, che vive sempre di e nella 'realtà virtuale'. Io condivido questa opinione e l'ho espressa in un paper presentato alla conferenza annuale del Center for cultural sociology di Yale (New Haven) nel 2007. Il paper aveva per titolo 'Culture as virtual reality'. Viviamo dentro realtà virtuali molteplici, che quando si incrociano si 'ibridano' e producono altre realtà virtuali. Il caso delle fonti arabe della Divina commedia di Dante è a questo proposito eclatante. La summa filosofico immaginifica della realtà virtuale cristiana, ha anche una matrice islamica.
Secondo me il problema è che l'identità umana è realtà virtuale in continuo mutamento sia nella singola persona che nel corso dei secoli. L'identità di rete è solo l'ultimissima versione di questa virtualizzazione umana, che è piuttosto 'reale'. Vedremo se Repubblica ci offrirà l'occasione di essere 'criticata' anche su questo tema.
Orlando
Inviato: 14/2/2010 11:38  Aggiornato: 14/2/2010 11:38
Autore: fulmini

A Orlando Lentini

Penso che molti lettori del sito-rivista sarebbero felici di poter leggere il tuo paper 'Culture as virtual reality'. In versione inglese, e, se possibile, anche in versione italiana.

Io stesso te ne ho sentito parlare, ma un conto è ascoltare e ritenere la parola detta un altro leggere e meditare la parola scritta.

Pasquale Misuraca
Inviato: 15/2/2010 14:47  Aggiornato: 15/2/2010 14:48
Autore: fulmini

{Orlando Lentini offre, in sostituzione del paper di Yale, che sta riscrivendo, un altro paper presentato a Chuo University, Tokio, nel 2006: Social knowledges of the world-system: Dynamics of western social knowledges. Lo pubblico senz’altro. Pasquale Misuraca}

1. Social knowledges as virtual reality
The subheading of my presentation, ‘Dynamics of Western social knowledges’, implies a sort of process, a constitutive process, as part of a more complex whole, the formation of the Western division of labor. The first problem to face is the ‘nature’ of social knowledges. To this aim, we can start with an analytical distinction between real reality and virtual reality. By virtual reality I mean the entire body of latent information internalized by individuals as collective memory, collective conscience, collective imaginary, that with its working allows us to exist [ex-sistere], to act and to produce organization and culture [culture is the production and reproduction of virtual reality].
In its more recent use, virtual reality is a term derived from computer science, or at least it came to fashion after the growth of that field of application. To this definition we add the one offered by the French cyber-philosopher Pierre Levy, of virtual reality as the product of a process of virtualization through language formation. According to Levy, language virtualizes real time, material things, actual events and present situations, and so on.
As far as we can not live and think without virtual reality, we have to suppose the existence of a constitutive process that is knowable only through virtualization of the process itself. Of course, virtualization is inextricable part of the social constitutive process. On this premise, we can say that social knowledges are the virtual reality produced by a historical system in its constitutive process, as an essential element of the process itself.
2. Social knowledges in the ‘longue durée’ [virtualization of the constitutive process of world-economy]
In the field of social sciences it is a common view to consider the time span of the development of capitalism, between sixteenth and twentieth century, as the ‘age of modernity’. It means an age characterized by the evolutive construction of an organic body of concepts and theories, and by a system of norms and values, constituting the process of modernization. Therefore, we can also say that modernization theory is a synthetic way to systematize social virtual reality produced in the last five hundred years in the Western world.
In actual fact, the gran narrative of modernization theory has been builded as a Western answer to the organizational problems of the constitutive process of the world-system. Passions and interests of the Western appropriation of the world are at the core of the theory. In addition, the hegemonic powers dictated content and sound of the proper and legitimate vision of the world.
Nevertheless, as far as the system, as a whole, needs to think itself, it was quite clear that the Western versions were only part of the mode of representation. Their alleged universalism was only a version of Western rationality, and a wider interpretation of the logic of the historical system was demanded. This trend of critique and often of refusal, once manifested by the formation of antisystemic movements, paradigms of resistence, and by the formation of alternative versions of the virtual reality of the world-system, is today quite the norm. The trend is evident with postcolonial studies, border thinking, metissages, but also with fundamentalisms of every kind.
Let’s start with a very concise definition of society: society is a division of labor with a shared virtual reality, including shared systems of norms and values. This definition should be completed and integrated with the historical specificities of every social system. In our case, the case of Western social knowledges, between thirteenth and fifteenth century we have had a transition from a quasi-statical condition, with its own ‘medieval’ virtual reality, to a phase of accelerated social change, that we call the formation of a new world-economy.
In fact, the constitutive process of the world-economy is supposed to be the organizational real reality that gives way, very slowly, to a new virtual reality. This new virtual reality, the very process of virtualization, should be the object of the history of social knowledges. The old virtual reality of course continues to be of use for a long while, but the organizational needs of the constitutive process of the world-economy, require new documentation, new notions, new theories.
3. Primitive accumulation: investigation, enquiry, documentation, description, narration, mapping
The Western construction and definition of the world has its continuities. From the very start, the ‘men of knowledge’ have seen their virtual reality as a whole, with an eternal or at least long-lasting functionality. This supposed, but also real, long-lasting functionality was the basis of a sort of primitive accumulation of new knowledges, due to expansion, discoveries, navigations, travels, that also implied the slow formation of a new social imaginary. The process was improved by investigations, inquires, huge documentation, descriptions, mapping, and so on.
Among the first important steps in this direction is the long list of sociographical investigations by the Spanish Consejo de Indias, investigations conducted through very complex questionnaires, sets of questions that were intended to report the state of the empire in its early formation. The materials of those investigations, recently recovered and published under the title of ‘Relaciones geograficas’, are the evidence not only of the colonization of indio imaginary, but of a systematic trend in production of a ‘scientific’, quite rigorous virtual reality, for the definition of the new historical system. The end result of all that systematic and methodical accumulation of information, was the needed production of new, we can say ‘post-medieval’, grand narratives.
New forms of narration, among them the reports of early sociographical works, and particularly the Dutch world atlases [the grand atlases of Joan Blaeu’s publishing company in Amsterdam, and particularly Martino Martini’s Novus Atlas Sinensis], were made possible by an early systematic and methodical accumulation of data and descriptions. The accumulation was such that allowed to speak of a transition from ‘the world of approximation to the universe of precision’, to quote the title of one among Koyré’s books [edited by an Italian scholar] on the so called scientific revolution.
This same process operated in the analysis of parts of the system, like the study of a specific country and state [for instance the very telling description of all the Low Countries, Descrittione di tutti li Paesi Bassi, by Ludovico Guicciardini]. The same for the analysis of social problems and every general organizational problem. In addition, words like ‘system’ and ‘organization’ were already important components of seventeenth and eighteenth century scholarly vocabularies [from Hobbes to Condillac].
4. Units of analysis and model building [state, world division of labor]
Primitive accumulation was in fact a very long process of documentation, leaded by the Spanish Hapsburg administrative apparatus and by several scholars, then by the Flamish mapmakers, and sees its culmination in the rationalization offered by Francis Bacon and his stressing of ‘matters of fact’. We can even say that the Royal Society of London was the institutionalization of that, once Spanish-Dutch, research program. The impressive materials collected during a period of one hundred fifty years, say from 1500 to 1650, an historical segment Fernand Braudel called ‘the long sixteenth century’, with the addition of a growing bulk of detailed quantitative data, was in turn the basis of the early attempts to build models of particular units of analysis. From data accumulation to description, to narration, to measuring and to systematic quantification, we reach the phase of modeling of wider units of analysis.
More or less at the end of the so called ‘long sixteenth century’, around 1650, we see the first important attempts at modeling the state, a unit of analysis destined to have a central place in social sciences. Among those attempts stands Hobbes Leviathan, but also important are other state models, from Harringhton and Spinoza to Locke, and so on. Model building was then possible because in the mean time the constitutive process of the world-economy assigned to this component of the Western division of labor, the so called ‘state’, later to become the ‘nation state’, a quite definite central role.
Another unit of analysis was also emerging, with the early modelization by the English India Company and, above all, through the works of William Petty, of the world division of labor. So, we see that virtualization of the world-economy implied the modeling of the main units of analysis, state and world market, two units that finally, one century later, combined in the work of Adam Smith on the wealth of nations, to give the first winning model of the entire historical system.
The early virtualization of the world-economy, then in the way to become a very world-system, had as its consequence the formation of new research programs, aimed at understanding the specific logic of parts of the system, but also the logic of the entire system. These research programs became later, as political science and political economy, the basis and the core of the social sciences. However, the main research program, the very backbone and structure of the definition of the world-system, starting from eighteenth century, was intended to be political economy. What is important to note is the transformation of many systemic research programs into disciplines, undoubtedly a needed and functional reification that, unfortunately, too frequently becomes a cage, able to prevent the study of the real constitutive process, what we can call the ‘real’ social change.
5. The ‘logic’ of the world-system from Petty to Smith
As we have seen, successful virtualization of the ‘logic’ of the world-economy took a long while [more or less from 1500 to 1776]. A primitive accumulation of data and concepts was needed in order to formulate the first hypotheses, while the system was already working. Anyhow, the research program for the analysis of the logic of the system develops in seventeenth century Europe, but particularly in England, with the works of William Petty, and soon becomes one of the most important processes of virtualization, under the label of ‘political economy’. While this process was in its early constitutive stage [between 1650 and 1750] toghether with other research programs concerning the so called ‘study of man’, the sciences of life, the principles of moral philosophy, the human nature, the ‘esprit des lois’ etc., including a new vision of the past, a new history, the historical system that we can call the ‘modern world-system’ was consolidating its structures.
The consolidation of the structures of the ‘modern world-system’, was the necessary step to make possible the formulation of a model of the functioning of its constitutive process. The social sciences, what I prefere to call social knowledges, took their present configuration only after the consolidation of the structures of the historical system. We have also to add that this virtualization of the logic of the constitutive process of the ‘modern world-system’ is, generally speaking, a matter of concern for the scholars and organizers of the core countries of the world-system, and particularly a matter of concern of the hegemonic powers in their interaction with other competitive core countries.
Competition among core countries has been for a long while, and probably will be in the future, a major source of organizational virtual reality. The main competition, a competition at the origins of our present vision of the world, is the one among British and French scholars, between eighteenth and nineteenth century, a very sense making competition. To this competition we have to add the one among the British-French compromise and the German ideological needs, elaborated first of all by Frederic List, that through the historical school offers the main paradigm of resistence of the nineteenth century.
Furthermore, the formation of a specific virtual reality and imaginary of the modern world-system at the end of the eighteenth century, with its steady reification, allowed the scientization of social knowledges, the rise of scientism. The recent crisis and demise of scientism was in fact derived from the awareness that this kind of knowledges is closely dependent on the constitutive process of the historical system, and incessantly subject to alteration.


6. Geoculture of the world-system: liberal-Marxism
The phase of British hegemony is also a moment of consolidation and positive reification of the model of the constitutive process of the world-system. A combination of French-British political economy [mostly Phisiocracy and Adam Smith’s paradigm] and French- British political thought in the form of liberal thought, becomes the current virtual reality of the first half of the nineteenth century. Notwithstanding the varieties of this model offered by several scholars in different countries, it takes soon a shared shape, as a materialistic conception of history and society. We call this paradigm [ that is also a wide and complex research program] liberal-Marxism. In some sense, liberal-Marxism will be for more than one hundred fifty years the virtual reality through which the system thinks itself, its very geoculture.
7. Corporate metamorphosis: Us hegemony and cognitive dissonance
It is always important to consider the object of social sciences [social knowledges] the virtualization of the constitutive process, and not a simple mirroring of objective data of a fixed reality. The liberal-Marxist synthesis, with the only possible exception of social darwinism, will dominate the ideological landscape of the modern world-system. Its model of capitalism, of the state, of history, of human rights, of civilized or uncivilized, modern and pre-modern, western and eastern and so on, became the standard interpretation of the world, its legitimate virtual reality. The so called classics of social thought, at least from Petty, Locke, Turgot, Smith, Frederic List, and than from Sumner Maine, Marx, Tönnies, Durkheim and Weber, and many others, were the builders of this virtual reality.
The point is that in the mean time, the constitutive process operated its changes non only in terms of generic social change, but in terms of a progressive modification of structures and dynamics. The capitalist world-economy after 1870 takes a new direction, toward a radical transformation of the structure of the economic enterprise, and in few years realizes a very metamorphosis: the formation of the system of giant corporations, based in US economic structure. The American system of giant corporations, that has been also called managerial capitalism, implied a serious modification of the existing European social virtual reality.
Curiously enough, the American intellighentsia and the American organizers were not able to produce the new virtual reality, or to make the needed alterations to the old liberal-Marxist virtual reality inherited from the European entrepreneurial capitalism. So, American social knowledges in the phase of corporate capitalism were for a long while based on a nineteenth century virtual reality, the libera-Marxist vision of the world. The same as the European scholars are concerned. The way we thought the world in the last century is a sort of ideological schizophrenia, particularly evident in the case of corporate capitalism and corporate liberalism, but with serious consequences in the non Western countries and in the peripheries of the world-system as well.
Social darwinism, pragmatism, institutionalism and then functionalism, are among the ways American social knowledges tried to adapt their vision of the logic of the system to the corporate metamorphosis. The Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences, edited by Seligman and Johnson in the thirties, is a quite good exemple of the way the ascending hegemonic power tries to create a new epistemic community centered on American ideological and organizational interests.
Among the many problems raised by this schizophrenia, very interesting is the case of American functionalism, in the versions offered by Talcott Parsons and Robert K. Merton. Their European liberal-Marxism was adapted to the ideological needs of the system of giant corporations in its interaction with America democracy, giving way to the so called structural-functionalist approach, very useful in the working of corporate liberalism and corporate democracy, from the forties destined to become the basis of American social sciences.

8. Present ideological strains
After the American hegemony, social knowledges faced a serious crisis. The meaning of the crisis can be summarized first of all in the crisis of modernization theory. The paradigm of modernization was a simplistic and mostly Americo-centric reification of the virtual reality utilized by Western powers to manage their imperialism. With this hegemonic decline, the rest of the world was, at this point, ready to oppose alterations to liberal-Marxism, several models of paradigms of resistence, even new anti-systemic movements. Many scholars and intellectuals in the center, the West, followed the same path. Deconstruction and unthinking was the new task.
In the West, one reaction was to experiment a series of interesting new turns. We have had the ‘linguistic’ turn, the ‘cultural’ turn, and even a ‘dialogic’ turn, the last manifestation of the unease with ideological reification, and a serious critique of the disciplines as well. It is quite clear that the need for unthinking old social sciences and to restructure the entire field is now the order of the day.
The present redefinition of the interdependences asks for more changes in our virtual reality. While in the past centuries it was common to produce virtual reality for very separated material and ideological worlds, like in the case of Weberian world religions, today we see a new phenomenon, the production of a shared virtual reality, as a consequence of the formation a world division of labor [not only the world market, but the entire complex of interactions] and of a geoculture of the world-system.
The new trend is to negotiate a shared and mobile new virtual reality, for the needs of a really unified world. The latent progression towards a vision of one world, accentuated after the second world war, the so called one worldism, is now the very philosophy of social sciences, notwithstanding the various ideological re-emergences of nationalism, identity politics, border thinking, postcolonial studies, supposed clashes of civilizations, and so on.
In the last risult, I see at present only an unavoidable convergence toward a general fusion of old virtual realities, and the production of a shared virtual reality, the social knowledges of structural interdependence. The new epistemic community will be, or should be, organized around egalitarian principles of peaceful, multipolar coesistence, giving way to a social science in which the local and the global will have their proper balance. An excellent exemple of this new trend is the International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, edited by Smelser and Baltes. This Encyclopedia is the evidence that the future is already among us.

See:
Orlando Lentini, Saperi sociali, ricerca sociale 1500-2000, Milano Angeli 2003
Orlando Lentini, La sinistra americana pensa il mondo, Milano, Angeli 2008
Pierre Lévy, Qu’est-ce que le virtuel, Paris, La Découverte 1995.
Inviato: 22/2/2010 13:16  Aggiornato: 22/2/2010 13:16
Autore: fulmini

Fra i 'cittadini di un mondo virtuale' che vanno formandosi intorno a noi, Luis Razeto, nel suo commento, accenna all'uomo intontito e all'uomo autonomo e solidale.

Concludendo il Capitolo 6 (Teoria della crisi organica) del nostro libro 'La Traversata. Libro Primo.', in una nota di attualizzazione, il lettore curioso può trovare qualche elemento per una loro prima e provvisoria individuazione: http://pasqualemisuraca.com/sito/index.php/scienza/50-la-traversata.html#Capitulo6

Pasquale Misuraca