Civilization caught between Mars and Parmalat - Newsletter TDF 1/2004
Technologies of the Frontier - http://www.tdf.it/ - Newsletter TDF 1/2004
This year, although only just beginning, will be one in which at least some
positive events will take place, in contrast to the tragedies which have
afflicted the planet from 2001 to 2003; or at least there will be some very
positive developments able to shake many earthlings of good will from their
shell-shock. New resolutions can then be born. Positive decisions will allow
people of goodwill to resume their journey, if not with enthusiasm, at least
with the steadiness of who know that cannot surrender. The globalized
economy is still in an unstable balance, on the edge of total collapse, but
China and India have given us all a wake-up call. And the western world has
responded [link], finally announcing new goals, in the only direction that
can bring us out of the shoals of the closed world: upward, towards the
opening of a true space economy. The successes of the Martian NASA and ESA
automated probes, in these weeks, and presence of water on Mars, now surely
serve as a good omen and encouragement, at the beginning of 2004.
China has entered the exclusive astronautic club [link], from which - let's
not forget - Europe is still an outsider, giving as of now no any sign of
aiming to insert human space flight into its own strategies. India is
qualifying increasingly as a leader in software production, at least as far
as the Information Technology market is concerned. India is also becoming a
world leader in Earth Resources monitoring from Space. We are not seeing,
therefore, a "physiological" convective motion of mature technologies,
passing from post-industrial to emergent countries: the emergent countries
are directly aiming for technological leadership in leading edge sectors.
If Europe and US do not decisively modernize their own philosophy, they will
quickly pass into the group of former cultural leaders. This is not only a
comparison among different economic or industrial philosophies.
Globalisation has finally ignited a profound trial - we could say
atavistic - of strength between the two great metaphysical systems: the
western one, based on the Aristotelian dualism, with its natural flowering
in the Enlightenment and in scientific rationalism; and the oriental one,
not dualistic, which is able to contemplate very different and contrasted
models, without always and in every cases wanting to identify a right way
and a wrong way, without always choosing the one and rejecting the other.
During the industrial age Italy was in the group of the seven most
industrialized countries, although keeping its own cultural link with a
millennial tradition. Italy is also a Protagonist of the social passage from
the industrial to the electronic age, with an SMEs sector among the most
developed (85% of the national economy produced by SMEs); however, our
Country risks a vertical involution today, in the maelstrom of a political
and economic-industrial system that finally is paying for its own awful
In this country we are split between people who conceive of the market as
the devil and their opponents, who see the market as a deus ex-machina
(that, being perfect, doesn't need improvements). The former group could not
have any concept of market ethic; they reject the market outright, and at
the very least have no interest in improving it, while the latter see no
need to improve the market at all! Still others sought an unlikely
compromise between the two supposed extremes.
But today, an enormous, and motivated, drive for ethics come out from the
Parmalat, Enron, Cirio, Argentina stories. Read the whole story in
"Civilization caught between Mars and Parmalat" -
The summary of TDF 1-2004 includes:
* Civilization caught between Mars and Parmalat - by A. Autino -
* Mars, and the Moon - by A. Autino - http://www.tdf.it/2004/marte-eng.htm
* The X Prize and the Mercantile Astronautics - by Michael Martin-Smith -
* An ordinary and ineffective dream (criticism of the Romano Prodi's
European program) - by A. Autino - http://www.tdf.it/2004/prodi_eng.htm
* Which language will our European children speak? - by A. Autino -
* Reflections in margin to the reading of the Robert M. Pirsig's
essay-novels - by A. Autino (Italian language) - it is a reflection on the
western philosophical system and on the need of renewal, stimulated by the
reading of the two Pirsig's novels "Lila" and "The Zen and Art of the
Maintenance of Motorbike". - http://www.tdf.it/2004/Riflessioni.pdf
* Stories: "An autumn evening" - by A. Autino (Italian language) -
* Earth is not a Starship! - by A. Autino - http://www.tdf.it/2004/ant-e.htm
You will note a distressing prevalence of articles of mine. This is due to
the little time that I have even to ask friends to write articles, and to
the impelling need that I have - despite my job doesn't let me time - to
give my thoughts to the web. It would be fabulous if someone started to send
articles to me without I solicit them. And even more beautiful if someone
realized that, here, unique, interesting and useful concepts are assembled,
and that it would be worth to help us (also economically!), to assure a
better continuity to this fragile telematic leaflet.
I have scheduled other two articles: "School and scientific culture" and
"Criticism of the European Constitution draft". But they will go out in a
next issue. As far as the constitution draft is concerned, I will only
observe, here, that it deals with a bad structured document, long and full
of repetitions, full of external references and of contingent political
matters. In short (i) it is not a constitution and (ii) it must be
interpreted by "costitutionalists", thus it is fully unusable by citizens.
In order to criticize its contents, a preventive study and a rationalization
are needed, in short a very binding and long job, that I don't have time to
develop. I would like instead an "American" constitution, few pages long,
maximum about thirty articles, that can be used by sovereign citizens. I
will return, however, on the matter.
With the 2004 first number, TdF is renewed in graphics and in the site'
organization. There's a cover of the current number and a general summary,
linking the covers of all numbers and other less contingent pages.
The forums are better addressed, from the cover, and there is a new forum:
The Notebook of the Absurdities, where you can record the absurdities that
everybody know and of which nobody speaks, or few know and should be known
The most beautiful experience that can be done is the one of the mysterious.
This is the true reason for every art and every science.
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