From time to time, human society has had to face challenges concerning its own survival. Looking at the historical process of evolution, one can see a simple thing: every dangerous situation we had to face was created by human behavior. Yes, earthquakes, sores, we should say are not caused by our activities (until now!). But in a way the path we go through to contain them depends very much on how evolved our sensitivity is, together with our technological tools and our sense of mutual belonging. It sounds too general, and so it is. But who said that a general discourse is necessary false?
At the beginning of our family and school education process, we begin to absorb a narrative of the human enterprise: there is my grandfather who was a soldier during the Second World War, there were the dinosaurs unfortunately extinct by the explosion of a meteor on Earth and there were several empires that had reigned and fought each other to gain absolute power over everything. During my philosophical studies at the university I decided to focus my interests on the origin of life. I also studied biology to understand what are the mechanisms involved in the formation of the first cell of our planet, and let's try to guess? We do not know. We do not know how the first cell comes from nowhere. Of course, we have different hypotheses, but no certainty. No experiment can recreate the real condition of the first origin, no cell was recreated from its primary components. And it's ok, no problem about it. Let science evolve within its rhythm and process.
It is outside the scientific field that we have problems. For example, why doesn't anyone care why we spread a huge amount of fiction about this or that? If I open an elementary school book, I will certainly find a completely coherent story of what happened from the Big Bang to the Twin Towers attack. if we simply begin to use logic, we will be forced to observe a series of macroscopic contradictions that have no reason to exist. And these contradictions are still standing because of a common sense that considers a better solution to have a story to tell - that can be changed step by step to respect new discoveries and so on - instead of starting from a pure, natural and intrinsic "I DON'T KNOW" and then invent that real patchwork that is our knowledge system. We actually don’t know what the effect of a different kind of education could be, but we exclude it for biases, or maybe for our effective need of control.
If we start to proceed in this way, it becomes clear that there are many questions to be addressed. First, and this is the subject of this brief presentation, how can this lack of systemic criticism affect our conscience? This is an important question, especially in our present age, in which we are introducing an overwhelming amount of technology without interruption. We don't know how this activity changes our behavior, our beliefs, our thinking and our emotions, and besides, it seems we don't want to know. But for those interested in understanding what is happening, there are some possibilities. One of these will take place in Todi, Italy, from 22 to 29 June 2019. The event is called Week of Cortona and is the last episode of a long tradition that began in 1984. We are talking about a one-week retreat, a 24-hour full immersion for seven days in which partial participation is not allowed. Scientists, philosophers, economists, artists, spiritual leaders, together with students from all over the world, will cooperate with each other to create a process of knowledge, exchange of personal experiences and visions.
The purpose of the week is to encourage the kind of connections between people and disciplines that we do not usually find in training institutes: Being human in a technological world will be a survey on our relationship with the technologies we use, like artificial intelligence. You can look at this article written by Pier Luigi Luisi, founder and president of the Amici di Cortona Association, to better understand the reasons for our investigation. We don’t know what we are going to become, but we can invest our energies to shed light on this.