The urgency to overcome a gap. Approach to complexity and multidisciplinarity

About a year later, I re-propose my (short) contribution… research paths since '95 #CitaregliAutori

This post of mine, unusually short, starts from reading of the interesting interview by Massimo Gaggi with Walter Isaacson, published in today's Corriere della Sera with the following title «The man who unveiled Steve Jobs: “Technology is a humanist”», and the related comment on FB. Several issues were addressed: 1) the symbiosis between art and science (2) the overcoming of the gap between scientific subjects and humanities subjects (the best universities, also according to him, are those that try to reduce the distances between the disciplines in the didactic-training paths offered – reference to the many contributions on the subject) (3) the urgency of a school adjustment to the "new world". Questions to which I have returned frequently and which I have been dealing with for some time, not only in terms of scientific research. Themes and questions of vital importance, not only for universities and scientific research, but also and above all for the creation of truly open and inclusive societies.

The core of the interview is contained in the following statement: “The true creative value, above all, in the ongoing technological revolution, does not come from engineers, but from those who know how to connect (!) the humanities to technology, the arts to science: to be successful today, knowledge on both fronts is needed

However, I continue – I cannot hide it from you – to be amazed by the delay which takes note of these issues (evidence). There are those who have been dealing with it for a lifetime and there are scholars who have been working on it for decades, having built their own research paths on multidisciplinarity and approach to complexity. Is it possible that there must always be some "guru" or visionary (I am obviously not referring to Isaacson but to many other cases also of presumed "experts" ...) to present and "narrate" us, as original and innovative, ideas and proposals that come from study and research experiences developed much, much earlierThe media and the web resume and feed the flow (the famous "spiral of silence"), in many cases simplifying and polarizing the debate (?), making an idea or theme become "fashionable" - a key word to always use because it works, it's convincing, it fascinates – often without any criticism…And in the same line of discourse, we cannot fail to ask ourselves about how authority and credibility – of people and contents – are built in the Interconnected Society (and hypercomplex)? These are dynamics already present in mass society but which, probably, the new ecosystem dramatically amplifies (1996).

Educating and training in complexity and "critical thinking" ... and, as I always say, school is fundamental, the "obligatory path" for citizenship and inclusion. At university it is too late to have #TestebenFatte. But, for the so-called "knowledge society", they only serve #‎knowledge and #‎technical skills? It is the relational, organizational and social praxis that repeatedly refutes this "commonplace", which for example conditions (also, but not only) the study courses and educational choices of young people. A heavy cultural delay and on which I have written a lot (I also refer to other posts).

Let us rather think about how to restore credibility to degrees and qualifications which are of fundamental importance for understanding and managing the complexity of the change taking place and which, on the contrary, continue to be presented and told, not only in the media, as "useless"…with all the consequences of the case.

The problem is to critically educate and train #‎People who are prepared but, even more so, mentally able and flexible: educated and trained in "critical thinking", in logic (for unsuspected times, I have been talking about "doing"/"practicing" logic and philosophy since elementary school) and, in the progressive intellectual maturation, educated and trained to think with the head of the Others (recall our old idea of overcoming the "false dichotomies", among which we recall the unfortunately well-known one between scientific training and humanistic training) but also to know how to transgress and go beyond the disciplinary boundaries that make knowledge and skills incapable of understanding the complexity. This, in my opinion, the great challenge that awaits us all: a demanding challenge to say the least, destined to have repercussions at all levels, if these (long-term) objectives are pursued. Significant repercussions for the transparency and efficiency of the systems ("open" and cooperative organizational cultures), but also for the rights of citizenship, human rights, democracy and even for our way of looking at, meeting, understanding the OTHER , knowing how to recognize in pluralism and diversity opportunities and not risks. Topics that need to be dissolved and developed and to which I will also return in the future. future.future.must be loose and developed and to which I will also return in the future.

Never forget, in this sense, that an unequal school and a poor quality education (a concept that should be dissolved) create the structural conditions for an unequal society, unable to even guarantee the conditions of equality of starting opportunities. Germs of the "cultural question" and of what I have called the "the asymmetric society” (Dominics)

I close with the words of a landmark important for my training and the research paths undertaken; words that make me/us feel less alone in this journey into the complexity of life (knowledge), summarizing and reinforcing a perspective that has been carried forward for many years:

During the nineteenth century a dissociation began, which today has become a disjunction, between two components of culture, the scientific and the humanistic one. Scientific culture produces knowledge that no longer goes to the mill of humanistic culture, which has only vague media knowledge of the capital contributions of science to the knowledge of our physical and living universe. But scientific culture knows objects, ignores the subject it knows and lacks reflexivity on the uncontrolled becoming of the sciences. The fragmentation of knowledge into disciplines and sub-disciplines aggravates the generalized lack of culture. Hence the need to establish communications (!) and links between the two separate branches of culture […] The dominant techno-economic vulgate considers humanistic culture without interest or a pure luxury, pushes to reduce history courses, those of literature, and to eliminate, as chatter, philosophy. The imperialism of calculating and quantitative knowledge progresses at the expense of reflective and qualitative knowledge(Edgar Morin, 2015)

I repeat: issues that closely concern not only schools and universities


I also refer another contribution published more recently on TechEconomy: “For an inclusive innovation (cit.): mend the rift between the human and the technological”

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