I am flattered to be referred to by a figure like Professor Vaj, whose competence and experience can only serve as a stimulus and motivation for intellectual growth.
The professor is right to point out that I do not provide alternatives to technology. I don't do it because in my eyes there is no "inevitable necessity" to accept transhumanist and accelerationist demands in the terms in which they are being pushed, as if they were here to do man a favor. In these times of sanitary tyranny, I keep repeating like a broken record that, in the Classical Era, even without Big Pharma we could live a hundred years or so. The Sophist Gorgias, with a feeling that transcended arrogance and pride, recalled that he lived to be 108 "without ever having done anyone a favor". Diogenes the Cynic lived to 89. Plato to 80.
I take this opportunity to thank you sincerely, Professor Vaj, for the comparison that has made me aware of the figure of Aleksandr Dugin, an impressive mind that I did not know and of which I am already deeply fascinated. To contextualize my concerns to the Russian literary sphere, I would rather make a comparison with the biological mutation of the protagonist of Mikhail Bulgakov's novel Heart of a Dog. Victim of a sadistic manipulation that generated a metamorphosis that, despite its "monstrous" innovativeness and scientific originality, reduced the protagonist Pallinov to a resigned love and submission to his executioner. Attempts to revolt against Professor Fillippovich and his assistant Bormental were useless, nor will the assistance of Svonder and the committee help him.
You will rightly object that Bulgakov was referring to the Russian proletariat and the profound social change that the Russian people were going through at that historical moment - which the tovarish dog-man Pallinov represents. I could then take as an example the inner transmutation that Dostoyevsky's Raskolnikov of Crime and Punishment faces after the murders of Alyona Ivanovna and her sister Lizaveta. That feeling of alienation between himself and others, then mutating into a lucid and legitimate, according to Raskolnikov, "rational egoism" that goes so far as to legitimize the murder. But which leads Raskolnikov to the understanding that he is profoundly and irrevocably changed. "Navsegda". Forever. Because Raskolnikov has essentially killed a part of himself, which he will never get back. As Jordan Peterson also teaches us.
Moving on to scientific considerations, you will know better than me how our brain, not to mention the DNA, is still a great mystery. Practically nothing is still known about the rare genetic case of the "Chimera", where two embryos of twins merge in the primordial stages of gestation, giving birth to a single subject with two different genetic codes. Science is still groping in the dark about 98% of our source code, a matter defined as "Junk DNA" and very controversial among scientists. Recent studies have begun to shed more light on the nature of our Junk DNA, demonstrating that the potential for greater understanding of the subject is vast - and in my humble opinion vastly preferable to a solution derived from technological hybridization.
I believe that the risks of Singularity, Professor, are great, if only we go to see the impact that are having experimental phenomena neither invasive nor permanent as the "Body Swapping" experienced through virtual reality. I do not even enter in the theme of "Brain Hacking" or in the field of Neuro Ethics treated by Professor Nita Faharany.
I don't like to quote James Lovelock again but, paraphrasing an interesting thing he says in the text I mentioned in the source article of your remarks: we are so worried about knowing what happens on Mars that we ignore that the seas (and I add the center of planet Earth) are practically still colossal mysteries for human intelligence.
As the name of my blog on "Substack" testifies, technology is for me a source of reflection and critical analysis aimed at a re-evaluation of the way we use our intelligence. Re-evaluation that I don't dare to pretend is correct, but for which I will continue to fight until the concept will continue to have the inner resonance that it has in me at the moment.
Paul Valery said in Petite lettre sur les mythes: "What would we be without the help of what does not exist?". This quote, in addition to providing an answer to the question you pose in your text, is also the opening of a short but very dense essay by Peter Sloterdjik entitled Falsa Coscienza published in Italy by Mimemis. The author says: "Existence has always been immersed in a totalizing error from which it is possible to free oneself only at the price of immense spiritual sacrifices or, if these prove insufficient, thanks to the intervention of a truth unattainable by human means".
I prefer to anchor human reality to a culture and esoteric concepts that are thousands of years old, rather than enthusiastically embrace a change that comes directly from what for me represents the core of the mal de vivre that distinguishes the society. Without looking into that darkness that Nietzsche warned us about, saying that "sooner or later it will begin to look into us," what would be the point of our presence in this fictio or, in the words of Dugin, "in this great parody?"
I take it for granted that those who read us are as aware as we are of the fact that capitalism and the like are nothing more than surrogates, or perhaps better said Soros-gates, of the great philanthropic foundations and charitable international non-profit organizations that lead the campaigns of victimization and moralization of the masses. Foundations that act independently up to a point, like the Big Global Players: Big Oil, Big Finance, Big Pharma, Big Tech, who you know better than I do to be kind concessions of the institution that has explicitly ruled the world for nearly 2 millennia. From the materialism that has devastated spirituality to the idea of Propaganda Fide that has malleated the idea of communication up to contemporary times, Rome was, is and will be Caput Mundi.
When I was still a teenager, I bought several copies of those beautiful 100-page, 1, 000 liras collections in the "I Tascabili Newtown" series. Among them, I still reread every so often Cicero's The Art of Aging. An art that has its secret, even in old age, in vitality. "One man, by temporizing, restored to us the Republic ... Therefore shines and will shine evermore the glory of this man."
Professor Vaj: given your relationship with the university in my city, Padua, I hope to one day have the pleasure of meeting you for a chat - and na ombra (Paduan for "a drink"), of course. Cum potuerit.
He debuted as a reporter in 2000 for the group "Il Gazzettino" and collaborates over the years with various newspapers and magazines. Talent scout and agent in the electronic music sector, he cultivates a deep passion for history, philosophy, languages and technology. Author of the blog "Rethinking Intelligence" on Substack.