One Answer

  1. Let's say the “Information bomb” of Paul Virillo.

    Virillo's central idea is the collapse of space. In other words, Virillo in 1998 predicts an era in which it no longer matters where we are – any conflict becomes global. Right now, right now, my friends from England, Norway and Canada are discussing the construction of a church in Yekaterinburg. Each of them knows only that this is happening “somewhere in Siberia”. But it doesn't matter. They sign petitions just like the residents of Yekaterinburg. They are involved in this conflict, the point on the map where it occurs does not matter.

    Similarly, Virillo predicts methods of information warfare and “fake news”: – the truth of the message content is now less important than the speed of its distribution. In the information war, what spreads faster wins.

    Virillo's views are opposed to the optimistic “global village” theory of Marshall McLuhan.�

    Reading Virillo now is largely boring precisely because of the accuracy of forecasts-we live in the world that he predicted in 1998, all this is familiar and banal to us. Virillo's shortcoming as a social philosopher is methodological laxity and extremely free, metaphorical use of physical terms. This should be taken into account by any “natural scientist” who will undertake to read it.

    Or, in contrast, the very recent “Enlightenment Now” by Stephen Pinker.�

    Pinker, relying on a huge statistical array of data, tries to prove that we are waiting for a beautiful bright future, that we are living in an era of a new triumph of Enlightenment.

    The disadvantage of the book is Pinker's very superficial knowledge of the history of philosophy and history in general, in a rough understanding of what is meant by the term “Enlightenment” in the humanities, in the author's tendency to nail opponents. The data set is huge, and philosophical analysis is highly questionable. Which, however, only means that we can observe the controversy about the book in real time.�

    The Better Angels of Our Nature by the same Pinker (2011), which will soon be published in Russian under the editorship of the well-known E. Shulman and will somehow be called on the great and mighty, be more careful in philosophical terms, the thesis about global poverty reduction is more modest, there is more “mathematics” in Enlightenment Now.�

    You should read Pinker only in combination with criticism, but Angels, for all its ambiguity , is a hugely influential book in political science.

    Virillo is a prophet of the coming global technocatastrophe, Pinker is a prophet of a beautiful new world and the triumph of progress. Let's see who's right.

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