Alexandre Koyrè has analyzed, in his text “From the Closed world to the Infinite Universe“ , the relationship between pure science and scientific innovation. I strongly invite you to read this book first of all for the particularly fluid conjectural weft, and secondly for the absolutely reasonable number of pages. We all know that in sociological environment, the synthesis is undoubtedly an extremely rare quality…
The historical analysis of the relationship between human thought and machine follows a coherent chronological line, a clear evolution capable of describing the human progress story, and at the same time, of underling the risks involved in automation, including the loss of manual action, the uniqueness of work and the essence of each human being innate thought, besides the undisputable aesthetic component as a result of every human production.
The vision of Koyre goes far beyond the usual boundary of pessimistic ‘”it was better before“, after describing the change, Koyre manages to critically highlight, the inherent benefits linked to the modern society based on machines and production, including in the amount of free time as well as an upgrade of minimum standard level of wellness, factors that had nourished a stronger identity of the individual during the second part of the twentieth century.
Investigating today, after almost fifty years from the Koyrè’s death, on the effects of innovation and technology, a term that nowadays includes more than just mechanization and mass production, means above all, to analyze the effects of the new web amid a society which has become global.
The collapse of the system based on production caused by several concomitant factors, including the most obvious and predictable one, that is the saturation of the global market, has not, in any way, slowed down the man race towards innovation. Race, I intend to clarify, that has never been a harbinger of only benefits.
The increased availability of leisure and well-being is gradually channeling the new generation’s operation, not only towards fertile spaces, but also towards spaces to be conquered, virtual spaces and webspace 2.0.
With a simple gesture you can easily see where this acceleration leads by doing a research with the main search engine used on the network. Typing any of the terms, for example the term “web”, the answer you find is “About 14,010,000,000 results” in 0.17 seconds. Answer that rises many reflections, referring to the amount of information spread on network, along with the incredible quickness of response , but above all, why after a number composed of eleven figures, there should be the word “About”…
I find many similarities between the social consequence of a different time management, the effects of modernization, highlighted by Koyré, and the effects caused by the new virtual space available to all, which is Web.
In both cases, these epochal changes are irreversible, at first glance seem forms of regression in terms of communication and human creativity, but if analyzed globally, they are only an expression of a fresh social and relational structure.
Using its tools, modern society succeed in overtaking rural society by beating time differently, more faster, and frenziedly, changing the way of interaction, the society’s roles and social status. The “webmodern society” introduces a new virtual dimension, leading to new ways of gathering and socializing as well as a new substantial further acceleration in our live, in our way of acting, choosing and thinking.
In the past it was thought that with the change to an industrial production’s model, we could lose our creative component relative to manual action and craftsmanship. Nowadays it is assumed that institutional information shared and contaminated by network’s people, could undermine our sciences and belittle our culture. It is probably false.
Koyre analyzed a society much faster than the previous one and maybe due to his extraordinary open and visionary mind, that he imagine more incredible social accelerations were about to come… from the infinite universe … to an infinite number of virtual universes.