Edgar Morin (Nahoum) is a French philosopher and sociologist of Judeo-Spanish origins. He was born in Paris in 1921.
He became interested in socialism during the Spanish Civil War and became an advocate for the Popular Front. When France was invaded by Germany in 1940 he started to assist refugees and committed himself to Marxist socialism. He was a member of the French Resistance and it was then that he chose to be called Morin rather than Nahoum and he would use this pseudonym for the rest of his life. In 1941 he joined the Communist Party and in 1945 he started serving as a lieutenant in the French occupation army in Germany. When he came back to France, he decided to pursue his activities with the Communist Party but he was expelled in 1951 due to a critical article he published in the Nouvel Observateur. That same year, he became a member of the CNRS (National Centre of Scientific Research).
Morin carried out research at several other institutes, such as the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences in Paris, the University of Nanterre, and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California. He is also one of the founders of the International Ethical Scientific and Political Collegium, a high-level group created in 2002 “to respond intelligently and forcefully to the decisive challenges facing humankind”.
Edgar Morin is a French philosopher and sociologist, whose works are broadly trans disciplinary.
He presents some of his thinking on education in the interview “Seven Complex Lesson in Education for the Future”.
His aim is to spread a new kind of thinking that can help humanity overcome the challenges that face the contemporary era.
Starting in the 19th century, according to Morin, knowledge has become so compartmentalized that experts are unable to think through challenges that go beyond their area of expertise. First, we need to understand the nature of being human, Morin says, then, we must discover that “the treasure of human unity is human diversity and that the treasure of human diversity is human unity”.
We must also recognize the ethnical nature of being human: human beings have rights, he says, but also duties.
And we must acknowledge that all knowledge is uncertain. How can we deal with uncertainty? We must get used to “expect the unexpected” and understand that all the decisions we make are “wagers” with uncertain outcomes.
Morin, finally, discusses how human beings can “better understand each other”. To limit misunderstanding, we must learn how to be “self-observant”, “self-critical”, and “mindful of complexity”.
Education plays a key role, according to Morin. Watch the full interview here.
Read Edgar Morin’s ” Seven Complex Lessons in Education for the Future here.
Check out NYU Florence student Natalia Ramirez’s profile of Professor Joshua Tucker here and find out how to apply to become an undergraduate research assistant at the SMaPP lab at NYU!
Join us for the Social Media and Political Participation conference, being live streamed now!
NYU Florence student Natalia Ramirez interviewed Professor Cristian Vaccari in the lead up to this Friday and Saturday’s Social Media and Political Participation conference.
In your opinion, is social media expanding the range of voices in political discourse, or concentrating it?
To some extent both, especially if compared with the mass media age when the production and gatekeeping of mediated messages was a monopoly in the hands of owners, editors, and journalists. Now more people can express their voice in public space than used to be the case in the past. That being said, there is no question that the Internet and social media are environments where attention is scarce and visibility is highly concentrated, so a very select few social media users will get most people´s attention and the vast majority will get close to zero.
Read the full interview here. Join us this Friday and Saturday for the conference. It will be live streamed here. Rsvp at email@example.com.
1) Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Angelino Alfano announced that in its next meeting the Council of Ministers will focus on measures against violence against women. Minister Alfano declared that the government “will find the money to take the necessary measures, because the protection of women is an invaluable priority”. Corriere della Sera reports on violence against women in 2013, demonstrating that this phenomenon is a real concern in Italy: since January 1st, almost every day a woman was killed by her husband, her son, her boyfriend, or her father. We hope that this negative trend will stop.
2) Prime Minister Letta announced that this weekend all the ministers of his cabinet will spend two days a retreat at Sarteano’s abbey (recently transformed into a hotel) in Tuscany, to “set the political agenda, to know each other and to become a real group”. Prime Minister Letta also underlined that each minister will bear his or her own costs.
3) Yesterday all the party members proposed by the Democratic Party and the People of Freedom Party for the presidency of the parliamentary committees were elected by the parliament, except for Nitto Palma (PDL), proposed by Silvio Berlusconi for the presidency of the Justice Committee in the Senate. Immediately after the voting, many PDL members denounced the fact that the PD has not honored the agreements they made during the negotiations. Another session of voting will take place today. We’ll see how the situation evolves.
by Scott Cairns, NYU ’15
People have been meeting in book clubs, fantasy football leagues, and at their children’s soccer games long before the advent of the internet, so to say that social networks did not exist before the digital age would be a lie. It wasn’t, however, until online social networks became a ‘must-have’ that a massive protest movement like the Arab Spring or the worldwide Occupy movement really could become possible. The difference in the size can only be explained by people who previously were not involved in any ‘real world’ (non-digital) social network coming together and mobilizing across the world. It made such a difference in Egypt that a newborn baby in Egypt was christened ‘Facebook’ by his parents.
The difference, in my opinion, is the sheer amount of little social networks that one can belong to on the internet, rather than in person. From personal experience, I can tell you that it is impossible to be in two places at once. No matter how much one enjoys cooking and mystery novels, he or she cannot be at a book club AND a cooking class if they both meet once a week on Friday night. What he or she CAN do, however, is follow favorite authors on Twitter and ‘like’ them on Facebook, effortlessly and simultaneously connecting to others with the same interests. Chain about twenty or more of these little online book clubs and cooking classes together and the numbers begin to add up fast. Social clubs are not exclusive on the internet: you can belong to as many social networks with as many like-minded individuals as you like online, where people are meeting not once a week but 24/7.
Eva Anduiza of the Autonomous University of Barcelona and a speaker at this coming Friday’s conference on Social Media and Political Participation touches on this a bit in the abstract of her upcoming paper, ‘Connective Action and European Mass Protest,’ where she talks of the internet’s potential to create ‘individual linkages through the personalization of collective frames.’ Essentially, Twitters and Facebooks are the ultimate personalizers of the social experience. Like a large scale version of online dating, everyone is now simultaneously friends with or followers of people just like them with the same interests, opinions, and dreams for their country or world.
To learn more about our upcoming conference on Social Media and Political Participation, click here.
To join the conference conversation on social media, click here.
To learn more about the latest research at NYU in the field of social media and political participation, click here visit the online lab of NYU Professor and conference organizer Joshua Tucker.
Yesterday seven-time Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti died at 94. Worldwide newspapers have dedicated articles to this man (check out the New York Times and The Washington Post), who has been one of the leading figures of Italian politics for more than sixty years, beginning at the foundation of the Italian republic in1946, immediately after the Second World War.
While expressing condolences, many politicians have also pointed to the fact that Andreotti was also a very controversial political figure, often at the center of the power games that characterized Italian politics until the beginning of the 1990s.
But today, following the appointments of the presidents of the various parliamentary committees, the feeling is that the old power games haven’t died: the general impression is that both the Democratic Party and the People of Freedom Party are trying to fill the parliamentary seats with the party members who have been excluded from the cabinet and from other prestigious positions. We’ll see if these appointments will be made on the basis of personal competence or if they will just be made to maintain political balance.
By Ann Schmidt, NYU ’16
As social media’s presence in society increases and connects people, its effects in the political realm have become a point of interest and importance for political analysts. The potential effects that social media could have, or already have, are extremely interesting and will shape the future of society through connections and communications in ways that weren’t even imaginable just 20 years ago.
One of the most interesting effects of social media in the political realm involves the power that social networking has to get people more politically involved. This issue will be addressed by Eva Anduiza and Alexey Makarin at the conference on May 10th and 11th.
The potential of this power that leaders could have to change and shape society would open many doors because as people find they are more willing to work for a cause they can connect with, the more power the leaders of that cause hold. I see this as being a potential for a globalization of politics like no other in the past. Unity is something that people feel as they use social media and that feeling of unity is something that is, and will continue to be, extremely useful in the political realm.
By Max Fiedziukiewicz, NYU ’16
How often do you use your computer? An hour a day? Maybe two? Perhaps five? We live in a time that has completely forgotten the stone ages, those barbaric days, when the Internet wasn’t around, and your phone reminded you of an oversized brick. For people in my generation, life without the Internet seems impossible. Sometimes we forget to recognize the kind of sweeping force with which the Internet came and changed the game. Professor Tufekci from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill will come to remind us how the Internet has changed politics and whether that it is a good or bad thing, or both. Interested in the Arab Spring or Occupy Wall-street movements? Then come join us this Saturday at 9am to hear how the Internet has done more then just influenced our social communications.
Enrico Letta’s cabinet is paving the way to essential reforms, setting the issues that must be at the top of the political agenda. While Letta declared that one of the top priorities of his cabinet is the reform of the electoral law, Berlusconi steadily repeats that the abolition of property tax is crucial.
Though apparently the cohabitation between the Democratic Party and the People of Freedom Party seems is very difficult, Letta reaffirmed that the collaboration continues.
Laura Boldrini, President of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, yesterday declared that “Violence against women is an emergency”. President Boldrini said that in Italy women’s conditions are becoming more and more difficult, and that Italy has one of Europe’s lowest percentages of women’s employment. Laura Boldrini then praised Minister of Equal Opportunities’ initiative to create a task force against feminicide.