What Can the Future Be? (Two Shores of a Survey). Continued.

Published in: 26. Non-Return

The Editors are inviting authors who contribute to AB as specialists in various disciplines to answer a series of questions about the future of the cultural fields they are professionally associated with. Instead of guessing, we consider it important to learn their opinions directly.

Part of the resulting responses have been selected for publication. In this issue we begin to acquaint readers with these experts’ opinions on the future of culture.

While preparing the magazine  for publication, we have moderated discussions among generalist readers about the responses chosen for print, and also offer the most provocative, sometimes potentially controversial, fragments of these discussions for contemplation. Perhaps this will inspire a wish to voice other points of view.

The Editors thank all the specialists who have responded to the invitation to share their thoughts on the future, as well as all readers who have shown themselves far from indifferent to issues obviously critical for everyone.


All translations from Russian (survey questions, Questions from the Audience, Alexander Markovich on the future of science) by James Manteith.




See also: Part One of the survey responses, from AB 25, “Of all the…”


— ARTS —

1. What do you envision as the future of the arts, their direction and path of development?
There will be more technology involved. This will add a degree of complexity. This complexity will hopefully be tempered by an opposite push towards greater simplicity and clarity of message.
2. What values, in your opinion, ought to have a central place in the arts?
The most central value is the individual artist expressing what is central to their own life – an art that comes not from the intellect but from the soul – a single person discovering a personal insight can be liberating for many – be original. Have something to say and say it. Be true.
3. What is or ought to be the decisive criteria for the development of thought in the arts?
Art is not so much about thinking as intuiting – exploring – and then executing in new and exciting ways. Does it rock? Does it shake the roof? Is it wham? Is it bam? Does it frighten? Does it enlighten?
4. What might you define as the arts’ primary goal, their ultimate purpose? Their guiding principle?
The artist has a tribal duty to beam down the news from the sky and feel the beat coming up through the feet and be fearless and accurate in expressing the message as it filters through their creative prism.
5. What might you propose as constituting a possible (desirable) difference between the arts of the future and the arts of the present?
There is great art now – there will be great art to come. Past, present, future, nothing new under the sun – but each generation must express itself in a new way and see the world through fresh eyes…what is always exciting about the future is there will be art not yet imagined…
6. What aspects and layers of personal and intellectual experience could and should be fundamental for the arts’ development?
Everything must go into art – nothing is not important, particularly the trivial. Pragmatically speaking, an artist should know art history and a have a deep cognition about how he/she as an art worker came to the present moment. All artists are part of an evolving story. Art is a language. The more fluent you are the better. Art, for many, is also a religion, a path to the Beloved. And if it is just a job, you better be bloody good, because it is competitive and vicious out there…
7. What might you consider relevant for this process? Nonessential (superfluous)?
Passion, insight, sense of beauty, revolutionary spirit, humor, honesty, integrity, poetry, creativity and work ethic – all important – facility is not so important…too much facility might even be a distraction…
8. What do you see as the main obstacles to the arts’ development?
Art is the product and residue of individual artists. Those with indomitable spirits will not be stopped no matter the situation. Art is a sacred calling – nothing will stop a true artist…except mounting debt that impacts the lives of other people – and often not even then…
9. Would you anticipate that the new — ideal — arts would stay connected with tradition?
Yes…but there is no ideal art – only art that is ideal for a particular artist – the perfect mode of expression that best suits what we wish to express like Charlie Chaplin’s baggy suit and hat– sometimes the ideal mode was invented 2000 years ago – sometimes we have to anticipate years into the future….the ideal is a matter of necessity…and remember, nothing goes out of fashion as quickly as the new…and rightly so, the ideal is usually only ideal in the moment – like fresh flowers…
– In what way?
In every way…we will always draw on cave walls with sticks of chalk…
– In what form?
In every form… whatever we do will be contemporary if it is to have the ring of verisimilitude no matter how old the form…ancient ideas are another thing – except to illuminate or contrast the new.
10. Do you view the arts as a branch of nominally professional activity?
11. Do you see it as possible for a unified concept or school of the arts to exist for everyone?
12. Do you consider it necessary for schools and movements to interact?
Yes…Picasso couldn’t steal if he didn’t know what was going on in his neighborhood…
13. How could the interaction of the arts with other categories of culture — philosophy, science, literature — manifest itself?
Seamlessly – art should never be walled off from other modes of thought or expression…the combinations are infinite. Welcome any situation where individuals with different skill sets collaborate on a common problem…
14. How might you picture an ideal culture?
Ideal cultures are only after the fact…
15. What might you name as culture’s central element, its proper model?
Culture is an embodiment of our highest selves and a mirror held up to our worst tendencies… Culture is our collected wisdom and demons, our poetry and our sins…
16. What does the word “culture” mean overall, from your individual perspective?
From my perspective culture means nothing – I am more interested in couture…however as an artist operating within a culture and a community I feel a compulsion to express what is most personal and psychologically sensitive to an audience outside of myself – I assume my hard truths and insights are not unique or special and will resonate with others – in other words, I am seeking where the “I” meets the “We”…where RADIO ZEITGEIST meets RADIO ME…

– Mark Baer, artist
Director, Museum of Monterey, California

(1, 2)
– Why, on this interpretation, should human intellect be downplayed in the art of the future? Why is the increased participation of technology valid, yet cultivating the sources of intellect discouraged? It’s as if intellect has to give way to technology — for “simplicity” in expressing the soul! Maybe the soul shouldn’t be simplified?
– Originality and truthfulness are not always synonymous. Or does the author have a different opinion?
– Is it right to underestimate the role of thought in achieving non-trivial creativity? The level of exclamation and interjection is already present in art clearly enough: just think of the pop art of Roy Lichtenstein and Jeff Koons. Such art can say “wham” and “bam,” but likely not much else. Paradoxically, namely banal art is often mistaken for being “exciting,” “frightening”: vulgarity and tastelessness have a hypnotic effect when they become focal points. Thought attuned to enlightenment can only hinder the production and enjoyment of stupefaction. Might intellectual discipline in fact help give creative impulses worthy continuation?
– Could it be more precise to say that artists have a duty before heaven, and that their fearlessness must include willingness to confront the tribe’s degradation at the hands of false artists and false prophets?
(5, 6)
– It’s interesting to compare “each generation must express itself in a new way” (5) with the statement that “an artist should know art history” (6). What’s worrying is whether the abstract mass of a generation searching for its own voice can successfully avoid believing in some sequential evolutionary process leading itself and necessitating action according to the apparent laws of this process so that critics and colleagues take notice. What’s wrong with an artist functioning as an individual among timeless standards that can be recognized without reference to history (as indicated by (8) and (9))?
– About it being “competitive and vicious out there” in art, this is all very true. A genuine artist really does have to compete with viciousness — or else withdraw from the competition, abandon it.
– Knowing a language also implies qualitative choice. The question isn’t how much to know, but what form to embody the knowledge in.
– It’s hard to understand why almost all survey respondents oppose the notion of an ideal, dismiss the possibility. In fact, every artist (and indeed every person) can’t do otherwise than aspire to an ideal, can’t do otherwise than imagine it. It’s just that people do this within personal boundaries: of their own imagination, personal background, abilities, tastes, education (training).
– Maybe such extremes as given in the examples — from cave paintings to Charlie Chaplin’s suit — indicate the arc of art’s development and decline, with a summit that ought to be sought again.
– What kind of professionalism is implied here? For “wham” and “bam” (3) it’s probably not needed. But practically everyone has enough emotions and senses to work from.
(13, 14, 15, 16)
– The author’s assessments have undeniable charm and versatility —  good qualities for the post he holds, managing a cultural institution. Theoretically, a museum, as an integral part of culture, should also be construed as a “mirror containing our worst tendencies.” And even a crisis of spiritual shallowness in art can fit the requirements for an exhibit…

— ARTS —

 1. What do you envision as the future of the arts, their direction and path of development?
2. What values, in your opinion, ought to have a central place in the arts?
 3. What is or ought to be the decisive criteria for the development of thought in the arts?
 4. What might you define as the arts’ primary goal, their ultimate purpose? Their guiding principle?
 5. What might you propose as constituting a possible (desirable) difference between the arts of the future and the arts of the present?
 6. What aspects and layers of personal and intellectual experience could and should be fundamental for the arts’ development?
 7. What might you consider relevant for this process? Nonessential (superfluous)?
 9. Would you anticipate that the new — ideal — arts would stay connected with tradition?
10. Do you view the arts as a branch of nominally professional activity?
11. Do you see it as possible for a unified concept or school of the arts to exist for everyone?

14. How might you picture an ideal culture?

15. What might you name as culture’s central element, its proper model?

 16. What does the word “culture” mean overall, from your individual perspective?
– When fragmentation prevails in art (i.e. more than experimentally) with no substantial reason for interconnectedness, does this hinder the flow of creative thought? How does this affect the integrity of personality?
– These are interesting lists. But they’re vague and general – lists of abstractions that really say nothing. Which way do they have to be turned to get an answer to the question?
– It is a pity that the “decisive cardinal…criteria for thought and activity” remain undeveloped; they leave a sense of bewilderment. They can mean anything. Evidently the author is “trying not to crush,” which makes him reluctant to express his thoughts clearly.
– In treating process as meaning more than product, how can traditions be evaluated? Showing what a person is really capable of is the exclusive privilege of the sum of goal-directed efforts. Without them, nothing we love and appreciate in art would exist: there would be no palaces, no operas, no great paintings.
– Is it possible to achieve progress without transformational completeness, which opens a passage into the previously inaccessible?
– Someone once observed that it’s always easier to love people than to love a specific person. Is the author propounding a depersonalized love without loving?
– If the “artists and thinkers of this present” wish to disavail themselves of responsibility for the results of their “processes,” why should they be “brought back” in the future?
– The words about “only partly human” deep time have a highly unsettling effect. Isn’t the human person, the inward-turning human gaze, the source that nurtures art?
– Exactly right, human culture (setting aside “non-human life,” a special concern for this author) “evolves, flows,” but namely from ideal to ideal, from one understanding to a new one.
– There is is sense here of not recognizing the ideal, yet standing on the shoulders of those who did believe in it, and not replenishing their entrusted reserves.
– The placement of the “psychic” environment on a par with the “metabolic” seems not only denigrating but saddening. The concept of “culture” here is one of fundamentally limited pseudo-scientific calculation, before which each considered object merits only a modest, generic entry in the catalog of a personal archive.

— ARTS —

ESSAY ON THE FUTURE or the impossibility of prediction
“the past hasn’t happened yet”  –– Mandelstam
I cannot even know the future of a current work of art that I’m making, let alone the future of Art in the collective or aggregate sense. Imagine trying to predict the pathways of clouds or the precise shape a burr of metal shaving will take when you pull an etching tool across a zinc plate that catches ink at its throat with an unprogrammed beautiful jagged mark as when Goya invented aquatint for shades of grays to speak for the indiscriminate savagery of his time, clarifying hell as a cloak between himself and his corrupt over-fed patrons who bring to mind a recently sighted license plate on a red expensive car  < A · V · A·  R·  I · C·  E  which may have been chosen by a snow salesman who avers ice or Ava Rice from Costa Mesa or corrosion spreading from highly unstable compounds such as the aqua fortis at a printmaking institute where I was briefly in charge of the acid baths and when I noticed, driving home, a speck of nitric acid eating its way through my blue jeans –– what you don’t have in mind is a form of devotion.
Somehow, we feel our way into the unknown through the sensitive particles and recombinations of words, for instance: the permutations of flume < blheu < swollen overflow <undulant flux or tree-bark “swelling with growth”, becoming fluent with mistake, a list of one’s own mistakes, as in admitting all of them. There is a future in art that is large enough to encompass “admitting the old excluded orders” [Robert Duncan] compared to “basically we got it about right” [Cheney on the War in Iraq].  John Cage spoke of writing his mesostics and the creative process itself as a kind of unpredictable sensory exploration of unmapped terrain: “it’s as though I’m in a forest hunting for ideas”. We could also call this process or Future of Art a kind of Paradise, with nothing off-shored, othered, otherworld-ed, nothing future-raptured. The future itself is all here, at a continuously unfolding nexus where the unwanted is met with open attentiveness, which is itself a form of love.
How shall we proceed? Cage advises us “to diminish the ego activity that limits the rest of creation.” We’ll take his advice and apply wet tea bags to the page and drive over the page with a car and expose the page to divinatory elements in the backcountry of Pico Blanco and draw in the dark with eyes closed, using small irregular shards of copper, entering the future together in this very moment.
– Meredith Stricker, Carmel, California
… Robert Duncan: “To compose such a symposium of the whole, such a totality, all the old excluded orders must be included. The female, the lumpen-proletariat, the foreign; the animal and vegetative; the unconscious and the unknown; the criminal and failure—all that has been outcast and vagabond in our consideration of
the figure of Man—must return to be admitted in the creation of what we are.”
In grounding her attitude toward the topic of predicting the future, the author of “An Essay on the Future,” Meredith Stricker, gives a wonderfully illustrative portrait of personal values and individual practice, alongside examples of the creative thought of past luminaries. Indeed, the very form of “the impossibility of prediction” clearly reflects the views voiced by the author. Is it a favorable portrait? What is valuable in it, and what may seem dubious?
Attentiveness to the taste of individual words, to the variegations of matter, openness to spontaneous movements of imagination and opportunities for their swift embodiment.  Is it not true that in these years of a strong tendency to fuse all things in a universal digital palette, in this era of excessive propensity to overbuilding the spaces of civilization with citadels projected by a virtual economy, it becomes all the more important to convey direct experience of tactile contact in deriving means for ongoing human creativity? Is not beneficial to expose paper to prophetic elements and wet packets of tea?
And yet, what to make of the palpable destructive tendency in so many of the author’s phrases, despite the meticulous indications of acting for the common (personal and collective) good, despite the appearance of acute, pleasantly intoxicating sensitivity?
Above all, the central concept of “unpredictability” — named by the author as a basis for relinquishing predictions of the future of art, along with intentionality as a factor in establishing a meaningful artistic vector — comes across with a high degree of ambiguity, and the examples provided by the author remain inconclusive. Is it true that neither the pathway of clouds, nor the shape of a metal shaving, can be predicted? Leaving aside the aspect of scientific forecasting of such processes and phenomena, doesn’t attentiveness to one’s own and inherited empirical evidence enable picturing at least an overall dynamic of probabilities, available for at least optional contemplation? This looks less like unpredictability than a deliberate unknowing, artlessness and forgetfulness which hope the participant and observer will share a sense of utility in namely these inclinations.
Doesn’t the circuitous denial of the most elementary predictability as a trope of life essentially refute the role of mastery, that is, of changes in the quality of will as a result of intelligent, focused transformation? Human life never encompasses absolute understanding, yet available understanding undergoes constant enhancement: throughout life and while rendering any work, including in the arts. When M. Stricker speaks of a need to admit all mistakes and cites Cage’s advice to “diminish the ego activity,” doesn’t one picture not so much freedom for creative growth as a dictatorship of arbitrary whims, fallacies and relativism protected by sanctimonious benevolence toward those who haven’t yet given up on the desire to grow higher than the level of children playing in a sandbox of “acid baths,” “drawing in the dark” and so on?
Some simplicity, as the saying goes, is worse than thievery. While alluding condemnation of material avarice, isn’t the author cultivating a kind of intellectual avarice, plundering and diffusing the heritage of culture to suit the promptings of subjective taste and mood? One can admire individual techniques in the work of a great artist like Goya, but should a single, segregated trait, viewed in isolation, be conflated with the entirety of artistic stature? Moreover, should the presence of nothing but single traits be treated as art at all? Why does anyone actually find this convincing?
From a certain point of view, not thinking too much about either content or consequences, it might be tempting to imagine small ritual actions as an automatic means to penetrate the world of artistic — and concurrently social — significance. While certainly understandable as a kind of bid to further the revolutionary and democratic aspects of art, don’t such rituals seem more like veiled calculation, seasoned with black magic? Instead of serving art, instead of serving life by means of art, they express a play for power over life, satisfied by manipulating mined ingredients, molding these into idols and worshiping before them…
At least as early as deep antiquity, it was known that even the crudest idols and other magic items can still hold people spellbound. It can be enticing to contemplate simple recipes for curing ailments and solving problems. Yet the practice of petty conjuring is not the same as “open attentiveness, which is itself a form of love.” Behind these grandiose words is an advocacy of random, accidental bursts of only sporadically insightful emotions, fearful of the risk and discipline of true, committed love, of unfeigned intimacy. We’re invited to share a world-view pretending to cover all points of an impressive tourist itinerary, with the obligatory souvenir from each stop — an immediate reward to certify victories on a wholly heroic scale.
Obviously, from its creator’s point of view, art is a “treasure stored up in heaven.” True, the treasures of art can endure on earth, whether acclaimed or unknown and unappreciated, and can sometimes better their creator’s material standing, at least at certain periods of life. More important, however, is that every significant work manifests victory over small-mindedness (one’s own and others’), with all its attendant views on profit and use. This struggle is lonely and sweet, tortuous and rapturous — but most importantly, is absolutely integral to the spiritual content of an art that goes deeper and higher and acts more forcefully than ordinary sorcery, which ultimately brings only disappointment, dismay and indignation at frivolously squandered materials and intellectual abilities.
In the futureless future depicted by M. Stricker, fine things that could serve for human attunement, coaxing life away from the dead ends of overly abstract thinking, instead become raw material to plug the ears — as a child might do, just in case, to mute parental reminders of the predictable need to grow up.

— Gary Gumov, Delaware


1. What do you envision as the future of science, its direction and path of development?
At present, more than ever, the future of science defines the future of the planet. The future is now born less in the offices of politicians than in the laboratories of scientists.
There is practically no way of predicting the progress of fundamental theoretical research in mathematics, physics, biology, cosmology, or any other branch of science. Qualitative advances in theoretical science, in discovering the hidden secrets of matter, often happen unexpectedly. However, we can be fairly precise in predicting how the cutting edge of applied science will develop. The innovations in this area may seem incredible, as if taken straight out of science fiction. Yet we can accept the prognoses of their appearance in our daily lives, because these are based on extrapolations from the actual state of modern science. The history of science shows that its actual achievements have often exceeded the forecasts of futurologists and the dreams of writers of science fiction.
It is obvious that, in our time, science will be the dominant influence on the development of industry and agriculture, on the economy as a whole. The most significant qualitative changes, and even the elimination and the emergence of entire sectors of the economy, are occurring due to to advances in science. As we satisfy the urgent human necessities of food, clothing and housing, new, often unpredictable information technology needs will arise, shaped by the market, solely on the basis of scientific achievements. In addition, rapid scientific developments will play an increasingly important role in the development of production and manufacturing.
An important feature of the future of science may be the ever-increasing impact of scientific methods and research ethics on the institutional structure of society and thus on society as a whole. In our time, political, economic, legal, informational and scientific institutions generally operate independently of each other. In the future, the integrated influence of science and scientific methodology on all public institutions will undoubtedly increase, because all of society will largely depend on the practical application of scientific achievements. Scientific advisory councils, made up of respected scholars with impeccable reputations, may likely be able take a direct part in managing the internal life of states and in optimizing international relations.
In the near future, computers are expected to be able to perform most of the routine functions of government, partly replacing human government employees. Computer systems will monitor elections and will even serve as the equivalent of trial courts. It will be particularly important to have new tools for automatically monitoring various aspects of society and the environment.
All this, among other factors, should lead to significant changes in the world order. The increasing technological, informational, cognitive, social and psychological impact of science on society will facilitate the transition of humanity to a qualitatively new state. It can be expected that the next 50-100 years will see the affirmation of a planetary ethics based on the priority of values shared by all of humanity. Ultimately this will lead to a new understanding of the meaning of human existence.
These changes are possible provided that the achievements of science, and especially in the field of military technology, artificial intelligence and environmental impact, will be firmly institutionalized and controlled — firstly by the scientific community, and secondly by world civilization. Much as the evolution of living beings is invisibly controlled by nature and the economy is controlled by the “invisible hand of the market,” control over the technological revolution and the evolution of artificial “non-protein-based” life must belong to a consolidated humanity, with no one state or group of people able to perform this function on its own.
2. What values, in your opinion, ought to have a central place in science?
Science’s main values have always been and will remain the openness of scientific research, freedom to criticize proposed hypotheses; strict requirements for maximum veracity of results; and the opportunity for the scientific community to reproduce them. Hopefully some of these principles (or scientific ethics in general) will eventually find implementation in society’s day-to-day life.
3. What is or ought to be the decisive criteria for the development of scientific thought?
The criterion for effective scientific thought is the degree of its proximity to truth, which often becomes elusive, the more we learn about the subject. Upon closer study, objects of research which at first seem clear and obvious to us turn out to be increasingly enigmatic and complex (the structure of the microworld, for example). Science, like all living nature, evolves from the simple (apparently simple) to the complex.
The more complex and inaccessible science becomes for the layman, the greater becomes the temptation to make it “simpler” and “accessible.” Certainly, alchemy was useful in its time, and astrology also made certain useful contributions: both “pre-sciences” helped enable the development of true scientific knowledge. Now, though, they are anti-sciences, misleading many people and doubtlessly bringing harm. Science debunks old myths, but quasi-science moves even faster in creating new ones, and as a result, humanity has yet to collectively clear its consciousness and remains poisoned by the miasma of pseudo-scientific “knowledge.”
Sometimes scientists themselves can be dishonest or incompetent. Initially subtle manipulation of scientific data or findings not only hurt the reputation of the scientists themselves, but still more regrettably, undermine society’s trust in scientists. In general, the deliberate falsification of scientific materials, along with plagiarism (especially of academic theses), does tremendous harm to the prestige of scientists and thus inhibit the development of scientific thought as a whole.
4. What might you define as science’s primary goal, its ultimate purpose? Its guiding principle?
If the development of science were to have an ultimate goal, it might be very briefly stated as follows: “Science’s main goal lies in knowing the world and in the holistic development of intelligence, both natural and artificial.” (Humanity’s existence may have the same “goal.”)
As for what drives science toward this goal, one might say: curiosity; the boundless, uncontrollable and inexplicable thirst for new knowledge.
5. What might you propose as constituting a possible (desirable) difference between the science of the future and the science of the present?
We can assume that the science of the future will differ from contemporary science to a much greater extent than the latter differs from the science of the past. In the future, science will be increasingly interested in the “details” of the structure and evolution of matter, striving on the one hand to go deeper into the depths of the microcosmos, and on the other, into the vastness of space.
In the future, it will be possible to advance scientific work through the involvement of huge labor reserves freed on account of the elimination of armies, and automation of most sectors of the economy and trade, and also thanks to the reconstruction of systems of education (by introducing interactive educational programs) and health (through the development of robotic operators and the creation of automated programs for diagnostics and analysis of routine information).
In the days of Aristotle, Avicenna and Leonardo da Vinci, the sciences were unified and integrated with philosophy and, partly, through theology, with religion. Later the branches of science were separated, and they are now extremely differentiated based both on the object of study and the methods of research. An important feature of the science of the future may be a return to an integrated science on a new foundation, or at least a blending of science’s individual branches. It is possible, in particular, to project the formation of a single “life science” (on the basis of genetics, biology, chemistry, medicine, psychology, ethology and sociology). A special role in the integration of scientific sectors could probably be played by math and philosophy. It will be extremely important to develop a philosophical understanding of the future radical restructuring of the noosphere, with the attendant sharp qualitative changes in humanity’s life and environment.
13. How could the interaction of science with other categories of culture — philosophy, the arts, literature — manifest itself?
Trends in science are of course somehow interrelated with the development of other overlapping cognitive methods — religion (esoteric knowledge) and art. Yet these connections are very subtle and still not sufficiently understood by humanity. It is thus practically impossible to imagine in what specific ways the interaction between science and other areas of culture might be expressed in the future.
The future of science can be predicted with some degree of certainty (based on its current state), while the evolution of religion can be foreseen with much less certainty (probably in the direction of religious synthesis on an ethical and humanistic basis), but art’s development is impossible to predict. Speaking of the historical development of the fine arts, the Spanish philosopher Jose Ortega y Gasset said, “First things were painted; then, sensations; finally ideas” — taking note of this, we can ask ourselves in bewilderment: what next?
14. How might you picture an ideal culture?
Rephrasing Stalin’s famous saying about cultures that are “socialist in content and national in form,” one might say that, ideally, culture should be humanistic in content, national in form and planetary in the sphere of its distribution.
15. What might you name as culture’s central element, its proper model?
The central element, the quintessence of culture is the “cult of the culture” — that is, boundless respect for culture, a caring attitude toward life and intelligence in all their past, present and future forms.
– Alexander Markovich
– Wouldn’t it be wiser to wish for science to have not a dominant but a subordinated influence? Namely because science has managed to train the greater part of the planet to think in a calculating manner shaped by constant interaction with technology, isn’t it time to strengthen the counterbalance in the humanities, cultivating complementary aspects of human potential?
The author has correctly noted the need to control the achievements of science — both in the field of military technology and the expected components comprising the “transition of humanity to a qualitatively new state.” To an objective observer, it’s obvious that science is not a panacea. At issue is not just its traditional symbiotic relationship with power and money. It’s simply that that the home for the human soul can’t be limited to the laboratory and logarithms. The human person needs to be allowed a fullness of development of all areas, without sacrifices in the name of what temporarily seems more advantageous or lucrative.
A disbalanced and unequal cultural orientation, even as an emergency measure in time of crisis (often artificially fueled by so-called “crisis capitalism”), can lead to serious pathologies. Shouldn’t science itself, having won its authority, appeal to the liberal-humanitarian and religious sectors of world culture for the further calibration of its development?
And yet, judging by his science textbooks and publications in AB (“Knowledge and Love:  Ascending Jacob’s Ladder”, “Third Force”, “The Trinity’s Evolution in Three Artistic Revelations,” “The Turn of the Brush (Part 2). Marking a decade since the appearance of California Psalms,” “The Vector of Freedom,”” The Experiment of Isaac Asimov,” “The Bottomless Point,” “The Riddle of Beauty”), Markovich himself embodies just such a desire for a syncretic approach to the platform of science.
Artificial intelligence is simply the conditional sum of information collected and extracted from people, which is far from the same as knowledge and wisdom. It will always reflect bias and incompleteness: both because of its essential limitations, and given the intentions of its owners and clients, who have a vested interest in inflating its authority in the eyes of the mass-scaled “world community,” with its weakness for new devices. If such a community actually exists as an autonomous force, it will face great difficulties in finding its own voice and defending its own position. This is all ultimately aiming towards the replacement of devalued human intelligence with a surrogate form, while the human persons becomes a kind of biological model under the shelter of an artificial ceiling.
All these themes, of course, have been examined by considered the most visionary “writers of science fiction,” among whom, however, one can distinguish those who have not limited themselves to this genre and perhaps for this reason have managed to create brilliantly accurate works of anti-utopian fiction such as “The Machine Stops”(Forster), Fahrenheit 451 (Bradbury), Roadside Picnic (the Strugatskys), 1984 (Orwell), Brave New World (Huxley) — works actually worthy of standing beside the eternal literature of the humanities…
– Did the author himself notice, while answering the first question, that his pro-scientific decisiveness in the matter of “dividing the world” gives off a palpable odor of blitzkrieg?
– What’s hiding behind the verbal construction “consolidated humanity”? It’s so obvious that now as never before, people stubbornly neither see nor hear each other, that no one cares at all about the priorities of the “other neighbor! And it’s as if the author (A. Markovich) doesn’t notice that his ideas about the world take no account of realities that are confidently stepping forward into the foreground of modernity.
– Isn’t this formulation of scientific values completely missing a more broadly human ethical element?
– “Science, like all living nature, evolves from the simple (apparently simple) to the complex.” All the more important that science manage to understand that past the surface of the unscientific there may lie a different kind of unscientific truths — even in the case of alchemy and astrology, which science arbitrarily brands as “old myths,” yet first borrowing from them what seems useful and forgivable for the perspective of temporal formal horizons, even as “old myths” still waiting for true comprehension continue to contain ageless treasures, revelatory for the depth of life and existence. The fact that part of humanity is still in no hurry to reject types of knowledge with  their own traditional and empirical justification, deserves particular attention. This “brake” of conservatism is as necessary for the movement of progress as a car’s brakes are on the road.
– The goal of “knowing the world,” “development of intelligence” driven by”curiosity; the … inexplicable thirst for new knowledge” – this the author defines as science’s most important task. To what extent is ethical compromise justified in the name of satisfying curiosity and inexplicable thirst? What in general can justify it? (This, for instance, the theme of Andrei Sakharov’s famous treatise Reflections on Progress, Peaceful Coexistence and Intellectual Freedom.)
– It seems special efforts will be needed so that science, fascinated with “details,” doesn’t stand even farther apart from integral reality and doesn’t offer, so to speak, new integrity on a false foundation!
– The author’s hopes for the freeing of labor reserves “on account of the elimination of armies, and automation,” seem problematic. It isn’t clear what would cause the elimination of armies: the introduction of artificial intelligence in military technology, and the ability to operate it remotely? The consequences of this may be catastrophic, and may, on the contrary, spur a still more intense arms race. The general growth of automation in the world deprives people of the empirical sensory experience needed for civilization not to be divorced from its natural roots, the knowledge of the heart. Automatic satisfaction of needs is paid for by gaps in the understanding otherwise acquired through prudent control of the body. If a “special role in the integration of scientific sectors could probably be played by math and philosophy,” it’s worth emphasis that philosophy, for example, still needs aesthetics and theology, anchored in creative or religious practice. Although apparently “unscientific,” namely they affirm knowledge’s reality. Without mindfulness toward things that have remained outside direct scientific and technical processes, integrated “life science” will simply suffocate life. In this context, the experience of society in states dominated by scientific atheism may be instructive on a planetary scale.
– A human being is not the sum of information sorted into categories like “routine” or “critical,” and authentic education comes not “interactively” but through a deepening of thought and force of will, in a setting of natural communication with other people capable of sharing their experiences. The best new answers will always lie outside the scope of technical data collection, outside of programs, and need affirmation at every turn — on a philosophical level, and really also in the absolutely ordinary.
— Is the author aware of the scale of the growth of the worldwide movement for alternative medicine, primarily traditional folk healing methods? So it’s far from a given that modern healthcare systems will retain their usual forms for long.
– Maybe it would be worth comprehending the “still not sufficiently understood” connections between “overlapping cognitive methods” before putting the reins in the hands of one of them?
On the other hand, all areas of culture, including science, are the work of people. This allows for the greatest possible variety of interactions between branches of knowledge, whether pursued on an amateur basis or as a matter of professional obligation. Today, even an opera diva is basically required to know how to use technical devices, but few scientists are in a hurry to learn the basics of music, preferring not to follow the example of Einstein, who loved to play the violin and considered musical impressions helpful for scientific research.
The definition of the history of art given by Ortega and presented as showing that art’s development may have reached an impasse, may well help solve A. Markovich’s question, “What next?” This is the same question of integrality, shifted to the sphere of art. From the outset, in art, attentiveness to things, sensations and ideas was an indivisible whole.
– Does the author sense any conflict between the “planetarism” of economic globalization, including the export of culture by dominant countries in this process, and the preservation of national cultures? Does the author consider it a healthy phenomenon when cultural interpenetration distorts the national cultural such that “nationality” becomes a geopolitical concept rather than a cultural one?
– “The ‘cult of culture’.. a caring attitude toward life and intelligence in all their past, present and future forms” — this seems like the best thing that A. Markovich has said. Yet culture itself also has to care for itself, for eternal human values.

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