In an interview with Bruno Ruffilli for TuttoScienze of La Stampa, we talked about how technological progress can generate new degrees of freedom.
Orban: it’s generating the society of the future
by Bruno Ruffilli
David Orban, 53, Hungarian, is a teacher at the Singularity University, which assists companies in the path of innovation. He founded Network Society Research, where decentralized technologies are studied and distributed, like the Blockchain. And, while many talk about the future, he experiments it on his skin, indeed, below: he has an “nfc” chip implanted, which has become a digital business card, a home key, a current account password. Orban travels all over the world, but he spends a lot of time in Italy, where his visions of the future seem today more distant than ever.
From the ally it was, now technology often becomes an enemy to fight. Why?
«More and more people are having difficulties mirroring themselves in the reality that changes so quickly and they feel like they’ve reached the limits of their own adaptability. They feel then useless: to themselves, to society, to the community».
Can technology help us?
«The traditional sequence sees politics first, then society and then the technology, but it is the opposite of what happens: it’s technology that allows us to express a certain society and our idea of the future is often modeled on the promises of technological progress. Therefore we must ask in a non-dogmatic way what kind of society can express current technology and what form of government it must equip itself with».
Grillo has managed to give the idea that everyone can participate in politics, or spread news, and so now trust in institutions and newspapers has collapsed.
«There’s a false syllogism here: since on a certain topic scientists do not have absolute certainty, then all scientists are unreliable. It’s a wrong logic. Also, technologies have to be managed, their implications included: when we invented the fire, at the beginning we burned ourselves, but then we understood how to use it. So the exalting ability to spread a message, which the Internet offers to anyone, is the subject of abuse by skilled manipulators and we must learn to recognize fake news. This critical conscience will also be good for the newspapers, it will separate those who report the truth from others. Otherwise, we will continue to go on with chemtrails».
Will the Blockchain save us?
«The nation-state as we know it has played a fundamental role in history, but today technology allows individuals new forms of freedom. Let’s consider the monetary limit: if I leave Italy I cannot bring more than 10 thousand euros with me, but if I invested in Bitcoin? The network society, the interconnected society, transcends the national dimension. The current States will inevitably oppose this evolution, but history says that it’s useless to try to fight the future».
And in the meantime, Facebook is already a very powerful supranational organization, with 2.2 billion people.
«It is supranational but centralized. And centralization contains perverse reports of desirable vulnerabilities: Edward Snowden has unveiled them, for example».
But even from the Cambridge Analytica case…
«We have to rethink the whole architecture of the Internet so that it’s decentralized and the Blockchain will play a very important role.»
Wouldn’t it make access to technology more limited?
«Advanced technology, from elite becomes democratic. A hundred years ago it was possible to play a role in society even if we were illiterate, today it is unthinkable. But technology has made us richer, so modern societies can afford to give everyone the freedom to live as they want, even without technology. Once these people were excluded, today they can enjoy progress as well».