by Oscar Sánchez Fernández de la Vega 23 Jun 2003
According to the book “DIEZ HORAS CON LA GLOBALIZACION”(Spanish)
Autor: Oscar Sánchez Fernández de la Vega (ofdelavega (at)
1-From the “Information Society” to the “Useful Knowledge Society
2-From the “Useful Knowledge Society” to the “Human Beings Society”

1-From the “Information Society” to the “Useful Knowledge Society

Alvin Toffler calls the first wave of change the one which it began with agriculture ten thousand years ago, the second wave would be the one which began with the Industrial Revolution and the Urbanism three centuries and a half ago and the third wave is that which we are crossing at this moment, a last change that is deeper than the previous ones because it is global and in addition it is extraordinarily fast.
One of the most important characteristics of this third wave is the proliferation of information and the possibility of transmitting and of interchanging it by the network. This phenomenon is so important that, only affecting 15 % of the world-wide population, has already given the name to the new society.
Massive information grows exponentially and flows through the communication networks in a random and disordered way, without being contrasted by anybody, exceeding our capacity to process it by lack of time, which disables us to know the importance of the knowledge that is being generated so quickly.
The great problem that this new society is creating is the progressive difficulty that causes to assimilate the massive information we are given, blocking in many cases the appearance of scientifically correct knowledge and sinking us paradoxically into a relative ignorance. The excess of information can give rise to a lack of knowledge.
The great challenge his to verify the information, to validate it not only scientifically but also ethically and to create the adapted instruments to transform it into useful knowledge for the humanity.
Perhaps it would be more logical to recover certain calmness to value the information and reach of knowledge, but it doesn't seems that such attitude has a place in a world governed by a vertiginous competitiveness, that moves away day by day from an advisable cooperation, towards which Humanity seemed to walk after the two World Wars. There exist an extraordinary accumulation of information and perhaps it is now moment to objectify it, to rationalize it so that it becomes a kind of knowledge we can administer, manage and apply systematically to previously defined objectives which satisfy the necessities of the new global society.
We needed new public, private or mixed institutions, that dedicate their time to select, to classify and to hierarchize the information, directing the syntheses to the creation of a king of knowledge able to solve concrete human problems of global interest.
Europe, that in the last decade clearly was surpassed by the U.S.A. in the technological field, and with unquestionable capacity because of its cultural background, should take the advantage, in the creation of “nuclei” of assimilation and direction of the knowledge, in its multiple areas, whicht would make possible a new launch of the inevitable process of globalization beyond its present economic characteristics that impoverish it totally.
The market will also have to be modulated by the global society and on the part of the public authorities to limit its uncontrolled eagerness of productive knowledge. Several are the great dilemmas that are arising in relation to the knowledge: should we continue creating knowledge in an uncontrolled and exponential way ?, do the supposed forces of a more and more omnipotente market have anything to do with the regulation of the genesis of the knowledge, whose scientific verification begins to be outside control?, should we have to be more centred on the administration of the profits reached and direct the creation of knowledge towards well-defined objectives of potential interest for all Humanity, always compatible objectives with the fundamental collective and individual rights and under universal regulation?
I read an article in a newspaper ago which had the following headline: “The incredible number of new genes show the anarchy in their names”. It seems to be that the genes which exert the same function in different organisms, have most of the times several denominations, sometimes up to twenty-five.
To some extent we are before a necessity of compilation and codification of information, of verification of profits, similar to which developed to the Hellenism of Alexander the Great developed in the 3rd century B.C. or the Benedictine translators at Monte Casino, the translators of Salerno and Toledo in the later Middle Ages. Without them the Renaissance did not probably arise and without a selection under criteria of quality controls and codification of the accumulated up-to date knowledge, a new Renaissance, a new Humanism, which gives way to a new modernity, will not arise.
For the moment there are indications that not even so important questions are considered, but what seems to be detected is a tendency to consider that knowledge is only justified if it manages to mean something within the technoproductive and market spheres, and this is a reductionist point of view. The “global terrorism” surely forced to us to reflect on the subject.

2-From the “Useful Knowledge Society” to the “Human Beings Society”
From a social point of view we must admit that creation of knowledge which may bring noticeable improvements for the individual and global well-being, within ethical standards. But to approach to this difficult task, which is far beyond the individual possibilities, possibly demands the birth of supranational organizations that allow the creation of suitable conditions so that the society of the information permits taking the steps towards the “Useful Knowledge Society”, a fourth wave in the Tofflerian sense, that takes us to the “Great Society of Individuals”, which would be the fifth wave. Here we can find a beneficial globalization for all and whose essence is the development of the human being. A society where everybody can accede to knowledge on the same terms without anyone considering it as something strange. Otherwise a new type of alienation could arise from ignorance, in those who were alienated (marginalized) from the possibility of reaching it (alienation from the Knowledge , marginalization from the Knowledge)

Information is something in the service of all, which must be clarified, verified and whose quality has to be checked, , but the really important thing is that the truthful information when being caught by the individual can be turned into useful knowledge, which not only it is going to be positive for the community, but the vital fuel that is going to facilitate the human development of that being, a great step for himself, a genuine reinforcement of its possibilities, that together with a development of its emotional world, i becomes the growth that we all needed so that our lives and the human condition acquire some sense.
The individual is the important thing. The individual with his critical spirit is in the genesis of the philosophy, the democracy or the republic. The world has been invented it the individuals interpreting, manipulating and dreaming the reality. The individual reason made the coexistence possible and the coexistence suggested the democratic base that allowed us to offer each others the democracy with its civil rights on the basis of social contracts that the globalization is forcing to review in a near future.
The individual, that cosmos, that inner nation, that particular and huge epic, is far more important than the construction of supranational organizations, the State-Nation, the Town-Nation and the local Autarkies.
All things considered, our last global vindication is to recover the Leopold Bloom from James Joyce’s Ulysses, with all his rights and possibilities in all the parts of the world. For that reason ands surely in still distant future, we would have to considerer the question of negotiating with insurance that still distant, we would have to raise negotiating with the global state the rights of this metaphorical truth: the individual as a nation, with its incorporated personal freedom, perhaps the only nation that should have to exist in a really developed world Then all the intermediaries would disappear in order to achieve new and good human retations, which is really what all of us are interested in. A globalizacion that locates in its centre the development of the human being.
People no longer want to be Spanish, but it is not worth being Basque, Galician, Breton or Corsican if it is not possible for everyone to be considered as an individual person, protected by all the possible human rights and universally accepted. That would be the globalization we are interested in and in addition is perfectly compatible with maintaining c different cultural creations (Basque, Galician or Slovenian) totally defensible as long as they are not used like hand-thrown weapon against anybody and also knowing that they are always insufficient to obtain one’s identity.
To think that our identity can be provided by a territory, a language, our traditions and in no way a flag, a hymn or a mother country is to simplify the complex issue. Surely our “individuality” is in ourselves and all the rights would have to be directed to its complete and free development.
It is necessary to defend the identity, since the difference is a constituent element of each human being and also of the collective identities in which he is grouped.

Autor.-Oscar Sánchez Fernández de la Vega

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