Humanist Artisans of the Web

15 June 2016

The Internet is a gift, it is a revolutionary tool that begins and ends with man. It is certainly not the first gift man has given to himself throughout history.

The glorious era of the Renaissance has provided excellent examples. Over the last centuries, the speed at which inventions and innovations have occurred has increased: photography, radio, cinema. Electricity, mechanisation. The internal combustion engine, the car, the aeroplane. And at the end of this string of revolutionary inventions we find the Internet and the new way of conceiving the world through the web.

Thanks to new technological horizons our tradition of seeking knowledge, human relations and the circulation of ideas can reverberate with new exciting energy, a deeply ethical and social one.

1996 - We Need a New Humanism

2017 - Humanist Artisans of the Web

The quality of knowledge and therefore of life improves only if critical thinking progresses along with innovation. Discoveries in the field of optics, enhanced quality of lenses and finally assembling the first telescopes did not provide Galileo all the tools necessary to define the new system that ensued. What was needed was painstaking experimentation, a careful scientific reflection and finally a receptive audience, willing to attach new meaning to the position of man in the universe.

The philosopher Baruch Spinoza studied, designed and polished thin lenses in his Dutch workshop. At the time he was at the epicentre of the cultural scene, which he embodied perfectly with his life, painfully subject to the deep historical transformation of his era. However, like the geometric accuracy of his artisanal work, his theories embraced all humanity – all relationships between men, societies and religions.

Man will still need time to further evolve, to understand and to create. For this reason, we must observe the world and its advancements through a lens of meticulous thought.

Similarly to those times when different branches of knowledge would strike up fruitful relationships, for example when craftspeople were the first players of the humanistic era and philosophers would participate in elaborating mathematical, physical and chemical theories, today the digital world is brimming with new creation.

New and fascinating digital architectures were devised in a very short time, as well as new prospects for research, new places to exchange thoughts. However every website or network is still a place, despite being a virtual one, and as such is inhabited by the genius loci fed by the energy surrounding it. We are that energy, it is our duty to bring to fruition the most balanced, positive and human endeavours of this latest revolution.

The time that we gain and the barriers that we transcend should contribute to a greater quality of life in which affection, knowledge and dialogue can shine with renewed simplicity and spontaneity, both inside and outside the Internet world.

We want to become a meaningful generation of “Humanist Artisans of the Web”. Like the Humanists of the past, we have to express our thoughts through new means, to blossom, in order to enrich the future.

The Internet is a symbol, the catalyst of an era based on revolutionary freedom in the field of expression, creation and knowledge. These are the human ideals we are striving for. We have to observe our new horizons with increasing sensitivity in order to inspire a future of growth, serenity and sharing.