Bernard Stiegler leaves us, at just sixty-eight years old.
Those who met him will remember his deep humanity, combined with surprising and lively intelligence. Stiegler has been able to pass through life without ever forgetting the fundamental question: what really makes life worth living? He also gave his book this question by title, turning it into an affirmation.
He wasn’t afraid to affirm. He had nothing of that false modesty typical of post-modernity. He believed in the critical exercise of thought and, I dare say, in the search for truth. For almost forty years he had been trying to think, radically and without stupid neoluddist tics, how to handle the technological ′′ drug ambivalence, toxic and salvific, of the technique and, in particular, of the web and the internet (which he carefully distinguished). He believed in the possibility of using technologies capable of going beyond entropy, beyond the value destruction of the data economy, towards a shared form of knowledge, capable of giving life on earth a meaning.
Stiegler, through the ambitious program of an organology, fought functional stupidity and depression to which a world destined us, that of the web economy, which drags each of us, each isolated into an anonymous network, towards the mediocrity of an average man, that faceless subject coming out of algorithms; a subject incompetent of exception and therefore of innovation. There is no change, transformation, evolution, new meanings except from exceptions, singularities, from what makes every rule, every prediction, every calculation.
Stiegler believed in the power of impossible and unexpected in a world where everything must be predictable and possible. He knew how to listen. He believed in attention as a form of thought. He was a curious, sensitive man; I’d say sweet.
Big data, surely, are already processing his death. We still have the legacy of a thought and the memory of a person full of life.
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