Dr. Plamen L. Simeonov plamen.l.simeonov at gmail.com
Fri Jan 6 12:49:25 CET 2023

Dear Colleagues,


It is my pleasure to announce, -- also on behalf of our generous and
hard-working host Pedro C. Marijuan who has provided us with this forum of
wonderful exchange for so many years (Hallelujah!), --  the opening of our
New Year's discussion session under the topic THE ROOTS OF CIVILISATION.
that will end on January 31st, 2023.

I am eager and curious to read your ideas. Please feel free to share
whatever comes to your mind.

Here is the abstract with the focus and some idea we can extract/expect at
the end:



INTRO: We are living today in uncertain times with multiple overlapping
human-made crises which an advanced civilization is supposed to anticipate
and prevent -- ecology, epidemics, overpopulation, economy with
disproportional energy and resources consume, cultural and generational
polarization, even questioning science, moral values and an individual’s
identity. Furthermore, ideologically led old ghost teachings of division,
conflict and confrontation among social groups and utopic tech visions for
remodeling and resetting the world with unpredictable consequences are
contributing to the overall confusion and wrong choices, thus deepening the
crises even more. Could we look back at the past for some lessons?

THE MAGISTERY OF HISTORY: There have been many episodes of civilization
crises along human history. Each one of them has left a "recipe" in our
collective memory of how to overcome it. Maybe this time things have become
too complex and multi-faceted, like society itself. Or maybe an evil
intention is lurking behind? There are so many different aspects at
multiple levels in social life all over the world that have been
increasingly challenged by our tunnel vision on technology oriented towards
more production/profit and less cleaning/reuse/benevolence, away from a
stable equilibrium (“homeostasis”). They need to be reorganized coherently
and in a commonly agreeable way, not in one imposed by self-proclaimed
authorities who got used to changing long established definitions and rules
of conduct following their own agenda. This takes time, of course, as it
has always been. What about looking for lessons to learn from the past, or
at least to obtain some orientation in order to make the right decisions in
this difficult time? This appears to be more reasonable than starting to
invent novel directive-guided solutions from scratch deploying not yet
proven as safe technologies in a trial-and-error fashion. We have an
intriguing proposal for you. Let us focus on a fascinating period in human
history and find out how the Western world was rebuilt and reintegrated
from the ruins of the Roman Empire.



THE MONASTIC SYSTEM - A GREAT IDEA. A handful of people may be credited
with the design and realization of this truly civilization project. During
its golden ages, Rome was defended by more than 200,000 legionaries, but
after its fall in 466 AD they were replaced by other, more powerful
spiritual warriors. They gradually covered the fragmented (Western) Europe
and expanded Christianity through missionaries in the North by a coherent
space of several thousand Catholic Benedictine monasteries that peacefully
preserved and cultivated education, technology, economy, medicine, law, art
and moral values that integrated the wisdom of the classical antiquity (Rom
and Greece) and enlightened the local communities through the Dark Ages.
Their success in ameliorating and guiding the human spirit paved the way
for the urban "cloisters" of universities during the Renaissance Era (XII
century ff.) where the seeds of science found their fruitful grounds to
grow. Thus, several major crises, incl. alien invasions, the plague,
internecine wars and famines were overcome thanks to this new resilient
social scaffold.

In Eastern Europe, the Roman-Byzantine Empire in Constantinople, although
shrunk through the waves of plague and foreign invasions, survived for
almost 1000 years thanks to expanding Christianity and culture to its new
neighbor and rival, but also ally at times in the North, the Bulgarian
Empire. The latter developed the Cyrillic alphabet during the IX century
AD, translated the holy books/prayers/songs in their language and began
disseminating them to the other Slavic people in today’s territories of
Serbia and Montenegro, Wallachia (Romania), Ukraine and Russia. When the
Bulgarian 3 kingdoms and Constantinople surrendered in 1396 AD and 1453 AD
to the Ottoman Empire, the conquered people on the Balkan peninsula
continued to exist spiritually through a growing network of Christian
Orthodox monasteries that kept the local communities together and finally
led them to freedom through the national liberation movements in the XIX

Both Eastern and Western Europe endured those crises, calamities and
invasions because they maintained firm, sound civilization roots based on
the monastic system, the universities and schools as education centers, and
later on industrial corporations. From today’s viewpoint the monastic
system is analogous to a modern resilient, redundant, fault-tolerant and
flexibly configurable computer network, particularly with respect to its
data storage and processing resources, capable of self-diagnosis and
self-healing, a critical infrastructure per se. If a monastery was
destroyed or burned, the monks escaped with most of their valuable books
and artefacts via safe routes to neighboring monasteries, where they could
be preserved, replicated and distributed again.



THE SUCCESS OF THE WESTERN WORLD: Arguably, what we call cultural
Renaissance followed by scientific and industrial revolutions were an
evolutive product of medieval society and the era of great geographical
discoveries in the New Worlds beyond Europe, North Africa and Asia. Quite
probably, they were only possible thanks to the first missionary
globalization and peaceful goods exchange along the silk trade route
following the pattern of the Antique World trade across the territories
surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. Spain and Portugal brought to Europe not
only spices and silk, but also fundamental technologies from Asia (gun
powder, magnetic compass, paper, porcelain), and later on a regular
maritime trade routes from China via Philippines and Mexico over the
Atlantic that were active for more than 250 years before Holland, France
and England became colonial powers dominating the sea trade, yet at the
price of slavery and exploiting the native population. The further role of
science and technology in the task of changing Western societies was
awesome, perhaps with the infamous Cartesian breach between science and the
humanities, which no doubt has delivered a biased conception of our
rationality limits and led to awful ideological misunderstandings that are
absent in oriental civilizations.


And here we are. In a world that again faces illnesses and adverse events
from their anecdotic treatment to ask: “How is the state of our
civilization and our roots today? What do we identify with today? Do we
recognize the patterns that let us down before and now? Do we know what can
reconcile and heal our multi-facetted society?”

We modestly, as scientists recognizing the societal immune system,
acknowledge the fact that we have the duty to contribute to recovering the
system with coherent visions illuminating the "forking paths ahead" (as
Borges put it). First of all, on our own turf -- the flagrant incoherence
and misunderstandings around most fields where information and
communication, meaning and knowledge, as well as collective intelligence
need to be cleared up and nailed down. We need to clean up our own backyard
on this planet and evolve to a new level, -- not necessarily a purely
technocratic one, -- before we set off for new missions in space and
meeting other civilizations out there.




With best wishes,


___ ___ ___

*Dr. Plamen L. Simeonov*

Director Research Integral Biomathics

*InBioCe <https://urldefense.com/v3/__http://www.simeio.org/focus/about/inbioce/__;!!D9dNQwwGXtA!Rg9EurD0-ICyn68-QPfWNXtUmZH8tNOYk7zRY33Dy7GGR2nVCGcIUyhiRCktmagzi0QscagoZaBpzu6YLWoXVEEpTrC0$ >* –
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phone1: +1 (213) 822-7245

phone2: +49 173 7816 337

email: plamen at simeio.org

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Scopus Author ID: 7006001629

ResearcherID: T-4786-2017

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