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Cyber Culture by Franco Bifo Berardi - Belgrade

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    Predrag TASEVSKI

Early December usually in Belgrade is cold and freezing, however this time it was not so cold and frankly speaking don't know is it because the city was crowded with police forces in every corner due to the 22nd OSCE Ministerial Summit, or it was just a good luck. Additionally, what made the December special month for Belgrade is that the Philosophical Theater (Drama) hosted the Franco “Bifo” Berardi on 1th December at National Theatre in Belgrade. I was invited by a friend of mine to attend the discussion with one of the most known philosopher from Italy, and indeed I enjoyed a lot.

Nevertheless, I will try to highlight only the discussion in the field of cyber culture and digital divide that was reflected, and not going too much in details about the philosophy and so on. The discussion began within the reading notes from the “After the Future” book where Bifo reflected on the cyber culture by putting the emphasis that we must stop working due to the fact that we have been working for the past 300-3000 years. In the background there was a song from David Bowie – Heroes which made the discussion much fruitful.

Moreover, Bifo also share an example of well-known social networking platform Twitter where the main and initial idea was to be an activist platform, rather what is now, and in the end soon was taken over from a big venture capitalist. In some view I might conclude that Bifo it might be a technophobe who is afraid of new technologies, however in the end he is positive and optimistic man. Furthermore, he talked a bit about the Julian Assange and Edward Snowden example, as well of hacktivist Aaron Swartz. Then, he noted the symptom of hard side of advertising and how to make conspicuous and distinguishing the distances between body versus voice, as Thom Yorke has expressed his vision of a society, where people are increasingly more obsessed with pointless technology, selfishness and mindless entertainment than life itself.

Something what made me curious is his view of terrorism and terrorists attacks today, where he mentioned that they are not due to the fact of killing someone or have something regarding religion, but in fact the main goal is to kill themselves. Questions were fruitful and he gave indeed philosophical answers, such as Zenitism as an art movement in Yugoslavia. Further than about UN or different organization what is his view where he noted that the problem between society and politics are in fact relations, where male politicians governs the females – emphasizing that democracy is dead even after the elections or so on. Another question was about view of artificial intelligence how does he see it as a threat or killing the modern capitalism and he shared a positive view by highlighting that the world is smart.

In the end, after two hours and a half discussion, it was a pleasure to be there and see different views of cyber culture and digital divide opinions. Definitely it made me to over think my thoughts for sure, and at the same time to have a different opinion and to change my view of technology. However, I'm not sure yet what it is? Therefore, I will continue to search for the right answer and draw a map between security and privacy, which unfortunately in end was not discussed.