Another Enlightenment to Go

Posted on July 6, 2019

Another Enlightenment To Go

Some opinions are easy to check, some questions are easy to answer, though it takes time. “Will Soviet Union survive until 1984”? It certainly did. So much so, that when I flew from Frankfurt am Main to Tokyo in May 1984, the plane had to skip the Soviet Union’s airspace. This meant two mid-landings: in Karachi and in Hong-Kong. We slept dreaming of a shorter route.

The reason for flying was an international congress on “The Second Renaissance” by an Italian cultural entrepreneur, Armando Verdiglione. The congress, with corporate sponsors from Sony and Gucci, Fiat and Ferrari, attracted, among others, Jorge Luis Borges, Alexander Zinovyev, Fernando Arrabal and John Searle. Artists and scholars, politicians and business people mixed and dreamed.

Today, we talk less about the Renaissances and more about the Enlightenments. The Renaissance slowly merges with the late Middle Ages, while The Enlightenment still promises to save our souls from politically incorrect sex, drugs and rock-‘n-roll. We expect more unknown unknowns. We fall asleep dreaming of oceans cooled by plastic waste, of nuclear warheads supplying clean electricity and of intelligent machines of loving grace. Another Enlightenment to go?

Haarlem, July 6th, 2019