The Game

The world changes: school and politics will not be excluded

The fact that school will change seems obvious. At least for Alessandro Baricco, writer, philosopher and founder of the Turin Holden School. He says – in one of his last appearances on “Quante Storie” (“How many stories”), a Rai* programme in which he participated on the occasion of Internet Day – that to stay in the digital world we need a “certain intellectual brilliance that can be educated, but which we are not educating: just think that the educational system is preparing students to be good citizens of a democratic State of the ’80s ”. Translated: of a State that no longer exists today. The thesis supported in his last book entitled “The Game”, the subject of a Rai 3 television programme, is in fact the following: Western white men, mainly from California, children of the post-war counterculture, mainly computer engineers, change the world to “escape” the tragedy of the 20th century and do so not with ideas, but with instruments: today’s digital world.

This thesis of his is the result of an analysis of contemporary history, read in the light of the upheavals of the digital age. Fifty years ago, the first email was sent within an Internet network from Los Angeles to San Francisco. A digital word took off for the first time, between two computers of American universities –  and so outside of a military context – , about 500 km in an ‘amen’. It is the beginning of a revolution, of a mental insurrection: ours. And this year we celebrate it with the name of Internet Day.

The digital insurrection, in revolt with the elite of the 20th century, also shows that today “we can change the world without politics”. The time will come, then, when it will also change politics, because in reality, perhaps, in fact it has already changed it, taking on the task of changing the world, but without taking over the political institution. If a change is really inevitable both in school and in politics (institutional), then the fundamental question is: how should it change? Then how can we, today, help and train younger generations to live in a world which is constantly evolving, which is digital and which is changing schools and politics?

Ps. It is curious to note Baricco’s workshop in the school – the Holden School – which he founded twenty years ago, together with many others: will it be the avant-garde?

*Rai is the national public broadcasting company of Italy

By Nicola Uva

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