book review: Culture, peace and environment. The value of human complexity

Written by Andres Ginestet, Enrico Bocciolesi, translation by Kim Ginestet.


Human culture is in a constant process of evolution and transformation, something inherent to it's own nature which is structurally dynamic, related to human dynamism. However, in the current existential system, there are gaps being created in the communication between humankind and it´s culture that seem unavoidable. Humankind, in a powerless manner, disregards the source of it´s own identity, and by ignoring the source of it´s identity, removes itself from human events. Culture is a manifestation of human presence, which denotes the path and the cognitive route of humankind, where it has acted, acts and will act.

Today it is hard not to notice that, at all levels, there is no agreement between the substance and the presence of cultural systems. Cultural systems are, as always, content and container of the reasons and meanings of categories, ways of being, behavior and social forms through which you create an interactive relationship. This is established not only in practice, but also in the highest and most sublime statements that human existence can express and create. This continuous interaction between producer and consumer, both identify any human being as creator of culture, thus resulting in complex thoughts.

The individual and modern society

Every human being is an organic compound belonging to the dimension of "absolute" complexity that is in constant contact with other human biological systems. This contact with other biological systems reflects what we call “relative” complexity. However, what distinguishes the human species from any other form of life is the capacity of creating “contingent” complexity, which enables us to modify the other two types of complexity: the “absolute” and the “relative”. In life, we express this with the term “creative freedom”.
So as to be able to interpret and understand the human potential, it is important to take into consideration that the environment takes part in the formation of every individual. Just like culture, the environment penetrates the chromosome, urging the establishment of the psychophysics of every person. The environment is the result of one's own behavior and of he fact that we’re forming part of the world as persons.
“Now we know that nature and culture work together to shape our brains and our ability and disability. Nature and culture become one during development and the boundary between organic functionality dissolves into what we now denote as plasticity experience-dependent. This expression means that the brain is structured and restructured by interactions with the social and natural environment” (L. Cozolino, The social brain. Neuroscience of human relationships, Raffaello Cortina, Milano 2008, p. 83). We know of many reports on human behavior and the plasticity of the brain from the research done in neuroscience, and this makes it even more crucial to create an education which interactively links the person and the environment, because in his or her surrounding space (which is not merely physical), each person will find all the resources needed so as to be able to develop their brain and their experiences.
The environment is the sum of what is outside and inside of a person; it´s what the person produces and changes, and also how the person changes by living what he/she produces and changes in the environment. Maintaining the relationship between a person and his/her environment means making an empathic effort for the people in the world and everything that could be of help to them. School and society are supposed to produce a base for active interaction between a person and their environment, which has the task to banish a possible clash between the desire for power and the need to survive. This is necessary not only for the physical and natural environment, but also for the psychic environment and the brain, which must live together very closely inside each human being. We still feel a certain alarm due to the deprivation of the natural environment which comes through the overload of human presence, restricting the natural environment and making it responsible for arbitrary actions, causing disrespect between humans towards an important part (the natural part) of life.
We have now little hope that we will arrive at a point where we all have a decisive awareness of the neglecting, tampering and disfiguring environment in which we live and without which it would be difficult to survive. If we don\'t make a conscious effort, there will be no situation in life in which a person will be able to conduct her life in harmony with her exterior self, the environment.
The environment is an offshoot; it is the prolongation of one's being because outside the environment in the external world, there is no possibility to exist, as there is no room to construct a journey towards self-affirmation. When talking about the physical environment you cannot talk about a particular method but you can part from the experience that only in relation to situations and with the stimulating from outside you will be able to grow culturally, intellectually and spiritually.

When a living species dies and disappears on earth, a part of us also disappears, because we are then no longer capable to meet, presence and tell the story of this species. We are poorer because we have been deprived of it's presence. There are many living things that are being sacrificed in the craze of domination and oppression. But still we will not give up and we continue to shed egoism in our environment, which restricts itself and reduces itself because of the need for an empire, the insatiable desire for affirmation of the ego.

The forms of human complexity

In this book “PAX” written by Ginestet, we are offered a definition of the concept of freedom with the finality of fitting it into a frame which forms part of the research done during decades in the matter of complex systems. Freedom is nothing but an intuitive and functional interface, which accentuates the presence of a C3, in other words a selected and emancipated contingency, which is accomplished by an act in a specific period of time. Basically, freedom is an intuitively selected choice of a lived and emancipated contingency.
The three forms of complexity have been presented with symbols, abbreviations and defined characters attesting to certain letters and numbers a wide and intense significance that is useful for analysis. According to the "mixing ratios" humankind has created complexity without conscience or control, generating spaces and concepts of which most of the times it ignores the meaning, therefore causing the incapacity of critical thinking and understanding. People still perceive the evident difficulty without realizing the immediate contribution made by the complex situation. With the aim of reducing the possibilities for creation and generation of complex environments, humankind today uses epigenetics, which is the norm of intervention in the link between the environment and the genome. The deterioration of the environmental condition has a negative effect upon epigenetics concerning the brain, arriving to a state where it is able to block out the human capacity of empathy. This creates a chain reaction of social groups who use power as a communicative instrument. An example of how an error in complexity management leads to brutal violence can be seen in the case of the strategy implemented by the US government to decrease presence of oil in their country, thus creating the world crisis of the '"black gold". "At the beginning of the seventies, the United States decided to create rules to reduce the emission of toxic gases, especially CO2. They established a new value of the emissions and improved fuel quality. Following improvements to gasoline, the consumption of crude oil doubled.”
With the inexistence of a connection between the systematic concept of complexity and violence, the government concentrated on theoretical solutions which only recurred to two of the complexity parameters, the relative and absolute complexities (oil and transport), when in reality the origin of the problem was in the contingent complexity (the new law which was created to reduce toxic gas emissions was the origin of the problem). “If there is a problem which has its origin in contingent complexity, the solution should also be one in the form of contingent complexity, not in the form of relative or absolute complexity. A solution that isn't pertinent to the problems risks being inopportune and off topic. These kind of conceptual errors generate wars for oil and natural resources that we have lived and are still going through right now.” (Ginestet 2012, tr. en. Pollok). The approach that is necessary is to introduce the concept of complexity in human culture as has happened in previous centuries with references to the idea of time, space, gravity and temperature.  With the intention of helping people to comprehend the real value of an active complexity, regulated by humankind itself and not under the influence of violence of another, as is proposed in the Rifkin theory, you are facing the danger of a phase-type entropy. In today's society it has become necessary to understand that a richer person is one who has “freedom” and is able to understand his or herself creatively and critically.


Experience has always conducted our behavior and we have survived together an environment that we shared in it's hardships and it's quest for survival. We must part from the compared experience and experiments we can make to investigate any fact.  Being able to make healthy choices could be decisive for giving meaning to our actions. It is more fitting and appropriate to be able to compare different elements of a system that becomes increasingly confused having a possibility to consult a relevant method.

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