Michel Serres

SDR 2007-2008

« As soon as the new technologies began to emerge, we could see the hope they represented. If I were to sum them up in one word, that word would be the adjective “soft.”
Today everyone speaks in terms of the global level, of planetary issues. And rightly so. But what if we were to look back, just for a moment, at the local level, the here and now?
Alone, sitting in my office tucked away in a tiny village, I can connect to knowledge in all its forms, and to an immense number of people like myself… without ever using a considerable amount of energy.
More than a decade ago, with the arrival of new mobile phones, I had proposed a slogan to Vivendi: Now I Hold the World in my Hand [1]. I, here and now, in my little corner of the world, can call on the grand, the global, the worldwide.
There is a threefold benefit in that capability.
The first, political, replaces the collective by the connective, enabling us to invent new ways of living, thinking, deciding, acting together. The local brings together the global human, and can, wondrously, act effectively on that global human.
The second is cognitive, and gives the individual new importance and dignity, but also new power, whose impact grows daily, even on an economic level. A new ego, a new cogito.
The third is ecological, because it is now possible to teach a class, give a lecture, state an opinion, make a decision, publish a text, hold a meeting, or go to one… without having to cross oceans and continents in an airplane. And that is decreasing pollution of the atmosphere.
A new I, a new we, and a new space with its addresses and its vicinities… In this new world and in the midst of these new humans, how could we not change our behavior and revise our ideas? »

 [1] Maintenant, tenant en main le monde