prophets of the present

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By Jose Machado Moita Neto*

Monothematic diagnoses based only on current reality will lead to inconsequential bets on the future

Don't worry, I won't attack those who consult sister Janaina. I do not know her. Just for the advertising (marketing) pieces stuck on the poles in Teresina where it advertises its services (buzios, tarots, etc.). I believe that the businesswoman, who I wouldn't know how to identify the economic sector, charges for her specialized services. It is certain that it must compete, for the certainties and consolation it offers, with different religions, with therapists, with coaches and with politicians.

The authentic gift of prophecy looks to a future not foreseen by society in its sameness. The prophets were solitary in their ideas, as they spoke of the distant future. Rare are the cases in which the future can be prepared and even modified so that the announced catastrophe does not happen. A dream of seven years of abundance followed by seven years of drought triggered actions to mitigate its effects. Now we don't need to dream, as scientific knowledge has announced some possible catastrophes. By negligence, we did not adequately prepare for all of them. And the possibilities are huge and varied!

We are facing a unique time in which the number of prophets has greatly increased. They are prophets of the past, prophets of the present or prophets of the near future. Here proximity is measured as less than the span in front of the nose. In this sense, I believe that the customized business services mentioned in the first paragraph are much more efficient (like sister Janaina). In fact, the prophecies I have read are mere reproductions. ad nauseam of the obvious. The world will not be the same or everything will go on as before, positions known in philosophy and literature for at least 2500 years.

Reason overruled sense. Perhaps this is a drastic summary of Nietzsche's indictment of Greek philosophy from Socrates onwards. However, in postmodernity, sense collapses reason and the various reasons particular to each science collapse mutually. We lack a project or a vision of man and society in crisis or normality for the next 50 years. Such a large scenario would depend on creating resilience (and not solutions) and teaching adaptability to different contexts for which new skills, competences and attitudes will be required, for the normal and for the extraordinary.

Monothematic diagnoses based only on current reality will lead to inconsequential bets on the future. Society is increasingly complex and is the result of systems coupled by all human dimensions. Any reduction in these dimensions of society to better serve one of these systems will lead to the neglect of the others. And this could be fatal in the next catastrophe that might not be in health, but could be about virtual connections or in another field. A blackout in Amazon Web Services (AWS), or all Google services and applications disconnected, or an atypical electromagnetic flow over the earth would be enough to create a catastrophe in the 4.0 life of our prophets of the current crisis.

There are vacancies for authentic prophets!

*José Machado Moita Neto is a retired professor at the Federal University of Piauí (UFPI).

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