Network principles are often discussed in the context of communication technologies and media platforms. The biological flip side—the natural world—provides countless entry points into systems thinking as well, including the self-regulating processes of a single cell, the coordination of an ant colony, and the holism of the Earth’s biosphere. But in addition to these technological and biological factors, we must also take into consideration social factors if we are to comprehend network principles at a human scale. Here, the recently departed Italian essayist and philosopher Umberto Eco discusses the social roles of love and hate. His surprising conclusion suggests that hate better reflects network principles than love—a force that is powerful but fundamentally individual.
DateNovember 23, 2011TitleIntelligence Squared: Umberto Eco In Conversation With Paul HoldengräberSegment00:29:34 – 00:31:01Umberto Eco:
Love is a mutilating experience that separates you from the rest of the world. I love you, you want to love me, I don’t want you to love somebody else, I don’t want that somebody else to love you—so its restricting the human community, the polarity between the two persons—except the saints, who go leeching the lepers… Hatred on the contrary is general, say, social; it can unite an entire people against another people. And, in fact, dictatorial power does not invite people to love, they invite people to die against the hated enemy. So hatred is general—it’s easy to be maneuvered for political resource. If not, you cannot explain because the history of mankind starts with Cain and not with Mother Teresa of Calcutta. It starts with wars—massacres.