THE LINK BETWEEN SMARTPHONE, MAYAN GLYPHS AND SMART CITIES
A citizen represent the first vector that generate a city, he lives in a community in order to obtain a surplus value that an aware community is able to provide.
This surplus value means: facilities, social and economic opportunities possible although through progress, civilization, culture and social, technical humanistic knowledge.
The meaning of knowledge here is never referred to the culture of the single man, but to the great quantities of information, culture and data shared in a community network and that can be used for our needs or for the common good.
The etymological meaning, city from civilization that comes from the Latin word civitas furthermore civis, citizen and the humanistic meaning that comes from the man, the culture and the knowledge, moves us toward a cyclic structure.
Nevertheless cities can be describe like a complex system shaped along different axes from many vectors, where the humanistic one represent only an abstract concept that however, moving in a space of culture and knowledge define a quality parameter.
The humanistic vector become a pillar that supports, not only human story and men identities, but also the ambitions of men toward progress, straighter related to a thirst of knowledge that brings us to civilization. Continuing on this point of view becomes extremely interesting value the process that bring us to a smart cities like an important opportunity that permit to start working on tasks that bring us to progress.
Following a first definition smart cities are shaped along six axes: smart economy; smart mobility; smart environment; smart people; smart living; e smart governance.
In the iper-space defined by the six smart axes we are invited to move our vectors working on the next tasks:
a) optimization and improvement of the facilities through the development of information technologies (ICT), that permit also together with the citizen participation, just like is happening with internet, to share a community knowledge network, indeed, a social capital that we can take advantage;
b) improve the environment through policy that allowed a sustainable energetic development.
These two points a) and b) seems to agree with the humanistic paradigm.
Talking about the social capital the reference to humanistic paradigm is quite easy to found, instead the link between a sustainable energetic development is more difficult to comprehend maybe because we misunderstand an humanistic approach with the humanistic culture.
Indeed, if we use a humanistic approach, similar to the one used by Leonardo da Vinci, we can learn that the first task is the observation of ourselves: an action that require commitment and humility.
For example from the observation of our bodies we can learn that we are the result of an economic principle, that follow a natural selection done in thousand of years. As a consequence every part of our body is shaped to perform the better results in comparison to the energetic resources available.
Indeed, even if today we can enjoy of an excess of energetic resources in our diet, never the less we are aware to not exceed with food in order to not compromise our health.
Observing ourselves, our bodies we can learn that sustainability isn’t only a matter of energy production but also of energy saving and an aware knowledge of energy consumption.
We have seen how development of ICT together with policies that improve sustainable energy, represent a good start for an humanistic development of our cities.
However these actions are not enough to aim at a smart city from a humanistic point of view.
To better comprehend what is still missing probably is more useful to have an example than to find a theoretical definition.
So, take your smart phone or tablet, turn on the device and see the display, now sincerely, how many of us has never thought that the language that we are using is logo graphic, similar to the pictograph used by man like first writing system five thousand years ago.
The logo graphic language seems to perform better than the alphabetic one in our mobile devices, furthermore becoming a intuitive and rapid interface.
Now compare the display of an i-phone with these Mayan glyphs found at Palenque in Mexico's and dating from the third century BC.
Also if you look closely, we realize that our "new glyphs" contain much less information than the ones 2300 years older that we consider primitive. Hence this lost forms of communication, part of the cultural knowledge man, can then be still useful to the developer of these interfaces that studying these languages can discover or understand new potential of these writing systems.
Here we come through a humanistic approach to understand also how is strategic to cultivate a humanistic culture: this is in fact capable of giving a meaning, a value and a different evocation on the network of knowledge that we will be able to have in our smart cities through the development of ICT.
Through awareness, possible only through a humanistic approach, we are able to turn the logographic language of a smart phone into an active experience, from a cultural point of view, and therefore able to contribute to our civilization, our community and consequently to our cities, instead of having a passive attitude that brings human being to a cultural impoverishment.
If we have the ambition to turn our cities into smart then we must dedicate ourselves, as well as the development of technology also to the participation of an aware community able to represent the head and the heart of the smart city.