Festival of social science: mgr. Viganò, the new ways of communication are “the trade routes of the third millennium”

Communication and economy, “the pillars of our social cohabitation”, “are changing in their appearance and in their structure, yet they are increasingly intersecting each other, because at the same time the new ways of communication have become the trade routes of the third millennium”. This was pointed out by monsignor Dario Edoardo Viganò, prefect of the Secretariat for Communication of the Holy See, as he spoke at the VI Festival of social science, in Verona last night. “What kind of relations does the invasiveness of the media allow?” is the topic that he was in charge of addressing in his opening session, prompted by the realisation that “human relationships have been dramatically changed by the use of the Internet, of social networks, and maybe they demand that we implement them in new ways, that we use distinctive languages and unusual narrative techniques”. We are “all watched over – he added – by supervisory practices that we no longer take any notice of, as if they were predictable, harmless practices, as if they were part of our living circles. We are the heroes of our time and our space, at least this is what we think we are, but in fact we monitored in many different ways. Video cameras, video surveillance, and even our work can be monitored at all times through the media”, so that “the internauts’ wishes and behaviours” can be captured “and are added to marketing strategies, habits and behaviours”. While “the ‘marketplaces’, from the neighbourhood to the virtual square, are changing”, Pope Francis points out that “the world of media cannot be alien to the care for humans”, outlining “a process – Viganò emphasises – that, if practiced, keeps us away from the jungle of interests, the bogs of the most cynical speculation, and the quick-sands of unscrupulous financial gain. In its rationale, economy involves of course a profit, but it cannot come from acting against or even from getting rid of others. Economy, as a discipline born to ‘rule the common house’, cannot be conditional on the rigid, ruthless rationale of a finance that is devoted to the most hazardous gambles that take no notice of the weaker ones”.

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