Little Thumbling & a Surname for Italy

In the last weeks I was attending CafFerpi, every Tuesday and Thursday at 09.00am. I open the Facebook connection and it’s like opening the window at seven in the morning. Fresh air enters, I breathe deeply. Then I let myself be inspired, from Bruno Mastroianni to Vera Gheno, from Max Bustreo to Francesca Folda. They all have one thing in common: they start from words.

Words shape the reality around us, trace it and pursue it, like Ariadne’s thread or like Little Thumbling’s crumbs (one of my favorite fairy tales that my grandmother Germana used to tell me).

Felicia Pelagalli, together with the CultureSrl team and the University of Pisa is representing the words that are used on social networks with colored bubbles of different sizes, through the clustering or grouping of semantically similar words. They look like Kandinsky’s paintings: large circles for the most used words, small circles for those that are less used, different colors that represent their respective emotions and lines that link them together.

By monitoring the words on Social Media, not only can we shape reality but we can anticipate it, we can understand where a phenomenon is developing and we can also anticipate the spread of a Virus like Covid19.

Between March 20 and April 2, more than 1 million Tweets were typed on a keyboard, in Italian, to tell, express and describe thoughts and emotions about a Virus that took us by surprise, and not only dominated our lives forcing us at home but it has also dominated our language and vocabulary. The analysis of these data highlights what is happening in real time and can even anticipate what will happen next and where. Artificial Intelligence and algorithms become brushes of what is the reality that is gradually represented on our canvas.

This makes me wonder. If it is true that words create the canvases of our reality and these bind us to history, can they also create a new story? Could we influence, with words, the world to come? Can we create it first with words, and then actually live it? Can we describe a different world and then experience it on our skin?

When we name things, they begin to exist, they were not there before .

Click, click, click. I do my usual #connectingthedots and I remember when Simba, a Masai from Tanzania said to me: I don’t know when it’s my birthday, we are not registered with a name at the municipality, they just give one to you, and when you want, you give yourself a new one. You do not exist here when you are born, you only know that you live!

That’s it, I think that what we have to do now is go to the registry office of our country and register the name “Italy” by replacing the surname Pandemia, War and Crisis with another that we could choose between Project, Relaunch, Trust. I like Italy Trust.

And here begins our Future.