Similarly to Greek philosopher Heraclitus, for Italo Calvino, Lightness is the flexible; the weightless; the mobile; the connective; vectors as distinct from structures. Italo Calvino explored Lightness in the first of his Six Memos For The Next Millennium. He saw Lightness as an important aspect of post-modern society and existence that should be celebrated; he, like Heraclitus, never viewed Lightness as negative, indeed he never ascribed any evaluative content to it.
Calvino keenly explores the borderline between lightness and the superficial; he posits that a contemplative lightness may make light-heartnedness seem heavy and dim; the pursuit of lightness as a reaction to the dutifulness of life.
Calvino emphasises that he does not intend to exclude or to define as inferior the opposite, as for example light/heavy, quick/slow; instant deduction is not necessarily better than well-considered thought, the case may be even contrary. It simply communicates something which is only emblematic of lightness. The balance or tension between the two 'poles' is an important aspect.
In Six Memos he says that "It is true that software cannot exercise its powers of lightness except through the weight of hardware. But it is the software that gives the orders, acting on the outside world and on machines that exist only as functions of software and evolve so that they can work out ever more complex programs. The second industrial revolution, unlike the first, does not present us with such crushing images as rolling mills and molten steel, but with `bits' in a flow of information traveling along circuits in the form of electronic impulses. The iron machines still exist, but they obey the orders of weightless bits."
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