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#LockDown now

06 Apr

We have entered a decisive week of the pandemic, especially in Brazil, but also in many parts of the world, contagion will reach poorer areas and countries, where sanitary conditions and the concentration of people can lead to the greatest human tragedy, but it is Easter week. and I have hope.
A huge #LockDown could have a fulminant effect against contagion and this would help fight the pandemic, network studies (in the sense of the relationship between two nodes, in this case it is the proximity of people) show that the network effect exists, and the only now appear in poor peoples.
The possibility of interrupting is to create clusters, isolated sectors of society and a single contact of the one node produces a viral effect.
Carl Latkin, in addition to being an eminent infectologist who works in Global health programs, is also one of the most productive researchers in Social Networks, our study of co-citations in Social Networks works demonstrated this (a PhD in progress), but a given important of this researcher is what shows the presence of HIV in African-American homosexuals.
This study carried out with a sample of 234 African American men, showed that the fact that they are in denser sexual networks, are more prone to contagion.
The analogy with COVID-19 is that peripheral populations are in denser population networks and the relationship within the family is stronger, as they are larger families, as we do not have time to do local sampling, beyond the quarantine period, we’re running a simulation and the risk is real, even the ministry team admits a Covid-19 explosion.
It turns out that workers supporting essential services: truck drivers, cleaning workers and assistants in medical centers, secretaries, etc. it comes from the periphery and displacement is already a problem, they ride on crowded buses and do not have the necessary hygiene conditions.
There is an urgent need for a #LockDown during this week of the end of Lent, not only can the holidays help, but a political attitude of frontal confrontation can help a lot.
Carl Latkin, Cui Yang, Karin Tobin, Typhanye Penniman, Jocelyn Patterson, Pilgrim Spikes, “Differences in the Social Networks of African American Men Who Have Sex With Men Only and Those Who Have Sex With Men and Women”, American Journal of Public Health 101, no. 10 (October 1, 2011): pp. e18-e23.


The sign of Lazarus and the pandemic

27 Mar

The pandemic came to warn us that it is not life that matters the economy anymore, we posted this week that it is not the oeconomicus of home and agriculture (of food we would say today, because food processing is already part of history), it is that of speculation by banks and exchanges.
Now it is life that governs the economy and not the other way around, maybe an economic Darwinism could say in the beginning it was money and then man came, nothing more unreasonable, but it is clear that if an economy goes to ruin, the maintenance of life is in the limit, it stays like this in wars, comes the famine.
But the sign of the pandemic is still poorly read even by economists, and even more lost by some leaders and even religious is the sign of Lazarus (his tomb in side), more than half a million infected and death coming is not enough reason for the even stronger economy on the planet want to stop.
A careful reading of the bible reveals that Jesus knew of Lazarus’ death (John 11: 4-7) and it was not before because the Jews were reluctant to change the lifestyle of “law” and tradition, and wanted to stone him, however. Jesus explains to the disciples that they did not want to return to Judea out of fear, that this should happen so that the people there understood that a change was necessary.
What change the world expects, yes, if we win the pandemic, but the global effort, the idea of stopping and reviving the domestic economy that includes the relationship and well-being of those close to us requires a “conversion”, a change in cultural attitude , taking care of what is beside us and taking care not to be “infected”, the sign of Lazarus is that death comes, but the cure will also come.
The important thing is what we will do next so that a new crisis does not set in, we already had influenza and in Brazil vaccination is beginning, but will we be prepared for another pandemic, without understanding that hospitals and the economic health of the people, in particular, of the simple people is essential, we will not understand anything.
Lazarus did not rise (he later died of a natural death), he just revived and Jesus said that this disease “does not kill”, that is, humanity will not be exterminated, but the hard lesson must be learned is the life that governs the economy and not the other way around, and let’s do our part #FicarEmCasa and applaud the health workers



23 Mar

In times of #StayAtHome, a good reading is indicated, or watching a good movie, but no big dramas, sensationalism or violence, the readings that I also recommend that are to calm us down, pacify us and make coexistence possible, in a word Tenderize or Eternalizing.
One of the books I recommend to enjoy the warmth of home, “The pleasure of staying at home” (only in Portuguese and unfortunately sold out, best seller unintentionally), where Brazilian author Leticia Ferreira Braga, without knowing the current events, wrote in 2007, how to improve self-esteem and self-knowledge, how to organize more conscious consumption and explore natural resources, the effort to make the environment that lives more pleasant and also practical, without luxury and simple.
For those who like to think more deeply, we have already indicated and commented here several times, Byung Chul Han’s “The society of tiredness”, the Korean-German knew that humanity was striding towards an exaggerated activism and technologism (he also exaggerates how much the use of technology that can be a good resource in the current situation), but his thinking about the difficulty of contemplating modern man is a good reflection, it is necessary to be touched.
Small routine habits in the domestic environment help, make cleaning better, even recommended for the coronavirus, but be careful with the toc, avoid boring and controversial subjects, laugh at your own difficulties, including personal and family limitations, in short.
If I could sum up a necessary attitude for the family environment to be but cozy, bearable is to do what is not pleasant to become, what is hard to bear, what is difficult to make possible, to finally soften and review rude habits and abrupt.
It is almost a cultural re-education, either we do this or the house explodes and we explode togethe


The virus and its lessons

18 Mar

Suddenly the society that couldn’t stop, the “tiredness society” of the mind-boggling rhythm, of daily shows, has to resume a vision that you don’t know anymore, stop or at least slow down, stay at home, live with family members that are almost weird.
The fact is that the universe, nature and in it human nature has its laws, and these can be beyond a Big Bang, we can be inside a bubble and whose laws come from “outside” it.
I saw a hashtag go off and was surprised first, but then I gradually understood, mainly young people used #stayfuckatHome in response to “StayAtHome, of course it is not easy for those who never had this cultivated habit, now having to face it.
I was unable to measure both hashtags with the tools, but the universe conspires and makes us stop and stay at home, because events are canceled, there is nothing to do on the street, even the shops give their stop signs, and of course who continue to think on the economic side.
Well we must save the economy, even if it means a rapid explosion of a virus, in short the universe has taught its lesson, it is not the economy that lives for man, but the man who lives for there to be economy, and if it has its own laws, that they do not contradict nature and man, it seems that we have a checkmate.
The lessons for the online universe are twofold, on the one hand, face-to-face resumes a course that should never have left, the face-to-face relational world and fraternal circles and on the other the need for relationships that are public or private to have adequate online tools.
Conflict exists at both ends, nor do we make satisfactory face-to-face relationships, are elusive, authoritarian or worse, indifferent, and we don’t even know how to behave in the online world (the virtual exists before the internet and the digital universe), and always who criticize use it badly and do not understand the “logic” of this universe that asks for relations different from those in person.
Now we have to schedule online meetings, use chats and videos and finally we will go beyond religious and ideological preaching to non-face-to-face relationships that are in fact “relationship”, because virtual comes from the Latin “virtus” which is similar to “potential” either saying we must “cultivate” the virtual to become a real relationship (virtue comes from virtus), the face-to-face does not guarantee the “relationship”.
The great lesson, there will be many others, is that we must share and share responsibilities to overcome the pandemic crisis, which is already social and economic, and depends on the attitude of each one.


Doll´s house

10 Mar

Written in 1878 and built in 1879, the Norwegian novel by Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906) is one of the first manifestations of the exclusion of women in a dualistic and macho society, made for the theater had its first staging in the Kongelige theater, Copenhagen, Denmark , already in 1879.

The romance caused quite a stir at the time, however Ibsen was from a wealthy and respected family in the city of Skien, Norway, and is considered one of the founders of modernism.

The setting is the Christmas season, and the couple Nora and Torvard Helmer are getting ready for the party, and he comments on the expenses of the woman, which she treats with nicknames that reduce her childishness: “lark”, “squirrel” and “ my little girl ”like a bad boy who still knows little about adult life.

In Picture two filme from the 70´s, Jane Fonda and Claire Bloom interpret Nora Helmer.

In the first act a widowed woman Cristina Linde and Dr. Rank arrive, who go to the office to talk to Holmer while Cristina who is a former colleague of Nora’s, talks about the death of the husband of Cristina, Holmer’s former colleague. While Holmer goes to the office with his friend, Nora and colleague Cristina talk about their personal lives.

Nora says that her husband will receive the position of manager in an investment bank and this will bring stability to the family, while Cristina also treats her as a “grown child”.

The doorbell rings again and the maid announces Mr. Krogstad, who comes to talk about business with the bank in Helmer’s new position, Cristina recognizes him as having “business of all kinds”, Dr. Rank leaves the office and comes to the room and also knows Mrs. Linde.

When Nora is alone with Mr. Krogstad who had made him a loan, and Mr. Holmer did not know, about the period when the family was in bad finances, Mr. Krogstad tells him that he knows that her father’s signature as guarantor it was falsified because it was 3 days after his death, and here the novel enters its plot.

Cristina actually had an affair with Mr. Krogstad and she can help Nora, resuming the relationship with Krogstad, he sends the promissory note to Holmer but had already sent a letter saying of the loan that his wife had made with him by forging her father’s signature.

The ending is surprising, Holmer opens Krogstad’s letter that tells the “secret of the loan”, then he receives the promissory note and tears it up, but reconciliation with Nora was already impossible because he had said harsh words about her loan.

And in the end Nora leaves, leaving them with her children, whom he said he had no capacity for and educating them, undoubtedly a shocking novel for the time, and which received harsh criticism.





Women and new media

09 Mar

The women’s day was yesterday, the prospect of a non-sexist society is very distant, even in European countries I contacted with sadness that sexism is still a general culture, for example, harassment in France has high rates and in Portugal there are recent cases , where even a Supreme Court judge expressed his machismo in a case of domestic violence that he judged.

Wikipedia is the 5th.

The most accessed site in the world, it has more than 6 million entries, and despite having problems with editing and corruption in its entries, which is treated but can go online and cause confusion, its importance is undeniable, and denying it is not living the present reality.

New media is no different, Wikipedia the 5th. most read site in the world, it has recently been reported that the majority of women influential in scientific investigations are ignored by the site.

The article written by James Vicent in August 2018 in The Verge Magazine, says that 82% of the biographies are written about men, cites the example of Teresa Woodruff, a scientist who had no entry on Wikipedia (now has), and was named one of the most influential people in investigations and Artificial Intelligence by Time magazine in 2013.

Another influential researcher cited is Jessica Wade, a physicist at Imperial College London who wrote Pineau’s new entry, a system called QuickSilver, and spoke about Wikipedia:

“… it is incredibly biased and the under-representation of women in science is particularly bad”.

The article focused on AI research and also cited robotics researcher Joële Pineau.

However, new media have given women power and a voice too, it is undeniable that a number of excluded social groups, cultures almost disappeared, and many minorities now have a voice thanks to new media.

In social media media, facebook and instagram, there are countless cases of exposure of sexist images and content, which are not always denounced and punished for offensive practices



Asceticism, spirituality and epoché

05 Mar

The asceticism that comes from the Greek acekesis which means “spiritual exercise”, and often it means renouncing pleasure and even some of the primary needs, for example, not eating and fasting, can be linked to spirituality or simply to some culture.

Epoché means the suspension of judgment, as already explained in phenomenology, it is a “putting in brackets”, which means abandoning even if I convince some concept or theory, in order to penetrate a phenomenon, and be aware of some “thing” that we investigate .

It could be a point of convergence between spirituality and knowledge, of course in an environment where this was conducive, and that each side there was prepared for a true “suspension of judgments”, which is rare, even more so in times of confused convictions. Supposing that it is possible, and the exercise that Husserl proposes, the Greeks did it to get to know, episteme and get out of the doxa, what are the necessary conditions for this realization, so to think of an exercise for this means to create an asceticism for “epoché”.

The phenomenological epoché for spiritual elevation can thus be extended, it is not a change from its true path through which it must find the Being creating a transcendental (or reflexive phenomenology, as Gethmann stated) and this Heidegger path has trodden deeper.

Turning to what is experienced, to the original, to the source, to the birth of what is as it is (turning to the thing as proposed by Husserl), constituting an elevation by exercise that has the consequence of personal knowledge, but is far of just being self-help.

Taking the human being and taking it into consideration is not only in the sense of accumulating new information, but becoming more Being, the new man as proposed by Husserl, freeing himself from the automated and immediate movement of daily life, from impulsive and little reflective.

There are many false acceses, which, because they are mere exercises, do not bring with them a spirituality or a form of self-knowledge in fact


Infinity and human complexity

03 Mar

Nothing weaker than wanting to arrest the man who makes him a hostage of ideas or static methods, so there is no thesis and antithesis, but to be and not to be, Husserl stated that “by conceiving ideas, man becomes a new man , who, living in finitude, is oriented towards the pole of infinity ”, but the idea here is the eidos of ancient Greece.

This concept comes from a Proto-Indo-European root “weid”, “see”, origin of the words, εἶδος (eidos) and ἰδέα (idea), according to the “American Heritage Dictionary”, and its pre-Socratic origin is linked the investigation of what things are in essence, and thus the idea of ​​substance appears, as what a thing is independent of its changes in “shape”.

Edmund Husserl foreseeing that the idealistic philosophy that became fixed in forms and that no longer saw the essence would result, affirmed “philosophers, at present, are very fond of criticism instead of studying things from the inside”, it is due to this fact that we fixate on forms and effects without ever referring to the essentials and things.

This is how his phenomenological philosophy was established, it is necessary to return “to the very things”, in a famous expression by Husserl, and his phenomenology is this way back to things, to the world of lived experience or the “lebenswelt” (world-of-life) ) which is the opposite of the world of ideas, from Parmenides, through Plato, to Kant and Hegel.

Phenomenology was born from the social psychology of Franz Brentano recovered the idea of ​​intentionality, coming from the ontological concept of consciousness, which itself highlights the most important point of this experience, that is, the intention clarifies the structure of what is conscious.

What is hidden in every experience, then, is the intention of what is conscious, and if all consciousness only makes sense as awareness of something, psychology deals with what is not conscious.


Self-help, spirituality and psychology

02 Mar

The difference is quite large, but for many, including bookstores, these issues are in the same session, making a joke I would say that the first one gives the idea that you alone resolve yourself (self-help) and the second you need a professional, so it is more expensive. However, the issue is deeper and more serious.
Self-help has created a series of popular beliefs, for example, Rich Dad, poor son, so self-help suggests Rich Son, or Retired Young and Rich or Poor Father for young people, anyway the list is immense, if it were true everyone would say the same, but life does not have these magic formulas.
So, the objective of every self-knowledge process, including psychology is one, can be effective if it is based on real experiences and facts of a person’s life, so it cannot have a general formula, and this is as old as epistemic thinking “Know yourself”, but this must not be a doxa, that is, a mere unfounded opinion.
Clinical psychology, just to give an example, has found that our symptoms, our problems, our suffering arise and grow from unconscious sources, this means that there is a layer that we consciously have little access to, that give rise to what we are.
However, today there is an even more serious problem where charlatans and false promises of self-help reside, spirituality without a personal and social context, “unspiritualized asceticism” as stated by Peter Sloterdijk, a kind of catharsis or self-help that leads to fanaticism without spirituality.
Even to call it spirituality is a mistake, it is self-help with a manipulated religion and unfounded beliefs, but true spirituality exists, and it is a way of providing balance and helping us with unconscious sources of problems or even solutions.
Anyway, it would be good to separate the three fields, personal, social and work self-help formulas, clinical treatment of psychological problems and true spirituality that does not co-exist in all three, a form of personal or community asceticism that leads to improved relationships and greater happiness conviviality.


Joy or happiness, gaudio and euphoria

20 Feb

Joy and happiness are not the same thing, although one can lead to the other and vice versa, joy is a feeling of satisfaction, of completeness or even fullness in its extreme, what I call gaudio, while happiness is the greatest good desired by the human being, so stated Aristotle, and although it may have nuances of values ​​it is the best definition.

In this sense, happiness is to live the moment well, even media and mystical philosophers agree, but the “virtuous” effort that makes conquest one of these moments, but it is clear that each one of this virtuous path can be lived with greatness and effort.

That struggle for which every moment can be lived with dignity and even joy, but the joy and true happiness is conquered with effort, virtuous exercise of a dignified path, while euphoria can be won in a fleeting moment, the joy and true happiness do not.

Joy is therefore an exercise beyond the obstacle and everyday problems, happiness is the possible achievement after a long journey in which reaching the summit depends on the last and decisive steps, often without breath and without clarity that the summit can be reached.

The Greeks said that “eudemonia” (“good”-eu from “spirit”-daimon) was conquered by arete, which can be seen both as “virtue” (the repeated practice of the virtuos, the virtual) as “excellence”.

It is also not fortune, in the Greek sense of the word it is not just money, but chance or luck, the goddess Fortuna became an iconographic image from the illuminations of medieval manuscripts to the stained glass windows of the churches (photo *), it was like that a luck cast at random, but it would be determined predestined.

Joy is joy when achieved by small daily efforts and it is not fleeting, while euphoria is not only escapes but can become deep sadness or even depression, for elaborate speeches living the moment that is wise, can be lived with joy or euphoria.

* The blindfolded goddess Fortuna, called the “wheel of Fortuna” was painted by Tadeuz Kuntze in 1754, oil on canvas in National Museum of Warsaw.