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No deal and Kiev besieged

08 Mar

The war remains horrendous and with no prospect of a ceasefire, the third round of talks yesterday did not even result in a ceasefire for the humanitarian corridor that would allow civilians to leave, especially from regions where the fighting is bloodier. .

Russia has declared a series of hostile actions by the adopted sanctions that strangle its economy, among them: USA, Canada and the 27 countries of the European Union, in alphabetical order the other countries: Australia, Albania, Andorra, United Kingdom, Iceland, Japan, Liechtenstein, North Macedonia, Micronesia, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, San Marino, Singapore, Switzerland, Taiwan and Ukraine.

Brazil was left out, perhaps because of the president’s speech explaining the reasons for “neutrality” on Sunday, it managed to unite right, center and left: at least a diplomatic discomfort since a large part of the world has already condemned and imposed sanctions on Russia, including China and it would have more reasons than Brazil to join: ideological.

With no prospect of peace now, attention and tensions turn to Kiev, close to the city there are small towns and forests such as the Zalíssia National Park that presented some forms of resistance, however they were rejected with denouncements of violations and war crimes, there was no negotiation that would allow the evacuation of civilians, so many civilians are in the city.

In the evenings, the curfew comes and people go to improvised air-raid shelters, train tunnels, hotel basements, buildings and even churches (the crypts), which are the usual refuges.

Whatever the outcome of this struggle, the Ukrainian people and their president have won respect and admiration around the world, while Putin and Russia will come out as villains, even though there have been peace protests, Putin’s position is strong within Russia and there is a strict control of media and narrative.

Kiev lives on hope and a motivation to defend its people (in the photo a cloud that looks like an angel photographed by resident Oksana Kadiivska, from Kiev’s Darnitsa district).

To those who have some form of belief, there is hope for a better time, also in mentalities, since warmongering, intolerance and little empathy walk the streets.



Love enemies and avoid wars

18 Feb

Last week we talked about how famine, pestilence and wars were closely correlated, in yesterday’s post we showed how the “division” of Europe was in the post-war period, the first North African countries that were under France (Libya and Tunisia) and Spain (Morocco), and we discussed the wars that still take place there due to phosphate mining.

Virtually all of Africa was colonial, except for Liberia and Ethiopia, the latter, which is still the headline of famines and wars, is now joined by Somalia, which was an Italian colony, in the post-war period Russian influence in the liberation struggles increased. influence in several regions, such as Angola, Mozambique and Guinea Bissau, but practically all of Africa enters this boiling process, and the allied forces that had formed the United Nations, Japan defeated in the war had to recognize the independence of Korea (until then unified) and the concession of the Kuril Islands to the Soviet Union, but which have recently fueled tension between Russia and Japan.

So the United Nations was not able to promote independence without big and bloody wars in Africa, some still persist, decolonization is just a new way of dependence, just as in America dependence on ideological struggles, these cultural and internal, never allowed real peace and an end to the cold war.

The fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, with several countries becoming independent and returning to their original culture, it is a mere illusion to think that they are buried by ideologies, it seemed to give rise to a world where political, cultural and religious diversity would be tolerated, although the Arab tension never happened, the Arab Spring was an encouragement, but the forces that are still alive within these nations are still operating vigorously, see tensions in Libya, Congo, Sahara and many others, too Latin America is experiencing a polarization sometimes to one side and sometimes to the other.

The economic and political strength that China has gained, the new geopolitical influences of Russia, the tension between the north and the poor south, the crises of the democracies all seem to accelerate a process of establishing a New World Order, some more fatalistic currents call it for the acronym NOM, but in fact all this is just the boiling of issues that the post-war period has not resolved, the United Nations is still not what it promised to be a real “concert of nations” that live in peace and negotiate conflicts.

So we live a bipolar tension in many ways, north-south (photo), colonies and colonizers, ideological tensions that act today more internally than externally, and a pandemic that accelerated this whole process, if the world could be polarized it could be unipolar, there is a positive perspective that would be the real “concert of nations” and a bad one that is the polarization in one of the perverse factors that have already acted on humanity.

How to live with such huge cultural and political differences, a principle of friendship or peace that is always threatened is not enough, it is necessary to accept and defend diversity, to overcome the concept of “enemy” in the form of hate and intolerance (we wrote several posts to explain this), what in terms of Christian culture is called “loving your enemy”, says the reading Lk 6:27-28: “I say to you who hear me: Love your enemies and do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who slander you”, in other words neither unipolar nor bipolar, but a multipolar world.




Hate and Intolerance in History

17 Feb

It is necessary to know the historical process to understand the bases on which a world polarization and an alleged new world order, a very vague term and subject to many interpretations, which led to polarization in the period of the Cold War and which seems to return with new molds, where the leaven of hate can flourish.

The reasons that led to the formation of the Axis, an alliance with the Nazis in World War II, were: territorial expansion with the creation of empires based on military conquests and the overthrow of the post-First World War international order, and the destruction and neutralization of Soviet communism.

Germany and Italy signed 1st. November 1936, a week after announcing a friendship pact, the creation of the Rome-Berlin Axis and then on November 25, 1936 the Anti-International Communist Pact (Comintern) in opposition to the Soviet Union, Hungary, Bulgaria and Slovakia joined the Axis in November 1940, later Croatia joined, Finland joined the USSR in 1941 and in April of that year Yugoslavia was invaded and dismembered by Axis forces and then the Soviet Union.

At the beginning of the war, in 1st. From September 1939, the allies were France, Poland and the United Kingdom, as well as the states dependent on the British Crown: India, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa, after the invasion of Belgium, in addition to the Netherlands and Greece joined the allies, the Soviet Union supported the invasion of Poland, but realizing that it would be betrayed by the Nazis, it also became an ally, the United States would fully enter the War after the attack on Pearl Harbor (7 December 1941 ), supported with money and weapons until then, in December 1941 it became an allied member with troops and sending heavy weapons to Europe.

China has had a protracted war with Japan since the Marco Polo Bridge Incident in 1937, which was an incident of the disappearance of a soldier and troops stationed on either side of this bridge that is close to Manchuria (the disputed region), so China officially joined the Allies in 1941.

With the Axis practically defeated, the Tehran Conference was held with the first territorial divisions of the occupation troops in each country, this is important to understand the Soviet advances constituting Eastern Europe, the D-Day of the disembarkation of the troops in Europe was held in December 7, 1941.

The Potsdam and Yalta conferences were held on July 17 and August 2, 1945, respectively, before the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima on August 6 and 9.

Two attitudes must be analyzed in the post-war agreements, one is the reintegration of German territory to the war in the limits before the first war, with the exception that the place where the former Königsberg was after Stalingrad and today Kaliningrad was taken by the USSR and the Germans. were expelled, the negative was the nuclear bomb on Nagasaki and Hiroshima when the war was practically over, and the effects of the bomb marked the history of mankind forever, dropped in August 1945.

In the next post, we will analyze the advance and the almost end of the cold war and what can cause an imbalance and create a New World Order, an acronym used in different ways.




Covid: beginning of a possible fall

14 Feb

While the moving average and the number of infections remain at high levels, there are already signs of a downward trend, 58,056 cases in the last 24 hours, however the number of deaths remains high in most states (880 deaths on average mobile), being in stability only in 4 states: Santa Catarina (SC),  Amazonas (AM), Roraima (RR), Goiás (GO), did not disclose TO – Tocantis and DF – Federal Distrit Brasilia, it is necessary to emphasize that given states always refer to “known cases” because there is no policy of mass testing.

Researcher Raphael Guimarães from Fiocruz argues that the adoption of public policies for the collective control of the pandemic, in addition to the hygiene measures that are maintained, can lead the country to control the pandemic in the first half of 2022: “At this moment, Brazil gathers some favorable conditions to block the virus”, the researcher explained to the press.

Maintaining distance, for example, and limiting the number of people in collective events are important when adopted, but what is observed is that distance is not the collective behavior of the population and inspection ceased to exist in most cases, With few exceptions, the result is hospitals that are still full, together with the vaccination of influenza, which is still small, and the vaccination of children who still have only the first dose.

While in Europe the downward trend has already been observed, in Latin America 63% of people are already vaccinated, but coverage remains uneven, data from health agencies in the region (PAHO) indicate that 14 countries have already vaccinated 70% of the population while the others failed to achieve even 40% of this coverage, reports PAHO Director Carissa F. Etienne: “These data are crucial for designing targeted vaccination campaigns, maximizing the impact of doses, and saving lives,” who thanked vaccine donor countries.

Donors who “helped our region secure doses when supplies were limited”, citing donations from the United States, Spain, Canada, Germany and France, which totaled 26 million doses, but expects to reach 100 this early this year. millions of donation doses.

Public policies must be more affirmative and not give up the necessary supervision, so we can imagine a more peaceful second half of the pandemic.



Moving forward to true thinking

04 Feb

No thought is complete if it does not have a spirituality, what modernity calls subjectivity but which is separate from objectivity as is typical of dualism, creates two realities and neither is part of the whole.

Contemplating the whole means considering the depth of our Being and understanding that we are part of an immense universe full of mysteries, and that our soul yearns for infinity and that is where a true spirituality walks, which is not separated from the substantiality of life (the which is called objectivity in modernity, which is just the part) and that without it we do not contemplate and live the whole, we live a segmented life.

To replace it with a small part, small vices and pleasures, is to walk in frivolity, in superficiality, no true asceticism does without a spirituality, and there is no spirituality without contemplating the human soul as part of the whole of our Being, thus surpassing anthropotechnics and to arrive at an onto-anthropotechnic that looks at things and also at the soul.

Many exercises, from the physical to the spiritual, are done seeking this asceticism, at this point Sloterdijk is right almost all of them are “despiritualized” but his explanation is incomplete because there is no eschatology in their spheres, this reasoning is done especially in Spheres II, which is the whole towards which we walk, it is possible to go to Him.

Yes, it is possible if we move towards deeper waters, seek the completeness of our substantiality, overcoming anthropocentrism and understanding the Earth and the Universe as our home, our abode, but mainly walking and casting the nets for deeper thoughts and spiritualities, there is at high sea, even if raging, what our soul longs for: the eternal.

The biblical passage Lk 5:4-5 says, right after Jesus taught the crowds and Peter (Simon) complained that they had not caught anything, Jesus answers him: “when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon: “Go into deeper waters, and cast your nets for fishing”, Simon replies that he worked all night and caught nothing, but obeyed and cast the nets.

The result was a great fishery. Here, the substantiality of the food and also the spirituality of advancing “to deeper waters” are worthy.


Missing data and missing facts

24 Jan

The covid is advancing and although the predominance is of the ômicron variable, there is already a new IHU variant detected in France, the little testing and the number of asymptomatic cases indicate that the numbers can be much higher and therefore alarming, if in fact many cases are mild, the expansion is serious because it can lead to many people with the necessary comorbidities to make the cases complicated.

Everyone has a relative, friend or acquaintance with Covid now, in addition to public figures: players and coaches, journalists, television presenters, artists, etc. the number of cases is probably much higher than the public statistics that are released.

Vaccination of children has started, but it is important to say that the largest number of inpatients continues to be adults, not precise data, but just ask a friend or relative who works in a health unit to confirm, so a protocol policy is also needed for adults, many scientists and authorities, the WHO itself, insist that the pandemic is not over.

Because it could become an endemic disease, it is true, we can go there in a few months, say some of the scientific community, such as the BBC, expressing the opinion of Professor David Heumann, of the epidemiology of infectious diseases at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine: “It will continue for a long time to become endemic,” he said, referring to the fact that all viruses become endemic and are treated seasonally like the flu and other coronaviruses.

But the newspaper itself emphasizes that Covid-19 evolved quite unpredictably and, according to experts, the Delta variant could have been much worse, the fact is that in that case there was a health policy and a confrontation with the pandemic, now so much Both the public and the authorities seem to think that the omicron variant is good, there are even those who think it is absurd that such “herd immunity” would be good, that is, the vast majority of people having passed through the virus.

WHO Director-General Tedros A. Ghebreyesus declared last week: “Make no mistake, the omicron causes hospitalizations and deaths, and even the least serious cases overwhelm healthcare facilities.”

We remember that this was the original negationist thesis, and to reaffirm it now, even recognizing that the prevailing variant today is less serious, would be a very big mistake.



Covid Brazil: Pressured health system and increase

17 Jan

The increase recorded in the first weeks of January in Brazil in Covid cases, with a predominance of the ômicron variant, is very high and there is no tendency to stabilize, the health system is pressured by the increase in hospitalizations and the presence of the H3N2 flu that has also appeared , it’s usually only expected at the beginning of winter around April and May, but this year it came earlier.

The numbers are uncertain, but there is a significant increase (see graph), there is little testing and a crash in the Ministry of Health data that drags on for more than a month, this jeopardizes the adoption of policy and the effective control of the pandemic, as explained to the press the infectologist and researcher at Fiocruz: “We cannot plan the opening of new hospital services, testing centers, opening of new beds and understand the regions where the impact of the new variant is greater” and the numbers are expected to increase in February.

It is a fact that the infection of this variant is less serious, but it is not certain that this would be an indication of the end of the pandemic and care should be maintained, the end-of-year parties and the release of public events, there is already some setback in these measures. , were vectors of propagation of the variant that is more infectious than the previous ones.

Brazilian neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis denied that the ômicron variant could be the end of the pandemic, stressing that mutations are probabilistically chaotic and it is not possible to predict the next variant or some point of linear weakening of the virus, it is likely that we will still have to live with it. for a long time, and the neuroscientist warns what is already happening in England and the United States where the health system can collapse at any moment, once it is under pressure. and warns that it is possible to reach a point of chronic Covid, this is a state in which the hospital system can no longer handle the volume of cases that happen and with palliative treatments only without being able to effectively treat the disease.

With this weekend’s numbers in Brazil, it reached close to 50,000 daily cases, the expectation is to grow until the end of February and the already pressured health system could collapse, while the authorities monitor without really data. valid and reliable data from the pandemic.

Vaccination of children began in Brazil, at the age of 5 to 11 years, with the Comirnaty vaccine (Pfizer/BioNTech) but the number of doses available is uncertain, the health secretariats have opened registration for scheduling that, in addition to avoiding agglomerations, can do a forecast as doses are available




Empathy: from water to wine

14 Jan

After clarified pathological situations, where empathy is just an instrumentation or a disguise for actions that do not contemplate the Suffering of the Other, we can affirm situations in which it is really effective and can change the situation practically as a miracle, not only in the extraordinary sense but also with high probability.

We have already said that outside the ideological, cultural and social constraints, human nature destined to live in a collective situation tends to empathize for a good social life, it is enough to observe children when they are not yet contaminated by aggressive or toxic environments, to use a very current term.

Also social situations: work environments, neighbourhoods, small communities there is always a tendency where empathy reigns (or Love in a sense that is now forgotten) the greater tendency is that phronesis (in the sense that today they call emotional intelligence) and empathy, and this is not new, just an update is needed.

Many environments can change from water to wine if they are fully enriched and purified by empathy, there is always a greater tendency towards solidarity and tolerance than conflict and personal or group selfishness, in environments that are not enriched by a spirituality. it also weakens and tends not to prosper, because there is social pressure from outside where the environment is one of conflict and polarization.

Pandemic suffering was a great opportunity to recognize the Suffering of others, the pain of the Other, or just the face of the Other and its inclinations and concepts, what can be observed contextually is that conflicts increased and the opportunity was not properly seized, but not invalidity of joint efforts in regions and situations.

There are examples of these efforts in many places, right now the flooding situation in Bahia is a new opportunity in which many communities have joined the scourge of the region, donations and aid have come from various places in Brazil, although the central authorities have been somewhat negligent.

These are choices that we make of actions, habits and that become a “social character” if we change from water to wine, it is possible, as in that biblical passage where the wine was missing at the party, and Jesus being present receives the mother’s request to to intervene and his first public miracle happens only to give wine and improve the joy of that party, he orders three vats of 100 liters each to be filled with wine and then asks them to take it to the master of the party to taste (Jn 2,7), and he says the best wine was left for last.

So it is not the end we are living, but the beginning of a new reality, even if empathy has not arrived after so much suffering, it will come and a new clearing will open, like that of the paralytic’s passage through the ceiling that reaches Jesus to heal him. Rather, He heals him of his sins (Mk 1:5) so that he may have a more “empathetic” soul.


Empathy and the Truth

07 Jan

The construction of the concept of truth can roughly be divided into three stages as having an elaboration or a narrative, I exclude the period of natural evolution of man because I consider the beginning of oral language elaborated by oracles/prophets/masters an important milestone, rather what existed was the natural man and his “search”, the three stages are: mythical, mixed orality (rhetoric and written) and written language based on Gutenberg’s press.

We are in a fourth stage that is called post-truth, therefore not its overcoming, but its crisis, the Enlightenment combined experience and Cartesian logic (Kantian is just the one that shows the limits of pure reason) and now we understand, it is one of the possibilities only philosophical phenomenology, the last step after Husserl, Heidegger and Gadamer.

The hermeneutic circle presupposes what we argue in this week’s posts, a relationship with the Other, it proposes that there are always prejudices, that is, there are truths that may even have conventions, and recognize them even if they are different, being possible after these views a fusion of horizons, it is important and not secondary that Gadamer and Heidegger presuppose the existence of the text, that is, a written language which is a reference for the next step, which is listening to the Text, in orality however, it would be listening to the Other.

What we call post-truth then is the simple closure in an egoic truth, the transcendental ego, as developed in topic V of Husserl’s Cartesian Meditations, and which we summarized in the previous post, so it is impossible to merge horizons, logic prevails dualist and/or the idea of experience to establish a fact.

Ancient philosophy also had these embryonic ideas, Socrates affirmed (according to Plato): “The truth is not with men, but among men” and Aristotle affirmed that the truth is elaborated in the relation of the thing with its causes: Material cause: de what is the thing done? for example a built house. Efficient cause: what did the thing? Building with materials. Formal cause: what gives it form? The house itself. Final cause: what gave it shape? or the initial intention of the builder or architect

The difference between the phenomenological principle of addressing the “thing” and Aristotle is that its logic is dual: there is only A or no A, and from A to B it is necessary to go through intermediate C, in the fusion of origin a T is possible (The included third theory and quantum physics also admit this) that it is not A and not A, and one can go directly from A to B.

The Christian worldview establishes as truth the existence of a supernatural reality, above the dogmas and mysteries of science (they are themselves discovered are provisional truths) and there is an ontological criterion for the truth, a person, who is the earthly God its manifestation (epiphany), the man-God: Jesus.

John the Baptist, the last and greatest of the prophets, there are no prophets today unless a direct revelation from God Himself (thus all the prophets today are false) and John the Baptist when questioned in his time affirmed (Lk 3:16): “Hence, John declared to everyone: “I am baptizing you with water, but he who is stronger than I will come. I am not worthy of untying the strap of your sandals. He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and in fire” ” and this is the truth of the Christian worldview.


Disempathy or untraining

05 Jan

Of course the term does not exist (disempathy), I created it to say that it is neither antipathy nor disaffection, it is a feeling as great as the empathy that dominates the thoughts, culture and habits of a given time, as opposed to empathy, to develop the theme I take a phrase by Margareth Thatcher quoted in the film The Iron Lady (directed by Phyllida Lloyd, 2011).

In the film Margareth Thatcher, played by Meryl Streep (Oscar deserved for best actress) says: “Watch out for your thoughts they become words. Beware that they can become actions, as they become habits. Beware of habits because they become your character”, this to understand how it is possible to detrain neurons so that they are not empathetic and become obnoxious and destructive, unfortunately we are training the opposite side to our natural empathic side.

As we said in the previous post, it is possible to train empathy, it is possible to untrain it (another neologism, something natural that is corrupted by a habit opposite to the instinctive) and induce a feeling of repulsion and hatred, even if disguised or veiled and even disguised in a form of “love” that corrects the other, we must correct everything that is not agape or empathy, but rather, the others are habits or culture.

Let’s follow the path proposed by Thatcher according to the film that intends to be a biography (no, that was the main criticism), so things start with thinking, something must already be corrected right away in contemporary theories and ideologies that say that everything would begin by the “middle”, remember the discourse of contractualists, Thomas Hobbes do Leviathan (1651) indicates that man is wolf the man, that is, he is anti-empathic, whereas John Locke (An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, 1690) defends that the individual must renounce the state of nature and make a contract (which the State regulates) and thus defends its freedom, his famous phrase: “where there is no law, there is no freedom” father of liberalism and in a way of empiricism (I think that it was born embryonic before with the vision of Francis Bacon).

Only Rousseau partly abandoned these concepts creating the “good savage”, the man is good society corrupts him, it is a principle of untraining, but he was also in favor of the contract, so it seems that handing freedom into the hands of the State is a condition “Natural”.

Thus, not only due to contractualism, but throughout the entire historical course, our thinking is linked to its contemporary roots and it is clear to what is within each culture, religion or ideological group, only through reading it is possible to detach from current thinking, and exercise to internalize takes the second step: the words.

Words like that are discourses or, as it is currently said, narratives, which are largely permeated in contemporary culture, only those who read are not linked to the flavor of this culture in its current polarization, remember that the first mental act is imitation (a neuroscience speaks of the mirror neuron), and it can be untrained, that is, it can either be taken back to its natural course of empathy or the opposite of what I have called disempathy.

It is from them that we unleash our actions, much has been said about reflection or active vitta as Hannah Arendt called it, and it was taken up by Byung Chull Han in his book The Society of Burnout, there he argues that we must also have an interior life, reflexive and so we can return to our initial course of empathy (my conclusion).

Finally, actions become habits, a good part of linguistics and semiotics starts the analysis from there, yes it is a fact that it also speaks of secondness (something that exists) and thirdness (what is), Pierce’s categories, but the theme is far and requires a greater depth which I humbly say I do not possess.

We come from habit to character, from the etymology of the word derives from the Greek “charaktér, éros”, or from the Latin “character, eris”, meaning “engraved”, therefore it is what is being carved, and it is possible to become a lack of empathy, that is, a break with the original empathic character, in the current discourse the absence of Subjectivity (proper to the subject), individualism (not looking at the Other) and a series of subcategories that are breaks with empathy.