Arquivo para October, 2020

And if the pandemic continues

05 Oct

Fredric Jameson drew attention years ago about the possibility of a cosmic catastrophe (an asteroid that threatens life on earth or a virus that matters to humanity), and the threat would awaken global solidarity, small differences are overcome and everyone works together to find one. solution in real life, now the pandemic shows whether this is possible or not, if the question were asked today the clear answer would be no, we are divided and not very sympathetic.

The speculations about the new normal were exhausted, in the political polarization curiously the two poles are seriously wrong, one in stating that the pandemic is the sign of exhaustion of the society we live in and so we will go for a utopian change, and the other that insists on saying that the pandemic does not exist, they lack realism.

An example of this utopian change is in the “Wuhan Soup” in which several famous authors on the left pointed to a “collapse of capitalism” due to the pandemic.

Jameson’s logic is to understand postmodernity as a “cultural logic” and that this would be a third phase of expansion of capitalism, the so-called late capitalism, what he seeks is behind the cultural manifestations of our time to understand what kind of “logic” they have, without the necessary criticism of them.

The discussion by Daniel Bell and Jean-François Lyotard are points of reference in this discussion from the 1970s onwards, because Bell placed the position of understanding that the new economic phase has put the notion of industrial capitalism in the past, and Lyotard has unveiled a change in the statute of science and technology from the computerization scenario in developed societies, but conventional criticism was stuck with a superficial criticism of the so-called “techno-science”.

What both advocate and here give strength to a third way of change, neither capitalism nor socialism, is a split with modern thought and with the very experience of modernity, something that is linked so much to the impact of scientific and technological revolutions from the 1960s, and that collapsed all modern narratives, which are historically situated at a point in the past of recent history and do not point to a clear future.

So is the pandemic, the absence of a clear future, it challenges us to rethink the future without conventional narratives, and the second cycle of the pandemic crisis is already the logic that points to the future, without changing social attitudes and behaviors the future it will not be promising, regardless of the appearance of the vaccine, other viruses may come and we will not accept a moment of pause, isolation and less haste in everyday life, we are stuck with the logic of industrial production and consumption.

There is a deeper logic that is the aortic relationship, the inorganic about the organic, that Sloterdijk defends and that Hölderling spoke about, some mystics too.



Nets and Bubbles

02 Oct

A society that already lived in bubbles, be they cultural, political or religious, found itself even more stuck in its leaves with the pandemic and social isolation, although this had a positive aspect of recovering intra-bubble relations, however extra bubbles appear to have ended up being harmed.

The pandemic has shown that it is impossible to live in isolation, even though in many places rigid measures have been taken, and I defend them as necessary in many cases, the virus has no boundaries, race or limits that it cannot reach, and the end of social isolation it may not be as beneficial as one imagines, the health risks and also the social problems aggravated by the pandemic create a complex scenario.

We need to review intra-bubble thinking, one that causes social isolation, voluntary or involuntary, as is the case with discrimination of all kinds and I do not exclude religious ones, and it is necessary to heal the extra-bubble relationship, the one that leaves our security group, takes us to meet the Other.

Social networks are an encouragement, always remembering that social media are not exclusively media, the concept is broader, it is precisely in the analysis of these outlines of bubbles that the potential of networks is manifested: the importance of weak links, the analysis of “small worlds” and even the pandemic can be viewed from a social network perspective, helping to analyze contagions and helping control plans.

Looking at history, it was people and situations that created new situations and solutions, those conditions that are at the limit or outside the bubbles, that are important and that as a rule society and conservative thinking exclude them, because somehow destabilize the “bubble”.

Prophets and oracles in antiquity were rejected, including by the bubbles to which they belonged, are the iconic cases of Jesus and Socrates, for example, but in history there are many cases that are within this limit, and one must identify who these cases are at present, to be on the lookout for new and really creative solutions.
It is symbolic to explain this situation the evangelical parable of the vintner that when the time of the harvest arrives, he sends employees to his vineyard to receive what was needed in Mateus (Mt 21,33-43), the employees are beaten, stoned and killed, after two shipments, the owner of the vineyard decides to send his own son, and he awakens an even greater greed and is killed, and then these bad wine producers had the lesson they deserved.

It is important to note that it is the ones who take care of the vine that do these perverse attitudes, that is, they are inside the bubbles, so the first contradictions are born inside the bubbles and then reflect outside, having an open attitude helps to solve problems and prevent situations limit.


Work on pandemic network analysis

01 Oct

Chinese scientists have proposed a method of visually showing, in a simple way, the risk of a pandemic in regions with different degrees of connection, from the databases of infection cases (reported and confirmed by COVID-19) using network analysis, in article published by Elsevier in Journal of Disaster of Infections.

Network analysis has already been used in medical research for studies on gene coexpression, disease co-occurrence and topologies of the dynamics of the spread of infectious diseases.

The study looked at confirmed cases of COVID-19 in China from late January to March 2020 and these cases were divided into 9 time periods.

The graphs of networks constructed based on the correlation of changes in the number of confirmed cases between two geographic areas (for example, in the provinces of China), if the correlation was greater than 0.5 meant that the connected areas were in a network.

The pandemic risk was analyzed based on the frequencies in different regions connected in the network graphs, with this it was possible to assess the levels of co-evolution between the regions and, with this, to take measures according to each case.

What the study demonstrated was not just relying on reported and confirmed cases of COVID-19, network analysis provides data for a powerful and clear view of pandemic risk and network analysis can complement traditional modeling techniques, and seconds the authors of this data can provide more timely evidence to inform future preparation plans.

Future work quantifying the network connection should be considered in research and pandemic plans.

Soa, M.P.K; Tiwarib, Agnes; Chud, Amanda M.Y.; Tsangd , Jenny T.Y.; Chan, Jacky N. L.. Visualizing COVID-19 pandemic risk through network connectedness Mike. International Journal of Infectious Diseases, 96, 2020, p. 558-561.   Available in: , Access: sept. 2020.