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Covid is back to record high in Brazil

16 May

In a report by Veja magazine, experts say that the variation of 20.4% compared to two weeks ago, the assessment is that above 15% is already classified as a high moving average.

In another report by USP (University of São Paulo, Brazil), Professor Esper Kallás, from the Department of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases at the USP School of Medicine and infectious disease coordinator at the Clinical Research Center at Hospital das Clínicas da USP, analyzed the current situation, stating that at the beginning of the pandemic it was thought that it would peak but it would not bring surprises, but “time has shown us that we were wrong”, he added.

According to Professor Kallás, the virus has multiplied very quickly around the planet, which has favored its ability to genetically modify which resulted in new variants.

He said verbatim to the report: “This made the virus adapt with a main objective, which was its transmissibility, because, from an evolutionary point of view, what it wants is to spread”, he explains. This is due to natural selection, that is, those with the highest transmission capacity stand out in relation to the others.

In addition to him, the professor also informed other researchers that the current coronavirus is the most transmissible virus ever known.

In its current worst moment, the moving average of known cases reached the mark of 188 thousand cases, it went down until it was close to 12 thousand cases and was below 100 deaths, now it is about to reach 17 thousand known cases daily, returning to get above 100 deaths a day.

The moment is worrying, experts point out, but health authorities are betting on a new fall, even without any evidence, to justify the release of protocols.



Non-violence and agape

13 May

The story told to this day is a story of power, where lack of respect reigns and that is why agápe love seems something altruistic and heroic, and it is, but it is more than that, it is the security of a more peaceful, safer humanity. where nations and peoples can freely express their culture.

Byung-Chul Han recalls that the first word of the Iliad for man is menin (anger): “the first word of the Iliad is menin, namely cholera, [Z or n] . ‘Sing, goddesses, the wrath of Achilles, son of Peleus’, thus begins the first narrative of Western culture” (HAN, 2018, p. 22)

Remember right from the start that only respect is symmetrical (reciprocal): “Power is an asymmetrical relationship. It is based on a hierarchical relationship. The power of communication is not dialogic. Unlike power, respect is not necessarily an asymmetrical relationship.” (Han , 2018, p. 18), so there can only be agape, a reciprocity of love without interests and without conditioning, if respect and love without interests are learned.

Similarly, Joyce’s Ulysses begins with “Buck” Mulligan and Stephen Dedalus in the Martello tower (photo) at dawn on June 16, 1906, the subject is Haines Mulligan’s guest and uncomfortable for Stephen, they argue between the lines, this goes unnoticed. for many interpreters, the Protestant philosophy of unionists (those who want Ireland united with England) and Catholics who want independent Ireland, which Stephen aligns with.

Mulligan ironically calls him a Jesuit, and it is right at the beginning of part I: “He raised the (shaving) vase and intoned: – Introibo ad altere dei. Stopping, he peered down the dark spiral staircase and called out harshly: – Climb, Kinch, Climb, execrable Jesuit” (Joyce, 1983, p. 6).

Philosopher Han begins his book on what mass culture is today, the culture of “shitstorm”, mass bullying, or literally: “Respect is attached to names. Anonymity and respect are mutually exclusive. The anonymous communication that is provided by digital media greatly deconstructs respect. Shitstorm is also anonymous” (HAN, 2018, p. 14).

Byung-Chul Han believes that a society of the future is possible from this current massification where the idea of war and hatred are still present, but will change: “The society of the future will have to rely on a power, the power of the masses. ” (Han, 2018, p. 25).

Byung-Chul Han believes that a society of the future is possible from this current massification where the idea of war and hatred are still present, but will change: “The society of the future will have to rely on a power, the power of the masses. ” (Han, 2018, p. 25).

A mass power must be peaceful and solidary, wars are vertical power disputes.

It is not a question of defining a superstructure of power and a logic of state, but a new and true agapic humanism, one that can be defined as the divine love of the “new Christian commandment (Jn 13, 33-34): “Little children, for I am still with you for a little while. 34 I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also ought to love one another.”

HAN, Byung-Chul.(2018) No Enxame: perspectivas do digital. (In swarm: perspectives of the digital). Brazil, São Paulo: trans. Lucas Machado. Ed, Vozes, 2018.

Joyce, J. (1983) Ulysses. Trad. Antonio Houaiss, Portugal: Difel. pdf



A reading of Ulysses´s Joyce

12 May

It may seem complicated for an unsuspecting reader to read James Joyce’s Ulysses, first its division that claims to have connections with Homer’s Ulysses, so for example Telemachy (part 1, chapters 1 to 3) focuses on characters (Telêmachus was the son of Ulysses) and Odyssey (part II, chapters 4 to 15) is the development of the action that takes place all of it on June 16, 1904, as we already posted after a friends party with Joyce became Bloomsday .

In part I, it’s eight o’clock in the morning at the Hammer Tower, where Stephen (Bloom’s son) lives with Buck Molligan, an Englishman Haines friend of Mulligan is present, they discuss the art, which is the backdrop for their ethical positions. : the tension between the two is because Stephen of an art integrates and that despises the (social) concessions for recognition, while Mulligan sees an art that gives in to social pressure supported by Haines who intends to study the renaissance in Irish Literature and admires the folklore , however it turns out to be anti-Semitic, part of the xenophobia that the Blooms suffer from the origin of their father Leopold Bloom, who is a Jewish-Hungarian immigrant.

Stephen sees Haines as the colonizer as Irish-England unionism dominates the conservative Irish landscape of the early 20th century, while Stephen defends independence although he sees Irish provincialism as small and is also critical of his Catholicism.

Proteus (god of the seas and son of Ocean in Greek mythology) reveals Stephen’s reflection on the visible and the invisible, the objective world as signs that require interpretation (and contextualization), the transformation of everything in time and space, in mind. It develops here subliminally the themes of mother, woman and fertility, Amor Filia.

In Calypso the novel goes to Rua Eccles, n. 7 where Leopold Bloom has his breakfast and prepares it for himself, his wife and the cat, he decides to eat pork kidney and goes to the butcher shop to buy it, on the way he sees a woman who awakens daydreams, returns home collects the mail and sees a letter from daughter Milly, another from Blazes Boylan addressed to Molly.

Blazes had organized a concert tour for Molly and he suspects that the woman is cheating on him with Blazes, eats the roasted kidney, goes to the bathroom and outside the house reads a newspaper. This chapter prepares an incarnation and Odysseus, Stephen’s spiritual father, the inner monologue prevails, but now the daydream goes to the problems of Zionism and eroticism, on the whole, is a space of Eros Love.

Bloom reads a letter addressed to Henry Flower, his pseudonym, the name refers to the flowering of the sexual desire that emerges (the direct correspondence in Homer is with the lotophagous (picture), the people who eat lotus and who are a region of danger in the Odyssey), finally reveals Bloom’s moral strain.

At the end of this topic is Molly in bed, reflecting on her husband, her meeting with Boylan, her past, her hopes, she too suspects a lover of her husband, aspires to a great future, is interrupted twice by the train whistle (a kind of time passing) and another for a start of menstruation, she thinks of the doctor, her children Stephen and the deceased, she remembers the first sex with Bloom.

There are ethical and aesthetic concerns, especially with Stephen in the book, which sets the stage for early 20th century Ireland, but there is an absence of Agape Love, except in Stephen’s conception of art, and this is the connection that James Joyce tries to make. between his Ulysses and Homer’s.

Joyce, J.  (1983) Ulysses, Trad. António Houaiss. Portugal: Difel. (pdf)


Ulysses, Modern Novel and War

11 May

The whole structure of the modern novel almost always unfolds around the modern romantic hero, so it is necessary that in the end he is realized within his personal objective and that has the appearance of universal, the Kantian aphorism of ethics: “Acts as if the maxim of your action should become, through your will, a universal law”, but it starts from the individual and not from the whole.

The whole is for the holistic, and in a certain way for the mystical, as they must be understood from the mythical characters of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey (928 BC-898 BC) to the characters of James Joyce’s Odysseus (1882-1941) .

In both there is a hero, Homer’s Ulysses and Joyce’s Leopold Bloom, a woman Penelope from Homer and Molly Bloom from Joyce, a son Telemachus from Homer’s Ulysses and Stephen Dedalus in Joyce’s novel, who goes to study in Paris and when he returns living in a circular fort called the Hammer Tower, with a rival Malachi and Buck Bullighan, the novel is written in the war period between 1914 and 1921 and a vision of the end of the world is a setting for Joyce.

In the Odyssey Ulisses will be away from home for 10 years, leaving Penelope and Telemaco, in Joyce’s novel, he puts Leopold Bloom in crisis with his wife’s betrayal and his son’s distance, updating filial (philia) and erotic (eros) love, but the The problem of agápe love is placed at the center of the crisis, which can be a common thread between the classical and the modern novel.

Another thread is the type of hero, the epic hero is a warrior who goes to war for the love of his people while the modern one faces war individually, in the fashion of Don Quixote and in the face of Kantian ethics, last week were made post of Kant’s Perpetual Peace and its limitations, but the root is in the distance from agape, a world of conquests and power where the interest prevails over the common good.

Agape love is not just religious or even altruistic, it exists in institutions for the poor, exiles, drug addicts, emigrants and efforts in the Pandemic, without them the number of dead and excluded in society would have already caused greater social crises than and would leave civilization without a perspective and without hope.

Joyce, James. (1983) Ulysses, Transl. António Houaiss. Portugal: Difel. (pdf) *in portuguese.

HOMERO.  (2015) Ilíada e Odisseia, transl. Carlos Alberto Nunes. Brazil: Editora Nova Fronteira. (pdf) *in portuguese.



A specter rounds Europe

10 May

This was the initial text of the Communist Manifesto written in 1848 when workers did not have the current labor rights, with inhuman working hours, without vacations, without any assistance due to illness and with precarious work contracts with few guarantees.

There is now another spectrum, that of a new world war that would have devastating effects due to the power of current nuclear weapons and a truly global scale of involvement, where few countries could be left out of the war effort.

Ukraine is just the first scenario in an economic, military and even civilizing dispute involving Russia and China on one side, with smaller allies such as North Korea, Belarus, Cuba and Venezuela and some sympathy from world left forces. .

The Victory Day celebrated yesterday in Russia, under which there were expectations that proved exaggerated, Russia was in fact decisive in the defeat of Nazi Germany by the bloody Battle of Saint Petersburg (at the time Leningrad), but the parade of planes so awaited by the fighters and the so-called “Apocalypse plane” (Tu-95MS) that would carry atomic weapons, did not happen.

It is worth remembering that a rehearsal was done before the parade and maybe they didn’t happen because they were in combat position in other regions.

Russia claimed weather conditions, but the photos (see photo above) show a good time, by the milder speech, although it claims the current war as an extension of the war that defeated Nazism, it didn’t even have the formal declaration of war on Ukraine nor the expected threats to NATO, also Zelensky, President of Ukraine, declared that “evil has returned”.

Traditionally, Victory Day is very effusive, in 2015 16,000 soldiers participated, 200 armored personnel and 150 planes, but in 2020, due to the pandemic, it was postponed and reduced in size to only 14,000 soldiers.

Putin’s speech at this year’s parade tried to justify the war in Ukraine by trying to co-opt victory over Nazism, but there is a certain fragility in this, since it is still necessary to strengthen morale and justify the war, which was previously called “operation Special”.

As Hannah Arendt analyzes in “The origins of totalitarianism”, this power does not follow a logic, so the specter of war haunts several European nations and the question is who will be next.



Covid 19 rising trend in Brazil

09 May

In numbers Publisher by the Brazilian Ministry of Health itself, ranging from May 4th to 5th, Saturday and Sunday in general there is underreporting, the epidemiological bulletin has already recorded a high of around 8.9% with 21,682 new infections and 137 deaths from the disease. .

This trend has continued since the beginning of the month and reaching the rate of 15% will be considered a new high and a new wave, although the number of deaths is lower and a moving average remains below 100 daily deaths, being average and having number above 100 could rise again, as the average number of infections is higher and the number of deaths is lower because the strain is less lethal than the previous ones.

The calculation of moving averages is done by experts using the records of the last 14 days and dividing the total by 14, it is possible to have a broader view of the current moment of Covid.

There is no clear analysis of this slight increase, perhaps a seasonal effect of the arrival of the cold that favors respiratory infections, but this would be very premature because it is happening in the southern hemisphere in less than a week, perhaps the greater capacity of infections of the second omicron lineage, BA.2, the worrying thing is that it favors the circulation of the virus and the danger of new variants.

Except for specialized sectors that alert to the issue, little attention is paid to the most accurate information about this future of SARS-Covid, only the situation in China that remains serious and now even with reports of inhumanities due to an excessive and strict #lockdown.

In Brazil it is electoral period and this does not favor correct information about Covid.



War on new frontiers

03 May

As we stated in the last post, peace requires peaceful, but nations seem to raise their tone as the Russian government is expanding the borders of its conflicts, now it has cut off gas to Poland and Bulgaria, threatens Moldova, which has a small conflict region (called Transnistria and claims its independence), while NATO increases support.

A gaffe in the narrative of putting Ukraine as a Nazi, from Chancellor Sergei Lavrov saying that Ukrainian President Zelensky’s being a Jew would mean nothing, claimed that “Hitler also had Jewish blood”, and was immediately repudiated by the governments of Israel and Germany.

Also the fact that Ukraine would have bombed a Russian city Belgorod (two others would have also been targets), was denied by the local mayor Vyacheslav Gladkov, thus the Russian narrative is complicated and the conviction of expansionist objectives grows.

In practice this will mean a formal declaration of war on Ukraine and the end of negotiations, , while the only acceptable condition for Kiev is the withdrawal of Russian troops from Donbass.

The entry of NATO forces into the conflict is imminent, and the deployment of weapons is already decided, for now only Ukrainian troops will use it, many volunteers went there to fight, but there is no news of any organization or country that has recruited soldiers.

What is worrying is the inexistence of pacifist forces that actually exist in the conflict, even the number of demonstrations is limited, in general, as happened in Serbia there are pro-Ukraine and pro-Russia groups in a growing alignment also of public opinion.

Germany declared that economic sanctions will continue until a peace treaty is signed, it is a pressure, but entering the war through NATO it has a decisive role.

Fighting remains intense in the Donbass region, while Mariupol is completely under siege and struggling to evacuate wounded civilians and soldiers, Kiev was bombed despite the presence of the UN Secretary General, who also had talks with Putin.

There is no prospect in peace talks, Russia increasingly demands as its forces advance, it wants an overland corridor from Donbass through Mariupol to the Crimea already annexed in the previous 2014 war.

Always hope, because the future of civilization depends on it, the moment, however, is dark.



Study reveals danger in new variants

02 May

The world number of deaths from Covid 19 decreases, but with resistance to say that the variants can be less lethal and make the number fall to zero, while the health crisis hits China’s largest cities hard, including now the capital Beijing, without a clear diagnosis.

In Brazil, the falling number now seems to stabilize with small increases, at times it exceeds 100 daily deaths of the moving average, reaching 200 and the number of infections does not fall, reaching close to 20 thousand cases, which is the scenario future?

A Brazilian study, carried out by researchers from USP-Brazil at the Institute of Biomedical Sciences (ICB) and the Institute of Chemistry (IQ) as well as researchers from the Hospital Sírio-Libanês do Brasil, reveals that the new variants of SARS-COV-2 are more likely to circumvent the population’s immune defenses and should emerge in the coming months.

The work was published by the journal Viruses and reviews more than 150 articles, investigated the immune system’s evasion capacity, transmissibility and effectiveness with vaccination in addition to the mutation potential and the result serves as a warning.

The article reads verbatim “Growing evidence has shown that mutations are being selected in favor of variants that are more capable of evading the action of neutralizing antibodies” and shows that the authorities’ lack of concern with the pandemic is political.

In terms of protocols, individual concerns follow, there is no clear public policy





The peace of the pacific

29 Apr

There are several misconceptions about peace, some were pointed out by Kant such as pacts that hide future conflicts, the just revolt against totalitarian regimes, but there is no way to build peace without peaceful ones, the idea that you want peace, prepare for peace. war is a mistake, or with the violent, act as violent, etc. hide small and large wars.

Every exercise of power is asymmetrical, points out Byung-Chull Han (The Swarm), in the book that makes an essay exactly on the new media, and that says that there is only symmetry if there is respect.

So, respect for cultures, the diversity of opinions and ideas, of religious freedom, of different types of personal choices, of course that do not imply disrespect for the Other, is a starting point for peace, so there must be peaceful ones to build peace.

The idea of ​​more weapons, of more aggression that can intimidate opponents hides that there is no peaceful principle in these attitudes, that there is no respect as Chul Han asks, and for those peoples, countries and nations that have peaceful principles, such as Finland and India for example. , it is worrying to see warmongering attitudes.

On the other hand, Makron’s victory in France is an encouragement mainly due to the defeat of totalitarian thinking in the country that is the source of modern republican democracy.

Peace must also be the basis of any religious thought, admitting that there is something or someone superior should strip us of the pride of judging oneself superior to someone, some people, race or gender, but history shows that it was not always like that, I remember. here the Peace of Westphalia, which was a pact so that religions would not encourage hatred between states, with this the idea of ​​a secular state.

In several biblical passages Jesus makes the first greeting to his disciples: “Peace be with you”, of course he speaks of the peace of the peaceable, and in the verse of the beatitudes he says that they will be called “sons of God” (Mt 5,9) , that is, they are not Christians if they do not desire peace.

Also to his disciples, Jesus, who appears resurrected in his third appearance and asks Peter insistently (Jn 21:15-17): “After they had eaten, Jesus asked Simon Peter: “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” Peter replied, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” And he said again to Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter said, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.” The third time he asked Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” and Pedro gets sad and says “you know everything”.

Yes Jesus knew that even among religious it would be difficult to understand peace and unity.