Arquivo para December, 2022

Turn of the turn: 2023

31 Dec

Where we will go depends on us, on a healthier, more fraternal environment where men desire and build peace.

Not only because of the pandemic, because of the economy and wars, the social environment becomes toxic, it is in micro-relationships, in cultural and even falsely spiritual propaganda, that the new is built or destroyed.

We talk about violence, we indicate some readings to understand cultural aspects (we indicate Zizek and Darlymple), technological with the very brief introduction of Margarete A. Boden and spiritual (we indicate Anselm Grün), but there are many other serious authors (it is necessary to separate superstitious, fatalists and soothsayers in this field), many of which indicate a great civilizational danger every year that begins.

Anselm Grün quotes in his book Aristotle: “Joy is an expression of the full life” and says it is characteristic of “those whose activities are not blocked by internal or external factors” (Grün, 2014, p. 15) and thus we also find joy in times of tension and anger, and we make room for the hopes that can only spring from a full life and its social exercise.

Zizek, in a broader sense, often defends violence in a more conscious way, states that: “Not even in the field of politics should we aspire to systems that explain everything and to projects of global emancipation; the violent imposition of great solutions must give way to specific forms of intervention and resistance”, he also said in an interview that “We do not need prophets, but leaders who encourage us to use freedom”.

In the field of technology, which is subject to criticism yes and we often quote the lucid and critical of digital media Byung Chul Han, there is a lot of daydreaming and attempts at explanations by essayists (which is what they really are) who write about technology, but because they don’t know their insides, they navigate through problems and questions that are neither demystifying nor clarifying and they do what they most criticize, which is political and religious fanaticism, due to technological ignorance.

Margarete A. Bodan’s proposed text (Artificial Intelligence – a very brief introduction), although it is historical and not very deep (in the technological aspect) is illuminating and can help critics.

All this is not because of the pandemic and the economic crisis, which are just new harmful elements, but mainly because we don’t introduce more empathy, more joy into personal and social life.

Happy 2023, Monday I have a new vision operation and we will be without access to digital media and devices for a few days, it’s a good start with this forced break.

GRÜN, A. Viver com alegria (Live Joyfully) Trans. Luiz de Lucca. Brazil, Petropolis: Voices, 2014.




2022 alert and hopes

29 Dec

The balance of 2022 began with the successful launch of the James Webb observatory (at Christmas 2021, but arrived in 2022), its first images and scientific data impacted astronomy and already balance current physical theories, new conceptions of the  universe itself, the formation of galaxies, dark matter and black holes and it is predictable changes in physical laws from observations.

He arrived at his destination at a point of equilibrium in the gravitational attraction of the Sun called the Lagrange point L2, and he sent the first impressive images only in June, and always accompanied here on our blog we show the first 5 images on July 12th and make them available the available zoom tool link that allows you to choose the view target in the universe.

Another warning aspect was the war in Ukraine, we followed the evasions of Russia that would not invade the country, then the invasion with the excuse that it was to fight Nazism and militarization, but the war was becoming more bloody and although they reached Kiev, after countless setbacks, has retreated, the number of dead and refugees is enormous, in addition to the physical destruction of the country, Ukraine’s reaction was a great surprise and the war will complete a year in February, still with few expectations of negotiation and peace .

Tensions between China and Taiwan, involving the US and Japan are also on the agenda, internal tensions in Islamic countries are also a cause for concern.

In Brazil, the highlight was the electoral race, wrapped in an even greater polarization than the previous one, with even worse denunciations and provocations than the previous ones, intolerance and the lack of constructive dialogue was one of the hallmarks of the elections, with the victory of the united left in a broad front, and with a reaction still from the results of the polls.

The new government however waves to conservative sectors with a center-left minister and even respected people in agribusiness, fragility is still a clear proposal in the economy, congress and the senate had an advance in the number of Conservative seats.

Throughout Latin America, the advance of leftist forces is visible, Colombia and Chile were the most impactful victories, in addition to Brazil of course, but the general picture is still a little conservative.

Throughout Latin America, the advance of leftist forces is visible, Colombia and Chile were the most impactful victories, in addition to Brazil of course, but the general picture is still a little conservative.

Covid gave signs of a truce, seeming to cool down, but at the end of the year it returns to worry about a serious health crisis in China, and the increase in cases and deaths, which could grow again to worrying levels.

There are still hopes and concerns for next year, the picture is not good for the world economy, the health and humanistic aspect draws attention and must be dealt with in greater depth, the G7 meeting for January, the expectation of alliances that should arise in Latin America, they should make the geopolitical framework quite modified for 2023, there are always hopes and forces that fight for peace.




Violence and power

28 Dec

All contemporary Western literature leads to the reading of two things that are apparently not opposed, but are frontally opposed: love and power.

Violence has been a common theme since man has been a man, the confrontation was initially aimed, like animals, at the domination of a territory, the demarcation of countries, it does not always mean nation and its culture, it is imposed by the dominating power, thus the first Babylonian empires were born , Persian, Roman in its decadent stage, the medieval monarchies, the Mongol empire and later the Turkish-Ottoman one.

Since the discussions of Thomas Hobbes, David Hume and John Locke, and Jean Jacques Rousseau, the so-called contractualists, who disagreed about the violent origin of man: man is bad, man is good and it is society that corrupts him and man natural is good, the so-called good savage, what is certain is that the modern state, unlike the Greek polis, is the one that has the right to violence.

In Plato’s Republic it was not like that, the idea of ​​this philosophical school was to educate man to be a politician, he should have wisdom and virtues (aretê), wisdom being the greatest of virtues, but it is necessary to remember the polarity between Athens, city of the wise and Sparta, city of warriors, so the idea of ​​violence remained in everyday life, and Aristotle not only walked in this direction but also became tutor of Alexander the Great, Emperor of Macedonia.

Thus, Plato’s idea remained influential in Greece, and the attempted alliance between Greeks and Macedonians to defeat the Persian empire did not happen, even so the empire extends throughout Asia Minor, reaching India, but not the conquest, without heirs and with disputes between his generals the empire splits and weakens, soon in the following period the Roman Empire begins to form.

Modern violence before the wars was concentrated in the division of kingdoms, with the Protestant reform and also the Anglican one in the United Kingdom, until the Peace of Westphalia was established.

The great theory about the modern State and power will be elaborated by Hegel, it is dominant today regardless of ideological positions, after all Karl Marx was also Hegelian (news, as he called himself), but it is the modern state that holds the power to cause Peace, Pax Eterna as Kant intended, but which resulted in two wars and we are on the verge of a third, which we hope will not happen.

However, looking at the current literature, a good part of it deals with barbarism, the two books that I indicated and will read next year go in this direction, although with opposite political tendencies, Zizek and Dalrymple focused on the theme, but there are many others: “Anger and time” by Peter Sloterdijk, “Violence” by Slavov Zizek and “Nonviolent Communication” by Marshall Rosemberg among others.

I remember Byung Chul Han’s quote from his book No Enxame, which analyzes the violence of new media, where he states that only respect is symmetrical, that is, both sides are non-violent.

The novel/fiction by Gabriel Garcia Márquez “Love in the Time of Cholera” risked a happy ending, unlike other books he wanted to make happiness possible, creating a kind of modern fable or a desperate hope, where “a utopia of life , where love is indeed true and happiness possible” (Márquez, 2005).

Marquez, Gabriel Garcia (2005). Love in the Time of Cholera. Rio de Janeiro, ed. Record, Brazil. (in portuguese)


Reflections for 2023

27 Dec

I always make a proposal for some readings at the end of the year, sometimes I abandon some and always attach others, due to the duty of the teaching profession and the emergence of new facts, as was the case of the pandemic in 2020 and the war in Ukraine in the last year.

Among others, four books already ordered, which I intend to read in the year 2023 are: “The new Vicky syndrome: why European intellectuals surrender to barbarism” by Theodore Dalrymple (pseudonym of British physician, psychiatrist and essayist Anthony Daniels, 72). years), although 2016 had several successes of the conjuncture, the second book is by Slavov Zizek: “The year we dream dangerously” (2012), the third is about technology, many bizarre things are written about technology and its advances, since we quote Jean Michel Ganascia: “The Myth of the singularity”, now we want to reread Artificial Intelligence from the author of the area but on basic things and on the dilemmas of AI: “Artificial intelligence: a very brief introduction”, basic but knowledgeable of the subject, a deeper reading requires study and specialization in the area.

A book of a spiritual nature could not be missing from the list, the book by Anselm Grum, who is a 77-year-old German Benedictine monk, and many of his books have had an impact on different situations, and now he wants to respond to anxiety, depression and hopelessness that affects a large part of pandemic humanity.

From Dalrymple we already posted about the book “Our culture or what we made of it” where the cultural analysis precedes the economic one and converges with the social one, about Slavov Zikek we had some quotations and we already have some reflections on his updated vision of socialism, but whose aspect of violence is not discarded.

In Zizek’s view, the overcoming of the social state or the welfare state, the state today is the administration of a permanent social crisis, and in this book still to be read, the releases and readings allowed online that I could read, he reveals the appreciation of intellectuals (I would say especially of the current editorial groups and their narratives) for the catastrophe, and I would say in disagreement with Zizek that he is also in this process, only due to the aspect of the use of violence expressed in several of his books, the indicated however shows the renewing aspect and true change that these movements of the 2011 were marked, but they were consumed by the current culture.

Although he has this ideological disagreement with Zizek, his analysis of 2011 should be quite interesting, remember the Arab Spring, the occupation movements like “Occupy Wall Street”, in Tahrir Square, in London and in Athens, there were strong movements, there were dark dreams, and certainly an event that Zizek does not remember, but it is important: the Fukushima catastrophe, the nuclear problem, was on March 11, 2011.

AI have much literature with little foundation ventures into the area, where the biggest problem is neither mystification nor ethical problems, but knowledge of the basic elements and future possibilities of the area, specialist Margaret A. Boden who researches in the area and understands the doubts on the subject, makes a very brief introduction capable of elucidating lay people already confused by the obscure and critical literature on the issue.

Perhaps there is a lack of frazilian, Latin or African literature, a book that I have seen and I have not formed an opinion is: “Guimarães Rosa: Dimensions of the narrative” catches my attention, I am not aware of the authors Maria Célia Leonel and Edna Maria F. dos Santos, I’m going to research, the synopsis looks interesting when approaching authors like Gèrard Genette and Ernest Cassirer, among others.





Still the war and still the pandemic

26 Dec

The news of the war in Ukraine is of a depletion of military forces, in the middle of winter, even though Moscow talks about peace negotiations, a new attack on Kiev is foreseen by the military command of Ukraine, while Russia had an attack on Crimea, what is visible is that each side is starting to use up its reserve forces and the scenario is one of exhaustion.

The human, military and material losses are enormous, as well as the challenge of maintaining the initiative with the arsenal at hand, is the analysis of many war observers, such as Igor Gielow of Folha de São Paulo.

Russia does not cede the conquered territories, which represent its control over the Sea of ​​Azov and the Black Sea, passage to the Mediterranean, even if it has to pass through Istanbul, a member of NATO and which controls the strait and the passage of ships.

On the side of Ukraine and NATO, the conquered territories are non-negotiable, so the possible agreement would be to go back to 2014 when Crimea was annexed to Russia.

Another worrying scenario at the end of the year is that of the Pandemic, although some announce the end of masks, the explosion of the Pandemic in China and a significant increase in cases, although the majority are mild, the end of the Pandemic seems to be far away, and the truce inspires even greater care.

In an interview on Christmas Eve with CNN, infectologist Raquel Muarrek, from the D´Or network, said that specialists are working with a new expectation that Brazil should have “a higher incidence of cases of Covid-19” in the next two months, and I say the origin is the high transmission that is already taking place in China, where control now even generates a social crisis, as the population is exhausted.

It remains to be seen what the attitude of the new rulers in the country will be, since the states enjoy a certain amount of autonomy to face the serious crisis, but the fact is that we will not be able to live with the neglect at the beginning of the year, and we expect preventive attitudes from the governments .

A scenario of uncertainties ensues, the Economic Forum in Davos promises many controversies, it is likely that left-wing countries will not attend, including Brazil, which has a new government in January, when the event takes place.




So it’s Christmas

24 Dec

This is how an English song began, the singer Simone sings a Brazilian versionof the original lyrics by John Lennon and Yoko Ono and then a question: “And what did you do?”, I liked the song, but the lyrics sounded strange to me because after using a mystical expression from the indus.: “Harehama” she provoked with Hiroshima and Nagasaki, of the atomic bombs, and later still of Mururoa which is a Polynesian island, which in the Maori translation means patient.

Recently, about 11 years ago, when the Fukushima incident happened, the tsunami that affected the atomic power plant in Japan, I started to understand and only now with the nuclear danger of the war in East Europe has the sense been completed, we cannot talk about peace in a world undermined by hatred and bombs.

Yes, hopes are renewed, but now amid mistrust, it is as if a veil were lifted from our eyes (in my case literally because I had already operated on one of the eyes), and a clear world presented itself, clear, but full of doubts and conflicts.

I would say that it is a Christmas of Mururoa, of the patience that waits and that achieves everything, but apprehensive and worried.

This is a small text that I manage to write while my eyesight is recovering, merry Christmas to those who believe, patience to those who understand the present situation and that the spirits of war and hatred disarm.

The light exists, a simple candle needs to be lit, and Christmas is light.




Christmas in China

20 Dec

Christmas has different connotations all over the world, the idea of ​​a date for the birth of Jesus is the commemoration of a God who became flesh, who was among us and by divine whim was born just on a census date so that he could be contact between the men, and in David’s village where Joseph and Mary went because the census takers should be in their home towns.

Also fulfilled is the prophecy (Isaiah 11:1-16) “There will come a descendant of King David, son of Jesse, who will be like a branch that sprouts from a stump, like a shoot that sprouts from the roots” and also a more incredible prophecy even though a virgin would conceive (Izaiah 7:14): “therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign, a virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him ‘God with us’”, indicating the manner of Jesus’ coming.

The translation of the word girl as virgin is contested in some Christian beliefs, but the text is clear that Mary says she does not know any man (Lk 1,34) and Joseph moves away from her so as not to denounce her as the Jewish law said for adulteress, and later returns advised by an angel, none of these facts is a coincidence due to its originality, but all are providence so that men could believe.

Christmas in China is not an official date, other festivities such as the Spring Festival or the Chinese New Year are much more celebrated and remembered, but in the city of Yiwu, for producing Christmas products for the whole world, it is seen as where Christmas is the year-round, including the lights and decorations typical of everyone, in the last ten years Christmas has started to gain popularity, but far from being a date where the birth of Jesus is celebrated, it is the traditional western consumerist period that also arrived there with the big companies that today are international in automobiles and home appliances.

However, in the city of Macau, which has Portuguese origins and influence until today, for example, the street names are in Chinese and Portuguese, some memories of the real Christmas are seen there, such as the nativity scene in Vila Coloane de Macau ( photo courtesy of a friend in Chine).

I will be undergoing eye surgery these days and unable to use a laptop, so I leave you with a Christmas message of hope in a world of peace, that men may return to the difficult path or the narrow door through which Love, Mercy and Hope pass, a fairer, more fraternal world is possible if men disarm and join hands.



War in Ukraine and pandemic

19 Dec

Due to visual difficulties, today’s post will be short and without references, due to the difficulty of reading, however the news of the war between Russia and Ukraine increases the concerns of those who are really in favor of peace, because there is no peace possible if the speeches and positions do not lead to agreements.

Russia continues its strategy of obstructing Ukraine’s energy sources, which are strategic during the cold European winter, on the other hand Ukraine resists in the fights in the east of the country and threatens the Crimea already annexed to Russia in the previous war, with the Russia’s strategy of dominating the Sea of ​​Azor and the Black Sea region.

Ukraine’s strategy is to reach possible targets in Russian territory, which in addition to military bases can operate strategic nuclear weapons, the greatest fear of this war is an imminent and possible atomic war, which would be a scourge.

Christmas, which is a celebration of Light and peace, has the deepest strategic struggle on this side of the planet and with consequences that are still not very predictable, but in the short term, there will be more Russian bases affected in its territory and Ukraine is already experiencing a serious energy crisis , the allied countries react with measures of sanctions against Russia and attempts to help the Ukrainian people.

Regarding Covid 19, there is a concern that cases will increase again in 2023, just as health organizations are already anticipating a possible new pandemic, as we wrote, due to visual difficulties, we were unable to list the sources of this information due to the difficulty of reading.


The greatest of all signs

16 Dec

Most of those who don’t believe in a superior being think “if God is alive why doesn’t he send us a sign”, also the passage of the rich man who had Lazarus always at his door, asked Jesus to send a sign to his family, to to know that God existed, and Jesus answered them: “they had the prophets and they did not believe”, but it is clear that they speak of a concrete visible sign.

The reading of that time also said (1Cor, 22-24): the Greeks want wisdom (they would be today’s scientists) and the Greeks want signs (they would be today’s religionists), but divine madness is wisdom and weak things are the strong, it is not like merely human reasoning.

There is no greater madness than a God wanting to reduce himself to a man to rescue everyone, misunderstood and unwelcome, he is born in a manger and will die on the cross, the apostle Paul says pride of Christians (only the true ones, of course) and scandal for men, will he be the adult of the same child who is born in a manger and then has to flee to Egypt to avoid the slaughter of (painting by Guido Reni (1611/12) ).

Herod was confused because he imagined (like many today) that when he said that the king of the Jews was going to be born, he imagined that he would take the throne from him, and he wanted to kill him from birth, not having found him he orders to kill all the children who are still alive. on her lap, but Mary Joseph and the child had fled to Egypt.

Thus, it was not just a visible sign, it was also a human sign, says the Reading of Matthew (Mt, 1, 22): “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Behold, the virgin will conceive and will give birth to a son. He will be called by the name of Emmanuel, which means God is with us”, but Joseph who, having turned away from Mary because of this great sign, is warned by the angel and gives him the name of the child Jesus.

There could be even more signs in our times, some mystics believe so, but it will be preceded by much suffering, just like the revelation of Jesus we have described, and then the clearing will come.



What to look for and where to find

15 Dec

bad tree cannot be expected to bear good fruit, even those who seek truth and wisdom seek to vent compulsions for power, wealth or temporary pleasure.

There is an enormous amount of literature available and the law of attraction, techniques of power and enrichment, magic formulas for happiness and youth, etc., have already penetrated common sense.

The central problem remains if one does not look for where one can actually get wisdom, power to serve those close to us more and better, wealth and full and non-temporal happiness.

It is easy to perceive the fruit of these trees of false happiness, of rotten powers and of passing pleasures that are transformed into despair and unhappiness, they are exposed among the current idols, among the parties and orgies that even have high patronage, the disregard for the public money, justice for the powerful and unhappiness for the immense majority of the population, which is often swallowed up by bad misleading advertising.

One can parade countless false wisdoms, but two called my attention about power techniques: “all my wishes come true”, yes at what cost it is necessary to think, “my routine is always prosperous”, there are no moments to pause and to enjoy what has prospered then prosperity is an end in itself and will not bring happiness, rest, contemplation and elevated state of soul.

The central question that needs to be answered is where all these false promises come from, which can even come true, but temporarily, they imply enrichment at any price, pride confused with self-esteem, lack of self-criticism, and when one seeks in fact, in correct places, what is sought there if it is not true asceticism, with time it will fall to the ground and disappointment will follow.

It’s Christmas time, few are really looking for happiness, it’s true it’s a period that increases fraternity, welcoming and good intentions, but what we really want at the end of this search

Says the biblical passage, which we started in the last post, the disciples went to ask Jesus if in fact it was him, then the master corrects him by asking what they went to look for in the desert, since they were disciples of John the Baptist (Lk 7, 24-27) : “After John’s messengers departed, Jesus began to speak about John to the crowds. “What did you go to see in the desert? A reed shaken with the wind? What did you go to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? Now those who are dressed in fine clothes and live in luxury are in the palaces of kings. So what did you go to see? A Prophet? I tell you, yes, and someone who is more than a prophet. It is of John that it is written: ‘Behold, I send my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare my way before you.

It’s not enough to look in the right place, you need to know what you’re actually looking for, if they’re temporary things, many are the places, if they’re true things few and you need to have the right question of the search.