Monday, December 26, 2016

The Forgotten Man

The Forgotten Man painted, in 2010, by the Utah-based artist Jon McNaughton. With the White House in a crepuscular background, its flag at half-staff, all forty-four U.S. Presidents are gathered behind and to the sides of a hunky, hangdog young white guy, who sits on a park bench. He is, in the artist’s words, “distraught and hopeless as he contemplates his future.” The ground is littered with dollar bills, a reference to excessive government spending. Most of the former chief executives look on blandly, but some heroes among them, mainly Washington, Lincoln, and Reagan, react with evident concern for the young guy and with dismay toward Obama, while a few villains, notably F.D.R. and Bill Clinton, applaud.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Flirt with a CV

The essential concept of LinkedIn is that it is possible to flirt with a C.V. - Nathan Heller

"I’m personally branding myself according to what I want to do in the world," said Maya Zuckerman, a transmedia producer (that is, a producer who works across digital platforms) whose LinkedIn profile identifies her as a "Media Entrepreneur, Story Architect, Culture Hacker". "But to be honest I change the title on my LinkedIn every few months and try to see what hits." 

Monday, December 12, 2016

On Top

To my friends: My work is done. Why wait? - George Eastman

Nico Rosberg has stunned Formula One by announcing his retirement, just five days after the 31-year-old became the sport’s 2016 world champion. "Since 25 years in racing, it has been my dream, my one thing to become Formula One World Champion. Through the hard work, the pain, the sacrifices, this has been my target. And now I’ve made it. I have climbed my mountain, I am on the peak, so this feels right. I pushed like crazy in every area after the disappointments of the last two years; they fueled my motivation to levels I had never experienced before,” said Rosberg.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Trying To Paralyse Us With Bad Conscience

There can be no covenants between men and lions, 
wolves and lambs can never be of one mind, 
but hate each other out and out an through. 
Therefore there can be no understanding between you and me.
Achilles [Iliad]


In lengthy Facebook posts, Patrik Schumacher has railed against everything from state-funded art schools ("an indefensible anachronism") to the PC takeover of architecture ("trying to paralyse us with bad conscience"). Raging against the "social engineering" of housing design guides and the "intellectually bankrupt" idea of land use plans, he set out his Urban Policy Manifesto, which rambled from scrapping housing space standards to abolishing all forms of rent control and tenancy regulation. "City-center locations should be used to house "the most economically potent and most productive users who serve us most effectively. It’s about loosening the reins and rolling back the nanny state," he says. In his mind, only entrepreneurs can discover and invent the "co-locational synergies" of the city, while urban vitality cannot be determined by "faceless bureaucrats" in planning offices.

Schumacher also says: "I think governance as a business offering is an interesting idea to pursue." He cites the privately run Indian city of Gurgaon as a promising example – a place with citizens segregated in elite colonies and high-rise ghettos. Like a number of fellow rightwing libertarians, he was a former Marxist who had become disillusioned. He was finally jolted out of his "mainstream political slumber" by the 2008 financial crisis, when he discovered the writings of Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek, the godfathers of neoliberalism, along with Murray Rothbard’s ideas of anarcho-capitalism.

Tsutomu Nihei

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Trumped

Timur Kuran writes about the phenomenon he calls “preference falsification”: people tend to hide unpopular views to avoid ostracism or punishment; they stop hiding them when they feel safe. When something breaks the spell and the discontented realize that their feelings are widely shared, at which point the collapse of the regime may seem very sudden to outside observers. Kuran calls this sudden change a “preference cascade”. Novelist Bret Easton Ellis recently tweeted: “Just back from a dinner in West Hollywood: shocked the majority of the table was voting for Trump but they would never admit it publicly.” What he describes is preference falsification, but if people stop hiding, it will become a cascade.



A new theory by cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman is garnering attention. Grounded in evolutionary psychology, it is called the interface theory of perception (ITP) and argues that percepts act as a species-specific user interface that directs behavior toward survival and reproduction, not truth.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Equilibrium

Margaret Talbot, a political annalist, made the point that a politician in the US should be racist, preferentially anti-White.  Sanders’s commitment to recapturing some of the white working-class males that the Democratic Party lost in the Reagan years won’t necessarily help his candidacy; indeed, it could hurt his quest to connect with minority voters. As he’s found, emphasizing class over race can get a progressive in trouble.

Black Nationalists made the point that Racism is stronger than Sexism. Identity politics led me to vote for Barack Obama. I didn’t vote for Barack Obama because I liked his policy positions. I saw a black man with a black wife and children and I needed to believe he would work better for me than his predecessors. I have no intentions of defending my choice to help elect a quasi-liberal black man over a conservative white man: I did so to try to slow the bleed of black people. It would seem only natural, then, that Hillary Clinton would be the logical choice for me in this year’s election. After all, she is a woman, as I am. She is also a Democrat, so I should identify with Clinton over her male Republican opponent. But I don’t.

And because Black nationalists are not alone... In the wake of Trump’s surprising election victory, hundreds of white nationalists converged on the capital to herald a moment of political ascendance that many had thought to be far away. Intellectual leaders of the movement argue that they are trying to realize their desire for a white "ethno-state" where they can be left alone.

Asian-Americans also want a piece of the pie. Although a 2009 Princeton study showed Asian-Americans had to score 140 points higher on their SATs than whites, 270 points higher than Hispanics and 450 points higher than blacks to have the same chance of admission to leading universities, to Andrew Lam colleges should grant an advantage to blacks and Hispanics because they continue to face barriers to equal access and opportunity, the same is not true for whites, so there is no reason they should have preference over Asians in college admissions. Not surprisingly, the platform for this propaganda is The New York Times, the media corporation where Carlos Slim, the Mexican billionaire, is the top shareholder.

Identity Politics is Racism; and it leads to a inevitable Balkanization of society; and maybe that is the equilibrium state of every human society.

Monday, October 31, 2016

A Cup of Tea


Battle of Grozny (1999–2000): two Russian soldiers resting amid the ruins of Grozny, capital of Chechnya.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Os Maiores Exportadores de Portugal

Empresa
Exportações - Milhões Euros
Petrogal
3213
Volkswagen Autoeuropa
1374
The Navigator Company
1306
Continental Mabor
800
Forbes Portugal. InformaDB, valores de 2015.

Os deputados, os ministros, os políticos, as eleições, o parlamento... e os que realmente interessam.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

O Metro é Nosso

O povo é sereno. E, mais importante do que tudo, o metro é nosso. Antes uma empresa pública parada do que uma privada a funcionar. (João Miguel Tavares)

Metro de Lisboa, Cais do Sodré

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Is our World a simulation?

Reasons to believe that the universe is a simulation include the fact that it behaves mathematically and is broken up into pieces (subatomic particles) like a pixelated video game. “Even things that we think of as continuous – time, energy, space, volume – all have a finite limit to their size. If that’s the case, then our universe is both computable and finite. Those properties allow the universe to be simulated,” Terrile said.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Nano Apocalypse

There are many ways in which humanity could become extinct before reaching posthumanity. Perhaps the most natural interpretation of is that we are likely to go extinct as a result of the development of some powerful but dangerous technology like molecular nanotechnology, which in its mature stage would enable the construction of self‐replicating nanobots capable of feeding on dirt and organic matter, a kind of mechanical bacteria. Such nanobots, designed for malicious ends, could cause the extinction of all life on our planet. 

Are you living in a computer simulation? by Nick Bostrom

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Goodbye Europe!

Treat the earth well. 
It was not given to you by your parents, 
it was loaned to you by your children.
Kenyan proverb

Mass immigration undermines the ability of a collection of individual persons to be a people, to have bonds of loyalty to each other; to have the ability to take pride in each other’s achievements and feel shame at their shortcomings; at the limit, to love each other, not in the romantic sense, but in the brotherly sense that marks those who live together well. It is just a fact about human nature, about the kinds of beings we are, that we love and care for those we share life with, and this in a way that is different to those who are strangers to us. These bonds of partiality are most pronounced in intimate relationships. They exist also in political communities. Over time, in the context of concern between generations and cooperation between families, villages, and towns, so communities develop cultures, which bind us together. They can do this only if there is a certain level of stability, stability regarding whom I live with and, usually, stability in where we live. Without some such culture, people living together are merely a collection of alienated individuals, living an impoverished life. The direction a culture takes is owned, though, by the community that sustains that form of life. This is true for native Americans; for aboriginal peoples in Australia; for tribes in Papua New Guinea and Peru. It is true, too, for the British.


Japan says it must look after its own before allowing in Syrian refugees. "It is an issue of demography," Abe told reporters after his speech to the UN general assembly. "I would say that before accepting immigrants or refugees, we need to have more activities by women, elderly people and we must raise our birth rate. There are many things that we should do before accepting immigrants."

Imperial World


"What would remain of the Entente if it took seriously the rights of self-determination and let go of the leash?" asks this German propaganda map from the final year of the first world war, 1918. It portrays the Allies as hypocrites for opposing German imperialism while having colonies themselves – here represented by animals on leashes. Not that it’s entirely accurate: Texas and Florida are portrayed as American colonies even though they were full states.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Snowden

Snowden revealed that the Orwellian Big Brother is already watching you; and society responded with the indifference of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. Two dystopias that complement each other perfectly in 2016.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Money That Never Was

At this point there is $3.439 in the system. The bank has $271.

The current U.S. debt stands at approximately $18.15 trillion. I have often seen this figure stated in terms of debt per capita, but that’s not an overly helpful ratio because the government’s primary way to raise revenue to pay for debt and the interest on it is by taxing wage earners. Only about half the country is in the labor force, approximately 156.7 million people. That means there is almost $116,000 of U.S. debt per American worker!

When those thresholds were originally established in 1984, they were designed to include only a small number of higher-income taxpayers. But the thresholds weren’t indexed for inflation, and so over more than 30 years, the number of Americans affected by the provision has risen dramatically.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Eu Sofro

Eu sou ocidental. A minha cultura é esta, não me interessam as outras. De que me vale a cultura asiática, a cultura africana? Respeito-as, mas não são a minha. Não ma podem substituir. A minha cultura é esta e eu sofro com ela. - Arturo Pérez-Reverte

Charlottenburg Palace

Thursday, September 8, 2016

And when the population no longer wants it?

Like the mood in August 1914, that of 1933 represented the actual power base of the coming Führer state. There was a very widespread sense of release and liberation from democracy. What is a democracy to do when the majority of the population no longer wants it? There was a desire for something genuinely new: popular rule without parties, a popular leader figure. - Sebastian Haffner, 1987

Pawel Kuczynski

Erdogan and Putin represent an unusual view quite different from liberal democracy, far closer to the alternative form of authoritarian democracy. For them democracy is a form of government where the will of the popular majority is fully represented by an individual, to be implemented by that individual without regard for institutional or legal constraints. - Alexander Woolfson

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Portugal e a Sua Paralisia

Se existem paraísos fiscais é porque existem infernos fiscais. E Portugal é um deles. (André Abrantes Amaral)

Segundo os números mais recentes da Pordata em 2016, existem em Portugal mais de 3,6 milhões de pensionistas. Mais de 650 mil funcionários públicos. Outros tantos desempregados. Perto de 300 mil beneficiários do rendimento social de inserção. Somando estes quatro números deparamo-nos com 5,2 milhões de pessoas. E se a estes 5,2 milhões somarmos filhos menores e familiares dependentes, ultrapassamos facilmente os 6 milhões que Medina Carreira costuma citar com regularidade. Fixem bem o número, porque ele é o mais importante para explicar Portugal e a sua paralisia: num país com 10 milhões de habitantes, pelo menos 6 milhões beneficiam de transferências directas do Estado central.

IRS – Um Imposto Que Nunca Será Suficientemente Progressivo

Modernity

Modernity cannot be identified with any particular technological or social breakthrough. Rather, it is a subjective condition, a feeling or an intuition that we are in some profound sense different from the people who lived before us.

Indoctrination

We have to defend ourselves from ideological colonization. - Pope Francis

Martin Luther King’s central hope was that people someday would be judged by the content of their character rather than the colour of their skin. But the 2016 US election is far from being colour blind. It is littered with references to college-educated Whites or Black women or Hispanics, as if what mattered was skin colour. Back in 1964, the then Republican candidate Barry Goldwater agreed with the sitting president Lyndon Johnson that they would keep race out of the campaign and not exploit it for electoral purposes. They were different times. - Gavin Hewitt

The creator of the television show Black-ish is tired of people only seeing his show as a symbol of diversity. Kenya Barris said all anyone wants to talk about regarding his show about an African-American family is diversity and how many of its viewers are black. “I will be so happy when diversity is not a word,” Barris said. “It doesn’t matter who’s watching our show. The fact is that they’re watching it. I get so tired of talking about diversity, these are amazing, talented actors and amazing writers who give their all and they don’t have to do this. It’s crowding the conversation. Why is that important, who watched the show, why does it matter? Why do we keep having to have these conversations?”

An elite Manhattan school is separating whites in classes where they’re made to feel awful about their “whiteness,” and all the “kids of color” in other rooms where they’re taught to feel proud about their race and are rewarded with treats and other privileges. The program, these parents say, deliberately instills in white children a strong sense of guilt about their race. Some kids come home in tears, saying, “I’m a bad person.” They say white kids are being brainwashed into thinking any success they achieve is unearned. Indeed, a young white girl is seen confessing on a Bank Street video: “I feel guilty for having a privilege I don’t deserve.”

Frequency of the word 'Racism' in New York Times articles, 1851-2016

Os Portugueses

Patrícia Mamona

Renato Sanches

Friday, August 5, 2016

Nações Ibéricas


Justapondo os resultados geográficos das eleições legislativas Portuguesas de Outubro de 2015 com os resultados das elecciones generales Espanholas de Dezembro de 2015 não deixa de ser curiosa a afinidade geográfica das regiões onde venceu o Partido Socialista (PS) em Portugal e o seu homólogo Partido Socialista (PSOE) em Espanha.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Kill ‘Em All

Our whiteness is our skin color, but it’s also a torn sheet draping the dead, a flag of privilege that will not surrender, a town called separateness. Our whiteness is that poisonous sky right before it rains, the color of shame. - https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jul/11/white-people-racism-america

A White that reads The Guardian is like a Jew that reads Hitler's Mein Kampf. Incomprehensible.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

O Poder da Roupa

O uso do burquíni foi proibido em Cannes e Villeneuve-Loubet, na Côte d’Azur, e em Sisco, na Córsega. Outros municípios do país, como na costa norte da França, anunciaram desejar aprovar medidas idênticas. A polémica agravou-se depois de se ter verificado uma violenta rixa em Sisco, na ilha da Córsega, entre famílias de origem magrebina e outros residentes hostis ao burquíni, que algumas mulheres muçulmanas vestiam numa praia. "Querem que fiquemos invisíveis", disse uma mulher com véu aos jornalistas, em Nice, onde a 14 de julho de 2016 um radical islâmico cometeu (com um camião) uma das mais atrozes chacinas de que há memória no Ocidente: 84 mortos e dezenas de feridos.

Nos EUA durante a segunda guerra, restaurantes japoneses eram fechados por representarem culturalmente o inimigo. A coca-cola e outras referências capitalistas eram fortemente restringidas na URSS. A história está cheia de civilizações que tentam proibir ou afastar do público símbolos do inimigo cultural. É assim que deve ser interpretado a proibição do burqini. Por isso fazem pouco sentido os paralelos com fatos de surfistas ou com freiras. O burqini e o fato de surfista podem ser semelhantes no que tapam mas não no que representam. E é no que representam e na forma como os outros o vêem é que está o problema. Com as devidas distâncias ir de burqini a uma praia de Nice causará o mesmo impacto nos presentes, tendo em conta as devidas proporções, que entrar numa sinagoga com uma suástica tatuada. É apenas por aqui que deveremos entender esta proibição. 

Já em 2015, os Camarões tinham colocado um fim às burqas e véus que cubram completamente o rosto das mulheres para prevenir o terrorismo. Também o Gabão, Chade e o Congo implementaram medidas semelhantes na sequência de ataques suicidas na região.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Universidade XXI

O melhor curso é aquele que dará ao jovem o emprego com que, um dia, possa pagar as férias sem pedir dinheiro aos pais. Parece a escolha sensata. É, de facto, a pior escolha possível. Não só porque o mercado pode mudar em três ou quatro anos, mas porque seleccionar um curso para que não temos vocação, só porque nos últimos tempos os seus diplomados encontraram empregos, aumentará a probabilidade de não sermos muito bons numa área a que muita gente vai concorrer. Desse ponto de vista, a escolha não deveria depender do que “está a dar”, mas da resposta a esta pergunta: onde e como é que eu posso estar entre os melhores? Mas não chega. Há que ter em conta que no sistema actual, a escolha segundo a área que me interessa pode servir apenas para eu acabar numa instituição medíocre, onde por acaso estão as vagas ao alcance da minha média. Ora, nenhuma vocação, por mais forte, resiste a maus professores e a más condições de trabalho. Mas quantos dos candidatos se empenham em descobrir que professores irão ter, se optarem por determinado curso? Escolhemos um curso, às vezes uma instituição de ensino, e depois aguentamos os professores que por acaso lá ensinarem.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Friday, April 22, 2016

O Império e As Províncias

Vítor Constâncio recusa-se a responder perante os deputados da Comissão de Inquérito ao Banif. O vice-governador do Banco Central Europeu justifica a opção, dizendo que a instituição com sede em Frankfurt não “presta contras” aos parlamentos nacionais. Apenas ao “Parlamento Europeu”. 

O Presidente da República desvalorizou as críticas do Conselho de Finanças Públicas. Para Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa a palavra que importa é de Bruxelas, já que “o Conselho de Finanças Públicas [que duvida das contas do Governo] é um órgão muito importante, mas verdadeiramente importante é a Comissão Europeia”.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Metropolis-first Arrangement

America is already headed toward a metropolis-first arrangement. The states aren’t about to go away, but economically and socially, the country is drifting toward looser regional formations, anchored by the great cities and urban archipelagos that already lead global economic circuits. Federal policy should refocus on helping these nascent archipelagos prosper, and helping others emerge, collectively forming a lattice of productive metro-regions efficiently connected through better highways, railways and fiber-optic cables: a United City-States of America. Similar shifts can be found around the world; despite millenniums of cultivated cultural and linguistic provinces, China is transcending its traditional internal boundaries to become an empire of 26 megacity clusters with populations of up to 100 million each, centered around hubs such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chongqing-Chengdu.

Photographer Jason Peterson

Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Least Action

Why Nature Prefers Hexagons? It’s a simple matter of geometry. If you want to pack together cells that are identical in shape and size so that they fill all of a flat plane, only three regular shapes (with all sides and angles identical) will work: equilateral triangles, squares, and hexagons. Of these, hexagonal cells require the least total length of wall, compared with triangles or squares of the same area. So it makes sense that bees would choose hexagons, since making wax costs them energy, and they will want to use up as little as possible—just as builders might want to save on the cost of bricks.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Tropical Chancer

He’ll trade your love in for the things he’s never seen
The places he has never been
Oh but remember he is just a good pretender
And he doesn’t give his love away for free

And I
Could see it in his eyes
He was the type
To sail off in the night

La Roux

Friday, February 19, 2016

Linha Ribeirinha

Museu da Carris
Na parte inferior do Diagrama da Rede consta a futura linha “ribeirinha”, que unia Alcântara (Marginal Ocidental) e o Poço do Bispo (Marginal Oriental), passando pelo Rossio. Ainda hoje existe a parede sul da estação do Rossio preparada para a ligação com a futura estação do Rossio II. 

Monday, February 8, 2016

A Hope

The Visegrád Group, also called the Visegrad Four or V4, is an alliance of four Central European states, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, for the purposes of furthering their European integration as well as advancing their military, economic and energy cooperation with one another.

Friday, February 5, 2016

The Other Men

It is a great folly to hope that other men will harmonize with us. I have never hoped this. I have always regarded each man as an independent individual, whom I endeavored to understand with all his peculiarities, but from whom I desired no further sympathy. In this way have I been enabled to converse with every man, and thus alone is produced the knowledge of various characters and the dexterity necessary for the conduct of life. -  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Do Something

Guys make more money because their movies make more money… It makes sense. Instead of sitting around and complaining about that, do something. Go write something, go do something. But that subject is just so prevalently everywhere right now, and it’s boring.” - Kristen Stewart

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Melancolia

Se o estado de espírito que a causava era triste, não deixava por isso de ser doce. (Sheridan Le Fanu)

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Animals

The scene was a lagoon on the shore of Lake Turkana in Kenya. The time about 10,000 years ago. One group of hunter-gatherers attacked and slaughtered another, leaving the dead with crushed skulls, embedded arrow or spear points, and other devastating wounds. A woman was killed by a blow to the head and the position of her hands and feet suggest that she may have been tied up before she was killed. Violence has always been part of human behavior, but the origins of war are hotly debated. Some experts see it as deeply rooted in evolution, others emphasize the influence of complex and hierarchical human societies. No one is suggesting that this discovery will settle this argument, but it may be the first instance of a massacre in a foraging society.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Great Teams

When you ask people about what it is like being part of a great team, what is most striking is the meaningfulness of the experience. People talk about being part of something larger than themselves, of being connected, of being generative. It become quite clear that, for many, their experiences as part of truly great teams stand out as singular periods of life lived to the fullest. Some spend the rest of their lives looking for ways to recapture that spirit. (Peter Senge)

The New Yorker

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Quo vadis Europa?

German police are investigating reports of a group of 1000 men carrying out a mass sexual assault on dozens of women in Cologne city center on New Year’s Eve. The Cologne police chief says witnesses described the assaults as coming from a group of up to 1,000 men whose appearance indicated they were of "Arab or North African origin."