Archives for category: altruism

I’ve reached the conclusion that thinking and digesting have very much in common.

We can’t do it by our own. Those of us who don’t cooperate/speak with those around them, don’t have what to eat or what to think about.

Both processes imply three stages. Identification, absorption, use.
We use cultural models to identify both our food and the important issues.
Absorption – through our gut/conscience, is both highly specific to each individual and governed by our common DNA/shared cultural traditions.
The ‘products’ of the digesting/thinking process are, again, used both in public as well as in private. Part of the energy we get from our food is consumed ‘cooperatively’ with our ‘coworkers’ while most of our thoughts end up either verbally expressed or put in practice.

Both processes, digesting as well as thinking, are increasingly changing the environment where we live.

“Suntem o ciudată cultură a rușinii, în căutarea celui care ne-a făcut de rușine”

Vintila Mihailescu.

Tinerii din corporații, “care muncesc de le sar capacele”, au nevoie de țapi ispășitori pentru faptul că societatea românească avansează prea lent, iar țapii ispășitori pe care i-au găsit sunt țăranii și părinții, spune antropologul Vintilă Mihăilescu, într-un amplu interviu pentru PressOne.

In viziunea lui Mihailescu – care il citeaza pe Sorin Antohi, toate astea se intampla pentru ca ne complacem in starea de ” “bovarism cultural”. Ne visăm ceea ce nu suntem şi cădem în of şi jale pentru că nu suntem ceea ce ne-am dori, dar nu putem fi.

Ei bine, vom continua sa ‘nu fim’ atata vreme cat vom continua sa nu intelegem ca dorinta nu este, si nu a fost niciodata, suficienta.
Ca sa devenim ceea ce ne dorim trebuie, pur si simplu, sa parcurgem distanta dintre locul unde suntem si cel unde vrem sa ajungem.
Daca dormim in cizme, visand frumos, or sa ni se imputa, pana la urma, picioarele.

“– O altă temă a cărții este nevoia de miracole a societăţii românești. Se transferă ea şi în politică? Aşteaptă românii un lider providenţial?
–Ştiu la ce vă referiţi, e o întrebare pusă frecvent în sondaje, iar răspunsul este unul puternic: Da! Dar asta e o inducere a răspunsului.
Spontan, oamenii nu se gândesc la o soluţie, dar dacă li se serveşte răspunsul – Nu e aşa că vrei un tătic care să aibă grijă de tine și să te scape de belele? – Da, sigur că vreau!
Ce altceva să răspundă? În sensul ăsta, este o întrebare care induce răspunsul, iar acesta este unul general uman. În condiții de insecuritate, oricine visează la o “minune” care să-i confere siguranță și previzibilitate în viață.”

Si uite-asa am ajuns la mult mai spinoasa problema a lui ‘ce ne dorim’…

Adica ‘pornim, noi, pornim, dar incotro?’

Locul ala catre care tot vor unii sa ne porneasca… o fi bun pentru toti? Sau doar pentru cei cu ‘initiativa’?

Sa fie asta explicatia pentru numarul mare al celor care ‘au pornit’ peste granita?

Sa explice oare ‘selectia naturala inversa’ enormul numar de ‘guri deschise’ ‘ramas’ in fiecare seara in fata televizioarelor care transmit propaganda politica de ‘ambe sexe’?

Se pare ca avem mare nevoie sa-l recitim pe Eminescu. Vrem, nu vrem, ramanem ‘tributari’ – cititi articolul, ‘paturii superpuse’.
Cata vreme membrii acesteia se vor multumi sa se bata intre ei pentru cat mai multa spuza pe turta proprie in loc sa-si indeplineasca menirea inainte de a intinde mana dupa portia lor din spuza ‘nationala’…

“We are the last (semi) stable democracy on the planet without a universal health care system. Elsewhere in the world, health care is a utility taken for granted, like safe tap water or electricity. They pay for it, just like we pay for garbage service or highways, and it costs far less than our broken system. That is not an opinion. That is a reality easily revealed with a bit of travel. Like embattled cult members, we deny ourselves better policy outcomes to protect our deluded beliefs about the nature of markets and preserve our odd pathologies around race. That’s a choice we make…”

Chris Ladd,
Why Republicans Cannot Replace the ACA, Or Accomplish Anything Else,
forbes.com, Jul 20, 2017

ACA means “Affordable Care Act”.

‘Affordable’ for whom?

For those left out, of course…
And who was going to pay the difference?
Those already in, obviously…

See what I mean?

Health care can be seen in many ways.
As yet another opportunity for profit to be made – one of the best actually, since health is such a valuable commodity.
As a ‘social benefit’ extended by the society at large to (all?) its constituents. America already takes care of its elders, children and veterans, doesn’t it?
A combination of the first two. A free market where many independent health care providers cater for the needs of their customers – free to choose among the various providers – while the bills are picked up by a third party, financed through public contributions.

The only problem with the third option being our current obsession with money.
For as long as we’ll let ourselves be governed by the current mantra, “greed is good”, we’ll continue to perceive health care as nothing but yet another opportunity for some to get rich at the expense of everybody else.

How about an Efficient (Health) Care Act?
Opening the market – by allowing the patients to freely choose their doctors and by preventing  monopolies – would drive down the costs.
Cutting the middle-men – the insurance companies would no longer be needed since the public contributions would be collected by a public authority – would also help.

Would such a scheme work?
As I mentioned earlier, not before we give up ‘greed‘.
In order to trust yet another public authority with even more money we’d need at least some hope about that authority being populated by really honest people.
We’d also need many more ‘health care providers’ who actually love to help their patients – and make a decent living out of it – instead of so many people becoming involved with this ‘industry’ simply because it is among the very ‘rewarding’ ones.
And when I say ‘health care providers’, I mean all of them. Not only the doctors and the nurses – most of them do love their jobs and perform them almost heroically. (Some of/too many of) the Big and Small Pharma, (some of) the hospital ‘owners’, etc., etc….

Should we extend this scheme to other areas? Education, for instance? You bet!

Should we apply the same ‘weltanschauung’ to the rest of the economy?
Minus the ‘single payer principle’, of course?
Well, last time I read his work, Adam Smith was talking about “the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations” and about “Moral Sentiments“, not about greedy individuals becoming filthy rich at the expense of their fellow human beings.

“In almost every other race of animals each individual, when it is grown up to maturity, is entirely independent, and in its natural state has occasion for the assistance of no other living creature. But man has almost constant occasion for the help of his brethren, and it is in vain for him to expect it from their benevolence only. He will be more likely to prevail if he can interest their self-love in his favour, and show them that it is for their own advantage to do for him what he requires of them. Whoever offers to another a bargain of any kind, proposes to do this. Give me that which I want, and you shall have this which you want, is the meaning of every such offer; and it is in this manner that we obtain from one another the far greater part of those good offices which we stand in need of. It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages. Nobody but a beggar chuses to depend chiefly upon the benevolence of his fellow-citizens. Even a beggar does not depend upon it entirely. The charity of well-disposed people, indeed, supplies him with the whole fund of his subsistence. But though this principle ultimately provides him with all the necessaries of life which he has occasion for, it neither does nor can provide him with them as he has occasion for them. The greater part of his occasional wants are supplied in the same manner as those of other people, by treaty, by barter, and by purchase. With the money which one man gives him he purchases food. The old cloaths which another bestows upon him he exchanges for other old cloaths which suit him better, or for lodging, or for food, or for money, with which he can buy either food, cloaths, or lodging, as he has occasion.”

 

Before proceeding any further, let me introduce you to two other, more distanced, cousins of ours. Gorilla and Orangutan.

Orangutan leads a semi-solitary life in the Bornean and Sumatran Jungle. They are fairly large animals, males tip the scales at 200 pounds or so, and need a lot of food. They eat mostly fruit and, in times of scarcity, bark, flowers, insects and eggs.
It was their ‘eating habits’ which had shaped their social lives:
Food is often scarce in the rain forest and that is why the orangutan is a semi-solitary creature. In times of great abundance of food, orangutans may use the opportunity to socialize and gather in small groups.
Because they live solitarily, the young siblings must on one hand learn ‘everything’ before starting their adult lives and they don’t have anybody to learn from but their mothers. Hence they stick around for longest. A baby orangutan will nurse until about six and continue to live with their mothers for a few more years. Two or three for the males, five or six for the females – on top of everything else the females have to learn “mothering skills” and for them the only way to do it is to watch their own mother taking care of the next sibling.
As a consequence of all this, the females give birth only once every 8 years, “the longest time between births of any mammal on earth. (This results in only 4 to 5 babies in her lifetime.)” Not a very efficient survival strategy, for the species I mean…

Gorilla has adopted a different feeding strategy.
This is actually a joke. It wasn’t ‘the gorilla’ which has ever adopted anything, least of all ‘a survival strategy’. The ‘adoption process’ had been fueled by chance, had been ‘censured’ by  the realities of their living places and was later labeled as “evolution” by Charles Darwin.
Coming back to our distant cousins, gorillas are even larger animals than orangutans.
300-400 pounds, for the males, versus 200. Hence they need even more food.
An adult Grauer’s gorilla male is estimated to eat 30 kg of plants every day, an adult female about 18 kg.” The difference being that gorillas eat a lot of leaves.
When they have the opportunity to choose, they will surely pick up fruit but they are much more adapted to eating leaves than orangutans are. As a consequence they do not need to ‘spread around’ as thinly as orangutans do, the young can also learn from the rest of the pack so females can give birth every 4 years instead of every 8.

Is there any link between all this babbling and the stated subject of your post?

Actually yes.

As gorillas and orangutans are teaching us, together is easier than each by its own.
Being able to give birth every 4 years is a huge evolutionary advantage over having to wait 8 years before becoming pregnant again.

But this is not all we can learn from our cousins.
Male gorillas, at 300 to 400 pounds, are formidable defenders. Their only enemies, except for humans, are the leopards.
Compare 350 pounds with less than 100 for a chimpanzee/bonobo male.
That would be a good starting point to figure out why silver-backs – mature male gorillas who despotically reign over their 1 to 5 females – can afford to drive out their sons after they become sexually mature while the chimpanzee alpha males, who lead troops of up to 50 members, will allow other mature males to live by – and to have intercourse with some of the females living in the same group.
The second reason being that gorillas eat, almost exclusively, plant matter, supplemented with some insects, while chimpanzees form hunting parties in order to catch, kill and eat other animals, including monkeys. And one can ‘graze’ by himself while hunting is way easier in cooperation with others.

Feeding habits can explain quite a lot, isn’t it?

Let’s make a step further and turn back, as I promised in my previous post, to the differences between chimps and bonobos.
Well, bonobos hunt, just as efficiently as the chimps do, only they are less inclined to murder their neighbors.
Just one suspected killing observed during “92 combined years of observation at four different sites“, for the bonobos. In the other camp, 152 killings, 58 directly observed and the rest “counted based on detective work“, gathered over “426 combined years of observation, across 18 different chimp communities“.
The second difference, that I find interesting in the context of ‘capitalism’, is the size of the ‘colonies’. Bonobos live in way bigger groups than the chimpanzees. 100 versus 40 to 60, I’m not sure whether this had any impact over the relative fate of chimps or bonobos but it is surely relevant for how capitalism works. Stick around.

One more ‘animal story’ and I’ll wrap everything up.

“We previously reported that chimpanzees were unable to optimally select the smaller of two candy arrays in order to receive a larger reward. When Arabic numerals were substituted for the candy arrays, animals who had had prior training with numerical symbols showed an immediate and significant improvement in performance and were able to select reliably the smaller numeric representation in order to obtain a larger reward. Poor performance with candy arrays was interpreted as reflecting a response bias toward the intrinsic incentive and/or perceptual features of the larger array. In contrast, the Arabic numerals represent numerosity symbolically and appear to promote response choice on the basis of abstract processing of numerosity, with minimal interference from the inherent properties of the choice stimuli. The present study tested the hypothesis that, for mixed symbol-candy choice pairs, the requisite processing of the abstract numeral may foster a mode of numerical judgment that diminishes the interfering incentive/perceptual effects of the candy stimuli. The results were consistent with this hypothesis. Whereas performance on candy-candy arrays was significantly below chance levels, performance on numeral-candy choice pairs was significantly above chance and comparable with performance on numeral-numeral pairs.”

OK, OK, don’t shoot the messenger… those guys were writing a scientific paper, not a blog post… let me ‘translate’ it in simpler words.

There is a relatively simple psychological test involving two bowls full of candy.
One of them containing more pieces than the other.
The test consists of a child being asked to choose between those two bowls, after being told that the candy from the chosen bowl will be given to somebody else and the candy from the second bowl, the unchosen one, will be given to the child. The test is repeated a number of times and most of the children, 4 year olds and above, learn quite quickly to point to the bowl containing the smaller number of candy.
If, instead of children, chimpanzees are asked to choose between the two bowls, they continue to point to the bigger number of candy, even after the umpteenth repetition.
Now here comes the really interesting part.
Dr. Boysen and other scientists from Ohio State University, had previously taught a chimp, Sheba, not only to count but also to read numbers. One digit numbers…
When Sheba was subjected to the test, using real candy, she had responded exactly as the other chimps had done before her. She was unable to wrap her head around the notion that she will get the candy from the OTHER bowl. But as soon as the researchers had replaced the actual candy with digits written on small cartons… bingo! Sheba had become a lot wiser and had very quickly figured out that choosing the bowl with the smaller number (of candy) was a far better option.

Let me put two and two together.

Our cousins, the great apes, have given us a valuable lesson about cooperation.
Orangutans have to raise their offspring as single mothers. A very time consuming process which limits the number of siblings to 4.
Silver-backs don’t need much help to defend their families. So they can afford to drive off any potential competition… but they cannot hunt. Or do anything else ‘in concert’ with their peers.
Chimpanzees have learned to tolerate each-other, to a degree. They can form larger communities and engage in cooperative endeavors. Hunting and warfare.
Bonobos have developed a very efficient method to quell tension which may appear among themselves and to subdue rogue members of the community, without actually killing them. With no apparent benefit… except for us…

History is telling us, shouting at us even, that authoritarian regimes are short lived. Shorter and shorter lived, as we come closer to the present day.
Ancient Rome had lasted for almost a 1000 years. 2000 if we take Byzantium into account.
The British Empire was de facto dissolved, more or less peacefully, after less than 500 years, along with the rest of the European colonial empires.
The Russian Czarist Empire had buckled under its own weight after some four centuries, reinvented itself as the Soviet Union and faltered again after less than a century.
The rest of the ‘modern’ dictatorships have crumbled even faster, with only two notable exceptions: North Korea and Cuba.

Mighty commercial ventures, which had seemed impregnable in their heydays, are now almost forgotten memories. From the British East India Company to the now infamous ENRON…

Yet humankind, as a whole, had fared better and better.
OK, we did bring a lot of ‘man made’ misfortune over our own, collective head.
Only every little piece of that misfortune had been produced and inflicted in an authoritarian setting.

From Alexander the Great (?!?) to Hitler, history is full of ‘leaders’ who had somehow convinced their subjects to foolishly follow orders. Eventually, everybody got killed in the process. The leaders as well as the hapless subjects…
From John Law – ‘the son of a Scottish banker, a gambler and playboy who had killed a man in a duel‘ before insinuating himself at the top of France’s financial establishment during the first part of the XVIII-th century, where he had orchestrated a “system” closely resembling a Ponzi scheme – to Bernard Madoff, the economic and financial history is full of ‘tycoons’ who have led their their subordinates, and a considerable portion of the financial markets, to utter disaster.

And some of us still consider that ‘greed is good’… Maybe they should read again about Sheba and the candy bowls…

I can hear some of them protesting: “In the real world, there is nobody to switch the bowls! ‘Finders keepers, losers weepers'”
Yeah, right… tell that to some of those who had won the lottery… “About 70 percent of people who suddenly receive a windfall of cash will lose it within a few years, according to the National Endowment for Financial Education.

Then why are we still so obsessed with money?
Like Sheba was with those candy?
Why do we collectively continue to behave like a bunch of three years olds?

Maybe because money have proved, over the centuries, to be very reliable tools?
Because profit has been a very good measure for a company’s ability to survive? If corroborated with other indicators, but that’s another story…

At some point I mentioned that capitalism only works if the market where its wares are traded is really free. Meaning that that market has to work under the rule of law and that nobody in that market should allowed to become so powerful as to dominate the others.

Well, that was a lie.
Actually, capitalism works anywhere.
Those running the late Soviet Union have tried to convince the rest of the world that monopolies might work.  Various ‘business men’, including some very successful ones, try to convince us of the same thing. “Competition is for losers” they say… OK, I can understand why they keep trying… That’s what the entrepreneurs are for! “To boldly go where no man has gone before.”
My point being that markets which are not presently free will become free with the passage of time. No matter what!
No political arrangement has ever been strong enough to contain a dysfunctional economy. That’s why the Soviet Union, and the rest of the communist camp, had crumbled. That’s why we have a crises every time the government, with the best intentions, abruptly intervenes in the economy. Or fails to do so and allows monopolies to exist for too long…

Capitalism actually works.
Look around us.
I could give you a myriad examples. I’ll settle for two.
Romania, which less than 30 years ago was struggling under the communist yoke, now has one of the fastest internet in the world.
Some 40 years ago, when my uncle had emigrated to America, long-distance  phone calls were so expensive that he barely afforded to call his mother more than twice a year… nowadays two people can chat for hours across the planet, for free, over the internet. With video…

How about we letting it do its magic without some of us trying to drain ‘undeserved advantages’ from the process?
And no, those trying to ‘drain undeserved advantages’ are not the real culprits for what is going on!
A really free market is not one where a big bully with a huge stick makes sure that nobody steals from its neighbor.
That would be the definition for a police state!
A free market is one where people organize themselves, hire a normal guy with a smallish stick to take care of thieves and then call him every-time when they see a robbery taking place.

Nowadays too many of us actually admire the thieves and try to bribe the guardian.
While the rest idly walk by, as if what’s going on under their own noses is not going to affect them in a very short while …

Humankind is a work in progress.

We’ve changed the planet we’re living on and we’ve changed ourselves.

We’ve invented the automobile and we’ve become more autonomous.
By driving we’re now able  to cover more space in less time, carrying a lot more with us.
To achieve that we’ve straddled the globe with seemingly endless ribbons of tarmac.
The changes which had appeared as a consequence of ‘automobile’ are enormous. Some conspicuously visible – the roads and our increased individual autonomy, a few less so – we’re not only more autonomous but also more ‘socially dependent’, building cars and maintaining roads depend on a lot of us ‘working together’, while ‘the jury is still out’ on yet others – global warming, for instance.

We’ve invented vaccines and we live longer and better. Small pox has disappeared, polio is likely to follow suit, being bitten by a rabid animal is no longer a death sentence and so on.
I don’t need to explain how this has changed us, right?

All these have come with some costs attached.
Thousands, if not millions, die each year in traffic accidents and many more are injured.
Children suffer side-effects after immunization.

What intrigues me is that we treat these two phenomena in two completely different manners.

We’ve introduced tough regulations when we’ve discovered that some car companies were cutting corners in their attempt to increase margins. We insist for wide-spread ‘call-backs’ whenever we hear about a batch of cars having systemic troubles. Some of us try to produce self driving cars – even if these would be somewhat ‘counter-productive’ – in our very orderly life, where many of us are reduced to following procedures, driving is one of the few areas where we still retain full responsibility.

Yet I don’t know of people dissuading their children from learning to drive or from buying a car. Even if some of them will, helas, die as a consequence of traffic accidents.

Then why so many parents refuse to vaccinate their children? Not only putting them into harm’s way but also extending a warm invitation for many diseases to make a dramatic come-back. Measles have killed tens of children in both Italy and my native Romania in the wake of recent anti-vaxxer militancy…

OK, there might be a back-lash against ‘big-pharma’. I can understand more indignation being felt against huge corporations profiteering from people being sick than against big corporations making a faster buck by selling ‘lemony’ cars… but why throw away the baby along with the bath water?

Why give away the shared safety of herd immunity instead of introducing better safety measures? Instead of cutting down to Earth the virtual monopolies which produce most of our vaccines, making it easier for the ‘safety inspectors’ to do their jobs?

One of the possible explanations being that vaccination is ‘prevention’ while learning to drive is a matter of improving one’s skills.

And prevention means paying the price up-front while having only an expectation for a possible pay-back while skills improvement is seen as something having a certain outcome.
Corroborate this with the ‘fundamental attribution error‘ and things become a lot clearer.

For those unfamiliar with this term, the whole thing boils down to how we tend to ‘apportion’ blame and praise. When something good happens to us we tend to attribute it to our skills while when something bad falls on our heads we blame the bad luck we had in that moment.
And this is only half the picture. When things happen to other people we tend to turn the tables. When something good happens to a guy we attribute it to his luck while when somebody is subjected to a misfortune we are inclined to believe that ‘he had somehow brought it upon himself’.

Hence we get sick only as a consequence of misfortune – but we consider ourselves lucky, don’t we? – while safety on the road depends exclusively on our driving skills.

In this situation blunt reason tells us to ‘let all the other children be vaccinated’, ‘constantly improve our driving skills’ and ‘check our cars often’.

Well, the same blunt reason tells the others the very same thing. That’s why they insist that all children must be vaccinated – individual ‘specifics’ must, of course, be taken into account, all drivers must be vetted and all cars checked periodically.

 

orientare sexuala

“Încă un SCANDAL SEXUAL în Biserică. ÎNALT PRELAT BOR, decăzut din rang din cauza ORIENTĂRII sexuale”

Fiecare dintre noi incearca sa se ‘adaposteasca’ la intersectia dintre trei realitati.

Una ‘exterioara’ noua, cea pe care alde Marx o numea “obiectiva” – adica existand in afara constiintelor noastre.
O a doua, existand in constiintele fiecaruia dintre noi – si diferita atat de cea ‘obiectiva’ cat si de fiecare dintre cele care vietuiesc in constiintele contemporanilor nostri. Aceasta realitate, ‘virtuala’, este, la randul ei, constituita din doua niveluri distincte. Unul ‘perceput’ – adica ce pricepem fiecare dintre noi din ceea ce se intampla in jurul fiecaruia dintre noi, si cel ‘dorit’ – adica imaginea pe care o ticluim, fiecare dintre noi, despre ‘cum ar trebui sa fie’.
Si o a treia, rezultanta, ‘cu voie sau fara voie’, a eforturilor noastre colective de a transforma realitatea ‘perceputa’ in cea ‘dorita’.

Este evident ca aceste trei niveluri pot functiona ca un cerc virtuos – si mare parte din istoria omenirii este un foarte elocvent exemplu in acest sens, sau unul vicios.
Ganditi-va la momentele de criza, aparent inexplicabile, care au punctat ‘marsul catre progresul omenirii’.
Debutul primului razboi mondial, de exemplu.

Si ce legatura are scandalul sexual din BOR cu toata chestia asta?

Cu diferenta dintre cercul virtuos si cel vicios?

Cu vreo 150 de ani in urma, Eminescu formula teoria ‘paturii superpuse’.
‘Destinul unei comunitati/natiuni este determinat de comportamentul celor chemati sa fie liantul ei social’.
A celor a caror treaba este sa faca in asa fel incat respectivul grup de oameni sa colaboreze.
Sa actioneze ca o natiune.
Sa nu cumva sa decada la stadiul de gloata amorfa.

‘Proprietarii de teren agricol’ din vremea lui Eminescu au fost intre timp inlocuiti de intreprinzatorii de astazi dar rolul lor a ramas acelasi. Atata timp cat acestia isi vad de treaba, economia reuseste sa ‘dea de mancare’ tuturor. Daca ‘latifundiarii’ ‘pleaca la Paris’ si ii lasa pe arendasi sa-si bata joc atat de teren cat si de tarani – sau atunci cand intreprinzatorii autentici sunt sufocati de ‘speculanti’, tara gafaie sub ‘botnita’ ‘ciocoilor vechi si noi’.
‘Invatatorii’ – adica cei chemati sa asigure o anumita coerenta in modul in care membrii unei comunitati se raporteaza la realitatea ‘obiectiva’, pot, si ei, sa fie preocupati de menirea lor sau, din pacate, se pot lasa orbiti de modernul ‘interesul poarta fesul’.
Politicienii, cei care ar trebui sa ajute diversele parti ale societatii sa se imbine in mod armonios, pot alege sa isi indeplineasca menirea. Sau pot fugi cu darul strans la nunta, lasandu-si mireasa cu ochii-n soare – si cu un maldar de vase murdare in brate. Sau, si mai rau, cu burta la gura.

Cam asa si cu ‘inaltii nostri prelati’…
Si mai e o chestie pe care nu reusesc sa o pricep.
Din cate stiu eu, de la o anumita ‘inaltime’ in sus, se presupune ca acestia ar trebui sa lase in urma orice preocupare de natura sexuala…
Si atunci, ce importanta mai are “orientarea” lor?!?

Sau oi fi eu cel a cui realitate ‘virtuala’ este complet disjunsa de cea ‘obiectiva’ a momentului…

Tocmai ce am gasit chestia asta in mail:

“Morala ZEN

Un cal deprimat se tolaneste pe jos si nu mai vrea pentru nimic in
lume sa se ridice.
Stapanul disperat, nereusind sa-l convinga sa se ridice, cheama
veterinarul. Acesta sosi imediat, examineaza animalul si zice:
– Aaaa, e foarte grav, singura solutie sunt aceste pastile pe care i
le vei da cateva zile; daca nu reactioneaza, trebuie eutanasiat.
Porcul a auzit totul si fuge la cal:
– Ridica-te, altfel se sfarseste rau !!!
Dar calul nu reactioneaza si da incapatanat din cap.
A doua zi, veterinarul vine din nou sa vada efectul pilulelor:
– Nu reactioneaza, mai asteptam o zi, dar cred ca nu sunt sperante!
Porcul, auzind tot, fuge din nou la cal:
– Trebuie sa te scoli, altfel vei pati mari necazuri !
Dar calul, nimic!
A treia zi, constatand lipsa progreselor, veterinarul ii cere stapanului:
– Du-te dupa carabina, a venit timpul sa-l scapam pe bietul animal de chinuri !
Porcul fuge disperat la cal:
– Trebuie sa reactionezi, e ultima ocazie, te rog, astia sunt gata sa
te omoare !!!
Calul se ridica, se scutura, face cateva miscari de dans, o ia la fuga
in galop si sare cateva obstacole.
Stapanul, care tinea mult la calul sau,foarte fericit ii spune veterinarului:
– Multumesc mult, esti un medic minunat, ai facut un miracol !!!
Trebuie neaparat sa sarbatorim evenimentul ! Haide sa taiem porcul si
sa facem o masa mare !!!

 

Morala Zen: Vezi-ti de treburile tale !!!”

Mi s-a parut a fi o poveste foarte interesanta.
Sugereaza, in subliminal, ca porcul ala era crescut ‘de frumusete’!
In realitate, porcii se taie la o anumita greutate. Sau cand se imbolnavesc.
Nu cred ca cineva ar taia un porc de dimensiuni nepotrivite pentru a sarbatori insanatosirea unui cal bolnav… poate a unui copil…
Iar daca tot ajunsese la dimensiunea potrivita pentru taiere… ‘intamplarea’ ca mai intai l-a salvat pe cal nu face altceva decat sa-l inobileze pe porc… si in nici un caz nu i-a scurtat viata cu mai mult de cateva zile!

Foarte multi si-au adus aminte de Olivia Steer.

olivia Steer ciudata

Steer îl citează pe controversatul politician Ninel Peia care afirmă că infestarea cu rujeolă “s-a făcut artificial şi intenționat de către agenţi cu dublă comandă”.
“Un fapt este clar: de la începutul anului, s-au descoperit circa 4.000 de cazuri de rujeolă, din care 17 s-au finalizat, tragic, cu moartea bolnavilor. Totuşi, în ce stat European se mai înregistrează o epidemie de proporţiile astea? Niciunde! Informaţiile mele spun că infestarea s-a făcut ARTIFICIAL şi INTENŢIONAT de către agenţi cu dublă comandă, agenţi dubli, cum li se mai spune. La Arad şi Nădlac se îmbonlăvesc copiii dar peste graniţă la Nagylak, Mako sau Szeged nici unul? Şi ungurii au grad de vaccinare mai mic cu 10% decât românii. Valul de rujeolă a generat ceea ce se şi intenţiona: un val de emoţie uriaş care ar împinge opinia publică la acceptarea rapidă şi fără mari dezbateri a Legii vaccinării”, a scris Olivia Steer pe Facebook, potrivit Antena 3.

Acelasi lucru se intampla in Statele Unite. Si acolo se manifesta o oarecare reticenta impotriva vaccinarii si, la fel ca in Romania, au re-inceput sa apara focare de infectie.

MeaslesIncrease2

Toata chestia asta seamana foarte bine cu o vanatoare de vrajitoare.

In loc sa ne concentram pe cauza reala ale imbolnavirilor – neincrederea unora dintre parinti, ii acuzam pe cei care – cu naivitate, din dorinta de a-si face publicitate sau orice combinatie din amandoua, vorbesc mult despre lucruri pe care le inteleg pe jumatate.

Da, exista o legatura extrem de stransa, si extrem de evidenta, intre neincrederea in vaccinuri si campaniile de presa desfasurate de anti-vaxxeri.

Partea proasta este ca toate atacurile ad-hominem la adresa anti-vaxxerilor sunt, de fapt, atacuri indreptate direct impotriva gandirii de tip stiintific.

Stupoare?!?

Sa o luam metodic.

Cunoasterea de tip stiintific se bazeaza pe ipoteze emise de cei care pun la indoiala consensul valabil la un moment dat si verificate de ‘colegii de breasla’ ai celor care au formulat acele ipoteze.
Daca respectivii colegi sunt de acord cu ipotezele analizate acestea devin teorii ‘acceptate de lumea stiintifica’.
Si ‘asteapta linistite’ ca niste alti ‘cârtitori’ sa le puna la indoiala si sa formuleze noi ipoteze, care, la randul lor, vor fi puse ‘in discutie publica’.
Iar tot acest proces se desfasoara, cel putin teoretic, intr-o atmosfera de transparenta si respect reciproc. Doate datele disponibile sunt puse pe masa si intre cercetatorii care se verifica unii pe ceilalti exista relatii de colegialitate. Repet, aici este vorba de teorie, locusul acela unde sunt evaluate doar ideile, nu si oamenii care le promoveaza.

Privind dintr-un anumit punct de vedere, cei ca Olivia Steer sunt un fel de ‘fluieratori in biserica’. Li se pare ca un lucru nu este la locul lui si atrag atentia celorlati asupra acelei ‘neregularitati’.
S-ar putea sa se insele – cum credem noi, cei care ne-am vaccinat copiii, ca este cazul anti-vaxxerilor.
Sau s-ar putea ca o cat de mica portiune din informatia vehiculata in jurul acestui subiect sa fie, totusi, valabila.

Si uite-asa ajungem la povestea cu Pastorul si Lupul… aia in care Pastorul se tot plictisea si, din cand in cand, striga ‘Lupul’. Iar satenii ii sareau in ajutor… numai ca lupul nu venise… Si asta pana cand satenii s-au plictisit la randul lor… si nu s-au mai dus… numai ca de data aia Lupul venise….

In varianta povestita copiilor, Satenii il ajuta pe Pastor sa adune, a doua zi, animalele ramase iar acesta intelege, in sfarsit, morala povestii… numai ca asta este doar o fabula…

In lumea reala trebuie sa sarim de fiecare data cand cineva striga ‘A venit Lupul’.

Nu de alta, ci doar pentru ca sunt oile noastre in joc! Iar pastorul ala este angajatul nostru. Adica este responsabilitatea noastra sa alegem un pastor responsabil, nu unul care sa-si bata joc de noi….
Iar daca un trecator ‘are vedenii’ si striga degeaba… asta e. Ghinion. Ne gandim la cate pagube ar fi putut face Lupul daca ar fi venit cu adevarat si mergem mai departe…
Singura situatie in care am putea sa-l pedepsim pe cel care tras alarma aiurea ar fi aceea in care ar fi evident ca a facut-o ca sa isi bata joc de noi. Altfel, daca pedeapsa e nejustificata, sau prea mare, acelasi om – sau oricare altii, ar putea intoarce capul si s-ar putea preface ca n-au vazut nimic. De ce sa-si riste ei fundul pentru ‘oile comunitatii’?
Daca Lupul pe care il vad in momentul asta ‘se razgandeste’ si nu-i asteapta pe Sateni?
Sau daca e ‘inteles cu primarul’, acesta ii conduce pe Sateni pe cai intortocheate si pana ajung la locul faptei Lupul are timp sa-si ascunda urmele? Nu mai bine sa se faca ca nu vede, avand in vedere experienta predecesorilor sai?

Bine, bine, asta facem cu oile… ce ne facem cu pojarul?
Nu de alta, ne mor copiii pana termini tu povestea cu oile…

Pai ce sa facem, cumparam vaccin!

In America, locul ala unde spuneam ca a inceput miscarea anti-vaxxer, parintii carora le vine mintea la cap au de unde sa cumpere o fiola de vaccin! Aici … mai greu…
Trecand peste amanuntul ca noi, toti, platim niste impozite. Din care ar trebui cumparate inclusiv vaccinurile care sa ne apere, pe noi si pe copiii nostri, de tot felul de boli…

Chiar credeti ca mama bebelusului cu care am inceput articolul stie macar cine e Olivia Steer? Ca sa nu mai vorbim despre faptul ca acum 16 ani, cand ar fi trebuit sa fi fost vaccinata ea, mama, nu vorbea nimeni despre aiureli din astea…

Si nu, nu sunt de acord nici cu vaccinarea obligatorie!
Avem medici, ei trebuie sa decida daca un copil poate sau nu sa fie vaccinat. Pe semnatura si responsabilitatea lor!
Vrei sa-ti duci copilul la scoala? Scoti de la medic o adevarinta ca acel copil a fost vaccinat. Sau ca nu a putut fi inca vaccinat din cauzele 1, 2, 3 … consemnate precis, cu data, in fisa medicala a copilului si cu angajamentul ca, pe masura ce acele cauze vor inceta, copilul va fi imunizat de indata ce se va putea.
Altfel… tine-l taica acasa… sa te intrebe pe tine ce si cum cand s-o face mai mare, nu sa-l imbolnaveasca pe al meu pentru ca ai tu gargauni in cap…

Si lasati-o pe Steer in plata Domnului… cu cat o bagati mai mult in seama, cu atat mai multe trasnai o sa spuna…

Cum or fi reusind astia sa ne indrepte pe tot felul de piste false…
Sau ne-o facem cu mana noastra?
Dupa principiul ‘tara arde si baba se piaptana’…

NB. “Pojar” asta inseamna, de fapt.
“Incendiu”!
Iar ‘incendiul neincrederii generalizate’ nu poate fi stins atacandu-i, la persoana, pe cei care au curajul (inconstienta?) de a-si exprima sentimentele cu voce tare…
Ar fi similar cu a-i biciui pe canarii dusi in mina atunci cand gâfâie din cauza monoxidului de carbon acumulat in galerii…
Singurul remediu este redescoperirea respectului reciproc.
Intre medic si pacient, intre politician si alegator, intre specialist si profan, intre politicieni, intre specialisti, intre profani…

PS
Acum au inceput sa se cearte pe ambulante, pe asta cu vaccinarea au lasat-o deoparte…

About the future, I mean!

no kids

This ‘piece of information’ keeps bouncing inside the Internet and is interpreted in various manners.

From ‘what to expect from leaders who are ‘this’ selfish’ to “I find it trashy and irrelevant. Merkel’s husband has two sons, btw.
Well… Macron’s wife also has her own children. And a few nephews.

What startled me was this reaction.
I’m under the stark realization that the most intelligent of the population have the fewest children, which might not bode well for voting statistics in the future.”

While the observation is, of course, correct, I’m afraid the interpretation attached to it is somewhat ‘confused’.

First if all, it’s not ‘intelligence’ that drives people to give birth to fewer children. Intelligence – coalesced at social level – helps a population to increase its living standard. As such, children no longer die young so parents no longer have to have so many of them. In order to have somebody help you in your older days you no longer have to give birth to more than two or three children.

If intelligence alone would have prevented people from having children Israel and the US would have been at least as ‘childless’ as Japan or most of the European Countries.
On the contrary. The US is still in a better situation than the EU, 1.8 vs 1.6, while Israel thrives at 3.1

Another way of making sense of what’s going on is to consider that people no longer make kids simply because they have reached the conclusion that ‘money’ can just as well help them cope during their older days. Since so few children live with, or at least near, their old parents this no longer seems so farfetched as it may look at first glance…

But what’s going on in Israel? They also have enough money…

The country needs soldiers to defend it’s very existence?

But, you know, Israel is a free country. Those kids could leave anytime before being drafted. As some of them do.

But most of them stay! Freely!

Then how about people giving birth having at least some connection with ‘hope’?
As in people having hope for a better tomorrow? One worth defending?

One worth making children for?

That all things, at least those belonging to the real world, have a certain thickness… is a truism.

Yet so often we ignore this evidence and relate only to the appearance we are looking at.
At a given moment.
By chance, by design or by negligence.

Take for instance Marine le Pen’s ascension to the second tour in the French elections.
Quite a number of ‘pundits’ put the ‘blame’ for this squarely on ‘Bruxelles” shoulders. Including her and her followers. And, not at all surprisingly, Trump and Putin.

And not without reason!

After all the EU bureaucracy, headquartered in Bruxelles, is responsible for many of the consequences brought upon our heads by the very existence of what is currently known as the European Community.

what we gonna do

Click on the bloody picture, will ya!

First of all let me remind you what brought about the current edition of the ‘European Project.’

OK, it has been attempted before. By the Romans, by Charlemagne, by Napoleon, by Hitler… and don’t tell me that Putin wouldn’t love to be ‘crowned’ as The European Leader.

The problem is that all those attempts had started as individual initiatives and had happened to be ‘against the grain’. As in those who had to shoulder the burden for it didn’t see any benefit from it coming to life.

A small parenthesis. There is nothing ‘unnatural’ for strong willed individuals to try to widen their domination to the farthest possible corner. It had happened when and where ever geographical and historical conditions had allowed it.
The problem is that all imperia have eventually failed, usually in an abysmal manner. History is so full of examples that I won’t bother presenting any.

This edition of the European Project has started out of necessity.

At the end of WWII the continent was in a state of disarray.
The West was mired in self doubt and extremely tired while the East had experienced both the German occupation and the blessings of being liberated by the Soviets.

Understanding that Europe had to be helped, or else – it could have been, in a short while, overwhelmed by the Soviets, America had drafted the Marshall Plan.
For the sake of efficiency, the Americans had asked the Europeans to organize themselves at the receiving end. The Europeans responded by calling a Conference for European Economic Co-operation. It would be beyond the scope of this post to get into further details but this was the start of the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation which a short while later had set the stage for the European Coal and Steel Community – the precursor of the present-day European Community.

As we all know, the project has fulfilled its intended goals.

Europe has recovered nicely and the Soviet Union was contained.

‘But you haven’t mentioned, at all, the (professed?) reason for which the European Community was forged in the first place! To make sure that Europe will never again be drenched in blood as a consequence of war!’

Yes, this had indeed been the professed motive, “The European Union is set up with the aim of ending the frequent and bloody wars between neighbours, which culminated in the Second World War“.
It did its job, briliantly, only it was just a ‘marketing gimmick’. Ever since the Soviet Union had started to export, by force, its particular brand of (extremely authoritarian) socialism to the countries under its ‘sphere of influence’ it had become abundantly clear that the rest of Europe had only two alternatives. Stick together in order to be able to fend of the Soviets or be gobbled up piece by piece.
Fighting among themselves? In those conditions? Not even Stalin could have dreamed of something like that…

Why did America continued to help?
First of all, they were already heavily invested here. Just think of it. To save Europe from  the Nazis only to allow the Soviets to occupy it… doesn’t make much sense, does it?

Then why are so many trying to tear it apart now? From inside as well as from outside?

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand Putin’s motives so I won’t waste any of your time on this.

It’s a little bit harder to understand the Americans who wish the European Project would fail. After all we are their most important trading partner AND their closest ideological neighbor. I used ‘neighbor’ on purpose, instead of ‘friend’.

Distant neighbor, I have to add…

You see, being protected by two oceans and by a very effective ‘nuclear umbrella’ may induce a certain feeling of coziness… just remember how long they had waited before intervening in WWI and WWII. Add to that the fact that people’s memories are very short and you’ll understand why the ordinary Americans do not care much for what is going on this side of the Atlantic.
Why are some of the American ‘plutocrats’ weary of the EU and rather friendly towards Putin? For the very same reason for which their peers had done business with Hitler, even after the start of the war…. Some of them might still be convinced that their corporations would be more profitable under an authoritarian regime than under a more democratic one. And since Putin makes the right noises…

And we have reached now the really tricky part.
Why on Earth are some people trying to tear apart the EU from the inside?!?

One might very well consider they, or at least some of them, constitute a post-Soviet fifth-column, meant to destabilize Europe and make it more susceptible to be influenced by Putin and his eventual heirs.

Since I cannot prove any of this, one way or the other, I’m going to use a different tack.

History teaches us that people commit mistakes for two reasons. Alone or in conjunction: Lack of adequate understanding of the matter and/or callousness.

Take your pick: Quisling, Petain, Lord Haw-Haw… but don’t forget Daladier, Chamberlain and also von Papen.

But there’s a catch.
No amount of stupidity and/or callousness on the part of any of the politicos may produce any damages unless the situation is ‘right’. Or ‘ripe’?!?

You see, all these jerks had been able to make their ultimately stupid moves simply  because the social yarn had already been messed up by a long line of political, and economic, blunders. From the French insistence that the Germans pay huge war reparations after WWI to, but not exclusively, the Fed mishandling rates during the ’20es and the 30es.

The current situation is nowhere near as bad as it was before WWII but does share with that a couple of converging points.

To be continued

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