CONTRA EL PINGALISMO CASTRISTA/ "Se que no existe el consuelo que no existe la anhelada tierrra de mis suenos ni la desgarrada vision de nuestros heroes. Pero te seguimos buscando, patria,..." - Reinaldo Arenas

Mostrando entradas con la etiqueta Filosofia. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando entradas con la etiqueta Filosofia. Mostrar todas las entradas

domingo, diciembre 22, 2013

10+10 Invaluable Quotes From Money Masters And Great Philosophers - Forbes

With Wall Street reaching new highs this year, investors may want to pause for a moment and re-assess their investment strategy and personal lifestyle, reaching for the wisdom of money masters and great philosophers.
The wisdom of Money Masters can help investors manage money effectively and avoid costly mistakes that can reverse their fortunes. And the wisdom of Great Philosophers can help investors use their fortunes to live the good life, as a great deal of money doesn’t necessarily bring happiness.
In the text that follows the wisdom of money masters and great philosophers is condensed into 20 quotes that are easy to remember and apply in everyday life.
Ten Quotes from Money Masters:
1. Bull markets are born on pessimism, grow on skepticism, mature on optimism, and die on euphoria. The time of maximum pessimism is the best time to buy, and the time of maximum optimism is the best time to sell—Sir John Templeton
2. In bear markets, things first decline to reasonable prices, then they fall to cheap prices, and then they reach unbelievable giveaways prices. After that, things get really bad, and everybody gets cleaned out—Jim Rogers
3. Earning power is as valuable as assets, therefore try to buy earning power at a discount—George Michailis
4. The usual way I lose money is by buying concept stocks—Philip Carret
5. One must understand the interaction between intelligence and emotion as they in turn respond to the market —George Michailis
6. Investors operate with limited intelligence: they do not know everything. As long as they understand something better than others, they have an edge—George Soros
7. The investor’s chief problem—and even worst enemy—is likely to be himself—Benjamin Graham
8. Seek facts diligently; advice never—Philip Carret
9. On the long side, I’m looking for lower-multiple dull stocks, laggards, with a recovery potential. On the short side, I want to be in the best-known companies of America, the areas of speculative focus. I’m usually short the Who’s Who of the market, stocks in the institutional universe—Michael Steinhardt
10. My approach works not by making valid predictions, but by allowing me to correct false ones. —George Soros

Source: John Train, The New Money Masters (New York: Harper Perennial, 1989).
Ten quotes from Great Philosophers:
1. The unexamined life is not worth living—Plato
2. Remove utterly your desire; for if you desire some one of the things that are not under your control you are bound to be unfortunate. . . .Never say about anything, “I have lost it,” but only “I have given it back. . . .It is not things themselves that disturb men, but their judgments about these things—Epictetus
3. Friendship is a relationship in which two people come to share the same soul—Aristotle
4. By pleasure we mean the absence of pain in the body and of turmoil in the mind—Epicurus
5. No person is free who is not master of himself—Epictetus
6. Nothing in excess—Solon
7. Reproach yourself for the things you do wrong—Pythagoras
8. A prosperous fool is a grievous burden—Aeschylus
9. The man who does evil to others does evil to himself—Hesiod
10.  No act of kindness is ever wasted—Aesop
Source: M.A. Soupios And Panos Mourdoukoutas, The Ten Golden Rules, Hampton Roads, 2009
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lunes, noviembre 04, 2013

Amis, Groys y Stalin en “El comunista manifiesto” — Iván de la Nuez

en respuesta a un lector, ivan sostiene la hipotesis [tesis?]: "Pero lo que el libro hace es seguir muchos elementos comunistas que renacen en Occidente una vez acabada la Guerra Fría. Y que no forman parte de una conjura comunista internacional, sino de una lógica de rentabilidad (estética, iconográfica, comercial, publicitaria) capitalista. Occidente “colonizó” y absorbió parte del comunismo mientras decía que lo estaba enterrando" [negritas y subryados -lg]; que constituye una manera muy coherente de reflejar una serie de acontecimientos y tendencias que discurren en las primeras decadas de este siglo xxi. bienvenido el reto al desempolvamiento neuronal.
Iván de la Nuez
(Comparto aquí el fragmento de un capítulo -”Stalin Neocon”-, que aparece en la tercera parte -”El cuerpo”- de El comunista manifiesto).
Cuando Zhou Enlai fue preguntado por la Revolución francesa, respondió que era “demasiado pronto para opinar”. Con respecto a Stalin, la izquierda de Occidente ha dado su opinión demasiado tarde.
Si el fantasma de Marx, con el que se inicia este libro, ocupa un lugar volátil en el presente, el cuerpo de Stalin está jalonado por un lastre demoledor que le obliga a caer hasta aplastarnos, digámoslo así, por su propio peso. Marx vaga como una metáfora que flota fuera del tiempo. Stalin encarna –como el título de Heberto Padilla, el más famoso de los poetas disidentes cubanos- “el justo tiempo humano” de su cronología, marcada por las decenas de millones de sus muertos.
Incluso para sus adversarios, Marx está lleno de “peros” (su sabiduría, su estatura como ensayista, el halo romántico de alguien que nunca dirigió un Estado). Con Stalin, hay pocos “peros” que valgan. Es más, no hay una sola virtud, ni una sola maldad, que supere la expansión mortífera de su proyecto.
Marx está más allá de la muerte. Stalin es la muerte misma.
Consideremos, si no, esta confirmación: los líderes del comunismo –de Ceaucescu a Fidel Castro, de Kadar a Honecker- pueden haberse permitido el lujo de ser malos marxistas, pero ninguno ha sido un mal estalinista. Ese georgiano, cuyo mostacho es tan reconocible como el bigotito de Hitler, es el rito de paso por el que cada líder del socialismo real debe pasar alguna vez en su vida para saber, de verdad, cómo es esto de llevar las riendas el poder.
Continuar leyendo en el sitio de Iván de la Nuez >>
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sábado, octubre 26, 2013

Emilio Ichikawa » La Verdad

Muchas cosas indican que en el contexto cultural cubano actual, dentro y fuera de la isla, no son ni los periodistas, ni los académicos, ni los religiosos quienes están nuevamente preocupados por la Verdad; para mi sorpresa y alegría noto un deseo de comprometerse con ella principalmente en los deportistas, los artistas gráficos, los científicos y los cuentapropistas.
La Tendencia sigue su rumbo independientemente de la fama que se le haga. Por eso, nunca preguntes qué cosa es la Verdad. Ni por quién doblan las campanas. Ni por qué diablos estaba el leopardo encima de aquella loma.
Continuar leyendo en Emilio Ichikawa »
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viernes, mayo 17, 2013

UnderstandingSociety: What about Marx?

B
At various points since the death of Karl Marx in 1883 his work has been regarded as a dead issue -- no longer relevant, too ideological, methodologically flawed, too rooted in the nineteenth century. And yet each of these periods of extinction has been followed by a resurgence of interest in Marx's ideas, as new generations try to make sense of the tough and often cruel social conditions in which they find themselves. What are the important dimensions of theory that Marx presented through his writings? And how can any of these be considered valuable in trying to come to grips with the global, capitalist, turbulent, unequal, violent world that we now inhabit?

We might say that there are a small handful of key theoretical frameworks that Marx advocated.

Materialism as a methodology for social science. Social change is driven by material circumstances, the forces and relations of production. This encompasses the property system and the ensemble of technologies present in a given level of society. Materialism denies that ideas and thought drive social change; so religion, patriotism, nationalism, and ideologies of patriarchy are epiphenomena rather than originating causes.

Emphasis on the primacy of property and class. Sociologists and historians want to explain processes of social change. Marx puts it forward that the economic interests created by the property system in a given society create powerful foundations for collective social action.  Those who occupy positions of advantage within a given set of property relations want to do what they can to preserve those relations; and those who are disadvantaged by the property relations have a latent interest in mobilizing to change those relations. Persons who share a location in the property system constitute a class, and their interests are systematically different from those in other such positions.

A sketch of a theory of consciousness and culture. Institutions of consciousness and culture play a role in stabilizing and attacking the most important relations of domination in a society. Educational institutions, it is argued, prepare young people for their specific roles in society -- workers, managers, elites, sub-proletarians. So struggles over the content and form of the institutions of enculturation can be expected to be polarized along class lines. Less directly, Marxists like Gramsci have postulated that worldviews reflect life experiences; so elites create cultural worlds that are quite distinct from those imagined by subordinate groups.

A diagnosis of social ills including exploitation, alienation, and dehumanization of social relations. Exploitation has to do with the flow of wealth and material goods through the property system from producers to property-owners. Alienation has to do with the loss of autonomy and self-control that individuals have within a capitalist structure. Marx's distinctive addition to this idea is that this loss of autonomy has psychic consequences -- disaffection, lack of self-respect, depression. The dehumanization of social relations follows from the structure of the capitalist workplace -- workers and bosses, each related to the other through the workings of a command system. Wittgentstein got it right when he described the "slab" language game: the boss says "slab", and the worker produces a slab. There is nothing "I-thou" about this relation (Buber, I and Thou).

A theory of several distinct modes of production. Marx believes that history takes the form of a succession of separable and structurally distinct modes of production: ancient slavery, feudalism, and capitalism differ by the structure of the production system, the property system, and the technologies that each embodied. Marx's most extensive analysis of social formations is his treatment of the capitalist mode of production in Capital: Volume 1: A Critique of Political Economy and the writings that were posthumously edited and published as volumes 2 and 3 of Capital.

A common thread through these framing ideas is the perspective of critique: a critical intelligence trying to understand why modern society produces such human misery. But even from the perspective of critique -- the perspective that tries to diagnose and understand the systemic flaws of contemporary society -- Marxism leaves quite a bit of terrain untouched: gender relations, racism, nationalism, and religious hatred, for example. Marxism doesn't do a good job of explaining a regime of sexual violence (rape in India); it doesn't have much to contribute to the rise of fascism; it doesn't have resources for understanding Islamo-phobia and hatred.  So Marxism is not a comprehensive theory of modern social failings; and we might say that its emphasis on economic conflict eclipses other forms of domination in ways that are actually harmful to our ability to improve our social relations.

Geoff Boucher takes up the issue of the continuing relevance of Marx in the contemporary world in Understanding Marxism. Here is how he opens the book:
Today, radical thinking about social alternatives stands under prohibition. According to defenders of the neoliberal transformation of every facet of human existence into a market, Marxism has failed…. Marx is dead; Marxism is finished -- and it must stay that way. (1)
But Boucher rejects this neoliberal consensus.
Marxism as an intellectual movement has been one of the most important and fertile contributions to twentieth-century thought. The influence of Marxism has been felt in every discipline, in the social sciences and interpretive humanities, from philosophy, through sociology and history, to literature. (2)
Here are the core reasons that Boucher offers for thinking that Marxism is still relevant in the twenty-first century:
  1. Marxism is the most serious normative social-theoretical challenge to liberal forms of freedom that does not at the same time reject the modern world.
  2. Marxism is the most sustained effort so far to think the present historically and to reflexively grasp thought itself within its socio-historical context. (2)
And later:
Marxism is a distinctively historical theory that normatively challenges liberalism in a way no other modern theory does. (3)
Much of Boucher's book contributes to one of two intellectual aims: to give a clear exposition of the most important of Marx's theoretical ideas; and to explicate the several "Marxisms" that followed in the twentieth century. The successive Marxisms take up the bulk of the book, with chapters on Classical Marxism, Hegelian Marxism, The Frankfurt School, Structural Marxism, Analytical Marxism, Critical Theory, and Post-Marxism. So the book provides very extensive explication of the theoretical ideas and developments that have grown out of the Marxist tradition.

What Boucher doesn't really provide is a clear rationale, based on contemporary sociology and history, for the conclusions he wants us to share about the continuing utility of Marxism as a framework for understanding the present and future. We don't get the reasoning that would support the affirmative ideas expressed above. The best rebuttal to the neoliberal triumphalism mentioned above is a compelling collection of sociological studies grounded in the perspectives mentioned above. Michael Burawoy's sociology of factories is a good example (e.g. Manufacturing Consent: Changes in the Labor Process Under Monopoly Capitalism). But this isn't an approach that Boucher chooses to pursue.

So what about it? Is Marxism relevant today? Yes, if we can avoid the dogmatism and rigidity that were often associated with the tradition. Power, exploitation, class, structures of production and distribution, property relations, workplace hierarchy -- these features certainly continue to be an important part of our social world. We need to think of Marx's corpus as a multiple source of hypotheses and interpretations about how capitalism works. And we need to recognize fully that no theoretical framework captures the whole of history or society. Marxism is not a comprehensive theory of social organization and change. But it does provide a useful set of hypotheses about how some of the key social mechanisms work in a class-divided society. Seen from that perspective, Marxist thought serves as a sort of proto-paradigm or mental framework in terms of which to pursue more specific social and historical investigations.

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sábado, marzo 02, 2013

New thinking about social systems

understandingsociety
B

There is a great deal of important international work underway today within the philosophy of social science on the general topic of social ontology. How do social structures relate to the actions of socially situated actors? How does causation work in the social realm? Can we say anything rigorous about the nature of "levels" of the social world -- micro, meso, and macro? And is there such a thing as an "emergent" social property or entity?

Sociologists and philosophers in Germany, Scandinavia, the UK, Belgium, France, Italy, and North America have undertaken serious work on these topics, and they constitute a dynamic network of thinking and debating. Some of the longstanding dualities in philosophy and sociology are questioned: individualism versus holism, micro versus macro, analytic versus continental, structure versus agent. Sociologists whose dispositions incline towards the importance of social structures are convening with rational choice theorists and game theorists; analytic sociologists are debating ontology with emergentists; and the field is displaying an energetic and productive degree of ferment.

The people whose work I am thinking of here are a motley group: Peter Hedstrom, Hans Joas, Petri Ylikoski, Bert Leuridan, Margaret Archer, Gianluca Manzo, Philippo Barbera, Pierre Demeulenaere, Julian Reiss, Rainer Greshoff, Dave Elder-Vass, Jeroen Van Bouwel, Mohamed Cherkaoui, ... And it is roughly as challenging to keep clearly in mind the manifold debates that are unfolding as it is to watch the Indianapolis 500 as the cars rocket by at 200 miles an hour. Some of these contributors are long-established scholars with huge reputations; others are young scholars with wickedly sharp minds and awesome work habits. And frankly, I'm at least as impressed with the younger generation as the elder.

One recent book that stands out as a key contribution that permits a degree of geolocation within these tangled debates is Poe Wan's Reframing the Social: Emergentist Systemism and Social Theory. Wan seems to have read every word of the debates, and he is ready to help interested parties take stock of the various theoretical perspectives.

The key axis in Wan's work -- here and elsewhere -- is that defined by Niklas Luhmann and Mario Bunge on the topic of emergent social systems. Wan is persuaded that social properties are "emergent" in some important sense, and he also seems to believe that the ideas of system and complexity are important components of our vocabulary for social ontology. But how should we understand these ideas? Luhmann's theory tends towards the position of holism, whereas Bunge's position allows that there is an intelligible connection between upper-level properties and micro-level facts and he focuses his theory of explanation on finding underlying mechanisms of various social outcomes. Wan refers to Bunge's approach as "rational emergentism" (68). Wan is respectful towards each of these theories, but he clearly favors that put forward by Bunge. Like Bunge, Wan too favors the focus on mechanisms; he admires Bunge's insistence on paying attention to the details of existing research in the natural and social sciences; and most importantly, he endorses Bunge's view that our theories of "emergent" social phenomena must be grounded in a theory of the actor.

Here is how Wan characterizes Bunge's systems theory and its relationship to a theory of the actor:
Bunge's emergentist systemism is best construed as a version of action-systems theory ..., because Bunge states explicitly that "the features of a social system depend upon the nature, strength, and variability of social relations, which in turn are reducible to social actions." (6)
And Wan believes that Bunge's approach provides a robust way of conceptualizing the nature of the social realm:
In Chapter 5 I argue for a systems approach that is ontologically sound (that is to say, transcending both holism [macro-reductionism] and individualism [micro-reductionism]), with due consideration given to the role of human factors and their actions in designing, maintaining, improving, repairing or dismantling social systems. (10)
Wan also believes that Bunge's CESM model is a helpful one for thinking about social ontology and explanation.  This model incorporates composition, environment, structure, and mechanisms. For a given social entity we want to know what it is composed of; what are the features of the environment within which it functions; how is it arranged internally; and how does it work (55).

Another important part of Wan's approach is his affinity with the social theories of the critical realists -- Bhaskar, Asher, Elder-Vass. Fundamentally this comes down to the view that social structures have real causal powers, along the lines of Rom Harre's meaning of this term (110, 119, 121).

Reframing the Social is an important contribution to current debates about the nature of the social. And I agree with him that the question of social ontology is a fundamental one; perhaps more so than the issues of the epistemology of the social sciences that have generally played first violin. Further, Wan does a good job of showing how these debates are relevant to the emerging framework of analytical sociology -- sometimes in ways that cast doubt on some of the guiding presuppositions of that field. In particular, the aggregative strategy of explanation that is favored by AS is questionable once we give credence to the idea that social structures possess autonomous causal powers. Along with Dave Elder-Vass's The Causal Power of Social Structures: Emergence, Structure and Agency, this book stands as an important alternative to Hedstrom's Dissecting the Social: On the Principles of Analytical Sociology.

Here is a nice passage from Durkheim's Rules of Sociological Method that Wan quotes on the subject of emergence:


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martes, febrero 26, 2013

El Índice de Felicidad Planetaria de Nic Marks

golem
El estadístico Nic Marks pregunta por qué medimos el éxito de una nación por la productividad, en lugar de hacerlo por la felicidad y el bienestar de su pueblo. Presenta el Índice de Felicidad Planetaria, que indica el bienestar nacional en función del uso de recursos (porque una vida feliz no tiene que costar la Tierra). ¿Qué países están mejor ubicados en el IFP? Tal vez te sorprenda.


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martes, febrero 12, 2013

The ontology of power

Understandingsociety
By 
There have been quite a few posts on the concept of power over the years in this blog (link). This continues to be an intriguing subject for me. Fundamentally the question of the moment is this: how does "power" fit into a social ontology of the kinds of things that exist in the social world? Does "power" exist, or is it a term that encompasses a range of other social things and relations? At one point I characterized power as an "influence" concept (link), analogous to "is humorous," "is rude," or "is charismatic". In each case the concept is defined in terms of a capacity possessed by the agent to influence certain kinds of behaviors by others around him or her.  Along these lines we might define power as a feature of an individual as follows:
Caesar is powerful =df Caesar has access to social levers of coercion that permit him to coerce certain kinds of behavior by others.
Those levers might include --
  • command of military or paramilitary forces
  • relations with conformant legislators positioned to enact legislation and regulation
  • relations with conformant private citizens positioned to coerce their dependents to behave this way or that
On this approach, "power" is a dispositional concept attaching to individuals and invoking access to certain kinds of instruments of coercion.

What is "coercion"? This is a topic that Robert Nozick picked up early in his career (“Coercion” in Philosophy, Science, and Method: Essays in Honor of Ernest Nagel). We might define coercion very simply in terms of an actor's ability to influence the terms of choice that confront another actor. The Godfather put it best: "I'll make you an offer you can't refuse." Here is a possible definition:
x coerces y =df x creates a choice situation for y in which the costs of choosing other available options are unacceptably high, leaving only On+1 to be chosen.
(Here is an article on coercion in SEP; link.)

We can then broaden this concept to groups in society by postulating that certain groups have greater access to the levers of coercion than others. So we might say that "capitalists have more power than workers" because capitalists have access to the lever of unemployment, whereas workers have access only to the power to withhold their labor at substantial personal and familial cost. And we might say that organized crime lords have more power than shopkeepers because the criminals have greater ability to use and threaten violence against the shopkeeper than the reciprocal.

We can also broaden the concept by grouping the levers of coercion into different families: economic coercion, physical coercion, community coercion (shunning within a religious community, for example), … This allows us to identify the sources of power within a given society. Individuals and groups who are favorably positioned with respect to these different categories of instruments of coercion are more powerful than others.

What this account leaves out is the range of "soft" power associated with framing and ideology. This is a different avenue of social influence. It is possible to impel individuals or groups towards certain kinds of actions by shaping their beliefs and cognitive-affective frameworks. Using the media to shift the terms of debate over a policy -- taxing the rich at higher rates or providing universal health insurance -- is a way of exerting power without coercion.

A few features of "power" emerge from these observations. First, power is a relational concept. An individual possesses power over other individuals (relation 1) and does so in virtue of the relations he bears to other persons and institutions (relation 2). Second, power is the activity side of structure: structures and sets of social relations constitute the environment within which individuals are empowered to exercise power over others. The structures perdure, and individuals act within their elements to exert their will over others. And third, power is distributed over many individuals and groups within society at a time. But it is fluid and subject to fluctuations as structures and individuals change. Dick Cheney was powerful at one point in time but not at other points. And what changed was not Cheney but the levers of power and social networks to which he had access.

This seems to imply that power is not itself a "thing" within a reasonable social ontology. It is rather a relational characteristic that exists at various social locations depending on the connections those locations have to the levers of influence over individuals and groups.

(We might speculate that there is an art to exercising power that means that not everyone is equally adept at the activity. Being well situated with respect to the levers of influence is a necessary condition but not a sufficient condition for being powerful.)

This account lines up well with some aspects of Steven Lukes' analysis of power in his classic book, Power: A Radical View (link). It also aligns well with Michael Mann's definition of social power in The Sources of Social Power: Volume 1, A History of Power from the Beginning to AD 1760 and elsewhere: "My earlier work identified four primary 'sources of social power' in human societies: ideological, economic, military, and political" (Fascists, 5).

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sábado, febrero 09, 2013

Alain Badiou: The Ontology of Change

egsvideo
Alain Badiou, French philosopher, mathematician and author, talking about the ontology of change. In this lecture, Alain Badiou discusses Aristotle's concept of the prime mover, the rational determination of God, thinking of change by the notions of division and becoming, the subjective structure of knowledge of being, the relationship between multiplicity and change, the localization of being in a world, the possibility of thinking pure multiplicity as such and the relationship between multiplicities in relationship to Aristotle, Nicolas Malebranche, Immanuel Kant, Parmenides, Heraclitus, Democritus and Georg Cantor focusing on the infinite subject, perfection, fidelity, the One, pure multiplicity, atoms, physics, set theory, extensionality, qualitative difference, intensive difference and absolute identity. Public open lecture for the students and faculty of the European Graduate School EGS Media and Communication Studies department program Saas-Fee Switzerland Europe. 2012. Alain Badiou.

Alain Badiou (b. 1937, Rabat, Morocco) holds the Rene Descartes Chair at the European Graduate School. He studied at the École Normale Supérieure, to which he later returned, to become the Chair of the Philosophy Department. Alain Badiou has also taught at the University of Paris VIII (Vincennes-Saint Denis), and continues to do so at the Collège International de Philosophie. Badiou was one of the founding members of the Unified Socialist Party, which was particularly active in the struggle for the decolonization of Algeria. To this day, Badiou remains both a member of the Union des jeunesses communistes de France (marxistes-léninistes), and at the center of L'Organisation Politique, a 'post-party organization' concerned with direct popular intervention in social and political issues.

Trained as a mathematician, Alain Badiou is one of the most original French philosophers today. Influenced by Plato, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Jacques Lacan and Gilles Deleuze, he is an outspoken critic of both the analytic as well as the postmodern schools of thoughts. His philosophy seeks to expose and make sense of the potential of radical innovation (revolution, invention, transfiguration) in every situation. He is the author of several successful novels and plays as well as more than a dozen philosophical works, among them in English are Deleuze: The Clamor of Being (1999), Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding of Evil (2000), On Beckett (2003), Being and Event (2005), Number and Numbers (2008), The Meaning of Sarkozy (2008), Logic of Worlds: Being and Event, Volume 2 (2009), Pocket Pantheon: Figures of Postwar Philosophy (2009), Theory of the Subject (2009), The Communist Hypothesis (2010), and Five Lessons on Wagner (2010), The Rebirth of History: Times of Riots and Uprisings (2012) and Philosophy For Militants (2012).

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Avital Ronell: The Day Off [forgiveness, drugs, ontic, ontological, friendship, blush,...]

egsvideo
Avital Ronell discusses the concepts of forgiveness, drugs, ontic, ontological, friendship, blush, nausea, otherness, alterity, referring to Heidegger, Holderlin, Levinas, Susan Sontag, Lyotard, Kleist, Nietzsche, Wagner, Derrida, Lacoue-Labarthe, Alfred Hitchcock, Hegel. Free public open lecture for the students and faculty of the European Graduate School EGS Media and Communication Studies Department Program in 2012. EGS, Saas-Fee, Switzerland, Europe, Avital Ronell 2012.

Avital Ronell is Professor of German, comparative literature, and English at New York University, where she directs the Research in Trauma and Violence project. She is a member of the faculty of the European Graduate School, interested in Literary and other discourses, feminism, philosophy, technology and media, psychoanalysis, deconstruction, performance art, and has also written as a literary critic, a feminist, and philosopher.

Avital Ronell was born in Prague to Israeli diplomats and was a performance artist before entering academia. She received a B.A. in 1974 from Middlebury, studied with Jacob Taubes at the Hermeneutic Institute at the Free University of Berlin, received her Ph.D. under the advisement of Stanley Corngold at Princeton University in 1979. Avital Ronell taught at the University of California at Berkeley from 1984-1995 and at New York University from 1995 to the present. She served as Chair of the Department of German from Spring 1997 to Spring 2005. She taught an annual seminar in Literature & Philosophy at NYU with Professor Jacques Derrida and has taught with Professor Helene Cixous at Université of Paris VIII. She regularly teaches at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland and in Mexico. She was invited by the Humanities Council to offer a seminar at Princeton University in spring 2006.

Avital Ronell has produced English translations of Derrida's work.Her books and works include: The Uber Reader: Selected Works of Avital Ronell Ed. Diane Davis. 2006; 2005 The Test Drive, 2001 Stupidity, 1998 Finitude's Score Essays for the End of the Millennium , 1993 Crack Wars: Literature, Addiction, Mania, 1993 Dictations: On Haunted Writing, 1989 Telephone Book Technology, Schizophrenia, Electric Speech, 1989 The Ear of the Other, trans., Jacques Derrida, and Dictations: On Haunted Writing 1986.

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sábado, enero 12, 2013

Catherine Malabou: A Materialist Concept of Plasticity

egsvideo
Catherine Malabou, philosopher and author, answering students' questions about the plasticity of life. In this lecture Catherine Malabou discusses contradiction and the Real, Deleuze's critique of the organism and Hegelian dialectics, deconstruction in philosophy, self-contradiction within biology, the mechanization of life, dialectical materialism, the unity of body and mind, and the reciprocity of thinking and willing in relationship to Michel Foucault, Giorgio Agamben, Jacques Derrida, Gilles Deleuze, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Martin Heidegger and Baruch Spinoza focusing on Homo sacer, totalitarianism in democracy, Nazism, immanence, epigenetics, biopolitics, the movement of truth, bare life, Dasein, technology and spiritual substance. Public open lecture for the students and faculty of the European Graduate School EGS Media and Communication Studies department program Saas-Fee Switzerland Europe. 2012. Catherine Malabou.

Catherine Malabou, Ph.D., born in 1959, was a student at the École normal supérieure (ENS) and Sorbonne University in France. She wrote her dissertation on Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel under the direction of the French philosopher Jacques Derrida, completing it in 1994. The thesis was published in 1996 under the title L'Avenir de Hegel, plasticité, temporalité, dialectique (The Future of Hegel: Plasticity, Temporality, and Dialectic). Catherine Malabou has taught at Nanterre University in Paris, the University of California at Berkeley, the New School for Social Research in New York City and currently is a full-time professor at the Centre for Modern European Philosophy of Kingston in the United Kingdom. She also teaches an intensive summer seminar at the European Graduate School (EGS).

Catherine Malabou is a specialist of contemporary French and German philosophy, with a focus on Hegel and Heidegger. She is most famous for her concept of ontological "plasticity." Her work also incorporates neuroscience and neuro-psychoanalysis. Malabou has published many works including Voyager avec Jacques Derrida - La Contre-allée (1999, English publication in 2004 entitled Counterpath), Que faire de notre cerveau? (2004, English publication in 2008 entitled What Should We Do with Our Brain?), La Plasticité au soir de l'écriture : Dialectique, destruction, deconstruction (2005, English publication in 2009 entitled Plasticity at the Dusk of Writing: Dialectic, Destruction, Deconstruction), Changer de différence (2009, English publication in 2011 entitled Changing differences). More recently, Catherine Malabou published a book in French with Judith Butler entitled Sois mon corps (2010). She also manages a philosophy book series for the French publisher Éditions Léo Scheer.

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jueves, enero 10, 2013

Friedrich Kittler: The Modern World

egsvideo

Friedrich Kittler, German historian and theorist, lecturing on the history of writing. In this lecture he talks about manuscript culture vs printed culture rising out of Gutenberg's innovation, the copyleft culture of the Gutenberg technologies, how the scientific revolution really started with these texts that were printed after the discovery of woodcuts copper plates and paper mills, how the printing press facilitated the transmission of technical knowledge, how the Jesuits entered the Chinese empire of Peking; typecutters, fonts and cryptography, and Leon Battista Alberti, the development of capital letters, the development of common mathematical symbols by Johannes Widmann (the +/- sign), Raphael Bombolli and Gerolamo Cardano (equations), Simon Stevin and the Dutch zero, and François Viète, the harmony of the fifth in tuning systems, how innovations in common mathematical notation and intercultural participation made possible musical innovations, how the end of notation in Latin was the beginning of open-source knowledge, algebraic notation, the need for symbols, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and binary arithmetic, 18th century mathematicians and algorithms, Jacques du Vaucanson's digesting duck, Leonard Euler and mechanical sytheses of voices, the 18th century German school system, changes in paper production in material media history, Canadian lumber, semaphores as optical system of signs, optical telegraphy speeding up military communications, invention of the typewriter by Remington, Etienne-Jules Marey's chronophotography, Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville's first sound recording of Au Claire de la Lune, the effect of these changes on literature of the 19th century, Sir Flinders Petrie, Alan Turing's Turing machine, cryptography, Pearl Harbor, closing remarks on the need to learn program languages to see the limits of language, Assembler programming language, Q&A.
Public open lecture for the students and faculty of the European Graduate School (EGS), Media and Communication Studies department program Saas-Fee Switzerland, Europe. Friedrich Kittler. 2011.

Friedrich Adolf Kittler (1943 -2011) was a post-Structuralist philosopher, as well as historian and theorist of media communications and technology. Kittler studied German Studies, Romance Languages and Philosophy at Albert-Ludwigs-Universität in Freiburg/Breisgau. In 1976, he earned his Ph.D. with a dissertation on Conrad Ferdinand Meyer. His work was heavily influenced by both Michel Foucault and Jacques Lacan. Kittler became a Professor of German at Freiburg in the early eighties. During the decade he held positions as a visiting lecturer and professor at the University of California, in Berkeley and Santa Barbara, and later at the University of Stanford and the University of Basel. In 1984, he completed his Habilitation at the University of Freiburg/Breisgau, and from 1986-1990 headed the DFG's Literature and Media Analysis project in Kassel. Kittler was a Membre associé of the Collège international de philosophie, Paris from 1983-1986. In 1987, Kittler was appointed Professor of Modern German Studies, at Ruhr University and began working as Professor of German at the University of Bochum.

In 1993, he received the media arts prize for theory from the ZKM Karlsruhe (Zentrums für Kunst und Medientechnologie); from 1995 to 1997, he headed a Federal Research Group on Theory and History of Media. Kittler was also a member of the Hermann von Helmholtz Centre for Culture and the Bild Schrift Zahl research group.

In 1996, Friedrich Kittler was recognized as a Distinguished Scholar by Yale University, and in 1997 as Distinguished Visiting Professor by Columbia University.

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viernes, diciembre 21, 2012

Catherine Malabou-The Deconstruction of Biopolitics

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sábado, diciembre 15, 2012

Catherine Malabou-Introduction to Biopolitics and Biopower

zenfloyd.blogspot.com
Catherine Malabou, philosopher and author, talking about biopolitics and biopower in Foucault, Agamben and Derrida. In this lecture Catherine Malabou discusses the political deconstruction of sovereignty, the meaning of the symbolic in language and the difference between the biological and symbolic body in relationship to Michel Foucault, Giorgio Agamben, Martin Heidegger, Jacques Derrida, Ernst Kantorowicz, Thomas Hobbes, Jean Jacques Rousseau, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Baruch Spinoza, Jacques Lacan, Karl Marx, Claude Lévi-Strauss and Gilles Deleuze focusing on life, death, dasein, phenomenology, spiritual body, subjective body, flesh, the reciprocation of gift and counter-gift, dialectical materialism, the system of debt, exchange value, linguistic economy, incest, the zero-level of value and the body without organs (BwO). Public open lecture for the students and faculty of the European Graduate School EGS Media and Communication Studies department program Saas-Fee Switzerland Europe. 2012. Catherine Malabou.

Catherine Malabou, Ph.D., born in 1959, was a student at the École normal supérieure (ENS) and Sorbonne University in France. She wrote her dissertation on Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel under the direction of the French philosopher Jacques Derrida, completing it in 1994. The thesis was published in 1996 under the title L'Avenir de Hegel, plasticité, temporalité, dialectique (The Future of Hegel: Plasticity, Temporality, and Dialectic). Catherine Malabou has taught at Nanterre University in Paris, the University of California at Berkeley, the New School for Social Research in New York City and currently is a full-time professor at the Centre for Modern European Philosophy of Kingston in the United Kingdom. She also teaches an intensive summer seminar at the European Graduate School (EGS).

Catherine Malabou is a specialist of contemporary French and German philosophy, with a focus on Hegel and Heidegger. She is most famous for her concept of ontological "plasticity." Her work also incorporates neuroscience and neuro-psychoanalysis. Malabou has published many works including Voyager avec Jacques Derrida - La Contre-allée (1999, English publication in 2004 entitled Counterpath), Que faire de notre cerveau? (2004, English publication in 2008 entitled What Should We Do with Our Brain?), La Plasticité au soir de l'écriture : Dialectique, destruction, deconstruction (2005, English publication in 2009 entitled Plasticity at the Dusk of Writing: Dialectic, Destruction, Deconstruction), Changer de différence (2009, English publication in 2011 entitled Changing differences). More recently, Catherine Malabou published a book in French with Judith Butler entitled Sois mon corps (2010). She also manages a philosophy book series for the French publisher Éditions Léo Scheer.


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jueves, noviembre 15, 2012

Assemblage Theory Revisited/ Manuel DeLanda

http://www.egs.edu/ Manuel Delanda, contemporary philosopher, revisits assemblage theory and answers student questions. DeLanda discusses models, the state, state apparatus, Michel Foucault, and the virtual. Public open lecture for the students and faculty of the European Graduate School EGS Media and Communication Studies department program Saas-Fee Switzerland. 2011 Manuel DeLanda.

Manuel DeLanda, (born 1952 in Mexico City), is a writer, artist and distinguished philosopher who has lived in New York since 1975. He is a professor and the Gilles Deleuze Chair of Contemporary Philosophy and Science at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, a professor at the Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, and professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. DeLanda was formerly an Adjunct Associate Professor at Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University (New York).

He is the author of War In the Age of Intelligent Machines (1991), A Thousand Years of Nonlinear History (1997), Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy (2002), A New Philosophy of Society: Assemblage Theory and Social Complexity (2006), Deleuze: History and Science (2010), and Philosophy and Simulation: The Emergence of Synthetic Reason (2011). He has published many articles and essays and lectured extensively in Europe and in the United States. His work focuses on the theories of the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze on one hand, and modern science, self-organizing matter, artificial life and intelligence, economics, architecture, chaos theory, history of science, nonlinear science, cellular automata on the other. De Landa became a principal figure in the "new materialism" based on his application of Deleuze's realist ontology. His universal research into "morphogenesis" - the production of the semi-stable structures out of material flows that are constitutive of the natural and social world - has been of interest to theorists across many academic and professional disciplines.

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Assemblage theory

Understanding Society/
Deleuze's theory (metaphor?) of assemblage as a way of thinking about the social world is an intriguing one. Fundamentally the idea is that there does not exist a fixed and stable ontology for the social world that proceeds from "atoms" to "molecules" to "materials". Rather, social formations are assemblages of other complex configurations, and they in turn play roles in other, more extended configurations.

What is appealing to me about this way of talking about the social world is that it takes us away from the presuppositions we often bring about the social world as consisting of a range of discrete social objects or things. According to this static way of thinking, the state is a thing composed of other things; likewise Islam is an extended social thing; likewise Chicago; and so on. The assemblage approach suggests a different set of metaphors for the social world: mosaic, patchwork, heterogeneity, fluidity, transitory configuration. And this seems like a more realistic way of characterizing large extended social formation like states or regulatory agencies.

The downside of this way of talking and thinking about the social world is precisely the indefiniteness and indeterminacy it suggests for the composition relation. This poses a very hard problem for explanation. How are we to explain the properties and behavior of the composite entity if there is so much contingency in its parts and the ways in which they interact? The strategy of aggregative explanation seems to be a non-starter, since it is stipulated that composition is not a strongly rule-governed process. But so do the comparative and generalizing strategies. If the composites are indeed sui generis and unique configurations we can't generalize across instances and can't usefully compare them.

So how can we gain greater clarity? The concept of assemblage is expressed by Gilles Deleuze; but it is obscure. Here is a valuable blog post by Levi Bryant in LarvalSubjects that extracts several of Deleuze's statements about assemblage from an interview. This interview provides some description of the construct in Deleuze's own words.  Here is one of Bryant's efforts at clarifying Deleuze's meaning:
Assemblages are composed of heterogeneous elements or objects that enter into relations with one another. These objects are not all of the same type. Thus you have physical objects, happenings, events, and so on, but you also have signs, utterances, and so on. While there are assemblages that are composed entirely of bodies, there are no assemblages composed entirely of signs and utterances.
It isn't easy to paraphrase Deleuze's thinking into a more analytical formulation (though Bryant's efforts are helpful). But the language remains metaphorical, suggestive, and elusive, rather than analytical and discursive. For this reason it is difficult to determine whether the concept has value for sociological theory.

The core ideas are spelled out in a somewhat more accessible form in Manuel DeLanda's A New Philosophy of Society: Assemblage Theory and Social Complexity. DeLanda tries to explain "assemblage" by saying what it is not.  First, assemblage theory is opposed to essentialism and reification (26ff.). DeLanda emphasizes that Deleuze's concept resists the "organismic" approach to conceptualizing the social, by which he means an approach that looks at the whole as an inextricable combination of interrelated parts. This implies that the parts are implicated in each other; the organismic perspective emphasizes the internal connectedness of a thing. (This has affinity to Bert Ollman's philosophy of internal relations in Alienation: Marx's Conception of Man in a Capitalist Society.) DeLanda distinguishes between "interiority" and "exteriority" in conceptualizing the components of a thing. For assemblage theory, the relations among the parts are contingent, not necessary. And, crucially, parts can be extracted from one whole and inserted into another. "These relations imply, first of all, that a component part of an assemblage may be detached from it and plugged into a different assemblage in which its interactions are different. In other words, the exteriority of relations implies a certain autonomy for the terms they relate" (10-11). Another aspect of the theory, according to DeLanda, is the fact that it does not privilege one level of organization over another. "Micro" is not more fundamental than "macro"; instead, social reality is "multiscaled" (38), with assemblages occurring at every level.

Truthfully, neither Deleuze nor DeLanda succeeds in making the concept of assemblage a very clear or analytically specific one. So let's consider a diluted version of assemblage theory that might nonetheless be useful for sociological theory while foregoing much of the metaphysical language characteristic of Deleuze's writings:
  1. Social entities are composed of components and lesser systems.
  2. The components of a social entity are heterogeneous.
  3. The components include both material factors and meaningful expressions.
  4. The components have their own characteristics and dynamics.
  5. The components may have very different temporal and spatial scales.
  6. The effects and interactions among components may be indeterminate because of complexity effects and probabilistic causal mechanisms.
  7. The behavior of the whole is difficult or impossible to calculate even given extensive knowledge of the dynamics of the components.
To illustrate this set of ideas, consider a city as an assemblage.
  1. A city consists of population, businesses, roads, organizations, government policies, political movements, disaffected youth, and slogans.
  2. Population dynamics have a temporal scale of decades, while businesses have a temporal scale of months.
  3. The interaction effects of gradual population change, the voting system, and gradual environmental change are difficult to calculate.
  4. We can nonetheless make efforts to disentangle the effects of population change, institutional design, and environment on things like land use and effective taxation rates.
This reformulation suggests that large social entities are "messy" but still amenable to analysis and study; and this is what sociology requires.

(Daniel Smith's article on Deleuze in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is a readable exposition of Deleuze's philosophy; link. Another useful resource on assemblage theory is Nick Srnicek's masters' thesis; link. )

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jueves, junio 14, 2012

Lobotomia filosofica

la dra. monal como que alguna vez estuvo coherente, equivocada pero consecuente, pero ahora esta desaforada. sera la traqueotomia o, lobotomia?


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viernes, mayo 11, 2012

Iglesia (católica) y Estado (totalitario) en Cuba (VII)


 

Desde el sitio de
Arnaldo M. Fernández
En su panfleto La vocación sacerdotal en Cuba, monseñor Carlos Manuel de Céspedes y García-Menocal (CMCGM) tocó la clave bayamesa: «Si la clerecía no difunde entre sus miembros que el sacerdocio no se puede asumir como actitud evasiva, sino como respuesta posible a las necesidades espirituales de la patria, la vocación sacerdotal en Cuba estará condenada a muerte». Así la noción conciliar de «pueblo de Dios» se reajusta como iglesia encarnada por obra y gracia de su clerecía, pero el contexto vital mundano proseguía siendo la Isla de Cuba pintoresca.  La  tensión política cardinal afloraba con  el exilio: la iglesia cubana está en la Isla, pero no puede desentenderse de la comunidad de emigrados, en tanto la iglesia cubano-americana radica en Miami, pero se arroga optar por todos los cubanos, a pesar de ser evidente que sólo cabe alinearse con la feligresía local. CMCGM buscó evadir la falacia de concreción fuera de lugar y llamó a «reconocernos miembros de esta comunidad humana concreta». Para lidiar con ella —los índices de religiosidad se han detectado en el 85% de la población, pero casi todos se acuerdan de Jesucristo ya sólo cuando truena— hilvanó hasta la serie de artículos «Concretando» en la sección «Mundo Católico», a partir del 4 de septiembre de 1966.
Antes había eslabonado otra cadena —del 20 de marzo al 29 de mayo de 1966— contra el documental húngaro ¿En seis días?, que desde la «ciencia soviética» echaba tierra y daba pisón a la vía bíblica para llegar a orígenes del universo. El profesor de filosofía marxista-leninista y «libre pensador» católico Aurelio Alonso (Universidad de La Habana) ese bajaría hacia octubre de 1966 en El Caimán Barbudo con «Mundo Católico y Teilhard de Chardin» para enredarse en polémica con CMGM.
Esta polémica acreditaría que Alonso —como señaló CMCGM— «confunde fe y sentimiento religioso y fe y teología. Más aún, que confunde fe y filosofía cristiana», pero también que la cautela de CMCGM llegaba despachar la represión secular de la iglesia contra los hombres de ciencia y hasta sus condenas a muerte como simple «tensión» entre ciencia y religión. Para colmo CMCGM soltó que la reacción airada de muchos creyentes ante el pensamiento científico traía su causa de «inocente despiste». A la postre El Mundo sacó hasta una carta anónima de otro «católico común» que demandaba a los obispos no sólo respetar, sino aceptar a incorporar el orden sociopolítico vigente a la prédica y acción eclesial. CMCGM cerró su sección (marzo 5, 1967) con diálogo —real o supuesto— con cierto amigo ateo que entrañaba «un test a nuestra conciencia».
El ateísmo oficial se afianzaría con las Tesis y Resoluciones del I Congreso del único partido y hasta se refrendaría en la Constitución Socialista (1976), pero el partido único tiene mucho de iglesia y abandonó con prudencia su tesitura atea en el IV Congreso (1991) para abstenerse incluso de confirmarla en la Constitución reformada (1992).
Los Padres de la Iglesia católica pensaron había llegado el apocalipsis predicho al derrumbarse el Imperio Romano. La sobrevivencia de la propia iglesia demostraría hasta qué punto estaban equivocados. El giro actual de la iglesia católica en Cuba hacia el concordato implícito con el Estado totalitario indica que los jerarcas católicos se convencieron ya de que, al venirse abajo el Muro de Berlín, incurrieron en el mismo error de aquellos padres. La persistencia del castrismo puede antojárseles eclesial.
-Ilustración: Vladimir Tatlin, Un cráneo en libro abierto (1950)

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sábado, mayo 05, 2012

El Dr. Finlay, Cuba y los EEUU: Un “modelo” de intercambio académico-cultural

Desde el sitio de
 
Emilio Ichikawa
En una reciente intervención en “Estado de Sats”, el profesor Alexis Jardines llamaba la atención sobre la existencia de al menos dos áreas en el sector artístico-intelectual dentro de Cuba: la del tejido institucional del estado y otra zona con definición en progreso; pero indistintamente ungida por adjetivos siempre en disputa, como los de “independiente”, “alternativa”, “plattista”, “desleal”, “promisoria”, etc. Los polacos de la era socialista hablaban de “paralelismo”, que es menos complicado.
El profesor Jardines urgía a priorizar los “proyectos independientes” del segundo espacio, e incluso a estimular un movimiento del primero hacia el segundo. Como lo más seguro es que esa dualidad persista, sin que una parte anule a la otra, podría probarse con la evidencia de que el intercambio académico-cultural con los EEUU es beneficioso tanto para “oficialistas” como para “independientes”; para consagrados y para “escachados”. Unos podrían ascender a mayores niveles de excelencia; mientras los otros pudieran al menos despegar. El tiempo dirá… Por ahora solo quiero compartir unos apuntes sobre la biografía intelectual del Dr. Carlos J. Finlay y mostrar algunos de los beneficios que este recibió de un intercambio intelectual intenso con sus colegas extranjeros; en particular de los EEUU.
A pesar de ser hoy el científico emblemático de la Historia de la Ciencia en Cuba, con varios especialistas en el estudio de su obra, lo cierto es que Finlay conoció momentos difíciles en su país. Un repaso general muestra que no puede matricular Medicina en la Universidad de La Habana porque no le reconocen los estudios de Bachillerato que ha hecho en Francia. ¿Qué lo rescata de ese fracaso? Pues su ingreso en el Jefferson Medical College de Philadelphia, donde se gradúa en marzo de 1855. Así que, por formación, Finlay empieza por ser un médico norteamericano.
Pero como los hispano-cubanos no se dejan impresionar, cuando Finlay regresa a Cuba y trata de revalidar su título en la Universidad de La Habana, lo desaprueban. Debe volverlo a intentar. Trata de sobrevivir entonces abriendo un consultorio en la gran ciudad pero no sale adelante. Finlay también trató de entrar en la Academia de Ciencias, sin éxito; y cuando soplaban los aires de guerra se marchó a la isla de Trinidad. Regresó en 1872, en medio de la llamada Guerra de los 10 años, y entonces logró hacerse académico. En 1875 Finlay regresa a los EEUU por un asunto personal relativo a la salud de su esposa, y aprovecha para actualizarse (opta por la oftalmología) y hasta logra publicar.
Producto de la epidemia de Fiebre Amarilla que provocó unos 20 mil muertos en EEUU en 1878, el Congreso crea una Junta Nacional de Sanidad; que a su vez nombra una Comisión para estudiar la referida enfermedad en el Caribe y, como es lógico, visita Cuba. El grupo de médicos llega a La Habana el 7 de julio de 1879, y entre ellos está el Dr. Juan A. Guiteras, Histopatólogo de la Universidad de Pennsylvania.
Los Doctores Pedro M. Pruna y Gustavo Kourí han señalado que la amistad e intercambio científico por correspondencia que existió desde entonces entre los Doctores Finlay y Guiteras fue tan importante, que tiempo después, observando micrografías de cortes histopatológicos de pacientes con fiebre amarilla hechos por el Dr. Guiteras durante su estancia en La Habana, es que Finlay se percata que en todos los tejidos hay una lesión uniforme con alteración de capas del revestimiento interno de los vasos sanguíneos, lo que le hace abandonar la hipótesis ambientalista del contagio y empezar a apuntar a algo más preciso que a un “vector activo”: a un “insecto hematófago”.
Finlay expuso la hipótesis del “vector activo” en febrero de 1881 en Washington, en la Conferencia Sanitaria Internacional, donde despertó interés. Luego en casa, en Cuba, fue más audaz y en agosto de ese 1881 lee en la Academia de Ciencias el trabajo “El mosquito hipotéticamente considerado como transmisor de la fiebre amarilla”. Y recibió muchas… burlas, risas y, lo peor, como dijo a su esposa en sentido mensaje: el silencio crítico de sus colegas.
Por cosas como estas también es necesario el intercambio académico-cultural con el mundo, con los EEUU; porque siempre hay que tener un sitio para donde virarse cuando el poder constituido cierra las puertas. La historiografía nacionalista cubana ha diseñado respecto a Finlay una historia de injusto despojo intelectual por parte de la Comisión Médica del gobierno interventor norteamericano (1898-1902). Es demasiado fascinante y cara a la axiología independentista-revolucionaria para que sea abandonada por cualquier revisión alternativa. La he escuchado repetir varias veces en Miami. Lo cierto es que Finlay encontró respaldo y aceptación en el gobierno interventor y los gobiernos de la República de Cuba. Como han corroborado investigadores del Instituto de Historia de la Ciencia y la Tecnología en la isla, Finlay fue postulado al menos 7 veces para el Premio Nobel en Medicina. Varias instituciones científicas de su tiempo lo tenían a la altura de Pasteur y Koch. Nada de eso puede lograrse sin el intercambio académico; pero un intercambio académico en la “zona de competencia” disciplinaria real, y no en el limbo de la intención política.
-IMAGEN: Dr. Finlay, sentado, a la izquierda: virginia.edu

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martes, enero 03, 2012

Philosophy and the Matrix: Return to the Source [Documentary]

Top Documentary Films/
This documentary goes over many philosophical concepts that inspired, and are presented in, the trilogy. They spend the first half on the original film, and the rest of the time then goes over parts 2 and 3, with a couple of things on the Animatrix shorts.
It consists of clips of aforementioned releases and interviews. It does a good job of informing the audience about the various thoughts, although it would obviously take far longer to go over all the symbolism in them, and one can ask the very appropriate question if something anywhere near that definite and final is even desired, by viewers or the Wachowskis alike.
That does mean that this is limited, but it is likely enough to enlighten and provide food for thought. In line with the series, this may provoke debate, rather than give answers set in stone. Whether one cares for this or not may depend on the extent of their knowledge on the subject, the old ideas, as well as how much they’ve thought about the presence of such in these three silver screen efforts.
Obviously, it also makes a difference if one particularly wants to think about the meanings one could possibly take out of them.

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martes, noviembre 16, 2010

Filosofeando el vacilon

Eventos de filosofía y ciencias políticas abogarán por la paz

Especialistas de 12 países, entre los que se incluyen Brasil, México, Colombia, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, así como Vietnam, Inglaterra y Alemania se darán cita en la Universidad de La Habana del 17 al 19 de noviembre
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"Hablame"

"EN TIEMPOS DIFÍCILES" - Heberto Padilla

A aquel hombre le pidieron su tiempo

para que lo juntara al tiempo de la Historia.

Le pidieron las manos,

porque para una época difícil

nada hay mejor que un par de buenas manos.

Le pidieron los ojos

que alguna vez tuvieron lágrimas

para que contemplara el lado claro

(especialmente el lado claro de la vida)

porque para el horror basta un ojo de asombro.

Le pidieron sus labios

resecos y cuarteados para afirmar,

para erigir, con cada afirmación, un sueño

(el-alto-sueño);

le pidieron las piernas

duras y nudosas

(sus viejas piernas andariegas),

porque en tiempos difíciles

¿algo hay mejor que un par de piernas

para la construcción o la trinchera?

Le pidieron el bosque que lo nutrió de niño,

con su árbol obediente.

Le pidieron el pecho, el corazón, los hombros.

Le dijeron

que eso era estrictamente necesario.

Le explicaron después

que toda esta donación resultaria inútil.

sin entregar la lengua,

porque en tiempos difíciles

nada es tan útil para atajar el odio o la mentira.

Y finalmente le rogaron

que, por favor, echase a andar,

porque en tiempos difíciles

esta es, sin duda, la prueba decisiva.

Los Aldeanos: "El Socialismo en Tiempos del Colera: Toda Una Nación"

Etiquetas

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La columna de Cubanalisis

NEOCASTRISMO [Hacer click en la imagen]

NEOCASTRISMO [Hacer click en la imagen]
¨Saturno jugando con sus hijos¨/ Pedro Pablo Oliva

Seguidores

Carta desde la carcel de Fidel Castro Ruz

“…después de todo, para mí la cárcel es un buen descanso, que sólo tiene de malo el que es obligatorio. Leo mucho y estudio mucho. Parece increíble, las horas pasan como si fuesen minutos y yo, que soy de temperamento intranquilo, me paso el día leyendo, apenas sin moverme para nada. La correspondencia llega normalmente…”

“…Como soy cocinero, de vez en cuando me entretengo preparando algún pisto. Hace poco me mandó mi hermana desde Oriente un pequeño jamón y preparé un bisté con jalea de guayaba. También preparo spaghettis de vez en cuando, de distintas formas, inventadas todas por mí; o bien tortilla de queso. ¡Ah! ¡Qué bien me quedan! por supuesto, que el repertorio no se queda ahí. Cuelo también café que me queda muy sabroso”.
“…En cuanto a fumar, en estos días pasados he estado rico: una caja de tabacos H. Upman del doctor Miró Cardona, dos cajas muy buenas de mi hermano Ramón….”.
“Me voy a cenar: spaghettis con calamares, bombones italianos de postre, café acabadito de colar y después un H. Upman #4. ¿No me envidias?”.
“…Me cuidan, me cuidan un poquito entre todos. No le hacen caso a uno, siempre estoy peleando para que no me manden nada. Cuando cojo el sol por la mañana en shorts y siento el aire de mar, me parece que estoy en una playa… ¡Me van a hacer creer que estoy de vacaciones! ¿Qué diría Carlos Marx de semejantes revolucionarios?”.
¨La patria es dicha de todos, y dolor de todos, y cielo para todos, y no feudo ni capellaní­a de nadie¨ - Marti

"No temas ni a la prision, ni a la pobreza, ni a la muerte. Teme al miedo"
-
Giacomo Leopardi

¨Por eso es muy importante, Vicky, hijo mío, que recuerdes siempre para qué sirve la cabeza: para atravesar paredes¨Halvar de Flake [El vikingo]

"Como no me he preocupado de nacer, no me preocupo de morir" - Lorca

"Al final, no os preguntarán qué habéis sabido, sino qué habéis hecho" - Jean de Gerson

"Si queremos que todo siga como está, es necesario que todo cambie" - Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

"Todo hombre paga su grandeza con muchas pequeñeces, su victoria con muchas derrotas, su riqueza con múltiples quiebras" - Giovanni Papini


"Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans" - John Lennon

"Habla bajo, lleva siempre un gran palo y llegarás lejos" - Proverbio Africano

"No hay medicina para el miedo" - Proverbio escoces

"El supremo arte de la guerra es doblegar al enemigo sin luchar"
- Sun Tzu

"You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother" - Albert Einstein

"It is inaccurate to say I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office" - H. L. Menken

"I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented" - Elie Wiesel

"Stay hungry, stay foolish" -
Steve Jobs

"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert , in five years ther'ed be a shortage of sand" - Milton Friedman

"The tragedy of modern man is not that he knows less and less about the meaning of his own life, but that it bothers him less and less" - Vaclav Havel

"No se puede controlar el resultado, pero si lo que uno haga para alcanzarlo" -
Vitor Belfort [MMA Fighter]

Liborio

Liborio
A la puerta de la gloria está San Pedro sentado y ve llegar a su lado a un hombre de cierta historia. No consigue hacer memoria y le pregunta con celo: ¿Quién eras allá en el suelo? Era Liborio mi nombre. Has sufrido mucho, hombre, entra, te has ganado el cielo.

Para Raul Castro

Cuba ocupa el penultimo lugar en el mundo en libertad economica solo superada por Corea del Norte.

Cuba ocupa el lugar 147 entre 153 paises evaluados en "Democracia, Mercado y Transparencia 2007"

Cuando vinieron

Cuando vinieron a buscar a los comunistas, Callé: yo no soy comunista.
Cuando vinieron a buscar a los sindicalistas, Callé: yo no soy sindicalista.
Cuando vinieron a buscar a los judíos, Callé: yo no soy judío. Cuando vinieron a buscar a los católicos, Callé: yo no soy “tan católico”.
Cuando vinieron a buscarme a mí, Callé: no había quien me escuchara.

Reverendo Martin Niemöller

Martha Colmenares

Martha Colmenares
Un sitio donde los hechos y sus huellas nos conmueven o cautivan

CUBA LLORA Y EL MUNDO Y NOSOTROS NO ESCUCHAMOS

Donde esta el Mundo, donde los Democratas, donde los Liberales? El pueblo de Cuba llora y nadie escucha.
Donde estan los Green, los Socialdemocratas, los Ricos y los Pobres, los Con Voz y Sin Voz? Cuba llora y nadie escucha.
Donde estan el Jet Set, los Reyes y Principes, Patricios y Plebeyos? Cuba desesperada clama por solidaridad.
Donde Bob Dylan, donde Martin Luther King, donde Hollywood y sus estrellas? Donde la Middle Class democrata y conservadora, o acaso tambien liberal a ratos? Y Gandhi? Y el Dios de Todos?
Donde los Santos y Virgenes; los Dioses de Cristianos, Protestantes, Musulmanes, Budistas, Testigos de Jehova y Adventistas del Septimo Dia. Donde estan Ochun y todas las deidades del Panteon Yoruba que no acuden a nuestro llanto? Donde Juan Pablo II que no exige mas que Cuba se abra al Mundo y que el Mundo se abra a Cuba?
Que hacen ahora mismo Alberto de Monaco y el Principe Felipe que no los escuchamos? Donde Madonna, donde Angelina Jolie y sus adoptados around de world; o nos hara falta un Brando erguido en un Oscar por Cuba? Donde Sean Penn?
Donde esta la Aristocracia Obrera y los Obreros menos Aristocraticos, donde los Working Class que no estan junto a un pueblo que lanquidece, sufre y llora por la ignominia?
Que hacen ahora mismo Zapatero y Rajoy que no los escuchamos, y Harper y Dion, e Hillary y Obama; donde McCain que no los escuchamos? Y los muertos? Y los que estan muriendo? Y los que van a morir? Y los que se lanzan desesperados al mar?
Donde estan el minero cantabrico o el pescador de percebes gijonese? Los Canarios donde estan? A los africanos no los oimos, y a los australianos con su acento de hombres duros tampoco. Y aquellos chinos milenarios de Canton que fundaron raices eternas en la Isla? Y que de la Queen Elizabeth y los Lords y Gentlemen? Que hace ahora mismo el combativo Principe Harry que no lo escuchamos?
Donde los Rockefellers? Donde los Duponts? Donde Kate Moss? Donde el Presidente de la ONU? Y Solana donde esta? Y los Generales y Doctores? Y los Lam y los Fabelo, y los Sivio y los Fito Paez?
Y que de Canseco y Miñoso? Y de los veteranos de Bahia de Cochinos y de los balseros y de los recien llegados? Y Carlos Otero y Susana Perez? Y el Bola, y Pancho Cespedes? Y YO y TU?
Y todos nosotros que estamos aqui y alla rumiando frustaciones y resquemores, envidias y sinsabores; autoelogios y nostalgias, en tanto Louis Michel comulga con Perez Roque mientras Biscet y una NACION lanquidecen?
Donde Maceo, donde Marti; donde aquel Villena con su carga para matar bribones?
Cuba llora y clama y el Mundo NO ESCUCHA!!!

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