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 conducta humana. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando entradas con la etiqueta conducta humana. Mostrar todas las entradas

lunes, marzo 24, 2014

Little Girl Lost: More than 600 people ignore lost child in TV experiment

ITN


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martes, febrero 04, 2014

Victory in Sports: Dominance, Not Pride

TIME

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viernes, diciembre 13, 2013

Corea del Norte: "State Of Mind" [documental] y Un Estado y su control mental

el documental Stan Le


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miércoles, diciembre 11, 2013

Cuba reforms seen as changing ideals, values

HAVANA —- It's not dog-eat-dog. Not just yet.
But as more islanders go into business for themselves under President Raul Castro's economic reforms, the ethos of capitalism is increasingly seeping into Cuban daily life, often in stark conflict with fundamental tenets of the Cuban Revolution.

These days it seems there's a mom-and-pop snack shop or pirate DVD stand on every other block in parts of Havana. The chants of cart-pushing vendors echo through residential streets. Farmers line up before dawn at an open-air market to jockey for the best spot to sell their produce. After decades of being urged to report any black market activity in their neighborhoods, some Cubans now find themselves looking at their neighbors' legal businesses and worrying that they're falling behind.
The free market is still limited in Cuba, but already it is altering lives and reshaping attitudes in palpable ways. Some fear — and others hope — that values anathema to a half-century of Communist rule are taking root more with each passing day: It's OK to make money; workers can reap the benefits of their own labor directly, instead of seeing it redistributed; individual enterprise is rewarded.
"There have been changes, and as the country grows there will be more," said Luis Antonio Veliz, proprietor of the stylish, independent cabaret-nightclub Fashion Bar Habana. "It's a very positive thing, but some Cubans are having difficulty understanding that now not everything depends on the state."
While many new entrepreneurs have failed, undone by a lack of supplies, a limited customer base and scarce resources, many of those who have succeeded have entered a glamorous world that disappeared after Fidel Castro's arrival in Havana put an end to the freewheeling 1950s.
It's on display at Fashion Bar Habana, where Veliz has draped the walls in luscious silver and gold brocade. He's done well enough that he recently was able to relocate his business to prime real estate in the colonial quarter that draws well-heeled tourists.
But with success came sacrifice. Veliz realized he had to be on-call 24 hours a day to solve problems, an unthinkable notion when he was a state-employed restaurant worker. He skipped vacations and sometimes went days without seeing his family.
"When you work for yourself, you have to look out for your own interests," Veliz said. "I've become harder, tougher, more confident."
The law of the marketplace visibly dominates places like Old Havana's Egido Street, which teems with horn-blowing, smoke-belching cars and independent pedicab drivers calling out to potential fares.
Dozens of entrepreneurs have moved in to take advantage of the foot traffic around a farmer's market. They include 13 flower shops and at least seven modest luncheonettes that all offer more or less the same ham and cheese sandwiches for about 20 cents apiece. Sometimes street vendors park their carts here, ramping up the competition further.
Yeska Estiu, a 44-year-old florist, recalled the dilemma she faced when stores ran out of the green spray paint they use to spruce up the accent ferns in their arrangements. In an inspired moment she hit on switching to white paint — giving her bouquets a snowy touch that was a big hit with clients.
Within a few days, the others had copied the technique.
"Here, sales are based on quality, on innovation," said Estiu.

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domingo, noviembre 03, 2013

“En la otra acera”: La pelicula que denuncia la prostitucion en Cuba

Tomado de CubaOut >>


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martes, octubre 08, 2013

Cubanos se van al exilio con sus viejos "inventos"

Ivan Garcia/
Cuando el empresario cubanoamericano Roberto Marrero visitaba la barriada habanera de la
Víbora, donde residió, los billetes nuevos de 100 dólares y generosos obsequios a sus amigos de infancia eran frecuentes.
Luego venían fiestas discretas donde se descorchaban botellas caras, buffet de primera y una chica espectacular para pasar la noche. El dinero nunca fue un problema para Marrero.
Igual sufragaba los gastos de un equipo de softbol del barrio que pagaba 400 dólares a una jinetera de lujo. Sus vecinos lo veían como un millonario. Un hombre de éxito. Un héroe.
Marrero, de 60 años, creció en una casona de puntal alto en el número 13 de la calle Carmen, cerca de la Calzada de 10 de Octubre. Su historia encajaba en el "american way of life": la de un emigrante pobre y sin futuro que se va del país para darle un giro de 180 grados a su vida.
En Estados Unidos fundó Cubana de Televisión, un canal por cable. Siguiendo los pasos de su padre, un reconocido artista local, desempeñó papeles secundarios en seriales como Miami Vice y Misterios no resueltos.
Vivía a todo trapo. Invirtió dinero en la construcción de un estudio de televisión en la zona de Allapattah y en lujosos vehículos, incluyendo dos Lamborghini, un Ferrari y un Bentley.
En mayo pasado, Marrero y su esposa, Sandra Fernández Viera, fueron detenidos en Miami, acusados de desfalcar al Medicare por más de 20 millones de dólares. Entonces, la historia del emigrante pobre que con trabajo, sacrificios y creatividad logra amasar una fortuna en Estados Unidos, se desinfló como un globo de feria entre sus antiguos vecinos de la Víbora.
Lo peor del caso de Marrero y de la gente que se marcha de Cuba para obtener dinero saltándose las leyes, es que se está repitiendo con demasiada frecuencia entre los emigrados cubanos de reciente arribo al sur de la Florida.
Desde 2009, Fidel Morejón lideraba una red ilegal que se dedicaba a vender certificados de nacimiento falsos a indocumentados latinoamericanos. En virtud de la Ley de Ajuste Cubano, de 1966, los cubanos que arriban a suelo estadounidense pueden solicitar su residencia legal después de más de un año en el país.
Entre los documentos que necesitan para hacer la solicitud se encuentran actas de nacimiento, pasaportes y otros documentos que acrediten su nacionalidad cubana. El grupo de Morejón vendió certificaciones de nacimientos falsas a cerca de 50 indocumentados y obtuvo ganancias de más de medio millón de dólares.
Otros cubanos, acusados de fraudes millonarios en Estados Unidos, pudieron escapar hacia la isla con parte del botín. Según autoridades federales estadounidenses, 92 personas diseñaron un esquema delictivo de accidentes de tránsito simulados y cobros fraudulentos a aseguradoras de autos. Cinco de ellos son prófugos de la justicia: Vladimir López, Lázaro Vigoa, Dagoberto Milián, Eduart González y Obelio Rodríguez. Se cree que dos de ellos, López y Vigoa, están radicados en la isla.
También ciudadanos de origen cubano se han visto implicados en fraudes al consumo eléctrico o declaraciones falsas a instituciones federales para recibir bonos de alimentos o cobrar subsidios de desempleo.
Un sociólogo consultado opina que un segmento de la población en Cuba con pretensiones de emigrar tiene un arquetipo demasiado simplista de cómo prosperar en el primer mundo.
Su decálogo se basa en conseguir dinero de manera fácil. Sobre todo ocurre en la generación nacida después de 1980, cuya formación de valores es compleja. Es una suma de disparates ideológicos, mendacidad y vivir del trapicheo en el mercado negro. Evadir el pago en los ómnibus públicos y en las facturas eléctricas o cometer fraude en la declaración de impuestos, son actitudes que consideran justas, debido a la supuesta explotación del régimen hacia ellos.
“Luego viene lo que yo llamo cretinismo mayúsculo, porque está basado en la gran cantidad de culebrones, películas y seriales mediocres que ven y donde el delito es idealizado”, considera el especialista. “He conocido casos de jóvenes que desean emigrar para hacerse ricos con las drogas o atracando a un banco. Por sus cabezas lo menos que pasa es la de escalar posiciones en la sociedad trabajando duro”.
Salvo excepciones, entre los emigrados más recientes se manifesta un bajo nivel cultural, escasos modales educativos, escriben con faltas de ortografía y hablan mal, con un vocabulario pobre y limitado.
Aunque los cubanos que se marchan de isla para prosperar de manera honesta siguen siendo mayoría, los recientes casos de fraudes en Estados Unidos muestran la otra cara de la moneda: individuos sin valores cívicos y con un cuchillo entre los dientes en pos de hacer dinero.

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martes, julio 30, 2013

Gov't Knows Best? White House creates 'nudge squad' to shape behavior

The federal government is hiring what it calls a "Behavioral Insights Team" that will look for ways to subtly influence people's behavior, according to a document describing the program obtained by FoxNews.com. Critics warn there could be unintended consequences to such policies, while supporters say the team could make government and society more efficient. 
While the program is still in its early stages, the document shows the White House is already working on such projects with almost a dozen federal departments and agencies including the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture. 
"Behavioral sciences can be used to help design public policies that work better, cost less, and help people to achieve their goals," reads the government document describing the program, which goes on to call for applicants to apply for positions on the team.
The document was emailed by Maya Shankar, a White House senior adviser on social and behavioral sciences, to a university professor with the request that it be distributed to people interested in joining the team. The idea is that the team would "experiment" with various techniques, with the goal of tweaking behavior so people do everything from saving more for retirement to saving more in energy costs.
The document praises subtle policies to change behavior that have already been implemented in England, which already has a "Behavioral Insights Team." One British policy concerns how to get late tax filers to pay up.
"Sending letters to late taxpayers that indicated a social norm -- i.e., that '9 out of 10 people in Britain paid their taxes on time' -- resulted in a 15 percent increase in response rates over a three-month period, rolling out to £30 million of extra annual revenue," the document reads.
Another policy aimed to convince people to install attic insulation to conserve energy.  
"Offering an attic-clearance service (at full cost) to people led to a five-fold increase in their subsequent adoption of attic-insulation."
Such policies -- which encourage behavior subtly rather than outright require it -- have come to be known as "nudges," after an influential 2008 book titled "Nudge" by former Obama regulatory czar Cass Sunstein and Chicago Booth School of Business professor Richard Thaler popularized the term.
The term "nudge" has already been associated with the new program, as one professor who received Shankar's email forwarded it to others with the note: "Anyone interested in working for the White House in a 'nudge' squad? The UK has one and it's been extraordinarily successful."
Richard Thaler told FoxNews.com that the new program sounds good.
"I don't know who those people are who would not want such a program, but they must either be misinformed or misguided," he said.
"The goal is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of government by using scientifically collected evidence to inform policy designs. What is the alternative? The only alternatives I know are hunches, tradition, and ideology (either left or right.)"
But some economists urge caution.
"I am very skeptical of a team promoting nudge policies," Michael Thomas, an economist at Utah State University, told FoxNews.com.
"Ultimately, nudging ... assumes a small group of people in government know better about choices than the individuals making them."
And sometimes, he added, government actually promotes the wrong thing.
"Trans-fats were considered better than saturated and unsaturated fats in the past. Now we know this is an error."
Every intervention would need to be tested to make sure it works well, said Harvard economics professor David Laibson, who studies behavioral economics and is in touch with the people in government setting up the program. He added that the exact way the team will function is currently unknown.
                                    
"We have to see the details to be sure, but this could work out very well," he said.
Asked about details, Dan Cruz, spokesman for the U.S. General Services Administration (the department which the team will be a part of) told FoxNews.com: "As part of the Administration's ongoing efforts to promote efficiency and savings, GSA is considering adding some expertise from academia in the area of program efficiency and evaluation under its Performance Improvement Council."
Maya Shankar did not respond to questions.
Laibson added that he hoped the U.S. program would stay away from overly controversial subjects.
"Let's say we want people to engage in some healthy behavior like a weight loss program, and then start automatically enrolling overweight people in weight loss programs -- even though they could opt out, I'm guessing that would be viewed as offensive ... a lot of people would say, 'I didn't ask for this, this is judging who I am and who I should be."
But Laibson added that there are very real benefits to some "nudge" policies -- such as one that increases the number of people registered as organ donors by making people decide when they apply for a drivers' license.
Thaler, who is also an adviser to the British Behavioral Insights Team, said that his research also supports automatically enrolling people in retirement savings plans.
             
"Many people have struggled to save enough to provide for an adequate retirement. ... Two simple design changes can dramatically improve the situation ... automatic enrollment (default people into the plan with the option to easily opt out) and automatic escalation, where workers can sign up to have their contributions increased annually," he said.
Jerry Ellig, an economist at the Mercatus Center, said that some "nudges" are reasonable, but warned about a slippery slope.
"If you can keep it to a 'nudge' maybe it can be beneficial," he added, "but nudges can turn into shoves pretty quickly."

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domingo, julio 14, 2013

Metrosexualism in Cuba: Macho Minds in Pampered Bodies


Metrosexuals are becoming more common among the urban middle class in Cuba.
Metrosexuals are becoming more common among the urban middle class in Cuba. Credit: Jorge Luis Baños/IPS
Credit: Jorge Luis Baños/IPS
HAVANA. Jul 14 2013 (IPS) - More and more young men in Cuba are moving away from the traditional masculine aesthetic and are spending hours in front of the mirror or at the gym. But they are not any less “machista” in behaviour, according to specialists meeting in the capital.
“All over Cuba we see young men who pluck their eyebrows and dye their hair, while within they keep repeating the traditional machista model unthinkingly,” psychologist Airelav Pérez, of the “Efraín Benítez Popa” medical school in the eastern city of Bayamo, told IPS.
Pérez and her team this year used the Community Corrective Processes methodology (ProCC) — created by Argentine psychologist Mirtha Cucco about 40 years ago — with a group of 27 medical students to learn more about this kind of behaviour.
“It was a very small study, but we thought it was significant that the child-raising criteria used with these students continued to reinforce the hegemonic model of masculinity, which they repeat even though they break with traditional aesthetics associated with men,” she said.
In her opinion, “it seems like the traditional pattern does not completely meet the needs of young people today, which is why they are paying more attention to their bodies and their appearance, hygiene and beauty, something that wasn’t so important before.”
She added that “at least something is changing.
“Most of them said that they were doing that (engaging in the tendency known internationally as metrosexual) so that girls would like them, or to follow the fashions that are set by artists and athletes,” said Karelia Fernández, another of the study’s authors. Their research investigated whether the new masculine image was accompanied by inner change among these young people.
“They even said the grooming they did was not one of the things required of a man, but that it was comfortable for them,” she added, describing the findings of their work, which were presented at a Jul. 4-6 workshop called “Jornadas 2013, Gender Issues: the ProCC Contribution”.
The workshop, where researchers presented their findings on masculinity issues using the ProCC methodology, emerged from cooperation between Cuba’s National Centre for Sex Education (CENESX) and the Madrid-based “Marie Langer” International Community Health Centre.
Professionals and institutions use the ProCC community work and research method, present in Cuba for the last 25 years, with the goal of “creating spaces for reflection where people can learn, interact and obtain elements of analysis for finding solutions together as a group for their problems,” said Cucco, the methodology’s creator.
“A lot of things make people uncomfortable, but they don’t question or analyse them because they consider them to be normal,” said Cucco, in an exclusive interview with IPS. That is why she and her colleagues created a method for using in communities that are trying to improve health and quality of life, she said.
Schools for fathers and mothers and spaces for adolescents, older adults and professionals, among others, have been created with their own unique characteristics, especially in Spain, Cuba and Argentina, where ProCC has the most followers. They have also been set up in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela, Cucco said.
This year’s “Jornadas” event, which attracted participants from various Latin American countries as well as Spain, focused on masculinity issues, “a question that has been made invisible,” Cucco said.
In recent years, so-called masculinity studies have flourished in Cuba, and are increasingly gaining the interest of researchers and activists. However, the main challenge is for men to question the different nuances of “machismo” and join in the emancipation achieved by women.
Cuban women have high levels of education, are a major part of the technical workforce, and make up 48.9 percent of the single-chamber legislature, along with other achievements that one way or another have caused changes among men.
However, men need to question themselves, the experts say.
“Young people do not have that system of interests. Some concerns in that respect appear sometimes when they get married, become parents, or start working,” said psychiatrist Armando Guzmán of the Community Mental Health Centre in the Havana municipality of Arroyo Naranjo.
Guzmán uses ProCC in services related to problems of drug addiction, domestic and workplace conflicts, violence, and parent/child relationships, among others.
Alejandro Céspedes, an academic researcher who has focused on masculinity issues, agrees with the Bayamo team’s findings.
“Metrosexualism is a fashion that has taken hold among young people in Cuba, chiefly university students. But in essence, it does not differ from the patriarchal model,” Céspedes said in a conversation with IPS.
The term metrosexual was coined in 1994 by British journalist Mark Simpson to describe urban males in Europe who were meticulous with their grooming and appearance, using creams and other cosmetics, and often removing their body hair. In the late 1990s, young men in Cuban cities began to follow the fashion.
“Now it is normal and more widespread, but this fashion does not define the way a person is, or his sexual orientation,” agronomy technician Héctor Montiel told IPS. This 19-year-old Havana resident, who plucks his eyebrows and shaves his legs, says that “Cuban men are less machista than they used to be.”
Céspedes clarified that the metrosexual tendency was mainly seen among the better-off in Cuba, where a deep economic crisis has dragged on for more than two decades.
He is part of the Ibero-American and African Masculinities Network, a pioneer in Cuba in this type of research and in organising meetings among men from different backgrounds to discuss, raise awareness, and reflect on the need for new ways of being male.

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miércoles, junio 05, 2013

Elderly woman jumps off bridge to celebrate 102nd birthday


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jueves, mayo 30, 2013

Teaching a robot to anticipate human actions

By Amara D. Angelica

“Hey, you spilled my last beer!” “Sorry, Frank, Kinect crashed.”
A robot that anticipates your actions (credit: Robot Learning Lab, Computer Science Department, Cornell University)
Why can’t a robot be like a servant (to paraphrase My Fair Lady)? You know, one who would anticipate your every need — even before you asked?
The folks at the Personal Robotics Lab of Ashutosh Saxena, Cornell assistant professor of computer science have gone and done just that.
When we last (virtually) visited the lab, we learned that the roboticists taught  “hallucinating” robots to arrange your room for you, and before that to pick up after you, These are important robot skills if you’re disabled, for example — or you live in a dorm.
Now they’ve taken the next step: they’ve taught a Cornell robot to foresee a human action, the person’s likely trajectory, and what it needs to do to help the person. Let’s say you’re walking toward a refrigerator carrying something with both hands; the robot could open the door for you (as shown in the video below).
Anticipating human actions
Understanding when and where to open the door (or when and how to pour a beer, also in the video) can be difficult for a robot because of the many variables it encounters while assessing the situation. But the Cornell team has created an elegant solution.
(Left) Robot’s video view. (Next) Heatmap of objects. (Next) Heatmap of trajectories (Right) Robot opening the door (credit: Robot Learning Lab, Computer Science Department, Cornell University).
For starters, the Cornell robot has access to a Microsoft Kinect 3-D camera and a database of 3D videos. The robot identifies the activities it sees, considers what uses are possible with the objects in the scene, and determines how those uses fit with the activities.
It then generates a set of possible trajectories or continuations into the future — such as eating, drinking, cleaning, putting away — and finally chooses the most probable. As the action continues, the robot constantly updates and refines its predictions.
“We extract the general principles of how people behave,” said Ashutosh Saxena, Cornell professor of computer science and co-author of a new study tied to the research. “Drinking coffee is a big activity, but there are several parts to it.” The robot builds a “vocabulary” of such small parts that it can put together in various ways to recognize a variety of big activities, he explained.
In tests, the robot made correct predictions 82 percent of the time when looking one second into the future, 71 percent correct for three seconds, and 57 percent correct for 10 seconds.
“Even though humans are predictable, they are only predictable part of the time,” Saxena said. “The future would be to figure out how the robot plans its action. Right now we are almost hard-coding the responses, but there should be a way for the robot to learn how to respond.”
This is amazing research, getting us closer to the robot butler in Robot & Frank and countless other science-fiction stories.
The research was supported by the U.S. Army Research Office, the Alfred E. Sloan Foundation and Microsoft.
Saxena will join Cornell graduate student Hema S. Koppula as they present their research at the International Conference of Machine Learning, June 18–21 in Atlanta, and the Robotics: Science and Systems conference, June 24–28 in Berlin, Germany.
rss Anticipation

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jueves, mayo 09, 2013

America and Greece Spirits: "Bread Education Freedom" [Short Film]

gafoundation

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domingo, abril 28, 2013

The Mysterious Difference Between Those Who Make It Rich And Those Who Don't

tripwow.tripadvisor.com
Rob told me JB was dead. JB was my best friend growing up. We sat next to each other on the bus. After school we’d play ping pong or pinball or monopoly or ride bikes.
Every single day we did this for eight years. Then we drifted apart.
Rob said, The last time I spoke to him he sounded like a ghost.
It was like there was nothing there, Rob said.
I hadn’t seen JB in 20 years.
He dropped out of college, Rob said, and never really had a job. His parents gave him money to live. He didn’t want to do anything.
He changed his phone number every few weeks, Rob said. So he was hard to keep in touch with.
I didn’t understand. Why did he change his number every few weeks?
He’d meet a girl, and then a few weeks later he’d get tired of her but not want to deal with it. He’d change his number so the girl couldn’t reach him, Rob said. And he moved a lot.
He had no Facebook page, no internet presence, it was hard to track him down, Rob said.
And it’s true. I had never found him on the Internet.
JB hurt his leg a few years ago, Rob said, and had no insurance because he never had a job. So got addicted to painkillers.
He was into the drug scene, Rob said.
So no job, drifting phone numbers, a hazy identity, drug, nerve damage, pain killers.
One day he never woke up, Rob said.
He was 39.
I don’t feel sad about this. People die. I haven’t seen him since we were 18 and on graduation day.
But I wonder about one thing Rob said.
“He was like a ghost the last time I spoke with him.”
We know when the body and mind are giving up. We know when spirit is exhausted. When the emotions don’t care.
He never had anything he wanted to do, Rob said.
Is that all it is? Do we just need something to do? Something that we want to scratch just a tiny bit so we continue one more day?
We don’t have to save the world. Or invent warm ice. Or time travel. Or even have a passion or a purpose.
When I was dead broke and crying I wanted to die just so my kids could have my life insurance policy. What got me to get up and go again?
And then later, when it happened again. And then again.
Why didn’t JB do that?
I call it “the push”.
You’re riding the bicycle up the hill all the time in life. Everything in life wants you to decay. To be subjugated. To be violated. To be tired. To become a ghost.
To roll back down the hill just when you thought you were close to the top.
It’s fucking tiring to live.
What can give us THE PUSH?
I don’t know.
For me, today, it’s just this post. Some days, it’s to see my 11 year old smile. Sometimes, I just want to take a walk. Or help Claudia. Or do something fun and creative.
What’s your PUSH today?
A little bit, every day, compounds.
A little push today turns into a big life tomorrow.
My one requirement: I have to give something. I have to enjoy it.
Else, it’s too draining. It’s a shit stain. I slip back on the hill.
A deep breath. You can do it, I tell myself. One more turn of the pedals. THE PUSH! Get over the hill!
I want to live.

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lunes, abril 22, 2013

The Human Zoo [Episode 1]

The Human Zoo is a place to learn about the one subject that never fails to fascinate - ourselves. Are people led by the head or by the heart? How rational are we? How do we perceive the world and what lies behind the quirks of human behaviour?
Michael Blastland presents a curious blend of intriguing experiments to discover our biases and judgements, conversations, explorations and examples taken from what's in the news to what we do in the kitchen - all driven by a large slice of curiosity.
Nick Chater, Professor of Behavioural Science at Warwick University, is on hand as guide and experimenter in chief.
Our thoughts, John Milton said, are a kingdom of infinite space and they might take us anywhere -whether our subject is writ large, like the behaviours of public figures or the contradictions of politics, or located in the minutiae of everyday life. We can show how what happens on the big stage is our own behaviour writ large - like the old Linda Smith joke about the Iraq-war coalition's failure to find chemical weapons: "I'm the same with the scissors".
The Human Zoo explores why it is that our judgements are so averse to ambiguity, how mental energy is linked to our legs, why we don't want to be in the dock when the judge is hungry - and other thoughts that have nothing to do with anything much beyond the ironing.
Producer: Toby Murcott

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martes, febrero 26, 2013

¿Apagarías un robot que te suplicara que por favor no lo hicieras?

El experimento hay que verlo: es prácticamente la misma escena que cuando Dave Bowman quiere desconectar a HAL en 2001: Una odisea del espacio. Básicamente consiste en apagar un robot tecleando una secuencia en un ordenador. La complicación es que la criatura mecánica tiene rasgos humanos, hace gestos, habla y te suplica amablemente que no lo desconectes.
En este experimento –que es de hace un par de años ya– llevado a cabo por Bartneck, van der Hoek, Mubin y Mahmud se concluyó que los voluntarios tardaban más del triple en apagar al robot si era amable e «inteligente» (34 segundos) frente a cuando era irascible y no mostraba signos de inteligencia (11 segundos).
La cuestión es: ¿llegará un momento en que nuestra humanidad nos impida apagar a un robot que suplica por su «vida»? ¿Será esa la señal de que ha alcanzado el nivel de la inteligencia artificial? O, como se pregunta Jacob Sloan de Disinfo:
¿Adquirirán las máquinas que fabricamos la habilidad de convencernos de que están, de hecho, vivas?

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martes, diciembre 18, 2012

Does privacy make us productive?

thebuildnetwork.com
Marginal Revolution
We have grown accustomed to calls for transparency. Transparency, or accurate observability, of an organization’s low-level activities, routines, behaviors, output, and performance provides the foundation for both organizational learning and operational control, and it has an untarnished reputation: rarely does one hear about any negative effects of transparency or problems stemming from too much transparency. Nonetheless, using data from embedded participant-observers and a field experiment at the second largest mobile phone factory in the world, located in China, I introduce the notion of a transparency paradox, whereby maintaining observability of workers may counterintuitively reduce their performance by inducing those being observed to conceal their activities through codes and other costly means; conversely, creating zones of privacy may, under certain conditions, increase performance. This research suggests that careful design and implementation of zones of visual privacy within an organization is an important performance lever but remains generally unrecognized and underutilized. Paradoxically, an organization that fails to design effective zones of privacy may inadvertently undermine its capacity for transparency.

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On Being, Or Not Being, Adam Lanza’s Mother

aangirfan.blogspot.com
By Lindsay Beyerstein
On Friday, as the nation grieved the mass shooting in Newtown, a mother blogged about her fears for her 13-year-old son, Michael:
I live with a son who is mentally ill. I love my son. But he terrifies me.
A few weeks ago, Michael pulled a knife and threatened to kill me and then himself after I asked him to return his overdue library books. His 7 and 9 year old siblings knew the safety plan—they ran to the car and locked the doors before I even asked them to. I managed to get the knife from Michael, then methodically collected all the sharp objects in the house into a single Tupperware container that now travels with me. Through it all, he continued to scream insults at me and threaten to kill or hurt me.
That conflict ended with three burly police officers and a paramedic wrestling my son onto a gurney for an expensive ambulance ride to the local emergency room. The mental hospital didn’t have any beds that day, and Michael calmed down nicely in the ER, so they sent us home with a prescription for Zyprexa and a follow-up visit with a local pediatric psychiatrist.
The post was called "Thinking the Unthinkable," it was later republished under the headline "I Am Adam Lanza's Mother." It quickly went viral.
Michael's mother, who blogs as "Anarchist Soccer Mom," described what it's like to fear that your child is going to kill people, and have nobody take you seriously:
I am sharing this story because I am Adam Lanza’s mother. I am Dylan Klebold’s and Eric Harris’s mother. I am James Holmes’s mother. I am Jared Loughner’s mother. I am Seung-Hui Cho’s mother. And these boys—and their mothers—need help. In the wake of another horrific national tragedy, it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness.
A vicious backlash against ASM is already underway. A widely-cited post entitled "You Are Not Adam Lanza's Mother," accuses her of dehumanizing the mentally ill, trafficking in stereotypes, and overmedicating her son. (This Monday morning quarterbacking of psych meds really bothers me. It's extraordinarily presumptuous for this blogger to second-guess the doctors of a kid s/he's never met.) 
We need to put ASM's post in context without demonizing her as a person. We shouldn't take her post as a commentary on all mental illness or on any particular disorder. She's not a professional or an expert. She's a mom who's terrified that her kid is going to hurt someone or himself.
Here's the truth: Most people with mental illnesses are not violent. Most disturbed kids don't grow up to be murderers. Hell, most murderers don't become mass murderers.

ASM doesn't blame her son's behavior on any particular condition. She says various professionals have bandied about terms like "autism spectrum, ADHD, Oppositional Defiant-, or Intermittent Explosive Disorder," but she says nobody knows what's wrong with him.
She's afraid that her kid is going to end up killing people, not because of some label, but because he pulled a knife on her and threatened her other kids.
Michael is an individual, not an metaphor for all people with mental illness, or autism, or blond hair, or anything else. Are we going to tell ASM, not knowing her kid, that she's wrong to be worried?
If a kid's own mother says there's a good chance that he's going to kill people, that's as big a red flag as anyone could possibly wave. It's insulting for total strangers to be discounting her fears out of hand and shaming her for voicing them.
Some critics are angry at ASM for violating her son's privacy. In this case, I think she was right to go public. Her blog is pseudonymous, but the post got republished under her real name.
A social worker warned ASM that nobody will take her seriously unless Michael's charged with a crime, but she doesn't want to send him to jail. At least by getting her story on the record, she's forcing doctors, administrators, and law enforcement to take her seriously. If Michael hurts somebody, they won't be able to say they weren't warned. Yes, a blog post could follow Michael around, but it's a lot better than a criminal record. Privacy is important, but it's not an absolute right. Michael is violent and the people around him have a right to know what he's already done and what his mother fears he might be capable of.
Another blogger, Sarah Kendzior, is spelunking through ASM's archives, trying to prove that she's a bad mom or a liar, or something. This is despicable.
I read ASM's entire archive, which consists of about 35 posts, spread out over 5 years. Kendzior promises "the truth" about ASM. I'm here to tell you Kendzior's full of shit. Malicious shit.
The post about Michael's illness is a major departure for ASM. She usually writes about being a classics profs, religion, the books she's reading, cheap chic outfits, her divorce, and her own adjustment to life as a single mother of four.
Kendzior implies that ASM is lying about her son because there's another post from January 2012 that describes him as a typical annoying teenager, as opposed to a maniac.* Guess what? Mentally ill teens are teens. They're walking the same developmental path as their neurotypical peers. As ASM said in her mental illness post, Michael is charming and intelligent on his good days.
Kendzior holds up this goofy Irma Bombeck-like post as evidence of ASM's parental depravity. ASM jokes that she could throttle her kids. What a monster. Get a load of this part:
Finally, Mr. Teen Hero in the front seat, blasting your music through your Skullcandies, if you take the name of Our Lord in vain one more time, I will tell all your facebook friends that you are really listening to Justin Bieber instead of Linkin Park.
In her greatest creative excess, Kendzior accuses ASM of having "Abraham-Isaac murder fantasies" for this pseudo-philosophical reflection on mountain climbing:
Why then do we choose not to summit a mountain? That question is more difficult for me. We choose because when we reach the moment of decision, we find ourselves insufficiently aware, informed, prepared. We choose not to succeed at some things because the risks outweigh the benefits. To give up something that you value greatly for those you love is to know the meaning of sacrifice in the Biblical sense. As I turned back from Mr. Regan’s taunting summit, as I wedged my body between sheer rock faces with vertical drops of more than 30 feet, as I scavenged for handholds in flaking granite, I thought of Abraham, knife poised above the body of his innocent son. Why does God give us these urges, then tell us not to act on them?
As if all this truth weren't shocking enough, Kendzior solemnly reminds us that ASM is D-I-V-O-R-C-E-D. Classy.
Kendzior went out of her way to malign a parent in crisis, a woman who's already living in fear that her son will kill her or her children.
Is this some sick manifestation of the "just world hypothesis'? Does Kendzior assume that only a bad mom would end up with a violent, mentally ill son?
It's ironic that the real Nancy Lanza's corpse wasn't even cold before people started attacking her for failing to control her son. With zero evidence, strangers were ranting and raving about how she didn't do enough to stop Adam.
Conservative pundit Ann Althouse even speculated that Nancy conspired to kill school children:
Why did Adam, after killing his mother, travel to the school where she worked? Shouldn't some suspicion fall on the mother? She looks like a victim, but could she and her son have been operating together?
ASM is afraid that her son might be violent. She had the courage to voice her fears. Now she's being vilified for trying to prevent another tragedy. Total strangers, again with no evidence, are lecturing her about her own son.
A mom just can't win.
*The post might not even be about Michael. ASM has two teenage sons, and the post doesn't mention any names.

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'I Am Adam Lanza's Mother'

Liza Long has a profound situation on her hands. Her 13-year-old son scares her. She says he has serious mental health problems, and she writes about her struggle and its larger implications in an essay that has gripped the Internet with its frank discussion of coping with mental health issues in children.
In the wake of the Newtown tragedy, on blogs and social media, we're debating violence, gun control and mental health issues. We're searching for reasons why something like this could possibly happen. In her post, Liza writes that it’s easy to talk about guns. But she thinks it’s time to talk about mental illness.
In her moving essay, she writes in detail about her own son's illness:
"A few weeks ago, Michael pulled a knife and threatened to kill me and then himself after I asked him to return his overdue library books. His 7 and 9 year old siblings knew the safety plan—they ran to the car and locked the doors before I even asked them to. I managed to get the knife from Michael, then methodically collected all the sharp objects in the house into a single Tupperware container that now travels with me. Through it all, he continued to scream insults at me and threaten to kill or hurt me."
According to her personal account, things got much worse:
"Michael was in a full-blown fit by then, screaming and hitting. I hugged him close so he couldn’t escape from the car. He bit me several times and repeatedly jabbed his elbows into my rib cage. I’m still stronger than he is, but I won’t be for much longer."
She gives us her reasons for writing the post in the first place:
"I am sharing this story because I am Adam Lanza’s mother. I am Dylan Klebold’s and Eric Harris’s mother. I am Jason Holmes’s mother. I am Jared Loughner’s mother. I am Seung-Hui Cho’s mother.And these boys—and their mothers—need help. In the wake of another horrific national tragedy, it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness."
Read the rest of her powerful essay on her personal blog, The Anarchist Soccer Mom, or on another site that's republished it, The Blue Review.

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New details on private lives of school gunman Adam Lanza and his mother


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Why Are Mass Shooters Almost Always Men?

Discovery News/ Sheila Eldred
thedailybell.com
In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School killings, dozens of questions remain unanswered. But one common trait of most mass shootings is rarely discussed, much less clarified: Why are the perpetrators almost always men?
"Mass murderers are almost always male (I'd say at least 98 percent), most often have a motive (e.g., revenge), and most have a definitive tie to the victims -- or the victims symbolize something to the killer," said Marissa Harrison, assistant professor of psychology at Penn State Harrisburg, citing research she's conducted or reviewed.
Evolutionary psychology suggests that a threat to status could be a trigger for extremely violent behavior, Harrison said. After examining 90 male mass murderers from 1996 to 2008, Harrison and a colleague found that a threat to status (being bullied or a job loss, for example) triggered the violence in 88 percent of the cases.
"Anything that attacks a man's status, then, is really a reproductive threat," Harrison said.
It's not to say that women aren't violent or vengeful, psychologists say; rather, that the violence is of a different nature.
"For the men, it's almost like going to war. Men often have assault weapons and big-time military stuff; they dress in quasi-military attire, and they assault a physical place like a building; it's almost random, without much personal connect," said psychologist and Temple University professor Frank Farley. "For women -- my gosh, it's so different. It's up close and personal. It's the personal, family life. Most infanticides are by mothers."
Male and female murderers seem to prefer different weapons: men use guns more, and women suffocate and drown victims, said Mary Muscari, an associate professor in the Decker School of Nursing at Binghamton University who specializes in child health, mental health and forensics. (A Gallup poll found that 46 percent of men own a gun in America, as opposed to 23 percent of women.)
"People assume they're going to be guys," Muscari said. "I think it's something that needs to be looked at: If we figure out why women don't do it, it might help us understand why men do."
Many point to revenge as a motive, but both women and men are vengeful. Parsing apart male and female responses to revenge, however, yields some gender differences:
"Women are pretty good with revenge too," Muscari said. "Women who have been sexually assaulted often have revenge fantasies." The difference? Women feel guilty about them, Muscari said.
Farley refers to those psychological characteristics as each individual's "bag of traits," and they probably have some genetic influence. Part of most females' bags of traits, he said, are personal connections: relationships, emotion and care. Men are more likely to seek justice. So a woman's violence may be more likely to stem from an overwhelming personal life, an exit out of a seemingly impossible home situation, for example, whereas a man's may be a more abstract search for justice.
"Going to war is not part of (a typical woman's) bag of tricks," he said.
And gender issues in mass murder cases may go beyond the identity of the perpetrator, Muscari pointed out.
"Some (murderers) seem to specifically target women," she said. "What does that mean? What is the overall picture with gender?"
With so many unanswered questions, any sort of solution requires an effort on a massive scale, Farley said.
"We need science to do a project on the scale of going to the moon or the Human Genome Project directed at human violence," he said. 
----------------------------------

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jueves, octubre 04, 2012

How your genes shape your politics

IN 1882 W.S. Gilbert wrote, to a tune by Sir Arthur Sullivan, a ditty that went “I often think it’s comical how Nature always does contrive/that every boy and every gal that’s born into the world alive/is either a little Liberal or else a little Conservative.”
In the 19th century, that view, though humorously intended, would not have been out of place among respectable thinkers. The detail of a man’s opinion might be changed by circumstances. But the idea that much of his character was ingrained at birth held no terrors. It is not, however, a view that cut much ice in 20th-century social-scientific thinking, particularly after the second world war. Those who allowed that it might have some value were generally shouted down and sometimes abused, along with all others vehemently suspected of the heresy of believing that genetic differences between individuals could have a role in shaping their behavioural differences.
Such thinking, a product compounded of Marxism (if character really is ingrained at birth, then man might not be perfectible) and a principled rejection of the eugenics that had led, via America’s sterilisation programmes for the “feeble minded”, to the Nazi extermination camps, made life hard for those who wished to ask whether genes really do affect behaviour. Now, however, the pendulum is swinging back. In the matter of both political outlook and political participation it is coming to be seen that genes matter quite a lot. They are not the be-all and end-all. But, as a review of the field published in September in Trends in Genetics, by Peter Hatemi of Pennsylvania State University and Rose McDermott of Brown University, shows, they affect a person’s views of the world almost as much as his circumstances do, and far more than many social scientists have been willing, until recently, to admit.
Family values
The evidence for this claim comes from two types of source, one relatively old and one spanking new. The old is studies of twins, comparing identical and non-identical pairs. The new is a direct examination of people’s DNA, searching for genes whose variation correlates with observable behavioural differences.
Twins studies, which seek to control for the effects of upbringing by comparing identical twins (who share all their DNA) with fraternal ones (who share, on average, half), have been going on since the 1950s. In that time, quite a number, in many countries, have looked in part at political questions. Dr Hatemi and Dr McDermott pored over 89 peer-reviewed papers on the effects of genes and environment (both family upbringing and wider circumstances) on political matters. These included twins’ political knowledge, their attitudes to racial, sexual and religious questions, their views on defence and foreign policy, and their identification with particular political parties.
On all counts, identical twins were found to be more alike than fraternal twins. That knowledge, refracted through the prism of statistical theory, allows calculations of the proportionate influences of genes, family environment and general environment on particular traits to be made (see chart). Some show strong genetic influence. Some show little. Intriguingly, political knowledge and party identification are at opposite ends of the spectrum. As the chart shows knowledge (or rather, presumably, an innate predisposition to acquire such knowledge) is highly genetically determined. Identification with a particular political party, by contrast, is largely a question of family upbringing—much more so than are opinions about the sorts of policy that it might be thought would determine voting patterns.
But even family ties weaken when people leave home—and they do so in a way that helps disentangle genetic influence. Dr Hatemi showed this in 2009 when, along with a group of colleagues, he looked at twins aged between 11 and 75. His results demonstrated that until their late teens both kinds of twins had equally similar political views. Soon after they flew the nest, though, as might be expected, their views began to diverge. And, just as would be expected if genes have political influence, the views of fraternal twins diverged more than did those of identical ones. Between the ages of 18 and 20 identical and fraternal twins both shared nearly 70% of their political ideology. Between the ages of 21 and 25, that had shrunk to 60% for identical twins and 40% for fraternal twins. Clearly, then, genes matter.
Nor do they merely affect a person’s opinions. They also affect his level of political engagement. This was shown in a study published in 2008 by James Fowler of the University of California, San Diego. Dr Fowler and his team analysed the voter-registration records of identical and fraternal twins from Los Angeles, and also from a more nationally representative database. They found that identical twins are 53% more likely either both to register or both not to register than are fraternal twins.
Political signals
Twins studies like these unequivocally demonstrate the heritability of politically related behaviour. What they do not do, though, is explain the underlying biology. That is an area which is only now starting to be explored.
In 2010 a study published by Dr Fowler and his colleagues implicated a gene known as DRD4 in the development of political affiliation. DRD4 encodes a receptor molecule for a neurotransmitter called dopamine. (Neurotransmitters are chemicals that carry signals from one nerve cell to another.) Those with a variant of DRD4 called 7R, and also a large network of friends acquired during their adolescence, tended to be (in the American sense of the word) liberals—ie, left wing.
One interesting point about this observation is that it requires both a genetic input (the 7R variant) and an environmental one (the network of friends) to take effect. DRD4-7R has previously been associated with novelty-seeking behaviour. The authors of the paper speculate that the interaction of that tendency with possible exposure to lots of different ideas held by lots of different people might push an individual in a leftwardly direction.
Following up on Dr Fowler’s work, research published earlier this year by a team led by Dr Hatemi found a further 11 genes, different varieties of which might be responsible for inclining people towards liberalism or conservatism in the way that Gilbert described. These included genes involved in the regulation of three neurotransmitters—dopamine, glutamate and serotonin—and also G-protein-coupled receptors, which react to a wide variety of stimulants. Most astonishingly, the researchers found that olfactory receptors are also implicated, giving a whole, new twist to the idea that someone’s political platform “smells” wrong.
The word “inclining” is important. No one is suggesting that there are particular genes, or versions of genes “for” liberalism or conservatism. But inclinations there do seem to be. Moreover, direct studies of genes also support what the twins studies suggest about political engagement, independent of opinion. In particular, work by Dr Fowler implicates another dopamine receptor, DRD2, and also 5HTT, which regulates serotonin levels, in influencing voter turnout. People with versions of these genes that increase the effect of the neurotransmitter are more likely to vote than those with low-activity versions.
The will and the way
The third part of the question, though, is how this all links up with the fundamental driver of biology, evolution. The suggestion of Dr Hatemi and Dr McDermott is that political action is the collective expression of some pretty primal biological motives: those of survival and procreation. Deciding whether or not to be part of a particular group, whom else to admit to your group, how to keep or share resources, and how much sexual freedom to afford oneself, one’s neighbours and one’s children are all, and always have been, lively matters of political debate. But they are also all matters that have an impact on the crucial Darwinian business of getting genes into the next generation.
Dr Hatemi and Dr McDermott are not suggesting genetic factors directly create ideologies that relate to these matters. They are suggesting, though, that genes assist in deciding which opinions an individual will find it most attractive to cleave to.
Unlike the social determinists of old, however, who frequently refused to concede even the possibility of genetic influence on behaviour, the new generation of genetic political scientists are perfectly happy to acknowledge nurture along with nature. Dr Hatemi’s own work, for instance, has shown that external shocks, such as unemployment and divorce, effectively abolish the genetic influences he has detected on many ideological questions as other responses, more appropriate to survival in the changed circumstances, kick in. These responses too, of course, are probably under evolutionary—and hence genetic—control. But they are different from the ones being looked for at present.
That sort of granularity, and the need to accept partial rather than universal explanations for biological phenomena, led the two researchers to one other thought. This is that part of the problem social science has had in the past in accepting biological explanations is that its practitioners do not understand the nature of the claims being made. There are, to repeat, no genes for socialism or conservatism, or for prejudice or tolerance, any more than there are genes for Christianity or Islam. But a person’s genes can sometimes propel him more easily in one direction than another. His free will is, if you like, a little freer to turn right than left, or vice versa. Gilbert was therefore not quite right. But he was not exactly wrong, either.

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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"

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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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