quinta-feira, 31 de julho de 2014

Menos Marx - mais Mises

Art Carden Contributor

I'm an economist interested in the ordinary business of life.

The Greatest Thinker You've Never Read: Ludwig von Mises

Saber de acabar

Any fool can carry on, but only the wise man knows how to shorten sail. ”
— Joseph Conrad

quarta-feira, 30 de julho de 2014

História da tortura

  • The Worst Ways to Die: Torture Practices of the Ancient World
  •  Matthew Schulz via spiegel.de
    Was the cradle of civilization also the birthplace of atrocity? Historians have been researching the most extreme forms of torture in the ancient world. Among other things, they have found that, back then, “sitting in the tub” was actually a pretty nasty way to kick the bucket.
    In total, Julius Caesar reckoned that he had 1,192,000 enemies killed during his reign. Meanwhile the Emperor Tiberius would have young men’s urethras laced shut before force-feeding them wine. And, under Caligula, it became customary to saw noblemen in half.
    It sounds bad — but were these the cruelest of them all? Would they qualify for the barbarity top 10?
    A new book, “Extreme Formen von Gewalt in Bild und Text des Altertums” (Extreme Violence in the Visuals and Texts of Antiquity) by Martin Zimmerman, a professor of ancient history in Munich, looks at current research into the kinds of violence that inspired “loathing, dread, horror and disgust.”
  • Mais

terça-feira, 29 de julho de 2014


Researchers Who Provided Key Evidence For Gluten Sensitivity Have Now Thoroughly Shown That It Doesn't Exist

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/gluten-sensitivity-and-study-replication-2014-5#ixzz38tNuxzMF

Evolução humana

Forbidden Archeology: The Hidden History of the Human Race

by Michael A. Cremo  (Author), Richard L. Thompson  (Author)Over the centuries, researchers have found bones and artifacts proving that humans like us have existed for millions of years. Mainstream science, however, has supppressed these facts. Prejudices based on current scientific theory act as a "knowledge filter," giving us a picture of prehistory that is largely incorrect.
Ainda mais

domingo, 27 de julho de 2014

Libertarianismo da ezquerda

Entrevista de Roderick Long para a revista Veja
Recentemente, a revista Veja publicou uma matéria que tratava da ascensão do libertarianismo no cenário político dos Estados Unidos. Um dos entrevistados para a matéria foi o membro sênior do Centro por uma Sociedade Sem Estado (C4SS) Roderick Long.
Infelizmente, a menção de Roderick ao longo da matéria foi mínima, se limitando a uma frase um tanto descontextualizada. Assim, nós decidimos publicar a entrevista completa, que apresenta uma explicação mais equilibrada do papel dos libertários no cenário político americano e insere os libertários de esquerda dentro dessa discussão.
*     *     *
1. O libertarianismo ganha relevância atualmente na cena política. Como você analisa esse fenômeno?
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Veja sobre o libertarianismo

Estado mínimo e direitos individuais: libertarianismo cresce na política dos EUA

Quem são e o que pensam os libertários americanos? Donos de um partido que já é a terceira força política nos Estados Unidos, o libertarianismo é influente entre os republicanos e tem muitas propostas que agradam aos democratas

MTV matou a música

Toda coisa tem dos lados (no mínimo)

sábado, 26 de julho de 2014

Entenda o que é errado com o Brasil


Do amigo Stalin ao inimigo Putin

"In 1933, the Holodomor was playing out in Ukraine.
After the “kulaks,” the independent farmers, had been liquidated in the forced collectivization of Soviet agriculture, a genocidal famine was imposed on Ukraine through seizure of her food production.
Estimates of the dead range from two to nine million souls.
Walter Duranty of the New York Times, who called reports of the famine “malignant propaganda,” won a Pulitzer for his mendacity.
In November 1933, during the Holodomor, the greatest liberal of them all, FDR, invited Foreign Minister Maxim Litvinov to receive official U.S. recognition of his master Stalin’s murderous regime..."
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quarta-feira, 23 de julho de 2014

Física, matemática e ciência

" Many scientists are strong reductionists who believe that physics alone determines outcomes in the real world, This is demonstrably untrue – for example the computer on which I am writing this could not possibly have come into being through the agency of physics alone.
"The issue is that these scientists are focusing on some strands in the web of causation that actually exist, and ignoring others that are demonstrably there – such as ideas in our minds, or algorithms embodi...ed in computer programs. These demonstrably act in a top-down way to cause physical effects in the real world. All these processes and actual outcomes are contextually dependent, and this allows the effectiveness of processes such as adaptive selection that are the key to the emergence of genuine complexity.
"As I stated above, mathematical equations only represent part of reality, and should not be confused with reality. A specific related issue: there is a group of people out there writing papers based on the idea that physics is a computational process. But a physical law is not an algorithm. So who chooses the computational strategy and the algorithms that realise a specific physical law? (Finite elements perhaps?) What language is it written in? (Does Nature use Java or C++? What machine code is used?) Where is the CPU? What is used for memory, and in what way are read and write commands executed? Additionally if it’s a computation, how does Nature avoid the halting problem? It’s all a very bad analogy that does not work."

terça-feira, 22 de julho de 2014

Eugenia nos Estados Unidos

The monstrous euegenics movement, based on the idea of Charles Darwin’s cousin Francis Galton, was dominant in intellectually circles in the United States from 1900 to World War II, and it survived legally until the mid–1970s.
Rockefeller money was behind much of this research. So was Carnegie money. So was Harriman money. The great foundations, funded by the great fortunes, funded it.
This story of this misuse of state power has been kept out of the history textbooks. Historians have known about it for over 40 years, and there are monographs on it, but the story still remains suppressed by means of the liberals’ “gentlemen’s agreement.” But occasionally some aspect of it gets out.

segunda-feira, 21 de julho de 2014

Revolução chinesa

According to the authors, the four marginal revolutions gave birth to "a vibrant non-state sector" that contrasted sharply with "a stagnant state sector." These developments followed the Great Leap Forward in the late 1950s—when millions starved as a result of misguided collectivization and industrialization efforts—and the Cultural Revolution in the mid-1960s, "Mao's last and most horrendous effort to mold China into socialism," as the authors put it.
Viewed against the backdrop of these catastrophes, the achievements of this private were extraordinary and sometimes bizarre. By the early 1980s, the authors write, "self-employed barbers came to earn higher incomes than surgeons in state hospitals. Street vendors . . . earned more than nuclear scientists. Traders, small-shop and private restaurant owners . . . were among the highest income groups in China." And "the number of self-employed household businesses and single proprietorships increased from 140,000 in 1978 to 2.6 million in 1981."

sábado, 19 de julho de 2014

Desigualidade global

Economic View

Income Inequality Is Not Rising Globally. It's Falling.


Income inequality has surged as a political and economic issue, but the numbers don’t show that inequality is rising from a global perspective. Yes, the problem has become more acute within most individual nations, yet income inequality for the world as a whole has been falling for most of the last 20 years. It’s a fact that hasn’t been noted often enough.
The finding comes from a recent investigation by Christoph Lakner, a consultant at the World Bank, and Branko Milanovic, senior scholar at the Luxembourg Income Study Center. And while such a framing may sound startling at first, it should be intuitive upon reflection. The economic surges of China, India and some other nations have been among the most egalitarian developments in history.
Of course, no one should use this observation as an excuse to stop helping the less fortunate. But it can help us see that higher income inequality is not always the most relevant problem, even for strict egalitarians. Policies on immigration and free trade, for example, sometimes increase inequality within a nation, yet can make the world a better place and often decrease inequality on the planet as a whole.
International trade has drastically reduced poverty within developing nations, as evidenced by the export-led growth of China and other countries. Yet contrary to what many economists had promised, there is now good evidence that the rise of Chinese exports has held down the wages of some parts of the American middle class. This was demonstrated in a recent paper by the economists David H. Autor of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, David Dorn of the Center for Monetary and Financial Studies in Madrid, and Gordon H. Hanson of the University of California, San Diego.

sexta-feira, 18 de julho de 2014

Os limites do poder

"You only have power over people so long as you don't take everything away from them. But when you've robbed man of everything, he's no longer in your power; he's free again."
(Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn)


Tolstoi sobre anarquia

"The Anarchists are right in everything; in the negation of the existing order, and in the assertion that, without Authority, there could not be worse violence than that of Authority under existing conditions. They are mistaken only in thinking that Anarchy can be instituted by a revolution. But it will be instituted only by there being more and more people who do not require the protection of governmental power .... There can be only one permanent revolution—a moral one: the regeneration of the inner man." -- Leo Tolstoy, "On Anarchy" (1900)

quarta-feira, 16 de julho de 2014

Falsa perspectiva


Comida saudável

While describing the McDonald’s double cheeseburger as “the cheapest, most nutritious, and bountiful food that has ever existed in human history” might seem beyond fanciful, according to the author behind Freakonomics, it is not as absurd a suggestion as it appears.

McDouble is 'cheapest and most nutritious food in human history'

Describing the McDonald’s double cheeseburger as “the cheapest, most nutritious, and bountiful food that has ever existed in human history” might seem beyond fanciful, but according to the author of Freakonomics, it is not as absurd a suggestion as it appears.

A McDonalds double cheese burger Photo: Geoff Pugh

Stephen Dubner, who co-authored the best-selling book, hosted a debate on his blog after a reader suggested the McDouble packed a better nutritional punch for the penny than is often assumed.
The double cheeseburger provides 390 calories, 23 grams of protein – half a daily serving – seven per cent of daily fibre, 19 grams of fat and 20 per cent of daily calcium, all for between $1 and $2, or 65p and £1.30, The Times reported.
Kyle Smith, a New York Post columnist, threw his support behind the McDouble’s nutritional value for money.
“For the average poor person, it isn’t a great option to take a trip to the farmers market to puzzle over esoteric lefty-foodie codes”, Mr Smith wrote.
“Facts are facts – where else but McDonald’s can poor people obtain so many calories per dollar?”
A 2007 University of Washington survey found that while junk food costs as little as $1.76 per 1,000 calories, fresh vegetables and healthier foods can cost more than 10 times as much.
In the online debate, some farmers suggested the McDonalds burger deserved more credit for feeding the poor cheaply.
Blake Hurst, president of the Missouri Farm Bureau, said: “The biggest unreported story in the past three quarters of a century [is] this increase in availability of food for the common person.”
But Tom Philpott, a campaigning organic farmer from North Carolina, said there were many more nutritious ways of feeding people cheaply.
“You can get a pound of organic brown rice and a pound of red lentils for about £1.30 each”, Mr Philpott said.
“A serving of each of those things would be around 48 pence.
“In order to present to us all that burger, you’re talking about a vast army of working poor people.”

terça-feira, 15 de julho de 2014

Progresso regressivo

live better bathroom

Why the modern bathroom is a wasteful, unhealthy design

Piped water may be the greatest convenience ever known but our sewage systems and bathrooms are a disaster
For centuries, the people of London and other big cities got their cooking and washing water from rivers or wells, limiting their consumption to pretty much what they could carry. They dumped their waste into brick-lined cesspits that would be emptied by the night soil men, who sold it as fertilizer or dumped it off Dung Pier into the Thames. Liquid waste might be thrown into gutters in the middle of the road. 


sábado, 12 de julho de 2014

Parece piada

Vídeo de suposto jornal diz que Coreia do Norte foi às oitavas e fez 7 a 0 no Japão

sáb, 12/07/14
por meiodecampo |
categoria Sem categoria

A Coreia do Norte nem se classificou para a disputa da Copa do Mundo do Brasil, em 2014, mas, em um vídeo que circula na internet, o time nacional se garante nas oitavas de final ao vencer a China por 2 a 0, os Estados Unidos por 4 a 0 e o Japão pelo placar de 7 a 0. E, na fase de mata-mata, vai encarar Portugal, de Cristiano Ronaldo. Publicadas no canal “Korea News Backup”, as imagens são de um suposto jornal do país que mostra uma situação completamente fora da realidade, tudo por conta do regime ditatorial que vive o país, dominado por Kim Jong-un, e considerado o mais fechado do mundo, política e economicamente.
O mandatário assumiu o comando da Coreia do Norte com a morte do pai, Kim Jong-il, em dezembro de 2011. Com Un no poder, a dinastia Kim – iniciada com Kim Il-sung, avô do atual ditador – ultrapassa seis décadas. O jovem Un, que nem fez 30 anos e se tornou marechal, já em seu primeiro discurso, em abril do ano passado, falou em bomba atômica. O país vive em clima de tensão com a vizinha Coreia do Sul, que veio à Copa do Mundo, mas foi eliminada ainda na primeira fase.
A última vez em que a Coreia do Norte disputou a Copa do Mundo foi em 2010, na África do Sul. O país encarou o Brasil, perdendo de 2 a 1. Depois, sofreu uma goleada para Portugal, por 7 a 0, e foi derrotada por 3 a 0 para a Costa do Marfim. O melhor desempenho foi a Copa do Mundo de 1966, na Inglaterra.
Confira as imagens abaixo:

Ciência do cérebro em dúvida

The Trouble With Brain Science

ARE we ever going to figure out how the brain works?
After decades of research, diseases like schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s still resist treatment. Despite countless investigations into serotonin and other neurotransmitters, there is still no method to cure clinical depression. And for all the excitement about brain-imaging techniques, the limitations of fMRI studies are, as evidenced by popular books like “Brainwashed” and “Neuromania,” by now well known. In spite of the many remarkable advances in neuroscience, you might get the sinking feeling that we are not always going about brain science in the best possible way.
This feeling was given prominent public expression on Monday, when hundreds of neuroscientists from all over the world issued an indignant open letter to the European Commission, which is funding the Human Brain Project, an approximately $1.6 billion effort that aims to build a complete computer simulation of the human brain. The letter charges that the project is “overly narrow” in approach and not “well conceived.” While no neuroscientist doubts that a faithful-to-life brain simulation would ultimately be tremendously useful, some have called the project “radically premature.” The controversy serves as a reminder that we scientists are not only far from a comprehensive explanation of how the brain works; we’re also not even in agreement about the best way to study it, or what questions we should be asking.
The European Commission, like the Obama administration, which is promoting a large-scale research enterprise called the Brain Initiative, is investing heavily in neuroscience, and rightly so. (A set of new tools such as optogenetics, which allows neuroscientists to control the activity of individual neurons, gives considerable reason for optimism.) But neither project has grappled sufficiently with a critical question that is too often ignored in the field: What would a good theory of the brain actually look like?

quarta-feira, 9 de julho de 2014

O valor dos clássicos

800px-Covert_Garden_Theatre_edited10 Reasons You Should be Reading the Classics


1. You’ll increase your vocabulary. Whether you want to impress your in-laws, boost your SAT scores, or deliver more effective presentations at work, it’s worth familiarizing yourself with words that instantly reflect your intelligence. Reading the Greek and Latin Classics, in particular, will develop your personal word bank, since many English words have roots in these two languages. English has made a habit of widespread borrowing, but over 60% of English words are derived from Greek and Latin alone.
2. While you’re at it, you’ll also improve your social skills. A 2013 study showed that reading the classics, in contrast with commercial fiction and even non-fiction, leads to better social perception and emotional intelligence. Character-driven novels can even strengthen your personal ethics, if you’re in the market for that sort of thing. Just make sure you’re clear on the distinction between the good guys and the bad guys.
3. You’ll be reading something of value. The classics, and their typically universal themes, have stood the test of time; these are books in which we still find characters, experiences, emotions, and perspectives relevant today. Often an individual classic is the iconic work within a literary movement or the period in which the book was written. Usually, they are also somewhat challenging, so these are books you’ll be proud to be seen tackling. There will be no need to hide behind the anonymity of your e-reader in cafes or on public transportation. Will you like them all? Probably not. But the classics span every major literary genre, from fantasy (Lord of the Rings) to science fiction (Brave New World) to romance (Sense and Sensibility) and even children’s (Charlotte’s Web), so you’re bound to find something appealing.
Jane_Austen_18704. Literary references won’t go straight over your head. You’ll be a walking encyclopedia of major cultural references, cited at the original source. Media, entertainment, and everyday social allusions to concepts and characters such as “Big Brother” (1984), Frankenstein’s monster (Frankenstein), Oedipus (Oedipus the King), and existentialism (The Stranger, among others) abound. And it’s common knowledge that hundreds of popular words and expressions come straight out of Shakespeare.
5. You can “reward” yourself with the film version when you’re finished reading. Almost every classic has been made (and remade, and remade) into a movie, from Gone With the Wind to On the Road to The Great Gatsby and To Kill a Mockingbird. Some film versions of the classics earned excellent reviews in their own right, but you’ll be informed enough to say whether the book was better. It probably is. Still, it’s always intriguing to see these unfailingly rich and penetrating stories brought to life on the big screen.
6. The classics provide an opportunity to understand history and culture in context. In his 1970 Nobel Lecture in Literature, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn said that
The only substitute for an experience we ourselves have never lived through is art, literature. They possess a wonderful ability: beyond distinctions of language, custom, social structure, they can convey the life experience of one whole nation to another… Literature conveys irrefutable condensed experience… from generation to generation. Thus it becomes the living memory of the nation.


Confessions of a Computer Modeler

Any model, including those predicting climate doom, can be tweaked to yield a desired result. I should know.

July 8, 2014 7:15 p.m. ET.
"... I realized that my work for the EPA wasn't that of a scientist, at least in the popular imagination of what a scientist does. It was more like that of a lawyer. My job, as a modeler, was to build the best case for my client's position. The opposition will build its best case for the counter argument and ultimately the truth should prevail. 

Sabedoria nordestina