Friday, November 24, 2017

Polémica mortal sobre filme indiano?

'Padmavati': Controversy takes a deadly turn as dead body found in Rajasthan (Bombay Times):

The 'Padmavati' controversy doesn't seem to be dying down anytime soon however, we sure didn't see it taking a deadly turn. A Recent report suggests that a dead body was found hanging in Rajasthan's Nahargarh Fort, 20 km near Jaipur. The body was surrounded with slogans on stones that read 'Padmavati' ka virodh (Opposing 'Padmavati') and others reading 'Hum putle nahi jalate, latkate hain' (we don't burn effigies, we kill).

Officers from the Brahmapuri Police Station have been investigating the spot and it is not clear if the case is a murder or a suicide and the identity of the body isn't revealed yet. The protest against the film has been spearheaded by Mahipal Singh Makrana, a member of the Rajput Karni Sena and the organisation has said that they have nothing to do with the recent incident. "This is not our way of protest. I want to tell people not to resort to such methods," Makrana said.
Político indiano pediu decapitação de estrela famosa de Bollywood (SAPO):
Deepika Padukone, uma das atrizes mais populares e bem pagas do cinema indiano conhecido por "Bollywood", que também teve o principal papel feminino em "xXx: O Regresso de Xander Cage" (2017), teve de cancelar compromissos públicos após um político do partido governamental ter apelado para que fosse decapitada.

Suraj Pal Singh Amu, o principal coordenador dos media do Bharatiya Janata Party (Partido do Povo Indiano, BJP), que governa a Índia, ofereceu uma recompensa equivalente a 1,23 milhões de euros pelas cabeças da atriz e também de Sanjay Leela Bhansali, realizador do filme "Padmavati".
A respeito disso, alguém escreve "So glad we've finally reached the point where random people are being killed over dumb Bollywood movies in India"

Um pouco de contexto: Padmavati_(film)#Controversy e Shri Rajput Karni Sena

Thursday, November 23, 2017

"Eu sou um desorganizado que não sei gerir dinheiro"

É o que, implicitamente, dizem os empresários que preferem pagar os subsídios em duodécimos e os empregados que preferem receber tudo por inteiro em junho e novembro.

[Post publicado no Vias de Facto - podem comentar lá]

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Diferentes formas de ver a "liberdade económica" (I)

Scott Sumner refere que em tempos «wrote a paper that looked at several definitions of neoliberalism, and found that what I called "egalitarian neoliberalism" was especially closely correlated with civic virtue. This model was based on the various indices of economic freedom, with the sign on size of government inverted (so that bigger government was a plus, not a minus as in the typical economic freedom indices). For example, the (high trust) Nordic countries gravitate toward models that combine free markets and large government.»

Isso faz-me lembrar três coisas:

- A minha tentativa de operacionalizar a teoria de Daron Acemoglu e James Robinson sobre as instituições extrativas e inclusivas (esse índice de liberdade económica  invertendo o sinal do tamanho do governo parece tal e qual o que eu conclui que eram as "instituições económicas inclusivas")

- A minha hipótese de que culturas que valorizam mais o raciocinio lógico-abstrato do que os relacionamentos inter-pessoais tendem a ter "instituições inclusivas".

- E, finalmente, a minha outra hipótese de que se numa sociedade as pessoas têm fama de serem frias, fechadas, distantes e reservadas, muito provavelmente será uma sociedade com alto "capital social", com muita participação cívica e muitas associações voluntárias.

Como é que isso tudo se encaixa? Se as tais culturas mais lógicas-abstratas do que interpessoais forem também as com mais "capital social", possivelmente serão também as com mais "virtude cívica", e por outro lado serão também as com "instituições (mais) inclusivas" (que eu entretanto defini como, na economia, sendo uma combinação de liberdade micro-económica com altos impostos e despesas públicas - ou seja, o "egalitarian neoliberalism" de Sumner).

É verdade que não sei bem exatamente o que Sumner quer dizer com "virtude cívica" (provavelmente explica no paper que ele linka), mas não é difícil imaginar como uma atitude mais "lógica-abstrata" do que "inter-pessoal" possa levar a um comportamento "virtuoso": parece-me o género de atitude que leve mais o individuo a interiorizar um conjunto de regras (que, atenção, podem não coincidir com as leis do seu país ou as normas maioritárias na sua sociedade) e a segui-las rigidamente (tal como se estivesse a resolver um problema matemático), enquanto uma atitude mais "inter-pessoal" desemboca facilmente numa cultura de "jeitinhos", cunhas e "cada caso é um caso".

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Os estudos sobre a violência nos jogos de computador

Qual o principal factor que determina a probabilidade de um estudo sobre os efeitos da violência nos jogos de computador ser citado, tanto na comunicação social, como em outros estudos subsequentes?

For Video Games, Bad News Is Good News: News Reporting of Violent Video Game Studie, por Copenhaver Allen, Mitrofan Oana, and Ferguson Christopher J.. (Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking):

News coverage of video game violence studies has been critiqued for focusing mainly on studies supporting negative effects and failing to report studies that did not find evidence for such effects. These concerns were tested in a sample of 68 published studies using child and adolescent samples. Contrary to our hypotheses, study effect size was not a predictor of either newspaper coverage or publication in journals with a high-impact factor. However, a relationship between poorer study quality and newspaper coverage approached significance. High-impact journals were not found to publish studies with higher quality. Poorer quality studies, which tended to highlight negative findings, also received more citations in scholarly sources. Our findings suggest that negative effects of violent video games exposure in children and adolescents, rather than large effect size or high methodological quality, increase the likelihood of a study being cited in other academic publications and subsequently receiving news media coverage.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Os perigos dos sistemas para bloquear websites

New EU law prescribes website blocking in the name of “consumer protection”, por Julia Reda (deputada ao Parlamento Europeu pelo Partido Pirata alemão):

Today, the European Parliament passed the Consumer Protection Cooperation regulation. Unfortunately, it contains an overreachinggeneral website blocking provision. Additionally, consumer protection improvements were watered down or removed completely in last-minute trilogue negotiations with the Council.

According to the new rules, national consumer protection authorities can order any unspecified third party to block access to websites without requiring judicial authorisation.

This forces internet access providers to create a website blocking infrastructure, which risks being abused later on for any number of other purposes, including censorship. To give a recent example,independence-related websites were blocked in Catalunya just weeks ago. These actions could only be taken so quickly because website blocking infrastructure had previously been put in place for other purposes, such as barring access to sites involving copyright infringement.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

O mito da superpopulação muçulmana

The Muslim Overpopulation Myth That Just Won’t Die, por Krithika Varagur (The Atlantic):

The trope of Muslim overpopulation is reliably powerful anywhere in the world where there is a sizable Muslim immigrant or minority population, from India to Western Europe.

Hindu nationalists often fan anxiety about Muslim population growth; the proportion of Muslims in India grew about 0.8 percent between 2001 and 2011, to 14.2 percent. “If this remains the situation, one should forget about their existence in one’s own country by 2025,” said the leader of a major Hindu nationalist organization last year. But the fertility gap between Muslims and Hindus in India is narrowing fast, and the greatest birthrate disparities are between states, not religions: Hindu women in the very poor state of Bihar have about two more children each than Muslim women in more developed Andhra Pradesh.

Similar concerns echo across countries like France, Germany, the U.K., and the Netherlands. Although Muslims make up less than 10 percent of the total population in each of these countries, perceived overpopulation has been at the center of anti-immigration discourse. About 7.5 percent of France is Muslim, yet on average French people believe Muslims constitute about one in three people in the country. Although Muslim women in Western Europe do currently have more children than their non-Muslim counterparts, research shows that European Muslims’ fertility rate is also declining much faster, so their fertility rates will likely converge over time. (However, in this context, fertility isn’t the only issue; a wave of Muslim immigration over the past few years has reinforced some Europeans’ concerns about Muslim population growth.)

Why does the overpopulation myth persist worldwide, even though it’s typically demonstrably false (like in Burma) or nowhere near the epidemic that its proponents assert (like in Europe and India)? It’s true that the global Muslim population is growing, and fast. But it’s not growing at the same speed across regions. And the trope seems to have the most power not where Muslim populations are actually growing the fastest—like sub-Saharan Africa—but in places where they are culturally distinct minorities.

There’s nothing inherent in Islam to link it to higher fertility—in fact, it’s not a particularly natalist, or pro-birth, religion. Eight of the nine classic schools of Islamic law permit contraception. Many Muslim states, including Pakistan, have supported family planning. (...)

The claim about Muslim overpopulation falls apart in fascinating ways when examined more closely. The fastest fertility drop in modern history happened in the Islamic theocracy of Iran. In 1950, Iranian women had about seven children each; today they have about 1.68, fewer than Americans. What changed? In 1989, the country’s leaders realized that the the high birth rate was straining the young republic. In response, the Supreme Leader issued fatwas encouraging birth control and contraception, and the Health Ministry propagated family planning counseling, rural health centers, and contraceptive distribution across the country. (...)

In the world’s largest Muslim-majority country, Indonesia, fertility rates dropped between the 1960s and the 1990s, from about 5.6 children per woman to 2.3, as the Suharto dictatorship instituted a vigorous, centralized family planning program and made improvements to girls’ education. Those government services were decentralized after democracy came to the archipelago in 1998 and, predictably, fertility rates have been creeping up again. Today, Indonesia’s majority-Christian but less developed eastern provinces have a higher birthrate than the more developed, Muslim-majority western ones—a testament to the correlation between economic development and fertility.
Eu suspeito que a ideia de que os muçulmanos terão um crescimento populacional brutal é também o resultado da reação de algumas pessoas "com desafios a matemática" à poliginia entre entre os muçulmanos - já vi cartoons na internet comparando uma família ocidental com um homem, uma mulher e um filho com uma família islâmica com um homem, quatro mulheres e quatro filhos por cada mulher, com a mensagem implícita que enquanto as famílias ocidentais produzem um filho, as islâmicas produzem 16; também já vi em blogues islamofóbicos, a respeito das estatísticas da taxa de fertilidade dos muculmanos, comentários estilo "seria bom saber se isso é por mulher ou por família" (o que só faz sentido se eles estiverem a pensar em famílias com várias mulheres reprodutoras). Mas, claro, a ideia que a poliginia leva a um elevado crescimento demográfico ("como têm muitas mulheres, têm muitos filhos") é idiota - por uma razão elementar: em princípio por cada homem muçulmano com 4 mulheres há 3 homens muçulmanos sem mulher nenhum, pelo que no agregado isso não tem efeito quase nenhum (não será exatamente assim porque haverá alguns casamentos entre homens muçulmanos e mulheres não-muçulmanas - e também o inverso, contudo suspeito que serão menos os casos - mas suspeito que no conjunto representam pouco).

A ideia de que os homens terem muitas mulheres contribui para o crescimento demográfico parece feita a pensar num mundo imaginário em que haveria uma abundância quase infinita de mulheres e seriam os homens (mais exatamente, o número de filhos por homem) o fator determinante para o crescimento da população.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Império Romano versus Alta Idade Média

Razib Khan: The bigger question that looms in the background though is would it have been better to be a median Roman citizen or a median subject of a Dark Age warlord? I don’t have a strong opinion on this, especially when it comes to the ability to consume above subsistence. It seems likely that the far worst treatment of slaves in places like Sicily than anything serfs were subject to (though serfdom only truly came into its own during the end of the Dark Ages) should be weighed in the calculus, but the Roman peace was also a genuine peace. The petty conflicts persistent at a local level in the Dark Ages may have made the life of a typical peasant less secure than for Roman citizens.