lunes, 28 de diciembre de 2009

El síndrome de Stendhal








El síndrome de Stendhal es una enfermedad psicosomática que causa un elevado ritmo cardíaco, vértigo, confusión e incluso alucinaciones cuando el individuo es expuesto a una sobredosis de belleza artística, pinturas y obras maestras del arte.
Tiene esta denominación por el famoso autor francés del siglo XIX Stendhal (seudónimo de Henri-Marie Beyle), quien dio una primera descripción detallada del fenómeno que experimentó en su visita en 1817 a la Basílica de Santa Cruz en Florencia, Italia, y que publicó en Nápoles y Florencia: Un viaje de Milán a Reggio:
"Había llegado a ese punto de emoción en el que se encuentran las sensaciones celestes dadas por las Bellas Artes y los sentimientos apasionados. Saliendo de Santa Croce, me latía el corazón, la vida estaba agotada en mí, andaba con miedo a caerme".
Aunque ha habido muchos casos de gente que sufría vértigos y desvanecimientos mientras visitaba el arte en Florencia, especialmente en la Galleria degli Uffizi desde el principio del siglo XIX en adelante, no fue descrito como un síndrome hasta 1979, cuando la psiquiatra italiana Graziella Magherini[1] observó y describió más de 100 casos similares entre turistas y visitantes en Florencia, la cuna del Renacimiento, y escribió acerca de él.
El síndrome de Stendhal, más allá de su incidencia clínica como enfermedad psicosomática, se ha convertido en un referente de la reacción romántica ante la acumulación de belleza y la exuberancia del goce artístico.

Wikipedia


domingo, 27 de diciembre de 2009

Franz Animation




Franz from Dan Bodenstein on Vimeo.

sábado, 26 de diciembre de 2009

Cumbres borrascosas.




CAPÍTULO PRIMERO

1801:


Estoy de vuelta después de haber hecho una visita al propietario de mi casa, único vecino que pueda preocuparme. En realidad este es un país maravilloso. Yo no creo que en toda Inglaterra hubiese podido encontrar un lugar más apartado del mundanal bullicio. Es el verdadero paraíso para un misántropo; y el señor Heathcliff y yo parecemos la pareja más adecuada para compartir este desierto. ¡Qué hombre magnífico! De seguro se hallaba lejos de imaginar la simpatía que me inspiró al sorprender cómo sus ojos se hundían en sus órbitas, llenos de sospechas, en el mismo instante en que yo detenía mi caballo, y cómo sus dedos se escondían con huraña resolución aún más profundamente en su chaleco, cuando le dije mi nombre.
- ¿El señor Heathcliff?- pregunté.
Un movimiento de cabeza fue su respuesta.
- Lockwood, su nuevo inquilino, señor. He querido concederme el honor de visitarle en cuanto me ha sido posible desde mi llegada, para expresarle que confío en no haberle molestado con mi insistencia en que me alquilase la Granja de los Tordos. Oí decir ayer tarde que tuvo usted pensamiento...
- La Granja de los Tordos es propiedad mía, señor- interrumpió, retrocediendo-. No permito que nadie me moleste, ya que tengo la manera de impedirlo... ¡Entre!
Pronunció "¡Entre!" con los dientes cerrados, como le hubiera salido "¡Váyase al diablo!" La verja en que se apoyaba no denunció ningún movimiento que correspondiese a sus palabras. Creo que esta circunstancia me determinó a aceptar la invitación. Me interesaba aquel hombre cuya reserva parecía aún más exagerada que la mía.(...)"

"(...) Noto que los habitantes de estos parajes toman sobre los habitantes de las ciudades la superioridad de la araña de un calabozo con respecto a la araña de una casa de campo, a ojos de los que ocupan cualquiera de las dos viviendas; y sin embargo, la mayor intensidad de atracción ejercida en el observador no se debe exclusivamente a la situación de éste. Las gentes viven aquí más en serio, más reconcentradas; menos en la superficie, en los cambios y en las fribolidades externas. Aquí puede concevirse como posible un amor para toda la vida, y hasta ahora yo he estado convencido de que ningún amor podía durar más de un año. La situación de los primeros es la de un hombre ante un solo plato en el que se concentra todo su apetito y al que hace todos los honores; la de los segundos, la del mismo hombre ante una cena servida por un cocinero francés; podrá obtener, del conjunto, tanto goce, pero no considerará cada plato más que un simple átomo."

Emily Brontë, Cumbres borrascosas. (Pdf)


 

miércoles, 23 de diciembre de 2009

Razonamiento



"Todos somos ateos respecto a la mayoría de dioses en los que la humanidad ha creído alguna vez. Algunos simplemente vamos un dios más allá."
Richard Dawkins.







“Dios es mi personaje de ficción favorito”.

Nessun dorma

 
 
 
Il principe ignoto
Nessun dorma! Nessun dorma!
Tu pure, o Principessa,
Nella tua fredda stanza
Guardi le stelle
Che tremano d'amore e di speranza.
Ma il mio mistero è chiuso in me,
Il nome mio nessun saprà!, no, no
Sulla tua bocca lo dirò!...
(Puccini: Quando la luce splenderà!)
Quando la luce splenderà,
(Puccini:No, no, Sulla tua bocca lo dirò)
Ed il mio bacio scioglierà il silenzio
Che ti fa mia!...
Voci di donne
Il nome suo nessun saprà...
E noi dovremo, ahimè, morir, morir!...
Il principe ignoto
Dilegua, o notte!... Tramontate, stelle! Tramontate, stelle!...
All'alba vincerò!
vincerò! vincerò!
El príncipe desconocido
¡Que nadie duerma! ¡Que nadie duerma!
¡También tú, oh Princesa,
en tu fría habitación
miras las estrellas
que tiemblan de amor y de esperanza...!
¡Mas, mi misterio está encerrado en mí,
¡Mi nombre nadie lo sabrá!. No, no
Sobre tu boca lo diré
(Puccini: Sólo cuando la luz brille)
Cuando la luz brille
(Puccini: ¡No, no, sobre tu boca lo dire!)
¡Y mi beso fulminará el silencio
que te hace mía.!
Voces de mujeres
Su nombre nadie sabrá...
¡Y nosotras, ay, deberemos, morir, morir!
El príncipe desconocido
¡Disípate, oh noche! ¡Tramontad, estrellas! ¡Tramontad, estrellas!
¡Al alba venceré!
¡venceré! ¡venceré!


"Nessun dorma" es un aria del acto final de la ópera Turandot de Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924).







Paul Potts en britain´s got talent... "Ma il mio mistero è chiuso in me"... indeed... ver


Las muñecas rusas




"La inmundicia de lo cotidiano forma parte del amor"

Cédric Klapisch, Las muñecas rusas.



La curiosidad mató al gato







“Buda, tal y como se nos cuenta, decía que un hombre herido por una flecha tenía que, sobre todo y lo más rápidamente posible, curarse. El error sería preguntarse primero de dónde viene la flecha, quién la ha lanzado, de qué madera ha sido tallada, etc.
Rumi, el poeta persa, ha retomado casi palabra por palabra dicha parábola.
Un guerrero fue herido por una flecha en una batalla. Quisieron arrancarle la flecha y curarlo, pero él exigió saber primero quién era el arquero, a qué clase de hombre pertenecía y dónde se había colocado para disparar. También quiso saber la forma exacta del arco de éste y qué clase de cuerda utilizaba. Mientras se esforzaba por conocer todos estos datos, falleció.”


Jean-Claude Carrière, en “El círculo de los mentirosos”




"Poder"




"El poder de los hombres sobre la naturaleza es, en realidad, el poder de algunos hombres sobre otros, y la naturaleza es el mero instrumento de este poder” 




La cabra



He hablado a una cabra.
Estaba sola en el prado, estaba atada.
Harta de hierba, bañada
por la lluvia, balaba.


Aquel balido igual era fraterno
a mi dolor. Y contesté, primero
por broma, después porque el dolor es eterno,
tiene una sola voz y no varía.
Y yo oía esta voz
gemir en una cabra solitaria.


En una cabra de rostro semita
oía lamentarse cualquier otro dolor,
cualquier otra vida.

Umberto Saba




martes, 22 de diciembre de 2009

Michael Sandel on Markets and Morals




"(…) ¿Por qué se paga un niño para que saque buenas notas o lea un libro?. El objetivo es motivar al niño para que estudie o lea. El pago es un incentivo. Y la economía enseña que la gente responde a incentivos. Algunos niños puede que se motiven para leer por el amor al aprendizaje otros puede que no. Entonces ¿por qué no usar el dinero como un incentivo extra?. Dos incentivos seguro que funcionan mejor que uno... pueden argumentar los economistas. Pero ¿es eso correcto? ¿está bien? ¿O puede que el incentivo monetario oculte el intrínseco? Llevando a menos lectura en vez de a más. O más lectura en un periodo corto pero debido a una razón errónea. Asique lo que empieza como un mecanismo de mercado puede convertirse en norma. Y lo que preocupa en el caso de pagar a los niños para que lean es que podemos estar habituándolos a que piensen que leer libros es un forma de hacer dinero. Y eso puede corromper la beneficioso del la razón intrínseca de leer. ¿Es así como funciona el mundo?. Un ejemplo que sugiere que puede que a veces lo sea. Hubo un estudio llevado a cabo en unas guarderías. Los centros tenían un problema conocido: los padres llegaban tarde a recoger a sus hijos. Y el profesor tenía que quedarse cuidando a los niños hasta que los padres de estos llegaran. Asique para arreglar el problema las guarderías decidieron multar a los padres que llegaban tarde. ¿Qué creéis que paso? El número de padres que llegaba tarde aumentó. ¿Cómo puede ser esto? ¿Qué dirían los economistas? Si asumes que la gente responde a incentivos no tiene sentido. Lo que paso en mi opinión, se debe a que la multa cambia las normas. Antes los padres que llegaban con retraso se sentían culpables, estaban molestando a los maestros, pero después de la multa consideraron que llegar tarde suponía un servicio por el que estaban deseando pagar. Así que en vez de imponiéndoselo pagaban al profesor para que se quedara hasta más tarde. Esto enseña como las normas de mercado pueden desplazar y degradar normas fuera de mercado.(...)"






domingo, 20 de diciembre de 2009

Revienta



" -Maestro, tengo miedo a morir. ¿Podrías ayudarme a solucionar este problema?
-Sí, puedo.
-Dime qué he de hacer
-¡Revienta!"

 
Alejandro Jodorowsky












The Freezing Rotation Illusion







"An object (e.g. airplane) is turning on a surround (greenhouse), which is swaying back and forth. Observe the rotation of the object. Is it turning smoothly all the time? Or does it “freeze” from time to time? Convince yourself by covering the swaying surround that the object is really turning continuously. If the object is swaying back and forth and the surround is turning continuously we do not perceive a slow-down of the surround. Assuming a stable surround, our visual system probably uses the surround as a reference to measure motion of the included objects."
Read more about the illusion and possible explanations
See an interactive version of the The Freezing Rotation Illusion at Michael Bach’s “Optical Illusions & Visual Phenomena” website
The Freezing Rotation IllusionMax R. DürstelerNature Precedings 2007. 371.1




Ilusio kulturala








Zuhaitz ondoan ala etxean daude. Leihoa da ala objektua da. Umeak beso bi ala bakarra du?.

"Es un árbol o una esquina, una ventana o un objeto. ¿El niño tiene un brazo? ¿dos?"



No hay esquina





“El que se ríe de todo es tonto y el que no se ríe de nada es imbécil”



sábado, 19 de diciembre de 2009

Justice with Michael Sandel





Episode One 

Part 1 - The Moral Side of Murder: If you had to choose between (1) killing one person to save the lives of five others and (2) doing nothing, even though you knew that five people would die right before your eyes if you did nothing—what would you do? What would be the right thing to do? That’s the hypothetical scenario Professor Michael Sandel uses to launch his course on moral reasoning.
Part 2 - The Case for Cannibalism: Sandel introduces the principles of utilitarian philosopher, Jeremy Bentham, with a famous nineteenth century law case involving a shipwrecked crew of four. After nineteen days lost at sea, the captain decides to kill the cabin boy, the weakest amongst them, so they can feed on his blood and body to survive.




Episode Two 

Part one:putting a price tag on life. Today, companies and governments often use Jeremy Bentham’s utilitarian logic under the name of “cost-benefit analysis.” Sandel presents some contemporary cases in which cost-benefit analysis was used to put a dollar value on human life. The cases give rise to several objections to the utilitarian logic of seeking “the greatest good for the greatest number.” Should we always give more weight to the happiness of a majority, even if the majority is cruel or ignoble? Is it possible to sum up and compare all values using a common measure like money?
Part two: how to measure pleasure. Sandel introduces J.S. Mill, a utilitarian philosopher who attempts to defend utilitarianism against the objections raised by critics of the doctrine. Mill argues that seeking “the greatest good for the greatest number” is compatible with protecting individual rights, and that utilitarianism can make room for a distinction between higher and lower pleasures. Mill’s idea is that the higher pleasure is always the pleasure preferred by a well-informed majority. Sandel tests this theory by playing video clips from three very different forms of entertainment: Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the reality show Fear Factor, and The Simpsons. Students debate which experience provides the higher pleasure, and whether Mill’s defense of utilitarianism is successful.

Episode Three

Part one: free to choose. Sandel introduces the libertarian conception of individual rights, according to which only a minimal state is justified. Libertarians argue that government shouldn’t have the power to enact laws that 1) protect people from themselves, such as seat belt laws, 2) impose some people’s moral values on society as a whole, or 3) redistribute income from the rich to the poor. Sandel explains the libertarian notion that redistributive taxation is akin to forced labor with references to Bill Gates and Michael Jordan.
Part two: who owns me? Libertarian philosopher Robert Nozick makes the case that taxing the wealthy—to pay for housing, health care, and education for the poor—is a form of coercion.  Students first discuss the arguments behind redistributive taxation. Don’t most poor people need the social services they receive in order to survive?  If you live in a society that has a system of progressive taxation, aren’t you obligated to pay your taxes?  Don’t many rich people often acquire their wealth through sheer luck or family fortune?  A group of students dubbed “Team Libertarian” volunteers to defend the libertarian philosophy against these objections.

Episode Four 

Part one: this land is my land. The philosopher John Locke believes that individuals have certain rights so fundamental that no government can ever take them away.  These rights—to life, liberty and property—were given to us as human beings in the “the state of nature,” a time before government and laws were created.  According to Locke, our natural rights are governed by the law of nature, known by reason, which says that we can neither give them up nor take them away from anyone else.  Sandel wraps up the lecture by raising a question:  what happens to our natural rights once we enter society and consent to a system of laws?
Part two: consenting adults. If we all have unalienable rights to life, liberty, and property, how can a government enforce tax laws passed by the representatives of a mere majority? Doesn’t that amount to taking some people’s property without their consent? Locke’s response is that we give our “tacit consent” to obey the tax laws passed by a majority when we choose to live in a society. Therefore, taxation is legitimate and compatible with individual rights, as long as it applies to everyone and does not arbitrarily single anyone out.

Episode Five

Part one: hired guns. During the Civil War, men drafted into war had the option of hiring substitutes to fight in their place. Professor Sandel asks students whether they consider this policy just.  Many do not, arguing that it is unfair to allow the affluent to avoid serving and risking their lives by paying less privileged citizens to fight in their place. This leads to a classroom debate about war and conscription.  Is today’s voluntary army open to the same objection?  Should military service be allocated by the labor market or by conscription?  What role should patriotism play, and what are the obligations of citizenship?  Is there a civic duty to serve one’s country? And are utilitarians and libertarians able to account for this duty?
Part two: motherhood for sale. In this lecture, Professor Sandel examines the principle of free-market exchange in light of the contemporary controversy over reproductive rights.  Sandel begins with a humorous discussion of the business of egg and sperm donation.  He then describes the case of “Baby M"—a famous legal battle in the mid-eighties that raised the unsettling question, “Who owns a baby?" In 1985, a woman named Mary Beth Whitehead signed a contract with a New Jersey couple, agreeing to be a surrogate mother in exchange for a fee of $10,000.  However, after giving birth, Ms. Whitehead decided she wanted to keep the child, and the case went to court. Sandel and students debate the nature of informed consent, the morality of selling a human life, and the meaning of maternal rights.

Episode Six 

Part one: mind your motive. Professor Sandel introduces Immanuel Kant, a challenging but influential philosopher.  Kant rejects utilitarianism.  He argues that each of us has certain fundamental duties and rights that take precedence over maximizing utility.  Kant rejects the notion that morality is about calculating consequences.  When we act out of duty—doing something simply because it is right—only then do our actions have moral worth.  Kant gives the example of a shopkeeper who passes up the chance to shortchange a customer only because his business might suffer if other customers found out.  According to Kant, the shopkeeper’s action has no moral worth, because he did the right thing for the wrong reason.
Part two: the supreme principle of morality. Immanuel Kant says that insofar as our actions have moral worth, what confers moral worth is our capacity to rise above self-interest and inclination and to act out of duty.  Sandel tells the true story of a thirteen-year old boy who won a spelling bee contest, but then admitted to the judges that he had, in fact, misspelled the final word.  Using this story and others, Sandel explains Kant’s test for determining whether an action is morally right: to identify the principle expressed in our action and then ask whether that principle could ever become a universal law that every other human being could act on.

Episode Seven 

Part one: a lesson in lying. Immanuel Kant’s stringent theory of morality allows for no exceptions.  Kant believed that telling a lie, even a white lie, is a violation of one’s own dignity. Professor Sandel asks students to test Kant’s theory with this hypothetical case: if your friend were hiding inside your home, and a person intent on killing your friend came to your door and asked you where he was, would it be wrong to tell a lie?  If so, would it be moral to try to mislead the murderer without actually lying? This leads to a discussion of the morality of “misleading truths.” Sandel wraps up the lecture with a video clip of one of the most famous, recent examples of dodging the truth: President Clinton talking about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky.
Part two: a deal is a deal. Sandel introduces the modern philosopher John Rawls and his theory of a “hypothetical social contract.” Rawls argues that principles of justice are the outcome of a special kind of agreement. They are the principles we would all agree to if we had to choose rules for our society and no one had any unfair bargaining power. According to Rawls, the only way to ensure that no one has more power than anyone else is to imagine a scenario where no one knows his or her age, sex, race, intelligence, strength, social position, family wealth, religion, or even his or her goals in life.  Rawls calls this hypothetical situation a “veil of ignorance.”  What principles would we agree to behind this “veil of ignorance”? And would these principles be fair? Professor Sandel explains the idea of a fair agreement with some humorous examples of actual contracts that produce unfair results.

Episode Eight 

Part one: what´s a fair star. Is it just to tax the rich to help the poor? John Rawls says we should answer this question by asking what principles you would choose to govern the distribution of income and wealth if you did not know who you were, whether you grew up in privilege or in poverty. Wouldn’t you want an equal distribution of wealth, or one that maximally benefits whomever happens to be the least advantaged? After all, that might be you. Rawls argues that even meritocracy—a distributive system that rewards effort—doesn’t go far enough in leveling the playing field because those who are naturally gifted will always get ahead. Furthermore, says Rawls, the naturally gifted can’t claim much credit because their success often depends on factors as arbitrary as birth order. Sandel makes Rawls’s point when he asks the students who were first born in their family to raise their hands.
Part two: what do we deserve?. Professor Sandel recaps how income, wealth, and opportunities in life should be distributed, according to the three different theories raised so far in class. He summarizes libertarianism, the meritocratic system, and John Rawls’s egalitarian theory. Sandel then launches a discussion of the fairness of pay differentials in modern society. He compares the salary of former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor ($200,000) with the salary of television’s Judge Judy ($25 million). Sandel asks, is this fair? According to John Rawls, it is not. Rawls argues that an individual’s personal success is often a function of morally arbitrary facts—luck, genes, and family circumstances—for which he or she can claim no credit. Those at the bottom are no less worthy simply because they weren’t born with the talents a particular society rewards, Rawls argues, and the only just way to deal with society’s inequalities is for the naturally advantaged to share their wealth with those less fortunate.

Episode Nine 

Part one: arguing affirmative action.  Sandel describes the 1996 court case of a white woman named Cheryl Hopwood who was denied admission to a Texas law school, even though she had higher grades and test scores than some of the minority applicants who were admitted. Hopwood took her case to court, arguing the school’s affirmative action program violated her rights. Students discuss the pros and cons of affirmative action. Should we try to correct for inequality in educational backgrounds by taking race into consideration? Should we compensate for historical injustices such as slavery and segregation? Is the argument in favor of promoting diversity a valid one? How does it size up against the argument that a student’s efforts and achievements should carry more weight than factors that are out of his or her control and therefore arbitrary? When a university’s stated mission is to increase diversity, is it a violation of rights to deny a white person admission?
Part two: what´s the purpose?.  Sandel introduces Aristotle and his theory of justice. Aristotle disagrees with Rawls and Kant. He believes that justice is about giving people their due, what they deserve. When considering matters of distribution, Aristotle argues one must consider the goal, the end, the purpose of what is being distributed. The best flutes, for example, should go to the best flute players. And the highest political offices should go to those with the best judgment and the greatest civic virtue. For Aristotle, justice is a matter of fitting a person’s virtues with an appropriate role.

Episode Ten 

Part one: the good citizen.  Aristotle believes the purpose of politics is to promote and cultivate the virtue of its citizens. The telos or goal of the state and political community is the “good life”. And those citizens who contribute most to the purpose of the community are the ones who should be most rewarded. But how do we know the purpose of a community or a practice? Aristotle’s theory of justice leads to a contemporary debate about golf. Sandel describes the case of Casey Martin, a disabled golfer, who sued the PGA after it declined his request to use a golf cart on the PGA Tour. The case leads to a debate about the purpose of golf and whether a player’s ability to “walk the course” is essential to the game.
Part two: freedom vs fit, How does Aristotle address the issue of individual rights and the freedom to choose? If our place in society is determined by where we best fit, doesn’t that eliminate personal choice? What if I am best suited to do one kind of work, but I want to do another? In this lecture, Sandel addresses one of the most glaring objections to Aristotle’s views on freedom—his defense of slavery as a fitting social role for certain human beings. Students discuss other objections to Aristotle’s theories and debate whether his philosophy overly restricts the freedom of individuals.

Episode Eleven

Part one: the claims of community.  Professor Sandel presents Kant’s objections to Aristotle’s theory. Kant believes politics must respect individual freedom. People must always respect other people’s freedom to make their own choices—a universal duty to humanity—but for Kant, there is no other source of moral obligation. The discussion of Kant’s view leads to an introduction to the communitarian philosophy. Communitarians argue that, in addition to voluntary and universal duties, we also have obligations of membership, solidarity, and loyalty. These obligations are not necessarily based on consent. We inherit our past, and our identities, from our family, city, or country. But what happens if our obligations to our family or community come into conflict with our universal obligations to humanity?
Part two: where our loyalty lies.  Professor Sandel leads a discussion about the arguments for and against obligations of solidarity and membership. Do we owe more to our fellow citizens that to citizens of other countries? Is patriotism a virtue, or a prejudice for one’s own kind? If our identities are defined by the particular communities we inhabit, what becomes of universal human rights? Using various scenarios, students debate whether or not obligations of loyalty can ever outweigh universal duties of justice.

Episode Twelve

Part one: debating same-sex marrige.  If principles of justice depend on the moral or intrinsic worth of the ends that rights serve, how should we deal with the fact that people hold different ideas and conceptions of what is good? Students address this question in a heated debate about same-sex marriage. Should same-sex marriage be legal? Can we settle the matter without discussing the moral permissibility of homosexuality or the purpose of marriage?
Part two: the good life. Professor Sandel raises two questions. Is it necessary to reason about the good life in order to decide what rights people have and what is just? If so, how is it possible to argue about the nature of the good life? Students explore these questions with a discussion about the relation of law and morality, as played out in public controversies over same-sex marriage and abortion. Michael Sandel concludes his lecture series by making the point that, in many cases, the law can’t be neutral on hard moral questions. Engaging rather than avoiding the moral convictions of our fellow citizens may be the best way of seeking a just society.


Michael Sandel 




viernes, 18 de diciembre de 2009

Alice





"- Este sitio, ¿dond... qué es?.
- El país de las maravillas.
- Esa es una historia en un cuento para niños.
- ¿Se parece esto a un cuento de niños para ti?
- No.
- Ha cambiado mucho desde entonces. "









jueves, 17 de diciembre de 2009

Quiero








Efecto Forer



"No creo en la astrología. Es algo que suele sucedernos a la mayoría de los Leo"
Groucho Marx.


El efecto Forer (también llamado falacia de validación personal o el efecto Barnum, por P. T. Barnum) es la observación de que los individuos darán aprobación de alta precisión a descripciones de su personalidad que supuestamente han sido realizadas específicamente para ellos, pero que en realidad son generales y suficientemente vagas como para ser aplicadas a un amplio espectro de gente.

En 1948, el psicólogo Bertram R. Forer dio a sus estudiantes un test de personalidad, y luego les dio un análisis de su personalidad, supuestamente basado en los resultados del test. Invitó a cada uno de ellos a evaluar el análisis en una escala de 0 (muy pobre) a 5 (excelente) según se aplicara a ellos: el promedio fue de 4.26. Luego les reveló que a cada estudiante se le había provisto del mismo análisis:
You have a need for other people to like and admire you, and yet you tend to be critical of yourself. While you have some personality weaknesses you are generally able to compensate for them. You have considerable unused capacity that you have not turned to your advantage. Disciplined and self-controlled on the outside, you tend to be worrisome and insecure on the inside. At times you have serious doubts as to whether you have made the right decision or done the right thing. You prefer a certain amount of change and variety and become dissatisfied when hemmed in by restrictions and limitations. You also pride yourself as an independent thinker; and do not accept others' statements without satisfactory proof. But you have found it unwise to be too frank in revealing yourself to others. At times you are extroverted, affable, and sociable, while at other times you are introverted, wary, and reserved. Some of your aspirations tend to be rather unrealistic.

"Tienes la necesidad de que otras personas te quieran y admiren, y sin embargo eres crítico contigo mismo. Aunque tienes algunas debilidades en tu personalidad, generalmente eres capaz de compensarlas. Tienes una considerable capacidad sin usar que no has aprovechado. Disciplinado y controlado hacia afuera, tiendes a ser preocupado e inseguro por dentro. A veces tienes serias dudas sobre si has obrado bien o tomado las decisiones correctas. Prefieres una cierta cantidad de cambios y variedad y te sientes defraudado cuando te ves rodeado de restricciones y limitaciones. También estás orgulloso de ser un pensador independiente; y de no aceptar las afirmaciones de los otros sin pruebas suficientes. Pero encuentras poco sabio el ser muy franco en revelarte a los otros. A veces eres extrovertido, afable, y sociable, mientras que otras veces eres introvertido, precavido y reservado. Algunas de tus aspiraciones tienden a ser bastante irrealistas."

Forer había ensamblado este texto de distintos horóscopos.

Estudios posteriores concluyeron que los sujetos dan una evaluación más alta si se dan las siguientes características:
  • el sujeto cree que el análisis se aplica sólo a él
  • el sujeto cree en la autoridad del evaluador
  • el análisis enumera mayormente atributos positivos
Ver (Dickson and Kelly 1985) para una revisión de la literatura.

Wikipedia

Barnum effect en skepdic.com


Work less. Play more.



"Trabajadores del mundo, descansad." 

Bob  Black



"El hombre no deja de jugar porque se hace viejo, sino que se hace viejo porque deja de jugar."
Bernard Shaw




Historia de los videojuegos

miércoles, 16 de diciembre de 2009

Biharko ura, batido de vainilla



No puedo pero puedo














Un artista es una persona que dice ‘no puedo arreglar mi país, no puedo arreglar mi estado, no puedo arreglar mi ciudad y ni siquiera puedo arreglar mi matrimonio. Pero mira si no puedo hacer que este lienzo, este pedazo de papel, este cacho de arcilla o estos 12 compases musicales, estén exactamente de la manera en que deben estar"





Spam





"El origen de la palabra spam tiene raíces estadounidenses:
La empresa charcutera estadounidense Hormel Foods lanzó en 1937 una carne en lata originalmente llamada Hormel's Spiced Ham. El Spam fue el alimento de los soldados soviéticos y británicos en la Segunda Guerra Mundial, y desde 1957 fue comercializado en latas, que ahorraba al consumidor el uso del abrelatas.
Más adelante, el grupo británico Monty Python empezó a hacer burla de la carne en lata. Su divertidísima costumbre de gritar la palabra spam en diversos anuncios publicitarios se trasladó al correo electrónico no solicitado, también llamado correo basura" Wikipedia 


martes, 15 de diciembre de 2009

Manifiesto






"(...)Penny – Por otra parte, si las cosas no salen bien con Leonard, me arriesgo a perder un buen amigo.   
Sheldon – ¿Podríamos considerar el gato de Schrödinger? En 1935, Erwin Schrödinger, en un intento de explicar la interpretación de la física cuántica de Copenhague, propuso un experimento en el cual se pone un gato dentro de una caja con conductos de veneno que serían abiertos en un momento aleatorio. Ahora bien, como nadie sabe cuándo o si el veneno ha sido introducido, hasta que se abra la caja el gato puede considerarse tanto vivo como muerto. 
Penny – Sheldon, ¿cuál es la cuestión? 
Sheldon – Simplemente, como el gato de Schrödinger, tu potencial relación con Leonard, ahora mismo, puede considerarse tanto buena como mala. Sólo abriendo la caja puedes averiguar cuál de las dos posibilidades es cierta."






Maite zaitut, ez.



Berrogei urtez labe garaietan lan egin arren,
barru-barrutik,
baserritarra izaten jarraitzen zuen.

Urrian etxeko balkoian
soldagailuarekin
piper gorriak erretzen zituen.

Denak isilarazten zituen
haren ahots ozenak.
Alabak egiten zion soilik aurre.

Ez zuen inoiz maite zaitut esaten.

Tabakoak eta altzairuaren hautsak
ahots-kordak urratu zizkioten.
Mitxoleta bi hostoak galtzen.

Alaba beste hiri batera ezkondu zen.
Erretiratuak oparia zekarren.
Ez errubirik, zeta gorririk ezta ere.

Urtetan lantegitik ebatsi zituen piezak.
Soldagailuarekin
altzairuzko ohea josi zuen, ezari-ezarian.

Ez zuen inoiz maite zaitut esaten.


Kirmen Uribe


So different






Melancolía




La historia de la melancolía
nos incluye a todos.
me retuerzo entre las sábanas sucias
mientras fijo mi mirada
en las paredes azules
y nada.
me he acostumbrado tanto a la melancolía
que
la saludo como a una vieja
amiga.
ahora tendré 15 minutos de aflicción
por la pelirroja que se fue,
se lo diré a los dioses.
me siento realmente mal
realmente triste
entonces me levanto
PURIFICADO
aunque no haya resuelto
nada
(…)
hay algo mal en mí
además de la
melancolía



Charles Bukowski

 

 

Mirar el diente




En el transcurso de la partida, me regaló el caballo. Yo le miré el diente, por si acaso.
Juan Yanes


 

Barry Schwartz on our loss of wisdom




In his inaugural address, Barack Obama appealed to each of us to give our best as we try to extricate ourselves from this current financial crisis. But what did he appeal to? He did not, happily, follow in the footsteps of his predecessor, and tell us to just go shopping. Nor did he tell us, "Trust us. Trust your country. Invest, invest, invest." Instead, what he told us was to put aside childish things. And he appealed to virtue. Virtue is an old-fashioned word. It seems a little out of place in a cutting-edge environment like this one. And besides, some of you might be wondering, what the hell does it mean?

Let me begin with an example. This is the job description of a hospital janitor that is scrolling up on the screen. And all of the items on it are unremarkable. They're the things you would expect: mop the floors, sweep them, empty the trash, restock the cabinets. It may be a little surprising how many things there are, but it's not surprising what they are. But the one thing I want you to notice about them is this: Even though this is a very long list, there isn't a single thing on it that involves other human beings. Not one. The janitor's job could just as well be done in a mortuary as in a hospital.

And yet, when some psychologists interviewed hospital janitors to get a sense of what they thought their jobs were like, they encountered Mike, who told them about how he stopped mopping the floor because Mr. Jones was out of his bed getting a little exercise, trying to build up his strength, walking slowly up and down the hall. And Charlene told them about how she ignored her supervisor's admonition and didn't vacuum the visitor's lounge because there were some family members who were there all day, every day who, at this moment, happened to be taking a nap. And then there was Luke, who washed the floor in a comatose young man's room twice because the man's father, who had been keeping a vigil for six months, didn't see Luke do it the first time, and his father was angry. And behavior like this from janitors, from technicians, from nurses and, if we're lucky now and then, from doctors, doesn't just make people feel a little better, it actually improves the quality of patient care and enables hospitals to run well.

Now, not all janitors are like this, of course. But the ones who are think that these sorts of human interactions involving kindness, care and empathy are an essential part of the job. And yet their job description contains not one word about other human beings. These janitors have the moral will to do right by other people. And beyond this, they have the moral skill to figure out what "doing right" means.

"Practical wisdom," Aristotle told us, "is the combination of moral will and moral skill." A wise person knows when and how to make the exception to every rule, as the janitors knew when to ignore the job duties in the service of other objectives. A wise person knows how to improvise, as Luke did when he re-washed the floor. Real-world problems are often ambiguous and ill-defined and the context is always changing. A wise person is like a jazz musician -- using the notes on the page, but dancing around them, inventing combinations that are appropriate for the situation and the people at hand. A wise person knows how to use these moral skills in the service of the right aims. To serve other people, not to manipulate other people. And finally, perhaps most important, a wise person is made, not born. Wisdom depends on experience, and not just any experience. You need the time to get to know the people that you're serving. You need permission to be allowed to improvise, try new things, occasionally to fail and to learn from your failures. And you need to be mentored by wise teachers.

When you ask the janitors who behaved like the ones I described how hard it is to learn to do their job, they tell you that it takes lots of experience. And they don't mean it takes lots of experience to learn how to mop floors and empty trash cans. It takes lots of experience to learn how to care for people. At TED, brilliance is rampant. It's scary. The good news is you don't need to be brilliant to be wise. The bad news is that without wisdom, brilliance isn't enough. It's as likely to get you and other people into trouble as anything else.

Now, I hope that we all know this. There's a sense in which it's obvious, and yet, let me tell you a little story. It's a story about lemonade. A dad and his seven-year-old son were watching a Detroit Tigers game at the ballpark. His son asked him for some lemonade and dad went to the concession stand to buy it. All they had was Mike's Hard Lemonade, which was five percent alcohol. Dad, being an academic, had no idea that Mike's Hard Lemonade contained alcohol. So he brought it back. And the kid was drinking it, and a security guard spotted it, and called the police, who called an ambulance that rushed to the ballpark, whisked the kid to the hospital. The emergency room ascertained that the kid had no alcohol in his blood. And they were ready to let the kid go.

But not so fast. The Wayne County Child Welfare Protection Agency said no. And the child was sent to a foster home for three days. At that point, can the child go home? Well, a judge said yes, but only if the dad leaves the house and checks into a motel. After two weeks, I'm happy to report, the family was reunited. But the welfare workers and the ambulance people and the judge all said the same thing: "We hate to do it but we have to follow procedure."

How do things like this happen? Scott Simon, who told this story on NPR, said, "Rules and procedures may be dumb, but they spare you from thinking." And, to be fair, rules are often imposed because previous officials have been lax and they let a child go back to an abusive household. Fair enough. When things go wrong, as of course they do, we reach for two tools to try to fix them.

One tool we reach for is rules. Better ones, more of them. The second tool we reach for is incentives. Better ones, more of them. What else, after all, is there? We can certainly see this in response to the current financial crisis. Regulate, regulate, regulate. Fix the incentives, fix the incentives, fix the incentives ... The truth is that neither rules nor incentives are enough to do the job. How could you even write a rule that go the janitors to do what they did? And would you pay them a bonus for being empathic? It's preposterous on its face. And what happens is that as we turn increasingly to rules, rules and incentives may make things better in the short run, but they create a downward spiral that makes them worse in the long run. Moral skill is chipped away by an over-reliance on rules that deprives us of the opportunity to improvise and learn from our improvisations. And moral will is undermined by an incessant appeal to incentives that destroy our desire to do the right thing. And without intending it, by appealing to rules and incentives, we are engaging in a war on wisdom.

Let me just give you a few examples, first of rules and the war on moral skill. The lemonade story is one. Second, no doubt more familiar to you, is the nature of modern American education: scripted, lock-step curricula. Here's an example from Chicago kindergarten. Reading and enjoying literature and words that begin with 'B.' The bath: Assemble students on a rug and give students a warning about the dangers of hot water. Say 75 items in this script to teach a 25-page picture book. All over Chicago in every kindergarten class in the city, every teacher is saying the same words in the same way on the same day. We know why these scripts are there. We don't trust the judgment of teachers enough to let them loose on their own. Scripts like these are insurance policies against disaster. And they prevent disaster. But what they assure in its place is mediocrity.

Don't get me wrong. We need rules! Jazz musicians need some notes -- most of them need some notes on the page. We need more rules for the bankers, God knows. But too many rules prevent accomplished jazz musicians from improvising. And as a result, they lose their gifts, or worse, they stop playing altogether.

Now, how about incentives? They seem cleverer. If you have one reason for doing something and I give you a second reason for doing the same thing it seems only logical that two reasons are better than one and you're more likely to do it. Right? Well, not always. Sometimes two reasons to do the same thing seem to compete with one another instead of complimenting and they make people less likely to do it.

I'll just give you one example because time is racing. In Switzerland back about 15 years ago they were trying to decide where to site nuclear waste dumps. There was going to be a national referendum. Some psychologists went around and polled citizens who were very well informed. And they said, "Would you be willing to have a nuclear waste dump in your community?" Astonishingly, 50 percent of the citizens said yes. They knew it was dangerous. They thought it would reduce their property values. But it had to go somewhere and they had responsibilities as citizens. The psychologists asked other people a slightly different question. They said, "If we paid you six weeks' salary every year would you be willing to have a nuclear waste dump in your community?" Two reasons. It's my responsibility and I'm getting paid. Instead of 50 percent saying yes, 25 percent said yes. What happens is that the second this introduction of incentive gets us so that instead of asking, "What is my responsibility?" all we ask is, "What serves my interests?" When incentives don't work, when CEOs ignore the long-term health of their companies in pursuit of short-term gains that will lead to massive bonuses the response is always the same. Get smarter incentives.

The truth is that there are no incentives that you can devise that are ever going to be smart enough. Any incentive system can be subverted by bad will. We need incentives. People have to make a living. But excessive reliance on incentives demoralizes professional activity in two senses of that word. It causes people who engage in that activity to lose morale and it causes the activity itself to lose morality.

Barack Obama said, before he was inaugurated, "We must ask not just 'Is it profitable?' but 'Is it right?'" And when professions are demoralized everyone in them becomes dependent on -- addicted to -- incentives and they stop asking "Is it right?" We see this in medicine. ("Although it's nothing serious, let's keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't turn into a major lawsuit.") And we certainly see it in the world of business. ("In order to remain competitive in today's marketplace, I'm afraid we're going to have to replace you with a sleezeball.") ("I sold my soul for about a tenth of what the damn things are going for now.") It is obvious that this is not the way people want to do their work.

So what can we do? A few sources of hope: We ought to try to re-moralize work. One way not to do it: teach more ethics courses.  There is no better way to show people that you're not serious than to tie up everything you have to say about ethics into a little package with a bow and consign it to the margins as an ethics course.

What to do instead? One: Celebrate moral exemplars. Acknowledge, when you go to law school, that a little voice is whispering in your ear about Atticus Finch. No ten-year-old goes to law school to do mergers and acquisitions. People are inspired by moral heroes. But we learn that, with sophistication comes the understanding that you can't acknowledge that you have moral heroes. Well, acknowledge them. Be proud that you have them. Celebrate them. And demand that the people who teach you acknowledge them and celebrate them too. That's one thing we can do.

I don't know how many of you remember this: another moral hero, fifteen years ago, Aaron Feuerstein, who was the head of Malden Mills in Massachussetts -- they made Polartec -- The factory burned down. 3,000 employees. He kept every one of them on the payroll. Why? Because it would have been a disaster for them and for the community if he had let them go. "Maybe on paper our company is worth less to Wall Street, but I can tell you it's worth more. We're doing fine."

Just at this TED we heard talks from several moral heroes. Two were particularly inspiring to me. One was Ray Anderson, who turned, you know, a part of the evil empire into a zero-footprint, or almost zero-footprint business. Why? Because it was the right thing to do. And a bonus he's discovering is he's actually going to make even more money. His employees are inspired by the effort. Why? Because there happy to be doing something that's the right thing to do. Yesterday we heard Willie Smits talk about re-foresting in Indonesia.

In many ways this is the perfect example. Because it took the will to do the right thing. God knows it took a huge amount of technical skill. I'm boggled at how much he and his associates needed to know in order to plot this out. But most important to make it work -- and he emphasized this -- is that it took knowing the people in the communities. Unless the people you're working with are behind you this will fail. And there isn't a formula to tell you how to get the people behind you because different people in different communities organize their lives in different ways.

So there's a lot here at TED, and at other places, to celebrate. And you don't have to be a mega-hero. There are ordinary heroes. Ordinary heroes like the janitors who are worth celebrating too. As practitioners each and everyone of us should strive to be ordinary, if not extraordinary heroes. As heads of organizations, we should strive to create environments that encourage and nurture both moral skill and moral will. Even the wisest and most well-meaning people will give up if they have to swim against the current in the organizations in which they work.

If you run an organization you should be sure that none of the jobs -- none of the jobs -- have job descriptions like the job descriptions of the janitors. Because the truth is that any work that you do that involves interaction with other people is moral work. And any moral work depends upon practical wisdom.

And, perhaps most important, as teachers, we should strive to be the ordinary heroes, the moral exemplars, to the people we mentor. And there are a few things that we have to remember as teachers. One is that we are always teaching. Someone is always watching. The camera is always on. Bill Gates talked about the importance of education and, in particular, the model that KIPP was providing. "Knowledge is power." And he talked about a lot of the wonderful things that KIPP is doing to take inner-city kids and turn them in the direction of college.

I want to focus on one particular thing KIPP is doing that Bill didn't mention. That is that they have come to the realization that the single most important thing kids need to learn is character. They need to learn to respect themselves. They need to learn to respect their schoolmates. They need to learn to respect their teachers. And, most important, they need to learn to respect learning. That's the principle objective. If you do that, the rest is just pretty much a coast downhill. And the teachers: the way you teach these things to the kids is by having the teachers and all the other staff embody it every minute of every day.

Obama appealed to virtue. And I think he was right. And the virtue I think we need above all others is practical wisdom, because it's what allows other virtues -- honesty, kindness, courage and so on -- to be displayed at the right time and in the right way. He also appealed to hope. Right again. I think there is reason for hope. I think people want to be allowed to be virtuous.

In many ways, it's what TED is all about. Wanting to do the right thing in the right way for the right reasons. This kind of wisdom is within the grasp of each and every one of us if only we start paying attention. Paying attention to what we do, to how we do it, and, perhaps most importantly, to the structure of the organizations in which we work, so as to make sure that it enables us and other people to develop wisdom rather than having it suppressed.

Barry Schwartz 


Límites




¿Quién dijo alguna vez: hasta aquí la sed,
hasta aquí el agua?

¿Quién dijo alguna vez: hasta aquí el aire,
hasta aquí el fuego?

¿Quién dijo alguna vez: hasta aquí el amor,
hasta aquí el odio?

¿Quién dijo alguna vez: hasta aquí el hombre,
hasta aquí no?

Sólo la esperanza tiene las rodillas nítidas.
Sangran.



Juan Gelman