Everything Is Obvious

Duncan Watts.jpgEvery day in New York City five million people ride the sub­ways. Starting from their homes throughout the boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx, they pour themselves in through hundreds of stations, pack themselves into thousands of cars that barrel though the dark labyrinth of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s tunnel system, and then once again flood the platforms and stairwells—a subterranean river of humanity urgently seeking the nearest exit and the open air beyond. As anyone who has ever par­ticipated in this daily ritual can attest, the New York subway system is something between a miracle and nightmare, a Rube Goldberg contraption of machines, concrete, and people that in spite of innumerable breakdowns, inexplicable delays, and indecipherable public announcements, more or less gets ev­eryone where they’re going, but not without exacting a cer­tain amount of wear and tear on their psyche. Rush hour in particular verges on a citywide mosh pit— of tired workers, frazzled mothers, and shouting, shoving teenagers, all scrab­bling over finite increments of space, time, and oxygen. It’s not the kind of place you go in search of the milk of human kindness. It’s not the kind of place where you’d expect a per­fectly healthy, physically able young man to walk up to you and ask you for your seat.

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Ese Colegio del que usted me habla.

60 ans du Traité de Rome : au Collège de l'Europe, à Bruges, les ...Es difícil hacer que un hombre entienda algo cuando su salario depende de que no lo entienda. – Upton Sinclair

Tras casi dos años de penitencia y cierta reconversión profesional, he de confesar que escribir sobre el Colegio de Europa, y aún encima para defenderlo, no era precisamente algo que tenía en mente.

Pero cuando se presenta una buena ocasión, saben al menos los de la Promoción Simone Veil 2018 que siempre pueden contar conmigo en calidad de nota disonante, siempre dispuesto (vale, de vez en cuando) a bajar al lodazal europeo. Habemus Rectora.

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The Goodness Paradox

Richard W. Wrangham | Harvard Museums of Science & Culture…Lescarbot was only one of many who were impressed by the internal peacefulness of small-scale societies. By the end of the seventeenth century, according to Gilbert Chinard, “hundreds of voyagers had noted in passing the goodness of primitive peoples.” Their “goodness,” however, was applied only to people of the same society.  In 1929, the anthropologist Maurice Davie summarized a consensus understanding that remains true today: people were as good to members of their own society as they were harsh to others.

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No era aún una Pandemia, pero siempre fue el Estado, estúpido

El Estado es nuestro Pastor, nada nos falta. Y si uno titubea, qué mejor que una buena Pandemia de importación para reafirmar nuestra Fe en nuestra sabia, responsable y, al parecer, indispensable Sanidad del Estado. Ja, mis cojones. El Rey estaba desnudo.

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The Alleged Scarcity of Scientific Research

The myth has arisen that government research is made necessary by our technological age, because only planned, directed, large-scale “team” research can produce important inventions or develop them properly. The day of the individual or small-scale inventor is supposedly over and done with. And the strong inference is that government, as potentially the “largest-scale” operator, must play a leading role in even non-military scientific research.

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