Friday, August 26, 2016

Das 9 às 5

O country tem a reputação de ser um estilo musical socialmente conservador; já o pop, mesmo sem os radicalismos do punk, do rap ou de um certo folk, tem a conotação de uma coisa mais modernista e arejada.

Uma coincidência curiosa é que em 1980 foram lançadas duas músicas, uma pop e outra country (pelo menos se nos guiarmos pelas intérpretes), com o mesmo nome, "Nine to Five". É interessante comparar a visão do mundo implícita em cada uma...

Thursday, August 25, 2016

A alt-right e o left-libertarianism

Ainda sobre este assunto, uma coisa que me ocorre é que a alt-right e o "dark enlightenment"  estão para a presidência de Obama como o left-libertarianism (não confundir com o que noutras línguas - que não o American English - pode ser chamado de "esquerda libertária" ou nomes semelhantes)  para a de G. W. Bush.

O left-libertarianism foi, na minha opinião, largamente o resultado das políticas do presidente Bush terem levado muitos libertarians a não quererem ter nada com os conservadores, e a desenvolver uma facção do libertarianism progressista nos "costumes" e hostil ao grande capital; já a alt-right e o dark enlightenment são o resultado de as vitórias eleitorais de Obama terem levando alguns conservadores e libertarians a se tornarem em primeiro lugar anti-democratas e/ou anti-história socio-política ocidental dos últimos 250 anos.

O que é a alt-right?

Ultimamente tem-se começado a falar da alt-right, sobretudo a respeito da candidatura de Donald Trump. Mas o que é esse movimento?

Dois artigo sobre o assunto:

An Establishment Conservative's Guide To The Alt-Right, pelos "alt-rightistas" Milo Yiannopoulos e Allum Bokhari

Hillary Clinton to Give Alt-Right Recruitment Speech, pelo "libertarian" Jesse Walker

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

A descentralização causou a civilização grega?

When Greece Was Rich—and Why, por Jason Sorens, em The American Conservative:

Did political decentralization foster classical civilization? That is one of the central claims of this fascinating new work of analytical history by the Stanford political scientist and classicist Josiah Ober. (...)

If we convert pre-modern wages into a common standard of liters of wheat per day, the daily wage for an Athenian laborer or infantryman in the late fifth century (around the time of the Peloponnesian War) was about nine liters per day. A century later, that figure stood at 13-16 liters per day. By contrast, wages for at least 85 percent of the Roman population of the early imperial period stood at around the subsistence level (3.5 liters per day). A laborer in 16th-to-18th-century Holland, when it was the richest country in the world, could have expected to make between 10 and 17 liters per day.
In other words, the Athens of Aristotle was likely richer on a per capita basis than the France of Molière or the England of Shakespeare. While Athens was an extraordinarily rich polis, the rest of classical Greece shared in the prosperity. Ober constructs an index of per capita consumption based on wheat wages for “core Greece” from 1300 BC to AD 1900. He finds that per capita consumption peaked between 400 and 300 BC, fell slightly with the Macedonian conquest, and only fell back to pre-modern norms after a century of Roman rule. By AD 1900, in a world of railroads, the telephone, and transatlantic steamers, per capita consumption in core Greece was still at least 30 percent below the prosperity attained when Plato taught at the Academy.

What accounts for this remarkable prosperity? Athens’ institutional innovations have already been mentioned. Another important element of Ober’s account is the political decentralization of the Greek world. For the Greeks, the polis was the fundamental political unit. There were over 1,000 independent poleis during the classical period. Some smaller poleis lost their political independence from time to time, but there was a natural tendency for the polis to reconstitute itself when political conditions were favorable.

The polis ecology survived in part because of the geography of the Greek world. A highly indented coastline and myriad islands reduced transportation costs and promoted trade—sea travel being much quicker than overland—while also helping to give poleis defensible frontiers. The mountainous interior also helped in the latter regard. Poleis constructed city walls as soon as they were able, which conferred a substantial defenders’ advantage. Some military powerhouses, most notably Sparta, could not undertake long-term siege operations because they had to supervise their slaves at each harvest. Athens eventually did build an empire in the fifth century, only to see a Spartan-led coalition demolish it. The Greek city-state world was multipolar, and poleis were quite willing to federate together in order to maintain their security and internal autonomy. Several of these federations were long-lasting and successful, such as the Aetolian, Achaean, and Chalkidian Leagues. (...)

In the end, however, the poleis could not withstand Macedon and Rome, both of which enthusiastically adopted Greek technologies, made their own improvements, and focused on military discipline and conquest. The Greek polis culture was inherently counter-imperial, and even as the Greeks gained in freedom and wealth from their decentralized order, they paid in coordination costs. Athens and Sparta did manage to coordinate to defeat the vast Persian Empire in the fifth century, but after Sparta’s fourth-century decline, the Athens-Thebes-Corinth alliance was insufficient to stop Philip II of Macedon’s advance.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A "solitária" na prisão

The Rise, Fall, and Rise Again of Solitary Confinement, por Jesse Walker:

Jean Casella and James Ridgeway have published an interesting history of solitary confinement at Longreads (*). Established in late-18th-century America by jailers who saw it as "a kinder and more effective alternative to more viscerally cruel punishments," solitary grew increasingly popular in the antebellum reform era of the mid 19th century. But the practice attracted harsh criticism as its psychological effects became clear, and by the 20th century it was far less common. Its comeback began with the U.S. Penitentiary in Marion, Illinois, which opened in 1963, developed a "Long-Term Control Unit" where prisoners were held in isolation, and in 1983 became the country's first "supermax" prison, where solitary confinement is the norm.
Uma coisa que me ocorre é se a "solitária" será um castigo tão duro assim - pelo menos se as prisões forem como aparece nos filmes, eu desconfio que iria querer estar sempre na "solitária".

Friday, August 05, 2016

Estimular a criatividade dos mortos?

Copyright Protectionism, por Alex Tabarrok:

The latest case in point is last week’sextension of copyright in the European Union for design:
Mid-century design classics, such as Charles Eames chairs, Eileen Gray tables and Arco lamps are set to rocket in price, following EU regulations which came into force this week that extend the copyright on furniture from 25 years to 70 years after the death of a designer. (...)
Dead people tend not to be very creative so I suspect that the retroactive extension of copyright will not spur much innovation from Eames. The point, of course, is not to spur creativity but to protect the rents of the handful of people whose past designs turned out to have lasting value.
Retroactive extensions of copyright throw the entire reasoning behind copyright into reverse. 

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Uma maneira de estimar o IMI (II)

O artigo de Nicolaus Tideman que refiro aqui, como disso, não é de acesso livre. Mas temos outro autor que propôs um modelo quase igual - Saul Levmore, em "Self-Assessed Valuation Systems for Tort and OtherLaw"[pdf], (Virginia Law Review, 68, pp. 771-861, 1982) mais exatamente na secção "Competitive Assesment" (pp. 783-788).