Saturday, October 12, 2019

Condenado à morte por aprovar livros

‘There’s no hope for the rest of us.’ Uyghur scientists swept up in China’s massive detentions (Science):

No one outside the Chinese government knows where Tashpolat Tiyip is. No one knows exactly what charges have been filed against him. The only thing that anyone really knows is that in April 2017, as the geographer and former president of Xinjiang University in Ürümqi prepared to fly from Beijing to Berlin for a scientific conference and the launch of a research center, he disappeared without even a phone call to colleagues or family.

Six months later, a Chinese propaganda video emerged saying Tiyip was one of 88 scholars who had “deeply poisoned the minds” of students by approving textbooks with too much content from Uyghur sources—the ethnic group that makes up about half of Xinjiang province’s 24 million people. The video calls Tiyip and three other Uyghurs “two-faced” separatists before announcing their sentence: death, with a 2-year reprieve.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Dos IWW às lutas na Google e na Uber

The Radical Guidebook Embraced by Google Workers and Uber Drivers (New York Times):

Just before 20,000 Google employees left their desks last fall to protest the company’s handling of sexual harassment, a debate broke out among the hundreds of workers involved in formulating a list of demands. (...)

But the argument that gained the upper hand, especially as the debate escalated in the weeks after the walkout, held that those approaches would be futile, according to two people involved. Those who felt this way contended that only a less formal, worker-led organization could succeed, by waging mass resistance or implicitly threatening to do so.

This view, based on century-old ideas, did not emerge in a vacuum. It can be traced in part to a book called “Labor Law for the Rank and Filer,” which many Googlers had read and discussed.

Its authors are a longtime labor historian, Staughton Lynd, and an organizer, Daniel Gross. They identify with a strain of unionism popularized in the early 1900s by the Industrial Workers of the World (...)

And Googlers aren’t the only ones who have drawn inspiration from the book. Workers at the crowdfunding company Kickstarter, the site of a recent union campaign, have studied it. Organizers with one of the largest Uber driver groups say the ideas have influenced them as well.

Ares Geovanos, a longtime volunteer for the Tech Workers Coalition, which seeks to organize workers across the industry, said the book’s key contention — that a dedicated group of employees can accomplish more through actions like strikes than by formal efforts to certify a union — had gained traction partly because it reflects reality: Most tech workers have traditionally been reluctant to organize.
A situação nos EUA é bastante diferente da portuguesa (p.ex., lá os sindicatos são certificados oficialmente, por votação, como representantes legais dos trabalhadores de dada profissão e/ou empresa), mas apesar de tudo essas organizações informais não-certificadas parecem-me ter algum paralelismo com o aparecimento cá de sindicatos não alinhados com as centrais sindicais (como os motoristas de matérias perigosas, os enfermeiros ou o Sindicato de Todos Os Professores), e que nalguns casos (nomeadamente os enfermeiros e o STOP) parecem por vezes funcionar menos como organizações estruturadas e mais como simples siglas para dar cobertura jurídica a greves largamente self-service feitas por trabalhadores quem nem sequer estão neles filiados.

Ver o meu post de maio,Um espectro assombra o mundo, o espectro das greves.

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Os problemas de não ter bem uma constituição

BORIS Johnson is planning to tell the Queen she cannot sack him as Prime Minister even if he loses a no confidence vote and MPs choose a caretaker replacement. (The Sun)

Poderão perguntar - acabou de haver eleições em Portugal, um assunto susceptível de montes de análises, e o Miguel continua obcecado com a situação política no Reino Unido? Mas a verdade é que a atual crise institucional britânica (nomedamente como desporto de espetador) é muito mais divertida.

Thursday, October 03, 2019

A aliança entre a Amazon e a polícia

Amazon Has Already Roped 200 Police Departments Into Its Ring Doorbell Surveillance/Promotional Scheme, por Tim Cushing (Techdirt): 

If I've learned anything from the past 20 years of J-horror remakes, these documents are the last thing Motherboard's Caroline Haskins will see before she dies.
At least 200 law enforcement agencies around the country have entered into partnerships with Amazon’s home surveillance company Ring, according to an email obtained by Motherboard via public record request.
Ring has never disclosed the exact number of partnerships that it maintains with law enforcement. However, the company has partnered with at least 200 law enforcement agencies, according to notes taken by a police officer during a Ring webinar, which he emailed to himself in April. It’s possible that the number of partnerships has changed since the day the email was sent.
Amazon is slowly but steadily building a surveillance network. It's not just building it for itself. It has Alexa for that. It's building a new one for US law enforcement agencies, free of charge, in exchange for free promotion and future long-term buy-in

Ring's doorbell cameras are a consumer device, but many, many people are getting them for free from local PDs. The incentives work for everyone… except for those concerned about a private company turning people's houses into de facto police cameras.

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

Como a lei protege o capital

The Code of Capital by Katharina Pistor, por David Murphy (Open Letters Review):

So much discussion around wealth and inequality involves gawking at statistics people don’t understand. Katharina Pistor offers a fascinating argument as to why inequality is increasing, and does so “without having to construct class identities, as Marxists feel compelled to do, or to make heroic assumptions about the rationality of human beings, as rational choice theorists would have it.”  She does not dispute these paradigms (although it isn’t hard to discern where her sympathies lie when you notice her presentation of the concept of capital is informed by people with last names like Polanyi, Harvey, Hobsbawn, Veblen and Stiglitz), rather she argues that “they ignore the central role of law in the making of capital and its protection as private wealth. . . the key to understanding the basis of power and the resulting distribution of wealth lies instead in the process of bestowing legal protection on select assets and to do so as a matter of private, not public, choice.”

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Os dois pesos e duas medidas da Organização dos Estados Americanos

Losing Legitimacy? The Organization of American States and its inconsistent defense of democracy, por Adam Ratzlaff (Global Americans):

Luis Almagro, the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), has been an outspoken proponent for democracy in Venezuela. Even before Juan Guaidó invoked the country’s Constitution and declared the Venezuelan presidency vacant, under Almagro’s direction the OAS has become a fierce promoter of democracy in the Americas and the defender of free and fair elections. But although Almagro has championed the cause of democracy in Venezuela and Honduras, he has failed to protect democracy in other countries in the region and, in so doing, has threatened the legitimacy of the OAS to respond to democratic crises like the one currently occurring in Venezuela.