Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Liberdade de expressão e censura social/privada (I)

A Litany of the Ways In Which Facebook Corrupts the Spirit of Free Speech, por Robert Sharp:

Inciting violence and hate is what Britain First group appear to have been doing, so the Facebook decision to ban their page feels righteous. Good riddance? Nothing to see here? Move along?

Not quite. This development is still problematic and draws our attention to the unexpected role that social media plays in our politics. We have been discussing these problems for years without, in my opinion, coming any closer to solving them.

It is important to remember that this is not an example of state censorship. Facebook is a private company, and it is entitled to set its own terms of use and to enforce them as it sees fit. The Britain First Facebook page has no protection under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights or the First Amendment to the United States constitution.

And that is the first problem, because no-one else’s Facebook page has such a protection either. Vast swathes of political discourse take place on Mark Zuckerberg’s platform. We treat it like a public square, but it is not. At any moment, the messages we post, and the networks we have built can be taken away from us.

Whatever mechanise that has been used to shut down the far right will be used to censor other groups. Campaigners will note the demise of the Britain First page and seek to have other pages similarly banned. Islamist groups and the Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists will be at immediate risk, but other kinds of political discussion will soon be targeted. Any legitimate political cause that contains militant elements, such as pro-Palestine or pro-Kurdish groups, could easily find their Facebook privileges are revoked when those who are ideologically opposed start gaming the complaint features.

This is privatised censorship. Individuals and interest groups can and will enlist the help of a billionaire to shut up people with whom they disagree. (...)

Our response to this cannot be “well, you can always go elsewhere”. Where exactly? MySpace? Friends Reunited? Independent websites (such as this blog) do not have the same networking opportunities and potential for ‘virality’ that the leading social media platforms offer. Social media is where our discourse happens now and all other content is filtered through these platforms. They are private spaces where we conduct very public politics. Denial of access to these spaces presents a huge barrier to expression for anyone thus suppressed. A single American company should not be the final arbiter on what organisations get to participate in British politics. We may think they have made the right call in banning Britain First… but even a stopped clock is right twice a day. (...) 

Another problem, most relevant internationally, is that social media platforms present a single point of failure. Recent history is littered with examples of governments seeking to block access to social media. Iran did so during the ‘Green Revolution’ protests of 2009 and Egypt did so during the ‘Arab Spring’ protests of 2011. During the London riots that same year, British members of Parliament
expressed support for the idea that the government might take social media services entirely off-line during times that suited them. I wrote a commentary on this idea at the time.


The counter to this threat is to distribute the network. Use different platforms or use technologies that do not require a centralised server like RSS or Mastodon. By spreading out we are harder to stop. We have known that this is important for nearly a decade, but everyone, including yrstrly, seems wedded to the corporate silos.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Protecionismo, direita e esquerda

Free Trade Shouldn’t Be a Litmus Test for Conservatism, por Paul Gottfried (The American Conservative):

According to a recent analysis in the New York Times, President Trump’s “isolationist” trade policy is “at odds with longstanding conservative orthodoxy about the benefits of free and open markets.” The reader is further told that the president is under pressure from his working-class base, which is obstreperously demanding that protectionist taxes be placed on imported steel and aluminum.

I say not so fast.

The Times presents the GOP base’s supposed impatience with free trade as a departure from almost sacred Republican beliefs, and free trade itself as a permanent conservative characteristic. Their evidence is that large corporations favor free trade while labor unions have generally been more protectionist.

But both assertions represent gross oversimplifications. Those who present free trade as a “conservative” position are skimming over whole chapters of the past.They conveniently overlook (or are totally ignorant of) the fact that well into the 20th century, American statesmen who could hardly be characterized as leftists—like Alexander Hamilton, Henry Clay, and William Howard Taft—were outspoken advocates of tariffs. (...)

In Europe, such non-leftists as Louis XIV, Frederick the Great, and Otto von Bismarck favored tariffs to protect the agricultural and commercial products of their countrymen.(...) England practiced free trade in the 19th century principally because it was the most advanced industrial nation with the largest supply of credit. When these conditions changed before the First World War, the English government reverted to protectionism. This change in England’s fortunes and views about trade provided the theme of a famous book, The Strange Death of Liberal England, by George Dangerfield, which was published in 1935. Not surprisingly, it was the Tories who were accused of giving the death blow to English free trade.

It is not often mentioned—but should be, for the sake of accuracy—that the major advocates of free trade in the 19th century were radicals like John Bright, Richard Cobden, and James and John Stuart Mill. Such free traders believed in extending the suffrage to women, and in various mechanisms for breaking down national barriers. Although the goals of these radicals have become mainstream positions by now, in the 19th century they certainly were not.

Thursday, March 01, 2018

O novo modelo económico do Labour

The new economics of Labour, por Hilary Wainwright (introdução) e John McDonnell:

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell can usually barely breathe a word about nationalisation without setting off a media frenzy – so it’s strange that his most interesting comments yet on the subject passed with so little comment.

Speaking in London about the Labour Party’s new economics, McDonnell said: ‘We should not try to recreate the nationalised industries of the past… we cannot be nostalgic for a model whose management was often too distant, too bureaucratic.’ Instead, he said, a new kind of public ownership would be based on the principle that ‘nobody knows better how to run these industries than those who spend their lives with them’.

Maybe the media's silence on this profoundly democratic vision of public ownership is not so surprising : for it directly contradicts the attempt to warm up Cold War scares of a secretly pro-Soviet Labour leader whose public ownership plans are the first step towards imposing a Soviet style command economy onto the unsuspecting British people.

Now that the Czech spy stories have fallen flat – as false – we can discuss Labour's new democratic thinking more productively and maybe some of the media will pay attention; for this new thinking about public ownership opens up a rich seam of new economic thinking: beyond both neoliberalism and the post-war settlement. While neoliberalism says the market knows best, the Fabian-inspired model of the 1945 welfare state – while it has considerable merits – left workers with no role in the management of the newly nationalised industries. Beatrice Webb, a leading Fabian, declared her lack of faith in the ‘average sensual man’ (who can ‘describe his grievances’ but not ‘prescribe his remedies’) and wanted public industries to be run by ‘the professional expert’. In practice, this often meant the same old bosses from the private firms being brought back to run the public version, along with an few ex-generals or two.

Underlying Labour’s New Politics is a new and very different understanding of knowledge – even of what counts as knowledge – in public administration, and hence of whose knowledge matters. For industries to be run by ‘those who spend their lives with them’ means recognising the knowledge drawn from practical experience, which is often tacit rather than codified: an understanding of expertise that opens decision-making to wider popular participation, beyond the private boss or the state bureaucrat. As McDonnell put it, we need to ‘learn from the everyday experiences of those who know how to run railway stations, utilities and postal services, and what’s needed by their users’.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Uma solução para o assédio sexual?

Ou, pelo menos, para provar que há assédio.

Harassment: A Keyhole Solution, por Bryan Caplan:

Over the last year, resentment of unwanted job-related sexual attention (better known as "sexual harassment") has gone from high to extreme.  It's easy to grasp why people would see such harassment as a problem.  The standard remedy, though, is to punish virtually all job-related sexual attention, wanted or not.  In practice, workplaces now discourage employees from dating each other - and heavily discourage mixed-status romance.

What explains the ubiquity of these broader policies?  Simple: It's hard to know in advance if sexual attention is unwanted.  (To quote Merlin in Excalibur, "Looking at the cake is like looking at the future, until you've tasted it what do you really know? And then, of course, it's too late.")  Especially if the person making an unwanted advance outranks you, you may be uncomfortable bluntly refusing.  The surest way to abolish unwanted attention is to abolish attention itself.

Unfortunately, the abolition of attention causes massive collateral damage.  People spend tons of time getting to know their co-workers.  As a result, many promising matches are discovered on the job.  Furthermore, humans find high status attractive.  As a result, attention from higher-status co-workers is often appealing.  Ban workplace romance, and you deprive many people of the partner of their dreams. (...)

What can be done?  Before I answer, let's back up.  In speed dating, a standard practice is to give every participant a list of names.  Men check off all the women they're interested in dating.  Women check off all the men they're interested in dating.  Once the results are in, organizers inform individuals about all cases of mutual interest.  The rest go in the trash.

Thus, if Jack checks Sally and Jane, Tom checks Jane, Sally checks Tom, and Jane checks Jack, Jack and Jane are informed that they have a match.  But Sally never finds out that Jack liked her - and Tom never finds out that Sally liked him.  This doesn't just spare Jack and Sally the humiliation of being rejected.  It also spares Sally and Tom the awkwardness of having to reject.  Jack and Jane, in contrast, both get to enjoy each others' wanted attention.

So what's my keyhole solution for harassment?  Firms should adopt the speed dating paradigm.  Let everyone secretly record their feelings, if any, for their co-workers.  If the feelings are unrequited, no one ever finds out.  If the feelings are mutual, however, both parties receive official confirmation.  And unless they edit their recorded preferences, they waive their right to complain about (or sue over) unwanted attention from whoever they explicitly approved.

How is this better than the status quo?  Simple: It retains standard rules against unwanted attention, but gives people a safe way to take a chance on love.  Indeed, my proposal even shields everyone from the knowledge that someone has unrequited feelings for them.  Don't want to know how anyone feels about you?  Then check zero boxes, and you're safe.

The most obvious objection is that people could change their minds.  But I've already got that covered: If you decide you no longer welcome someone's attention, you edit your preferences - and they get a polite email informing them of your wishes.  Worried that they won't listen?  Then don't check them in the first place.

Couldn't an aggressive harasser pressure someone to consent?  Of course.  But that's also true in the current system.  The key difference: Under my proposal, pressuring someone to consent would be unambiguous evidence of unwanted attention.  The status quo, in contrast, affords everyone some plausible deniability.
Algumas observações:

- Isso é basicamente imitar muitas apps (para smartphones e redes sociais) que funcionam assim (isto não é uma crítica, é apenas uma constatação).

- Suspeito que muitas empresas têm regras contra relacionamentos entre chefes e subordinados, não tanto ou apenas com medo de assédio ou coação implícita, mas sobretudo com medo de favoritismo (ou mesmo de simples suspeitas de favoritismo, que são suficientes para criar mau ambiente).

- Essa divisão "digital" entre interessado/não-interessado não corresponde totalmente à realidade, em que há uma vasta gama de situações intermédias (compare-se  "tomar um café depois do serviço" /"jantar fora e ir ao cinema"/ "caso de uma noite"/"amizade colorida"/"relação aberta"/"compromisso sério"/etc.)

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Desemprego tecnológico, mito ou realidade?

Technological Unemployment: Much More Than You Wanted to Know, por Scott Alexander.

Um artigo sobre se há (ou pode haver) mesmo muito desemprego por causa da tecnologia.

Ainda que um pouco paralela ao tema central, gostei especialmente desta parte:

Prime age non-working men are mostly on disability. But some are also in school (despite having to be above 25 to be included as “prime age”), retired (despite having to be below 55), or homemakers (remember, these are all men). Again, only about 1% (out of the total of 12%) say they can’t find work.

If we were very optimistic, we could paint a rosy picture of what’s going on here. The increase in disability represents improving social safety net that allows disabled people to be better supported. It’s great that more people are financially secure enough to retire early. It’s great that more people are pursuing a graduate education that has them in school after age 25. It’s great that gender stereotypes are decreasing and more men feel comfortable as homemakers, perhaps supported by a working spouse. (...)

In 1970, educated and uneducated men were about equally likely to be PAMLFNPers. The rate for educated men didn’t change. The rate for uneducated men shot up.

And I won’t show you graphs, but there are similar trends for poor people, ex-convicts, blue collar workers, and minorities. These are not the sort of people who are likely to be able to retire early, pursue graduate school, or defy gender norms. But they are the sort of people who might have trouble finding work. This is pretty suspicious. (...)

Labor force nonparticipation is increasing primarily in poor and lower-middle-class people without a lot of good options, just as their remaining options get much worse. Surely this suggests something worse is going on.

The easiest place for this to happen is disability. It doesn’t require disability fraud, per se. It just requires some people on the threshold of disability who are motivated by marginal cost/benefit analysis.

Suppose that you have bad back pain. You work in the auto factory, like your father and his father before him. Your back pain flares up pretty often, but you know your foreman pretty well and he gives you an easy shift until it passes, and the union makes sure that nobody gives you any grief about it. You like your company and your coworkers and you want to make them happy. Also, if you didn’t work, you would starve to death.

Now suppose that your factory closes, and the only job available is being a home health aide. This involves a lot of bending over and puts you in constant almost-unbearable pain. And it’s run by a giant faceless corporation which always seems to be trying to screw you over. Also, you live in West Virginia and are very manly, and changing diapers in nursing homes seems like undignified women’s work. Also, the pay is half what you’re used to. Also, the government just passed a new law making disability benefits much more generous and easier to get. So… (...)

Let’s say you’re our West Virginia factory worker again, only now you can’t get on disability. Now what?

Maybe you choose to retire. And maybe you’re 53 years old and this isn’t the most reasonable financial plan, but you own your house, you get food stamps, and you can do odd jobs around your friends’ farm to make some extra money.

Or maybe you choose to go to that ridiculous Coal Miner To Coder school that got profiled on NPR a little while ago, in the hopes that you can have a pathway to a new career, or just so that you have something to do.

Or maybe you choose to stay at home with your kids, while your wife does the home health aide thing, and if anybody asks, you’re a “stay-at-home dad”.

And then when economists look at the statistics, they say “Oh, look, there’s no problem here, it’s just a combination of retirees, students, homemakers, and the disabled.”

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Guerra Turquia-Síria?

Turkey fired at Syrian pro-regime forces as they entered Tuesday (February 20) the Kurdish-controlled enclave of Afrin, Syrian state media said.

The shelling marks a major escalation in the month-old assault Turkey and allied rebels are waging on Afrin. 

"Turkish regime forces targeted the locations of popular forces with artillery fire as they arrived to the Afrin region," state news agency SANA reported. 

Turkey said they it fired "warning shots" at Syria pro-regime forces in Afrin. (...)

In a statement on Tuesday, YPG spokesman Nuri Mahmud said the Kurdish forces had called on the Damascus government to help fend off Turkey's assault. 

"The Syrian government responded to the invitation, answered the call of duty and sent military units today, February 20, to take up positions on the borders, and participate in defending the territorial unity of Syria and its borders," the statement said.

Monday, February 19, 2018


How is the world ruled?, por Branko Milanovic.

O tema do artigo é mais amplo, mas interessei-me sobretudo por esta parte:
Proposition 2. The world is ruled on merit.

This is the view that many people hold about their own involvements and that of institutions they work for. (...)

But is it true? Here I could ply the readers with numerous examples, but I will choose the one that, like the Belgrade story, sticks in my mind.

It happened that the offer that I got involved a study of how heating and transportation subsidies in a Central Asian country affected its income distribution. It was easy to do and I promptly came back with the conclusion that they were pro-poor and should be kept.

But this was not the policy of the World Bank. The year was 1994 or 1995 and everybody believed in Fukuyama and Larry Summers. So the decision or rather the diffuse feeling (because you do not need a formal decision on matters like these to know what the “correct” answer is) was made before the report was even started that the subsidies should be eliminated. The leader of the group, not the most brilliant person, was smart enough to know what the desired conclusion was and that his/her career would be helped if the empirical analysis supported it.

So when it did not, he/she totally ignored it, and after several endless meetings where I was supposed to be somehow convinced that the data must surely be wrong, that part of the report was either not included or totally ignored. (I cannot remember what happened.) Because I was not brave or stubborn enough, I gave up a (hopeless) struggle after a couple of attempts and went back to my numbers and equations.

I was outside that particular hierarchy; so I was relatively free. But I then thought: let’s suppose that I was hierarchically under the project leader and that I was courageous enough to stick to my guns. What would have happened? My arguments would have been ignored; I would not have been demoted or fired. But in my next annual review, I would have been given the lowest possible grade, salary increase would be nil, my promotion prospect would be zero, and the explanation would never address the substantive issue: it would be that I was not collegial, failed to work in a team spirit etc. It could be even that I would have been asked to attend “team building” seminars like the Soviet dissidents were sent to psychiatric asylums.

The problem would never even be mentioned to have consisted in a disagreement on substance. Rather it would have been treated as some maladjustment problem on my part; perhaps I was harassed when young or had a difficult childhood. Because, of course, the institution is not closed to different viewpoints and welcomes diverse opinions and “vibrant” or “robust” (these are the preferred terms) dialogue.

This is how the weeding out of undesirable views would have proceeded.

É cada vez mais díficil aprender a programar?

Learning to program is getting harder, por Allen Downey:

The fundamental problem is that the barrier between using a computer and programming a computer is getting higher.

When I got a Commodore 64 (in 1982, I think) this barrier was non-existent.  When you turned on the computer, it loaded and ran a software development environment (SDE).  In order to do anything, you had to type at least one line of code, even if all it did was another program (...)

Since then, three changes have made it incrementally harder for users to become programmers

1) Computer retailers stopped installing development environments by default.  As a result, anyone learning to program has to start by installing an SDE -- and that's a bigger barrier than you might expect. (...)

2) User interfaces shifted from command-line interfaces (CLIs) to graphical user interfaces (GUIs).  GUIs are generally easier to use, but they hide information from users about what's really happening.  When users really don't need to know, hiding information can be a good thing.  The problem is that GUIs hide a lot of information programmers need to know.

3) Cloud computing has taken information hiding to a whole new level.  People using web applications often have only a vague idea of where their data is stored and what applications they can use to access it.  Many users, especially on mobile devices, don't distinguish between operating systems, applications, web browsers, and web applications. 
Via Slashdot e Marginal Revolution.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Ingerência em eleições

Russia Isn’t the Only One Meddling in Elections. We Do It, Too. (New York Times):

Bags of cash delivered to a Rome hotel for favored Italian candidates. Scandalous stories leaked to foreign newspapers to swing an election in Nicaragua. Millions of pamphlets, posters and stickers printed to defeat an incumbent in Serbia.

The long arm of Vladimir Putin? No, just a small sample of the United States’ history of intervention in foreign elections. (...)

Most Americans are understandably shocked by what they view as an unprecedented attack on our political system. But intelligence veterans, and scholars who have studied covert operations, have a different, and quite revealing, view.

“If you ask an intelligence officer, did the Russians break the rules or do something bizarre, the answer is no, not at all,” said Steven L. Hall, who retired in 2015 after 30 years at the C.I.A., where he was the chief of Russian operations. The United States “absolutely” has carried out such election influence operations historically, he said, “and I hope we keep doing it.”

Friday, February 16, 2018

Lei da oferta e da procura

Acima temos a estilização de uma das chamadas "leis" da economia - supostamente, quanto maior o preço de um bem, menos desejo de comprar esse bem haverá (por razões óbvias - é caro), e também mais oferta desse bem haverá (também por razões quase tão óbvias - mais há a ganhar em produzir esse bem). Claro que há muitas exceções, como os bens de Veblen e de Giffen, em que a procura é suposto aumentar com o preço; e, sobretudo no mercado de trabalho, não é raro a oferta aumentar quando diminui o preço: como os salários são mais baixos, os trabalhadores têm que trabalhar mais para atingirem o nível de vida que pretendem (aliás, como o desenvolvimento do meu post vai ser sobre o mercado de trabalho, até pensei inicialmente em representar a oferta como uma reta vertical).

De qualquer maneira, independentemente da posição exata das retas ou curvas da oferta e da procura em situações concretas, o postulado subjacente é que o mercado tende a equilibrar a oferta e a procura - se há mais gente a querer comprar um bem do que a querer vendê-lo, o preço aumenta, levando a oferta a aumentar e a procura a diminuir até se equilibrarem.

Vamos ao exemplo concreto do mercado de trabalho - será de esperar que haja falta involuntária de trabalhadores? À partida, num mercado livre funcionando de acordo com os pressupostos neoclássico mais simplistas, não - se as empresas não contratam mais trabalhadores, é porque não querem (atendendo às condições do mercado, nomeadamente salários) contratar mais trabalhadores.

Note-se que mesmo assumindo que a oferta de trabalho (como de costume quando falo destes assunto, volto a lembrar que "oferta de trabalho" são os trabalhadores que querem vender o seu trabalho e "procura de trabalho" são as empresas que querem comprar trabalho, ainda que na linguagem coloquial frequentemente se use os termos ao contrário) não aumentasse ou até diminuísse com o aumento do salário, o sistema tenderia a equilibrar-se através da procura: com o aumento dos salários, deixaria de ser economicamente viável para as empresas preencher determinados postos de trabalho, e portanto deixariam de procurar contratar pessoas para esses cargos (e no final atingia-se o ponto em que para todos os lugares que as empresas querem preencher, conseguem contratar alguém).

Também não se pode dizer que a culpa é do subsidio de desemprego, do RSI ou até de algumas pessoas já estarem a mandriar por conta do RBI que esperam vir a ser implantado: isso reduziria a oferta de trabalho, mas não o principio geral que a oferta e a procura tendem a se equilibrar (apenas faria que o salário de equilíbrio fosse mais alto, mas não que deixasse de haver equilíbrio)

Portanto como é que se pode explicar esse mistério de as empresas, como alega Ferraz da costa, não conseguirem arranjar trabalhadores? Possíveis explicações:

a) Poderíamos ter um cenário parecido com a Venezuela: o governo venezuelano impõe (ou impôs?) preços máximos para muitos produtos, e por causa disso há mais procura que oferta porque os preços não sobem e portanto o mercado não se equilibra; o equivalente no mercado laboral seria haver leis (ou talvez acordos negociados com os sindicatos) tabelando os salários e assim impedindo as empresas de subir os salários para atrair trabalhadores - mas não há nenhumas leis limitando os salários para cima; a legislação que existe só estabelece salários mínimos, não máximos (da mesma maneira, penso que as empresas abrangidas por um ACT podem sempre pagar mais do que o estipulado, menos é que não pode ser).

b) Pode ser sinal que existe concorrência imperfeita no mercado de trabalho, e que os empregadores têm poder de monopsónio; em vez de estar a explicar isto, que é um pouco complexo, limito-me a linkar para o Luís Aguiar-Conraria.

c) Talvez seja simplesmente linguagem em código, e que quando um empregador diz que não encontra ninguém para trabalhar, o que quer dizer é que os salários são muito elevados e não compensa contratar (ou seja, o mercado está realmente equilibrado, mas ele preferia que o preço de equilíbrio fosse menor), e acha que é mais politicamente correto dizer "ninguém quer trabalhar" do que "muitas empresas não são suficientemente produtivas para conseguirem pagar os salários que se praticam no mercado" (ainda que noutro contexto, ver este post de Noah Smith sobre a questão da "falta de trabalhadores qualificados", que segundo ele pode significar 8 coisas diferentes - para o caso que estou a falar neste post, será fundamentalmente a diferença entre 1º e o 2º possíveis significados, até porque os outros são muito específicos)

d) Há efetivamente uma quarta hipótese, perfeitamente compatível com o tal modelo dos gráficos - era imaginarmos uma situação em que a curva da oferta de trabalho fosse decrescente face aos salários, e que a inclinação fosse mais pronunciada que a curva da procura; num modelo destes a economia poderia facilmente cair num cenário em que o mercado nunca se equilibrava - se houvesse falta de trabalhadores, os salários subiam, mas esta subida de salários, se reduzia a procura de trabalho (o tal efeito de deixar de ser viável contratar alguns trabalhadores), reduzia ainda mais a oferta (pelo tal efeito de já não ser preciso trabalhar tanto para atingir um dado vencimento), criando ainda mais falta de trabalhadores, num ciclo sem fim. Mas esta hipótese (em que basta um desvio milimétrico, face ao salário de equilíbrio,para a economia mergulhar numa espiral em que os salários ou sobem até ao infinito ou descem até zero) parece-me completamente irreal na prática.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

A Educação Física deve contar para a entrada na universidade?

Em primeiro lugar, uma declaração de interesses - não tenho jeito nenhum para educação física; isso de certeza que turva a minha objetividade.

Dito isto, acho que as propostas que o Bloco de Esquerda e o PCP estão a apresentar, no sentido da nota de Educação Física voltar a contar para a média de acesso ao ensino superior, não fazem grande sentido - porque é que alguém há de ficar de fora de um curso de Matemática Aplicada só porque teve uma nota baixa a Educação Física? Antes de alguém pergunte se é realista supor
que alguém deixará de ficar de fora do curso que quer só porque teve uma
má nota a educação física, em principio claro que deixará - das duas uma: ou essa mudança não tem efeito nenhum (e nesse caso é irrelevante), ou terá algum efeito, e assim será no sentido de que entrem pessoas que de outra maneira não entrariam, e, consequentemente, não entrem pessoas que de outra maneira entrariam.

A respeito do argumento de "promover estilos de vida saudáveis":

Em primeiro lugar, enquanto haver necessidade (por haver menos vagas que interessados) de seleccionar os alunos que entram nas universidades públicas, devem ser seleccionados aqueles que se consideram que é mais benéfico à sociedade que sejam aceites, que em principio há razões para
supor que serão os que dominam mais as matérias centrais para esses cursos, não aqueles que têm um estilo de vida individual "aprovado" por Fulano ou Beltrano (se se quer promover determinados estilos de vida, há maneiras mais eficazes de o fazer).

Em segundo, quando se chega aos anos que estamos a falar (16-17-18 anos), já é pouco provável que alguém que não goste e/ou não tenha jeito para Educação Física passe a gostar ou ter jeito.

Em terceiro lugar não acho que seja função do Estado ou da escola promover "estilos de vida" específicos, saudáveis ou não - se o estado tiver alguma função será a de criar condições para que cada individuo possa viver o estilo de vida que escolheu para si, com o limite de não prejudicar os outros e o bem estar geral (e alguém levar um estilo de vida "pouco saudável" em principio não prejudica os outros - talvez cause um bocadinho mais de despesa ao SNS, mas se calhar também morre mais cedo e poupa na Segurança Social, pelo que uma coisa anula a outra); claro que isto é
sobretudo para adultos, mas (e voltando a pegar no ponto anterior) nesta idade já estamos a falar de semi-adultos (ainda por cima se nós nos Bloco de Esquerda, achamos - e bem - que nessa idade já têm capacidade para decidir fazer uma operação de mudança de sexo e para votar, é um pouco ilógico virmos agora achar que que nessa idade ainda devem ser  "empurrados" para se aplicarem na Educação Física).

E o grande paradoxo disto é que no fim nem vão valorizar a Educação Física - o resultado disso vai provavelmente ser o que penso já ser a tendência em grande parte das escolas: a nota de Educação Física não ser uma verdadeira nota, mas (pelo menos para quem deveria ter uma má notaa
EF) uma espécie de "média" das outras notas, atribuída para "não estragar a média".

É verdade que as associações de professores de educação física acham que é importante que a disciplina conte para a nota final, mas se existisse uma Associação de Professores de Aramaico Ocidental provavelmente também seriam capazes de arranjar argumentos para defender a importância do ensino do Aramaico Ocidental - toda a gente acha que a sua área é importantíssima.

Já agora, isto chama-me a atenção para um problema mais vasto: ao que sei, Portugal é dos países da Europa onde as crianças e jovens passam mais tempo em aulas; e no conjunto do "Ocidente" há uma tendência para as crianças e jovens passarem  cada vez mais tempo na escola ou em "atividades" organizadas e terem cada vez menos tempo para atividades não-estrutradas e auto-geridas. Muito provavelmente há espaço para reduzir a carga horária de aulas, permitindo às crianças e jovens terem
mais tempo livre e simultaneamente permitindo, com o mesmo número de professores, criar turmas mais pequenas com uma melhor aprendizagem. Mas receio que a tendência seja para os professores das várias áreas, compreensivelmente achando que a sua área é super-importante, empurrem é
no sentido do aumento permanente da carga letiva (com cada grupo a querer aumentar as horas atribuidas à sua disciplina).

Monday, February 12, 2018

Um possível RBI

Uma das questões acerca do agora na moda Rendimento Básico Incondicional (na minha opinião, provavelmente a mais importante) é como o financiar; até por uma razão: um dos argumentos a favor do RBI é que, como toda a gente o recebe, faça o que fizer, não distorce os preços (exemplo - com ou sem RBI, se eu aceitar um emprego a ganhar 800 euros por mês, vou ganhar mais 800 euros do que se não o aceitar - seja o valor do RBI qual for; já noutros sistemas de proteção social, se eu aceitar esse emprego, vou no fim ganhar menos que 800 euros adicionais, porque provavelmente vou perder apoios e subsídios a que teria direito se não o aceitasse); mas se o RBI for financiado via impostos sobre o rendimento, ou sobre o consumo, ou sobre o conjunto do património, vai à mesma distorcer os preços por essa via - pelos impostos que são necessários para o pagar (e não é certo que no final essa distorção não seja menor que a causada pelos apoios sujeitos a condição de recursos).

Várias propostas têm sido apresentadas para financiamentos "eficientes" do RBI: impostos sobre a poluição, direitos de exploração de recursos naturais (é o que se passa, indiretamente, com o RBI do Alasca, financiado pelos lucros dos investimentos realizados com os direitos sobre o petróleo que o Estado recebe), leilões de frequências hertzianas, distribuição do crescimento da massa monetária (isto é, os bancos centrais porem dinheiro em circulação dando-o às pessoas, em vez de comprado títulos ou emprestando aos bancos), a taxa Tobin (isto, do ponto de vista de quem considere que as transações cambiais internacionais têm externalidades negativas, e que portanto essa taxa vai aumentar e não diminuir a eficiência económica), etc.

Mas uma das ideias mais antigas para algo equivalente a um RBI é a proposta georgista, teorizada por Henry George no século XIX: comprar um imposto sobre o valor da terra, usá-lo para financiar a despesa do Estado e o que sobrar distribuir igualitariamente por toda a gente; atenção que o imposto era mesmo só sobre o valor da terra (ou, mais exatamente, sobre a renda da terra), não sobre o valor da terra + valor do que lá estivesse construido ou plantado

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Um problema nas discussões sobre o Rendimento Básico Incondicional

Uma  coisa que acho que "polui" muito as discussões sobre o Rendimento Básico Incondicional (nomeadamente nas comparações com outros sistemas, como o Rendimento Mínimo Garantido / Rendimento Social de Inserção) é que dá-me a ideia que muita gente (tanto críticos como defensores do RBI), quando fala de RBI e RSI, não está verdadeiramente a pensar nas definições "técnicas" dos dois sistemas (RBI - subsídio lump-sum pago igualmente a toda a gente, sejam pobres ou multimilionários; RSI - subsídio pago só a quem ganha menos que "X" e que vai sendo reduzido à medida que o rendimento se aproxima de "X"); está simplesmente, consciente ou inconscientemente, a pensar "RBI = subsidio que permite uma vida de classe média ou quase" e "RSI = subsidio miserával dentro do limiar da pobreza"; claro que podemos perfeitamente ter um RBI pequeno (como o do Alasca - 1.100 dólares por pessoa/ano) ou um RSI grande, mas, por qualquer razão misteriosa, há uma tendência para se assumir que o RBI deverá ser maior que o RSI.

Alguns exemplos que indiciam isso - num grupo do Facebook em que participo sobre o RBI, quando se discutem propostas de RBIs em valores reduzidos (estilo 100 euros por mês), muitos participantes fazem logo comentários do tipo "eu não chamaria a isso um RBI; com um valor desses será no máximo uma espécie de rendimento mínimo"; e já também já ouvi dizer (ou li escrever), sobre subsídios que há em países árabes produtores de petróleo e que permitem levar uma vida confortável mas que são cancelados caso o beneficiário arranje emprego, que no essencial serão uma espécie de RBI.

Diga-se que suspeito que, se algum dia haver no mundo real uma opção entre RBI e RSI, quase de certeza que o RBI será MENOR que o RSI (pelo simples facto que é a dividir por mais gente).

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

O fim da liberdade de manifestação na América Latina?

Under a cloud: Tear gas, violence and new laws are all being used to frighten Latin American protesters into giving up, por Duncan Tucker:

IT’S NOT JUST the clouds of tear gas, the ping of rubber bullets or the prospect of arrest under draconian new laws that Latin Americans have to consider when they take to the streets.

With freedom of expression increasingly under threat, demonstrating in Caracas’ packed plazas, Rio de Janeiro’s hillside slums or Mexico’s rural towns can mean risking one’s life at the hands of oppressive, and largely unrestrained, security forces. (...)

These trends are particularly pronounced in Venezuela, Brazil and Mexico – three of the region’s most politically and economically influential countries – where rampant violence, corruption and inequality are set to shape their respective elections in 2018.

As opposition to Venezuela’s socialist president, Nicolás Maduro, has hardened this year, so too has the state response. Faced with mounting public anger over severe inflation, insecurity, political repression and desperate shortages of food and medicine, Maduro’s government has passed several laws to criminalise protesters.

Recent legislation has limited the movement of protesters and justified force against those who block traffic or hold demonstrations without prior permission. Other new laws allow armed forces to establish order during demonstrations, even permitting use of deadly force if soldiers feel at risk. (...)

Brazil has recently experienced major protests over government corruption and the handling of global sporting events. The right-leaning Michel Temer administration has responded aggressively to the protests, with security forces using truncheons, tear gas, stun grenades and water cannons against demonstrators and journalists.

The government has defended the deployment of soldiers to “restore order” during demonstrations, but the CELS report notes that security forces are inadequately trained for this work. Military police are often accused of extrajudicial executions and unnecessary use of force, but rarely face charges.
Activists have denounced police surveillance of social networks and the phone tapping of protesters, who risk conspiracy charges over the mere possibility that they could commit violent acts. Other common charges include contempt, threat, resistance or disobedience for resisting or verbally denouncing violent or illegal police behaviour. (...)

In Mexico, the centrist Enrique Peña Nieto administration has taken significant flak over corruption scandals, a stagnant economy, record levels of drug-related violence and the disappearance of 43 student activists in 2014. The state has sought to limit dissent through stringent regulations and faces accusations of using violent intimidation tactics.

Mexican authorities have passed or submitted at least 17 local and federal initiatives to regulate demonstrations in the past three years, including legislation that gives authorities broad powers to break up protests, restrict the movement of participants and demand advance notice of demonstrations.

In parts of Mexico, the lines between the state and organised crime are so blurred that journalists and activists are at almost equal risk from corrupt security forces and drug cartels. In extreme cases, demonstrators have suffered torture, sexual violence, forced disappearance and extrajudicial execution.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

As leis contra "discurso de ódio" na prática

In Europe, Hate Speech Laws are Often Used to Suppress and Punish Left-Wing Viewpoints, por Glenn Greenwald:

MANY AMERICANS WHO long for Europe’s hate speech restrictions assume that those laws are used to outlaw and punish expression of the bigoted ideas they most hate: racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, misogyny. Often, such laws are used that way. There are numerous cases in western Europe and Canada of far-right extremists being arrested, fined, or even jailed for publicly spouting that type of overt bigotry.

But hate speech restrictions are used in those countries to suppress, outlaw, and punish more than far-right bigotry. Those laws have frequently been used to constrain and sanction a wide range of political views that many left-wing censorship advocates would never dream could be deemed “hateful,” and even against opinions which many of them likely share. (...)

As we reported at the time, France’s use of hate speech laws to outlaw activism against Israeli policy — on the grounds that it constitutes “anti-Semitism” and hatred against people for their national origin — is part of a worldwide trend. In May of last year, Canada’s then-conservative government threatened to use the nation’s rigorous hate speech laws to prosecute Israel boycott advocates on the ground that such activism is “the new face of anti-Semitism.” (...)

There can be little question that if the power to ban “hate speech” were vested in the hands of U.S. officials or courts, the same thing would happen. It is a virtually unquestioned bipartisan consensus that advocating a boycott of Israel constitutes hatred and anti-Semitism. In her 2016 AIPAC speech, Hillary Clinton cited the boycott movement as evidence that “anti-Semitism is on the rise across the world.” (...)

Does anyone doubt that high on the list of “hate speech” for many U.S. officials, judges, and functionaries would be groups, such as Black Lives Matter and antifa, far-left groups that fight against white supremacists? Some GOP-controlled state legislatures are already arguing that BLM should be officially classified as a “hate group.” Beyond what many officials say is the group’s hatred for police officers, they also “point to its platform that accuses Israel of carrying out genocide against the Palestinians.”

In the UK, “hate speech” has come to include anyone expressing virulent criticism of UK soldiers fighting in war. In 2012, a British Muslim teenager, Azhar Ahmed, was arrested for committing a “racially aggravated public order offence.” His crime? After British soldiers were killed in Afghanistan, he cited on his Facebook page the countless innocent Afghans killed by British soldiers and wrote: “All soldiers should DIE & go to HELL! THE LOWLIFE F*****N SCUM! gotta problem go cry at your soldiers grave & wish him hell because that where he is going.” (...)

This is how hate speech laws are used in virtually every country in which they exist: not only to punish the types of right-wing bigotry that many advocates believe will be suppressed, but also a wide range of views that many on the left believe should be permissible, if not outright accepted. Of course that’s true: Ultimately, what constitutes “hate speech” will be decided by majorities, which means that it is minority views that are vulnerable to suppression.

In 2010, a militant atheist was given a six-month suspended sentence for leaving anti-Christian and anti-Islam fliers in a religious room of the Liverpool airport; according to the BBC, “jurors found him guilty of causing religiously aggravated intentional harassment.” In Singapore, “hate speech” laws are routinely used to punish human rights activists who criticize Christianity, or Muslims who have defended or promoted sermons from imams deemed too critical of other religions. Cases in Turkey are common where citizens have been prosecuted under hate speech laws for criticizing government officials or the military. Radical imams are prosecuted in Europe if they are too strident in their support for sharia law or their defense of violence against western aggression. (...)

Monday, January 22, 2018

Hitler e Trump

If authoritarianism is looming in the US, how come Donald Trump looks so weak?, por Corey Robin (The Guardian, via Crooked Timber):

On 19 January 1934, the 354th day of Hitler’s reign, the Nazi regime closed the Kemna concentration camp, where anywhere from 2,500 to 5,000 political prisoners – most of them Communists, Socialists, and trade unionists – had been held and tortured (the press spoke obliquely of “enhanced interrogations”) for months. People could hear the prisoners’ screams from almost a half-mile away. The prisoners were moved to other concentration camps.

On 9 January 2018, the 354th day of Trump’s reign, the president was anxiously monitoring news of a best-selling book – filled with leaks from his own top advisers, testifying to the addled state of his mind and rule – hoping against hope to stop any and all discussion of his fitness for office.

Trump’s lawyers had already tried to force the book’s publisher and author to cease publication, issue a retraction, and apologize. Their reply? We “do not intend to cease publication, no such retraction will occur, and no apology is warranted”.

Friday, January 19, 2018

E porque é que os bons alunos haveriam de ir para professores?

No Observador estão preocupados por os bons alunos não quererem ser professores; mas isso é um problema porquê?

Para começar, nem estou certo que a forma como o Alexandre Homem Cristo vê a coisa seja totalmente correta - comparar as notas de entrada dos cursos de Ciências da Educação com os outros cursos; confesso que não sei como é atualmente, mas no meu tempo quem dava aulas não eram só os licenciados em Ciências da Educação, eram licenciados nas áreas disciplinares respetivas ou associadas (historiadores a dar aulas de História, engenheiros a dar aulas de Matemática ou Trabalhos Oficinais, contabilistas a dar aulas de Contabilidade, etc.; até eu - economista - fui em tempos professor de Matemática e Administração, Serviços e Comércio); assumir que só os licenciados em Ciências da Educação é que vão dar aulas parece-me logo um erro que distorce todas as conclusões.

Depois, esquece o problema do custo de oportunidade - ensinar (e ensinar alunos do primário e secundário) será mesmo a melhor coisa para os bons alunos fazerem? Pensemos nas alternativas - podem trabalhar num laboratório a desenvolverem uma energia limpa sem problemas de intermitência ou a cura para a SIDA; podem fazer operações para tratar doenças raríssimas e super-complexas; se os quiserem mesmo pôr a dar aulas, podem ser professores universitários (eventualmente a fazer investigação nas horas vagas). Todas essas coisas parecem-me ter maior complexidade intelectual do que ensinar alunos do secundário ou do primário - afinal, quase por definição o que se ensina no primário e no secundário é matéria de um nível mais elementar do que se ensina na universidade ou do que é aplicado na maior parte das profissões que se vão exercer com um curso universitário (isto assumindo que se aprende mesmo coisas necessárias para a profissão e que o curso não é apenas "sinal"). Além disso, o ensino é uma coisa em que, por regra, não se deve inventar - um professor de liceu deve ensinar aos seus alunos o programa escolar, não as suas teorias que ele próprio desenvolveu, e também imagino que não haja muitas situações em que seja preciso descobrir soluções para problemas de elevada complexidade intelectual (o professor não vai ele próprio descobrir a fórmula resolvente para as equações de segundo grau - isso já foi feito por um indiano no século VII; vai é explicar qual é e como se chega a ela) - suponho que os problemas complexos que os professores tenham que resolver seja sobretudo lidar com alunos complicados, e que a solução para isso não passe normalmente por grandes conhecimentos técnicos ou capacidade intelectual, mas mais, ou por firmeza ou por empatia (talvez me esteja a deixar levar pelos estereótipos, mas suspeito que nem "firmeza" nem "empatia" sejam qualidades muito abundantes entre os bons alunos, e que entre eles predomine mais o tipo "eu quero é que não me chateiem" em detrimento tantos dos tipos "durão" como "simpático").

Finalmente, será que os bons alunos (além de provavelmente terem coisas melhores para fazer) serão sequer bons professores para alunos do secundário (e ainda mais do primário)? Ao verem um aluno com dificuldade em perceber uma coisa que, nessa idade, eles perceberam quase intuitivamente na primeira aula em que isso se falou, será que têm realmente capacidade para o ajudar, ou será que começam logo a pensar que os alunos precisam de um professor do ensino especial para os acompanhar? E saberão estruturar e planear uma aula, sem poderem confiar na introspeção (isto, sem poderem pensar "eu aprenderia facilmente se um professor me desse a aula desta maneira?", já que eles aprenderiam facilmente de qualquer maneira)? E se (como é provável) fossem daqueles alunos que gostavam de estudar (e que se calhar no 10º já andavam nas horas vagas a ler matéria do 12º), saberão perceber as motivações dos alunos (provavelmente a maioria) que acham estudar uma seca, necessária para ter boas notas e passar de ano, ou facilmente cairão na atitude "mas estudar é divertido; se vocês não acham isso divertido e só estudam por obrigação, deve haver algum problema"?

Há um contra-argumento que pode ser feito a todo este meu post - é que em larga medida estou a misturar os conceitos de "bons alunos" e "alunos mais inteligentes"; afinal, o que refiro aqui (a vocação para tarefas de elevada complexidade intelectual, o perceber tudo na primeira aula...) serão sobretudo características associadas a inteligência; mas na prática suspeito que as categorias "melhores alunos" e "alunos mais inteligentes" têm uma elevada sobreposição (acho que o aluno-inteligente-com-más-notas-porque-não-se-adapta-à-instituição-escolar é mais um cliché romântico que serve para tema de filmes e livros do que algo que seja mesmo frequente na vida real).

Um aparte final - aquelas coisas que há uns anos era moda criticar no chamado "eduquês", nomeadamente as ideias de que os alunos devem descobrir as coisas por eles (em vez de ser o professor a dizer-lhes) e de que estudar deve ser divertido parecem-me exatamente o que ocorreria num sistema educativo tomando os bons alunos (que por norma aprendem bem quase sozinhos e gostam de estudar) como modelo em vez de como anormalidades estatísticas; será um indício de que (por mais baixas que sejam as notas de entrada a Ciências da Educação) os bons alunos estejam sobre-representados entre os teóricos da educação (algo bastante provável, pelo simples facto que os bons alunos tendem a estar sobre-representados entre os teóricos de seja o que for)?

Friday, January 12, 2018

Diferenças salariais por sexo e áreas académicas

Gender pay gap persists (Nature):

Pay disparities between female and male PhD holders in the United States exist across almost all fields of science and engineering, according to a report from the US National Science Foundation (NSF).The report examines annual salaries for those who earned their doctorate in 2016 and had confirmed permanent employment in the life sciences, physical sciences, mathematics and computer sciences, psychology and social sciences, or engineering. (...) In biomedical and biological sciences, women earned $67,500 to men’s $77,000; in geosciences, atmospheric and ocean sciences, the figures were $65,500 for women and $71,000 for men; in physics and astronomy, women earned $89,000 to men’s $100,000; and in engineering, women earned $92,000 to their male counterparts’ $100,000. Women had lower salaries in all fields of social sciences, including psychology and economics. In health sciences, women and men disclosed equal salaries of $80,000. The NSF report did not indicate whether the salaries reported were within or outside academia.
Claro que se pode argumentar que, mesmo na mesma área de doutoramento, as diferenças salariais entre homens e mulheres podem ser derivadas de escolherem sub-áreas diferentes, ou usarem a mesma formação para exercerem profissões diferentes, ou... Mas então o argumento "não há discriminação salarial entre homens e mulheres - as mulheres ganham em média menos porque escolhem carreiras e profissões diferentes" começa a tornar-se muito uma proposição não-falsificável: afinal, qualquer categoria estatística pode sempre ser decomposta em subcategorias mais refinadas, logo perante qualquer estatística que demonstre as mulheres a ganharem menos que os homens em trabalhos aparentemente com as mesmas características, pode-se sempre responder que a estatística não é suficientemente granular para detetar diferenças subtis nas escolhas profissionais de homens e mulheres, tornando a teoria das "diferentes escolhas" impossível de sujeitar a contraprova.

Oprah Winfrey, a "Trump Democrata"?

Oprah Winfrey Helped Create Our American Fantasyland:

“Who would be, and could there be,” I asked Harris, “a Trump of the left that people on the left would, against their better judgment say ‘She’s a kook, and she’s terrible in this way, but she believes in socialized medicine, and this, and that—I’m going with her.’ To what degree and under what circumstances could that happen? It’s hard to imagine the equivalent, but I’m willing to accept that we might have to make those choices eventually.”

Such as who, Harris asked. Well, I replied, “people talk very seriously about Oprah Winfrey being a potential Democratic nominee for president. Is that my Trump moment, [like] what honest Republicans had to do with Donald Trump, and decide ‘No, I can’t abide this’ and became Never Trumpers? Would I be a Never Oprah person? That will be a test for me.”

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

O marxismo, o leninismo e o desaparecimento do Estado

Um clássico dos anos 20-30: Marxism and state communism. The withering away of the state[pdf], de Jan Appel, um texto publicado em 1932 pelo Grupo de Comunistas Internacionais holandês, adaptando uma versão anterior publicada em 1927 por uma das facções do KAPD - Partido Comunista Operário da Alemanha (o KAPD foi uma cisão radical do Partido Comunista da Alemanha e foi o alvo principal do livro de Lenine "O Esquerdismo, Doença Infantil do Comunismo").

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Em defesa do "agente racional"

Why use rational choice models?, por "Upholding Economics":

A particular focus of criticism of mainstream economics is the use of rational choice in many orthodox models. Some critics are so extreme as to claim the use of rational choice should invalidate a model a priori. In reality there are many sensible reasons rational choice was and is still used commonly in economics:

Many results in behavioural economics come from small scale experiments in the form of simple games or challenges a small group of test subjects, often students, take part in. Some critics have challenged the external validity of these experiments and their application to the situations economists usually study, which might include seasoned entrepreneurs rather than nervous test participants unfamiliar to the ‘game’. Richard McKenzie emphasizes this point on his work defending the use of rationality. For instance, Richard McKenzie challenges the work of Kahneman for assuming that people favouring a ‘sure thing’ (option A: $800) over a gamble (option B: 85% chance of $1000, 15% chance of nothing) contradicts rational choice , he writes:
What the behavioralists miss is that variance in outcomes is also consequential in assessing options. Option A has no variance; Option B has a substantial variance, with the outcome ranging from zero to $1,000. Hence, for many choosers, Option A can be more valuable than Option B. Indeed, if expected value were all that mattered, people would never buy insurance. Is the purchase of insurance irrational?”
He goes on to demonstrate how framing choice problems like these in a more relevant entrepreneurial/investment setting, with more realistic outcomes and pay-offs, allowing for repeats of the test to account for learning, and ensuring the students of a personal/financial stake in the choice they make causes the behaviour of the students to converge towards rational choice as predicted by conventional theory. (...)

This of course corroborates previous studies that find experience is both a ‘catalyst’ for rationality and a ‘filter’ of irrationality, where aggregated market outcomes “quickly converge to neoclassical predictions.” To summarise, the results showing irrationality from first generation of economic experiments, often involving students in very limited scenarios with no personal stake, are not necessarily applicable to real world markets and scenarios — while there is strong evidence that real world market experience causes individuals to converge towards rational choice. (...)

One alternative to using rational choice is to explicitly model irregularities and biases as if they are a consistent aspect of behaviour which can be used to make predictions. There is a challenge with this approach however: self awareness.

Many studies have shown that anomalies (divergences from what an efficient ‘rational’ market would produce) in asset pricing behaviour soon disappear once papers are published on their existence. This strongly suggests that behavioural irregularities in relevant economic scenarios cannot be relied upon to be persistent, and because of this may not be suitable for use in long term predictive models.
Uma nota especial acerca da preferência por um resultado certo a um jogo com valor esperado superior - se os comportamentalistas usam esse exemplo para dizer que os agentes não são racionais, então isso não tem ponta onde se lhe pegue; esse é exatamente o resultado previsto pelo modelo do agente racional (aversão ao risco). Fariam mais sentido se usassem o exemplo oposto (como, aliás, de certo modo o João Vasco parece-me fazer aqui): de que muitas vezes as pessoas preferem resultados incertos a um valor certo, mesmo quando o resultado esperado é igual ou até inferior (de qualquer maneira, eu suponho que mesmo isso poderá ser enquadrado no modelo do agente racional - quase toda a gente que faz o totoloto sabe que em média perde-se mais do que ganha, logo suspeito que não é bem uma questão de "irracionalidade" mas de preferências mais complexas do que os modelos tradicionais postulam; pode ser que ainda faça um post sobre isso).