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The Contribution of Science to Society*

Luis Braga

 

Introduction 

 

The occasion gives me the opportunity to bring up some questions about the science that were present in the debates regarding the prevention and treatment of the Acute Respiratory Syndrome COVID-19. Identifying the disease is already an important scientific contribution that apparently caused the disgrace of the scientist who made it. The World Health Organization (WHO) stood by the Chinese government and denied any attempt to hide the outbreak and praised the draconian measures adopted – absolute lockdown. But it criticized the external barriers to travelers from China. Recommending the use of masks, quarantine and discrediting the early treatment of the disease were hallmarks of the WHO's scientific recommendations, replicated in practically every country in the world. Nonetheless, discordant attitudes contradicted the official package, such as that of the eminent scientist Didier Raoult who defended the use of hydroxychloroquine-azithramycin on the basis of clinical observation**. The quarantine also caused the spread of the SARS-Cov-2 virus within families as the overwhelming majority of homes do not have isolation areas.

 The discussion about vaccines raises more doubts about their safety, cost, viability as well as their effectiveness. All these episodes illustrate that science, in general and not just the medical sciences, is not unique, infallible and indisputable. But in many moments, governments, media and laboratories presented  the opposite view, putting science on a pedestal from which it decided to descend when it separated from Theology and Philosophy. 

 

From heaven to hell

 

The term science comes from the Greek and originally meant knowledge, logically deduced from some axioms and tautological principles. It did not originally refer to a specific domain as science is understood today - exact, health, social, human, etc... . From this origin, rationality and truth were preserved, adding objectivity that encompasses experimentation and consensus and realism, which is the conviction of the existence of an external and independent world. This structure has endured for centuries, but in the 20th and 21st centuries, thinkers such as Popper, Kuhn, Lakatos and Feyerabend, among others, eroded one after another the pillars of modern science, paving the way for the postmodern science that must be a socially defined construction.

 

Goodbye Sabin

 

Scientists at universities, labs and companies are professionals in the world of business, they care about their experiments as much as they care about their health plans, careers, home mortgages and pensions. The picture of stress and burn-out is widespread, but there is no way back. The four pillars of modern science – rationality, truth, objectivity and realism, are minimized. It is technology that the world needs, of course the basic disciplines continue to generate new results that flow down the system, but basic sciences are for few and very excellent. Most scientists work in highly specialized domains both in services and in prototype development. The figure of the altruistic scientist, benefactor of humanity like so many we had in the past is no longer the central paradigm of the career, in its place projects inspired by social needs emerge. For many years NASA has sponsored the University of the Singularity which aims to do just that. It should not be confused with engaged science oriented by a particular philosophy, as it was and still is the case of some institutions around the world and many in Brazil. Totally anachronistic will disappear as soon as mandatory funding ceases.  

 

Science is not altruistic

 

 The old question raised by the student - What is that for? It only makes sense in the anachronistic university or bachelor science. Science that does not have a connection with technology and society will have to be of the highest quality to justify itself. The provision of services to society should be intrinsic to the course program, which should not be understood  as ideological indoctrination, practiced in university extension activities, in many educational institutions in the country

 

The genie in the bottle

 

In mythical Athens, the sons and daughters of nobles, of officers, of large landowners could choose between Plato or Aristotle, Zeno or Epicurus. The Academy was not for all in the Athenian slavery democracy. Nowadays, this is no longer an option, science and education are the tools to avoid the collapse of civilization.

 

*Talk in a seminar held by the local Science Academy of Lions Club in Rio de Janeiro 2020.

** The scientist revised his results downplaying the effectiveness of the treatment, but still supporting some benefits of it.

 

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From politically correct to the culture of cancellation: reflections on freedom of expression in the Brazilian public university of the 21st century (Part II)

 

Leandro Nogueira

 

An additional form to the ativism of revolutionary movements

 

As far as Brazil is concerned, both the distorted sense of political correctness and the culture of cancellation gained almost simultaneously official support from PT governments, since the first term of former president Luiz Inácio da Silva, evolving with remarkable impetus in public universities. during the terms of former president Dilma Rousseff.

At first, the political correctness of the 90s was seen not without contempt by the left movements themselves, who identified it more as a kind of hypocritical discourse and shallow moralism, without the traditional revolutionary appeal based on the ideology of class struggle.

 

However, with the growth of black and feminist movements, political correctness began to refer to actions that protected the dignity of Afro-descendants, women and LGBTs, with social visibility that began to deserve the attention of left-wing intellectuals and politicians, as a additional form to the activism of revolutionary movements.

Thus, in 2004, the Presidency of the Republic, through the Special Secretariat for Human Rights, launched the unusual booklet “Politically Correct & Human Rights”. The booklet in question was announced with “the objective of drawing the attention of opinion makers to the problem of disrespect for the image and dignity of people considered different”, in addition to intending to combat “our daily prejudice”.

 

To achieve the intended purpose, the booklet was conceived as a work under construction, “with the collaboration of its readers”, from an initial selection of entries considered politically incorrect, accompanied by the respective comments regarding the impropriety of the discriminatory character, especially when used in a decontextualized way.

Based on this supposedly “participatory” criterion, expressions and words from A to Z were listed in the booklet, such as “the black woman”, “aidetic”, “barraca”, “donkey”, “caipira”, “communist”, “creole ”, “denigrate”, “disabled”, “fascist”, “civil servant”, “homosexuality”, “thief”, “Shia etc.

 

Despite the “good intentions” – which sometimes lead the way to hell, as Marx recognized in O Capital – the initiative aroused enormous controversy and received strong criticism from intellectuals such as Deonísio da Silva and João Ubaldo Ribeiro, having been classified as “ruthless by ignoring subtle complexities of the domain of words and the functioning of the State”, and as “authoritarian, prejudiced (he, yes), asnatic, deleterious and potentially destructive delusion”, by both authors respectively.

 

With an initial print run of five thousand copies and a target audience of police officers, journalists and teachers, the booklet with text prepared by Prof. Antônio Carlos Queiroz, from the University of Brasília (UnB), ended up being withdrawn from circulation by order of the President of the Republic himself, in early 2005.

 

However, despite the failure of the booklet that intended to police social language with the objective of combating “our everyday prejudice”, its deleterious effects still objectively echo and serve the purposes of the culture of cancellation, as demonstrated by the manifestations of certain leftists. wing groups favorable to the adoption of so-called neutral language in the curriculum and teaching material of local, public or private educational institutions, and in public tender notices.

 

In this case, the cancellation is directed to the cultured norm of the language and its defenders, subliminally considered as an elitist, sexist and racial obstacle, antagonistic, therefore, to the apparently universal appeal to the ethics of non-discrimination and socialist egalitarianism.

 

Ratial Quotas

 

In addition to this initiative, however, the official support of the federal government found in the movement to demand racial quotas in public universities, another and more powerful way of advancing towards political correctness, with political visibility of great appeal to the “democratization of higher education”, and the concomitant possibility of annulling the “ivory towers” ​​occupied by “whiteness”.

 

In this respect, the objectives were achieved in large numbers and in a way that can be considered vertiginous in historical terms.

 

Starting in 2004, with the pioneering role of the University of Brasília-UnB among federal institutions of higher education, which resulted in the adoption of a racial quota model, at the time reserving 20% ​​of vacancies for students who declared themselves as black, brown or indigenous peoples, in less than a decade the country saw the adoption of student admission policies through quotas or bonuses in 40 of its then 59 federal universities.

 

This movement culminated in 2012 with the enactment of Law 12,711 (Lei das Quotas) and Decree nº 7,824, determining that federal universities allocate 50% of their enrollments to students self-declared to be black, brown, indigenous - according to the IBGE classification -, of low income, with income equal to or less than 1.5 minimum wage per capita, and who have completed high school in public schools.

 

The impulse resulting from the legal measure promoted the most expressive effects associated with what had already been observed in federal universities since 2004.

 

Six years after being forced to comply with the new legislation for the adoption of affirmative action policies - a mandatory effect that came to be applauded by most academic managers -, public higher education institutions-IFES saw the period 2003-2018 (2003 , marked the beginning of PT governments), the percentage of white students decreased from 59.4% to 43.3%, as well as the negative variation of yellow and indigenous students, from 4.5% to 2.1% and from 2 .0% to 0.9% respectively, concomitantly with the percentage increase of brown students from 28.3% to 39.2%, and of black students from 5.9% to 12.0% (ANDIFES , 2018)10.

 

In comparison with PNAD/IBGE data, the percentages above indicate that black students were the most contemplated by the adoption of affirmative action policies, as their percentage of access to IFES more than doubled, even surpassing their own percentage. of color or race of the population, estimated at 8.1% (PNAD/IBGE, 2018).

 

Among the least covered were white students (decrease > 16 p.p.), and the most disadvantaged were in fact the yellow and indigenous, with percentage decreases of more than 50% in access to IFES. However, in comparison with PNAD/IBGE data, white, yellow and indigenous students still recorded values ​​higher than the respective percentages of color or race of the population, which were 38.6% and 0.4%, respectively.

 

Brown students, on the other hand, increased the percentage of access by almost 11 p.p. in the same period 2003-2018, constituting, however, the only group with a degree of access to IFES lower than the percentage of population color or race – always in comparison with PNAD/IBGE data -, estimated at 52.5%, the highest in the country.

In addition to ethnic data, the records by gender showed a predominance of females in the IFES (54.6%), while with reference to socioeconomic data, the fact that the monthly family per capita income range stood out significantly. of 86.9% of IFES students, it varies from just 0.5 to 3 appearances.

 

For no other reason, based on data collected by ANDIFES for the national survey of the socioeconomic and cultural profile of IFES undergraduates in 2014 (published in 2016), it was announced by the entity that the (public) university was heading in the direction of mirroring the social composition of the country, being “feminine and increasingly popular and black”.

 

Thus, this announcement highlighted that gender, social and race represented the triad of fundamental values ​​that guide the main mission of Brazilian IFES, which was in fact confirmed by ANDIFES in 2018, to which “the profile of students from the affirmative class” universities , Brazilians is, with each edition, closer to the demographic profile of Brazil”.

 

Nine out of financed or evident cancellation of “public university, free and of socially referenced quality”, which can still subsist the understanding of higher education with resources from society, as an instance dedicated to the search for knowledge and the training of cadres with education at the most advanced levels. mission to face the great national problems, which seems to the (public) university the mission of bulwark institution was assigned the resolution within its own interior, of how the ailments that historically befall the Brazilian population included for all Brazilian inequalities to access for a relevant quality basic education.

 

Could it be that the central mission of Brazilian IFES should be guided by these references?

 

In other words, the central question in this regard is formulated as follows: in which the generation of an inhabited environment of the IFES is university with the sociographic profile of the country, which can be recognized internally by the historical inequality, serve the purposes of excellence in teaching higher education, in the areas of teaching, research and extension, committed to solving major national problems?

 

The old and the new invisibles

 

Among the serious problems that are currently faced by the selection regarding the objectives of excellence in higher education, there is today the difficulty of evasion (abandonment of the course) and the difficulties (students who are connected to the faculty for few disciplines, without obtaining all the educational institutions them, but keeping in common as institutions of higher education”, according to helpful to the Press in 2019 by the dean of UFRJ, the largest IFES in the country.

 

Public university environments plagued by this type of fundamental problem run the risk of becoming drains of public resources, failing to deliver the socially expected products, or of delivering them at a cost that can be the subject of constant questioning as to the validity of the investments allocated to them.

They can also be sources of frustration and resentment, both internal and external, as the true university agenda is not fulfilled, while those excluded or canceled from their sociodemographic profile, non-quota students and families in general, will ally with those who will not see the public university as an entity of belonging to the society in which it lives.

 

Within the scope of internal resentment, the rhetoric of protest is invariably directed at governments, the “ruling class” and, of course, everyone within the university institution who may question or disagree with these “targets”. Sometimes, the university's past itself becomes the target of resentment, as in the case of the celebration of UFRJ's 100th anniversary. On that occasion, the entity's own teachers' union published a special edition newspaper, in which texts were published that erased the memory of former full professors, who were generically equated with "disposing of chairs", in addition to being accused of have been "almost all white, nearly all men".

 

On the other hand, it is important not to underestimate the external resentments that may be growing more than supposed, due to the adverse and cumulative effect associated with the form of implementation, and not the advent itself, of the adoption of affirmative action policies, promoting the exclusion legal-institutional of young Brazilian students at IFES, negatively discriminated against as “non-quota students”.

 

However, as I commented in a previous article, if the interpretation of the constitutional principle of equality authorizes the understanding that isonomic treatment between the parties means treating equals equals and unequals unequally, in the exact measure of their inequalities, this seems to be more in line with the expansion of opportunities for unequals, than implying the restriction and institutionalized exclusion of equals, in any form of measure (NOGUEIRA, 2018).

 

As the democratic process fundamentally aims at inclusion, the continuous elimination of significant portions of non-quota students in each selection process of IFES, does not promote the development of a feeling of social belonging and appreciation of the res publica, it favors the game of mutual exclusion between social segments and reinforces the resentments of class and ethnicity, as these students will be left with the alternatives of repeated attempts to enter, enroll in private HEIs (if there is available income, they can even study abroad), or the temporary, perhaps definitive, abandonment of university education. 

 

Surprisingly, these Brazilian students are treated as invisible by the majority of academic intellectuals, as if they were annulled without fault by the defenders of the ethics of non-discrimination, because of their racial and social class characteristics.

 

In fact, there are no studies on who they are, where they live and what they decided to do for Brazilian non-quota students, who eventually did not have access to the vacancies offered by IFES, for reasons unrelated to academic performance, but determined by the current form of implementation. the adoption of affirmative action policies for admission to federal universities, as provided for in the Quota Law.

 

Not surprising in a country where both the distorted sense of political correctness and the culture of cancellation gained simultaneous support from PT governments, to the point of winning the tacit agreement of university administrators to abdicate university autonomy with regard to the choice of their own students. 

 

But freedom of expression in universities reminds us that in Law 12,711, of August 29, 2012, article 7 provides that “Within ten years from the date of publication of this Law, the review of the special program for access to institutions of higher education for blacks, brown and indigenous students and for people with disabilities, as well as those who completed high school in public schools.”

 

Both studies on non-quota students barred by non-academic criteria, as well as on the causes associated with the high rates of dropout and retention in undergraduate courses, constitute unavoidable themes for the university vocation with regard to frank and open debate in search of the most objective questioning possible about the review of the special program provided for in the Quota Law.

 

The cancellation of these debates under gratuitous accusations of “elitism” or “racism”, as well as under the argument of returning to untouchable issues, constitutes a waiver of studies on the academic condition of students, covered or not by quotas, as a waiver of the university as an institution.

 

Notas

 

1 See in CHISHOLM v. STATE OF GA, 1793. Available at:

https://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/2/419.html . Accessed on 06/09/2020.

2 See in Rayam Saraiva. “Politically correct: is the world boring or have we stopped in time”? Uaiz, 2018. Available at: https://uaiz.opopular.com.br/blog/politicas-correto-o-mundo-esta-chato-ou-paramos-no-tempo. Accessed on 10/08/2021.

3 See in Selected Works of Mao Zedong, 1957. On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People. Available in:

https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-5/mswv5_58.htm. Accessed on 11/22/2021.

4 See in Maurício Horta. What can you say anyway? Super Interesting, 2016. Available at: https://super.abril.com.br/cultura/o-que-voce-pode-falar-afinal/. Accessed on 02/22/2021.

5 See Reinaldo C. Zanardi & Rosemeri P. Baltazar Machado. Effects of meaning in cartoons: a study on political correctness. Research Gate, 2018. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/329132346_Efeitos_de_sentido_em_charges_um_study_about_the_politically_correct. Accessed on 10/04/2019.

6 See on Roger Scruton. The threat to freedom of expression in universities. Gazeta do Povo, 2020. Available at:

https://www.gazetadopovo.com.br/ideias/roger-scruton-ameaca-a-liberdade-de-expressao-nas-universidades/?ref=veja-tambem Accessed on 05/18/2021

7 See Bruno L. Acioli and Erick Lucena de Campos Peixoto. The Culture of Cancellation and its legal consequences. FRLN Lawyers, 2021.

https://www.frlnadvogados.com.br/2021/03/01/cultura-do-cancelamento/. Accessed on 08/18/2021.

8 See in Scott JASCHIK. Moving more to the left. Inside Higher ED, October 24, 2012. Available at: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/10/24/survey-finds-professors-already-liberal-have-moved-further-left. Access: 11/25/2020.

9 See in Scruton. How to be a conservative. Rio de Janeiro: Record, 2015.

10 See in ANDIFES. V National Survey of Socioeconomic and Cultural Profile of IFES-2018 Graduates. Available at: https://www.andifes.org.br/?p=79639 . Accessed on 10/26/2021.

11 See in Leandro Nogueira. Other Reflections on the Fair Fit (?) Recommended by the World Bank for Brazilian Public Universities. Obsuni Retrospective, 2018. Available at: https://observatoriodauniversidade.blog.br/postagens . Accessed on: 11/25/2021.

 

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From politically correct to the culture of cancellation: reflections on freedom of expression in the Brazilian public university of the 21st century (Part I)

 

Leandro Nogueira


 

On the origin of the term

 

The origin of the entry “politically correct” is American. The first document to mention this expression is an excerpt referring to the pronouncement of the United States Attorney General, Edmund Randolph, on the case of Chisholm v. the State of Georgia, of the American Supreme Court, delivered in 1793 with the following speech:

“States, rather than the People, for whom States exist, are often the objects that attract and hold our main attention. This, I believe, has produced much of the confusion and bewilderment that has appeared in various proceedings and publications on state policy as well as on US policy. Feelings and expressions of this imprecise kind prevail in our common language, even in our convivial language. Is a toast requested? 'The United States' rather than the 'People of the United States' is the toast given. This is not politically correct. The toast is intended to present the first great object of the Union: it presents only the second: it presents only the artificial person, instead of the physical persons, who made it exist. A State, which I gladly fully admit, is the noblest work of Man: But Man himself, free and honest, is, I speak of this world, the noblest work of God.” (CHISHOLM v. STATE OF GA, 1793)1

 

Immediately, what seems to emerge with special attention in this text is that, in its primordial sense, politically correct is linked to a republican conception, in which the State appears as “the noblest work resulting from the association between free and honest men”, instead of a despotic power with the respective prerogatives of censorship, including over the way of thinking of individuals.

 

That said, there are good reasons to consider that the meaning originally attributed to politically correct is not mere legal rhetoric, but is the result of a thought committed to valuing the fundamental freedoms announced therein, which, when observed within their limits, contribute to the pillars of so-called democratic societies.

Randolph (1753-1813) was one of the most learned American lawyers, politicians and diplomats of the 18th century, having been mayor of Williamsburg, his native Virginia, then governor of the state, having also served as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention that helped to create the Constitution. of the United States, providing its legal expertise to the so-called Committee of Detail.

 

A respected theorist of the Checks and Balances System, Randolph observed a rigorous concern with the control of power by the power itself, including in relation to the Judiciary, even though he defended a strong central government for the United States.

 

His arguments against the slave trade became equally notorious, although in this respect and despite the discontent of many delegates, the Constitutional Convention did not achieve the definitive end of slavery, the exact opposite of freedom, the driving idea that led to the birth of the American nation.

 

In recognition of his contributions, Randolph was appointed by President George Washington as the first United States Attorney General. Years later, succeeding Thomas Jefferson, he became the country's second Secretary of State.

A renowned intellectual, in the meantime Randolph was also elected to the American Philosophical Society, considered the first learned society in the United States.

 

Today, the legacy of the "author of politically correct" still lives on through the Edmund J. Randolph Award, the highest award bestowed by the US Department of Justice, to individuals who have made "notable contributions to the accomplishments of the Department's mission".

 

From the slippage of the meaning of the term

 

Over the years and centuries, variations on the meaning of politically correct, although not always using the term literally, have been commented on in antithetical ways in extreme leftist totalitarian regimes.

 

In this regard, Saraiva (2018)2 comments on an anecdote in the extinct Soviet Union, in which a communist leader, when questioned about a lying discourse, however stated that he could be “factually wrong, but politically correct”, leaving it unspoken that reality it would at best be a mere detail of the narrative officially authorized by the Party.

In a political regime of this order, it is not difficult to conclude about the existence of systems of curtailment of freedoms, as well as the policing of ways of thinking that diverge from the revolutionary status quo.

 

In the same vein and even more objectively, the dictator Mao Tse-Tung, also known as the “great helmsman” of Communist China, in his famous 1957 speech, “On The Correct Handling of Contradictions Among The People”3, highlighted as fundamental the identification of the differences between revolutionaries and counter-revolutionaries in the bosoms of all Chinese peoples, advocating the complete elimination of the latter from facing the issue in terms of a struggle of opposites “between us and the enemy”.

 

According to Mao, this treatment would have an imperative character for the union of the people and the whole country, in the face of the battles against nature (sic) and for the development of the economy and culture, whose victories would help the whole nation to go through the period of revolutionary transition with relative tranquility, always under the command of the Communist Party and the Liberation Army, for the consolidation of a new system and a new state.

 

The characterization of politically correct in this type of system to which Mao refers, therefore, enhances the formation of states, not properly nations, in which the unconditional obedience of individuals to a strongly centralized power that organizes and it controls all social life, does not admit dissent and opponents, these being imprisoned in gulags or even totally and summarily eliminated.

 

However, the politically correct would return to its original American roots (HORTA, 20164; ZANARDI & BALTAZAR MACHADO, 2018)5, with the American university movements of the early 1960s embracing the defense of civil rights, almost simultaneously for blacks and of women.

 

It seemed, to a certain extent, a historic movement to rescue the values ​​on which the United States was founded, but which, since the Constitutional Convention, did not find the social expression desired by the majority of the American people.

 

Among the undeniable achievements of the civil rights movement, the end of racial segregation in the United States, legally prohibited by the so-called Civil Rights Act of 1964, a landmark in human and labor rights that prohibited discrimination by race, color, religion, sex and nationality, and these determinations were later extended to sexual orientation and gender identity, which has since been recognized as a legitimate advance in the civilizing process.

From the early 1990s onwards, not only in the United States but in much of the English-speaking academic world, the politically correct was gradually associated with an ethos in which non-discrimination took on a level of exacerbated denial, related to the old cultural distinctions between sexes, social classes, genders and sexual orientations, religions and lifestyles, in favor of an egalitarianism as broad as full in the typical intolerance of Marxist-Stalinist thought, giving rise to the “cancel culture”, moralistic and punitive phenomenon that aims to silence the respective opponents, not only in universities, but to socially promote the basic human right to freedom of thought and expression (SCRUTON, 20206; ACIOLI & PEIXOTO, 2021)7.

 

The influence of Marxist-Stalinist thought in the constitution of cancellation culture in American universities should not be underestimated, although ironically antagonistic to university autonomy, it can be inferred based on the triennial surveys of the Los Angeles Higher Education Research Institute, at the University of California. , which found that in the period 2008-2011 about 62.7% of North American higher education professors identified themselves as left or extreme left, a remarkable finding compared to the 2007-2008 triennium, whose percentage for the same political inclination there was 55.8% (JASCHIK, 2012)8.

 

In turn, Scruton (2015)9 also identified that in the same period the academic environment in Great Britain identified itself mostly with the left, making the cultural environment increasingly hostile to values ​​or any reference made to the significant achievements of Western civilization.

 

In fact, in the midst of the historical distortion of the original meaning of politically correct, since then the culture of cancellation has promoted numerous dismissals in the English-speaking academic world, among which that of Sir Tim Hunt, Nobel Prize in Biology, deprived of his position at the University College London, due to an idle opinion about the distinctions between men and women in the laboratories, which also led to him being excluded from the Royal Society, as well as Professor Kathleen Stock, from the University of Sussex, that even a philosopher and feminist would have fallen into disgrace for your disapproval of “queer theory” and in the defense that public policies should be based on biological sex, not self-identification.

 

In the United States, in 2021 it was the turn of Dorian Abbott, a professor at the University of Chicago, who was invited to a lecture on climate change at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), suddenly canceled and via Twitter, by professors and students from the prestigious American institution, due to the “crime” of defending that access to higher education cannot be based on identity criteria, but on merit.

 

In addition to him, Peter Boghossian, professor of philosophy, ethics, and critical thinking at Portland State University, resigned after systematic academic persecution, three years after publishing, in partnership with mathematician James Lindsay and writer Helen Pluckrose, “Studies of Resentment”, a work in which the authors intentionally submitted a series of fake articles to several renowned journals focused on studies of race, gender, and identity, to confirm the low level of these publications, based on ideological clichés disguised as a scientific method.

 

Given the prominence of the academic world, the culture of cancellation did not take long to invade the wider social reality, summarily punishing all those who, despite not being criminals, committed sins typified as politically incorrect or considered inexorably offensive to defenders of the ethics of non-discrimination., eventually invoked as the ideological framework of the thought police.

 

Once again, in the United States, the cases of Greg Glassman and journalist Bari Weiss stood out among many others. The first, owner of the fitness company CrossFit, had to sell his stake in the venture, due to protests due to comments he posted on Twitter about George Floyd, murdered by an American police officer, in a negotiation that would have involved the amount of US$ 4. billion.

 

The second, a journalist for the New York Times, released a letter of resignation from the well-known American newspaper in 2020, accusing it of promoting “socialist realism” – an artistic reference to the Soviet school – instead of practicing fact-based journalism, the that would have spurred hostilities inevitable among fellow writers, as well as his well-known critique of the Black Lives Matter movement.

 

The perversion of the politically correct through the culture of cancellation, even deserved a critical pronouncement by none other than Barack Obama, in 2019, in which the former American president highlighted that the act of canceling people did not result in activism to bring about change to the world, but it served only as a form of self-satisfaction for individuals who placed themselves in the position of judges.


 

Notes

 

1 See in CHISHOLM v. STATE OF GA, 1793. Available at:

https://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/2/419.html . Accessed on 06/09/2020. 

2 See in Rayam Saraiva. ““Politicamente correto: o mundo está chato ou paramos no tempo?”. Uaiz, 2018. Available at: https://uaiz.opopular.com.br/blog/politicas-correto-o-mundo-esta-chato-ou-paramos-no-tempo. Accessed on 10/08/2021.

3 See in Selected Works of Mao Zedong, 1957. On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People. Available in:

https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-5/mswv5_58.htm. Accessed on 11/22/2021.

4 See in Maurício Horta. O que você pode falar, afinal? Super Interessante, 2016. Available at:https://super.abril.com.br/cultura/o-que-voce-pode-falar-afinal/. Accessed on 02/22/2021.

5 See Reinaldo C. Zanardi & Rosemeri P. Baltazar Machado. Efeitos de Sentido em Charges: Um Estudo Sobre o Politicamente Correto. Research Gate, 2018. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/329132346_Efeitos_de_sentido_em_charges_um_study_about_the_politically_correct. Accessed on 10/04/2019.

6 See on Roger Scruton. A ameaça à liberdade de expressão nas universidades. Gazeta do Povo, 2020. Available at:

https://www.gazetadopovo.com.br/ideias/roger-scruton-ameaca-a-liberdade-de-expressao-nas-universidades/?ref=veja-tambem Accessed on 05/18/2021

7 See Bruno L. Acioli and Erick Lucena de Campos Peixoto. A Cultura do Cancelamento e as suas coonsequências legais. FRLN Lawyers, 2021.

https://www.frlnadvogados.com.br/2021/03/01/cultura-do-cancelamento/. Accessed on 08/18/2021.

8 See in Scott JASCHIK. Moving more to the left. Inside Higher ED, October 24, 2012. Available at: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/10/24/survey-finds-professors-already-liberal-have-moved-further-left. Access: 11/25/2020.

 

 

TO BE CONTINUED

 

 

VIDEOS

 

LINKS

Jordan Peterson resigned from his position as full tenured professor at the U. of Toronto

 

The top 100,000 scientists

 

 

The limits of the academic freedom

INTERNATIONAL MONTHLY EDITION

DECEMBER 2021

newyear.jpg

 

ARTICLES

Fighting the cure (IV)**,***

Brave New World, Year I

Luis Braga (OBSUNI)

 

Fears are, if I'm not mistaken, of three classes:

 we fear scarcity, we fear disease,

 we fear the harm caused by the violence of the most powerful.

 Of these three, none impresses us as much as the threat of the power of others;

 as it presents itself with great noise and disturbance.

Moral Epistles to Luciulus, Seneca, Book II, Epistle 14

 

Introduction        

                The partisanship of Covid-19, which had its origins in a dictatorial country, was the worst characteristic of this disease, which began as an epidemic and became a pandemic, in part due to the WHO's delay in recommending the isolation of China, which, in turn, concealed the severity of the infection. The deaths that followed in Europe and the Americas gave rise to two agendas that clashed and clashed to this day. Lockdown-No early treatment-Admission in severe cases-Vaccine X Isolation of vulnerable-Early treatment-Natural and herd immunity**,***. For each side, the other was fake-news. However, both presented results and studies according to a scientific methodology.

 

            Science makes mistakes and several paths have turned out to be wrong or inconclusive. For example, the issue of Hydroxchloroquine, which has become a symbol of the Brazilian executive's health policy, had its origins in the most important hospital in France for infectious diseases - the Mediterranée hospital, in a team led by an internationally renowned researcher - Didier Raoult*. Until today, its use is object of studies, some pharmaceutical companies have developed products based on Hydroxchloroquine and the health committees of several countries include it in the pharmacopoeia for the treatment of patients, including the one in China. Victims of Chloroquine and Vaccines add to the population's suspicions about what to do. However, the reduction in hospitalizations and deaths weighs in favor of the latter,  reinforced by the censorship1 on the sequelae and deaths of vaccinated individuals and also by the effect of hybrid immunity 2,3. 

 

              The pandemic's greatest sequel to humanity is the dilution of the rule of law. The imposition of social passports, the compulsory separation of families, the mandatory vaccination, violate everything that was achieved after the end of World War II 4.

 

The role of the US in the origin of the pandemic

                 Many parallel investigations from different sources point to the Wuhan Virology Laboratory as the likely source of Covid-19 5,6, but what is surprising is the responsibility of North American researchers and public and private entities in this regard 7. Despite the denials of the NIH director, notorious Dr. Fauci, in a US Senate hearing, his institution indirectly funded research at the Wuhan Laboratory with bats, harboring modified viruses that were then inoculated into animals for testing. Apparently, there was a serious non-compliance on the laboratory premises that coincided with subsequent mysterious flu cases as late as October 2019! Given the seriousness of the fact, the scientists involved in the experiment were quick to declare that the SARS-Cov-2 virus was a natural mutation 8 and had nothing to do with previous experiments that were intended for research to combat infections from coronaviruses, a old acquaintance of public health agencies.

 

The vaccine that is not

                  The classic definition of vaccine assumes that a vaccinated person, without infection, is protected against the disease and does not transmit it 9. However, no vaccine available against Covid-19 has these characteristics, and for this reason, the authorities of the CDC (the highest epidemiological control body in the United States) have changed the definition of vaccine 10! But it is the old definition that justifies the discriminatory measures taken by governments, ranging from forced vaccination, to social exclusion of the unvaccinated, condemned to segregation and unemployment. The use of masks, measurement of oxygen saturation and PCR testing are the only procedures widely accepted by health agencies in the world. All other procedures are for intermediate or severe patients, mostly hospitalized 11. In addition to the unsuccessful attempt with hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin 12 was another early treatment attempt that was more successful, which, however, is rejected by major agencies, although with greater acceptance among physicians. The limitations of “vaccines”, in addition to their risks, may open the way for research with other treatments 13, which is already happening in less renowned centers or centers non committed to “big pharmas”.

 

The biggest challenges of vaccines - Variants and Adverse Effects

                Even before finishing the text, a new and threatening variant appears in South Africa. Scientists verify that exactly the genes of the target protein in mRNA vaccines have mutations that elude the detection and the consequent neutralization of the virus. This variant (Omicron) is added to the twelve already identified (from Alpha to Mu) 14. Since it would be impossible to vaccinate the entire world population at the same time, incremental vaccination, including those infected, constituted the culture broth for the development of variants 15.

                In addition to the weakened protection of vaccines offered to the population, the risks of adverse effects increase the population's distrust and fear of taking them, because except in the most obvious cases of incompatibility, reactions such as thrombosis, allergy, heart disorders seem like tickets of a morbid lottery 16. The impact of someone who dies from a vaccine, even if it's 1 in 100,000, has a devastating effect, compared to someone who took it and was relatively protected.

                

Brave new world

                      The 20th century comprised two world wars and a cold war that threatened the planet with extinction. The dawn of the 21st century has brought hopes of an era less belligerent and more attentive to human and environmental needs. However, the dispute for material resources, given the demands of their populations, opposed blocks of countries, created a climate of generalized confrontation. It is in this context that a failed experiment sponsored by institutions from the two greatest world powers threw the world into the seventh largest pandemic in its history, with more than 5 million deaths, behind the plague of 1855.  

                Pandemics are global processes that ignore the nationality of states, although the nature of each modulates their respective evolution. Depending on its intensity, it erodes economic, social and political organization. This is already seen in the draconian measures adopted in many countries, in particular China, which is not a national state 17, offering the most radical examples of submission by a population. The European national states, already diluted in the European Union, abandon the democratic traditions inherited from liberalism. In the US, a controversial election brought to power a government in tune with movements to cancel the country's historical traditions, which undertakes a profound reform of the country's economic and social matrix. Now, paradoxically, Russia invokes a model of a national state,restored after the end of the Soviet Union, Technological dystopias, based on coercion and fear, seem to be the immediate fate of peoples. We are only in the first year of this era.

 

Notes

Fighting the Cure (I) in Retrospective OBSUNI 2020: a selection of texts on higher education published at Observatório daUniversidade / LuisPauloVieiraBraga (coordinator), ClóvisPereira da Silva, FernandoPortela Camara, LeandroNogueiraSalgado Filho. – Rio de Janeiro: Publit, 2020

 

**  Fighting the Cure (II) in Retrospective OBSUNI 2020: a selection of texts on higher education published at Observatório daUniversidade / LuisPauloVieiraBraga (coordinator), ClóvisPereira da Silva, FernandoPortela Camara, LeandroNogueiraSalgado Filho. – Rio de Janeiro: Publit, 2020

 

***  Fighting the Cure (III) in Retrospective OBSUNI 2021: a selection of texts on higher education published at Observatório daUniversidade / LuisPauloVieiraBraga (coordinator), ClóvisPereira da Silva, , LeandroNogueiraSalgado Filho. – Rio de Janeiro: Publit, 2021

 

1. Silence of the innocent?

2. Immunity

3. Hybrid Immunity

4. In the pandemic they forgot Foucault

5. Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies

6. Sky News Australia

7. Vanity Fair

8. The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2

9. CDC classical definitions

10.  CDC new definitions

11. Covid dashboard

12. Ivermectin for Prevention and Treatment

13. Therapeutic avenues to treat covid 19

14. Alpha,UK,B.1.1.7; Beta, South Africa, B.1.351; Gama, Brazil, P.1; Delta, India, B.1.617.2;

Epsilon, USA, B.1.429/B.1.427; Zeta, Brazil, P.2; Eta,Nigeria,B.1,525; Theta, Philippines, P.3;

Iota, USA, B.1526; Kappa, B.1.617.1; Lambda,Thailand,C.37; Mu, Colombia, B.1,621;

Nu, South Africa, B.1.1.529

15. Mass vacination during pandemics

16. Vaccine related deaths

17. China is a state of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), unlike the traditional National States that have as reference the territory, the people, the religion, the traditions, etc... The Chinese revolution broke with all that and rebuilt the State in light of the myths created by the CCP.

 

VIDEOS

 

LINKS

 

The conference cop26 outcomes

 

Speeding up scientific knowledge production

 

The parenting penalties faced by scientists mothers

INTERNATIONAL MONTHLY EDITION

NOVEMBER 2021

 

ARTICLES

An Academic Struggling With Indifference

Clovis Pereira da Silva

 Prof. Dr. Retired UFPR

 

1. Introduction

 

We are a mathematician, a member of the Brazilian academic community. Mathematics filled our lives in the form of a desire for scientific research and teaching as a professor at Federal University Parana (UFPR). For this mission we were prepared by competent and valuable teachers; in graduation at UFPR, in post graduate studies at UFRJ and at USP. Over the years, we have reflected on the role of mathematics, the role of scientific research and teaching, in our lives and in those of other people, that is, in the lives of Brazilian citizens and also in the mental processes of scientific research. Parallel to this process, we have also dedicated ourselves for decades to the much-needed reflections on the need to reform the Brazilian University, which concerns the Brazilian university system.

 

 

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Open research funding & support services

 

NIH admits funding risky virus research in Wuhan

 

Emmy Noether a jewish mathematician in Germany between the two world wars

INTERNATIONAL MONTHLY EDITION

OCTOBER 2021

 

ARTICLES

Rise and Fall of the Sleeping Giants Reich

Luis Braga (OBSUNI)

         

The Blitzkrieg 

 

   The Sleeping Giants(1) movement was created by two media professionals in 2016 to fight the Breibart News website, right after the defeat of the Democrats in the US majority elections. The initial objective was expanded to other sites and programs identified with the conservative movement, which had expanded a lot thanks to the field opened by the internet, which made it possible to bypass the dominance of the established media, strongly identified with the Democratic Party and its eco-capitalism theses, globalism, more identity agenda. Presenting itself as an opponent of prejudice and sexism, the movement, then anonymous, chose as a strategy to disseminate and send to advertisers excerpts from the articles published by the sites where its advertising appeared. The repercussion guaranteed by the twitter ® platform and by the support of the media provoked the departure of advertisers from the website Breibart(2). Journalist Tucker Carlson's program on Fox News had the same fate. The method's success has expanded its performance even outside the US. Apparently, promoting a highly decentralized structure, Sleeping Giants branches appeared in Europe and even in Brazil. They reproduced the same procedure by echoing the alleged collusion of advertisers with racist, homophobic or authoritarian practices, and managed to cancel millions of dollars in advertisements around the world on conservative websites. The campaign's success, however, had a double effect, as advertisers began to reject exposure in any media involved in controversies(3). But the way was already prepared for the next step – eliminating pages, sites, conservative profiles. This task was left to someone who has always been behind the scenes - Big Tech -(4) executives or does anyone believe in the romantic version that two professionals and a bunch of volunteers managed to alter the flow of information on the internet? Their companies started to ban websites and profiles considered to be hateful from their platforms – Parler and President Trump himself were some of the victims.

 

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VIDEOS

 

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Quantitative assessment of agricultural sustainability reveals divergent priorities among nations

Complicity in the Perversion of Justice: The Role of Lawyers in Eroding the Rule of Law in the Third Reich

 

 

Predatory publishers’ latest scam: bootlegged and rebranded papers

 

 

 

INTERNATIONAL MONTHLY EDITION

SEPTEMBER 2021

 

ARTICLES

Assessing Global Covid-19 Cases Data through Compositional Data Analysis(CoDa)

Luis P.V. Braga1

Dina Feigenbaum 1

 

1 Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

 

Abstract

Background

Covid-19 cases data pose an enormous challenge to any analysis. The evaluation of such a  global pandemic requires matching reports that follow different procedures and even overcoming some countries' censorship that restricts  publications.

 

Methods

 This work proposes a methodology  that could assist future studies. Compositional Data Analysis (CoDa) is proposed as the proper approach as Covid-19 cases data is compositional in nature. Under this methodology, for each country three attributes were selected: cumulative number of deaths (D); cumulative number of recovered patients(R) ; present number of patients (A).

 

Results

 After the operation called closure, with c=1, a ternary diagram and Log-Ratio plots, as well as,  compositional statistics are presented. Cluster analysis is then applied, splitting the countries into discrete groups.

 

Conclusions

 This methodology can also be applied to other data sets such as countries, cities, provinces or districts in order to  help authorities and governmental agencies to improve their actions to fight against a pandemic.

 

Keywords

 

            CoDa, LogRatio, Clusterization, Covid-19, JHU

 

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‘Cancelled’ for Saying ‘China Virus’?

 

 

Parents: Critical Race Theory is divisive and dangerous

 

The tangled history of mRNA vaccines

 

How dangerous is Africa's explosive Lake Kivu?

 

 

INTERNATIONAL MONTHLY EDITION

AUGUST 2021

 

ARTICLES

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Schrödinger´s Vote

Luis Braga

There is a great debate in Brazil about the nature of electronic voting machines that are not immune to hacking but do not allow for an unquestionable audit. The article gives several arguments and examples from scientific authorities around the world supporting these concerns.

 

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VIDEOS

 

BOOKS AND COURSES

 

LINKS

 

World University Rankings 2021

 

Animals Count and Use Zero

 

The oldest map of the Holy Land

 

IPCC  Sixth Assessment Report

 

East Asian youth are lying flat

INTERNATIONAL MONTHLY EDITION

JULY 2021

 

Highly Cited Researchers 2020

 

ARTICLES

The Neglect

Clovis Pereira da Silva

 

In the country's federal administration, we highlight two moments that were ignored by public managers, and that could have been used to prepare and execute a university policy plan for Brazil. Plan that, over the years, could undergo updates. In our considerations we will not include the disregard for the subject, on the part of those who instituted the republican regime in Brazil in 1889.

One of the opportunities that was ignored occurred in the 1930s, when the then Minister of Education and Public Health, Mr. Francisco Campos presented to the Head of the Provisional Government of Brazil, the Explanatory Memorandum for his Project on Higher Education Reform, see Official Gazette, April 15, 1931, pp.15.115-15.116.

 

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Covid-19: Fighting the cure (I)

                 Behind the scenes of the most disgusting manipulation of the public health

Luis Braga (OBSUNI)

 

 

Thanks to life, which has given me so much

It has given me the sound and the alphabet

With the words that I think and declare

 

Thanks to life, Violeta Parra

 

Introduction

 

                    I have been working in geostatistics and data mining for over 30 years and since 2007 I coordinate the UNIVERSITY OBSERVATORY Project (OBSUNI)1 whose goal can be summed up in the investigation of why the university does not work, or works so badly in Brazil and not so well elsewhere2. In mid-February we organized a lecture on the pandemic COVID-19 with Dr. Fernando Portela Câmara, which was later unfolded in four videos that can be found on the OBSUNI TV page3 , on the OBSUNI website. Five months later, with around 17 million cases worldwide, around 10 million recovered, 670 thousand dead and the remainder being treated, the most recent pandemic has as its main characteristic the abusive interventions of supranational entities, governments and corporations that seem to point more towards combating cure than promoting it.

 

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VIDEOS

 

BOOKS AND COURSES

 

LINKS

The rise of ‘ARPA-everything’ and what it means for science

DEF CON 27 Voting Machine Hacking Village

Global burden of cancer in 2020 attributable to alcohol consumption: a population-based study

How Many Numbers Exist? Infinity Proof Moves Math Closer to an Answer

The parenting penalties faced by scientist mothers