Clueless

In the conflict between Beijing, Berlin and Brussels over skyrocketing investment by Chinese firms in European high-tech industries, China has a major advantage: It has a plan. Germany doesn’t. Neither does the European Union. It doesn’t make things easier that European businesses have little incentive to put a stop to the billions flowing out of China, which provide them with capital in the short term and help them secure access to the growing Chinese market. China’s mission to buy up companies in Europe is part of a plan called “Made in China 2025,” designed to turn the country into a manufacturing superpower. When it comes to investment, both abroad and at home, the Chinese have a plan, and they seem determined to stick to it. “One aim of ‘Made in China 2025’ is to replace foreign technology with Chinese technology,” said Jost Wübbecke of Mercator Institute for China Studies.

Angela Merkel

Trumped

Timur Kuran writes about the phenomenon he calls “preference falsification”: people tend to hide unpopular views to avoid ostracism or punishment; they stop hiding them when they feel safe. When something breaks the spell and the discontented realize that their feelings are widely shared, at which point the collapse of the regime may seem very sudden to outside observers. Kuran calls this sudden change a “preference cascade”. Novelist Bret Easton Ellis recently tweeted: “Just back from a dinner in West Hollywood: shocked the majority of the table was voting for Trump but they would never admit it publicly.” What he describes is preference falsification, but if people stop hiding, it will become a cascade.

A new theory by cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman is garnering attention. Grounded in evolutionary psychology, it is called the interface theory of perception (ITP) and argues that percepts act as a species-specific user interface that directs behavior toward survival and reproduction, not truth.

Equilibrium

Margaret Talbot, a political annalist, made the point that a politician in the US should be racist, preferentially anti-White.  Sanders’s commitment to recapturing some of the white working-class males that the Democratic Party lost in the Reagan years won’t necessarily help his candidacy; indeed, it could hurt his quest to connect with minority voters. As he’s found, emphasizing class over race can get a progressive in trouble.

Black Nationalists made the point that Racism is stronger than Sexism. Identity politics led me to vote for Barack Obama. I didn’t vote for Barack Obama because I liked his policy positions. I saw a black man with a black wife and children and I needed to believe he would work better for me than his predecessors. I have no intentions of defending my choice to help elect a quasi-liberal black man over a conservative white man: I did so to try to slow the bleed of black people. It would seem only natural, then, that Hillary Clinton would be the logical choice for me in this year’s election. After all, she is a woman, as I am. She is also a Democrat, so I should identify with Clinton over her male Republican opponent. But I don’t.


And because Black nationalists are not alone... In the wake of Trump’s surprising election victory, hundreds of white nationalists converged on the capital to herald a moment of political ascendance that many had thought to be far away. Intellectual leaders of the movement argue that they are trying to realize their desire for a white “ethno-state” where they can be left alone.

In the end, Mark Lilla hit where it hurts. Hillary Clinton slipped into the rhetoric of diversity, calling out explicitly to African-American, Latino, L.G.B.T. and women voters at every stop. This was a strategic mistake. If you are going to mention groups in America, you had better mention all of them. If you don’t, those left out will notice and feel excluded. The fixation on diversity in our schools and in the press has produced a generation of liberals narcissistically unaware of conditions outside their self-defined groups, and indifferent to the task of reaching out to Americans in every walk of life. Liberals obsession with diversity has encouraged white, rural, religious Americans to think of themselves as a disadvantaged group whose identity is being threatened or ignored. Liberals should bear in mind that the first identity movement in American politics was the Ku Klux Klan, which still exists.

Identity Politics is Racism; and it leads to a inevitable Balkanization of society; and maybe that is the equilibrium of every human society.

Os Especialistas

Em 1988, Philip Tetlock, um jovem psicólogo canadiano, lembrou-se de contactar mais de 200 pessoas em todo o mundo, todas elas especialistas de grande reputação em temas políticos e económicos. Ao longo de 15 anos, colocou-lhes perguntas sobre esses temas, pedindo-lhes que atribuíssem probabilidades a diferentes cenários sobre o futuro próximo. Quem iria ganhar as próximas eleições nos seus países? Que evoluções antecipavam para uma série de indicadores económicos? Que conflitos militares deveríamos esperar? Em 2005, Tetlock apresentou os resultados desta singular experiência no livro Expert Political Judgment. A principal conclusão? Em média, a capacidade destes especialistas para preverem o futuro próximo nas matérias que dominam é semelhante à de um chimpanzé a atirar dardos a um alvo. A quem quiser igualar o desempenho médio de alguns dos maiores especialistas mundiais em matérias políticas e económicas basta-lhe dar palpites à sorte. É difícil não olhar para ele como uma denúncia do espaço comunicacional em países como os Estados Unidos ou, por exemplo, Portugal: um espaço onde pululam “especialistas” e “profetas” que nos comunicam convictamente todo o tipo de certezas, sendo depois recompensados mais pelo seu “valor de entretenimento” do que pela precisão das suas afirmações.

As Caravelas

As Caravelas de Portugal Lisboa.

António Costa acha que “a TAP é fundamental pois, na era da globalização, tem a importância que as caravelas tiveram na era dos Descobrimentos“. Certamente entusiasmado com esta imagem marítima, também defendeu que “Portugal não pode prescindir da TAP” e que só o Estado pode garantir que a companhia aérea continua “ao serviço dos portugueses”.


O boletim publicado pela Autoridade Nacional da Aviação Civil sobre as mais recentes estatísticas de tráfego, mostra que, no aeroporto Francisco Sá Carneiro, a TAP, que tinha uma quota de 30% em 2015, desceu para os 25% e perdeu o primeiro lugar do ranking, algo inédito. Em Faro, o terceiro maior aeroporto do país, a TAP nem consta na listagem das dez maiores companhias a operar: a última vez que apareceu no ranking, em 2014, tinha uma quota de 2%. Em Lisboa, a quota de mercado da transportadora aérea nacional foi de 55%.


Privatizar a TAP totalmente, por favor.

Vasco da Gama parte de Lisboa