Friday, 14 December 2007

What TV does to kids

The most important thing we've learned,
So far as children are concerned,
Is never, NEVER, NEVER, let
Them near your television set
- Or better still, just don't install
The idiotic thing at all.
In almost every house we've been,
We've watched them gaping at the screen.
They loll and slop and lounge about,
And stare until their eyes pop out..
(Last week in someone's place we saw
A dozen eyeballs on the floor.)
They sit and stare and stare and sit
Until they're hypnotized by it,
Until they're absolutely drunk
With all that shocking ghastly junk.
Oh yes, we know it keeps them still,
They don't climb out the window sill,
They never fight or kick or punch,
They leave you free to cook the lunch
And wash the dishes in the sink
- But did you ever stop to think,
To wonder just exactly what
This does to your beloved tot?


by Roald Dahl, 1964
found in Martin Large's "Set Free Childhood", typed up by Zareen :)

My realtion to Essex University

Sometimes I think Essex University is Hades, somteimes I think I'm on mount Olymp.
Probably I'm schizophrenic.
Or maybe it's only about doing PhD.

Precious advice

"Glaser (especially 1978) ... He recommends reading widely while avoiding the literature most closely related to what you are researching."

"What you do is probably less important than how well you justify it."

Found in

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Economy at the study desk

"...selbst mit den unerfreulichsten Kategorien der Nationalökonomie hantiert sichs am Studiertisch ganz erträglich."

"...even the most unpleasant categories of the National Economy are quite bearable to handle on the study desk."

K. Siegismund

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

As pessoas e a economia

Esta tabela compara a economia de mercado, a economia planificada socialista e a economia associativa em termos de visão do ser humano, lógica do funcionamento e consequências (clica sobre a tabela para ver melhor). A tabela foi adaptada a partir de Hermannsdorfer, 1990, encontrada em,

onde também diz que a visão que Adam Smith tinha sobre o ser humano não foi na prática posta em causa desde então:
"Die klassischen Wirtschaftstheorien gehen vom Menschenbild Adam Smith‘s aus, der den moralisierenden Charakter des wirtschaftlichen Eigennutzes beseitigte. Leider bleiben alle Theorien hier stecken... "

Não é o mercado que precisa de ser livre. São as pessoas.

Astrology made more plausible

It seems quite unreasonable to assume that far away stars that have no connection between them, but that seen from the earth reminded old Greek fellows of some mythical figures, influence our personality. Of course, everything is connected and so there could be an influence, though, how it works would be impossible to be explained.

However, where old Greek fellows saw Capricorn rising in the end of December, today there is not Capricorn rising anymore, because of all the movements of the Earth, the solar system, the Galax (I didn't grasp the Physics of that part), the constellations now rise almost one month later than they did 2000 years ago.

So if someone has Capricorn as its sun sign, actually the constellation in the night sky when he was born was not Capricorn.

Does this mean astrology is fake and we should burry it immediately and forever?

No. In fact, what matters is not at all the constellation rising at the time of your birth, but the position that the Earth has in relation to the Sun. The Earth moves around the Sun in one year, and that circle of 360' has been divided into 12 equal parts to which the symbols of the constellations have been attributed some 2000 years ago.

Now, the influence of the position of the Earth around the Sun is obvious, as it is revealed in the seasons. But it has also other influences, for example, on crystallization processes, as Lilly Kolisko has shown in the early 20th century.

But wouldn't it be boring to say, I was born at 274', instead of saying "I'm Pisces" or so? Though, that would certainly suit our modern mathematical and materialistic minds much more.

Why the time of birth should imprint personality traits upon us nevertheless remains enigmatic. Hum, I start to guess that it is not time of birth that really matters...

Tuesday, 11 December 2007


"Ja, mach nur einen Plan,
sei nur ein großes Licht!
Und mach dann noch 'nen zweiten Plan,
geh’n tun sie beide nicht."

Monday, 10 December 2007

Dar a volta aos Fundos Europeus

Hoje ouvi dizer que há gente do centro da Europa que monta uma empresa ou associação em países do mediterrâneo para conseguir aceder com mais facilidade aos fundos Europeus. Muitos fundos para projectos estão disponíveis para parcerias internacionais, mas como os países do mediterrâneo estavam subrepresentados, os projectos com parceiros do mediterrâneo tinham vantagens em serem aprovados. Então o que acontece é que um indivíduo ou uma empresa do centro da Europa tém projectos aprovados porque tém um parceiro Português (digamos), e na verdade o promotor fica sentado na Bélgica (digamos) e embolsa o dinheiro dos dois lados. Claro que ainda tem que desenvolver o projecto, mas, provavelmente, o cuidado de execução no país que só serve como parceiro para conseguir os fundos vai ser menor ou nenhum. Parece então nas belas estatísticas que Portugal é parceiro em imensos projectos e que os países do mediterrâneo estão a participar e a tomar as oportunidades oferecidas pela UE, e afinal é só fantochada.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

EU Worst Greenwash award

Yesterday the German Atomforum, the lobby of the german nuclear power industry, won the Worst EU Greenwash Award. Especially for its campaign the price was given. That campaign is miserable indeed: for example, they have a brochure called "The unloved climate protectors". This price is well deserved and I sincerely congratulate the winners.

BMW, Daimler and Porsche were wining the Worst EU Lobbying Award.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007


Subsidydependency [subsidiodependência] is a condition that was identified by Portuguese farmers.
Subsidydependency is a situation in which farmers cannot control their farm operation themselves, but their decisions are shaped by the requirements to receive financial state support, on which they rely in order to secure an income or pay off debts.
As producer prices are so low and production costs increasing, farmers cannot secure their livelihoods based on agricultural production and have to rely on state support to keep in farming. (It is as if a physician couldn't earn enough through his work because it was not properly valued, and he had to rely on charity to survive.) Subsidydependency is a destabilizing condition and perceived as unfair and humiliating, especially so because farmers are those people who used to be proud of their independence and self-reliance and now have as much decision power and control over their livelihoods as a factory worker.
Subsidydependency is a result of agricultural and trade policies and of the agricultural treadmill (increasing production costs and decreasing producer prices as a result of technological innovations).
No cure for this condition is known today.

Monday, 3 December 2007


"Coimbra, Coimbra...
Que fazes tu aos estudantes?
Vão para lá tão humildes
e voltam tão importantes."

Foi o que perguntaram a um antigo Prof. meu quando ele esteve numa saída de campo. Tão bonito. ;)

"Gott ist Gott,
der Zarr ist der Zarr
und des Zarren wache wacht!"

Otfried Preussler, "Der starke Wanja"

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Pato pal ur

Mint elátkozott királyfi
Túl az Óperencián,
Él magában falujában
Pató Pál úr mogorván.
Be más lenne itt az élet,
Ha egy ifjú feleség...
Közbevágott Pató Pál úr:
"Ej, ráérünk arra még!"

Roskadófélben van a ház,
Hámlik le a vakolat,
S a szél egy darab födéllel
Már tudj' isten hol szalad;
Javítsuk ki, mert maholnap
Pallásról néz be az ég...
Közbevágott Pató Pál úr:
"Ej, ráérünk arra még!"

Puszta a kert, ehelyett a
Szántóföld szépen virít,
Temi bôven a pipacsnak
Mindenféle nemeit.
Mit henyél az a sok béres?
Mit henyélnek az ekék?...
Közbevágott Pató Pál úr:
"Ej, ráérünk arra még!"

Hát a mente, hát a nadrág,
Ugy megritkult, olyan ó,
Hogy szunyoghálónak is már
Csak szükségbôl volna jó;
Híni kell csak a szabót, a
Posztó meg van véve rég...
Közbevágott Pató Pál úr:
"Ej, ráérünk arra még!"

Életét így tengi által;
Bár apái nékie
Mindent oly bôven hagyának,
Soha sincsen semmije.
De ez nem az ô hibája;
Ô magyarnak születék,
S hazájában ôsi jelszó:
"Ej, ráérünk arra még!"

Petofi Sandor Pest, 1847.