Hemeroteca del mes diciembre, 2012

Zbigniew Brzezinski as a mirror of American devolution (II)

Por • 31 dic, 2012 • Category: Política

We are halfway through the time allotted by Zbigniew Brzezinski in his landmark book «The Grand Chessboard», when he predicted that U.S. dominance in the world would remain unchallenged for a period of thirty years. Now just 15 years on and in his new book «Strategic Vision: America and the Crisis of Global Power», he states that the devolution of American power is accelerating. Brzezinski admits that the «exuberant optimism» about the omnipotence of the United States did not last long. Consumer culture and the deregulation of the economy led to the bursting of the stock market bubble and large-scale financial crisis. The wars of George W. Bush have proved disastrous for the country, even before that there was Clinton’s Balkan adventure and the collapse of U.S. foreign policy in general. The similarities between the Soviet Union in the twilight of its days and America at the beginning of the XXI century are really disturbing, notes Brzezinski



Paradigmas y revoluciones en ciencia y técnica

Por • 31 dic, 2012 • Category: Opinion

Desde su comienzo hace cuatro siglos, la ciencia y la técnica modernas han sido sacudidas esporádicamente por profundas revoluciones. Baste recordar algunas de las que ocurrieron en nuestro siglo: el nacimiento de la física atómica y nuclear; la creación de las dos relatividades y de la teoría cuántica; la emergencia de la teoría sintética de la evolución y de la biología molecular; los comienzos de la psicología fisiológica; la consolidación de la historiografía económica y social; y, según algunos, la invención de la gramática generativo-transformacional. En cuanto a las revoluciones tecnológicas, es sabido que han transformado de raíz el estilo de vida en los pueblos industrializados. Baste recordar la revolución en los transportes operada por la difusión del automóvil y del avión, la revolución en las comunicaciones causada por la difusión de la radio y la televisión; la revolución industrial operada por el trabajo en cadena y el taylorismo; la revolución agropecuaria producida por la aplicación de la biología; la racionalización de la administración de empresas en gran escala producida por la investigación operativa; y la revolución producida en el almacenamiento y la elaboración de datos por el uso de las computadoras de alta velocidad.



The Strength of Varying Tie Strength

Por • 30 dic, 2012 • Category: sociologia

“The Strength of Weak Ties” argument (Granovetter 1973) says that the most valuable information is best collected through bridging ties with other social circles than one’s own, and that those ties tend to be weak. Aral and Van Alstyne (2011) added that to access complex information, actors need strong ties (“high bandwidth”) instead. These insights I generalize by pointing at actors’ interest to avoid spending large resources on low value information. Weak ties are well-suited for relatively simple information at low transmission and tie maintenance costs, whereas for complex information, the best outcomes are expected for those actors who vary their bandwidths along with the value of information accessed. To support my claim I use all patents in the USA (two million) over the period 1975-1999.



Zbigniew Brzezinski as a mirror of American devolution (I)

Por • 29 dic, 2012 • Category: Política

Brzezinski’s book can be considered a prelude, as it echoes the ideas of a just-released predictive report from the U.S. National Intelligence Council, «Global Trends 2030» (which we will discuss in a separate conversation). Some even liken this book to Churchill’s famous Fulton speech. I must say that regarding Brzezinski’s «strategic vision», the newly appointed U.S. secretary of state, John Kerry, wrote in his review of this work, that «it is a must read for anyone who is interested in foreign policy».



Chávez: FANB es revolucionaria y socialista

Por • 29 dic, 2012 • Category: Nacionales

Camaradas combatientes por Venezuela: una de las razones más poderosas para que hoy tengamos Patria reside en que el Pueblo venezolano cuenta con una Fuerza Armada real y verdaderamente bolivariana y, por tanto, real y verdaderamente nacional: un cuerpo esencialmente patriótico, popular, revolucionario, antiimperialista y socialista.



Diosdado y Nicolás: No sigan jugando con candela

Por • 29 dic, 2012 • Category: Nacionales

Las instrucciones de Chávez al PSUV, a la FANB y al pueblo venezolano fueron claras y precisas en el caso de no poder presentarse a la toma de posesión el 10 de enero. De la noche a la mañana las declaraciones de Diosdado cambiaron el cuadro político que parecía blindado con lo dispuesto por Chávez.



Un país en ascuas

Por • 29 dic, 2012 • Category: Nacionales

Una Venezuela en ascuas que no sabe realmente lo que sucederá con el presidente, con el líder que vertebra tanto gobierno como oposición y con el futuro del país.



Simplest proof of Bell’s inequality

Por • 29 dic, 2012 • Category: Leyes

Bell’s theorem is a fundamental result in quantum mechanics: it discriminates between quantum mechanics and all theories where probabilities in measurement results arise from the ignorance of pre-existing local properties. We give an extremely simple proof of Bell’s inequality: a single figure suffices. This simplicity may be useful in the unending debate of what exactly the Bell inequality means, since the hypothesis at the basis of the proof become extremely transparent. It is also a useful didactic tool, as the Bell inequality can be explained in a single intuitive lecture.



Initial Semantics for Reduction Rules

Por • 29 dic, 2012 • Category: Opinion

We give an algebraic characterization of the syntax and operational semantics of a class of simply–typed languages, such as the language PCF: we characterize simply–typed syntax with variable binding and equipped with reduction rules via a universal property, namely as the initial object of some category of models. For this purpose, we employ techniques developed in two previous works: in a first work we model syntactic translations between languages over different sets of types as initial morphisms in a category of models. In a second work we characterize untyped syntax with reduction rules as initial object in a category of models. In the present work, we show that the techniques used there are modular enough to be combined: we thus characterize simply–typed syntax with reduction rules as initial object in a category. The universal property yields an operator which allows to specify translations — that are semantically faithful by construction — between languages over possibly different sets of types.



The Reasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Physical Sciences

Por • 29 dic, 2012 • Category: Crítica

Mathematics and its relation to the physical universe have been the topic of speculation since the days of Pythagoras. Several different views of the nature of mathematics have been considered: Realism – mathematics exists and is discovered; Logicism – all mathematics may be deduced through pure logic; Formalism – mathematics is just the manipulation of formulas and rules invented for the purpose; Intuitionism – mathematics comprises mental constructs governed by self evident rules. The debate among the several schools has major importance in understanding what Eugene Wigner called, “The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences.” In return, this `Unreasonable Effectiveness’ suggests a possible resolution of the debate in favor of it Realism. The crucial element is the extraordinary predictive capacity of mathematical structures descriptive of physical theories.