Hemeroteca del mes septiembre, 2013

Acabar con los mitos de transparencia en el acuerdo comercial entre la Unión Europa y Estados Unidos

Por • 30 sep, 2013 • Category: Economía

El 7 de octubre empieza en Bruselas la segunda ronda de las negociaciones para un acuerdo comercial trasatlántico de largo alcance. En medio de los llamamientos a una mayor apertura y participación pública la Comisión Europea ha entrado en la fase de la propaganda al promover varios mitos acerca de la transparencia y responsabilidad de las negociaciones. Con la demoledora de mitos guía del secretismo, de la influencia de las corporaciones y de la falta de responsabilidad en las negociaciones del comercio trasatlántico elaborada por Corporative Europe Observatory el lector podrá ver a través de la retórica complaciente de la Comisión

El bachillerato es un embudo

Por • 30 sep, 2013 • Category: Nacionales

La contracción de la oferta de cupos en primer y cuarto año, hace difícil la prosecusión escolar. Hay sólo un liceo por cada tres escuelas primarias

TPP a Trojan horse

Por • 30 sep, 2013 • Category: Internacionales

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement is a proposed trade pact that Japan is negotiating with Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam (as of September 2013). The TPP aims to increase the liberalization of economies in the Pacific region through abolition of tariffs on trade as well as reregulation. Although the TPP negotiations have been held in the name of the people, the draft texts have been shrouded in secrecy not only from the public, but also members of the Diet in Japan, and civil society, thereby precluding public scrutiny and public input. Reportedly, the countries have signed up not to reveal the contents of the agreement for four years after the signing of the agreement. All public information comes from leaked texts. Bizarrely, the TPP makes a special exception to “a group of some 600 trade ‘advisers’, dominated by representatives of big businesses.” The TPP is a Trojan horse, branded as a “free trade” agreement, but having nothing to do with fair and equitable treatment. In reality, it is precisely “a wish list of the 1% – a worldwide corporate power”. “Only 5 of its 29 chapters cover traditional trade matters, like tariffs or quotas.” “The other chapters enshrine new rights and privileges for major corporations while weakening the power of nation states to oppose them.”

A topological set theory implied by ZF and GPK+∞

Por • 29 sep, 2013 • Category: Opinion

We present a system of axioms motivated by a topological intuition: The set of subsets of any set is a topology on that set. On the one hand, this system is acommon weakening of Zermelo-Franenkel set theory ZF, the positive set theory GPK and he theory of hyperuniverses. On the other hand, it retains most of the expressiveness of theses theories and has the same consistency strength as ZF. We single out the additional axiom of the universal set as the one that increases the consistency strength to that of GPK and explore several other axioms and interrlations between those theories. Our results are independent of whether the empty class is a set and whether atoms exist.

¿Un expaís de prepotentes e imbéciles?

Por • 27 sep, 2013 • Category: Nacionales

¿Pero cómo llegamos a esa situación en la que en lugar de un hombre hay un atrasado, necio, que para colmo se considera más que inteligente, genial y sin nada que aprender y mucho, muchísimo que dictaminar, determinar?

Americans Believe in National Exceptionalism: from Obama to McCain

Por • 27 sep, 2013 • Category: Internacionales

American politicians may have heated debates over many issues, but there is one thing they see eye to eye about – America is a special country of exceptional nature, nobody compares to it and nobody ever will. So whatever it does is an example of wisdom and integrity for all other nations in the world, the United States is chosen to lead the way showing the others the right direction to move on. In this sense the President of United States was no different from his predecessors when he talked about the uniqueness of Americans along with its «manifest destiny» while addressing the nation on Syria. With all assurances made by Obama that he treats other nations with respect, the chief executive is not able to leave behind this «sacred cow» of US political class. Obama does not want to realize that this very idea is at the core of global instability in the world while Washington tries to impose its will on others. It’s the American pressure that is ultimately at the root of contemporary conflicts.

Model Checking in Bits and Pieces

Por • 27 sep, 2013 • Category: Ambiente

Fully automated verification of concurrent programs is a difficult problem, primarily because of state explosion: the exponential growth of a program state space with the number of its concurrently active components. It is natural to apply a divide and conquer strategy to ameliorate state explosion, by analyzing only a single component at a time. We show that this strategy leads to the notion of a “split” invariant, an assertion which is globally inductive, while being structured as the conjunction of a number of local, per-component invariants. This formulation is closely connected to the classical Owicki-Gries method and to Rely-Guarantee reasoning. We show how the division of an invariant into a number of pieces with limited scope makes it possible to apply new, localized forms of symmetry and abstraction to drastically simplify its computation. Split invariance also has interesting connections to parametric verification. A quantified invariant for a parametric system is a split invariant for every instance. We show how it is possible, in some cases, to invert this connection, and to automatically generalize from a split invariant for a small instance of a system to a quantified invariant which holds for the entire family of instances.

Exploiting Similarities among Languages for Machine Translation

Por • 27 sep, 2013 • Category: Ciencia y tecnología

Dictionaries and phrase tables are the basis of modern statistical machine translation systems. This paper develops a method that can automate the process of generating and extending dictionaries and phrase tables. Our method can translate missing word and phrase entries by learning language structures based on large monolingual data and mapping between languages from small bilingual data. It uses distributed representation of words and learns a linear mapping between vector spaces of languages. Despite its simplicity, our method is surprisingly effective: we can achieve almost 90% precision@5 for translation of words between English and Spanish. This method makes little assumption about the languages, so it can be used to extend and refine dictionaries and translation tables for any language pairs.

A Tricentenary history of the Law of Large Numbers

Por • 27 sep, 2013 • Category: Educacion

The Weak Law of Large Numbers is traced chronologically from its inception as Jacob Bernoulli’s Theorem in 1713, through De Moivre’s Theorem, to ultimate forms due to Uspensky and Khinchin in the 1930s, and beyond. Both aspects of Jacob Bernoulli’s Theorem: 1. As limit theorem (sample size $n\to\infty$), and: 2. Determining sufficiently large sample size for specified precision, for known and also unknown p (the inversion problem), are studied, in frequentist and Bayesian settings. The Bienaym\'{e}-Chebyshev Inequality is shown to be a meeting point of the French and Russian directions in the history. Particular emphasis is given to less well-known aspects especially of the Russian direction, with the work of Chebyshev, Markov (the organizer of Bicentennial celebrations), and S.N. Bernstein as focal points.

Reconsidering written language

Por • 27 sep, 2013 • Category: sociologia

In a previous essay, I argued that European schools of thought on memory and memorization were critical in enabling widespread adoption of the scientific method. Here, as a way of understanding the peculiar relationship the memory arts had to 17th century philosophy and intellectual culture, I propose a historical thought experiment, and examine whether these developments might have occurred several thousand years earlier when the adoption of written language accelerated. I suggest that strong cultural norms discouraging the use of written language may have precipitated a scientific revolution at a much earlier stage in human history. I close by arguing for the value of counter-factual scientific histories in attempting to separate scientific principles from the particular historical circumstances in which they arose.