Hemeroteca de la sección ‘sociologia’

Anti-Intellectualism, Chinese Style

Por • 6 dic, 2017 • Category: sociologia

Another manifestation of anti-intellectualism is the growing appeal of officialdom to a large number of Chinese intellectuals. There is nothing wrong for intellectuals to serve in government; but against the backdrop of Confucian prescription for deference to authority, a Chinese intellectual in government is more likely to justify and defend government policies than to criticize them. To be critical is not the same as being anti-government, but in the long shadow of Confucianism, the two are usually conflated. To be critical is to be politically incorrect and—by extension—punishable. More importantly, once political power and the privileges that comes with that power become an end in and of itself, an intellectual is no different from a politician.

La larga crisis terminal del modelo rentista petrolero venezolano y la profunda crisis que actualmente enfrenta el país

Por • 1 dic, 2017 • Category: sociologia

La crisis venezolana no es nueva. El país ha estado experimentando una profunda crisis económica y política estructural durante las últimas cuatro décadas. Es la crisis terminal del modelo petrolero rentista, estatista y clientelar que ha caracterizado a la sociedad venezolana desde hace muchas décadas. Sin embargo, este modelo rentista extractivo tuvo un nuevo soplo de vida con el liderazgo carismático de Chávez, la legitimidad proporcionada por la Constitución de 1999 y los altos precios del petróleo de los primeros años de este siglo. Una vez más, parecía que los precios del petróleo sólo podían ir hacia arriba. Los ingresos procedentes del petróleo fueron vistos en el corto y mediano plazo, como la fuente de los recursos necesarios para la transformación de la sociedad venezolana. Durante los años del proceso bolivariano no se tomaron medidas significativas de transformación de la estructura productiva del país. Por el contrario, se profundizó el rentismo petrolero hasta que el petróleo alcanzó el 96% del valor total de las exportaciones. Hoy el país es más dependiente que nunca en su historia de las importaciones, incluso de alimentos básicos y suministros médicos.

Hilferding over Marx: A Political Economy Viewpoint of Struggles in the Left 1900-1933 and the Modern Revival

Por • 15 nov, 2017 • Category: sociologia

Recent heterodox economic literature makes reference to Hilferding’s “Finance Capital” and Lenin’s “Imperialism” as early insights on the phenomenon of Financialization of capital. In this regard ideas which became dominant in the left during the first decades of the previous century are applied in the explanation of the current crisis, as well as the understanding of contemporary capitalism from a methodological, analytical and political standpoint. This paper traces the underlying argument of the Monopoly model and its main political applications in the first three decades of the 20th century, in an effort to draw rough historical analogies with its revival in contemporary literature. It is argued that the Hilferding model, from which Lenin’s ”Imperialism” is derived, has very little or nothing to do with Marx’s economics but much to do with the neoclassical theory of Monopoly and Oligopoly. This theoretical association abolishes labor value theory from the analytical framework and with it any possibility of inherent breakdown (depression) in capitalist accumulation. Consequently political economy was pushed to the background and the confrontations between Lenin and Kautsky and subsequently Trotsky, Bukharin and Stalin were fought around political and geopolitical considerations a factor which played important part in the outcome.

Do two parties represent the US? Clustering analysis of US public ideology survey

Por • 28 oct, 2017 • Category: sociologia

Recent surveys have shown that an increasing portion of the US public believes the two major US parties inadequately represent the US public opinion, and think additional parties are needed. However, there are high barriers for third parties in political elections. In this paper, we aim to address two questions: “How well do the two major US parties represent the public’s ideology?” and “Does a more-than-two-party system better represent the ideology of the public?”. To address these questions, we utilize the American National Election Studies Time series dataset, a dataset of opinion surveys of 20,502 individuals over multiple political issues since 1948. We perform unsupervised clustering with Gaussian Mixture Model method on this dataset, and we find the cluster center found under a two-cluster restriction is close to the party centers, which are estimated using the mean position of the individuals self-identified with the parties. We conclude that the major US parties are representative of the US population under the constraint that the political system is limited to two parties

Complex Contagions: A Decade in Review

Por • 24 oct, 2017 • Category: sociologia

Since the publication of ‘Complex Contagions and the Weakness of Long Ties’ in 2007, complex contagions have been studied across an enormous variety of social domains. In reviewing this decade of research, we discuss recent advancements in applied studies of complex contagions, particularly in the domains of health, innovation diffusion, social media, and politics. We also discuss how these empirical studies have spurred complementary advancements in the theoretical modeling of contagions, which concern the effects of network topology on diffusion, as well as the effects of individual-level attributes and thresholds. In synthesizing these developments, we suggest three main directions for future research. The first concerns the study of how multiple contagions interact within the same network and across networks, in what may be called an ecology of contagions.

Joseph Schumpeter and Gabriel Tarde on Technological Change and Social Evolution

Por • 6 oct, 2017 • Category: sociologia

In this paper, we show that the certain elaborations of the French sociologist Gariel Tarde may be traced throughout Schumpeter’s works. More specifically, we show that Joseph Schumpeter’s views were influenced by the French social philosopher and theoretician Gabriel Tarde who delivered a theory of Social Evolution based on Technological Change as its driving force, closely related to the profiteering function of the economy. Also, we demonstrate that Tarde’s approach has striking similarities with the Schumpeterian vision of Economic Development, Change and Social Evolution. But there are similarities in their respective methodological approaches as well. For instance, the most striking similarity is that despite the importance he gave to the social stratum, Tarde, just like Schumpeter’s early approach, never fully admitted the determination of the individual’s will by the social forces. In other words, they both attempted to explain social evolution by means of individual initiative. At this point it should be mentioned that Tarde’s theory has been delivered and published about a decade before the publication of the first edition of Schumpeter’s influential Theory of Economic Development.

Meritocracy Versus Democracy

Por • 4 oct, 2017 • Category: sociologia

While China’s dramatic economic rise has attracted global attention, its political and institutional changes have been little noticed or deliberately ignored for ideological reasons. In fact, without much fanfare, Beijing has introduced significant reforms into its way of governance and established an elaborate system of what can be called “selection plus election.” Briefly, competent leaders are selected based on merit and popular support through a vigorous process of screening, opinion surveys, internal evaluations and various small-scale elections. The Communist Party of China may arguably be one of the world’s most meritocratic institutions.

Socialism core of China success story

Por • 28 sep, 2017 • Category: sociologia

Obviously for Western countries accustomed to the hundreds-year-old capitalist system, it is very difficult for them to understand China’s socialist path. When these countries found that a fast-developing China has not been incorporated into the capitalist order, they criticize China for state capitalism or mercantilism. Nevertheless, this kind of criticism ignores the fact that socialism, which suffered huge setbacks in Europe, has enjoyed prosperous development in China. It is the socialist theory and path that have propelled China to its current status as the world’s second-largest economy. In the future 10 or 15 years, the socialist path with Chinese characteristics is likely to make China become the largest economy. In sum, the difference between China’s development path and the Western mode lies in socialism. Socialism with Chinese characteristics was the basic feature of the country’s development. For a thorough understanding of China, one must learn much about this country’s socialism.

Futuros sociales en tiempos de crisis

Por • 17 sep, 2017 • Category: sociologia

Ramón Ramos Torre Resumen: En este artículo se reconstruye selectivamente la sociología del futuro de los últimos cincuenta años para rescatar algunos de sus elementos y construir una analítica y una problemática del futuro en tiempos de crisis. En su marco se reconstruye la evidencia empírica sobre el futuro social proporcionada por nueve grupos de […]

Do physicists stop searches too early? A remote-science, optimization landscape investigation

Por • 12 sep, 2017 • Category: sociologia

Despite recent advances driven by machine learning algorithms, experts agree that such algorithms are still often unable to match the experience-based and intuitive problem solving skills of humans in highly complex settings. Recent studies have demonstrated how the intuition of lay people in citizen science games [1] and the experience of fusion-scientists [2] have assisted automated search algorithms by restricting the size of the active search space leading to optimized results. Humans, thus, have an uncanny ability to detect patterns and solution strategies based on observations, calculations, or physical insight. Here we explore the fundamental question: Are these strategies truly distinct or merely labels we attach to different points in a high dimensional continuum of solutions? In the latter case, our human desire to identify patterns may lead us to terminate search too early. We demonstrate that this is the case in a theoretical study of single atom transport in an optical tweezer, where more than 200,000 citizen scientists helped probe the Quantum Speed Limit