Video: Democracy, technocracy, the free market or the scientific method for social concern?

This video is an attempt to show how the various forms of government and decision making work, what are their advantages and their problems.

Help translate this video! :D http://www.universalsubtitles.org/en/videos/QEFU2Eh3YXrY/info

Sources cited in the video
The scientific method made easy http://goo.gl/v9SZi
Scientists and engineers in the 111th U.S. Congress http://goo.gl/a5uOO
Only two scientists among the 535 member of the U.S. Congress http://goo.gl/Ak8np
BitCoin Forum quote #1 http://goo.gl/JWzes
BitCoin Forum quote #2 http://goo.gl/j24IO
BitCoin Forum quote #3 http://goo.gl/nzDNz

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Full transcript of the video
One of the most misunderstood topics among the people I encounter is the application of the scientific method for social concern. There is an old belief that was propagated throughout the centuries, possibly due to an evolutionary cultural baggage that our species has, apparently very difficult to drop, according to which you can’t use science or the scientific method to figure out how to run a society.


COP15, bigger than life

I'm getting a little confused. Just when you thought things would eventually get better for the COP15, there it comes. First Obama warns that there will be no deal: we're out of time. Then John Prescott encourages us explaining why the Copenhagen conference will be 10 times more difficult than Kyoto, finally the consideration that the US is a dead weight on Copenhagen talks, pulling down ambition ever lower. All of this just in the last three days.

Magic of Life / Magia de la Vida

Magic of Life by victor_nuno (CC-BY-NC).

Now, we come to know that the US and China, the world's two biggest polluters with over 40% of the emissions, today said they aimed to set targets for easing greenhouse gas emissions next month, potentially breathing new life into the flagging Copenhagen climate negotiations 1.

This continuous ping pong, while expected, is making me very suspicious, as well as frustrated. But I can understand that their position is not as easy one. On my side, it's all pretty simple. Identify the problem, look for solutions, apply them. Unfortunately, when you are in politics, things are far from being this easy. Obama and Jintao had a lot to talk about: Tibet, human rights in China, internet censorship, trade, Iran. And then, of course, climate change.

Being a politician, especially at this level, is very much like being a juggler: you need to keep things in balance, you have may balls in your hands, each of which plays a role in the success of the performance, and if you don't pay enough attention, they will fall to the ground. However, there is a catch: the balls are connected with a wire. That means, if you let one down, they all fall.

We all play a role in this big game: the outraged blogger, the "evil corporation", the corrupt politician, the environmental activist... but in the end, we are all people. We all have the same final goal: preserve life on this planet, especially ours. If you have any notion of biology, however, you would know that species are inter-connected, and that we can't live by ourselves. In the face of the obliteration of the species, economic growth, profit, class, the old appeals to racial, sexual and religious chauvinism, to rabid nationalist fervor, seem utterly irrelevant. Some of us just seem to forget what's most important.

p.s. This article was crossposted on the TH!NK ABOUT IT - Climate Change blogging competition.


10:10 reduce your carbon emissions by (at least) 10% in 2010

Cut 10% emissions by 2010

I recently joined in the 10:10 campaign, which aims to reduce each person's carbon emissions by (at least) 10% in 2010. Using Ian Katz' words, the 10:10 campaign is "the world's response to global warming is a classic case of all mouth and no trousers. This new initiative aims to show that we can all act now - and achieve something significant". It may seem, at first sight, just a fancy trend to follow up, since in these days it's cool to be green, celebrities, public figures, businessman, actors, suddenly everyone wants to go green and they take the pledge.

Sure, it may seem like that, but only to people who do it for the wrong reasons. Personally, I think it's a reasonable pledge, a moral obligation, give the current state of things. But that's my point of view. Even so, does it really matter the reason for which people decide to take the pledge? After all, humans are not very known for being capable of consciously deciding for themselves. People tend to follow trends and advertisements. Climate change is a serious issue, possibly the most important problem that our species has ever had to face, and it would be desirable to have everyone involved with the same passion and conscious choice. It would be nice indeed, but we cannot expect that happen, nor can we know if someone is truly devoted or if they are just following the mass.

As of now, I don't really care, nor do I pretend to know which one is it. It's good enough that people well do something tangible in the right direction, then we'll work on the rest.

A few links and resources to help you out in this journey:


TH!NK2 Climate Change - I'm going to Copenhagen!

2009 TH!NK2 Climate Change blogging competition

I am delighted to announce that I was selected as one of the 81 bloggers in the world that will take part to the 2009 TH!NK2 Climate Change blogging competition.

TH!NK2 Climate Change is a 3 month blogging competition with a focus on UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (COP15) in December 2009. 81 bloggers from Europe with featured guests from India, China Brazil and the USA, representing the world's biggest players in climate policy, will come together on the European Journalism Centre's thinkaboutit.eu platform, to exchange ideas and debate the issues of climate change.

Participants are encouraged to report about stories in their own back yards; to bring out the local side of a global issue. The aim is to create a portal into the minds of 81 people, to show how each one experiences the effects of Climate Change policies every day.

To launch TH!NK2, TH!NKers head to Copenhagen! The FREE trip to Copenhagen takes place the 21-22 September and all participants must attend to be eligible as a TH!NKer. In Copenhagen, The EJC arms ALL particpants with a Flip HD to help them include multimedia content to their blog posts.

It is organised by the European Journalism Centre, the travel expense and accommodation will be covered by the EJC.

I am expected to write blog posts for the competition from 23 September to 20 December 2009. To stay in the competition, I need to submit at least 3 posts per month. Not a problem, it sounds much more like an incentive.

I am excited to be part of this project and I can't wait to start blogging from Denmark. ^_^

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