No mesmo dia do aniversário do Tio Sam, nós temos o anúncio dos físicos do CERN sobre a comprovação da mais sólida (trocadilho) evidência do bóson de Higgs (ou a chamada “partícula de Deus”), uma partícula que, supostamente, explicaria o surgimento de massa das partículas elementares. Ok, vocês não querem que eu explique isso com alguma autoridade, não é? Mas, eu posso passar links interessantes que encontrei sobre o assunto. No The Economist, há um resumo da importância disso tudo:
“Broadly, particle physics is to the universe what DNA is to life: the hidden principle underlying so much else. Like the uncovering of DNA’s structure by Francis Crick and James Watson in 1953, the discovery of the Higgs makes sense of what would otherwise be incomprehensible. Its significance is massive. Literally. Without the Higgs there would be no mass. And without mass, there would be no stars, no planets and no atoms. And certainly no human beings. Indeed, there would be no history.”
A BBC preparou um documentário muito legal sobre a pesquisa, chamado The Hunt for Higgs, com muitas informações e entrevistas dos físicos do CERN. A própria apresentação dessa descoberta, feita pelo pessoal do CERN em 4 de julho, está disponível aqui. Nela, os físicos destacaram alguns aspectos da pesquisa, que eu gostaria de compartilhar:  Houve um esforço global dos pesquisadores que levou a um sucesso global;  os resultados de hoje só foram possíveis devido a um extraordinário desempenho do acelerador, dos experimentos e da “computação em grade” (grid computing);  Essa nova partícula, que poderia consistir na Bóson HIggs – mas, seria qual???  Essa pesquisa torna-se um marco que está apenas começando e terá implicações para o futuro.
Além disso, saiu um artigo na Scientific American, dias antes, colocando em questão toda a parafernália do LHC: “Could the Large Hadron Collider Discover the Particle Underlying Both Mass and Cosmic Inflation?” O artigo é interessante, porque ele coloca em debate essa teoria e os limites desse “aparelho”. Segue um trecho:
“A number of research teams have suggested competing ideas about how the LHC might discover the inflaton. Skeptics think it highly unlikely that any earthly particle collider could shed light on inflation, because the uppermost energy densities one could imagine with inflation would be about 10^50 times above the LHC’s capabilities. However, because inflation varied with strength over time, scientists have argued the LHC may have at least enough energy to re-create inflation’s final stages.”
Bom, mas logo depois o The Economist dá uma PêTêzada e bota na roda os custos financeiros das pesquisas do CERN. Só o LHC custou cerca de 10 bilhões e o orçamento só desse ano está em US$1,2 bilhão. Ao mesmo tempo, porém, temos 629 universidades e institutos de pesquisa participando do Centro (achei a matéria no Estadão)
Sei não, mas se formos comparar com a folha de pagamento do mês do Tribunal de Jó$tiça do Distrito Federal, até que o CERN é barato:
Cumprindo a Lei de Acesso à Informação, o Tribunal de Justiça do DF divulgou sua tabela de remuneração mensal, mas sem citar nomes. No mês de maio, a lista revela 76 supersalários com valores acima de R$ 100 mil. Os campeões são dois desembargadores, que receberam R$ 230 e R$ 220 mil respectivamente. Mas a lista inclui cerca de 50 analistas e técnicos judiciários que embolsaram entre R$ 105 a R$ 182 mil no mês. No total, o tribunal gastou R$ 105,4 milhões com a folha do mês. Só com vantagens eventuais que turbinaram a renda, foram R$ 30,2 milhões.
Nos últimos anos, no entanto, uma série de pesquisas começou a sugerir que a substância tem um papel crucial de reguladora do comportamento social. Descobriu-se, por exemplo, que a oxitocina estava relacionada às ações de confiança e cooperação entre animais (é a molécula que faz roedores tolerarem outros membros da espécie em tocas apertadas, por exemplo).
“The ultimate goal is to create a surrogate, like inAvatar, although that’s a long way off yet,” saysAbderrahmane Kheddar, director of the CNRS-AIST joint robotics laboratory at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Tsukuba, Japan. He is part of an international team that hopes to use this kind of technology to give healthy people and those who are “locked in” – unable to move but fully conscious – the ability to interact with the world using a surrogate body.
Hearing familiar, favorite music stimulates the release of dopamine, the neurotransmitter involved in pleasure and addiction, providing the same rush as eating chocolate or that winning does for a compulsive gambler, says neuroscientist Daniel Levitin, who was able to observe the process using fMRI scans in his lab at McGill University in Montreal.
Dr. Levitin’s research also showed that musical tastes formed in the teen years become part of the brain’s internal wiring, as that is the time when some neural pathways are solidifying and others are being pruned away. That’s why the music adults tend to be nostalgic for is the music from their teenage years.
The paper’s subtitle was “Undisclosed Flexibility in Data Collection and Analysis Allows Presenting Anything as Significant”. It explained how there are so many possible ways to gather and analyze the results of a (very simple) psychology experiment that even if there’s nothing interesting really happening, it’ll be possible to find some “significant” positive results purely by chance. Then you could publish those ‘findings’ and not mention all the other things you tried.
Ten years later, that same building in The Hague hosts a staff approaching 1,000 lawyers, investigators, and administrators from around the world. The court’s annual budget exceeds $100 million. Once personae non gratae in Washington, court officials now confer regularly with the State Department and White House staff, and the United States has pledged to help investigations when possible. In all, the ICC has launched investigations in seven countries and brought charges against 28 individuals, including Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo, and notorious Lord’s Resistance Army commander Joseph Kony. Perhaps most importantly, the U.N. Security Council has twice referred situations to the court (Sudan and Libya), giving the ICC jurisdiction where it had none before and bringing the court into the center of international efforts to manage conflict.
For all the distance the court has covered, however, its 10-year anniversary is still far from joyous. Growing pains and the dilemmas of prosecuting complex crimes, often in the midst of war, have left even some true believers frustrated. It took the court more than six years to process, try, and convict the first suspect captured — Congolese militia commander Thomas Lubanga — and that case still hasn’t gone through the appeals stage. (The prosecutor clashed repeatedly with judges and defense counsel over the confidentiality of evidence, producing several long delays.) Meanwhile, the court’s member states fret about the expense of the ICC’s proceedings.
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Como nós sabemos que um filósofo é importante?? (ãããh, pelo menos para quem estuda filosofia)? O Sydney Penner, do blog Mod Squad, nos dá um critério, a influência.
I think the very fact that a philosopher was or is very influential gives them at least some importance. But presumably influence is also an indicator, albeit a fallible one, of philosophical quality. Thinking about this criterion, I started wondering if there would be some way to get a sense for philosophers’ influence without investing the time to read the Western corpus and seeing whose ideas are discussed most often.
At ISS World’s surveillance conferences there’s room for all kinds of authoritarian regimes. Belarus,Vietnam, Bahrain, Saudi-Arabia. Zimbabwe. The dirt poor South-Sudan is not yet six months oldand lacks many things, but has four participants here.Those not present can get the equipment through middle men and straw men. Thus theproducers can deny any connection with the transaction in a plausible way, according to a formerparticipant. Most of the sales meetings are in closed rooms. These are after all the people that haveturned paranoia into a lucrative business.When the conference was established, the same year as 9/11, there was only a handful ofparticipants at ISS World. Today the conference is held five times a year with more than 1000participants from 50 countries. The best visited one is in Dubai, starting next week. Thetechnological development has fuelled an explosion of supply and demand from surveillancewillinggovernments, not just in the Middle East. Asia and Europe as well. The number ofcompanies that offer surveillance equipment is on the rise. Chinese traders that know the art ofsurveillance from the home market, are conquering new market shares. The accounts of establishedtraders show an increased turnover. The fear of political upheaval that has spread in arabiccountries, in the crisis-hit EU-countries and in the US, has led to a substantial strengthening in thesurveillance area of state-security services, in dictatorships as well as in democracies