Sunday, August 16, 2020

Decisions vs Repercussions - Can we cure the coronavirus without making the planet even sicker?

Decisions vs Repercussions - Can we cure the coronavirus without making the planet even sicker?

Try to remember how you learned to play chess, if you did as I did, you started by creating particular strategies in order to take the opponent's king, as well as protect your pieces during the whole game. Sometimes the apprentice will make one or other brilliant move, but the vast majority of them will reflect his/her inexperience in bad and inconsequential moves.

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Right now, we are facing an unprecedented crisis that requires unprecedented decision making, just like the chess apprentice above, the whole world tries to protect itself from the contamination of the coronavirus until a cure and/or a vaccine is found, one of the best ways to do this is using masks or other plastic PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). With regard to masks, according to the World Economic Forum, there has been an increase in production and sales to date, which reaches an astonishing 20,000%.

It is curious that, in the face of an unprecedented and serious problem, we seem to neglect the repercussions of the decision. The solution found at the moment seems to be the best course of action, but later on it shows itself as weak, with only one step of repercussive reach, with badly or completely unanticipated consequences and in the end, it gives us little or no margin for side effects corrections.

Why does this happen?

The human brain processes 11 million bits of sensory information every second, but only 40 to 120 of them rise to the conscious mind to be evaluated and rationalised. Our brain operates with a limited amount of energy, like any other entity in nature, adopting the fastest and most efficient course of action, to program in our minds the anticipation of events, in order to be prepared for them.

As children, when we left the house our mothers used to say, "Don't forget your sweater", even knowing that live in a tropical country I heard that a lot. This sort of warnings may have come from the repercussions of several generations of mothers prior to mine, who possibly lost their children inadvertently of hypothermia.

This has its advantages, imagine entering a jungle and being forced to evaluate each photon of light received, trying to discern if there is danger behind each of the 20,500 leaves on the surrounding trees like poisonous little frogs or insects, not to mention snakes, large felines and other predators. It would take days before we took our first step, making of us an easy prey for them.

When we enter such a forest, our minds choose to assess risks that can actually harm us, information that can be obtained from survivors' reports or personal learning of previous visits to that forest, reducing the tens of thousands of assessments of pertinent hazards to only the 20 most dangerous of them - such as bees, snakes and cougars (you could even be hit by a meteorite in a forest, but the chances of that happening are so low that it is not part of the 'mental risk prevention plan designed for  that particular forest').

This may have helped us a lot in prehistoric times, but with the large amount of info that we need to take decisions in modern world, this primitive decision-making process has proved to be insufficient.
On a scale from 01 to infinity, we can measure how much a decision taken can have an impact on the future, where level 01 is totally inconsequential, generating all sorts of unwanted events, exponentially increasing to level 10, a decision with a certain degree of weighting, without major future side effects and a deterministic (hypothetical) nationalization in which all contingencies were anticipated, leaving only well designed and successful effects, precisely calculated.

It took 4.5 billion to man stand out from other living beings thanks to newly acquired linguistic, rational and planning skills, and have protagonist role on the planet, nevertheless, we still behave like the chess apprentice above, we still make naive and awkward mistakes, which if not well observed, can lead to serious repercussions on the balance of life on Earth.

Sometimes one person with an above-average perception anticipates one or more degrees of repercussions in some decision-making, which can move us away from the scenario of total inconsequence towards the ideological integral determinism status, (hypothetical situation in which all contingencies are anticipated, creating perfect decision making scenario). Unfortunately, not always, they are in the official circuit of decision makers, or when they are, they don't have enough strength to make their ideas prevail, revealing to us another defect of the human being that is very prejudicial in decision-making, the psychological difficulties of dealing with feelings like ego, fear, job insecurity and arrogance.

How should we make our next decisions?

Of course, we already have some tools that help us make decisions in the face of complex and unusual situations. In the case of public administration, for instance, we chose the expedient of adopting political parties as a way to creating anticipations of situations of right, left and center profile - this made it easier for right-wing politicians to identify risks to the social hierarchy, family and homeland, while Left-wing politicians react more effectively to risks and violations of the rights of the disadvantaged in society.

It might have worked in the past, but as in the aphorism of the elephant in the room, making decisions regarding part of the whole as true is retrograde and too much simplistic. We need a broader, democratic and less self-serving model than the current one.

If we combine several sciences learned so far aimed to a chosen purpose, say ... public administration, perhaps we can create a system of evaluation and decision-making that is more consistent with today's world:

- Social networks and APPs can be used in order to include a wide range of experts, to formulate possible solutions, covering multiple points of view, from various different sectors and sciences, with opinions from lots of qualified people, creating an 'environment of broad participation - wiki', significantly increasing statistically the number and the quality of possible final solutions;

- Artificial Intelligence (AI systems) combined with a historical database of previous decision-making, added to the multiple solutions obtained in the above proposition, could test alternatives in milliseconds and give us results of events at various levels of consequences, anticipating not just two or three, but multiple steps ahead;

- Psychologists could evaluate and monitor the final decision makers, creating a more comprehensive panel that is less contaminated with personal biases, so that they make decisions that effectively improve the community.

If we act quickly, and use a little more of our civilizatory capabilities in order to solve unexpected problems, we may still have time to come up with a plausible solution to the imbalance caused by plastic waste in the planet, cure the humanity from coronavirus and still, at the same time, generate an unexpected and unusual extra benefit to the planet Earth.


Blech, C. & J. Funke (2010). You cannot have your cake and eat it, too: How induced goal conflicts  affect complex problem solving, Open Psychology Journal 3, 42–53. Duncker, K. (1945). On problem solving. Psychological Monographs, 58. Funke, J.  & P. A. Frensch (2007). Complex problem solving: The European perspective –  10 years after, in D. H. Jonassen (ed.), Learning to Solve Complex Scientific Problems, Lawrence Erlbaum, New York, 25–47. Funke, J. (2010). Complex problem solving: A case for complex cognition? Cognitive Processing, Vol. 11, 133–142. Klieme, E. (2004). Assessment of cross-curricular problem-solving competencies, in J. H. Moskowitz, M. Stephens (eds.), Comparing Learning Outcomes. International Assessment and Education Policy, Routledge Falmer, London, 81–107. Koncepční rámec řešeni problémů PISA 2012. ČŠI: Praha   Kupisiewicz, Cz. (1964). O efektívnosti problémového vyučovania. Bratislava: SPN. Lerner, I. J. (1986). Didaktické základy metod výuky. Praha: SPN. Linhart, J. (1976). Činnost a poznávání. Academia.  Praha. Linhart, J. (1982). Základy psychologie učení. Praha: SPN. Maťuškin, A. M. (1973). Problémové situácie v myslení a vo vyučování. Bratislava: SPN.  Mayer, R.  E. &  M. C.  Wittrock  (1996).  Problem  Solving Transfer,  in R.  Calfee,  R. Berliner  (eds.),  Handbook of  Educational Psychology, Macmillan, New York, 47–62. Mayer, R.  E. &  M. C.  Wittrock  (1996).  Problem  Solving Transfer,  in R.  Calfee,  R. Berliner  (eds.),  Handbook of  Educational Psychology, Macmillan, New York, 47–62. Mayer, R. E. (1990). Problem solving, in  W. M. Eysenck (ed.), The Blackwell Dictionary of Cognitive Psychology,  Basil Blackwell, Oxford, 284–288. Mayer, R. E. (1998). Cognitive, metacognitive, and motivational aspects of problem solving, Instructional Science, Vol. 26, 49–63. Nakonečný, M. (1998). Základy psychologie. Praha: Academia. Okoň, W. (1966) K základům problémového učení. Praha: SPN.

Saturday, August 15, 2020



Imagine a village without any kind of centralized leadership, without a mayor! Now imagine that this episode is taking place at the early days of the arrival of electric lamps, everyone is enthusiastic about this revolutionary item and decide to put light fixtures facing the street, so that everyone would see the streets at night.

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We would have a problem here and there, because there are always those who want to benefit from the light without putting their hands in their pockets, or those who, for fun, like to throw stones to break the lamps, (so called urban vandals), but that are just isolated cases, and the society works quite well.

In this scenario, it is justified then to pay an IPTU (São Paulo Urban Land Tax) to the city hall, a centralized administration, to provide us with this basic and specific service, described by David Hume in 1734 to explain that, once collected, the city must be fully responsible for urban furniture for collective use - However, here in São Paulo, no mayor or voter since the 1950s has heard about him...

We are not even considering the possibility of replacing the existing sidewalks and fixtures, just mere maintenance would be enough, is it really that expensive?
Wouldn't it be better to have a sidewalk like that? the answer is YES - but here in São Paulo, public administrators are still in doubt
In 1927 São Paulo Tramway, Light and Power Company Ltda, simply called LIGHT by São Paulo citizens, signed a contract with the city and state government to renovation of the public lighting network in the city and beautiful new English styled light poles were implemented.

LIGHT's beautiful light fixtures are deteriorating at a rapid pace, and the question that everyone who walks through these streets asks is "is it true that the city does not have the money to maintain this basic point of the whole theory of tax collection?", the answer is "Yes, but much is lost in corruption and ineptitude".

These LIGHT lampposts, together with the beautiful pavements with tiles that form the border contour of the state of São Paulo, soon became icons of the city. However, an unusual law dictates that residents must be responsible for their sidewalks, causing very bad repercussions.

The residents individually decide how each sidewalk should be, transforming the city into an ugly patchwork. As if that were not enough, maintenance is not done; the holes and elevations caused by the roots of trees and plants creates a chaotic mosaics of cracks and rubble.

The order and beauty of streetlights, sidewalks and other urban elements have a role that goes beyond its main functional purpose; we should feel the pride of our urban symbols. But in the case of São Paulo, they represent the lack of care and absence of public administration. When a lightpole or a sidewalk is damaged, the citizen feels sorry for his own city, and this is really bad.
São Paulo LIGHT's street poles, unfortunately the beautiful light fixtures are deteriorating at a rapid pace

It is the so-called 'broken windows theory', a North American model of public security policy in the fight against crime, with the fundamental view of disorder as a factor in raising crime rates. In this sense, it proclaims such a theory that, if they are not repressed, small crimes or misdemeanors inevitably lead to more serious criminal conduct, in view of the state's neglect to punish those responsible for less serious crimes. It becomes necessary, then, the effective state action in the fight against crime, be it micro criminality or macro criminality.

When you see a well-preserved sidewalk, you feel supported and protected by your city, it inspires citizenship and respect. Someone of common sense and civility would never throw paper, cigarrette butt or a gum in such a nice sidewalk - at least the statistical probability of that happening would be very small. If we marry a policy of fines and small punishments, the situation would improve greatly.

On January 24, 2019, Mayor Bruno Covas enacted the Decree No. 58,611, which aims to standardize São Paulo's sidewalks, this initiative is on the right track, but continuing to hold the resident totally or partially responsible for its maintenance is still one of the worst mistakes that the city has been committing - transferring responsibility just because doesn’t have no money does not justify the violation of the main theory of collecting municipal tax x urban maintenance and improvements, postulated in 1735.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Demogest Democratic Management App tests its 3G version this month in Uruguay

Demogest car parked in front of Parliament Building in the city of Montevideo - Above - an Amazon delivery dirigeable - the revolutionary new Apps helping to building a better way o living  

What would it be like if we had moved forward with democracy as fast as with technology? - the best way to explore these possibilities and try to design the concept of the Democratic Management App for Nations is to make an 'Article of the Future Days' - that way, free from bias, it is easier to pass the ideas on - here's a story that might as well have been written on a September 1st, 2042 magazine article.

After recent denounces involving Leviathan, the oldest Democratic Management App, in suspected corruption activities on August 1, 2041, the Uruguayan government decide to adopt Demogest as digital platform for democratic management to the nation, thus Uruguay will be the first country to adopt its new third generation version. Uruguay has a vanguardist tradition, was the first nation in Latin America to establish a welfare state, maintained through relatively high taxes on industry, and the first to legalise the cultivation, sale and consumption of marijuana in 2013 for recreational use, as a measure to counter drug cartels and also, was the first country to adopt a digital platform for democratic management in 2029 consolidating a democratic tradition that earned it the sobriquet "the Switzerland of South America".

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A long time has passed since the American government also decided to adopt a democratic management tool, after being strongly pressured by voters who said they supported the Democratic candidate because he was convinced to adopt Leviathan in his government.

At that time, led by James McCartty, Republicans released a letter stating they were ‘gravely concerned’.

Top congressional Republicans warned in a dramatic letter they released on Monday that a foreign power would be using a Democratic Gestor App to manage all activities of their Congress, and demanded a prompt briefing by the F.B.I. to evaluate and inform about the confiability of the software.

While the letter writers, led by Speaker McCartty, did not specify the threat, officials familiar with a classified addendum attached to it said the Republicans’ concerns touched on intelligence related to a possible Uruguaian-backed attempt to smear the presidential campaign of former George Clooney Jr.

In a detailed report of more than 670 pages, the FBI identified that the application was not only free of political bias, but also increased the coefficient of administrative efficiency to levels never seen before, countries that started to adopt Leviathan started to have an administration much more efficient and virtually reduced corruption to zero, much of it due to the sophisticated transparency tools audited by Transparency International, a German non-governmental organization based in Berlin.

Perhaps this was one of the last major party disagreements in the United States, the tool allowed a public administration so efficient and technical that the party and ideological positioning started to have less and less importance in decision making.

Effective Democracy and the End of Great Leaders

 The “greatest benefit of these apps was the advent of Effective Democracy”, said the President of Uruguay in his last speech referring to the third democratic phase, “the first time the word 'Democracy' was used, was to name the so-called 'Athenian Democracy', which had the defect of being born imperfect. Solon, Clisthenes, Efialtes and Pericles began to light up with a spark of reason in the midst of chaos, we lived in a cruel and backward era in which women and slaves still did not vote, a group of eponymous archons composed of magistrates simply realized that the system statutory no longer worked and they began to give the illusion of power to the people, masking the main objective of containing Persian invasions and uniting City-States under Athenian power.
Leviathan and Demogest, competitors in the Democratic Management App market 

The second time that the word 'Democracy' was used, was during its resurgence in the Glorious Revolution of England, in the year 1688 and with the French Revolution of 1789, it lasted approximately 330 years, only ending in the earliest 2030. It was called 'Hypocritical Democracy', which was characterized by legitimizing the will of a few to the detriment of the real satisfaction of society, with the exception of countries that adopted Direct Democracy, such as Switzerland, Sweden and Denmark, countries that suffered a little less with corruption and mismanagement, and knew how  and did not provoke the wrath of the people in the 2000s ~ 2020 when driven by the disruption of old institutions at the expense of new technologies like Uber and Air B&B, they started to demand a more decent public administration.

Voters were tired, as they lived at the height of the bubble of corruption allied to ineptitude, ideological political parties taking biased and self-serving decisions, reached the point of spending more on election campaigns than on public welfare.

The Uruguayan government was the first to have the courage to change, "said Magel" with more than 120 referendums and plebiscites in the first year and public accounts effectively audited by the people using the Leviathan 1G App.

In less than 5 years, we adopted 2G technology, which allowed the existence of more than 300 Logical Party Groups, replacing almost all existing Political Parties, extinguishing the so-called 'professional politicians' and incompetent members of the legislative in the congress, with serious and scientific proposals, bringing real benefit to the community, gradually ending obsolete ideological political parties, full of fanciful ideologies and ignorantly supported positions".

The new Demogest App will be tested to its new 3G version simultaneously with the Uruguayan government implantation, among other benefits, Demurest will support the Kardashev module, which will allow people to make decisions regarding the use of energy depending on the productivity of corporations of the Imebo index, the most important of the Montevideo Stock Exchange, obviously following the criteria of civilisational qualification, only citizens who qualify in the aptitude exam with marks above 65 points will be able to vote - always good to remember that the voting qualification course is free and open to all citizens.

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