Archives for posts with tag: Oscar Hoffman

Cică „Dacă ar fi avut niscai urme de umanitate și bun-simț, n-ar fi trebuit să se ajungă la așa ceva. Se adunau la partid, PNL, USR PLUS, toți liderii din țară, cu ușile închise și nu ieșeau de acolo decât când hotărau, prin vot sau cum credeau de cuviință, cine va fi viitorul șef. Apoi, congresul de alegeri se organiza peste o săptămână și ieșea cine s-a stabilit, fără acest bâlci grețos aruncat în capul cetățenilor.

Pot să înțeleg genul ăsta de logică. Sau, mai bine spus, pot urmări firul logic al spunerii.

Doar că… Oscar Hoffman!
Omul acesta, profesor de sociologie – PROFESOR de sociologie, de fapt, ne tot repeta:

NU este suficient ca o propoziție să fie corectă din punct de vedere logic. Pentru ca o propoziție să fie adevărată ea trebuie să aibe sens din punct de vedere epistemologic.

Avem nevoie de argumente pentru chestia asta?

Luptele intestine pentru șefia de partid s-au desfășurat, de regulă, în perioade în care PNL sau PSD nu mai erau la putere.
În 1992, Radu Câmpeanu a fost schimbat cu M. Ionescu-Quintus în urma pierderii alegerilor de către PNL. Tăriceanu a fost dat jos de Crin Antonescu după ce îi fugise de sub fund fotoliul de prim-ministru. Antonescu a pierdut în fața lui
Klaus Iohannis după ce scosese partidul din guvernarea USL. Orban s-a urcat în locul lui Gorghiu după înfrângerea catastrofală a PNL din 2016. 
La PSD, la fel, Geoană l-a ras pe Iliescu, Ponta pe Geoană, Dragnea pe Ponta, Ciolacu pe Dăncilă când partidul era în opoziție.”

Să recapitulăm.

După ’90, luptele „intestine” – atât în PNL cât și în PSD, au avut loc după tipicul ‘recomandat’.
„Liderii din țară” s-au tot adunat, ‘la ceas de seară’, și au hotărât mazilirea – scuze, „raderea”, celui în cârca căruia a fost aruncată responsabilitatea pentru eșecul care precipitase adunarea ‘cinstitelor fețe’.

Și cu asta ‘ce-am făcut’?!?

Cam tot progresul înregistrat în ultimii 30 s-a ‘întâmplat’ mai degrabă în ciuda politicienilor.
Nu e locul aici pentru o discuție despre ineficiența guvernanților – în general, sau despre neisprăvirea celor dâmbovițeni.
Mai țineți minte zicala asta?

‘Cine știe cu adevărat, face cu mâna lui.
Cine are ceva habar, face pe șeful.
Iar cine n-are nici un habar, învată pe ceilalți.’

Din câte țin eu minte, ‘adunarea la ceas de seară’ și ‘raderea’ șefilor atunci când aceștia calcă pe bec sunt niște apucături mafiote.

Asta ne dorim?

Asta ‘îți doresc eu ție, scumpă Românie’?!?

Bineînțeles că tot ceea ce se întâmplă acum este un circ ieftin.
Care nu doar că dezamăgește…
Partea cu adevărat proastă a ceea ce se întâmplă acum este demotivarea, nu dezamăgirea.

Dezamăgirea, atunci când ne vom trezi din demotivare, va fi un lucru bun.
Abia după ce ne vom fi dezamăgit destul, vom reuși să ne debarasăm de complexul „lui Tătuca”.

De speranța deșartă că va veni cineva, ales/numit ‘la ceas de seară’ de către … ?!?, și care va rezolva, în sfârșit, toate problemele.
Toate problemele NOASTRE!
Fără ca noi să mai trebuiască să facem nimic. În afară de să-l votăm atunci când îi va fi venit rândul…

Odată! Că după aia, va avea el grijă să nu mai piardă următoarele nu știu câte alegeri…

Uite de aia, și nu din masochism, accept ca fiind firesc circul la care asistăm cu toții.
Măcar avem ocazia să ne dumirim.
Să vedem și noi cine ce părere are. Și ce idei susține.

După toată chestia asta, întreaga responsabilitate ne va aparține.
Nouă, nu lor.
Ei își vor fi dat arama pe față. Politicieni, analiști, vectori de imagine…

De acum încolo… noi trebuie să alegem încotro vrem să mergem.
Făcând, în primul rând!

„Un funcţionar nu poate fi corupt dacă nu există cineva care să dea mită, la fel cum un minister nu poate plăti cu 50% mai mult pentru un contract dacă nu există un consultant care să facă o expertiză în acest sens, a explicat Băsescu.
Să ieşim din ipocrizie. Dacă există corupţie, singur statul nu poate fi corupt, are un partener. Statul nu poate fi singur neperformant. Are un partener şi acesta este economia privată.””

Au trecut deja 10 ani de când Băsescu a ‘dat din casă’.
L-a luat gura pe dinainte, a făcut-o expre’…
Contează?!?

Tot ce contează e că am pierdut acești 10 ani!
Ne-a dat mură-n gură și noi tot ne facem că plouă…

Pricepem odată?
Toți cei implicați!
Economie privată și funcționari ai statului. Că dacă o mai ținem așa – adică dacă ne mai furăm singuri căciula, vine frigul peste noi.

Și facem encefalită!
Că vorba din străbuni e clară:

Peștele de la cap se-mpute.
Da’ se curăță de la coadă!

PS.
Va e lene să cautați ‘epistemologic’ pe net?
Hoffman vroia să spună că propoziția trebuie să descrie o realitate. Un adevăr.
În situația analizată, dacă suficient de mulți dintre cei în cauză ar fi avut bun simț și umanitate, n-am fi ajuns în halul în care suntem acum. N-ar mai fi fost nevoie de nici o ‘adunare mafiotă’!

https://republica.ro/nu-sunt-cinstiti-dar-sunt-tampiti
https://www.proquest.com/openview/7bddd951e6a856037fbd97b3ce9e71c3/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=54928
https://www.zf.ro/eveniment/basescu-ataca-nokia-si-ford-si-continua-sa-i-critice-pe-bancheri-9060677

Liberty is freedom from being constricted, in any way, shape or form. Period.

Liberty is more of an adjective rather than a verb. A situation more than an action.

Liberty can be attached to a space, to an agent or to both.

A free space would be a space where no constriction may occur, whatsoever.
A free agent would be an individual entity outside any constriction, whatsoever.

Mathematically, both definitions are possible.
Philosophically, both definitions are imaginable. By philosophers, of course.

Oscar Hoffman, a Teacher, kept telling us, his students, “For a proposition to be true it is not enough for it to be logically correct. It also has to make ontological sense. For those of you who don’t remember what ontological means, a true proposition must describe something which has to be at least possible”

In the real world, where there is no such thing as absolute freedom, liberty has to be first noticed/invented. And then constantly negotiated.

‘No such thing as absolute freedom?!? But liberty is a (God given) (human) right!!!’

Do you remember what Hoffman had (just) said about things which can exist in practice and things which can exist only in our minds?
Liberty might be a right – for those who enjoy it, but that doesn’t mean that everybody has it. And, even more important, that there is – or ever will be, something even close to absolute liberty.
If you don’t believe me, try to fly off a balcony without any ‘mechanical’ help. Or stop eating for a day or two. The Earth will surely ‘constrict’ you back towards its center and your stomach will certainly constrict itself for lack of food. And both Earth and stomach will constrict you back to reality.

‘OK, so no absolute freedom for individuals. How about ‘free spaces’?’
‘As in spaces where no constriction, whatsoever, may be exercised?’
‘Yes.’
‘Well, that would be possible. If a space is completely empty… no constriction might be exercised in there, right? On the other hand, as soon as something, anything, populates that space, constrictions start to appear. For instance, since no two things can simultaneously exist in the very same place, the mere existence of a speck of dust in a whole stadium induces the restriction that no other speck of dust may exist in the very same spot. Sounds trivial, true, but this is it… No absolute freedom. Not for individual agents and nor for spaces.’

‘Then why are writing a post about ‘Free market’? Doesn’t make much sense, isn’t it?’

Let me finish with liberty before going any further.
I mentioned earlier that liberty must be first noticed and then negotiated.
You see, right or no right, liberty is, above all, a concept.
We’d first observed that a flying bird is freer that a crawling worm and bam!!! We realized that some of us were freer than the others. Then that freer groups/societies fared better than the more ‘stifled’ ones.
But only where liberty was more or less spread around, not concentrated in one hand. Dictatorships – where all liberty is concentrated at the top, are way more fragile than any democracy. I’ll come back to this.
Now, for the negotiation part.
‘Your freedom to swing your fist ends where my nose begins’. And vice-versa. Only this is rather incomplete.
Let me examine the situation where you are a person who likes to swing your fist. In the air, not with any aggressive intent, of course. So you were swinging your fist, after you had determined, in good faith, that there was no nose close enough to hurt. But what if I am a ‘nosy’ guy? ‘Nosy’ enough to bring my actual nose inside your reach? You having to restrict your swings – or to go somewhere else, isn’t a limitation of your freedom? An absolutely unnatural limitation of your freedom?
Has it become a little clearer? What I mean by negotiation when it comes to individual freedom?

OK, time has come for me to go to market. To the free market!

A market is a place. Obviously, right?
A place where people trade their wares. Because they have noticed that it is easier for each of them to do what each of them do better and then trade the results of their work instead of each of them providing everything for themselves. As in everything each of them needs. Or fancy.

Initially, markets were far from being free. First of all, supply was sorely limited. Transportation means were practically nonexistent so supply varied seasonally and was severely influenced by weather, soil and other similar factors. And, maybe even more importantly, supply was influenced by the sheer will of the most powerful ‘free agent’ who happened to be around. Or, more exactly, supply was heavily influenced by the whims of the most powerful free-agent who happened to be around.
Don’t believe me? Then consider the extreme famine experienced by the Bengalis in 1943. Or by the Romanians during the last years of Ceausescu’s reign.
Slowly, people have learned that freer markets tend to be a lot more stable than the less free. ‘Freer’ markets meaning freer from both exterior and interior limitations. For a market to become free(ish) the participants need to have a big enough pool of resources at their disposal and to be wise enough to organize themselves in a ‘free’ manner.

And what happens when at least one of the two conditions remains unfulfilled?
Time has taught us that while markets tend to be limited in space and that some of the participants tent to impose themselves over the rest there is one dimension where the liberty of the market is very hard to be limited. ‘Liberty’ here meaning that things tend to evolve more in their own terms rather than ‘according to plan’. Or according to anybody’s wishes.

Whenever the available resources dry up, the participants to the market move someplace else. Or die of starvation.
Whenever a market looses too much of its freedom – as in some agent controls too much of what is going on there, the market itself no longer functions properly. Whenever too many of the participants loose their ability to determine their fate/future they slowly become ‘sitting ducks’. Not as much easy to hunt down but actually unable to feed themselves.
And since hunger is the best teacher, they either learn to fight for their freedom or… die of starvation. Pol Pot’s Cambodia would be a good example, even if somewhat extreme. The fall of most communist regimes also makes a compelling case for what I have in mind.
Even more interesting, though, is what had happened to the American Automobile Industry. General Motors and Chrysler Corporation, once the dominant stars of the market – along with Ford, had to be rescued by the government. Quasi monopolistic positions tend to be bad for the monopolists also, not only for the rest of the market. Given enough time, true enough…

Oscar Hoffman, an excellent Professor of Sociology at the Bucharest University, kept telling us, his students:

“For a proposition to be ‘true’ it is not enough for it to be ‘logical’, it also has to make sense from the epistemological point of view.”

Rather hard to swallow, specially for young individuals… and since most students tend to be … well… at least young at heart… it wasn’t simple for us to follow him.

Here’s a story that might help.

“A young man knocks on the door of a great Talmudic scholar.

“Rabbi, I wish to study Talmud.”

“Do you know Aramaic?”

“No.”

“Hebrew?”

“No.”

“Have you ever studied Torah?”

“No, Rabbi, but I graduated from Harvard summa cum laude in philosophy, and received a PhD from Yale. I’d like to round out my education with a bit of Talmud.”

“I doubt that you are ready for Talmud. It is the broadest and deepest of books. If you wish, however, I will examine you in logic, and if you pass the test I will teach you Talmud.”

“Good. I’m well versed in logic.”

“First question. Two burglars come down a chimney. One emerges with a clean face, the other with a dirty face. Which one washes his face?”

“The burglar with the dirty face.”

“Wrong. The one with the clean face. Examine the logic. The burglar with a dirty face looks at the one with a clean face and thinks his face is clean. The one with a clean face looks at the burglar with a dirty face and thinks his face is dirty. So the one with the clean face washes.”

“Very clever. Another question please.”

“Two burglars come down a chimney. One emerges with a clean face, the other with a dirty face. Which one washes his face?”

“We established that. The burglar with the clean face washes.”

“Wrong. Both wash. Examine the logic. The one with a dirty face thinks his face is clean. The one with a clean face thinks his face is dirty. So the burglar with a clean face washes. When the one with a dirty face sees him washing, however, he realizes his face must be dirty too. Thus both wash.”

“I didn’t think of that. Please ask me another.”

“Two burglars come down a chimney. One emerges with a clean face, the other with a dirty face. Which one washes his face?”

“Well, we know both wash.”

“Wrong. Neither washes. Examine the logic. The one with the dirty face thinks his face is clean. The one with the clean face thinks his face is dirty. But when clean-face sees that dirty-face doesn’t bother to wash, he also doesn’t bother. So neither washes. As you can see, you are not ready for Talmud.”

“Rabbi, please, give me one more test.”

“Two burglars come down a chimney. One emerges with a clean face, the other with a dirty face. Which one washes his face?”

“Neither!”

“Wrong. And perhaps now you will see why Harvard and Yale cannot prepare you for Talmud. Tell me, how is it possible that two men come down the same chimney, and one emerges with a clean face, while the other has a dirty face?”

“But you’ve just given me four contradictory answers to the same question! That’s impossible!”

“No, my son, that’s Talmud.”

OK, but where’s the promised link?

Well, who wrote the Talmud in the first place?

A countless number of people who have figured out there’s no such thing as a definitive answer for any question?
That books should be written to help other people develop their minds, not to ‘mold’ them?
That books should be read as an exercise for the ‘thinking muscle’, not in (vain) search for ‘the absolute wisdom’?

Still looking for that link?
Keep reading, only take greater care when choosing them books.

(another version of the same story ends up like this:

“Goldstein is desperate. “I am qualified to study Talmud. Please give me one more test.”

He groans, though, when the rabbi lifts two fingers. “Two men come down a chimney. One comes out with a clean face, the other comes out with a dirty face. Which one washes his face?”

“Neither one washes his face.”

“Wrong. Do you now see, Sean, why Socratic logic is an insufficient basis for studying Talmud? Tell me, how is it possible for two men to come down the same chimney, and for one to come out with a clean face and the other with a dirty face? Don’t you see? The whole question is “narishkeit”, foolishness, and if you spend your whole life trying to answer foolish questions, all your answers will be foolish, too.”

May we all have the wisdom to ask, and answer, the wise questions!)

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