Venezuela : News about my country


Click to see the XML version of this web page.



Saturday, July 23, 2005

Dozens dead in Yemen fuel riots. At least 36 people die across Yemen in two days of unrest sparked by fuel price rises, say police and witnesses. [BBC News | News Front Page | UK Edition]
Sounds familiar? This happened in Venezuela (with a lot more dead, 16 years ago) and I bet it will happen again. Oil is so cheap and expensive at the same time. Arbitrage opportunities like that get closed violently when they are so huge.But this is the fight for the past. We should make oil useless before it kills more people.
9:26:53 AM  What do you think? ( Thoughts) Who linked? []   

Friday, July 22, 2005

Computer-generated scientific papers delivered live and in person. Cory Doctorow: scigenpresentation.jpg

Jeremy sez, "A while back you guys ran a story about our program, SCIgen, which generates fake computer science research papers. One of these papers was accepted by WMSCI 2005, and we were trying to raise money to make it down to the conference and give a randomly-generated talk. Well, we raised plenty of money, and as promised we posted a video of the random talks we gave. Thanks to everyone who helped out!"

This is some funny, funny video.


(Thanks, Jeremy!)

Of course it was accepted! The standars in science are varied and some conferences really are about money, they have no measure of scientific worth or the measure is given by individuals who want to push an agenda (is it surprising to read this explanation? Is it surprising who wrote it? SInce the author has a venezuelan relation, I should point out to this complete deconstruction of the story). What they do is this: They push their friends and backers to the front-lines of plenary or longer talks and then they accept anyone to Poster sections or shorter talks. Poster sections are particularly dangerous, one literary put the paper as a poster in a wall and stand there for a few minutes fetching questions (if you are lucky!). By accepting everyone the organizers justify themselves and avoid criticism and scrutiny. The last conference I wanted to go to was one I have attended for 8 years (IWOTA). But the main organizer that year, a famous Russian mathematician by the name of Nikolskii, invited me only to a poster section, I was not part of his club, obviously. After giving 20-30 minute talks all along those 8 years of supporting the conference, I rejected this offer as ridiculous, didn't go to the conference, and decided instead to leave the field of research mathematics (in all fairness, this is but one of the reasons, but all of the reasons have similar content). It took me five years to publish that paper, even though it is the best I've ever written. Why? Because science is not inmune to corruption and fashion. And, seriously, if there is going to be fighting and corruption the logical thing is to have a lot of money involved. As someone said (George Bernard Shaw?) "The fights in academy are so bitter, because what is at stake matter so little."
6:04:50 AM  What do you think? ( Thoughts) Who linked? []   

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Venezuelan Graffiti

Are sends some venezuelan graffiti (some freely translated belos):

- We'll always go arm to arm with the government, for if we fall behind it would shit on us, if we get in front it would fuck us in the ass.

- Enough reality, we demand promises!

- Some people are born lucky, others are born in Venezuela.

- Power to the bitches! (the sons have fucked this country up too much already)

10:53:38 AM Google It! What do you think? ( Thoughts) Who linked? []   

I am in Newcastle-upon-Tyne for the last time (I'll come back to visit for sure), in order to move my family back to Caracas. We're all going to miss this town that has been so nice to all of us. The kids did great in school, we were so happy in this tranquil year. Now we go back to the mess and compromises of venezuelan life. We have no choice, but we hope it's for the best.
5:45:17 AM  What do you think? ( Thoughts) Who linked? []   

© Copyleft 2005 Alfredo Octavio.
Last update: 10/14/05; 6:58:47 PM.

Click here to visit the Radio UserLand website.