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September 16, 2018

7:22 PM

Sadness, death emerge among the common thoughts of children and teens

A few days ago, I was exiting a local store when two elementary school students, clearly brother and sister, where walking right there and talking to each other. For a few seconds, I heard their conversation before they just walked away.

“I am sad”, said the boy, probably around 10.

“Is that sadness like when somebody does or sadness because something bad is about to happen?”, asked his sister, perhaps only a couple of years older than her brother.

After listening to that conversation, I had to stop for a few minutes and reflect about the question and the answer. Initially, it made no sense to me. Only later, after thinking for a while, I was able to continue with my activities.

I asked myself several times in what context a conversation between two young siblings walking home after school can justifiably focus on sadness, and, even more worrisome, on a recent death or an imminent tragedy.  

The face of the boy, who all the time looked down to the floor, and the tone of voice of the conversation revealed the boy and his sister were having a serious conversation. No laughs. Not even a smile. The conversation was not the prelude to a joke and I didn’t detect any kind of exaggeration in the question asked by the sister.

I must say than when the boy said “I am sad” I immediately thought he had problems at school, perhaps of low grade at a test, or a discipline issue. O perhaps one of his friends move away and he/she is no longer attending that school.

However, when the sister connected what he brother said to a question about death and tragedy, it was clear that the sadness of the boy was unrelated to any school issue, but a kind of existential sadness. He felt his own being was being threatened. Her sister knew and sensed what he was talking about.

What can cause a young boy and a young girl from an elementary school in Colorado, United States, to feel sad because their own being is in danger?

Sad to say, there is a long list of possible causes, from school shootings to the increasing impact of the opioid epidemic, to the uncertainty about employment opportunities, because, regardless how well the economy is doing, almost half of the people in the country can’t make ends meet or are very close to be in that situation.

That may have been the case, but I don’t think the boy was thinking about shootings, opioids, or economy, but about something deeper, more personal, and even more visceral, as his sister understood. Something closer to death than to life.

That was extremely worrisome, because in Colorado suicide, not car accidents, is the main cause of death among children and teenagers. And a growing number of children in this state now decide to take their own lives, even children as young as 6.

My goodness! What kind of horrible social monstrosity have we created?

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September 16, 2018

7:21 PM

Tristeza, muerte se entremezclan en las mentes de niños y jóvenes

Al salir recientemente de una tienda, me encontré con dos estudiantes de una escuela primaria, claramente hermano y hermana, que estaban conversando entre ellos y que, por eso mismo, me permitió escuchar su conversación por unos pocos segundos antes de que se alejasen de mí.

“Estoy triste”, dijo el niño, probablemente de unos 10 años.

“¿Es una tristeza como cuando alguien se muere o una tristeza como cuando algo malo a pasar?”, le preguntó su hermana, quizá sólo un par de años mayor que el niño.

No pude menos que detenerme y pensar durante algunos minutos lo que yo acababa de escuchar. Sólo después pude seguir mi camino.

Me pregunté una y otra vez a mí mismo, pero sin obtener una respuesta clara, en qué contexto se justifica que cuando un niño de 10 años afirma estar triste la mejor pregunta que le puede hacer su hermana es si esa tristeza se relaciona con una muerte reciente o con una inminente tragedia.

Tanto el rostro del niño, que nunca levantó la vista del suelo, como el tono de voz de la conversación revelaban que se trataba de una conversación seria. No había ni risas ni sonrisas. No parecía el preludio de una broma por parte del niño ni, eso sentí, una exageración por parte de la jovencita.

Debo confesar que cuando el niño dijo “Estoy triste” inmediatamente pensé que su siguiente frase sería algo relacionado con la escuela, quizá una calificación baja, o alguna sanción disciplinaria. O quizá alguna pelea con un compañero o un amigo que ya no iba a esa escuela.

Pero cuando la jovencita conectó la expresión de su hermano con una pregunta sobre la muerte o sobre una desgracia, quedó claro que la tristeza del niño dejó de ser una mera circunstancia escolar adversa para transformarse en una tristeza existencial. Algo amenazaba su propio ser. Y su hermana lo captó perfectamente.

¿Qué puede hacer que un niño o una niña todavía en la escuela primaria (en Colorado, en Estados Unidos) sienta tristeza porque su propio ser corre peligro?

Lamentablemente, la lista es larga e incluye desde tiroteos en las escuelas hasta el creciente impacto de la epidemia de opioides, hasta un alto nivel de incertidumbre laboral que hace que, a pesar de la bonanza económica, la mitad de las personas en este país no cuenten con los recursos necesarios como para satisfacer sus necesidades mínimas, o estén cerca de llegar a esa situación.

Todo eso es verdad, pero no creo que el niño en cuestión estuviese pensando en tiroteos, opioides o economía, sino en algo más profundo, más personal, más visceral, y, como bien lo intuyó su hermana, más cercano a la muerte que a la vida.

Y eso es lo que me preocupó, porque en Colorado el suicidio supera a los accidentes automovilísticos como la principal causa de muerte de menores de edad. Y cada vez son más los niños/as que toman esa irreversible decisión.

¡Por Dios! ¿Qué clase de horrible monstruosidad social hemos creado?

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September 9, 2018

7:03 PM

Whom are you going to believe if you keep lying to yourself?

With his well-known humor, Mark Twain once asked, “Whom are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?” That question, with all its hilarity, is not as innocent as it looks because, after all, we see with our brains, not with our eyes.

Anais Nin expressed a similar thought when she said, “We don’t thing as they are. We seem them as we are”. Study after study have shown that indeed we see things as we are, meaning that our daily lives, our circumstances, and our internal processes both limit and modify what we see and understand.

For example, we only see the past, but we live at a time when the future is no longer a continuation of the past. And we see everything through the lenses of our prejudices and ignorance. So, despite our good intentions, true reality escapes us and the reality we created for ourselves becomes, obviously, the only reality.

Twain was right in saying our own eyes deceive us. And Nin was right in saying we only see ourselves, but we think we see things. This is not just idealism or solipsism (but it could well be), but something practical: we put ourselves as the measure of all things, as Protagoras famously said.

Indeed, since ancient times we are urged to reflect about our own ideas and beliefs, to acknowledge the limits or our knowledge, to know that we know nothing (Socrates), to accept that most, if not all, of what we assume we know is just repetition of something we were told or we heard, but not something we have thought or analyzed by ourselves.

As a result, we are trapped in the paradoxical reality of living inside our own “world” and, at the same time, roaming without a destination, as a ship being pushed by the storm in the ocean, or as a blade of grass moving from one side to the other according to the direction of the wind. Living without a purpose is not really living.

Even worst, many studies said that we then pass all those problems and limitations to the next generation, not understanding that the next generation will face a different (transhuman?) future. They will face challenges we never faced, and we can’t even imagine. In other words, our “gift” for future generations is preventing them from being part of the future.

Recent studies done in Scotland say that parents mainly share three “elements” with their children: depression, uncertainty (about one’s future), and poverty (materially and financially speaking.) It is not surprising, then, that in many places in the “civilized” world suicide, not car accidents, is not the main cause of death among children and young adults (10 to 24 years old.)

Our Paleolithic brain and our Medieval institutions are almost useless in the context of God-like technology (Edward Osborn Wilson, American biologist). So, we need to stop believing in our lying eyes and we need to open our internal eyes to see what is really happening.

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September 9, 2018

7:01 PM

¿Qué le dejaremos a las generaciones futuras con nuestros ojos cerrados al futuro?

Con su humor característico, Mark Twain alguna vez preguntó: “¿A quién le vas a creer, a mí o a tus mentirosos ojos?” Y, aunque llena de comicidad, la pregunta de Twain no es tan inocente como parece porque, después de todo, vemos con el cerebro, no con los ojos.

Anais Nin expresó un pensamiento similar al decir que “No vemos las cosas como son. Vemos las cosas como somos”. Y ese pensamiento ha sido comprobado una y otra vez por numerosos estudios que demuestran que, más allá de lo que nos llegue a la retina, circunstancias externas y procesos internos limitan y alteran lo que vemos y lo que entendemos.

En definitiva, vemos desde el pasado, pero vivimos en una época en la que el futuro ya no es continuidad del pasado. Y vemos desde nuestros prejuicios y desde nuestra ignorancia, por lo que, aún con buenas intenciones, se nos escapa la realidad.

Bien sabía Twain que nuestros propios ojos nos engañan y bien sabía Nin que sólo nos vemos a nosotros mismos incluso cuando creemos que vemos las cosas. Y no se trata de un idealismo o de un solipsismo (aunque podría serlo), sino de algo más práctico, como ser uno mismo la medida de todas las cosas, como ya lo enseñaba Protágoras.

Por eso, ya desde la antigüedad, se nos instaba a reflexionar sobre nuestras propias ideas y creencias, a reconocer los límites de nuestro conocimiento, saber que no sabemos nada (Sócrates), a entender que mucho y quizá todo lo que creemos que sabemos es simplemente repetición de algo que nos dijeron o que escuchamos y que en realidad nunca hemos pensado o analizado por nosotros mismos.

Como consecuencia, seguimos encerrados dentro de una paradójica realidad en la que el encierro significa que deambulamos sin rumbo fijo, como el barco sin timón llevado por el viento en medio el mar o como el césped que se mueve para un lado o para el otro según la dirección de la brisa.

Aún peor, estudio tras estudio indica que luego pasamos esas mismas limitaciones e incertidumbres a la siguiente generación, sin entender que esa generación, por el futuro (transhumano) que le espera, enfrentará desafíos y situaciones más difíciles y complicadas que las que nosotros jamás enfrentamos o soñamos. Dicho de otro modo, nuestro legado para las generaciones futuras es quitarles ese futuro.

De hecho, según recientes estudios, los tres “elementos” que con mayor frecuencia los hijos heredan de sus padres son depresión, inseguridad (de uno mismo) y pobreza (en un sentido material y financiero). No resulta entonces extraño que en varios lugares del mundo “civilizado” el suicidio haya superado a los accidentes automovilísticos como la principal causa de muerte de niños y jóvenes de 10 a 24 años.

Es verdad que nuestro cerebro paleolítico y nuestras instituciones medievales de poca ayuda nos resultan en el contexto tecnológico actual (Edward Osborn Wilson, biólogo estadounidense). Por eso, ya es hora de dejar de creer en nuestros ojos mentirosos y ver la realidad.

 

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September 2, 2018

5:14 PM

What would happen when robot teachers replace all human teachers?

Robot teachers are not new, but what is new is the growing number of robot teachers replacing human teachers in many countries. Even more interesting, children relate better to robot teachers than to human teachers.

Whatever that may be, experts say in the next 10 to 15 years robot teachers will be as common in the classrooms as human teachers are in today’s classrooms. So, the question is, what would happen to those children who will be taught only by robots during their formative years?

However, before we try to answer that important question we need to think why robots are replacing human teachers. There are several reasons. First, potential teachers find better paying jobs and less stressful jobs than spending time inside a school. In fact, fewer and fewer college students become teachers.

There is, of course, the issue of school violence, from the horrible massacres that, unfortunately, we are so used to see, to the bullying inside the schools, and to discrimination of parents, students, and teachers of minority groups. Many potential teachers are thus discouraged from teaching.

Of course, technology is part of almost every classroom and, if fact, of every aspect of life. So, teachers are being replaced by technology. I read somewhere (I don’t remember where) that many young college-age students in China don’t attend college because, thanks to technology, they already know more than their college professors.

There is yet another element: low cost. Will, a digital human teaching at schools in Auckland, New Zealand, is free. Kindergarten students can talk with Will from any device, at any time, and they don’t have to wait for the teacher to be free before asking a question. No human teacher can do that.  

And Keeko, a 2-feet tall teaching at 600 pre-K schools in China, costs around US$1500, just a fraction of the annual salary of most teachers in the United States. (Teachers, as we know, are not properly compensated). And, being a robot, Keeko doesn’t need vacations or days off, and it doesn’t get sick.

So, from a technological point of view and from the economic point of view, it makes sense for robots to replace human teachers in the classrooms. But, what will be the real price for such a transition?

I would like to know what Jean Piaget or Paulo Freire would say. Will robots help the cognitive development of the children and will those children go through the four stages of development listed by Piaget? Will we be able to move beyond a “banking” and oppressive pedagogy, as Freire wanted?

We can barely solve any of the current educational problems. Are we trying to delegate on the robot teachers the task of solving our educational challenges? We’ll see.

And one more question, what would happen to us, adults, who were never educated by robots? Perhaps it will be better not to think about it. At the same time, it would be good to prepare ourselves for that future before that future arrives.

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September 2, 2018

5:13 PM

¿Cuál será el resultado de menos maestros humanos y más maestros robots?

Los maestros robots ya no son una novedad, pero lo que resulta novedoso es que cada vez con mayor frecuencia esos maestros robots reemplazan a los maestros humanos. Y lo más interesante es que los niños se entienden mejor con los robots que con los humanos.

Sea como fuere, los expertos dicen que en una década o década y media los maestros robots serán tan comunes en las clases como hoy lo son los humanos. Y la pregunta que surge es qué aprenderán y qué llegarán a ser aquellos niños que pasarán sus años formativos con robots.

Antes siquiera de adentrarnos en esa pregunta sería bueno considerar por qué los robots reemplazan a los humanos. Y las razones son varias. Ante todo, existen alternativas con mejores salarios y mucho menos estresantes que lidiar con el ambiente escolar, por lo que muchos jóvenes prefieren esas alternativas a la docencia.

Y luego está el tema de la violencia escolar, desde las penosas masacres a las que, lamentablemente, ya estamos casi acostumbrados, hasta la violencia entre los estudiantes, o de los padres a los maestros, o la discriminación hacia los estudiantes. padres o docentes de minorías. Muchos docentes simplemente no toleran ese ambiente.

También se debe considerar que la creciente tecnologización de la enseñanza (y de la vida en general) ya había comenzado a desplazar a los docentes. Recuerdo haber leído, pero no recuerdo dónde, que en China muchos jóvenes de entre 18 a 21 años no van a la universidad, y no porque no quieran estudiar, sino porque ya saben más que sus profesores por lo que aprenden en línea.

Pero existe un elemento más: el costo. Will, el humano digital que enseña en escuelas en Auckland, Nueva Zelanda, es gratis. Aún más, los niños pueden conversar con Will desde casi cualquier artefacto (computadora, laptop, teléfono) en cualquier momento. Y lo pueden hacer simultáneamente, algo imposible para un solo maestro.

Y Keeko, el robot de 60 cm que se usa en 600 jardines de infantes en China cuesta unos 1500 dólares, una fracción del salario anual de los docentes (quienes, dicho sea de paso, no son los profesionales mejor pagados.) Y, al contrario de lo que sucede con los maestros humanos, Keeko no pide ni necesita vacaciones o días por enfermedad.

Así que, tanto desde el punto de vista tecnológico como económico, tiene sentido, parece, que los robots reemplacen a los humanos dentro de las aulas. Pero ¿qué precio pagaremos en esa transición?

Me gustaría saber qué dirían Jean Piaget o Paulo Freire sobre el tema. ¿Ayudarán los robots al desarrollo cognitivo de los niños y pasarán esos niños por las cuatro etapas del desarrollo enumeradas por Piaget? ¿Lograremos movernos más allá de una educación bancaria y opresora, como denunciaba Freire?

Y una pregunta más: ¿qué pasará en pocos años con nosotros, los adultos, que no hemos sido educados con maestros robots? Quizá sea mejor no pensarlo, pero, por otra parte, sería mejor prepararse para ese (¿inevitable?) futuro antes de que llegue.

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August 26, 2018

9:23 PM

Should I teach Spanish or should I be a dishwasher at a restaurant?

Somebody recently sent me an ad from a local municipality in the area where I live looking for a Spanish instructor for adults. I do like to teach Spanish to adults, so I decided to take a closer to the ad.

Basically, they were looking for somebody with experience in adult education and specifically in education of senior citizens. The instructor was required to teach all levels of Spanish (from basic to advanced) and all modalities (writing, listening, and speaking).  

In addition, the instructor was responsible for developing the curriculum and for the material. And there was a requirement to coordinate activities at the center and outside the center for the participants to practice Spanish. Of course, it was expected for the instructor to be available for consultations with the students outside the class time.

Despite the long list of requirements and responsibilities (in my opinion, too long), I keep reading because, after all, it is always good to explore opportunities to bring together people from different cultures and languages, hoping the result would be a respectful, creative dialogue.

I read the section about academic degrees and previous experience and I was happy to see I had all those requirements. I could almost see myself helping a group of older adults to learn Spanish, perhaps to talk with their own grandchildren.

Then, it was time to read the paragraph about compensation. I discovered my delusion of assuming the compensation will be based on the experience and education required. That was not the case. They offer $12 per hour and up to only 15 hours per week.

I thought that was the end of the issue, but because I was at the end of the ad, I instinctively read the next ad. In this case, they were looking for a dishwasher to work at a restaurant in the same city. No language requirements. No previous experience needed. Full time job with benefits. And an initial salary of between $14 to $18 per hour.

A question then came to my mind, and it was not about the difference in compensation (both offers are inadequate), but about the attitude causing a local government to offer better compensation to a person with no experience or studies than to a person with the experience and studies needed to get a job that local government is offering.

What kind of message that attitude sends about our present and our future? The message that you better don’t prepare yourself for the future because that won’t help you?

Again, a few dollars more or a few dollars less make no difference in the context of a society where neither education, nor experience, talent, or honesty guarantee a good income. (I said “good,” not “great”.) Yet, it is alarming that dedication and experience are “officially” less valuable than ignorance and inexperience.

Perhaps they want us to be ignorant and inexperienced, forcing us to fight for a few dollars here and there while the real money flows to other hands.

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August 26, 2018

9:22 PM

¿Qué me conviene más, ser profesor de idiomas o lavaplatos en un restaurante?

Recientemente alguien me hizo llegar un aviso sobre una cierta municipalidad cerca de donde vivo que buscaba profesores de español para adultos. Dada que esa es una de las tareas a las que me dedico (y algo que me agrada mucho hacer), decidí leer el aviso con atención.

Básicamente, la ciudad en cuestión pedía a alguien con experiencia en educación de adultos y con especialización en personas de la tercera edad. El instructor debía ser capaz de enseñar todos los niveles de español (desde el básico al avanzado) y en todas las modalidades (escribir, escuchar, hablar).

Además, el instructor debía desarrollar su propio currículo y contar con su propio material. Y también debía coordinar actividades dentro y fuera del centro de instrucción para que los participantes en el curso tuviesen oportunidades de practicar su español. Y también el instructor debía estar disponible para consultas con sus estudiantes fuera del horario de clases.

A pesar de las exigencias y responsabilidades, aun así, me interesó seguir leyendo la descripción del trabajo porque, después de todo, siempre es bueno explorar una oportunidad que permita acercar a las personas de distintas culturas, confiando que de allí surgirá eventualmente un diálogo creativo y respetuoso.

Llegué entonces a la sección de requisitos académicos y experiencia previa y me alegró contar con todos esos requisitos. Y luego estaba el párrafo sobre la compensación ofrecida. Iluso yo, pensé que la compensación sería acorde a todo lo que se pedía. Sin embargo, pronto descubrí que sólo se ofrecía un pago máximo de 12 dólares por hora y no más de 10 a 15 horas por semana.

El tema hubiese terminado ahí, pero como ya estaba al final del aviso, instintivamente seguí leyendo el siguiente. Allí se pedía a alguien para lavar platos en un restaurante de la misma ciudad. No había requisitos de idioma ni tampoco se exigía experiencia previa. Además, el puesto era de tiempo completo y con beneficios. Y con un salario inicial de entre 14 a 18 dólares por hora.

Me quedé entonces pensando no en las cifras en cuestión (ambas exiguas, sin importar desde donde se las mire), sino en la actitud que hace que una cierta municipalidad valore más y compense mejor a personas sin experiencia ni estudios que a aquellas otras personas a las que la misma ciudad les exige tanto experiencia como estudios para obtener un trabajo.

¿Qué mensaje envía esa actitud con respecto al presente y al futuro?

Ciertamente, unos pocos dólares en una oferta de empleo con salarios decididamente bajos no significan nada en el contexto de una sociedad en la que ni el talento, ni los estudios, ni la experiencia, ni la honestidad garantizan buenos ingresos. (Dije “buenos”, no “grandes”). Pero es alarmante que la dedicación y los conocimientos reciban “oficialmente” menos reconocimiento que la ignorancia o la inexperiencia.

¿O será que nos quieren ignorantes e inexpertos precisamente para que nos peleemos entre nosotros por dos o tres dólares aquí o allá, mientras los millones pasan por otro lado?

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August 19, 2018

10:16 PM

Are we already beyond the point of no return of human stupidity?

Sometimes people ask me if I believe in intelligent life on other planets. I always answer by saying that my doubts are not about intelligent life on a distant planet, but about the possibility of intelligent life on this planet. After all, there are plenty of indications everywhere that, collectively, we, humans, are not that intelligent. 

After tens of thousands of years of evolution and after several millennia of “civilization”, and now with all the technology we have at our disposal, we have not yet solved any of the major problems affecting humanity. Quite the opposite, some of those problems are getting worse. Meanwhile, we are still electing the same politicians (or their clones), watching the same soap operas or sports events, and counting the “Likes” we get to give some meaning to our lives. 

For reasons that will become obvious momentarily (because the laws I am about to mention apply perfectly to me), I didn’t know that four decades ago (1976), an Italian professor living the United States, Carlo Cipolla, developed what he called “The five basic laws of human stupidity”. We share here those laws not to irritate anybody, but to become aware of the magnitude of the problem.

The “laws” say that “Inevitably everyone underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation”, that “The probability that a certain person be stupid is independent of any other characteristic of that person”, that “A stupid person causes losses to another person while himself/herself deriving no gain”, that  “Non-stupid people always underestimate the damaging power of stupid individuals”, and that (paraphrasing), human stupidity is the most dangerous challenge for humanity. (Don’t get mad at me. That’s what Dr. Cipolla said.)

It is easy to find many proofs of those laws. Read the reviews of products or services, for example. Recently, somebody gave a one star to an Italian restaurant because that person went by mistake to a different restaurant and then, when that person arrived at the “right” restaurant, he/she didn’t have time to eat there, so he/she ordered take out. But then, that person was too tired to eat and threw the food into the garbage. Hence, one star.  

And somebody gave one star to a certain brand of interior painting because when he/she opened the can, the can fell from his/her hands, causing “a disaster” and “ruining the experience” because of the time spent in cleaning the spill. Therefore, others should not buy that brand. 

In which planet going to the wrong restaurant should be blamed in the “right” restaurant? Or a company should be blamed if somebody is careless handling a can of paint? No doubts, in our planet. 

As Milan Kundera well said both in The Unbearable Lightness of Being and in The Art of the Novel, we live in “the planet of the inexperience” where we spend time “fabricating vague fantasies” and never achieving true maturity or wisdom.  

Or, as Isaac Asimov said (paraphrasing Friedrich Schiller), “Against human stupidity, the gods themselves struggle in vain.” 

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August 19, 2018

10:14 PM

¿Habrá pasado el punto de no retorno para la estupidez humana?

A veces las personas me preguntan si yo creo que existe vida inteligente en otros planetas. Siempre respondo diciendo que mis dudas no son sobre inteligencia extraterrestre, sino sobre la posibilidad de vida inteligente en este planeta. Después de todo, las pruebas abundan en todos los niveles y en todos los rincones de la tierra sobre la poca inteligencia que colectivamente demuestra la humanidad.

Con decenas de miles de años de evolución y con milenios ya como una “civilización”, y con toda la tecnología que tenemos a nuestra disposición, parece que poco hemos hecho para resolver los problemas que más aquejan a la humanidad y, por el contrario, hemos agravado tanto esos problemas que hasta el planeta se ve afectado. Mientras tanto, seguimos eligiendo a los mismos políticos, o a sus clones, mirando las mismas telenovelas, y contando “Me Gusta” para darle sentido a nuestras vidas.

Por razones obvias (ya que la ley que ahora voy a mencionar se aplica perfectamente a mí), yo no sabía que hace ya cuatro décadas (1976), un profesor italiano radicado en Estados Unidos, Carlo Cipolla, desarrolló lo que se conoce como las Cinco Leyes Básicas de la Estupidez Humana. Y esas leyes, que aquí compartimos, no son ciertamente para irritar a nadie, sino para tomar consciencia de hasta donde hemos llegado.

Esas “leyes” dicen que inevitablemente se subestima el número de personas estúpidas en un determinado lugar, que las características de una persona (raza, etnicidad, nacionalidad, educación, nivel socioeconómico, y otras) no ayudan a predecir el nivel de estupidez de esa persona, que una persona estúpida causa grandes problemas y no genera ningún beneficio, que las personas inteligentes no anticipan las graves consecuencias de asociarse con personas estúpidas, y que la estupidez humana es el peligro más grande para la humanidad. (No se enojen conmigo. Eso es lo que dijo el Dr. Cipolla.)

Para prueba de la veracidad de esas leyes, basta leer los comentarios que las personas dejan sobre los productos o servicios que usan. Recientemente, por ejemplo, alguien le dio “una estrella” a un cierto restaurante italiano porque esa persona fue por error a otro restaurante, no al que quería ir. 

Y comentando sobre una cierta marca de pintura de interiores, alguien le dio una estrella a esa marca y justificó esa decisión diciendo que al abrir la lata de pintura se le cayó la lata, provocando “un desastre” que le “arruinó la experiencia”, por lo que sugirió que otros ya no compren esa marca. 

¿En qué planeta si alguien va al restaurante equivocado la culpa la tiene el restaurante al que uno debía ir? ¿O si alguien no es cuidadoso con una lata de pintura la culpa la tiene la lata? Sin dudas, en el nuestro. 

Como bien dice Milan Kundera tanto en La Insoportable Levedad del Ser como en El Arte de la Novela, vivimos en “el planeta de la inexperiencia”, es decir, nos dedicamos a “fabricar vagas fantasías” sin nunca llegar ni a la madurez ni a la sabiduría. 

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