The power of being “cool”

Start this post by reading this article: if eating is “cool” then farming must be “cool” too. It is about agriculture. It notes that farmers are not perceived as ‘cool’: “most youths’ perception of agriculture and agribusiness reflects the image of a dirty, exhausted poor farmer carrying a rusty hoe on puffy, tired shoulders somewhere…

Not all standards are certifications, enter Rockefeller

Some standard-making organisations are certifications. However, not all standards come from certifications. Standardisation is nothing else than homogenisation of processes against a ‘golden mean’, be it by one or many actors, be it formally or informally. Consider the case of John D. Rockefeller, whose oil empire changed the face of the world back in the…

Source. CL.Baker - https://flic.kr/p/AcnSYn Unmodified. License. CC BY-ND 2.0 - https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/.

Curious historical secrets about oil

Oil is, nowadays, the dominant fuel in society. Seen at once as friend or foe by different groups. The centre point of global energy politics. We thus wonder about its future. But! Do we stop to ask about its past? Many rather interesting lessons can be learnt.

Magdalena Oil Industry Open Air Museum in Gorlice, Poland. Image credits: Pawel (http://flic.kr/p/nkyyD1), CC BY 2.0.

How oil conquered the ancient world—policy implications

Ask Google about the discovery of oil. It will tell you oil was discovered in 1859 in northern Pennsylvania. This is not exactly true. 1859 marked the beginning of the modern history of oil, but the world had flirted with oil for about 4000 years. Much can be learned from this torrid romance. Oil before our time…

El “lockdown” tico, la libertad, y el reto de reactivar el país

El gobierno tico empezó la lucha contra el COVID-19 con la ventaja de un sistema de salud relativamente bueno y una población inteligente. Y bueno, nos ganamos la lotería con esto de la tasa de mortalidad. ¡Que está bien bajita! El “lockdown” era necesario para comprar el par de meses que se necesitaban para levantar…

Sensuality & Objectification (Week 8) (Last)

Can one be sensual and appreciate others’ sensuality without, in doing so, objectifying oneself or others? Is your behaviour influenced by your interest or disdain of either sensuality or objectification? Polite notice. This post is severely not safe for work (NSFW). Very sensual videos, to say the least. Videos Recommended Readings Cowen, N. (2016). Millian…

Where do I bet on the anti-COVID horses?

Teams in Argentina and Costa Rica are starting or about to start clinical trials for equine serum-based COVID-19 treatment. The treatment is similar to convalescent plasma serum: patients are injected with antibodies to stimulate their immune system. Except, in this case, the antibodies are generated by horses instead of humans (not to worry, the horses…

Religion & Reality (Week 7)

Are you a religious person and therefore think reality should conform to values, goals, and standards that non-religious people consider imaginary? How does being religious or non-religious affect your life, and what does this mean vis-a-vis politics and/or economics? Videos Recommended Readings Carlisle, C. (2019). Philosopher of the Heart: The Restless Life of Søren Kierkegaard.…

Fear & Courage (Week 6)

Are you scared of life or do you take it by the horns? Populists and manipulators alike exploit fear but, as it turns out, also hope and courage. Do we live in a world of pure manipulation and populism? Is there an escape? Videos Recommended Readings Wodak, R. (2015). The Politics of Fear: What Right-Wing…

Equality & Discrimination (Week 5)

Sometimes it seems like the world is driven by various forms of discrimination such as racism or xenophobia? Could equality ever become the norm rather than the exception? Videos Recommended Readings Becker, G. S. (2010). The Economics of Discrimination. University of Chicago Press. Link. Kleinberg, J. Ludwig, J., Mullainathan, S., Sunstein, C R. (2018) Discrimination…