Observations on the Japanese and Portuguese peoples, I.
The Japanese usually place a high value on formal education, which is seen as rather important factor on character building, on the making of the person one actually is. Among Portuguese, formal education is seen most of the times as a way to obtain social status, not really connected with the world in which one actually struggles with the challenges of one's life, and ingenuity and expediency are often higher esteemed than study.

A Japanese who studied in Tokyo or Kyoto Universities is seen by his fellow countrymen as someone whose character was definetely improved by his academic experience. A Portuguese who studied in Lisbon or Coimbra Universities, is a "Doctor", a "Engineer", someone who holds a title of social renown.
Afinal quem manda, o rei ou a eminência parda?!
Wait a minute: is the Bush administration requesting other nations for money to rebuild a country -destroyed by their own military- that sits on top of the world's second largest oil reserves, or for the corporations that funded its own presidential campaign?
To send the fatherland's soldier's to die for big business is already bad. To ignore and censor their funerals, is even worse.
So, it seems that the most competitive economy in the world is the one with the most opposed policies from such countries as Portugal. A state with 30% tax rates, duly applied in public health service, public education, infrastructure and support to Small and Medium enterprises. As you could guess, it's Finland!


Now I'm confused, wasn't Saddam reported dead several times during the American invasion? So how can he be coordinating attacks against occupying forces in Iraq?!
Wonderful article by Collin McGinn in the Prospect. A life dedicated to Philosophy, and a beautiful one. Or paraphasing Plato, the most worthy life that can be lived is the one of the of Philosopher.

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