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Tag Archives: self-reliance

Ada Lovelace Day is all about celebrating great woman scientists. About the role models that inspire us into being all we can be. About ladies that not only kick ass, but do so with their amazing brains!

This year i want to pay homage to my aunt:

Jussara Rocha Ferreira

Jussara is an extremely competent scientist and she groks all that anatomy thing inside out. She began her studies as a veterinarian, but by now i believe she can tackle anatomy from any possible angle. And of course she’s got an impressive curriculum. But there is something more important.

I want to pay homage to Jussara today because of the attitude she taught me about science and research. For her, it was never just a job, or more to the point she showed me that research involved some administrative red-tape, but that it was much more than that. She showed me how science could be an enterprise of the brain, how it could be your very own adventure of understanding the world, how thinking made you free. She showed me how excelling at your thinking was a pathway for your own happiness. How being hard and demanding was not a matter of passing an exam, but a matter of pushing yourself harder and farther.

Maybe this will come as a surprise to her. Because she never really said any of this to me, explicitly. But her greatness just gets to you. I am very sure that she was an inspiration for very many of her students.

The vast majority of actions and institutions all around me are out of fear. Be it as it may, fear is not freedom.

Fear is stable. Fear is predictable. To chose non-fear is hard. Difficult. Fear sells. Fear convinces. It is easy to make fear look like “just human”, to make it compassion-worthy. Be it as it may, fear is not freedom.

It is not ideology that ties us to fear (nor Enlightenment, nor Logics, nor Neo-Liberalism/Neo-Socialism). It is not immorality (nor naughty, nor corrupt, nor ignorant). And, in any way, it is not an enemy to be fought. Read More »

There were a staggering variety of cultures in prehispanic America and we don’t really know enough about most of them to, say, tell them apart. Going to many Museums in 2009, one of the things was that every single time i came across a sculpture that blew my mind it was Condorhuasi. Of course every culture has it’s value and all, but one of those sculptures made today would still be awesome. Keep that in mind. Read More »

In more than one Brazilian tribe of Indians — and I am guessing that very similar patterns can be found in other cultures throughout the world — the Pajé begins his life as the strange one, the person that does not fit, the outcast within his tribe. He then goes out in a spiritual journey through the world, during which he doesn’t belong anywhere, he is completely lost and ultimately alone. In the end, he returns and can, finally, take his position as the tribe’s priest, magician and healer, second in authority only to the Cacique. Maybe Pajé can be accurately translated as shaman.

Now many — but I am really talking a big bunk of people here — many of my friends went to live abroad. And talking to then, i always get that feeling — if they don’t tell me outright — that they did so because they really couldn’t feel to belong here, in Brazil, with their family and friends — and they didn’t feel like playing the roles expected of them.

Now it all feels a bit naïve to me, that most of them will come back and become not only a part of everything that they didn’t believe in, but an important part, an honoured part.

I think living abroad is the contemporary form of the Pajé’s Journey. Read More »