News is getting dissembled on us

Asec Mocha Uson, keeping the Philippines . . . informed. [Photo source: Manila Bulletin]

By JoeAm

How do you get your news? How do you vet that it is factual and not propaganda or political pap?

It is getting more and more difficult to have confidence that one is not being fed someone’s political line or vested interest. Moodys says the Philippines may be brewing a debt problem and the economic wizards of the Philippines come along and say everything is fine, it is an outcome of the very positive Build Build Build infrastructure program.

Well, how are we to know for sure. The mainstream media reporters in the Philippines are mainly “catch and quote” receivers, they are not economics or business specialists. I personally am very skeptical about everything the economics wizards say because they are not upfront about risks of Chinese funded projects, or the history of Chinese companies doing really poor work (like those overweight, defective train cars the Philippines bought). Those things generate huge unanticipated costs.

 

dis·sem·bledəˈsembəl/ verb, conceal one’s true motives, feelings, or beliefs; “an honest, sincere person with no need to dissemble” (synonyms: dissimulate, pretend, feign, act, masquerade, sham, fake, bluff, posture, hide one’s feelings, put on a false front)

W

When we think of news, we think of events and facts, the what, when, where, who, how, and why of journalistic discovery. But these days it is not just facts that are in play. It is emotions. Facebook knows our every click and uses them to feed our desires making them cravings. We learn too much about our friends and so must deal with their emotions as well as ours. Papers write headlines to grap our passions. We often never get to the stories to discover knowledge. The State spends billions to shape the ideas of people around us. We end up living in a vast pool of surreal ignorance and really bad thinking.

The future will be even more intense as big data and big nations seek their share of the public’s mind and allegiance. It will not be trolls in the hunt, but big automated fishing nets scouring the world for recruits open to their lures, able to tap angers, addictions, biases, and misconceptions to build a base.

Here are a few steps that seem constructive, in this environment:

  1. Be aware; be emotionally aware: We are objects for use by manipulators, some good, some bad . . . we ought to have some awareness that news is dissembled and we must assemble it in a valid, meaningful way.
  2. Some knowledge is lost to us . . . Boracay for instance. We must be able to act on deductions.
  3. It is wise to develop a healthy skepticism and know that there are risks even of trusting others. Get good at discerning credibility issues or slant among sources of information.
  4. Develop a diversity of sources of information. In an electronic, global era, this is EASIER than it used to be.
  5. I personally belong to no organizations or groups or causes. I think they restrict the mind and limit one’s moral foundation.
  6. Build and participate in discussion forums such as that attached to this blog. It is here where limited facts or pieces of knowledge join to become whole. Contribute. Teach, learn.

Look, we are being played every day. It is a rather negative goal, but I think the objective should be to stay out of the pool of gullible people. We cannot totally control the fishermen tossing their lines into the water, but we can get better at distinguishing fish hooks from fish.

If you have ideas about how we can better manage our lives in this troublesome, cloudy pool of fetid information, please do share them in the discussion that follows this article.

 

Comments
48 Responses to “News is getting dissembled on us”
  1. edgar lores says:

    *******
    1. I think steps 1, 3 and 4 work for me.

    2. As a lifelong skeptic (3), I have developed a detector (1) that serves me in good stead.

    2.1. There is an alarm in my head that goes off when I read or hear something that is not quite right. This is the so-called BS filter. The sensitivity of the instrument depends on how long we have practiced critical reasoning, how adept we are at logic, and how keen we are at smelling ordure. If one is good at lying, then the instrument is that much more sensitive. But our biases, and the need to believe, sometimes renders the instrument inutile.

    3. Step 4, diversity of sources, is common sense. Add to this the fact that some sources are never to be trusted. Certain periodicals, certain columnists, certain broadcasters have the bayaran sign posted on their foreheads. Some signs flash and twinkle in neon light.

    4. On step 5, sources close to us — friends, coworkers, FB chatgroups — sometimes offer incredible news that we are emotionally ready to accept. We long for the news to be true. At these times, we need to suspend belief until there is confirmation news from other sources. Some media offer fact checks and there are websites like Snopes.com that can help us although Philippine items are sparse.

    5. And, oh, when reading Irineo or even Joe Am, we have to know whether they are using satire. Well, Joe Am claims that all he writes is satire. But there is a rub you see. Satire can be truer than a rumor. Satire can be double dissembling.
    *****

    • NHerrera says:

      I quoted this from that great Physicist Richard Feynman in a previous blog topic; it seems relevant to our current blog:

      “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool.” </b

      The suggestions in Joe's current blog and edgar's comment — and I anticipate a lot more to come — on the techniques to use to avoid fooling ourselves no doubt are useful. So buyer beware; seller, too, beware that we don't contribute to fooling others.

    • True, Edgar. These for example are meant fully seriously:

      http://filipinogerman.blogsport.eu/filipinos-know-better/

      When you know you know. And when you decide you decide. Just like the cause of the cause is the cause of them all. That is why you must assume that the police when they kill someone they kill, they always know what they know (link). Only women and crazy Westerners change their mind when there is new evidence. We are stronger and smarter than them.

      Because our police know when they know and kill when they kill, Chinese usually survive (link). They are making shabu labs? Those who are taking drugs are worse, and hurt our own people. Our President needs China (link) to help us all. He sang for Trump once (link), yet his Asian heart loves Xi Jinping (link). Poetically, our strong leader sees that Chinese-Philippine relations (link) “.. would bloom.. like a flower.. into something big and beautiful. It’s one stem and China and the Philippines will bloom, and you and I are in the middle of the flower.” Magical as mushrooms!

      http://filipinogerman.blogsport.eu/common-knowledge-ang-mga-narco-list/

      Hay naku, iyang mga de numerong prueba, facts-facts, logic-logic, proseso, batas, Konstitusyon, plano – papel lang iyan, wala ka pang tunay na nagawa. Buti pa si Digong umaaksiyon agad. Sa Boracay merong mga SWAT at helicopter. Sa Kuwait, umaksiyon sila Mocha at Thinking Pinoy. Ngayon, malapit nang umurong at makipag-usap uli ang Kuwait sa Pilipino. Kailangan nila tayo. Kasi genius tayo. Kahit walang plano kayang-kaya natin. Kung baga sa tugtog, widow tayo palagi..

      Tsaka matapang tayo! Hinamon natin ang mga Arabo. Pinaalis ng Pangulo natin iyong taga-EU. Ano ngayon kung nag-resolusyon na naman ang EU Parliament. Magrosaryo na lang kaya sila ‘no! Dilawan talaga sila, umaasa sa dasal at papeles. Tayo umaasa sa aksiyon, sa tapang at sa pusila! Resbak pa natin ang mga Intsik. Malakas tayo diyan. Bilib sila sa atin. Kaya pinapautangan tayo. Kaya magpapasok ng maraming negosyo sa bansa natin. Pati si Donald Trump niririspito tayo. Iyong Casino ng Galaxy, mauna pa sa Casino ng Kano. Mas sikat tayo kaysa Las Vegas at Macau.

      Or to get back to Francis’ posting, this is premodern, modern and postmodern thought all rolled into one. As UP (c) MRP would say, to hell with Western colonialistic thinking, we have our own unique forms of reasoning.

      • Francis says:

        “…this is premodern, modern and postmodern thought all rolled into one.”

        This is something I didn’t realize. Ah. Yes. The problem of the West is that they are transitioning from modern to postmodern; our problem is that we are experiencing the same transition—though we never did master modernity anyway, so it seems that we must simultaneously construct modernity and postmodernity at the same time—or figure out a way to leapfrog into postmodernity, though I think that would still require a bit more mastery of modernity than presently.

  2. Francis says:

    Comment

    Thank you for this article, Joeam.

    There are deeper questions than Duterte at stake—Duterte (and Trump) are just symptoms of our postmodern condition.
    This is something very profound. You can’t address this with one framework; have to attack this issue from multiple angles.

    Angle One—Notion of “Truth” is Changing. Fast. Inevitable.

    A schema:
    Premodern =
    >How do people understand the rational and irrational ways of thinking? Rational Thinking is not distinguishable from Irrational Thinking. People think via myths.
    >How do people understand man’s relationship with nature? Man does not understand and cannot control Nature.
    >How is information distributed in society? Information is held by “Elders” i.e. a Priesthood, Scholastics, etc. It can only be fully accessed by a few, and is produced by a few. Result: Truth is mythical dogma that is always right. Irrational Objectivity.

    Modern =
    >How do people understand the rational and irrational ways of thinking? Rational Thinking can be distinguished from Irrational Thinking. Rational Thinking is held as superior to Irrational Thinking. People think via “scientific” methods.
    >How do people understand man’s relationship with nature? Man can completely control Nature, with his tools and method i.e. technology and science.
    >How is information distributed in society? Information is held by a series of definable cultural, political and economic institutions, i.e. Academia, Think Tanks, “Traditional” Media. Information can be accessed by the many (hence “mass” media) but still produced by a relative few. Result: Truth is seen as “objective” because all the “major” institutions follow the same line, despite some variations. Rational Objectivity.

    Postmodern =
    >How do people understand the rational and irrational ways of thinking? Rational Thinking is still seen as distinct from Irrational Thinking. However—it is no longer seen as capable of truly understanding everything. Even so, Irrational Thinking is (in the West) seen as flawed.
    >How do people understand man’s relationship with nature? Man can control nature—but his tools and methods to control nature (technology and science) are seen as controlling him.
    >How is information distributed in society? Information can be virtually accessed by everyone (with the “internet”) and—more importantly than this—can be produced by everyone. Anyone can start a blog. Result: The Modern Myth of “Objective Truth” is shattered. The line followed by the “major” institutions can be circumvented via “alternative” sources of information i.e. bloggers. People literally drown in information—unsure what is unreal and real. Subjectivity.

    Why do people not give a flying heck about De Lima getting awards, or Rappler—or virtually every NGO watchdog worth their salt? Anyone these days can publish—and give the impression that “truth” is “mixed” as it were. Things feel less true now. A few decades ago, you could get the television people, the radio people, the newspaper people to say the same thing—and damn it, it feels damned true.

    The “Establishment” is pretty impotent these days, since anyone can publish and that “anyone” can work for free, while you have to pay for your correspondents, newsprint, etcetera—hard to have a “unified” line for all of society. The Gatekeeper is Gone.

    Add all that to the material conditions of our newsmen—good-quality news is hard to get for free. And even if good-quality news manages to pay for itself—the paywall means that a vast majority will still be relying on dubious (or suspiciously-funded) “free” news i.e. bloggers. Only way for “traditional” media to survive (outside of paywall) is ads; why is media so sensational—not because they are moral failures, but because economic logic (they pay bills too, like us) means that they have to he sensational (and maybe bow to some vested interests for some ad cash) just to survive.

    Honestly—I think that we may need to transcend the lines between irrational and rational thinking to sorta address this issue. The best answer I can think is to understand ourselves (and ourselves-as-citizens) as meaning-creating beings, and to understand that being meaning-creating beings carries a lot of responsibilities.

    Which we underestimate.

    But “Changing Notions of Truth” is such a highfalutin way of looking at things. It’s a good way to understand that really deep implications and context behind “fake news” and all, but it doesn’t offer much use on the ground. There’s a need for a more practical view.

    Angle Two—Role of Media in Ecosystem.

    @Joeam, CNN isn’t where people go to for profound and thought-provoking analysis. CNN is like a souped-up delivery service for “breaking” news. Likewise for ABS-CBN. They give you what happens—and whatever basic context you need to have an extremely basic understanding of the situation. Same for DZMM.

    I think I and Irineo have brought this up in comment threads in earlier articles, but essentially (in my opinion, at least) there are three l levels for information dissenimation and discussion in any modern democracy.

    >”Specialized” Knowledge Institutions: i.e. Academe, Think Tanks, Official Internal Policy Discussion—e.g. PIDS, UP
    >”Intermediary” Knowledge Institutions: i.e. Long Form Journalism, Publishers for “Pop” (Social & Hard) Science Literature—e.g. The Atlantic, Guardian’s “Long Read” Section
    >”Basic” Knowledge Institutions: i.e. News Organizations—e.g. ABS-CBN, Rappler, Philippine Daily Inquirer

    We can’t expect our mass media to give us all the “healthy vegetables” as it were, because that isn’t their job. It isn’t their job to give long and nuanced analysis, but to immediately tell us what is happening now. The problem isn’t facts but the intepretation of facts—that is: reflection. Reflection takes place elsewhere. In places longer than the Inquirer’s itty-bitty short op-ed space.

    Not everyone can and should understand things the way academics and technocrats do with their highfalutin terminology. Which is why we have long form articles from The Atlantic or books like “Why Nations Fail” to bring the cutting-edge expert knowledge to normal people like ourselves.

    If you want to know one of the largest reasons (in my opinion) why discourse is such utter fucking horseshit in this country, this is pretty much in large part due to the fact that we lack these “Intermediary” institutions and information.

    We lack outlets like The Atlantic which can afford to publish long, extended pieces that can analyze an issue far more than any one article can. And this isn’t due to a lack of ability—honestly, someone should tell the Inquirer to double the space for its opinion section; their expert columnists are wasted on such small space. But the Inquirer (and Rappler) can’t be expected to be fully dedicated to the in-depth discussion of issues as news organizations—reflection cannot take place here. You need dedicated spaces for long-form reporting; PCJI comes close, but it isn’t just deeper and more facts we need i.e. investigative reporting—but how these facts can be interepreted through philosophical, sociological, economic, political, cultural, historical, etcetera lenses.

    We lacks books that “popularize” in-depth analysis on the Philippines and on pressing national issues. There are really only very few—if at all—books like “Why Nations Fail” or “Freakonomics” to demystify issues close to the hearts of our people. It’s either books published by academic press, written by academics for academics—hardly exciting for the average citizen—or nothing.

    And it’s worth noting LANGUAGE too. In the Philippines:

    >”Specialized” Knowledge Institutions: ENGLISH (Filipino—in some parts of the academe i.e. psychology.)
    >”Intermediary” Knowledge Institutions: What little we have—ENGLISH.
    >”Basic” Knowledge Institutions: Mostly FILIPINO and TAGLISH, ENGLISH for Broadsheets.

    The analysis is in a foreign language. Gibberish to the Average Juan.

    • English is practically Latin to many a Juan who will not be able to distinguish the horseshit that Roque and his kind use (“the war on drugs adheres to the rule of law”) from Hilbay’s gold nuggets. Hilbay is one with a truly Filipino vision of rule of law, one of the basic building blocks of a modern democracy, away from the “wishful thinking and praise the Aquino family” prayer group image and habitus of many parts of the old yellow movement – more like continuing were the likes of Saguisag and Tanada left off back in the mid-1980s.

      Back to discourse and cognition: http://filipinogerman.blogsport.eu/speaking-in-tongues-2/

      Some Filipino intellectuals, confused and lost when using maps like Filipino migrants also are, unlike the migrants had a “nationalistic” excuse for it: “maps are the colonialistic top-down view”. Good that UP also teaches excuses. Few are taught that Polynesians had navigational devices (link) that also have a certain level of abstraction. You cannot just rely on your senses alone out there. Filipinos who confined themselves to fishing near the coast forgot these crafts. Those who stayed mostly in the barangay relied on their senses alone and on the accounts of the people they knew.

      Responses to drug war critics that they should look “on the ground” are typical for that mentality, just like Mocha’s statement that she did not see any EJK victims coming home from work at night (there was a Winnie Monsod “Bawal ang Pasaway” episode where she said that) – or someone I know who said Leila De Lima is a drug lord. Because all relatives in Europe and Canada say so. Such thinking works fine when you and your relatives personally know everyone you deal with. Lacking “personal knowledge” of a matter can even disqualify in today’s Philippine Congress (link)!

      Going back to the barangay mentality and casting off the tools that extend senses and perceptions severely limits judgement. “Western” tools developed over centuries to inform and educate larger societies are for example news reports, written accounts and summaries (extension of senses) and deduction, induction, analysis by experts (extension of perception). Instead fakery is believed. Videos and fotos may be spliced or a bit skewed yet people think they really saw what happened. Popular commenters like Mocha and Tulfo make people think someone they know told them.

      The lack of grasp of even basic logic (Ockham’s razor) is for example evident in the quo warranto decision of the 8 Injustices. For the “Miseducated Filipino” (Constantino) English is but a play with words divorced from any reality and logic very fancy but not common sense.

      Abstraction is supposed to model reality, logic help extend common sense, but probably the last generation that learned this properly with English as a tool is the generation of sonny, Edgar Lores and NHerrera, who benefitted from a still intact American-built school system. Nowadays the kind of logic that used to be a joke is taken seriously. Like Pacquiao saying it is OK to covet other men’s wives if they aren’t your neighbors – quoting the Bible of course.

    • Yes, I agree the middle ground of examining subjects in depth is a huge wasteland in the Philippines nor do I think people would read it if it were available. There does need to be an elite, I think, that somehow earns our trust in putting together teams of experts to discern policy more wisely that the current shoot-from-the-hip method. The Philippine democracy is unlikely to generate such a solution, I fear, when the legislators are populists of no discernment themselves.

      • Francis says:

        “There does need to be an elite, I think, that somehow earns our trust in putting together teams of experts to discern policy more wisely that the current shoot-from-the-hip method.”

        There are many ways to view democratic society. I view democratic society as one giant brain. Our neurons link up to form one biological brain—so too I think that our biological brains all add up to form a giant social brain called society, called democracy.

        From this perspective—I come to the conclusion that we get the notion of “intelligence” very wrong. We think “intelligence” is the property or characteristic of an individual—when that is only partially the case; more often than not, “intelligence” is a characteristic of society. I suppose that a computer is intelligent, not just because of the capabilities of the single processor—but how all the processors work in tandem to process information. It doesn’t matter how many powerful, top-of-the-line processors you got—if you don’t know how to arrange or connect them properly, all you’ll get is dumb bag of silicon.

        (I’m hope I’m not butchering how computers work that badly with that metaphor. It is just an analogy. I am a complete know-nothing when it comes to how computers actually work.)

        I am intelligent, not just because of my raw brain power—but because I am in an intelligent society, a society structured as a whole to be intelligent. Newton—if he stuck to the rural countryside he was born in—would have likely been milking cows or something like that—rather than coming up with his milestone physics theories; his raw brain power would have been all for nought, if there weren’t structures and patterns in society that could channel his raw brain power in a productive manner.

        Filipinos have no less brain power compared to other people. The problem isn’t the raw horsepower of our noggins. The problem is how we translate that raw horsepower into something productive, something beautiful, something awesome.

        When I discussed the “three levels of knowledge institutions” essential to public discourse—the “specialized,” the “intermediate,” and the “basic” types, it is this image of society that I had in mind. These “levels” or “types” of “knowledge institutions” are like the various regions of our brain that handle different tasks and work together to produce our miraculous selves. We are intelligent because we are more than the sum of parts; society is intelligent is because it is more than the sum of all of us put together.

        This is why I don’t like idea of focusing too much on “elites” or “experts” in society. It is not that I don’t recognize the need for specialized practioners, or “specialized neurons” in our “societal” brain—it’s more that I utterly reject the idea that “experts” and “elites” are intrinsically special, or inherently valuable.

        They aren’t. These “elites” and “experts” (even if they are the next Einsteins in genius) are only as good as the society they inhabit. Put them in a stupid society, and the best case is that they will be mute, unable to describe society (lacking the grammar to describe society i.e. ideology and theory) and only knowing that there is something very wrong—or the worst case is that they’ll end up as corrupt, malevolent elements that prioritize the individual needs of the element (their selves) over the need of the “system” or society at large.

        This is one of the reasons why I strongly detest the notion that there are “smart” people, the “experts” and that there are those that must merely follow. The “enlightened” are only as “enlightened” as the structure of their whole society.

        Why is our burgis, our middle class so “tanga” in comparison to other polities? Why can’t we comprehend even the shifting sands of society, the revolutionary and accelerating movements of change that are convulsing all of society: local, national and global. Not because we aren’t born bobo—but because they are made tanga by society. Nagtatanga lang tayo. Hindi tayo bobo.

        This is why I harp on about the need for reflection and theory, or rather—some reflection to think about theory. Theory sounds boring, but it’s the political equivalent of a long term plan with long term objectives; there’s a reason why the Left wins in a lot of places, and that’s because they put a lot of stock on theory.

        I’ve come to the realization that the problem with Liberalism is that, half of the time, it is winging it. Liberalism somehow assumes that if you make people free, you just let people do their thing and society will work out. People often praises this idea of Liberalism as a mere method to achieve things—and praise its flexibility, it’s lack of dogmatism.

        That, to me, is like assuming that if you put a bag of prosessors somewhere, it will magically transmute into a computer. Democracy is only as good as how people in general think, know and understand. Democracy is only good as the discourse of the citizenry. Liberalism should take seriously the question of how to make an “intelligent” society and develop damned good plans (or as this poli sci major prefers to call it: theories) to address this pressing concern, especially given all the mumbo-jumbo quantum-thingy-majiggy about truth being postmodern now and all.

        To put it in philosophical terms: if Marxism used sociology and economics to build detailed theory, Liberalism might do well to take a closer look at cognitive science, epistomology to also build its own detailed theories as foundation.

        • Francis says:

          Addendum:

          It is not like this close relationship between Liberalism and Education has never happened. One of the most pivotal figures of modern liberalism has been John Dewey who saw education as essential to building a liberal society—and not in the superficial sense that if people get “credentialed” education then they’ll turn out to be “respectable” folk, but in a much deeper sense: that through education, we can engage in an everyday philosophy that broadens our horizons and enriches our lives and our connections to our fellow men. The New Deal was allegedly influenced by Dewey too, which says something.

          Also, I had this article in mind: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/04/02/the-mind-expanding-ideas-of-andy-clark

          This article really struck me, and made me see how notions of society as a giant brain which I saw in my daydreams could translate to real life.

        • Francis says:

          Addendum 2:

          This is why I have strong emotions whenever I see on Reddit a likely member of middle class bemoaning about how “dumb” the “poor” are—never mind that, for some reason, people always forget that a considerable portion of the ABC also support the current administration.

        • Francis says:

          Addendum 3:

          We need theoretical frameworks to discuss the matter of making the Philippines “safe for democracy” by making it intelligent, in the same way…

          …a man must be taught how to fish (there are sustainable mechanisms for achieving and maintaining societal intelligence) rather than recieving fish all his lifetime (constantly relying on the elite for guidance).

        • The brain in Philippine society will expire and become Chinese shortly unless something happens to promote an independence of thought, and a brilliance of thought, to master the many real problems on the horizon, from storms to rebels to economy to social and political bitterness to artificial intelligence. I don’t see that emerging from any known class right now, and, if it emerges (wee small chance), it will be a kind of managerial elite that will be able to bridge the dialogue between oligarchs and poor, and the various language and geographic divisions, and operate a government like a machine, finely tuned and well-oiled. I can’t see any way forward other than a new elite. Ideologies and theories won’t get there. It takes someone who gets up in the morning and says “this is what we must do”, and his lieutenants will nod or make suggestions, and things will get done that day. This person will not be from the provinces or squatters’ areas or entertainment and legal professions, but from the business community. You don’t have to call consider him elite. You can just call him “Boss”.

          • NHerrera says:

            If I may, a connection: Einstein may be considered as elite that changed the game [ref, Joe’s note above], although from what I read of him, he will not agree to being labeled as an [scientific] elite.

          • Francis says:

            “This is what we must do.”

            What is it exactly what we must do? The first answer that comes to mind is that I must put good, clean people and run an efficient government. Other questions arise. Why are people not fully appreciating what has been accomplished? How can people appreciate these accomplishments more? How can I safeguard the country from experiencing yet another bout of FUD-induced populism? And many more, I assume.

            To be always reacting to these—to be always in the present—is to lessen one’s ability to make up for the mistakes of the past and to plan for the future. This is why we have “theory” to guide us. Is “theory” boring? If you mean the academic study of it detached fro reality—yes, I will really agree with you.

            “Theory” for me, though—in politics, it is merely the generalization of what you’ve observed and what you’ve analyzed. It is a living thing. It is what allows for the “self-criticism” that I pointed out in my earlier comment in the previous article. Theory is based on generalizations of Practice—what happens in reality. Practice is then informed by a more usable and clearer Theory. It is a virtuous cycle, handled not by men but by institutions that can outlast the men within them. You could say that it’s almost scientific; what generalizations no longer apply today, you throw out, what generalizations do apply, you emphasize. All that I am emphasizing is how abstract thinking can significantly enhance concrete action. Which leads me to my next point:

            What I strongly disagree with is the strict dichotomy that is often placed between thought and action—to me, action is just realized thought. You put your thought into practice into reality—that’s action. That’s one of the reasons why I focus so much attention on ideas. Whether we are conscious of the power of ideas or not—the point is that ideas are always influencing us. I live by what Keynes said, “Practical men who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back.”

            What about gut judgements and intuition? I will say that even these (especially if they are social norms in the background, barely noticed by people but virtually present) are in part shaped by ideas long ago. Take for instance, the ingrained suspicion in the American public against extensive government interference or action. Isn’t that, in part, due to Enlightenment ideas that flowed in? I’m not saying that ideas are the whole story—climate and history must play a part too—I would say that ideas are important things, especially at junction points in history, in time. What “feels right,” may be the result of social norms that some guy initiated—a meme, an idea.

            Ideas are powerful things.

            Why do I place so much emphasis on abstract things like philosophy, theory and reflection? Becuase I think practical action is like journeying to a place—but in order to get to that place, you need to know how to use and make a “map” to know where you are and where you are going. Abstract Thinking without Action is like a recluse who is filled with maps in his house, but doesn’t bother going out. Practical Action without Thought is like a guy who is just running aimlessly, reacting to what is constantly popping up.

            A sailor in ancient times needed not only muscles to steer his ship, but the ability to discern what the stars said about where he was in relation to where he was going.

            My main qualm is that the “Philippine” Brain and its “Elite” are hopelessly inept at abstract thought or at translating what abstract thought there is into action.

            Even then, abstract thought shouldn’t be solely focused on the logical/rational—but should also encompass (but not prioritize over the other) the irrational/normative. A purely managerial elite is not a guarantee for success, and the Philippines proved exactly that; Marcos Technocrats, only seeing logical economics detached from irrational society.

            And I think that stuff like AI, automation, UBI—need not only decisive action, but comprehensive reflection. There are very deep philosophical issues here, like—what do we if a huge percentage of the population cannot literally work due to automation. How do we fill that “meaninglessness” in people that might result from the sheer material abundance of society? Not logical questions; may require a dash of irrationality.

            “I don’t see that emerging from any known class right now,”

            @Joeam, I don’t think we disagree. I think we are only differing in scope. You are saying we need a new elite that is decisive in action. I don’t disagree. I am honestly quite tired of hearing ABC’s moan about the “ignorance” of the poor—unable to see that perhaps the guys in the driver seat (themselves) may be partially at fault. I am merely specifying things by saying that they should not only be capable of decisive practical action, but bold (yet meaningful) abstract reflection to guide their action and vice-versa.

            We need a new elite that is not just capable of journeying to the promised land, but also capable of “making maps” and “using a compass” to get there. We need an elite that is capable of decisive action and bold thought, and that will in time try to mold the rest of society to be a bit the same; I think of Rizal—man of both effective action and profound ideas, who believed in the power of education to enlighten society.

            • Francis says:

              Addendum:

              Yet—how can Rizal exist without institutions like Ateneo and UST that allowed him access to the knowledge of the West. How society is structured, what patterns of society exist may determine what sort of elite you get and whether they can think and act well and how they do so.

              But what comes first? An intelligent elite to make society intelligent or an inteligent society that produces an intelligent elite? I think that it is the first answer, with some adjustment; an intelligent elite that can “get the ball rolling” but eventually shape society to be intelligent on its own, such that it will remain intelligent and produce intelligent elites/specialists long after they have exited the scene.

              It is this “intelligence” of society and how it makes “intelligence” as something that lasts that I wished to emphasize in my analogy of society, of democracy as a giant brain. The enlightenment of society is not so much in enlightening individual peoples—and more in making the various mechanisms and moving parts of society “enlightened” in their arrangement.

              • Francis says:

                Correction:

                individual persons not peoples

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                Francis,

                I am glad you keep using the word “intelligence.” It is Good Thawt.

                In fact, I am changing my vocabulary.

                o The Heart is emotion.
                o The Mind is intellect.
                o And Intelligence is the intersection of Heart and Mind.

                So let us use “intelligence” to mean the union of Heart and Mind, where Heart reasons are in more or less complete balance with Mind reasons.
                *****

              • sonny says:

                Such a beautiful word even only at its etymology: (inter = among) + (legere = read) –> communion; mutual understanding. 🙂 Pls carry on.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                Sonny, thanks for the etymology.

                I would add another element to Heart and Mind.

                o The Body is action (or non-action as the case may be).

                Elsewhere in this thread, Francis emphasizes the importance of action. I agree we intellectualize too much and take our abstractions for the ultimate reality.

                So intelligence is the union and synchronization of Heart, Body, and Mind.

                (In parallel, it’s the Holy Spirit, the Son, and the Father.)

                Rereading Francis’ 7:23 am post, I would put it another way.

                o Theory (or Faith) is abstract intelligence and arises from Heart and Mind.
                o Practice is the physical application of theory through the Body.
                o We abide in our Living Truth when we seamlessly combine Theory and Practice.

                Thanks, Francis.
                *****

            • I think we are on the same page. My main point is that the ideas must be put into play or nothing happens. Putting them in play for a nation as fractured as the Philippines will require unusual intelligence and pragmatic ability. He or she must stay one step ahead of the destructive emotional forces that invariably undermine good intent in the Philippines, and he must be able to impel good results, no matter the governmental system.

            • NHerrera says:

              Francis,

              Your
              Francis says:
              May 31, 2018 at 7:23 am

              and your explanation is, to my mind, a very good schema for almost all critical facets of human journey/ activity to the unknown. It is an ideal to be pursued. The reality — and the constraints associated with that — unfortunately makes the realization of the full schema difficult.

              Take the case of the resolution of the “North Korean Problem.” In spite of Trump’s and Kim Jong Un’s characters, the brilliant minds of US and NK I am sure applies the schema you propose or its variants. Unfortunately the reality and constraints are not so easy to circumvent, in spite of the high abstractions that both camps must be using.

              [It is in this context that I am rather saddened by your “main qualm” that the Filipino — brain/ elite — is hopelessly inept at abstract thought.]

              Thus, I am rather comfortable to merge your ideal unassailable thought with the thoughts of Joe, edgar and Irineo among others.

        • NHerrera says:

          Francis,

          Forgive the interruption of the important flow of your note.

          On your reference to Newton: a minor matter, some nuance on how scientific works or thoughts bloom. There may be some delay, but gems in science and technology when known are accepted by the scientific community once they are examined through the strict prisms of the community whether from the work of Newton or a mere clerk in a patent office: Einstein.

          Also, perhaps as important these truly revolutionary ideas in science are usually not the evolutionary product of previous works but some creative spark almost unrelated to contemporaneous works. So with some basic scientific knowledge and his own creative thoughts, a brain spark and a lot of hard work — Einstein is known to be slow but a deep thinker, disparaged by a grade school teacher “to not amount to anything” — brings forth these gems.

          • Francis says:

            Yes, I acknowledge that incremental development of ideas isn’t the only way. Sometimes—a brillant spark arises, and enflames the whole word.

            But my contention is that even this genius is conditioned by the wider context, by time and place. Newton recieved higher education; Einstein’s ideas are (I hope I am not butchering this; I don’t know much regarding the hard sciences) a deconstruction of Newton’s mechanistic view of the physical word, a deconstruction that I believe would be hard to accomplish without the starting point provided by Newton. I hope I am not getting things wrong, but my limited understanding of Newton and Einstein is that Newton emphasized absolutism, whereas Einstein focused on relativistic concepts. How can relativism arise without being immersed in absolutism; relativism is inherently a critique, a criticism of absolutism.

            Many important ideas in philosophy, I find, are often critiques of earlier ideas which are often critiques of…ad infinitum.

            We stand on the shoulders of giants, as the saying goes. Genius is just you standing from the shoulders, whereas slow incremental work is crouching from the shoulders.

            • edgar lores says:

              *******
              Relativity is not a deconstruction of Newtonian physics.

              There is a reason why Newton’s physics is called classical physics as differentiated from modern physics which is referred to as quantum physics.

              NHerrera’s point is quite simple. There are evolutionary changes/ perceptions and revolutionary changes/perceptions. Relativity was a revolutionary change/perception. Relativity is not a criticism of Newton. It is the discovery of a new world — the world of the infinitely small vs. the world of the large and very large.

              There are many Internet resources on the differences between classical and modern physics. Essentially they confirm that there has been a great paradigm shift in the understanding of the forces and objects in the natural physical world.
              *****

              • NHerrera says:

                edgar,

                Thanks for the elaboration on my use of revolutionary compared to evolutionary ideas in science.

                Speaking of science and men of science, this may be a good place to comment on the “elite” manager Joe has in mind above to change the direction of the socio-political setting in PH — a game changer. Einstein who I refer to above will not be the elite manager to fill the role. One of my science heroes, who if we are looking for a man with a scientific bent, who may play the role, is Enrico Fermi.

                Enrico Fermi, an Italian-American Nobel Prize Awardee of Physics, was multi-faceted and was both an experimental and theoretical physicist. He was the lead scientist to give practical realization to Einstein’s E=mc2 with the operation of the first Nuclear Reactor known as Pile-1 in Chicago. His work there shows his technical-engineering skills too. He was the life of parties, excelled in sports, and a good manager.

                The caveat of course is if he is “crazy” enough to undertake the role of the manager Joe has in mind. 🙂 But if he were alive, we may just infect him with Joe’s passion and we have a winner in Fermi.

              • Francis says:

                Thank you,

                I realize now that “criticism” and “deconstruction” are not the best terms to use.

                “There are evolutionary changes/ perceptions and revolutionary changes/perceptions. Relativity was a revolutionary change/perception. Relativity is not a criticism of Newton. It is the discovery of a new world — the world of the infinitely small vs. the world of the large and very large.“

                I don’t disagree. The point is I wished to emphasize is that these “great paradigm shifts” hinge on the context of the time and place that they have taken place in, even if they aren’t direct replies to what has come before them (not outright criticism) as you have pointed out. Even the expression of genius is bounded by context. We are on the shoulders of giants; the only difference is whether we’re crouching or we’re standing and jumping. A discovery of a new world still implies that one has moved from an initial starting point; I could walk up a hill and see a sunset—for twenty minutes, I saw nothing but grass (incremental change) until one day I managed to see the setting sun (paradigm shift).

                Genius doesn’t arise out of nothing, it always comes from somewhere.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                Francis, thanks. That’s a fine trope. Appreciate the sunset or the sunrise of quantum physics.

                Appreciate the computer and the many other gadgets you’re using. They are an outcome of the quantum leap.
                *****

        • Francis says:

          Addendum 4:

          Rather than use “elites” or “experts” — I think what may be more appropriate is “specialist” instead. Implies no superiority, just notes that people are specialized in a certain field or sort of activity.

        • “I can see this far because I have stood upon the shoulders of giants” said Newton.

          All of knowledge and civilization builds upon successive foundations. Modern algebra upon the simpler Arabic numbering system and Al-Khwarizmi’s Kitab Al-Jabr – book of calculation.

          Yet even before that you had the Sumerian idea of abstracting one barley, two barley into one, two, three of anything, and then Roman ideas easily shown with fingers like V for one hand = five fingers, X = two hands = ten fingers, L = five times ten, C = ten times ten.

          Or the Phoenician idea of simplifying hieroglyphics and making each letter sound like the first sound of the word of the original hieroglyphic. The result = more flexibility in writing any language, and EASIER TO LEARN. The Greeks imitated it, the Romans imitated Greeks.

          And even though the Chinese invented the first printing press, it was the alphabet that made movable type possible = Gutenberg’s addition to an older invention. Even the invention of typewriters and computers is related to simplifications in alphabet and numbers, I believe..

          Or industrial processing. NOBODY as a single person knows how to produce a Mercedes. An entire organization consisting of people, capital and tools does that by being organized.

          If one counts in the suppliers, it is an entire network of organizations working together tightly.

          • I had exactly one article on levels of organization (the way they work in Germany) :

            http://filipinogerman.blogsport.eu/sandcastles-in-boracay/ – of course every country defines its own way based on its specific circumstances, but best practices always bear looking at:

            But where do the different levels – municipal, state and federal – get their funds do to their jobs? Aside from taxing brothels of course, which would be paying Gewerbesteuer or trade tax just like any store, gasoline station or car repair shop. Gewerbesteuer is a fixed percentage of income tax or Einkommenssteuer times a Hebesatz or multiplier. Municipalities that want to attract business will have lower multipliers than those like Munich which have high multipliers. Municipalities even get to keep 15% of all income tax, 42.5% of which goes to federal and state levels respectively.

            This is an incentive of course to try to attract not only strong businesses but also good earners. There are people in Munich who complain that “the Social Democrats like to attract low wage earners because those are their voters”, but the incentive to attract professionals is still higher than in the Philippines with its Lina Law for informal settlers and its population-based Internal Revenue Allotment for Local Government Units. Meanwhile here in Munich, there are more that now write that housing for working-class people is getting too expensive. Success has its problems as well..

            Delegation and Subsidiarity is defined as dealing with matters at the closest level possible to the citizen. Thus, no German has to go the the Federal Foreign Ministry to get a passport, or the Federal Interior Ministry to get a national ID. Both are applied for at city hall, even if the actual printing of both in done in Berlin. Driver’s licenses and car plates are applied for at the Straßenverkehrsamt or “Street Traffic Office” which is also municipal level – not at any Federal or State Transport Ministry. The rules of course are usually made at Federal level. Most significant databases are managed federally or at EU level.

            Of course municipalities take care of their own matters as well such as water, garbage and drainage – or kindergartens and cemeteries. This is aside from the tasks delegated to them by the federal level (Auftragsaufgaben is the composite word for that, Hi Mark Twain) . Schools are also partly a responsibility of municipalities, but also a state-level responsibility – yes education policies are coordinated federally but each state has its own policies, ensuring healthy competition. Health centers and hospitals are also a mandatory municipal function. But here the next level may help..

            This is all reminiscent of a large corporation where you will have global policies that are uniform over all location, national policies that take local conditions (including legal requirements) into account, and a few local specialties which will not be many in a typically well-run multinational. Usually this works because people tend to adapt. And of course in a corporation people want to earn their money. In nations you need the buy-in of people more than in a corporation, because they can of course vote governments out of power, or resist governments they dislike in many ways.

            Top-down measures are based on command and control while bottom-up relies on community. Bohmte, a small town in Lower Saxony state, has gotten rid of all traffic signs (link). Of course, the first rule of the German Straßenverkehrsordnung (traffic law) still applies which roughly says (link) that all have to pay attention and give consideration. Plus the basic right of way rules. I guess this works on a small scale. The human mind and heart did evolve in small Stone Age communities. It might not work in Lower Saxony’s state capital Hannover, much less in Munich or in large Berlin..

            • P.S. I realize that much of the overcentralized structure of Departments in the Philippines is due to distrust of the people on different islands cooking up different kinds of stuff (LGUs?)

              But computerization and proper security measures I think can mitigate some risks there.

              Like Francis was saying, the biological potential in other countries is not more than in the Philippines. It is I think a) partly better developed due to better education and training and b) better utilized by proper organization and automation including powerful computer networks.

              The specialists putting together certain systems might not even have to be geniuses at all. Being well organized and knowing how to simplify for “end users” may be more important.

              Others will have to train and motivate to ensure compliance, have strong people skills.

  3. Chemrock says:

    “Be skeptical. Ask questions. Demand proof. Demand evidence. Don’t take anything for granted. But here’s the thing: When you get proof, you need to accept the proof. And we’re not good at doing that.” (Michael Specter)

    Trump and a lot of big names still do not believe climate change is real. Al Gore has a good suggestion — the next big piece of North Pole iceberg that floats away should be reserved as heritage island for climate change denialists.

    • NHerrera says:

      Yes, some indeed are impervious to proofs, just as the Hateful 8 Justices are impervious to the practice of high-level ethics when as SC Justices they are supposed to be the very fount of that practice, being “Supreme” Justices.

  4. I think one feels if one’s perceptions are somewhat aligned with reality..

    the opposite of that “right-feeling” is the feel we get when we are being bullshitted or.. gaslighted.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaslighting is a form of manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, hoping to make them question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Using persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying, it attempts to destabilize the target and delegitimize the target’s belief.

    A lot of propaganda works that way. Abusers often work that way, so do a lot of con artists. The best common sense description I have heard of gaslighting is someone talking to you until you believe a blue glass is green, no longer believing your own sense of color, losing own confidence.

    One could see the Supreme Court ruling of the 8 Injustices as Supreme Gaslighting, for example. Or the persistent lies against Leni Robredo which she recently countered in a video statement. Watching her speak including body language is like a return to a sane, normal world from an unreal and evil place, a fun house with warped mirrors and a horror house at the same time, the Wonderful World of the Great Storyteller Tiglao. The difference between Tiglao and satire is that Tiglao can trap the gullible in his world. Satire offers (hopefully obvious) exits for the discerning.

  5. Zen says:

    I have just watched 2 films, Citizen Jake and Panahon ng Halimaw and both are in Filipino language and translated into English on the screen. What the artists nowadays are doing to dissiminate information is something proactive and not all getting at anybody’s nerves. It leaves the decision to the audience what their take on the underlying message (disemble) the film has.

  6. David C. Martinez says:

    No hay tiranos donde no hay esclavos.

  7. NHerrera says:

    A RECOGNITION OF HOT AREAS OF CONCERN BY THE ADMINISTRATION

    – In spite of the touted economic growth mainly driven by Government BBB Program, it has become sensitive to price inflation concerns by all sectors except perhaps some businessmen. The fielding of Pernia, Dominguez, and Lopez to do the urgent PR job instead of the usual mouthpieces is evident.

    – The increasing and louder criticism on the virtual surrender to China of Philippine maritime areas in the SCS prompts the Administration to undertake an urgent PR statement: Duterte says he will go to war with China if Filipinos are harmed. [The message, “you” can continue to do your thing, only please do not harm Filipinos.]

  8. NHerrera says:

    A STOCK MARKET MAN OFFERS HIS THOUGHTS

    Stock market analyst John Mangun takes a look at local and international “Gathering Storm,” taking a leaf from the first book with that title from Sir Winston Churchill’s six-volume history of the Second World War.

    Excerpts:

    [About elections] Duterte’s move away from focusing Philippine foreign policy almost solely on the United States was never anticipated by all the experts. Until the final vote count, “Brexit” was unimaginable. Even as the first votes came in, The New York Times had Hillary Clinton’s odds to win the presidency at 95 percent.

    Political chaos is always followed by economic chaos and I said the second phase would begin in 2018. The gathering storm continues.

    The cycle has been the same since ancient Greece and Rome. Political leaders stay in power by promising the sun, the moon, and the stars. But over time the people eventually realize that what they are now receiving is dirt, grass and tree bark. Then through the ballot box or revolution, it is out with the old and in with the new.

    As governments globally are forced to unwind from the catastrophic policies of the past, there will be more pain and suffering followed by more economic chaos. A rising dollar will add fuel to the fire. A major sovereign debt default is coming. As Churchill’s England was unprepared for war, most nations are unprepared for the future.

    It is not surprising that Mangun writes thus, considering that the Philippine stock index has plunged 17% from its high in January 29 of 9059 to its current value of about 7500. If that is seen in the US, there will be some stock market panic.

    • NHerrera says:

      One-year movement of the Philippine Stock Exchange index.

      • Makes a clear statement. I think John Mangun’s view reflects a lot of nervousness in the business community. Even Peter Wallace engaged a few weeks ago, critical of President Duterte’s economic policies. As the peso weakens, foreign goods get more expensive, another factor contributing to inflationary pressures. But the economic people are pooh-poohing all that, serving as loyal apologists. I think the instruments they are playing may be fiddles, and Rome is about to burn.

  9. Francis says:

    Theory is based on generalizations of Practice—what happens in reality. Practice is then informed by a more usable and clearer Theory. It is a virtuous cycle, handled not by men but by institutions that can outlast the men within them. You could say that it’s almost scientific; what generalizations no longer apply today, you throw out, what generalizations do apply, you emphasize.

    action is just realized thought. You put your thought into practice into reality—that’s action. That’s one of the reasons why I focus so much attention on ideas. Whether we are conscious of the power of ideas or not—the point is that ideas are always influencing us.

    I have read somewhere about “communities of praxis” in the religious context – praxis of course is the opposite of theory, the Greek word for practice. Or “ora et labora” which sonny explained to me in my blog as the major legacy of St. Benedict in a difficult historical period – I then surmised that even our eight-hour working day may be a legacy of monks systematizing and dividing practice (work in the vineyards etc.), analysis (reading hours) and reflection (quiet hours).

    The Eastern counterpart of this would be the Zen Buddhist statement that “Before Enlightenment, Sweep the Floor. After Enlightenment, Sweep the Floor”. The first thing they give novices is a broom so that they learn that things need to get done, Japanese schools make pupils clean by themselves, without janitors, to instill a sense of duty and humility.

    I consider Leni Robredo’s approach the closest one to the Zen/Japanese approach. It is really about being on the ground, getting constant feedback from there, going for quick wins. Empirical process methods like Kaizen or Scrum go by the principles of “Inspection, Transparancy and Adaptation”.

    ————————————-

    Eastern philosophies like Taoism understand, a bit better than a lot of Western logic, that words and logic are but MODELS of reality. Analytical Westernized elites in the Philippines, I am convinced, often model the reality at home INACCURATELY. Misfit solutions often result from such theories.

    Somewhat like a standard car trying to get out of a muddy rut in a barangay road far from the city during torrential rains – forget it. One should have come at least witha 4 by 4, or even a carabao.

    Someone who tries to understand Philippine “democracy” without the realities of pork barrel at the national level, vote-buying at the barangay level and the mix of coercion and utang na loob all over will fail to understand why because his model assumes the US original with brown skin it is NOT.

    ————————————-

    Many Filipinos dislike theory because they have heard a lot of grandiose plans over the decades. Stuff that sounds nice and erudite but is either not done at all or in “any old way” on the ground.

    “Any old way” was a favorite expression of my Canadian piano teacher, wife of a UP music prof. Somehow she did teach me the importance of nuance and detail even in the smallest of things.

    Theory as generalization of practice can also be the skill a pianist, a dancer, an artisan acquires.

    That theory is a gain for society if the practitioner manages to teach students some aspects of that. Nothing replaces experience but experience without any guidance is like children without parents.

    Filipinos are often not that good at explaining, bad at transmitting their thoughts and experiences. Bad at making their theory as generalization of their own practice truly useful for a lot of people..

    • NHerrera says:

      [It is in this context that I am rather saddened by your “main qualm” that the Filipino — brain/ elite — is hopelessly inept at abstract thought.]

      There are a lot of reasons for this, but one of the main reasons I think is the inability of many individuals to EXPRESS their THEORY (=generalized practice) in a succinct manner.

      The highly contextual aspect of Philippine languages may be a factor, but then again, Eastern philosophers like Lao Tzu and Confucius also used a very contextual language – which is why some bad translations sound like fortune cookies or complete nonsense.

      The highly intuitive aspect of Philippine experience (much learning is subliminal, not explicit, for example how Filipinos migrants adapt) could be one more reason. But I have also dealt with Cubans, Third-World and intuitive as well, but one is better able to FEEL them.

      ———–

      lack of trust, lack of openness is more likely. Theory not as true sharing of distilled experience, like 20 years old whiskey out of one’s own life (“and I think of my life as vintage wine in fine old kegs, from the brim to the dregs” – Frank Sinatra) but as grandstanding.

      Theory as big words to impress and intimidate, not teach or share. Theory as an attempt to make oneself a LODI for many. Truly highfalutin, which is why many detest learning it.

      ————-

      Of course the facility of expressing thoughts grows with practice – this I have noticed myself. A culture of one-upmanship and humiliation when people make mistakes does not allow for practice makes perfect. If one looks what made the strength of the West especially in its colonial heyday – it was the likes of Alexander von Humboldt and Fedor Jagor, writing, writing, writing about everything they saw in the world, even making drawings. Not only them but people from all walks of life, from the simplest Spanish monk in the Philippine province noting down the words of the native languages to military officers stationed in the Andes. The combined knowledge of so many, the capability to pass it to others accurately, was the key.

  10. Sup says:

    Pogi points going ”wrong”

    BASILAN, Philippines – An 8-year-old beneficiary of the government’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) died while waiting for a wheelchair donation from the government in this province on Wednesday, May 30.

    The girl, who suffered from hydrocephalus, was sick but was required to personally claim the wheelchair from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Joint Task Force Basilan, said Glenda Tobias, the provincial link of 4Ps in Basilan.

    Tobias, who is with DSWD IX, said the girl was already sick for 10 days when she had to attend the turnover ceremony to personally receive the wheelchair, as required under the program.

    The girl was with her parents when she collapsed during the ceremony, and was declared dead.

    The girl’s death prompted some netizens to call for changes in the requirements for receiving the wheelchair donation, particularly in relation to ill beneficiaries.

    https://www.rappler.com/nation/203768-girl-dies-4ps-beneficiary-wheelchair-basilan?utm_campaign=Echobox&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter#link_time=1527741916

    • Sad case. Many rules in many agencies lack compassion, understanding, and common sense. Filipinos are used to waiting unbearable hours and do mind-numbing paperwork. I’m reminded of hospital waiting areas packed like sardines with sick people spreading germs because doctors don’t make appointments.

  11. Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

    Malapit nang husgahan o desisyonan yong appeal ni Chief Justice. Ang dami ng eche bucheche ng mga naghihilik sa pancitan. Kung meron batas na nagpapatupad ng SALN, bakit hindi tignan ang batas, sundin ang punitive provisions in case of violation of the SALN law, kung walang malinaw na punitive provisions, eh bakit wala, wala bang muwang ang gumawa ng bill? Mga wakarang.

    Kailangan ko segurong malikturan dahil ako’y walang alam. Ignorance of the law is no excuse.The law is harsh but it is the law. Sabi ng mga wakawakwak, este mga abogado, Eh.

    • Popoy Del R. Cartanio says:

      sorry I did not get my point. Batas ba yan quo warranto? Anong number? Sino author? baka eche buchche lang yan tulad ng DOA pagdating sa ospital, o kaya ante mortem statement, a kind of world cultural practice respected everywhere like thank you and good morning.

      okay kung sabi ng SALN batas, removal from office pero sabi naman sa saligang batas hindi puede removal from office maliban sa impeachment, ano ang dapat mangyari?
      Kung ang desisyon ng Korte Suprema ay Batas, Bagong batas yang pagpapatalsik sa CJ, puede segurong gamitin yan ng sinuman para patalsikin din ang mga gumawa ng batas na yan. Parang jeepney driver lang ang nagtatanong niyan. Mga wakbokabo.

      • edgar lores says:

        *******
        Popoy,

        I like it that you did not get your point. You are so honest. I wish we were all that honest.

        As I understand it, there are three levels of law:

        o Constitution — the basic law of the land
        o Statutes — from Congress
        o Rules — from the Rules of Court

        So the Supreme Court used — inappropriately — the lowest level of the law to overcome the highest level. This is why Tijam’s decision was denounced as a “legal abomination” by Leonen.

        Quo Warranto is found in Rule 66 of the “1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.”

        Section 11 of Rule 66 states that a Quo Warranto must commence “within one (1) year after the cause of ouster.”
        *****

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.