Friday, March 11, 2011

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Libya/Crisys: NATO, war, lies and business

REFLECTIONS OF FIDEL -  (Taken from CubaDebate)

AS some people know, in September of 1969, Muammar al-Gaddafi, a Bedouin Arab soldier of unusual character and inspired by the ideas of the Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser, promoted within the heart of the Armed Forces a movement which overthrew King Idris I of Libya, almost a desert country in its totality, with a sparse population, located to the north of Africa between Tunisia and Egypt.

Libya’s significant and valuable energy resources were progressively being discovered.

Born into the heart of a Bedouin community, nomadic desert shepherds in the region of Tripoli, Gaddafi was profoundly anti-colonialist. It is known that a paternal grandfather died fighting against the Italian invaders when Libya was invaded by the latter in 1911. The colonial regime and fascism changed everyone’s lives. It is likewise said that his father was imprisoned before earning his daily bread as an industrial worker.

Even Gaddafi’s adversaries confirm that he stood out for his intelligence as a student; he was expelled from high school for his anti-monarchical activities. He managed to enroll in another school and later to graduate in law at the University of Benghazi, aged 21. He then entered the Benghazi Military College, where he created the Union of Free Officers Movement, subsequently completing his studies in a British military academy.

These antecedents explain the notable influence that he later exercised in Libya and over other political leaders, whether or not they are now for or against Gaddafi.

He initiated his political life with unquestionably revolutionary acts.

In March 1970, in the wake of mass nationalist protests, he achieved the evacuation of British soldiers from the country and, in June, the United States vacated the large airbase close to Tripoli, which was handed over to military instructors from Egypt, a country allied with Libya.

In 1970, a number of Western oil companies and banking societies with the participation of foreign capital were affected by the Revolution. At the end of 1971, the same fate befell the famous British Petroleum. In the agricultural sector all Italian assets were confiscated, and the colonialists and their descendants were expelled from Libya.

State intervention was directed toward the control of the large companies. Production in that country grew to become one of the highest in the Arab world. Gambling was prohibited, as was alcohol consumption. The legal status of women, traditionally limited, was elevated.

The Libyan leader became immersed in extremist theories as much opposed to communism as to capitalism. It was a stage in which Gaddafi devoted himself to theorizing, which would be meaningless to include in this analysis, except to note that the first article of the Constitutional Proclamation of 1969, established the "Socialist" nature of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.

What I wish to emphasize is that the United States and its NATO allies were never interested in human rights.

The pandemonium that occurred in the Security Council, in the meeting of the Human Rights Council based in Geneva, and in the UN General Assembly in New York, was pure theater.

I can perfectly comprehend the reactions of political leaders embroiled in so many contradictions and sterile debates, given the intrigue of interests and problems which they have to address.

All of us are well aware that status as a permanent member, veto power, the possession of nuclear weapons and more than a few institutions, are sources of privilege and self-interest imposed on humanity by force. One can be in agreement with many of them or not, but never accept them as just or ethical measures.

The empire is now attempting to turn events around to what Gaddafi has done or not done, because it needs to militarily intervene in Libya and deliver a blow to the revolutionary wave unleashed in the Arab world. Through now not a word was said, silence was maintained and business was conducted.

Whether a latent Libyan rebellion was promoted by yankee intelligence agencies or by the errors of Gaddafi himself, it is important that the peoples do not let themselves be deceived, given that, very soon, world opinion will have enough elements to know what to believe.

In my opinion, and as I have expressed since the outset, the plans of the bellicose NATO had to be condemned.

Libya, like many Third World countries, is a member of the Non-Aligned Movement, the Group of 77 and other international organizations, via which relations are established independently of economic and social system.

Briefly: the Revolution in Cuba, inspired by Marxist-Leninist and Martí principles, had triumphed in 1959 at 90 miles from the United States, which imposed the Platt Amendment on us and was the proprietor of our country’s economy.

Almost immediately, the empire promoted against our people dirty warfare, counterrevolutionary gangs, the criminal economic blockade and the mercenary invasion of the Bay of Pigs, guarded by an aircraft carrier and its marines ready to disembark if the mercenary force secured certain objectives.

Barely a year and a half later, it threatened us with the power of its nuclear arsenal. A war of that nature was about to break out.

All the Latin American countries, with the exception of Mexico, took part in the criminal blockade which is still in place, without our country ever surrendering. It is important to recall that for those lacking historical memory.

In January 1986, putting forward the idea that Libya was behind so-called revolutionary terrorism, Reagan ordered the severing of economic and commercial relations with that country.

In March, an aircraft carrier force in the Gulf of Sirte, within what Libya considered its national waters, unleashed attacks which destroyed a number of naval units equipped with rocket launchers and coastal radar systems which that country had acquired in the USSR.

On April 5, a discotheque in West Berlin frequented by U.S. soldiers was the target of a plastic explosives attack, in which three people died, two of them U.S. soldiers, and many people were injured.

Reagan accused Gaddafi and ordered the Air Force to respond. Three squadrons took off from 6th Fleet aircraft carriers and bases in the United Kingdom, and attacked with missiles and bombs seven military targets in Tripoli and Benghazi. Some 40 people died, 15 of them civilians. Warned in advance of the bombardments, Gaddafi gathered together his family and was leaving his residence located in the Bab Al Aziziya military complex south of the capital. The evacuation had not been completed when a missile directly hit the residence, his daughter Hanna died and another two of his children were wounded. That act was widely rejected; the UN General Assembly passed a resolution of condemnation given what was a violation of the UN Charter and international law. The Non-Aligned Movement, the Arab League and the OAU did likewise in energetic terms.

On December 21, 1988, a Pan Am Boeing 747 flying from London to New York disintegrated in full flight when a bomb exploded aboard, the wreckage fell on the locality of Lockerbie and the tragedy cost the lives of 270 people of 21 nationalities.

Initially, the United States suspected Iran, in reprisal for the death of 290 people when an Airbus belonging to its state line was brought down. According to the yankees, investigations implicated two Libyan intelligence agents. Similar accusations against Libya were made in the case of the French airline on the Brazzaville-N’Djamena-Paris route, implicating Libyan officials whom Gaddafi refused to extradite for acts that he categorically denied.

A sinister legend was fabricated against him, with the participation of Reagan and Bush Senior.

From 1975 to the final stage of the Regan administration, Cuba dedicated itself to its internationalist duties in Angola and other African nations. We were aware of the conflicts developing in Libya or around her via readings and testimonies from people closely linked to that country and the Arab world, as well as impressions we retained from many figures in different countries with whom we had contact during those years.

Many known African leaders with whom Gaddafi maintained close relations made efforts to find a solution to the tense relations between Libya and the United Kingdom.

The Security Council had imposed sanctions on Libya which began to be overcome when Gaddafi agreed to the trial, under specific conditions, of the two men accused of the plane sabotage over Scotland.

Libyan delegations began to be invited to inter-European meetings. In July 1999 London initiated the reestablishment of full diplomatic relations with Libya after some additional concessions.

In September of that year, European Union ministers agreed to revoke the restrictive trade measures imposed in 1992.

On December 2, Massimo D’Alema, the Italian prime minister, made the first visit to Libya by a European head of government.

With the disappearance of the USSR and the European socialist bloc, Gaddafi decided to accept the demands of the United States and NATO.

When I visited Libya in May 2001, he showed me the ruins left by the treacherous attack during which Reagan murdered his daughter and almost exterminated his entire family.

In early 2002, the State Department announced that diplomatic talks between the United States and Libya were underway.

In May, Libya was once again included on the list of states sponsoring terrorism although, in January, President George W. Bush had not mentioned the African country in his famous speech on members of the "axis of evil."

At the beginning of 2003, in accordance with the economic agreement on compensation reached between Libya and the plaintiffs, the United Kingdom and France, the UN Security Council lifted its 1992 sanctions against Libya.

Before the end of 2003, Bush and Tony Blair reported an agreement with Libya, which had submitted documentation to British and U.S. intelligence experts about conventional weapons programs and ballistic missiles with a range of more than 300 kilometers. Officials from both countries had already visited a number of installations. It was the result of many months of conversation between Tripoli and Washington, as Bush himself revealed.

Gaddafi kept his disarmament promises. Within five months Libya handed over the five units of Scud-C missiles with a range of 800 km and hundreds of Scud-B which have a range exceeding the 300 kilometers of defensive short-range missiles.

As of October, 2002, a marathon of visits to Tripoli began: Berlusconi, in October 2002; José María Aznar, in September 2003; Berlusconi again in February, August and October of 2004; Blair, in March of 2004; the German Schröeder, in October of that year; Jacques Chirac, November 2004. Everybody happy. Money talks.

Gaddafi toured Europe triumphantly. He was received in Brussels in April of 2004 by Romano Prodi, president of the European Commission; in August of that year the Libyan leader invited Bush to visit his country; Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Texaco and Conoco Philips established renewed oil extraction operations through joint ventures.

In May of 2006, the United States announced the removal of Libya from its list of nations harboring terrorists and established full diplomatic relations.

In 2006 and 2007, France and the U.S. signed accords for cooperation in nuclear development for peaceful ends; in May, 2007, Blair returned to visit Gaddafi in Sirte. British Petroleum signed a contract it described as "enormously important," for the exploration of gas fields.

In December of 2007, Gaddafi made two trips to France to sign military and civilian equipment contracts for 10 billion euros, and to Spain where he met with President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. Contracts worth millions were signed with important NATO countries.

What has now brought on the precipitous withdrawal of U.S. and other NATO members' embassies?

It all seems extremely strange.

George W. Bush, father of the stupid anti-terrorist war, said on September 20, 2011 to west Point cadets, "Our security will require … the military you will lead, a military that must be ready to strike at a moment's notice in any dark corner of the world. … to be ready for preemptive action when necessary to defend our liberty and to defend our lives.

"We must root out terrorist cells in 60 countries or more … with our friends and allies, we have to stop their proliferation and confront regimes which harbor or support terrorism, as is required in each case."

What might Obama think of that speech?

What sanctions will the Security Council impose on those who have killed more than a million civilians in Iraq and those who everyday are murdering men, women and children in Afghanistan, where just recently the angry population took to the streets to protest the massacre of innocent children?

An AFP dispatch from Kabul, dated today, March 9, reveals, "Last year was the most lethal for civilians in the nine-year war between the Taliban and international forces in Afghanistan, with almost 2,800 deaths, 15% more than in 2009, a United Nations report indicated on Wednesday, underlining the human cost of the conflict for the population.

"… The Taliban insurrection has intensified and gained ground in these last few years, with guerrilla actions beyond its traditional bastions in the South and East.

"At exactly 2,777, the number of civilian deaths in 2010 increased by 15% as compared to 2009," the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan annual report indicated.

"On March 3, President Barack Obama expressed his profound condolences to the Afghan people for the nine children killed, as did U.S. General David Petraeus, commander in chief of the ISAF and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

"… The UNAMA report emphasizes that the number of civilian deaths is four times greater than the number of international forces soldiers killed in combat during the same year.

"So far, 2010 has been the most deadly for foreign soldiers in the nine years of war, with 711 dead, confirming that the Taliban's guerilla war has intensified despite the deployment of 30,000 U.S. reinforcements last year."

Over the course of 10 days, in Geneva and in the United Nations, more than 150 speeches were delivered about violations of human rights, which were repeated million of times on television, radio, Internet and in the written press.

Cuba's Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez, in his remarks March 1, 2011 before Foreign Relations ministers in Geneva, said:

"Humanity's conscience is repulsed by the deaths of innocent people under any circumstances, anyplace. Cuba fully shares the worldwide concern for the loss of civilian lives in Libya and hopes that its people are able to reach a peaceful and sovereign solution to the civil war occurring there, with no foreign interference, and guarantee the integrity of that nation."

Some of the final paragraphs of his speech were scathing.

"If the essential human right is the right to life, will the Council be ready to suspend the membership of states that unleash war?

"Will it suspend states which finance and supply military aid utilized by recipient states for mass, flagrant and systematic violations of human rights and attacks on the civilian population, like those taking place in Palestine?

"Will it apply measures to powerful countries which are perpetuating extra-judicial executions in the territory of other states with the use of high technology, such as smart bombs and drone aircraft?

"What will happen with states which accept secret illegal prisons in their territories, facilitate the transit of secret flights with kidnapped persons aboard, or participate in acts of torture?

We fully share the valiant position of the Bolivarian leader Hugo Chávez and the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA).

We are against the internal war in Libya, in favor of immediate peace and respect for the lives and rights of all citizens, without foreign intervention, which would only serve to prolong the conflict and NATO interests.

Fidel Castro Ruz

March 9, 2011

9:35 p.m.

Translated by Granma International

African consumer stands tall amid commodity boom

 

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Soaring commodity prices are boosting African economies and state budgets, but strong growth on the poorest continent is much more deep-seated than just bumper revenues from ores and oil.

In a far cry from the strained budgets of late 2008 and 2009, when oil and minerals prices collapsed, treasuries in major hydrocarbon producers such as Nigeria and Angola and copper exporters such as Zambia are now flush with cash.

Not only do the flows allow more state spending on the infrastructure needed to entrench prosperity, they also facilitate borrowing -- as is the case with Zambia, which is looking for a $500 million loan from world markets in the next six months.

However, another sharp fall in commodity prices does not spell doom for sub-Saharan Africa, which the International Monetary Fund thinks will grow 5.5 percent this year and 5.8 percent next.

"It's not as direct a correlation as people might think," said John Green, head of global business development at Cape Town-based Investec Asset Management, which has $4 billion invested in Africa outside South Africa.

"In most of sub-Saharan Africa, there's a high level of entrepreneurial energy, and basic infrastructure in terms of communications and banking is now in place. It's very difficult to just shut that down," Green said, speaking at the Reuters Africa Investment Summit.

Proving the point is the vigorous economic performance during the 2002-2008 commodity boom by non-resource producers, such as Kenya, which was humming along at 5 percent annual growth or more from 2005 to 2008.

Similarly, the lesson from the 2008/09 economic crisis is that even in countries with a heavy reliance on mineral extraction, the non-mineral sector can run its own course regardless.

For instance, diamonds are more than a third of GDP in Botswana, the world's biggest producer of the gems, meaning the overall economy took a hammering two years ago when mines were forced to close for the first time in the country's history.

But while mining contracted by 20 percent year-on-year in 2009, the financial and business services sector grew 14 percent and transport and communications 12 percent.

CONSUMING MORE

Of course, oil prices sticking above $100 a barrel will impose a large inflationary burden on the continent, where even major exporters such as Nigeria end up importing most of their petrol and diesel because of a lack of domestic refineries.

But Africa, where food and fuel makes up a much larger slice of the inflation basket than in developed markets, managed to endure crude at $120 a barrel in mid-2008.

And should prices fall back, even producers should be able to weather the storm, according to a 2010 McKinsey analysis of Africa's performance that suggested as little as 20 percent of the region's growth in the last decade was attributable to soaring commodity prices.

Reflecting this, the majority of frontier Africa investors tend to target the region's evolving consumer middle class that is expected to increase its spending from $860 billion in 2008 to $1.4 trillion in 2020.

"The African growth story is not being led by commodity prices," said Kofi Bucknor, a partner at private equity firm Kingdom Zephyr, which is in the middle of investing a $429 million fund across the region.

Zephyr's existing investments include a South African electricity transmission company, a tuna-processing plant in Ivory Coast and a Barcelona-based firm specializing in producing low-cost housing for north African markets such as Morocco.

In general, banks and telecommunications firms are key investment picks because of the explosive growth they are expected to register in the world's last major untapped region.

A study by consultancy Bain released this week suggests the continent's financial services will grow by 15 percent a year over the next decade, and account for nearly 20 percent of regional output in 2020, from 11 percent now.

"It's a story about economic and political change. It's a story about opening up markets and attracting capital. And it's a story about a growing consumer class that is seeing the effects of globalization, changing its spending habits and asking for a wider range of goods and services," Bucknor said.

"Commodity prices have just been the icing on the cake."

By Ed Cropley, African Investment Correspondent

Angola Minister:Worried About Oil-Price Impact On World Economy

rising-oil-price_today Houston - The impact that oil prices, currently boosted by unrest in the Middle East, could have on the global economy is concerning, more so as oil markets seem to be well-supplied with crude, Angola's oil minister said Monday.

"We are concerned, we have said that," said Jose Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos, adding that high oil prices not only result in more volatility for a recovering economy, but also in higher costs for oil producers. "A situation like this doesn't satisfy anybody."

In an interview with Dow Jones Newswires ahead of the IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates meeting here, the minister said that an ideal price for Brent crude would be $90 a barrel. On Monday, Brent for April delivery settled down 0.8% at $115.04 a barrel.

West Texas Intermediate futures in New York rose 1% to $105.44 a barrel, the highest level since Sept. 26, 2008.

Currently, oil producers see the market as "very well supplied," with high levels of inventories, de Vasconcelos said. Unfortunately, instability in the Middle East has prompted speculation in the markets to drive prices up; changes in the value of the U.S. dollar versus the euro have also contributed to an increase in oil prices.

That is why members of the Organization of Oil Exporting Countries don't see the need to call for an extraordinary meeting, the minister said. "The fundamentals of the market are in a good position," he said.

The minister said Angola, a member of OPEC, is producing about 1.7 million barrels of oil per day. The country has a production capacity of two million barrels of oil per day, he said.

-By Angel Gonzalez, Dow Jones Newswires; 713-547-9214;

265_cartoon_oil_price_hike_small_over

Libya: 'Gaddafi will prevail', says Barack Obama's intelligence chief

James Clapper's remarks came as the Dow Jones index fell 228 points
James Clapper's remarks came as the Dow Jones index fell 228 points

London - James Clapper, the director of US national intelligence, told the Senate armed services committee “the regime will prevail”, forcing the White House into an embarrassing damage control exercise.

“With respect to the rebels in Libya, and whether or not they will succeed or not, I think frankly they’re in for a tough row,” he said, adding the momentum had shifted to Col Gaddafi.

“I don’t think he has any intention of leaving. From all evidence that we have ... he appears to be hunkering down for the duration.”

His remarks came as the Dow Jones index fell 228 points on concerns over the effects of the Libyan conflict on oil supplies, slipping back under the psychological barrier that it passed in late January.

Hillary Clinton, the Secretary of State, will travel to Egypt and Tunisia next week to press democratic reforms after the recent rebellions and meet members of Libya’s opposition.

Libyan Rebels Gain Diplomatic Advance, but Retreat on Battlefield

Rebel fighters at positions outside Brega, Libya, show their support for the opposition and their enthusiastic belief that they will overthrow the government in Tripoli, March 10, 2011
Photo: VOA - P. Ittner - Rebel fighters at positions outside Brega, Libya, show their support for the opposition and their

 

Libya’s opposition had success on the international stage Thursday, but setbacks in fighting against forces loyal to the country's leader, Moammar Gadhafi.

The opposition lost territory in both the east and west of the country, though the rebels here in Benghazi were buoyed by the recognition by France of the opposition administration.
Hundreds of supporters took to the streets in the opposition’s stronghold. They carried signs praising and thanking France for recognizing their new interim governing council as the representative of the Libyan people.

For 19-year-old Zarah this puts France in good standing in her heart and her favor. "They are good to us from the start, they stand with us since the beginning… So they good… We like France… We like them more… We like the government France."
For the rebel leadership, it means more than good tidings that France has recognized them. As opposition spokesman Mustaffa Geliani put it, it means some tangible steps forward for what he hopes will be the new government of Libya…
"At least as a legal government of this country we can request to purchase weapons if we have to," said Geliani… "We could address United Nations, formally, as a country, trying to protect ourself, which we couldn’t do that before… Once you have recognition and you are member of world community you can ask for things. Before we were doing it, in a sense, illegally, right? It’s a revolution. But today we have a voice. So we are quite optimistic… Time is on our side."
Time may not be on the side, however, for the fighters on the front lines. Counter-offensives by government troops are using overwhelming force and regaining territory with a bloody cost.
Even the rebel leadership now acknowledges the western town of Zawiya, near Tripoli, is back in the hands of forces loyal to Gadhafi after holding out for days.
In the east, the oil refinery town of Ras Lanuf is under intense pressure from airstrikes, artillery and naval bombardment. Rebel fighters were seen leaving. Reports from the town and refinery are that they were on the verge of falling into the hands of pro-Gadhafi forces.

If that happens, there are only a handful of small towns to slow down a government push across the desert. Just a bit more than 200 kilometers lie between Ras Lanuf and the opposition stronghold of Benghazi.

Voanews.com

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Italia/Educazione: La scuola dei copioni; due su tre "sbirciano" il vicino

I furbetti del compito in classe sono perlopiù maschi e asini in matematica. È l'identikit emerso da uno studio sull'arte di "ispirarsi", pratica perdonata dal 77% dei docenti. Un giudizio ben diverso da quello che ha costretto un ministro tedesco a dimettersi. Primato tra i periti agrari: il 45% si fa aiutare dai compagni. Contro l'11% nei classici

di VERA SCHIAVAZZI

La scuola dei copioni due su tre "sbirciano" il vicino

Ecco, finalmente, un campo nel quale le buone, vecchie abitudini si intrecciano con le nuove tecnologie, senza elidersi né cannibalizzarsi. Sui banchi di scuola italiani, nelle università, nei concorsi, si copia come prima e più di prima. Lo fanno tutti, i maschi più delle femmine, gli studenti del liceo scientifico più di quelli del classico, chi è scarso in misura maggiore rispetto ai bravi, ma - al netto dei contrappesi statistici - le percentuali sono eloquenti: copiano "spesso" o "qualche volta" il 69,2 dei ragazzi, il 59,8 delle ragazze. Due studenti su tre. E a comporre l'identikit del copione ci sono dati curiosi, come il primato dell'istituto tecnico agrario, dove confessa di copiare spesso il 45,1 per cento degli allievi, contro l'11,1 dei classici. All'artistico, in compenso, non copia mai il 12,8 per cento, ma è facile ritenere che questo dato, il più virtuoso in assoluto, sia legato alla difficoltà di riprodurre un disegno o una tavola. Chi ha la media dell'8, del resto, copia spesso soltanto nel 6,4 per cento dei casi, mentre chi è sotto il 6 lo fa una volta su due.
È da questi dati, messi insieme con lunghe ricerche e incroci, che è partito il sociologo Marcello Dei per il suo "Ragazzi, si copia", che esce domani per il Mulino con una prefazione di Ilvo Diamanti. Lo studioso e altri ricercatori (nel caso dei licei, Rita Chiappini) hanno poi classificato i sentimenti di chi attinge a piene mani, nascondendosi al professore: 6 su 10 risultano indifferenti, uno su quattro è soprattutto soddisfatto per la furbizia dimostrata. La gioia supera di un soffio il senso di colpa: 38,5 per cento contro 37,1. Un atteggiamento mentale lontano, almeno apparentemente, da quello tedesco, che ha da poco spinto alle dimissioni il ministro Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, smascherato come laureando copione, o i regolamenti delle principali università americane che prevedono l'espulsione in caso di plagio.
D'altra parte, in Italia, chi non copia non lo fa per virtù. "Timidezza e superbia. Sono i due difetti che mi hanno impedito di farlo, ma non ci avrei trovato nulla di male - ammette Domenico Starnone, scrittore ed ex prof, autore di Ex Cattedra e Sottobanco  -  Ero, anche, abbastanza arrabbiato con i miei compagni che copiavano ossessivamente mentre io sgobbavo sui libri. Più tardi, da insegnante, ho valutato seriamente la possibilità di consentire ai ragazzi di accedere alle fonti: come si fa, per esempio, a scrivere qualcosa di non banale in un tema letterario se non si ha la possibilità di consultare dei testi? Chi non sa nulla, comunque, non è in grado di fare neppure questo". Stesso problema per gli scienziati: copiare è un'arte e richiede abilità. "Per "rubare" un compito di matematica al compagno bisogna comprendere le formule, altrimenti si sbaglia - spiega il matematico Piergiorgio Odifreddi - Inoltre, ci vuole una grande fiducia nelle capacità dell'altro, che io per esempio spesso non avevo, convinto di essere il migliore... Si copia fin dai tempi di Pitagora, e i geni come lui sono rarissimi: la maggior parte di noi, anche dopo la scuola, non fa altro che rimasticare cose già fatte da altri".
La tolleranza è molto diffusa. "Copiare - avverte Dei nel suo nuovo libro - è come giocare a guardie e ladri. Presuppone l'interazione tra copiatore e guardiano, e magari un terzo complice". Del resto, come rivelano i suoi dati, solo il 24,4 per cento dei professori ritiene il fatto di copiare il compito in classe "molto condannabile", mentre chi suggerisce ai compagni può essere perdonato secondo il 77 per cento. Il campione utilizzato dall'autore tra gli alunni di quinta elementare e quelli delle medie inferiori, del resto, rivela che il vizio si impara da piccoli: già in quelle classi, infatti, copia spesso il 4,7 per cento, e qualche volta un più consistente 28,7, mentre solo il 25 per cento si dichiara del tutto virtuoso. In cima alla classifica c'è la matematica, che offre quasi la metà delle occasioni di frode. Bambini e ragazzi, del resto, non vengono particolarmente repressi: alla domanda "sei stato scoperto?" il 58,3 per cento dei copioni risponde con fierezza "mai", e al quesito "che cosa è capitato quando l'insegnante se ne è accorto?" il 6,2 per cento asserisce che non è successo nulla e il 38,8 spiega con sollievo di aver ricevuto "solo una sgridata", mentre è stato punito il 10,8 per cento. "Rubare" i compiti scolastici, d'altra parte, è un delitto senza vittime, almeno nella percezione degli studenti italiani, e tutt'al più fa male a chi lo commette. Alla domanda su quale sia il danno di questo comportamento, il 66,8 per cento risponde "lo studente che lo fa e ottiene un buon voto inganna se stesso", mentre solo il 6,6 ritiene che la parte lesa sia il compagno dal quale si è copiato, e il 12 per cento si rammarica per chi "invece ha studiato".
Ogni tanto, qualcuno si stanca di dover passare i compiti, come l'astronoma Margherita Hack. "Feci una gran scenata ai miei compagni, ero stanca di essere sfruttata, e del resto non andavo oltre il 6 o il 7", racconta. Lo scrittore Claudio Magris ne fa, invece, una questione di lealtà: "Passare il bigliettino al compagno in difficoltà insegna a essere amici di chi ci sta di fianco". La pensa allo stesso modo Fabrizio Jacobacci, avvocato, titolare di uno degli studi più importanti al mondo specializzati nella tutela dei marchi, e dunque nelle strategie anti-plagio. "Ero bravo in matematica - racconta - e facevo in modo che tutti i miei amici riuscissero a copiare da me. Almeno allora non ci vedevo nulla di male".
E tra i coming out più famosi, come dimenticare quello di un imprenditore di successo, Luca di Montezemolo, che nel maggio del 2007 incoraggiò così gli studenti della Luiss: "A scuola ero campione mondiale di copiatura, facevo sempre in modo di mettermi vicino a qualcuno bravo e generoso...". Altri, come l'attore e regista Moni Ovadia, rivendicano il sottile filo rosso che unisce la tolleranza tra i banchi con arte, musica, teatro. "Copiavo, avrò copiato di certo qualche volta - ricorda Ovadia, che ha frequentato il liceo scientifico alla Scuola ebraica di Milano - Ora lo faccio di continuo, perché il mio lavoro non è altro che trasferire delle idee, possibilmente senza spacciarle per nostre. Un giorno un pianista klezmer di Cracovia suonò una canzone che mi piaceva molto, glielo dissi e mi rispose: "La musica è mia, le parole le ho rubate anche quelle". È stata una lezione di vita". Lontano dai palcoscenici e fuori dalle aule, però, esistono mondi dove il furto del lavoro altrui è considerato una bestemmia: "Cerchiamo di avere idee originali, ma se fossimo tentati di copiare i concorrenti se ne accorgerebbero subito - dice Anna Innamorati, pubblicitaria, presidente di McCann Erikson Italia - Paradossalmente, per noi, l'esistenza della Rete e la possibilità per tutti di spiare il lavoro altrui ha reso più difficile il plagio".
La condanna morale del copiare, invece, è al centro del sistema scolastico americano, dove la parola usata è cheating, imbrogliare. "Per chi studia negli Stati Uniti - dice Daniela Del Boca, economista, docente, studi a cavallo tra i due Paesi - si tratta di una possibilità che non esiste, specialmente una volta arrivati all'università, dove si paga molto e in genere si è molto motivati. Ma copiare viene stigmatizzato fin dal liceo. Copiare significa non credere in se stessi, che si scontra con l'individualismo alla base del loro pensiero, mentre da noi prevale la tendenza a conformarsi ad un gruppo. Personalmente, se scopro uno studente che copia annullo la sua prova, ma perlopiù cerco di responsabilizzarli". La maggior parte dei prof, però, non è così ottimista, e cala le armi di fronte a finti orologi collegati a Internet o alla vecchia "cartucciera" ancora in voga, con le varie traduzioni infilate negli interstizi della cintura. "Che cosa dovremmo fare? - lamenta l'insegnante di liceo Luigi Smimmo, uno dei tanti che hanno scritto a Marcello Dei - Dare da tradurre versioni non d'autore, in modo che siano introvabili? O isolare le nostre aule, creando una zona senza campo telefonico? Impossibile. Non resta che continuare a lavorare. E sperare".

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