giovedì, luglio 30, 2020

Words that Matter How the News and Social Media Shaped the 2016 Presidential Elections

Words that Matter How

the News and Social Media Shaped the 2016 Presidential Campaign by Brookings Institution Press is an analysis about one of the nastiest and controvertials Presidential Campaigns of all the times: the one that would have "donated" the Usa to Donald Trump.

Analyzing the graphics, and you will meet a lot of them in this book, you'll realize that, after all, words, better, important words, in a Presidential Campaign are few, but they are crucials for the election of a candidate or another one.

Hillary Rhodam Clinton was the most accredited candidate of the democrat party, after that the socialist Bernie Sanders was defeated. 

Hillary Clinton's portrait is portrayed in one of the first chapters like the one of Trump; two facts, the story of the e-mails sent via her own private e-mail without passing through the one of the Department of State  and later her pneumonia that caused her a big weakness when she left the the commemoration of  9/11 meant two crucials moments; not only; the story of these e-mails returned periodically during the Presidential electoral campaign.

Donald Trump was known for being a sort of celebrity; he built the Trump Tower, his father left him a fortune. During the 1980's 1990's lost a fortune but his ability of appearing in the most celebrated magazines as Time, Newsweek but also Playboy remarked his being in the scenes of the American Life in many ways and sectors.

In The Apprentice, an American show long fourteen seasons, the winner won a work at the Trump Organization.

Trump was registered in the democract party although donated money to Republicans and Democrats. Then, the abrupt change and the idea of embracing the Republican party.

Trump attacked Barack Obama with an idea that "navigated" per years in the USA: Obama was born in Kenya and not in the American territory. Trump recognized that that one was a fake news spread by him per years, during his electoral campaign.

Which were the biggest problems of the USA in 2016? Military troops sent overseas, stagnation in the economic growth and climate change. 

Tensions reached the electoral campaign when Trump started to attach heavily most of the press and TV station telling to the potential electorate that they were reporting just fake news. 

But which has been the role of fake news? It was massive, like also the Russian help as the book reports but there is also to add that most of the information spread by people in social medias were of decent and respectable newsmagazines and so absolutely honest.

Probably people thought that was the moment for a change: in the book is reported that just once, after the Second World War people re-voted for the same political party the third time at a Presidential Election. The American elections are long and elaborated and people think that changing after two turns of the same political party in power is the best thing to do.

Analyzing the tweets of the Presidential Campaign you see that only dirty stuff is shared massively; in the case of Clinton the e-mail scandal, in the case of Trump his attacks on Hillary; real problems like crime and shootings, just an example, are marginals. 

In several prospects you will see which have been the words mainly used during the political campaign; Twitter "defined" thanks to its public the campaign of Hillary Clinton with these words - just some- : e-mails, but also FBI , Wikileaks, systems, foundation, people, money, scandal; the ones of Trump on Twitter: policy, president, people, deleted, black, gop, rally...

News reported other words as well. For Hillary: email, Benghazi, health, scandal, speech; in Trump's case women, speech, immigration, Mexico, scandal response...

But is it important for most people what tell candidates? Electors in most cases won't attend rallies, so they will build their ideas thanks to some suggestions.

A big scandal became the ideas of Trump regarding women and girls and his approach, behavior regarding sex because of his priviledged position. 

Brookings created this book thanks also to Gallup and their methods of elaboration.

A book  clear, linear, for everyone, in particular if you love to following a presidential campaign, if you want to discover more, if you are in the world of medias.

Highly recommended. 

I thank Brookings and Eurospan for the physical copy of this book.

Anna Maria Polidori


martedì, luglio 28, 2020

Il Libro dei Giorni Migliori Ritratto di un Paese ad altezza d'uomo by Mattia Feltri

Il Libro dei Giorni Migliori

Ritratto di un Paese ad altezza d'uomo by Mattia Feltri is a book where you can find all his articles published in Buongiorno a column of La Stampa one of the biggest italian newsmagazines located in Turin. The editor of La Stampa Molinari called Feltri for working on the column. Feltri is a reporter but he hasn't never been enthusiastic of going out trying to discover a news, consuming his shoes, as he says, walking along the streets. No: to him that kind of work was pretty boring. Feltri preferred a different role: his idea of journalism was the one of writing and reading. Why a person writes? For being immortal or for believing in that sense of immortality that each of us should cultivate; for being read at the end of a tiring day, more commonly. This book, adds the author is not written for the readers but just for himself. Feltri thinks that writing for others is an error: writing means writing for ourselves and for being, later, read by other ones.

You can read articles here and there, of course the book leave you a complete freedom. You will find policy, singers, articles of customs, and in a few words our Italy.

Highly recommended.

I thank Marsilio for the physical copy of this book.

Anna Maria Polidori

lunedì, luglio 27, 2020

L'Ordine Nascosto La Vita Segreta dei Funghi by Merlin Sheldrake

L'Ordine Nascosto La Vita Segreta dei Funghi

by Merlin Sheldrake or if you prefer the english title  Entangled Life.How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds and Shape Our Future is a beautiful, stunning, incredible succulent account on this topic; the world of mushrooms, fungi, is intricated, sophisticated, absolutely unique in the world. 

There is to say I remained impressed again by the author, another wonderful mind!

Fungi: they are everywhere; in our bodies, in our forests, in food thanks to the yeast, in medicine thanks to that drugs where mushrooms play a big role as ingredients, or, if you prefer, components.

Fungi don't have a brain but they are in grade of thinking, for later elaborate new paths, chosing the best strategies to them, using other animals as ants, for example, like vehicles for their own purposes. They are sly, opportunists, they try to better themselves all the time and in various measures.

An interesting chapter the one of truffles. Why white truffles' got such a persistent smell? I smiled a lot, understanding the real reason, to me absolutely unknwon. Mushrooms, the most common ones are visibles in fields, forests, and the transmission, their perpetuity is permitted because of their visibility. Truffles, white one, dark one don't have this luck, so with the time  developed a special, fragrance for being found by wild pigs and other animals, eaten for re-born thanks to the powerful vehicle of faeces somewhere else!

Merlin, went in Bologna's area years ago for assisting at the discovery of some white truffles. When found, the fragrance is absolutely wonderful but just after two days that fragrance can be lost because of a chemical reaction, so it's indispensible to act quickly for bringing truffles in New York or Japan in a short time.

White truffles writes Merlin, manifest the worsest part of the human being under many aspects.

Merlin's family was a close friend with a scientist pretty, pretty eccentric. Terence McKenna: he studied the so-called magic mushrooms, the ones in grade of presenting hallucinations and lived in a house that had to be magical.

I have always seen around sad cases of people who tried them and later had their brain devastated without any kind of possibility of recovering. I was happy to discover that differently, most people, in particular the ones suffering of terminal cancer under treatment with these kind of mushrooms, (an experiment) discovered a new identity and less pain. The self wasn't anymore important; there was an expansion of the soul in several different directions.

Magic mushrooms were studied, used during the XX century, Aldous Huxley was a great consumers of these mushrooms, but later the American government lost the patience deciding to cut funds for this research.

Merlin has tried several different substances, participated to experiments,  he also enjoyed to prepare many kind of alcoholic drinks for all his friends during his years of college, co-living in his bedroom with many boiling cointainers; it was amazing to see the variety of mushrooms and how they became once mutated in the various beverages he tried; sweet, bitter, disgusting, fabulous and so on.

It's a book this one nost just of mushrooms, but also of our relationship with them; it's a story of healing the planet passing through mushrooms. It's a book about wonderful creatures.

It's a fascinating trip that I know you will surely adore!

Highly recommended.

I thank Marsilio for the physical copy of this book.

Anna Maria Polidori 

martedì, luglio 21, 2020

By Cows who Chew Lilies by Bill&Mia Belew

Bill & Mia Belew are a father and daughter. While Bill is a retired parent, Mia is still a 6th grader student. She created with her father,a character called Aimi Wilby. Aimi Wilby, you will see, inventing stories and many ebooks for the joy of readers. Adults and children.

I picked up for the review the ebook By Cows Who Chew

Lilies. This ebook speaks of multiculturalism but also relationship between parents and children and their own expectations and...misunderstanding.

The Giant Forest will remark these questions as well.

I thank the authors for the ebook-

Anna Maria Polidori  

Thornyhold by Mary Stewart


by Mary Stewart is a relaxing book you'll cherish a lot. Days ago an internet connection asked us if we loved her books. I remembered I bought online some of her books. Thornyhold, I remember, was waiting for me from a long time and I decided that I would have completed that book.

Thornyhold is an immersion in nature, magic, new friends, neighbors, distant relationships, good feelings, love, old houses and...pigeons.

Thornyhold is the house of beloved Cousin Geillis. The cousin of Gilly,  the protagonist, had the reputation of being a witch. 

A witch practicing white witchery, so she was in grade of being helpful when people or animals in need.

Gilly met rarely her cousin but everytime she did, in crucial moments of her existence, the meetings marked her profoundly.

Immediately after her father's departure, Gilly received a pleasant news: she had inherited the house of cousin Geillis.

It was an old house immersed in the powerful and enchanting british countryside once the house of a prestigious witch; after all not too distant from Stonehege, the house conquers immediately Gilly although, as you will see, some people in particular Jessamy and his mother Mrs. Trapp will induce her at a sort of diffidence and sunspect. For real reasons.

A person Gilly finds adorable because very intelligent and pleasant is William the son of a writer called Christopher John and big fan of her cousin Geillis and her medicaments good for people and animals.

Gilly met the writer in a situation pretty singular: she was setting free a sheep but substantially was love at first sight!

A positive tale, told in first person, richly descriptive, that portrays the british countryside during the last world war with a light, fresh, romantic, touch.

Highly recommended.

Anna Maria Polidori 

Books for Dogs News! ❤️

Books for Dogs is an important charity located in Umbertide, Umbria. Founded by two Britons, this reality wants to better the existence of all that poor dogs located in various  kennels of the area. 

That two British ladies, legend wants, started to take action when the Christmas' Day of many years ago, in visit to the kennel of Lerchi, they noticed a lady dog who had given at birth some puppies that would have been dead because in... the cold. Warm water was missing like many other indispensible services. Britons, Americans, Canadians are a large group in Umbertide, years ago there were more than 107 families; these ladies asked for help. They sorted out some problems, but...It was necessary to present a continuative welfare to these dogs. How to do that?

The idea was the creation of a charity passing through the sale of books.

And here we are.

Angela Nutt speaks with joy of the latest events: "A few weeks ago a work group was organized to carry out some essential work at Ponte Pattoli canile. The day went well and a lot of work was accomplished."

These ladies actively promote dogs adoptions.

"We have been so happy that  a lady called Bina adopted Gaia and that Tim Hudson and his lady adopted Ponte, an 8-week old puppy."

Another dog, Fiera, has had 7 lovely puppies. Four boys and three girls. They need names and these ladies want to involve the supporters of Books for Dogs "to come up with some suggestions." Angela adds that the winner will receive a prize.

With the time the book-stall was replaced by a shop, a real  emporium where people find used books, DVDS but also clothes, games, jewelry, everything for the house, from blankets to plates, glasses, and much more.

It's a real charity shop.

The shop is back to life after the lockdown...Do you want to say something, Angela?

"We have been doing really well and our footfall

is increasing greatly with many more local

people coming in, and buying! We are also very happy to see that some tourists are also around and coming to see us."

Angela tells then that they donated 1000 euros to "Help Lia at Ponte Pattoli with funding her invaluable helpers at the canile." These ladies donated some money to Morenna as well. "She is our dog training friend."

A new ambitious project? "We are still exploring the possibility of funding a small surgery on the Ponte Pattoli site which the vets can use for much-needed treatments."

Now let's speak of dogs and urgent rehoming. 

"Monna is ten years old, female very friendly, she loves people; Kikko  is about 5 years old; he is also very friendly and loves humans; Ringo can't live anymore in that little apartment; contact 351 222 5969; we found a new, lovely dog at Montefalco. He was starving but he has been lucky. He found compassionate people, but they will leave soon for Milan. If any of you can offer a home, we would be happy."

There are great news regarding Ponte Pattoli. "Lia needed a new car because her old ones was falling to bits. We asked around and found for Lia a new, used car. This one is still serviceable. Now Lia has a great car which will help her with the tranportation of of dogs and so on. We want to thank to donor for the kindness."

Anna Maria Polidori


giovedì, luglio 16, 2020

7 Proven ways to restore joy in hard times by Mary Demuth

Covid-19 is weird; it let us think compulsively, I hope that it happens to you as well, because after all is normal, to death, seeing it under many different perspectives. 

I won't share here my thoughts, because I want to speak with you of joy, that joy passing through the Word of God. 

I received today this ebook written by Mary Demuth,  called 7 Proven Ways to Restore Joy in Hard Times.

Demuth analyzes these incredible, exceptional times and the difficulty of staying mentally relaxed. 

For obvious reasons there are difficulties and people are worried of losing their existences, their work; there is the perception that this one is a point of no return or better, a moment of big changes. Let's hope that we will see them of course. The fight against this temible virus is still long.

But joy is waiting for us.

In the first chapter of this little ebook the author insists that pain, grief must be visible, because it's important experience grief without closure.

It's important to feel sadness, impotence, grief and it's important to write our sentiments down. 

Un untold story never heals writes Mary and so it's important to staying focused and to writing down what we feel. 

“A good reputation is more valuable than costly perfume...A wise person thinks a lot about death, while a fool thinks only about having a good time” says the  Ecclesiastes. 

In this moment in which our brain is absorbed by sad news in the world and sometimes we think that we are too sad for thinking clearly let's try to focus on what we make us happy. 

Let's write a letter to a relative passed away for thanking him/her of having played a great role in our existence, let's search for that friend that we don't hear from some while, let's paint, let's be creative; we must permit to creativity of expressing our emotions.

Another advice is also to writing a Lament Psalm, but also seeing obstables as a moment of personal growth . Stay in touch with everyone, send gifts also without reason, e-cards,  flowers, plants if appreciated remembering, always remembering of being joys, colored, creative; women in love for this crazy, unique world.

Mary at the end writes "Perhaps the gift of the Covid-19 virus is simply this: it reminds us of our mortality. And in that reminder, we are forced to consider the reality of

our true life...In light of this future glory, don’t give up. Persevere....Love the people in your life.

Forgive freely. Move on from bitterness... Seek to bless the family and city God has sent you to.

Beautiful advices.

Highly recommended. You can download this ebook. The author illustrated also the cover and internal pages with relaxing and at the same time joyius drawings. 

I thank Mary Demuth for the copy of this book.

Anna Maria Polidori 

martedì, luglio 14, 2020

La tenuta delle rose by Hannah Richell

A romantic love-story La Tenuta delle Rose by Hannah RICHELL
. Cloudesley    is a magical place for Lillian. The lady, old, alone with her memories and the story of an unforgettable past, one day falls sick and she asks for the arrival of her niece Maggie. After all she grew up Maggie and Maggie is the only person she trusts. Maggie remembers her granny with great affection but the idea of a big house that needs a lot of works of restoration, a granny pretty sick, discomfort her. But her granny called her to Cloudesley not just because of company, no, but because she needs to tell, and where possible setting free the past.

Lillian was married with an influential man but at a certain point, during a sunny summer fell in love for an artist. The sentiment was reciprocated; the two lovers will experience intense moments together and Jack arrived to asking her of leaving the house, the husband, everyone. They would have started a new existence somewhere else. Lillian couldn't abandon everyone; there wasn't just Charles close to him.

The day after a terrible fact will change again the existence of all these protagonists.


It's a story of past and present; of renewal and new beginnings, respecting what it was that house and what it is becoming; what it meant for Lillian and Jack that house and in particular a room, where everything happened.

I love the cover as well! Spectacularly relaxing!

If you want to read a romantic novel this one is for you!

Highly recommended.

I thank Garzanti for the copy of this book.

Anna Maria Polidori 

lunedì, luglio 13, 2020

Shine On by David Ditchfield

First of all, the story you will read in this book Shine on by  David Ditchfield

is absolutely true. 

It's the account of what experienced David Ditchfield when, once, was catched by the wheels of a speeding train rinking to die.

David spent a lot of time in a limbo pretty known by everyone as near-death experience, NDE, if you prefer the words abbreviated, and once he returned to life, and left that world, everything lived, seen and felt was so vivid, real; also for this reason wrote this book. 

But...Which was the first emotion once the horror was over and he was very sick? "....A beautiful blue sky. And I felt the air. Cold air on my face. And the warmth of the sunlight. And I thought to myself, what a beautiful blue sky."

The trip for returning to the normality was long because David had badly injured his left arm as well.

When he entered in the condition of near-death experience, David will tell "....This new world and this light feel so wondrous and fantastic and alive." 

David continues adding that in this light there was a Being, but it was a compassionate Being: "I feel safe, because I feel total trust in the love and compassion of this Being. There is no feeling of fear, no questioning, only acceptance. I feel loved to the very core of my soul."

Then there is another Being. Their bodies, the bodies of the Beings, if it's possible to use this expression, resemble the ones of the Native Americans but it was impossible to classify them in a scheme adopted in the world left behind. They were something else. Maybe David imagined them in a familiar shape to him so that they could be familiars. The Beings knew that this one was to him a new condition and they had to give nourishment to his soul. 

They tell him in the language of love: "Relax, you are safe, everything is well. You are loved."

Family, to him, starts to becoming like an old, distant memory; there is not anymore the urgency of speaking to them, or just reassuring them that he is safe; he is happy, surrounded by an extraordinary light and pure peace: maybe he doesn't feel the desire to return in his precedent world. 

He would want to try to see if his family can be spotted but what he sees is the entire universe. I have always thought that being composed by stardursts we are part of the Universe, or better, we are the universe; the birth of a star and the process of dying is too similar to the one of a human being. This reading is reassuring me a lot. My theories are corrects.

Irene, Dr.Wallis when David more OK, started to ask him questions about the moment of more profound stress experienced just few days earlier.

David was a drunker before this trauma and at the end will tell to Irene the experience he lived when very sick. Maybe you will know that doctors think that these episodes are chemical interactions of the body in extreme conditions.

When speaking with a therapist, David laments that no one would believe this story, if told.

But why did it happen? David's therapist is sure of it: "Your challenge in life is to bring back some of that unconditional love into your life now and show other people, who are struggling with similar issues, that it is possible to do so."

More, the therapist added the example of the most beloved President of the USA, Abraham Lincoln; his pasts, his failures, his poor education because too poor, his terrible losses, his depression didn't avoid him of becoming the President of the USA. 

David decides of asking for other advice and someone will tell him that: "We have the choice to follow our heart...should I eat this food, have this drink? Is this the right person for me to be with, given the life experiences I need to go through? I believe it’s our responsibility, our free will, our choice, to create a life that supports us on the journey, giving us experiences that make us feel more and more connected to who we really are."

David will start to painting. A fascinating trip, and the union of spirit and body for healing. A trip that means to him a lot of satisfaction. David will also join other activities and at the end he will also rediscover love. This book is for everyone. You can read it for curiosity or like a believer; it's not, after all, important. The important is the message of love spread by David and that I am more than sure will reach you completely being a very communicative and unique person.

The book can be read pretty quickly; there are many dialogues and it is not put in a heavy tone.

Highly recommended.

I thank John Hunt Publishing for this ebook.

Anna Maria Polidori 

sabato, luglio 11, 2020

Le Regole del Contagio L'Età Virale e le epidemie Come Nascono, Come si Diffondono, Come Scompaiono by Adam Kucharski

Le Regole del

Contagio L'Età Virale e le epidemie Come Nascono, Come si Diffondono, Come Scompaiono in english The Rules of Contagion Why Things Spread - And Why They Stop by Adam Kucharski is an amazing book published by Marsilio.

What is a contagion? This word is just used in medicine? Nope.

Thanks to the author, we will navigate in many fields, from the net, to social situations for "lighting" some episodes of contagion apparently distant from the world of medicine and viruses; they can be cases of suicides, delinquential situations, the tragedy caused by Lehmann and Brothers and other companies in 2008, but also private episodes involving only a person but that then, put virally, ended up for being known by everyone, with national and international resonance; creation of viruses and dangerous malwares.

Yes, this world is not exactly the one the Spanish Flu knew in 1918-1919, more closed, less interconnected and where news spread pretty lazily thanks to the fact that there was still the first world war and censorship in most countries; contagion in the internet era is practiced in a daily base and people are "infected" with simplicity, metaphorically of course. 

Fake news is an exaple of contagion, but also sharing pictures because asked. I guess you read in the past phrases like this one "Let's post in your profile the pic of your favorite cartoon;" of course it could be a movie star, singer etc; the most viral one recently, the profile pic with inserted the motto #IORESTOACASA during the lockdown.

We become infected and influenced when we are on the net because of the benevolent "influence" that a certain little behavior has in the psyche of people.

Illnesses are another story, and for example as remarks the author, it is difficult a comparison of a contagion caused by a virus as this pandemic flu is, and a viral situation propagated via the net. 

In the net  time is crucial for "infecting" people; an influenza pandemic caused by a virus in general is more lazy at first, taking its own time for finding, (imagine the virus as a "catcher of bodies"), susceptibles ones where to start its deadly long trip in the world. 

Once found and infected them, there is the phase of transmission of the virus thanks to these first individuals. 

Transmission of viruses are diversified.The HIV is catched via blood, or sexual transmission; a pandemic flu like the Covid-19 has a percentage of infection pretty high, and so social distancing, avoiding closed places, wearing masks, washing hands often are the best things to do.

Kucharsky will vividly described the existence of Ross; he wanted to become a man of letters; he ended up to be a doctor; a special one because studied the interaction that there was between mosquitos and malaria; he understood that leaving stagnating water all alone meant to mosquitos a dangerous proliferation in grade of attacking the body of people transmitting dangerous and fatal illnesses; he fought most of his existence spreading the message that the elimination of mosquitos in a massive way would have avoided new severe outbreaks of malaria and people would have seen the disappearance of the illness in the interested area or a big reduction. Ross will anticipate the times and will be soon followed by other researchers. 

It's a book, this one that will present you a complexity incredibly fascinating. If you want to understand much better the hidden part of the world where we live in, this book is for you! Plus, Kucharski, let me add this, is a real wonderful mind! Kucharski has the ability of telling stories captivatingly, with love, dedication and attention. 

Highly recommended.

I thank Marsilio for the physical copy of this book.

Anna Maria Polidori 

domenica, luglio 05, 2020

Comment faire entrer le dentifrice dans le tube? by Veena Prasad; illustrated by Rajiv Eipe and translated by Goofy

I confess that during the lockdown I downloaded a lot of ebooks. Tonight I focused my attention in an interesting children's books. It's french and the title is Comment faire entrer le dentifrice dans le tube? by Veena Prasad; illustrated by Rajiv Eipe and translated by Goofy. 

Toothbrush, toothpaste are voices incredibly common and very diversified in our times. We find toothpastes for all exigencies: whitest teeth, anti-sensibility, children's ones and same is for toothbrushes; they can be medium, hard, they can be electrics, colored. 

Well, once the story was different.

We are in New London, Connecticut, United States of America in 1878. 

Everyone had a sort of primitive old-fashioned toothbrush, and with that, every member of the family took, sharing happy viruses and bacteriums the "pate dentifrice" with the rest of the family. It was, in fact, put in a pot.

It wasn't hygienical at all. 

One day the son of a dentist, Sheffield refused to share his bacteriums with the rest of his family. That method didn't work at all and was insane thought the kid. Once a young boy afforded to Paris for studying as a dentist, when one day noticed a painter along the Sein; he used a metal tube for putting color on his palette. C'est genial! thought Sheffield. Just, Sheffield could not yet visualize his creation. He thought and thought: how  keeping safe the process of introduction of the pate dentifrice in the tube putting the pate dentifrice in the toothbrush without touching all together the pate dentifrice? Of course he sorted out the problem genially.  This children's book take also in consideration our times and our way of thinking and living the dental hygiene.

Beautiful! Highly recommended.

Anna Maria Polidori 

The Life of Imagination Revealing and Making the World by Jennifer Anna Gosetti-Ferencei

Interesting book The Life of

Imagination Revealing and Making the World by Jennifer Anna Gosetti-Ferencei.

What is imagination if not the door to the unknown? 

Imagination is a perennial exploration of the immense and endless possibilities of a human being that passes through creativity and wonder.


Imagination presents to the world a big possibility: the one to see a fantastic imaginative project becoming reality. 

We do see it everyday. Painters, writers, creatives of all the world tranform their imagination in something that we all later can touch, see, listen, watch, read.


In this particular moment imagination is crucially important because help us to escape somewhere else with our mind, in lands where there is much more peace, at the same time thinking creatively and being more productive because of this mental disconnection with the current events.


Man, also the primitive one, has always desired to leave a trace of himself; in the prehistoric age he created drawings in caves where he lived in; ancestrals and still not too elaborated ones, that, gave us back the idea of his existence.

Modern man meant a biggest complexity and a biggest urgency to him of demonstrating his intelligence, imagination, creativity, for the posterity, but first of all, for himself.

I found interesting the chapter were the existence of little babies is taken under examination with the various phases of development of the brain and consequent good elaboration or better, birth of imagination.

It is also true that imagination in the past has also seen as a negative threat for rationality. 

Plato thought that artists were affected by madness; Shakespeare analyzed imaginative distortions that brought sometimes at desperate conclusions, but also Pascal and Descartes developed a negative idea of imagination. Oliver Sacks: "Hallucinations and delusions originating in neurological disturbances, can cause disastrous conflicts with reality." 

Another aspect taken in consideration by modern studies is the daydreaming and other pathological conditions. 

Imagination is also great because thanks to it we can return to the past, our memories re-elaborated, read under various different lenses. Sometimes imagination could interfer with memory, in particular when crimes are taken in consideration. 

Kant focused in the little pleasure and things that can be found, completely free in grade of donating to  people pleasure. 

Einstein materialized his imagination through... imagines. He called the process: "a rather vague play, a combinatory play and an associative play."

Giotto read the frescos in Assisi to the author as a connection with a world that was ending and the birth of a new one, the Renaissance.

While Frost thought that imagination passed through nature, T.S.Eliot projected in Wasteland all the horror of the first world war, and the uncertainty of the future.

Proust lived an existence characterized by a nasty lung's illness so his imagination and memory transported him in a warm house, in contrast with that outside world to him dangerous sometimes.

Not only: memory brought to the mind of Proust places where he previously lived in and where he would have wanted to return with all himself.

A book plenty of examples from jazz, to cinema, passing through literature, philosophy, poetry, paintings, where creatives expressed their geniality and inconsummensurable talent thanks to a little word that meant the world to them and was, sometimes reason for a crucial escapism in sad times: imagination.

Highly recommended.

I thank Columbia University Press for the physical copy of this book.

Anna Maria Polidori 

giovedì, luglio 02, 2020

Digital Contact Tracing for Pandemic Response by Jeffrey Kahn

Virologists and scientists repeated like a mantra these past years: a pandemic flu is possible. It reached us with prepotence, death, desperation, fears, depression this year.

A pandemic flu changes the world but, in the middle what the world can do for trying to prevent new  Sars-Cov-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) or Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) patients? 

Digital Contact Tracing for Pandemic Response Project Johns Hopkins Project on Ethics and Governance of D

igital Contact Tracing Technologies  by Jeffrey Kahn explains the digital contact tracing. I personally joined with enthusiasm the new app called Immuni in Italy that, through bluetooth and smartphone position can signal if I am close to a positive patient. 

This way of surveillance, contact tracing, is extremely good because in complete anonymity is possible to stay informed in case we meet a positive patient. Plus, smartphone with the time became another part, better, an extension of our body, like masks and hands cleaner, so, said it, it is more than normal that governments want to adopt this sytem for keeping under control a pandemic flu reducing the risks of infections. People can't live without smartphone.

The Johns Hopkins University is the American University that everyday give us a fresh prospect of the point where we are at the moment in terms of infections and new cases; dead people, new cases, healed ones.

We started to recognize its page and everyday we wait anxiously to see the latest news.

Said that, the JHU "recognized the importance of helping to guide this process" as written in the book.

Some people are skeptical regarding this method, because of privacy and other ethical aspects. Let's see: there are three kind of approaches with the digitalization of the Covid-19: the one adopted by South Korea the strongest one; then a minimal approach and contact notification. In general digital data can be shared with public health authorities. 

These apps sees the location in general but they don't register it and there is complete anonymity. Apart the fact that positives to Covid should stay quarantined at home, but, let's say for example that a sick person is at the grocery story; if he/she communicated to the app his/her positivity, cheerful and still healthy people who met him/her along the way will be alerted of the good news: they spotted, met along their way a positive! 

Oh my! 

Of course no one will know who the infected person is for privacy. 

These apps are central in the pandemic process that it is going on for reducing the spread of, in particular SARS-COV-2 and Covid-19 because both these illnesses are not a joke; a pandemic means a shock for economy and for the social existence of people. It's a heavy period, sometimes not brief and of course there is more unhappiness in general. 

Contact tracing means identifiying positives, people they met along the way, close contacts, then quarantine them, monitoring the situation of people in quarantine, in case of positives at home the progression of the illness.

It's not the first time that smart phones and contact tracing had begun to develop this modality; HIV, gonorrhea, Ebola, although of course with different purposes.

A pandemic need a strong response and must pass also through digital tracking.

Highly recommended.

You can download this ebook for free in the site of the JHU.

Anna Maria Polidori 

mercoledì, luglio 01, 2020

Gone with the Wind the movie and latest polemics

I jumped on my chair when reading the newsmagazine days ago I understood that Gone with the Wind

was listed as a racist movie. 

"What???" I thought discomforted. 

What happened after the murder of Floyd has been an escalation of historic revisionism. 

Black Lives Matter meant a lot of pressure in the public opinion so that in various cities statues of past leaders were devastated, removed. An operation for cleaning consciences, and possibily, for forgetting  the sad past. 

Pity that...What has been has been and can't be changed. 

It's printed in books of history and books of history can't be rewritten. 

Symbols can be put aside, but the centrality of the racial problem remains: a statue, a symbol can't replace hundreds of years of humiliation and separated existences.

The USA has a history of profound, incredibly radicated racism and should start from that point for bettering the situation, not removing or destroying statues of Columbus or other leaders of the past, simply because it doesn't change the situation. 

Searching dialogue and not distances, living closely to black people and not in separated places; making movies mixing white and black actors, and not just promoting black or white movies;  for what I understood, trying to better the police corp! keeping humans and not cruels police men, because it's not important if you are white or black, when you are stopped somewhere in the USA also as a tourist by police men for what told me a friend, that one will be the the scariest experiences that you can prove; it musn't exist, because a control doesn't imply anything else than an innocent control. And trust me, you can be absolutely white! My friend was white.

Police men should be educated for giving assistence, of course for punishing, but passing through a correct and educated behavior with everyone. It's not possible to kill people in this way for a control.

Said that, Gone with the Wind. 

The first time I watched that movie I was with my aunt Dina. Aunt Dina was fascinated by the character of Mammy. She worked as a maid when she lived in Rome, in the center of the city and she remembered the experience with enthusiasm, so maybe she saw in Mammy some treats she had.

Mammy is absolutely a devoted lady, and she constantly tell to Scarlet her opinions regarding her behaviors in the society. She doesn't live in an intimidating place where she can't speak, she can't express her personality; she has a strong personality and she affirms what she wants. When black people became free she considered the story without importance; after all she hadn't never been a slave and no one treated her in that way. So, under many ways as we can see again, it's the way in which people are treated, or how people treat others that can make the difference in their existence. Mammy was happy in Tara, with Scarlett and the O'Haras and she didn't want to change anything of her existence.

The same Rhett will fight for conquer the respect of a skeptical Mammy, when eventually married Scarlett. Mammy did not have a great idea of Rhett, but later, Rhett will conquer her and only in that moment he will be completely happy.

There is not just Mammy, other Tara's workers, after the Secession War will be helpful, will save the life of Scarlett and will return to work for her. They were treated very well, and they were an integrant part of the family.

Who was seen as real evil were Nordists in the movie. In that sense the movie is strong, reporting violences of nordists, various prepotences because after that they won the war, they felt the sensation that they were the new lords of the South. The same Mitchell returned home before ending the school at the Smith College in Massachusetts because she didn't like the Yankees. She had a curious personality. She also guessed that she would have lost the existence with a car incident. Prophetic.

You can tell me that Scarlett was hard with Prissy, but Prissy was an irritating, false, superficial creature; she told to Scarlett that she was in grade to help her when the baby of Melania would have arrived in the world and it was not true. The violent reaction of Scarlett was absolutely normal and to my point of view, she would have slapped a black or a white in that way, because she wanted to return to Tara, she wanted to forget the horrible scenarios she saw in a daily base in Atlanta, she wanted to forget the horror brought by a war, she didn't want to be in Atlanta but she had to because...Because of Melania.

Rossella felt for Melania conflictual feeelings; she was her sister-in-law because Scarlett married Charles, Melania's brother but...Melania was also the wife of Ashley Wilkes. Scarlett simply adored him.

But...It's the not end of the story. The movie as the book are not racists, but the premieres of the movie has experienced limitations for the black actors. Mammy Harrie McDaniel for example could not attend all the Atlanta's celebrations when the movie released because of the segregational laws; Hattie received the Best Supporting Actress Oscar on Febr 29, 1940, the first black winner. 

Not only: when they started to filming someone noticed separated toilets for black people. James Tumblin a photographer decided to speak of this topic with Clark Gable. Glable, infuriated said to Selznick. "If those toilets are still here tomorrow, I won't be!" Gable would have given up with filming if black people not treated as white people were treated. Toilets were immediately removed.

Selznick confronted his opinions with some African American Journalists. They wanted a human script, remarkably good. Selznick was seeing what it was going on to Jews around the world; racial thematic to him was important and as he said: "I feel so keenly about what is happening to the Jews of the world that I cannot help but symphatize with the Negroes."

In a scene at the beginning of the movie, the moment of prayer, all the people of Tara,  from children to adults, from workers to members of the O'Hara family prayed together without distances, without segregation and without differences.

If there has been a movie in grade to make a difference in the racial situation of the USA, to me this one has been Gone with the Wind, so I just hope that this polemic would be over soon, because absolutely ridiculous.

Anna Maria Polidori