Irishtimes hatchet job on Chile

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mem
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Irishtimes hatchet job on Chile

Post by mem » Tue Sep 04, 2018 11:10 am

I found myself becoming increasingly angry while reading this hit piece on Chile. He may have gotten a couple things right but they were lost among his incredibly myopic speculations. He didn't see Carnival in Santiago hence its all Pinochets fault that Chileans are muted lifeless Stockholm syndromers...ugh really mad at this mindless bashing. I think a gray alien would have more insightful and accurate commentary.

https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-sty ... 8?mode=amp

bow26
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Re: Irishtimes hatchet job on Chile

Post by bow26 » Tue Sep 04, 2018 12:34 pm

Yeah, I can see why you would think like this depending on your own political persuasion and who you surround yourself with in Chile, but he doesn’t seem to me to have a very deep understanding of Chile or Chileans.

Also- and I have Chileans who were on both sides of the political spectrum in my own family - I reckon I could count on 1 hand the times in the last 31 years someone has said to me “es por la dictadura”. Maybe I’m just not asking the right questions.

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Re: Irishtimes hatchet job on Chile

Post by mem » Tue Sep 04, 2018 1:49 pm

I asked my wife to read the article and tell me what she thought, without giving any more detail of what I thought. I suppose I may be slightly overreacting. She said that she had also seen people selling bandaids, but I don't think the existence of people that sell bandaids is a vindication of the article, rather it is a statement of the obvious. Whether it be a free-enterprise or socialist society, there will be people, "just getting by barely" people that first worlders would call "poor". Even in the US, there are people that are poor, living in ghettos, selling drugs or whatever to just barely get by. People in Venezuela or Cuba, long the beneficiary's of socialist anti-capitalist ideology and there are yet still poor people selling various things to just barely get by, or in the case of Venezuela, not actually getting by but starving to death.

bow26 - You are right, it does depend on who you hang out with. That being said, I have driven through several barrios that I suppose most would consider "poor". Poorly built houses on a parcela or less and I see them gathering massive amounts of twig sized wood to fill a wheel barrow. I assume that is to sell or burn. I assume they are "poor" and barely getting by, but perhaps they own the piece of land they live on...perhaps ceded to them from their family. While other's don't even own land, but rent.

So one can go to any number of first, second, or thirdworld countries and one will see what they deem as "poor" people. People playing an instrument in a major pedestrian causeway, someone begging for money with a can, someone selling some nooks and crannies, but is that really an indictment on a nation when as far as I know (and I have been to over 20 countries across the globe) that ever country has a segment of society that is quote unquote "poor" by the standards of a visiting tourist? It doesnt matter if its capitalist, socialist, ruled by a dictator or not. What does matter is if there is a possibility...is it legally possible for a person to start a business. To see a need and provide a service or product that fills that need and in so doing potentially boost their income? If that is a possibility, if it is legal to do so, if the person has the smarts to do so, then they have a shot. Admittedly some countries are not like that, but the US, Chile, and I would wager Ireleand or not those countries.

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Space Cat
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Re: Irishtimes hatchet job on Chile

Post by Space Cat » Tue Sep 04, 2018 7:15 pm

mem wrote:
Tue Sep 04, 2018 1:49 pm
What does matter is if there is a possibility...is it legally possible for a person to start a business. To see a need and provide a service or product that fills that need and in so doing potentially boost their income? If that is a possibility, if it is legal to do so, if the person has the smarts to do so, then they have a shot. Admittedly some countries are not like that, but the US, Chile, and I would wager Ireleand or not those countries.
I remember reading an article about a social worker from NYC that contacted teens from poor families to explain them the process of getting a grant for a college and actually studying in one. Their relatives and friends had no institutional knowledge about going to college. I can imagine poor families lacking a lot of important "middle-class" knowledge like this.

Then both extreme and first-world poverty damages thinking:
When a person lives in poverty, a growing body of research suggests the limbic system is constantly sending fear and stress messages to the prefrontal cortex, which overloads its ability to solve problems, set goals, and complete tasks in the most efficient ways.
Finally, it's really hard to start a business from zero: you should have some resources to bootstrap it or some connections to get the initial funding. Your success is not guaranteed but richer entrepreneurs can fail gracefully because they have a financial cushion. Add the influence of one's skin color and apellido in Chile and you'll barely find any "from rags to riches" stories here.

Even if you are on the right economically, I think you can agree that the huge inequality of opportunities hurts the economic development. Chile and other LatAm countries are simply wasting over the half of their human potential because of the archaic classism and horrible public education systems.

mem
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Re: Irishtimes hatchet job on Chile

Post by mem » Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:49 pm

I guess my consternation with the irishtimes article was that it painted Chile with such a broad negative brush. Like it could have been about venezuela or argentina. It just seemed like it didn't give Chile the credit it deserves, being the most prosperous and stable nation in south america.
Rather it just focused on the perceived negatives and would make a reader think it was just as bad as living in one of the other wreck of a nation south american countries

Regarding the public education situation - I have heard its pretty bad. That if you want a "good education" you need to go to a private school and pay the money for it. Because the public (read free) schools are no good in Chile. That being said, even the private schools seem to be a lot less money that what people get robbed for in the US in terms of elementary/primary education (grades 1-6 as I see it). My private grade school cost almost $2k a month and that was several decades ago. Here, we have seen pricing in region 9 for private grade schools that only on the order of 100-200k CLP per kid.

From my perspective, I am not quite sure what to think of that. Of course I grew up in the US and I went to both paid for private school and free public school. The difference (and this is in the US) was pretty stark even there. My first year going to public school during my junior year in high school...I was appalled...I remember my friends, jumping for joy at a grade they got on a test, and I assumed they got an A or a B but no...they had gotten a D-
I was gobsmacked. All they cared about was "not failing with an F". that was the limbo bar their parents gave them. While coming from a private school, D's were unheard of...infact I got in big trouble if I even got a C!
I guess my point is just that you pay for what you get when it comes to school. if it's free it's probably not that great as far as the rule is concerned, perhaps there are exceptions in the US and maybe in Chile, but then it's free.

All that being said, I look back on a lot of faults in the private school as well as the public school. I suppose the private was a lesser of two evils, but in terms of what I see as a better education, can't be found in most schools private or not. Parents have a big responsibility to teach their children to critically think, to question the status quo, to wonder at what they take for granted around them, to understand what it means to be inspired and how to search out inspiration, expose them to mystery and beauty and develop their minds while their synapses and neurons are malleable and are taking shape and forming. To essentially break a negative repeating generational pattern. And yes, I can certainly see how poverty and limbic conditioning can squelch a lot or most of that. Yet, in spite of that limbic handicap, some do improve their lives, perhaps not to the point of a wealthy aristocrat, but they enhance their standard of living beyond what their parent or grandparents had.
Likewise, there are rich kids, born in to wealth, that end up squandering their inheritance, making terrible decision despite their private education.
I don't know why this happens or doesn't happen in every case, but it does and it does cut both ways and it happens all over the world in different countries

I agree it is hard to start a business, and the choice of what business that is has a big impact on the resources needed to "give it a shot". I think it is implied in a free enterprise capitalist system, that not everyone is going to be a business owner. Not everyone is going to be rich. For better or worse people are going to fall along the spectrum of wealth based on whatever merit or ambition or skill or wherewithal they can manage to muster

I don't know that there is a nation on this planet that has no poor people. Even the nations that have tried to employ socialist principles generally end up in a train wreck. All that is left is the free-enterprise system that ends up with a spectrum of gradients of wealth

To come full circle, I just think Chile deserves a lot more credit than what the article proffered and I hope that people reading it won't write off Chile as if it were venezuela or brazil because of it

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Re: Irishtimes hatchet job on Chile

Post by eeuunikkeiexpat » Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:59 pm

Are articles like that really bad? They keep the riffraff away and in this particular case the Irish ones :P (hey MikieO, are you out there :?: :?: :mrgreen:).

Joking aside, anyone who has done their research with discernment "knows" the real deal. If they don't, then Argieland is waiting for them :twisted:
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BUT when necessary, by way of ridicule and truth revelation we shalt do war.

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Space Cat
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Re: Irishtimes hatchet job on Chile

Post by Space Cat » Tue Sep 04, 2018 11:19 pm

mem wrote:
Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:49 pm
I don't know that there is a nation on this planet that has no poor people. Even the nations that have tried to employ socialist principles generally end up in a train wreck. All that is left is the free-enterprise system that ends up with a spectrum of gradients of wealth
I'm was born in a socialist state, can confirm that it can't work, heh. Still, I'm ok with paying more taxes for better public primary and secondary education, including the civic education. A democracy can't function properly when voters are ignorant of the life's fundamentals. An economy lags if lower classes are caught in the vicious circle of "no money -> no education -> no money".
mem wrote:
Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:49 pm
To come full circle, I just think Chile deserves a lot more credit
Ah, that's my beef with many immigrants and some Chileans. You are well-traveled and can see it but less experienced people just trash Chile all the time because they haven't lived in the "meh" countries, let alone the bad ones.

Though I'm not against criticizing, I love to criticize things here. My problem that they are not appreciating what Chile has achieved and especially not respecting its ways of doing things (gringos are the worst offenders for this one).

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Re: Irishtimes hatchet job on Chile

Post by AnciaVagar » Wed Sep 05, 2018 12:08 am

At least the author admits his world view is as distorted and simplistic as his universal answer. Isn't a more mature and useful philosophy to understand reality and accept it and respond according to your values, rather than to only ask "why"?

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Re: Irishtimes hatchet job on Chile

Post by Space Cat » Wed Sep 05, 2018 1:47 am

AnciaVagar wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 12:08 am
At least the author admits his world view is as distorted and simplistic as his universal answer. Isn't a more mature and useful philosophy to understand reality and accept it and respond according to your values, rather than to only ask "why"?
The most mature option would be not joining the choir of half-assed articles about Chile in English.
If you can pay for a hospital visit, you will be cured. If not, you are uneducated and you can expect to die significantly earlier than you might wish.
He didn't even understand the healthcare system but jumped into doing something as complex as cultural analysis.

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Re: Irishtimes hatchet job on Chile

Post by admin » Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:42 am

I have sat a dinner tables with military officers that proudly announced they just returned from the school of the americas (even creeper he was a dentist). I have also sat at the dinner table with torcher victims of the dictatorship. Niether, ever said to me "es por la dictadura". Not once.

Perhaps my wife once said it to me, because we were actuely discussing the history of the dictatorship.

Yea, it was pretty obvious what little he thought he knew about chile before he arrived is pretty much what he wrote about after he left.

The lack of knowledge around the world about chile, leaves very little for writers to say, which leads to "dictaorship articles" phenomina that simply perpetuates the idea that chileans spend all day walking around talking about the dictatorship, and stay up at night reliving the horrors of the dictatorship.

Oddly, the writers own preocupation with the church and recent irish issues seems to be transposed on to his shallow view of chilean society.
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Re: Irishtimes hatchet job on Chile

Post by admin » Wed Sep 05, 2018 11:01 am

My wife had an interesting theory.

This is click bait astro turffing in prep for promotion of a movie that is suppose to be released about a bunch of rolls roice mechanics that refused to repair plane engines from pinochet after the coupe. It is already contreversial in chile due how important they make themselves out be, like they single handedly ended the dictatorship.

Lets see if we get an uptick in mentions of the dictatorship in english articles.
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Re: Irishtimes hatchet job on Chile

Post by at46 » Wed Sep 05, 2018 2:31 pm

Talking about Chilean movies, that's one area where I can see Chilean producers intentionally picking out the worst of the worst of things here and magnifying them to the point of making Chile a completely unrecognizable little hellhole. And yet, that's what sells internationally. I guess the world just wants to see more hellholes, and Chilean producers are simply supplying the demand, regardless of what that does to the image of their own country. On the other hand, like eeuunikkeiexpat says, it keeps the riffraff out, so I shouldn't complain :)

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