Everyone is worried about rising price of raw materialsAnd rightly so, albeit a slightly partisan reason: when commodities were plunging in price for the past ten years, no one wondered why the cornucopia was spilling over on us. It is normal.
The literature, philosophy and politics they only arouse people’s interest when things go wrong for them. But, despite this, it must be insistently remembered that the price of a barrel of Brent oil is not that extremely high, and that it is still not higher than it was in October 2018. At that time, it reached 86.74 dollars , while at the close of the markets last week it was 78.47 (more than eight dollars less).
Namely, the price of oil is at a “normal” level given that it rose to $144 in 2008 and fell to $16 in 2020, so it is now a little below $80, which would be the price that is the same distance from the two highest prices ends of the last 14 years.
Something similar can be said of unleaded gasoline which, in the wholesale markets, is at the same price as it was in the summer of that year 2018, although it is true that then it began to fall in price earlier than it has in the past. this 2021, because, although it seems incredible, since October 15 the wholesale price of unleaded gasoline has also dropped by 11%. Despite this, and for the purposes of the annual CPI calculation, the problem is that it is still 86% more expensive than last year at this time. But it is that last year around this time it had the same price as in 2004…
It would be necessary to ask the governments why then it is still so expensive, since, although the depreciation of the dollar makes the energy bill more expensive, it did the same in 2018, when the dollar also appreciated strongly against the euro. What’s more, that phenomenon worthy of the art of birlibirloque continues to occur in which the price of the euro against the dollar, which was at various times last week of 1.1288 dollars/euro, is identical to that of some time last week on November 19, 2018.
We had recently commented that the euro had a tendency to depreciate against the dollar, and this is what has happened in recent days. It seems that everything indicates that this trend will continue, thus making the bill for raw materials more expensive. But all this should not make us lose perspective of what is happening: In dollars, not even the price of oil has risen since October 22; neither that of unleaded gasoline, nor that of industrial metals has risen since October 15.
The price of natural gas is also blowing relatively favorably for Spain which, since October 5, not only has not risen, but has dropped by 22%, confirming, for now, our hypothesis that the maximum price of gas this year 2021 is already a thing of the past. Even agricultural commodities, which are rising in price recently, have yet to recover to the level they were in May.
What does not go down in any way is the tendency on the part of the government to devalue the best raw material a country can have, which is education adequate and at the height of what the times demand. And as much as the propaganda is sold to us that the money from the funds Next Generation will be used to digitize the Spanish economy, the reality is that this digitization is turning into its opposite by way of degrading the demands on education.
Here, every self-respecting politician does not stop talking about the “challenges of the future”, about new technologies and blah, blah, blah… Everyone drools when they look enraptured at Singapore or South Korea, but the reality is that the education planned by the ministries of the branch it seems that it is setting itself the goal of widening the gap that separates us from the most advanced countries in terms of education. Some even speak (it seems joking) of the “search for excellence”.
When you hear that the requirement to qualify is going to be less and less, or almost null, or when it comes to removing the subject of mathematics from certain school curricula, one cannot be more astonished. Also when the humanities are eliminated, because what has given rise to Western civilization has been that mixture of the cultural with the scientific and the technological, stuffed with advances in equal rights, democracy and, of course, prosperity. .
Without a good background in mathematics, the most you can aspire to in the field of new technologies is to be advanced consumers of the products of leading technology companies. Digitizing a country is much more than that.
Likewise, without a good training in the humanities, the ability to express thought, mathematical or not, with the appropriate language, is totally diminished.
The successive governments fill their mouths with proclamations that the growth model of the Spanish economy must be changed, while in the back room they work intensely to achieve just the opposite, to, as the teachers of the National Children’s School used to say, “go back like crabs”.
Mathematics (along with physics and chemistry) is the foundation of computers and the entire technological world we know. The ‘Turing machine’ (1936) is the basis of mathematical logic and advances in computational theory.
The most you can aspire to in the field of new technologies is to be advanced consumers of the products of leading technology companies. Digitizing a country is much more than that
But without the humanities everything goes lame, too. The imagination of the people of the past often converges with current technological advances and helps to clarify everything. Who would have thought that Dante’s way of representing the universe in the Divine Comedy is remarkably similar to how cosmologists today represent the moment of the beginning of the universe, the big Bang?
Perhaps it would be convenient to remind the Minister of Education and the Minister of Universities that in the 1960s it was studied in textbooks that, in addition to Euclid’s space (in which we learned geometry), there were other possible geometries, such as Riemann’s and Lobachevsky, something that was not learned within the subject of physics or mathematics, but in philosophy (sixth year of Baccalaureate). And the concept of time (that variable that stops at black holes) was also studied both in Einstein and according to the French philosopher Henri Bergson. That for greater abundance he was a political relative of Marcel Proust. Everything, philosophy, science and literature, intertwined.
It seems incredible, but it is true: what for Dante was the Empyrean (which, according to him, surrounds the visible part of the universe) as far as Beatrice leads him to look, coincides with what the mathematician Riemann indicated already in the 19th century as an interpretation plausible in the world, changing things forever: that the universe can be finite in extent and, at the same time, have no outer limit, no border (in the same way that the surface of the Earth does not have one either). As the Nobel Laureate in Physics Max Born said, “that is one of the most colossal ideas that has ever been conceived in relation to the essence of the world”. Dante and Riemann together; the poetic and the mathematical, the qualitative and the qualitative, together to illuminate our vision of the universe.
Removing mathematics, reducing the requirement, liquidating the humanities, is not only making new generations less prepared and less educated, but achieving the opposite of everything with which the Government likes to fill its mouth. It is de-digitalizing the Spanish economy. It is the recipe for failure. Ha! Now that is the journey towards a new production model! But turned upside down.