“Are you a no-vax?”

- It sounds like an accusation.

“Are you trying to evade the question?”

- Before answering, can I tell you a little anecdote?

“All right”.

- Your question reminds me of a journalist interviewing the director of a film, where female characters were definitely not very nice. So, during the interview, she suddenly asked the director: ‘Are you a misogynist?’ Faced with that question, and in an attempt to defend himself, he replied by saying: ‘What are you saying? I love all women!’

“Sorry, but what does it have to do with my question?”

- Now…


Vaccinarsi o non vaccinarsi? Non è sempre facile decidere, ma di una cosa possiamo essere certi: la possibilità di decidere non dovrebbe mai venire meno. In altre parole, nessun vaccino dovrebbe mai essere reso obbligatorio.

Scopo di questo mio articolo è offrire alcuni spunti di riflessione sul tema controverso dei vaccini, senza entrare nel merito di alcun vaccino specifico, sia esso ancora sperimentale o ampiamente testato.

La motivazione principale nello scriverlo è la triste constatazione che anche persone con un’ampia cultura filosofica spesso offrono sulla questione dell’obbligatorietà dei vaccini delle visioni spaventosamente riduttive e unidimensionali.

Mi sono anche accorto che…


Questo breve scritto, sotto forma di domande e risposte, presenta in modo sintetico l’essenza della proposta del ‘doppio voto elettorale,’ che utilizza sia i numeri positivi (per rappresentare i voti favorevoli) che i numeri negativi (per rappresentare i possibili voti contrari, di natura difensiva), al fine di proteggere le nostre democrazie in crisi dalla crescente polarizzazione politica.

Domanda: È possibile migliorare il funzionamento di una democrazia e farlo in tempi brevi?

Risposta: Sì, lo si può fare migliorando il funzionamento del suo sistema elettorale, così da permettere a forze politiche più luminose, e illuminate, di accedere più facilmente al potere…


This short text, in the form of questions and answers, presents in a synthetic way the essence of the proposal of introducing a ‘double electoral vote’, which makes use of both positive numbers (to represent the favorable votes) and negative numbers (to represent the possible votes against, of a defensive nature), in order to protect our failing democracies from the growing political polarization.

Question: Is it possible to improve the functioning of our democracies in the short term?

Answer: Yes, by improving the functioning of the electoral systems they use, so that brightest and more enlightened political forces can more…


Imagine that an infectious disease is spreading around the world, and that a test is available, with for example a proven accuracy of 90%. Ask yourself the following question:

What is the likelihood that I am infected, if the test is positive?

Usually, people answer that the probability is 90%, that is, equal to the accuracy of the test. But this answer is wrong and betrays our difficulty in reasoning correctly with probabilities.

In reality, the probability in question could be any number between 0% and 100%!

Now I’ll explain. Before doing so, however, a clarification is necessary. A test…


Immaginate che una malattia infettiva si stia diffondendo nel mondo, e che sia disponibile un test, con ad esempio una precisione dimostrata del 90%. Fatevi la seguente domanda:

Qual è a probabilità che io sia infetta/o, se il test è positivo?

Solitamente le persone rispondono che la probabilità è del 90%, cioè uguale alla precisione del test. Questa risposta però è sbagliata e tradisce la nostra difficoltà nel ragionare in modo corretto con le probabilità.

In realtà, la probabilità in questione potrebbe essere un numero qualsiasi tra 0% e 100%!

Adesso vi spiego. Prima di farlo però, è necessaria una…


Preamble

Before deciding to post this article on Medium, I explored the possibility of publishing it in some medical journals. Of course, I did so without being particularly optimistic, its content being decidedly in contrast with the dominant medical thought. The first attempt I made was with the journal Medical Hypothesis (Elsevier). The Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Manku, wrote to me that “On balance, I feel that this interesting study/observations is not appropriate for this particular journal but should be submitted to a more specialized journal”. This was a little surprising commentary to me, since in my view the article was much more…


The name “Bohr” usually evokes one of the fathers of quantum mechanics, the famous Danish physicist Niels Bohr, who among other things enunciated the so-called complementarity principle, emphasizing the presence of dual aspects in our way of interacting and observing reality. Few know, however, that Niels’ father, Christian, was a physiologist, and that in 1904 he discovered an important effect underlying the physiology of breathing, which today bears his name, highlighting a somewhat paradoxical relationship between lung ventilation and oxygenation of the organism.

Practitioners of respiratory techniques certainly have an interest in knowing the Bohr effect, and other effects related…


The coronavirus emergency has put many under house “arrests.” How are we experiencing this precautionary measure? Do we simply kill time, not to go crazy, or do we consider this moment of suspension as an opportunity, not to be wasted?

To give you an example, the other day I was on the phone with my mother. She told me she was tidying up his documents: all kinds of paperwork that had accumulated over time in drawers, boxes and closets. Speaking to my sister, she also confided to me that she was doing the same. Both claimed to experience great satisfaction…


Translation from Italian of an interview by Antonella Vitelli with Massimiliano Sassoli de Bianchi, Turin, published on Lentiapois on March 21, 2020.

A tragedy, a disaster, one of the worst “accidents” that could ever happen to us. What is coronavirus? Physicist Massimiliano Sassoli de Bianchi calls it a “hacker created by nature to show the vulnerability of our system before it completely collapses”. So, are we receiving a warning? To a necessary step that we have to take before everything goes inexorably downwards, like a ball on an inclined plane? Sassoli de Bianchi, turning upside-down the “only problem perspective,” invites…

Massimiliano S. de B.

Physicist, writer, editor, researcher and self-researcher. For more info: www.massimilianosassolidebianchi.ch

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