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Cultural Context Leakages

Posted by jst on October 20, 2008 at 10:07 PM PDT

Recently I've been warned that my sidebar in Chapter 4, Ever Changing Targets talks about events that are completely ununderstandable for international readers. That made me write a short essay about leakages of cultural contexts and the similarities with the API Design.


Recently I've read about Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil and the brutality of the army dictatorship in 70-ies that tortured one of them by cutting all his long hairs. This is just like common practise of our communist police in 80-ies against everyone who was a bit "different" (long hair was enough). That is the "fear" I remember. In 50-ies it was the same just instead of hairs, they cut off the whole head.

Hi Tulach, yep, Caetano and Gil are two famous victims from this short time of dictatorial mess in Brazil, but believe me: this is not significant in our history and has no impact in the nowadays problems in the Brazilian society,.... Despite the obvious stupidity of any military control over human will, that dark period represented less than 15 years of our 500 years history.. and the number of people affected by the dictators are really not much... btw, Gil is a minister of State.. and other of our dictatorship is Lula, our current president.. :) * none of the people I quoted here suffered physical violence.. the most notorious horror from the Brazilian dictatorship was the lack of freedom to speech.. just that..... ** yes, there are around less than 500 know victims, with torture reports and other shame histories to tell.. most of them receive a forgiven payment every month as compensation (if any is possible anyway).. but it is just that.. less than 0,1% of the population... *** more people die every year by urban violence in Brazil than the total registered victims of our 50 years old shame period.. and this worries us much more than a ideological argumentation about a little issue in the past.....

Actually, culture do not scale :) I came from Brazil, a country full of natural resources, no serious war in its history, no communism or nazism, no racial prosecution, peaceful people and dream weather.. And indeed a very cruel democracy, full of violence and social gaps :( For blogging, I guess the controversial sentences are fair enough, but for a book I would suggest you to keep it simple :) anyway, not a big deal.. (at least for me)