March 2018
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The Kinetic Energy

Luzon mining camp, 1899of colonial discovery hit the Philippines in 1521. The billard queue is long gone but the balls keep moving. Just a preview of a new movie about Lumads in Mindanao shows this (link). Loggers come into the hunting grounds of the Manobo, who finally get sucked into the middle of armed conflict. Uniformed men bullying Lumads are heard speaking Visayan, telling their commanding officer who speaks Tagalog and tells them to stop that he is still naive about the realities of the conflict. A scene that shows one of the many ethnic hierarchies of the Philippines in a nutshell.

Examples of the greed of early encomenderos, those granted land by the Spanish crown in the beginning of colonization, are documented (link): Several principales from Ylagua (Dagua) testified that Salgado had charged them one chicken each in addition to the regular tribute. This, it was claimed, caused “much damage and loss to their wealth.” Principales already being the Filipinos of higher rank – I wonder if low-ranking Filipinos would have dared complain to a royal Spanish tax collector. Even today extortion seems to be practiced by those who have the power to (link).

A pattern seems to have been established then. The pattern of taking instead of building, the easy road to wealth. The path of least resistance. A path that does not create long-term wealth at all. Mine the soil, don’t build anything with the minerals. Sell sugar, coconuts and tobacco abroad – but don’t bother to make soap out of coconut, or at least even cigars or rum like in Spanish times. Let your OFW and migrant relatives work, and spend their money at the mall instead of building something at home. Might be extorted by police or NPA anyway, so who knows it might be wiser?

Two men from Spain – the Roman emperors Trajan and Hadrian – played a decisive role in the conquest of gold-rich ancient Dacia. Affluent Romans liked to settle in Spain, while the Romans who went to Dacia were usually soldiers, adventurers and convicts – the roots of what became Romania. In 2013, protests against the planned Roșia Montană gold mine were the roots of a civic society movement (link) that ousted a Prime Minister in 2015 and a Minister of Justice just days ago. Decades after ousting a dictator, after decades of backlashes, corruption and populism.

A country with more than 10% of its people working abroad. A country that is home to a lot of business process outsourcing, as its people have learned to be flexible and multilingual in their history. Also a country that has been in the vicious cycle of poverty and corruption for very long (link) with people speaking of: constant, everyday bribery — at hospitals, schools and public institutions. And yet a young man says: A new generation has emerged that doesn’t keep drawers full of bribery presents. Everything can be shattered in the next 10 days.

Seeing is believing. Could more Romanians have seen with their own eyes, in places like Western Europe, what real value productive energy can create? That it isn’t just take or be taken from? That just spending energy taking from the earth without reaping – and from others – makes most people POOR, long-term? Possibly those who have understood have begun to reach a critical mass. This critical mass is not yet there in the Philippines, which seems to be evolving backwards or sideways in recent months. But one never knows what surprises kinetic energy may hold in store.

Irineo B. R. Salazar

München, 12. February 2017



34 comments to The Kinetic Energy


    If children who have intense traumatic symptoms do not receive help, then the symptoms can become chronic. We know that they can last a lifetime and sometimes even be passed on to the next generation. There is evidence of people’s helplessness developing into aggression and anger if they do not somehow manage to process the experience in a good way. If a person does not have the opportunity to express that, then violence can ultimately ensue.

    … this is about Syrian children in the war, but it can also apply to all children growing up under intense circumstances including the war on drugs… violence breeds violence.

  • karlgarcia

    Momentum, Impulse, and Kinetic Energy

    Forces change an object’s motion, but without them, an object will keep doing whatever it was doing. If the object is not moving, it will stay in place. If an object is moving, it will keep moving at the same speed in the same direction forever unless a new force changes or stops its motion. An object’s tendency to keep doing whatever it is doing is called inertia. An object’s mass determines how much inertia it has. In fact: 

    Once an object is moving, it takes some force to stop it or change its motion. The more velocity it has, the more force it takes to stop. In addition, the more mass an object has, the harder it is to stop. The combination of mass and velocity is called momentum:

    Momentum is a measure of how much movement an object has, and knowing an object’s momentum can help you determine how much force it will take to stop or change the direction of a moving object. Changing the motion of an object requires a force to be applied for a certain amount of time. A force applied for an amount of time is called an impulse:

    Imagine pushing a car in neutral. If you push with 10 pounds of force for 10 seconds, or push with 100 pounds of force for 1 second, the speed it will end up moving with will be the same. An impulse applied to an object gives it momentum.  In fact, an impulse results in a change in momentum:

    What momentum doesn’t help determine is how much energy is contained in the movement of an object. An object’s Kinetic Energy is determined by half of its mass times the square of its velocity:

    Because the velocity is squared (times itself again), an object that is moving 100 miles per hours has 4 times as much kinetic energy as an object that is only moving 50 miles per hour. This is important to know because it is an object’s kinetic energy that describes things like how long it will take to stop and how much damage it will do in a collision.

    This is the physics of it.
    Apply it to governance.
    JICA and the likes makes a study, NEDA approves or disapproves it, Current government attempts implementation, TRO, project is shelved by next admin.

    Same with unsolicited proposals.

    No momentum,no continuity because forces keeps on changing direction.
    That is how kinetic energy is applied in governance.

    The case of NAIA 3 PIATCO what our government did to Frapport.
    Now this offering incentives to the automotive industry then comes the next admin with a tax package that may or may not remove those incentives.
    Again momentum is disturbed, either it will stop or change direction.
    That is momentum,impulse and kinetic energy.

    Some say shift to parliamentary for continuity, that is another story.

    • sonny

      O, to know and understand the Mathematics of human systems. So far, alas, there seems to be no underlying unity except that the human mind gathers them all to reside in his mysterious one central consciousness.

      • It is probably more like a butterfly flapping its winds that can start a storm => chaos theory.

        • – or this:


          Perhaps you encountered adrenaline and testosterone in your biology class before and heard about the fight or flight instinctual response of the human body. Considering the current situation in the Philippines today, Filipinos are constantly exposed to that fight (courage) or flight (fear) dilemma. Either one is for self-preservation. That is a form of environmental stress. Indeed, Filipinos are stressed every day by either courage or fear. Being vigilant, careful, and always ready in the time of extrajudicial killings is stressful. Ask those people in areas where “tokhang”, police operations, and killings are constant and rampant. I am not making that up.

          In a stressful situation, adrenaline—a hormone produced in the adrenal glands and in some neurons in the central nervous system—is released to the blood quickly to send impulses for the response of the body, fight or flight, to scary external threats in dangerous environments. Adrenaline also increases the level of testosterone—a male sex hormone that affects men’s sex drive and even erection and sperm count. Can you see the connection between environmental stress and sex drive? It is safe to assume that the EJK-related environmental stresses in the Philippines are creating horny Filipinos who are capable of rape when desperate.”

          Of course adrenaline and testosterone lead to increased agression in general. Any place which is violent breeds both violence and hypersexuality. Whether it is a war zone or an urban ghetto. Which is why escalation of violence is NOT a way to create social peace, I think. It is also proven that fear leads to short-term thinking – of course because the main impulse then is to SURVIVE, not to plan for a bigger future. The present Philippine government is cooking with too high flames, I think.

        • sonny

          Karl pointed to Newton’s laws of motion connecting to governance; Wall Street has already made use of physicists in studying Finance; I am strongly tempted to connect chemical phenomenon in Biology like the mapping of leaf & arborial morphology & the chambered nautilus to the abstract Fibonacci Series; the use of black hole singularities as examples of division by zero and the use of binary Math to both alphanumeric text and arithmetic manipulation in computer hardware and software. So the mere juxtaposition of butterflies and chaos theory though an extremely attenuated correlation is easily tempting. 🙂

          • Where the different social forces will take the Philippines now is truly unforeseeable.

            Are the institutions crumbling under the assault of populism, will they fight back or change themselves to respond? Congress, Senate, Judiciary, Military, Police, Government..

    • (by Manolo Quezon)

      this is also indirectly about the effects of kinetic energy – of bullets..

      The most troubling about Arturo Lascañas is that he must surely be only one of many hitmen working for many local leaders with many more victims under their belts, applauded on the one hand by their constituents, and enjoying impunity because they are valuable allies for national leaders on the other. Meanwhile, anyone holding a contrary opinion is confronted with the possibility that expressing his mind could have lethal results. It is troubling because it leaves no one, and no institution, no faction, party, or movement, left with clean hands. No one, after last Monday, can ever claim they did not know, they could not imagine, or that they weren’t told.

  • karlgarcia

    “A country with more than 10% of its people working abroad. A country that is home to a lot of business process outsourcing….”

    If we don’t watch it , with the deportation of Mexican-Americans who lived in the US for decades might wipe out Philippine BPOs in no time.

    THE business process outsourcing industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. Call center agents speak fluent, neutral-accented English. BPO employees are paid less than their US counterparts. Dollar earnings rival that of remittances. Citizens of this country top the list of source countries for immigrants and visitors.
    No, we are not referring to the Philippines but Mexico.

    Of the 1.4 million people returning to Mexico for the five-year period (2005 to 2010), a critical sector is that of those who were deported: teens and working- age youths and workers who have lived most of their lives in the United States, have a good command of the English language, know America by the palm of their hands and maintain family, community and personal ties through social media and web-based calls through Viber, Skype, WhatsApp and FaceTime.”

    • sonny

      I couldn’t put my finger on why Mexicans repatriating to Mexico will NOT support a BPO industry like the Philippines does. Short answer: the Mexicans going home will carry difficult-to-surmount wage and quality-of-life differentials to their homeland; these repatriates will respond more to increases in wages and far better quality of Mexican life. The Philippine BPO situation is constantly calibrating to these differentials. How the Mexican repatriates will respond is of course unknown. Another thing to consider, not all are fit or willing to adjust to ICT training & standards, viz the Nursing glut.

  • karlgarcia

    “A pattern seems to have been established then. The pattern of taking instead of building, the easy road to wealth. The path of least resistance. A path that does not create long-term wealth at all. Mine the soil, don’t build anything with the minerals. Sell sugar, coconuts and tobacco abroad – but don’t bother to make soap out of coconut, or at least even cigars or rum like in Spanish times. Let your OFW and migrant relatives work, and spend their money at the mall instead of building something at home. Might be extorted by police or NPA anyway, so who knows it might be wiser?”

    The article below is about the dependence of Africa from second hand clothing that thet no longer bother to have a garments industry.

    We too have ukay ukay and Bangladesh is kicking our butts in garments. This might be a problem.

    “As well as the social and cultural effects, are the economic impacts of used clothing imports, which forge a relationship of dependency on the west and in many ways prevent Africa from developing.
    After the end of colonialism the plan was for Africans to produce their own clothes and other basic goods to help industrialise and develop economies as happened in China and South Korea. Yet in the 1980s and 1990s, clothing industries declined and imports of used clothes increased.
    Analysis Clothing bin wars: the battle over your charitable used donations
    As charities like Goodwill fight for your discarded clothes, a growing army of rogue operators snatch up donations

    African leaders were forced to liberalise their economies under political pressure from banks and governments in the west who had earlier lent them money, and to whom they owed massive interest repayments. Liberal economic reforms to the market meant the removal of barriers to trade, such as import taxes and quotas, which had protected new factories. Once fragile economies were open to imports – like cheap second-hand clothes – there was a wholesale collapse of vast swathes of local industry. Cheaper imported goods flooded African markets and workers in clothing factories lost their jobs.
    Meanwhile, the debt crises as well as the long-term decline in the price of agricultural products, such as cotton, led to falling incomes across the continent. One of the sad ironies of today’s globalised economy is that many cotton farmers and ex-factory workers in countries such as Zambia are now too poor to afford any clothes other than imported second-hand ones from the west, whereas 30 or 40 years ago they could buy locally produced new clothes.

    Stopping the trade of second-hand clothes will not enable the development of clothing industries in Africa alone, but your old jeans and T-shirts are often unwittingly part of the problem.”

  • karlgarcia


    An interconnected city?

    Maybe if we solve the hacking of Comelec and government websites, this would be a welcome development.

    But we do not want modernization of jeepneys saying it is too expensive.

    What if our government makes old vehicles like old jeepneys more expensive by taxing them more and find ways to make new vehicles lesser taxed and more affordable.
    What else would they complain about? We never run out of complaints.

    But no worries, metro manila is said to be the place to be because it is now one of the most luxurious.
    That is according to the lifestyle article I read.

  • Karlgarcia

    Here is an article by Boo Chanco lamenting that all the infrastructure programs may just be talk.
    Because DBM has no idea how to implement them.
    He suggests a turnkey approach which I am not that familiar with.

    • karlgarcia

      “So it was all about setting priorities, getting the fundamental things back to work again, NOT fighting on too many fronts at once.”

      Your reply to me in the Education and Irganization article fits here as well.
      Too many things promised even if it can’t be done in five years, saying the previous admin were a bunch of incompetents. Your other comment also fits.

      “Of course it has to be done while somehow keeping things going, and with the capability to utilize different strengths working together. Teamwork is key and that is where Filipinos are NOT strong – except in small teams like in basketball, or in teams where people know each other well otherwise the boss must be very authoritarian. Of course there is a need to be capable of sticking to a master plan, and not changing everything on a whim, or because it was invented by another person… 🙁

      Changing rules in the middle of the game. Is what we are good at.

  • karlgarcia

    If the mrt finds it hard to expand its capacity because some parts of edsa is like a funnel then how on earth can they build a brt in edsa. Is the proponent pulling our legs?

    • Do they have any real project study on that yet, or a draft of how they want to go about it?

      • karlgarcia

        Here is the latest comprehensive article on BRT on Elsa.

        Here is an article where a former MMDA chairman, now a congressman Bayani Fernando, opposes it, citing the lack of lanes as the reason.

        • The way the MRT is constructed it often just steals at least two lanes out of EDSA. I have the impression they ran out of budget or something. And as I mentioned the wagons are too small for such a big route.

          • karlgarcia

            Remember I suggested for BRT to work, they must demolish MRT.
            that is just a wild proposal. The common station problem would be more messy if that happens.

            Back to MRT.
            For capacity design etc, Chempo blamed FVR.
            DOTC never acted on capacity expansion proposals.
            When it started in the late 90s there were few riders because the fare was high, until it was lowered to 15 pesos from a high of 34, only a few people took the MRT.

            But still lack of foresight in capacity design must be blamed for this.


          • The other aspect not properly computed I think was maintenance and operation:

            1) metal railway wheels have be very well aligned – which is why some trains (some Paris Metro lines, DOST Automated Guideway Transit) use rubber wheels instead.

            2) overhead wires to give electricity, including the specialized current collectors which are expensive, are another maintenance trap and cause of trouble. Some older Berlin underground lines (some stations are overground like in Queens, NY or like the MRT/LRT) use a second rail instead for that.

            3) no plans for technology transfer – for example to be able to build chassis and wagons locally. Different cars and systems for nearly every LRT line – crazy. There is a bit of that in legacy underground networks like London and Paris, but the newer networks have compatible trains, electricity, tracks in all lines. Cities with a critical mass of such networks have their own maintenance and overhaul capabilities – saves more money in the long term. And trusted suppliers.

            Chempo looked more at the contractual and legal aspects – my eye is more that of an engineer when it comes to such stuff. Let us not even get into the aspects of interfaces to other means of transport, sufficient capacity for stairs and escalators etc. “move people not cars”..

          • karlgarcia

            I appreciate your practical approach.
            There must be a method to all these madness.

  • karlgarcia

    I understand that our minerals go to china unprocessed.

    But in sugar and others mentioned, before we had a multinational candy maker,but we still have local candies, we had chocolate factories, we sell coconut juice, coconut oil.and we do sell coconot soap, though papayas soap is more famous.
    For abaca hemp, we sell slippers,handicrafts.

    • And of course the native handicrafts are still great among those who practice them, showing that there was indeed a productive strain – before Spaniards consigned natives to become hired hands like in shipbuilding, and before Americans contributed to making Filipino good consumers and good employees – all good but a national economy needs the producers and inventors to move forward and not just be a source of outsourced labor and a market for consumer goods.

      • karlgarcia

        True. We discussed DOST programs unsupported inventors,etc.

        Sorry for this halo halo comment.

        Lance Corporal X has been lamenting about BPOs. I think he is not entirely wrong on everything he said about BPOs and OFWs too.

        Sooner or later with all the Mexican deportees who lived 30 years or more in the US , Tijuana Mexico will be an attractive BPO hub. And if US companies can pull out in India in a matter of months, they can do that here too.

        About consumerism. Can you blame cheap chinese products for that?
        America is blaming China for making food and snacks cheap they caused diabetes and hypertension .
        For lack of do it your self stuff because everything is in the mall.

        Malls, the bane of small time retailers, if you can’t beat them at lease liocate inside their mall then you will pay a hefty lease.

        We lost our manufacturing due to the dynamics of globalization, now because of technology even services will be rendered obsolete too.

        Is it too late? Can what we discussed of starting again,by starting small still happen.
        We are constrained by one time big time project proposals.
        Most projects that go beyond a presidents term are usually scrapped or delayed.

        • Malls – like subdivisions and private schools – are symptom of failure of public facilities.

          Subdivisions: because police and street building etc. don’t work well in the cities, you have gated communities that provide all these services – private security and nice streets..

          Private schools because public schools in the Philippines became less and less attractive since the 1950s when they were still the place MOST people went to.

          Malls because shopping areas of cities were also badly planned – yes Cubao in the 1970s even in the 1980s had its share of stores in the streets, even SM (Shoemart) on Aurora, but nobody had the idea of pedestrian zones like in Europe which render malls unnecessary – except for shielding against the weather.

          Carmageddon because the MRT was never planned for high capacity, in fact LRT2 along Aurora has obviously bigger coaches than MRT-3 which was supposed to absorb people travelling along EDSA. Move people, not cars is the motto, but this was not observed. I can imagine the way via MRT is not that safe as well.

          And burgeoning slums… not much was done for public housing in many years, keeping such areas from growing. That there are drug addicts and that crime due to people needing money for drugs rose over the years is not really surprising. None of the stuff now is surprising – it was just ignored by too many for too long.

          • As I already mentioned once at Joe’s – there was little idea of the “res publica” – the “public matters” which are the true business of a Republic. Except maybe at the level of Parent-Teacher Associations in the private schools of one’s children, or Homeowner Associations in one’s subdivions.. Not even municipally..

          • karlgarcia

            Divisoria is what I think is the closest thing to street shopping.
            And Baclaran.

            But again Traffic makes it a demolish now allow them to go back later system.

            About high capacity planning that is the stalemate at the SM trinoma common station debate.
            If built in SM, it won’t be double track and the passengers will have little room, if they proceed i Trinoma, they say they are favoring the Ayalas.

            100 percenters.

            The rest about subdivisions, Private schools, Well said. I agree.

          • High capacity also means stations and coaches:


            A Munich suburban train station can accomodate three of the three-car units shown.. with around 180 seats per unit… dapat sa bawat sakay marami kang nakakarga para mabawasan ang pila sa istasyon.

            compare that to the MRT which is basically a glorified elevated tram for a major route.. with 78 seats per unit – max 2 three-car units?

            Boomtown Munich has the worst traffic in all of Germany, but imagine it without those trains that reach 50 km outwards into the suburbs in all directions, taking people to work daily – with park and ride stations strategically placed to absorb people from outside places.

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