Archive for Emmanuel Macron

a meaningful divide?

Posted in Books, Mountains, pictures, Statistics, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 16, 2021 by xi'an

Le Monde published this map in its 26 July edition, to illustrate the contrast between South-East and North and West France(s). Meaning that the North-West upper part is more vaccinated than the South-East lower part of the map. The figure being computed as the sum of the differences between local and national rates, per age group, weighted by the group sizes. The paper goes on analysing the divide in terms of sociology of the territories, as well as political opposition to Président Macron… But I wonder (over breakfast) if it does not see too much in this picture. First some districts have to be either above or below the national average. Second, the map does not incorporate the population density: very sparsely populated districts in the South-East, like Auvergne or central Corsica are more visible than the densest areas like the Greater Paris, while being more prone to low vaccination rates due to the larger distance to vaccination centres. Third, most of the districts are within ±15% of the average, which may be too large for statistical variation but not much! The geographer Emmanuel Vigneron points out in the paper an inverse correlation between vaccination and earlier COVID cases, but this is not so surprising in that people who have already been exposed to the virus may conclude they are well (enough) protected. Further, the age effect is not eliminated by the contrast, in that areas with an older population are bound to get closer to the average, given that vaccination in the older groups started earlier and was more seen as a life-or-death issue. The soundest observation is rather in the opposition between urban districts where, despite an equivalent access to vaccination opportunities, the poorer burbs like the Northern districts of Marseille being the least vaccinated (with possibly an age effect?).

“So President Emmanuel Macron of France called me on Thursday afternoon” [really?!]

Posted in Books with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 26, 2020 by xi'an

When I read this first sentence in The New York Times article by Ben Smith, I was a wee bit suprised as it sounded more Trumpian than Macronesque. Esp. when the article continued with the French president “having some bones to pick with the Anglo-American media”… As it transpired, it is factually correct, if giving an impression of the exact opposite of the right causality arrow. The Élysée palace indeed called back the NYT journalist after the latter asked for an interview a few days earlier and that Macron agreed to it. Beyond this misleading launch, the article is much more of an opinion piece (about Ben Smith’s opinions on French politics and secular principles) than an interview. Just like most principles, the rather specific core concept of “laïcité” (secularism) can be both debated ad nauseam and turned into political weapons for all positions on the political spectrum, from extreme-left to extreme-right. It is also almost invariably presented from abroad as an attack on the freedom of religion (and lack thereof), mostly against Muslims, and almost automatically mixed with institutional racism. The article actually goes all over the place, from attributing the uncovering of a pedophile writer to The Times journalists, to seeing Macron’s position as a theatrical posturing helping his own agenda for the next presidential elections. And while I readily concede the many woes of the French society, government, institutions, like police and justice, politics, &tc., I cannot but support an idea of a model that remains universalist and therefore secularist.

Nous continuerons, Professeur.

Posted in Kids, pictures with tags , , , , , , , , on October 24, 2020 by xi'an

“Nous continuerons, Professeur. Avec tous les instituteurs et professeurs de France, nous enseignerons l’histoire, ses gloires comme ses vicissitudes. Nous ferons découvrir la littérature, la musique, toutes les œuvres de l’âme et de l’esprit. Nous aimerons de toutes nos forces le débat, les arguments raisonnables, les persuasions aimables. Nous aimerons la science et ses controverses. Comme vous, nous cultiverons la tolérance. Comme vous, nous chercherons à comprendre, sans relâche, et à comprendre encore davantage cela qu’on voudrait éloigner de nous. Nous apprendrons l’humour, la distance. Nous rappellerons que nos libertés ne tiennent que par la fin de la haine et de la violence, par le respect de l’autre.”

Emmanuel Macron, 21 October 2020

Monsieur le Président [reposted]

Posted in Books, Statistics, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 11, 2020 by xi'an

Let us carry out screening campaigns on representative samples of population!

Mr President of the Republic, as you rightly indicated, we are at war and everything must be done to combat the spread of CODIV-19. You had the wisdom to surround yourself with a Scientific Council and an Analysis, Research and Expertise Committee, both competent, and, as you know, applied mathematicians, statisticians have a role to play in this battle. Yes, to predict the evolution of the epidemic, mathematical models are used at different scales. This allows us estimate the number of people infected in the coming weeks and months. We are at war and these predictions are essential to the development of the best control strategy. They inform political decisions. This is especially with the help of these items of information that the confinement of the French population has been decided and renewed.

Mr President we are at war and these predictions must be the most robust possible. The more precise they are, the better the decisions they will guide. Mathematical models include a number of unknown parameters whose values ​​should be set based on expert advice or data. These include the transmission rate, incubation time, contagion time, and, of course, to initialize dynamic mathematical models, the number of covered individuals. To enjoy more reliable predictions, it is necessary to better estimate such crucial quantities. The proportion of healthy carriers appears to be a particularly critical parameter.

Mr President, we are at war and we must assess the proportions of healthy carriers by geographic areas. We do not currently have the means to implement massive screenings, but we can carry out surveys. This means, for a well-defined geographic area, to run biological tests on samples of individuals that are drawn at random and are representative of the total population of the area. Such data would come to supplement those already available and would considerably reduce the uncertainty in model predictions.

Mr. President, we are at war, let us give ourselves the means to fight effectively against this scourge. Thanks to a significant effort, the number of individuals that can be tested daily increases significantly, let’s devote some of these available tests to samples representative. For each individual drawn at random, we will perform a nasal swab, a blood test, let us collect clinical data and other items of information on its follow-up barriers. This would provide important information on the percentage of immunized French people. This data would open the possibility to feed mathematical models wisely, and hence to make informed decisions about the different strategies of deconfinement.

Mr. President, we are at war. This strategy, which could at first be deployed only in the most affected sectors, is, we believe, essential. It is doable: designing the survey and determining a representative sample is not an issue, going to the homes of the people in the sample, towards taking samples and having them fill out a questionnaire is also perfectly achievable if we give ourselves the means to do so. You only have to decide that a few of the available PCR tests and serological tests will be devoted to these statistical studies. In Paris and in the Grand Est, for instance, a mere few thousand tests on a representative population of individuals properly selected could better assess the situation and help in taking informed decisions.

Mr. President, a proposal to this effect has been presented to the Scientific Council and to the Analysis, Research and Expertise Committee that you have set up by a group of mathematicians at École Polytechnique with Professor Josselin Garnier at their head. You will realise by reading this tribune that the statistician that I am does support very strongly. I am in no way disputing the competence of the councils which support you but you have to act quickly and, I repeat, only dedicate a few thousand tests to statistics studies. Emergency is everywhere, assistance to the patients, to people in intensive care, must of course be the priority, but let us attempt to anticipate as well . We do not have the means to massively test the entire population, let us run polls.

Jean-Michel Marin
Professeur à l’Université de Montpellier
Président de la Société Française de Statistique
Directeur de l’Institut Montpelliérain Alexander Grothendieck
Vice-Doyen de la Faculté des Sciences de Montpellier

per un Rinascimento europeo, pentru o Renaștere europeană, na rzecz europejskiego Odrodzenia, &tc.

Posted in Kids, Travel with tags , , , , , on March 9, 2019 by xi'an

[In preparation for the incoming European elections and as a call to arms against populist trends on the rise, Emmanuel Macron has published a tribune in all of the so-far 28 EU countries, written in 24 languages that I aggregated in a single letter, hopefully missing no bit and no language.]

Obywatele Europy,

wenn ich mir heute erlaube, mich direkt an Sie zu wenden, dann tue ich das nicht nur im Namen der Geschichte und der Werte, die uns einen, sondern weil dringend gehandelt werden muss. In wenigen Wochen wird die Europawahl über die Zukunft unseres Kontinents entscheiden.

Jamais desde a Segunda Guerra mundial afigurouse tão necessária a Europa. Contudo, jamais a Europa esteve em situação tão perigosa.

La Brexit ne è l’emblema. Emblema della crisi dell’Europa, che non ha saputo rispondere alle esigenze di protezione dei popoli di fronte alle grandi crisi del mondo contemporaneo. Emblema, anche, dell’insidia europea. L’insidia non è l’appartenenza all’Unione Europea ma sono la menzogna e l’irresponsabilità che possono distruggerla. Chi ha detto ai Britannici la verità sul loro futuro dopo la Brexit? Chi ha parlato loro di perdere l’accesso al mercato europeo? Chi ha evocato i rischi per la pace in Irlanda tornando alla frontiera del passato? Il ripiego nazionalista non propone nulla; è un rifiuto senza progetto. E questa insidia minaccia tutta l’Europa: coloro che sfruttano la collera, sostenuti dalle false informazioni, promettono tutto e il contrario di tutto.

Tegenover deze manipulaties moeten wij standhouden. Trots en helder van geest. Laten we eerst eens zeggen wat Europa is. Het is een historisch succes: de verzoening van een verwoest continent, met ongeëvenaarde plannen voor vrede, voorspoed en vrijheid. Laten we dat nooit vergeten. En deze plannen beschermen ons ook vandaag de dag nog: welk land kan er nu in zijn eentje opboksen tegen de agressieve strategieën van de grootmachten? Wie kan pretenderen soeverein te zijn, alleen tegenover de techreuzen? Hou zouden we de crises van het financiële kapitalisme kunnen weerstaan zonder de euro, die de gehele Unie sterk maakt? Europa mai înseamnă și miile de proiecte care au schimbat, în viața cotidiană, chipul teritoriilor noastre, o școală renovată aici, o șosea construită acolo, ori accesul la Internet în bandă largă care se extinde și dincolo. Este o luptă și un angajament de zi cu zi, deoarece atât Europa, cât și pacea, nu sunt un dat imuabil. În numele Franței, eu duc neîncetat această luptă pentru progresul Europei și pentru apărarea modelului european. Noi am arătat că ceea ce ni se spunea că e inaccesibil, și anume crearea unei apărări europene sau protecția drepturilor sociale, este posibil.

Но трябва да се направи повече, и по-бързо. Защото има и друга клопка, клопката на статуквото и на примирението. И когато наблюдават тежкитге трусове, които люлеят света, грежданите много често ни казват : „Къде е Европа ? Какво прави Европа ?”. В техните очи тя се е превърнала в бездущен пазар. А Европа не е само пазар, тя е проект. Пазарът е нещо полезно, но не бива да ни кара да забравяме, че са необходими граници, които пазят, и ценности, които обединяват. Националистите се заблуждават, когато твърдят, че защитават нашата идентичност, оттегляйки се от Европа ; просто защото нас ни обединява, освобождава и защитава европейската цивилизация. Motijo pa se tudi tisti, ki ničesar ne bi spreminjali, saj zanikajo strahove, s katerimi se spopadajo naši narodi, in dvome, ki spodkopavajo naše demokracije. Smo v odločilnem trenutku za našo celino; čas je, da tako na politični kot kulturni ravni skupaj ponovno zasnujemo našo civilizacijo v spreminjajočem se svetu. Napočil je trenutek evropskega preporoda.

Evropský model spočívá na lidské svobodě, názorové různorodosti, tvůrčím přístupu. Naší první svobodou je svoboda demokratická, svoboda zvolit si ty, kdo nám budou vládnout, a učinit tak ve volbách v nichž zahraniční mocnosti pravidelně usilují o získání vlivu na naše hlasování. Navrhuji vytvořit Evropskou agenturu pro ochranu demokracie, jež by každému členskému státu dala k dispozici evropské odborníky, kteří by jejich volební proces chránili proti kybernetickým útokům a manipulacím. Ve stejném duchu nezávislosti musíme také zakázat financování evropských politických stran cizími mocnostmi. Na základě evropských pravidel nesmíme připustit jakékoli projevy nenávisti a násilí na internetu, neboť úcta k jednotlivci je základem naší civilizace založené na důstojnosti.

EU er bygget på intern forsoning men har glemt at kigge på den virkelige verden. Intet samfund er imidlertid i stand til at skabe en følelse af tilhørsforhold, hvis det ikke har grænser, det skal beskytte. En grænse det er frihed i sikkerhed. Vi skal også gennemføre en gennemgribende revision af Schengenområdet: Alle dem der vil deltage skal opfylde forpligtelser om ansvar (streng grænsekontrol) og solidaritet (samme asylpolitik med de samme modtagelses- og afvisningsregler). Et fælles grænsepoliti og et europæisk asylkontor, strenge kontrolforpligtelser, en europæisk solidaritet, som hvert land bidrager til, under myndighed af et Europæisk råd for indre sikkerhed. Jeg tror på et Europa, der, i lyset af migration, beskytter sine værdier og sine grænser.

Οι ίδιες απαιτήσεις πρέπει να εφαρμοστούν και για την άμυνα. Τα δύο τελευταία χρόνια σημειώθηκε σημαντική πρόοδος, αλλά η γραμμή που καλούμαστε να χαράξουμε πρέπει να είναι σαφής: μια συνθήκη άμυνας και ασφάλειας πρέπει να καθορίζει τις αναγκαίες υποχρεώσεις μας, σε σχέση με το ΝΑΤΟ και τους ευρωπαίους συμμάχους μας: αύξηση των στρατιωτικών δαπανών, ρήτρα αμοιβαίας άμυνας με διασφαλισμένη αποτελεσματικότητα, ένα Ευρωπαϊκό Συμβούλιο Ασφαλείας στο οποίο θα συμμετέχει και το Ηνωμένο-Βασίλειο για την προετοιμασία των συλλογικών μας αποφάσεων.

Nuestras fronteras también deben garantizar una competencia leal. ¿Qué potencia acepta mantener sus intercambios con aquellos que no respetan ninguna de sus reglas? No podemos someternos sin decir nada. Tenemos que reformar nuestra política de competencia, refundar nuestra política comercial: sancionar o prohibir en Europa aquellas empresas que vulneren nuestros intereses estratégicos y valores fundamentales –como las normas medioambientales, la protección de datos o el pago justo de impuestos– y adoptar una preferencia europea en las industrias estratégicas y en nuestros mercados de contratación pública, al igual que nuestros competidores estadounidenses o chinos.

Euroopa ei ole teisejärguline tegija. Euroopa on tervikuna avangardistlik – ta on alati osanud progressi mõõtu määratleda. Seetõttu peabki ta keskenduma enam üksteisele lähenemisele kui konkurentsile – Euroopa, kus loodi sotsiaalkindlustus, peab looma iga töötaja jaoks, olgu ta idast või läänest, põhjast või lõunast, sotsiaalse kaitsekilbi, mis tagab talle samal töökohal sama palga, ning üleeuroopalise, igale riigile kohandatud miinimumpalga, milles igal aastal ühiselt kokku lepitakse.

Kehityksen vauhtiin pääseminen vaatii johtopaikkaa myös ekologisessa taistelussa. Voimmeko katsoa lapsiamme silmiin, jollemme huolehdi myös ilmastovelastamme? Euroopan unionin on määriteltävä tavoitteensa – nollapäästöt vuoteen 2050 mennessä sekä torjunta-aineiden puolittaminen vuoteen 2025 mennessä – ja sopeutettava politiikkaansa niiden mukaisesti. Tarvitaan Euroopan ilmastopankki rahoittamaan ekologista käännettä, eurooppalainen terveysviranomainen vahvistamaan elintarvikkeidemme valvontaa, lobbauksen vastavoimaksi riippumaton tieteellinen arviointi ympäristön ja terveyden kannalta haitallisille aineille jne. Šim imperatīvam ir jānosaka jebkura mūsu darbība: no Centrālās bankas līdz Eiropas Komisijai, Eiropas budžets Eiropas investīciju plānā, visām mūsu institūcijām klimatam ir jābūt kā mandātam.

Napredak i sloboda – to znači moći živjeti od svoga rada: za stvaranje radnih mjesta, Europa treba povećati svoju sposobnost predviđanja. Stoga, uspostavom europskog nadzora velikih platformi (brže  sankcioniranje povreda tržišnog natjecanja, transparentnost njihovih algoritama …), Europa ne samo da mora digitalne divove podrediti zakonskim okvirima, nego i poticati financiranje inovacija dodjeljivanjem novom Europskom vijeću za inovacije proračun za preuzimanje vodstva u novim, takozvanim disruptivnim tehnologijama kao što je umjetna inteligencija, usporediv s proračunom Sjedinjenih Američkih Država.

Európának, a világban elfoglalt jövőbeli helyének a tervezésekor, Afrika felé kell fordulnia. Afrikával kell a jövő paktumát megkötnünk. A közös sors felvállalásával, fejlődésének ambiciózus és nem defenzív támogatásával: beruházások, partnerkapcsolatok, egyetemek, fiatal lányok oktatása…

Le modèle européen repose sur la liberté de l’homme, la diversité des opinions, de la création. Notre liberté première est la liberté démocratique, celle de choisir nos gouvernants là où, à chaque scrutin, des puissances étrangères cherchent à peser sur nos votes. Je propose que soit créée une Agence européenne de protection des démocraties qui fournira des experts européens à chaque Etat membre pour protéger son processus électoral contre les cyberattaques et les manipulations. Dans cet esprit d’indépendance, nous devons aussi interdire le financement des partis politiques européens par des puissances étrangères. Nous devrons bannir d’Internet, par des règles européennes, tous les discours de haine et de violence, car le respect de l’individu est le fondement de notre civilisation de dignité.

Šioje Europoje pačios tautos iš tiesų perims savo likimo kontroliavimą; šioje Europoje, esu tuo tikras, Jungtinė Karalystė ras sau deramą vietą.

In this Europe, the UK, I am sure, will find its true place. The Brexit impasse is a lesson for us all. We need to escape this trap and make the forthcoming elections and our project meaningful. It is for you to decide whether Europe and the values of progress that it embodies are to be more than just a passing episode in history. This is the choice I put to you: that together we chart the road to European renewal.

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