Ciro Santilli
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What poor countries have to do to get richer | 🗖 nosplit | ↑ parent "Essays by Ciro Santilli" | 691

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Like all poor countries, Brazil's lack of money and scientific culture severely limit its ability to make technological and scientific advances.
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While this sounds obvious, Ciro Santilli has felt it first hand since he moved from Brazil to Europe, and it is just shocking.
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In the city of Santos for example, despite being a dream place from the natural point of view, it would be completely impossible to achieve any deep tech technical advance that impacts the world.
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In Europe however, there are several several places where this can happen.
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In order to get richer, poor countries should first teach its people English very well and invest on projects that make education cheaper such as Write free books to get famous website.
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Then, Governments of poor countries must pick a few key next big thing deep tech bets, and invest on those to try take a byte of them. These have to be few, because the countries are poor, and well selected. For example, as of 2020, Ciro believes that molecular biology technologies and quantum computing would be good bets. Focusing on the previous next big things, e.g. classic computers, is always a losing bet.
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Many of the student exchange programs Ciro witnessed in the 2010's were inefficient because they were requiring students to come back immediately after university or PhD in fear that those students will never come back.
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This is useless, because you don't learn anything unique during university: the truly valuable knowledge is obtained when you work for several years as a postdoc in a world class research laboratory or as an engineer in a world class company.
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Therefore, Brazil should learn from the Chinese exchange system, which lets students go do whatever they want, and once they are Gods of the domain, entices them back with great positions and pay as heads of laboratory back in China. Just don't do fraudulent stuff like this like China did, or else you will get a bad rep.
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Ciro actually had to return for just six months, to finish a course he had only done the generic Maths/Physics introduction to. Students from other Brazilian universities were forced to return for up to 3 years even to get their Brazilian diplomas! Ciro was lucky that his teachers understood the situation, and allowed him to develop online learning projects instead of his supposed control engineering projects, which hopefully will have led to changing the world with motivation one day. And for this, Ciro is eternally thankful.
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Ciro was once talking about why so few Brazilians go study abroad compared to the Chinese. Besides the likely true "there are a lot of Chinese" argument, his wife made another: good point Brazil is not so bad to live in, because you have good food and freedom, while China only has good food.
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But Ciro still fells bad that so few of his University of Sao Paulo colleagues, who learnt automation and control engineering, are doing deep tech. Nor physical engineering. They have all basically become computer people like Ciro.
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This is not their fault. They basically don't have a choice: all physical science and technology is done in rich countries.
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Yes, someone has to implement the newest tech to improve local country efficiency in projects that will never spread abroad.
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But who will be left then for the next big thing problems that would really make Brazil richer? 6 out of 30 person class ended up working on a gaming company at one point, even though they were not crazy passionate about the field! What could possibly be a worst investment for society?
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