121 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 25.9.2021

Sep 27, 2021 at 4:08 pm | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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We watched this talk:


This is quite a whopper, and the first 15 minutes were difficult, because the talk explains why populations go into mass psychoses. (The last 5 minutes are more optimistic.)

The talk explains how a population is being led by fear and manipulation to defer to the “elite” who rules over them. Social media as well as the Yellow Press support these changes. A new Hitler, in form of someone like Trump, may always creep up.

Such governing by the ruling class exploits the fact that we are social animals and need social structures. The Church and religions are structures. We are lucky to live in Europe where social structures still work.

Countries such as China rule by fear, whereas India, also a big country, is a democracy. Japan was seen as a threat to Europe decades ago, they are off the list now. It is not possible for Europe to ignore China; they are trying to take over power in Europe by economic means. It comes down to the way in which we are attentive.

Most of the European countries are ok, but Poland and Hungary are drifting toward totalitarianism.

We used to have three TV channels, now we have hundreds, plus the internet to manipulate the people.

Younger Tourists are coming now, they are the “me generation” and have a

worse attitude to the community. ”Thank you” is often not in their vocabulary (Our YouTubers have a better record.) So if we want to educate them, we can do it by saying “thank you”, then they might perceive that something is wrong in their behaviour.

Abbreviations in the communication via Smartphone result in the fact that the youngsters don’t know how to talk in whole sentences anymore. They lose the art of communication. Young people want to be seen in this system, so they try to show off only their best side, while they are emptier inside than before.

But there is hope: in the old movies, people were drinking alcohol, smoking inside, and sexist attitudes towards women were the norm. All these attitudes are now out, and society keeps evolving.

Still, children should have the right to grow up for a few years without social media and smartphones (https://eliant.eu/en/news/newsletter-archive/how-can-europe-be-of-value-to-our-children-and-grand-children)  

The Talk ended on the tune that not being afraid is a good defence against totalitarianism, as well as ridicule and laughter. (Trump still has this coming to him). Parallel societies within such a dominated society can keep up individualism and reduce fear-based attitudes.

Following rules: The group thinks that things are good in Madeira and that it doesn’t hurt to keep the restrictions on the island longer because if the upcoming flower & wine festival.

Other stuff:

The “Mamma” Museum by Rui Sá is open www.mamma.museum.com  (5€ entrance for Residents), it’s small, a bit overloaded but interesting. There are goods from Quinta Pedagogica in the Museum shop on sale.


120 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 24.7.2021

Jul 25, 2021 at 10:40 am | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment

We watched this TED talk:

https://www.ted.com/talks/bunker_roy_learning_from_a_barefoot_movement#t-1096676    (NGO website: https://www.barefootcollege.org/)

A very inspiring (old) story about a movement in India, which spread to other countries, to use local talents to electrify villages by solar power and organize a better life for the villagers on all levels, mainly be empowering the women.

The talk was proposed by U. who feels that after the Pandemic, people did not get to be more empathic or supportive but more egoistic.

The Barefoot Village approach cannot be transplanted to other, more developed countries, it only works in certain places.

We didn’t want to speak about Covid but we ended up speaking about the Pandemic. Some members of the group have the impression that especially young people sacrificed to help older people get through the Pandemic safely so they are not more egoistic, they did their part. We also spoke about the resistance by some to be vaccinated as this is an important tool to get group immunity at some time. It was also pointed out that some churches are telling their flock not to be vaccinated (not the Anglican Church). The impression was that many people decided to “wait and see”, and that many of them will change their idea and decide to get vaccinated later.  

The most important argument for vaccination is for people to get more freedom back, such as travelling without hassle and going to concerts etc. In any case, it is a proof of solidarity to be vaccinated.

Vaccination may be made compulsory, some countries are discussing this, at least for certain professions.

It is important that the “rest of the world” gets vaccinated as well, some western countries are now starting to donate vaccines to third world countries – very late. We will pay the price for this with more variants coming up.

An interesting thought: C. said that WWII would have happened in a different way, if Facebook, Twitter etc had existed then. The voiced opposition of many people would have been detrimental to ending the war. Winning against the German might have been harder, if people had had such a big forum to disagree with measures.

It is important that a population can trust in the Government and in this Pandemic, most of the Governments did not perform well. Hindsight, to be fair, is always cleverer.

Also, we might be too comfortable in Europe with our way of life. We are complaining on a high level, compared to third world countries.

The EU: Poland and Hungary are not in conformity with EU regulations, they don’t respect and support the community. We have to hope that the Governments there will change, to get a better cooperation from them. There is no mechanism to throw these countries out of the EU.

The UK: Claus said that in the UK, persons can get “pinged” by an App, to go into quarantine because of a supposed Covid contact, with the Covid infected neighbour in the next apartment, even they didn’t meet with him. The UK now has empty shelves in the supermarkets, not because of Brexit but because so many people are in precaution-covid quarantine, that workers are not available to fill the shelves with goods.

For Madeira Island, tourists will continue to bring the disease; the higher case numbers are the price we have to pay to have tourism.

In any case, vaccinated persons have really much less change of a) getting the virus and of b) transmitting it to other people because their body does not provide a good environment for the virus to propagate.

Work: Going back to work is hard for some people, they are now used to being paid for sitting at home. Civil construction and restaurants are desperate to find willing workers. The Minimum Wage is always a problem, it is too low to offer people a decent way of living. Companies may not be able to afford a big increase, they might go out of business. It is a difficult line to walk.

It would be helpful for the population if daily costs went down. The only good action the Government in Portugal took in the last four years was to considerably lower the price of public transport. Instead of building bike lanes, they should lover the cost of electricity (which they are doing) and VAT (which is not going to happen); this would be helping the population best

So we closed on a somewhat positive outlook, that solidarity is here and that people are more helpful to each other that we can see

Other stuff:

Quinta Magnolia now houses an Art Gallery with modern art, go and have a look!

119 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 26.62021

Jun 27, 2021 at 12:20 pm | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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The topic was Dumpster Diving.

We watched a talk by a youngster who learned of dumpster diving in the USA and then started it in Kopenhagen:

Additional info is here:


and here


“Too good to go” also has a website in Portuguese, and we have some restaurants who participate, to avoid leftovers going to the dumpster here


The intention of the participating restaurants is to attract more business during normal hours, by showing the clients what they have after hours.

We talked about the food rubbish situation in Europe.

In some countries, it is forbidden; in others, it is in a grey zone.

France has a law that forbids supermarkets with more than 400m2 to dump food into containers, they have to donate it to charities or to companies who produce animal feed from it.

In our supermarkets, it seems that the problem of dumpster diving does not arise because the rubbish containers are in the supermarket back area, and outsiders do not have access to it.

Foodstuffs close to the expiry date are offered in Pingo Doce with an orange label for sale at reduced prices, this reduces waste (provided the buyers then eat it all).

Food waste in landfills produce a hight amount of Methane

Cl. said that the problem arises because we produce too much food for the demand. The supermarkets price in a loss of around 20% of foodstuffs due to expiry dates and freshness. Then they don’t mind that they have to throw food away. The consumer would have to accept that food is only produced in the quantity that will be needed (based on experience and sales numbers) And the food prices should be higher, to give an incentive to the consumer to buy only what he needs. But the consumer would not like to have less of a choice and would to go other shops.

It should be possible to have more of an in-time-delivery system for foodstuff as in the automotive industry, to avoid that food gets too old to be sold.

It will help that the state, in order to get more money, will add higher taxes on processed food which contain too much sugar, salt and fat.

The cost of transport is another waste-of-energy factor.

Farmer get subsidies in Germany if they leave a filed unfarmed, in order to curb overproduction in the country. Cl. said that farmers should even have to plant forests on the land, in order to offset the CO2 problem.

Quinta B doesn’t have a buffet, they serve the breakfast to order. Fruit that is not consumed gets turned inti delicious marmalade.

The Buffet in Quinta do Furão (the “leftover” from the Hotel guests) is offered to local guests at a reduced price, in order to avoid waste. The client do not get to serve themselves; the staff hands out the food and cooks eggs to order, so that what ends up on the plate, gets consumed.

Plates in general, should be smaller.

The homeless used to get “leftover” food from hotel buffets until this had to be cancelled due to Covid. Now a simple meal is offered in “CASA” at night, and “Sopa Cardoso” offers soups at lunchtime, and food bags which people can pick up. CASA and Caritas collect food in the supermarkets and pack baskets for needy families (these families have to register to be included)

Other stuff:

Freshbio (with happy chickens laying happy eggs) is at

http://www.freshbio.pt/index.php?route=information/information&information_id=19 .They deliver of baskets to your home and if somebody has a composter, they also collect fruit peels etc for composting.

118 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 22.05.2021

May 23, 2021 at 3:10 pm | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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After a long break (since November), we finally had a meeting again in the Gallery.  

The Topic for this month was “Business Ethics”:

https: //www.ted.com/talks/alexander_wagner_what_really_motivates_people_to_be_honest_in_business

Alexander Wagner is a researcher and economist, the talk was interesting, even a bit uplifting, but it should have a had a psychological part as well which an economist cannot deliver.

Mr. Wager tested people on their ethics and found that they have “protected values” which the participants respect even if they forego a money gain if they ignore the values. Good news..

Business can give Rules of Good Conduct, or incentives which may backfire and lead people to digress, or they can hire god people who have these protected values.

He didn’t answer the question how to look into people’s brains and find out what their ethics are.

There were some big ethics failures in Companies, from BBC to Chernobyl, maybe now also AstraZeneca. Michael J said that the decision makers want to avoid being caught, and their good name is in danger if they get caught but everyone has a price. A coffee shop owner was put on display in 1990 in Portugal because he had overcharged 5 escudos to some clients, and still today, such a rip-off happens to tourists (or people who look like tourists) in small businesses. On the other hand, in Kenia, due to the Pandemic and the loss of tourism, local people pay less in tourist spots and learn to see the beauty of their land because the prices are affordable for them.

The big corporations have no such qualms, look at the German auto industry scam with the help from Bosch software. Darwin rules, it is a fight with the competition, and every company wants to survive and gain profits. Michael J say that the Devil made the 20th century …

How to counter such tendencies? By educating the children well and with a functioning religion.

People have become more egoistic, it is a “me” economy, self-care, especially for the young people. But in middle age, persons usually turn toward “inside” and perceive that egoism doesn’t serve them anymore

Christianity asks for sacrifices, for the good of others. We also spoke of confession. It is often misunderstood as a “carte blanche” which it isn’t. You are only forgiven in Confession if the priest believes you are repentant. Again, can we look into the person’s head?

Drug abuse has increased (although there always was alcohol abuse) because people don’t know their purpose in life. Contemplative prayer, which is being taught by Father Richard Rohr (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Rohr ) to young priests, should also be done in church. (Listening prayer and contemplative practices are done in the Anglican Church.)

Cl. sad that studies showed that in all big world religions, suicide, drug abuse and adultery are evenly distributed, which shows that the big religions do not have the answers for these people. With our western lifestyle, pressure on people makes them do things they would not do if they didn’t have to feed a family and keep the job.

Cl. said that Codes of Conduct in companies are bullshit, they don’t work Banking is the worst cheating industry. And corruption is a slow process: people may start out optimistic in a company and slowly be converted by the company culture to accept wrong behaviour.

We have to make compromises in life. Cl. and K. want to visit their daughter in Germany and have to take the flight, although they would want to avoid the CO2 emission.

C. told the story that after the 2010 flood, people couldn’t use the tap water and Hiper Sà increased the price on bottled water. The people never forgot that behaviour and the company went down from then on.

But: There are positive economist models e.g. the Doughnut economy


Some cities (Amsterdam) are already using this model.

We also spoke about measuring the economy. We should get away from the Gross Domestic Product (in the Pandemic, the measure R(t) is not that important anymore, the number of intensive beds used it now more preside to measure the situation etc.)

The state of Bhutan makes surveys and uses a Happiness Index of their people, this is how the Government checks if it is doing a good job:


Madeira Consorcio – break

Jan 7, 2021 at 9:38 am | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment

We didn’t have a meeting in December, but a lovely Christmas Lunch and we won’t have one in January, either due to the higher Covid numbers.

We are planning to reunite with each other in …May. with luck!.

117 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 21.11.2020

Nov 23, 2020 at 4:35 pm | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment

We had our meeting in the Gallery again.

The Topic for this month was “in Praise of Conflict” by Jonathan Marks:

We found many examples where, as the speaker said, the Government is collaborating with private companies, to the detriment of the tax payer. In Madeira, the Via Rapida was built 70 cm too small, and miraculously, the savings on material went into the construction of the Savoy hotel. Similar things happened on the mainland with the construction of the highways.

A construction company in Madeira removed rocks and sands out of the riverbeds for bulding. This was exposed in the Diario, and stopped. However, the Government should ask for payment for the material taken so far.

U. said that we as citizens should be more in control of government. The Diario used to report about court cases in the court in Ed 2000 building, they don’t do that anymore. But the Public should be there, to check up on the judges and the proceedings, and the newspapers should report about, for example, a delay  in procedure just because a lawyer failed to show up. We should challenge things, from sloppy service at Horarios do Funchal to the courts.

Cl. said that FB and Google need to be broken up because they cannot be controlled by the governments anymore

An ex-manager of Dupont, one of the biggest chemical companies in the world, has been nominated by president-to-be Biden to lead the environmental agency in his cabinet. Thus, the fox is let into the chicken coop. We should be wary of what Biden will do there.

We all admired the protesters in Belarus, Thailand and other countries who risk their lives and health for democracy. We in the west don’t have the need but might not have the stamina to do this.

We handed the control mechanism in our countries to the state, and the state is not fulfilling this role. Authorities must be challenged as well.

Altogether, as wars and conflict in third world countries persist, we shall have more and more refugees which have to be accepted by the advanced countries. If we let them in and give them work, they will want to succeed in the new country. Refugees challenge our status quo and create anxieties but they also contribute to a host country.

On the other hand, if the Syrians don’t manage to get rid of Assad, he will lay waste to the country. Because of dictatorships and cronyism, half of the world will be uninhabitable for normal people. Dictators need to go.

Democracies should not trade with these countries at all.

M. told the story that, some years ago, he paid an IMT of 10.000€ for a property purchase. The Tax office, however, had made a mistake; the amount was only to be 9300€. Instead of giving him 700€ back, they asked him to pay 9300€ again. He had to do this in order to proceed with the purchase of the property. They gave him the 10.000 € back much later. This, however may not be happening nowadays anymore.

In total, the old boys’ networks are still functioning. New competitors in the building sector, for example, cannot succeed because the old established companies are settled in with the Government.

The Government needs to be reminded that they work for us; it needs to be in conflict with private enterprises. Conflict is productive!

Other stuff:

U. entered the “Free the birds” campaign idea into the Orçamento Participativo in Funchal (the Government had already turned it down), it was turned down again. Will try to the Ornithological Society interested in it

116 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 17.10.2020

Oct 18, 2020 at 5:29 pm | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment

We are now part of the TED Circle community in the World (https://www.ted.com/about/programs-initiatives/ted-circles), this is interesting as TED proposes 4 talks to the individual groups each month; we then choose one and use it as a basis for our discussions. We have used TED talks for some time now, and I have the feeling that TED is copying us in what we already did.

The Topic for this month was “Everyone’s Environment” and we watched Per Stokes at

He sketched 5 defences that people have to avoid doing something about climate change:  

Distance vs new social norms, such as adopting the use of solar panels in the home, as the neighbours are doing it, too

Doom vs supportive measures e.g. changes in lifestyle, eating vegetarian, not using the car, etc., recycling

Dissonance vs.  pointing out that climate change creates entire new job areas

Denial vs. transition to energy savings in each household

Identity vs. better Stories

Storytelling seems to be very important to people. He suggested a new story about climate, change, an image, really:

Climate is living air, the air that surrounds us, is a fragile skin for Earth. (5 – 7 miles thick /thin) and we we all breathe the same air all over the planet

The discussion was about how our changes in lifestyle could make a big difference, as in many countries in the world, especially emerging countries, haven’t got the luxury to try to stop climate abuse in their country, and they have the biggest growth in population and energy need.

Climate change will only work if countries like Brazil, Africa and India can create enough jobs for their populations.

Rich countries may be able to afford looking at it.

Ursula von der Leyen wants Europe to be a carbon-neutral continent by 2050.

Madeira is is ahead of Portugal mainland and other areas, we have around 27% renewable energy already, and many projects that will increase the percentage of climate friendly energy production.

Cl. is hopeful that Germany will be at the forefront of climate change. He thinks that the new government to be voted into office next year, will have the Green Party coming in. Green parties should be more prevalent in the EU governments.

The positive points:

Emerging countries can skip steps in their development, e.g. landlines were never an option in Africa, they went right to mobile networks. They can skip R & D costs.

Covid shut down countries for 2 months, if that can be done, climate change can be done as well. In needs goodwill.

“Social Distancing “should be called “solidarity distancing”,  “social Distancing” is at its root, unsocial; it separates people, and humankind is very social.

Such names are important: in South Africa, power cuts were called “power shedding”, to make these service shutdowns more amenable to the people.

What we could do:

We could dim the street lights a bit, we already have LEDs for Christmas decoration. Office buildings should not be lit dsring the night

Fireworks are a no-no, really.

The Madeira Government is doing a good job in education; the people to not dump “monsters” (old fridges, sofas etc) in the riverbeds anymore,.

An Eco-School has a deposit container for recycling but nobody considered that old people may not be able to open the trap doors on the containers because they are too high for them

Fines usually do the trick when the environment is being abused by the population. Barcelona hat a serious dog poo problem which has been solved because the fines are very high

Would it help if climate do-gooders tout their horn?

Cl. explained to us that the debt we are amassing via the European Bank (about 4000€/head) is really our debt because the bank is ours. One day, when inflation rises, the debt can be written off, and nobody will have to pay it because we can cancel it out. Money in itself has no value, it’s just in the books.

Other stuff:

U. entered the “Free the birds” campaign idea into the Orçamento Participativo in Funchal (the Government Orçamento turned it down). We’ll see which projects they chose on Oct 28.

There is a very charming Unusual Guide on corners in Funchal which are little known to the public, have a look. https://novemil.org/unusual-guide/

Nice tips for return clients who want to explore more.

The new petition for the Ferry

has only around 1400 signatures so far, we need 10.000 to be heard by the Government in Lisbon.

115 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 18.9.2020

Sep 20, 2020 at 3:36 pm | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment

We met in the gallery again, with our new member M. J.

We returned to the topic of alternative tourism and had another guest for this session, R. B. who until January, owned several hotels in Canico.  We had very good input from him but with the current situation, he is of the opinion that before 2022, nothing will improve.

Madeira has an influx of younger tourists (even honeymooners) who enjoy the island; this is positive for Madeira because with Covid, older people now hesitate to travel.

The Obstacles:

  • Groups are difficult to get at this time, too
  • The flights are not there, and the airlines are not reliable
  • Plans cannot be made at the time.
  • Hotels do not yet see the depth of the crisis, and everyone wants to hold onto what they have. Their outlook will only change when they see that other hotels are dying.

BUT Money is there… and the marketing would not be that difficult, especially if an insurance company just sends their clients over.

We need to think about good solutions now to prepare actions and be able to implement them later.

Alternative tourism can have

  1. Residential Tourism – turn a hotel into “propriedade horizontal” :this relieves the hotels sector of pressure and helps maintain the RevPar
  2. Health Tourism – not great for our island, there is a lot of high-class competition all over the world
  3. Senior Citizens Homes – Dilectus is an example of a modern ”Lar”. Hotels would need to be adapted to this type of use, that may be costly but again, it would take a weight out of the hotel sector

Option 4

Alternative Tourism can also focus on health problems which do not require intensive medical intervention.

AltT needs many services:

  • Good location: experiences on the mainland have shown that a location in Town (Portimao) is well accepted but a spot far from town in the beautiful countryside (costa Vincentina) does not attract travelers
  • Health care: doctors and nurses who are fluent in the guests’ language
  • Parks or gardens to walk
  • Exercise programs, the guests need to be kept busy all day
  • Art classes to find another expression in life
  • events that create community such as singing
  • Taking part in sustainable agriculture and planting programs

There could be a cooperation with private insurance companies such as HM Germany or the Red Cross Germany. We would need to ask them if we could receive from them low-maintenance patients’ groups, such as

  • burn-out patients
  • depressed persons
  • recovering alcoholics

The hotels in Canico had extensive experiences with alternative tourism, they offered

  • Ayurveda treatment
  • Fruit fasting
  • Walking groups
  • What can also be done: walking through a banana plantation, harvesting lavender, planting trees.

What we need to offer:

On Madeira, we would have to have an incoming agency to organize the hotel rooms and services. The programs have to be of high and continuous quality. An insurance company might want the therapists to have licenses. Investors will need guarantees to come if, for example, we set a program for 200 rooms but we guarantee 100 rooms occupancy. ROI must be 4 – 5%

A hotel could give a contingent of 30% to such a contract, and the effect should be that the pressure is taken out of the hotel market, by attracting other clients and filling the beds with clients who come her for 4 – 6 weeks at a time (lower CO2).

The first step would be to ask, for instance, HM Germany for the type of groups they might want to send to Madeira. Then we would have to find the rooms with hotels willing to change their strategy in order to survive, and an incoming agency which could organize the service.

Options 1 and 3 would give the most relief to the hotel sector, and the staff would find work in the long-term residential units as well. Private local schools could set up programs for training for higher-value jobs in the area.

This was not an easy meeting because the subject was too broad, and also not an optimistic one. We need to ignore the heavy economical burden Covid places on the island (as is does everywhere else) and still maintain an optimistic outlook, at least for 2022, to work successfully on such ideas. (Ursula’s opinion)

Many thanks to Mr. B., for his input!


Other stuff:

U. entered the “Free the birds” campaign idea into the orçamento participativo in Funchal (the Government orçamento turned it down). Let’s see what happens!

The TEDX Funchal will take place on Oct 10 but only virtual and for free, here: www.naminhaterra.com

Alé Hop (the shop with the cow in Anadia Shopping) is selling visors with a sponge to avoid pressure on the forehead.

We now have a solar-powered catamaran on the North coast of the island: https://ondasolartours.com/



114 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 22.8.2020

Aug 23, 2020 at 11:15 am | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment

We met in the gallery again, this time without watching a video clip because Cl. and U. couldn’t find anything fitting for the topic so we used the courtyard, with plenty of space and fresh air, right away.

We had a guest for this session. Dorita Mendonça, the Director of our Tourism Board who was recently confirmed to her position for another three years. Politicians may come and go quickly, but the administrators who are doing the work, are in the job for much longer.

The Topic was Long-Term Tourism, based on the assumption hat Tourism on the island will not return to the pre-pandemic level.

Cl’ intention is to find a long-term solution, things have to change for the hotels now so that in one year’s time, when the Pandemic will have abated, the hotels are set up to accommodate a more special type of tourism. Political shifts in other countries, such as a turn to the left in Germany (elections are in 12 months’ time) may also contribute, if people decide that their CO 2 output has to come down. They can do that by amongst other things, by flying less.

The missing ferry is another big problem. There are now many passenger ships (including ro-ro ferries) on the market, and due to a lower demand, many of them are going to be scrapped. Even so, if we had 5 Mio (which Ronaldo spent on his new yacht), such ships, about to be scrapped, would be more expensive.

M. spoke to somebody in the Sousa group, he said that a new cargo ship is much less expensive (around 20 Mio€) than a passenger ship (around 80 Mio €), M. suggested a mixed type; even this would be more expensive

Another obstacle to turn the market toward long term health tourism, is the lack of nurses on the island. Hopefully many nurses who were hired away to the UK, might return due to Brexit, even if they earned less here. In our favour: The Madeirans have strong roots on the island.

In total, we need emphasize out there that Madeira is a safe destination. The Tourism board has a new word for Madeira; it is a “refreshing” destination.

J. is pleading for less but better Tourism. Their B & B is basically four stars and offers an tailored service, that is not common and attracts many tourists, even in a crisis.

S. came up with the idea that we could have a “fly and vaccinate” programme: tourists from other countries come here, get their shot (we ought to have a vaccine by December), rest a bit, and then return to their home country.

The obstacle to a change in our tourism industry will be that people do not want to change, they want things to return to the way they were, and Hoteliers are human beings. The Covid crises should convince them that something must change, and soon, otherwise they’ll go down. ACIF could hold a conference and make them see that they must adapt to a new concept to be able to survive. It would be good if big hotels would adapt their hotels to a medical, long-term tourism concept or to Senior Citizen’s homes; this would take pressure out of the market for all the other units competing for tourists.

It is to be noted that the IASaude team at the airport is doing a great job in finding the infected travellers!


Other stuff:

D. & P., our former members, now living in Tavira, have found a buyer for their lavender farm in Tabua; they will be here by the end of the month, so if you want to catch up with them, feel free to ask U. for their number!


A new see-through mask can be found here:

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/aug/20/deaf-people-mask-wearing-lipreading (not for sale here yet).

Our next meeting should be on Sept 19, but the date has yet to be fixed



113 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 25.7.2020

Jul 27, 2020 at 4:48 pm | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment

We met in the gallery again, with our new member SG who met most of the group now.

Our topic was Freedom of Speech and Section 230 – an American law that provides a shield to internet platforms so that they are not liable when a person posts harmful content on their platform. Prez Twitter spoke about it:


(To balance this, you could watch BBC Newsnight, which is a bit more sober:  How should the internet be regulated?



Trump is – he says – going to remove the shield from the internet provides so that they can be sued for defamation etc, if a person is allowed to upload hate speech and such. (Of course, he is only interested in the consequences for Himself.)

The new regulation will also force platforms like Twitter and FB to disclose the person posting the content. VPN Networks and dark servers can, however, disguise the original and identity of any post.

We think that in general, persons should stand by the content they post, and be accountable for it. But money rules the World, and advertising money compels the platforms to harbor as much content as possible.

Several countries ban harmful content by law, due to their history (Germany, Nazi)

Harmful speech: we have no means to talk to each other, to call the otter person and clear up misunderstandings.  Email is not a great means of communication; it does not convey the writer’s demeanor. Things we deem OK, may be offensive to another person, but feeling offended does not constitute a crime.

So if Twitter Prez goes through with it, the platforms could be more accountable. Claus thinks he may even break up the big platforms. They managed it with AT & T but will they manage it again?

M. said that on Madeira Island the DN has been sold by Blandy’s to the owner of Grupo Sousa (Transport). This may not be an improvement. The JN was re-branded, but both newspapers are very similar now. The DN claims to be not biased and independent, the JN, at least, does not claim that.

We also said that the public could very well influence these platforms with boycotts but as participants aren’t consequent in their actions, boycotts have no real power.

Younger generations should step in but they are apathetic, and their attention span is short.

Altogether, we couldn’t get a good grip on the topic, it is too difficult to draw the line between good content and harmful content.

We also spoke about Covid and flying in these times: without food & drink, but with masks and strong discouragement to use the bathroom, the airlines should give out Xanax pills in a nice tote bag to each passenger so that we can knock ourselves out until the flight arrives at the destination.

A thought experiment for us: In WWII some items were used for barter: cigarettes, nylon stockings, chocolate etc. If we were to get a new financial crisis, it would be good to ponder beforehand which items will be useful for barter this time around…

Cl. says that, with all that money-printing by the governments, there will be no inflation because the crisis is not coming from the banks, the states are causing the problem. If each of us were to personally get 4000€ out of the pot from the EU now, we would just own the 4000€ to ourselves. So there would not be any need to pay back unless inflation comes up again.



The new see-through mask can be found here.


and the article about the new Portuguese-made mask (unfortunately, without mention of the shops which sell them) here:


Upcoming medicines and vaccines:

Vaccines AZD1222 Oxford

Medicine: Dexametasona, Epo, Interferon (not so good) and others

Our next meeting should be on August 22nd.



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