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Mockus Presidente
March 19, 2010 10:20 PM   Subscribe

Antanas Mockus, a Lithuanian-Colombian mathematician-philosopher and former mayor of Bogota, is running for president of Colombia. As president of the Colombian National University, he mooned the student body. In two terms as mayor, he hired mimes to stand on corners with red "INCORRECTO" banners to humiliate Bogota's legendarily reckless drivers, took a shower on TV to demonstrate water conservation, and instituted a one-night men-only curfew so the city's women could enjoy a single-sex night out (as seen previously on MetaFilter.) Mockus will be the Green Party candidate in the May 30 election, part of a crowded field with no overwhelming favorite. Mockus on Twitter (en espanol.) Mockus campaign commercial (en espanol tambien.) Mockus speaks at Harvard's Kennedy School (in English, long.)
posted by escabeche (12 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
By the way, Mockus is not the only mathematician and former mayor running for president of Colombia.
posted by escabeche at 10:23 PM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


At the extreme we invest mimes and puppets with a transcendent power -- or worse, they seize such power for themselves. In a vastly influential essay from 1811, ''On the Puppet Theater,'' the German writer Heinrich von Kleist ended by equating outwardly innocent folk puppets with gods, little manipulated pieces of wood and fabric with the divinity, both being immeasurably superior to mere humans.
posted by idiopath at 10:31 PM on March 19, 2010


I find it easier to contemplate four-dimensional space than to contemplate a person who can be both a mathematician and mayor, much less potential president of Colombia.
posted by b1tr0t at 11:01 PM on March 19, 2010


...and instituted a one-night men-only curfew so the city's women could enjoy a single-sex night out...

I'm not really a fan of using the law for trivial crap.
posted by Mitrovarr at 11:09 PM on March 19, 2010


Playing to the circus is commendable, does he have a solid base of reforms with which the circus draws attention to?

Or does this end up being an Overton Window to the progressive/liberal/libertarian side?
posted by porpoise at 11:17 PM on March 19, 2010


I should probably quantify that statement, actually. I find curfews to be an incredibly offensive restriction on the freedoms of the public (and as a night person and amateur astronomer, I tend to take them a bit personally.) I do not think they are acceptable for anyone, at any time, except possibly under dire emergency. So when you use them for something so-not-an-emergency, like that, I tend to take a dim view.
posted by Mitrovarr at 11:20 PM on March 19, 2010


Mitrovarr: the curfew was voluntary. There's more information about it in the first link.
posted by en forme de poire at 11:29 PM on March 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


the curfew was voluntary.

Well, you're right, but I wouldn't call that a curfew. That's just asking everyone to stay home.
posted by Mitrovarr at 11:43 PM on March 19, 2010


I'd vote for him. Check out some of the detail in the links which talk about his impact on violent crime, traffic deaths, water wastage, the lot. And then also imagine him pranking the UN.
posted by imperium at 1:28 AM on March 20, 2010


Mockus is interesting, but it sounds like he has no chance of winning,under the circumstances.
posted by markkraft at 4:38 AM on March 20, 2010


I'm finding it hard to figure out whether Mockus has any chance. My Colombian friends seem to think that he's not the most likely winner, but far from out of the question. If I understand correctly, his path would be to come in second in the first round (Santos will probably be first) and then to win the support of the other candidates on the left and at least some of the center in the runoff against Santos. I think he has less chance of winning than either major-party candidate in a US presidential election, but much more than any third-party candidate.
posted by escabeche at 6:37 AM on March 20, 2010


I should probably quantify that statement, actually. I find curfews to be an incredibly offensive restriction on the freedoms of the public (and as a night person and amateur astronomer, I tend to take them a bit personally.) I do not think they are acceptable for anyone...

Confine it to a certain part of town, and the only legislation is the granting of legal immunity to any woman who squirts a squirt-gun at a man within the restricted time and place. Also a few well armed female police officers are provided.
posted by StickyCarpet at 3:07 PM on March 20, 2010


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