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Bakers Half Dozen – Episode 4

first_imgIf you’ve got questions about this episode, or a question you’d like Matt to answer in the next episode, comment below or tweet @mattwbaker using #BakersHalfDozen.Episode 4 Show Notes:Introduction with Matt BakerItem 1 – Fan FeedbackVaritey: ‘Fortnite’ Dance Lawsuits: The Carlton, the Floss, the Milly Rock, What Is Going On?Wired: Crichton’s Closet of Tech HorrorsLooker TrailerItem 2 – Level 5 AutonomyWaymo’s CEO: “…autonomy will always have constraints.”Item 3 — AWS OutpostCRN: 5 Things You Need to Know About AWS OutpostItem 4 — Cost of Public CloudGartner: Public Cloud Cheaper than Running Your Data CenterItem 5 — Serverless computingThe Register: Serverless Computing StudyPivotal Function ServicesItem 6 — Sustainable StrawsDell campuses eliminate plastic strawsForbes: Mushroom packaging for Dell ServersFastCompany: Ink made from smogItem 6.5 — Terminator 2last_img read more

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Are Religious People Weird?

first_imgSome scientists treat religious people as a class.  They put them in a test tube, so to speak, to see how they react to a stimulus, then write up the results in scientific papers.  The implication seems to be that these fellow humans of theirs are some kind of odd lot.Reactionary:  The BBC News reported on a finding by Nature Nanotechnology that “religious people tend to view nanotechnology in a negative light.”  One of the researchers stated a truism with a clinical touch: “Religion provides a perceptual filter, highly religious people look at information differently, it follows from the way religion provides guidance in people’s everyday lives.”  Buried in the article was an admission that religious people aren’t too dense to understand the science; it’s just that “talking openly about constructing life raises a whole host of moral issues” to them.Obscurantist:  Elena Cattaneo wrote a book review in Nature1 last month with the caption, “Misrepresentation of stem-cell science in Italy by political and religious groups is damaging that nation’s laws and the funding and perceived value of biomedical research.”  Throughout, the religious people were the ones portrayed as misrepresenting the science and standing in the way of progress: for instance, “In Italy and the United States, politicians are allowing religious ideas to influence the rules of a state and opposing science without clarifying the consequences to the citizens who have elected those politicians.”Gullible:  Adorned with a picture of a totem pole, an article in Science Daily explained a new approach by two anthropologists to “explain religious behavior.”  Their explanation centered on certain people’s “willingness to accept, without skepticism, the influence of the speaker in a way similar to a child’s acceptance of the influence of a parent.”  Belief in the supernatural was secondary to the power of kinship, they suggested.Not all science reporting about religion is negative.  Science Daily reported last month that “a dose of God may help medicine.”  Another article on Science Daily summarized a study that claimed, “Attending religious services sharply cuts risk of death.”  That would seem to aid the population in the struggle for existence.  Other recent articles have claimed similar benefits: religion cuts marijuana use, prevents depression, or makes people more generous.  Typically, however, the researchers never take seriously their epistemic claims about reality.  The common assumption is that the domain of reality belongs to science.1.  Elena Cattaneo, “Science, dogmas and the state,” Nature 456, 444-445 (27 November 2008) | doi:10.1038/456444a.One group of human beings putting their fellow human beings into a pigeonhole and applying a label: does that sound scientific?  “Religious” is so broad a term, it is essentially meaningless.  Are atheists religious when they exercise faith in their disbelief in God?  Even if the scientists study the beaks of those in the religion pigeonhole with a magnifying glass, that does not mean they will necessarily arrive at rational conclusions.  The pigeons need to come out of their holes and reverse roles.  Let’s have some trained theologians put the scientists under the magnifying glass and analyze what makes them say strange things (e.g., 11/25/2008).  Dykstra’s Law, you remember, is commutative: Everybody is somebody else’s weirdo.    Unquestionably there are religious people who do weird things.  So do some academics and sports fanatics.  The weird ones may be responding incorrectly to an inclination to believe in God that reflects something in their actual nature.  That would make denying that inclination irrational, even if certain distorted outworkings of that inclination among some appear “religulous.”    The question is whether the domain of rational inquiry belongs only to those who abandon all references to absolutes in their epistemology and morality.  Deep, profound rational inquiry by the greatest minds into the nature of God and man has a long and fascinating history that cannot be pigeonholed into the category “religious.”  And arbitrarily restricting one’s domain to a sub-realm of causes incapable of providing coherence and consistency seems a little weird, does it not?  Some religious people are weird, as are some scientists.  Some, however, are wired.(Visited 16 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Africa: ‘harness FDI for development’

first_img27 July 2012Africa is sitting on the cusp of increasing investment, but needs to take advantage of this to drive a more sustainable developmental path for the continent, says South African Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies.Davies was speaking at the launch of the South African United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) Investment Policy Framework for Sustainable Development (IPFSD) at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg on Thursday.Unctad’s IPFSD is a guideline for national and international investment policy-making to support more sustainable, development-friendly policy-making.It was established to assist policy-makers to design policies that effectively mobilise investment and ensure their positive contribution to sustainable development.Benefits of FDI ‘not automatic’Davies said that while foreign direct investment (FDI) could make a positive contribution to sustainable development, “the benefits to host countries are not automatic”.Regulations were needed, he said, “to balance the economic requirements of investors with the need to ensure that investments make a positive contribution to sustainable development in the host state.“The associated benefits of investment as they relate to technology transfer, skills development and research, among others, need to be purposefully built into the investment regime, and not taken for granted.”Davies said that a recent Unctad report indicated that global foreign direct investment (FDI) showed global FDI flows exceeded the pre-crisis level, averaging US$1.5-trillion in 2011.According to the International Monetary Fund, emerging economies – including those in Africa – are projected to grow by 5.5% this year, and Africa is the second fastest growing continent after Asia.Seeking out new investment opportunitiesSouth Africa’s inclusion in Unctad’s list of top prospective host economies for FDI over the next two years was a positive reflection of the country, as well as the continent’s growth and development potential, Davies said.South Africa has seen growing investment from India and China, and the country is also seeking out new investment opportunities.“We are trying not to make [the attraction of investment into the country] a step- child. There is an incredible amount of negotiation going into it,” he said.“We are sitting on a cusp where there’s growing investment in Africa and South Africa.”Davies attributed the growth on the continent to the mineral products boom, consumption, infrastructure development and that the continent had been spared a sovereign debt crisis.“Although FDI increased across all major economic groupings in 2011, it’s striking that developing economies now account for 45% of global FDI,” he said. Most of the investment was in sub-Saharan Africa.South African companies were also investing into the continent, with direct investment increasing from R3.8-billion in 1994 to R115.7-billion in 2009.Source: SANews.gov.zalast_img read more

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Jordan says NBA superteams will create 28 ‘garbage’ teams—report

first_imgMOST READ Michael Jordan. AFP/GETTY IMAGES FILE PHOTONEW YORK—Retired NBA legend Michael Jordan has warned that the “superteam” era will create a league with 28 “garbage” clubs that will struggle.Jordan, who sparked the Chicago Bulls to six NBA titles in the 1990s, addressed the topic in an interview with Cigar Aficionado magazine unveiled Thursday on its website.ADVERTISEMENT Jordan, 54, also said he lacks the patience to be a coach, saying his biggest problem is the focus level of today’s players.“For me to ask an individual to focus on the game the way I played would, in some ways, be unfair and if he didn’t do it, there’s no telling where my emotions would be,” Jordan told the magazine.Regarding Woods, whose major total ranks second to the 18 won by Jack Nicklaus, Jordan said the injured star is in a transitional phase perhaps made more difficult by today’s social media.“I don’t know if I could have survived in this Twitter time where you don’t have the privacy that you would want.”Tiger, Jack both great ADVERTISEMENT Read Next LATEST STORIES LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:48NBA: Kawhi, George seek more for Clippers than beating Lakers00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Jordan would not be drawn into a comparison of Woods and Nicklaus in the Greatest of All Time debate.“That’s more for stories and hype,” Jordan told the magazine. “Jack and Tiger never played against each other. They never played with the same equipment.“I never played against Wilt Chamberlain. I never played against Jerry West. To now say that one is greater than the other is being a little bit unfair.“How much did each one impact, change or evolve the game? Obviously Jack won more during the time he played. Tiger evolved it to where it crossed a lot of different boundaries, where it’s not just a white guy’s sport — black guys, African-Americans, all minorities play the game.“He played it at a level to where it generated so much interest financially that it grew the game from a financial standpoint. Now does that constitute him being the greatest? To say he’s any less than Jack, I think, is unfair.”Jordan on Rory: ‘Truly amazing’ Jordan moved the Nicklaus-Woods win argument to the NBA level, comparing his title total to the record 11 won by former Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell.“Yeah, Jack has got 18 majors and Tiger has got 14. And that’s how people are judging certain things,” Jordan said. “I won 6 championships. Bill Russell won 11. Does that make Bill Russell better than me? Make me better than him? No because when you try to compare different eras and equate who is better than the other, it’s an unfair parallel, an unfair choice.”Jordan also praised Northern Ireland star Rory McIlroy, saying he admires him but has yet to play a round with him.“Very talented. Never played golf with him yet,” Jordan said. “Seen him on the range. We’ve talked. I’m a big fan. For someone that small to generate that much power is truly amazing.” Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Pacquiao conqueror Horn wins top Aussie award Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City He also talked about his pal Tiger Woods, a 14-time major champion golfer struggling to return after multiple back operations, and said he himself might not have “survived in this Twitter time.”Jordan’s toughest talk was on the state of the NBA, where several teams have stockpiled talent to try and dethrone the reigning champion Golden State Warriors, who last season united stars Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry to form a dominant squad that claimed a second title in three seasons.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutIn the past few months, the Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder have added star talent to their rosters.“I think it’s going to hurt the overall aspect of the league from a competitive standpoint,” Jordan told the magazine. “You’re going to have one or two teams that are going to be great and another 28 teams that are going to be garbage, or they are going to have a tough time surviving in the business environment.” Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 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NORTHERN DISTRICTS SIGNS ON WITH TFA

first_imgNorthern Districts Touch Association (NDTA) is one of the oldest affiliates in Western Australia. It is also one of the largest, officially taking the title of second largets, with 87 teams taking part in the Summer 2004/2005 season. NDTA are also now a direct member of Touch Football Australia (TFA). Numbers are expected to grow again for 2005/2006, as the sport is thriving through extensive publicity, marketing and promotional campaigns undertaken throughout WA. AusTouch, the junior Touch program aimed at introducing children to the sport and building growth, is absolutely booming in WA and Northern Districts is only one of the many WA afilliates benefiting from the growth of the sport. The club operates from Doubleview, an inner suburb of Perth and has a major leadership role with respect to the development of the sport throughout WA. President of NDTA, Steve Whitfield, may have only been recently appointed but he and his affiliate have already been very supportive of the TFA unitary model of governance after he was introduced to the concept only a few months ago. NDTA is also seen as the breeding ground for new referees and is known to have more higher level badged referees than anywhere in WA. Both their Mens Open and Womens Open representative teams have also had recent success, winning Silver at the 2005 State Championships. With club membership bursting at the seams (and having only 5 fields), they continually refer players and teams to surrounding clubs with whom they have a positive relationship. Touch Football Australia is delighted to welcome NDTA on board and we look forward to servicing their affiliate and helping their growth to continue.last_img read more

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May 12 2002 The sun is rising on another large po

first_imgMay 12, 2002 The sun is rising onanother large pour. The location is Unit 9 & 10 of the East Crescent. Some of the crew actually slept on theconstruction site to be ready for the arrival of the first cement truckat 5:30am. [photo: Karen Taylor & text: SA] Everybody is inposition. People from a lot of other departments have come to help. 64cubic yards of concrete will be poured. [Photo: Karen Taylor & text:SA] Welding manager RonChandler is guiding the pump-hose. [Photo: Karen Taylor & text: SA] Furious activity toevenly spread the concrete. [Photo: Karen Taylor & text: SA] Ray Shong is guidingthe screed-vibrator. [Photo: Karen Taylor & text: SA] Tomiaki Tamura andScott Riley are removing the temporary screed guides. [Photo: KarenTaylor & text: SA] Scott Riley is usinga jitterbug over the area where the guides were removed. This forcesthe moisture to rise to the surface while pushing down the aggregate inorder to make even an finish. [Photo: Karen Taylor & text: SA] In the next stepgarden manager Adam Nordfors is using the bull-float to smoothen thesurface. [Photo: Karen Taylor & text: SA] Since the beginningof this year the complete second floor of Unit 6, 7, 8, 9 & 10 of theEast Crescent has been poured. The construction crewhas worked tirelessly to accomplish this task. All theworkshoppers and volunteers who have stayed on contributed greatlyin the whole process. [Photo: Nadia Begin & text: SA]last_img read more

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The overwhelming majority of subjects has come to

first_imgThe overwhelming majority of subjects has come to see the current order as the best possible way to order life. (In this, the Westphalian states succeeded magnificently.) Each prince would have the right to determine the religion of his own state, with the options being Catholicism, Lutheranism or Calvinism. (Of course they gave it a pompous Latin name: cuius regio, eius religio, which simply means “whose region, same religion.”) Christians were guaranteed the right to practice their religion in public during allotted hours and in private at will, whether or not it was the same religion as the ruler. The signers agreed to recognize each other’s sovereignty over territories, their agents abroad (to grant them diplomatic immunity), and not to interfere with each other’s shipping. As Rome devolved, sovereignty went back to the king, but only as authorized by the Roman church. This is what we often call the divine right of kings. If the states leave their model and their sanctified image, legitimacy is likely to break. And if it does, everything could fall apart. So, the states are prevented from adapting to the threat. They are trapped. This leaves Al Qaeda, et al, with a hedge to hide behind. God only knows what kind of damage will come of this. Westphalia has a big problem. (In Westphalia’s End Part 2, we’ll cover the information revolution.) Paul Rosenberg Westphalia’s End Part 1: The Sovereignty Trap FreemansPerspective.com But, as the Right of Kings collapsed, a new order of rulership was required; we are calling that the Westphalian order, and all of us in the West have been living under it since the 17th Century. Cometh Hobbes, Cometh Rousseau There was one thing missing from this arrangement, however: With rulership no longer sanctified by God and his Church, what made a ruler ‘legitimate’? Simply seizing power wasn’t enough. People had to see the ruler as legitimate: if not, many would cease to obey. This gap was rapidly filled by people who began to be called intellectuals. Two of them in particular (Thomas Hobbes and Jean-Jacques Rousseau) rose to prominence by filling this gap with what is called the social contract. Both Hobbes and Rousseau, in different ways, provided secular legitimacy to replace the Divine Right of Kings. Both did this by imagining a contract between the rulers and the ruled. This social contract idea legitimized Westphalia’s new form of rulership. As a result, Hobbes and Rousseau are revered to this day. But, as I say, that form is fracturing, and I shall now begin to explain how: Al Qaeda’s Hedge As mentioned, the system of Sovereign States is held with religious fervor by the operators of nation states: They respect borders, and do not cross them without publicly declaring and defending their reasons for doing so. Criminal groups have begun taking advantage of this strategy. By hiding in a state that can’t or won’t hurt them, they are insulated from the other states of the world. Al Qaeda, for example, hid for a long time in Sudan, then they hid in Afghanistan, and they seem now to be hiding in Pakistan. National borders protect them. This is probably best defined as a hollow state strategy. A hollow state is one that exists in all outward ways, but that is ‘hollowed-out’ and used by criminal organizations for cover. Criminal organizations need safe havens, and hollow states provide them. These organizations make massive amounts of money from data theft operations, product piracy, traffic in illegal drugs or in other ways. They can afford to create and support corrupt states, and do so. Aggrieved nations might want to stop criminals that are stealing their data and pirating their goods, but they are not going to bomb another sovereign nation that has committed no aggression. Essentially, criminal groups rent a hollow state’s infrastructure and hide behind their sovereignty. One way to obtain this is to destabilize a small state, so that it is easy to deal with. Renting France might not be possible, but renting a war-torn African nation can be affordable. The ideal hollow state is one with a clear international standing, but with massive internal problems. Sovereign states, if they take over another state, become responsible for it, and must be seen to maintain their social contract. No such requirements face the criminal organization that creates or finds a hollow state and moves in. So long as a titular government remains in place, nothing else is required. The Trap Devotion to the Westphalian ideal of sovereignty and the social contract gives the confirmed criminals of the world a hedge to hide behind. This strategy was held in check under a bi-polar US/Soviet world, but it has since become viable. The criminals are adapting and are using sovereignty as cover… very effectively. The states cannot adapt. They are caught in a trap of their own making. It looks like this: They have held up their ruling ethos (sovereign states, the social contract) as the inevitable end of civilized existence. The current world order of nation states is in trouble. In fact, it may be doomed. In this series of articles, I will explain this arrangement (briefly) and then how it is being broken, for reasons both good and bad. Westphalia The agreement that created sovereign states as we know them was called the Peace of Westphalia. This agreement was made between churches and rulers as the Divine Right of Kings was failing, Protestantism was ripping Europe apart, technology was revolutionizing the economic order and new continents were being settled. In other words, the old order had broken apart and a new arrangement was not an option: either the rulers cooperated and adapted or their game fell apart entirely. I’ll spare you the details and simply explain that the agreement was signed in 1648, after the first modern diplomatic congress. The main tenets of the Peace of Westphalia were: A king of the ancient world was sovereignty personified. This agreement is the foundation of the modern state and is held to (fervently) by almost every ‘authority’ on the subject – from Henry Kissinger (by whom I was first acquainted with it) down to your local Poly-Sci instructor. What, Exactly, Is Sovereignty? Sovereignty is one of those words that is seldom understood clearly. Nonetheless, the definition is simple. Sovereignty is this: A right to rule that is held to be legitimate. For example: The Greeks (followed by the Romans) broke sovereignty into thousands of pieces and made each citizen a partial holder of sovereignty.last_img read more

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