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Oil industry given Darwinism lesson on adapting to survive in North Sea – Energy Voice

The North Sea oil industry has been given a lesson on Charles Darwins theory of evolution by natural selection.

Executives, geologists, operators, investors and developers were schooled on the subject at the Oil and Gas Authoritys Technology Forum in Aberdeen.

The booked out event drew more than 180 people, who were told that technology was critical to unlocking every last drop of oil held in the UK continental shelf (UKCS).

It comes ahead of the November deadline for the 30th licensing round, focussed on mature areas of the UKCS some of which were last offered for licensing more than 40 years ago.

The November deadline is expected to bring about the most significant offshore round in recent decades.

And Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) operations director Gunther Newcombe said adapting technology to fit the remaining North Sea resources would be seen as a major factor in who is awarded what acreage.

He set the scene to the plenary session, when he said: Do we have a lot of potential remaining in the UKCS still remaining? Absolutely yes.

Another good backdrop to this is that production is up, hopefully 1.7million barrels of oil equivalent per day by the end of this year and also production efficiency is up to 73%.

Weve got 14 or so new developments coming on stream this year so its quite a vibrant UKCS here that we have in the 30th round.

Theres still plenty of yet-tofind- potential out there.

And technology will be one of the key drivers to unlocking that potential.

One of the things that the OGA wants to do is really drive technology into, not just exploration, but right through development and into production. And we will certainly be looking more and more at companies to engage with technology and apply and adapt technology in the UKCS.

The 30th round has more than 800 blocks on offer , equating to roughly six times the size of Wales.

In that space there is 140 discoveries on offer with around 2.3billion barrels of resource discovered in those areas.

And Newcombe said the OGA expects technology to be included in the applications for the round.

He said: Part of the marking system for the licensing round will be about what technology you are going to offer, adapt and deploy.

Seismic technology and imaging of the subsurface are obviously critical to reducing risk. Trying to get that well cost down is also incredible important.

Geosteering is critically important. We are seen a lot of development in the Southern North Sea in that area in particular.

And also adapting other technologies in the area of wells.

So its about getting the cost in the right place and seeing your reservoirs and seeing your tracks.

He added: You need to tie back these things obviously so if youve got infrastructure there efficient tiebacks is important, looking at in a different way.

For example hot taps to having different types of pipeline like spool pipelines for instance to try and get some of these tiebacks hooked up.

Many of the discoveries are in the standalone environment so we need to look at in a different way rather than having these gold plated structures. Are there smaller things that we could use and adapt for smaller pools? Again, being versatile and being to able to adapt technology to the resource is really important.

More than 35 exhibitors from SMEs to major service providers including PGS, Baker Hughes, a GE company, Amplus and Western Geco, showcased at the event in Aberdeen yesterday.

Chris Pearson, OGTC Small Pools Solution Centre Manager, added: This is another first for the OGA and OGTC. We are working collaboratively with an innovative and supportive group of companies to make the license round a success.

The showcase event highlighted how technology solutions can significantly lower the entire life-cycle cost for UKCS field developments. We can be both incremental and disruptive in our approach to how we deploy the solutions. This approach can make this stable and mature basin an attractive investment opportunity.

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Oil industry given Darwinism lesson on adapting to survive in North Sea - Energy Voice

‘Radical’ new biography of Darwin is unreliable and inaccurate – New Scientist

Charles Darwin wrote many letters during his voyage of discovery on HMS Beagle

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

By John van Wyhe

Charles Darwin: Victorian mythmaker, by A. N. Wilson, John Murray

A. N. Wilson is a prolific author who has written more than 45 books, including many biographies of subjects ranging from Queen Victoria to Hitler. His latest, a biography of Charles Darwin, begins with the startling sentence: Darwin was wrong. Wilson argues that Darwin offered to the emergent Victorian middle classes a consolation myth there was something inexorable, natural about their superiority to the working class.

This book provides an appallingly inaccurate rendition of Darwins theory and its scientific context. According to Wilson, Darwin told his contemporaries that their land-grabs in Africa, their hunger for stock-market wealth in the face of widespread urban poverty, their rigid class system and their everlasting wars were not things to be ashamed of, but actually part of the processes of nature. The theory is not science, Wilson concludes, just another offering in a bazaar of ersatz religions.

Wilson maintains that Darwins theory is wrong and not the basis of current knowledge. He believes Darwinism was about extreme gradualism over geological time. But Darwinian gradualism simply means that one animal cannot all of a sudden give birth to a completely different species. The current view of life on Earth is precisely one of changing lineages branching from common ancestors. This, and not the speed of change, is the core of Darwins theory.

The other component of Darwinism, according to Wilson, is that evolutionary progress happens by conflict. Here is the common misunderstanding that the de facto struggle that occurs because some animals live and some die means conscious fighting. And Darwins theory is not about progress, it is about change.

Darwins theory of evolution by natural selection, as any competent reference work describes, is about the differential survival of individual living things based on tiny differences between them. This differential survival (or selection) in effect filters living things to become adapted to a changing world. DNA evidence indicates that all living things are related genealogically on a vast ever-branching tree of life. This is Darwinism. Wilson instead erroneously describes variations in species, not individuals, and he mocks a Darwinian scenario in which the short-necked ancestors of todays giraffes were supposedly panting to reach those leaves, but without success. This is not Darwinism, this is Lamarckism.

Wilsons book contains numerous and serious factual errors such as if Darwin were correct, there would be hundreds, thousands of examples of transitional fossils. There are. Darwins first grandchild did not die in childbirth as Wilson states. A fragment of Wallaces letter to Darwin from when Wallace was living in Ternate does not survive. Darwin believed that his own theory made it impossible to believe in the Bible. Not so. The first 50 pages of Darwins evolution notebook are not missing, they were located and published by 1967. (Wilson copied this claim from a conspiracy-laden essay, Darwin, Coleridge, and the Theory of Unconscious Creation, published by Loren Eiseley in 1965, two years before Darwins pages were published.)

Wilson claims Darwin never persuaded the scientific community in Britain during his lifetime that one species could evolve into another. In fact, Darwin was world famous for having done so. There are very, very many more. Footnotes lead to incorrect references and many dates are quite wrong. Its hard to see how any care for either historical or scientific accuracy could result in such a book.

Throughout, Wilson bashes Darwin for supposed arrogance, dishonesty and incompetence and trots out a long line of old anti-Darwin myths: for example, that Darwin stole ideas from Edward Blyth, whom Wilson mistakes for an evolutionist. (This too is borrowed from Eiseley.) Wilson invents and condemns a towering ambition Darwin had to be a universal genius. And eugenics and Nazi race laws are also blamed (incorrectly) on Darwin.

The book claims to be a radical reappraisal of one of the great Victorians, a book which isnt afraid to challenge the Darwinian orthodoxy. The result is one of the most unreliable, inaccurate and tendentious anti-Darwin books of recent times.

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'Radical' new biography of Darwin is unreliable and inaccurate - New Scientist

Early Review of AN Wilson’s Anti-Darwin Biography Could Have Been Predicted – Discovery Institute

We havent yet seen a copy of A.N. Wilsons forthcoming anti-Darwin book, which isnt out in the United States until December 12. See David Klinghoffers post, Ouch: A Slashing New Anti-Darwin Biography from Darwins Own Publisher. However, if all you knew was that the biographer and literary critic has written a book titled Charles Darwin: Victorian Mythmaker, and a preview op-ed titled Its time Charles Darwin was exposed for the fraud he was, the response would be predictable.

The book could be good, or it could be bad. Were agnostic. But Darwinists defend their man ferociously, and the offense is worse coming not from a creationist but someone who, given class loyalties, ought to be on their side. A creationist they would simply ignore. Its the class treachery angle that really stings them.

Thus we have an early review for New Scientist, Radical new biography of Darwin is unreliable and inaccurate, by historian of science John van Wyhe who edits the website Darwin Online.

Excerpts from the review:

This book provides an appallingly inaccurate rendition of Darwins theory and its scientific context. According to Wilson, Darwin told his contemporaries that their land-grabs in Africa, their hunger for stock-market wealth in the face of widespread urban poverty, their rigid class system and their everlasting wars were not things to be ashamed of, but actually part of the processes of nature. The theory is not science, Wilson concludes, just another offering in a bazaar of ersatz religions.

Wilsons book contains numerous and serious factual errors such as if Darwin were correct, there would be hundreds, thousands of examples of transitional fossils. There are. Darwins first grandchild did not die in childbirth as Wilson states. A fragment of Wallaces letter to Darwin from when Wallace was living in Ternate does not survive. Darwin believed that his own theory made it impossible to believe in the Bible. Not so. The first 50 pages of Darwins evolution notebook are not missing, they were located and published by 1967. (Wilson copied this claim from a conspiracy-laden essay, Darwin, Coleridge, and the Theory of Unconscious Creation, published by Loren Eiseley in 1965, two years before Darwins pages were published.)

Throughout, Wilson bashes Darwin for supposed arrogance, dishonesty and incompetence and trots out a long line of old anti-Darwin myths: for example, that Darwin stole ideas fromEdward Blyth, whom Wilson mistakes for an evolutionist. (This too is borrowed from Eiseley.) Wilson invents and condemns a towering ambition Darwin had to be a universal genius. And eugenics and Nazi race laws are also blamed (incorrectly) on Darwin.

Wilsons competence or incompetence on Darwin remains to be seen with our own eyes.

Having said that, John van Wyhe is a Darwinian partisan so some of what he says is surely to be anticipated. His claims of thousands of transitional fossils supporting Darwins theory (contra Wilson) and that Darwins theory does not rely upon slow, gradual change are simply incorrect, as Jonathan Wells and Stephen Meyer have thoroughly explained. The Cambrian explosion really is a problem for Darwinism.

The reviewer is too quick to dismiss the influence of Darwinian theory on Nazi ideology (see Richard Weikarts books) and its social implications (see John Wests Darwin Day in America). Van Wyhe is also wrong to criticize Wilson for claiming that Darwins theory made it impossible to believe in the Bible. In his Autobiography,Darwin states his emerging belief in the unreliability of Bible and his rejection of design in nature clearly enough.

Yet van Wyhes criticisms of some factual errors, if accurate, make Wilsons book problematic. Some of the issues attributed to the book are more than just Darwinian talking points, e.g., incorrect dates, bad references, and other basic errors of fact which are, again, if correct, serious matters.

We noticed that, contrary to what Wilson wrote in the previously referenced newspaper article, Cuvier was not an evolutionist. And van Wyhe is correct in describing the giraffe stretching his neck as the iconic illustration of classic Lamarckian inheritance of acquired characteristics, not Darwinism, as he says Wilson suggests.

Also, it is true that the early notebooks of Darwin were discovered in the mid 1960s and published in 1965. They are not missing, as van Wyhe claims Wilson asserts.

The key is exactly what does Wilson say and how does he say it. We know well by now to be cautious of Darwins defenders. They are often cagey and misleading. So at this point, who knows?

Photo credit: Patche99z (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons.

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Early Review of AN Wilson's Anti-Darwin Biography Could Have Been Predicted - Discovery Institute

The Multiverse Is Science’s Assisted Suicide – Discovery Institute

In 2015,Wiredtold us that physicistswere desperate to be wrongabout the Higgs boson. They yearned to push the Standard (Big Bang) Model of the universe in new directions. But the unmindful particle acted just like the model said it would act, obeyed every theorized rule.

In the silence that followed, asking for evidence for these physicists proposed infinity of universes (the multiverse) felt like assaulting a victims feelings. At theGuardian,Stuart Clark laterinformed usthat Brexit and Trump are nothing compared to the alternate universes some astronomers are contemplating. Really? Regional political upsets vie with a multiverse?

Astronomers, Clark tells us, pin their hopes on the Cold Spot, a cool patch of space from the early universe: We cant entirely rule out that the Spot is caused by an unlikely fluctuation explained by the standard theory. But if that isnt the answer, then there are more exotic explanations. Indeed. There are more exotic explanations for almost anything.

Eugene LiminsistedatThe Conversationin 2015 that parallel universes are science: Whether we will ever be able to prove their existence is hard to predict. But given the massive implications of such afindingit should definitely be worth the search. Very well, but some people research ghosts on the same basis. What makes the multiverse quest science but the ghost hunt anti-science, once evidence no longer matters as much as it used to?

Cosmologists sense the problem and strive to rescue their multiverse from the nagging demands for evidence. Pop science media offer a window into major trends.

One is cosmic Darwinism. Lee Smolin has advocateda cosmic versionof Darwinian natural selection in which the most common universes will be those most suitable for producing black holes, as our universe does. Is Darwinism the cause? In The Logic and Beauty of Cosmological Natural Selection (Scientific American,2014), Lawrence Rifkinadmittedthat the main problem with the hypothesis is lack of direct evidence:

But keep in mind that from a direct evidence perspective, cosmological natural selection is no worse off at this point than proposed scientific alternatives. There is no direct evidence that universes are created by quantum fluctuations in a quantum vacuum, that we live in a multiverse, that there is a theory of everything, or that string theory, cyclic universes or- brane cosmology even exist.

Then why should we not set all such speculations aside? There is no obvious need for hurry.

Darwinism, as in natural selection acting on random mutations, is a theory developed by Darwin and his followers to account for complex, specified information in life forms on this planet. Whether it iscorrect or notwhen used as intended, if it is applied to an undetected multiverse, it becomes philosophy (metaphysics).

An anecdote suffices. As Michael Egnor has observed here, philosopher Joseph P. Carter told us in theNew York Timesthat the universedoes not careabout purpose. Evolutionary psychologist Michael E. Price disputes that view atPsychology Today,insisting that in a multiverse natural selection can create purpose. His position is denied by most of natural selections advocates in biology. But, riffing on Smolin, Price explains that life is more likely than black holes (or anything else) to be a mechanism of universe replication. If this kind of ungrounded assertion is the best naturalism can do for us now, why do we encourage it?

Physicist Ethan SiegelcounselsatForbesthat we must not doubt the Multiverses existence without considering the very good, scientific reasons that motivate it. But very good scientific reasons are precisely what we lack, unless the term scientific reasons now includes immunity toexperimental and observational tests.Similarly, physicist Brian Coxtold usin 2016 that the idea of multiverses is not too big a leap from cosmic inflation. But he is dealing with leaps of the imagination, not of physics discoveries.

Earlier this year, skeptical mathematicianPeter Woitfretted withscience writerJohn HorganatScientific American,The problem with such things as string-theory multiverse theories is that the multiverse did it is not just untestable, but an excuse for failure. Commenting elsewhere on Zeeya MeralisA Big Bang in a Little Room(2017),he notedthat she contemplates the possibility that string theory and inflation may be conspiring against us in such a way that we may never find evidence for them, and just have to trust in them as an act of faith. He woulddescribe it asa scientifically worthless idea.

With a clash of world views, where to begin?Woitand Horgan assume that post-modern science is a quest to understand reality, just as traditional science has been. It is not.

For many people today, post-modern science is more of a quest to expressan identity asbelieverin science,irrespective of evidence. Cosmologist Paul Steinhardtgot a sense of thisin2014,when he reported that some proponents of early rapid cosmic inflation already insist that the theory is equally valid whether or not gravitational waves are detected. It fulfilled their needs. In 2017, cosmologist George Ellis, long a foe ofpost-modern cosmology,summed it up: Scientific theories have since the seventeenth century been held tight by an experimental leash. In the last twenty years or so, both string theory and theories of the multiverse have slipped the leash.

We have so much more data now. But it provides no evidence for a multiverse. Thats nothing unusual historically (thinkphlogistonandetherfor great ideas that did not work). We used to just adjust. But today, increasing numbers of science-minded people demand a post-modern science that adapts to their needs. After all, we evolved to survive and pass on our genes, not to understand reality.

As a result, many cosmologists and science writers speak as if the multiverse merely awaits routine administrative clearance to morph into textbook science, absent evidence. Characteristically, they see themselves as fighting aconservative(fuddy-duddy) establishment whichclings toa role for mere evidence.

Fine tuningof our planet and our universe for life sets limits onmerebelief by challenging us to calculate probabilities. The multiverse is deeply attractive by comparison because it dissipates evidence. Itconjures unimaginablyinfinite, unproven, and incalculable probabilities. AsNew Scientistputs it,We merely inhabit one out of the infinite selection. That feels so right just now.

The multiverse has only ever existed, so far as we know, in the mind of man. Its most promising research programs,stringtheoryandearly rapid cosmic inflation theory,have bounced along on enthusiasm alone, prompting ever more arcane speculations for which there may never be any possibility of evidence.

But like so many other empty ideas, the multiverse has consequences. If we accept it, we abandon the view that science deals with the observed facts of nature. We adopt the view that it tells us what we want to believe about ourselves. In other words, the multiverse is sciences assisted suicide.

Image: Infinity Room, by Helsinki Art Museum, The Broad [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

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The Multiverse Is Science's Assisted Suicide - Discovery Institute

About the Correction I Received: – HuffPost

To the person who sent me the correction,

I respect you and your views. I also want to emphasize that I wrote this letter because of my genuine concern for you; I do not mean to degrade or ridicule your message in any way.

Before I continue, I suggest you make friends with a homosexual, an immigrant, a Muslim. I want you to get to know the other side that you claim exists.

It is true that two major parties of different social, fiscal, and political ideals compete in the US government. It is also true that in the past year, our political parties have experienced further polarization. It is true that it created a huge divide in our diverse, multicultural nation.

However, it is also true that the censure of white supremacists, KKK, and Nazis in Charlottesville should not be considered a partisan issue. The fact that both Republicans and Democrats had to shame President Trump into condemning these acts shows that he isnt capable of the most basic moral duties of a nations leader. Moreover, it tells me that his self-proclaimed mission of making America great completely excludes a large portion of not only the current American population, but people who were very much a part of our history. If you truly think that your life is being set aside for the likes of homosexuals, immigrants, and Muslims because of your race and your American name, you have not seen what real oppression looks like. I want you to look in our star-spangled history and see liberty, freedom, and global excellence. I want you then to see under the surface(the side Trump doesnt want you to see), the side of history bloodied with slavery, imperialism, Jim Crowe, social darwinism, lynchings, sexism, anti-semitism, and so on. If our president somehow convinced you that people like me are plotting against you, I regretfully say that you have been duped by his hate tactics.

I speak as an immigrant and as a woman of color. I want America to be great too. We all are right there with you. Still, I will stand by my earlier statement that Donald Trump does not want America to be great; he wants the Trump Corporation and its allies to get tax breaks. So yes, I will continue to say that Trump is one of the biggest threats to our nation.

If you want to see America become great again, please dont believe trolls who target former President Obamas religion and private life based on his race(yes, hes really a christian). Please dont make assumptions based on my status in this country. Please stop dehumanizing our struggles. Please understand that ignorance and hate hurt the core values of this nation.

If we all want America to be great, there is no political party, no class, no sexuality, no race.

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About the Correction I Received: - HuffPost

Will Hate Trigger A Religious Revival Via Social Media? – MediaPost Communications

Mollycoddling white supremacists and playing footsie with bigots are not activities befitting the presidency, many argue in reaction to Donald Trumps equivocations about the deadly violence in Charlottesville.

The resurgence or reemergence of the far right is also an affront to the nations soul, as Mitt Romney warned. He said Trumps words caused racists to rejoice, minorities to weep, and the vast heart of America to mourn.

Ominously, Romney added that unless the president corrects course, there may commence an unraveling of our national fabric.

These dire warnings may prove all too prescient: The national controversy over race and racism now underway has brought forth angry forces that seem to revel in nihilism; they are already tearing our social fabric with acts of violence. But the impact goes beyond them.

Violence and vocal hate also force broad swathes of ordinary Americans to ask themselves what they believe and how they should respond.

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There are many organizations and movements responding to the rise in far-right extremism and hate, most without a religious element. Secularism and tolerance generally go hand in hand. But could those glaring questions, and the heartfelt sorrow of a large part of the American public over racial division, also trigger a religious revival the Fifth Great Awakening in American history?

It may seem like a long shot, but consider the video postedhere.

Is it time to reconsider the generally dismissive views on religion that seem to prevail in more secular circles? Religion remains a powerful force in American life and is capable of uniting people from different communities.

A religious revival now, in reaction to the dangerous outburst of overtly racist and anti-Semitic ideology, would have numerous precedents in the previous Great Awakenings a series of Christian mass revivals that swept America from 1730 to 1980. They often grappled with the most pressing social issues of the day, including abolition, womens rights, temperance and prohibition, and abortion.

As noted in a previous post, each Great Awakening was facilitated by its own new media and the next Great Awakening, whenever it comes, will undoubtedly come via social media.

So far, America has seen at least four epic religious revivals, the Great Awakenings. Each pioneered an innovative communications strategy using the technology available at the time; however, the goal of these strategies was always to get people listening to revivalist preachers.

During the First Great Awakening, from 1730-1755, it was almost entirely word-of-mouth. There weren't many printing presses in the colonies, the postal system was rudimentary, and many people were illiterate. Communities were small enough for a single word-of-mouth advocate to be quite effective in building buzz around the approach of famous fire-and-brimstone preachers, like Jonathan Edwards.

By the time of the "Second Great Awakening," from 1810-1840, printing presses were common and more Americans were literate, so the communications strategy evolved to include a big print media push, with the foundation of the American Bible Society in 1816.

The print media strategy included not just mass-publication of Bibles, but flyers and pamphlets promoting social causes associated with the revival. like the abolitionist and temperance movements. They also advocated for womens and childrens rights, for example, opposing child labor in industry.

The same basic technologies dominated the Third Great Awakening, from 1870-1900, which saw the birth of fundamentalist Christianity in response to Darwinism. There was much more use of print, thanks to the growth of newspapers and the popularity of campus revivals at colleges and universities, as well as the work of Dwight Moodys Bible Institute. (Later, the rise of radio in the 1920s allowed fundamentalists to form their own national and local media networks, such as evangelist AimeeSemple McPherson.)

The most recent revival was the Fourth Great Awakening from 1960-1980, in reaction to hippies, gays and abortion, again characterized by the adoption ofthe latest media most notably the modern phenomenon of televangelists like Billy Graham, Oral Roberts, Jerry Falwell, Pat Roberston, and Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker.

The wave of televangelism was supported by new broadcast and cable networks dedicated to revival activity, including the Trinity Broadcast Network, as well as new genres of music like Christian rock.

While some of the Great Awakenings were undoubtedly conservative in response to the social issues of their day (Darwin, Prohibition, hippies, abortion, homosexuality), its also worth highlighting the contribution made by evangelical Christian abolitionists many of them women to the struggle against slavery, as well as for womens and childrens rights.

Today, evangelical voters supported Trump in 2016, largelymotivatedby economic insecurity, according to a report from the University of Chicago Divinity School, which noted Surveys showed that many white evangelicals objected to Trumps sexism [and] racism

America once again faces a vast spiritual question about the contents of its own soul fertile ground for religious ferment. Will there be another religious revival uniting the country in condemnation of racism? Or is the American public just too irreligious and apathetic to become excited about religion again?

But one thing is for sure: the Fifth Great Awakening should it come to pass will take place via social media, continuing the tradition of evangelists adopting advanced media strategies. It will be enabled by the massive growth of email, social networks and digital media especially online video.

It will allow individuals and organizations to coordinate evangelizing efforts by followers and reach out to potential new converts.

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Will Hate Trigger A Religious Revival Via Social Media? - MediaPost Communications

Digital transformation: It’s not a destination – Econsultancy (blog)

Here we are, in the second half of 2017 and 'digital transformation', as an industry term and practice, is mainstream.

Virtually, all digital agencies and consultancies are offering services and solutions, of various flavours, under this digital transformation umbrella. Most now recognise that it's much more than just a technological and business transformation; it also encompasses many human aspects including mindset, behaviours, beliefs and culture.

It's a fast growing industry, which the innovators and early adopters have been involved in for some time; in fact, for a good number of years.

Question: Has anyone transformed yet?Has anyone actually reached that light at the end of the tunnel?

It's an interesting term 'digital transformation'. It implies a changing of states, from one to another, which is misleading. The light at the end of the tunnel is perceived to be the point where the journey ends and you've finally reached that destination you've been striving for; free to bask in the glorious sunshine.

If you view the tunnel through this one dimensional lens, and believe there is a destination to reach, don't put a timescale on it. Because, apologies for being the bearer of bad news, you won't get there, you never will.

Technology will continue to advance, rapidly, and behaviour will also change, you will always be playing 'catch up'. There is no destination. Instead, you should move your focus away from the destination and to the pace of your transformation.

If I may, I'd like to propose you look at transformation in another way. Let's look at it sideways on. Take yourself out of the tunnel and view it from a disassociated persepective.It looks very different. That light at the end of the tunnel is not the sunshine. Yes, it's still something we should still be striving for, but rather than it representing a static end point, we should view it as a moving target, one we should try and keep pace with. You see, the light is actually the 'tail-light of technology' and all that it drives.

To stretch the metaphor even further, it's the vehicle that's creating the transformation tunnel, and over the years we've done our best to keep it in sight and help the organisations we work for, or work with, navigate towards and through the zeitgeist of the day, and whatever label becomes the defacto term to give it.

Transformation is a continuous thing, it's a constant evolution, the rate of which is getting faster, day by day. Therefore, to be successful is about your ability to rapidly evolve. To adapt to the rapidly changing environment your business is operating within, how this environment is changing, and what you need to do survive and ideally, thrive. It's 'digital Darwinism'.

Standing still is not an option. Inertia is your worst enemy. The Boardroom that pontificates and procrastinates is doing a lot of harm. The competition, the ones who operate in an Agile way, happily testing, learning, building and iterating as they go, are the ones who are succeeding. They are able to move through the tunnel at pace, picking up speed, keeping that light bright and in sight, overtaking their competition and seeing them disappear behind them.

They have recognised there can be no excuses for standing still. Whether it's the perception that legacy IT systems and architecture are too big and expensive to change; or there aren't the right skill sets on board; key staff retention is poor or there's a lack of vison and leadership; there is always a starting point. Each situation will be different, but think big, start small and scale fast....as fast as you can.

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Digital transformation: It's not a destination - Econsultancy (blog)

American lit, conservative thought and Trump – St. Augustine Record

Bob Fliegel

St. Augustine

Remember Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau? Although most of us English majors met those two in American Lit 101, I hadnt given them much thought in the intervening 50-plus years. Until, that is, I had the following epiphany: They represent two pillars of modern American conservative thought.

Consider the thesis of what is arguably Emersons most famous work, his 1841 essay on Self-Reliance. Surely self-reliance is an admirable trait. How could it not be? Shouldnt we all be expected to strive, to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, to be self-made, to eschew the government dole?

Of course, the reality is that not everyone thrives under capitalism. Many falter and fail for any number of reasons. Some are unable to overcome physical or mental shortcomings, while others may see themselves as economically victimized by forces beyond their control. Still others are inept or just plain lazy.

Enter social Darwinism. In that view, the survival of the fittest extends beyond Darwins theories of natural selection to a similar premise of socio-economic survival. Some of us will succeed.

Some of us will not. Theres a putative fairness to this being allowed to play out without government intercession. Why should the less able be given a leg up? Is a level playing field an inalienable right? Are unequal outcomes always prima facie evidence of unequal opportunity?

Add Thoreaus essay Civil Disobedience of 1849, in which he endorsed the Jeffersonian notion that government is best which governs least, and you have the conservatives rejection of a.) government intrusion and overreach and b.) assistance programs they regard as only fostering continued dependence on government largesse.

Ronald Reagans compassion for the truly needy notwithstanding, conservatives have remained skeptical about that truly part. Although they extol the virtues of voluntary assistance to the disadvantaged, they certainly dont feel the same way about involuntary taxation to help those who cant fend for themselves. In fact, many believe program abuses have become so numerous as to warrant throwing that truly needy baby out with the bath water of welfare cheats.

President Trump does not appear to exemplify either of these two major conservative tenets. More precisely, his transactional approach to governance does not seem to be at all grounded in the thinking of their historical advocates.

The odds of his being even minimally conversant about the contributions of a Thoreau, an Emerson, or a conservative progenitor like Edmund Burke, are low indeed. No doubt his supporters would call that contention elitist. So be it. They would, of course, be wrong.

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American lit, conservative thought and Trump - St. Augustine Record

Curricula on Intelligent Design Are Urgently Needed — And Here … – Discovery Institute

Editors note: We are delighted to welcome a new contributor to Evolution News,our colleague Daniel Reeves,Educational Outreach Assistant with Discovery Institutes Center for Science & Culture.

Representing Discovery Institute as an educational outreach assistant often means sitting at a conference book table and offering a selection of materials related to intelligent design readings that range from a brief overview of the corrosive social impacts of neo-Darwinism to 600-page technical breakdowns of complex biochemical systems. Ive watched, time after time, as students and professionals alike approach the table with visible enthusiasm only to leave feeling overwhelmed by the vast array and sheer quantity of information available on the subject. I can fully relate.

My own journey to learning about intelligent design began in high school, where I became particularly interested in the biodiversity of life and the glaring inadequacy of natural selection as an explanation for it all. A friend handed me a copy of Darwins Black Box, by Michael Behe, and I was hooked.

Soon, I learned of other titles and was knee-deep in Signature in the Cell an argument for design from the complex digital codes observed in DNA. By the time I had finished an undergraduate degree in biology and was getting acquainted with Discovery Institute, I had read another dozen or so books on the subject. My head was swimming with so many ideas that I didnt know where to turn next.

I wondered: How does this all fit together? What other arguments are out there for intelligent design? What are the counterarguments? What I wish I had to start with was a comprehensive curriculum providing a basic framework for all of the technical books and papers I would go on to read in the years to follow. Such a thing, to my knowledge, did not exist. But now it does.

Regardless of your level of study on the subject, there are now invaluable resources available to help make the multitude of current ID arguments accessible to you. Two are of special interest. Each is organized much like a textbook and comes with supplemental materials including workbooks and/or DVDs. Online companion courses are also offered for each of these, free of charge, to help the reader work through the material at her own pace. I trust that one or both of these resources will prove helpful in your own intellectual journey.

Published recently by Discovery Institute Press, Discovering Intelligent Design is a comprehensive curriculum presenting the biological and cosmological evidence in support of the scientific theory of intelligent design, as well as challenges to neo-Darwinism. Designed for readers ranging from middle-school students (in private or home schools, not public) to adults, this is a perfect place to begin your studies or to gain an overview of the arguments to date. Topics include the fine-tuning of the universe, solar system, and planet Earth, the irreducible complexity of biochemical systems, challenges to the traditional tree of life, and even strategies for engaging in the larger debate. With plenty of images, discussion questions, and accompanying videos, this curriculum stands to captivate students, professionals, families, youth groups, and more.

Or are you already comfortable with the basic framework of ID arguments? Delve deeper with The Design of Life, a beautifully illustrated college-level textbook that covers topics related to human origins, genetics, and macroevolution, the fossil record, the origin of species, irreducible complexity, and much more! Written by mathematician William Dembski and biologist Jonathan Wells, this book presents a compelling scientific case for the intelligent design of biological systems using critical analysis, clear explanations, and brilliant analogies. It will engage every reader, from trained scientist to curious layperson.

The textbooks are available for sale at the Center for Science & Culture bookstore. I hope these resources will serve you as they have me.

Photo: Daniel Reeves, via Discovery Institutes Center for Science & Culture.

Original post:

Curricula on Intelligent Design Are Urgently Needed -- And Here ... - Discovery Institute

How can I keep my employees from jumping ship? – New York Post

I am the owner of a thriving small company. I make an extreme effort to support my employees, yet no matter how much I do, I rarely trust their loyalty. They tell me how happy they are and how grateful for learning so much, but then jump ship, chasing a shinier fish. Loyalty and building a place in a company is a thing of the past, it seems. Whats a small business owner to do?

Good help is hard to find is a common refrain, particularly from small business owners. Generally, I agree with that, which is why, when you are one of the good help you have a lot of leverage and employers are best-served to do what they can to retain such talent. Its harder for small business owners because of the limited career potential. It is your business, after all, not theirs, so if you are hiring people who have higher career aspirations than what you can provide, its unrealistic to expect them to stick around. Not everyone is a career climber, though, so maybe you need to hire more wisely. Find people who are looking for a steady job with good pay, benefits and a pleasant place to work. Youll have a better chance of retaining your staff.

I went through a 360-degree evaluation where my staff, peers and bosses filled out an anonymous evaluation about me, my traits, my performance, etc. I am mortified by the results. Our workplace is very competitive, and I am sure my peers sabotaged me because they want my job. I also dont think its fair that it is anonymous. How do I handle this and discuss it with my boss?

Someone needs a little more help than just a 360 evaluation! Before you go popping off about how the deck was stacked against you and the results are the forces of workplace Darwinism, you might want to dial back there a bit and take a long, hard look in the mirror. Usually there is a certified survey professional who sits with the individual and goes through the results and strategies for dealing with the feedback. Do that! Because unless you do work in a vipers den, chances are you have some things to work on. The fact that your employer invested time and money in this process usually means he or she sees something positive in you worth developing. Seize on that and go from there.

Read more:

How can I keep my employees from jumping ship? - New York Post

The birth of Geotrumpism – Guardian (blog)

Since the advent of the current American President, Donald Trump in January this year, there has been a new level of irritability in living things, especially humans called Trumpism. I shall add the prefix geo to make it compatible with what obtains. And so, we now have Geotrumpism, which is movement of the earth towards Tump. It is a reverse order because instead of the earth creating the stimulus, it is the earth itself that is reacting to an external stimulus called Trump.

In a different lesson and under a different subject, my geography teacher, Mr. Ononibe told me that the features of the earth are not constant and that over time, sometimes millions or even billions of years, movements occur in the crust of the earth that recreate the continental boundaries, global vegetation and topography such that mountains, valleys, rivers, lakes, oceans, deserts and the entire ecosystems will be reformatted and possibly relocated and the American continent for instance could be relocated from its current location to the Sahara Desert or into the Pacific Ocean.

Aah! It sounded like a fairy tale; too strange to be true! Did it therefore mean that the network of streams in my community had not always been there? I prayed to God that night to allow one of such earth movements to happen in my life time so that I could witness the relocation of America into the Pacific.

In the university, my sociology teacher told me that sociology as a discipline evolved effectively after the industrial revolution in England, which redefined the production process with dire consequences on the human condition. Machine started doing what humans were doing. The soil was no more as attractive as the machines and the migration to cities to seek livelihood in the emerging industrial economy generated new set of challenges that changed society and a whole field of learning had to be created to study these changes and proffer methods to maintain conducive social order.

Truly in life, there is no condition that is permanent. It is the reason I do not accept this end-time position of Christendom and I ask for forgiveness. The current global strife cannot be a fulfillment of the scriptures in the book of Revelation that the end-time will be preceded by tribulations of a scale that is already manifesting. Recorded history tells us that the world has never enjoyed absolute tranquility. The world had been troubled long before Christ and has remained so since Christ left more than 2000 years ago.

The history of Europe is also the history of wars. Twice, in 1917 and 1939, Europe had made its own wars become World War 1 and 2. In pre-colonial Africa, greatness was determined by military conquest. The great empires of Western Sudan and the tropics were great because their armies plundered, killed and brought others into subjugation in an uncontrolled reign of territorial expansionism.

Man prides himself (and I guess it was how God purposed it) as the height of Gods creation. But how it is so difficult for man, with all his intellectual and spiritual advantages to be at peace with himself is difficult to fathom. I will say here that man, in spite of himself, has so much to learn from the jungle where life is essentially predatory with the lion and other big cats at the top of the brutal order.

And the lesson is this. In all my observations, I have not witnessed where the lion or other predators engage in willful annihilation as man does. The lion kills to eat not to conserve and when it is filled it can fellowship with preys without posing any danger to them. Man on the other hand is propelled by vanity not necessity to disrupt and destroy the creation of God.

How can this be adequately explained? Not even Darwinism offers a complete answer because mans propensity to destroy just to feel cool is a narrow, if not wrong interpretation, of Charles Darwins theory of Origin of Species and its derivative concept of the Survival of the Fittest or Natural Selection. In the jungle and in Charles Darwins mind, survival does not mean absolute destruction or even territorialism but adaptation to changing natural and social conditions to ensure sustainability.

Man has failed in this regard. Europe, which prides itself as a super race divinely ordained to dominate the universe equates destruction with dominance. The race had maintained an order of unceasing strife in search of dominance until the end of World War II in 1945 and when the United Nations was formed through mainly the instrumentality of the United States to create a new order for Europe and the World.

That order has run for 72 years and paradoxically, Mr. Donald Trump, the new American president is calling for its review or more appropriately, for a return to pre-1945 status quo when might was a national duty and stronger nations could arm themselves to the teeth to inflict maximum pain on weaker nations. This is just one interpretation of Geotrumpism.

Another is the enormous effort at racial profiling to place the peoples of the world in geo-political compartments such that the Caucasians, Mongoloids, Arabs, Africans, etc., do no cohabit to achieve a common human purpose. The resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), neo-Nazism and supremacist sentiments generally in American politics since the coming of Donald Trump explains this. Humanity is no longer a common denominator under Trump and the Whites genuinely have a responsibility to protect their own against others. It is left for others to protect theirs against the Whites. The consequence of this racial protectionism/exclusivity is a divided world where God Who offers all the connections will be disconnected and pushed to the background.

It is a frightening prospect but that is where we are or going with the Trump presidency. Why then should the world fight to put down ISIS if all they ask is a protected caliphate they can call theirs? How is the ISIS revolt different from the event in the last one week in Charlottesville in the State of Virginia, United States?

If Trump can say America and Americans first and heavens are not falling, why should heavens fall if Kim Jong-Un says the same thing regarding North Korean and its people? Blind nationalism was never an exclusive right of the Germans under Adolf Hitler neither is it going to be of Americans under Donald Trump. The North Koreans are equally entitled, same as the ISIS. That should be the true meaning of a Free World which the Americans love to talk about.

I return to my teachers. The earth, perhaps, was not created by God to remain constant or uniform. There are contentions that force a mutation of the physical, social and anthropological elements of earth now and again. I suspect we are at one of such points with Geotrumpism.

But God is still good all the time. That is why the devil is offered all the time to retrace and be good before Armageddon. I am saying it is not too late to create a fresh stimulus and pull back from Geotrumpism onto a more beneficial path and save the world from imminent cataclysm. We can also choose to remain in the direction of Trump if this generation has finally agreed that there is nothing to learn from the lessons of history.

11 Jun Opinion

2 Jul Opinion

16 Jul Opinion

30 Jul Opinion

13 Aug Opinion

Originally posted here:

The birth of Geotrumpism - Guardian (blog)

The alt-right loves Nietzsche, but Nietzsche would not love them – Boing Boing

No expression of far-right idiocy is complete without a macho misreading of Nietzsche. So frequently miscast as the godfather of everything from the Master Race to Mens' Rights, his name alone is something of a shibboleth. Which is sad, because he wouldn't have thought much of them, writes Sean Illing.

Nietzsche's argument was that you had to move forward, not fall back onto ethnocentrism, Hugo Drochon, author of Nietzsches Great Politics, told me. So in many ways Spencer is stuck in the 'Shadows of God' claiming Christianity is over but trying to find something that will replace it so that we can go on living as if it still existed, rather than trying something new. ...

Nietzsche was a lot of things iconoclast, recluse, misanthrope but he wasnt a racist or a fascist. He would have shunned the white identity politics of the Nazis and the alt-right. That hes been hijacked by racists and fascists is partly his fault, though. His writings are riddled with contradictions and puzzles. And his fixation on the future of humankind is easily confused with a kind of social Darwinism.

Actor James Franco has a new YouTube channel in which he raps about philosophy with Eliot Michaelson, a philosophy lecturer at Kings College London, and other experts on such heady matters as imagination (above), and metaphor (below). The special guest on these two episodes is Rutgers University philosophy professor Elisabeth Camp. Also below is an []

I always hate having to write Kurzgesagt In a Nutshell, because its such a wtf mouthful. But they make beautiful animated explainer videos, so I have to write Kurzgesagt In a Nutshell a lot. They are always great, but this 6-minute guide to thinking your way out of existential dread might be their []

Heres a one-sentence synopsis for this interesting 5-minute cartoon guide to Stoicism: We cant control much of what happens around us or to us, but we can control how we respond and think about it.

The Pry.Me Bottle Opener holds tens of thousands of times its own weight, and you can pick one up now from the Boing Boing Store.This remarkable keychain is considerably smaller than any of your keys, but dont let that fool you: it can easily open any bottle, and could even tow a trailer full of []

Guaranteeing your privacy online goes way beyond checking the Do Not Track option in your browsers settings. To ensure that your internet activity is totally hidden from Internet Service Providers, advertisers, and other prying eyes, take a look at Windscribes VPN protection. It usually costs $7.50 per month, but you can get a 3-year subscription []

This project management bundle will help you get organized and learn how to lead a team to success. You can pay what you want for these five courses when you pick them up from the Boing Boing Store.To help you become an invaluable asset for your company, this bundle includes a curated collection of professional []

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The alt-right loves Nietzsche, but Nietzsche would not love them - Boing Boing

Curricula on Intelligent Design Are Urgently Needed And Here They Are! – Discovery Institute

Editors note: We are delighted to welcome a new contributor to Evolution News,our colleague Daniel Reeves,Educational Outreach Assistant with Discovery Institutes Center for Science & Culture.

Representing Discovery Institute as an educational outreach assistant often means sitting at a conference book table and offering a selection of materials related to intelligent design readings that range from a brief overview of the corrosive social impacts of neo-Darwinism to 600-page technical breakdowns of complex biochemical systems. Ive watched, time after time, as students and professionals alike approach the table with visible enthusiasm only to leave feeling overwhelmed by the vast array and sheer quantity of information available on the subject. I can fully relate.

My own journey to learning about intelligent design began in high school, where I became particularly interested in the biodiversity of life and the glaring inadequacy of natural selection as an explanation for it all. A friend handed me a copy of Darwins Black Box, by Michael Behe, and I was hooked.

Soon, I learned of other titles and was knee-deep in Signature in the Cell an argument for design from the complex digital codes observed in DNA. By the time I had finished an undergraduate degree in biology and was getting acquainted with Discovery Institute, I had read another dozen or so books on the subject. My head was swimming with so many ideas that I didnt know where to turn next.

I wondered: How does this all fit together? What other arguments are out there for intelligent design? What are the counterarguments? What I wish I had to start with was a comprehensive curriculum providing a basic framework for all of the technical books and papers I would go on to read in the years to follow. Such a thing, to my knowledge, did not exist. But now it does.

Regardless of your level of study on the subject, there are now invaluable resources available to help make the multitude of current ID arguments accessible to you. Two are of special interest. Each is organized much like a textbook and comes with supplemental materials including workbooks and/or DVDs. Online companion courses are also offered for each of these, free of charge, to help the reader work through the material at her own pace. I trust that one or both of these resources will prove helpful in your own intellectual journey.

Published recently by Discovery Institute Press, Discovering Intelligent Design is a comprehensive curriculum presenting the biological and cosmological evidence in support of the scientific theory of intelligent design, as well as challenges to neo-Darwinism. Designed for readers ranging from middle-school students (in private or home schools, not public) to adults, this is a perfect place to begin your studies or to gain an overview of the arguments to date. Topics include the fine-tuning of the universe, solar system, and planet Earth, the irreducible complexity of biochemical systems, challenges to the traditional tree of life, and even strategies for engaging in the larger debate. With plenty of images, discussion questions, and accompanying videos, this curriculum stands to captivate students, professionals, families, youth groups, and more.

Or are you already comfortable with the basic framework of ID arguments? Delve deeper with The Design of Life, a beautifully illustrated college-level textbook that covers topics related to human origins, genetics, and macroevolution, the fossil record, the origin of species, irreducible complexity, and much more! Written by mathematician William Dembski and biologist Jonathan Wells, this book presents a compelling scientific case for the intelligent design of biological systems using critical analysis, clear explanations, and brilliant analogies. It will engage every reader, from trained scientist to curious layperson.

The textbooks are available for sale at the Center for Science & Culture bookstore. I hope these resources will serve you as they have me.

Photo: Daniel Reeves, via Discovery Institutes Center for Science & Culture.

See the original post here:

Curricula on Intelligent Design Are Urgently Needed And Here They Are! - Discovery Institute

Prohibition of dagga was racist historian – DestinyConnect

The prohibition of dagga in South Africa in the late 1800s was racist and irrational, according to historian Craig Paterson

Paterson was testifying in the dagga trial on Monday at the North Gauteng High Court.

He said he had concluded that dagga was banned because it was mostly blacks and Indians who smoked it at the time.

He said the history of the prohibition of cannabis did not find ground in rationality, reason, science or good law-making, but rather in racism, irrationality, social Darwinism, poor politics and non-science.

Paterson said historical evidence showed that alcohol led to far more arrests and prosecutions than cannabis.

According to Paterson, a South African Indian immigrant commission report in 1887 paved the future for debates around cannabis in the country.

The focus of the report was based largely on labourer indolence.

The inference is that insanity wasnt the main concern, but rather it was labour, said Paterson.

Prohibition was called for in the 1870s and in 1949, the National Party requested a special commission into cannabis.

He said the commission retained the argument of moral degradation, which showed its tacit acceptance of racial hierarchy and racism.

He also referred to this as the use of social Darwinism.

During cross-examination, the state said it would discredit Paterson as an expert and added that the entire history mentioned in his testimony was irrelevant.

Outside court, a large group of anti-cannabis protesters sang songs and held up signs saying cannabis caused users to go crazy.

Protesters wore Gauteng Social Development T-shirts.

Gauteng Social Development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza said she supported the picket against the legalisation, use and possession of cannabis.

We will continue to mobilise local drug action committees, NPOs, recovering service users, families, faith-based organisations, NPOs and as many people of Gauteng as possible to participate, said Mayathula-Khoza in a statement.

Dagga is a serious problem in our communities and it is a gateway to more harmful drugs. Dagga addiction causes misery in communities and the negative effects are long-lasting. The mental institutions are full to the brim with service users suffering from substance-induced psychosis.

The trial is expected to resume on Wednesday.

News24

Original post:

Prohibition of dagga was racist historian - DestinyConnect

Social Darwinism – American Museum of Natural History

Misusing Darwin's Theory

Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection is entirely focused on an explanation of life's biological diversity. It is a scientific theory meant to explain observations about species. Yet some have used the theory to justify a particular view of human social, political, or economic conditions. All such ideas have one fundamental flaw: They use a purely scientific theory for a completely unscientific purpose. In doing so they misrepresent and misappropriate Darwin's original ideas.

One such distortion and misuse is the loose collection of ideologies grouped under the label of "Social Darwinism." Based largely on notions of competition and natural selection, Social Darwinist theories generally hold that the powerful in society are innately better than the weak and that success is proof of their superiority.

Darwin passionately opposed social injustice and oppression. He would have been dismayed to see the events of generations to come: his name attached to opposing ideologies from Marxism to unbridled capitalism, and to policies from ethnic cleansing to forced sterilization. Whether used to rationalize social inequality, racism, or eugenics, so-called Social Darwinist theories are a gross misreading of the ideas first described in the Origin of Species and applied in modern biology.

Continued here:

Social Darwinism - American Museum of Natural History

Prohibition of dagga was racist – historian | News24 – News24

Pretoria - The prohibition of dagga in South Africa in the late 1800s was racist and irrational according to historian Craig Paterson.

Paterson was testifying in the dagga trial on Monday at the North Gauteng High Court.

He said he had concluded that dagga was banned because it was mostly blacks and Indians who smoked it at the time.

He said the history of the prohibition of cannabis did not find ground in rationality, reason, science or good law making but rather in racism, irrationality, social Darwinism, poor politics and non-science.

Paterson said historical evidence showed that alcohol led to far more arrests and prosecutions than cannabis.

According to Paterson, a South African Indian immigrant commission report in 1887 paved the future for debates around cannabis in the country.

The focus of the report was based largely on labourer indolence.

"The inference is that insanity wasn't the main concern, but rather it was labour," said Paterson.

Prohibition was called for in the 1870s and in 1949 the National Party requested a special commission into cannabis.

He said the commission retained the argument of moral degradation which showed its tacit acceptance of racial hierarchy and racism.

He also referred to this as the use of social Darwinism.

During cross examination the State said it would discredit Paterson as an expert and added that the entire history mentioned in his testimony was irrelevant.

Outside court a large group of anti-cannabis protesters sang songs and held up signs saying cannabis caused users to go crazy.

Protesters wore Gauteng Social Development T-shirts.

Gauteng Social Development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza said she supported the picket against the legalisation, use and possession of cannabis.

We will continue to mobilise Local Drug Action Committees, NPOs, Recovering Service Users, families, Faith Based Organisations, NPOs and as many people of Gauteng as possible to participate," said Mayathula-Khoza in a statement.

"Dagga is a serious problem in our communities and it is a gateway to more harmful drugs. Dagga addiction causes misery in communities and the negative effects are long lasting. The mental institutions are full to the brim with service users suffering from substance induced psychosis."

The trial is expected to resume on Wednesday.

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

Read more from the original source:

Prohibition of dagga was racist - historian | News24 - News24

Social media a double-edged sword, IG cautions students – The Hindu

Exhorting children to throw the box and think, P. Vijayan, Inspector General, Kochi Range, has said that it is innovative flavour that strikes a chord with the changing world.

Speaking at this years district-level launch of The Hindus Newspaper in Education (NIE) programme at Bhavans Vidya Mandir, Eroor, on Monday, Mr. Vijayan said the young took to the new media instantly as they were born in the era of knowledge and information explosion.

However, he was quick to sound the note of caution and termed the social media a double-edged sword.

Be updated

Children who kept themselves updated with the changing world would be the fittest while others would be out of sync with the times, he said.

It is a kind of Social Darwinism, if you are the fittest, then the sky is the limit, he said.

The new generation has the advantage of having the media as part of their lives while growing up.

But abuse it and misuse it, and your life is at risk, he said. Most cyber offenders were adolescents, he added. Use it for enriching knowledge and for realising your dreams, Mr. Vijayan told students.

Even though students seemed to be updated with technology, their general awareness on various issues was found wanting, he said.

Speaking about his association with The Hindu since 1987, Mr. Vijayan said that reading the newspaper as a civil service aspirant had helped him develop his views on various issues and enabled him to understand what was going on in society.

Focused coverage

On the NIE School Edition of the The Hindu, he said children would find it interesting as it gave them news in a focused and interesting package.

Nirmala Venkateshwaran, Senior Principal, BVM, Eroor, welcomed the chief guest.

Mili Susan Paul, NIE co-ordinator of the school, proposed the vote of thanks. N.V. Balamurali, Deputy General Manager, Circulation, and Sandhya Varma, Assistant Manager, Circulation, The Hindu, also took part. The Hindu has so far enrolled about 50 schools in and around the district under the NIE programme.

Excerpt from:

Social media a double-edged sword, IG cautions students - The Hindu

Liberals Are For ScienceUntil They’re Not – Power Line (blog)

I think it was our pal Charles Kesler who first quipped that social Darwinism was the only kind of Darwinism liberals opposeda line I have deployed to great effect many times. But it appears he may be mistaken about this. It appears that liberals are increasingly upset with evolutionary science as it reveals gender differences, and goodness, some of this science might even show up on a Google search, at least for a few more hours.

Next time you hear the nonsense to the Republican war on science, point people to this delicious Slate headline and article from today:

Science is sold to us as an almost holy, objective pursuit: a pure endeavor, a way of pursuing truth and only truth. . .But nowhere is it more evident that this perspective is flawed than when we consider the uses and abuses of evolutionary biology and its sibling, evolutionary psychology.

It is impossible to consider this field of science without grappling with the flaws of the institutionand of the deificationof science itself. For example: It was argued to me this week that the Google memo failed to constitute hostile behavior because it cited peer-reviewed articles that suggest women have different brains. The well-known scientist who made this comment to me is both a woman and someone who knows quite well that peer-reviewed and correct are not interchangeable terms. This brings us to the question that many have grappled with this week. Its 2017, and to some extent scientific literature still supports a patriarchal view that ranks a mans intellect above a womans. . .

Sciences greatest myth is that it doesnt encode bias and is always self-correcting. In fact, science has often made its living from encoding and justifying bias, and refusing to do anything about the fact that the data says somethings wrong.

Does this last paragraph apply to the climate science community I wonder? Meanwhile, down with evolutionary biology! Burn the heretics!

Grab a bag of popcorn and enjoy the whole thing, which gets worse as it goes.

See the rest here:

Liberals Are For ScienceUntil They're Not - Power Line (blog)

ANALYSIS-Buoyant bitcoin stirs crypto-bubble fears – Nasdaq

Reuters (Repeats to update graphic) * Bitcoin and cryptocurrency market hit record highs * Fuelled by dozens of launches of new currencies via 'ICOs' * Critics warn of bubble, advocates say bull run ahead * Cryptocurrencies graphic: http://tmsnrt.rs/2gWgyLc?eikon=true By Jemima KellyLONDON, Aug 10 (Reuters) - Bitcoin and other"cryptocurrencies" are big money, virtually as big as GoldmanSachs and Royal Bank of Scotland combined. The price of a single bitcoin hit an all-time high of above$3,500 this week, dragging up the value of hundreds of newer,smaller digital rivals in its wake. Now some investors fear agiant crypto-bubble may be about to burst. It has been a year of unprecedented growth for the largelyunregulated market, with dozens of new currencies appearingevery month in "Initial Coin Offerings" or ICOs. They haveachieved value almost instantly, drawing in those who are eagerto get in and make a quick buck. At the start of 2017, the total value - or market cap - ofall cryptocurrencies in existence was about $17.5 billion, withbitcoin making up almost 90 percent of that, according toindustry data firm CoinMarketCap. It is now around $120 billion - around the same value asGoldman and RBS together - and bitcoin makes up only 46 percent. Bitcoin Cash, a clone of bitcoin that was split off from theoriginal last week by a rival group of developers, was valued atmore than $12 billion less than 24 hours after it had startedtrading. [nL1N1KN1WQ] "It's just created new value out of nowhere," said RobMoffat, a partner at Balderton Capital, a London-based venturecapital firm who focuses on fintech. "There's no fundamentalsbehind any of this - it's all based on public perception, so youcan start to see some really strange phenomena." For an interactive Reuters graphic of the topcryptocurrencies, click on: http://tmsnrt.rs/2gWgyLc?eikon=true Cryptocurrencies - so-called because cryptography is used tokeep transactions secure - allow anonymous peer-to-peertransactions between individual users, without the need forbanks or central banks. They use blockchain technology, a sharedrecord-keeping and processing system that means digital moneycannot be copied and spent more than once. Billionaire U.S. investor Howard Marks likens the market tothe dotcom bubble of the turn of the century - whose demise hepredicted. He said in a recent investor letter that digitalcurrencies were an "unfounded fad ... based on a willingness toascribe value to something that has little or none beyond whatpeople will pay for it". But advocates of cryptocurrencies say 2017 is just thebeginning of bull run. They argue the finite nature of thesecurrency units - there will never be more than 21 millionbitcoin, for example - as well as the technological innovationthat underpins them will ensure their enduring value. "The idea of this thing being a bubble is silly. We're inthe bottom of the first innings," said Miguel Vias of Ripple,the third-biggest cryptocurrency, who was previously global headof precious metals and metal options at CME Group. DASH TO ETHER Whichever way cryptocurrencies move, they are likely to movetogether because their values are highly correlated, feeding offeach other and magnifying the market effect. That's partly down to investor sentiment, but also becausethe start-ups issuing new coins in ICOs generally collect moneyin a more liquid cryptocurrency, such as bitcoin or, morecommonly, Ethereum's ether - the second-biggest cryptocurrencyin total value. That has driven demand for ether, which has climbed over3,000 percent so far this year and now has a market cap ofaround $28 billion. Bitcoin, which was launched in 2009, was the firstsuccessful cryptocurrency and is still easily the biggest, witha market cap of over $54 billion. Its price has shot up around 225 percent so this year, andperformed better than any conventional, central-bank issuedcurrency in every year since 2010 bar 2014. The blockchain-based currencies that have been built sincebitcoin - 842, at last count - vary hugely in terms of theircredibility. Sceptics say bitcoin and its rivals are not particularlyuseful as currencies, as they are still volatile and notaccepted by most merchants. They are mostly just used forspeculative trading purposes. There are some signs of acceptance of the biggest players bythe establishment, however; Ethereum has been piloted by theUnited Nations as a way to distribute funds to Syrian refugees.Ripple has been successfully used as a payment method betweensettlement systems in a Bank of England trial. Some other, smaller cryptocurrencies such as Dash, Moneroand Z-cash are seen as having real value by some users becausethey offer an even higher level of anonymity than the likes ofbitcoin. Whistle-blowing website Wikileaks this week said itwould accept Z-cash for online donations. [nL8N1II1MV] 'DARWINISM IN REAL-TIME' It is mainly the new "token" cryptocurrencies that areissued in ICOs with no regulatory oversight, which have explodedsince the start of the year, that are causing the most anxiety. One, the "Useless Ethereum Token", which appears to havebeen set up as a way of showing how worthless many of the ICOsreally are, is nonetheless changing hands for 3 cents a unit."No value, no security, and no product. Just me, spending yourmoney," its website states. "It's just so easy to raise money on an ICO right now, itjust feels like there's a gold rush going on there," saidMoffat. "Some of the new currencies - beyond bitcoin andEthereum - could crash to zero." By mid-July, about $1.1 billion had been raised in ICOs thisyear, roughly 10 times more than that in the whole of 2016,according to cryptocurrency research firm Smith + Crown.(Graphic: http://tmsnrt.rs/2ueAWvr) [nL1N1KG1XR] The rapid ascent of ICOs prompted the U.S. Securities andExchange Commission (SEC) to warn last month that some ICOsshould be regulated like other securities. [nL1N1KG1XR] This is new digital territory and how the rapidlyproliferating cryptocurrency market will play out is anyone'sguess. While critics say the highly correlated nature of thecurrencies means the weakness of newer entrants could bring thewhole house down; others argue market forces will ensure thebest players prevail. "Will some of these (currencies) go away? Of course," saidVias of Ripple. "We're going to see Darwinism in real-time here.Only the strong will survive." <^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^Graphic of top cryptocurrencies http://tmsnrt.rs/2gWgyLc?eikon=true ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^> (Reporting by Jemima Kelly; Editing by Pravin Char) ((jemima.kelly@thomsonreuters.com; +44)(0)(20 7542 7508;Reuters Messaging: jemima.kelly.thomsonreuters@reuters.net))Keywords: MARKETS CURRENCIES/CRYPTO (ANALYSIS, GRAPHIC, PIX)

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ANALYSIS-Buoyant bitcoin stirs crypto-bubble fears - Nasdaq

Business times are a changin’ – White Bear Press

The old adage of evolve or dissolve has always been a part of the challenges that face businesses. This rings truer today than maybe ever before. We see daily the many changes that companies and their leaders must adapt to and prepare for. The most successful businesses must be constantly on the path of meeting their current business goals as well as have the foresight and strategy to look out further ahead to anticipate what others cannot.

The Darwinism of business is stronger than ever in our changing business climate. From issues related to workforce, technology, and governmental policies, times are changing at a rapid rate. This is why many area businesses choose to connect with their local economic development group and Chamber of Commerce to leverage shared knowledge and best practices.

Business as we know it today will not be the same in the next few years. Consumers will be seeing continuing changes in their shopping and dining experiences as technology continues to evolve. Businesses need to make bets on how they will adapt with the changing demographic of upcoming tech savvy generations. A couple areas where change has been happening at an extremely rapid pace is in the workplace culture and workforce development.

In my work, Ive been seeing tremendous business evolution. Here are some trends of note:

Millennials meet Generation Z The genZers have arrived! 2016 marked the first year they entered the workplace while a third of management roles were filled by millennials. What are some of the challenges? For one, there is an ever widening technology gap between younger and older workers. In addition, stereotypes abound between the groups which causes friction. Interestingly enough, both generations agree that they want businesses to transform the office environment, reward employees, embrace flexibility, and take on causes.

The three Ws Workplace wellness and well-being are the three Ws of attraction tool trends. Getting creative with wellness programs is increasingly common. Companies that are leveraging wellness programs find multiple levels of benefits that affect their bottom line including attracting talent, lower absenteeism and lower healthcare costs.

Changing employer/employee contract Believe it or not, regardless of age, the tenure for employees is currently 4.6 years in the U.S. There is no lifetime employment contract and attracting employees is an ongoing activity for all employers regardless if you have current openings. In addition, the work relationship between employers and employees continues to change with more working at home, more operating as independent contractors, and also with employers utilizing technologies to leverage employees in remote locales.

Evolving benefits All age groups, genders, and ethnicities care about fair compensation. Other important factors are healthcare and work flexibility. Studies have shown some employee groups value work flexibility above healthcare and yet only 1/3 of companies even offer it. And those that do, often dont promote it to job seekers. Other new benefits include assistance with student loans and I even heard of a local business thinking about providing car insurance.

While businesses continue to work on meeting the next challenges, especially in the area of workforce development, we have some local successes to celebrate.

Congrats to I.C. System, Reell Precision Manufacturing, and The Specialty Mfg. Company for receiving the Star Tribunes 2017 Top Workplace achievement.

Top Workplaces recognizes the most progressive companies in Minnesota through employee opinions, including employee feedback about workplace culture, the levels of employee engagement, organizational health, and overall satisfaction.

The Northeast Metro community is fortunate to have a vibrant business community continually connecting together to get ahead of the curve on what is next around the corner. Regardless of what tomorrow brings, we are all committed to shared success together.

Ling Becker is executive director of the Vadnais Heights Economic Development Corporation.

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Business times are a changin' - White Bear Press



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