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Why Hagia Sophia, Turkey And The Charismatic Figure Of Erdogan Bristle With Resonances For India – Outlook India

The reconversion of the Hagia Sophia into a mosque by Erdogans Turkey is a historic event. It marks the rebirth of an Islamic Turkey, and the further retrenchment of universalist values of liberalism and secularism in a world increasingly composed of majoritarian nation-states.

Unfortunately we are not secular any more, Orhan Pamuk, the Nobel Prize-winning Turkish novelist, told BBC on Friday. It all looks so familiar from India. A year ago, in a mirror to the judgment in Turkey, Indias Supreme Court essentially sanctified the majoritarian desire to have a Ram temple built at the site of the demolished Babri Masjid. Like the Hagia Sophia, the issue was not about religious structures, but competing visions of the Indian Republic. The Supreme Court order confirmed to both chauvinistic Hindus and gloomy Muslims what they already suspected: the secular republic had given way to a Hindu India.

Bartholomew I, the usually reticent Patriarch of the Eastern Orthodox Church at Istanbul, issued a stern condemnation of the absurd and harmful reconversion of Hagia Sophia. A place that now allows the two peoples to meet and admire its greatness can again become a reason for contrast and confrontation, Bartholomew said, warning that it will push millions of Christians around the world against Islam. The angry reactions from Greece and Russia, countries with historical ties to the Cathedral, seemed to confirm his fears. Right-wing parties across Europe, which often use Turkey as a bugbear for their nativist politics, would be licking their chops. The Indian right wing, which anyway does not need any excuse to hate Muslims, has also chimed onto the Hagia Sophia issue. What international precedent does Hagia Sophia set for Kashi and Mathura? Shouldnt Parliament pass a law for reclamation of sacred Hindu sites and rebuild temples demolished by Muslim rulers? tweeted Delhi University Professor Abhinav Prakash.

Not that any of this much concerns Erdogan, who has long fashioned himself as a latter-day Ottoman Sultan, systematically dismantling the secularist republic of Mustafa Kemal. The global condemnation only plays into his image as a doughty defender of national causes in the face of external pressure. We will never resort to seeking your permission or your consent, said Erdogan, responding to warnings from other countries on Hagia Sophia. Do you rule Turkey, or do we?

Erdogan has also tried to sell himself as a global protector of Muslims, much like the Ottoman Caliphs, reorienting his foreign policy since 2011 towards what experts have termed pan-Islamism. Sure enough, his Arabic statement glided smoothly beyond Turkey: The revival of Hagia Sophia is a sign towards the return of freedom to Al Aqsa mosque.

There are obvious similarities between Modi and Erdogan (and BJP and AKP). Both espouse religious nationalism, are implacably opposed to democratic institutions such as a free judiciary and a free press, and use repression of minorities as a way to consolidate political support. Arguably, Erdogan has been even more ruthless than Modi in curbing civil liberties (although the gap is fast narrowing)helped by the fact that Turkey only has a brief experience of democracy. Erdogan has jailed more journalists than any other country in the world, used the coup to pack courts with loyalists, and changed the constitution through a referendum granting himself sweeping executive powers.

There are differences though between the two countries. First, Turkey is more evenly divided between secularists and Islamists, an enduring legacy of the long Kemalist rule. Even in the recent moves at Hagia Sophia, while 47 per cent of the public supported turning the monument into a mosque, 38 per cent wanted it to stay as a museum. The urban educated middle classes, who form a large part of Turkey, generally dislike the influence of religion in politics and dislike Erdogan. In a Pew survey, 68 per cent of Turks with a post-secondary education disapproved of Erdogan, compared with only 44 per cent of Turks without secondary education. In India, the educated middle classes are the biggest ideological supporters of Modi and Hindutva. The secular, liberal elite here is tiny, hardly found outside isolated spheres of media, academia and social media.

Second, Erdogans politics of majoritarianism, while imbued with religion, uses repression of ethnic minorities (the Kurds) to buoy his political support. This is mainly because there is no significant religious minority (the Christians now make up only 0.2 per cent of Turkey). And to be sure, Turkish political parties across the spectrum are hostile to Kurds, and persecution of the Kurds has long been a central feature of the Turkish republic. When Turkey launched a gruesome bombing campaign last year on Kurds in northeast Syria, the political opposition swarmed around the military, and the largest anti-government newspaper ran the image of burning Syrian houses with the headline Traitors burnt to smoke. In fact, ironically enough, it was Erdogan who at first went further than anyone to initiate peace with the Kurds in 2010-15.

Yet, when he sensed that his political position was weakening (reflected in the 2013 Gezi protests) and his outreach to Kurds costing him votes, he dramatically reversed himself. When he lost his parliamentary majority in June 2015, he launched a war on the PKK, which helped him regain his majority five months later. Since then, he has been bombing Kurdish villages in northern Iraq, northeast Syria, and carrying out military operations in the Kurdish stronghold of southeast Turkey, where thousands have died. He has also jailed the leaders of the main Kurdish opposition (HDP) party, as well as thousands of its activists. The spike in conflict with the Kurds has helped him shore up his political support at key moments, such as before the 2017 referendum. Of course, this is similar to how Modi uses hostilities with Pakistan, or in Kashmir, or Hindu-Muslim tensions, to rally Hindus behind him at critical moments.

The Hagia Sophia move also comes at the moment when Erdogan is flagging in polls owing to a bad economy and the coronavirus pandemic. When populist strongmen have little else to offer, they offer pride.

It was unsurprising though that all the symbolism of an occasion of pride for the Muslim ummah also sparked celebration among some sections of Indian Muslims. It was partly a desperate latching on to some sense of vindication and Muslim pride at a time Muslims worldwide are subject to cruel forms of oppression. Across the border in China, at least a million Muslims find themselves in detention camps. But it was also partly a reminder that liberal and secular values, in principle (as opposed to pragmatism), are lacking in large sections of every community in India. At another level, it was a muted echo of how Turkish politics of religion had shaped Indian history.

Exactly 100 years ago, the Mahatma Gandhi-led Congress joined the Khilafat movement demanding the restoration of the Ottoman Caliphate. It was a fateful decision with profound historical consequences: it helped birth the non-cooperation movement, encouraged Hindu-Muslim unity, and brought Muslim masses into the anti-colonial struggle. But it also had less beneficial consequences.

First, it cast a long shadow on how Indian secularism would deal with minorities. Secularism often became a byword for accommodating the religious sensibilities of Muslims (often innocuously symbolic but sometimes regressive like in the Shah Bano case), which took precedence over their material rights. Second, the pan-Islamist discourse of the Khilafat movement also arguably contributed to the growth of Muslim nationalism which found its culmination in Pakistan. Naseem Qureshis deeply researched book Pan-Islam in British India: The Politics of the Khilafat Movement, 19181924 argues that pan-Islam (embodied in the Khilafat movement), even though it proved chimerical in the end, played a central role in mobilising Indian Muslims for mass politics and in so doing contributed decisively to the development of Muslim nationalism in the long run.

The Hagia Sophia reconversion ultimately points to the failure of the Kemalist project of top-down secularism. Much like the state secularism of nationalist authoritarian leaders in Egypt, Iran, Iraq etc had failed to lead to the secularisation of the wider society, it seems Turkey is no longer the exception it was long hoped to be. More fundamentally, the failing secularism of Turkey and India begs the question: is secularism even possible in non-Christian/non-Western societies? Without the Western experiences of Reformation and the Enlightenment, hard-fought victories as they were, can non-Western societies value the principles of freedom and secularism? Why is it that, unlike in the West where democratisation and secularism went hand in hand, greater democratisation has seemed to only bring religious chauvinism in India and Turkey?

The answers to these questions are perhaps disturbing, and cannot be obscured by the charge of Eurocentrism, which has long been used to justify reactionary leaders. But what is clear is that the modern reconquests of religious structures are not being effected by sultans and generals, but by the democratic will of the majority. Historical wounds are being opened afresh, and nations being made anew. Both the processes are linked, of course, and values of liberal humanism are offering little resistance.

(Asim Ali is a research associate at the Centre for Policy Research. Views expressed are personal)

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Why Hagia Sophia, Turkey And The Charismatic Figure Of Erdogan Bristle With Resonances For India - Outlook India

Why does philosophy have a problem with race? – The Irish Times

Western philosophy has had two broad strategies for dealing with racism. One is to wave away hate speak and prejudice as of its time. The other is to divert all discussion of the topic into the low-status realm of ethnic, gender and equality studies.

The Black Lives Matters movement has put paid to these ploys for good. No longer can one pretend that the Enlightenment figure David Hume was speaking out of character when he ranked black people as naturally inferior to the whites. Nor can one pass off Immanuel Kants lowly regard for the Negroes of Africa as an aberration. Nor indeed can Voltaires anti-Semitism and offensive baiting of non-whites be treated like a minor blip in an otherwise unblemished intellectual record.

As John Gray writes in his book Seven Types of Atheism, Voltaires racism was not simply that of his time. Like Hume and Kant, he gave racism intellectual authority by asserting that it was grounded in reason.

The Enlightenment is still regarded as a high-point in European civilisation, and the scientific and secular values at the heart of it continue to inspire. Yet the question needs to be asked: Was it also a racist project, deeply entwined with the colonial and missionary expansions of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries?

Professor Aislinn ODonnell, acting head of the department of education at Maynooth University, believes answering this starts with learning: Learning not only how western philosophical thought has contained a racist undercurrent but also how those outside the canon have perceived things.

One of many thinkers people need to know more about, she says, is douard Glissant, a French philosopher from Martinique in the Caribbean who defended ones right to be opaque, or to lack transparency. Those in authority today like to pigeonhole, categorise and reduce minorities to subgroups. Demanding the right to opacity may be the first step towards dismantling this human taxonomy.

ODonnell explains further as this weeks Unthinkable guest.

Philosophy has largely been taught through the eyes of male, pale thinkers. Is it time for an overhaul?

Aislinn ODonnell: Philosophy departments lack of diversity when it comes to both curricula and staff has been flagged as a problem for many years, and in more recent times the American Philosophical Association and British Philosophical Association have issued guidelines which has resulted in some improvements in gender diversity.

However, philosophers like George Yancy, Simone de Beauvoir and Charles Mills argue that so-called mainstream approaches to philosophical enquiry, philosophical problems, and philosophical categories are not necessarily as abstract and universal as they may purport.

Yancy argues the dominance of a particular kind of human being in the field of philosophy white and male determines who gets to be let in to philosophy, and what counts as philosophical.

The ideas and positions of the philosophers and thinkers that I list here would enrich philosophy curricula. For a start, read Denise Ferreira da Silva, Fred Moten, Eli Clare, Christina Sharpe, George Yancy, Saidiya Hartman, Paul Gilroy, bell hooks, Charles Mills, Derrick Bell, Hortense Spillers, Frantz Fanon, Franoise Vergs, Enrique Dussel, Alexander Weheliye, Linda Martn Alcoff, Jasbir Puar, Sara Ahmed, Falguni Sheth, Sylvia Wynter, Achille Mbembe, douard Glissant.

Explain Glissants right to opacity and how it relates to the Black Lives Matter movement today.

The right to opacity rejects the argument that in order to be able to co-exist with others, I must first understand them. No doubt, there is something attractive about discourses of mutual understanding, but Glissant argues that what most matters is for each of us to be able to live with difference. He calls out the violence of making others transparent, that is, reducing people into pre-existing categories or forcing them to reveal and explain themselves in order to judge or compare.

He says: As far as Im concerned, a person has the right to be opaque. That doesnt stop me from liking that person, it doesnt stop me from working with him, hanging out with him, etc. A racist is someone who refuses what he does not understand. I can accept what I dont understand. Opacity is a right we must have.

For Glissant, a key driver of racism is when a logic of identity and purity is privileged over difference, exchange, transformation, and relation. Arguably the same logic is at play when people hold to a monocultural idea of Irishness, judging one group to be culturally the same - or properly Irish - and hence belong, and others to be culturally different and not fully Irish. It undermines the very idea of a pluralistic polity.

It doesnt matter if this is a post-colonial legacy in the Irish case; this way of thinking about identity as fixed operates with the same mechanisms of exclusion.

The metaphysics of modernity has privileged concepts and images of essence, filiation, lineage, territory and identity rather than foregrounding communication, transformation, exchange, difference and identity-in-relation. Such metaphysics has viewed identities as closed, separate, and pure, rather than identities-in-relation.

In terms of Black Lives Matter, I think Glissant would agree that we need to lay bare the ways in which claims to, and desires for, purity operate and how these play out in terms of white supremacy which presupposes whiteness as the norm. It means acknowledging just how much, quite frankly, black lives have not mattered in our recent histories. The creative move for him would involve creating new kinds of relations and solidarity.

Finally, as many people have said, an example of where the right to opacity matters involves white people not asking others to explain race and racism to them, or to demand that they tell their stories and experiences so they can understand them. Do some reading!

To what extent was the Enlightenment a colonial or imperialist exercise?

Glissant and others challenge the images of the Enlightenment and transparency this project of human understanding has been experienced for many people as one whereby they were studied as objects and viewed as not fully human.

Different philosophers will have different positions in terms of the Enlightenments legacies, what we ought to let go, what we ought to renew and what we ought to reimagine. Charles Mills has tried to reimagine liberalism, Paul Gilroy to imagine planetary humanism , while Denise Ferreira da Silva engages in the tradition of critique in philosophy arguing that violence, conquest, and colonisation are at the heart of the project of modernity.

I think what all these thinkers agree is that colonialism and imperialism cant be swept to one side. Indeed, Sylvia Wynter argues that what she calls the mono-liberal human has come into being because what was presented as salvation, the embrace of a common humanity, quickly became an exercise in imposing a threshold and ranking of who was to be counted as human. In this way vast swathes of people were positioned as infra-human needing development and civilisation to become fully human. She wants to imagine the human as creative praxis.

In many respects, this brings us back to your first question and it might help to re-frame it. What happens when the story of Enlightenment philosophy and modernity ignores its historical relation to colonialism, to racial slavery, to genocide, to racism, to sexism and so on? What kinds of images and concepts came to be privileged, like autonomy, sovereignty, property, or identity, and how did they come into existence?

In The Underside of Modernity, Enrique Dussel asks the reader to critically reflect on the inheritance of modernity and he says rather than Descartes famous cogito ergo sum we should reflect on the ego conquiro I conquer, therefore I am.

I think this needs to be taken seriously, and it means that we interrogate the canon more carefully rather than ignoring and dismissing those bits of texts that are problematic as simply prejudices of those times.

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Why does philosophy have a problem with race? - The Irish Times

A glimpse into psyche of the corrupt – newagebd.net

A labourer works at an apparel factory at Savar on the outskirts of Dhaka on June 18 as factories reopened after the general holiday ordered as a preventive measure against COVID-19. Agence France-Presse/Munir uz Zaman

You can make sense of neutron bombs

But not human beings! Helal Hafiz, An Obscene Civilisation

The goal of all life, as Sigmund Freud would have said it, is death. In other words, the story of human civilisation is a story of cultivated inhumanity. The global defense expenditure stands at $2 trillion in 2019, which raises a moral question about the opportunity cost in terms of spending on health, agriculture, education, housing and overall sustainable development. The twist of capitalism is that as profit motive becomes paramount, the inhumane drive of self-maximization pervades the entire society. When systemic greed meets dysfunctional institutions, corruption thrives.

As we are well into the fourth month into the COVID-19 outbreak, the total number of patients who tested positive inches towards one and half lac and the number of deaths crossed the two-thousand bar. Almost everyone now knows someone close by to have been affected by the symptoms of the virus. Renowned intellectuals, seasoned bureaucrats, business tycoons, health workers, and ordinary citizens have lost their lives in their fight with the invisible organism. While everyone tries to cope with the alarm and morbidity in the air, a section is trying to make a sordid fortune out of the crisis.

The overwhelming majority of the frontline fighters policy makers, administrators, physicians, or essential workers are demonstrating exceptional integrity and grit in the face of an unprecedented havoc. Yet, the remorseless graft of a minority of government employees, public representatives, businesses and private hospitals are hindering effective response to the outbreak and its socio-economic fallout.

II

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may Robert Herrick

A brief mapping of the main sectors in which COVID-related corruption is happening reveals interesting details. Crooks have been found unsurprisingly in the public administration the powerhouse of an overtly bureaucratically governed nation but also in local government and private sector businesses.

The viral outbreak laid bare the unthinkable fragility of our health sector. The number of intensive care units for treating critically ill patients is terribly low. Lack of medical equipment restricts doctors efforts to treat the patients. Colluding forces, known in the local parlance as syndicates, create artificial crisis of health equipment, thwarting companies that have sufficient reserve of corona testing kits from supplying to the point of use. The health ministry aided by international development organisations took initiatives to procure personal protective equipment, masks, goggles, and other health equipment for the government hospitals. Incredibly, in certain cases costs, according to news reports, estimated in the procurement process have been found to be four times the original market price. Earlier, in-depth investigations into health sector by Anti-Corruption Commission unearthed the endemic corruption that has bled the sector dry. When the survival of the entire populace hinges on the availability of adequate medical facilities, the health sector mafia are die hard. Had the cost been estimated honestly, four times more health equipment could have been procured, additional lives could have been saved. The corruption bonanza was not centered on medical equipment alone. Imaginative figures were suggested for software and website development. Large financial allocations were made for paying honorarium for seminars and conferences. Not only estimated costs of these services were fancied too high, the utility of these services are questionable given that fundamental health products are short of supply.

The local government, rural development and cooperatives ministry has suspended no less than 104 public representatives for irregularities in relief distribution since the start of coronavirus outbreak. Misappropriation of funds or relief goods and manipulating the lists of beneficiaries are probably the two main graft ploys. At the local government level, embezzlement of public resources was a problem even prior to the coronavirus outbreak, but seems to have escalated in the times of a national crisis.

Private sector health care industry is also not immune from malfeasance. Doctors have been risking death and a significant number of healthcare professionals have died. While their humanism and professional ethic lights a ray of hope in these dark hours, certain businesses and private hospitals have seized upon the COVID-19 as an opportunity for brisk profit. Price of oxygen cylinder shot up in certain areas and a few private hospitals are charging exorbitant prices for their services.

III

When the city burns, even the temples of the gods are not spared.

Bharatchandra Roy

No one is invulnerable to the new virus. Friends and family members of even the rich and the powerful have fallen victim. Imminent risk of death usually modifies our behaviour by triggering the primal instincts of fight or flight. It boggles mind to surmise what motives may be inducing the corrupt to keep stealing during catastrophic time. Fear of death doesnt hold them back. Do they have some twisted risk perception that makes them believe that they or their family will somehow escape the viral scourge?

In rare instances of heroism, people stick to their guns in the face of certain destruction. When the ship RMS Titanic was sinking the eight musicians on board decided to keep on playing their routines as the terrified passengers ran for their lives. The musicians sank with the ship still at their act and are today remembered for their heroism. History remembers another musician for the same grit, although for opposite effects: when Rome was burning, as the myth relates, its god-emperor Nero was strumming the chords of his fiddle. We got too many little, terrible Neros in a COVID-19-plagued Dhaka. When the novel coronavirus calamity will be over, they will be remembered for their passionate attachment to the business of inflating bills, falsifying lists and misappropriating resources meant for the most vulnerable section of the society.

The corruption bonanza is precisely the usual stock in trade for the unscrupulous sections in our predatory capitalist structure. In 2019, the Anti-Corruption Commission itself identified a number of factors driving the health sector corruption but there is no evidence that the reports recommendations could bring about any transformative change in the sector.

The risk-benefit assessment is the prime factor, if we assume that the corrupt nexus is acting on the basis of rational choices. In a system characterised by weak governance, often benefits are privatised and losses are public. The corrupt nexus might be anticipating that if they could make extra money, they could appropriate the benefit, while the loss, i.e. the risk of death can be passed off to the others, the most vulnerable.

Centralised and exclusionary patron-client structure: The ability to appropriate benefits and pass off losses to others is based on a political system strongly defined by partisan biases over considerations of rightful entitlement. The allegiance of the actors is primarily upward in a thoroughly centralized governance system, and thus whatever benefits they pass down to the public may be perceived as whatever pittance of favor or patronage the public is good enough for. The rest can be appropriated by them since they see their own position and rank in the centralised patron-client structure as an extra-institutional entitlement validated by political affiliation and so on. Crooks may even be seen justifying their rent-seeking actions and abuse of power with reference to the risks and sacrifices they have made for the sake of preserving this centralised and exclusionary patron-client structure.

A narrow horizon of action: The administrative and political personnel who engage in corruption may not have an interest or incentive in the greater good. They may lack the imagination and motivation to engage in actions that could both benefit the community and fortify their own social and institutional credentials. Innovative solutions with regard to institutional coordination, use of technology and knowledge are required for handling a situation like this, but that requires a larger horizon of action for public officials.

Conflicting value systems: Social values are more often than not narrowly centered on personal and familial success. Social status in the immediate social circle is chiefly defined by pecuniary riches. Powerful self-maximising socio-political networks mainly judge the merit of an action not in terms of values of impartial and rule-bound procedural and substantive justice, but in terms of direct gains to themselves and their networks.

The four reasons listed above are like scratches on the surface of a bottomless, inscrutable malaise that call for thoroughgoing analyses beyond mere moralisation or methodologically individualist psychologisation.

IV

A stronger nation sold death and destruction to a weaker nation and has been making some profit out of it. What profit on the one side, and what inconceivable harm to the other!

Rabindranath Tagore, The Death Trade in China

JOS Saramagos Nobel-winning novel Blindness is based on the idea of a pandemic. The story goes like this: An invisible virus began rendering people blind. The government took the decision to quarantine the patients in a specific area. Among the quarantined blind people, one group consisted of those blind by birth. The born-blind group formed a syndicate and started monopolising relief foods meant for all. They told their blind fellows that from now on the latter would need to buy their foods. Others from the quarantined population were shocked to hear this as they had no money or assets in the quarantine. The syndicate however came up with solutions. First, they told them to give up all their valuables for getting food. After plundering the valuables, the thugs came up with a new proposal: women for food.

Blindness in this case has a pattern to it: all are blind but some are blinder than others. The pervasive syndicates in our country are blind to everything but profit. They could capitalise a pandemic, a war, probably even a zombie outbreak or the armaggeddon. There is a certain denaturation in this money-centered conception of life. Norman O Brown demonstrated that the essence of modern economic activity involves an inability to grapple with ones mortality. The imperative to accumulate is linked with the need to be able to give gifts to others which is twisted back into a hyperbolic notion of self-interest, as captured in the concept of homo economicus. In a post-colonial, peripheral country like Bangladesh, the system of accumulation has been warped into a process of de-linking ones fate with others. Marx showed that in capitalism the transaction between the capitalist and the worker was not an exchange of equal value, instead the very creation of exchange value is predicated upon capture of a surplus value by the capitalist from the value produced by the worker. In the predatory capitalism that we have in our country, the predatory caste systematically delinks its fate with the ordinary populace. There may be a profound cynicism hidden in the predatory mentality: that the others, the people have no future. For all the rhetoric of boundless prosperity and breathless growth, the predators with hearts full of cynicism believe that they should untie their fate from the masses doomed to perpetual misery and eventual death. Hence, they seek to steal their way out of annihilation for the sake of their little circles defined by kinship, party, and other narrow affiliations.

Unable to live and phobic to die, our little Neros are like so many zombified undead trying to feast upon the flesh of the people that live against systemic odds.

Originally posted here:

A glimpse into psyche of the corrupt - newagebd.net

Humanists, the Time for Action Has Always Been Now – Patheos

Lets begin with a recap, friends. Its been rough times for me here in Colombia, just as its been rough times for a great many of you around the world. Having a lock on what to say, as a humanist with a platform, isnt easy when it feels like weve a hundred fires to put out all at once. The best Ive been able to do, these past few weeks, is to try to advocate for thinking carefully about where were looking to advocate for comprehensive change, how were handling a fear of getting things wrong, and how to avoidsweating the small stuff when theres so much hurt to go around.

And yet, every time I go online Im still inundated by posts fixated on the inanity of religious people in the US, the infotainment circus of major newsmedia continuing to parrot dangerous lies so that we can all be shocked by whos saying them, and the bevy of heated online disagreements around speculation about various celebrities actions.

And Im just so tired of it, friends. Im tired of the rubbernecking at developing disasters.

So, todays post is less about thinking, and more about doing.

And the stark reminder thatdoingsomething is at the heart of humanisms aims.

Last night, I stayed up comforting a friend. (In Spanish, I might add, which is one of the most gratifying affirmations of the worth of learning another language.) Her mother is dying, and it is not a good death. Because there is no state support for healthcare for those without insurance, the mothers renal cancer advanced too far before my friend, with my help, was able to get her mother to a treatment centre where Im sad to say I recognize that what they were giving her was more palliative care than genuine hope. (My friend, on the other hand, is not fully processing that the cancer has already spread.)

But just as happens in the US, another blow befell my friend while she was getting her mother into treatment. She lost her job for want of personal-day protections. Which meant the family had nothing. With no savings, they started going hungry the moment the mother was released from treatment. My friend started begging on the street.

The support I gave her to buy food helped, of course, but then a third lack of safety net kicked in at the end of June. President Duque had extended the lockdown in Colombia, butnotthe eviction protections. I learned from a legal source that some rental companies had prepared themselves quite well for this loophole, and filed thousands of mediation requests to take effect July 1, to start the contractual proceedings necessary either to force people to pay or else to hasten along their evictions. But that process is just for peoplewithcontracts. The vast majority here live by spoken agreement and there are no underlying rental protections without contracts.

The landlord came to my friends apartment and shouted in her dying mothers face that he would throw them both to the street by force if they didnt have the rent the next day. And no police force would stop him.

Now, Im not telling this story to toot my own horn for helping one family, but rather to illustrate that helping families in the singular is itself a sign that ever so much more action is required if were to build a better, more just world.

Because, while I have been helping this family, Ive also been seething not just at the arbitrary nature of giving personal aid, but also at the level of care that serves as a social norm not just here, but in many parts of the world where people have come to stop expecting massive systemic changes. The thoughts and prayers, that is, which the rich issue because theyve no interest in sharing the wealth and security of their class status; and the thoughts and prayers the poor lean on because they literally have nothing else.

My friend, as youve probably guessed by now, is Catholic. Her mother is Catholic, too. Neither knows Im an atheist nor does it matter, at this juncture, because I know my friend has nothing to offer me in exchange for my help but the standard God bless you. What kind of jackanape would I be if I dismissed her calling on God and the Virgin to keep me in good health, while shes crying her eyes out daily over not being able to feed her mother or alleviate her pain?

But there are times, friends boy howdy, there are times when I almost wish therewerea god, because what an awful thing it is to hear tell of a poor woman devout her whole life, dying painfully in a modest barrio, crying out to her daughter Dont let me die!

Because, well, we know, dont we, fellow atheists? We know that only silence awaits. There is no wiping away of all these horrible tears. And so, how I sorely wish shecouldhave a feeling of grace wash over her, to ease her all the better to that end and my friend, too, as she comes to terms with her mothers impending death. But it isnt to be, no matter how much mother and daughter pray together these days, and no matter how much ever so many others do the same while dying in similarly downtrodden neighbourhoods across our deeply hurting world.

Which isnt to say, humanists of faith, that Im suggesting theystoppraying. (Not if theres no better available aid than the solace of ritual and presence of others through it!)

Im just saying that we humanists, from all across the spectrum, need to aim higher in our practice of giving aid.

In some ways, then, for all its horrifying disasters, the US is alsopositivemarvel these days for look how quickly the conversation about systemic injustice has accelerated along a host of critical issues requiring a deep uprooting of supposedly too-entrenched norms. Racist statues coming down, the 79-year-old Mount Rushmore centered as a target for similar dismantling, cities being sharply rebuked and brought to account for bloated police budgets, relief cheques being cut in a country that claims such actions to be communism What the US has amply illustrated in these last few months, that is, is that when the zeitgeist is upon us, when a sense ofurgencyis truly believed in, suddenly quite a few elements of the status quo can indeed be dropped almost overnight.

Which means, fellow humanists, that weve no excuse for not pushing that sense of urgency even further. Socioeconomic precarity comes in many forms, but they all share one key outcome: a disparity with respect to who gets to live and die with dignity.

Why is this a matter for humanism, in particular? Because humanism is not just about the recognition that humans have the most pressing agency in our known universe (whether or not you believe in a higher power), but also about a prioritizing ofknowledge, comprehensive worldly knowledge, from a wide range of behavioural sciences as from the facts of biology, geology, and cosmology, to develop a body of public policy that will best extend the capacity for informed agency to as many human beings as possible.

In this struggle, though, wearecompeting with fellow human beings: those, that is, who view agency differently some from within religious parameters, and some from without. The nihilists of the world favour human subjection, either to one another or to specific framings of a spiritual order. Nihilists would say that it is sufficient that some humans get tolive in such a way that their agency supersedes others in the day-to-day world. Nihilists would further try to diminish the critical importance of alleviating human suffering, such as when one claims that there is perhaps more dignity to the old woman who dies in Christ, however horribly in poverty and fear, than to the rich man who dies comfortably and quietly in his secular home.

One thing popular atheistic discourse has done over the last 20 years or so is focus on the nihilism in Christianity. And there is certainly plenty of it! There are some choice anecdotes I could pull from prominent atheists interactions on panels and radio shows, but lets go right to the source instead. As part of my Victorian lit studies I read excerpts from John Henry Newmans Apologia, so when he was canonised last year by the Catholic Church, all the nihilism in his account of conversion from Anglicanism to Catholicism came rushing to the fore. Ill give you just a nip of it here, as it pertains to the above:

What shall be said to this heart-piercing, reason-bewildering fact [i.e. the existence of suffering]? I can only answer, that either there is no Creator, or this living society of men is in a true sense discarded from His presence. Did I see a boy of good make and mind, with the tokens on him of a refined nature, cast upon the world without provision, unable to say whence he came, his birth-place or his family connexions, I should conclude that there was some mystery connected with his history, and that he was one, of whom, from one cause or other, his parents were ashamed. Thus only should I be able to account for the contrast between the promise and the condition of his being. And so I argue about the world;ifthere be a God,sincethere is a God, the human race is implicated in some terrible aboriginal calamity. It is out of joint with the purposes of its Creator. This is a fact, a fact as true as the fact of its existence; and thus the doctrine of what is theologically called original sin becomes to me almost as certain as that the world exists, and as the existence of God.

Its a fascinating excerpt, no? Because, of course, atheists are slapping their foreheads at the line before the part in bold, shouting, No Creator! Obviously! but humanists of all stripes should be shaking their heads at the wickedness of the binary drawn here by Newman: the either no Creator or mankind discarded. Spiritual and religious humanists: youknowthese arent the only two options. And its important for all of us to call out bullpucky when we see it.

But also, Ive placed one part in bold because Newman clearly didnt understand the psychology underpinning his baffling conclusion here but we do. We humanists know both that it would be patently absurd to see a child living in the streets and first think wow, his parents mustve been ashamed of him butalso, that Newman was plainly unaware offundamental attribution error, wherein one tends to attribute fault for a specific situation to individual character in lieu of broader environmental factors.

So, yes, lots of classist nastiness built into exalted forms of religious belief.

The problem with the atheistic trend of just focussing on nihilism in the church, though, is that we become trained to see it as only existing inthat quarter, onthatside of the spectrum when absolutely, secular nihilists are also well-seasoned in using naturalistic defenses, falling prey to Humean is/ought fallacy, to justify why inequity must simply be accepted (so long as they are comfortably situated within its systems).

In your part of the hurting world, my fellow humanists, action might look different from action in my own. But these differences need only be superficial. So much of the world rose up in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, for instance, that its clear we now operate within a globalized discourse, where the strong, unwavering actions towards greater justice in one part of the worldcanhave a significant impact upon related campaigns in others.

As such, an old standby in the justice-seeking community, Think Globally, Act Locally, is long overdue for a rewrite. What we need to do, rather, is act locallyto move the world.

And that means not being satisfied with individual acts of social outreach.

That means pushing for bolder, more systemic changes in our necks of the wood, secure in the knowledge that any one city, province, or whole countrys initiative towards a greater justice for allwillserve as a test case, for better or for worse, for citizens elsewhere striving to enact the same.

Lets all give each other, then, the very best test cases possible for the creation of more humanistic societies, globally, requires no less than a rethinking ofthe world on whole.

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Humanists, the Time for Action Has Always Been Now - Patheos

BSEB Dummy Registration Card released for 2021 exam – Elets

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Amid Coronavirus epidemic, the Bihar School Education Board (BSEB) Dummy Registration Card has been released for Class 10 and 12 Exam 2021.

The BSEB Dummy Registration Card 2021 is available on the official website, biharboardonline.com.

The students who will appear in the classes 10 and 12, 2021 academic session must cross-check all the details and verify them to ease out the process of registration.

All candidates are informed that they will be able to make corrections their name, parents name, date of birth, cate, category, gender, photo, subjects, etc later too.

Also read: Check Bihar Board Class 10 Results on biharboardonline

The schools and colleges would need to send the Bihar Board Final registration Card 2021 by July 7, 2020.

Steps to download the admit card:

-Visit the official website of Bihar Board- biharboardonline.com

-Go to the link that reads Bihar Board 2021 online Registration

-Enter the school detail and the principals id

-Type in the OTP received there and print the form for future reference.

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BSEB Dummy Registration Card released for 2021 exam - Elets

Will Self on the paradox of multiculturalism – The New European

PUBLISHED: 17:00 19 June 2020

Will Self

Following a social media post by the far-right activist known as Tommy Robinson, members of far-right linked groups have gathered around statues in London. Here, one argues with a police officer. Photo: Getty Images

2020 Anadolu Agency

WILL SELF on the paradoxes and contradictions which make up multiculturalism

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Almost four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and international politics. But we can only continue to grow with your support.

Years ago I had the misfortune to be seated at a fancy dinner next to Conrad Black, who at that time was a controversial if ennobled media tycoon. Throughout the meal we argued about everything, such was the divergence in our opinions, our beliefs, and our very weltanschauung. Then, at the end, as we rose to leave, he grasped my hand firmly in his and said: Good! Thats settled then we agree, turned on his handmade heel and left.

At the time I understood Blacks besetting character defect to be a need to be always in the right and little thats happened since, including his imprisonment for fraud and obstruction of justice, has changed my view. There are some people who will do anything they can to maintain a sense of self-righteousness including arbitrarily enlarging it to include another whose views dont accord with theirs whatsoever. And this leads me, fairly logically, to the culture wars currently consuming the British body politic.

As the two sides of the argument concerning Britains culture square off in one corner conservative traditionalists, in the other post-colonial revisionists so levels of self-righteousness are rising throughout the body politic, inducing a feverish state within which the greatest crime of all is to be neutral. Yes: you can tell when things really are falling apart because the centre not only cannot hold but is actively under attack by partisans who claim that if youre not with them, youre necessarily opposed.

For the record: any essentialist judgement made about anyone by virtue of their race or ethnicity disgusts me, and I believe we should do everything we can individually and collectively to foster a society in which such judgements are entirely otiose. This being noted, a culture as Ive had cause to remark numerous times in this space is a vector that carries through time (and space) commonly held values, together with their associated practices, including aesthetics in the form of taste and the cultural objects (artworks and artefacts) born out of that taste and those values. The problem for multiculturalists is that they are caught up in a colossal paradox: in order for a culture to enshrine multiple value-systems it would have to cease being a culture, since its manifestly impossible to educate young people to, for example, believe in God and not believe in God at the same time.

The suppressed premise that lies behind both multiculturalism and liberal humanism more generally is that of world-governance: human rights were a sequel to the establishment of the United Nations following the Second World War, and unless you believe in an omnipotent and omniscient God capable of enforcing divine justice, you must aspire towards a mundane authority thats capable of doing the same for secular justice. Because no one has any rights purely by virtue of being human as any of the chattel slaves currently owned in Eritrea and Mauritania could tell you, or the indentured workers in the UAE and China for that matter. There arent even equal rights in this country something made abundantly clear by the disparity in death rates between the haves and the have-nots during the current pandemic.

Even if we did have an effective world government, able to ensure equal dibs for all groups everywhere, what could that possibly look like? Surely, in order to ensure that the God-believers could pursue their cultural agenda unfettered including proscriptions and practices that liberal humanists find deeply offensive their cultural space would need to be demarcated. So, this great progressive development would mirror the Biblical homily of the Tower of Babel: we would have built a great edifice exemplifying our commonality, only by that act alone to bring about still further fissiparousness.

Another way of grasping the paradox is that some people are currently passionately insisting on the absolute significance of cultural identities that they wish to be totally ignored when it comes to others forming judgements about them whether this is their ethnicity, their religion, their sexual orientation or gender. Meanwhile, others of the formerly dominant culture are reduced to a literal rump: obese thugs, p***ing in public and beating up on the police. Both sides are intent on colonising the past (which is, indeed, another country), because neither party is capable of envisioning a viable future. The British culture which was based, entirely hypocritically, on the manifest destiny of white Europeans has foundered on brute geopolitical and environmental reality; the multi-culture that aspires to succeed it will founder on its own internal contradiction.

Of course, neither moiety will thank me for pointing this out let alone indulge in the sort of radical critique of their own views that might lead to genuine clarity. For my part, I wont commit the Conrad Black solecism and insist on an agreement where none actually obtains. As it is with Brexit, for me, so it is with this: a plague on both your houses. Metaphorically speaking, that is.

Almost four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and international politics. But we can only rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press with your support. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

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Will Self on the paradox of multiculturalism - The New European

Wake up, globalization fans: In a pandemic, nation-states are at their best – Haaretz

When the gravity of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis began to come into focus, casting a shadow on global horizons, world-famous Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari rushed to print a series of articles in an effort to steady our resolve. We need to be careful, Harari warned, not to draw the wrong conclusion from the outbreak of the pandemic.

While there are borders that need to be strengthened, he said, such as those between viruses and humans, it would be a mistake to reinforce borders between nations. The answer to the coronavirus, in Prof. Harari's opinion, lies in greater global cooperation, especially in the joint efforts of the international scientific community not in a return to atavistic divisions.

Harari, a worldwide best-selling author is, perhaps, the most widely known ideologue of the new, progressive neoliberal globalism. And he was right to be worried. Because the dream of a "global village" on which internationalist elites have staked their political and economic fortunes is now in jeopardy. But his eloquent defense of globalism, with all the beautiful ringing phrases we have come to expect from him, published just as the world was turning its attention to China and Italy, seemed strangely out of step.

The growing crisis had not only shown that epidemics have been globalized along with almost everything else, it also offered a ready metaphor for other dangers globalism had brought into its fold: China is clearly not becoming a responsible partner in a liberal global village, based on universal human rights. Rather the Chinese Communist Party, the most murderous regime in the history of mankind, has been using the post-Cold War international order in order to steal technology, oppress minorities, bully smaller nations, pollute the environment and run roughshod over anything that stands in its way to global hegemony. The coronavirus and the web of lies around it have reminded us whom we are dealing with.

Italy, meanwhile, seemed to offer a complementary metaphor about international institutions: They can't be trusted to help the afflicted. As the pandemic ravaged the country, the world press was full of stories about how its fellow European Union member states turned their backs on Italy and scrambled to hide their own medical supplies, contrary to their EU obligations.

Harari had little to say about the conduct and future of the EU, or about how the Chinese totalitarian regime had deceived the world by, among other things, leveraging its influence on the World Health Organization, and by withholding information until it was too late: Flights departed Wuhan for the rest of the world after domestic flights from the city were stopped. Instead the historian focused his wrath on Donald Trump, the first American leader to seriously challenge China since 1972.

Trump's America First policy, said Harari, exemplified the bad old idea of national egotism. In response to Trump's halting U.S. support to the WHO, Harari announced he personally would donate $1 million to the organization. The proper response to the pandemic, his Twitter account announced, is a show of "global solidarity and generosity."

In articles in the Hebrew press, he also berated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was using the pandemic, Harari claimed wrongly, it turned out to turn Israel into a dictatorship. It turns out that China's dictatorship bothered Harari less.

This is not the first time that he has chosen to accommodate dictatorships. He infamously replaced his criticism of Vladimir Putin with criticism of Trump in the Russian edition of his blockbuster book "21 Lessons for the 21st Century."

But this time not only Harari's moral credentials were on the line. This time his views of politics and history were also put to the test, and it can be said they have stood it very well. If you want to defend globalism from the coronavirus pandemic, though, you have to do better than that. It is not enough to conflate Western nationalism with egotism while ignoring the bullies that are taking advantage of the neoliberal global order.

If you're serious you would need to explain why international institutions have failed us so badly in stopping China's egotism, and why so many people turned instinctively to rely on to the nation-state, which the internationalists have been casting in the role of villain since the end of World War II.

Loyalty and altruism

It turns out that people have good reasons for turning to the nation-state in such a crisis. The first is solidarity. National societies are able to evoke altruism and self-sacrifice among their citizens. Sadly, larger collectives, such as "humanity" or "Europe," have so far not been able to do the same. For nations are, as Israeli scholar Yoram Hazony's "The Virtue of Nationalism" has recently reminded us, like extended families: They are bound by ties of "mutual loyalty."

The second reason to turn to nation-states, one that is even harder for neoliberal internationalists to acknowledge, is democracy. So far nation-states have proven to be the most effective vehicle for people and peoples to exercise control over their common fate. Self-determination perhaps better described as self-sovereignty is not a singular act of creation at the birth of independence; it is a continuous form of collective action. Democracy is nothing if not the framework for exercising self-sovereignty.

This seems to be lost on contemporary liberals. In the false dichotomy neoliberalism has imposed on our political discourse there are two opposing poles: On the left there are abstract, universal individual human rights, and opposite them, on the right, there is jingoistic blood-and-soil nationalism, which is all but synonymous with fascism.

This misleading picture is habitually found in Israeli discourse too, in every second op-ed by Profs. Zeev Sternhell and Mordechai Kremnitzer as well as among their many allies. The dichotomy falsely implies that democracy is somehow automatically on the side of individual human rights. We rarely pause to notice, however, that the more human rights have wedded themselves to internationalism, in the admirable cause of promoting universal humanism, the less they have been able to explain how people could hold their leaders to account, or control their own political fortunes.

It turns out that transcending nationalism also means transcending democracy. The EU , for example, though liberal, exercises much power over the lives of people who do not feel it takes their political will into account. Or consider the International Criminal Court in The Hague: Clearly intended to embody liberal values and uphold the universality of human rights, it nevertheless defies the first principle of democracy: government with the consent of the governed.

This trend had also shrunk our concept of liberty. On this view, it seems to mean something like Isaiah Berlin's "negative liberty": freedom from external coercion. But when left alone humans are not free. Alone we are helpless and defenseless. We can be free only within a society and we are the freest when we can take part in charting the course of the collective of which we are a part. This is why democracy, rooted in national solidarity, has been able to turn us from subject into citizen, anchoring liberty in sovereignty. And what this means, to the chagrin of internationalists, is that, through the medium of democracy, solidarity is the precondition of liberty.

The coronavirus crisis has reminded us why in times of distress we cling to the nation-state, its government and its borders to protect us. Because nations are bound by solidarity and can demand that their citizens exercise caution not just to protect themselves, but also to protect others. In the context of solidarity moral behavior is derived from something more than enlightened self-interest. And thus such societies can expect genuine altruism of their citizens.

The EU, it now seems abundantly clear, has failed to produce such bonds of mutual loyalty. And this is why it didn't take its various member states long to revert to shutting down their national borders: In a crisis that demands sacrifice for the sake of others, everyone seemed to know what political frameworks can be expected to deliver.

By contrast, globalist neoliberalism whose purveyors today call themselves the progressive left is not just unable to offer a framework for solidarity. It has in fact mutated into a form of individualism so extreme as to reject the very idea of solidarity. Pivoting around 1968, or thereabouts, the left, all across the West, has taken a momentous turn from class solidarity (which failed) to personal self-realization from Marx to Nietzsche, from communism to existentialism.

America first

Not surprisingly America took the lead, because the turn was seemingly the most natural there: In America socialism never found a comfortable home among the working class, and individualism was its homegrown creed. It is therefore no surprise that Reaganism eventually replaced the framework of the New Deal, in 1980. What we tend to forget is that the individualist revolution had already taken place on the other side of the spectrum when the 1960s New Left replaced the Old Left's quest for class solidarity with a quest for personal authenticity. So that when Reagan stepped into the ring, he found no serious opponent.

If anything, the left's individualism was more extreme than the right's. The American right, though strongly wedded to the free market, as well as to the old Emersonian ideal of the self-made man, still had the traditional checks of conservatism to circumscribe its rugged individualism: the trinity of God, Country and Family. The left rejected all three. We may therefore say that what we now call leftism is not an attack on individualism but the very opposite: an attack on the remaining checks the right has to restrain it. It has therefore become a rejection of solidarity.

One may of course object and say that the contemporary left has enlarged the circles of solidarity to include, beyond class, race, gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation. But in practice the whole trend not only balkanizes class solidarity, it also produces an emphasis on the symbolic at the expense of the political. It offers symbolic quotas in elite jobs and institutions, and individualistic experimentation in self-styled transgressions of gender boundaries. This is not something we should expect to appeal to workers who have lost their jobs to China and are now constantly berated by their would-be betters for their backwardness. "Clingers," Barack Obama called them. "Deplorables," his anointed successor, Hillary Clinton, echoed.

But despite constant attempts to delegitimize them as xenophobes, homophobes, Islamophobes and, of course racists, a growing number of citizens have come to understand what is at stake in the struggle over globalism: their civil rights, their citizenship, which is to say, democracy itself. Elites who seek to dismantle the nation-state under the guise of curing us from atavistic nationalism are really dismantling democracy's political apparatus, which is all that stands between the mass of citizens and the reversion to the status of subjects.

But the masses stubbornly see themselves not as enemies of democracy but as the only force that can save it from the globalist dreams of elites. Indeed, the dream of a single global village has always looked better from airport business lounges than from working-class neighborhoods ravaged by unemployment, and transformed into foreign countries for their indigenous inhabitants by illegal immigration (which has also depressed wages in local markets). The globalist dream seems to them more like a nightmare. The very rich may become "citizens of the world" but the rest of us would become subject of nowhere, under international managerial elites.

Harari's internationalism is not an alternative form of solidarity. It is the alliance between bureaucratic elites over the heads of their various national publics the same alliance which has failed to face the current crisis, and proved impotent in holding China to account. Of course, no one in their right mind, except in totalitarian states, would be against sharing scientific knowledge. No Western nation has done that in the face of the pandemic.

But when actual international solidarity is called for, it cannot be achieved by first suppressing solidarity within states. An international order is probably best suited to preserve liberty when it seeks to become a family of free independent nations not a uniform humanity under a single bureaucratic managerial elite.

The internationalist elite, with its frequent traveling, would probably recognize a handy metaphor for this in flight-safety videos, rendered perhaps even more evocative in a world scrambling for ventilators: When traveling with a person in need of assistance, first put on your own oxygen mask. It is clear why: otherwise you would impair your ability to assist them.

If we are to subdue this disease and emerge from the crisis in reasonable shape we had better hope that Donald Trump, to return to Harari's example, takes care of the America economy first. Unless, of course, Europe will be content to see the next Marshall Plan come from China.

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Wake up, globalization fans: In a pandemic, nation-states are at their best - Haaretz

End of reason: Why statue vandalism, thought policing and rise of a ‘woke’ religion signal decline of liberalism – Firstpost

The West is in the grip of a violent culture war. It started with the brutal murder of George Floyd in the US, rode on the wings of anti-racism fueled by fury against police brutality, appropriated across the Atlantic and now has become a fierce explosion of rage, outrage, looting, violence, vandalism of statues, cynicism and self-hatred.

To a certain extent, this upheaval was due because the US never really got down to confront its racist past the way Germans did. But the protests, triggered by systemic racism in the US, are also hastening the mutation of western liberalism into a virulent strain. Driven by the reactionary Left, among the many manifestations of this culture war is an all-out assault on history and a reinforcing of the cancel culture that seeks to boycott everything that fails the ideological purity test.

This churn in western liberal democracies throws up some questions that need to be engaged with. What is driving this culture war? Why are statues being attacked? Why is there a movement to amend the past? Why are universities and liberal institutions de-platforming dissent and cultivating a form of extreme censorship instead of serving as a marketplace of vibrant, even competing ideas? Why are revivalism and violent upheaval upstaging the political process in the West? Why is liberalism ceding space to an intolerant version of itself that looks, talks and behaves like a religion demanding unquestioning faith from its followers?

This new, dogmatic ideology lends itself to various semantical expressions such as intersectionality, cultural Marxism, neo-Maoism, identity politics or even the more pejorative call-out culture, virtue-signaling or wokeness but its core beliefs run contrary to and are even antithetical to liberalism.

This dogmatism, that now dominates western (also Indian) campus, media and institutional spaces and defenestrates anyone that its pious practitioners deem as not deferential enough to their cause, has been called successor ideology by cultural critic Wesley Yang that succeeds liberalism but is more of an authoritarian Utopianismmasquerading as liberal humanism while usurping it from within.

This successor ideology is amorphous, frequently changes its goalposts and draws tighter and tighter its chastity circle. Writer JK Rowling may testify. She has apparently been cancelled by her own charactersin the transphobia row.

This radicalism germinates from liberalism and shares some of the liberal goals, but it operates within a faith-based disciplinary superstructure that brooks no questions, imposes a stricter value system, demands total ideological conformity and installs an evangelist doctrine that carries punishment for slip-ups. The successor ideology of social justice warriors, in effect, militates against the very notions of liberalism.

For instance, the #MeToo movement arguesNew York Timescolumnist Ross Douthat after achieving admirable and long-cherished liberal goals has delivered a post-liberal order where intimate life is subject to bureaucratic supervision. Presumption of male guilt has replaced due process. The line between sexual and political is blurred. The tension between liberal values and tenets of successor ideology is now stark.

This tension is visible in the recent controversy around gay and transgender rights where author Rowling has been called a transphobe and hauled over coals for disagreeing with trans-rights activists view that gender identity is separate from biological sex.

Rowlings focus on thereality of biological sexas a way of reinforcing the rights won by women through a long struggle has been called transphobic, and she has been called out for insensitivity.

This is an interesting paradox, and it takes us right into the heart of the debate. Rowling, a radical feminist, and trans rights activists have taken competing political positions.

However, the writers nuanced position and unwillingness to dismiss her own lived reality have been eclipsed by the totalitarian views of the other side that negates her experiences because she is seemingly betraying the cause and her fellow travellers. We know from scholarNassim Nicholas Talebthat the most intolerant winsbut theres more going on here.

Successor ideology may propagate some liberal ideas, but the curve of the movement takes it away from liberalism. To quote from Douthat in NYT, In their liberal form, these causes seek an individual right to live ones life without facing unjust discrimination. But when other constitutional rights long considered essential to liberalism freedom of speech, freedom of religion come into conflict with the movement, its assumed that the old rights must inevitably give way. And the movements vanguard increasingly rejects debate entirelyApplied to this context, it looks thus: author Rowling was exercising her freedom of speech but the moment it came into conflict with the scriptures of the successor ideology, her views were cancelled and she was called out by the torchbearers of neo liberalism. In the sanctified world of Leftist identity politics, wordsare actions.

This semantic twist turns the rules of our world upside down. As James Lindsay writes in the essay How the Left Turned Words Into Violence, and Violence Into Justice: under a prevalent view that has emerged from universities in recent years, a wrong opinion is seen as tantamount to a thrown punch or even an indication of a willingness to genocidewhich invites the idea that an offended party who throws a real punch (or worse) is simply acting in self-defense.

Through her opinion regardless of whether it was nuanced and despite her protestations that she is empathetic to the cause of trans rights Rowling had committed acardinal sinand must be punished. She apparently hasfeet of clay.

When neo-liberalism (or successor ideology) has decided that words are actions, it can leave no space for dissenting views. In a paradigm where non-conformity invites charges of moral transgression and may result in expulsion from the circle, holding a contrary opinion is tantamount to issuing a threat to life. This is the precise scenario that played out at theNew York Timeswhere opinion editor James Bennet was forced to resign for well publishing opinions.'

Through his act of publishing on the NYT Op-Ed page the opinion of Tom Cotton US Senator who advocated calling troops to quell rioters on American streets if local law enforcement fails Bennet had committed such an unpardonable sin that he had to be sacked to redeem the newspaper.

This act of redemption complete with a sincere apology from the NYT apparentlyfollowed a revolt by the newsroomas staffers saw in Senator Tom Cottons words a threat to lives. In the ensuing battle between free speech advocates and social justice progressives, Bennets head had to roll to placate the offended newsroom. It ought to tell us something about a liberal newspaper which had to grovel for publishing a dissenting opinion, sack the commissioning editor and withdraw the article to atone for its sin.

Senator Cottons views could have been wrong, even provocative though he did make a distinction between peaceful protestors and looters and rioters who had taken the law into their hands but if journalists start behaving like thought police and carry an eraser to wipe out opinions that run contrary to their ideology then it speaks of a mediascape that has dropped all pretensions of objectivity.

It indicates that journalists see themselves as crusaders in the battle between good and evil, reserve for themselves the exclusive right to determine good and evil and perceive neutrality as a form of complicity with the devil. Once this Rubicon is crossed, the journalists moral compunction to be objective is gone, what remains is a crusade for the truth as designated by secular ideology. Any dissenting opinion is to be de-platformed, every contrarian voice is to be stifled.

As an author and former editor ofNew RepublicAndrew Sullivan writes, the situation is very reminiscent of totalitarian states where you have to compete to broadcast your fealty to the cause. In these past two weeks, if you didnt put up on Instagram or Facebook some kind of slogan or symbol displaying your wokeness, you were instantly suspect.

This phenomenon is being replicated across media, campuses, institutions to a wide array of cultural symbols. Paw Patrol, a childrens cartoon on canine characters has been de-platformed. Gone With The Wind was sought to be cancelled, but instead of going away with the wind it came back with a vengeance in pop culture.

The editor of a top US academic publication, University of Chicago economist Harald Uhlig, was sought to be de-platformed and dislodged for not being supportive enough to the Black Lives Matter cause and for criticising the movements demand of defunding the police.

Top editor atPhiladelphia InquirerStan Wischnowski was booted out for carrying the headline Buildings Matter, Too, in context of rioters destroying buildings;Bon Apptiteditor-in-chief Adam Rapoport was forced to resign reportedly for not being sufficiently deferential to the cause; a radio jockey was suspended for questioning the orthodoxy of white privilege; an LA Galaxy footballer was fired due to his partners post on BLM, a UCLA lecturer was suspended for refusing to cancel his exam for black students, and a Cornell Law School faculty member faced termination for censuring Black Lives Matter, according to reports.

Bear in mind that some of these de-platformings were done not only because some were guilty of holding incorrect views, but in some cases, the actors supporting the secular ideology were considered not committed enough, reminiscent of life in a totalitarian state where insufficient zeal towards the ideology is a severe crime. Heaven help you if you were the first person to stop applauding after comrade Stalins speech.

What this successor ideology seeks is absolute moral clarity, and it rejects all manner of complexity. It refuses to see humans as complex beings and human societies as complex structures that cannot be straitjacketed into an absolutist doctrinaire. Cancel culture, that remains a prominent symptom of this neo-liberalism, functions on the notion that every perceived deviation is a microaggression and a betrayal of the cause, whose purity must be upheld at all times.

One of the reasons why liberalism is ceding space to this totalitarian strain is that the cancel culture makes an easy replacement for activism, providing the same adrenalin rush of feeling good about oneself merely by being judgmental about others. This, as Barack Obama had pointed out last year during a youth convention, isnt real activism.

Like, if I tweet or hashtag about how you didnt do something right or used the wrong verb then I can sit back and feel pretty good about myself, cause, Man, you see how woke I was, I called you out. Thats not activism. Thats not bringing about change If all youre doing is casting stones, youre probably not going to get that far. Thats easy to do.

And yet this totalitarian ideology has gained massive ground among the educated urban youth in democracies because it cuts through the complexities and ambiguities of human nature and offers a clear sense of purpose, moral clarity and a thrill of solidarity, a spiritual horizon for ordinary human life, things that an exhausted liberalism fails to do, points out Douthat in NYT.

And yet it is a false clarity that fails to consider the agency of an individual and dismisses the notion that human beings can be flawed and yet virtuous, and one doesnt cancel the other. Obama had stressed this very point when he said, This idea of purity and youre never compromised and youre always politically woke and all that stuff You should get over that quickly. The world is messy; there are ambiguities People who do really good stuff have flaws

The protestors who had declared a war on the statues and sought to deface or bring down the effigies of Mahatma Gandhi, Winston Churchill, Christopher Columbus, George Washington or even Abraham Lincoln, apply modern standards of morality on historical figures, try to sort them in simplistic boxes of good and evil, and if found inadequate, proceed to cancel them from history.

This act is problematic on multiple counts. First, dismantling of statues is a symbolical act of erasing the past making it difficult for later generations to honestly confront events which they an inescapable part of. Any attempt at editing history makes us rootless, places usin medias reswithout a context and erodes our identity. In this, the totalitarian neo-liberalism ideology takes a leaf out of Chinese playbook. The Communist Party has meticulously erased all links to its violent past when Mao Zedongs permanent revolution destroyed millions of lives.

China has sought to erase that history to the extent that a visitor wandering the streets of any Chinese city today will find no plaques consecrating the sites of mass arrests, no statues dedicated to the victims of persecution, no monuments erected to honor those who perished after being designated class enemies.

The Communist Party did that because any acknowledgement of guilt, it fears, may delegitimize the party. It speaks of insecurity that successor ideology seeks to emulate.

Second, the secular ideology driving this statue activism isnt that different from the Talibans act of destroying the Bamiyan Buddhas to underline the threat cultural motifs of the past pose to dominant ideologies of the present. The Taliban sought to establish its power structure by destroying the past, the woke Taliban seeks to amend the future by doing a surgical procedure on history.

Gandhi may have held problematic views on racism at an early stage in his career but to cherry-pick that flaw, amplify it, define him solely through that prism and invalidate one of the 20th centurys greatest political leaders is a perfectly woke and pointless thing to do. The call to cancel Cromwell, Churchill, Columbus, or even Edward Colston, a 17th-century philanthropist who made his money in the slave trade, arises from the same infantile impulse rid the public sphere of characters who fail the modern purity test. No allowance is given for context, human agency, flaws and complexity of characters.

As Sahil Mahtani writes inSpectator, The Taliban drew strength from cultish beliefs taught in schools - and so, too, are we now seeing the maturing of a moral system developed on campuses. The Taliban were anti-Shia, seeing their revivalist Sunnism as the only acceptable version of Islam. The statue campaigners think they are the only acceptable heirs of liberalism

India, too, has witnessed the removal of cultural motifs of the colonial past but that process be it renaming of roads or cities has largely been a slow, evolutionary and political process unlike the violent upheaval of a beheaded Columbus. There have been instances of vandalism, for sure, but those were borne more out of political opportunism than any grand and coordinated ideological purge.

As Swapan Dasgupta writes in Times of India, Indians, it is often said, have a feeble sense of history. Yet, in todays world, we seem remarkably at ease with it.

Western liberalism, though, is facing a crisis of confidence, upstaged by a transmogrified version of itself that demands obeisance, genuflection, unquestioning faith and gives the thrill of moral upliftment and cohesion in return. It represents the end of reason and Americas irreversible ideological decline.

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End of reason: Why statue vandalism, thought policing and rise of a 'woke' religion signal decline of liberalism - Firstpost

Latest Ethereum price and analysis (ETH to USD) – Yahoo Finance

Ethereum is potentially just days away from breaking out above a key level of resistance against its Bitcoin trading pair.

The worlds second largest cryptocurrency has made a significant 22% gain against Bitcoin over the past three weeks as investors turn bullish ahead of the upcoming Ethereum 2.0 upgrade.

The update will reportedly increase scalability and security, both of which have been key points of criticism since Ethereums inception.

During the height of the ICO boom in 2017 Ethereums network often became clogged up with transactions, leading to inflated fees and a much slower network.

When blockchain-based game CryptoKitties was released transactions took up to one hour with some costing as much as $50.

If Ethereum can prove that its network is in fact scalable, it will be well situated as mass adoption edges closer.

From a technical perspective Ethereum has formed a symmetrical triangle against Bitcoin since its 0.0286BTC high on February 18, with it testing the upside of the triangle in late April as well as over the weekend.

Breaking above this key level of resistance would equate to a measured move to around 0.03BTC, which would be the highest point its been since this time last year.

In terms of its value against the US Dollar, Ethereum is grinding against the $248 level that was the top of a short-term rally in March, breaking above that would pave the way for a move towards $269 and $290.

For more news, guides and cryptocurrency analysis, clickhere.

Ethereum was launched byVitalik Buterinon July 30 2015. He was a researcher and programmer working on Bitcoin Magazine and he initially wrote a whitepaper in 2013 describing Ethereum.

Buterin had proposed that Bitcoin needed a scripting language. He decided to develop a new platform with a more general scripting language when he couldnt get buy-in to his proposal.

If you want to find out more information about Ethereum orcryptocurrenciesin general, then use the search box at the top of this page. Please check the below article:

https://coinrivet.com/ethereum-adopts-erc-1155-as-an-official-standard/

As with any investment, it pays to do some homework before you part with your money. The prices of cryptocurrencies are volatile and go up and down quickly. This page is not recommending a particular currency or whether you should invest or not.

You may be interested in our range ofcryptocurrency guidesalong with the latest cryptocurrencynews.

Disclaimer: This is not financial advice.

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Latest Ethereum price and analysis (ETH to USD) - Yahoo Finance

A New Token Lets You Save on Ethereum Fees by Storing Gas – Cointelegraph

Ethereum (ETH)s fees are hard-coded to only be payable in Ether, but a clever trick with smart contracts allows users to effectively pay for gas with a special token, which reduces the total fee they incur.

This principle was used by the team behind 1inch.exchange, a decentralized exchange aggregator, to introduce the Chi token. The technology was formally announced on June 5, and it builds on a previous iteration of the concept, called Gas Token (GST).

Chi takes advantage of a mechanism that refunds gas when storage space is freed on the Ethereum virtual machine. In the case of gas tokens, burning them destroys dummy sub-smart contracts that were created when the tokens were minted, which the team says is more efficient than erasing data directly.

Chi tokens are meant to be created when the gas fees on Ethereum are low, which allows the user to store that price for later use. As the CEO of 1inch.exchange, Sergej Kunz, explained at the ETHGlobal hackathon, this is especially useful for deploying smart contracts, an operation that can consume millions of gas. To put that in perspective, the total gas limit for a block is currently 10 million.

To save on fees, the token must be burned alongside the primary operation, which reduces the total amount of gas spent in that transaction. This is because the refund operation cannot result in zero or negative total gas usage meaning that it must be paired with another action to be effective.

Nevertheless, Chis developers say that the token can cut down the price of a transaction by as much as 50%.

The ability to lock in low gas prices during periods of inactivity could have important repercussions on Ethereums fee market.

As noted by Vitalik Buterin and other developers in their discussions around the earlier Gas Token, the mechanism could smooth out the price of gas between periods of high and low activity. Users would stock up on gas tokens when its cheap to do so, and unload them when gas fees rise thus balancing the overall demand for gas.

Anton Bukov, 1inch.exchanges CTO, was nevertheless skeptical that Chi would alter the fee economics of Ethereum:

I dont think this will change anything, except that users have a way of tokenizing the price of gas, and they will be able to speculate on it.

Bukov pointed out that Chi already has a use case on the 1inch platform, allowing users to save on fees with token swaps.

On the other hand, the Gas Token, born in 2018, largely failed to achieve adoption because few people understood how it works, Kunz told Cointelegraph.

Bukov said that GST also had an issue interacting with the ERC-20 standard, which resulted in wallets and even Etherscan showing the wrong balance.

While GST was primarily used by arbitrageurs, Kunz noted, the direct integration with 1inch.exchange resulted in interest from other users as well. He also revealed that some decentralized finance providers are looking to integrate Chi in their systems.

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A New Token Lets You Save on Ethereum Fees by Storing Gas - Cointelegraph

EOS, Ethereum and Ripples XRP Daily Tech Analysis June 9th, 2020 – Yahoo Finance

EOS

EOS fell by 1.00% on Monday. Reversing a 0.55% gain from Sunday, EOS ended the day at $2.7834.

It was bearish through most of the day. EOS fell from an early morning intraday high $2.8181 to a late afternoon intraday low $2.7542.

Falling short of the major resistance levels, EOS found support at the first major support level at $2.7537.

EOS managed to recover to $2.78 levels in the final hour, however, to limit the downside on the day.

At the time of writing, EOS was up by 0.47% to $2.7965. A bullish start to the day saw EOS rise from an early morning low $2.7924 to a high $2.8028.

EOS left the major support and resistance levels untested early on.

EOS would need to avoid sub-$2.7850 levels to take a run at the first major resistance level at $2.8163 into play.

Support from the broader market would be needed, however, for EOS to break back through to $2.81 levels.

Barring an extended crypto rally, the first major resistance level at $2.8163 and Monday high $2.8181 would likely cap any upside.

Failure to avoid sub-$2.7850 levels could see EOS struggle on the day once more.

A fall through the $2.7850 pivot would bring the first major support level at $2.7524 into play.

Barring a crypto meltdown, however, EOS should steer clear of sub-$2.70 levels. The second major support level at $2.7213 should limit any downside.

Major Support Level: $2.7524

Major Resistance Level: $2.8163

23.6% FIB Retracement Level: $6.62

38% FIB Retracement Level: $9.76

62% FIB Retracement Level: $14.82

Ethereum rose by 0.72% on Monday. Following on from a 1.20% gain on Sunday, Ethereum ended the day at $246.55.

It was a mixed start to the day. Ethereum rose to an early morning high $245.5 before hitting reverse.

Coming up short of the first major resistance level at $248.68, Ethereum fell to an early afternoon intraday low $240.82.

Finding late support, however, Ethereum rallied to a final hour intraday high $247.97 before wrapping up the day at $246 levels. In spite of the late rally, Ethereum came up short of the first major resistance level at $248.68.

At the time of writing, Ethereum was up by 0.93% to $248.85. A bullish start to the day saw Ethereum rise from an early morning low $246.55 to a high $249.99 before easing back.

Ethereum tested the first major resistance level at $249.41 early on.

Story continues

Ethereum would need to avoid sub-$245.10 levels to support another run at the first major resistance level at $249.41.

Support from the broader market would be needed, however, for Ethereum to break back through to $249 levels.

Barring an extended crypto rally, the first major resistance level and resistance at $250 should cap any upside.

Failure to avoid sub-$245.10 levels could see Ethereum see give up Mondays gain.

A fall back through the morning low $246.5 to sub-$245.10 levels would bring the first major support level at $242.26 into play.

Barring an extended crypto sell-off, however, Ethereum should continue to steer clear sub-$240 levels on the day.

The second major support level sits at $237.96.

Major Support Level: $242.26

Major Resistance Level: $249.41

23.6% FIB Retracement Level: $257

38.2% FIB Retracement Level: $367

62% FIB Retracement Level: $543

Ripples XRP rose by 0.44% on Monday. Reversing a 0.05% decline from Sunday, Ripples XRP ended the day at $0.20433.

It was a mixed start to the day. Ripples XRP rose to an early morning high $0.20375 before hitting reverse.

Falling short of the major resistance levels, Ripples XRP fell to a late morning intraday low $0.20137.

Steering clear of the first major support level at $0.1993, Ripples XRP rallied to a final hour intraday high $0.20472. In spite of the late rally, Ripples XRP failed to test the first major resistance level at $0.2062.

At the time of writing, Ripples XRP was up by 0.21% to $0.20475. A bullish start to the day saw Ripples XRP rise from an early morning low $0.20422 to a high $0.20541.

Ripples XRP left the major support and resistance levels untested early on.

Ripples XRP will need to avoid sub-$0.2035 levels to support a run at the first major resistance level at $0.2056.

Support from the broader market would be needed, however, for Ripples XRP to break out from the morning high $0.20541.

Barring a broad-based crypto rally, the first major resistance level would likely cap any upside.

Failure to avoid sub-$0.2035 levels could see Ripples XRP return to the red.

A fall back through the morning low $0.20422 to sub-$0.2035 levels would bring the first major support level at $0.2022 into play.

Barring an extended crypto sell-off, Ripples XRP should avoid sub-$0.20 levels on the day. The second major support level at $0.2001 should limit any downside.

Major Support Level: $0.2022

Major Resistance Level: $0.2056

23.6% FIB Retracement Level: $0.3638

38.2% FIB Retracement Level: $0.4800

62% FIB Retracement Level: $0.6678

Please let us know what you think in the comments below.

Thanks, Bob

This article was originally posted on FX Empire

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EOS, Ethereum and Ripples XRP Daily Tech Analysis June 9th, 2020 - Yahoo Finance

It’s a layer 2 world, and Ethereum is almost living in it – Decrypt

When Ethereum scaling? According to Vitalik Buterin, it might already be here.

The nomadic creator of Ethereum tweeted today that the blockchain network's "layer 2 strategy has basically succeeded."

The Ethereum network's lead developers have had an eye on increasing throughput for the network since before the dawn of CryptoKitties, ERC20-based digital collectibles whose popularity clogged the network in late 2017.

A January 2018 Ethereum Foundation blog post from Buterin identified the problem: "Blockchain scalability is difficult primarily because a typical blockchain design requires every node in the network to process every transaction, which limits the transaction processing capacity of the entire system to the capacity of a single node."

In that same post, he identified two strategies for scaling: sharding, which allows transactions to go through without every node process each whole transaction, and so-called "layer 2 protocols" in which transactions are made off chain. The foundation was willing to put money toward the efforts, in the form of $50,000 to $1 million grants to people who were either working on existing layer 2 strategies or looking into new ones.

At the time, plasma and state channels were two of the most promising systems. Within the last year, however, new solutions, such as optimistic rollups and their cousin, ZK rollups, have taken off.

Buterin's tweet thread today came in response to Philippe Castonguay, a Montreal-based blockchain developer with Horizon Games, who noted the sheer volume of layer 2 scaling projects coming to fruition within the last week and in the coming month.

One curious addition was the inclusion of Tether's announcement that it would be processing transactions on OmiseGo's network, which on the surface looks like proof that network scalability is still a problem. "The Ethereum blockchain is a valuable but limited resource, which, under heavy traffic, is vulnerable to severe network congestion," the announcement read. "When transaction demand exceeds 12 TPS, settlement times increase and gas costs can rise significantly."

Castonguay told Decrypt that working on the main Ethereum layer is currently easier and has the most liquidity, but that it's not always necessary given the strengths of layer 2 technologies. In the long term, however, he says it should be reserved mostly for things like high-security projects, complex transactions, and for bridging and validating layer 2 chains.

Tether's move to OMG, which uses a More Viable Plasma method to batch transactions, makes sense in this view. Exchange transactions don't have to be on the main chain and therefore shouldn't be, goes the thinking behind this.

As to which layer 2 tech to use instead, that's a harder question. "Some L2s (most that are live today) only support a subset of what Ethereum can do, such as exchanging tokens or transferring assets," Castonguay said. "Other L2 solutions (e.g. optimistic rollup) would allow any application, just like Ethereum L1 (main chain), but these aren't live yet. Each L2 solution and implementation also has its own security risk profile that needs to be considered."

According to Buterin, token transfers must continue moving to layer 2 solutions as these take up a large chunk of network activity.

To him, the remaining hurdles aren't technical in naturethey're about getting them out and onboarding users. Referring to the need for users to have plasma- or rollup-based wallets, he said, "This is an adoption challenge, not a technical challenge. Though part of that adoption challenge is tightening the guarantees so users will feel comfortable 'living' inside and L2 system."

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It's a layer 2 world, and Ethereum is almost living in it - Decrypt

Ethereum Community Debates Raising the Block Size Limit, Once Again – Cointelegraph

Continuing congestion on the Ethereum (ETH) network has led some developers and community members to call for increasing the gas limit, which defines its transaction throughput.

Data from Etherscan shows that the average gas price rose more than three-fold since early May, with an average of about 30 Gwei in the last few days.

Source: Etherscan.io

According to EthGasStation, this results in an average of a $0.16 fee to send a simple ETH transaction, which uses the least gas possible. ERC-20 token transfers and smart contract calls can cost many times as much.

The fee increase is already having a significant impact on on-chain activity for gaming DApps. DappRadar statistics show that Ethereum gaming activity plummeted in May, while other chains made slight gains.

Source: DappRadar

Fees have increased primarily due to higher on-chain activity especially due to Tethers ongoing transition to the ERC-20 network. While the stablecoin provider is acting to fix the situation through sidechains, it may take some time for layer two solutions to establish themselves.

In the meantime, some Ethereum builders, like 1inch exchange, began calling for the gas limit to be raised by a factor of at least 2.5, up from the current 10 million gas ceiling. That would, in theory, increase the capacity of the network and reduce fees.

The gas limit in Ethereum defines the maximum number of calculations that can be inserted into a block, and is very similar to the block size concept in Bitcoin (BTC).

Gas is an abstract representation of the computing resources expended by each operation. Each calculations gas cost is manually set by Ethereum developers though they are generally close to the true computing cost.

Ethereums co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, directly replied to 1inch, suggesting they push for a more conservative increase to 12 to 15 million gas though he revealed that many client devs are concerned about risks even at those levels.

Anton Bukov, the CTO of 1inch, explained to Cointelegraph that the concerns stem from a possible overload of the nodes running the network:

Operations that cost little gas but require a lot of resources may be used to attack nodes. [...] If transaction processing starts taking 10-15 seconds, nodes will completely stagnate

Thus, increases in gas limit carry the risk of weaker nodes being thrown off the network as they cannot process transactions anymore. Thats why the limit is raised so conservatively, and even then, usually usually its done after achieving some optimization results in client implementations, he added.

The last gas limit increase occurred in September 2019, pushing it from 8 to 10 million.

Buterin proposed to change gas prices on some calculation types, like base transaction cost and storage operations, to effectively increase capacity by about 20%. However, that would require a network hard fork, which he acknowledged is more complex than miners agreeing on a new limit.

Others proposed to wait for more definitive solutions, like Ethereum 1.x or even Ethereum 2.0, which focuses on improving scalability. Both are still in heavy development, and the network may lose ground if it waits for them.

Research published by Buterin in 2018 asserts that Ethereum has a fairly high demand elasticity, showing that in high-congestion situations, the usage of the network decreased.

Bukovs belief is that the time has come for another increase:

I think in 8 months there has been a sufficient number of client releases with the necessary optimizations, and a 12 million [gas limit] network is certainly ready, and it would be great to test the full 15 million

Nevertheless, the decision will need to be agreed on by the wider Ethereum community of client developers, miners, and DApp builders.

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Ethereum Community Debates Raising the Block Size Limit, Once Again - Cointelegraph

Ethereum May Not Be Perfect, but Most DApps Still Like to Run With It – Cointelegraph

Years on and dozens of experiments later, Ethereum still remains the number one choice among developers of decentralized applications for deploying their products and services. The 2020 Q1 Dapp Market Report published by Dapp.com clearly demonstrates the ongoing trend, as the statistics show that 635 DApps, or roughly half of all functioning DApps on the market, are based on the Ethereum network with 616,369 active users.

Even despite the seemingly gloomy mood prevailing in the global economy, Ethereum is living through its Golden Age in the rapidly developing decentralized finance market. In the first quarter of 2020, the average daily rate of activity of wallets interacting with DApps on Ethereum increased by 16% compared with the previous quarter. The 2020 Q1 Dapp Industry Review report conducted by DappRadar clearly demonstrates the growing trend.

So, why exactly are DApps developers staying loyal to Ethereum despite its upgrade delays, poor scalability and strong competition from the likes of EOS?

Today, Ethereum is not the only platform offering developers tools to launch their own applications, but that was not always so. For the first DApps such as Bancor, which appeared back in 2017, Ethereum was the only proven and trustworthy solution. Nate Hindman, the head of growth at Bancor, told Cointelegraph: When Bancor launched in June 2017 as the first-ever DeFi protocol, there were no public contenders to Ethereum, so the choice was easy.

With $120,000 spent by its users in the DApp every day, Bancor remains committed to the choice of Ethereum, as its DeFi use and development remains the most mature and battle-tested, according to Hindman.

Aave, another large finance DApp that ranks ninth in the number of daily transactions, has also been building on Ethereum for a few years now. In an interview with Cointelegraph, Stani Kulechov, the platforms CEO, noted: When we started to build on Ethereum, it was the only network with smart contracts.

Both projects also pointed out that, being the pioneer platform for DApps, Ethereum has managed to retain its leadership in terms of liquidity and security, which has contributed to them staying loyal to the platform for many years.

Other blockchain projects have successfully improved the Ethereum tools, offering even more viable solutions. Among them is Ava Labs, a blockchain platform co-founded by Emin Gun Sirer a professor at Cornell University and a prominent blockchain scholar. He shared his vision with Cointelegraph on the matter:

"Before Ethereum, many would have scoffed at the very notion of decentralized finance, and written it off as a pipedream. Ethereum has proven whats possible when you combine a community of talented developers with a compelling sandbox that they could use to create their visions.

Kevin Sekniqi, a colleague of Sirer and a co-founder of Ava Labs, agreed that when the project started, there were no compelling alternatives that could solve the scalability and performance issues holding DeFi back from reaching its full potential.

The Ethereum network is known for its unique user experience that stands in a league of its own. The networks development kit includes numerous templates, MetaMask integration capabilities, transaction loggers and its own browser built on the Ethereum Virtual Machine known as EVM for faster onboarding.

The platform has extensive functionality capabilities, allowing developers to create hundreds of thousands of diverse applications, unlike Bitcoin applications, which are united by a single part of a multifunctional protocol.

Such versatility was achieved by using the unique EVM, which is a specialized software that supports the launch of any application, regardless of the written language, and allows the deployment of any application that doesnt have its own platform. It thus becomes redundant to create a separate network to take advantage of the blockchains capabilities for solving any problems, allowing developers to use the ready-made Ethereum system.

Consequently, a team developing a new DeFi product really wants to have all of these features when starting out in order to concentrate on building products, according to Francesco Vivoli of blockchain-based loan marketplace Raise. He added when speaking with Cointelegraph:

We chose Ethereum because of the strong, well-understood safety guarantees provided by the network, superior development tools and great sources of documentation available.

The functionality of the Ethereum network allows developers to create a vast scope of solutions, including but not limited to smart contracts for supply chain management, applications such as utilities or games, services for user identification, decentralized asset exchanges and even electronic voting systems for political elections.

Thanks to the large number of developers involved, the availability of extensive documentation and constant updates, Ethereum is considered to be the best platform for deploying any infrastructure, whether it be games, financial instruments or social networks. This task does not require much experience or fundamental knowledge in programming, as the applications for it are created on the basis of a basic decentralized architecture.

Such versatility and huge support from a community of experienced programmers allow developers to troubleshoot effectively and launch their applications with minimal bugs. A report published by Consensys on June 1, 2018, found that the Ethereum community had about 250,000 developers at the time, and 94% of all blockchain startups were built on the platform. It seems Ethereum is the only blockchain with such a large amount of technically educated engineers. This is, according to Bancors Hindman, the key to the smooth operation of the system:

The core Bancor team works mostly on the contracts, so it is helpful to have a robust ecosystem of third-party developers hacking on the contracts and deploying interfaces to engaged users, who are excited to experiment with new on-chain financial applications.

Many developers refer to the powerful network effect of Ethereum as a compelling factor for building DApps. Among them is MakerDAO, the most popular Ethereum-based DApp, according to Dapp.com. Niklas Kunkel, the head of backend services at MakerDAO, explained to Cointelegraph what this network effect means for DApps:

"Ethereum embodied the core ethos of decentralization very early on which attracted a large passionate developer community. Networking effects, especially the composability of protocols, are extremely powerful and cannot be understated. Developers choose to build on Ethereum because they inherit an entire ecosystem of primitives including Dai, Uniswap, Compound, and MetaMask. The moat is just too big, and growing larger every day."

Another blockchain platform, Status Network which ranks twelfth in the 30-day volume of transactions conducted by its users has also opted for Ethereum due to its networking effect. Jonathan Zerah, the head of marketing at Status Network, told Cointelegraph:

When new developers join the world of blockchain, they tend to gravitate towards the largest communities with the most experience, tools, and collaborative projects, and were seeing this phenomenon manifest in the rising DeFi movement right now.

Zerah added that the Ethereum community has the widest audience for the mass adoption of DeFi and Web 3.0 technologies. Beni Hakak, the CEO of LiquidApps a technology company focused on optimizing decentralized development shares the same point of view, stating: "The network effects of Ethereum, particularly in the DeFi sector, give the ecosystem a distinct advantage that keeps it growing.

The importance of the network effect for building financial applications is also demonstrated by Raise, a blockchain platform that built a loan marketplace on Ethereum. Its founder, Francesco Vivoli, explained to Cointelegraph the projects choice:

An incredibly strong developer community, which not only generates a network effect it allows new projects to leverage documentation, libraries and others expertise but also attracts the attention of larger businesses and venture funds as these do their own due diligence on the applicability and viability of blockchain solutions.

The availability of experienced users and developers in the community allows Ethereum to undergo constant testing and bug-fixing, thus contributing to the overall security and stability of the system.

Ethereums pride and joy is the decentralized virtual machine that any developer can use to deploy DApps. The smart contracts manage the resources of the EVM using the code written in the original Solidity programming language. Developers rely on scripts built on if-then principles, and nodes of the blockchain execute the commands automatically.

Related: Ethereum 2.0 Release Date Set for the Eleventh Hour as Issues Persist

The given approach made it possible to create applications based on Ethereum that work strictly in accordance with the established algorithm without failures, censorship, fraud or participation of third parties. If one of the nodes executing a smart contract fails, it will not affect the stability of the application as a whole, as the resulting data remains unchanged.

With $63.2 million in transactions made daily by its DApp users, 1inch.exchange explained its preference for Ethereum due to its 51% attack resistance. Sergej Kunz, the co-founder and CEO of 1inch.exchange, told Cointelegraph that the Ethereum network is the most reliable and secure from 51% attack than any other Proof-of-Work blockchain with smart contracts due to really high miner rewards.

Kunz added that its better to have a stable and less upgradable framework in order to keep the whole system very secure. Social network Sapien also opted for Ethereum due to its high level of protection against 51% attacks, according to Ankit Bhatia, the projects co-founder and CEO.

Ethereums stability is another factor mentioned by respondents. Michael Astashkevich, the chief technology officer of Smart IT a software development and consulting company explained to Cointelegraph why Ethereum is considered to be the most stable blockchain for DApps: Blockchain developers appreciate the complete, comprehensive and up-to-date documentation that is available for predictable development processes. It can also boast stable and resilient client applications. Astashkevich also noted that unlike other blockchain networks such as Waves or EOS, the Ethereum framework is truly decentralized, which is very important for engineers that both build and use DApps.

The monetization of an application is the ultimate essence of its creation and the guarantee of its continued existence. As such, developers often choose infrastructures for their apps based on the availability of a strong and reliable audience. Ethereum boasts a vast community and the ability to launch smart contracts for issuing versatile ERC-20 tokens.

The introduction of the ERC-20 standard provoked the explosive growth of token sales from 2016 to 2017. Despite the fact that token sales have dwindled in numbers and no longer rake in the same revenues as before, Ethereum-based applications still monetize their assets on crypto exchanges and even launch new exchanges. In particular, DeFi DApps including finance apps and decentralized exchanges are booming now, with a combined volume of over $11 billion in the first quarter of 2020, according to Dapp.coms market report.

Having a viable business model is the only way for any blockchain ecosystem to survive and become sustainable, according to Steven Pu, a serial Silicon Valley entrepreneur. He told Cointelegraph:

The most sustainable way to build an ecosystem of developers is to ensure that they can make money. A viable business model often overrides any technical advantages. In the case of Ethereum, it was the first blockchain ecosystem in which developers could make money, predominantly via issuing tokens.

Along with an extensive network of experienced developers, Ethereum attracts new projects and their large communities of users that are ready to use new tools in addition to helping and improving the monetization of products. 1inch.exchanges Kunz told Cointelegraph that for his exchange, the interaction with such a large community and participation in Ethereum hackathons provides priceless experience: The Ethereum community has people real people who are already onboarded and use it on a daily basis. Sapiens Bhatia further added:

Its consistently one of the most active open source projects on Github and the number of Ethereum dApps is always growing, proof that were not alone in laying our trust in Ethereum and its future.

So, despite the delays to the deployment of its 2.0 network, Ethereum has numerous success factors acting in its favor, many of which remain unattainable for the majority of its competitors. However, while Ethereum remains popular among many developers and projects, there are some that opt for alternative frameworks due to its poor scalability and throughput and slow development. These are the issues that might be decisive when it comes to building large-scale platforms with millions of transactions to be processed.

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Ethereum May Not Be Perfect, but Most DApps Still Like to Run With It - Cointelegraph

Ethereum Network Hits Massive Milestone as Analyst Eyes 200% Rally | NewsBTC – newsBTC

Since the all-time highs that were seen at the start of 2018, the price of Ethereum has collapsed dramatically. From the $1,430 highs, the asset is now down approximately 85%, trading at $240 as of the time of this articles writing.

Despite the utter collapse in the market, the underlying network has seen dramatic growth. Data now shows that the number of Ethereum accounts has surpassed a key milestone: 100 million.

According to Mythos Capitals Ryan Sean Adams, the number of Ethereum addresses/accounts hit 100 million last week, just five years after the network was launched. Notably, the existence of 100 million addresses does not mean that 100 million people have used that cryptocurrency.

This milestone shows that adoption is taking place, even though it may be slower than some expected.

World powers will be forced to adapt. This is the next wave of the internet. 100m bankless bank accounts, Adams wrote with excitement on the matter.

Adams observation comes shortly after Spencer Noon, the head of crypto-native investment fund DTC Capital, identified 10 on-chain trends suggesting Ethereum is on bull market footing. Some of those are as follows:

Ethereums achievement of the 100 million account milestone comes on the back of a number of undercurrents pushing the usage of the network higher, such as growth in decentralized finance and in stablecoins.

The technical trends of Ethereum are also bullish.

Asreported by NewsBTC, Brave New Coins Josh Olszewicz shared the chart seen below just this weekend. It shows that Ethereum has entered into a key Ichimoku Cloud resistance for the first time ever.

Referencing how the asset is likely to rally to the other end of the resistance in a so-called end-to-end move, Olszewicz opined:

One-week Ethereum chart. End to end to $750 triggers within the next few months probably.

Chart of Ethereums macro price action from Brave New Coin analyst Josh Olszewicz.

According to Olszewicz, who is a specialist at Ichimoku Cloud analysis, the way in which the cloud is formed is likely to act as a price magnet pulling it to $750. Such a move would mean that Ethereum has retraced 50% of the established range while also satisfying Dow Theory.

Similarly bullish, Dan Tapiero the CEO of DTAP Capital shared on June 3rd that Ethereum is on [the verge] of explosive upmove. He noted how the cryptocurrency is about to break out of a downtrend that constrained price action over the past year, from the 2019 highs to the 2020 highs.

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Ethereum Network Hits Massive Milestone as Analyst Eyes 200% Rally | NewsBTC - newsBTC

Bitcoin Derivatives Exchanges to Have a Separate Page on Coinmarketcap – Ethereum World News

In brief:

There is no doubt that the rate at which changes occur in the crypto-verse is exciting. Sometimes it becomes difficult to keep up with all the transformations with respect to crypto projects as can be seen in the recent changes in the ranking system of crypto exchanges on Coinmarketcap.com. At the time of writing this, the popular Bitcoin derivatives platforms of BitMex, ByBit, and Deribit are ranked 175th, 177th, and 179th respectively.

The current rankings of BitMex, ByBit and Deribit have caused a stir in the crypto community with many traders wondering what is going on. Evidence of this can be seen in the following tweet by @CosmonautC.

Furthermore, the team at Deribit has jokingly voiced their concerns regarding the new rankings via a Tweet that stated the following.

We are glad to inform you that@CoinMarketCap has ranked Deribit exchange at #179 with a liquidity score of 0. We want to take this moment to congratulate all the exchanges on the list that weve never heard of. This is great work guys.

As shocking as the rankings of BitMex, ByBit and Deribit might be, the team at Coinmarketcap has explained that it is the first phase of changes being implemented in the exchange ranking algorithm on the platform.

In a June 8th update to the crypto community, the team at Coinmarketcap explained that the current exchange rankings apply to spot market pairs and a separate page will be added for derivative exchanges.

Please be reminded that the exchange ranking algorithm change below applies for spot market pairs and exchanges only. A separate page for derivative exchanges will be available in the near future.

In conclusion, the team at Coinmarketcap has clarified that the current exchange rankings are as a result of an initial phase of changes in the algorithm used to grade crypto exchange platforms. At the time of writing this, the algorithm is set for spot market pairs thus the discrepancies when it comes to ranking BitMex, ByBit, and Deribit. Although initially confusing to the crypto community, the changes will eventually include a separate page for derivatives exchanges and providing more accurate data with respect to BitMex, ByBit, and Deribit.

Disclaimer:This article is not meant to give financial advice. Any additional opinion herein is purely the authors and does not represent the opinion of EWN or any of its other writers. Please carry out your own research before investing in any of the numerous cryptocurrencies available. Thank you.

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Bitcoin Derivatives Exchanges to Have a Separate Page on Coinmarketcap - Ethereum World News

Whos Afraid of Ethereum? The Top 12 Smart Contract Platforms – Crypto Briefing

As Ethereum 2.0 continues to be delayed, competing smart contract platforms have emerged to try and compete. These are Crypto Briefing's top 12 competitors to Ethereum.Key Takeaways

Smart contract platforms now allow anyone to design programmable finance and apply them to a myriad of new use cases. For example, the decentralized finance (DeFi) movement, as well as other decentralized applications (dApps), are all dominated by Ethereum-based smart contracts.

One can think of smart contracts as dynamic if-then statements.

And if a developer or company combines enough of them together, they can build never-before-seen tools. The advantages arent just in this flexibility, either. Smart contracts eliminate many of the costs of intermediaries traditionally included in the fields of law, finance, supply chains, and much more.

Ethereum now has a host of competitors too. Though the project has enjoyed a first-mover advantage, faster, more advanced blockchain projects have emerged to try taking the throne.

In the following Guide, Crypto Briefing outlines the top smart contract platforms and offers readers a broad overview of the smart contract space.

Founder: Vitalik Buterin

Date of creation: Launched in July 2015.

Asset: ETH

One-liner: The first smart contract platform, and still the biggest in terms of developer activity.

Ethereum was the first blockchain to be developed with a Turing-complete scripting language, Solidity. It was the brainchild of programmer Vitalik Buterin, who recognized the vast potential of blockchain technology through his early engagement with Bitcoin. However, after failing to convince Bitcoin core developers that the platform needed application development functionality, he wrote the white paper for Ethereum.

The founding team comprises Buterin, Anthony Di Iorio, Charles Hoskinson, Mihai Alisie, Amir Chetrit, Gavin Wood, Joseph Lubin, and Jeffrey Wilke. Several of these members have since left Ethereum to work on their own projects.

Ethereum is the current leader of smart contract space and provided a blueprint for many of its successors. It was the first blockchain to gain any significant traction with enterprise adoption, thanks in part to the formation of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, which boasts members including Samsung, Intel, and JP Morgan.

Ethereum is also the central hub of the decentralized finance movement, home to some of cryptos biggest dApps, including Maker and Compound.

Over the years, Ethereum has weathered several significant events, the most notable of which is The DAO incident in 2016, where a hacker exploited a vulnerability in a smart contract and stole $50 million worth of ETH.

The fallout from the incident resulted in a divide in the Ethereum community, with one side supporting a rollback of the blockchain to reclaim the funds, and the other side declaring that code is law. A controversial hard fork ensued, resulting in the formation of the Ethereum Classic blockchain.

The biggest challenge facing Ethereum, however, has been its lack of scalability. Despite being one of the most-used blockchains, it frequently suffers from network congestion. Perhaps due to a highly decentralized approach to core development, upgrades are slow to arrive and often beset by delays.

The current upgrade, dubbed ETH 2.0, has been slated for the first phase of implementation in July 2020.

The native token of the platform is ether (ETH), which is the second-biggest cryptocurrency by market cap. Ether is also used to pay the gas fees required for transactions on the platform.

Founder: Diego Gutirrez Zaldvar (now CEO of IOV Labs), Sergio Lerner, Gabriel Kurman, Adrian Eidelman, and Ruben Altman

Date of creation: RSK was founded in 2016 and launched in 2018.

Asset: RBTC, RIF

One-liner: Smart contract platform running as a sidechain of the Bitcoin blockchain.

RSK operates as a sidechain of the Bitcoin blockchain and is merge-mined with Bitcoin. It was developed to bring Ethereum-like smart contract functionality to the Bitcoin network.

Diego Gutierrez Zaldivar, CEO and founder, describes the RSK vision to Crypto Briefing as:

We developed RSK to add value and expand functionality to the Bitcoin ecosystem by providing smart contracts functionality and greater scalability, establishing the layer needed for Bitcoin to become the financial system of the future.

The RBTC token is pegged 1:1 with Bitcoin and is the native token of the RSK platform, used to pay for the gas to execute transactions.

RSK now operates as part of a technology stack with the Bitcoin network as a base layer. The RSK Infrastructure Framework (RIF) layer runs on top of RSK, providing a marketplace of developer tools. These include storage, payments, and a naming service.

RSK hasnt gained the same traction as Ethereum in the North American and European markets. However, it does have a far bigger footprint in its native Latin America.

The company that operates RSK, IOV Labs, last year acquired Taringa, the biggest social network in Latin America with over 30 million users. Its also the platform of choice for Money on Chain, which operates the Dollar on Chain stablecoin and has recently expanded into offering stablecoins collateralized by the RIF token.

RSK can scale up to around 400 transactions per second. However, some of the tools available on the RIF layer can run even faster. For example, the Lumino payments protocol can handle up to 5,000 transactions per second.

The RBTC token is merge-mined with Bitcoin, and the RSK network has previously managed to gather around 45% of the Bitcoin network hashrate, making it highly secure compared to many other platforms dependent on a smaller number of miners or nodes.

Founders: Lior Yaffe, Kristina Kalcheva

Date of creation: Launched on mainnet in January 2018.

Asset: ARDR

One-liner: Parent-and-child chain architecture with lightweight smart contract capabilities and no blockchain bloat.

Ardor is operated by Jelurida and has its roots in the Nxt blockchain, which was one of the first PoS networks and has been running since 2013. Ardor was created by the same team to overcome the adoption challenges of traditional linear blockchain architecture.

These include the use of a single token, a lack of customization capability, and blockchain bloating as a result of processing and storing every single transaction in the same way.

Ardor aims to overcome this with an architecture that comprises the main parent chain and child chains. Each child chain is entirely customizable according to user requirements and can use its own token. Ardor also makes use of stateless, lightweight smart contracts programmed in Java.

Lior Yaffe, Core Developer and Co-Founder of Ardor, explains the lightweight smart contracts as follows:

The contract code itself is a simple Java class uploaded to the blockchain and therefore digitally signed and time stamped. However, the execution of the contract is only performed by nodes who choose to run the Contract Runner addon. This removes the need for metered execution using the gas model and removes the risk of systematic failure in case the contract malfunctions.

He adds:

Furthermore, this enables contracts to work as oracles, to freely integrate with external systems and thus removes the need for a separate layer of oracles.

The first and main child chain of Ardor is Ignis, which offers unique features and functions across other child chains operating on the Ardor network. These include asset issuance and user account configuration. Ignis also provides various on-chain features, including a voting system, exchange, and data cloud.

Ardor and Ignis each operate their own tokens, under the tickers ARDR and IGNIS, respectively.

Applications running on Ardor include augmented reality game Triffic, art-focused DAO Tarasca, and real estate management platform Dominium.

Founders: Jaynti Kanani, Sandeep Nailwal, Anurag Arjun

Date of creation: 2018, mainnet launched in 2020.

Asset: MATIC

One-liner: Plasma and PoS side chains create a scalable layer 2 for the Ethereum network.

Matic Network is a layer 2 scaling solution that utilizes sidechains for off-chain computation. T

he network is secured through an adapted version of the Plasma framework and a decentralized network of Proof-of-Stake (PoS) validators.

Jaynti Kanani, a co-founder of Matic, describes the vision of the project as follows:

Matic aims to overcome the scalability and usability-related problems of the blockchain space by leveraging a combination of blockchain scaling, developer platform and tools, and a keen focus on user experience. We believe the answer to enabling widespread adoption of blockchain technology lies with second-layer solutions focused on scalability. Thus, Matic Network provides massive scaling capabilities whilst leveraging the security and decentralization of the Ethereum mainchain.

Matic Network achieves significant scalability, with a throughput of 65,000 transactions per second without compromising on decentralization.

The project achieved early recognition from some of the biggest names in crypto, with both Coinbase Venture and Binance Labs providing financial backing.

Before launching its mainnet on Jun. 3, 2020, Matic had already attracted more than 50 dApps, making it the most adopted layer 2 platform in the space. dApps on Matic encompass a variety of niches ranging from gaming to DeFi, with notable projects including Decentraland and whitelabel betting platform BetProtocol.

The networks token, MATIC, is used in a similar way to Ethereum to pay gas fees for transactions.

Whitepaper author: Douglas Horn (now founder of block producer, GoodBlock).

Date of creation: The Telos Mainnet was launched on Dec. 12, 2018, by the Telos Launch Group.

Asset: TLOS

One-liner: Telos is a dPoS blockchain based on EOSIO software with a focus on governance.

The Telos network was created to combine flexible governance and high transaction speeds using EOSIO software. Telos never held an ICO and has been a community-driven bootstrapped project since inception.

With a network capable of handling 8,000 transactions per second, the Telos platform attracted gaming apps Angry Warlords and BLOX to its platform.

With governance credentials that rival those of Tezos, Telos has also attracted several dApps for social good in its first year. Sesacash allows cross-currency conversions in Africa. Seeds is an experiment in regenerative money that incentivizes people to behave in environmentally-friendly ways. And, finally, Murmur, a blockchain-based social network, recently switched from EOS to Telos to take advantage of lower-cost transactions.

Telos lacks the profile of some of the other top smart contract platforms, but its feature-rich network and commitment to governance could give it an edge over the long run.

The network aligns itself with what it sees as a future economy built on interconnected smart contracts governed by its users. In the words of whitepaper author Douglas Horn:

The dApps coming to Telos or emerging from our own Telos Works incubator are leveraging the massive speed and capacity, functional governance, and unique tools available to any dApp on Telos, like the Telos Decide governance engine. A significant portion of developers has also expressed to us that the ethos of Telos as a truly decentralized, egalitarian, and forward-thinking platform that has managed to build itself and foster other projects without an ICO or centralized ownership is an important area of alignment with their own aims.

Founder: Dan Larimer, (now CTO of Block.one)

Date of creation: EOS was launched in January 2018.

Token: EOS

One-liner: EOS is a dPoS blockchain based on EOSIO software. It is also a top smart contract platform.

The EOS blockchain protocol is powered by the EOS token, which has consistently ranked in the top ten in terms of market cap since its launch in January 2018. Fueled by a record-setting $4 billion ICO, the EOS network emulates computing resources, including CPU, GPU, and RAM, all of which are supported by EOS token holders.

Larimer developed the delegated Proof-of-Stake (dPoS) consensus mechanism, whereby EOS token holders vote 21 block producers (BPs) to operate the network, with standby contenders on notice to assist if required.

Adrianna Mendez of Cypherglass, a founding EOS block producer and paid stand by BP, told Crypto Briefing that:

EOS continues to showcase the potential of delegated proof of stake. Two years after its launch, its the most used and fastest-growing blockchain in the world. The possibilities for developers are endless.

Delegated PoS offers speed and scalability advantages over pure PoS consensus mechanisms. Games and gambling apps dominate the top 20 apps on EOS, although a decentralized exchange, Newdex, boasts daily volumes around $15 million.

Block.one, the company behind the network, also operates a venture capital arm and launched a beta version of Voice in early 2019, a social media network poised to rival Facebook.

Founder: Silvio Micali

Date of creation: Mainnet launched Jun. 5, 2019.

Token: ALGO

One-liner: Algorand aims to build a trusted, public, and permissionless infrastructure for the borderless economy.

The Algorand network is operated by a pure proof-of-stake consensus mechanism with a transaction throughput rivaling large finance and payment networks. It is scalable to manage billions of users. It claims to be the worlds first blockchain to provide immediate transaction finality without the fear of forks.

The Singapore-based project attracted $4M in seed funding from Pillar and Union Square Ventures in early 2018. It then landed a second $64 million raise from a broad slate of investors that October.

Upon Coinbases listing of ALGO in 2019, the platforms native token was argued to be one of the fastest cryptocurrencies on the exchange.

Steve Kokinos, CEO of Algorand Inc., told Crypto Briefing that:

Smart contracts need to be scalable and secure. At Algorand weve developed smart contracts built directly into Layer-1 to operate securely without compromising scalability or security while maintaining low execution cost. By focusing on simplifying developer experiences, Algorand enables real-world use cases like cross-chain atomic transfers and regulated disbursements with rapid confirmation time and immediate finality. These use cases are made possible by our pure proof-of-stake protocol, which was designed from the ground-up to deliver a secure, scalable, and decentralized platform necessary for mainstream adoption of blockchain technology.

Early in 2020, Tether launched an Algorand version of its stablecoin on the platform, representing the first significant use of Aglorands Standard Asset (ASA) specification.

Other significant partnerships include one with World Chess, which intends to conduct a hybrid IPO and STO alongside a listing on the London Stock Exchange. AssetBlock also launched a real estate investment platform on the network in 2019, cementing Algorands reputation as a reliable partner for innovative corporate initiatives.

The high-profile smart contract platform has attracted RHOVIT, a gamified content platform, Meld Gold, an Australia-based tokenized golf asset trading network, and the tokenized investment platform, Republic.

Founders: Kathleen & Arthur Breitman

Date of creation: Mainnet launched Sep. 17, 2018.

Token: XTZ

One-liner: Tezos is the innovative brainchild of the Breitmans who wanted to create a self-amending cryptographic ledger.

The Tezos Foundation began the Tezos project with a lucrative ICO in 2017, raising some $232 million for the Swiss-based non-profit. It soon became embroiled in controversy, with a dispute between the Breitmans, who owned the IP, and Johann Gevers, the foundations president and the one in control of the projects funds.

The resultant delayed launch saw investors sue the project as confidence faded. Intended as a network that boasted unrivaled governance processes, internal governance itself had become an issue.

Despite its tumultuous start, the network was finally launched in 2018. Its governance processes were indeed innovative. With decision-making processes baked into the system, protocol upgrades proposed by developers are approved by stakeholders. Once approved, the developer is paid.

The process incentivizes decentralized development and improvements. The on-chain governance properties of the network extend to its Proof of Stake mechanism, with token stakers known as bakers earning rewards for securing the network.

As Alison Mangiero, president and co-founder of TQ Tezos told Crypto Briefing:

In Tezos, we already see widespread participation because unlike in proof of work and other stake networks, all stakeholders can help to secure the network (via baking or delegating), and avoid being diluted by inflation (of course all stakeholders can also participate in network upgrades by evaluating, proposing, or approving amendments to the protocol itself).

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Whos Afraid of Ethereum? The Top 12 Smart Contract Platforms - Crypto Briefing

ZCash (ZEC) Dev. Team: Chainalysis Cannot Track Shielded Transactions – Ethereum World News

In brief:

News of Chainalysis extending its reach of investigation and compliance to the ZCash and DASH blockchains stirred a few tough questions about the future of privacy in the digital asset industry. The announcement by Chainalysis was made yesterday with the team explaining that privacy features on both the ZCash and Dash blockchains were not entirely immune to scrutiny by investigators.

Dash and Zcash allow users to conduct transactions with greater privacy, but that doesnt mean they provide total anonymity. The two cryptocurrencies privacy features both in how theyre built as well as how theyre used in the real world leave room for investigators and compliance professionals to investigate suspicious or illicit activity and maintain compliance.

It is with the above background that the team at the Electric Coin Company has clarified that not all ZCash transactions can be tracked. In an elaborate Twitter thread, the Electric Coin Company, which supports the development of ZCash, explained that only transparent transactions can be tracked. However, if users of ZEC opt to use the privacy feature on ZCash, shielded transactions are completely anonymous.

Zcash is designed to give users options, by allowing them to choose Bitcoin-style (transparent) addresses or privacy-protecting (shielded) addresses. Transparent addresses work like Bitcoin transactions, which are also supported by Chainalysis.

Users of Zcash shielded addresses get stronger protection against data leakage than they would get with any other cryptocurrency today.

Chainalysis cannot trace shielded addresses, unless a specific user were to opt-in and let Chainalysis view their transaction data using their own Viewing Key (Selective Disclosure).

The team at the Electric Coin Company ended the Twitter thread by highlighting an increment in shielded transactions on the ZCash blockchain.

Disclaimer:This article is not meant to give financial advice. Any additional opinion herein is purely the authors and does not represent the opinion of EWN or any of its other writers. Please carry out your own research before investing in any of the numerous cryptocurrencies available. Thank you.

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ZCash (ZEC) Dev. Team: Chainalysis Cannot Track Shielded Transactions - Ethereum World News

Ethereum (ETH) Down $3.22 in Last 4 Hours, Outperforms All Top Cryptos to Start the Day; Started Today Up 0.7% – CFDTrading

Ethereum 4 Hour Price Update

Updated June 09, 2020 03:20 AM GMT (11:20 PM EST)

The choppiness in the recent four-hour candle price action of Ethereum continues; to start the current 4 hour candle, it came in at a price of 243.25 US dollars, down 1.31% ($3.22) since the previous 4 hours. Those trading within the Top Cryptos asset class should know that Ethereum was the worst performer in the class during the previous 4 hours.

Ethereum is up 0.7% ($1.72) since the day prior, marking the 3rd day in a row it has gone up. This move happened on lower volume, as yesterdays volume was down 22.29% from the day before and down 38.06% from the same day the week before. On a relative basis, the day prior was pretty good: Ethereum bested all 5 of the assets in the Top Cryptos class Below is a daily price chart of Ethereum.

Trend traders will want to observe that the strongest trend appears on the 30 day horizon; over that time period, price has been moving up. For another vantage point, consider that Ethereums price has gone up 9 of the previous 14 trading days.

Behold! Here are the top tweets related to Ethereum:

We had the pleasure of hosting @sassal0x, Co-Founder of @ethhub_io, for our most recent Masterclass session on The Growth of DeFi.Anthony explained how #DeFi on Ethereum has evolved over the past 3 years, how it started, and where DeFi is headed in the next few years.

Airdrop update!Due to the high fees on the Ethereum network, sending airdrop is x10 of the original cost. We apologize to all airdrop participants for the delays.Airdrop will be distributed when the fee goes down a bit.Thank you all.@cctip_io airdrop 300 REMI 200

People will be taken completely off guard by the coming rise of $QNT.They will regret not doing their research and cant believe they didnt see it coming when it was so obvious.This will be an Ethereum type of run, and fact is, even at $100+, its still a great buy!

For a longer news piece related to ETH thats been generating discussion, check out:

Ethereum Unique Addresses Surpasses 100 Million, Investors Are Holding More ETH than BTC Now

Besides the gains, the total number of addresses holding ETH at 39.96 million now surpasses those holding bitcoin at 30.1 million, as per IntoTheBlock.This growth is seen as Ethereum makes strides towards launching Ethereum 2.0 which is evident from the number of wallets holding more than 32 ETH, the threshold to stake, which has been increasing over the last year.As of June 3rd, 22.39 million addresses have been holding 61.22 million ETH for over a year now.

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Ethereum (ETH) Down $3.22 in Last 4 Hours, Outperforms All Top Cryptos to Start the Day; Started Today Up 0.7% - CFDTrading

Ethereum-Based Tether Better Distributed Than Other Stablecoins – Report – Cryptonews

Source: Adobe/dennizn

Among the explored stablecoins, Tether (USDT)'s ERC20 version is "particularly well-distributed," crypto market analysis firm Coin Metrics said, stressing that only a few accounts own a large majority of five other stablecoins' supply.

Since its creation six years ago, the dollar-pegged Tether expanded to other networks from the Omni protocol (itself built on top of the Bitcoin blockchain) on which it was originally built. Tether now has Omni, Ethereum, Tron, and EOS versions. But even when issued by the same entity, "stablecoins on different networks have varying outcomes in supply and activity distribution," said Coin Metrics.

We can understand how a stabecoin is used by exploring its distribution, according to the firm.

If a stablecoin is used on few exchanges only, and lacks other activity, it means its distribution is not broad but concentrated in few addresses, and vice versa. "The ERC20 variant of Tether shines as being particularly well distributed amongst its holders," wrote the firm. On the other hand, just six accounts or less than that own more than 80% of the supply for Tether (Tron), Gemini Dollar (GUSD), Binance USD (BUSD), USDK, and HUSD.

One can look at how many accounts are responsible for the majority of the on-chain activity - a small number suggests not much use outside of a few exchanges. Ranked from the highest down, USDT takes the 3rd place, the ERC20 variant the 7th, and the TRC20 variant the 9th place out of ten. The most active Tether on Tron accounts, says the report, are connected to "dividend" payouts, being occasionally responsible for more than 90% of Tether on Tron transfers.

Meanwhile, while Paxos (PAX) appears to have a broad active user base, said Coin Metrics, the two most active accounts are linked to ponzi scheme MMM BSC, with more than 40% of all PAX transfers directly related to it.

Whether stablecoin is used as a means of payment for retail users or as liquidity rails for traders, can be determined by the height of payment value. There are many retail-like transactions (those below USD 100) with USDT on Tron and PAB, "probably due to the presence of MMM and other dividend schemes on these assets." Others, like HUSD and BUSD, have a large share of payments above USD 100,000.

Ranked number 3, Tether's current total market capitalization is USD 9.4 billion. ___

Learn more: Mysterious Stablecoin Rally Marked With Regional Differences

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Ethereum-Based Tether Better Distributed Than Other Stablecoins - Report - Cryptonews


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