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Daily Archives: January 9, 2020
Global Gaming’s Chances To Operate In The Swedish Online Gambling Market Still Alive, Administrative Court Grants Review Permit – Casino.Buzz
Posted: January 9, 2020 at 3:50 am
Published 15 hours ago byUtsav Kumar| Compliance| 25 Views
Global Gaming management must have taken a sigh of relief after what unfolded in a hearing at Swedens Administrative Court of Appeal in Jnkping today.
The gambling operators appeal to have its petition concerning the decision taken by the Swedish gambling regulator to revoke SafeEnts (a Global Gaming subsidiary) license reviewed by the apex court, has been granted.
The grant of the review permit keeps the hopes alive for Global Gaming to operate in the Swedish online gambling market. Following the grant of the review permit, the Administrative Court of Appeal in Jnkping will be deciding whether the suspension of the license by the Swedish gambling regulator will continue or not.
Commenting on the grant of the review petition, Tobias Fagerlund, Global Gaming 555 ABs CEO said: We are, of course, relieved that the Administrative Court of Appeal today has granted a review permit of the case. We hope that the Administrative Court of Appeal will eventually share our opinion that the Swedish Gambling Authoritys decision was disproportionate and incorrect.
Global Gamings subsidiary SafeEnt Ltds license was revoked by the Swedish gambling regulator on 17 June 2019. Following the license revocation, Global Gaming had to pull its online casino brand Ninja Casino from the Swedish market.
However, the gambling operator appealed against the gambling regulators decision. The administrative court which heard the case held that the decision taken by the gambling regulator to revoke its license was correct. The court on 12 November 2019 decided to refuse the operators appeal.
However, today the Administrative Court of Appeal in Jnkping allowed Global Gamings review petition.While it is a small victory for the gambling operator, it would be too early for the operator to celebrate as given the allegations it would be extremely challenging to get a favorable decision.
Tags: Global Gaming, SafeEnt, Sweden
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Posted: at 3:50 am
It should come as no surprise that the gambling industry has hitched itself to the worlds most popular game. Here are some of the ways that the betting industry has become inextricably linked to football.
Half of the Premier Leagues 20 clubs have a gambling sponsor on their shirt and the proportion rises to 17 out of 24 among clubs in the Championship, which is itself sponsored by Sky Bet. Labour has said it would ban gambling shirt sponsorship if elected.
As well as shirts, companies frequently sponsor entire stands or stadiums. Stoke City are owned by the Coates family, who also own Bet365, hence the Bet365 stadium. Combined with pitchside hoardings, this means gambling logos are visible throughout televised football matches, even when there are no adverts. In a study of three episodes of the BBCs flagship football highlights programme Match of the Day, researchers at Goldsmiths, University of London found that gambling logos or branding appeared on screen for between 71% and 89% of the shows running time.
The industry recently volunteered to stop advertising during games, the so-called whistle-to-whistle ban, amid mounting concern that young fans were being bombarded with gambling ads. However, the voluntary ban has not always been respected and betting firms are still advertising heavily on television before and after matches.
Last year, Sky Bet withdrew adverts that featured the former Arsenal and England player Paul Merson, who has spoken of his struggles with gambling addiction.
Some firms are still testing the limits of advertising regulations, though. The Advertising Standards Authority recently banned a YouTube video launched by West Hams sponsor Betway because it featured the 20-year-old midfielder Declan Rice. Gambling adverts are not meant to feature people under 25. Gambling firms continue to advertise heavily on radio and on social media, where it is often hard to prevent exposure to children.
Betting firms are launching more imaginative partnerships with football clubs and players. Derby County and Wayne Rooney took flak over the involvement of their sponsor, the online casino 32Red, in a deal in which the former England captain wore the No 32 upon joining the club.
Huddersfield Town players took to the pitch for a pre-season friendly wearing shirts with a huge Paddy Power logo on them. The gambling firm claimed it was a hoax intended to highlight its support for removing betting sponsors from football shirts. The FA didnt see it that way and fined the club 50,000.
There are more subtle ways for bookmakers to promote their brand in partnership with football clubs. At the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, fans are treated to fast wifi connection. But they wont be able to access the websites of rivals to William Hill, because of a deal the club have with the bookmaker.
Even the time-honoured club programme isnt free from the branding of gambling companies, particularly when the home team is sponsored by one of them. In one case highlighted by psychology experts, a logo for the online casino 888 featured as the answer to a Spot The Difference competition aimed at young Birmingham City fans. Analysis of 44 programmes from the Premier League and Championship found they featured an average of 2.3 gambling adverts, four times as many as for alcohol.
The Guardian revealed this month the extent to which the betting sector profits from so-called VIP schemes, which target the people who lose the most money and offer them rewards. Several VIPs told the Guardian they were frequently offered football tickets in exchange for their custom. On one occasion, Ladbrokes agreed to pay for business class return flights from Dubai to London, worth more than 2,000, so that a client could attend the north London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham. He was a problem gambler who was betting with 1m he had stolen from clients.
The Premier League is truly global and betting firms know this. Many of the gambling firms that sponsor football shirts in the UK are not targeting British gamblers. It is illegal to advertise as a betting company in China, so gambling firms based in Asia use the profile of English football to access that hard-to-reach market.
A recent BBC documentary showed how companies such as Betway are exploiting the obsession of young men in Uganda with football. Some of the people featured in the documentary were gambling with what little they had and were losing everything.
Concerns have also been raised about how the Everton sponsor SportPesa may be fuelling an online gambling craze in Kenya, while Tottenham terminated a partnership with 1XBet, which was accused of tempting young Kenyans into addiction.
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Photo Credit: Mosaica Press
Title: Judaism Reclaimed: Philosophy and Theology in the TorahAuthor: Rabbi Shmuel PhillipsPublisher: Mosaica Press
Almost immediately upon publication, Rambams Moreh Nevuchim yielded contradictory interpretations. Some readers, including the books Hebrew translator R. Shmuel Ibn Tibbon, see in Moreh Nevuchim a subversive text, a book of radical philosophy hidden underneath a Torah mask. Others, including the translators son R. Moshe Ibn Tibbon, take Rambam at his word that he is evaluating philosophy from a Torah perspective and rejecting what runs contrary to revelation.
This Ibn Tibbon dispute represents broader trends toward Moreh Nevuchim and philosophy in general. To some degree, as a result of this long interpretative debate, many faithful Jews stayed away from the subjects altogether. To them, the spiritual danger was too great to allow any engagement with philosophy or any other course of knowledge that could challenge religion.
These three approaches still characterize the Jewish community. Some Jews reject Torah traditions when they see evidence they believe contradicts those traditions. Others stay away from all such debates to avoid religious challenges. And still others take the middle path of engagement within the parameters of faith, accepting truth from wherever it comes but recognizing that Torah is the ultimate truth. This last approach was adopted by some (certainly not all) great Torah scholars throughout history. The great Lithuanian-style Torah scholars read widely, even from heretics and Maskilim, accepting insights while rejecting heresies, filtering everything through the lens of Torah faith.
To a large degree, that changed when the Eastern European Haskalah turned vicious in the second half of the 19th century. This second wave of Maskilim utilized mockery and insult to undermine tradition and secularize Jews. In response to these aggressions, the traditional community rightly went to war in defense of Jewish continuity. The intellectual openness of Lithuania was forced to close on a broad scale. However, individuals always remained who represented the old, broad-minded Lithuanian tradition.
Well over a century has passed since the Haskalah battles, and the world has changed many times over. Today, mysticism abounds, whether from the traditions of Chasidism, the Arizal, the Maharal, or some new combination. And yet, these approaches do not satisfy everyone. I believe that the old Lithuanian openness needs a resurgence, if not for everyone then at least for some. At the very least, we need to revive the internal Jewish rationalism, the tradition of Moreh Nevuchim and those who followed in its path, the spirit of the Lithuanian-style search for truth within faith.
In his recent book, Judaism Reclaimed, Rabbi Shmuel Phillips exemplifies this thoughtful, rationalist approach one which examines fundamental issues of belief while remaining not just faithful to but confident in our faith. Despite being a relatively young kollel student in Jerusalem with a law degree from the University of London, Rabbi Phillips writes like a seasoned theologian. He directly confronts the biblical critics who deny the Torahs unique divine origin, the historians who claim Medieval Torah scholars denied certain fundamental beliefs, the professors who claim that the Oral Torah contradicts the Bible, and virtually every other contemporary challenge to traditional Jewish beliefs. Building primarily on Rambam and Rav Hirsch, Rabbi Phillips explains in a sophisticated but accessible way the basis for belief and the mistakes of the critics.
Among his many topics are gender roles, the divine origin of the Oral Torah and the limits to its flexibility, the authenticity of Sefer Devarim, the challenge of ancient Near Eastern texts that resemble the Torah in certain ways, and the differing realms of Torah and science. This book fearlessly, eloquently, and thoughtfully addresses nearly all the major intellectual challenges people today face when thinking about Torah Judaism. And it does so without compromising on belief and without intimidating the reader. Rather, Rabbi Phillips invokes the great intellectual heritage with which we have been endowed by our ancestors. He resurrects a rational Jewish tradition that is rich in faith and uses reason to understand Judaisms faith claims.
Rabbi Phillips freely quotes the latest challenges to tradition, summarizing each view before responding to it. In this way, he lets readers know that he comes from an informed perspective, unafraid of professors, historians, and liberal rabbis who think they can disprove traditional Judaism. Rabbi Phillips argues very straightforwardly and without bombast. He does not talk around challenges, trying to distract readers from the problem. Rather, he calmly and directly explains the traditional Jewish view and how it can reasonably fit the available data, adding the necessary context to appreciate the traditional approach.
The book follows the weekly Torah reading. As such, not every passage contains a faith challenge. On such occasions, Rabbi Phillips pivots to building a worldview by examining philosophical questions that emerge from the text. What is providence, hashgachah pratis? What do G-ds different names mean? Do dark mystical powers exist?
An underlying theme throughout the book is G-ds uniqueness, unlike anything we see in this world and ultimately beyond our comprehension. Paradoxically, this theme, which likewise underlies Rambams Moreh Nevuchim, allows us to answer many theological questions. There are limits to human knowledge that must affect not only how we relate to G-d but also how we view historical finds, ancient texts, and scientific data. As much as we want to be certain about the ancient world, all we have are small pieces of a very large and complex puzzle.
Reclaiming Judaism ably responds to attacks on Orthodox Judaism in an open way, showing that traditional Judaism is consistent with our knowledge of the ancient and contemporary world. Rabbi Phillips also presents a reasonable worldview, emerging from traditional texts and built on the works of great Torah scholars of the past. The book represents the best of the old way: open to all knowledge, deep in its understanding of Torah, and firm in its commitment to faith. Those looking for a faithful, thoughtful, and non-mystical approach to Judaism will find in this book a satisfying guide to how to think about life, G-d, and our place in this world.
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Posted: at 3:49 am
Published: January 3, 2020 8:14:10 pm
Savitribai Phule, the social reformer who is considered to be one of Indias first modern feminists, was born on January 3, 1831. Among her accomplishments, she is especially remembered for being Indias first female teacher who worked for the upliftment of women and untouchables in the field of education and literacy.
Phule was born in Naigaon, Maharashtra in 1831 and married activist and social-reformer Jyotirao Phule when she was nine years old. After marriage, with her husbands support, Phule learned to read and write and both of them eventually went on to found Indias first school for girls called Bhide Wada in Pune in 1948. Before this, she started a school with Jyotiraos cousin Saganbai in Maharwada in 1847. Since at that time the idea of teaching girls was considered to be a radical one, people would often throw dung and stones at her as she made her way to the school.
Significantly, it was not easy for the Phules to advocate for the education of women and the untouchables since in Maharashtra a nationalist discourse was playing out between 1881-1920 led by Bal Gangadhar Tilak. These nationalists including Tilak opposed the setting up of schools for girls and non-Brahmins citing loss of nationality.
Essentially, both Jyotirao and Savitribai Phule recognised that education was one of the central planks through which women and the depressed classes could become empowered and hope to stand on an equal footing with the rest of the society.
In his essay written for the Savitribai Phule First Memorial Lecture Hari Narke has written, In the social and educational history of India, Mahatma Jotirao Phule and his wife Savitribai Phule stand out as an extraordinary couple. They were engaged in a passionate struggle to build a movement for equality between men and women and for social justice. The Phules also started the Literacy Mission in India between 1854-55. According to Narake, the Phules started the Satyashodhak Samaj (Society for Truth-Seeking), through which they wanted to initiate the practice of Satyashodhak marriage, in which no dowry was taken.
Because of the role Phule played in the field of womens education, she is also considered to be one of the crusaders of gender justice, as one paper published in the International Journal of Innovative Social Science & Humanities Research has said. The paper also credits Phule as being one of the first published women in modern India, who was able to develop a voice and agency of her own, at a time when women were suppressed and lived a sub-human existence.
Even though her poems, which were written in Marathi, she advocated values such as humanism, liberty, equality, brotherhood, rationalism and the importance of education among others. In her poem titled, Go, Get Education she wrote:
Be self-reliant, be industrious
Work, gather wisdom and riches,
All gets lost without knowledge
We become animal without wisdom,
Sit idle no more, go, get education
End misery of the oppressed and forsaken,
Youve got a golden chance to learn
So learn and break the chains of caste.
Throw away the Brahmans scriptures fast.
Her books of poems Kavya Phule and Bavan Kashi Subodh Ratnakar were published in 1934 and 1982.
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Posted: at 3:49 am
Will Tehran and Washington let slip the dogs of war following last weeks aerial takedown of Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corpss IRGC) Quds Force? You could be forgiven for thinking so considering the hot takes that greeted the news of the drone strike outside Baghdad. For example, one prominent commentator, the Council on Foreign Relations Richard Haass, opined that the Middle East region (and possibly the world) will be the battlefield.
Color me skeptical. The apocalypse is not at hand.
Haass is right in the limited sense that irregular military operations now span the globe. Terrorists thirst to strike at far as well as near enemies in hopes of degrading their will to fight. They respect no national boundaries and never have. Frontiers are likewise murky in the cyber realm, to name another battleground with no defined battlefronts. The United States and Iran have waged cyber combat for a decade or more, dating to the Stuxnet worm attack on the Iranian nuclear complex in 2010.
The coming weeks and months may see irregular warfare prosecuted with newfound vigor through such familiar unconventional warmaking methods. Its doubtful Tehran would launch into conventional operations, stepping onto ground it knows America dominates. To launch full-scale military reprisals would justify full-scale U.S. military reprisals that, in all likelihood, would outstrip Irans in firepower and ferocity. The ayatollahs who oversee the Islamic Republic fret about coming up on the losing end of such a clash. As well they might, considering hard experience.
So the outlook is for more of the same. Thats a far cry from the more fevered prophecies of World War III aired since Soleimani went to his reward. To fathom Tehrans dilemma, lets ask a fellow who knew a thing or two about Persian ambitions. (The pre-Islamic Persian Empire, which bestrode the Middle East and menaced Europe, remains the lodestone of geopolitical successeven for Islamic Iran.)
The Athenian historian Thucydides chronicled the Peloponnesian War, a fifth-century-B.C. maelstrom that engulfed the Greek world. Persia was a major player in that contest. In fact, it helped decide the endgame when the Great King supplied Athens antagonist, Sparta, with the resources to build itself into a naval power capable of defeating the vaunted Athenian navy at sea. But Thucydides also meditates on human nature at many junctures in his history, deriving observations of universal scope. At one stage, for instance, he has Athenian ambassadors posit that three of the prime movers impelling human actions are fear, honor, and interest. The emissaries appear to speak for the father of history.
Fear, honor, interest. There are few better places to start puzzling out why individuals and societies do what they do and glimpse what we ought to do. How does Thucydides hypothesis apply to post-Soleimani antagonism between the United States and Iran? Well, the slaying of the Quds Force chieftain puts the ball squarely in the Islamic Republics court. The mullahs must reply to the strike in some fashion. To remain idle would be to make themselves look weak and ineffectual in the eyes of the region and of ordinary Iranians.
In fecklessness lies danger. Doubly so now, after protests convulsed parts of Iran last November. The ensuing crackdown cost hundreds of Iranians their livesand revealed how deeply resentments against the religious regime run. No autocrat relishes weakness, least of all an autocrat whose rule has come under duress from within. A show of power and steadfastness is necessary to cow domestic opponents.
But fear is an omnidirectional, multiple-domain thing for Iranian potentates. External threats abound. Iranians are keenly attuned to geographic encirclement, for instance. They view their country as the Middle Easts rightful heavyweight. Yet U.S. forces or their allies surround and constrain the Islamic Republic from all points of the compass with the partial exception of the northeastern quadrant, which encompasses the stans of Central Asia, and beyond them Russia.
Look at your map. The U.S. Navy commands the westerly maritime flank, backed up by the U.S. Air Force. Americas Gulf Arab allies ring the western shores of the Persian Gulf. U.S. forces remain in Iraq to the northwest, where Suleimani fell, and in Afghanistan to the east. Even Pakistan, to the southeast, is an American treaty ally, albeit an uneasy one. These are forbidding surroundings. Tendrils of U.S. influence curl all around the Islamic Republics borders. Breaking out seems like a natural impulse for Iranian diplomacy and military strategy.
And yet. However fervent about its geopolitical ambitions, the Iranian leadership will be loath to undertake measures beyond the intermittent bombings, support to militants elsewhere in the region, and ritual denunciations of the Great Satan that have been mainstays of Iranian foreign policy for forty years now. Iranian leaders comprehend the forces arrayed against them. A serious effort at a breakout will remain premature unless and until they consummate their bid for atomic weaponry. The ability to threaten nuclear devastation may embolden them to trybut that remains for the future.
Next, honor. Irregular warfare is indecisive in itself, but it can provide splashy returns on a modest investment of resources and effort. Having staked their political legitimacy on sticking it to the Great Satan and his Middle Eastern toadies, the ayatollahs must deliver regular incremental results. Direct attacks on U.S. forces make good clickbait; so do pictures showing IRGC light surface combatants tailing U.S. Navy task forces; so do attacks on vital economic infrastructure in U.S. allies such as Saudi Arabia. And headlines convey the image of a virile power on the move.
The honor motive, then, merges with fear. Iranians fear being denied the honor they consider their due as the natural hegemon of the Gulf region and the Islamic world.
And lastly, interest. Mischief-making must suffice for Iran until it can amass the material wherewithal to make itself a hegemon. Its fascinating that Thucydides lists material gain last among forces that animate human beings. After all, foreign-policy specialists list it first. Interest is quantifiable, and it seems to feed straight into calculations of cost, benefit, and risk. It makes statecraft seem rational!
Theres no way to know for sure after two millennia, but it seems likely the sage old Greek meant to deflate such excesses of rationalism. Namely, he regarded human nature as being about more than things we can count, like economic output or a large field army. For Thucydides cost/benefit arithmetic takes a back seat to not-strictly-rational passionssome of them dark, such as rage and spite, and others brightthat drive us all.
And indeed, for Iranians material interest constitutes the way to rejuvenate national honor while holding fear at bay. Breaking the economic blockade manifest in, say, the Trump administrations maximum pressure strategy would permit Tehran to revitalize the countrys moribund oil and gas sector. Renewed export trade would furnish wealth. Some could go into accoutrements of great power such as a high-tech navy and air force.
In turn Iranian leaders could back a more ambitious diplomacy with steel. They would enjoy the option of departing from their purely irregular, troublemaking ways and competing through more conventional methods. Or, more likely, they would harness irregular means as an adjunct to traditional strategic competition. Material gain, in short, not just satisfies economic needs and wants but amplifies martial might. In so doing it satisfies non-material cravings for renown and geopolitical say-so.
And the American side? Repeat this process. Refract U.S. policy and strategy through Thucydides prism of fear, honor, and interest, consider how Iranian and American motives may intersect and interact, and see what light that appraisal shines into the future. My take: perhaps World War III will come one daybut today is not that day.
James Holmes is J. C. Wylie Chair of Maritime Strategy at the Naval War College and the author of A Brief Guide to Maritime Strategy, out last month. The views voiced here are his alone.
Originally posted here:
Faith Is the Most Fundamental of the Mathematical Tools – Walter Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence
Posted: at 3:49 am
It was August 1900 in Paris. David Hilbert (18621943), one of the best-known mathematicians of his time (right), posed a list of twenty-three open problems.
The impact was huge; much of the mathematical research of the dawning century was consumed by Hilberts problems. Nobel Prize winners, Fields medalists, and winners of other prestigious awards were among those who worked to solve them. Some of them (the Riemann hypothesis, for instance) remain unsolved. Large sums of money are offered for a successful solution.
Nineteen hundred was felt to be a significant year. The Dark Ages were past; the Enlightenment had come. The Scientific Revolution had brought progress. God was dead, now the Superman (Friedrich Nietzsches bermensch) lived. The universe, with its infinite history, did not require a God. Darwin had proposed a mechanism through which all biological species have merely emerged.
The twentieth century was shaping up to be promising, the beginning of a new age in which man would take his destined position, far from the noise of all those meaningless myths. Reason should be able to explain all things. Each event should have a natural explanation for its occurrence. Every proposition should be subject to a logical explanation to verify its truth value. If every new year brought the happiness and hope of a new beginning, how much more must a new century bring! And how much more must the twentieth century, the first truly Modern century, promise! No wonder prominent mathematicians tackled the problems with such fervor.
In a way, their optimism was understandable, if not justified by events. Not even Hilbert could escape the enthusiasm of the times. Two of his twenty-three problems, the second and the sixth, reflected the modern aspiration to subject everything to human reason. The second problem aimed to prove that the axioms of arithmetic were consistent that is, the axioms of the natural numbers do not lead to any contradictions. The sixth problem aimed to axiomatize physics, particularly probability and mechanics.
The sixth problem conveys Hilberts modern heart: physics should be subjected to cold reason; even chance must submit to reason! Mathematics, the most rigorous way of knowing, should extend itself beyond abstraction to dominate chance and physical reality.
He put the matter this way when he posed the second problem:
When we are engaged in investigating the foundations of a science, we must set up a system of axioms which contains an exact and complete description of the relations subsisting between the elementary ideas of that science. The axioms so set up are at the same time the definitions of those elementary ideas; and no statement within the realm of the science whose foundation we are testing is held to be correct unless it can be derived from those axioms by means of a finite number of logical steps
But above all I wish to designate the following as the most important among the numerous questions which can be asked with regard to the axioms: To prove that they are not contradictory, that is, that a finite number of logical steps based upon them can never lead to contradictory results.
Hilbert was a modern man, no doubt about it. He wanted all of scientific knowledge to be obtained from basic axioms by means of a finite number of logical steps. His goal was an extension of his particular dream for mathematics, the eponymous Hilberts programto establish a consistent and complete finite number of axioms as a foundation of all mathematical theories. The goal was of cardinal importance to him. On his gravestone at Gttingen, you will find inscribed the words:
We must know. We will know. (Wir mssen wissen Wir werden wissen)
That epitaph on the gravestone (image by Kassandro, CC-BY-SA-3.0) was his response to the Latin maxim ignoramus et ignorabimus (we do not know, we shall not know), a dictum of the German physiologist Emil du Bois-Reymond from a speech given at the Prussian Academy of Sciences in which du Bois-Reymond argued that there were questions that neither science nor philosophy could aspire to answer.
Seen from the perspective of the age (what C. S. Lewis has called the climate of opinion), Hilberts aspiration was understandable. The two World Wars had not happened yet; science had not been used to create biological weapons; no one knew that the twentieth century would become the bloodiest in history; progress and industrialization had not caused widely noticed environmental issues; the Left had not founded its Gulag and the Right had not built its Auschwitz.
These events (and some others) overthrew modern aspirations in the way the rolling stone in the vision of Daniel broke the statue with feet of clay into pieces. (Dan 2:34) And in all of these events, the problem was easily singled out the human being. It is impossible to make a superman out of a man. Enlightened modernity, blinded by pride, failed to see what all religions, even the oldest and the false ones, have seen so clearlythat man is wicked and the intention of his thoughts is only evil continuously, that from the sole of his foot even to the head there is nothing sound in him, that mans heart is deceitful more than any other thing. (See Jer. 17:9) In brief, the problem of man is nothing other than himself.
Thus, the practical problem of modernity turned out to be man himselfand it was devastating. But the conceptual problem was still to come and it was equally devastating to modern aspirations.
On Monday, September 8, 1930, Hilbert opened the annual meeting of the Society of German Scientists and Physicians in Knigsberg with a famous discourse called Logic and the knowledge of nature. He ended with these words:
For the mathematician there is no Ignorabimus, and, in my opinion, not at all for natural science either
The true reason why [no-one] has succeeded in finding an unsolvable problem is, in my opinion, that there is no unsolvable problem. In contrast to the foolish Ignorabimus, our credo avers: We must know, We shall know.
In one of those ironies of history, during the three days prior to the conference opened by Hilberts speech, a joint conference called Epistemology of the Exact Sciences also took place in Knigsberg. On Saturday, September 6, in a twenty-minute talk, Kurt Gdel (19061978) presented his incompleteness theorems. On Sunday 7, at the roundtable closing the event, Gdel announced that it was possible to give examples of mathematical propositions that could not be proven in a formal mathematical axiomatic system even though they were true.
The result was shattering. Gdel showed the limitations of any formal axiomatic system in modeling basic arithmetic. He showed that no axiomatic system could be complete and consistent at the same time.
What does it mean for an axiomatic system to be complete? It means that, using the axioms given, it is possible to prove all of the propositions concerning the system. What does it mean for the axiomatic system to be consistent? It means that its propositions do not contradict themselves. In other words, the system is complete if (using the axioms) all proposition in the system can be proven either true or false. The system is consistent if (using the axioms) no proposition in the system can be proved simultaneously true and false.
In simple terms, Gdels first incompleteness theorem says that no consistent formal axiomatic system is complete. That is, if the system does not have propositions that are true and false simultaneously, there are other propositions that cannot be proven either true or false. Moreover, such propositions are known to be true but they cannot be proven using the system axioms. There are true propositions of the system that cannot be proven as such, using the axioms of the system.
Gdels second incompleteness theorem is more stringent. It says that no consistent axiomatic system can prove its own consistency. In the end, his theorem entails that we cannot know whether a system is consistent or not; we can only assume that it is.
Lets recall a portion of Hilberts statement of his second problem: [N]o statement within the realm of the science whose foundation we are testing is held to be correct unless it can be derived from those axioms by means of a finite number of logical steps.
Hilbert knew the difference between science and mathematics, of course. So this introduction to his second problem actually fits well to his sixth problemto axiomatize science. In this regard, his sixth problem is more ambitious than the second one because it purports to translate to sciencebeyond mathematicswhat mathematics should be doing at least in Hilberts mind. But inasmuch as Hilbert was broadening his concepts to take in science as well as mathematics, it was of particular importance that his statement be true of mathematics. The word science should be replaceable by the word mathematics: [N]o statement within the realm of the mathematics whose foundation we are testing is held to be correct unless it can be derived from those axioms by means of a finite number of logical steps.
But Gdels first incompleteness theorem voids such a statement. There are indeed true mathematical propositions that cannot be derived from a finite number of axioms through a finite number of logical steps. Mathematics, our best way of knowing, the one we consider the most certain, is, in the most optimistic case, incomplete!
But even this is not the end of the matter. Returning to Hilberts presentation of his second problem, note what he says in his second paragraph:
Above all I wish to designate the following as the most important among the numerous questions which can be asked with regard to the axioms: To prove that they are not contradictory, that is, that a finite number of logical steps based upon them can never lead to contradictory results.
Well, Gdels second incompleteness theorem destroys this statement too. Because it proves the opposite: no consistent formal axiomatic system can prove its own consistency. If Hilberts program is the Titanic, Gdels incompleteness theorems are the iceberg that sunk it.
Moreover, Gdels first incompleteness theorem throws Comtes positivism into the trash and it does the same with todays scientism. There are indeed true statements that are beyond mathematics and science.
Gdels second incompleteness theorem is a source of hopelessness to a rationalist viewpoint. If no consistent formal system can prove its own consistency, the consequences are devastating for whomever has placed his trust in human reason.
Why? Because provided the system is consistent, we cannot know it is; and if it is not, who cares? The highest we can reach is to assume (which is much weaker than to know) that the system is consistent and to work under such assumption. But we cannot prove it; that is impossible!
In the end, the most formal exercise in knowledge is an act of faith. The mathematician is forced to believe, absent all mathematical support, that what he is doing has any meaning whatsoever.
The logician is forced to believe, absent all logical support, that what he is doing has any meaning whatsoever.
Some critics might point out that there are ways to prove the consistency of a system, provided we subsume it into a more comprehensive one. That is true. In such a case, the consistency of the inner system would be proved from the standpoint of the outer system. But a new application of Gdels second incompleteness theorem tells us that this bigger system cannot prove its own consistency. That is, to prove the consistency of the first system requires a new step of faith in the bigger one. Moreover, because the consistency of the first system depends on the consistency of the second onewhich cannot be proved there is more at stake if we accept the consistency of the second one. And suppose there is a third system which comprehends the second one and proving that it is consistent. Faith is all the more necessary if we are to believe that the third system is also consistent. In such a system, faith does not disappear. It only compounds, making itself bigger and more relevant in order to sustain all that it is supporting.
In the end, we do not know whether the edifice we are building will be consistent; we do not have the least idea. We just hope it will be, and we must believe it will be in order to continue doing mathematics. Faith is the most fundamental of the mathematical tools.
The question is not whether we have faith, the question is what is the object of our faith. It is the rationality of mathematics what is at stake here, its meaning. But we cannot appeal to mathematics to prove its meaning. Thus, Platonic reality, given its existence, does depend on a bigger and more comprehensive reality, one beyond what is reasonable, one that is the Reason itself.
The ambition to know all things is nothing more than a statement on a gravestone.
Even though for years I have enjoyed applying analytical philosophy to Christian apologetics, these and other considerations have led me to question that approach. At this point, I dont see that it creates a clear advantage. Instead, I see it as a concession to the unbeliever in order to lead him to question his own faith and place it instead in Christ.
It is sad to see that many a Christian apologist has placed his faith in logic, not in the Logos. At the end of the day, logic does not prove anything because it is grounded in unprovable propositions. It is impossible to use Aristotelian logic to prove Aristotelian logic. It begs the question; to accept it requires faith. Axioms are undemonstrable by definition and, as theory develops, they become less and less intuitive. To accept them requires faith. Similarly, the consistency of any formal axiomatic system cannot be proven, to accept it requires faith. All of our knowledge is sustained by faith. All of it.
Sustaining faith in reason, besides making for a cheap faith, constitutes an unacceptable abdication to rationalism because reason and logic cannot sustain anything. They cannot even support themselves. Moreover, in order for faith and reason to have a foundation, not merely from an epistemological viewpoint but also from an ontological one, there must be something that sustains it a First Sustainer undergirding them all.
There is no logic without a Logos. Faiths only task is to accept that such a Logos does exist. The opposite is despair, meaninglessness. With this in mind, John 1:1-4 14, and Colossians 1:15-17 are illuminated by a wonderful light.
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Posted: at 3:47 am
In early January 2020, Snopes readers inquired about the provenance and authenticity of a quotation attributed to former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt that contained her reflections on the word liberal and the importance of the concept of freedom in American society.
On Dec. 31, 2019, for instance, a Facebook account posted a widely shared meme containing a portrait of Roosevelt and the following quote:
Long ago, there was a noble word, liberal, which derives from the word free. Now a strange thing happened to that word. A man named Hitler made it a term of abuse, a matter of suspicion, because those who were not with him were against him, and liberals had no use for Hitler. And then another man named McCarthy cast the same opprobrium on the word We must cherish and honor the word free or it will cease to apply to us. Eleanor Roosevelt.
The same meme was promulgated even further two days later, when the left-leaning Occupy Democrats Facebook page posted it, along with the message Who else is a PROUD liberal?
The quote is authentic and did indeed originate in something Roosevelt wrote: her 1963 book Tomorrow is Now, which was published shortly after her death in November 1962. The relevant section, towards the end of the book, reads in full as follows:
Long ago, there was a noble word, liberal, which derives from the word free. Now a strange thing happened to that word. A man named Hitler made it a term of abuse, a matter of suspicion, because those who were not with him were against him, and liberals had no use for Hitler. And then another man named McCarthy cast the same opprobrium on the word. Indeed, there was a time a short but dismaying time when many Americans began to distrust the word which derived from free. One thing we must all do. We must cherish and honor the word free or it will cease to apply to us. And that would be an inconceivable situation. This I know. This I believe with all my heart. If we want a free and a peaceful world, if we want to make the deserts bloom and man grow to greater dignity as a human being WE CAN DO IT!
The meme shared widely in early 2020 left out certain words taken from this section, but it properly acknowledged that omission with the use of an ellipsis, and the omission did not misrepresent or change the meaning of what Roosevelt wrote. As such, the meme was accurate and authentic and properly attributed the quotation to its true author.
Read the original here:
Posted: at 3:47 am
The self-styled intellectual class is growing excitable. Under the onslaught of Trump, Brexit, Europe-wide populism, and Jordan Peterson, can we be certain, they ask, that the open society will continue? The only way on from liberalism, they believe, is backward into the darkness whence we allegedly emerged. Even those who are not enthusiastic about liberalisms tender mercies are required to moderate their hopes for its demise, lest the new nurse turn out to be worse than the serving one. A lot of people, including people who call themselves conservatives, appear to be concerned about the future of liberalism, and this concern is causing the age to be misread.
For the discussion is bogus to begin with. What is called liberalism here is not liberalism at all, but its direct opposite. It is liberalism only in name, and therefore offers no guarantee of an open society at all. By corrupting the meanings of terms like equality, tolerance, and human rights, the liberal ascendancy of the past three decades has overburdened the skeleton of our civilization, leaving it weakened and susceptible to collapse.
We should stop using words like liberalism as though they were not already subsumed in irony, as though the sense of virtue and good intention that they are supposed to connote remained valid. I believe it has become necessary to prefix certain words in our political lexicon to alert bystanders to their hidden corruption. For three decades I have referred to pseudo-liberalism. What we call liberalism is no longer to be thought upright. If it dies, it will be a cause of celebration, not dismay.
This pseudo-liberalism is founded on a lie: the idea that freedom resides in getting whatever you demand and doing whatever you desire. In the words of the diabolical occultist Aleister Crowley: Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law. A moments thought reveals such ideas as civilization-threatening. By definition, what one person demands must be taken from someplace where it already benefits others, and doing exactly what you want will invariably be a cost to someone else or, ultimatelybecause of the complexity of the human instrumentto yourself. There are libraries of philosophy and theology on these topics, but as far as contemporary conversations are concerned, it is as though not a word of this is relevant.
The Sixties generation, which introduced these incoherencies into the bloodstream of modern societies, has not been honest about its own experience of these much-vaunted freedoms, which have left a trail of devastation behind them. One symptom of this is that there is virtually no lucid witness to the errors of pseudo-liberalism, not just in the intimate areas of human relations, but in relation to economics and the movements of people in the modern world. For half a century, these converging strands of insipid thinking have dominated Western societies, steamrolling everything and everyone with the help of corporate money and devious propaganda, their incoherencies protected from scrutiny by the influence and dollars of Big This and Big That, by corrupted media and the force field of political correctness. Self-styled liberals have hijacked the idealism of the young, enlisting them for a project that has the outward appearance of virtue but is rotten to the core. They have convinced even our own children that globalism is an unequivocal good and that human safety and well-being can be maintained without the assistance of the civilization that made all these qualities possible in the first place.
Thus, pseudo-liberalism seeks to turn upside-down the value system of the civilization that once was Christendom, attacking its core institutions and mocking and censoring its history. It justifies genocide in the form of abortion and is clearly intentsometimes unwittinglyupon engineering the cultural and moral demolition of the West itself, by dint of godless relativism, induced migration, the elimination of distinct nations, and the destruction of the nuclear family.
And although this is quite clearly the most intolerant ideology to have emerged in the West since World War II, signs of the demise of this liberalism are met with handwringing from people who ought to know better. All right-thinking people must agree that populism is a bad thing. We must, while admitting its minor blemishes, still accept that what is called liberalism offers the one best way forward for Western societies.
Liberal-progressivismto give it its most informative nameis actually an advanced form of colonialism, imposing itself not just on territories but also claiming dominion over all future time, brooking no dissent and remorselessly punishing recalcitrant doubters. In this sense it is deeply totalitarian, insisting on one best way that cannot be questioned.
In his 1987 essayStories and Totalitarianism, Vclav Havel defined the mechanism of totalitarianism as the assassination of history to achieve both nihilisation of the past and mastery over the future. The instrument of this process he identified as the removal from history of the possibilities of human choice, mystery, and autonomy: History becomes a fixed sequence of unfolding inevitabilities, and the role of human beings is merely to acquiesce and embrace what is pressed upon them.
To put this another way, under the new colonialism the future is a city already constructed, waiting to be moved into. There is no space for human discussion or disagreement. It is already decidedand not, we are archly informed, by some arbitrary human authority but by the mechanistic mind of time, which ordains the course of history according to immutable and unchallengeable laws.
We are now, it is certain, seeing the early stages of the disintegration of this pseudo-liberalism. This liberalism has promised untrammeled economic growth, itself an example of its incoherence: Increasing growth never delivers increasing happiness. Moreover, in ignoring the inevitability of boom-bust, this promise provides an example of pseudo-liberal dishonesty.There is no final glorious destination.
This pseudo-liberalism also promises free speech, while curtailing it in the name of civilityemploying sophisticated abuses of language to impose censorship so as to protect its own incoherence, and arrogating to itself the right to stifle anything that offers a significant threat to itself.It also promises increasingly purer forms of democracy but in reality is pushing us ever closer to mob rule.
Pseudo-liberalism lays claim to the universalization of human rights, but it requires just a moments reflection to realize that what is meant by this is not universal in the least, but a highly ideological recalibration of the balance of power between establishments and minorities, which provide human shields for the prosecution of an undeclared war on what is.
Moreover, it is precisely the pseudo-liberal insistence on a selective understanding of human rights that lies at the heart of the current threat to Europes future. For if universal rights are to trump rights of culture, history, place, locality, home and hearth, the outcome will be the destruction of all culture, loyalty, and trust, creating an intercontinental incontinence that will sweep all order and coherence before it.
What is called liberalism attacks what is most precious in our tradition of community solidarity, opposing those values we have held dearestlove of God, nation, and familyin favor of an empty and faithless materialism and the pseudo-laws of the new ideologies. The flaws of this pseudo-liberalism amount to an indictment that far outweighs even the sum of the promised benefits, for it amounts, in truth, to the negation of democracy, free speech, and meaningful liberty.
It is true that there are actors waiting in the wings who represent something even more illiberal than the present dispensation. But we should not cling to a nurse for fear of something worse.Perhaps somewhere about the precincts of this paradox lies the explanation of why liberals have so far supported the influx of Muslims into Europe: This is part of the liberal program of disintegrating the culture, traditions, and civilization of the West. Often one is forced to wonder if liberals know anything about the nature of Islam and its ambitions, whether they are aware that the Islamic concept of the infidel disqualifies all such peoples from what they think their entitlements. No sane person could ever have accused these pseudo-liberals of being far-sighted. Still, here they have surely surpassed themselves with their willful myopia and stupidity. If they wish to imagine how it will end, I recommend they have a quiet read of Michel HouellebecqsSubmission, which tells of the capitulation of a future French establishment to the blandishments of Islam.
But the problem does not lie merely with pseudo-liberalism. Paradoxically, a dangerous tendency of thought has arisen in late times among conservatives: the idea that any flaws of liberalismsuch as, one presumes, its blind utopian globalism and politically correct excessespale compared to the barbarism to be observed elsewhere in the world. They take this to mean that we should not raise a fuss about what is happening in the West, but rather express gratitude for the openness we enjoy and the tolerance liberals extend to their opponents. This, too, is bogus. Tolerance here, like equality, means something different than it used to. Once, tolerance meant not interfering with, or attempting to suppress, beliefs that contradicted ones own, but this response has given way to a dictatorship of intolerance wherein everything is tolerated except the views of those who do not subscribe to the tenets of pseudo-liberalism.
Liberals speak of what they call the liberal order as though its virtues were self-evident. This allows them to adopt a tone of moral sanctimony. Those who disagree, therefore, mustipso factosuffer from some kind of pathological perverseness: They oppose the good out of fear, vexatiousness, or worse. But the pseudo-liberal sense of the good is selective and self-serving, and has no good plans for those who dissent from it. We have seen this, again and again, and what we have seenat the hands of social justice warriors, LGBT activists, #MeTooers, and the likeprovides evidence of what the liberal end of history would actually look like.
So let us not be frightened into shoring up that which is finally disintegrating. Pseudo-liberalism is finally disintegrating under belated retaliation from those it treats with contempt, as well as the weight of its own senselessness. The liberal state of affairs is a bit like the current state of rock n roll: Though on its last legs, no one can imagine what, if anything, comes next.This for a time appeared to be the strongest card of the self-proclaimed liberals: that they did indeed represent the end of history.Now, what is (often pejoratively) calledpopulismhas arisen to put paid to that idea.
This populism may represent the future, in one form or another, or simply the precursor to something we are not yet able to imagine.Butwhatever it is, it seems our only hope. The choice we face is not between left and right, orstill lessliberal and far right. Certainly, the choice is not between a continuation of the present pseudo-liberalism or a descent into Islamismthe first willinevitably give way to the second. Rather, the choice is between civilization and its antithesis. It could hardly be more serious.The time has come tolet the delusions of the Sixties finally die in their dilapidated beds.
John Watersis an Irish writer and commentator, the author of ten books, and a playwright.
I’ve always voted Liberal, but after sheltering my family on a beach I cannot support this government – The Guardian
Posted: at 3:47 am
To Scott Morrison,
I decided to write to you as my family lay face-down in the sand, covered in wet blankets on Malua Bay Beach as hot embers rained down on us on New Years Eve to escape the Clyde Mountain bushfire.
Most of my family (not mum) and I have voted for the Coalition for as long as I can remember. I helped hand out flyers at the 2019 state election. However, after what my family went through the last three days, I can no longer support a government or party that choose to remain on the sidelines on climate change and the devastating effects it causes.
The Liberal party considers itself the natural party of government and its past achievements certainly give credence to that assertion. But any party or government that recklessly endangers lives and the environment is not fit to lead.
By not recognising climate change as a credible threat, you fail to take action on the many side-effects that climate change causes to our community. The one that I have personally witnessed is an increase risk and severity of bushfires. I took a screenshot of the life-saving Fires Near Me app and found most of the New South Wales coast was on fire. Anyone who could think this was status quo either has a hidden agenda or is delusional.
Through inaction you place first responders in ever-increasingly dangerous situations made worse by climate change. By not recognising climate change as a serious threat you fail to prepare overworked, underappreciated (by government not communities) first responders for larger, more frequent bushfires that devastate communities.
I can no longer hope that the adults are back in charge. You have failed to act and you have failed to lead. I have committed myself to ensure my family and as many people as I can manage will never be endangered by events that we fortunately lived through.
I present you a choice: stand up, lead and take action. Make Australia a global leader in the fight to prevent climate change and make the necessary preparations to build resilient communities and be remembered as the leader who provided hope to future generations. Or stay your current path and be remembered as one who could not lead, could not act and doomed future generations.
Posted: at 3:47 am
Compost and recycle bins are seen during the 2019 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden ... [+] Gate Park on August 11, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by FilmMagic/FilmMagic)
When they cycle short distances rather than jump in their cars, residents of liberal American cities may consider themselves ecologically sound,but the greenest cities are often politically conservative.
Conservative communities that are more isolated have some of the lowest carbon footprints, points out Chris Jones, director of the CoolClimate Network run from the University of California in the eco-woke city of Berkeley in San Franciscos Bay Area.
For instance, Blackford, Kentucky, is a low population density community thats mostly self-contained, and it has a household carbon footprint many times below those of supposedly green locales. (Kentucky is a deep red state, voting for politicians such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.)
Your political ideology and belief or non-belief in climate change dont have a lot of impact on your emissions overall, reveals Jones.
Many of the U.S. cities with low carbon footprints are what Jones calls micropolitan areas.
Isolated micropolitan areas have the lowest carbon footprints overall, he says.
Low carbon-footprint U.S. cities have jobs and entertainment and shopping and everything that they need all within one micropolitan region.
Out of 32 climate-impacting factors he has studied, Jones says the top six contribute 92% of the variation between carbon footprints of locations.
In order, these are the number of motor vehicles owned, annual income, the carbon intensity of electricity supplied to a city, the size of homes, and the number of people living in each of those homes. As the size of cities increase, the size of carbon footprints tends to go up overall because some residents often drive long distances, adding spice to their lives by searching out options not available in smaller cities.
In larger cities, youve got this new world of possibilities open to you, admits Jones.
This expands your potential to spend money and to travel and take advantage of new opportunities.
(The Cool Climate networkresearchers from around the world specializing in carbon footprint analysis, behavior change and greenhouse gas mitigation policyhas an online calculator to work out your personal carbon footprint.)
Evian recycling bin, New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Roy Rochlin)
The carbon footprint concept was created in 1990 by Mathis Wackernagel and William Rees at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. It has become the standard measure for visualizing how much of natures resources humans exploit through production and consumption.
Only about a third of the average individuals carbon footprint is under their direct control. The majority of our footprint is determined by the buildings we use, the transport modes available to us, and the source of energy provided by the locality. These are all things directly under the control of local governments. Overnight a city could switch to renewable electricity or, over a longer timescale, a city could remove car lanes and, in their place, install light mobility lanes to encourage cyclists, e-scooter users, and cargobike riders.
(In urban geography a city is defined as a contiguous population cluster and may not correspond directly to the precise legal jurisdiction for what you or I might define as a city.)
The first Hydrogen bus in France aimed at connecting Versailles and Jouy-en-Josas, west of Paris. ... [+] (Photo by ERIC PIERMONT / AFP) (Photo credit should read ERIC PIERMONT/AFP via Getty Images)
If cities switched tomore efficient energysourcing electricity from renewable sources rather than coal, for instance, or made their public buses electric or hydrogen-poweredthey could cut their emissions by at least 25%.This is according to Californian environmental economist Dan Moran, a researcher at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
On a CO2 [emissions] map, [carbon consumption] is concentrated in Northern Europe, the U.S. Eastern seaboard, a few other U.S. cities, Japan and eastern China, states Moran, curator of the Global Gridded Model of Carbon Footprints.
Its starkly visible how unequal it is between whos driving the problem and whos poised to bear the brunt of it.
But cities do not have to become fun-free zones, says Moran.
Im not against consumption. I enjoy the modern world: I love traveling to new places, eating amazing food, having a good laptop that works. Consumption itself is not an evil.
But, Moran adds, concerted action by a small number of local mayors and governments could significantly reduce national total carbon footprints.
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