A key to modernity

first_imgPoggio Bracciolini had a passion for books. And not just books, but old books, ones that were copies of even more ancient manuscripts written nearly 1,000 years before he was born. Rummaging through worm-eaten layers of parchment at a monastery in southern Germany in 1417, the scribe and former Vatican secretary discovered a copy of a poem titled “De Rerum Natura,” or “On the Nature of Things,” by the Roman philosopher Titus Lucretius Carus. On that day, according to Professor Stephen Greenblatt, history swerved.“Much of what we understand of modernity made its way back into the world from an older world, thanks to the efforts of Poggio Bracciolini,” Greenblatt, the John Cogan University Professor of the Humanities, told a group of nearly 50 rapt Harvard undergraduates in Sever Hall on Wednesday. “On the Nature of Things” was “an ancient work of philosophy, in magnificent poetry, but it is a work of physics at its core.”Greenblatt’s most recent book, “The Swerve: How the World Became Modern,” centers on Bracciolini’s discovery and was the topic of the third in a series of book talks given by Harvard faculty and alumni throughout the Wintersession programming period. The talks were designed primarily for undergraduates, but were open to all members of the University community.Greenblatt said the discovery of Lucretius’ work was hardly noticed at first, sort of like an earthquake at the bottom of the ocean. But the poem’s ideas gathered strength over the decades and eventually landed like a tidal wave in the medieval intellectual world. Why was the book so important? To begin with, “On the Nature of Things” anticipated modern understandings of the physical universe.“It argues that the universe consists of atoms, void, and nothing else,” Greenblatt explained. “The atoms are eternal and always moving. Everything comes into existence simply because of the random movement of atoms, which, given enough time, will form and reform, constantly experimenting with different configurations of matter from which will eventually emerge everything we know, and into which everything we know will collapse.”Not only did Lucretius anticipate the basis of modern physics, Greenblatt said, but also Darwin’s theory of evolution.“Lucretius believed that nature ceaselessly experiments,” he said. “The experiments throw out lots of weird things: mutations, creatures not fitted for survival or reproduction. But when a certain species of creature emerges that is able to find food for itself more successfully and is able to reproduce successfully, that species will survive.”The most explosive — and perhaps most modern — idea forwarded in “On the Nature of Things” is that humanity is not at the center of the universe, either physically or spiritually. A disciple of the Greek philosopher Epicurus, Lucretius believed that religions were cruel delusions, and that the aim of life should be not sacrifice, but the reduction of suffering.Lucretius argued that “the universe wasn’t created for human beings,” said Greenblatt. “Humans are not unique. The Earth is not the center of the universe. There are an infinite number of worlds. The soul is a material thing, just like the body. Therefore, there’s no afterlife, and no judgment, rewards, or punishments. The moral order that we have exists simply because we need to organize societies as cooperative beings. And the highest goal in life would have to be not pain or piety but pleasure, which all creatures seek.”Lucretius’s ideas were heresy in the Middle Ages. But, wrapped in gorgeous poetry, they made their way through time to shape how we think and understand the world today. Still, Greenblatt pointed out that Western culture still struggles with the concepts that the Roman poet set forth 2,000 years ago.“The reason that no American politician can run on [Epicureanism] is that most people don’t want to believe it,” he said. “It’s not gratifying to believe it. It doesn’t feel liberating for most people to believe that we’re in a material universe of atoms and emptiness and nothing else.”After the talk, Sarah Siskind ’14 said that the story of Bracciolini and Lucretius got her thinking about the meaning of modernity and antiquity.“The whole concept of modernity is interesting,” she said. “He’s talking about ideas from antiquity as modern ideas, so why don’t we just call them modern? I took a class on modern political philosophy that got me interested in these questions. Now I’m excited to read the book. I had never heard of Poggio Bracciolini, but I’ll definitely be talking about him now.”last_img read more

Isilon: Richly Featured for Your Enterprise

first_imgIn previous posts, I’ve discussed how scale-out storage needs to live up to its promise to scale out, in performance as well as capacity. Along with storage capacity and performance, enterprise-grade scale-out storage distinguishes itself with functionality. It’s a significant capital and resource investment, and the payback should be solving your storage problems, currently and as your needs grow.Dell EMC Isilon is currently in the eighth generation of its OneFS software on its sixth-generation hardware platform. Since just 2014, customers have deployed over 100,000 Isilon nodes with more than 10 Exabytes of capacity. Over Isilon’s product lifetime, we have engineered a vast list of features that our customers depend on. By comparison, Pure FlashBlade provides little more than basic file services. Let’s take a look at some key differences.Isilon was designed from the ground up to protect your data. This functionality includes snapshots, which allow quick access to read-only copies of older, changed file and directory versions. We’re proud of the power and flexibility of our snapshot implementation, but for network attached storage (NAS), snapshots have become table stakes, required for a “real” product. Pure FlashBlade is shipping without snapshot capabilities, leaving customers dependent on a promise that it will be available at the end of 2017.Moving onto Disaster Recovery / High Availability (DR/HA) capabilities, Isilon-integrated SyncIQ goes beyond simple replication. File systems, directories and individual files can each be replicated at your desired intervals based on their business criticality.  Inactive data can be automatically remote archived to reclaim valuable capacity in your production system.By comparison, Pure FlashBlade has no integrated replication at all, leaving it as the customer’s responsibility to handle externally. A separate, attached server, requiring extra support, runs file synchronization software like “rsync,” knowing nothing about file usage or ensuring that files aren’t changing in the midst of replication. Integrated replication, like SyncIQ, uses its privileged system knowledge to assure your data and replicas remain consistent.Customers are enthusiastic about Isilon seamless tiered storage. This enables their data to be automatically and transparently migrated between high performance, economical archive and public or private cloud. This functionality allows Isilon clusters to be built from a mix of nodes of differing performance characteristics – speed and size – providing both high performance and cost-effective overall TCO. Pure FlashBlade offers no tiering at all, as their blades differ only in capacity. That works if your workload requires a separated flash silo, but most are more efficiently conducted as part of the enterprise.The “N” in NAS stands for network, and a mix of standard network protocols are used by clients to talk to that storage. Given the varied nature of NAS workloads, supporting multiple data access protocols on the same storage platform is critical for enterprise customers.Isilon supports Network File System (NFS) v3 and v4, along with Server Message Block (SMB). SMB is a very complex protocol to implement, with many versions and lots of special cases. Thanks to our own highly functional SMB protocol stack, Isilon supports SMBv2 and the newer, more performant and available, SMBv3. Isilon rich support for SMB also includes SmartConnect, providing automatic load balancing and failover of client connections across Isilon nodes.Pure FlashBlade was introduced only supporting NFSv3, but lacking the ability to properly support NFS file locking, a notable deficiency for many workflows. Recently Pure is attempting to remediate these deficiencies by adding NFS Network Lock Manager support and basic support for legacy SMBv2.Given the immensely long and deep list of Isilon features, especially security and compliance – so critically important these days – this posting could go on and on. If you listen to Pure Storage, this isn’t a features race. And we at Dell EMC strongly agree – when looking at highly functional scale-out storage, there’s only one choice: Isilon.last_img read more

A month on, post-Brexit ‘teething problems’ hit UK-EU trade

first_imgLONDON (AP) — One month after Britain made a New Year split from the European Union’s economic embrace, businesses that once traded freely are getting used to frustrating checks, delays and red tape. British meat exporters say shipments have rotted in trucks awaiting European health checks. Scottish fishermen have protested at Parliament over the catch they can no longer sell to the continent because of complex new paperwork. Manufacturers’ organization Make U.K. said Monday that 60% of manufacturing companies have experienced “significant disruption” since Jan. 1. The British government says the troubles are “teething problems,” but companies say they are causing serious pain.last_img read more

Virginia Sen. Amanda Chase sues over being censured

first_imgRICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A firebrand conservative Virginia state senator seeking the Republican nomination for governor has filed a federal lawsuit over her legislative colleagues’ recent decision to censure her. The Virginia Senate approved a measure rebuking Sen. Amanda Chase for a “pattern of unacceptable conduct” last week in a bipartisan vote. In a news release announcing the lawsuit, Chase’s office said she was “being singled out and selectively penalized for taking unpopular political positions.” The lawsuit seeks an injunction preventing the Senate clerk from allowing the publication of the censure resolution in the chamber’s official journal. The state officials named as defendants didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.last_img read more

Pep rallies refocused on students

first_img A priority for the pep rallies should be bringing the team and the student body together before the game, Oliver said. Bell said pep rallies should to be a time for the students and the football team to share their enthusiasm about the upcoming game. The student body will help launch a new era of pep rallies when it marches down Notre Dame Avenue and into the Irish Green tonight in preparation for the Michigan game Saturday, student body president Catherine Soler said. Soler said the student walkover will begin at 5:45 p.m. from Main Circle. Seamon said Kelly was excited about the new attitude about pep rallies from the start of the discussions between the football team, Game Day Operations and the Athletics Department. Seamon said the walkover could be the “newest Notre Dame student tradition.” “We made sure pep rallies will have no lag time now,” Doyle said. “When the students arrive the pep rally will start.” The University will close Notre Dame Avenue for 15 minutes while the student body follows a procession consisting of the Notre Dame Security Police, the Notre Dame Fire Department, the cheerleading and pom squads, the leprechaun and the marching band into a designated student section next to the stage at Irish Green, Seamon said. “This is the year where students can prove which pep rally locations they like the most so we hope students embrace this chance,” Bell said. “It will be hard to persuade those involved in planning the pep rally to go to a certain location if there was not a huge student showing.” “We wanted to make students a bigger focus of the pep rallies,” Seamon said. “What a better way to do that than announce their arrival and have them march down the avenue into a huge reserved space for them?” Kelly will host each pep rally in order to deliver his message from the week of practice, and to take the entire team before the student body to introduce the captains to the fans, Seamon said. The first pep rallies of the year will be hosted in a number of different locations including Irish Green, the Purcell Pavilion and Stepan Center to test the benefits and drawbacks of different campus venues, Bell said. Seamon said 25 to 30 thousand fans are expected for the Michigan pep rally. “We were very pleased with the opportunity given to us by the athletic department in hearing our ideas for restructuring,” Bell said. “We appreciate their openness.” Soler and Bell approached Game Day Operations last spring to present the idea of a student walkover and to emphasize the need for more student-oriented pep rallies, Mike Seamon, director of Game Day Operations said. “We are trying to reinforce the relationship between students and the football program that makes Notre Dame so special,” Soler said. “Coach Kelly totally gets Notre Dame,” he said. “His enthusiasm is contagious, and it rubs off on everybody.” This year’s pep rallies will be “short but with high intensity and lots of spirit,” Soler said. “Residence halls have a huge role in the success of the pep rally because of the walkovers when they coordinate students going to the pep rallies,” Bell said. “The groups that are our biggest focus are the team and the student body,” Seamon said. “With a new coach and a new era starting, we thought it was a perfect time to reengage the student body.” “The morale and student perception of pep rallies last year was low and negative,” Soler said. “All of us in student government knew that pep rallies were an important part of life here and wanted to make that a priority this year.”  “When the team comes to the pep rally and see thousands of students there, they will be electrified,” Oliver said. “They will see how much the students are behind them.” Student government teamed up with the Athletic Department, Game Day Operations and Hall Presidents’ Council (HPC) to coordinate pep rally changes, Soler said. “We are very excited about the idea of the walkover,” Bell said. “It will eliminate dorms just standing around with a huge group of alumni waiting for the pep rally to start.” HPC co-chairs Alexa Doyle and Mike Oliver said the student body powers the football team’s spirit during the season. HPC arranged a competition for the most spirited residence hall during each pep rally. As an extra incentive, the winning hall will win a visit from head coach Brian Kelly.last_img read more

FairPoint re-submits financial information to PSB over bankruptcy

first_imgConsolidated Communications,FairPoint submitted supplemental financial information to the Public Service Board last week for its consideration in FairPoint’s still-pending Regulatory Settlement and Change of Control proceeding, the approval of which will allow the company to emerge from Chapter 11.The Vermont Public Service Board’s approval is one of the final steps in this process. FairPoint already has received approvals from Maine and New Hampshire regulators, creditors, represented employees and other states where it does business and approval was required. FairPoint is also pursuing approval from the Federal Communications Commission.FairPoint asked the Vermont Public Service Board to consider FairPoint’s additional information in an expedited manner, with a final decision to be made by November 23.FairPoint has stated that the telecommunications industry has changed dramatically over the past decade and the current level of industry competition provides both business and residential consumers with multiple choices and technologies. “When we emerge from Chapter 11, FairPoint will be a stronger and more viable provider of traditional telephone services and wireline data transmission solutions.”FairPoint’s bankruptcy plan was rejected by the PSB in June, in large part because of revenue projections. FairPoint’s plan would reduce debt by $1.7 billion in exchange for creditors taking control of the North Carolina-based telecommunications company. (STORY).last_img read more

Hong Kong power company CLP Holdings to stop building coal-fired generation

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Hong Kong-based power company CLP Holdings said on Tuesday it does not plan to invest in any additional coal-fired generation capacity and will instead aim to progressively phase out remaining coal assets by 2050.The switch will be part of the company’s efforts to ‘decarbonise’ in line with Paris Agreement climate commitments, CLP said in a statement. In a separate report, it said 20% of its revenue currently comes from coal-based power generation.As of December, last year, CLP Group had 11,997 megawatts of coal-fired equity generation capacity, a spokesman from the company told Reuters. CLP Holdings is the holding company for CLP Group.The spokesman added that for CLP, phasing out coal-fired generation capacity will mean retirement and closure of coal-fired power assets, moving away from build-operate-transfer coal-fired projects before the end of the contract term, or divestment from a coal-fired asset.It currently operates in various Asian regions including India, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and China, as well as Australia.CLP is building Hong Kong’s first offshore liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving terminal as Hong Kong undertakes a massive shift to use more natural gas to fuel its electric power generation rather than coal.[Jessica Jaganathan]More: Hong Kong’s CLP Holdings to end investing in new coal-fired power Hong Kong power company CLP Holdings to stop building coal-fired generationlast_img read more

Outdoor Updates: Georgia man arrested for illegally trapping turtles to send to China

first_imgIn 2016, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources discovered Nathan Horton trapping turtles in Georgia’s Lake Jackson, 44 miles southeast of Atlanta. He admitted to authorities that he had 1,000 active turtle traps on the lake. A year later, undercover agents met with Horton, who admitted to sending all of the turtles he caught to a person in California who exported them to China. In China, turtles are considered prized pets and a single turtle pulled from the wild in the U.S. can sell for hundreds of dollars. Wildlife officials began tracking shipments of turtles from Atlanta to LA and recently arrested Horton on federal charges for violating the Lacey Act, which prohibits trade of illegal wildlife. Great Smoky Mountains National Park receives “priceless” donation of Cades Cove artifacts The FAA says that the pilot reported experiencing weather-related problems before air traffic control lost communication with the plane. Park rangers heard an explosion and watched the Cirrus SR-22 fall to the ground. The plane was located about an hour and a half later and the passengers were escorted from the scene. The downed flight had planned to travel from the Donaldson Center Airport in Greenville, TN to Medina Municipal Airport in Ohio. Georgia man arrested for illegally trapping turtles to send to China On Thursday afternoon a small plane with two men on board crashed about a mile from the Mount Mitchell ranger station in North Carolina. Both men survived the crash, one was sent to the hospital with minor injuries. 2 men survive plane crash near NC Mount Mitchell Cades Cove, one of the most popular destinations in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, was once home to European settlers who made their home in the cove and, before that, a space where Cherokee Indians hunted deer, elk and bison. Today, the National Park Service preserves Cades Cove as it was during the time of settlers. In March, four men in South Carolina were charged in a similar case involving illegal trade of turtles over Facebook messenger. The ringleader received 27 months in federal prison.  Just this week, the park service received what they call a “priceless” donation of artifacts from the great-granddaughter of one of the cove’s settlers. The donation includes a handmade dresser, a Bible owned by the family, and photos including wedding portraits. The items will be displayed at the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center in Townsend.last_img read more

LGBT Pride activists protest in Paris against racial injustice

first_imgA pared-down LGBT Pride march drew thousands of people to the streets of Paris on Saturday, without the colorful trucks blasting out techno music but with powerful slogans demanding racial equality and protesting against police violence.The French capital’s official Pride parade was postponed to November because of the coronavirus epidemic, but organizers decided to hold a march they said should be more politically driven and support the “Black Lives Matter” movement.”Because of COVID, the normal Pride parade had to be cancelled, but we managed to organize a Pride that is more political,” a drag king and illustrator who gave her name as Saint Eugene told Reuters TV. Read also: Spanish village makes its own rainbow after council’s gay pride flag bannedMarchers, who chanted slogans such as “Everyone hates the police”, made their way peacefully from the Moulin Rouge cabaret in the Pigalle neighborhood to Place de la Republique on the city’s Right Bank, many of them wearing face masks.Some waved “Black Lives Matter” placards in support of protests ignited by the death of George Floyd, a Black man whose death in police custody in Minneapolis in the United States triggered worldwide protests.More than 200 LGBT rights marches have been postponed or cancelled due to the spread of the coronavirus, according to the European Pride Organizers Association, which estimates that up to 22 million people attend at least one Pride in Europe every year.”It’s not just a month of Pride, we have to fight every day, it’s a battle every day, to get across a message around the world,” said teacher Ahmed Madkouri. Topics :last_img read more

Brisbane’s median house price tipped to hit $2.24m by 2043

first_imgA new report reveals Brisbane’s median house value has risen more than 300 per cent in 25 years.The report also reveals the best performing suburbs for price growth over the past25 years, based on the change in median prices between 1993 and 2018. The Brisbane riverside suburb of Bulimba has experienced the greatest capital gains growth in the past 25 years, with house values rising a whopping 876 per cent between 1993 and 2018. THIS HOME TAKES SPOONING TO A WHOLE NEW LEVEL A quarter of a century ago, you could buy a house in the now exclusive, riverside suburb for an average price of just $133,000, but now it has a median house price of $1.3 million.New Farm has seen the next biggest gains, recording an 852 per cent jump in house values in 25 years followed by Hawthorne, which experienced an increase in its median house price of 672 per cent to $1.15 million during that period. Paul Leaver and his sister, Narelle Rodenbush, at their family home, which they are selling for the first time since 1948. Image: AAP/John Gass.BRISBANE’S median house price is tipped to hit $2.24 million by 2043, if property values continue to rise at the same rate as they have in the past 25 years.New research by CoreLogic and Aussie Home Loans reveals the Queensland capital’s median house value has increased by $16,290 per annum or more than 300 per cent overall in the past quarter of a century to sit at $535,292.It’s hard to believe, but in 1993, the average price of a house in Brisbane was just $128,000. GET THE LATEST REAL ESTATE NEWS DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX HERE This house at 96 Beck St, Paddington, is for sale for the first time since the 1930s.Selling agent Daniel Argent of Urban Property Agents said he was not surprised the median house value in Paddington had jumped more than 500 per cent in the past quarter of a century.“It’s a big number but I’m not surprised given the shift in people’s behaviour,” Mr Argent said. “Twenty-five years ago, the inner city wasn’t a sought-after place to live — it was a real working class area and the richer people lived further out.“There’s definitely been a major shift towards people living closer to the city.”Mr Argent said he expected the suburb to continue to experience house price growth due to strong interstate demand.BRISBANE SUBURBS WITH THE STRONGEST CAPITAL GAINS IN 25 YEARSSuburb Median price 1993 Median price 2018 Change in median price in 25 yearsBulimba $133,000 $1.2975m 876%New Farm $181,125 $1.725m 852%Hawthorne $149,000 $1.15m 672% Seven Hills $130,000 $920,000 608%Grange $135,000 $942,500 598%Camp Hill $130,000 $899,000 592%Paddington $160,000 $1.1055m 591%Hamilton $189,000 $1.3m 588% West End $153,025 $1.048m 585% Norman Park $135,000 $915,000 578%(Source: CoreLogic, Aussie Home Loans) House values in Mermaid Beach have risen 700 per cent in the past 25 years.CoreLogic pointed out the extrapolations did not take into account how economic and demographic conditions might play out over the next 25 years or how housing demand and supply may evolve.Aussie Home Loans chief executive James Symond said he expected Brisbane to perform well over the long term, given house values grew more than 10 per cent per annum between 2001 and 2004.“Perhaps the greatest change we are seeing is Brisbane’s growth in higher density housing, with the share of apartment sales to all residential property sales growing from 19.4 per cent to 30.2 per cent over the past 25 years,” Mr Symond said.“I expect this trend to continue as apartment living grows in popularity across Brisbane, where a larger proportion of the population will choose to live closer to the CBD and transport corridors.”center_img Paul Leaver and his sister, Narelle Rodenbush, at their family home, which they are selling for the first time since 1948. Image: AAP/John Gass.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus18 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market18 hours ago DOWNSIZERS UPGRADE TO PENTHOUSE But affordability remains a problem, with buyers in Brisbane now needing to dedicate 119.5 per cent of their annual gross income to raise a 20 per cent deposit. Brisbane’s Paul Leaver is selling his family home in Paddington for the first time in 70 years.The four-bedroom house at 96 Beck Street was bought by his grandparents in 1948 for just 575 pounds, which is equivalent in value to $34,750 today, and paid it off in just three years.“How good would it be to pay off a house in three years now?!” Mr Leaver said.The house next door at 94 Beck Street recently sold for 15 times what it was bought for 30 years ago.He remembers growing up in the home with his three brothers and sisters and wishing he lived further out of town because it wasn’t regarded as a desirable area more than 25 years ago.“We always wished we had a bigger yard,” he said. This house at 38 Mark St, New Farm, is for sale for the first time since 1981.On the Sunshine Coast, Mudjimba’s median house value has increased the most in 25 years, rising 656 per cent to $724,500.Dicky Beach and Sunshine Beach have experienced similar gains in house prices.On the Gold Coast, Mermaid Beach topped the list, with a 700 per cent rise in house values in the past quarter of a century. QLD HOUSING MORE AFFORDABLE The median house value in the suburb has risen from $195,000 in 1993 to $1.56 million today.Paradise Point, Coolangatta and Burleigh Heads have also experienced strong capital gains in that period.last_img read more