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Showing posts from October 28, 2018

Without a Proof, Mathematicians Wonder How Much Evidence Is Enough By KEVIN HARTNETT October 31, 2018 A new statistical model appears to undermine long-held assumptions in number theory. How much should it be trusted when all that really matters is proof? 4 What points on the elliptic curve  y 2  =  x 3  – 4 x  + 1 are rational (meaning their values can be expressed as fractions)? To find them, draw lines through pairs of rational points. All the additional points that the lines intersect will also be rational. David Song/Quanta Magazine Four researchers have recently come out with a model that upends the conventional wisdom in their field. They have used intensive computational data to suggest that for decades, if not longer, prevailing opinion about a fundamental concept has been wrong. These are not biologists, climatologists or physicists. They don’t come from a field in which empirical models get a say in determining what counts as true. Instead they are mathematicians, representatives of a discipline whose standard c

What the lessons of 1918 can teach today’s world leaders ‘No other ideology has the emotive power of nationalism. But using it in moderation is tricky’ SIMON KUPER   Simon Kuper NOVEMBER 1, 2018 185 The train carriage is straight from the golden age of rail travel. Commissioned in 1913, wagon 2419D of the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits had a dining car with mahogany walls. By November 11 1918, it was the French marshal Ferdinand Foch’s mobile office, parked in the forests outside Compiègne, in northern France. Eight French, German and British men spent that night in strange intimacy around its small wooden table, smoking and studying France’s punitive peace terms. Foch had refused to negotiate: the Germans could sign the proposed Armistice or leave. At 5.12am the German Catholic politician Matthias Erzberger signed, then said, “A nation of 70 million suffers b


Oct 22, 2018   by Yadira Ixchel Martínez Pantoja Before the emergence of new technologies of the 21 st  century, diplomacy used to be isolated and exclusive to foreign affairs representatives. Diplomats used to negotiate and conduct diplomacy only with their counterparts, away from the public’s attention and civic organizations’ enquiry. Nowadays, however, the public and some non-governmental organizations (NGOs) demand transparency and accountability of overseas representatives. Advances in new technologies, connectivity, easy access to information, media coverage and social media platforms facilitate communication, participation and engagement with different audiences that were previously disregarded by diplomats. Furthermore, some foreign affairs representatives enjoy communicating with other head representatives and foreign publics. Thus, public diplomacy has become a key element in achieving foreign policy goals. Public diplomacy now involves the participation of state and