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Showing posts from February 14, 2021

Britain’s Second Embassy to China

Lord Amherst's 'Special Mission' to the Jiaqing Emperor in 1816 Authored by :  Caroline Stevenson Lord Amherst’s diplomatic mission to the Qing Court in 1816 was the second British embassy to China. The first led by Lord Macartney in 1793 had failed to achieve its goals. It was thought that Amherst had better prospects of success, but the intense diplomatic encounter that greeted his arrival ended badly. Amherst never appeared before the Jiaqing emperor and his embassy was expelled from Peking on the day it arrived. Historians have blamed Amherst for this outcome, citing his over-reliance on the advice of his Second Commissioner, Sir George Thomas Staunton, not to kowtow before the emperor. Detailed analysis of British sources reveal that Amherst was well informed on the kowtow issue and made his own decision for which he took full responsibility. Success was always unlikely because of irreconcilable differences in approach. China’s conduct of foreign relations based on the

Australia: Don't get Zucked, get even

Facebook’s decision to pull out of news took Australia and the world by surprise on Thursday morning. I’m not so sure why — Mark Zuckerberg’s mob had made it clear they didn’t like key elements of the government’s proposed mandatory media code. Sure, they weren’t as shouty about it as Google, but we were warned. The move will hurt many news sites. But at  Crikey  our view is, basically, go Zuck yourself, Facebook. We will do what we’ve been doing for years: publish fearless, feisty and independent journalism. Today’s Sunday Read is Bernard Kean’s take on the news pull-out, with links to how we’ve been covering the debate about forcing big tech to pay for journalism. Few others have done it like us — and to celebrate the Facebook pull-out, we’ve got a special deal until midnight tonight. Don’t get Zucked. Get your news straight from the source Peter Fray Editor-in-chief of  Crikey Be careful what you wish for: government-mandated theft backfires as tech giant pulls pin BY  BER

Blackouts in energy-rich Texas are a wake-up call for knife-edge Britain

  see url: ws/2021/02/19/blackouts-energy -rich-texas-wake-up-call- knife-edge-britain/ see full article...Interesting viewpoint on resiliency of the electric supply system and the increasing use of electricity in the home, car and industry and the removal of carbon based energy supply products being replaced with wind and solar power...So far we have been lucky in the UK, with not too many major power cuts...and we do have the opportunity to import and export electricity from Europe at peak times and...I believe, Northern Ireland.  The peak times vary in all of those countries...We are still not exploring tidal power, differential hot and cold currents in the oceans, and installing anywhere near enough heat pumps and extra insulation in homes and new buildings.  Some green subsidies are being removed due to lack of take up by the population, because getting them is too complicated and it takes a long time to get the work done... Quote<<< If you

Know where the Urban Naxal started?

  Zee News Feb 18, 2021, 23:49 PM IST,  One of the words we often hear in India is the Urban Naxal, in the era of tool kit movement they known as Urban Gorilla. But why did these people become Urban Naxals? Know the thinking of the youth of Naxalbari. Know in this segment of DNA

Who Should Stop Unethical A.I.?

At artificial-intelligence conferences, researchers are increasingly alarmed by what they see. By  Matthew Hutso n February 15, 2021 Illustration by Jeremy Leung In computer science, the main outlets for peer-reviewed research are not journals but conferences, where accepted papers are presented in the form of talks or posters. In June, 2019, at a large artificial-intelligence conference in Long Beach, California, called Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, I stopped to look at a poster for a project called  Speech2Face . Using machine learning, researchers had developed an algorithm that generated images of faces from recordings of speech. A neat idea, I thought, but one with unimpressive results: at best, the faces matched the speakers’ sex, age, and ethnicity—attributes that a casual listener might guess. That December, I saw a  similar poster  at another large A.I. conference, Neural Information Processing Systems (Neur ips ), in Vancouver, Canada. I didn’t pay it much mind, ei

The Human Cost Of Balochistan’s Separatist Conflict

The Human Cost Of Balochistan’s Separatist Conflict February 17, 2021 By  Abdul Hai Kakar Abubakar Siddique Relatives of forcibly disappeared people from Balochistan Province staged a protest and hunger strike in Islamabad on February 11. The mysterious death of her daughter shattered Jamila, a grandmother in her 60s. She recalls the day she sent her eldest daughter, Karima Baloch, into exile in response to mounting threats in Pakistan. Citing a popular folk prayer among the Baluch people of southwestern Pakistan, she told Karima, “Go, my child; travel far to distant lands, but do return to your homeland,” upon her departure in early 2015. But five years later, Karima’s body was returned to her village for burial in Balochistan Province. She was  found dead  in a lake in Toronto, where she’d lived since leaving Pakistan, in December. “I pray to God that no one sees their enemies return home like my beloved daughter,” Jamila, who goes by one name only, told Radio Mashaal. Mahganj Baloch

Navigating a world of extreme consequencesby finding pathways to optimism and resilience

Navigating a world of extreme consequences by finding pathways to optimism and resilience In 2019, the  IFTF Vantage  research team combed the globe, searching for signals of optimistic vision and strategic resilience and distilling them into six superpowers to assist future-thinkers in charting a path forward. The result? A set of strategies for navigating a world of extreme consequences and for finding long-term vision and opportunity from the uncertainties of the present. Their research is your reward. First introduced at IFTF's  2019 Ten-Year Forecast Summit , our report  Six Superpowers for Urgency and Optimism: Transformational Opportunities in a Decade of Extreme Consequences  is now available publicly for the first time. We think you’ll like it. This report is a deep dive into the six superpowers introduced in our  2019   World Readiness Toolkit : Reframe the Narrative Rewrite the Rules Reinvent Markets Redirect Force Reinforce Local Resilience Reshuffle the Deck This repor

Bentoism: A Map to Liberate Ourselves from the “Now Me”

DEC 22, 2020  By  Ayca K. Guralp At IFTF’s 2020  Ten-Year Forecast Summit  we were joined by  Yancey Strickler , Co-Founder of Kickstarter and author of  This Could be Our Future: A Manifesto for a More Generous World . Strickler shared his personal method for making decisions, which is based on seeing the full spectrum of our self-interests (our values, needs, and goals) and thinking beyond the present moment. It’s a method he calls  Bentoism , and he’s used it for the past 3-4 years to guide his life choices. Read on to find out what Bentoism is, and what our future could look like if more individuals and organizations used it to exit the unhealthy cycle of short-termism. Bentoism Bentoism comes from the word Bento, which is Strickler’s acronym for “ BE yond  N ear  T erm  O rientation.” The Bento is a two-by-two matrix with an x-axis of time and a y-axis of self-interest, and the four dimensions constructed are “Now Me”, “Now Us”, “Future Me”, and “Future Us.” The term Bentoism also

Roads to corruption

Mohit M Rao 27 FEBRUARY 2018 00:15 IST UPDATED: 27 FEBRUARY 2018 00:18 IST         Is political interference the reason why roads are missing? Politicians are likely to dole out road-building contracts to people from their own caste and this could affect the quality of infrastructure, according to a new study. ‘Building connections: Political corruption and road construction in India’, which will be published in the March issue of the  Journal of Development Economics , shows how political interference may be why India’s largest rural connectivity scheme could have led to at least 497 “all-weather roads” being “built” only on paper, depriving 8.57 lakh villagers from connection to the road network. Using statistical tools of regression discontinuity, which allows the quantification of ‘interference’ in datasets, researchers from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and Paris School of Economics linked corruption in road building under the Pra