Posts Tagged ‘Europe’

Iberian peninsula 4500 years ago

The invasion that wiped out every man from Spain 4,500 years ago

New research indicates all local males on the Iberian peninsula were killed by hostile invaders with superior technology

MANUEL ANSEDE 4 OCT 2018 – 02:36 EDT

https://elpais.com/elpais/2018/10/03/inenglish/1538568010_930565.html

More than 5,000 years ago a nomadic group of shepherds rode out of the steppes of eastern Europe to conquer the rest of the continent. The group, today known as the Yamna or Pit Grave culture, brought with them an innovative new technology, wheeled carts, which enabled them to quickly occupy new lands. More than 4,500 years ago, the descendants of these people reached the Iberian peninsula and wiped out the local men, according to new research by a team of international scientists.

colonized by the first Neolithic migration wave 8,000 or 9,000 years ago but also by a later one 4,500 years ago, which brought with it a very different culture

War axes and carts with four wheels can be found in the layers of earth that date back 4,500 years. “From then on, almost all men’s tombs were filled with weaponry, adornments, displays of wealth. The archaeology reveals marked signs of a hierarchical society that broke with the old egalitarianism of the early Neolithic period.

This research team announced they had discovered a “discontinuity” in the Y chromosome during the Bronze Age in the Iberian Peninsula, after studying the DNA of the remains of 14 people found in archaeological sites in Portugal.

“In terms of why the Y chromosome was replaced, we could speculate that the populations from the steppes had superior technology, better weapons and also domesticated horses that could have given them an advantage in war

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more on history in this IMS blog
https://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=history

Global world affairs

Former German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel‘The World Is Changing Dramatically’

Former German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel speaks to DER SPIEGEL about his call for the country to take on a new global role and why Germans are underestimating the dangers posed by the current geopolitical situation.

Interview Conducted by  and Britta Sandberg September 24, 2018  04:32 PM

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/interview-with-former-german-foreign-minister-sigmar-gabriel-a-1229393.html

Now Trump is criticizing us for not spending enough money on our military. Part of the truth, however, is that the U.S. wanted exactly that for a very long time. They were worried that too much military power in Germany could provoke the next world war. I once told Tillerson, I don’t know what you are complaining about, you raised us for 70 years to be peaceniks. Now that’s what we are and you’re surprised. He laughed.

Some people want Germany to be something like a large Switzerland, but we are simply too big. We can’t just stand on the sidelines. Because of the Assad regime’s bombs, almost a million refugees were standing in front of our door. It’s not just about military operations, but about crisis prevention, diplomacy, economic development. Germany shouldn’t transform from a geopolitical abstainer to an influential geo-strategist. I wish that we would return to once again having strategic debates — no matter the result. It is important to prepare the public for the fact that the world has changed.

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more on political science in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=political+science

blockchain and higher ed

Blockchain in brief: Six ways it can transform higher education

by Danielle Yardy

https://www.eab.com/blogs/it-forum-perspectives/2018/01/blockchain-higher-education-uses

1. Using a blockchain for automatic recognition and transfer of credits

The decline in first-time, first-year student enrollments is having a real financial impact on a number of institutions across the United States and focusing on transfer students (a pool of prospects twice as large) has become an important strategy for many. But credit articulation presents a real challenge for institutions bringing in students from community colleges. While setting standardized articulation requirements across the nation presents a high hurdle, blockchain-supported initiatives may hold great promise for university and city education systems looking to streamline educational mobility in their communities.

2. Blockchains for tracking intellectual property and rewarding use and re-use of that property

If researchers were able to publish openly and accurately assess the use of their resources, the access-prohibitive costs of academic book and journal publications could be circumvented, whether for research- or teaching-oriented outputs. Accurately tracking the sharing of knowledge without restrictions has transformative potential for open-education models.

3. Using verified sovereign identities for student identification within educational organizations

The data footprint of higher education institutions is enormous. With FERPA regulations as well as local and international requirements for the storage and distribution of Personally Identifiable Information (PII), maintaining this data in various institutional silos magnifies the risk associated with a data breach. Using sovereign identities to limit the proliferation of personal data promotes better data hygiene and data lifecycle management and could realize significant efficiency gains at the institutional level.

Best practices to become data-driven 

4. Using a blockchain as a lifelong learning passport

Educational institutions and private businesses partner with online course delivery giants to extend the reach of their educational services and priorities. Traditional educational routes are increasingly less normal and in this expanding world of providers, the need for verifiable credentials from a number of sources is growing. Producing a form of digitally “verifiable CVs” would limit credential fraud, and significantly reduce organizational workload in credential verification.

5. Using blockchains to permanently secure certificates

The open source solution Blockcerts already enables signed certificates to be posted to a blockchain and supports the verification of those certificates by third parties.

When an institution issues official transcripts, obtaining copies can be expensive and burdensome for graduates. But student-owned digital transcripts put the power of secure verification in the hands of learners, eliminating the need for lengthy and costly transcripts to further their professional or educational pursuits. An early mover, Central New Mexico Community College, debuted digital diplomas on the blockchain in December of 2017.

6. Using blockchains to verify multi-step accreditation

As different accreditors recognize different forms of credentials and a growing diversity of educational providers issue credentials, checking the ‘pedigree’ of a qualification can be laborious. Turning a certification verification process from a multi-stage research effort into a single-click process will automate many thousands of labor hours for organizations and institutions

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more on blockchain and higher ed in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=blockchain+education

General Data Protection Regulations

A techie’s rough guide to GDPR

https://www.cennydd.com/writing/a-techies-rough-guide-to-gdpr

A large global change in data protection law is about to hit the tech industry, thanks to the EU’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). GDPR affects any company, wherever they are in the world, that handles data about European citizens. It becomes law on 25 May 2018, and as such includes UK citizens, since it precedes Brexit. It’s no surprise the EU has chosen to tighten the data protection belt: Europe has long opposed the tech industry’s expansionist tendencies, particularly through antitrust suits, and is perhaps the only regulatory body with the inclination and power to challenge Silicon Valley in the coming years.

So, no more harvesting data for unplanned analytics, future experimentation, or unspecified research. Teams must have specific uses for specific data.

geoblocking and online retailers

MEPs scrap geoblocking and adopt new rules for online retailers

https://www.neweurope.eu/article/meps-scrap-geoblocking-adopt-new-rules-for-online-retailers/

According to a survey by the European Commission, two out of three EU online providers use geo-blocking, forcing third country customers to pay more for products or not offer their services.

Customers in smaller countries like Malta, Luxembourg, Cyprus, and Slovenia were affected by practices experienced by residents of border regions. They are often unable to order services or goods online from a neighbouring country.

Social Democrats in Disarray

What’s Left?: Social Democrats in Disarray

Alan Johnson Summer 2015

Why has the right, including the populist right, rather than the left, been the main political beneficiary of the anger and bitterness that has roiled Europe since the 2008 financial crash, the eurozone crisis, and the resulting deep recession and brutal austerity? After all, these events surely proved the relevance of the left’s critique of capitalism.

The left is increasingly marginal to political life in Europe despite the fact that, in the words of Owen Jones, an important voice of the British left, “Living standards are falling, public assets are being flogged to private interests, a tiny minority are being enriched at the expense of society and the hard-won gains of working people—social security, rights in the workplace and so on—are being stripped away.” And the radical parties and movements to the left of the social democratic parties have been faring no better. In the brutally honest assessment of the British Marxist Alex Callinicos, “Nearly seven years after the financial crash began, the radical left has not been weaker for decades.”

But the European left’s inability to forcefully meet the crisis is not due to a failure of individual political leaders, but the fact that it has not developed, in theory or practice, a response to the three great waves of change—economic, socio-cultural, and politico-intellectual—that have crashed over it since the late 1970s.

The fruits of this radical transformation of European social democracy into a political force pursuing a slightly kinder and a slightly gentler neoliberalism—which some dub “social neoliberalism”—have been bitter.

While capital is global, mobile, and regnant, organized labor is increasingly deindustrialized, indebted, and precarious; often temporary, part-time, insecure, and, quite frankly, unorganized.

an explosion of inequality, relative poverty, and acquisitive individualism.

The manic, pathological quality of neoliberal consumerism has produced an explosion of personal debt.

the crisis of the European left is also intellectual.