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Umberto Eco Makes a List of the 14 Common Features of Fascism Open Culture

Umberto Eco Makes a List of the 14 Common Features of Fascism Open Culture
Creative Commons image by Rob Bogaerts, via the National Archives in Holland One of the key questions facing both journalists and loyal oppositions these days is how do we stay honest as euphemisms and trivializations take over the discourse? Can we use words like “fascism,” for example, with fidelity to the meaning of that word in world history? The term, after all, devolved decades after World War II into the trite expression fascist pig, writes Umberto Eco in his 1995 essay "Ur-Fascism," “used by American radicals thirty years later to refer to a cop who did not approve of their smoking habits." In the forties, on the other hand, the fight against fascism was a "moral duty for every good American." (And every good Englishman and French partisan, he might have added.) Eco grew up under Mussolini’s fascist regime, which “was certainly a dictatorship, but it was not totally totalitarian, not because of its mildness but rather because of the philosophical weakness of its ideology.

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You requested someone with a degree in this? *Holds up hand* You requested someone with a degree in this? *Holds up hand* So there are two main schools of Artificial Intelligence — Symbolic and non-symbolic. Symbolic says the best way to make AI is to make an expert AI — e.g. if you want a doctor AI, you feed it medical text books and it answers questions by looking it up in the text book. Non-symbolic says the best way to make AI is to decide that computers are better at understanding in computer, so give the information to the AI and let it turn that in to something it understands.

2018: the year the global order frayed It was a year the world regressed – at least in terms of relations between states. Binding treaties were discarded, multilateral organisations were denigrated and usurped, international law was ignored, and the authority of the United Nations came under unprecedented challenge. The ideal, encouraged since 1945, of a global community making common cause to right the world’s wrongs faded. In 2018, the ties that bind frayed. Global rules-based order

Fifty lessons from the Treaty of Versailles, 100 years after the ‘war to end all wars’ failed to end all wars The Treaty of Peace Between the Allied and Associated Powers and Germany was the most important of the many treaties that brought the First World War to a close a century ago. It was signed at the palace of Versailles, King Louis XIV’s lavish palace outside Paris, in the summer of 1919, several months after Germany agreed to an armistice and surrendered. The peace negotiation was not only an opportunity to punish the aggressor Germany and repay the countries, especially France, that had been so thoroughly devastated by the fighting.

From MIT Press: 10 Topics Every 21st Century Citizen Should Know About “That’s it: I need to know what I need to know!” I exclaimed recently when I heard about the “Essential Knowledge” series published by MIT Press. Know what I mean? The 21st century’s constant rapid change — particularly in technology — can engender a festering fear of missing out, the sense that everyone else is riding some trending wave while you’re standing with your back to it not even aware it’s there. And call me naive but there's no arbiter of need-to-know modern knowledge I'd rather consult than the bastion of brilliance that is MIT. Gita Manaktala, editorial director of the MIT Press, says the Essential Knowledge series started in 2011 and aims to provide snapshots of the current state of knowledge on important topics — concise "foundational overviews."

Eliot A. Cohen Responds to Donald Trump's First Week - The Atlantic I am not surprised by President Donald Trump’s antics this week. Not by the big splashy pronouncements such as announcing a wall that he would force Mexico to pay for, even as the Mexican foreign minister held talks with American officials in Washington. Not by the quiet, but no less dangerous bureaucratic orders, such as kicking the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff out of meetings of the Principals’ Committee, the senior foreign-policy decision-making group below the president, while inserting his chief ideologist, Steve Bannon, into them. Many conservative foreign-policy and national-security experts saw the dangers last spring and summer, which is why we signed letters denouncing not Trump’s policies but his temperament; not his program but his character.

How Did the Nazis Do What They Did in Such a Civilised and Culturally Advanced Country? This article is an edited transcript of The Myth and Reality of Hitler’s Secret Police with Frank McDonough on Dan Snow’s History Hit, first broadcast 23 January 2016. You can listen to the full episode below or to the full podcast for free on Acast. We all have an idea of what a civilized society looks like. The two questions that determine your scientific literacy “Through basic science literacy, people can understand the policy choices we need to be making. Scientists are not necessarily the greatest communicators, but science and communication is one of the fundamentals we need to address. People are interested.”

Leaked Draft of Trump’s Religious Freedom Order Reveals Sweeping Plans to Legalize Discrimination A leaked copy of a draft executive order titled “Establishing a Government-Wide Initiative to Respect Religious Freedom,” obtained by The Investigative Fund and The Nation, reveals sweeping plans by the Trump administration to legalize discrimination. The four-page draft order, a copy of which is currently circulating among federal staff and advocacy organizations, construes religious organizations so broadly that it covers “any organization, including closely held for-profit corporations,” and protects “religious freedom” in every walk of life: “when providing social services, education, or healthcare; earning a living, seeking a job, or employing others; receiving government grants or contracts; or otherwise participating in the marketplace, the public square, or interfacing with Federal, State or local governments.” The breadth of the draft order, which legal experts described as “sweeping” and “staggering,” may exceed the authority of the executive branch if enacted. Section 1.

A whole new world: how WWI brought new skills and professions back to Australia The first world war was significant to the formation of Australian national identity and defining national characteristics, such as making do and mateship. This is well acknowledged. But it was also a technical war, which spurred advances in knowledge and expertise.