Saturday, May 26, 2018

Is the world getting better or worse? A look at the numbers | Steven Pinker


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Αγορά κατοικίας στο Λονδίνο - Μιλώντας με τους ειδικούς - Feta Report 42



Μπορώ να μιλήσω για την προσωπική μου εμπειρία όσων αφορά το property crowdfunding. Παρόλες τις φανφάρες και τα μεγάλα λόγια ουσιαστικά δεν αγοράζεις ένα σπίτι ή έστω ένα μέρος ενός σπιτιού όπως ας πούμε στο shared ownership. Αυτό που "άγοράζεις" είναι μετοχές μιας εταιρείας που διαχειρίζεται τα ακίνητα και που τα έσοδά της προκύπτουν απο τα ενοίκια πωλήσεις κτλ ακινήτων. Οπότε και τα δικά σου κέρδη προέρχονται απο τα ενοίκια. Είναι σαν να λέμε οτι έχεις έσοδα απο την παραγωγή ζαρζαβατικών επειδή έχεις μετοχές του Σκλαβενίτη ένα πράγμα. Εαν επιθυμείς να αποχωρήσεις και να πάρεις τα χρήματά σου πίσω, δεν μπλέκεσαι με αλυσίδες και άλλα τέτοια σαδομαζωχιστικά, απλά πουλάς τις μετοχές σου που μπορεί να έχουν πάρει αξία, οπότε κερδίζεις ή μπορεί να έχουν πέσει, οπότε χάνεις.

Επειδή το property market είναι πιο σταθερό απο το Χρηματιστήριο, ώς επένδυση είναι πιο λίγο πιο σίγουρη. Επίσης έχει καλύτερη απόδοση απο το μέσο cash ISA. Επιπλέον υπάρχει και το απίστευτο δέλεαρ του 'get your feet on the property ladder' με 500 λύρες μόνο! Που δεν είναι τελείως λάθος αλλά δεν είναι και σωστό.

Το site https://bricklane.com/ δίνει τη δυνατότητα να δημιουργήσεις και ISA account που στην ουσία είναι stock and bonds ISA οπότε τα έσοδά σου είναι αφορολόγητα (καλά όποιος δεν ζει Αγγλία νομίζει οτι έπαθα παράκρουση).

Δεν είναι άσκημο ώς ιδέα, ειδικά για άτομα που θέλουν λίγο καλύτερη απόδοση για τα χρήματά τους απο ότι δίνουν οι τράπεζες αλλά σπιτονοικοκύρης δεν γίνεσαι με 500 λύρες μόνο.

Saturday, May 05, 2018

Environmentalist art before there was an “environment”

Thomas Cole sought to warn America not to do to nature what industrial England had done

TWO centuries ago Thomas Cole arrived on American shores, bringing with him from England a new landscape painting tradition perfect for the wild expanses of the new world. Cole also brought a zeal for warning about the perils that unchecked industry posed to the natural world, establishing one of painting’s first environmental critiques. “Atlantic Crossings”, an exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York that will travel to the National Gallery in London in June, celebrates the bicentennial of Cole’s American arrival and newly explores his transatlantic career—how both old world and new influenced his visual and intellectual rendering of the natural environment.

Born in Bolton in 1801 at the height of the industrial revolution, Cole entered a polluted and overcrowded world of factories belching smoke into sooty skies. Most artists at the time continued to paint bucolic country scenes, with just a few finding inspiration in this new infernal backdrop to modern life, including J.M.W. Turner and Philippe Jacques de Loutherbourg. Some of their large canvasses bring the viewer into urban streets framed by fiery furnaces that seemed to define the modern city.

But Cole brought these early impressions of a ravaged landscape to the new world, where his family had come in 1818 seeking economic opportunity. Eventually making his way to New York’s Hudson Valley, he helped propel landscape painting to the prestige accorded historical and religious themes, a momentum that eventually led to the founding of the Hudson River School.

The scale and promise of the New World seemed to demand a new monumental art-form. Cole was deeply immersed in the new scientific treatises of the day, reflected in the detail and verisimilitude of the plants, clouds and other natural phenomena of his painted world. But his landscapes almost always strove for the Arcadian, rather than the real. In one of his most famous paintings, “View of the Round-Top in the Catskill Mountains” (1827), he depicts an escarpment overlooking the mountains of the Hudson River valley. Though this area was already a popular tourist destination, he eliminated signs of human presence. Only untouched wilderness stands before the viewer.

He also integrated the era’s literature—another of his famous Catskills landscapes is a scene inspired by James Fenimore Cooper’s “The Last of the Mohicans”. These cross-pollinations reflected Cole’s and other contemporaries’ increasing investigations into the natural and man-made world as symbiotic. In 1836 Cole wrote an essay on the American landscape, the same year that Ralph Waldo Emerson’s seminal essay “Nature” was published.

Cole always sought to enshrine unspoiled nature as an endangered Eden. But his return trip across the Atlantic cemented his ambition to caution Americans about the potential for nature’s demise. After his visit to London and the National Gallery, where he first saw Turners and Constables—some of which are included in the exhibition—and an artist’s grand tour of Italy, he came back with renewed purpose to sound a warning of nature’s destruction by the greed of industry. He felt a special urgency when returning to Jacksonian America in 1832, where manifest destiny and the race west seemed to strip the land at a pace that portended the darkness of industrial Bolton.

While in London and Rome, Cole developed his perhaps most famous and accomplished series, the “Course of Empire”. Along with Turner’s “Hannibal Crossing the Alps”, this series is the highlight of the exhibit. It is also the clearest and most didactic warning of the downfall that Cole was confident that America would experience if the young country did not heed the lessons of the old world. To Cole, the greed that precipitated the American land grab heralded not only environmental ruin, but a cultural and moral one as well.

The five allegorical paintings of “The Course of Empire” (pictured) depict the same imaginary landscape, each representing a different stage of civilisation, in sequence of the times of day. “The Savage State” (top) presents the landscape at its most wild, with hunter-gatherers the only human intrusion into the landscape. The “Arcadian or Pastoral State”, the second, depicts the emergence of music and dance, still an idyll, but with industry and agriculture beginning to take hold. The third painting, “The Consummation of Empire”, shows the city as imposing and imperial, sowing the seeds of the downfall depicted in the next canvas, “Destruction”. In the final scene, the natural landscape is ready to reclaim civilisation’s ruins. It remains unclear whether Cole’s wealthy American patrons recognised this series as a direct warning to them, rather than a flattering, contrasting view of what had happened to old Europe.

Cole was not a conservationist, a movement yet to take root. He seemed resigned to the role of doomsday prophet. Subsequent landscape artists, especially those of the Hudson School, actually rejected most of his proto-environmentalism and instead embraced manifest destiny and American might in their work. The visual world would take many generations to catch up to his urgency about the consequences of industrial progress and what man loses when the land can no longer play its natural role.

Copied from 'The Economist'

Monday, April 30, 2018

Welcome to Greece. #NoJusticeGr

The country of Democracy, logic, the country that gave birth to equal rights, the country of civilization, the country of many Philosophers :


1. We have neo nazi's in the parliament and nobody is able to touch them since every cop, every military staff is in their favor due to their patriotic stand and because they're beating the crap out of foreigners or sometimes (I even witnessed this) killing anyone who is not a Greek, white enough, Orthodox Christian or anyone against their will and/or opinion. You may google the Neo Nazi party of Greece under the name: "Golden Dawn".

2. We have no freedom of speech. Theater plays get canceled because they're against religion. Internet personas get sued because they're against religion. The Golden Dawn is teaming up with the Church and hunting down everything they dislike with sometimes seeing priests kicking people to the ground and waving in a Nazi greet way


links: http://www.businessinsider.com/geron-pastitsios-2012-9

and http://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2012/10/11/golden-dawn-mp-frees-detainee-as-fanatics-storm-theater-to-stop-t-nallys-corpus-christi/

3. Cops are planting Molotov bombs to peaceful protesters in order to get them arrested. It has been documented several times that cops in Greece have been infiltrating the protesters, creating violent riots while some of the protests are and begin in a VERY strict peaceful way

link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOQatfuAxTE

Cops are also great fans of the SS, the Golden Dawn and get to prove that everywhere they can:

link: http://sup.kathimerini.gr/kath/engs/img/NEWS/2011/02/policehelmet_390_1002.jpg

4. You all remember the cop in USA who pepper sprayed a bunch of students and the entire world got shocked right? Well, we were not in shock cause this, is the air we breathe every day:

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2008/12/07/greece460x276.jpg

you US kids have nothing on us, heh.

Cops even use innocent girls for shielding against protesters:

http://www.theinsider.gr/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=21698:i-diadilotria-aspida-gia-ton-andra-ton-mat&catid=3:society&Itemid=41

5. Suicide rates are way too high

link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VD_phmSldow

and get it from me cause I have had some experience, these rates are very very real and they're very very serious since...

6. ...the average household is under the poverty limit right now and each one of us is in great debt. Some have no heat for this winter, I was lucky I got some chance from a guy who is facing a similar issue and was kind enough to help me out. Others, are not very lucky.

Food is somewhat of an issue as well since you see people on the streets eating off of trashcans. Some of them even have homes that are ready to lose due to bank loans. Most of them don't even live in a house anymore.

link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-16878756

7. Hospitals are shutting down

link http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/greek-election-blog-2012/video/2012/jun/15/greece-hospital-austerity-cuts-video

8. Jobs and payments are OVER:

link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7wcEka-oto

9. Pensions are OVER, with more than 4.000.000 old people struggling every day facing the dilemma "should I get my meds or buy food? or the other way around?"

link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kse2lBx7Xa8

10. A list of people from inside the parliament and not only, that made fresh bank accounts in Switzerland in order to save their money and escape the taxes has been given to Greece and now is lost. This list included the names of politicians that right now run this country:

link: http://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2012/10/02/the-odyseey-of-a-list-with-1991-tax-dodgers-from-lagarde-to-greece-with-love/

11. If you're not 100% Greek, 100% white, 100% Orthodox Christian, you simply have NO rights in this country and nobody gives a crap about you. So basically we have no human rights in Greece.

link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4OphwDxpJ0

12. Riots are all over Athens since 2008 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yaUyPzXqWKo

13. The media spread terror and even make their own news to scare people off. They spread government propaganda making people more miserable, more suicidal and more destined to turn to fascism, religion and death.

14. Members of the Golden Dawn are searching in Kindergardens for kids not being Greek and ask for their teachers to NOT teach these kids. 
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