365/365 – Moore’s Paradox

August 29, 2012 Leave a comment

Moore’s paradox concerns the putative absurdity involved in asserting a first-person present-tense sentence such as ‘It’s raining but I don’t believe that it is raining’ or ‘It’s raining but I believe that it is not raining’.

The first author to note this apparent absurdity was G.E. Moore. These ‘Moorean’ sentences, as they have become known:

 1.can be true,

 2.are (logically) consistent, and moreover

 3.are not (obviously) contradictions.

The ‘paradox’ consists in explaining why asserting a Moorean sentence is (or less strongly, strikes us as being) weird, absurd or nonsensical in some way.

The term ‘Moore’s Paradox’ is due to Ludwig Wittgenstein, who considered it Moore’s most important contribution to philosophy.

Wittgenstein devoted numerous remarks to the problem in his later writings, which has brought Moore’s Paradox the attention it might otherwise not have received.

Subsequent commentators have further noted that there is an apparent residual absurdity in asserting a first-person future-tense sentence such as ‘It will be raining and I will believe that it is not raining’.

Moore’s Paradox has also been connected to many other of the well-known logical paradoxes including, though not limited to, the liar paradox, the knower paradox, the unexpected hanging paradox, and the Preface paradox.

There is currently no generally accepted explanation of Moore’s Paradox in the philosophical literature.

However, while Moore’s Paradox has perhaps been seen as a philosophical curiosity by philosophers themselves, Moorean-type sentences are used by logicians, computer scientists, and those working in the artificial intelligence community, as examples of cases in which a knowledge, belief or information system is unsuccessful in updating its knowledge/belief/information store in the light of new or novel information.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moore%27s_paradox

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Categories: General Knowledge, Science

364/365 – New South China Mall

August 28, 2012 Leave a comment

New South China Mall in Dongguan, China is the largest mall in the world based on gross leasable area, and ranked second in total area to the Dubai Mall.

However, it is largely vacant. Unlike other “dead malls”, which have been characterized by the departure of tenants, the New South China Mall has been 99% vacant since its 2005 opening as very few merchants have ever signed up.

Dongguan, with a population in excess of 10 million, is located in southern China’s Guangdong province, east of the province’s largest city, Guangzhou.

The mall was built on land formerly used for farming, in the Wanjiang District of the city. The project was spearheaded by Hu Guirong (Alex Hu), who became a billionaire in the instant noodle industry.

The mall contains sufficient space for as many as 2,350 stores in approximately 659,612 square metres (7,100,000 sq ft) of leasable space and 892,000 square metres (9,600,000 sq ft) of total area.

The mall has seven zones modeled on international cities, nations and regions, including Amsterdam, Paris, Rome, Venice, Egypt, the Caribbean, and California.

Features include an 25 metres (82 ft) replica of the Arc de Triomphe, a replica of Venice’s St Mark’s bell tower, a 2.1 kilometres (1.3 mi) canal with gondolas, and a 553-meter indoor-outdoor roller coaster.

Since its opening in 2005, the mall has suffered from a severe lack of occupants. Much of the retail space has remained empty, with over 99% of the stores vacant

The only occupied areas of the mall are near the entrance where several Western fast food chains are located and a parking structure repurposed as a kart racing track. A planned Shangri-La Hotel has not been constructed.

There are many flaws to the mall’s location. The mall is located in the suburbs of Dongguan, where it is practically accessible only by car or bus, rendering it unreachable to a large percentage of the public. Dongguan does not have an airport, nor are there highways adjacent to the mall’s location.

Academy Award-nominated documentary filmmaker Sam Green made a short film about the South China Mall called “Utopia Part 3: the World’s Largest Shopping Mall.” The film premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and was broadcast on PBS’s documentary series POV.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_South_China_Mall

363/365 – Indian Rupee

August 27, 2012 Leave a comment

The Indian rupee (sign: ; code: INR) is the official currency of the Republic of India. The issuance of the currency is controlled by the Reserve Bank of India.

The modern rupee is subdivided into 100 paise (singular paisa), although this division is now theoretical; as of 30 June 2011, coin denominations of less than 50 paise ceased to be legal tender.

Banknotes are available in nominal values of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 rupees. Rupee coins are available in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 100 and 1000; of these, the 100 and 1000 coins are for commemorative purposes only; the only other rupee coin has a nominal value of 50 paise, since lower denominations have been officially withdrawn.

The Indian rupee symbol (officially adopted in 2010) is derived from the Devanagari consonant “र” (Ra) with an added horizontal bar.

The symbol can also be derived from the Latin consonant “R” by removing the vertical line, and adding two horizontal bars (like the symbols for the Japanese yen and the euro).

The first series of coins with the rupee symbol was launched on 8 July 2011.

The Reserve Bank manages currency in India.The Reserve Bank derives its role in currency management on the basis of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934.

Recently RBI launched a website Paisa-Bolta-Hai to raise awareness of counterfeit currency among users of the INR.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_rupee

Categories: Facts, General Knowledge

362/365 – IBM

August 26, 2012 Leave a comment

International Business Machines Corporation, or IBM, is an American multinational technology and consulting corporation headquartered in Armonk, New York, United States.

IBM manufactures and sells computer hardware and software, and it offers infrastructure, hosting and consulting services in areas ranging from mainframe computers to nanotechnology.

The company was founded in 1911 as the Computing Tabulating Recording Company (CTR) through a merger of three companies: the Tabulating Machine Company, the International Time Recording Company, and the Computing Scale Company.

CTR adopted the name International Business Machines in 1924, using a name previously designated to CTR’s subsidiary in Canada and later South America. Its distinctive culture and product branding has given it the nickname Big Blue.

In 2012, Fortune ranked IBM the #2 largest U.S. firm in terms of number of employees (433,362), the #4 largest in terms of market capitalization, the #9 most profitable, and the #19 largest firm in terms of revenue.

Globally, the company was ranked the #31 largest in terms of revenue by Forbes for 2011. Other rankings for 2011/2012 include #1 company for leaders (Fortune), #1 green company worldwide (Newsweek), #2 best global brand (Interbrand), #2 most respected company (Barron’s), #5 most admired company (Fortune), and #18 most innovative company (Fast Company).

IBM holds more patents than any other U.S.-based technology company, and has nine research laboratories worldwide.

Its employees have garnered five Nobel Prizes, six Turing Awards, nine National Medals of Technology, and five National Medals of Science.

Famous inventions by IBM include the automated teller machine (ATM), the floppy disk, the hard disk drive, the magnetic stripe card, the relational database, the Universal Product Code (UPC), the financial swap, SABRE airline reservation system, DRAM, and Watson artificial intelligence.

The company has undergone several organizational changes since its inception, acquiring companies like SPSS (2009) and PwC consulting (2002), spinning off companies like Lexmark (1991), and selling off product lines like ThinkPad to Lenovo (2005).

Sam Palmisano stepped down as chief executive officer on January 1, 2012, but retained his position as chairman. He was replaced by veteran IBMer Ginni Rometty.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM

361/365 – Wagah border ceremony

August 25, 2012 Leave a comment

The Wagah border closing ‘lowering of the flags’ ceremony is a daily military practice that the security forces of India (Border Security Force) and Pakistan (Pakistan Rangers) have jointly followed since 1959.

This ceremony takes place every evening before sunset at the Wagah border, which as part of the Grand Trunk Road was the only road link between these two countries before the opening of the Aman Setu in Kashmir in 1999.

The ceremony starts with a blustering parade by the soldiers from both the sides, and ends up in the perfectly coordinated lowering of the two nations’ flags.

It is called the beating retreat border ceremony on the international level. One infantryman (Jawan) stands at attention on each side of the gate.

As the sun sets, the iron gates at the border are opened and the two flags are lowered simultaneously. The flags are folded and the ceremony ends with a retreat that involves a brusque handshake between soldiers from either side, followed by the closing of the gates again.

The spectacle of the ceremony attracts many visitors from both sides of the border, as well as international tourists.

In October 2010, Major General Yaqub Ali Khan of the Pakistan Rangers decided that the aggressive aspect of the ceremonial theatrics should be toned down.

The ceremony has been filmed and broadcast by Michael Palin for one of his television around-the-world travel programs; he described it as a display of “carefully choreographed contempt.”

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wagah_border_ceremony

Categories: Events, General Knowledge

360/365 – Ministry of Communications and Information Technology

August 24, 2012 Leave a comment

The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology is an Indian government ministry. It contains three departments:

Department of Telecommunications

Department of Information Technology

Department of Posts

The following cadre controlling authority of the Civil Services (including Indian Telecommunication Service, Indian Postal Service, Telegraph Traffic Service and Indian Posts and Telegraphs Accounts and Finance Service) are under the administration and supervision of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.

Department of Telecommunications

Also known as the Door Sanchar Vibhag, this department concerns itself with policy, licensing and coordination matters relating to telegraphs, telephones, wireless, data, facsimile and telematic services and other like forms of communications. It also looks into the administration of laws with respect to any of the matters specified, namely:

The Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 (13 of 1885)

 The Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1933 (17 of 1933)

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997 (24 of 1997)

Public sector units

 Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited

Indian Telephone Industries Limited

Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited

Telecommunications Consultants India Limited

R&D unit

 Center for Development of Telematics

Other units

 Wireless Planning and Coordination Wing

Telecom Engineering Center

Controller of Communication Accounts

Telecom Enforcement, Resource and Monitoring Cells (formerly known as VTM Cells)

A need was felt in the year 2007 to distinctly address the issues of Communication Network Security at DOT (HQ) level, consequent to enhancement of FDI limit in Telecom sector from 49% to 74% and therefore a new wing, named Security was created in DOT (HQ).

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ministry_of_Communications_and_Information_Technology_(India)

359/365 – Bill Clinton

August 23, 2012 Leave a comment

William Jefferson “Bill” Clinton (born William Jefferson Blythe III; August 19, 1946) is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001.

Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation.

Clinton has been described as a New Democrat. Many of his policies have been attributed to a centrist Third Way philosophy of governance.

Born and raised in Arkansas, Clinton became both a student leader and a skilled musician. He is an alumnus of Georgetown University where he was Phi Beta Kappa and earned a Rhodes Scholarship to attend the University of Oxford.

He is married to Hillary Rodham Clinton, who has served as the United States Secretary of State since 2009 and was a Senator from New York from 2001 to 2009.

Both Clintons received law degrees from Yale Law School, where they met and began dating. As Governor of Arkansas, Clinton overhauled the state’s education system, and served as Chair of the National Governors Association.

Clinton was elected president in 1992, defeating incumbent president George H.W. Bush. As president, Clinton presided over the longest period of peacetime economic expansion in American history.

He signed into law the North American Free Trade Agreement. He implemented Don’t ask, don’t tell, a controversial intermediate step to full gay military integration.

After a failed health care reform attempt, Republicans won control of Congress in 1994, for the first time in forty years.

Two years later, the re-elected Clinton became the first member of the Democratic Party since Franklin D. Roosevelt to win a second full term as president.

He successfully passed welfare reform and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, providing health coverage for millions of children.

Later, he was impeached for perjury and obstruction of justice in a scandal involving a White House intern, but was acquitted by the U.S.

Senate and served his complete term of office. The Congressional Budget Office reported a budget surplus between the years 1998 and 2000, the last three years of Clinton’s presidency.

Clinton left office with the highest end-of-office approval rating of any U.S. president since World War II. Since then, he has been involved in public speaking and humanitarian work.

Based on his philanthropic worldview, Clinton created the William J. Clinton Foundation to promote and address international causes such as prevention of AIDS and global warming.

In 2004, he released his autobiography My Life, and was involved in his wife’s and then Barack Obama’s campaigns for president in 2008.

In 2009, he was named United Nations Special Envoy to Haiti, and after the 2010 earthquake he teamed with George W. Bush to form the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. Since leaving office, Clinton has been rated highly in public opinion polls of U.S. presidents.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Clinton