"Being a poet is not a vocation; it's a dedication of one's life to the beauty..." - Janet MacFadyen
Last month, we presented to you some of the beautiful poems written by Janet MacFadyen. Her imagery fascinated our minds and we asked her to do an interview for our audience and share a bit more about her world, inspirations, and challenges. Now, you can enjoy her insightful answers as well as two poetic excerpts from her book Adrift in the House of Rocks.
The spirit of early Humanism
"Now you must cast aside your laziness,"
my master said, "for he who rests on down
or under covers cannot come to fame;
and he who spends his life without renown
leaves such a vestige of himself on earth
as smoke bequeaths to air or foam to water.
Therefore, get up; defeat your breathlessness
with spirit that can win all battles if
the body's heaviness does not deter it.
A longer ladder still is to be climbed;
it's not enough to have left them behind;
if you have understood, now profit from it."
― Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy
In 2021, we mark seven hundred years since the loss of one of the symbols of literature and Humanism, and arguably the greatest and most influential poet of the Western world - Dante Alighieri (c. 1265 -1321). This year's edition of our conference SWS Florence will present to you the Special Scientific Session: Dante Alighieri – the Medieval father of Humanism. We invite you to join us in our journey through the Magical World of the Italian Renaissance!
Artificial Intelligence – an inextricable part of our lives.
Whether we like it or not, artificial intelligence is already part of our lives and the tendency is to become more and more interwoven with all human activities. Nowadays, some of the dreams of past generations are facts. However, as we daily adopt new technologies, the menace of losing control over this exponentially increasing process is always presented. We cannot deny the benefits of technological development. It made some of the painstaking efforts of the past look like no-brainers. Maybe that is what we should fear the most. It seems that the real challenge for future generations would be to find the subtle balance between technology and hand-work, artificial intelligence, and the good old human consciousness with all its pros and cons.
If you would like to know what are the international moods toward AI, below you will find the latest statistics made by Pew Research Center:
Virtual reality starts in your head
Even before the invention of computer simulation, we were able to explore the possibilities of intricate concepts, construct alternative realities, and even put our ideas to a test-drive by using thought-experiments. They are the favorite game of philosophers and thinkers, and arguably one of the most crucial parts of both scientific and everyday life. These mental puzzles provide us with significant, otherwise hidden, insights and provoke our imaginations whereby we can expand our knowledge without previous experience.
Here you will find seven thought-provoking mental experiments that will make you reassess your presumptions about certain topics: