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Democracy and Capitalism Are Destined to Split Up

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Slavoj Žižek

In the last two decades, Slavoj Žižek became something of a philosopher super-star. His distinctive accent, funny appearances, and weird, though witty remarks put the audience into a state of simultaneous amazement and deep pondering. Is he serious about what's he saying or maybe it's just provocations? Is he making jokes or maybe, we just can't follow him? Do we agree with his criticism or not? Well, everyone should decide by himself. Enjoy his speech and turn on your speculative attention - you will need it.


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The Seven Social Sins

Studio photograph of Mohandas K. Gandhi, London, 1931; Wikipedia




Mahatma Gandhi

On October 22, 1925, a list of seven social sins was published by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi) in his weekly newspaper Young India. Gandhi wrote that a correspondent of him – a "fair friend" – had sent the list to him. The text he published was:

"The... fair friend wants readers of Young India to know, if they do not already, the following seven social sins:

Wealth without work.
Pleasure without conscience.
Knowledge without character.
Commerce without morality.
Science without humanity.
Worship without sacrifice.
Politics without principle.

Naturally, the friend does not want the readers to know these things merely through the intellect but to know them through the heart so as to avoid them."
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When Science meets Art: Quadrature

Credit: Quadrature.co ; Ars Electronica

The Age of Multidisciplinarity

Often, we tend to separate Science and Art in an ungrounded categorical way as they are two disparate fields of human activities. Science is seen as objective, explanatory, rational, practical, and unconditional truth, whereas Art - as a whimsical, irrational, imaginary representation of the so-called "real world." Well, first of all, both Science and Art have been proven adequate or inadequate to reality. Experimentation is part of the process. And second, thinking that way, we exclude some crucial similarities that unite them like creativeness and imagination. All scientific and technological achievements were at one point just ideas in the mind of someone. As Albert Einstein once said, "the greatest scientists are artists as well."Yes, these are two different ways to understand, interpret, represent, and literally, perceive the cosmos around us, sometimes opposite to each other. But instead of seeking their contrasts, we could see how they work together. The more perspectives we consider, the better comprehension of the world we achieve. 

The fact that Art and Science are two different approaches towards the natural world does not cut the connection between them. Conversely, they enrich and enhance each other. We live in unprecedented ages of informational interconnection and easy access to thousands of areas of knowledge and technology. Each discipline has reached striking depths of its subject matter, and now is the time to combine them, to explore their possible and impossible interactions.

Today, we present you with a good example of such interdisciplinary and multimedia artistic experiments – Quadrature.

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Focal point for climate change is at the top of our world, and agenda

© Steffen M. Olsen, Danish Meteorological Institute, Denmark - Iceberg, Baffin Bay 2021

Improved climate modelling can predict fish stocks in the North Atlantic, as well as warming effects across the Northern hemisphere, for instance in Europe and North America.

Fragile and exposed to climate change, the Arctic is warming three times faster than the rest of the planet. As the frozen ground melts, carbon dioxide and methane trapped within it are released into the atmosphere, further contributing to global warming.

Michael Mann, the EU's Special Envoy for the Arctic, describes the current environmental situation in the Arctic as extremely serious. He warns: 'It's just getting worse and worse.'

The consequences are being felt elsewhere. Extreme events in Europe, such as the unusually heavy snowfall in Greece and Spain last winter, is thought to be linked to warming in the northernmost regions. 'The Arctic is the main suspect for larger changes in conditions in the northern hemisphere,' said Dr Steffen Olsen, a climate researcher at the Danish Meteorological Institute in Copenhagen.

Since the Arctic is the focal point for global climate change, being able to better forecast Arctic warming could help mitigate its impact, both in the Arctic and elsewhere.

The EU is preparing to adapt to the rapid changes that the Arctic is experiencing. One of the goals of the EU Missions, namely 'Adaptation to Climate Change', is to provide new strategies and solutions and empower communities to lead the societal transformation. The EU Mission 'Restore our ocean and waters by 2030' will deploy innovative solutions at basin-scale (sea basin and river basin) through Mission 'lighthouses' which will each lead on one of the Mission objectives. One of the lighthouse initiatives covering the Atlantic and Arctic sea basin, leads on the Mission objective to protect and restore marine ecosystems and biodiversity.

The new EU Arctic policy is also on the horizon to address new challenges and opportunities.

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Inspirational Thoughts

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Voltaire

"The most important decision you make is to be in a good mood."


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