Author: Bryan Andati

Revolutionary.

The revolutions campaign has been a success and the pioneers of this idea deserve a pat on the back. The phenomenal theme covered diverse fields enough to enlighten us all. Closing the series, i could not help asking myself, what factors led us as  society this far and which individuals deserve credit for moving us a mile further.

Today’s world has been shaped by several factors that, each deserve some degree of credit.  What deserves more credit, is it communication and ideas or the existence of cultures, religion and science, probably the marriage of science and technology, but what would all those be without population growth that led to urbanization.  These are all primary generalized factors that shaped the nature of the globe. Which one really moved us forward? What was indeed revolutionary?

I believe the industrial revolution was the greatest of all time. An industrial revolution was inevitable, in the breaking old chains, and shaping a new better world.  We ought to give enormous credit to the industrial revolution for being a key factor that drove expansion. To be honest, humans had hit a wall in terms of increase of energy levels to allow for more production. The human muscle power had reached its maximum potential. Something needed to happened for the human society to progress and industrial revolution might be arguably the best revolution to occur on earth. Electricity was effectively harnessed. Improvements were made to industrial processes with the aid of power-driven machinery using mass production techniques.

Communication today makes the world feel smaller. The incredible platforms available to communicate all across the globe have been of positive change. Another milestone included the successful death control measures contributed to a burst in population. Vaccinations, antibiotics, and sanitation measures cut death rates. The life expectancy rates significantly went increased.

Factors that shaped the nature of the globe may differ depending on who you consult. Some individuals give credit to  people and leaders like Albert Einstein, Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Franklin,  Alexander Graham Bell, and Nelson Mandela etc.  This series encouraged the interplay of different fields in the most informative way.

Rethinking Revolutions.

Professor Keith Peterson’s lecture was deep i have to admit. KP as many refer to him, went into serious philosophical evidences of why we as a society have never been revolutionary at all.  He made me re-think the whole concept of revolution and the different connotations of what actually being revolutionary is.

 

 

KP confidently stood and presented a lecture that contradicts the whole revolutions series Colby has been emphasizing this fall semester. He sure did back his points primarily through quoting Latour Bruno.  According to KP, we as a society have been modern not revolutionary.  His style of linking up up tremendously different aspects of life with one another justifies his argument.  He suggested new dimensional thinking that i never heard of before such as : the politics of nature. KP described how it was possible to bring sciences to democracy and make inquiries into modes of existence.  He insisted on dualism and science and observed that westerners cannot afford to be one  culture among others, since  westerners also mobilize nature.

Professor Peterson argued a fascinating point that, one’s claim to being revolutionary means disregarding the individuals in that particular field who did it before you. Is claiming to be revolutionary a little too ‘cocky’ of a claim to make.  I recently heard a professor of mine also make a point that kind of drove me into the same sort of thinking. She claimed that, presidential candidate always have a “problem”.  She thought that for an individual to actually believe in himself to the point of considering presidential position, he/she must have an ultra ego that pushes them into believing themselves to be better than everybody else.  Connecting this to KP’s claim, do the scientists and philosophers who claim to be revolutionaries share the same ego with the mentioned politicians.

KP displayed a complex image that showed a pie-chart. He pointed out that for one to fully fit into the class of revolutionaries, they would have to complete each level on that chart. His chart’s title was the principle of symmetry generalized. Inside it had portions that read: Asymmetrical explanations, first principle of symmetry, and generalized principle of symmetry.  He encouraged me to really re-think those individuals that i personally deem as revolutionary.

Haitian Revolution = Modern Democracy.

It is only fair to set this off by noting that the Haitian Revolution is and continues to be underrated.  The Haitian Revolution deserves mainstream historical recognition as it was the most successful and far reaching revolution to date. Jeremy Popkin confirmed that the French and English shippers who supplied Saint-Domingue (modern day Haiti) brought slaves primarily from the coast of Angola, which included modern day Angola, Zaire, Congo- Brazzaville, and Southern Gabon. Due to harsh treatment and rejected proposals for political equality by the colonizers the slaves sparked a revolution. That came to be known as the Haitian Revolution.

The revolution was ignited from below, by the underrepresented majority of the population. A bulk of the supporters of the Haitian revolution were slaves and freed Africans who were treated unequally by society and the law. At the same time in Europe, a French Revolution was taking place. Professor Popkin suggested that The Haitian Revolution maintained its original goal of independence while the French Revolution went to the extremes and lost its original goal for creating a new form of representative government.  He acknowledged  The Haitian Revolution exploded as an aftershock of the French Revolution though.

The call for modification of society was influenced by the revolution in France, but once the hope for change found a place in the hearts of the Haitian people, there was no stopping the radical reformation that was occurring. The individuals in Haiti relied on no other resolution but their own. They also enjoyed the influential leadership of Toussaint Louverture who wrote a constitution granting rights to all the residents of Saint Dominique. Even though he was not fortunate enough to see independence for Haiti, the black leaders who came after him defeated the remaining French troops and declared independence in 1804. This was a major difference between the two revolutions the French Revolution aimed to get rid of the old order while the Haitian Revolution aim at self-governance.

Both revolutions completely threw out their former governments. Extreme brutality was a fundamental aspect of both uprisings. Mass riots and revolts were the order of the day. Violence in Haiti was largely characterized by military excursions, the killing of slave owners, and guerrilla warfare. Professor Popkin emphasized that The Haitian Revolution may be deemed similar to the American Revolution looking at both through the scope of the methods used during the revolts.  He admits that revelations about the Haitian Revolution keep surfacing with each day of research that goes into the subject.

Monumental!

“The very notion of a modern monument is a contradiction in terms of; if it is a monument, it cannot be modern, and if it is modern, it cannot be a monument.”  Lewis Mumford- 1937.

Sitting through a lecture given by Jeffery Schnapp, a man who was deeply involved in the re-modelling of The Victory Monument in Bolzano.  He emphasized on why the structure needed to be “re-created”  to fit in with the changing architectural designs of the 21st Century. He added that a portion of the public did not fully embrace the new changes and were constantly rioting around after its re-opening.

The monument today lies in the Victory Square with high definition screens surrounding the pillars. It is a famous tourist destination owing to the fact that it receives thousands of visits every year. The original structure was put up on the personal orders of Mussolini. The construction was dedicated to the “Martyrs of the First World War.”  On a Powerpoint displayed imaged Jeffery Schnapp showed the Latin Script inscribed on the facade. “Hic patriae fine siste signa. Hinc ceteros excoluimus lingua legibus artibus” — Here at the border of the motherland stands a mark. From this point on we educated others with language, law and culture. 

He described how the name of the monument and the latin script  was seen as offensive by the German-speaking South Tyroleans.  He noted that the monument has been surrounded by controversial demonstrations ever since its first inauguration on 12th July 28′. Many South Tyroleans call the monument the “Fascist Temple”. Today, the monument still is an icon of the tensions between the Italian and German speaking communities in Bozen-Bolzano. But it is heavily guarded to prevent any destruction plots.

What is modern monument? And why was Schnapp’s team so focused on re-modelling the monument? To them, marking time on the architectural figure was essential for memory purposes. Italy boasts of more Unesco world heritage sites than any other country; a fact that brings huge national pride, but also a burden. Years of short-lived governments, corruption scandals and bureaucratic hold-ups have all contributed to the neglect affecting its famous museums and historic sites. The team of designers saw the need to bring back the monuments glamour in a “modern way”.

 

Your Data Plan

Walking into the auditorium and seeing Aaron prepare his power point presentation immediately gave me a wave of excitement because i knew the potential he has to deliver and connect with the audience having being his former student. He is very specialized with 17th century England and he pulled a surprise on me choosing to speak of revolutions in data. But then again i was not entirely surprised because this was Aaron Hanlon we are talking about.  He chose to lecture on the history of data and Britain was his scope and the English department was his context.

What is data? What Aaron described was that Data is a thing given. From datum- that which is given and dare which is to give.  In the period of enlightenment, the thirst for knowledge and progress drove major innovations. The society saw a shift in different sectors which uplifted communities. Data was used interchangeably as evidence either as numerical data or observational data.

Data contained information obtained from nationwide reporting and recording sources and brought you the facts you needed quick and easy. Public records individual databases. Data evolved to what we know it today.  Looking for what you needed could be an impossible task without Data History to sort the data for you. If you are doing background checks, looking for sex offender information, completing family history studies or searching for the details of a new love interest, Data History has the vital information you need.

You can easily find statistical information like birth certificates, death certificates, marriage licenses, and  divorce decrees. Data History also has the facts about civil court cases like custody battles,and contempt. Facts and information about criminal hearings can be found in Data History with arrest reports,and warrants. You may even find a mug shot!

Hanlon spoke about Francis Bacon who was a significant pioneer in this revolution of data. Bacon was an English philosopher, statesman, scientist, and author. He was known as the father of imperialism. Bacon introduced the advancement of learning in (1605). The first record use of world data was scriptural data ( Scriptural givens) they referred to it as a heap of data. William Petty later developed the idea of the use of data. He was the father of social sciences. Economics especially.

Climatic Science

Kerry Emanuel presented to us on the revolutions in climatic science. He approached the subject from an interesting perspective. He focused more on the future. More on weather condition predictions. He acknowledged that climate science has a long and illustrious history. Speaking from his long years of experience he pointed out that important discoveries are driven by curiosity about evidence gathering.

Emauel believes in the work of those who did it before him, he gives credit to them for setting a foundation in the field.  He emphasized on Jean Baptiste Joseph who came up with the fourier series and developed early comprehensive theory of how heat flows. He was curious about why the earth’s temperature is what it is.  Baptiste came up with an analogy of heat flow through solids.

Kerry believes that quantum physics is a very essential field to science and to humanity.  He argues that it should be taught in high school.  He illustrated Max Plack’s experiments, that after several attempts to explain experimentally derived black body curves in 1900. Planck engaged in an act of despair. He later hypothesized that radiant energy is quantisized in discrete packets rather than being continuous. He came with the field of quantum physics.

All these physicists and mathematicians got the modern world thinking that we are finally on a path toward controlling climate. These are creditable developments, but the world is still a very long way from preventing profound long-term climate change. Getting serious about climate change would require more than nibbling around the edges of energy policy.There’s always a fine balance in gauging how to convey the value of incremental progress against the scale of a huge problem. Putting too much weight in small steps can obscure glaring gaps in addressing the grander challenge. I see the prospect of slow but substantial and productive shifts in the human enterprise.

Dear Darwin

Janet Brown is so passionate about her work about Darwin and anybody under the sounds of her voice at the revolutions lecture she gave in Parker-Reed could tell.  She painted to us the whole image of Darwin, from what the society depicts him to be, to what he really was. Her work on Darwin is well above comprehensive which justifies her being the world expert on the subject matter.

She showed us the full picture of Darwin’s popularity across the world and in Great Britain especially. A single man commands so much respect and fanaticism for him to merit to be discussed as a revolution. Brown  displayed images of Darwin’s name on toys, beers and even being the name of restaurants. He has a mountain named after him, his face is on the British currency. What are we to make of all this?

He is credited as the mind behind the theory of evolution of mankind. The origin of species which he also chose to be his book title. Brown explained that much of his achievements were because he had no job. He had an incredible amount of free time on his hands and had independent riches left for him from his mother and father. A great mind that liked science and even had a lab in his garden.  He concentrated on hybridization and fertilization. Janet mentioned that he observed humans and apes and drew his line based off of what he had recorded. He was a man of lists and was organized in terms of data entry.  Professor Brown gave an example of a personal list he made on whether to marry or not to marry.  He put down all the pros and cons and finally decided to marry. He went on to marry his cousin!

Such was the man Darwin. After all the descriptions of him, it would be wrong not to admit that his work sparked a revolution. It should be clear to the masses that Darwin valued and lived for science. People should stop glorifying him and embrace the science that he stood for.

Khalid’s Art !

Whether or not you are a fan of social media, you can not deny the reach of its power.  Khalid Albaih harnessed the power of social media as his platform for sharing his thoughts and perspective on political matters. He was asked on advice which would be the best social media outlet to use in starting a revolution. Khalid answered that you should go to where the people are. By that he meant every possible social media outlet.  Reaching masses with his art, Khalid is pushing for change.

He put up a slide that read Facebook + Twitter + Al Jezera = Revolution.  Social media and comprehensive media sources put a light on government ills especially in the Arab nations.  His art acts as his language, and just like any other language Spanish French or English you need to really grasp it to interpret whatever comes out it. So whether you have no idea what Twitter is, or you spend three or more hours on Facebook each day, there is always something to learn. Khalid said the internet is an ocean of knowledge.  Khalid Albaih draws a cartoon everyday and has done this for the past six or so years. Some of he’s drawing go viral on the internet but he admits that he does not take pride in going viral. A picture that goes viral will soon be forgotten. He is interested in change and shedding a light on intolerable ills.

His cartoons go viral often but a few examples proved exceptional to him. He got word that his cartoons are being used as wall graphitis in revolutionary protests. This he takes pride of. This happened not only in Egypt but also in Sudan and Yemen. Social media is the key for these sort of activists. It enables them to connect and share ideas and offer professional criticism. Their art is a tool for revolution and social media is their channel to broadcast their message out. Many Arab national governments put a on internet because of the potential it has. The internet opened several doors for Khalid. He spoke about his work allowing him to acquire visas. Art is a universal language and Khalid Albaih knows this fact all too well.

Ein’t No Sunshine, When it Blew.

The Tambora eruption changed the game. When i say this, i mean it switched up a lot of things in the society. That single eruption had immense social, economic and climatic impacts that are felt up to date. Gilen Wood journey into unfolding and telling the story is a bold step. Going through a rough terrain road trip to the foot of the mountain itself just to get first hand information takes more than just passion.

Gilen Wood wanted to produce a volume of work that nobody else had ever thought of doing. I am currently reading the book, and it was a privilege to have in come in and talk about the stages of climate shock response. Touching on how the situation in Switzerland was i could not help but feel pity.

Socially, the society was turned upside down.  You had to do whatever to survive the harsh times. He spoke about about the royalty who opened a door, only to find a line of thousands of refugees stretching  miles into the closest town. She could not ignore the matters at hand. Besides it had literally knocked on her door.  The society became wicked! Selling and buying of children was allowed as a last resort to the economic crisis.  Mothers were being killed for starving their children. Riots became rampant, he confirmed that 10,000 protested in Manchester City.

The arable lands in Europe could no longer sustain crops growing. Grain became scarce and the little that was available was expensive. Bakeries across the region were burnt down due to the high prices of bread. The animal death toll was greater than human as people killed their animals for survival.  The situation was bad. Gilen Wood says the year without sunshine. I think it must have been years. Tambora released its ashes into the stratosphere, giving the ash capability to reach far and wide across Europe uninterrupted. Hard times, harsh impacts.

Not all effects were negative though. The areas accessing Mt.Tambora finally got good infrastructure in their area. As a result of the massive deaths and starvations brought about by the eruption. There was a need for inventions to ensure stable living conditions. This period saw the invention of the bike to replace the animal death toll especially the horse. There was also publication of the first weather map.

 

Scientific Rave-Ol-Ution

The term rave has a lot of meanings. I would like to concentrate on two of its informal meanings to talk about the scientific revolution. A rave may be an extremely enthusiastic recommendation or appraisal of someone or something. Or a rave may be a lively party or gathering involving dancing. Using the two meanings I want to bring out just how important the scientific revolution was.

Sitting down and listening to professor Dan Cohen speak about the scientific revolution you get nothing but positive concerning the whole thing.  Zero criticism and full of praises of how it outshines everything since the rise of Christianity. He carefully questions vital issue that any learned individual would like to ask. Just how scientific was the revolution and how unique it was? He circles around this questions but still takes you back to just how important of a process it was to be able to be deemed ‘classical’. The scientific revolution has won from Professor Cohen.

The leaders who rallied to see the end of apartheid, the troops that actually went in to take out Bin Laden, the police officers who stayed honest to see the cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar brought down. I see these people as revolutionaries. I place them high up the ranks with the likes of Descartes and Bacon. Because their actions were ‘classical’, they ended reigns of terror, anguish and death. I rave for such people just as Professor Cohen raves for Aristotle and Galileo.

We live in times were young people value going out over the weekends. They strive to make their Friday’s and Saturday nights out unforgettable and special. A rave! A lively party, one that regardless of whatever will be permanent in memory. Timeless moments that whenever somebody brings it up, the visual of the event will be strong in everyone’s minds. I see the scientific revolution in the same fashion. The mention of it calls for respect and acknowledgment.