an exercise in miscellany

Posts Tagged ‘information’

East India Company

In history, technology & innovatons on July 27, 2013 at 7:38 am

eastindia1aThe East India Company (also known as the East India Trading Company, English East India Company, and after the Treaty of Union, the British East India Company) was an early English joint-stock company that was formed initially for pursuing trade with the East Indies, but that ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent and China. The Company was granted an English Royal Charter, under the name Governor and Company of Merchants of London Trading into the East Indies, by Elizabeth I on 31 December 1600, making it the oldest among several similarly formed European East India Companies, the largest of which was the Dutch East India Company. After a rival English company challenged its monopoly in the late 17th century, the two companies were merged in 1708 to form the United Company of Merchants of England Trading to the East Indies, commonly styled the Honorable East India Company, and abbreviated, HEIC; the Company was colloquially referred to as John Company, and in India as Company Bahadur (Hindustani bahādur, “brave”/”authority”).

via East India Company

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Epistemology

In history, words & phrases on July 27, 2013 at 7:38 am

lens1379332_1316175617epistemology0Epistemology (Greek ἐπιστήμη – epistēmē, meaning “knowledge, understanding”, and λόγος logos, meaning “study of”) is the branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and scope of knowledge and is also referred to as “theory of knowledge”. It questions what knowledge is and how it can be acquired, and the extent to which any given subject or entity can be known.

Much of the debate in this field has focused on analyzing the nature of knowledge and how it relates to connected notions such as truth, belief, and justification.

The term “epistemology” was introduced by the Scottish philosopher James Frederick Ferrier (1808–1864).

via Epistemology

How to Speak Gibberish

In wild card, words & phrases on June 30, 2013 at 7:14 pm

550px-Speak-Gibberish-Step-2You might really think that gibberish is secret blabber talk or something a 2-month-old infant might say, but in reality it is a “secret language” used by some either for secrecy or just for kicks. If you want to join the conversation, listen up.

via How to Speak Gibberish

Parkinson’s Law

In technology & innovatons, wild card on March 2, 2013 at 7:46 am

doc literaly bound in red tapeParkinson’s law is the adage first articulated by Cyril Northcote Parkinson as part of the first sentence of a humorous essay published in The Economist in 1955:

Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.

The current form of the law is not that which Parkinson refers to by name in the article. Rather, he assigns to the term a mathematical equation describing the rate at which bureaucracies expand over time. Much of the essay is dedicated to a summary of purportedly scientific observations supporting his law, such as the increase in the number of employees at the Colonial Office while Great Britain‘s overseas empire declined. He explains this growth by two forces: “An official wants to multiply subordinates, not rivals” and  “Officials make work for each other.” He notes in particular that the total of those employed inside a bureaucracy rose by 5-7% per year “irrespective of any variation in the amount of work (if any) to be done”.

via Parkinson’s Law

Egregore

In people, science & nature, wild card, words & phrases on February 15, 2013 at 9:57 am

lamEgregore (also egregor) is an occult concept representing a “thoughtform” or “collective group mind”, an autonomous psychic entity made up of, and influencing, the thoughts of a group of people. The symbiotic relationship between an egregore and its group has been compared to the more recent, non-occult concepts of the corporation (as a legal entity) and the meme.

via Egregore

Statistics on Religion in America

In history, Religion on January 31, 2013 at 10:02 am

stats on religion

Statistics on Religion in America Report is an extensive  survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life details statistics on religion in America and explores the shifts taking place in the U.S. religious landscape. Based on interviews with more than 35,000 Americans age 18 and older, the U.S. Religious Landscape Survey finds that religious affiliation in the U.S. is both very diverse and extremely fluid.

via Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life

Operation Shady Rat

In operations and projects, technology & innovatons on December 4, 2012 at 10:03 pm

operation-shady-rat “Operation Shady RAT”–a years-long campaign of hacking and cyber-espionage that’s targeted the U.S. government, the U.N., the International Olympic Committee, and numerous other agencies and corporations worldwide.

So far, most of the evidence gathered seems to point to China as the likely perpetrator behind Shady RAT. But the U.S. and the West also have other potential cyber-enemies to be wary of. Here’s a breakdown of the five most likely parties with the resources and the will to carry out similar campaigns.

via 5 Potential Cyber-Enemies

1954 Guatemalan Coup d’état

In operations and projects, places on November 15, 2012 at 8:58 pm

The 1954 Guatemalan coup d’état was a covert operation organized by the United States Central Intelligence Agency to overthrow Jacobo Árbenz Guzmán, the democratically-elected President of Guatemala.

Árbenz’s government put forth a number of new policies, such as seizing and expropriating unused, unfarmed land that private corporations set aside long ago and giving the land to peasants. The U.S. intelligence community deemed such plans communist in nature. This led CIA director Allen Dulles to fear that Guatemala would become a “Soviet beachhead in the western hemisphere”. Dulles’ concern reverberated within the CIA and the Eisenhower administration, in the context of the anti-communist fears of the McCarthyist era.

via 1954 Guatemalan coup d’état

Animism

In words & phrases on October 9, 2012 at 9:34 am

Animism (from Latin animasoul, life“) is a set of beliefs based on the existence of non-human “spiritual beings” or similar kinds of embodied principles.

Animism encompasses the beliefs that there is no separation between the spiritual and physical (or material) world, and souls or spirits exist, not only in humans, but also in all other animals, plants, rocks, geographic features such as mountains or rivers, or other entities of the natural environment.Animism may further attribute souls to abstract concepts such as words, true names, or metaphors in mythology. Examples of Animism can be found in forms of Shinto, Serer, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Pantheism, Paganism, and Neopaganism.

via Animism

Office of Strategic Services

In history, words & phrases on September 12, 2012 at 9:04 pm

The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was a United States intelligence agency formed during World War II.

It was the wartime intelligence agency, and it was the predecessor of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The agency was formed in order to coordinate espionage activities behind enemy lines for the branches of the United States military.

Prior to the formation of the OSS (the American version of the British Secret Intelligence Service and Special Operations Executive), American intelligence had been conducted on an ad-hoc basis by the various departments of the executive branch, including the State, Treasury, Navy, and War Departments.

via Office of Strategic Services