Bitcoin has become frequently talked about in the financial media. Despite this the general public is still relatively under informed when it comes to this digital currency. Criticism of Bitcoin overwhelmingly comes from the uninformed, while support often comes from the technologically competent. Paul Graham, a prominent venture capitalist, refers to Bitcoin as a paradigm shift that is unfortunately “derided as a toy, just like microcomputers.” Accomplished venture capitalist and entrepreneur Marc Andreessen has written that the potential of bitcoin today is analogous to personal computers in 1975 and the Internet in 1993. Today, it is the preoccupation of “nerds.” Tomorrow, it can change the life of everyone. So, what is Bitcoin? Bitcoin is a virtual currency. As with all currencies, they function as a mean of exchange and a store of value. As a mean of exchange, you can use them to purchase goods and services just like you will with your physical ...

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Background For several centuries, the Diaoyu Islands have been administered as one part of Taiwan and have always been used exclusively by Chinese fishermen as an base for fishing, both before and after World War II. In 1874, Japan took Liu Chiu Islands (Okinawa) from China by force when Chinese Ching Dynasty was involved in several wars with other foreign countries. However, the Diaoyu Islands still remained under the administration of Taiwan, a part of China. After being defeated by Japan in the Sino-Japan War, China ceded Taiwan to Japan under the Shimonoseki Treaty. As a part of Taiwan, the Diaoyutai Islands belonged to Japan at that time. Taiwan was returned to China at the end of World War II in 1945 based upon the 1943 agreement of the Cairo and Potsdam Declarations. The Japanese government accepted the terms that stated in these documents"...that all the territories Japan has stolen from the Chinese, ...

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Whenever we speak of happiness, there is always a conflict in our minds. On one side are the short-term pleasures that we run after that we sometimes call happiness (e.g. ‘This is the happiest day of my life!’). On the other side is the peaceful, long-lasting state of serenity that we yearn for, which we also call happiness (e.g. ‘I want to be happy.’ ‘Are you truly happy?’). The ancient Greek philosopher, Epicurus, spent an awful lot of time thinking about these very things, and he’s generally known to be a materialist. He lent his name to a form of life called Epicureanism, in which pleasure is held to be the highest goal of life. Indeed, Epicurus himself said once: ‘Pleasure is our first and kindred good. It is the starting point of every choice and of every aversion, and to it we always come back, inasmuch as we make feeling ...

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Rationalists claim that there are significant ways in which our concepts and knowledge is gained independently of sense experience. Empiricists claim that sense experience is the ultimate source of all our concepts and knowledge. In this essay, I seek to argue that in the order of argument, rationalism precedes Ironism. In other words, Ironism is a conclusion of rationalism. However, Ironism can also be a conclusion of what I will call “radical empiricism”. Radical empiricism in this context has less consideration of a priori theory than a moderate empiricist. Both, in the realisation that their belief systems are not able to “underwrite the doubts” of other belief systems, will eventually begin to come to skeptical conclusions, which conduces towards the ironist point of view. Emerging from this skeptical challenge would be twofold; the rationalist grudgingly accepts the eventual acceptance that one’s moral vocabulary is incomprehensive enough, with “radical and continuing ...

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In a graduation speech at West Point, many pundits have criticized, if not slammed, President Obama for a defensive and substance-less speech on US foreign policy. The ironies could not have been starker. In front of a crowd of well-groomed soon to become officers, keen (well, we should expect so at least) to advance America’s military objectives, Obama toned down their necessity. Instead, he argued for a more “restraint” use of American military, rhetoric that would find itself banal at best. It was an anti-climatic harbinger that US diplomacy is likely to remain key as it has been since Obama took office. Ultimately, this contrast is a reflection of a much deeper debate. Amidst a public tired of the Bush-era wars and an economy still sputtering to life, traditional unilateral American action will remain an elusive option. Countering this is a conservative bloc that remains well-funded and vocal calling for a ...

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“Mathematics is the queen of sciences and arithmetic the queen of mathematics” Carl Friedrich Gauss What exactly is mathematics? What is the core function of mathematics? Did mathematics precede philosophy and science? How do these concepts relate to each other? While we don’t exactly have all the answers, this article will attempt to elucidate some of the concepts. Just treat it as though we are thinking aloud – that helps a ton in intellectualizing ourselves to mathematical fulfillment, a process you may love to undergo if you have been suffering through the mathematics syllabus in your respective countries. How did it come about? Mathematics is mainly based on logic. In its earlier stages of formation, it was usually married with philosophy, as the ancient Greeks used mathematics on top of philosophy to explain the scientific phenomena around us. Using draw the often quoted dichotomies (they are not really as polarized as they are; ...

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It was supposed to be a close game. Even without the captain Thiago Silva and the talismanic Neymar, the game was expected to be tight. On paper, Brazil still had most of their experienced players, with the likes of Fernandinho, Dante, Marcelo regulars at the top European Clubs like Bayern Munich and Real Madrid. Yet, the floodgates just opened the minute from kickoff. In what was an incredible first-half six minutes, several dangerous breakthroughs down the right flank for the Germans had exposed Marcelo the Brazilian left back terribly, culminating in a gult of goals. Thomas Muller had opened the scoring with his 10th World Cup strike after Germany cleverly blocked David Luiz in the box to allow the forward space for a simple finish. This was immediately followed by Miroslav Klose’s goal, becoming the first player to score 16 goals at the World Cup in front of the watching Ronaldo. On ...

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On ETFs: Understanding what it is about As part of our financial weekly column I shall be collating a series of articles and facts that I have gleamed through the internet about, and crystallize the content in posts like this. Today, our first post will be on ETFs. What Are ETFs? In the simplest terms, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) are funds that track indexes like the NASDAQ-100 Index, S&P 500, Dow Jones, etc. When you buy shares of an ETF, you are buying shares of a portfolio that tracks the yield and return of its native index. The main difference between ETFs and other types of index funds is that ETFs don't try to outperform their corresponding index, but simply replicate its performance. They don't try to beat the market, they try to be the market. ETFs have been around since the early 1980s, but they've come into their own within the past 10 ...

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I. Introduction One way of viewing the history of Western philosophy is as a gradual separating out of questions that are essentially empirical in nature from those that aren’t; the former constitutes today’s science, the latter what we currently think of as philosophy. While trust in the explanatory power of science has grown, philosophy has come to be seen as increasingly unreliable in what it can tell us about the world. This, however, is to miscast philosophy based on a scientific model. Indeed, once a philosophical question becomes addressable by a scientific method of falsification, it has moved over into the domain of science. Philosophy as a field is largely made up of questions that have yet to, or never will, move over to the scientific domain. As such, it’s philosophy’s task to ask questions that current science isn’t prepared to ask, much less test, though it’s even more than this. The claim ...

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