first_img The administrators of West Indies cricket, once they assumed power, seem to have taken the view that once they assumed power “no guy can chat to me”. In fact, on one occasion the president of the board complained that he came in contact with players who didn’t even acknowledge him! This attitude, which has traits of the ‘baccra massa’ style, became the hallmark of every confrontation with the players and their representatives. This superior and condescending attitude appeared to have got stronger when the president’s friend and fellow Jamaican ex-Test cricketer became president of the Players’ union. Dispute after dispute with the players failed to reach any satisfactory conclusion until agreed arbitrators or the courts ruled in favour of the players. These so-called rulings were then followed by a slew of rule changes, which could be seen as being designed to render dissatisfaction by any player. Older and wiser heads in the Caribbean took note and encouraged the board to engage experts to review the state of West Indian cricket. But even after agreeing to the formation of different review boards, their conclusions were largely ignored, eventually reaching the ultimate insult of accusing a committee of prime ministers and other dignitaries that their considered opinion re the actions necessary to save West Indies cricket were faulty. ASSUMED POWER The West Indies cricketers have completed the ‘rolling triple’ by winning all three international competitions scheduled for 2016. The Under 19 cricketers are World champions, the women’s T20 are World champions and the men’s T20 are World champions … again, the only team in the world to have that distinction. To the fans and supporters who got up at 4 a.m. in Jamaica and at 5 a.m. in the rest of the Caribbean to watch both matches on television, congrats. Your support and dedication is the stuff of which legends are made. West Indies cricket has been suffering for years, as the best cricketers of the region were denied time and time again the opportunity to express themselves regarding their concept of right and wrong. PROPLEMS FACED The result was that the present World T20 champions played this year’s competition with what can be described as ‘the passion of the wronged’. The speech at the presentation ceremony by victorious captain Darren Sammy catalogued some of the problems the present team faced in the preparation for the tournament. Sammy praised those that contributed to their victory, including Rawle Lewis and coach Phil Simmons, for their work behind the scenes, as well as the support of the CARICOM Committee, for its support and words of encouragement which, as the captain pointed out, was conspicuously absent from the Board led by President Dave Cameron. As is now usual, the statement of the board after Sammy’s tirade promises to “look into his complaints”. How much longer will we the Caribbean cricket fans allow these men in suits to continue to lead cricket into oblivion, as the victorious captain has expressed doubt about whether any of these men’s World T20 heroes will be selected to represent the West Indies in upcoming competitions. Local cricket boss Billy Heaven has promised a suitable reception for the victorious Jamaicans on their return. When that will be is uncertain as international commitments will ensure that the men’s return will be fragmented. No such fragmentation is expected when the victorious members of the women’s team returns. An arrangement to host such a reception in the arena or the indoor sport centre must be mandatory. We have to show these cricketers (in real terms) what their victory means to us, Jamaicans and West Indians. We are champions!last_img read more

first_imgIf intelligent humans were around for hundreds of thousands of years, why didn’t any of them think about farming sooner?The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences just printed a special section about human evolution. Let’s see if any of the papers can answer the question of why farming was delayed so long in the evolutionary history of man.Early farmers from across Europe directly descended from Neolithic Aegeans (Hofmanova et al.). Thirty-nine authors are listed on this paper. “One of the most enduring and widely debated questions in prehistoric archaeology concerns the origins of Europe’s earliest farmers,” the paper begins. The authors agree that farming communities began about 6,000 BC in Anatolia (Turkey), but offers no explanation for what happened to turn hunter-gatherers into farmers. “Although current archaeological research has revealed various pathways of Neolithization in the fi rst half of the 7th millennium BCE, questions still remain regarding how and where these trajectories overlapped and influenced each other in generating the complex emergence of agriculturalist lifestyles on the southeastern edge of Europe,” they say. Their only suggestion: “the adoption of different dietary lifeways.” Tired of chasing fast food?Unraveling the evolution of uniquely human cognition (MacLean). This paper has but one author, Evan L MacLean of Duke University. “A satisfactory account of human cognitive evolution will explain not only the psychological mechanisms that make our species unique, but also how, when, and why these traits evolved,” he says. His answer: “convergent evolution.” This paper is all about comparing humans and apes. It says nothing about farming and the rise of agriculture. But if the “proliferation of cultural artifacts” some 20,000 to 70,000 years ago indicated “increased social tolerance that allowed humans to work productively with conspecifics in new ways,” why didn’t anyone plant a farm till much later? “Humans are unusual animals in many respects,” he comments. That’s obvious to an evolutionist. It begs the question of why they are.The Pliocene hominin diversity conundrum: Do more fossils mean less clarity? (Haile-Selassie et al.). Haile-Selassie points out that Lucy was not the only “hominin” of her era. His paper has nothing to do with cognitive changes or the rise of agriculture.Ancient DNA and human history (Slatkin and Racimo). These paleoanthropologists from UC Berkeley mostly talk about who had sex with whom: Neanderthals, Denisovans and modern humans. They do mention that the first evidence of farming shows up about 8,000 to 9,000 years BC, but they don’t explain what happened, or why it happened so late. Mere genetic mixing doesn’t explain the rise of farming. Is there a gene for agriculture? Surely all humans living for the prior tens of thousands of years had the physical and mental skills for it. Ötzi the Iceman enters the narrative:In a related study, Lazaridis et al. obtained high-coverage genomes from an ancient Western European hunter-gatherer (found near Loschbour, Luxembourg) and an ancient Central European farmer (found near Stuttgart, Germany), and proposed a three-way mixture model of European origins. According to this model, the Loschbour individual belonged to the original modern human occupants of Europe, called Western hunter-gatherers (WHG). The ancestors of this population mixed with a basal Eurasian population coming from the Near East during the Neolithic to produce a population called Early European farmers (EEF), which likely brought agriculture into the region. This is the population to which the Stuttgart and Ötzi individuals belonged. Afterward, a third wave of migration from the Pontic steppe introduced the ANE [ancient near eastern] ancestry component into the region.Neandertals revised (Roebroeks and Soressi). This paper contributes to debunking the notion that Neanderthals lacked the cognitive skills of modern humans, and agrees that Neanderthals, Denisovans and modern humans interbred. The authors say nothing, however, about what turned hunter-gatherers into farmers, ranchers and civilized people so recently, especially when they say that Neanderthals were already making carefully-crafted wooden spears 300,000 years ago (30 times as long as all recorded civilization). They were not intellectual lightweights when modern humans arrived: “it is also a fact that the archeological records of Neandertals and their African near-modern human contemporaries are very similar in terms of what were once thought to be standard markers of modern cognitive and behavioral capacities, such as diversity of subsistence strategies and diet, use of minerals, use and transport of lithics, shells, personal ornaments, and hafting, and pyrotechnology.”Ecological consequences of human niche construction: Examining long-term anthropogenic shaping of global species distributions (Boivin et al.). This international team focuses on the ecological changes after agriculture began, but says nothing about why it began. “The exhibition of increasingly intensive and complex niche construction behaviors through time is a key feature of human evolution, culminating in the advanced capacity for ecosystem engineering exhibited by Homo sapiens.” How did this come about? To them, it just “emerged” somehow as the world watched: e.g., “the emergence and spread of agriculture beginning in the Early Holocene.” In the paper, they continue their causeless emergent theme: “The beginning of the Holocene (< 11.7 ka) witnessed fundamental shifts in climatic and geological regimes globally, as well as in human societies,” they say. “The Early to Middle Holocene in many regions worldwide saw the beginning of agricultural economies, placing new evolutionary pressures on plants, animals, and microbes, and resulting in major demographic expansions for humans.” But how? Why? Why then?Issues in human evolution (Richard G. Klein). This human biologist from Stanford summarizes the papers in the special section on human evolution. He adds nothing to the other papers on this fundamental question: What happened after hundreds of thousands of years of human evolution to turn intelligent, upright-walking, skilled nomads into farmers almost instantly in evolutionary history? Why didn’t any of them think of it before?We want you to see for yourselves. When we say that evolutionary anthropologists are clueless about the rise of agriculture and civilization, we back it up with references and quotes. Here was a perfect opportunity for leading paleoanthropologists in America’s prestigious National Academy of Sciences to answer the question, and they completely dodged it. What kind of explanation is it to say, “agriculture emerged”? Well, yeah. OK. What happened? A lucky mutation? Magic? Stuff Happens?  You’re telling us that for 400,000 years (in the evolutionary scheme) human beings had brains and bodies for farming, but they just sat around in caves, building campfires, and traveling long distances on foot to hunt meat and gather berries. When Ötzi’s uncle suddenly had a bright idea of planting seeds so they didn’t have to walk so far, you can be sure the rest of the tribe said, “Well, doh! Why didn’t we think of that before?” A small fraction of that time later, man is walking on the moon and receiving pictures from Pluto.Who has the incredible, unscientific story? The ones who know what humans are capable of, or the Darwin worshipers? The ones who find Genesis 1 reasonable, or the ones who appeal to “emergence” as the explanation for everything? We report; you decide. (Visited 79 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

first_imgMassive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Related Posts brian proffitt Tags:#Big Data#Clustering#databases#Hadoop#servers#storage 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Nowcenter_img Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… Hadoop is the poster child for Big Data, so much so that the open source data platform has become practically synonymous with the wildly popular term for storing and analyzing huge sets of information.While Hadoop is not the only Big Data game in town, the software has had a remarkable impact. But exactly why has Hadoop been such a major force in Big Data? What makes this software so damn special – and so important?Sometimes the reasons behind something success can be staring you right in the face. For Hadoop, the biggest motivator in the market is simple: Before Hadoop, data storage was expensive. Hadoop, however, lets you store as much data as you want in whatever form you need, simply by adding more servers to a Hadoop cluster. Each new server (which can be commodity x86 machines with relatively small price tags) adds more storage and more processing power to the overall cluster. This makes data storage with Hadoop far less costly than prior methods of data storage.(See also Hadoop: What It Is And How It Works.)Spendy Storage Created The Need For HadoopWe’re not talking about data storage in terms of archiving… that’s just putting data onto tape. Companies need to store increasingly large amounts of data and be able to easily get to it for a wide variety of purposes. That kind of data storage was, in the days before Hadoop, pricey.(See also Hadoop Adoption Accelerates, But Not For Data Analytics.)And, oh what data there is to store. Enterprises and smaller businesses are trying to track a slew of data sets: emails, search results, sales data, inventory data, customer data, click-throughs on websites… all of this and more is coming in faster than ever before, and trying to manage it all in a relational database management system (RDBMS) is a very expensive proposition.Historically, organizations trying to manage costs would sample that data down to a smaller subset. This down-sampled data would automatically carry certain assumptions, number one being that some data is more important than other data. For example, a company depending on e-commerce data might prioritize its data on the (reasonable) assumption that credit card data is more important than product data, which in turn would be more important than click-through data.Assumptions Can ChangeThat’s fine if your business is based on a single set of assumptions. But what what happens if the assumptions change? Any new business scenarios would have to use the down-sampled data still in storage, the data retained based on the original assumptions. The raw data would be long gone, because it was too expensive to keep around. That’s why it was down-sampled in the first place.Expensive RDBMS-based storage also led to data being siloed within an organization. Sales had its data, marketing had its data, accounting had its own data and so on. Worse, each department may have down-sampled its data based on its own assumptions. That can make it very difficult (and misleading) to use the data for company-wide decisions.Hadoop: Breaking Down The SilosHadoop’s storage method uses a distributed filesystem that maps data wherever it sits in a cluster on Hadoop servers. The tools to process that data are also distributed, often located on the same servers where the data is housed, which makes for faster data processing.Hadoop, then, allows companies to store data much more cheaply. How much more cheaply? In 2012, Rainstor estimated that running a 75-node, 300TB Hadoop cluster would cost $1.05 million over three years. In 2008, Oracle sold a database with a little over half the storage (168TB) for $2.33 million – and that’s not including operating costs. Throw in the salary of an Oracle admin at around $95,000 per year, and you’re talking an operational cost of $2.62 million over three years – 2.5 times the cost, for just over half of the storage capacity.This kind of price savings mean Hadoop lets companies afford to hold all of their data, not just the down-sampled portions. Fixed assumptions don’t need to be made in advance. All data becomes equal and equally available, so business scenarios can be run with raw data at any time as needed, without limitation or assumption. This is a very big deal, because if no data needs to be thrown away, any data model a company might want to try becomes fair game.That scenario is the next step in Hadoop use, explained Doug Cutting, Chief Architect of Cloudera and an early Hadoop pioneer. “Now businesses can add more data sets to their collection,” Cutting said. “They can break down the silos in their organization.”More Hadoop BenefitsHadoop also lets companies store data as it comes in – structured or unstructured – so you don’t have to spend money and time configuring data for relational databases and their rigid tables. Since Hadoop can scale so easily, it can also be the perfect platform to catch all the data coming from multiple sources at once.Hadoop’s most touted benefit is its ability to store data much more cheaply than can be done with RDBMS software. But that’s only the first part of the story. The capability to catch and hold so much data so cheaply means businesses can use all of their data to make more informed decisions.  IT + Project Management: A Love Affairlast_img read more