SOLSTICES COMARI AND TAROTS

SOLSTICES COMARI AND TAROTS

itsIn recent days I have crossed various thoughts, starting from Gabriella‘s post on the Water of San Giovanni but also on the rite of fire to become comari, not in the sense that I had so far given to this word.

Therefore, water and fire.
Water and fire that according to Cicero “are not of more universal use than friendship.”
Water and fire, two of the four elements of life.

The water and the fire that the druids define Litha that is the light of the shore because the fire, or rather the sun, which has reached the zenith and has reached its maximum point, plunges into the waters, on the beach, at the meeting point between land and sea.

Of the summer solstice, which Alidada explained masterfully in her Uno spicchio di cielo, I fell in love many years ago reading Sarum by Edward Rutherfurd who, starting from the ice age, sees the birth of Stonehenge which in my imagination goes far beyond the status of “ringing rocks” for example, and is covered in mystery with that aftertaste of legend that I love.

But returning to Litha, I would like to resume a little the concept of Samhain: moment in which the veil between the two worlds is thinner, but moving the contrast between “above and below” just like a celebration of the opposite, which of course I love. It is no coincidence that Litha is also defined as a day out of time.

In this reversal, it is as if the elements of fire and water overturn their roles in a magical union.
A suggestive image representing this magic is realized in the floating candles.

Fire, water.
Bonfire and dew.
Waves and fires.

This is how Shakespeare in his A Midsummer Night’s Dream describes the reply of a fairy:
Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire.
I do wander everywhere
Swifter than the moon’s sphere.
And I serve the fairy queen
To dew her orbs upon the green.

Fire, water.
Sun and moon.

And then I remembered the advice QueenFaee Studio gave me in the comments here where sun and moon draw inspiration from the Visconti Sforza tarot cards, just to point out the curious coincidences, and my connection with the land …

This short film by Garrone for Dior enchants like the magical floating of the stars under the marvelous vault of the Tuscan castle of Sammezzano which, exactly as if inverted upside down, leads them to float in the water of the fountain.

Maria Grazia Chiuri wanted to give a reinterpretation of the tarot cards by transporting them into a fairy-tale but also an artistic dimension, in which the precious embroideries and the refined textures of the fabrics give life to works of art: living paintings, which not only allow themselves to be observed, but drag on a journey in search of answers.

The first dress, among other things, struck me: leaves on lace, a sort of mixture of fashion and nature that not by chance I immediately found magical, and that made me think in particular of the tree in the photo under the title, with its dress of ivy, because Nature dresses wonderfully.

But perhaps my absolute favorite is Le Pendu.

At this point you will tell me “but what does all this have to do with it”

In reality, by crossing traditions, legends and fairytale atmospheres, I would like to interpret this summer as a series of cards that can offer a reading key that allows the re-appropriation of the magic of feeling aligned with the sun, ready to welcome the light.

And you?
What do you see or predict in your cards?
Water, fire, or what else?

PS: in the comments the Keep Calm version of Le Fou … or an upside-down creature who wants to be a comare, who is not silent like a cicada, who accumulates like an ant and who knows how to be heavy as a stone, but also loooong more “suspended” than Stonehenge laughing

GAIA X

GAIA X

Gaia derives from Greek mythology and represents the mother goddess of all gods, personification of the earth, but in this case she becomes the engine of digital innovation in Europe.

In September 2020, 22 companies and organizations (11 from Germany and 11 from France) have taken an important milestone and finally transferred the joint project into solid structures: The 22 founding members signed the notarial founding documents in order to establish an international non-profit association (French: association internationale sans but lucratif, in short: AISBL) under Belgian law, the GAIA-X,  European Association for Data and Cloud, AISBL.

From reading these words the first thing that emerges, for me, is the absence …

But in November our Ministry also attended the summit and on May 28 Confindustria kicked off the Italian hub by defining it as the moment of starting a shared path, aimed at aggregating and coordinating all the subjects interested in the development of projects that aim to enhance data, and an opportunity to get to know the European project and the methods of implementation in Italy.

What exactly are we talking about?
Gaia X is a federated data infrastructure for Europe.

Talking about:

Energy
Health
Smart living
Industry 4.0
Portability
Interoperability
Interconnectivity
Identity & Trust
Federated catalogue
Sovereing data exchange
Compliance

The main objectives are to develop ecosystems, to bundle national initiatives, and to provide a central point of contact to interested parties on their respective countries.

In fact, it is evident that the amount of data on a digital level is increasing day by day, and it is no coincidence that a whole series of new figures are emerging, among which the demiurge of big data particularly fascinates me.

Not to mention the parallel growth of IoT: Internet of things which involves a further exponential increase in connected devices.

But how important can a European Data Cloud be? How is the data handled now?

It is clear that this is an ongoing situation, and as it happens in a fiscal way for the giants of the web, armed with fragmentary, incomplete, if not non-existent regulations, the companies that manage the server farms act in an almost undisturbed pseudo-monopoly regime.

The need that is underlined is to achieve an autonomy that allows one to no longer have to make use of American or Chinese structures.

For example, I found huge data centers that China has built in a semi-desert area of Mongolia, previously dedicated to the breeding of the famous horses: The Mongolian National Data Center, established by a government resolution issued on June 24, 2009.

Or the Data Foundry in Texas founded in 1994 as one of the top 50 ISPs in the United States.

The aspect that in my opinion is not sufficiently taken into account is that “not everything that glitters is green” …

Servers need to be cooled, and this operation, although it is presented as a continuous search for innovation, consumes large amounts of energy.

Google presents its renewable energy project with a photo gallery, while admitting the following:

the 100% renewable energy milestone means we buy enough renewable energy over the course of a year to cover our entire annual electricity consumption, however it doesn’t mean that all of our facilities are powered by clean energy every hour of every day. To compensate for times and places where the wind does not blow or the sun does not shine, we buy a surplus of renewable energy at other times and in other places. Our ultimate goal is to achieve CO2-neutral energy supply for our operations in all locations, at all times. We are actively exploring strategies to achieve 24/7 CO2-neutral power supply to all of our data centers, closely monitoring our progress towards achieving this goal.

I conclude with the thing that scares me the most: the more we move forward, the more the main operations we carry out, from bank transactions to public certificates, from tax returns, to the signing of contracts, depend on applications and on telematic accesses, without which we would be practically paralyzed.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not calm. Am I wrong?

THE CONVENTION IS “OF ISTANBUL” BUT TURKEY ABANDONES

THE CONVENTION IS “OF ISTANBUL” BUT TURKEY ABANDONES

It was 2018 when little Amine’s face aroused general indignation.

The news reported that the anguish of her expression, which has impressed me personally, was generated when she was told that if she died a martyr she would have the honors of the flag.

Now, net of all the geopolitics, reasons and counter-maneuvers, the fact remains that this photo was a bit of a sort of prelude to many subsequent things.

The latest in chronological order is the signature on the presidential decree which sanctions the exit of the Convention which bears the name of the Turkish capital.

A paradox.

The Council of Europe adopted the Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence on 11 May 2011.

The Istanbul Convention is widely recognized as the most ambitious legal instrument aimed at preventing and combating violence against women, domestic violence and gender-based violence, such as human rights violations.

It entered into force in 2014 – just three years after its adoption, reflecting the need for member states to have a legally binding treaty to guide them in their efforts to end the violence.

UNWOMEN of which I have already spoken about Emma Watson, strongly called for the withdrawal to be reconsidered with this statement

Zehra Zumrut Selçuk, head of the ministry of family, labor and social services in Turkey, reassured by replying that women’s rights are guaranteed in national legislation, in particular in the Turkish Constitution, and in a tweet communicated the intention to continue with zero tolerance because violence against women is a crime against humanity.

Well.
What I don’t understand is: why then disavow a treaty that goes in the exact same direction?

Or rather, I understand it, in the context of internal strategies that are based on political maneuvers. Like everything else, after all.

But in the end: for Turkey, Europe yes or Europe no? This is the dilemma …

THIS TIME WE ARE THE FIRST IN THE WORLD

THIS TIME WE ARE THE FIRST IN THE WORLD

Twice I have emphasized how the French had been more advanced in dealing with a giant like Amazon but this time we definitely come first, and since it is an important issue such as workers’ rights, I am particularly happy.

Well yes: it really seems that the strike scheduled for Monday 22 March is the first ever that will involve all sectors: logistics, transport and delivery, both as regards direct employees and temporary workers.

Overseas a trade union battle is taking place limited to the state of Alabama which has however received important endorsements: President Joe Biden, several members of Congress, including Senators Bernie Sanders and Marco Rubio, other unions such as the NFL Players Association, the MLB Players Association, and Black Lives Matter.

This is the direct testimony of Jennifer Bates: employed at the Bessemer warehouse.

Do you know someone who works at Amazon?
It would be interesting to hear a statement from those who are personally involved.

The various trade unions have communicated the reasons for the stop: workloads and rhythms, shift bargaining, reduction of driver hours, stabilization of fixed and interim times, compliance with health and safety regulations.

It goes without saying that we are all aware that behind our convenience of receiving the goods in click time there are people who make it possible at times and in times that are certainly not institutionally canonical.

As we know Jeff Bezos resigned in February with this letter: it’s about talented people, pride, minimum wages and livelihoods.

Undoubtedly, he must be credited with having built an empire, here are the points he has set as principles of leadership.

Intentional Darwinism, rank and yank and two out of three politics,  or anytime feedback tool are not mentioned despite a very famous New York Times survey brought up various unfortunate aspects.

So let’s wait to hear the Italian voices too.

COLTAN

COLTAN

Treccani tells us that Coltan is a term which, by contraction, identifies columbo-tantalite, a black metallic mineral composed of columbite and tantalite. It is one of the combinations in which it is possible to trace tantalum, the metal with which small but very efficient capacitors are made (therefore essential in portable devices such as mobile phones and computers, as well as in automotive electronics), which is why coltan has become a highly sought-after material.

In Congo, and in particular in the border area with Rwanda and Uganda, there are the Luwow mines notorious for the exploitation of workers and the horrendous scourge of child labor.

Amnesty International reports a UNICEF estimate of 2014 but we can assume that the number is underestimated, given the continuous exponential increase of electronic devices in circulation.

We all still have the name of the Belgian Congo imprinted in our minds, which brings us directly back to the control of the territories which has ceased in recent times, as this video from the Istituto Luce dated 1960 also testifies:

A memory that for me is placed on the desks of elementary schools is: Zaire, the new name since 1971.
The decision is made by Mobutu who, in a sort of political whirlwind between the alternations of Republics and de facto dictatorship, remained an ambiguous figure until 1997 in contrast between: the role of father of the homeland he intended to cover, and an authoritarian and corrupt profile.

The newly formed Democratic Republic of Congo, however, does not see peace looming, and the rush to grab coltan aggravates both the already severe internal conflict on ethnic grounds, as well as that with neighboring Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi.

By the statement of its President of 2 June 2000, the Security Council requested the Secretary-General to establish an expert panel on the illegal exploitation of natural resources and other forms of wealth of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for a period of six months, with the following mandate:

  • To follow up on reports and collect information on all activities of illegal exploitation of natural resources and other forms of wealth of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including in violation of the sovereignty of that country;

  • To research and analyse the links between the exploitation of the natural resources and other forms of wealth in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the continuation of the conflict;

  • To revert to the Council with recommendations.

With this letter dated April 2001 Kofi Annan presents his Report of the Expert Group on Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources and Other Forms of Wealth of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

A 2003 UN Security Council report denounces that the proceeds from the exploitation of coltan by the opposing states have served to finance their armies against the Congo itself.
In addition to the fact that the search for and extraction of coltan by rebel forces has caused serious environmental damage in Congo within reserves and national parks.

The main multinationals basically declare that they are not connected to exploitation, but basically it would be enough to go up the stream from company to company to get to the source.

Afrewatch mentions a cause:
Last December, a US lawyer filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of 13 Congolese families in a Washington court. In particular, he criticizes Apple, Alphabet, Dell, Microsoft and Tesla for using cobalt despite knowing that it was forcibly mined by children. This lawsuit could push commodity miners and tech companies in need of cobalt to forgo sourcing it from artisanal miners. Glencore, which dominates the market, is following this strategy to no longer be associated with child labor.

Glencore website in fact, speaks only of Australia or Canada presenting in the home sustainability, international day of women and girls, international day of education and human rights.
The same goes for Trasfigura that comes with a responsible program and supply chain.

But then, where does Congolese coltan end up, which is estimated to represent the largest percentage of total production?

This chart by Il sole 24 ore is quite exhaustive.

Similarly, Reuters details the profiles of some Chinese companies: China Molybdenum Luoyang Co Ltd  and Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Co Ltd  and also in this case the wording appears at the bottomChina’s Huayou Cobalt will not buy artisanal cobalt from two mines in Democratic Republic of Congo until it is sure the material they produce is free of human rights abuses according to standards to be decided by the industry.”

Who knows if we can hope that theory will follow practice.

I have already mentioned organizations, associations, safety councils, companies and so on, yet in the Luwow mines people, and even children, continue to be exploited beyond all limits, for all to see. Or maybe I should say under everyone’s screens, including mine, from which I’m writing to you.

On the cobalt DRC case International rights Advocates writes: on behalf of the child miners, the lawsuit demands that the companies pay reparations and fund rehabilitation and education programs for the families of child miners killed or maimed by the horrific conditions in the cobalt mines. Apple, Alphabet (Google), Dell, Microsoft, and Tesla are among the wealthiest and most powerful companies in the world.

These companies purport to be green and futuristic, but their products are Powered by Blood Cobalt. Consumers buying these products should demand that the companies fix their supply chain rather than spend years fighting in court to avoid responsibility for the Blood Cobalt their products currently use to operate.

We are the consumers.

I conclude with the quote that Massimo sent me
The world is a beautiful place
to be born into
if you don’t mind happiness
not always being
so very much fun
if you don’t mind a touch of hell
now and then
just when everything is fine
because even in heaven
they don’t sing
all the time

The world is a beautiful place
to be born into
if you don’t mind some people dying
all the time
or maybe only starving
some of the time
which isn’t half bad
if it isn’t you

Oh the world is a beautiful place
to be born into
if you don’t much mind
a few dead minds
in the higher places
or a bomb or two
now and then
in your upturned faces
or such other improprieties
as our Name Brand society
is prey to
with its men of distinction
and its men of extinction
and its priests
and other patrolmen

and its various segregations
and congressional investigations
and other constipations
that our fool flesh
is heir to

Yes the world is the best place of all
for a lot of such things as
making the fun scene
and making the love scene
and making the sad scene
and singing low songs and having inspirations
and walking around
looking at everything
and smelling flowers
and goosing statues
and even thinking
and kissing people and
making babies and wearing pants
and waving hats and
dancing
and going swimming in rivers
on picnics
in the middle of the summer
and just generally
‘living it up’
Yes
but then right in the middle of it
comes the smiling
mortician.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti

ROBIN HOOD 2021

ROBIN HOOD 2021

There are many versions of Robin Hood, but for me none will ever unhinge the image of the cartoon fox who stole from the rich to help the poor.

Perhaps that Robin Hood would claim to get his name back from the American company that Forbes has included in the top ten of fintech companies.

What is a fintech?
This acronym derives from the fusion of the words FINancial and TECHnology precisely to represent those companies that provide financial services through digital technologies.

Robin Hood in fact was born as a startup with the aim of bringing young people closer to trading.

But why are we talking about it?
Because the CEO in the role of the Sheriff of Nottingham literally closed the purse strings …

 

Why this sudden change in attitude towards the market?
To paraphrase another famous film: it all happened on a Wednesday.

More precisely, January 27, 2021, that is the day that recorded the most trades ever caused by an investor platform that literally flew the Gamestop stock making it reach $ 147 from around 19 at the beginning of January.

Reddit is the name of this online platform, a sort of mix between a forum and a social network, or rather: a social news aggregator whose name derives from Read it and whose contents are an aggregation of ideas, announcements, news to comment, and calls itself The front page of the Internet (and uses Python technology ed)

A redditer had launched this video in August

What actually happened: for a few weeks the redditers have continued to push the Gamestop stock up, showing us what a short squeeze is.

To understand, we need to start from the figure of a short seller that is a trader who only takes shares on loan.

On this loan he will have to pay interest, so to make a profit the trader will aim downwards: if the price of the shares once sold falls, he will be able to buy them back at a lower price.

This downward orientation is called a “bearish” strategy and is based precisely on the market’s descending phase.

The difference between the initial sale price and the repurchase price, net of interest, is the actual gain.

But how do you get to short squeeze?
When, against forecasts, the value of a stock rises rapidly, as happened for Gamestop, a short seller is forced to close his position quickly to limit losses.

Political voices have also entered the Gamestop affair asking for clarification and an exceptional “commentator”: Elon Musk, which obviously gives rise to various reflections.

What I would like to underline first, however, is how much money now revolves around maneuvers that are completely far from anything concrete, far from real production, far from work as the Boomers used to think.

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