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"Did Darwin have anythingorca finance solana to say about how such random variations arose?"

"You haven't mentioned the clergy, either."bitcoin difficulty hashrate chart"Correct. Christianity didn't come to Norway, by the way, until the eleventh century. It would be an exaggeration to say that the Nordic countries converted to Christianity at one fell swoop. Ancient heathen beliefs persisted under the surface of Christianity, and many of these pre-Christian elements became integrated with Christianity. In Scandinavian Christmas celebrations, for example, Christian and Old Norse customs are wedded even to this day. And here the old saying applies, that married folk grow to resemble each other. Yuletide cookies, Yuletide piglets, and Yuletide ale begin to resemble the Three Wise Men from the Orient and the manger in Bethlehem. But without doubt, Christianity gradually became the predominant philosophy of life. Therefore we usually speak of the Middle Ages as being a unifying force of Christian culture."

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"So it wasn't all gloom, then?""The first centuries after the year 400 really were a cultural decline. The Roman period had been a high culture, with big cities that had sewers, public baths, and libraries, not to mention proud architecture. In the early centuries of the Middle Ages this entire culture crum-bled. So did its trade and economy. In the Middle Ages people returned to payment in kind and bartering. The economy was now characterized by feudalism, which meant that a few powerful nobles owned the land, which the serfs had to toil on in order to live. The population also declined steeply in the first centuries. Rome had over a million inhabitants in antiquity. But by 600, the population of the old Roman capital had fallen to 40,000, a mere fraction of what it had been. Thus a relatively small population was left to wander among what remained of the majestic edifices of the city's former glory. When they needed building materials, there were plenty of ruins to supply them. This is naturally a source of great sorrow to present-day archeologists, who would rather have seen medieval man leave the ancient monuments untouched.""It's easy to know better after the fact.""From a political point of view, the Roman period was already over by the end of the fourth century. However, the Bishop of Rome became the supreme head of the Roman Catholic Church. He was given the title 'Pope'--in Latin 'papa,' which means what it says-- and gradually became looked upon as Christ's deputy on earth. Rome was thus the Christian capital throughout most of the medieval period. But as the kings and bishops of the new nation-states became more and more powerful, some of them were bold enough to stand up to the might of the church.""You said the church closed Plato's Academy in Athens. Does that mean that all the Greek philosophers were forgotten?"

"Not entirely. Some of the writings of Aristotle and Plato were known. But the old Roman Empire was gradually divided into three different cultures. In Western Europe we had a Latinized Christian culture with Rome as its capital. In Eastern Europe we had a Greek Christian culture with Constantinople as its capital. This city began to be called by its Greek name, Byzantium. We therefore speak of the Byzantine Middle Ages as opposed to the Roman Catholic Middle Ages. However, North Africa and the Middle East had also been part of the Roman Empire. This area developed during the Middle Ages into an Arabic-speaking Muslim culture. After the death of Muhammad in 632, both the Middle East and North Africa were won over to Islam. Shortly thereafter, Spain also became part of the world of Islamic culture. Islam adopted Mecca, Medina, Jerusalem, and Bagdad as holy cities. From the point of view of cultural history, it is interesting to note that the Arabs also took over the ancient Hellenistic city of Alexandria. Thus much of the old Greek science was inherited by the Arabs. All through the Middle Ages, the Arabs were predominant hi sciences such as mathematics, chemistry, astronomy, and medicine. Nowadays we still use Arabic figures. In a number of areas Arabic culture was superior to Christian culture.""I wanted to know what happened to Greek philosophy.""The first phase was a new scientific method. This made the technical revolution itself possible, and the technical breakthrough opened the way for every invention since. You could say that man had begun to break away from his natural condition. Nature was no longer something man was simply a part of. 'Knowledge is power,' said the English philosopher Francis Bacon, thereby underlining the practical value of knowledge-- and this was indeed new. Man was seriously starting to intervene in nature and beginning to control it."

"But not only in a good way?""No, this is what I was referring to before when I spoke of the good and the evil threads that are constantly intertwined in everything we do. The technical revolution that began in the Renaissance led to the spinning jenny and to unemployment, to medicines and new diseases, to the improved efficiency of agriculture and the impoverishment of the environment, to practical appliances such as the washing machine and the refrigerator and pollution and industrial waste. The serious threat to the environment we are facing today has made many people see the technical revolution itself as a perilous maladjustment to natural conditions. It has been pointed out that we have started something we can no longer control. More optimistic spirits think we are still living in the cradle of technology, and that although the scientific age has certainly had its teething troubles, we will gradually learn to control nature without at the same time threatening its very existence and thus our own.""Which do you think?""I think perhaps there may be some truth in both views. In some areas we must stop interfering with nature, but in others we can succeed. One thing is certain: There is no way back to the Middle Ages. Ever since the Renaissance, mankind has been more than just part of creation. Man has begun to intervene in nature and form it after his own image. In truth, 'what a piece of work is man!' "

"We have already been to the moon. What medieval person would have believed such a thing possible?""No, that's for sure. Which brings us to the new world view. All through the Middle Ages people had stood beneath the sky and gazed up at the sun, the moon, the stars, and the planets. But nobody had doubted that the earth was the center of the universe. No observations had sown any doubt that the earth remained still while the 'heavenly bodies' traveled in their orbits around it. We call this the geocentric world picture, or in other words, the belief that everything revolves around the earth. The Christian belief that God ruled from on high, up above all the heavenly bodies, also contributed to maintaining this world picture."

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"I wish it were that simple!""But in 1543 a little book was published entitled On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres. It was written by the Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, who died on the day the book was published. Copernicus claimed that it was not the sun that moved round the earth, it was vice versa. He thought this was completely possible from the observations of the heavenly bodies that existed. The reason people had always believed that the sun went round the earth was that the earth turns on its own axis, he said. He pointed out that all observations of heavenly bodies were far easier to understand if one assumed that both the earth and the other planets circle around the sun. We call this the heliocentric world picture, which means that everything centers around the sun.""And that world picture was the right one?""Not entirely. His main point--that the earth moves round the sun--is of course correct. But he claimed that the sun was the center of the universe. Today we know that the sun is only one of an infinite number of stars, and that all the stars around us make up only one of many billions of galaxies. Copernicus also believed that the earth and the other planets moved in circular orbits around the sun."

"Don't they?""No. He had nothing on which to base his belief in the circular orbits other than the ancient idea that heavenly bodies were round and moved in circles simply because they were 'heavenly.' Since the time of Plato the sphere and the circle had been considered the most per-fect geometrical figures. But in the early 1600s, the German astronomer Johannes Kepler presented the results of comprehensive observations which showed that the planets move in elliptical--or oval--orbits with the sun at one focus. He also pointed out that the speed of a planet is greatest when it is closest to the sun, and that the farther a planet's orbit is from the sun the slower it moves. Not until Kepler's time was it actually stated that the earth was a planet just like other planets. Kepler also emphasized that the same physical laws apply everywhere throughout the universe.""How could he know that?""Because he had investigated the movements of the planets with his own senses instead of blindly trusting ancient superstitions. Galileo Galilei, who was roughly contemporary with Kepler, also used a telescope to observe the heavenly bodies. He studied the moon's craters and said that the moon had mountains and valleys similar to those on earth. Moreover, he discovered that the planet Jupiter had four moons. So the earth was not alone in having a moon. But the greatest significance of Galileo was that he first formulated the so-called Law of Inertia."

"And that is?""Galileo formulated it thus: A body remains in the state which it is in, at rest or in motion, as long as no external force compels it to change its state."

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"If you say so.""But this was a significant observation. Since antiquity, one of the central arguments against the earth moving round its own axis was that the earth would then move so quickly that a stone hurled straight into the air would fall yards away from the spot it was hurled from."

"So why doesn't it?""If you're sitting in a train and you drop an apple, it doesn't fall backward because the train is moving. It falls straight down. That is because of the law of inertia. The apple retains exactly the same speed it had before you dropped it.""I think I understand.""Now in Galileo's time there were no trains. But if you roll a ball along the ground--and suddenly let go...""... it goes on rolling ...""... because it retains its speed after you let go."

"But it will stop eventually, if the room is long enough.""That's because other forces slow it down. First, the floor, especially if it is a rough wooden floor. Then the force of gravity will sooner or later bring it to a halt. But wait, I'll show you something."

Alberto Knox got up and went over to the old desk. He took something out of one of the drawers. When he returned to his place he put it on the coffee table. It was just a wooden board, a few millimeters thick at one end and thin at the other. Beside the board, which almost covered the whole table, he laid a green marble."This is called an inclined plane," he said. "What do you think will happen if I let go the marble up here, where the plane is thickest?"

Sophie sighed resignedly."I bet you ten crowns it rolls down onto the table and ends on the floor."

"Let's see."Alberto let go of the marble and it behaved exactly as Sophie had said. It rolled onto the table, over the tabletop, hit the floor with a little thud and finally bumped into the wall."Impressive," said Sophie."Yes, wasn't it! This was the kind of experiment Galileo did, you see."

"Was he really that stupid?""Patience! He wanted to investigate things with all his senses, so we have only just begun. Tell me first why the marble rolled down the inclined plane."

"It began to roll because it was heavy.""All right. And what is weight actually, child?"

"That's a silly question.""It's not a silly question if you can't answer it. Why did the marble roll onto the floor?"

"Because of gravity.""Exactly--or gravitation, as we also say. Weight has something to do with gravity. That was the force that set the marble in motion."Alberto had already picked the marble up from the floor. He stood bowed over the inclined plane with the marble again."Now I shall try to roll the marble across the plane," he said. "Watch carefully how it moves."

Sophie watched as the marble gradually curved away and was drawn down the incline."What happened?" asked Alberto.

"It rolled sloping because the board is sloping.""Now I'm going to brush the marble with ink ... then perhaps we can study exactly what you mean by sloping."

He dug out an ink brush and painted the whole marble black. Then he rolled it again. Now Sophie could see exactly where on the plane the marble had rolled because it had left a black line on the board."How would you describe the marble's path?"

Both Sides of the Table

Perspectives of a 2x entrepreneur turned VC at @UpfrontVC#

Mark Suster

Written by

2x entrepreneur. Sold both companies (last to salesforce.com). Turned VC looking to invest in passionate entrepreneurs 〞 I*m on Twitter at @msuster

Both Sides of the Table

Perspectives of a 2x entrepreneur turned VC at @UpfrontVC, the largest and most active early-stage fund in Southern California. Snapchat: msuster

Mark Suster

Written by

2x entrepreneur. Sold both companies (last to salesforce.com). Turned VC looking to invest in passionate entrepreneurs 〞 I*m on Twitter at @msuster

Both Sides of the Table

Perspectives of a 2x entrepreneur turned VC at @UpfrontVC, the largest and most active early-stage fund in Southern California. Snapchat: msuster