Theoretical Work – Radical Philosophy Sun, 16 Jan 2022 07:24:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Theoretical Work – Radical Philosophy 32 32 Guyana’s oil and gas sector: An ‘accident’ and a ‘zombie business’ shape its first decade Sun, 16 Jan 2022 06:01:59 +0000

Last week’s column concluded my rather lengthy revisit of the Buxton, BP proposal. This task started on Sunday, September 26 and took thirteen columns, which is much longer than I had originally planned. Therefore, except for very brief references to this topic in the future, I do not anticipate having to revisit this topic in any substantial way. Starting today, I propose to introduce analytical and theoretical works of more or less academic orientation that, in my opinion, could help the general public to understand the complex events that have unfolded so far, while Guyana’s oil industry is advancing rapidly.

More specifically, my task can be formally expressed as research: to advance a hypothesis or formulation that provides a general explanation or reasoned construction that correctly expresses the directing or governing dynamic that best captures the clearly unprecedented historical emergence of world-class Guyana. oil discoveries/discoveries beginning with the announcement of ExxonMobil in May 2015 and expected to last comfortably through the end of Guyana’s oil and gas sector’s first decade of production [2025/26]. Despite start-up setbacks, a consensus regularly emerges, backed by findings, that on its current trajectory, Guyana’s daily rate of crude oil production, DROP, will reach around one million barrels of oil equivalent per day. ; i.e. 1 million boe/d.

The tasks I have set myself will be addressed in four sections as outlined in the following and are built around four Analytical Pillars (AD). These are: A) the formulation of a general explanation for the unprecedented and explosive growth of Guyana’s skimming curve for oil discoveries/discoveries in the period from first discovery [mid- 2015] with the first oil from Guyana [December 2019]; (B) setting out the essential or controlling term of ExxonMobil, which is currently and continues to be the prime contractor, prime contractor and prime operator, located primarily, but not exclusively, in the Stabroek Block throughout the period of my analysis—that is, the first full decade of Guyana’s oil and gas sector [mid-2015] at [2025/26]; and pillars C and D mainly focus on the actions that I advise the authorities to take. Thus, C refers to the recommendations that I have repeatedly made regarding the Natural Resources Fund, NRF; my proposal to create a national oil company, NOC; advice on whether or not to join OPEC; local content requirements, LCR; and finally, Buxton’s proposal which I have revisited over the past 13 weeks. Similarly, D refers to improving revenue capture, governance, and public outreach, in the face of relentless noise and nonsense in local social and print media,

For convenience, Appendix 1 below captures the diagram described above and from which the analysis will derive in the future.

Annex 1 – Analytical pillars [A-D]

LEGEND: NOC = National Oil Company; LCR = local content requirements; BP=Buxton Proposal; NRF = National Resources Fund.

Pillar 1, which I begin to address in today’s column, offers a general thesis that explains the essence of the recent world-class offshore oil discoveries in Guyana. The data reveals that to date, all recoverable finds have been located in the Stabroek block, and of immense significance, all are under the operational control of ExxonMobil and its partners; the main contractor and the operator. As I had already observed in this series of Sunday columns, two more joint venture (JV) groups have been recognized as being on the verge of production. However, I think their reported data creates considerable uncertainty in this regard.

Already half a decade ago, in 2016, when discoveries reported by ExxonMobil and its partners were less than a billion barrels of oil equivalent, BoE, I predicted that Guyana’s discoveries would eventually reach 13 to 15 billion BoE. In truth, this prediction was based on a combination of 1) gut feelings and intuition, and 2) two lines of reasoning that stemmed from my research into the Guyana Oil Studies, in 2015. The first of the two lines of reasoning is the “Principle mirror image of the Atlantic; and the second reasoning is taken from two United States Geological Survey (USGS) fact sheets, which were published in 2000 and 2012.

World-class oil discoveries
ExxonMobil announced 27 discoveries and continues to suggest that its total recoverable resources are over 10 billion boe. Currently, my assessment of Guyana’s oil reserve potential is still between 13 and 15 billion boe and between 23 and 43 billion cubic feet of natural gas and natural gas liquids. I readily admit that is a lofty prediction. By way of comparison, Wikipedia’s ranking of countries with proven oil reserves ranks Brazil 15th (with a holding of 13.0 billion boe); Algeria is 16th (12.2 billion boe); and Angola and Ecuador 17th and 18th (with 8.3 billion boe). These data are revealed in the table below.

My estimate is supported by two arguments. First, an appreciation of Guyana’s petroleum geological principle of “the mirror image of the Atlantic.” Second, the estimates provided by the USGS.

Next week, I continue to document in minimal detail the hard data on Guyana’s world-class discoveries and from which I developed my analysis based on the twin constructions of chance and the zombie character of ExxonMobil, who is the main contractor and operator.

Meet Indian scientist Hashima Hasan, who helped launch NASA’s telescope Fri, 14 Jan 2022 13:54:00 +0000

Dr. Hashima Hasan, an Indian-born scientist, played a key role in launching the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Webb Space Telescope.

After graduation, she took the opportunity to work as a senior scientist at NASA headquarters in Washington DC. One of his important roles is as Assistant Program Scientist at the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope.

His roles included oversight during the development phase of the mission to ensure science requirements were met and the best science observing program selected for the operations phase. She is currently a spokesperson for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) to the media and gives lectures to students.

In a recent NASA podcast, she revealed that while she was in Class 6, a teacher told students that anything can be achieved if they work hard at it. The teacher’s statement had a profound impact on her and it was then that she chose science as her core subject for graduate school.

Hasan’s well-educated family also played a major role in shaping his interest in science. His uncle, Dr. Husain Zaheer, was the former Director General of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). The scientific temperament of her aunt, Dr. Najama Zaheer, who was a biologist, also motivated her.

The NASA scientist then recalled that her mother had complete confidence in her and was a driving force that pushed her to pursue her ambitions. Hasan developed an interest in space science in 1957 when the whole family gathered in the backyard to watch the USSR’s first satellite Sputnik pass by.

According to a report by The Indian Panorama, Hassan started his research on nuclear physics at the Bhaba Atomic Research Center (BARC). Upon her return to the United States, she was hired by the fledgling Space Telescope Science Institute to write software to simulate the optics of the soon-to-be-launched Hubble Space Telescope. She was also interested in optics and astronomy.

Her time at the Space Telescope Science Institute and a keen interest in optics and astronomy paved the way for her trip to NASA, as she had the opportunity to correct an optical error that the Hubble Telescope software had developed. .


She received a Bachelor of Science from Lucknow University and pursued a Masters in Physics from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), earning a Gold Medal.

Hashima then pursued a doctorate at AMU under Dr. Zillur Rahman Khan. After that, she was awarded the Commonwealth Scholarship and joined Oxford University, and pursued a Doctor of Philosophy. in theoretical nuclear physics. Hassan was later awarded the title of Resident Research Associate of the National Research Council of the United States. As part of the scholarship, she pursued atmospheric science.

Can a citizen lottery govern better than elected officials? Wed, 12 Jan 2022 18:30:00 +0000

If you want to guess what Congress is going to do tomorrow, the last thing you need to do is ask the political philosophers and theorists of the academy.

But if you want to know what Congress will be doing 50 years from now, seeing what ideas are circulating in the academy can be surprisingly enlightening.

That’s why I’ve been struck by the growing popularity among academics of a radical idea for rethinking democracy: getting rid of elections, and choosing representatives instead by lot, like jury duty. The idea, sometimes called lotteries or “lotocracy,” originated in ancient Athens, where democracy often took the form of allocating positions to citizens by lot.

But lately there has been a revival in the academy; Rutgers Philosopher Alex Guerrero, Yale political theorist Helene Landemore, and Belgian public intellectual David Van Reybrouck have been among the most vocal advocates in recent years. (If you are a podcast fan, I recommend Landemore’s appearance on The Ezra Klein Show.) The general feeling that American democracy is in crisis has sparked interest in bold ideas to fix it, with lotocracy being the boldest of these.

This is a proposal that may seem ridiculous. So much of the “bailout of democracy” talk — including President Joe Biden’s speech calling on the Senate to change the filibuster rules — revolves around protecting voting rights and access to the ballot box; it seems hard to imagine having a functioning democracy without elections.

But there’s a reason smart people flock to this idea. On the one hand, randomly selected “citizens’ assemblies” have proven viable in practice (at least on a smaller scale so far), and have already been convened in a few cases, for purposes such as proposing climate policy in France or reform the electoral system in British Columbia.

More importantly, choosing representatives at random has strong theoretical appeal.

The case of lottery representation

The basic argument is that selection by lot avoids many of the flaws and biases of elections.

In theory, representative electoral democracy allows citizens to select genuine representatives of their interests. But in practice, this mission is undermined by the corrupting influence of campaign donors; voters’ racial, gender and other biases; voters’ ignorance of which politicians and politicians will best uphold their values; And so on.

In an electoral system, a member of Congress who proposes, for example, to tax imports face a barrage of attacks from Walmart and Target that threaten their re-election.

Representatives selected by lottery do not have to campaign and do not need campaign funds, the argument goes, limiting opportunities for corruption. As Guerrero puts it, “Lotteries excel at preventing corruption or undue influence in the selection of representatives.”

Landemore argues that lotteries can also lead to more diverse and representative legislatures than elections, which should allow for better and fairer decision-making.

In Previous work, she argued that part of what makes democracy a valuable system is its ability to integrate a wider range of information and perspectives than those held by an autocratic elite. Lotteries, she claims, going beyond elections, allowing for the inclusion of perspectives systematically excluded from electoral democracy: “the introverted, the inarticulate, the small and the timid, as well as, typically, the poor and the black or other people of colour” who are disadvantaged in practice in electoral matters. diets.

The disadvantages of such a system

No idea is infallible and one can imagine many scruples at the idea of ​​a democracy by lottery.

The first is that the lottery’s apparent incorruptibility might be a function of its existence as an ideal, not as a highly contested and actually existing body like Congress.

As noted above, there are a few cases of citizens’ assemblies in recent memory, including several in Ireland (which helped to advance the country decision to legalize abortion) and the UK (where he produced a related to ideas for reducing carbon emissions). None of these cases involved notable cases of corruption or bribery of randomly selected citizens, or at least no such cases were made public.

But these assemblies have typically been charged with proposing policies that a legislature or electorate must then ratify. Ireland as a whole voted in a referendum to legalize abortion. The opinion of the citizens’ assembly was not binding.

If a citizens’ assembly had the binding power to determine billions in public spending, private interests would have a strong incentive to influence the design of the lottery, what briefing materials are given to amateur representatives, what experts can testify before them, etc. . In other words, they could be plagued with precisely the problems of representative democracy that lotteries are supposed to reduce.

In his book Open democracy, Landemore addresses this objection in depth. For one thing, in his proposal (unlike Guerrero’s), citizens’ assemblies would only propose changes that would then be put to a public vote. But she also cites her experience observing the French citizens’ assembly on climate change and says that “ordinary citizens, once empowered, are very protective of their prerogatives and will actively and vocally resist perceived attempts to manipulate them”.

It is possible, but not all manipulations are obvious. Much lobbying takes the form of lobbyists provide useful information to legislators, although the information is worded in such a way as to elicit conclusions favorable to the lobbyist’s client. This process seems more likely to work on randomly selected citizens, who have a lower level of basic political knowledge than people who self-select to run for Congress.

Landemore ultimately admits that “any system would have to rely on additional accountability mechanisms, including laws regulating the role of money in politics.” That’s true enough – but it should give pause on the likelihood of a Captured Citizens’ Assembly outperforming a Captured Congress, in terms of producing effective and broadly popular policies.

Second, much of the effectiveness of the proposal depends on the ability to get a random subsample of the country to participate. Guerrero offers “considerable” financial incentives and offers relocation costs and protection from dismissal for those chosen to serve. This would help ensure greater participation than, say, jury duty. But as long as participation is voluntary, self-selection will bias who ends up serving.

To give the lotocrats their due, such bias seems to be softer than any bias present in electoral democracy, which also forces potential participants to self-select in service, as well as self-select in fundraising, a grueling campaign schedule, etc. .

People feel alienated from their government. Will it really help?

Finally, I am a bit worried about lottery selection which increases citizens’ alienation from the political system. One of the deepest problems in our society today is a general decline in public trust among other citizens and in establishments – a feeling that government, business and civil society are not working for ordinary people and that activities like voting are not helping.

If citizens feel that way now, imagine how they would feel if they literally had no choice about who represented them.

Yes, random selection means that the entire audience is represented in a general and statistical sense. But this process robs individual voters of any sense that their own actions can influence political outcomes, which in turn could worsen trust in government.

Faced with this objection, Landemore responded that in his view, lotocratic assemblies should primarily be responsible for proposing proposals which would then be put to a public vote, meaning that the public retains a say. This alleviates the problem, but opens up the possibility of massive corporate spending influencing the referendum results; call back Uber and Lyft’s successful $200 million campaign push through a proposal in California to reduce their labor costs.

That said, I’m excited to see more government lottery experiments. In California, for example, I could imagine a citizens’ assembly empowered to produce a new state constitution that would be less encumbered by ballot referendums like Prop 13 — which sharply limits property tax revenue and imposes a two-thirds supermajority requirement when the legislature wants to raise other taxes — that make governance in this state a nightmare. I hope that such a new constitution would grant a lesser role to referenda.

I could also imagine citizens’ assemblies offering a way around the deadlock in Congress. Suppose Congress passes a law authorizing an assembly to propose changes to the gerrymandering and voting rights laws – with the promise that any proposal that emerges will become law unless a majority of both houses rejects it. Congress might not cede much power, but it would move forward.

American democracy is in bad shape. Desperate times call for trying something new.

A version of this story originally appeared in the perfect future newsletter. Sign up here to subscribe!

Sinking 58 story luxury apartment building in San Francisco tilting about 3 inches per year Mon, 10 Jan 2022 23:10:54 +0000

The 58-story Millennium Tower luxury apartment building in San Francisco continued to sink and tilts about three inches per year, continuing to tilt even as construction was underway for the prevent it from doing so.

Last week a NBC Bay Area Report found that there was an average interval of one to four days between the removal of the soil and the installation of the concrete grout, which experts believe may have contributed to the increase in the tilt rate during construction.

Ron Hamburger, the repair engineer overseeing the project, said during a hearing before the San Francisco Board of Supervisors last week that the move to a new plan to install 18 steel piles in the bedrock below the foundation of the building was preferable to the previous plan. of 52 piles.

“The pile installation procedures were basically the prerogative of the contractor,” Hamburger told city supervisors, according to NBC Bay Area. “We didn’t tell them how to install piles. We specified that we needed piles of a given diameter and strength. And he basically did them as a design to install the piles he determined. the methods by which he would install them. “

Of the approximately 26 inches that the building currently slopes to the northwest, 10 inches would have occurred while the building was undergoing work over the past year, according to NBC Bay Area.

Hamburger said that based on current rates, it would be beneficial to minimize the impact of construction on building sag and tilt rates, and that 18 steel piles would be the best way to prevent it. to sink in or to bow more.

He also said that within a few years, under the current rate, the building could reach its theoretical limit of 40 inches of tilt, which would likely be the point where elevators and plumbing would stop functioning properly.

A view of the Millennium Tower on August 11, 2016 in San Francisco, California. The engineer responsible for repairing the building reported last week that it has been sagging and tilting at a rate of about three inches per year since construction began fixing it.
Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

“The building continues to sag at a rate of about half an inch per year and tilt at a rate of about three inches per year,” he told supervisors last week. “It does, whether we’re doing work on site or not. “

The Millennium Tower opened with a bang in 2009, and all 419 apartments were quickly sold. High profile residents included former San Francisco 49er Joe Montana, late venture capitalist Tom Perkins and former San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence.

But by 2016, the building had sunk 40 centimeters (16 inches) into the soft soil and landfill of San Francisco’s dense financial district. It was also hunched over, creating a 2 inch (5 cm) tilt at the base and a 6 inch (15 cm) tilt at the top. The residents sued the developer and designers.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Omicron in British Columbia: How Experts Are Tracking Cases Sun, 09 Jan 2022 02:33:38 +0000

During much of this pandemic, tracking daily COVID-19 numbers has been a tool for health officials and the public to understand how the coronavirus is affecting our communities.

Now that Omicron cases have exploded in British Columbia and jurisdictions around the world, the daily number of cases is no longer a viable source.

“We are flying blind to the number of cases in the province,” said Dr. Sally Otto, a member of the independent BC COVID-19 modeling group. Otto is also the Canada Research Chair in Theoretical and Experimental Evolution at the University of British Columbia.

The latest figures from the province on Friday showed that there are currently 33,184 active and laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in British Columbia, a record high since the start of the pandemic.

According to the last report from the modeling group, the active number of cases is probably around 250,000.

“I suspect that five percent of the population is currently infected with Omicron in British Columbia,” Otto said.

Provincial health worker Dr Bonnie Henry urged British Columbians at a December 24 press conference to only go to a testing center if they are showing symptoms because the province has reached its ability to perform PCR testing.

British Columbia is prioritizing these tests for people most at risk for complications from the virus, especially those over 65, those with weakened immune symptoms and people with severe symptoms.

PCR testing is also reserved for frontline healthcare workers, who need to be sure their symptoms are not COVID-19 in order to continue working in British Columbia’s extensive healthcare system.

“The reason we only see 3,000 to 4,000 reported cases per day is that we have capped the number of people we test,” Otto said.

The BC COVID-19 Modeling Group has been forced to seek other sources of information to track the number of infections in the province, which Otto said is important for people to know.

“It’s important that we have a sense of these numbers because what you do in your day-to-day life, the risks you take, depend a lot on the number of cases in your community,” said Otto.

Otto and his team resume tracking wastewater in the Lower Mainland. Wastewater can be an early warning signal for COVID-19 in a community and fill in gaps when testing is overcapacity.

“It helps us know when we are peaking and when the virus count is going down,” Otto said.

Otto is also asking business owners or managers who have staff on work stoppage due to COVID-19 to contact his team.

“If you’re running a business and you have information on the number of employees on sick leave, send us the data,” she said. “We can use information like this to say, This is the disease burden in the month of January. “

Health experts told CTV News that the good news about the Omicron wave is that the curve will tend to go down as quickly as it has gone up. Otto expects the province to be able to run a PCR test for anyone who experiences symptoms again by February.

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Google Doodle celebrates Stephen Hawking’s 80th birthday Fri, 07 Jan 2022 11:00:02 +0000


Saturday’s Google Doodle will pay tribute to the late Stephen Hawking, perhaps the most famous scientist of his time, who sought to explain the universe to millions of people.

The work of the famous British theoretical physicist and cosmologist focused on improving our understanding of black holes – dying stars that collapsed on themselves, forming a core of such density and strong gravitational pull. that nothing, not even light, can escape.

Saturday is Hawking’s 80th birthday (he died in 2018), and to honor his contribution to science, Google dedicated a Doodle video to Hawking that highlights a black hole in the center of the illustration. In the 2-minute pixelated video, a computer-generated voice similar to Hawking’s recounts his distinguished life, including quotes about life and the universe that reflect his unwavering optimism.

The video shows how he continued to advance his research despite a form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, which gradually crippled him after being diagnosed at the age of 21. had predicted.

His family, who approved of the computer-generated voice narrating the video, told Google they would have been delighted to see his life story told in a brief but creative video.

Stephen hawking

Stephen Hawking in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge.

Hawking family

“He would have found it important to show that he never let the challenges of his physical condition limit his power of expression or his determination to have an impact on the world he lived in,” his family said. “We hope his example provides inspiration and hope on a global scale to all who face great challenges during this difficult time.”

One of his greatest contributions was the theoretical prediction that black holes emit radiation that will eventually evaporate, often referred to as Hawking radiation. At first, he thought his discovery in 1970 was actually the result of an error in his calculation. But he was finally convinced that his formula was correct.

Hawking was also a prolific author, who wrote to explain the origin and expansion of the universe to readers unfamiliar with scientific theories. His 1988 book A Brief History of Time was hugely popular, selling over 10 million copies and translated into 35 languages. It also spawned similar Hawking books, including The Universe in a Nutshell and A Briefer History of Time.

The Doodle was illustrated by Doodler Matthew Cruickshank, who said his visual approach was heavily influenced by the evolution of computer graphics over Hawking’s lifetime.

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Behind Automation for Officeless Workers, with Maximl CEO Pankaj Pawan Wed, 05 Jan 2022 06:31:53 +0000

In a survey conducted by Meta’s workplace, 74% of workers without a desk believe that there are barriers to communication at work, especially in teamwork. It is safe to say that this is the new sphere explored by automation, making the workplace better and efficient for workers without an office. Chennai-based start-up Maximl is India’s first connected work platform for office-less workers, digitizing their workflows in the field. The start-up has a strong portfolio of some of India’s largest refineries and plans to expand to share its services overseas. Analytics India Magazine contacted Maxim co-founder and CEO, Pankaj pawan, to learn more about the technology and offerings of the no-code / low-code platform.

AIM: What was the problem that Maximl was trying to solve?

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When starting Maximl, we observed massive underutilization of technology in processing and manufacturing shops run by an office-less workforce of 500 million. Despite digital advancements, much of the manufacturing sector still relies on paper and spreadsheets for collaboration. There is massive underutilization of digital tools in processing and manufacturing shops that employ 500 million people without an office.

We launched Maximl with the goal of standardizing and simplifying workshop collaboration for staff. We spent a lot of time understanding the weak spots of the workforce and found that they did most of the work, yet were the least digitally empowered section. We are convinced that digital interventions could significantly improve safety and productivity in workshops.

Initially, we focused on one particular use case of enabling collaboration for O&G turnarounds, which was a big challenge for everyone. We’ve helped them gain real-time visibility across teams and automated their manual workflows to focus on high-value tasks. We’ve come a long way since then and serve multiple industries in multiple use cases, but the goal remains the same: to connect people with each other and with machines to enable them to work in a more productive and safer environment. .

Maximl is the only technology company in India to have digitized over 80 large-scale industrial maintenance projects. At present, we have strong engagements with 8 out of 10 Indian refining companies. We also work with three of the five largest Fortune 500 companies in the country. We also signed long-term contracts with Indian Oil to digitize all of their downtime maintenance at nine sites.

PURPOSE: Please discuss how your flagship No-Code / Low-Code services are helping various industries in India.

Our connected worker platform enables heavy industries, especially manufacturing, to gain digital control of their complex processes through machine learning. We are a one stop solution to digitize all workshop operations across maintenance, EHS, quality and production. We automate field workflows, provide effective frontline worker training, knowledge sharing, compliance measurement, and superior collaboration. As a result, we reduce the variability of manufacturing results.

We empower businesses to focus on digital operational excellence and the empowerment of frontline workers. We are convinced that the shift from traditional paper, spreadsheet and tribal knowledge to a paperless and connected world will open up new opportunities for massive growth in the company’s value chain.

OBJECTIVE: Please explain the technology stack used to create a no-code or low-code platform.

Being a SaaS platform that forms the intelligent layer between people in Industry 4.0, the technology stack used by Maximl is strongly geared towards creating engaging experiences that drive technology adoption in a space used for technology. traditional coordination on paper.

The platform is geared towards mobility, with experiences curated for the use of mobiles and tablets on all platforms – iOS and Android. Algorithms optimized for synchronization ensure seamless use in low connectivity environments, especially as our end users operate in metallic environment environments, resulting in a Faraday cage effect of poor connectivity. Intrinsically safe devices are used for hydrocarbon rich environments.

The digital transformation our customers are experiencing has always led to a wave of media interactions, with users uploading terabytes of images and videos to the platform within days. The technology stack leverages Azure and AWS cloud services for seamless media delivery to dashboards, viewed on both laptops as well as meeting room monitors and projectors.

The platform is designed for a global scale, with multi-regional deployments, in accordance with latency and compliance requirements, which come from sensitive data held by the platform. The platform is based on a combination of monoliths and microservices, connected using an event model. Our servers are hosted in the Americas, Europe, India and South Asia. The sensitivity of the affected data is handled using multiple layers of protection that ensure both cost efficiency and data isolation.

The powerful backend provides real-time calculations and insights, reducing scan time from more than two days, using traditional scan tools, to less than a few minutes. The system analyzes thousands of resources as well as over 30,000 people, project and plant variables to provide real-time information on optimal project planning and execution.

Overall, the architecture and technology stack were designed to solve the biggest challenge: driving an industry accustomed to traditional ways of operating in a digital world of Industry 4.0. The stack was successful in achieving this goal with thousands of users at over 50 sites and four continents and millions of dollars in savings through information at each site.

AIM: How does Maximl’s service help the refining industry? Share real case studies of your products.

Maximl’s platform helps refineries unlock the potential to improve the productivity of the large frontline workforce by more than 5% and reduce the risk of safety incidents and delays that can save 2 to 4 crore in a turnaround time by avoiding delays resulting from rework, better manufacturing decision based on real-time data and faster approvals during start-ups.

The benefits of applying Maximl’s integrated platform in India have been experienced by most refineries and processors in India and SEA. It helps connect project managers and planners with the large office-less workforce.

Maxime’s solution:

– Allows real-time monitoring of projects with data coming directly from the field on several sites. It provides better visualization of project control metrics.

– Establishes a single source of truth connecting all employees on one platform to speed up project execution and prevent miscommunication.

– Reduces paper movements and helps refineries go paperless with the platform’s codeless capabilities, quickly digitizing workflows such as problem management, safety visits, and more. improving productivity.

AIM: How do you see the landscape of refining industries evolving with AI in the future, and how is it helping the Indian economy?

Operations and controls in the refining industry are a very mature and digitally led space and already use many AI applications in addition to online machine data to improve throughput, yields, predict outages, etc.

The area of ​​reliability, which includes the inspection and maintenance of assets, is one that is very unorganized, especially the field processes beyond the generation of a work order from an ERP. and uploading an inspection report to an APM / EAM system. We believe that another frontier of AI application is going to be on human processes, which is largely a tribal knowledge issue today. Simply put, factories in the world and in India are run by 30 years of experienced technicians and their tacit knowledge. With the influx and shift in balance in favor of the millennial workforce, both medium tenure and tribal knowledge sharing methods are now under serious threat. This is the exact reason why there is a lot of effort to digitize workflows, automate them and eventually lead to superior decisions using AI.

OBJECTIVE: You have extended your services abroad; how do you personalize your solutions to different countries? What space do you use there?

There are both operational and cultural differences when selling and implementing a solution in a new geography. An inherently positive trait of manufacturing is that the theoretical processes are very similar from region to region, as they are largely driven by global OEMs and technology providers such as SAP, IBM, and Oracle. Much of the variability comes from human factors – manual process flows, contract models, and technology adoption. Our codeless capabilities have matured enough to handle the variability between sites, organizational structures, the approval process, and the varied experiences required by a plant’s core departments – Maintenance, Quality, EHS, and Operations. Our platform has been multilingual from day one and is currently live on more than 10 sites in Spanish, Portuguese and French.

OBJECTIVE: You have just signed a contract with Indian Oil and raised investments in a pre-series A round; How does this shape your local and global expansion plans?

Maximl is currently present at more than 50 global locations with 16 corporate clients in India, SEA, Latin America and Europe. We have successfully extended our footprints globally and in industries such as chemicals, CPGs, oil & gas, warehousing, natural gas, power & utilities, and OEMs industrial. We plan to go further in LATAM, Europe and SEA by leveraging our network of partners while also working on sales and marketing strategies to have a strong direct presence in the United States as well as the Indian market. We expect to have a presence at more than 100 global locations in more than 20 countries by the end of this fiscal year.

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Hove, man with autism defies expectations, publishes children’s book Mon, 03 Jan 2022 05:42:00 +0000 A YOUNG man with autism, who was once unable to communicate, has published a children’s book.

Oliver Pendlington, 26, of Hove, was diagnosed with severe autism at a young age and his parents were told he could be non-verbal his entire life.

In 1999, when he was four, Lorraine and Matthew Pendlington, Oliver’s parents, spoke to The Argus about the family’s struggles to get the help Oliver needed in Brighton and Hove.

At the time, Brighton and Hove council was receiving criticism over the lack of support for children with learning difficulties and special needs, especially with a diagnosis.

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Lorraine, 64, said: “It was very rare at the time that children with these needs were labeled and recognized.

“So my husband pretty much forced the board to recognize that there was a requirement.

“This meant that Oliver was able to go to a regular preschool and then to an elementary school, but with one-on-one support.”

At the time, special elementary schools were very scarce and generally charged tuition fees, which the Pendlington thought was unfair.

The purpose of Argus’ interview was to discuss with his parents the successes they had had and the advice they had for others.

When Oliver was four he started to speak, but his mother said that was the ability of an 18 month old.

He began his university career at Royal Spa Kindergarten before moving on to Brunswick Elementary School.

For his high school education, Oliver chose to attend a special school that has since closed called Patcham House.

He then finished three years of college to get his A-Level, at the age of 20 he started college – now diagnosed with high-level autism.

Lorraine said: “One of the things that touched me a lot was that he didn’t just have a solid education.

“He’s now got an undergraduate degree and a master’s degree – we never thought it would be possible. It’s amazing.”

Both of Oliver’s degrees were film-based, involving many research and theoretical units, as well as creative writing and screenwriting.

During his bachelor’s degree at the University of Brighton, Oliver wrote a 500-word short story titled The Long Mile.

As an avid runner who has participated in several races and has always loved the sport, the story is an autobiographical tale.

While having Covid in January 2021, Oliver decided to expand the story and made it into a children’s book.

At first, the protagonist battles a “creepy invisible bug” and is forced to stay home, looking like Covid-19. She remembers doing her first mini-mile a few years ago.

Oliver said: “This is about a little girl named Ella getting ready to run her first mini mile. The story was quite autobiographical as I wrote it because Ella’s anxiety over her big challenge was very similar to my own racing experiences.

“Running has been one of my favorite recreational activities for at least a decade.

“I love meeting all my friends at the Hove Hornets Running Club and love all the routes we take.

“I especially love watching the kids’ races at the Fun Runs we run and one of my friend’s daughters was the inspiration for Ella in my story.

“Like her, I found the wait to start a race – any race – nerve-racking, even after the first time.

“Even after driving some roads so many times, I find them long and difficult, especially the ones with big hills and really muddy roads after heavy rains.

“But that’s why I love running so much; these routes are difficult and yet i feel a great sense of accomplishment completing them.

“Certainly the children feel that too, which is why I chose to have a child as a protagonist.”

This year Oliver and his mother published the story, with illustrations by professional artist and family friend Sharon James-Alderton.

Publishing initially was a challenge, they struggled to find a company to take a risk on a first-time writer.

Oliver said: “Sharon had a friend who specializes in printing and suggested that we could send her the story.

“We did and he agreed to print at least 50 copies for us to self-publish and sell. With mom’s help, we settled the payments and he printed the books for us.

“Now Sharon and I could start promoting our book. I arranged to sell several copies at the Hove Fitness Center, where the Hove Hornets are based.

“Sharon and I also gave some copies to friends who worked in schools. And I’ve even donated a few to Books for Amnesty, where I volunteer once a week.

“Self-publishing was the best option for my first book.”

Lorraine says she lobbied for the book to be released as well because she wanted to highlight how far her son has come since he was first diagnosed.

She said: “I also wanted it to be published. It doesn’t just make it real to him, it means a wider audience can read it.

“We have family and friends who know Oliver, and for them to see what he has accomplished is just amazing.

“My sister-in-law lives in Australia and was around a lot when he was little, she said to me ‘Lorraine, I can’t believe it’ – everyone is so proud of him.”

Oliver is hoping to be able to publish more books and sell them to publicize his work – they jokingly describe it as a “financial failure” as it sells for £ 7 but costs £ 9 to make.

“We’re not here for the money, it’s to show what he’s done and what he’s capable of,” said Lorraine.

Anyone wishing to get a copy of The Long Mile can email Oliver at

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What psychology knows and doesn’t know about narcissism Sat, 01 Jan 2022 14:37:57 +0000

It’s hard to access a website or popular psychology writing without running into the concept of narcissism. While the term is often technically intended to refer to the diagnosis of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, this subtlety is usually lost when applied to celebrities and politicians. As a giant catch-all for various self-aggrandizing and egocentric behaviors, narcissism has strayed so far from its original conceptualization that it has virtually lost most of its meaning.

Returning to this original conceptualization, Elizabeth Edershile and Aidan Wright (2021) of the University of Pittsburgh describe narcissism not only as a set of grandiose and selfish behaviors, but as a “complex system” that drives “a set of processes”. How to better understand these processes, they continue, “remains a source of much debate and contributes to a tension between theoretical models and empirical research” (p. 1).

You may have your own theories about what factors produce narcissistic behavior in people you know. Perhaps you have a brother-in-law who is now an “ex-brother-in-law” after leaving your closest brother with virtually no warning and no explanation. Broken by the experience, your brother seeks solace from you and the rest of your family. Inevitably, discussions about this person receive considerable and perhaps undue attention during phone calls and family gatherings. Your family now looks back at the ex’s previous behavior, listing any signs of narcissism in that person, such as taking center stage at holiday meals, refusing to help clean up after those meals, and, in general, act like they’re better than everyone else.

Once you’ve come to your collectively agreed ex-diagnosis, you assure your brother that nothing he did contributed to the breakup. Indeed, as the time passes, you feel more and more certain that your diagnosis is correct and that your brother has a real interest in getting rid of the ex.

While you’re unlikely to take a sympathetic glance at what may have caused the ex to behave so cruel to your beloved family member, you can try to catch a glimpse once that. the initial pain of the breakup subsides and you are able to think about it all. Did the ex have an exceptionally difficult childhood, raised by parents who neglected or even abused them? Is it possible that the ex feels threatened by your family and the close bond that you and your siblings have with each other as well as with your own parents? Have there been any previous signs that the ex needs attention from you and your family in order to compensate for these feelings of vulnerability?

What psychological theory says about narcissism

These questions about the origins of the ex’s cruel treatment of your brother or sister correspond to the most common theoretical position on narcissism, as articulated by the authors of the U. Pittsburgh. The “complex system” to which they refer reflects an ever-changing interplay between the two fundamental tendencies of vulnerability and greatness, both of which serve to protect an individual’s self-esteem. Threats to self-esteem, they suggest, trigger “a cascade of unfolding processes” in which the individual alternates between vulnerability and greatness, also potentially leading to outward expressions of hostility towards those who thwart their efforts to. feel superior.

The idea that narcissists try to protect their self-esteem is fundamental to the “mask” model proposed by the early theorists of psychodynamics. As Edershile and Wright note, the narcissist’s seemingly inflated ego, according to this view, reflects the attempts to cover up and protect the individual from feeling inferior.

More recently, theorists working from this basic framework propose that narcissists in fact strive not to revert to some type of “normal” basic self-esteem, but to a “higher desired state”. This “trait level right” leads them to believe that they deserve to be treated as better than everyone else.

This high level of entitlement paves the way for the narcissist to view their experiences in terms of whether or not they are getting the attention they think they deserve, and not some type of neutral orientation. In other words, the narcissist views ordinary experiences from the point of view of the need to constantly strengthen their self-esteem. When they do not get this support, they can “descend” into vulnerability and challenge themselves through strategies such as attacking those they see as the culprits.

In trying to understand these dynamics, it may be helpful to review the qualities that psychologists define as involving vulnerability and greatness. Vulnerability, the “intense and felt need for recognition” manifests itself in a strong sense of self-doubt and a desire to avoid being discovered as weak. Greatness is reflected in “shamelessness, self-promoting behavior and a lack of empathy” (p. 2).

Essential readings on narcissism

Such fluctuations between vulnerability and grandiosity mean that a single measure of narcissism as used in a correlational study is unlikely to produce a clear picture. However, as Edershile and Wright point out, this is precisely the approach used in the majority of studies that attempt to put narcissism under the microscope. The gap between theory and research therefore means that an understanding of the dynamics of narcissism “has not been reached” (p. 11).

What psychological research says about narcissism

Since much of what you read about research evidence-based narcissism will be limited by its correlational nature, what can you trust in the published literature? Can research ever appropriately capture the vulnerability-grandiosity interaction over time?

Edershile and Wright propose a way to get around this problem by distinguishing between trait and state narcissism. As you saw earlier, the authors view trait narcissism as that bloated sense of self that needs to be fueled by continuous positive feedback. However, at one time the person’s behavior may show vulnerability and at other times greatness. Studying these state-level manifestations could potentially provide the kind of data needed to study narcissism as a complex system of processes.

To this end, the authors attempted to measure these qualities of state-level narcissism by obtaining reports from 231 participants every 90 minutes on their levels of greatness and vulnerability to see how often they “changed.” Referring to data from an unpublished study, Edershile and Wright report that of the 7,480 momentary reports obtained by the authors, the change only occurred 1.5% of the time, a very small percentage. This discovery led the authors to ask the question of whether it is necessary to probe momentary changes not defined by time intervals, but by specific interactions. must experience being in a grand state.

It is therefore clear that even state-type measures of narcissism have their limitations, suggesting to the authors that “more precise assessment tools are needed” (p. 11). These must also be aligned with experiences likely to provoke the transition from vulnerability to narcissism. A one-time assessment, even one every and a half hours, is unlikely to capture these dynamic processes at work.

What do the results mean to you?

Now that you understand the limitations of existing research on narcissism, even research using momentary sampling, you can see that what you thought you knew may need serious reconsideration. This ex-brother-in-law case, for example, might provide you with your own case study to use to better understand the core of narcissism. Putting aside your anger at this person, are you able to trace events that could have threatened them (such as proximity to your family) leading to their apparent need for validation?

It is certainly difficult to put your theoretical “hat” on someone whose antagonism and narcissistic rights seem out of hand and have caused harm to you or others who are dear to you. According to the article by U. Pittsburgh narcissists can also display opposite behaviors by appearing interested in you, warm, and friendly, as long as their need to feel superior is fueled. You can easily be drawn into a relationship with that person only to be severely shot later when they feel threatened and their greatness sets in.

The theory-research gap in what psychology knows about the narcissism identified in Edershile and Wright’s article provides more than the basis for a critique of the existing literature. As they note, “variability is a key characteristic of the expression of narcissism” (p. 6). If you’re trying to figure out how to maintain a relationship with someone you think is rich in narcissism, being able to identify these predictors of variability might ultimately give you the best way to keep those temper tantrums at bay.

To summarize, it’s very easy to try and categorize people on the basis of what you think is their “personality”. The case of narcissism may be particularly extreme in terms of its underlying theme of variability, but individual personalities reflect situational factors. The article by U. Pittsburgh provides an important reminder of the need to get more than a snapshot of anyone you are trying to understand, including yourself.

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View: A Date With Mathematics Sat, 25 Dec 2021 17:30:00 +0000 I can’t say that I was totally surprised to learn that Neena Gupta has just won the Ramanujan Prize for Young Mathematicians in Developing Countries, awarded annually by the International Center for Theoretical Physics in Italy. Why couldn’t an actress take advantage of her science? After all, there have been precedents in the film world, including Hollywood idol Hedy Lamarr from the 1930s-1940s – Delilah in Cecil B DeMille’s Samson and Delilah in 1949 – who actually invented a frequency hopping device. for radio controlled torpedoes. There was also a long time lapse between the Doordarshan Khandaan series, Viv Richards and the 2018 comedy-drama Badhai Ho. Vanity vans are probably great places to work on mathematical theories.

As it turned out, however, she was another Neena Gupta, whose passion seemed to extend only to commutative algebra. And although I was saddened to lose a great quiz, I was glad to know that she had graduated in Mathematics from Bethune College, Kolkata, the oldest women’s college in India, before moving on to the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata.

Because I have a guilty secret. Long before sports and television, I had an undergraduate degree in mathematics. It was a carefully considered choice, my grades weren’t good enough to get into physics, and chemistry and geology involved a lot of hands-on lessons. I may not have learned much in my 11-12 class, but I understood that theory lessons could be blocked with impunity, while practical lessons had to be taken to get a passing grade.

That, and the fact that the first math list had five more daughters than chemistry, and way more than geology, were the data points on which I made this life-changing decision.


It turned out that I chose well. While math classes were as tough as any, math seemed to attract more eccentrics than any other class. There was Vinay Rao who played the violin and wanted to derive every theorem from first principles in the examination room. Siddhartha, who should have represented the country in football but was studying math instead. Niranjan who loved Mohammed Rafi and kuchipudi in equal measure. Roger, who played bass like a dream, when he wasn’t spending his days at the Regional Computing Center. And somehow they all got along like a house on fire, reluctantly accepting that it was their collective responsibility to make sure I learned what I needed to erase my paper crashing into the hostel three days before the semester exams. It was my first experience with what Americans called “social security”.

Of all those we met, there was only one course that I was really interested in – set theory and topology – and the professor, HS, had an interesting story. Radical communist in the 1970s at the same university, he was forced to flee to the United States and was stranded at the University of Rochester. He was considered one of the brightest and best before things stabilized in India in the early 1980s. He couldn’t stand another winter in New York and returned straight to teaching in his alma mater. HS immediately piqued our interest by letting it be known that if we really wanted to understand the sets and topology the best way was to spend some time in the local burning ghat after soaking up a fair amount of psychedelics. And although we tried it once or twice – and I’m not sure it worked – it had done enough to make sure that at least some of us were trying to figure out a subject that we didn’t. we would never be concerned otherwise.

To come back to Neena Gupta. His favorite subject seems to be commutative algebra and commutative rings. The only explanation I can offer is that the property of commutativity is something that we all deal with on a daily basis. A commutative action is an action in which the order of the elements in an operation does not matter. So, addition and multiplication are commutative because 2 + 5 and 5 + 2 give you the same result, but subtraction is not commutative because 2 -5 and 5-2 give you different results.

That’s about as much math as I could cram into my consciousness between the canteen, table tennis, basketball and quizzes. I hope you understand. And well done Neena!

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