Welcome, 77 artists, 40 different points of Attica welcomes you by singing Erotokritos an epic romance written at 1713 by Vitsentzos Kornaros

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Greek football fans set their stadium on fire and throw anchovies at their rivals

GREEK footy fans created mayhem this week, lighting an insane “ring of fire” around a stadium and dumping hundreds of smelly anchovies on a rival’s bench. Amazing pictures have emerged of the Greek Cup semi-final game between home team PAOK and ...


“Raus” Brings Laughs to NHM in Chicago

NEW YORK – Satire is a Greek tradition whose preservation the nation’s leaders seem to take very seriously. With or without a crisis, they strive assiduously to generate material that will keep their citizens laughing as an antidote to the pain they themselves have inflicted. Eclipses Group Theater NY in Collaboration with the National Hellenic […]

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There Are Only 3 Ways To Stop The Inevitable Robot Uprising

We're really enjoying this paper by scientist Steve Omohundro, in which he lays out the more-realistic-than-you-think implications of a robot uprising.

Because robots are only getting more and more advanced, they will one day be imbued with what Omohundro calls "approximate rationality." This is a way of saying that the robots of the future will have a certain degree of awareness of their goals, and will be able to react and compensate when something prevents them from meeting these goals.

In the best sense of the term, a robot delivering your Amazon order will have the approximate rationality to navigate around a storm system, for example. In the worst sense of the term, if you try to stop a robot from making that delivery, it would recognize you as an obstacle and figure out a way to stop — or maybe even kill — you.

Omohundro suggests there may be six different types of "evil" robots, which we delve into here, and proposes three ways of stopping them.

First, you can prevent harmful robotic systems from being created in the first place. This one's obvious enough — careful programming with a Hippocratic emphasis ("First, do no harm.") that will never contradict itself is key. This is the optimal solution and it requires a lot of forethought and planning. But let's suppose something happens and the "evil robot" gets out into the world. Your next approach would be to detect this malicious thing early in its life before it acquires too many resources. This is a matter of simply paying close attention to an autonomous system and shutting it down when it becomes clear that it's up to no good. The least desirable solution is to identify the threat after it's already acquired lots of resources. This quickly approaches sci-fi nightmare territory, and it might be too late at this point.

Omohundro likens this all to forest fires — a forest provides plenty of energy to keep a fire burning, so if you catch it early, it's a reasonable proposition to put it out. Catch it too late, and it might very well be beyond your control.

It seems the only way to be completely safe is to not start a fire in the first place, but history (and even the Greek myth of Icarus, the guy with the wax wings which melted when he flew too close to the sun) suggests we won't be able to resist seeing just how deeply we can plumb developing technologies like robotics.

SEE ALSO: Meet The Six Different Types Of 'Evil' Robots

Join the conversation about this story »


Greek Minister of Tourism to Visit Australia

The Greek Minister of Tourism, Olga Kefalogianni, will be visiting Australia in May to promote Greek tourism. Kefalogianni will also be signing the much-awaited deal between Greece and Australia over the tourist visa. The agreement will allow young people ...


Lazopoulos Rejects SYRIZA Ticket Offer

Greek TV satirist Lakis Lazopoulos said he won’t accept an offer from the main opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) to run on


Merkel says “No” to War Reparations for Greece

Just a few days after Chancellor Merkel‘s visit to Athens, it appears that the German government remains negative towards the issue of war


Crete Police Seize Fake €50 Banknotes

Greek traders are warned to beware of fake 50 euro banknotes after police in Crete seized forgeries that experts say were likely printed in Bulgaria. Greece’s


Where Do Greece’s Leaders Go for Easter?

Easter holidays are the perfect opportunity for the political leadership of Greece to get some rest and regather their strengths before the local election on May 18 and 25 and the European elections on May 22-25. Greece’s President Karolos Papoulias is ...


Greece Hunts Lost Turkish F-16

Greece has offered to find where a Turkish Air Force F-16 fighter jet crashed into the Aegean some 18 years ago.

The post Greece Hunts Lost Turkish F-16 appeared first on The National Herald.


Dimou Quits To Potami Over Holy Fire

Writer Nikos Dimou said he was leaving the newly-formed To Potami (The River) party after he ridiculed the concept of Holy Fire.

The post Dimou Quits To Potami Over Holy Fire appeared first on The National Herald.


Greek Salad

If you're used to Greek salads back in your home country, you may be surprised to learn that the last thing you'll find in a Greek salad is lettuce. A giant Greek salad awaits but the dog is hoping the lamb will be ready soon. Photo by deTraci Regula Greek ...


Celebrate Earth Week with Earth Friendly Products Hellas

Earth Friendly Products Hellas will present the first ever Earth Week Hellas in Athens, Greece April 22 – 26, 2014. The purpose


Eurobank €2.86bn Share Issue Set for April 25-29

Greece’s fourth biggest lender Eurobank said on Good Friday that its 2.86 billion euros share issue will take place between Friday April 25th and Tuesday April 29th. The


First Case of MERS Virus in Greece

Doctors in Greece on Friday confirmed the country’s first case of a deadly respiratory that has already claimed 93 lives around the world. The Hellenic Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KEELPNO) announced the first case in Greece of infection ...


Good Friday Celebration Showing Interfaith Bridges Christians And Muslims Are Building In Ethnically Split Cyprus

FAMAGUSTA, Cyprus (AP) — An unexpected moment during the Good Friday service in a long-abandoned church in Cyprus' breakaway north illustrated how religion is helping to bring together Christian Greek Cypriots and Muslim Turkish Cypriots on this ethnically divided island. It came when Turkish Cypriot Umit Inatci handed the key of the church of Agios Georgios Exorinos in the medieval center of Famagusta to the city's Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Vasilios, saying: "This is not gift, it's something that is surrendered to its owner." Rapturous applause greeted the announcement by Inatci, who helped make possible the first Holy Week service at the 14th-century church in nearly 60 years. Among the hundreds of faithful there was Mikis Lakatamitis, who was baptized at the church eight decades ago. Tears welled up in his eyes as worshippers lined up nearby to kiss an embroidered cloth depicting Christ's preparation for burial. "I want to live in this moment because I don't know if I'll relive it again," said Lakatamitis, whose family abandoned their nearby home at the start of ethnic strife in the late 1950s. Cyprus was divided along ethnic lines in 1974 into a Greek Cypriot south and Turkish Cypriot north after Turkey invaded following a coup aiming to unite the island with Greece. For decades, there was no contact between the religious leaders of the two communities. In the north, about 500 churches and monasteries — many hundreds of years old — were left to ruin, looted or converted for other uses. In the south, only eight of about 110 mosques still operate. But that changed in 2009 with a kind of faith-based diplomacy that has quietly been conducted between the leader of the island's Greek Orthodox Christian Church Archbishop Chrysostomos II and Turkish Cypriot Muslim Grand Mufti Talip Atalay. "We have to give a good example to the Middle East," Atalay told The Associated Press. "This is our gift to the Middle East." The Good Friday service was the result of a grassroots initiative by ordinary Greek and Turkish Cypriots seeking to chip away at the wall of mistrust built up over decades. "Perhaps we all understood that being constantly at odds with each other is getting us nowhere," said Nikos Karoullas, a member of the citizens' movement that spawned the initiative. Karoullas said Turkish Cypriots warmly embraced the idea of the church service. Abandoned since the late 1950s, the church was later used as a cultural center by a nearby university. "This helps us to understand that we share the same country," said 35-year-old Xenia Constantinou. Katerina Mina, whose parents hail from Famagusta, said she's hopeful for a permanent peace that make such services routine rather than the exception. Although the island's conflict was never about religion, clerics have played an outsized political role in the past. The conflict that has left Nicosia as the world's last divided capital boils down to power sharing and territorial control between the majority Greek Cypriots and minority Turkish Cypriots. But the Good Friday service is viewed as an example of how religion can help mend the island's ethnic division in a part of the world where it has often been used to drive a wedge between people. The archbishop has historically wielded great influence over the Greek Cypriots as the guardian of their ethnic identity— a vestige of the island's Ottoman-ruled past. That culminated in the 1960 election of Archbishop Makarios III as Cyprus' first president after independence from British rule. The charismatic Makarios held on to power until his death in 1977 effectively ended a blurring of lines between church and state. The church's influence over political matters has faded to the point where it can no longer sway public opinion, University of Nicosia Law Professor Achilles Emilianides said. But Chrysostomos, a firebrand who famously told Pope Benedict XVI on a 2010 visit to Cyprus that Turkey seeks to conquer the entire island and erase Greek and Christian culture from the north, remains a force. A recent poll showed most Greek Cypriots view the Orthodox Church as the only credible institution in the wake of the country's recent near-bankruptcy. The faith-based meetings have produced small — but symbolically significant — steps. Last October, they agreed on lifting bans preventing Atalay and an Orthodox bishop from crossing into the south and the north respectively. Chrysostomos for the first time accepted Atalay's invitation to a meal at his office in the north. Equally significant was an unprecedented, united call of support for renewed reunification talks between Nicos Anastasiades, president of the south's internationally recognized government and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu. Anastasiades hailed the religious rapprochement as proof of "the positive role that religion can play in resolving political and other differences." The positive vibes from the religious leaders' meetings have also helped the work of a joint Greek and Turkish Cypriot committee tasked with restoring places of worship and other monuments across the island, including starting work on the highly revered but crumbling Apostolos Andreas monastery. "All places of worship should be respected fully and unconditionally, wherever they may be located," Atalay said. Atalay said meetings can help break down "psychological barriers" such as extremist views which obstruct peace, just as long as religious leaders refrain from making political remarks. "We as religious leaders are obliged to use a different language than the politicians, otherwise a solution will never come," he said.


Greek Orthodox to gather to celebrate Pascha

Greek Orthodox to gather to celebrate PaschaLancaster NewspapersFor the 600 families who attend Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Lancaster, Easter is referred to as Pascha — Passover — a holy day whose deep significance is not limited to one special Sunday or even to the New Testament of the Bible. The Rev.


Things That Turned Out Bad – That Time the Greek Gods Fought Jesus as Part ...

Comic Book ResourcesThings That Turned Out Bad – That Time the Greek Gods Fought Jesus as Part ...Comic Book ResourcesHowever, as a premonition it is on point as Zeus IS pissed and it is up to Avengelyne and Glory to stop this war between the Greek gods and the angels of heaven before things went too nuts. In any event, as you can see, this was not a good idea. And it ...


Panathinaikos Faces Hoop Ouster

MOSCOW – Panathinaikos is on the edge of being eliminated from the Euroleague basketball quarter-final after being thumped by CSKA Moscow, 77-51, in Russia to fall behind 2-0 on the best-of-five series. The Greens now have to win three consecutive games. Greece’s other team in the tourney, Olympiakos, the two-time defending champion, is also down […]

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Easter pain, revival not just symbolic to crisis-hit Greeks

Trials, suffering, resurrection: the essence of Easter has a special ring to Greeks as the country hopes to pull through a painful six-year recession. "We must undergo tests like Jesus Christ did in his time," says Kostas, a pensioner who has just attended a two-hour sermon in the working-class Athens district of Agios Nikolaos. "In Greece today, the Easter resurrection symbolises the return to better days and a chance for all to overcome adversity," argues theology professor Yiorgos Patronos. "Every year I would spend Easter with my family on the island of Chios.


Religion builds bridges in ethnically split Cyprus

FAMAGUSTA, Cyprus (AP) — An unexpected moment during the Good Friday service in a long-abandoned church in Cyprus' breakaway north illustrated how religion is helping to bring together Christian Greek Cypriots and Muslim Turkish Cypriots on this ethnically divided island.


Religion helps heal Cyprus' ethnic division as Muslim, Christian leaders wage quiet diplomacy

An unexpected moment during the Good Friday service in a long-abandoned church in Cyprus' breakaway north illustrated how religion is helping to bring together Christian Greek Cypriots and Muslim Turkish Cypriots on this ethnically divided island.


Original Easter Customs of Greece

Greece is a country with rich tradition and the Greeks always make sure to honor those traditions, especially during religious celebrations. The following traditions are a glimpse into some of the original ways in which Greeks celebrate Easter….


Greece sells bonds, workers suffer more

If workers in the Ukraine want to see what joining the EU and borrowing from the “troika” — the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission — might mean for them, they should look at Greece, Portugal or ...


Saudis report 12 more MERS cases; Greece has its first

CIDRAPSaudis report 12 more MERS cases; Greece has its firstCIDRAPSaudi Arabia reported 12 more MERS-CoV cases today, six of them in Jeddah, the site of a steadily growing outbreak, while Greece reported its first case, involving a man who had been in Jeddah before flying to Greece. The other six Saudi Arabian cases, ...Case of dangerous MERS-CoV infection traced to GreeceThe Voice of RussiaGreece reports first MERS coronavirus caseThe Global DispatchSharp jump in SARS casesCastanet.netall 423 news articles »


The wolf is at Greece’s threshold

Angela Merkel’s superficially untroubled visit to Athens last week should have reminded India’s political leaders that it is not enough to win elections and form a coalition government. Without prudent investment in manufacturing, an improvident ...


Good Friday Service in Famagusta

FAMAGUSTA (Turkish-occupied Cyprus) – Fifty eight years have passed since Cyprus’ Orthodox Christians have been able to hold Good Friday services at the Church of St. George Exorinos the city of Famagusta. On April 25, amid weeping and hope that the service is a sign that after 40 years of Turkish occupations the island nation […]

The post Good Friday Service in Famagusta appeared first on The National Herald.


Greece offers to help Turkey find missing warplane

UPI.comGreece offers to help Turkey find missing warplaneUPI.com0. 0. A Turkish air Force F-16 (CC/Jerry Gunner). ATHENS, Greece, April 18 (UPI) -- The Greek government officially offered to assist the Turkish government in finding a Turkish Air Force fighter jet lost in the Aegean Sea ...