The police intervene. After a few moments, the scene has degenerated: the police, in vans, move toward the demonstrators; the demonstrators find steel tubes in a nearby building site and use them as weapons. A police officer driving one of the vans—Antonio Annarumma—dies in the struggle, in circumstances that remain unclear to this day. Competing accounts of the event appear almost instantly. This odious crime must serve as a warning to all: to isolate the criminals and put them in a condition of no longer being noxious; their purpose is the destruction of life. Many demonstrators were illegally incarcerated for several months while they awaited trial.
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In the police barracks at the Milanese northeastern district of Bicocca, where Annarumma was usually stationed, the climate became increasingly exasperated. Far-right press such as the weekly Il Borghese called for the occupation of the city by the police. The ensuing trial did little to calm this tense atmosphere. Viewed from the hindsight of the decade that followed, the whole episode—and the atmosphere it generated—was grimly familiar and not unique to Italy.
The state of constant urban confrontation, in other words, was one that characterized many nations during the height of the Cold War. In Italy, as elsewhere, the decade beginning in was dubbed the anni di piombo , the years of lead—a period characterized by political violence by way of artillery: bombs detonated on trains and in railway stations and banks and the kidnapping and murder of politicians, activists, and members of the police force. As I have mentioned, neither the epithet nor the political situation was exclusive to Italy during the years of the Cold War—indeed, the phrase anni di piombo was coined in by German director Margarethe von Trotta, who made it the title of a film about the tensions between East and West Germany.
In Italy, the term referred to a series of urban guerrilla actions resulting from several layers of political conflict: the skyrocketing of private industry profits during the years of the economic miracle — had been accompanied by neglect of the public sector—housing infrastructure, health services, and education—that became the subject of frequent and vociferous protests among workers, university students, and left-wing intellectuals. By the end of the sixties, these sectors had articulated into a myriad of competing extra-parliamentary left-wing groups.
Although in conflict with one another over the minutiae of their political programs, all groups protested the parliamentary left, which in consisted of a first-time coalition of the Italian Communist Party PCI and the Christian Democrats DC. This same government—and anything to the left of it—was also under attack by numerous neofascist groups such as Ordine Nuovo, and Avanguardia Nazionale.
The US government—which had kept very close ties with the center-left Christian Democrat government since the s—naturally did not want the extreme left to gain traction in Italy; but by the seventies, as some Wikileaks cables have since shown, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was actively invested in discouraging inquiries into the links between neofascist sympathizers and the police, a disquieting position considering that Italy was in the aftermath of an attempted—if badly executed—military coup, and that Kissinger would in openly support the Chilean golpe against Salvador Allende.
The product of these tensions was an atmosphere in which violent extremes mingled and even were played against one another by a government intent on preserving its precarious stability at all costs. Extreme left-wing groups were often infiltrated by spies from the extreme right, and vice versa. If a crime could be committed so as to look like the work of a leftist group, then the very ideal of activism—that of making direct, immediate dents in a political order—was shattered into a forest of signs, which were then subjected to the vagaries of representation and interpretation. A period such as the anni di piombo presents a peculiar kind of problem to any historian let alone a sound historian, as we will see.
Such crimes are always already embedded in a highly sensationalist public record dating back to the violent event itself and woven in a literary and visual corpus that spans, by now, decades. And this is why: in the history of Italian politics that begins with the explosion in Piazza Fontana and extends to the kidnapping and murder of Aldo Moro, it was hardly ever the loss of life, the most concrete consequence of political violence, that was sensationalized; rather, it was precisely the unintelligibility, the impossibility of conclusive evidence regarding its perpetrators that was staged, proclaimed, bemoaned, and ultimately sold.
This climate of representation, in which unintelligibility is presented as a kind of standalone reality effect that is, such a picture, or such a witness, is telling the truth because its contents or testimony are unclear , puts the historian in a peculiar double bind.
Nonetheless, reporting this particular or any event as a problem, as an unresolved issue, is to appropriate the mode of presentation of the event itself at the time of occurrence, making the historian complicit with the sensationalist press coverage. And yet it is also essentially impossible for the historian to resolve the mystery and this is, of course, the mode of Italian microhistorians like Carlo Ginzburg, who directly engaged with the historiographical and political problem of the anni di piombo and demystify the sensationalism: for all the putative resolutions of the Annarumma, Piazza Fontana, and Aldo Moro cases, none of them have yet amounted to an official legal resolution.
Indeed, not only is the overblown mode of representation difficult to deflate into a legal resolution, but one could also argue that sensationalism in s Italy aided, rather than defied, the exercise of the law: in response to the Moro murder, Prime Minister Francesco Cossiga passed a law formulated on 15 December and passed on 8 February sanctioning mass incarcerations, unwarranted searches, and more severe punishment for terrorist activities, effectively turning the problem of unintelligibility into permission to persecute, rather than legally try, members of activist groups deemed suspicious.
It is, however, striking that, by and large, these analyses have focused on visual evidence, on either printed media or photography.
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Verbal media—newspaper articles, interviews, and so on—could also embody terror insofar as they were shown merely to report on what seemed unsettling documentary evidence. Historians have since produced accounts of precisely the representational work performed by s media, accounts that are largely based on an analysis of images and news clippings. There is, on the other hand, a pronounced dearth of critical studies about sound media in these same circumstances.
This is an odd lacuna. After all, this is a historical period in which recording technology allows for extensive sonic documentation—not to mention surveillance—of events that could then be broadcast or even circulated as recordings. Is this lack of a critical history of political sound recordings simply a sign that recorded sound has lost the race against visual media as a source of proof, and thus as the subject of historical critique? Or is it that the act of recording sound is considered by default less mediated more presence than representation than visual reproduction, and thus, again, less worthy of critical attention?
And if so, how might we begin to think of a representational climate for sound in these decades? Continue reading …. Drawing on both sound studies and Italian political philosophy, she argues that the record embodies and actively stages idiosyncratic but highly contemporary relationships between music and soundscape, between sound event and its technological reproduction, and ultimately between political event and the act of writing history.
She researches the relation between voice, sound reproduction, and ideologies of language, with special attention to the twentieth century, Italy, and matters of nationhood and race. A major rethinking of the European novel and its relationship to early evolutionary science.
Modeling the modern scientific conception of a developmental human nature, the novel became a major experimental instrument for managing the new set of divisions—between nature and history, individual and species, human and biological life—that replaced the ancient schism between animal body and immortal soul. Few since have disagreed.
Model Representation I
Up to the close of the last century, studies of early modern demonic possession were dominated by psychoanalytic perspectives, and it seems fair to say that such perspectives are more than usually likely to produce an association between possession and the female body. More recent studies have reached the same conclusion as de Certeau from a different and more strictly historicist angle. Why it is important Students need to understand that representations are not neutral.
Stage 6 Students understand that in representing the world composers and responders construct, co-construct, deconstruct and reconstruct meaning in and through texts. Students learn that representation may be intentionally or unintentionally biased representation is influenced by and in turn influences its context representation favours or privileges a position by omitting or silencing the views or perspectives of particular groups.
Stage 4 Students understand that representations are not natural reflections of the world. They learn that representation is the result of conscious or unconscious selection and arrangement according to codes and conventions representation positions a responder representations may be intentionally objective or subjective representations may be intentionally ambiguous mode and medium require different codes and conventions of representation to produce similar meanings. Stage 3 Students understand that representations position audiences to adopt a particular response They learn that information and ideas may be represented symbolically representation in each mode operates according to its own codes and conventions.
Stage 2 Students understand that representations are varied and reflect individual experiences and contexts. They learn that representations are deliberately constructed for particular audiences and purposes and vary according to the capabilities of mode or medium may reflect stereotypic ideas rather than actuality. More precisely, though, scientific representation is the important and useful relationship that holds between scientific sources for example, models, theories, and data models and their targets for example, real-world systems, and theoretical objects.
There is a long history within philosophy of describing the nature of the representational relationship between concepts and their objects, but the discussion on scientific representation started in the 20 th century philosophy of science. There are a number of different questions one can ask when thinking about scientific representation. Other questions about scientific representation relate more specifically to the ways in which representations are used in science.
These questions are more typically asked directly about certain sorts of representational objects, especially scientific models, as well as from the perspective of sociology of science. Scientific representation became a rising topic of interest with the development of the semantic view of theories which was itself developed partly as a response to the syntactic view of theories. Briefly, on the syntactic view, theoretical terms are defined in virtue of relationships of equivalence with observational entities Suppe This was done through the creation of a first-order predicate calculus which contained a number of logical operators as well as two sets of terms, one set filled with theoretical terms and the other with observational terms.
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Each theoretical term was defined in terms of a correspondence rule linking it directly to an observational term. The logical language also included a number of axioms, which were relations between theoretical terms. These axioms were understood as the scientific laws, since they showed relationships that held among the theoretical terms.
Given this purely syntactic relationship between theory and observed phenomena, there was no need to give any more detailed account of the representation relationship that held between them. The correspondence rule syntactically related the theory with observations. The details of the rejection of the syntactic view are beyond the scope of this article, but suffice it to say that this view of the structure of theories was widely rejected.
With this rejection came a different account of the structure of theories, what is often called the semantic view. Since there was no longer any direct syntactic relationship between theory and observation, it became of interest to explain what relationship does hold between theories and observations, and ultimately the world. Before examining the accounts of scientific representation that arose to explain this relationship, we should get a basic sense of the semantic view of theories.
The common feature of the semantic approach to scientific theories was that they should not be thought of as a set of axioms and defined syntactic correspondence between theory and observation. That is to say, theories are not tied to a single formulation or even to a particular logical language. Instead theories are thought of as being a set of related models.
Van Fraassen , asks us to consider a set of axioms which are constituents of a theory which will be called T 1 :. A1 For any two lines, there is at most one point that lies on both. A2 For any two points, there is exactly one line that lies on both. In Figure 1, we can see a model which shows that T 1 is consistent, since each of the axioms is satisfied by this model.