Monday, March 4, 2024

Autobiography of Alexandros Papadiamantis

The short autobiography that the prose writer Alexandros Papadiamantis made for himself at the request of Giannis Vlachogiannis states the following:

I was born in Skiathos on March 4, 1851. I left the Greek School in 1863, but only in 1867 I was sent to the Halkidos High School, where I attended the 1st and 2nd years. The 3rd I studied in Piraeus, then I stopped my studies and stayed in my homeland. In July 1872, I went to the Holy Mountain for a pilgrimage, where I stayed for a few months. In 1873 I came to Athens and studied at Varvakeio for the 4th year. In 1874 I enrolled in the Philosophical School, where I took a few philological courses by choice, but I personally studied foreign languages.

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Alexandros Papadiamantis Resource Page

Alexandros Papadiamantis (March 4, 1851- January 3, 1911)



Friday, December 22, 2023

How Great Spiritual Figures of Greece Helped Form the Renowned Conductor Dimitri Mitropoulos

Dimitri Mitropoulos (center) with St. Nektarios (left) and Alexandros Papadiamantis (right) and the Metochion of the Ascension in Vyronas of Athens in the background.

Perhaps the best known relationship of the renowned composer and pianist Dimitri Mitropoulos was his constant betrayer and eventual successor: Leonard Bernstein. Bernstein first heard and saw Mitropoulos as a recent émigré from Greece when he had given a Boston Symphony Orchestra concert in 1938 which electrified the Harvard graduate student. Mitropoulos took Bernstein under his wing, though the ambitious Bernstein later repaid his kindness by angling to replace him as the head of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. It was Mitropoulos, after all, who is primarily responsible for inspiring Bernstein to become a conductor. Another friend of Mitropoulos, Herbert von Karajan, also was entranced by the way in which music seemed to flow through the Greek conductor and communicate itself to both players and audiences. At Karajan's behest, Mitropoulos became a welcome return guest at the Salzburg Festival in the last years of his life. Mitropoulos exercised a formative influence on the two most dominant conducting egos in the second half of the 20th century.

Saturday, October 7, 2023

Artificial Intelligence as Artificial Brilliance (Metr. Hierotheos of Nafpaktos)

To an English speaker without a knowledge of Greek, this article won't make a lot of sense, since the author is using two different ways of talking about Artificial Intelligence (Τεχνητή Νοημοσύνη and Τεχνητή Εὐφυΐα). The literal translation of Εὐφυΐα is the word "brilliance", though it really is another word for intelligence, but the other Greek word for intelligence, Νοημοσύνη, contains the word "nous" or "noetic", which in Orthodox theology is the highest faculty of the human being that has spiritual connotations. This article therefore is about replacing the Greek word Νοημοσύνη with Εὐφυΐα, though in English both mean "intelligence". To understand the difference, I have rendered Εὐφυΐα as "brilliance". It is an important theological discussion, but not applicable in English, so do not think that "Artificial Intelligence" should be replace with "Artificial Brilliance" in English.
Artificial Intelligence as Artificial Brilliance

By Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou

Nowadays, there is a lot of talk not only about Artificial Intelligence, but also about its consequences in our lives. Opinions are expressed about the benefits that will come from its implementation, but also the risks that result from the abolition of human freedom and the alteration of human rights.

Thus, the pioneers of Artificial Intelligence sounded the alarm of modern technology and emphasized that they must set limits.

For example, Geoffrey Hinton, who is described as "the father of Artificial Intelligence", in an interview he gave to the New York Times, explained that he left Google to speak freely about the dangers of Artificial Intelligence. In fact, he particularly emphasized that "some of the dangers arising from artificial intelligence Chatbots (software) were quite scary." “Right now, she's not smarter than us, as far as I can tell. But I think that soon it can be done."

Friday, August 4, 2023

Movie: "Men of Anjolos" (1997) - An Islamic Movie on the Life of the Seven Youths of Ephesus

The Men of Anjolos (Persian: مردان آنجلس Mardān-e Ānjelos), also known as The Companions of the Cave (Persian: اصحاب کهف Ashāb-e Kahf), is a 1997 Iranian television series directed by Farajollah Salahshoor. It depicts the Islamic version of the story of the Seven Sleepers (mentioned in Surah al-Kahf of the Koran), which according to Islamic tradition took place in Jordan, not Ephesus as in the Christian version of the story.